Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Crescendo of Violence in Syria

Yesterday, more than 80 demonstrators were shot and killed by security forces in Syria. Pajamas Media has graphic videos that document the violence that took place in several cities. Be careful, however; you should not watch these videos if you are squeamish. The latest killings prompted President Obama to get tough, by his standards, with the Assad regime: “The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of »

Mistaken Identity

It came out last week that the owners of an office supply company in Des Moines, whose last name happens to be Koch, have received at least one death threat after being confused with the owners of Koch Industries in Wichita: A case of mistaken identity has entangled a small family-owned Des Moines company in union protests and led to a death threat. Angry callers are mistaking Koch Brothers, a »

Gangster Government, part MCCLVI

Michael Barone first diagnosed the Obama administration’s practice of Gangster Government in a May 2009 column on the Chrysler bankruptcy. “We have just seen an episode of Gangster Government,” Barone wrote. He added: “It is likely to be part of a continuing series.” He certainly had that right. He has updated his original column a few times, once to note the series’ long-running nature and once to note the contribution »

Copper Clapper Caper

Johnny Carson’s “Copper Clapper Caper” sketch on the Tonight Show is one of the great television comedy sketches of all time. In the sketch Jack Webb reprised his Dragnet role as Sergeant Joe Friday and Johnny Carson played Everyman reporting the crime. When the sketch was originally broadcast in 1968, Dragnet was in its second television run; the series remained in NBC’s lineup until 1970. It doesn’t take much for »


It is getting hard to keep track of all of the disgraceful things Barack Obama is doing, but we shouldn’t overlook his effort to blame high energy prices on “speculators.” In fact, the high price of petroleum, which in turn raises the cost of everything else, is due to a combination of market forces and the Obama administration’s terrible energy policies. When you have an administration that openly wishes for »

Happy Earth Day (PT. 4)

Happy Earth Day everyone! Yes, it’s also Lenin’s birthday, which may not be a pure coincidence, and I hear it may be some other holy day of some kind, but I’m a little vague on this. I was going to do a couple of long posts today on the subject, but as it is Earth Day, I was away from my keyboard communing with nature most of the day. Okay, »

Kloppenburg Klairvoyance Kaper

When Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg emerged with a lead of 206 votes on the morning after the election a few weeks ago, she declared victory. After the canvass, however, she came in second to incumbent Justice David Prosser by more than 7,300 votes. On Wednesday, an hour before the deadline, she announced that she is seeking a recount of the returns. Here is what Kloppenburg had to say »

A good talk spoiled, cont’d

Claremont Institute chairman Tom Klingenstein happened to play a round of gold with Bowdoin College Presdient Barry Mills last year. In a convocation address that he gave at the start of the school year, Mills told a story about that round of golf in the context of a call for greater intellectual diversity on campus. Tom responds to Mills’s address in the essay “A golf story,” in the current issue »

Behind the bias

Tonight at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) Fox News is airing a special edition of the Hannity Show on the subject of media bias. The show was originally scheduled to air two weeks ago, when the government shutdown loomed. It has been rescheduled for this evening. One segment is devoted to Rathergate. Our own John Hinderaker was interviewed for the segment and appears in it. Bill McGowan, whose work on the New »

The Tea Party: How Extreme Can You Get?

We are living in a bizarre moment in history. Our establishment–the press, the academy, all unions, most politicians, many in business who have skin in the Ponzi game–assure us that borrowing trillions of dollars to finance wasteful spending, while sticking our children with the tab plus interest, is perfectly sensible. On the other hand, believing that we should live within our means is? Crazy! Michael Ramirez lends historical context to »

A Romney-Huckabee-Pawlenty Race?

The 2012 election is a long way off, and much will happen before the GOP selects its presidential candidate. Still, if these results from the NYTimes/CBS poll are reasonably accurate, the race has already taken a pretty definite shape. As everyone knows, quite a few Republicans have thrown their hats into the ring. But this graphic, which sums up the poll results, suggests the ultimate shape of the race. Click »

How to Understand Gul’s Column

John, you brought up Turkish President Abdullah Gul’s column in The New York Times. I thought I’d provide some of the domestic political background that has obviously prompted him to this latest round of deflecting attention toward Israel during a moment of awkwardness at home–a longstanding pattern for the AKP, and one with a proven record of working. If you’re in Turkey today, as I am, you’ll see headlines like »

Happy Earth Day (PT. 3): Top Five Myths, and Top Five Books

Our friends over at ReasonTV have produced this snappy video on the top five environmental myths. Definitely worth a viewing. Meanwhile, in my new Almanac of Environmental Trends I offer a list of the 12 best environmental books, and they’re not any of the titles you find on most environmental studies reading lists (i.e., no Silent Spring, Population Bomb, or Limits to Growth). Here I’ve condensed the list to the »

The Key to Democracy and Peace? Why?

One of the world’s most persistent myths is the idea that “peace” between Israelis and Palestinians is the key to progress in the region–the region being, apparently, everything between Morocco and Pakistan. Why this should be so is a mystery, since most of the conflicts in that region, including the most violent ones, haven’t involved Israel at all. Yet the myth persists. It was repeated in today’s New York Times »

The Ellison hustle

Although Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Keith Ellison claims to have converted to Islam as an undergraduate, he appears to have arrived in Minneapolis for law school as an acolyte of the Nation of Islam. Betweeen 1989 and 1998 Ellison adopted names including Keith Hakim, Keith X Ellison, and Keith Ellison-Muhammad while promoting Nation of Islam doctrine, representing the Nation of Islam, and holding himself out as a member of the »

A Decade of CRB

We’ve been celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here) with a few highlights from the gala double issue that has just been published. The issue’s editorial by Charles Kesler is adapted from a speech that Professor Kesler gave at the Claremont Institute’s Salvatori award dinner honoring Mark Helprin in New York this past November. Professor Kesler is the founding editor of the CRB in its »

William McGowan: Adult supervision? @ The NYT? Part 5

William McGowan is the prominent journalist and author, most recently, of Gray Lady Down: What the Decline and Fall of the New York Times Means for America. The book authoritatively covers the important and interesting subject suggested in its subtitle. Glenn Reynolds hailed the book in the excellent lead review of the January 24, 2011, issue of National Review. Glenn wrote: “McGowan piles up incident after incident demonstrating beyond dispute »