Tony Bennett: Gun Control or We Become Nazi Germany

This week, 86-year-old singer Tony Bennett sounded off on gun control. “I just believe that assault weapons – they were invented for war. They shouldn’t be on our streets here.” This, in and of itself, would be no surprise; virtually everyone in Hollywood is anti-gun control. But then Bennett went off the rails:

This is the kind of [turn] that happened to the great country of Germany, where the Nazis came over, created tragic things, and they had to be told off. And if we continue this kind of violence and accept it in our country, the rest of the world is going to take care of us in a very bad way. We should learn that we’re the greatest country because we’re all different nationalities, different religions, and we should show the rest of the world how to behave.

This is obviously faulty history. The Nazis didn’t rise to power thanks to an armed population. They secured their power at least in part thanks to a disarmed population. The Weimar government passed gun registration and licensing for all guns in 1928. And the Nazis were the purveyors of mass violence, not the result of it.

Bennett should know better than this. After all, he served in the infantry; he was drafted in November 1944, and was a replacement in the 255th Infantry Regiment of the 63rd Infantry Division, serving in France and Germany. He served in battle, including house-to-house fighting in Germany; he was there for the liberation of the Landsberg concentration camp.

But Bennett became a pacifist after the war, writing, “The main thing I got out of my military experience was the realization that I am completely opposed to war. Every war is insane, no matter where it is or what it’s about. Fighting is the lowest form of human behavior.” Now, America thanks Bennett for his service. But this is an infantile representation of the way the world works. Civilized people abhor war. But uncivilized people often use that

Brennan’s Testimony and Waterboarding Misinformation Posted By Bruce Thornton **** The Senate Intelligence Committee last week grilled Obama’s pick to head the CIA, John Brennan, on all sorts of issues. Democrats worked him over about the CIA’s interrogation, detention, and droning of terrorist suspects, while Republicans were concerned about leaks of classified information. But the real story was not just Brennan’s answers––which were in […]

JOHN FUND: TEXAS TRUMPS GOVERNOR MOONBEAM Texas governor Rick Perry knows how to start a rumble. Last week, he spent a mere $24,000 on radio ads in California, urging firms there to move to Texas, with its “zero state income tax, low overall tax burden, sensible regulations, and fair legal system.” The ad goaded Governor Jerry Brown into telling reporters […]

DANIEL GREENFIELD: THE UNVERIFIABLE WORD A picture used to be worth a thousand words in that fanciful interval between the court painting and the photoshop when a photograph was thought to have an unfalsifiable quality. That too was an illusion and the Communists were doing their own crude photoshops, removing purged leaders from photos around the same time as […]

KAREN LUGO: ISLAMIST CENSORSHIP CHARGES ON In just the latest episode of censorship in the prophet’s name, Muslim activist groups now want reporters to stop using the word “Islamist.” “Islamist” is an important and useful word — it identifies the politically motivated Muslims who are intent on injecting sharia into Western law and culture, and distinguishes them from other followers […]


Action is something Americans of both parties demand of their presidents these days. This is natural for Democrats, whose heritage is all action, starting with Franklin Roosevelt and his Hundred Days. But Republicans like energy and a big executive as well. Over the course of the campaign this past year, any number of political stars, including Governor Mitch Daniels of Indiana, argued that only an energetic candidate would be up to the job of managing the U.S. fiscal crisis. Mitt Romney worked hard to let voters know his party could beat the Democrats in the legislative arena. He swore up and down that, à la Roosevelt, he would get off to a running start, sending five bills to Congress and signing five executive orders on his first day in the Oval Office.

The Grand Old Party’s abiding affection for a “bigger and better” presidency isn’t entirely logical. After all, the Obama presidency commenced with an effort to reenact the Hundred Days. Yet President Obama’s first-term economic performance itself was not “big” but mediocre, tiny even. Perhaps Republicans should consider whether inaction on the part of the White House can be desirable. Perhaps, led by Republicans, the United States could benefit from trying out an unfashionable idea: the small presidency.

