Commentary

Jerry Bowyer: Trouble for Silicon Valley


The investor who bet on PayPal, bet on Facebook, and bet on Trump is now betting against Silicon Valley. I’m talking about Peter Thiel and his announcement that he’s leaving the Valley for Los Angeles. For years, Thiel has been ahead of the curve when it comes to investing and culture. And now he’s signaling possible trouble for Silicon Valley.

Thiel’s leaving because, in his words, Silicon Valley has gone from just liberal to a one-party state. They were always left-wing. Now they’re so radical that it’s hurt their ability to produce successful companies.

A city built on the principles of innovation and openness has sheltered itself from dissent. If they’re not open to new ideas, they can’t innovate, and if they can’t innovate, smart investors and entrepreneurs will find the places that can.

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Albert Mohler: Bashar al-Assad’s Abhorrent Efforts to Break the Will of His Own People


On Saturday night, dozens of citizens in Syria choked to death after what’s been reported as a suspected chemical attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Assad’s way of breaking the will of this community that still opposes his rule was to use a chemical weapon, which killed not only men and women but also children.

These are the most abhorrent, murderous, and indiscriminate weapons ever invented by human beings.

What we’re seeing here breaks every civilizational rule. It breaks the Geneva Convention. It breaks every principle of the United Nations. It breaks every law of the international system. But you’ll notice that none of those arenas, none of those agencies was able to stop this murderous dictator in Syria from killing his own people.

The headline out of Syria reminds us that there is really no way to overestimate the human capacity for moral evil.

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David Davenport: Questions About Walls


President Trump loves walls—besides a border wall with Mexico, he wants to erect trade walls to protect American steel and aluminum with tariffs of 25 and 10 percent, respectively.

In his famous poem about walls, Robert Frost said, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,” adding that before he built one, “I’d ask to know what I was walling in or walling out, and to whom I was likely to give offence.” Those are good questions for Mr. Trump’s policy.

He wants to wall out foreign products that are cheaper than American products. But this will trouble not only nations that produce them, but also American consumers who like to save money.

There’s also a question of constitutionality, since the president’s power to do this is based on national security. And the biggest question:  will tariff walls even work in a global economy?

Many important questions about walls.

 

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Albert Mohler: Even More Secular Than We Knew


One of the most well-documented irrefutable trends of our times is the continued secularization of Western societies. A new study has come out about young people in Europe indicating that the future may be even more secular than we knew.

Commenting on the report, Steven Bullivant of St. Mary’s University in London says,

“With some notable exceptions, young adults increasingly are not identifying with or practicing religion. Christianity as a default, as a norm, is gone and probably gone for good or at least for the next 100 years.”

In the United States, we are ourselves looking at a speeded up velocity of this secularization, due to the political and moral change in the coming generations of the millennials and those identified now as Generation Z.

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Lanhee Chen: The “Liberal Lion” and the Future of the Courts


Stephen Reinhardt, who was called the “liberal lion” of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, passed away on March 29th in Los Angeles. During his almost 40 years on the appeals court bench, Reinhardt wrote opinions that struck down the constitutionality of the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance and overturned Proposition 8, California’s initiative defining marriage as a male-female union.

Reinhardt’s death means that there are now seven vacancies on the notoriously liberal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. President Trump has an historic opportunity to remake the Ninth Circuit—and the entire federal judiciary. The vast majority of his judicial nominees thus far have been stellar. They will adhere to the rule of law and interpret the Constitution based on the words in it, not the ideas they want to be in it.

The President should continue his good work in this arena.  Doing so will remake federal jurisprudence for decades to come.

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Hugh Hewitt: Gina Haspel Ought to Be Confirmed


While CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as the next secretary of state looks to be a done deal, whether his deputy, Gina Haspel, will be confirmed as the first female director of “the Agency” is less certain.

Haspel has dedicated her adult life to protecting the country, often in far-off, dangerous places, with great distinction. Nevertheless, it seems some on the left want to re-litigate the early years of the post-9/11 world. They want to debate “enhanced interrogation techniques” again, like waterboarding.

Serious people understand that all young intelligence operators will be watching this proceeding, deciding whether the hard choices they are being asked to make right now are going to be subject to show trials years or even decades down the road.

Gina Haspel ought to be confirmed.

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David Davenport: Will the U.S. Be Prosecuted in the International Criminal Court?


As if President Trump did not face enough legal challenges, there are now two threatened prosecutions of Americans at the International Criminal Court.

First, the Palestinian territories have filed a complaint against both President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu over relocating Israel’s capital to Jerusalem. While an important matter for Middle Eastern politics, it’s difficult to see how this could be a criminal matter for the court.

Second, the prosecutor is seeking authority to investigate whether the U.S. military is guilty of torture and other war crimes in Afghanistan. Although the U.S. is not a member of the court, Afghanistan, on whose territory the alleged crimes occurred, is.

If either of these moves ahead, it would be the first time the ICC has sought to prosecute Americans and would set up a major confrontation between the U.S. and the court.

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