I have nothing against friendly foreigners who want to get the heck out of their banana republic and get a legal life over here in the land of plenty. I feel your pain, hombres. Well, not really. Actually, I have no idea what kind of gruel you have to slog through while I live on a marina in Miami next to a world-class golf course.
Everybody appreciates the geeks, who bear us the gifts of the technology only they understand. They know their math and science, heroes for our time. They usually won't knock you over with quotations from Shakespeare, or pause in mid-byte to drink deep from the waters of philosophy, art and music, but if the microchip is the food of love, the geek is the faithful lover.
If public opinion isn't on your side, hit your opponent below the belt. This seemed to be the game plan for some Louisiana Democrats, who recently used religion to try and derail Republican rising star Congressman Bobby Jindal's run for the governorship.
For most of this decade the Left has been riding a wave of popular discontent over highly-publicized corporate corruption, rarely wasting an opportunity to point out scandals at Enron, Tyco, WorldCom and other major companies. That more than once their officials have been carted away to federal prison confirms the progressives' conviction that capitalism desperately needs moral therapy
It's like Christmas for political pundits nationwide who are trying to make hay out of the Iowa Straw Poll results. Political observers may be dissecting the results until the first Presidential primaries roll around in 2008. Having studied the results, I come to a single conclusion: conservatism remains in style.
Much has been made about President Bush's recent comments comparing the known fallout in SE Asia after our precipitous withdrawal from the Vietnam War – genocide in Cambodia, re-education camps and mass exodus from South Vietnam. And yet defeatists continue to use the Vietnam War as their case for comparison and the foundation for their call for immediate withdrawal.
Democrats are increasingly giving evidence that they seem to feel that they have already held their primaries and nominated the former first lady.
One sexual predator, when interviewed by the FBI, described his experience with foreign child prostitutes this way: "It's like being a star. They want to try my food. They want to see what clothes I wear. They want to watch my television." Such "stars" are the global consumers of innocence, exercising a particularly brutal form of power over the poorest, most vulnerable children on Earth.
Remember the endless end-of-session confrontations between President Reagan and the Democratic-controlled Congresses of the 1980s? Former Speaker Tip O’Neill and his allies would bundle the year’s spending bills into one gargantuan package, quietly add tax increases, multi-billion dollar expansions to Medicare and Medicaid, tinker with housing, education, environmental and energy policies, and then send the unread legislative mess to the White House in the dark of night, daring the president to sign it.
Voter dissatisfaction with the United States Congress was already dropping like a rock prior to the revelation that Rep. Bob Filner (D-California) had been charged with assault and battery for allegedly shoving a female airline attendant when his luggage didn't come out fast enough.
I was just watching one of the financial shows on television and listening to a wealthy investor and one of the co-hosts talking I wanted to scream, but waking my wife wouldn't help. Each one considers the other one an expert in the field of finance as well as themself and yet I didn't hear one word of truth out of either during the period I was able to stomach the show.
For the survivors of the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota and for the families and friends of those who perished when that bridge plunged 60 feet down into the Mississippi River, that day will not soon be forgotten. But, there are lessons to be learned and remembered for us all, particularly for Congress, if we are to avoid future tragedies like this one.
The 2008 election season has been a bit short on dramatics so far. We've had lots of mostly dull debates, not a single candidate has been caught making out on a yacht with his mistress, and hordes of third rate candidates with no chance to ever get elected, are refusing to get off the stage -- until they've checked every couch in their campaign headquarters for enough change to keep them going for another week or two.
I’m a big supporter of Michael Vick. Not the old Michael Vick who used to play football. I’m talking about the new Michael Vick who’s getting railroaded by the man. You may think I’m being sarcastic but I’m not. Give me a few hundred more words to explain and I’ll make you a supporter of Michael Vick, too.
The Democrats' latest ploy of shifting the goal posts to dampen Gen. Petraeus's anticipated report of military successes in Iraq by emphasizing the slow progress on the political side makes it increasingly hard to deny they are working for defeat at all costs.
There is no formal recognition or plaque for the events of August 9, 2001. On that day, a Palestinian Hamas member carrying a guitar case filled with explosives and nails detonated his bomb in the restaurant and killed 15 people, including seven children, and wounded more than 130.
