Monthly Archives: March 2013

Grenada, Poland, and the Pope: Herbert Meyer Explains It All

Featured image In this next installment from Herbert Meyer’s YAF lecture on William Casey and the Cold  War, he explains the importance of going on offense against the Soviet Union.  Along the way, he drops some very big hints about the circumstances behind the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in May of 1981.  (About 9 minutes long.) Coming later: a hilarious account of how Bill Casey described the misery of »

Gay Marriage: The Libertarian Solution

Featured image The incomparable Iowahawk offers his solution to the gay marriage controversy over at  Get the government out of the marriage business entirely, and devolve it all to a matter of contract.  This would essentially “privatize” marriage in ways that gays might not like.  Let Iowahawk explain the nub of it: The solution? Maybe it’s time for government to get out of the whole marriage business altogether. Or at least »

The Supreme Court does marriage — episode 2

Featured image Today, the Supreme Court hears oral argument in U.S. v. Windsor. The case presents the question of whether the Federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is constitutional. The U.S. government argues that DOMA, enacted by Congress with broad support and signed into law by President Clinton, is unconstitutional. The case also presents issues of jurisdiction and standing. Specifically, the Court is called to decide whether the Obama administration’s unwillingness to »

Stomping on students’ consciences

Featured image Many of you probably have heard about the shocking case of Ryan Rotela, a devout Mormon student at Florida Atlantic University, who along with his classmates, was assigned by his professor to write the name JESUS in big letters on a piece of paper and then step on the paper. When Rotela complained about the assignment, the college charged him with violating the student code of conduct and ordered not »

Glenn Frankel: In search of “The Searchers”

Featured image John Ford is America’s greatest director and “The Searchers” is one of his greatest films. If you’ve ever seen it, you may have asked yourself in wonderment as the credits rolled: “Where did that come from?” Now Glenn Frankel, G.B. Dealey Regents Professor in Journalism and director of the School of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, has answered that question and more in The Searchers: The Making »

William Casey at 100: Herbert Meyer’s Brilliant Lecture

Featured image I made a brief reference here the other day to a lecture Herbert Meyer recently gave to the Young Americas Foundation on the occasion of the 100th birthday of William Casey, Ronald Reagan’s extraordinary CIA director.  Meyer was a special assistant to Casey from 1981 to 1985.  This lecture, along with Meyer’s contribution to the endgame of the Cold War, deserve more attention. American Cold War policy might be said »

The politics of same-sex marriage constitutional adjudication

Featured image Elahe Izadi at the National Journal suggests that a Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution confers the right to same-sex marriage would help the Republican Party. I agree. Public sentiment seems to be moving rapidly in favor of requiring the state to recognize same-sex marriages. This leaves Democratic candidates increasingly free to “come out of the closet” on this issue and embrace the emerging view. On the other hand, Republican »

Mark Falcoff: Venezuela’s forthcoming elections

Featured image Occasional contributor Mark Falcoff is resident scholar emeritus at AEI. He is the the author, among other books, of Modern Chile, 1970-1989: A Critical History and Cuba the Morning After: Confronting Castro’s Legacy. Mr. Falcoff sorts out some of the underlying themes in Venezuela’s forthcoming elections: As anyone who’s been following events in Venezuela with even half an eye knows, provisional president Nicolás Maduro (named by the late strongman Hugo »

The Prop 8 argument — a different take

Featured image The transcript of the oral argument in the Prop 8 case is now available. So is the audio. I haven’t reviewed either yet. Ed Whelan has. His review finds him “much more optimistic than some commentators that the Court will find that Prop 8 proponents have standing and will vote to uphold Prop 8.” »

CNN goes rogue

Featured image Thanks to Andrew Johnson and NRO’s Corner for drawing attention to the highly entertaining Anderson Cooper/Drew Griffin report on “Obama’s high-speed rail boondoggle.” Johnson writes: “Cooper and investigative reporter Drew Griffin reported that, while the administration sold its $12 billion in projects as high-speed rail, the funding has spent has largely been used to make existing trains slightly faster. In Washington State, for instance, $800 million have been used to »

Report: The Supreme Court will probably duck the merits of the Prop 8 case

Featured image Tom Goldstein, as shrewd an observer of the Supreme Court as anyone I’m aware of, believes that the Court “probably will not have the five votes necessary to get to any result at all, and almost certainly will not have five votes to decide the merits of whether Proposition 8 is constitutional.” The Court could avoid reaching the merits by deciding that the defenders of Prop 8 lack standing to »

The reductio ad absurdum of American constitutional jurisprudence

Featured image Jim Palmer once said of Earl Weaver, after the manager had offered the Hall of Fame pitcher a tip, “All Weaver knows about pitching is he couldn’t hit it.” As I write this, the Supreme Court of the United States is preparing to hear oral argument in a case where the core question is the rationality/utility of the age-old definition of marriage. I’m tempted to say of some of the »

Dream or Nightmare?

Featured image So what has become of the new Boeing Dreamliner?  Since its grounding in January owing to its twitchy lithium-ion batteries, there’s been little news.  This is an unusually long grounding for a plane, especially one as technologically advanced as the 787.  I know a little about this kind of thing, which is why I’ve been following this story keenly for a long time.  In the early weeks of the 747 »

And happy new year to you too

Featured image I want to return briefly to Obama’s Iranian new year’s greeting, the video of which I posted here. The holiday in issue is Nowruz, which I understand to predate Islam and extend back to Zoroastrianism. The White House has posted the text of the message here. Let’s take it from the top: Dorood [hello]. As you and your families come together to celebrate Nowruz, I want to extend my best »

Won and lost in Iraq

Featured image Along with Congress and the American people, we supported the war to depose Saddam Hussein. Ten years on, how is the war to be judged? As the saying attributed to Kierkegaard has it, life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood backward. I don’t think ten years’ time gives us enough perspective in this case, and judgment is complicated by Obama’s abandonment of the project. Among those »

The political price of the Iraq War

Featured image Michael Walsh at NRO blames the Obama presidency on the Iraq War. Taking things one step further, he blames the Clinton presidency on our first war in Iraq: Like father, like son. The first President Bush squandered sky-high poll ratings into a defeat at the hands of a man the nation barely knew, Bill Clinton, in part because of the unsatisfying end to the first Gulf War, which ended with »

Report: Sen. Tim Johnson to retire

Featured image Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) does not plan to run for re-election in 2014, according to this report by Reuters. Johnson has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow. Mitt Romney carried South Dakota by 18 points last year. But we shouldn’t assume that, therefore, the South Dakota Senate seat will be an easy pick-up. Romney carried North Dakota and Montana comfortably, yet the Dems elected Senators in both states, including a »