American revolutionary Patrick Henry famously declared, “Give me liberty or give me death!” This month, furious mobs throughout the Islamic world decree death, a sentence they imposed on four Americans in Libya, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens — the first U.S. ambassador murdered in the line of duty since 1979. Before buying the spin that the deadly attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi was a spontaneous response to an anti-Islam video, Think Again. According to Libyan President Mohamed Magarief, the video had “nothing to do with” the premeditated terrorist attack. Conducted on the anniversary of 9/11 in order to
“Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy,” remarked F. Scott Fitzgerald, as if alluding to the fatal confrontation between George Zimmerman, the watch guard of a beleaguered and oft-burglarized neighborhood, and the unarmed, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, who President Obama said would look like his son if he had one. To prevent this painful case from jeopardizing social cohesion, Americans must Think Again before lining up behind their preferred tragic hero like rabid fans of opposing sports teams. All the world’s a stage, and on the rainy night of their deadly clash, neither Martin nor Zimmerman followed
The summer blockbuster “Man of Steel” reveals why Superman is an American icon, like the courageous revolutionaries who declared American independence. They couldn’t leap tall buildings in a single bound, but our founders’ steel-like resolve forged an against-all-odds victory over a Kryptonically powerful British military in pursuit of radical ideas — human liberty and self-government. Breaking with history’s repressive norms, they declared the uniquely American idea that everyone is born free and equally entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. In order to prevent future Lex Luthors from tyrannizing the people, they established a constitutional system whose powers are
In the madcap TV series “Get Smart,” secret agent Maxwell Smart evades surveillance — and archnemesis KAOS — with an array of clandestine gadgets including a shoe phone and the legendary “Cone of Silence.” Americans once laughed at Smart’s privacy-enhancing schemes. But recent revelations about America’s ever-widening surveillance state have stirred many to Think Again about their privacy rights — and pine for their own Cone of Silence. Originally designed to spy on foreigners and track the foreign correspondence of suspected terrorists, today the National Security Agency digitally frisks U.S. citizens, capturing and storing their communications data for as long as
In his 1980s comedy routine, Yakov Smirnoff celebrated America’s free society and equality before the law, joking, “In America, you can always find a party. In Russia, party always finds you! In America, you break law. In Soviet Russia, law breaks you!” In the wake of scandals involving the abuse of governmental power, Americans must Think Again about Smirnoff’s ironic wordplays. As we’re learning, the ruling party can find and break you — despite constitutional protections. Today, our federal government is the nation’s largest spender, debtor, lender, employer, contractor, property owner, insurer, health care provider and pension guarantor. What it doesn’t
“Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life,” counseled Faber College’s Dean Wormer in “Animal House.” For the collegiate class of 2013 — until next year the most indebted ever — add “in hock” to that immortal list. Compared with their parents, current graduates are paying four times more in inflation-adjusted terms for their diplomas while suffering substantially inferior job and income prospects. Like “Animal House’s” witless frat brothers, those who believe college is a last hurrah before plunging into adult reality must Think Again. For generations, Americans practiced what Benjamin Franklin preached — “An investment in knowledge pays
Stretching Oscar Wilde’s adage “I never put off til tomorrow what I can do the day after,” some in the mainstream media have finally started to Think Again about the Benghazi attack launched last year on the anniversary of 9/11 — thanks to new revelations by high-ranking State Department whistle-blowers including experts in security, counterterrorism, and the No. 2-ranking diplomat in Libya under slain Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Contrary to the “spin” that the U.S. Consulate assault was a spontaneous response to an anti-Islam YouTube video, the truth is that American officials knew “from the get-go” that it was a premeditated terrorist