Evidence from a near-forgotten period, the early 1920s, instructs us. In those days the country was suffering economic turmoil similar to our own. Because of a crisis — World War I — the government had intruded in business and financial markets in unprecedented fashion, nationalizing the railroads, shutting down the stock market, and entering the debt market with war bonds.


Columnist and author Amity Shlaes stops by for a half-hour interview to discuss Coolidge, her new sequel — or perhaps prequel is the better word — to The Forgotten Man, her best-selling look at the 1930s. The latter book shed new light on the Depression, by exploring its “Forgotten Men” — the entrepreneurs and employees whose lives were up-ended by the destructive “Progressive” policies of first Herbert Hoover, and then FDR.

Coolidge places the Roaring ‘20s into context by focusing on the man who helped make them possible, by getting out of the way. Silent Cal was the only president who ever said, “Perhaps one of the most important accomplishments of my administration has been minding my own business.” And along the way, as Amity mentions in our interview, “He was in office more than one presidential term. And when he left that office, the federal budget was lower than when he came in. Real, nominal — with vanilla sprinkles on top. Wow, how’d he do that?”

How indeed? During our wide-ranging interview, Shlaes discusses such topics as:

● Recovering a sense of traditional America after Woodrow Wilson’s oppressive administration and collectivism during WWI.
● The real version of Coolidge’s “the business of America is business” quote.
● The surprising modernity of the 1920s and Coolidge himself.
● The tragic and untimely death of Coolidge’s son, and how it impacted Coolidge himself.
● Coolidge’s fear of where the unending expansion of government could lead.
● Who best fits the model of Coolidge today.

And much more. Click here to listen:


The NHS is rubbish, as all the foreigners know
Post-war Britain took a historic wrong turn in adopting a state run health system. “Mid Staffs” explains why the NHS is not envied by anyone

Well, I grant you, maybe if you live in Zimbabwe you might envy the health care provided by the NHS. But to everyone in the developed world the NHS is something of a joke — a sick one at that, as the horrific revelations about the Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust have once again illustrated .

Living outside the UK, it is genuinely amazing to me that Britons can keep a straight face while still talking about the NHS as “the envy of the world”. It just isn’t. I well remember watching the opening ceremony of the Olympics with a friend in Bratislava. When Danny Boyle’s nurses trooped out my heart fell. “Oh, God. How am I going to explain this one?” I thought.

I had half a mind to try and pass it off as a celebration of the iconic post-War Carry On films — a hat tip to Carry on Doctor per chance? My Slovak friend was too fast for me: “You’re not actually going to tell me that this is about the NHS?” he said with an incredulous laugh. Before I’d had chance to reply, he added: “But the NHS is rubbish.” “Yes,” I said. “But that’s just the way most Britons want it.”

And I’m afraid that that is the truth of the matter. The British people are committed to a health care system that treats them badly and kills them early. When Polly Toynbee writes in the Guardian today that those who would challenge the NHS “should remember how Danny Boyle’s Olympic spirit revealed a strength of public passion they defy at their peril,” she does have a point.

Of course, it’s not the point she thinks she’s making. But she is right that it is all but impossible to have a serious discussion about healthcare provision in the UK.

The peoples of the formerly communist countries could not afford such complacency. A generation ago, as they emerged from communism, they had to make serious decisions about what sort of health care system they were going to adopt. They did what any sensible grown ups would do and looked at the available models in the West.

US ENVOY PAUL BREMER PELTED WITH SHOES IN THE UK PARLIAMENT…”MESSAGE FROM SADDAM” On Wednesday in the UK Parliament, a former top US diplomat had shoes thrown at him in a repeat of the 2008 attack on President George W. Bush. The Commentator has obtained exclusive footage of the incident. Attendees reported that panic ensued as a protester shouted about sending a message “from Saddam Hussein”, then […]

HATE EDUCATION…WHY BRITAIN’S ANTI-ZIONIST MANDARINS ARE GRINNING” ROBIN SHEPHERD For many years, the British Foreign Office has been insisting that incitement and hate education is not a problem in the Palestinian Territories. Meanwhile, the Palestinians have quietly been indoctrinating their children to hate both Jews and Israel. They have done this with little to no push-back from the international community, and certainly none […]