Are We Entering The Era Of “The Strongman?”

Mar 9th, 2019 | By

One of the major political struggles of our day is whether nations are embracing a democratic order, centered in the will of the people, or an authoritarian one, characterized by a strongman who satisfies the demand for a more muscular, assertive leader. After World War II, the optimistic vision was of a more democratic, open world with free trade, open borders and empowered citizens throughout the world. That vision appears to be dead. In fact, some would argue that the world is embracing a more authoritarian order.



America’s Progressive Left: The Assault On Israel

Feb 23rd, 2019 | By

The new term for the left wing of the Democratic Party is “progressive.” Presumably, this is less incendiary in our political culture than the term “liberal.” In many of the constituencies of the progressive left, there is a concerted effort to promote an anti-Israel, even a blatant anti-Semitic position.



Confusion And Tragedy In America’s Ongoing Debate About Abortion

Feb 16th, 2019 | By

Since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, American civilization has been engaged in a “culture war” between those who seek to protect a woman’s right to have an abortion and those who seek to protect the rights of the fetus as a human being. There are no signs of this “war” subsiding or ending soon. Two developments at the state level indicate both the zealous emotion and the total confusion that reign supreme in our civilization over this issue.



The Unrealized Hopes Of 1989

Feb 9th, 2019 | By

Thirty years ago, in 1989, we in the West were convinced that a new democratic order was dawning in the world. The Berlin Wall was gone and the democratic protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China fed the hope that a new world of democracy and freedom was dawning. The old, corrupt regimes of totalitarian communism were unraveling and the passion for democracy in both the Soviet Union and Communist China would surely produce a new world in which everyone embraced the same democratic values so central to Western Civilization—and especially to the United States. Those optimistic hopes are now dashed.



Vladimir Putin: The “New Russian Czar” In Syria And Venezuela

Jan 12th, 2019 | By

One of the major developments of 2018 was the growing worldwide influence of Vladimir Putin. He has made no secret of his desire to restore the grandeur and power of Russia, not as a communist state, but as the restored Russia of the czarist mold: The Russian Orthodox Church supporting a corrupt, authoritarian state. Two recent developments buttress his vision to make Russia a global superpower.



Thinking About The “God Particle”

Jan 5th, 2019 | By

Basic to any understanding of physics is the concept of mass. Why do particles of nature have mass? This is obviously a fundamental question of physics but one that is inscrutably difficult to answer. For four decades now, physics has worked from what is known as the Standard Model of physics—an explanation that relies on 17 fundamental particles of matter and three physical forces. But this model requires the existence of a force that, so to speak, keeps everything together. That is the importance of the “God particle,” the so-called Higgs Boson, named after an Edinburgh University physicist of 50 years ago—Peter Higgs.



George H.W. Bush: President As Servant Leader

Dec 15th, 2018 | By

George Herbert Walker Bush (1924-2018) died on Friday evening, 30 November 2018. He had a form of Parkinson’s disease that forced him to use a wheelchair or motorized scooter in recent years. He served as president from 1989 to 1993, capping a career of more than 40 years of public service. A decorated Navy pilot (compiling 126 carrier landings and 58 missions) who was shot down in the Pacific in 1944, he was the last of the World War II generation to serve as president. President Bush was a skilled negotiator and diplomat and, as president, helped end the Cold War and the threat of nuclear engagement with a careful handling of the Soviet Union’s collapse and the liberation of Eastern Europe. James A. Baker III, former Secretary of State, said of President Bush: “[He] was the best one term president the country has ever had, and one of the most underrated presidents of all time. I think history is going to treat him well.”



Gene-Editing And Genetically Altered Babies

Dec 8th, 2018 | By

Science has always struggled with the scientific (technological) imperative: Just because science can do something does not mean it must do it. That imperative is now being tested by the gene editing technique known as CRISPR. For several years now, several scientists have warned of the day when the gene editing technique CRISPR would be used to create a genetically altered human being. Among other things, their concern was that that CRISPR would be misused to alter everything from eye color to IQ. For this reason many nations have banned CRISPR and any procedure that deliberately alters the genes of a human embryo.



China vs. America And The New World Order

Dec 1st, 2018 | By

The world order put together by the United States after World War II is unraveling. In the Middle East, nation states are disappearing, replaced by ancient tribalism and clan loyalties rooted deep in the region’s history. The benefits of open borders with lower tariffs and growing international trade are being challenged by a narrow nationalism, a dangerous isolationism and a short-sighted introversion. All aspects of the old order (e.g., the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, NATO and the European Union) are under siege with little or no public trust in that order. Because this old order was built on globalization, free trade and a commitment to democracy, the democracy part of the foundation is producing an unexpected tension between the leaders of the world and those being led. Upheaval, chaos, disorder and dysfunction now characterize our world. There is no better evidence of this unraveling than the relationship between China and the United States.



Vladimir Putin And The Orthodox Church: Using Faith To Serve The State

Nov 17th, 2018 | By

Vladimir Putin often repeats the claim that Russia and Ukraine are “one people.” Yet, his annexation of Crimea in 2014 and his subsequent “little war” in eastern Ukraine have pushed Orthodox religious folks in Ukraine farther away from his dream. What is his dream? Namely, to portray his government as a reincarnation of the old czarist empire where the Russian Orthodox Church served the interests of the Russian czar. Church and state were inextricably linked in czarist Russia. The Kremlin used the church as an instrument of its old imperial control. Putin has the same vision for Russia in 2018. But the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is not buying into Putin’s dream.