In his 1831 book celebrating America, Alexis de Tocqueville warned, “In democratic societies, there exists an urge to do something even when the goal is not precise, a sort of permanent fever that turns to innovations, … (which) are always costly.” After a spate of traumatic tragedies that impact the gun and immigration debates, feverish politicians are rushing to innovate complex legislation without thoroughly and publicly examining the underlying problems and before “we the people” consent to their solutions. Lawmakers should Think Again, considering that only 4 percent of Americans currently “mention guns or immigration as the most important problems
Barack Obama has a habit of trying to energize his legislative agenda by stoking the fires of emotionally charged current events — and in ways usually illogical and incoherent. The shooting of Representative Gabby Giffords and the horrible mass murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School were cited as reasons for rapid enactment of new gun-control laws — even though the proposed tougher registration rules would not have prevented either mayhem. Tightening up the process for legal acquisition of firearms would not much hinder the mentally ill from getting their hands on guns. And the various measures needed to stop a crazy
Last month, world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon and up-from-nothing African-American idol Ben Carson expressed his contrarian opinion that marriage is between a man and a woman and that no group could change this millennia-old social institution. Appalled medical students at Johns Hopkins University, allegedly a place of intellectual inquiry and diversity and “a forum for the free expression of ideas,” circulated a petition to remove Carson as commencement speaker. Having gained widespread media attention for his recent National Prayer Breakfast speech in which he critiqued political correctness, Carson apologized for his off-the-cuff, maladroit and incorrect political critique of same-sex marriage, reiterating his
Last week, political, media and celebrity worlds converged to produce headlines worthy of “News of the Weird.” Sean Penn eulogized anti-American strongman Hugo Chavez as “a friend (America) never knew it had,” while Dennis Rodman declared North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “an awesome guy.” Upon returning from the starving gulag-state, Rodman scored a Sunday interview with George Stephanopoulos, and CNN declared him a “diplomatic triumph.” But perhaps the most captivating cause celebre — likely to transform advocates into media and campus darlings — is the crusade to halt the drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). However, if you expect
Hugo Chavez’s death was met with tributes from Iran, Bolivia, China and El Salvador. The Western left did not waste much time adding their withered roses to El Comandante’s coffin. George Galloway called him another Spartacus. Jimmy Carter described him as a leader who fought for the “neglected and trampled.” Michael Moore praised him for declaring that the oil belongs to the people. Whether or not the oil belongs to the people is a matter of some debate considering how much of it ended up in Chavez’s pocket. Chavez died with an estimated net worth of 2 billion dollars making
This year, Hollywood hit award pay dirt for political dramas inspired by American history. Unlike “The Avengers” — the top-grossing superhero movie — best-picture nominees “Argo,” “Lincoln” and “Zero Dark Thirty” featured authentic, determined and courageous Americans who endured adversity and mortal danger to overcome morally inferior antagonists. Though we´re living through the umpteenth act of a gory political spectacle involving the U.S. budget, Think Again if you expect that Quentin Tarantino will adapt it for the silver screen. Devoid of heroes or valiant rescues, the drama serially unfolding in Washington isn´t even telenovela-worthy, particularly the latest installment known as the
WASHINGTON — U.S. officials insisted Tuesday that extraordinary security measures for nearly two dozen diplomatic posts were to thwart an “immediate, specific threat,” a claim questioned by counterterrorism experts, who note that the alert covers an incongruous set of nations from the Middle East to an island off the southern coast of Africa. Analysts don’t dispute the Obama administration’s narrative that it’s gleaned intelligence on a plot involving al Qaida’s most active affiliate, the Yemen-based Arabian Peninsula branch. That would explain why most U.S. posts in the Persian Gulf are on lockdown, including the U.
