Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Zarif on getting to yes

Featured image In the annals of murderous deceit and provocative audacity, the video of Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif takes the cake. The video aims at Zarif’s American counterparts and a wider American audience. It is posted on YouTube here with the full text of Zarif’s message.. Zarif advises: “Getting to yes requires the courage to compromise, the self-confidence to be flexible, the maturity to be reasonable, the wisdom to set aside »

Extending Alinsky Rule 6

Featured image One of Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals must support tactical lying, or lying on principle. Perhaps it is a variant of Alinsky Rule 6: “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” I infer that the left loves it. Lying is one of their greatest hits. I will formulate Alinsky Rule 6(a): “Lie when you have to, the worse the better. Your supporters will enjoy it, while others will be fooled »

Goodnight Vienna (3)

Featured image Omri Ceren provides an email update on the latest from Vienna, this one addressing “State Dept vs. State Dept on Iran cheating on deal — State.gov contradicts State Dept damage control on Iran violations.” Omni writes: Day 3 of this, and still nothing on the record from the Obama administration about why it’s OK to let the Iranians be in violation of the interim JPOA’s requirement that they convert their »

The Palestinian aid charade (updated with a golden oldie)

Featured image You probably missed the story of the latest attempt to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. The blockade prevents the resupply of Hamas terrorists with the tools of their murderous trade. Attempts to break the blockade are held out as acts of pro-Palestinian activism, but they are at best stupidity in action. In this week’s episode, the “activists” aboard a Swedish vessel failed to punch through the blockade when »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image It feels like we have had to wait too long for relief by Ammo Grrrll this week. She arrives just in time with THE THRIFTY TEXAN. She writes: The Paranoid Texan is my regular morning walking partner whenever the temperature in our Dusty Little Village is lower than body temperature. We have our limits, even here in Arizona. Mr. Ammo Grrrll is a runner, not a walker, plus he runs »

Eyes of the World (with Comment by Steve)

Featured image Chatting at a Claremont Institute event ten years ago, Steve Hayward blessed my love of the Grateful Dead. Steve is an expert consumer not only of prog rock, but also of jam bands. He even sent me his own compilation of favorite numbers by the jam band String Theory stringing it out. Essential Dead member Jerry Garcia died in rehab in 1995. The surviving members of the group have reunited »

Men not at work

Featured image The new unemployment rate announced this morning was 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent last month. The AP story is here; the Bloomberg story is here. The economy is said to have added 223,000 jobs last month, but the decline in the unemployment rate is, as usual deceiving. The decline in the unemployment rate reflects the continuing decline in the labor participation rate: “The participation rate, which indicates the share »

The Sharpton angle

Featured image Suppose they put together an MSNBC panel to comment on the political scene and Al Sharpton didn’t come? I’m guessing that the panel’s average IQ wouldn’t be affected, but the entertainment value would decline precipitously. On the Morning Joe panel featuring Sharpton this morning (video below), Bernie Sanders was the topic of discussion. Sharpton noted Sanders’s “popularism.” And he wasn’t even trying to read off a Teleprompter! I can mock »

New books, dead authors

Featured image Pending the arrival of Ammo Grrrll tomorrow, I need laugh now more than ever, and I do not think I’m alone. In the run-up to July 4, moreover, we have the time for it. Joe Queenan provides the opportunity for more than one laugh in his Wall Street Journal Review column “New books, dead authors” (accessible here via Google) of this past weekend. Queenan observes that Tom Clancy and other »

Biden’s moment

Featured image The postulate that nature abhors a vacuum seems to apply in politics as elsewhere. There is a vacuum in the Democratic field of candidates for president. Like Gene McCarthy in 1968, Bernie Sanders is in the process of demonstrating the existence of the vacuum. Again, like McCarthy in 1968, there his utility ends. Sanders would not be a viable Democratic candidate for president. The vacuum is the space for a »

Goodnight Vienna (2)

Featured image As we continue the dance of death in Vienna to the new deadline of July 7, Omri Ceren (on Twitter @ceronomri) writes in two emails combined below regarding news of the latest evidence of Iran’s cheating under the current JPOA of November 2013. Omni writes: Remember how we got here. The interim deal was supposed to “freeze” Iran’s nuclear program, but the Iranians demanded to keep enriching uranium gas, so »

Philip Hamburger: Chevron’s last days?

Featured image Philip Hamburger is the Maurice and Hilda Friedman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School and the author, most recently, of Is Administrative Law Unlawful? (Editor’s note: Answer: Yes.) It is easily one of the most important books published in 2014 and certainly one of the most important I have ever read. Professor Hamburger has graciously taken time out from his vacation to comment at our request on the Supreme »

“The haters are still here”

Featured image The Clarion Project has just posted “The world stayed silent” (video below, here on YouTube). Clarion asks that we share the link and help the video go viral. I don’t necessarily like argument by juxtaposition, but I think this film briefly makes a compelling case — a better case than Vera Brittain’s in the big-budget film version of Testament of Youth. »

Testamentary incapacity

Featured image Vera Brittain was the English writer whose memoir Testament of Youth (the first of three such memoirs by her) became an immediate best-seller upon its publication in Great Britain in 1933. Brittain wrote of her experience working as a nurse tending to the wounded in World War I and the tragic deaths of of her brother as well as her fiancee and friends in the conflict. The book has remained »

Hillary’s high anxiety

Featured image The Daily Mail’s David Martosko takes a bemused look at the subset of surviving Hillary Clinton emails released yesterday. Martosko hits all the highlights. Martosko notes, for example: “Despite the collective shock inside the D.C. beltway when news surfaced that Clinton had a secret email account, many of Washington’s most influential Democrats were already in on it. Political operative David Axelrod had her email address almost from the start, but »

Wisconsin’s shame, cont’d

Featured image We used to laugh along with Tom Wolfe when he mocked the left’s routine invocation of fascism in America. Quoting Jean-Francois Revel, Wolfe observed that the “dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe” (more here). We’re not laughing now. Now it’s not so funny. Now we’re a little worried. In part, we have Jonah Goldberg to thank for that. In »

Down and out in Paris and London

Featured image We know that Paul is on vacation in Paris. I believe that John is on, or about to depart on, vacation in London. I think we may be short on manpower for a while and that our coverage may reflect it. If so, I will post a few literary, musical or otherwise offbeat items from which I would refrain if we were at full strength. I have invited Professor Philip »