Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Yale: The speech they didn’t want you to hear

Featured image The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale has just posted the video of its entire September 15 program featuring Ayaan Hirsi Ali. WFB program president Rich Lizardo tells the story of events that followed the WFB Program’s invitation in the Yale Daily News column “We invited Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak at Yale–and outrage ensued.” Following the announcement of Hirsi Ali’s speech, the Muslim Students Association at Yale went »

Blaming Blabbermouth

Featured image The lead story at Politico is Edward-Isaac Dovere’s “Democrats turn on Debbie Wasserman Schultz.” Better known among listeners to Rush Limbaugh as Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz, the lady is Obama’s handpicked chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Ann Althouse asks: “[W]hat is going on here?” Good question. Ann has her own thoughts, always worth taking into account. The story reads like a catfight on the left. If only for that, I »

Ball’s bombshell: Tom Cotton digs Publius!

Featured image When Atlantic political reporter Molly Ball called me a couple of weeks ago to ask me about Rep. Tom Cotton, now opposing Democratic incumbent Senator Mark Pryor in the election for the Arkansas seat that is on the ballot this November, my guard was up. I think Tom is a man of great courage and conviction. I support his election. I wanted not to say anything that could be used »

Rumors of terrorism

Featured image Have individuals with known terrorist ties been apprehended trying to cross illegally into the United States through Texas? It seems like a straightforward question to address to the Secretary of Homeland Security. Asked the question by Rep. Jason Chaffetz at a House Homeland Security hearing yesterday, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson took the phlegmatic approach and vaguely denied awareness of such a case. Asked directly if he was aware of four »

Hath not a Timesman cultural literacy?

Featured image Joe Biden made waves when he referred to “shylocks” in a speech on Monday. He made waves because he didn’t realize the term was offensive to Jews, drawing as it does on Shakespeare’s problematic portrayal of the Jewish moneylender in The Merchant of Venice. The late, great John Gross devoted an outstanding book to the portrayal of Shylock through the ages. The book provides a humane literary and historical education »

Hirsi Ali heightens the contradictions

Featured image Our friends at the Washington Free Beacon have dug up the brief video clip below of Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaking at Yale on Monday. This is the clip of her speech that has been running on FOX News. I would like to post a video of her speech in its entirety (please write me at powerlinefeedback@gmail.com if you know where one is), but this is what we have now. The »

The question of Muslim immigration

Featured image We have a profoundly serious problem of illegal immigration, but we also have a problem of legal immigration, Unfortunately, it is a problem that can barely be discussed. Is there anyone who thinks the continued stream of Muslim immigration from countries with active jihadist groups is a good idea? Canadian poet and essayist David Solway broadly raises the problem of Muslim immigration in the PJ Media column “The new colonizers.” »

JV president critiques terrorist JV

Featured image President Obama famously disparaged ISIS as a terrorist junior varsity squad. Without conceding error, Obama has come to rue the characterization so much that he baldly lies about it. According to Obama, he wasn’t singling out ISIS when he referred to the terrorist “jv” in his interview with the apostle David Remnick of the New Yorker. It is a misjudgment that rebounds on Obama himself to mark him as the »

Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Yale

Featured image Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke to a full house at Yale last night under the auspices of the William F. Buckley, Jr. Program. The Yale Daily News reports that she spoke “without significant interruption or disturbance.” The YDN notes the lack of disruption because Hirsi Ali’s appearance provoked the vehement opposition of the Muslim Students Association at Yale under the leadership of one Abrar Omeish. The MSA at Yale “sent a »

Allah and Ali at Yale

Featured image The William F. Buckley, Jr. Program at Yale is hosting Ayaan Hirsi Ali to speak on campus today. Her appearance has provoked the Yale Muslim Students Association to issue a letter in protest with 35 co-signers (the letter is quoted in part here, here and here). In the spirit of Buckley himself, Yale’s Professor David Gelernter addresses the Yale MSA: I love your new free-speech concept! Obviously this woman should »

Down with the administrative state

Featured image You may not be interested in administrative law, but administrative law is interested in you. Administrative law is unrecognized by the Constitution, but, according to Columbia Law School Professor Philip Hamburger, it “has become the government’s primary mode of controlling Americans.” He observes that “administrative law has avoided much rancor because its burdens have been felt mostly by corporations.” This is where you come in: “Increasingly, however, administrative law has »

HRC, in Mandela’s footsteps

Featured image Those of us who lived through the Clinton administration may have forgotten how acrid was the atmosphere. One of its features was the administration’s pervasive untruth. Reading Michael Isikoff’s book Uncovering Clinton, to take just one small example, one begins to understand that everyone around the Clintons, including the journalists who covered them, understands the basics of their marital arrangement, yet remained (and remains) silent about it. Who are we »

In Gaza, the work continues

Featured image Palestinian Islamic Jihad is one of the genocidal terrorist groups operating out of Gaza. I forgot to mention last week, consistent with the teaching of Imam Obama, that — along with the Islamic State, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Hamas — they are not Islamic. The invaluable MEMRI has posted the video “Palestinian Islamic Jihad Digs New Tunnels in Gaza” as featured on Qatar’s Al-Jazeera TV this past September »

The case of the mystery virus

Featured image Twin Cities internist Chris Foley is a faithful reader whom I know in his professional capacity. Today he writes to address the case of the mystery virus: It might be worth a short commentary re the connection between the sudden “mystery” virus that is hospitalizing children all over the US and the indiscriminate distribution of illegal alien kids “all over the US.” To wit: “Human rhinoviruses and enteroviruses in influenza-like »

Jan Karski’s message

Featured image I first learned of Jan Karski’s story in Walter Laqueur’s The Terrible Secret: Suppression of the Truth About Hitler’s “Final Solution,” published in 1980 (and first learned of Laqueur’s book from George Will’s excellent column on it in the Washington Post that year). Karski was an incredibly brave and dignified man. We need to attend to his example, now more than ever. Karski performed heroic service in World War II »

Do you know the way to Mel Tormé?

Featured image Today is the anniversary of the birth of Mel Tormé on September 13, 1925. I think Tormé is simply one of the all-time great American artists, too little known and vastly underappreciated. Permit me this salute in the hope that I might interest you in deepening your familiarity with his work. Tormé died at age 73 in 1999 in Los Angeles at the end of an incredibly fruitful career. The »

Bill Maher flips

Featured image To borrow Rick’s lovelorn lament in Casablanca: Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, Bill Maher walks into mine (and John Hinderaker’s). My gin joint, so to speak, is Minnesota’s Second Congressional District, where I drink, live, and vote. Bill Maher has walked in to announce that he has has picked incumbent Republican Rep. John Kline to knock off in Maher’s bid to Flip a »