Category Archives: American Culture

When Activism Kills

by Bruce S. Thornton // Defining Ideas

Image credit: Light Brigading

Image credit: Light Brigading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For four decades genetically modified organisms (GMO) have been vilified and caricatured as “Frankenfoods,” the abominations of mad scientists meddling with nature and putting the human race at risk. Currently, over sixty bills have been introduced in over twenty states that will require food labels indicating if the product contains GMO. Globally, over sixty countries restrict or ban GMO outright, including eight E.U. nations and countries in Africa suffering from famine and malnutrition that could be alleviated by genetically modified crops.

Critics accuse GMO of being unhealthy, increasing chemical pollution, threatening other species, causing dangerous side effects, and harming the environment. But as plant molecular biologist Robert Goldberg of UCLA points out, “In spite of hundreds of millions of genetic experiments involving every type of organism on earth, and people eating billions of meals without a problem, we’ve gone back to being ignorant.”

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What Exactly Is Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

Comprehensive immigration reform — rarely has a catchphrase been so widely invoked and yet so little defined. Why?

If proponents of so-called reform detailed exactly what they wanted, American voters would never support their self-interested agendas.

Most Americans insist that existing federal immigration laws be enforced. They are adamant that the border be shut tight to all unlawful entry. And they prefer legal immigration to reflect merit, diversity and ethnically blind criteria.

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World at War

by Victor Davis Hanson // Defining Ideas

Photo via www.film.ru

Photo via www.film.ru

Will the United States in its near future be hit again in the manner of the 9/11 attacks of thirteen years ago? The destruction of the World Trade Center, the suicide implosions of four passenger airliners, and the attack on the Pentagon unfortunately have become far-off memories. They are now more distant from us than was the Vietnam War was from the Korean War.

Two questions will determine whether radical Islamic terrorists will attack us once more: one, are the post-9/11 anti-terrorism protocols that have so far stopped major terrorist attacks still viable and effective, and, two, is Al-Qaeda or an analogous Islamic terrorist organization now still as capable as were Osama bin Laden’s henchmen in 2001?

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The New World Disorder

To Obama, the retrenchment of the West was not only inevitable but to be welcomed.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Obama’s Hazy Sense of History

For the president, belief in historical predetermination substitutes for action.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Ferguson Postmortem

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

The backstory of Ferguson was that out of the millions of arrests each year only about 100 African-American suspects are shot fatally by white police. And yet we were falsely and ad nauseam told that Michael Brown was proof of an epidemic. There may well be an epidemic of blacks killing blacks, of African-Americans engaging in the knock-out game against non-blacks or flash-mobbing stores. But as far as rare interracial gun violence goes, in 2014 it is more commonly black on white. Ferguson is an anomaly that did not warrant hundreds of reporters who gladly skipped the real dramas of a world on the verge of blowing apart as it had in 1939.

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Fanning the Flames in Ferguson

Why do only handful of such tragedies trigger national outrage?

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online

Living Out Critical Legal Theory

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO- The Corner

Revolutionary Justice

by Victor Davis Hanson // NRO-The Corner

Photo via Huffington Post

Photo via Huffington Post

Certainly any time in America that an unarmed suspect is fatally shot by a policeman of the opposite race, there is a need for concern and a quick and full inquiry of the circumstances leading to such a deadly use of force. That said, there is something disturbing about the demagogic efforts to rush to judgment in Ferguson, Mo. While it is understandable to deplore the militarization of the police that might accentuate rising tensions on the street, and to note that a mostly white police force might be less sensitive to a majority African-American populace, there is as yet not much evidence that the antithesis — a more relaxed approach to crowd control under the direction of a sensitive African-American law-enforcement official — has so far resulted in an end of the street violence or of the looting of stores. Too little police deterrence can be just as dangerous as too much.

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Our ‘Face in the Crowd’

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

Photo via PJMedia

Elia Kazan’s classic A Face in the Crowd [2] is a good primer on Barack Obama’s rise and fall. Lonesome Rhodes arises out of nowhere in the 1957 film, romancing the nation as a phony populist [3] who serially spins yarns in the most folksy ways — confident that he should never be held to account. Kazan’s point (in the film Rhodes is a patsy for conservative business interests) is that the “folks” are fickle and prefer to be charmed rather than informed and told the truth. Rhodes’s new first name, Lonesome, resonates in the film in a way that Barack does now [4]. Finally, an open mic captures Rhodes’s true disdain for the people he champions, and his career crashes.

So what is collapsing the presidency of the once mellifluous Obama? It is not the IRS, AP, VA, or NSA scandals. Nor did the nation especially fault him for Benghazi or the complete collapse of U.S. foreign policy, from failed reset to a Middle East afire. In each case, he either blamed Bush or denied there was a smidgeon of wrongdoing on his part.

Certainly, the stampede at the border, as disastrous as it was, did not ipso facto sink Obama’s ratings. Ditto the embarrassing Bergdahl deal, in which we traded a likely deserter for five Islamist kingpins. Was it the ISIS ascendance that is leading to genocide and a nascent caliphate? Not in and of itself.

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