Dennis Prager talks with Douglas Carswell, author and former British Member of Parliament about his book, “Progress Vs Parasites: A Brief History of the Conflict that’s Shaped our World.”Read More »
“Black Panther” has made movie history as the first smash hit about a black superhero. But even as international audiences savor this splashy entertainment, it’s worth noting some necessary reservations.
The dialogue is full of clunky clichés, the plot is convoluted, the lavish sets and costumes look tacky and sometimes tawdry, and the special effects often fail to convince. Despite strong performances from a distinguished cast, the movie creates a totally fictitious African utopia that ignores fundamental truths about civilizations. The story centers on the fantasy kingdom of “Wakanda,” which, in carefully guarded isolation, has developed technological advances that lead the world.
In fact, isolation invariably produces stagnation, not progress. Moreover, Wakanda in the movie is a medieval, tribal society, choosing all-powerful rulers through trial by combat and magical incantations. In the real world, advancement and wellbeing grow reliably from democratic, free market institutions, not from authoritarian societies based on brutality and sorcery echoing Game of Thrones.
This is Michael Medved for Townhall.com, with a message to President Trump: congratulations, Mr. President, on your first year in office. In the upcoming State of the Union Address you should highlight our strong economy, progress against ISIS, cuts in taxes and regulation, judicial appointments and more. You should paraphrase Ronald Reagan by asking: are you better off than you were one year ago? An overwhelming majority will say yes, we are.
But please, Mr. President, don’t let Democrats change the focus from the state of the union to the state of your mind. Of course, your opponents have been nasty and unfair, but hitting back at them in similarly nasty terms only diminishes your stature. By emphasizing the undeniable progress of everyday Americans, you will build on your first year’s success. And you can overcome the highly personal attacks of your critics more effectively by ignoring them, rather than responding to them.
During the eight-day festival of Hanukkah, it’s worthwhile to connect the holiday to recent controversies surrounding Jerusalem. The joyous holiday celebrates the purification and re-dedication of Jerusalem’s Second Temple in 164 BC, but today the official Palestinian position denies that this Temple ever even existed. That absurd notion not only contradicts hundreds of references in both Old and New Testaments, but also goes against incontrovertible historical and archaeological evidence.
This unbending extremism under-girds Palestinian insistence that Jewish people have no valid claims to any portion of Jerusalem—and their furious reaction to President Trump’s recognition of the Holy City as Israel’s capital. Neither the Trump administration nor the Israeli government rules out the idea that peace negotiations might one day establish a Palestinian capital in some section of Jerusalem.
But until Islamic extremists recognize the region’s actual history and drop the ridiculous fantasy of “Temple Denial,” there can be no progress—and no peace.