Author Archives: Steven Hayward

How Would You Like Big Bird Served?

Featured image One of the great lies of public broadcasting is that taxpayer support amounts to only a tiny portion of their budget. For example, here’s what NPR said two years ago: On average, less than 1% of NPR’s annual operating budget comes in the form of grants from CPB [the taxpayer-funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting]  and federal agencies and departments. Yet the same piece says: Federal funding is essential to public radio’s service »

Middlebury Agonistes

Featured image Princeton’s Robbie George and his lefty sparring partner Cornel West have put out a splendid statement unequivocally condemning the shameful events at Middlebury. Excerpt: All of us should seek respectfully to engage with people who challenge our views. And we should oppose efforts to silence those with whom we disagree—especially on college and university campuses. As John Stuart Mill taught, a recognition of the possibility that we may be in »

The Rich Are the Party of the Left

Featured image I’ve argued here now and then that the Democratic Party (and liberalism) is now the natural home for the left. Kevin Williamson writes about corporate leftism at National Review this week, though as far back as the Reagan years conservatives began to perceive that big business is not our friend. (It was blowback from several Fortune 500 CEOs that kept Reagan from reversing the JFK-LBJ era executive order that gave »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: The Real Resistance on Campus

Featured image The left is abuzz with talk of how they represent “The Resistance” to Trump, which I suppose is a successor to “The Movement” in the 1960s. Of course, what happened to “The Movement”? More immediately, for the campus-based Resistors, what do they do when the students aren’t buying what they’re selling? Two articles from the “scholarly journals” of the identity-politics fever swamps reveal the faculty frustration with students. The first »

Oh Trudeau!

Featured image Sooner or later most everyone is going to realize that Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is a hopeless lightweight trading entirely on his father’s prestige, which was itself built largely on media image-crafting that would humble Donald Trump. Perhaps the left will turn on him first, because yesterday Trudeau came out in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline, but also in favor of the continued development of Canada’s oil sands—both »

Books: The Common Sense of the Subject

Featured image Thomas Jefferson’s famous 1825 letter to Richard Henry Lee explained that the Declaration of Independence was intended to express “the common sense of the subject, in terms so plain and firm as to command their assent. . . an expression of the American mind.” Common sense today is increasingly uncommon, especially when it comes to understanding what the Founders meant by “equality.” (Or maybe the left understands exactly what the »

Judge Gorsuch and the Chevron Two-Step

Featured image Confirmation hearings for Neil Gorsuch will begin in about 10 days, and in addition to the usual leftist animus toward anyone who might be faithful to constitutional originalism, there is likely to be some vigorous questioning about Gorsuch’s attitude toward the “Chevron doctrine,” which is now one of the pillars of the administrative state. Instead of holding up Richard Epstein’s book Takings, as Joe Biden did with Clarence Thomas in »

Trump Vs. The Deep State: Herbert Meyer’s Perspective

Featured image Shortly after the election, and after Trump had made some of his public remarks critical of the intelligence community, I happened to lunch with Herbert Meyer, who many readers will know was assistant to CIA director William Casey in the Reagan Administration, and vice chair of the National Intelligence Council.  He remarked that Trump was running a large risk with the intelligence community, as they have ways of making a »

Switching Places on Free Speech

Featured image Further to my observations about the status of free speech in higher education today, this week’s Economist offers the following questions arising from the Middlebury disgrace: Mr. Murray is left to worry about academic freedom and to note that many of his assailants resembled figures from “a film of brownshirt rallies.” Middlebury’s agitators might ask themselves how a man whose work they regard as racist acquired the right to compare »

The Week in Pictures: Repeal & Replace Edition?

Featured image Are House Republicans trying to win back the old reputation for being “stupid party,” or vindicate the old acronym for the “conservative Republican alternative program” (or CRAP)? There seems to be almost no one with any enthusiasm for the Obamacare repeal and replace bill that was released this week. Maybe there’s no decent alternative to this approach? Headlines of the week: Paging Monty Python: And finally. . . »

Remy on Fake News

Featured image This is the satire you’ve been waiting for—two minutes on fake news from CNN from the great Remy: »

Free Speech Is Not Enough

Featured image Not sure my next book will be Free Speech Is Not Enough, but I’m thinking about it. Can the world really be ready for a “Not Enough” series? Or should this idea be Left Behind? (Classical reference there. . .) Conservatives are making a big strategic mistake to repair behind the principle of free speech in response to the kind of suppression of speech we’ve seen like Charles Murray at »

A Day Without Women Is Like a Fish With a Bicycle, Or Something

Featured image Like John I was also amused about today’s “Day Without Women,” and had to do my best to refrain from all of the bad jokes (and also good jokes) that came to mind as I made my daily rounds on campus at Berkeley. Especially the late afternoon protest against “rape culture” out front of Sproul Plaza featuring a wide-bodied topless female student with a paper bag over her head adorned »

Another Warmist Talking Point Goes Poof

Featured image It’s been a staple of Globalwarmism that rising temperatures risk mass species extinction, but what appears to be going extinct at a rapid rate are warmist cliches. One of them is that the mass extinction of the Permian-Triassic era 250 million years ago was caused by global warming. Except, as reported by Emily Litella yesterday in Science Daily, it was the sudden ice age before the warming period that is »

Are Republicans Blowing It on Health Care?

Featured image Health care policy, like K-12 education and college sports handicapping, is an abyss I try my best to avoid, because energy and environment are so much more fun! Almost 25 years ago I wrote a cover story for Reason magazine about “The Medicare Monster,” and resolved never again to go through the torture of investigating health care policy, despite the fact that the great Richard Epstein still talks today about »

Academic Absurdity of the Week: Keep On Truckin’

Featured image The idea of a sociologist hanging out and studying the culture of a truck stop cries out for sitcom treatment, or a Saturday Night Live sketch. Or perhaps a scholarly article in the Journal of Cultural Geography: Home away from home: meanings of the American truck stop Stephanie Kozak, University of Kansas Abstract This paper explores the place attachments of long-haul truck drivers to the truck stop. The feelings and »

Does This Drink Make Me Look Racist?

Featured image Last summer Philadelphia decided to turn itself into Bloombergistan by imposing a 1.5 cents per ounce tax in sugary soft drinks. [CLARIFICATION/update: The Philadelphia tax also includes diet drink and fruit drinks.] And the tax is working: sales of soft drinks in the city are down by as much as 50 percent. But as with cigarettes, it isn’t clear whether people are actually consuming less pop, or whether they’re buying »