Category Archives: Opinion

Our Russia Experts

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online – The Corner

From ‘My People’ to ‘Our People’ — What Next?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online – The Corner

The Amoral Nature of the Pawn Strategy

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online – The Corner

The Valley of the Shadow

How mansion-dwelling, carbon-spewing cutthroat capitalists can still be politically correct.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Are Obama’s Advisers Unhinged?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Surely reports that President Obama is going down to Texas at the height of the Katrina-like border debacle to raise money at the home of the popular but often polarizing filmmaker and Quentin Tarantino–collaborator Robert Rodriguez are the stuff of right-wing mythology?

No one could be so politically dense as to head south in the direction of this catastrophe only to pull up short to huckster campaign funds — while under a lingering cloud that such special-interest money solicitation in the past typically has taken precedence over national security (cf. the need to retire early on the night of Benghazi in order to prep for an important fundraiser the next day in Las Vegas, where the selfish go to blow their kids’ tuition money).

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The Language of Despotism

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Photo via FrontPage Magazine

Long before 1984 gave us the adjective “Orwellian” to describe the political corruption of language and thought, Thucydides observed how factional struggles for power make words their first victims. Describing the horrors of civil war on the island of Corcyra during the Peloponnesian War, Thucydides wrote, “Words had to change their ordinary meaning and to take that which was now given them.” Orwell explains the reason for such degradation of language in his essay “Politics and the English Language”: “Political speech and writing are largely the defense of the indefensible.”

Tyrannical power and its abuses comprise the “indefensible” that must be verbally disguised. The gulags, engineered famines, show trials, and mass murder of the Soviet Union required that it be a “regime of lies,” as the disillusioned admirer of Soviet communism Pierre Pascal put it in 1927.

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Book Review: A Genius for Destructive Change

by Terry Scambray // New Oxford Review, May 2014 

Darwin: Portrait of a Genius. By Paul Johnson   Viking. 176 pages. $25.95.

download (7)  It is a measure of the cultural contamination of materialism, given great impetus by Charles Darwin, that even a giant like Paul Johnson can be infected and attenuated by it. For Johnson is one of the magisterial writers of our time whose erudition and immense energy have enlightened so many of us for so many years. Yet this biography is a disappointment in contrast to most all of his previous work. Indeed it is unfortunate that Johnson did not apply his wit and critical talents, as shown in his masterful Intellectuals, to his present subject, Charles Darwin. Oh, what a penetrating study it would have made!

Despite my predilections, Johnson moves in the opposite direction in this book, attempting to lay on yet another coat of bronze to the iconic figure of Darwin. But like all carriers of what Raymond Tallis calls Darwinitis, Johnson never gets around to explaining exactly what was Darwin’s genius. Though there are plenty of sputtering attempts at it, all that the book presents are the usual empty generalities about “Darwin the scientist” and “Darwin the humble self-critic” in addition to the conventional contradictions and misunderstandings about Darwin’s ideas.

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The Troubling Plight of the Modern University

Today’s campus is more reactionary than the objects of its frequent vituperation.
by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Partisan Politics, Bad Ideas & the Bergdahl Swap

The Tailban 5 and Obama Photo via tpnn.com

The Tailban 5 and Obama Photo via tpnn.com

by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine

President Obama’s exchange of 5 high-ranking Taliban murderers for a soldier who possibly was a deserter and collaborator encapsulates everything that is wrong with this administration’s foreign policy. The serial failures of the past 5 years reflect a toxic brew of partisan politics and naïve ideology.

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Our Future Is 1979

Obama’s foreign-policy weakness encourages our enemies and disheartens our allies. 

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Photo of Jimmy Carter holding cabinet meeting 1977 photo by US National Archives

Photo of Jimmy Carter holding cabinet meeting 1977 photo by US National Archives

The final acts of the Obama foreign policy will play out in the next two years. Unfortunately, bad things happen when the world concludes that the American president has become weakened, distracted, or diffident about foreign policy.
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