Thursday, May 22, 2008

Defense Spending

In the following video clip Barack Obama essentially promises to emasculate the American military. All he needs to make his list of promises complete is to promise to appoint terrorist William Ayers Secretary of Defense:

Here's one of the systems/capabilities the senator promises to kill if he's elected to the presidency:

The system used to destroy this malfunctioning satellite was developed to shoot down incoming nuclear missiles from China, Russia, and rogue states like North Korea and perhaps one day, Iran. This is a capability Senator Obama thinks we shouldn't have and which, in any event, is too costly.

Is he right? Isn't it true that we're spending an enormous amount of our resources on the military? Aren't Bush's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan bankrupting this country? Let's put military spending into historical perspective. The following is taken from the Federal Budget Historical Tables and passed along to us by Dick Francis:

In 2007, total defense spending was 4 percent of the GDP and 20.2 percent of federal spending. Most government spending is on human resources. This portion of the budget took up 64.4 percent of federal spending in 2007. But there's more:

In 1943, during World War II, defense spending was 37 percent of the GDP and 84.9 percent of federal spending.

In 1953, during the Korean War, it was 14.2 percent of the GDP and 69.4 percent of federal spending.

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, it was 9.5 percent and 46 percent.

And, most significantly, during the Carter Administration, with no war going on and a Democratic president and Congress in Washington, defense spending averaged about 4.8 percent of the GDP and 23 percent of the federal budget.

In other words, contrary to what Senator Obama and others of the President's critics would have us believe, the U.S. is allocating a historically low proportion of its economy and its national budget to the defense of our nation and our people.


Prince Caspian

There's a lot of commentary at NRO on the recently released Prince Caspian, a film based on the second installment of C.S. Lewis' Narnia series. Frederica Mathewes-Green thinks the movie is better than the book and offers a list of other movies which, in the minds of her friends and family, were better than the books they were based on.

For more on Prince Caspian check out Byron Borger's Booknotes.


Our Prospering Intellectual Culture

Perhaps we should start a list of public individuals who really need to see the movie Expelled. A worthy candidate for charter membership on our list might be Alan Wolfe, a Boston College sociologist, who delivered himself of the following little gem while commenting on the emergence of Evangelical thinkers among academic intellectuals. The paragraph is taken from a Washington Post article:

As evangelical scholars seek greater influence, Wolfe warns that getting respect is a two-way street. Evangelicals in the academy too often aren't open to truly engaging those who disagree, said Wolfe, who points to things like "faith statements" at evangelical colleges, which require professors to proclaim Christian belief. A prospering intellectual culture wouldn't make that requirement and shut other views out, he said.

Really? Tell that to Guillermo Gonzalez, formerly of Iowa State University, or any number of other non-tenured professors at any number of universities who remain closet anti-Darwinians for fear that public acknowledgement of their views would wreck their careers. Evidently, there's not much of a prospering intellectual culture at many of our major academies.

Come to think of it, Wolfe may unwittingly be on to something.