Author Archives: Steven Hayward

Bubbaships and Double Standards*

Featured image I know it’s a favorite saying around here that if liberals didn’t have double standards they wouldn’t have any standards at all.  But seriously—the Clintons really abuse the liberal privilege. The astounding revelations of Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash are causing me to have flashbacks to the 1990s, and such sterling paragons of commercial virtue like Marc Rich, the Riadys of Indonesia, assorted impecunious Buddhist monks who nonetheless managed to max »

Science Versus “Scientism”

Featured image I’ve decided I’m going to call myself an “Islamoskeptic,” because it neatly combines two left-wing, debate-stifling epithets at one stroke. If you criticize Islam, you’re an “Islamophobe”—the moral equivalent of a racist, so shut up we don’t have to listen to you any more. And if you align at all with climate skepticism and criticize any aspect of climate change orthodoxy, you’re met with the shutdown term of “science denier.” »

The Week in Pictures: Deflations All Around Edition

Featured image New England Patriot footballs weren’t the only thing deflated this week. Liberalism in the UK deflated hard. Hillary’s presidential prospects continue to deflate. Big time Vegas boxing matches deflated hard. Home grown jihadis demonstrated their deflated intelligence by attempting to emulate the Charlie Hebdo massacre in . . . Texas. Let that sink in a moment. Do they not know about Texas in jihadi mosques? And finally:   »

Happy Birthday, Freddie Hayek

Featured image Today is Friedrich Hayek’s 116th birthday, and we might as well celebrate it with a couple of good quotations from his greatest hits. How about these four passages from his classic essay “The Intellectuals and Socialism,” where he makes clear that socialism was never really a phenomenon of the “working class,” and that most reputable economists never bought into it: Socialism has never and nowhere been at first a working-class »

The UK Election: Lessons for Us?

Featured image Between the Conservative Party and UKIP, the right-of-center parties took just a sliver under 50 percent of the total vote in the UK yesterday. There is no sugar coating this for the left: it is an unmitigated defeat. UK voters just weren’t buying the leftism Ed Miliband and others further to the left of him were trying to sell. I wonder if the same may play out here next year. »

Panic at the FBI?

Featured image ABC News is running a story today about how the FBI and the rest of the homeland security apparatus is in a state of near “panic” in the aftermath of the Garland shooting: But the officials who spoke to ABC News described a “panic” and “crisis” inside the FBI because the agency and the rest of the nation’s homeland security infrastructure are not built to deal with the non-stop flow »

A Warm Welcome for Hillary in LA

Featured image Good to see that someone on our side is starting to employ the same street theater tactics the left has long used.  These Hillary “air fresheners” appear at at least a dozens prominent intersections in LA a few days ago, right before Hillary arrived for a fundraiser. (Hat tip: OB.) »

The Crisis of the Administrative State, Part 3

Featured image Bureaucracy has been the bane of both rulers and the ruled since the time of the Pharaoh, if not before. Yet the sense that bureaucratic rule is getting worse is pervasive, even among some liberals who usually defend government against conservative criticism. The late George McGovern, the very liberal 1972 Democratic presidential nominee, made headlines back in the 1990s after his attempt at becoming an entrepreneur in a simple industry—a »

The Crisis of the Administrative State, Part 2

Featured image One of our lefty commenters yesterday lodged an objection to my post on “Liberal Conformity and Times Square” that Congress should just pass a simple fix to the 1965 Highway Beautification Act to exempt Times Square from the obvious silliness of applying the statute to that unique location. Problem solved? Not even close. Because if Congress were asked to step in whenever a bureaucrat did something stupid, they’d hardly have »

Whoa! UK Exit Polls Reporting Strong Tory Tide

Featured image With the polls closing soon in Britain, early exit polls are causing jaws to drop on all sides.  David Cameron’s Conservative Party looks to be close to a clear majority in the House of Commons.  If this early exit poll holds up, it would likely enable Cameron to form a government without a formal coalition partner. The Scottish SNP is apparently doing as expected—wreaking havoc on the Labour Party, whose seats »

A Harbinger from Canada?

Featured image While we await the results of the British election under way today, I wonder if there’s anything to be made of the recent provincial election in Alberta, where the fringey, left-wing NDP ousted the long-serving “Progressive Conservative” party.  (Yeah, yeah, I know “progressive conservative” is an oxymoron, but we’re talking about Canada here.)  This is being regarded as a political earthquake, and rightly so; given that energy-rich Alberta is the »

The Crisis of the Administrative State, Part 1

Featured image When I teach legal and constitutional history, one of the first things you ponder is the common law maxim, “Nemo judex in parte sua”— “No man shall be a judge in his own case.” The common sense logic of this hardly needs explaining—except to modern American liberals. The Wall Street Journal has an important story on the front page today that shows how far we’ve gotten from sound legal philosophy, »

More Venezuela Follies

Featured image I didn’t think the collapse of Venezuela’s socialism could be any more stark than the notice here a couple days ago of the closure of major league baseball operations, but sure enough, things are getting worse: Venezuela to Nationalize Food Distribution Caracas (AFP) – Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has promised to nationalize food distribution in the South American nation beset with record shortages of basic goods, runaway inflation and an »

The Lusitania at 100

Featured image Today marks the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania, one of the markers on the way to U.S. entry into World War I. George Will wrote about it the other day in his column, coming close but not quite embracing some of the old rumors and conspiracy charges that the British wanted the Lusitania sunk in hopes of getting the U.S. off the sidelines: It is commonly but »

Liberal Conformity and Times Square

Featured image In the course of doing some research for a longer writing project I had occasion this morning to re-read Lionel Trilling’s famous preface to The Liberal Imagination (1949), in which he observed: It is one of the tendencies of liberalism to simplify, and this tendency is natural in view of the effort which liberalism makes to organize the elements of life in a rational way. And when we approach liberalism »

The Telos of Liberalism: Your Children’s Bedtime Stories

Featured image The largest source of inequality today is the family, so it is not surprising that liberals obsessed with inequality have to control family life eventually, either by nationalizing children (Plato’s idea, only he was kidding), or by extending regulation to family matters. Think this is far-fetched? The Australian Broadcasting Company has found a philosopher named Adam Swift who thinks parents reading to their children helps increase inequality, and therefore we »

Venezuela: Now a Shortage of Baseball Players?

Featured image It surprised no one when the news came out a couple months ago that Venezuela’s socialist economy had run out of one of the easiest products to stock—toilet paper—but today the Wall Street Journal reports that most of the U.S. major league baseball talent scouting and development operations in Venezuela are closing down: The Mariners are the latest Major League Baseball team to pull out of Venezuela, leaving only four »