The "Right" versus "Left" convenient but capricious political arrangement came from the seating position of delegates to the National Assembly during the French Revolution, but it is at times a confusing concept and too often subject to media and academic bias and even misinformation. I have found it easier to have a political spectrum based on degrees of government control.
In the political spectrum concept of degrees of government control, the Total State or totalitarianism, exemplified by practical communism (i.e., as opposed to the theoretical, anarchistic communism, where the state is supposed to disappear once property rights are abrogated and which has never existed) becomes the extreme left. Anarchism (no government) is on the extreme right. Direct democracy (e.g., as practiced by the ancient Athenians) is center left; a representative republic (e.g., in the model of the ancient Roman Republic, which the American Founders imitated to some degree and adapted for a growing continental nation) occupies center right. Here roughly is my conceptualized political spectrum:
But I believe that the presumed evanescence of the political spectrum actually becomes a...
In a recent letter to the editor published in my local newspaper, the Macon Telegraph (9/16/11), Jack Bernard, a self-described "Republican,” retired health care executive, was "disconcerted by the ideological free market rigidity” that he observed during a debate by the Republican presidential candidates concerning “the health care reform question.”
Moreover, Mr. Bernard asserted, “If the free market were going to take care of access issues, it would have already done so.” He then took a back-handed swipe at the candidates by second-guessing them: “Herman Cain and Gov. Rick Perry seem to be OK with over a quarter of all Texans being uninsured. Former Gov. Mitt Romney is running as fast as he can from Romneycare, although it has reduced the uninsured to 4 percent in Massachusetts.”
The "Republican" executive did not forget Rep. Michelle Bachmann. He decried the Minnesota Congresswoman’s alleged “attempt to tar ObamaCare as a socialist plot.” The health care executive’s unimaginative, collectivist solution was simply "to copy the health care of other developed [socialized] nations” and use more "regulatory authority to cover everyone and hold down costs."
This summer at least three editorials have appeared in my local, Georgia newspaper, the Macon Telegraph, about how the Electoral College process works and explaining why our Founding Fathers created that system for presidential elections. They were not always accurate. One writer, for example, wrote, "The framers... felt the common, everyday, average, eligible voter was not intelligent, well-versed, well-read and knowledgeable enough to vote for the most qualified and best candidate.”
Although that statement is certainly another good reason to maintain the process of presidential elections today, it is historically incorrect. While it is true the Founders distrusted the idle mobs of the cities, the vast majority of Americans in the late 18th century lived in rural districts as farmers and yeomen, working the land and living from the fruits of their labors. These Americans were almost idolized by the Founders, particularly the Virginians Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
Moreover, from their knowledge of history, the Founders knew the tragic fate of Athenian democracy and the death knell of the Roman Republic at the hands of Rome's notorious mobs, who incited by...
“¿Cómo estás? Muy bien, gracias. ¿y tú?”
Can you translate? Do these words mean anything to you? If not, it’s time to start learning a little Spanish. I know it’s difficult for people my age to wrap our minds around the demographic shift that is happening even as you read this column. Here are just the facts — and why it’s time to take up a second language.
According to the latest Census data, there are 50 million Hispanics living in the U.S. And before you ask the question, “How many of those are illegal,” forgetaboutit. That’s a moot point. The arguments we’re having over immigration will seem quaint in a few years as attitudes toward Hispanics change because of the sheer numbers of them.
In 2010, Hispanic growth patterns didn’t just impact the border states of California, New Mexico and Arizona. There are an estimated almost 500,000 in Georgia. Hispanics make up almost 7 percent of North Carolina’s population. Hispanics are showing up in strange places such as Kansas.
In the border states — and some not — the Hispanic population has doubled or almost doubled since 1990. Just ask the folks living in California, Texas, New York, Florida and Illinois...
Stalin’s Last Crime — The Plot Against the Jewish Doctors, 1948-1953 by Jonathan Brent and Vladimir P. Naumov is an in-depth study in psychological survival in a nightmarish police state — Stalin’s Russia, circa 1948-1953. The untangling of this Gordian knot of conspiracies and plots is the convincing achievement of the authors of this suspenseful, historical drama. They accomplished an almost inscrutable task, the successful unraveling of Joseph Stalin’s (photo, left) byzantine, evil plot against the Jewish doctors.
The problem for the protagonists and antagonists in this Stalinist nightmare is that of survival. The moral conundrum is how to survive without denouncing other innocent persons, as this Kafkaesque drama unfolds. And yet, perceived survival, or at least the delaying as long as possible of the loss of life or limb by the avoidance of physical torture, could only be attained at the expense of denouncing and putting in jeopardy the lives of others. And, what is one to confess to without divining what was being formulated in Stalin’s monstrous mind?
Thankfully for some, there was the critical issue of timing, the clock was ticking rapidly, and time was...
