I want to take the liberty of drawing attention to a few items that are worthy of attention without much in the way of further comment. Listen up!
• Steve Hayward hasn’t declared his preference in the matter of Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton. It seems to be a close run thing. In any event, it has Steve’s creative juices flowing. He makes a modest proposal in the Weekly Standard article “Bail out on the ballot.” (I made the portrait of Jonathan Swift the thumbnail image for this post on the home page in honor of Steve’s modest proposal.)
Steve sets up his modest proposal with a quotable quote from the August 2 column by the great Thomas Sowell: Quotable quote: “This thought came to mind reading Thomas Sowell’s latest column, in which he laments our major-party choices this November. He opens with this declaration: ‘It’s not easy being a good citizen when both major parties seem to be offering options that spell disaster for the country.’ If anyone might be expected to fall into the #NeverHillary camp, you’d expect it to be Sowell. His catalogue of the likely exploits of a Hillary Clinton administration is sobering. But the economist just can’t bring himself to make a positive case for Donald Trump and wonders sensibly whether a Trump victory could be disastrous for Republicans: ‘Voting for an out of control egomaniac like Donald Trump would be like playing Russian roulette with the future of this country. Voting for someone with a track record like Hillary Clinton’s is like putting a shotgun to your head and pulling the trigger. And not voting at all is just giving up. Nobody said that being a good citizen would be easy.'”
• Amir Taheri takes up the subject of the Obama administration and Iran in the New York Post column “The Iran deal is a fraud from top to bottom.”
Quotable quote: “’Iran’s nuclear program remains intact,’ asserts Ali-Akbar Saleh, the man who heads the Iran Atomic Energy Agency. ‘We have done nothing that could not be undone with the turn of a screw.’”
• I put out the call for George Orwell in my short post on Yale’s new committee on renaming issues. Roger Kimball has answered my call and risen to the challenge in his Wall Street Journal column “The college formerly known as Yale” (accessible here via Google. Do be sure to read the whole thing. The Swift image also serves to highlight Roger’s piece; Roger brings his own brand of “savage indignation” to it.
Quotable quote: “I have unhappy news for Mr. Salovey. In the great racism sweepstakes, John Calhoun was an amateur. Far more egregious was Elihu Yale, the philanthropist whose benefactions helped found the university. As an administrator in India, he was deeply involved in the slave trade. He always made sure that ships leaving his jurisdiction for Europe carried at least 10 slaves. I propose that the committee on renaming table the issue of Calhoun College and concentrate on the far more flagrant name ‘Yale.’”
• Richard Samuelson’s Mosaic column “Who’s afraid of religious liberty?” is one of the most important things I have read in a long time. In it, Richard draws out the profound danger inherent in anti-discrimination law. Richard’s piece is long and closely argued. It is difficult to excerpt but required reading in its entirety.
Quotable quote: “[T]here is another danger, equally grave though as yet less open and less remarked upon. It is connected with longer-term shifts in Americans’ fundamental understanding of themselves and of their liberty, and consequently with the laws that embody and reflect that understanding: in particular, the laws enshrining America’s commitment to religious liberty and, relatedly, liberty of association or, as the Constitution has it, assembly. Coming to the fore over issues of personal identity, most saliently in relation to the gay-rights movement, same-sex marriage, and transgender rights, it has resulted in a legal battle in which the radioactive charge of ‘discrimination,’ borrowed from the civil-rights movement of the 1960s, is wielded as a weapon to isolate, impugn, and penalize dissenting views held by Americans of faith and informing the conduct of their religious lives.”