Economists, particularly those of the ascendant Chicago school of free market enthusiasts, were in a triumphant mood at the beginning of this decade. Speaking at the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in 2003, Nobel Laureate Robert Lucas went so far as to say that macro-economics -- with its focus on the stable maintenance of national economies -- could safely be retired. "The central problem of depression prevention," he said, "has been solved for all practical purposes."
It was over cantaloupe and cottage cheese that the Lord told Pat Robertson to build a university. The year was 1975, and the minister, then 45, was running so late for a meeting that he decided to head to a nearby coffee shop, get his “famous” snack, and wait the meeting out. It was at the beginning of this fateful, hooky-playing repast, as Robertson said grace, that the Heavenly Father told him to buy a vacant patch of land the minister had recently seen in Virginia Beach “and build a school for My glory.”
CHICAGO -- While George W. Bush and other world leaders fret over the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, former Costa Rican President and Nobel Prize Laureate Oscar Arias Sanchez travels the globe, talking to heads of state about the proliferation of small arms, which are currently far more deadly. "How," he asked during a recent speech to small-arms-control activists, "could killing many people little by little, day by day, be less objectionable than killing many in a single day?"
It may be difficult to conceive of an American president doing more to alienate the French than George W. Bush has. But imagine, for a moment, how Paris would have reacted if, during Prohibition, Calvin Coolidge had begun paying the French government huge sums of money to burn its country's vineyards. It seems a safe assumption that the hypothetical French prime minister who collaborated with such a policy wouldn't have lasted long in office.
When progressive provocateur Michael Moore was down and out, he found help from an unlikely source. After September 11, Moore's publisher, HarperCollins, told him that his new book, Stupid White Men, wouldn't be released unless he cut some controversial sections and rewrote others. When Moore balked, HarperCollins told him it would simply cancel the book. That December, a few days after he learned that his book was destined for early recycling, Moore went to speak to a meeting of the progressive group New Jersey Citizen Action. He told group members of his plight and read a few chapters from the doomed book. When members asked him what they could do, Moore told them that there were more important battles to fight.