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Posts By Author » Victor Davis Hanson

Who are the real saboteurs of immigration reform?
  17 Apr 2014     12:05 am

Solving the illegal immigration problem should not be hard. No one knows how many foreign nationals are residing illegally in the United States — estimates range from 11 million to 20 million. But everyone understands that it is an untenable situation that must be addressed.

The two extreme positions of the Left and Right probably have little public support — on the one hand, blanket amnesties and open borders, and on the other, deportation of all foreign nationals who reside here without legal authorization.
Polls show that most Americans want something in …

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The new Inquisition
  10 Apr 2014     12:05 am

What if you believed that the planet might not have warmed up the last two decades, even though carbon emissions reached all-time highs?

Or, if the earth did heat up, you thought that it was not caused by human activity?
Or, if global warming were the fault of mankind, you trusted that the slight increases would not make all that much difference?
The Los Angeles Times would not print your letter to the editor to that effect.
The CEO of Apple Inc. might advise that you should “get out of this stock.”
Or maybe if …

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One California for me, another for thee
  3 Apr 2014     12:05 am

No place on the planet is as beautiful and as naturally rich as California. And few places have become as absurd.
Currently, three California state senators are either under felony indictment or already have been convicted.

State Sen. Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) made a political career out of demanding harsher state gun-control laws. Now he is facing several felony charges for attempting to facilitate gun-running. One count alleges that Lee sought to provide banned heavy automatic weapons to Philippines-based Islamic terrorist groups.
State Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello), who had succeeded one brother, Thomas, …

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Massaging Of Critical Data Undermines Our Society
  27 Mar 2014     12:05 am

Transparency and truth are the fuels that run sophisticated civilizations. Without them, the state grinds to a halt. Lack of trust — not barbarians on the frontier, global warming or cooling, or even epidemics — doomed civilizations of the past, from imperial Rome to the former Soviet Union.

The United States can withstand the untruth of a particular presidential administration if the permanent government itself is honest. Dwight Eisenhower lied about the downed U-2 spy plane inside the Soviet Union. Almost nothing Richard Nixon said about Watergate was true. Intelligence reports …

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Technology is not wisdom
  20 Mar 2014     12:05 am

Americans now have more computer power in their smart phones than did the Pentagon in all its computer banks just 30 years ago. We board a sophisticated jet and assume that the flight is no more dangerous than crossing the street.

The downside of this complete reliance on computer gadgetry is a fundamental ignorance of what technology is. Smart machines are simply the pumps that deliver the water of knowledge — not knowledge itself.
What does it matter that millions of American students can communicate across thousands of miles instantly with their …

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Is Obama walking the trail blazed by Nixon?
  13 Mar 2014     12:05 am

What would a president do if he were furious over criticism, or felt that his noble aims justified most means of attaining them?
Answer that by comparing the behavior of Richard Nixon to that of an increasingly similar Barack Obama.

Nixon tried to use the Internal Revenue Service to go after his political enemies — although his IRS chiefs at least refused his orders to focus on liberals.
Nixon ignored settled law and picked and chose which statutes he would enforce — from denying funds for the Clean Water Act to ignoring congressional …

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Science and reason vs. political correctness
  6 Mar 2014     12:05 am

President Obama entered office promising to restore the sanctity of science. Instead, a fresh war against science, statistics and reason is being waged on behalf of politically correct politics.

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, the president attempted to convert national outrage into new gun-control legislation. Specifically, he focused on curtailing semi-automatic “assault” rifles. But there is no statistical evidence that such guns — semi-automatic rifles that have mostly cosmetic changes to appear similar to banned military-style fully automatic assault weapons — lead to increased gun-related crimes.
The promiscuous availability of illegal handguns …

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America’s quiver of outrage is empty
  27 Feb 2014     12:05 am

Don’t step over the line and re-militarize the Rhineland. Absorbing Austria would cross a red line. Breaking up Czechoslovakia is unacceptable. Get out of Poland by the announced deadline. The rest was history.

Don’t dare blow up another American military barracks overseas. Don’t ever consider another attack on the World Trade Center. Don’t even try blowing up one more American embassy in East Africa. Don’t ever put a hole in a U.S. warship again. The rest was history.
President Obama issued yet another one of those sorts of warnings to stop the …

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The outdated business model of Diversity Inc.
  20 Feb 2014     12:05 am

Diversity has become corporatized on American campuses, with scores of bureaucrats and administrators accentuating different pedigrees and ancestries. That’s odd, because diversity does not mean any more “variety” or “points of difference,” at least as it used to be defined.

Instead, diversity has become an industry synonymous with orthodoxy and intolerance, especially in its homogeneity of political thought.
When campuses sloganeer “celebrate diversity,” that does not mean encouraging all sorts of political views. If it did, faculties and student groups would better reflect U.S. political realities and might fall roughly into two …

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An Orwellian nation of Obamathink
  13 Feb 2014     12:05 am

The nightmare societies portrayed in the George Orwell novels “1984″ and “Animal Farm” gave us the word “Orwellian.” That adjective reflects a vast government’s efforts not just to deceive and control the people, but also to do so by reinventing the meaning of ordinary words while rewriting the past itself.

