As a new year begins, it is easy to consider that the prospects for freedom in America and in many other parts of the world to seem dim. After all, government continues to grow bigger and more intrusive, along with tax burdens that siphon off vast amounts of private wealth.
The new “framework” for the teaching of AP history, studied by thousands of America’s top-performing high-school students, emphasizes oppressors and exploiters while scant attention is given to liberators and pioneers. Such slanted teaching is certain to produce a new generation of left-leaning citizens.
At some point between Thanksgiving and December 1, the federal government made history, as the value of outstanding U.S. Treasury securities exceeded $18 trillion—that’s an 18 with 12 trailing zeroes. At some point, such numbers begin to lose their meaning because the amounts exceed most people’s ability to comprehend.
On June 2nd of this year the Obama administration announced new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a goal of reducing carbon emissions over the next 15 years. These goals as outlined by the EPA in the Clean Power Plan impose significant restrictions on power plants already in existence, even natural gas plants. Power plants are cited by the EPA as the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., accounting for roughly on-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.
Co-author Elizabeth Clarke remembers attending a speech in Waukegan, IL with her late husband in the summer of 1967, at which Senator Everett Dirksen (Senator Dirksen represented Illinois in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1933 – 1939 and the U.S. Senate from 1951 until his death in 1969.) spoke passionately against the then-pending Supreme Court case of Keyishian et al v Board of Regents that ruled against loyalty oaths.
In their new book, Rewards: How to use rewards to help children learn – and why teachers don’t use them well, Herbert Walberg and Joseph Bast point out, “research makes clear that reward systems can significantly raise academic achievement levels … for adolescents.”
Occasionally, someone who, like myself, loves history will add Madison, the fourth President, but Lynne Cheney’s new biography of Madison rightly identifies him as the man most responsible “for creating the United States of America in the form we know it today.” It was Madison who guided the process by which the Founders arrived at the Constitution, contributing the fundamental principles it incorporated and writing the Bill of Rights, amendments that ensured its ratification by the original states.
In Part 1 published by Thorner and O’Neil at Illinois Review on Monday, June 2nd, Common Core Language Arts and Math were evaluated and shown to be seriously lacking in content as a practical and common sense approach to education, assuming as it does that all children will learn what is prescribed at the same rate within each grade level.
At a Chicago fundraiser May 29, 2013, President Obama said “I don’t have much patience for people who deny climate change.” At his swearing in ceremony May 21, 2013, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz declared he is “not interested in debating what is not debatable.” These remarks echo long-standing pleas of climate alarmists the “science is settled” with regards to burning fossil fuels causing catastrophic global warming.
Governments have an insatiable appetite for the wealth of their subjects. When governments find it impossible to continue raising taxes or borrowing funds, they have invariably turned to printing paper money to finance their growing expenditures. The resulting inflations have often undermined the social fabric, ruined the economy, and sometimes brought revolution and tyranny in their wake. The political economy of the French Revolution is a tragic example of this.
A debate on immigration policy was held recently in Chicago between a conservative and a libertarian. It was an exercise between light regulation and lighter regulation. Both regimes would enlarge the programs for highly skilled foreigners and temporary workers and tighten the border with Mexico.
Public education imposes a “one-size-fits-all” and attempts to satisfy everyone’s preferences and moral values, but it’s just not possible. And in turn, it creates social tensions that could be dissolved with the freedom to congregate in mutual self-interest.
Victor Davis Hanson is a well-known historian, commentator, and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution. He is collaborating with Pajamas Media on a project called Freedom Academy- an online resource that allows the average reader to delve into a brief survey of western civilization and values.
Some of those who support government regulation–and most mainstream contributors do so–maintained that being opposed to government regulations is like being opposed to laws. And since laws are necessary for a just society, the inference was drawn that so are government regulations.