Free speech and artistic and intellectual expression have been controversial Western traditions since the rise of the classical-Greek city-state. When our Founding Fathers introduced guarantees of such freedoms to our new nation, they were never intended to protect thinkers whom we all admire or traditionalists who produce beloved movies like The Sound of Music.
Why admiring the Muslim world won’t stop the bloodshed.
by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine
The recent attack in Texas against a “draw Mohammed” event ended up with two dead jihadis and widespread criticism of event organizer Pamela Geller for “inciting” or “provoking” the assault on our First Amendment right to free speech. The hypocrisies and ignorance behind such criticism have been amply documented , including by some on the left . But there’s another argument against actions and events like Geller’s that needs dismantling. This is the received wisdom that we should avoid criticizing Islamic doctrine or Mohammed because it will alienate moderate Muslims who otherwise would help us against the so-called “extremist” jihadists.
Why did Rome and Byzantium fall apart after centuries of success? What causes civilizations to collapse, from a dysfunctional fourth-century-B.C. Athens to contemporary bankrupt Greece?
The answer is usually not enemies at the gates, but the pathologies inside them.
What ruins societies is well known: too much consumption and not enough production, a debased currency, and endemic corruption.
Americans currently deal with all those symptoms. But two more fundamental causes for decline are even more frightening: an unwillingness to pay taxes and the end of the rule of law.
The real losers in the Freddie Gray riots.
by Bruce S. Thornton // FrontPage Magazine
Baltimore is the latest American city to become a stage for the farce that is our national racial discourse. The swift, politicized indictment of 6 police officers for the death of Freddie Gray––which brought down, for now, the curtain on this performance by abandoning all the canons of procedural justice–– is a fitting end to this sorry spectacle.
In July 2008 Todd Purdum wrote a devastating and controversial take-down of Bill Clinton for Vanity Fair, outlining the sort of ethical and personal lapses that are back in the news seven years later. The Left largely welcomed the exposé because it came at the expense of a tiring Hillary Clinton primary campaign — and to the benefit of an ascendant Barack Obama. Indeed, the essay at the time was felt to have repelled a number of Democrats. Now, of course, Peter Schweitzer’s similar assessment wins no such accolades, since there is no one comparable to Obama as a preferable alternative to Hillary. Still, Purdue’s insights today read uncannily prescient, and raised issues that were never addressed and quickly forgotten once Hillary faded from the primaries — and so went unanswered over the next few years, almost if the Clintons assumed the one-time mention of them was synonymous with their resolution.
What accounts for hatred of the West by people who voluntarily spent years here?
One of the stranger things about East–West relations these days is the schizophrenic attraction to, and hatred of, Western culture that characterizes many foreign leaders and celebrities.
For the left, rioting is an effective political tool.
by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media
No one knows what exactly happened to the deceased Freddie Gray, except that it should not have happened. Between what is outlined in the indictments and what will be proven in court is an unknown abyss. But the more dramatic the short-term exuberance over the sweeping indictments, the more likely the long-term fury when the charges are likely to be substantially reduced or unproven in court.
What the confirmation of Loretta Lynch really means.
by Bruce S. Thornton // Front PageMagazine
For 6 years Barack Obama in word and deed has battered the Constitution and slapped around the Republicans. Abetted by his Luca Brasi, Harry Reid, he has run roughshod over the separation of powers and his own oath to the highest law in the land. He has responded to Republicans’ complaints about his executive arrogance and unlawful policies with naked contempt and partisan calumny. With his minions in the press and the Democratic Party, he has vilified conservatives as racist warmongers and plutocrats indifferent to the plight of the poor. But instead of fighting back in kind, some Republicans have bent over backwards just to get along, a capitulation disguised as “bipartisanship.”
The present four-year California drought is not novel — even if President Barack Obama and California governor Jerry Brown have blamed it on man-made climate change.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, California droughts are both age-old and common. Predictable California dry spells — like those of 1929–34, 1976–77, and 1987–92 — are more likely result from poorly understood but temporary changes in atmospheric pressures and ocean temperatures.
The West is too cowed by guilt to look honestly at immigration.
by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online
Is immigrating from less-developed countries to the West a good or a bad thing, for host and guest? Is the immigrant angry at, or nostalgic for, the country he left? Is he thankful to or resentful of the country he has come to? Does the Westerner know why the other seeks him out or why he himself chooses not to emigrate to the non-West? These questions and dozens like them are not so much never answered as never even asked. The result is chaos.