America, of all places, is becoming Orwellian. The president repeatedly reminds the American people that under his leadership, the U.S. has produced a record level of new oil and natural gas. But didn’t Obama radically curtail leases for just such new …

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A tale of two droughts
  6 Feb 2014     12:05 am

Despite recent sporadic rain, California is still in the worst extended drought in its brief recorded history. If more storms do not arrive, the old canard that California could withstand two droughts — but never three — will be tested for the first time in memory.

There is little snow in the state’s towering Sierra Nevada mountains, the source of much of the surface water that supplies the state’s populated center and south. The vast Central Valley aquifer is being tapped as never before, as farms and municipalities deepen wells and …

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The poison of postmodern lying
  30 Jan 2014     12:05 am

All presidents at one time have fudged on the truth. Most politicians pad their resumes and airbrush away their sins. But what is new about political lying is the present notion that lies are not necessarily lies anymore — a reflection of the relativism that infects our entire culture.

Postmodernism (the cultural fad “after modernism”) went well beyond questioning norms and rules. It attacked the very idea of having any rules at all. Postmodernist relativists claimed that things like “truth” were mere fictions to preserve elite privilege. Unfortunately, bad ideas like …

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Robert Gates and the taint of the insider tell-all
  23 Jan 2014     12:05 am

For all hysteria over former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ new insider memoir of his tenure during the Bush and Obama administrations, the disclosures are more breaches of trust than earth-shattering revelations. Much of “Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War” is the ordinary stuff of public service.

What little gossip in the book that may be controversial — revelations that both Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama cynically opposed the successful Bush-era surge in Iraq on political grounds, or that Vice President Joe Biden is a buffoonish blowhard — was already …

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The cowardice of the new anti-Semitism
  16 Jan 2014     12:05 am

An obscure academic organization called the American Studies Association not long ago voted to endorse a resolution calling for a boycott of Israeli universities. The self-appointed moralists were purportedly outraged over the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians.

Given academia’s past obsessions with the Jewish state, the targeting of Israel is not new. Yet why do the professors focus on Israel and not Saudi Arabia, which denies women the right to drive and only recently granted them the right to vote? Why not Russia, which has been accused of suppressing free speech, …

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Is China copying the old imperial Japan?
  9 Jan 2014     12:05 am

In the 1920s, Japan began to translate its growing economic might — after a prior 50-year crash course in Western capitalism and industrialization — into formidable military power.

At first, few of its possible rivals seemed to care. America and condescending European colonials did not quite believe that any Asian power could ever dare to threaten their own Pacific interests.
Japan had been a British ally and a partner of the democracies in World War I. Most of its engineering talent was trained in Britain and France. The West even declared Japan …

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The Year Of The Dud
  2 Jan 2014     12:05 am

Lots of things that should have happened in 2013 did not.
We were supposed to have long ago reached “peak oil” and an age of always-higher gas prices. Wind and solar power — and a reduced lifestyle — were our dismal future.

But someone or something did not cooperate with gloomy government predictions. After all the failed subsidized green companies, the postponement of the Keystone Pipeline, the radical restrictions of new gas and oil leasing on federal lands, and the promises for radical climate-change legislation curtailing carbon energy use, the United States …

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The Orphaned Middle Class
  26 Dec 2013     12:05 am

On almost every left-right issue that divides Democrats and Republicans — as well as Republicans themselves — there is a neglected populist constituency. The result is that populist politics are largely caricatured as Tea Party extremism — and a voice for the middle class is largely absent.

The problem with Obamacare is that its well-connected and influential supporters — pet businesses, unions and congressional insiders — have already won exemption from it. The rich will always have their concierge doctors and Cadillac health plans. The poor can usually find low-cost care …

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The lost generation: Young people have been had
  19 Dec 2013     12:05 am

There are all sorts of time bombs embedded within Obamacare.
Will we force doctors to treat the millions of new Medicaid patients who are signing up for services that can be only partially reimbursed? How exactly will the IRS collect penalties from millions of off-the-books youth who choose not to buy coverage?

For those who chose not to buy health insurance in the past, will these newly insured really follow through their initial signups with steady monthly premium payments? If not, how will we collect what they owe? Will all those who …

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Nuclear gangbangers have upper hand on global police
  12 Dec 2013     12:05 am

The gangster state of North Korea became a nuclear power in 2006-2007, despite lots of foreign aid aimed at precluding just such proliferation — help usually not otherwise accorded such a loony dictatorship. Apparently the civilized world rightly suspected that if nuclear, Pyongyang would either export nuclear material and expertise to other unstable countries, or bully its successful but non-nuclear neighbors — or both.

The United States has given billions of dollars in foreign aid to Pakistan, whose Islamist gangs have spearheaded radical anti-American terrorism. Since a corrupt Pakistan went nuclear …

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History casts doubt upon non-aggression pact with Iran
  5 Dec 2013     12:05 am

According to our recently proposed treaty with the Iranian government, Iran keeps much of its nuclear program while agreeing to slow its path to weapons-grade enrichment. The Iranians also get crippling economic sanctions lifted.

The agreement is not like détente-era arms reductions with the Soviets. After all, each superpower in the Cold War had enough nuclear missiles to reduce most of civilization to cinders. One mistake could have ended in Armageddon.
In this supposed win-win deal, America does not have to worry about another costly and unpopular preemptive military action to stop …

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