The truth about Benghazi, the Associated Press/James Rosen monitoring, the IRS corruption, the NSA octopus, and Fast and Furious is still not exactly known. Almost a year after the attacks on our Benghazi facilities, we are only now learning details of CIA gun-running, military stand-down orders, aliases of those involved who are still hard to locate, massaged talking points, and the weird jailing of Nakoula Basseley Nakoula. We still do not quite know why Eric Holder’s Justice Department went after the Associated Press or Fox News’s James Rosen — given that members of the administration were themselves illegally leaking
Critics of the president are convinced that Barack Obama will do lasting damage to the U.S. I doubt it. Obama came to power in the third year of large Democratic congressional majorities. In his first referendum, he lost the House and he may soon lose the Senate; in other words, there followed a somewhat normal reaction against a majority party. Obama’s popularity rating is well below 50%, despite an obsequious media and a brilliantly negative billion-dollar campaign that long ago turned Mitt Romney into a veritable elevator-using, equestrian-marrying, canine-hating monster. In the second term, there is little
He thought he was a woman trapped in a man’s body — but it turns out he’s “just another boring straight guy.” ABC News editor Don Ennis strolled into the newsroom in May wearing a little black dress and an auburn wig and announced he was transgender and splitting from his wife. He wanted to be called Dawn. But now he says he suffered from a two-day bout of amnesia that has made him realize he wants to live his life again as Don. “I accused my wife of playing some kind of cruel joke, dressing
Former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney jumped into the debate over the GOP’s future Tuesday night, warning congressional Republicans against forcing a government shutdown in their quest to stop President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. Romney addressed more than 200 donors on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee at a fundraiser for the New Hampshire Republican Party, staged just four miles from the vacation home where he has spent much of the summer with his family. The event was closed to the media, but his office released his prepared remarks.
The U.S. State Department issued a global alert about the terrorist threat allegedly posed by Al-Qaeda in Yemen. The USA announced the closure of its missions in the Middle East and Africa, and their example was followed by France, Britain, and Germany. However, this was only an attempt to justify the activities of the National Security Agency.Last Saturday, right after alerting of the terror threat civilians and BOLO complex ("be on the lookout") that includes law enforcement and federal officials, President Barack Obama went to play golf, and then celebrated his birthday at the presidential retreat at Camp David.
WASHINGTON — Former Massachusetts lawmaker Barney Frank revealed that he doesn’t believe in God. During Friday’s appearance on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher,” Frank, who championed the decriminalization of pot while serving in the House of Representatives, admitted to smoking marijuana and being an atheist. “You were in a fairly safe district. You were not one of those congress people who would have to worry about every little thing,” Maher said to Frank. “You could come on this show and sit next to a pot-smoking atheist and it wouldn’t bother you.”
In a rare diplomatic snub, President Obama is canceling plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month. The decision reflects both U.S. anger over Russia´s harboring of National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden and growing frustration within the Obama administration over what it sees as Moscow´s stubbornness on other key issues, including missile defense and human rights. Obama will still attend the Group of 20 economic summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, but a top White House official said the president had no plans to hold one-on-one talks with Putin while there.
Washington--As hundreds of commuters emerged from Amtrak and commuter trains at Union Station on a recent morning, an armed squad of men and women dressed in bulletproof vests made their way through the crowds. The squad was not with the Washington police department or Amtrak’s police force, but was one of the Transportation Security Administration’s Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response squads — VIPR teams for short — assigned to perform random security sweeps to prevent terrorist attacks at transportation hubs across the United States.(Snip)With little fanfare, the agency best known for airport screenings has vastly expanded its reach
A poll released Friday by Public Policy Polling found that Alaska voters would pick former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the state´s former Republican governor, Sarah Palin, if the two women were to face off in the 2016 presidential election. Clinton led with 49 percent in the hypothetical match-up, with Palin at 40 percent, a nine-point gap. As of July 3, Republicans comprised 27 percent of the state´s registered voters and Democrats made up just 14 percent. The last time Alaskans opted for the Democrats´ presidential candidate was in 1964. Clinton trails five other hypothetical GOP candidates –
Over the last week, there has been a lot of buzz about a supposed CIA angle to the Benghazi story. Specifically, it has been alleged that a substantial number of CIA employees were on the ground in Benghazi, carrying out a mission that involved rounding up Libyan weapons and transferring them to rebels in Syria. Further, it has been reported that the CIA has leaned on its employees not to cooperate with Congressional investigations or the media, and it has been suggested that the CIA’s role in Benghazi may be related to the al Qaeda
Speaking from Egypt Tuesday night, where they are hoping to broker a peaceful transition period between the country’s ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi to its next phase of nascent democracy, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham warned that concessions on both sides needed to begin immediately or Egypt’s government would “fail.” “I didn’t know it was this bad,” Graham said. “These folks are just days, weeks away from all out bloodshed.” “There is only one way that we can bring about a peaceful Egypt, and that is a process of negotiation and reconciliation between major players,” McCain said.