In my column last week I asked whether those that support the global war on terrorism are hypocrites for not joining the military. Several comment posters thought so. They don’t seem to grasp the point that the reason we don’t want all supporters of the war in the military is because we want to win. Their goal is different – the humiliation of America just so they can say “We told you so.” We want the strongest, most intelligent military of the willing in order to ensure victory. As Congressman James Clyburn (D-SC) said, that’s “a real big problem” for Democrats.
"After 34 years with LTV Steel, I was forced to retire because of a disability. Two years later, LTV filed bankruptcy. I lost a third of my pension, and my family lost their health care. Every day of my life, I sit at the kitchen table across from the woman who devoted 36 years of her life to my family, and I can't afford to pay for her health care. What's wrong with America, and what will you do to change it?"
I had put off reading Cormac McCarthy's "All the Pretty Horses" for years, having picked it up when it first came out in paperback in 1993. But a Colorado vacation seemed a perfect time to take it up again. There's something satisfying about reading a book in sync with the locale where I happen to be.
Our little boy is now a tall, responsible young man facing life on his own. Yes, it’s what good parents everywhere dream of and want for their kids -- to become independent adults who fly from our arms into a world where they can make their own mark. But still, the tears come -- for me, mainly because I now know from painful personal experience that there is a certain brevity to childhood. Those wild and wonderful days have vanished forever.
Recently pop singer Gwen Stefani made news by making what she referred to as a “major sacrifice” by performing her concert in Malaysia with shoulders, legs and belly completely covered. The reason for ditching her usual attire, which often consists of short skirts and midriff-revealing halter tops, was in reaction to protests from the 10,000-member National Union of Malaysian Muslim Students who said such clothing would clash with Islamic culture and values and provide a poor role model for Malaysian youth.
Lately, there have been a lot of nasty rumors floating around about Rudy and Judith Giuliani. I’ve heard, for instance, that he’s been having an affair. I’ve also heard that she, wife number three, is a royal pain in the butt who goes berserk if anyone dares call her Judy.
Today’s modern technology would doubtless awe the people whose pioneering work made it possible. If Alexander Graham Bell flipped open a cell phone or Philo T. Farnsworth watched a high-def television, they’d be dumbfounded. Technology has taken their relatively crude inventions and made them immeasurably better.
It was bad enough seeing those folks at the game in San Francisco giving Barry Bonds a standing ovation, but I really could have done without George Bush calling to congratulate him. What sort of message does that send to the youth of America? The one I read into it is that the ends justify the means, and that lying, cheating and stealing, are all quite acceptable in the pursuit of glory and riches. Thank you, Mr. President, for making things just a little bit tougher for parents, teachers and society in general.
The First Amendment states: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
The senator's "collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, and former Senator Rick Santorum, Pennsylvania Republican, grow in part from that connection," reveals the report, recalling regular meetings over one eight-year period beginning in 1993 "with a Christian 'cell' whose members included Susan Baker, wife of Bush consigliere James Baker; Joanne Kemp, wife of conservative icon Jack Kemp; Eileen Bakke, wife of Dennis Bakke, a leader in the anti-union Christian management movement; and Grace Nelson, the wife of Senator Bill Nelson, a conservative Florida Democrat."
Last year, the Association of Trial Lawyers of America decided that a few among their ranks had brought disrepute to the trial lawyers' reputation. So they decided to take a stand against the bad actors in their ranks and call for reforms to reduce outrageous lawsuits.
There’s no better way to get a beat on what Americans are thinking than to get out of Washington, DC. I’m halfway through an 11 state swing in support of House Republicans that’s taking me to 18 different Congressional Districts throughout the Midwest. So far, the questions I’m hearing most are “who will secure the borders?” “Who has a plan to reduce gas prices and make us less dependent on foreign oil?” “Who will make health care more affordable?” And “who will defend America from the threat of terrorism?”
George Orwell, call your office. You can add to your list of opposites ("war is peace," "ignorance is strength" and "freedom is slavery") a new one. It is the emerging plan of congressional Democrats, joined by at least one Democratic presidential candidate: "losing is winning."
"Many Americans do not believe that the success of our students or of our schools can be measured by one test administered on one day, and I agree with them. This is not fair," Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., told the National Press Club last month.