There was a time until the early 1960s when the terms to describe those of African decent, like me — African-American or Black or Afro-American — were almost unheard of.
I remember a distinct conversation with a friend discussing descriptive terms for ourselves in 1963 or ’64. The term “black” was just coming into vogue and he didn’t like it one bit. “Call me a Negro,” he said, “but don’t call me black.”
Now, the word “Negro” (publications used a lower case “n”) has almost become a pejorative, so I was a little surprised when my pastor, the Rev. Willie Reid, used it during Thursday’s revival. “Back when we were Negroes,” he said, and listed several things that were different about black life in America back then.
That got me to thinking. Back when we were Negroes in the 1950s, “only 9 percent of black families with children were headed by a single parent,” according to “The Black Family: 40 Years of Lies” by Kay Hymowitz. “Black children had a 52 percent chance of living with both their biological parents until age 17. In 1959, “only 2 percent of black children were reared in households in which the mother never married.” But now that we’re African-...
Unvanquished: Cuba's Resistance to Fidel Castro is a cliffhanger, non-fiction book that reads like a novel. It's the stupendous work of the serious scholar, Enrique Encinosa, who has written the definitive works on the guerrilla wars waged by anticommunist Cuban rebels against the repressive, totalitarian regime of Fidel and Raul Castro. His original masterpiece, Cuba En Guerra: Historia De La Opocision Anticastrista, 1959-1993, has now been updated and abridged for the Anglo-American public and published in English!
This book is not for the easily offended or fainthearted. The poignant text, carefully annotated, and the product of meticulous research with a succinctly arranged text, is accompanied by graphic photos of rebel leaders with machine guns and bandoleers, armaments, armed rebel battalions, and also pictures of those who died attempting to bring freedom to Cuba or captured and executed by the communist dictator.
Why would campesinos (peasants), workers, and students pick up arms and lead open revolts in the Escambray Mountains against Castro's "worker's paradise?" Why would Cuban exiles living good, comfortable lives in Miami with their families...
As more details emerge about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm’s (ATF, formerly BATF) gunrunning shenanigans, the more incredible the revelations become. Unfortunately, they are true!
And don't hold your breath waiting for the mainstream media to report this news and place their imprimatur on yet another strange episode in the annals of corrupt government. The media opinion cartel molders are waiting for this storm to blow over, hoping to protect President Obama and his Attorney General Eric Holder from a looming scandal!
We are referring to the ATF’s “Project Gunrunner" now known as “Operation Fast and Furious.” And, it is proving the aphorism that very frequently facts are stranger than fiction. Yes, ATF received $10 million in taxpayers' money from Obama's 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (aka "the Stimulus Bill") to protect the border. Instead, ATF used the money to buy and procure weapons to be transferred illegally to Mexican drug lords--- talk about the proverbial fox guarding the hen house!
The revelations have come to light thanks to the ever-vigilant Larry Pratt, President of Gun Owners of America (GOA):
Stalin: The First In-depth Biography Based on Explosive New Documents from Russia's Secret Archives by Edvard Radzinsky is an authoritative, engaging, thrilling, and edifying biography of the Red Czar of the Soviet Union, the tyrant Joseph Stalin. This book was published in Russia in 1996, and immediately translated and published in an English edition that same year, only five years after the Russian bear had stumbled with fatal results for the USSR and its communist satellites. Without Stalin’s legacy of coercion, persecution, and force, the communist world could not survive of its own merit or the free choice of the people over whom it ruled.
There is factual objectivity in this biography, and yet there are not penumbras over right and wrong and the evil nature of Soviet communism. The suspenseful facts speak for themselves, and we end up with a cliffhanger biography and history that will not be surpassed for years to come.
Edvard Radzinsky's in-depth biography of Stalin is a labor of love after years of painstaking research in Russia’s secret archives. The tome is written in electrifying prose and beautiful narration. And here we must also pause and praise H. T...
As head of the Institute of Military History of the USSR and General of the Soviet Army, Dmitri Volkogonov had access to secret Soviet documents not available to other historians up to the time of Mikhail Gorbachev's glasnost and perestroika.
This authoritative, engaging, and instructive biography of the Red Czar of Soviet Communism, Comrade Joseph Stalin, was published in Russia in 1988, but was not translated and published in English until 1991, a pivotal year when the Russian bear stumbled bringing about the total collapse of Soviet communism.
The fact that this biography was completed and published during those years is crucial in understanding the work of General Volkogonov, and this timing allows me to add my nickel's worth to the compilation of reviews of this magnificent and authoritative biography. I say this because one gets the impression that Volkogonov has ambivalent feelings about the ideals, utility, and worthiness of Soviet communism, which he usually refers to as socialism. His ambivalence is, at times, obvious and may be the result of political doubts and anxiety in his dual life in communist Russia.
Even by 1988 the...