Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Meanwhile in Israel

Featured image The Times of Israel reports a story of Israeli devotion to the sanctity of life in “Israeli doctors, spies rally to save 5-year-old Syrian girl.” If you follow the news from Israel, you may be familiar with Israel’s dedication of resources to save casualties of the Syrian civil war, but this story of a young girl adds a novel wrinkle: Some two weeks after she arrived at the hospital, after »

“This alien intrusion”

Featured image Heather Mac Donald gives us the quote of the day in the opening of her City Journal column “Bubba bites back.” She writes: “Bill Clinton injected a disruptive element into the Democratic presidential campaign yesterday: truth. The question now is: How will his wife recover from this alien intrusion?” It’s a good question. I think events have provided the inevitable answer. Clinton regrets his detour into the truth. He more »

The Trial as how-to manual

Featured image Does anyone read Kafka anymore? I doubt that high school and college students take him up as faithfully as we once did, but the bureaucratic tyrants running the Department of Education in the Obama administration appear to have drawn on Kafka’s Trial as a how-to manual rather than a modernist warning of a nightmarish future. The book opens: “Someone must have been telling lies about Josef K., he knew he »

Enter Guccifer

Featured image Did you know that the Romanian hacker Guccifer was extradited to the United States under federal indictment and that he appeared in court in Virginia yesterday for a detention hearing? I didn’t until I read the latest FOX News report by Catherine Herridge and Pamela Browne. In fact, Guccifer was indicted in June 2014. The FBI press release is posted here. The press release announcing his extradition and initial appearance »

How to speak, civil rights edition

Featured image The video below is running on television exclusively on the FOX News Channel, where I saw it for the first time last night. It is episode 7 in the National Rifle Association’s Freedom’s Safest Place campaign. What a powerful speaker. If you want to learn how to win friends and influence people, observe closely. This is how it’s done. Who is the gentleman speaking? What is he doing now? I »

Funding Iran

Featured image I think it’s fair to say that the Islamic Republic Iran is a serious enemy of the United States. The powers that be in Iran regularly proclaim their ardent desire for the death of the United States, and they take action aimed at bringing it about in one way or another. With the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, President Obama has teamed up with the mullahs to finance their nuclear »

Against BS, GE edition

Featured image In his bizarre sit-down with the editors of the New York Daily News — Jamie Kirchick provides an entertaining retrospective in “Is Bernie Sanders your stoner college roommate?” (with full audio) — GE was about the only company Bernie Sanders was able to identify as committing the malefactions that drive him onward. The editors had asked Sanders to name a company exemplifying “corporate greed at its worst.” According to Sanders, »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll’s is at home in what she calls MY ARIZONA. She writes: I have spoken glowingly and often of the robust gun culture in my adopted state of Arizona. Now, I realize that some people hate guns. Others are simply not interested in guns and still others know their personal temperaments well enough to eschew them. An email friend said recently, “Though I stand firmly behind the Second Amendment, »

Flying Hillary

Featured image Hillary Clinton greatly contributes to the strangeness of the political circus this year, though we have become habituated to her pathological lying on matters high and low, criminal and civil. To borrow from Shakeseare’s Polonius, she lies on matters tragical, comical, historical, pastoral, pastoral-comical, historical-pastoral, tragical-historical, and tragical-comical-historical-pastoral. When it comes to lying with every word and with great conviction, Lillian Hellman has nothing on Hillary Clinton. Last month, the »

Against BS, in 100 words

Featured image The site of Entrepreneur magazine invited brief lambastings of the candidates by Nick Gillespie (Bernie Sanders), Ann Coulter (Ted Cruz), S.E. Cupp (Donald Trump) and Marc Lamont Hill (Hillary Clinton). Taken all together, the symposium is fair and balanced! (I’d like to make the case against Marc Lamont Hill, but I’ll save it for another day.) The symposium is posted here; Gillespie has posted his own contribution here. Here is »

Merle Haggard, RIP [With Comment By John]

Featured image I’ve celebrated the life and work of Merle Haggard here several times over the years. Today I write in sadness to note his passing at the age of 79 — to be exact, on his seventy-ninth birthday. The Los Angeles Times marks his passing here. The Times also compiles reactions to his death here. Like Elvis Presley and Ray Charles, Hag was a singer in whose voice one could hear »

A word about the Panama Papers

Featured image The so-called Panama Papers have made a big splash in the news this week. The New York Times backgrounder on the Papers is here. Yesterday the Panama Papers led to the resignation of Iceland’s prime minister. A knowledgable reader writes to explain that the Papers revolve around shell companies, which are a Panama specialty, and predicts that there will be disclosures with serious consequences for the people who are exposed »

Trump’s trumpet

Featured image Paul Mirengoff quoted briefly from the statement issued by Donald Trump as the results in Wisconsin were reported last night in his rolling commentary here. The Washington Post’s Robert Costa obtained the statement from the Trump campaign. The statement hasn’t been posted on the Trump for President site. Costa’s tweet is the only place I can find the unabridged text (below). It’s worth a look. It’s kind of amazing but »

The first time ever she saw her face

Featured image In the annals of American presidential politics, I don’t think a senior aide has ever said anything quite like this about the candidate: “You know these things that happen in your life that just stick? She walked by and she shook my hand and our eyes connected and I just remember having this moment where I thought, ‘Wow, this is amazing,’ And it just inspired me. You know, I still »

Spirit of the JCPOA

Featured image What is the “spirit” of the weirdly unsigned Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran? The JCPOA obligates the parties to protect Iran’s nuclear program, arranges for its financing, and sets it on a path to fruition at a time of Iran’s choosing. Given that the Islamic Republic of Iran is an avowed enemy of the United States, I think the deal reeks of malice and delusion. Yet President Obama »

Ryan in Jerusalem

Featured image Times of Israel editor David Horovitz sat down with Paul Ryan on Sunday evening in Jerusalem for an interview (at the David Citadel Hotel, I think). David introduces the interview this way: Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mitt Romney’s 2012 running mate, and the Republican Who Didn’t Run for the Presidency this time — broadly holds to the principle of not being too critical of the US government when »

Quotations from Chairman Barry

Featured image You may have missed President Obama’s mind-boggling statement regarding his friends in the Islamic Republic of Iran at his news conference this past Friday (complete White House transcript here, video excerpt below). Thus spake Chairman Barry: “When they launched ballistic missiles with slogans calling for the destruction of Israel that makes businesses nervous….If Iran continues to ship missiles to Hezbollah, that gets businesses nervous.” Iran makes businesses “nervous” with its »