In one sense, of course, there is no doubt about it: America is a superpower. In relative terms, the only superpower in the world. Our armed forces dominate the globe. And, in purely economic terms, our power is equally overwhelming.
I do not believe it necessary to amend the Constitution frequently but there are times when an amendment is justified. One such amendment should prohibit politicians from using the phrase "I'm going back to my home state to be with my family."
WASHINGTON -- The unexpected, widely praised cut in the discount rate last Friday only momentarily removed pressure from the Federal Reserve. While the Bush administration and conservative economists deplore bailing out improvident investors, leaders of the mortgage finance industry consider it unthinkable that the central bank will not take decisive action.
Last week, when Karl Christian Rove, born on Christmas in 1950, announced that he was ending his White House life, pundits eager to punch back had the best of all possible worlds: They could write the summing-up lines characteristic of an obituary without the constraints of courtesy to the deceased. The New York Times was typical in referring to Rove's "infamously bare-knuckled political tactics."
The Bush administration correctly asserts that the entire Middle East, from royal palaces to terrorist camps, is watching the eventual outcome in Iraq to determine the state of American resolve. But the region is also taking a more immediate measure of America's commitment to its friends: our response to the Iraqi refugee crisis. And this, too, is a matter of national credibility and honor.
John Edwards, fresh from admitting he didn't know Cuba's healthcare system was government-run, was featured in an Aug. 19 interview by Liz Halloran in U.S. News & World Report. Among other questions, Halloran asked Edwards if his campaign had moved from an emotional appeal to a "more cerebral, issues-oriented approach."
Given the recent high-profile execution-style gang murders of three college students in Newark, with one of the suspects being an illegal immigrant twice arrested in the United States on felony charges of raping a young girl and weapons violations, there's no better time for immigration-reform-minded presidential candidates to go on the offensive.
Every political season gives birth to one or two instant clichs. Outside of politics a phrase often takes generations to be spoiled as an effective term by long familiarity, or to become dull and meaningless by overuse.
Who says politicians can’t move swiftly and decisively to block an imminent threat to public decency?
Democrats are now playing with fire when it comes to Iraq. The Iraq War may have helped the Democrats win Congress in 2006, but now developments both in Iraq and here at home are putting the Democrats -- and especially Hillary Clinton -- in a position where they might try to redefine "victory" and "defeat" to help their political fortunes at the expense of our national interest, to our nation's shame.
People who knew Jose Padilla before he was sent to a Navy brig in 2002 say he emerged a different man after three and a half years of isolation and interrogation.
"Harry Potter books are really, really cool. I really like them; they're just so neat." So, says, Susan Bowyer (age 44) as she sits next to me reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It's a long train ride, but she doesn't mind, because she's searching for buried treasure. As we glide along the trails towards Pittsburgh, she periodically looks up from her book to make an observation.
Each candidate in the 2008 Presidential race will undoubtedly offer a health care plan. Those plans will include initiatives ranging from a single payer system, to employer mandates, to tax incentives for the purchase of private health insurance. But only one candidate has actually done something, waded into the issue and emerged with a successful plan that does not resort to one-size-fits-all, government run "Hillary Care."
One new study suggests there’s no need to fuss—that America’s happy, family-focused youth could usher in a renewed commitment to conservative values. Other research states outright that “the era of conservative values…is coming to a close.” Which is it?
At Patton Middle School in McMinnville, Oregon, students created something called "slap butt day." On one such day in February 2007, according to The Oregonian (July 22, 2007): "Two boys tore down the hall of Patton Middle School after lunch, swatting the bottoms of girls as they ran -- what some kids later said was a common form of greeting. But bottom-slapping is against policy in McMinnville Public Schools. So a teacher's aide sent the gawky seventh-graders to the office, where the vice principal and a police officer stationed at the school soon interrogated them."
The execution-style murder of three African-American college students in Newark, N.J., forced to kneel and shot in the head -- allegedly by an illegal alien from Peru who was out on bail for the serial rape of a 5-year-old -- has the makings of a Willie Horton issue in 2008.
Elvira Arellano's story starts out with the most understandable (if expedient and wrong-headed) rationale for breaking American immigration law. Poor and Mexican, she figured that she could make a better life for herself if she crossed the border illegally and found work.
