Author Archives: Scott Johnson

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 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 Court’s earlier this week »

“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 »

Netanyahu’s take

Featured image Israel simply cannot afford the smug self-delusuions with which our pending nuclear agreement with Iran is being negotiated and sold. Its critique of the arrangement reflects a realistic view of the proceedings. Prime Minister’s Netanyahu’s views, expressed most recently yesterday and posted here, represent the Israeli consensus. I find their bluntness refreshing: • “In the nuclear talks, to my regret, what we are seeing are Iran’s increasing demands, and the »

Goodnight Vienna

Featured image The parties have returned to Vienna to wrap up the imminent nuclear deal with Iran. Why not Munich? It would be more fitting, but Vienna signifies in its own way. John Lennon contributed the title song to Ringo Starr for Ringo’s 1974 album Goodnight Vienna. As a result, I have come to understand that the phrase Goodnight Vienna is English slang for “it’s all over.” So “Goodnight Vienna” it is. »

Our false messiah

Featured image President Obama recently denied that he ever promised, if elected, to heal our partisan divides. Referring to our so-called political gridlock, thus spake Obama at a fundraising event at the home of Tyler Perry: “When I ran in 2008, I in fact did not say I would fix it. I said we could fix it. I didn’t say, ‘Yes, I can.’ I said, ‘Yes, we can.’” As David Rutz demonstrates »

Presumed guilty: Duke revisited

Featured image Last week FIRE’s Greg Lukianoff posted the video below on InstaPundit with a link to this post introducing it. The video is also posted on YouTube with this introduction: In 2006, the nation was rocked by allegations that three Duke lacrosse players had raped a woman named Crystal Mangum at an off-campus party. As Mangum’s story began to unravel, the focus of the case shifted from the supposed criminal behavior »

AIPAC enters the fray

Featured image Until now the Obama administration seemed to have domesticated and neutered AIPAC, the proudly pro-Israel lobbying group. Michael Oren’s memoir Ally, published this past Tuesday, confirms this impression. Attending the annual AIPAC Minnesota dinner in Minneapolis last month, however, I was struck by the strong position taken on the imminent Iran deal. AIPAC set forth five criteria for an acceptable deal that would obviously obligate the organization to oppose the »

Will Dems apologize?

Featured image In an open letter to DNC Chairman Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz, Jeffrey Lord provides a readout of the tangled history of the Democratic Party with slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Ku Klux Klan. Lord draws on the Democratic Party platforms of 1840, 1844, 1856 and 1860. He adds that, as the Civil War drew to a close, the Democrats opposed the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment (ending slavery), and proceeded afterwards »

The need to get our minds right

Featured image National Review has posted a symposium contemplating what the Supreme Court has wrought in its gay marriage decision of this past Friday. The decision represents itself as the culmination of a long line of cases and related social developments. In the first contribution to the symposium, however, Notre Dame’s Professor Gerard Bradley asserts that it is only the end of the beginning. Concluding with an allusion to the prison warden’s »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image After much thought and deliberation, I’m moving Hall & Oates out of the category of guilty pleasures. Among other things, their best work honestly draws on their background in Philly soul. Moreover, in the spirit of the Supreme Court’s gay marriage diktat, I ask (facetiously) who’s to judge? As Justice Kennedy might put it, all music seeks to comfort the lonely heart; all music must be accorded equal respect. (Not.) »

In praise of Lesley Goodman

Featured image In his elegy of William Butler Yeats, W.H. Auden concludes with this couplet offering advice addressed to an unnamed poet: “In the prison of his days/Teach the free man how to praise.” This morning I want to take a brief timeout to praise Lesley Goodman. Professor Goodman has a Ph.D. in English from Harvard. She is a voracious and learned reader at the beginning of what should be a great »

From Justice Scalia’s dissent

Featured image Justice Scalia’s dissent in today’s gay marriage diktat is all must reading. Short of posting the whole thing, let me offer these pointed excerpts (to which I have added some paragraphing in the interest of readability): The substance of today’s decree is not of immense personal importance to me. The law can recognize as marriage whatever sexual attachments and living arrangements it wishes, and can accord them favorable civil consequences, »