According to U.S. intelligence, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intentions are crystal clear: he wants to restore the Soviet Union. That, at least, is what Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had to say when asked about Putin’s “calculus.”
One lesson here is that being underestimated is a great gift in politics. Ronald Reagan was dubbed an "amiable dunce" before he was known as the "Teflon president," and Thatcher had imbecile charm before she was dubbed -- by the Soviets -- the "Iron Lady."
Today,Ronald Reagan’s Evil Empire speech turns 30 years old. It stands as one of the most memorable orations of the last three decades. It coined a phrase, a tag, a label—one that utterly fit. If the shoe fits, wear it. Well, this jackboot fit the Soviet ogre’s foot.
“There once was a place called America,” our children’s children will one day write, “a bright and shining city on a hill, divinely placed by God to serve as a beacon of hope to the entire world. A land filled with generous-hearted souls who showered the needy the world over with their abundant blessings.”
With dark shadows of uncertainty descending upon the hearts of so many at the conclusion of 2012, one can only hope 2013 will be a year of promise. But even in these dark days, miracles do still happen, especially when people are willing to roll up their sleeves for the cause of freedom.
Dave Brubeck wasn't just a goodwill ambassador abroad with his music and manner, but at home. No one who ever met him left without a good feeling -- and a good story. Here's one: