Monthly Archives: August 2013

Who will make Obama’s case for attacking Syria?

Featured image Jonathan Strong at NRO questions whether the House will authorize a strike against Syria. He finds it unlikely that Speaker Boehner will “whip” support for authorization; nor should Boehner do so. As Strong notes, this is a “conscience” vote, and members shouldn’t be pressured to vote one way or the other. Members of Congress tend to be influenced by the views of their constituents. Attacking Syria isn’t a terribly popular »

A Reminder That Not All Athletes Are Jerks

Featured image The Minnesota Twins traded Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates today, for more or less nothing. The move was not a surprise. Morneau was in the last year of his contract, the Twins are going nowhere in 2013, and there has been a lot of speculation about his future. Morneau is a first baseman from Canada who debuted with the Twins in 2003. He is a four-time all star and »

Obama seeks congressional authorization to strike Syria [Updated]

Featured image President Obama surprised me today by announcing that he is asking Congress to authorize an attack on Syria. Going to Congress on this matter is the right thing to do, even if one believes — as Obama says he does — that he has the power to strike without congressional approval. By going to Congress, Obama pushes back the time table for a strike. He claimed, however, that the military »

Two Random Thoughts on Political Science

Featured image I juxtapose these two contemporaneous comments just for the heck of it: Generally speaking, one may wonder whether the new political science has brought to light anything of political importance which intelligent practitioners with a deep knowledge of history, nay, intelligent and educated journalists, to say nothing of the old political science at its best, did not know at least as well beforehand. —Leo Strauss, 1963. I majored in Government »

Global Warming Expedition Foiled By Ice

Featured image If you want to tempt fate, organize an expedition to one of the polar regions to call attention to the perils of global warming. The outcome is foreordained: Severe weather conditions hindered our early progress and now ice chokes the passage ahead. Our ice router Victor has been very clear in what lies ahead. He writes, “Just to give you the danger of ice situation at the eastern Arctic, Eef »

Kerry the Fool, and Other Syria Notes

Featured image So in the Week in Pictures roundup this morning, I included the photo of the left’s anti-Syrian intervention protest: Well, actually, I did stumble across a lefty anti-Syrian intervention protest on campus yesterday, as you’ll see here: But wait!  Once you got up close and personal, you found out that the real motivation for the protest was not any genuine anti-interventionist views, but hatred for Israel.  So all’s right with »

The Week in Pictures: Memory Hole Edition

Featured image Well, the Democrats had fun this week, with their partisan pep rally on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have Dream Speech,” whose central principles today’s liberals wish to have declared unconstitutional.  Heh.  And I can’t help delight in the spectacle of watching John Kerry have to flush “global test” down the toilet.  What’s that old line: Those whom the Gods would destroy they first »

Syria, pro and con

Featured image John, Steve and Paul address the Obama administration’s impending attack on unspecified Syrian targets in the adjacent post. Bret Stephens (pro) and Victor Davis Hanson (con) take positions that provide illumination by contrast. Both Stephens and Hanson are persuasive, each in his own way, though I give Hanson the edge in light of what Obama seems to have on offer. The New York Times reports that John Kerry has become »

Should We Bomb Syria? [With comments by Steve and Paul]

Featured image No, I don’t think we should. While the United States has substantial interests in the Middle East, I can’t see that we have a major interest in who rules Syria, as between Assad and the al Qaeda-led rebels. That seems to be the consensus, and I don’t see anyone arguing that we should try to topple Assad. But if we aren’t trying to help the rebels win, then what are »

Our Bipolar Democrats

Featured image I wrote here about the Democrats’ current money-raising campaign, which features the claim that Republicans propose to “dismantle Medicare and Social Security.” When it’s fundraising time, the emails never stop–and it’s always fundraising time. Yesterday the Democrats were depressed: From: Democratic Headquarters [mailto:dccc@dccc.org] Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:47 PM To: Hinderaker, John H. Subject: bad news, John In case you hadn’t noticed, Democrats don’t capitalize email subject headers. This »

If Assad isn’t careful Obama will go lawyerly

Featured image To follow up on Steve’s hilarious post describing security levels in various European countries in light of the Syria crisis, I’d like to add include the Obama administration. Reportedly, it has raised the magnitude of its planned response to Assad’s chemical attack from “nuanced” to “tailored.” Soon, though, it may raise the level to “calibrated.” For now, Obama intends to hold his highest level of response, “lawyerly,” in reserve. »

(Not) John Cleese on Threats to Europe (Updated)

Featured image UPDATE: Turns out this is not from John Cleese, though it has an Aristotelian authenticity that causes me to leave it up anyway. This is making the rounds, and should not be missed: ALERTS TO THREATS IN 2013 EUROPE From JOHN CLEESE The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Syria and have therefore raised their security level from “Miffed” to “Peeved.” Soon, though, security levels »

Hurricane Hinderaker? Oh, Please, Please Make It So!

Featured image Or Hurricane Hayward?  Oh is this an outcome to be desired. The latest sign of the unhingedness of the climate campaign was reported in the Washington Post a couple of days ago: Group Wants Hurricanes Named After Politicians Who “Deny Climate Change” Maybe, in the not too distant future, we’ll have a Category Six hurricane named John Boehner. The environmental advocacy group 350.org is petitioning the World Meteorological Organization to »

You go to war with the president you have

Featured image At Ricochet, Arthur Herman, a historian for whom I have great respect, argues that we shouldn’t want President Obama to attack Syria because we shouldn’t want this particular president “to make any decisions where American interests are at stake — and where Americans, and possibly many others, may die.” This is true, Herman contends, even if there is a strong case for intervening in Syria. I agree with Herman’s critique »

Heh: Miley Obama?

Featured image What’s outrageous, revolting, awful, sickening and even obscene? Michael Ramirez can think of two things that fit that description: Is Barack Obama really as delusional as Miley Cyrus? Maybe we should turn that question around: is Miley Cyrus really as delusional as Barack Obama? »

Were the 1960s race riots “self-defeating”?

Featured image In his speech commemorating the great civil rights march of 1963, President Obama asserted that “the anguish of assassinations set off self-defeating riots.” However, as I argued here, serious black rioting preceded the assassination of Martin Luther King and was not connected with any other assassination. There’s another dubious claim in Obama’s account: it’s questionable whether the black rioting of the 1960s was self-defeating. In 1967, almost a year before »

Confessions of Zero

Featured image Last week reader Martin Vaala forwarded the poem below to us. At the time I thought it might be too harsh, and it may be, but it might also be just about right. It captures something about the frivolous quality of the dilettante who is our president, or so it seems to me at the moment. You be the judge: Blood on my hands From Africa to Washington to Oklahoma »