As a lawyer, it's not uncommon for me to be at a company's headquarters, conferring with clients and reviewing documents. I was doing just that on September 11, 2001, ensconced in a conference room in an office building adjacent to La Grande Arche de la Defense, in Paris, France.
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Ray Hartwell is a partner in the Washington office of a major law firm, where he specializes in competition law and white collar criminal matters. Over the past decade he has also served as a trustee of his alma mater, a leading liberal arts college. He is a Vietnam-era Navy veteran, having served as antisubmarine warfare and nuclear weapons officer aboard a guided missile destroyer. His opinion articles have appeared in various publications, including The Washington Times and the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The views he expresses are his alone. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Matthews, a Democrat who favors civility when it suits him, has quipped that Texas governor Rick Perry is "Bull Connor with a smile." This is the "Hardball" punch line to an MSNBC campaign of vilification against Perry, built around deceptively edited clips designed to support the argument that the Texas governor and presidential candidate is a "racist."
The sight of spray paint and the smell of urine are not welcome in any neighborhood. And when --- as in Greece right now --- they are common in a country’s capital city, around the finest public malls and buildings and along the swankiest shopping streets, they are a bad omen for all.
During the long conflict between the Communist bloc countries and the Western democracies, there was a robust war of ideas. Those publicly sympathetic to the Communists included both dupes and deceivers. The former advanced the interests of the Communists without necessarily taking their side, through a combination of naïveté and political or academic fashion. The latter, on the other hand, deliberately purveyed what amounted to Soviet propaganda.
As we follow events in Wisconsin, a history lesson is appropriate. History has a message for Governor Scott Walker and the people of Wisconsin whose electoral mandate he seeks to implement. It is, very simply, that Mr. Walker should not compromise. Principled leadership will prevail over the orchestrated thuggery of the public unions, notwithstanding the unions’ conspicuous support from our nation’s most aggressive “community organizers.”
A new Congress is in town, the result of widespread opposition to the Obama Democrats’ aggressive expansion of federal power and their concomitant orgy of pork-barrel spending and job-killing regulatory measures. Recently, our president penned an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal asserting that, all along, he’s really been for eliminating regulations that hamper business. Now, he tells us, his administration will attack unnecessary regulation so that the private sector can create jobs and rejuvenate the economy.
Just imagine how different our national predicament might be today if the leaders of both major political parties favored limiting the power of our central government, lowering taxes, enabling individual initiative, and opposing public employee unions and crony capitalism, while the “progressives,” who favor government takeovers of key industries, higher and more redistributive taxation, and ever more powerful unions in the public and private sectors, were a distinct minority with little influence.
Yesterday, January 19th, was Robert E. Lee’s birthday. As we approach the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, we’ll hear a great deal about Lee the commander of the Confederacy’s Army of Northern Virginia. Sadly, I suspect that we’ll not hear enough about Lee the educator, the rebuilder, the advocate for reconciliation in a broken nation.
Our founders -- being federalists, after all -- believed in the rights of states and localities to make their own decisions. Today, it seems most Americans trust folks at the local level to know, much better than our federal overlords, what works for their communities. This makes common sense. And without question, it’s what our founders contemplated when they conceived and drafted the Constitution.
In the wake of Veterans Day and the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, we turn to celebrate holy days of both Judaism and Christianity. During this month, our nation’s believers and their tolerant neighbors all show respect for the religious traditions and values that undergird our nation.