With the Obama administration’s plans to collectivize healthcare threatened by a prairie fire of public outrage, the Left may be shifting targets once again. Global-warming hysteria is being moved back into the public square with a new series of television ads as the Senate considers passage of its version of the Clean Energy and Security Act (popularly known as “cap and trade” or “cap and tax”).
In a culture resounding with motifs of decay and collapse on so many levels, Wired.com is reporting that a breathtakingly large number of dams around the United States have become structurally unsound. Once conceived of as the symbol of man’s “power over nature,” nature is now apparently having the last word. As Alexis Madrigal wrote for Wired.com:
The success of the United States’ manned missions to the Moon have been the focus of strange conspiracy theories for decades, and a new movie, Apollo 18, feeds on such theories.
Apollo 18 walks the border between science fiction and horror; its implausible premise — that mankind abandoned the exploration of the Moon because of a fear of beings living there — is pursued with relatively competent writing, acting, and special effects. The film also catches elements of its purported historical context, which bring out a certain depth to the film which younger audience may have difficulty grasping.
Since the September 11, 2001 attacks by al-Qaeda terrorists on the United States, and the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, vague invocations of “the Crusades” have gained a new relevance. Both sides of the conflict have sought to link the current series of wars to those of the Crusades — either by way of justifying or denouncing of their current course of action. History is one of the victims of the current conflict, as the much-maligned and ill-remembered Crusades have been recast time and again to serve various agendas.
The inherent political and economic instability of our present time has been the subject of many books, some of which are marketed as fiction, while others are presented as nonfiction. As is often the case in times of civilizational crisis, the authors of fiction may actually have a more realistic understanding of the actual "facts on the ground" — and the substantial causes of a civilization’s woes — than is presented by the self-described political elite in their purportedly factual writings. Thus, for example, historians may wear themselves out debating the historical accuracy of speeches recorded by Herodotus or Thucydides — what actually matters the most, to the modern reader, is that such speeches present him with an opportunity to reflect upon the Permanent Things.
Although better remembered today for his tales of the mythical land of Narnia, the so-called “Space Trilogy” of C. S. Lewis has remained of great interest to students of the thought of the Oxford don who moonlighted as a Christian apologist.
The developments that have taken place in the 17 years that have passed since the death of Dr. Russell Kirk (1918-1994) have demonstrated the enduring significance of the writings of one of the pivotal thinkers of 20th century American conservatism. The American body politic seems mortally ill, and many of the current crop of “conservative” writers are utterly incapable of addressing the actual needs of these United States with even a fraction of the wisdom that Kirk readily displayed throughout his long career. The Intercollegiate Institute’s 2006 collection of Kirk’s essays, The Essential Russell Kirk, offered a new generation of conservatives an opportunity to encounter a broad range of his scholarship. Now, a second edition of Charles C. Brown’s Russell Kirk — A Bibliography, will further aid in the study of the writes of the “Sage of Mecosta.”
The declining rate of literacy in this nation has hardly proven itself an impediment to the production of books by American Presidents past, present, and (according to authorial intention) future. To such volumes may be added the memoirs of first ladies, Vice Presidents, and appointees to various high offices — all of which are offered under the proposition that they offer some insight into the inner workings of policies foreign and domestic during the various administrations with which their authors were associated.