It can credibly be argued that the presidential election of 2008 is the most important in the history of our Republic. Why? Because if we get this one wrong, Islamic terrorists will almost certainly strike into the heart of America. That is their stated goal. That is why they are paying so much attention to this election.
Reacting to the way the free market was misrepresented and disrespected in the best-seller "Freakonomics" -- as a place where trickery, deceit and predatory behavior rules -- economist John Lott has given us "Freedomnomics: Why the Free Market Works and Other Half-Baked Theories Don't."
Brother Erasmus might never have found the Lost Gospel had it not been for the pilgrim with girded loins who'd approached him in the wilderness. The monk was well into his fast in honor of the blessed St. Lysenko when his peace was disturbed.
Some critics complain that the issue of education has been conspicuously absent from presidential television debates. But Democratic presidential candidates did sound off with their pro-federal government, pro-spending policies at the annual convention of the National Education Association, and the nation's largest teachers union liked what they heard.
Two weeks ago Alphonso Jackson and Margaret Spellings sat with a group of civic leaders from around the country at the civil rights museum in Memphis Tennessee. The museum was built on the site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"It's going to be all Cheney all of the time." Or so one Republican insider replied when asked by Inside the Beltway over the weekend who the Democrats will have left to beat up in the Bush White House now that Karl Rove has announced he is stepping down later this month as the president's deputy chief of staff.
The sub-prime mortgage mess which a few months ago we were assured would cause no more than a ripple in the economy because so many of the potentially bad loans had been securitized and the risk was spread and … what's the official financial term for "blah, blah, blah?"
So many books and surveys, so little time, and many are still wrestling with Freud's simple question, "What do women want?" The books and surveys are so loaded with contradictory opinions that no sociologist's "cohort" is likely to come up with a definitive answer.
Today is my father's yahrzeit, the anniversary of his death. It's the custom to light a candle and say the kaddish. The prayer takes me back to the summer of 1980. The cancer my father would never acknowledge was shrinking him away - just as the record-setting drought that summer was shrinking away the trees, the crops, the grass. Š It all seemed to fit together.
I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to make sense of the world. Which is probably all the proof anyone needs to prove that I’m certifiably loony. Even though I know that one of the most obvious symptoms of insanity is to keep doing the same thing over and over again in the foolish belief that the end result will be different this time, I can’t help myself.
The ancient Romans coined the phrase “dog days” based on the period of time that the brightest star (Sirius, the Dog Star) rose and set in conjunction with the sun. The Romans believed that Sirius radiated heat to the Earth, causing the hottest part of the year as it traveled with the sun.
Abraham Lincoln once famously observed, "The philosophy of the school room in one generation is the philosophy of government in the next." The truth of Lincoln's observation is, no doubt, at the core of the apprehensions that New Yorkers have expressed about the Khalil Gibran International Academy scheduled to open next month in Brooklyn. Adding to their apprehensions is the fact that KGIA is just three blocks from a mosque which has a history of employing radical imams and which was frequented by one of the terrorists implicated in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The ELCA and other pro-gay denominations have been ordaining gays for decades. That’s nothing new. What’s new is that now staff can openly have lovers while on the job and there will be no disciplinary action for violating the celibacy requirement.
On a recent night here, as on most summer nights for 37 years, Bruce Froemming went to work. He performed for about three hours in front of a large, attentive and opinionated audience. His job involves about 290 snap judgments, any of which might infuriate thousands of people. He has done his job well if no one notices him doing it. His goal is anonymous perfection.
Halfway around the world from Iraq, an important battle is taking place in America. This fight involves no IEDs or M4 rifles. It’s a war of words that has sparked heated discussions at both dinner tables and in the halls of Congress.
The Iowa State Fair has many things you can't find just anywhere, including a life-size butter sculpture of Harry Potter, a 1,203-pound hog, and an endless supply of deep-fried Twinkies. It also has an unlikely looking straw man, which Rudy Giuliani is pounding to smithereens.
This week, in her own words, for an ABC News story that was to be written in support of a more tolerant view towards college campus bisexual liberality, radical gay activist Roberta Sklar conceded the entire debate of the radical homosexual activist agenda.