Politics & Current Events

What Does It Mean to Be a Conservative in 2017?

Nov 11th, 2017 | By

Until quite recently, if someone mentioned “conservative” it was rather clear what that meant—generally a commitment to limited government, individual liberty, and free trade. In 2017 the meaning of “conservative” is no longer clear. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas recently wrote: “Last year, for the first time in our nation’s history, the American people elected as president someone with no high government experience—not a senator, not a congressman, not a governor, not a cabinet secretary, not a general. They did this, I believe, because they’ve lost faith in both the competence and the intentions of our governing class—of both parties! . . .”



Is Confucius the Answer to the Spiritual Void in Communist China?

Nov 4th, 2017 | By

Chinese President Xi Jinping is clearly the most powerful Chinese leader in 40 years. As I am writing this the Chinese Communist Party Congress is occurring and that body has enshrined President Xi and his writings into the Chinese Constitution. Only founder Mao Tse-tung had received such an honor. A major concern of President Xi, himself an ardent atheist, is the spiritual void caused by decades of official atheism along with China’s current headlong pursuit of wealth and prosperity.



Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas and the Nature of Evil

Oct 21st, 2017 | By

On the night of 1 October 2017, a gunman opened fire on a large crowd of concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival on the Las Vegas Strip, leaving 58 people dead and over 500 injured. Between 10:05 and 10:15 p.m., 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada, fired hundreds of rifle rounds from his suite on the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. About an hour after Paddock fired his last shot, he was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Why he did this is unclear.



Hezbollah: An Emerging Regional Power?

Oct 7th, 2017 | By

Hezbollah, a Lebanese militia founded in the 1980s, has been an ongoing nemesis for Israel on its northern border. It has fought brief conflicts with Israel (most recently in 2006) and has amassed an arsenal of rockets all aimed at Israeli cities and settlements. But over the last five years, Hezbollah has expanded its operations and is no longer merely a Lebanese militia; it has become a regional power of import in the Middle East. Perhaps more importantly, it has become one of the key instruments of Iran in building a powerful Shiite corridor from Iran to the Mediterranean.



China: The New Superpower

Sep 16th, 2017 | By

When I was in graduate school, the reigning view of the future was the domination of Japan economically and financially –in Asia and in the West. There was the fear of Japan buying more and more American real estate, of overwhelming American automobile makers and American electronics firms. Rarely do you hear of those projections anymore. Rather, it is China as the future economic, financial and military power of Asia—and of the world. China is positioning itself as the next superpower. In the words of Judith Shapiro, “the Chinese era is upon us.”



Google, Corporate Diversity and Gender Difference Confusion in 2017

Sep 2nd, 2017 | By

In early August, James Damore, a software engineer at the Silicon Valley giant Google, was fired by Google chief executive, Sundar Pichai, for violating Google’s code of conduct, specifically his perpetuation of “harmful gender stereotypes” in the workplace. Although 80% of Google’s tech employees are male, Google prides itself in its commitment to diversity, inclusion and openness, yet demands ideological conformity within its company. The irony of the Damore case is therefore striking.



The President as Moral Leader of the Nation

Aug 26th, 2017 | By

We are living in a complicated, rather frightening age. Columnist David Brooks calls it “an age of anxiety.” Changing demographic and technological disruption have produced a society where “people live with bewildering freedom, without institutions to trust, unattached to compelling religions and sources of meaning, uncertain about their own lives.” For many this anxiety is producing a fear of the future and many will do anything to escape this fear, which is generating an “age of fanaticism.” This combination of anxiety and fanaticism is occurring at a time when the United States seems hopelessly divided.



Iran, Russia and the United States: The New Middle East

Aug 12th, 2017 | By

The civil war in Syria is entering a new phase, one fraught with significant implications for the Middle East, for Israel and for the United States. In the words of columnist Charles Krauthammer, “The great Muslim civil war, centered in Syria, is approaching its post-Islamic State phase. It’s the end of the beginning. The parties are maneuvering to shape what comes next.” ISIS is disappearing as an independent, organized state within the Middle East. Its threat as a terrorist organization remains viable, but the caliphate declared by Baghdadi is dead!



Thinking Biblically about Charlie Gard

Jul 29th, 2017 | By

The case of 11-month old Charlie Gard of the United Kingdom has been heart-wrenching. It also raises a number of profound ethical questions. Charlie was born with a pair of genetic mutations that depleted his body of mitochondria, the minute structures that produce energy molecules that the body’s cells need to live. As a result, he has suffered — according to the hospital — “catastrophic and irreversible brain damage.” He cannot breathe, he essentially cannot move, and he cannot hear. He has been kept alive by life support systems. His parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, have pinned their hopes on an experimental treatment called nucleoside therapy.



What to do about North Korea?

Jul 22nd, 2017 | By

North Korea recently launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, a vivid demonstration of its potential nuclear reach. The missile traveled only 580 miles, but in doing so it traveled 1,700 miles into space and re-entered the atmosphere before crashing into the Sea of Japan. If you flatten this out, such a missile could reach Alaska. This frightening reality means that North Korea is on the verge of reaching a capability to attack the homeland of the United States with nuclear missiles.