Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image Tony Bennett and Bill Evans recorded two albums together in the 1970’s, during a lull in Bennett’s career. “You Must Believe In Spring” is from Together Again (1976), the second of the two albums. The song has music by Michel Legrand and English lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman. (The original French lyrics are by Jacques Demy.) John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey recently raved about the Bennett/Evans version of the »

The Obama factor (2)

Featured image Obama’s statement in Warsaw on the shootings in Baton Rouge and Falcon Heights refers to racial disparities while omitting any acknowledgement of the related behavioral disparities that account for them. The implication that they represent a racist criminal justice system at play is a lie of the bald-faced variety. The dirty little secret of the assault on law enforcement in the name of racial disparities is the underlying behavioral disparities »

The Obama factor

Featured image Speaking in Warsaw, President Obama felt compelled to weigh in on the killing of Alton Sterling (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) and Philando Castile (Falcon Heights, Minnesota) in encounters with the police. He did so in his usual style before the blood was dry and before the facts were in. The White House has posted the video of Obama’s remarks here and the text here (on Facebook). For the record, I’m posting »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Today is a tough day to laugh. I think we may need Ammo Grrrll today more than ever as she mulls over UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES. She writes: The road to hell, it is said, is paved with good intentions. No news there. I’m quite sure I have provided plenty of the paving tar in my life. America has an obesity epidemic. The average woman now weighs more than the average man »

James Comey’s baffling testimony (2)

Featured image I found several points in FBI Director Comey’s testimony today (and his statement on Tuesday) baffling. I only saw parts of his testimony today; if I missed testimony addressing any of these points, please forgive me. Here are a few that baffle me. The imposition of an element of specific intent on section 793(f): where did this come from? Comey elaborated on this in his opening statement. I found it »

A note to commenters (rated R)

Featured image As I have mentioned a time or two before, we seek to maintain a tone appropriate to civil discourse on this site. It is a tone that comes naturally to most of our readers and commenters. I review comments for abuse and vulgarity. Most of our commenters have no problem speaking in polite company. However, every day I now moderate comments by commenters who are routinely vulgar. Some commenters appear »

Thoughts on the Comey comedy

Featured image I sensed an underlying anger in FBI Director James Comey’s remarks as he spoke Tuesday morning. I thought the anger might have come from his having to lay out the facts that warranted charges against Clinton at the time that he felt himself required to issue her a pass. His recitation of factual findings was devastating. I think the anger may also have derived from his understanding of the Clintontian »

Comey comedy, Comey comity

Featured image Listening attentively to FBI Director Comey’s announcement this morning (text here), one could hear him shredding each of Hillary Clinton’s excuses, evasions, lies and deceits regarding her use of private email server to conduct official business. He described her handling of national defense information as “extremely careless,” conduct that precisely fits the violation of section 793(f) of the Espionage Act, not to mention other possibly applicable laws. You can read »

German social science on the case

Featured image Last week’s Star Tribune reports that Two Minneapolis men convicted on ISIL charges seek ‘deradicalization’ review.” Those “Minneapolis men”? They are Guled Omar and Abdirahman Daud, found guilty of terrorism charges by the jury in Minneapolis on June 3. What is a “‘deradicalization’ review”? That is a tricker question. On March 2, Judge Davis ordered the federal probation office tasked with the standard presentence investigation to contract with Daniel Koehler, »

The spirit of Entebbe

Featured image Israel’s incredibly daring operation to free Jewish hostages held by murderous terrorists at the Entebbe airport in Uganda took place forty years ago today, as we celebrated the bicentennial Independence Day. It was a great day for freedom all the way around. Suffice it to say that the spirit of Israel’s Operation Thunderbolt holds much in common with our Independence Day. Almost unbelievably, Prime Minister Netanyahu–the brother of the rakishly »

It depends on the meaning of “grandchildren”

Featured image The PoliticalXray.com website claims to have obtained proving that when Bill Clinton boarded Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s jet on the tarmac at Phoenix Internation Airport on June 27, 2016 and spoke for 30 minutes, he only spoke about his grandchildren. If so, the video reveals that Lynch has told the truth, Clinton style. I’m filing this under Laughter is the Best Medicine, but we should probably create an It Only »

Our enemy, the state

Featured image This past April the Claremont Institute and the Federalist Society co-sponsored a panel discussion of the weaponization of the bureaucracy against the Democrats’ political opponents. They called the program “Our Partisan Bureaucracy? The IRS, the DOJ, and the Future of Political Activism” (video below and at the link). The Claremont Institute has posted the video with this description: When the first Civil Service Reform Act passed in 1883, “good government” »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day (2)

Featured image President Calvin Coolidge celebrated the 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1926, with a speech providing a magisterial review of the history and thought underlying the Declaration. His speech on the occasion deserves to be read and studied in its entirety. The following paragraph, however, is particularly relevant to the challenge that confronts us in the variants of the progressive dogma that pass themselves off today »

The eternal meaning of Independence Day

Featured image On July 9, 1858, Illinois Senator Stephen Douglas gave a campaign speech to a raucous throng from the balcony of the Tremont Hotel in Chicago. Abraham Lincoln was in the audience as Douglas prepared to speak. Douglas graciously invited Lincoln to join him on the balcony to listen to the speech. In his speech Douglas sounded the themes of the momentous campaign that Lincoln and Douglas waged that summer and »

Why not the worst?

Featured image Considering the Democratic presidential nominees since 1992 — Bill Clinton, Al Gore, John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton — we find a parade of repugnant characters. What a crew. Who is the most repugnant of them all? We can be overwhelmed by the present. At the time I thought Bill Clinton was an extraordinarily bad man, but Barack Obama has helped me understand how good we had it with »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia began his career as a crazed devotee of folk and bluegrass music. He learned how to play Scruggs-style (three-finger picking) banjo even though his brother had chopped his middle finger off in a childhood accident. He overcame. With the group in a deep financial hole after their first two albums on Warner Brothers, Garcia et al. drew on their love of traditional American music to »

“Minnesota men” at play

Featured image This has become a familiar story out of Europe, but it is something new under the sun in Minneapolis. Although it is big news, I can’t find any evidence of the story in the Star Tribune (please let me know if I missed it) — another element that gives the story a European dimension. Brett Hoffland warily reports for (KSTP TV) 5 Eyewitness News: Minneapolis police are investigating a series »