Author Archives: Steven Hayward

When Old School Meets New Age

Featured image So where have I been all week? You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. So I’ll have to tell you: I was at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, the infamous home of new age spirituality where, I couldn’t help but notice, the “clothes optional” rule is still in effect. (I’ve written before about Esalen here and here.)  I couldn’t resist the chance to unleash my inner Hunter S. »

Today’s Chesterton Helping

Featured image So here’s my Chesterton shelf—most of it anyway (I’m missing the biographies, still in a box somewhere)—finally assembled in one place in my office.  I’m pretty sure I’ve shared before the story, perhaps apocryphal, of Chesterton, a stout man, meeting Shaw (thin as a rail) on the street: Chesterton: My God man, from the looks of you, there’s a famine in the land! Shaw: And from the looks of you, »

Deep Six the Deep Ocean Theory?

Featured image Another week, another pile of climate change news, much of it nonsensical as usual. You knew that Ebola would be connected to climate change, right? Actually, this immediate default theme in the media was even too much for the true believer climatistas at ClimateProgress.org: Media Jumps to Conclusions on Ebola and Climate Change If you read Newsweek or CNBC this week, you may be under the impression that one of »

Who Reads Power Line?

Featured image Richard Morgan, that’s who.  Morgan is the William Nelson Cromwell professor of constitutional and international law at Bowdoin College in Maine, where he is that rarity in higher education today—he teaches undergraduates about the Constitution.  One of the untold scandals/travesties of higher education today is how fast constitutional law for undergraduates is disappearing from most political science curricula.  (There was even a panel on the problem at this year’s American »

Does Obama Secretly Hate His Own Party?

Featured image What to make of Obama’s head-scratchingly counterproductive statement that while he is not the on ballot next month, his policies are—every single one of them? Every red state Democrat is running for the hills, because they all know they are in trouble more because of Obama’s policies than Obama himself. If Obama’s approval ratings were based solely on his policies alone rather than the residual respect many Americans wish to »

Little Bobby, Now in Full Backtracking Mode

Featured image Robert F. “Little Bobby” Kennedy Jr is trying to backtrack from his latest foam-flecked calls for jailing climate skeptics. He’s taken the pages of EcoWatch.com (what—was Salon.com out of pixels that day?) to affect a denialist pose (heh) of his own previous very clear words: Hysterics at the right wing think tanks and their acolytes at The Washington Times, talk radio and the blogosphere, are foaming in apoplexy because I supposedly »

The Week in Pictures: In His Majesty’s Secret Service Edition

Featured image Is there any government agency whose reverse-Midas touch Obama hasn’t reached?  I’ll really start to worry if Obama puts the Secret Service in charge of dealing with Ebola.  Then we’ll know we’re doomed for sure. Wait, what? Wait, what? And finally. . . »

Breaking: Something Up in Norkland?

Featured image Is there some kind of power struggle or coup going on in North Korea?  The Daily Mail is reporting today that Pyongyang is on “lockdown,” that Little Kim (as I call him) hasn’t been seen in public for almost a month, and that perhaps his sister (I’ll call her “Little Kim” too, because chauvinism) is actually running the country, or may have been running it for some time.  “Gateway Pundit” »

Obama Never Checked In

Featured image Count me among the political scientists and historians who think that the most successful presidencies are the ones that have lots of internal division—infighting and disagreement—at the highest levels. Hence George Washington benefitted from the vigorous arguments between Hamilton and Jefferson (and Madison) about the bank and many other things; there’s Lincoln’s “team of rivals”; FDR’s “Brains Trust” was famously fractious, while LBJ insisted on uniformity of views and had »

The Science Is Settled: Conservatives Are Happier, Neater, and Smell Better, Too

Featured image We know that conservatives are happier people than liberals, but did you know the latest social science says we’re neater people and smell better, too? From the wonderful annals of social science: A 2006 report from the Pew Research Center showed that 45% of conservative Republicans reported being very happy, as compared to 30% of liberal Democrats. According to the report, this “partisan happiness gap” had shown up in surveys »

Found: Another Honest Liberal

Featured image I never much cared for the political analysis of Thomas Bryne Edsall, nowadays of the New York Times—especially his book Chain Reaction, which helped to launch today’s popular leftist narrative that conservatism is just racism and . . . well, just racism. I did meet him person once and found him more congenial and engaging than I expected. Today in the Times he asks “Are Liberals Fund-Raising Hypocrites?”, and pretty »

Why The Secret Service Fiasco Shouldn’t Surprise Us

Featured image So Julia Pierson, the first female head of the Secret Service, is falling on her service revolver today and resigning as a result of the recent fiasco at the White House, in which an intruder got much further into the presidential mansion than any sensible person would think possible. You can understand how the Secret Service got lazy at the sight of unlikely intruders; after all, Obama made it much »

Invasion of the Body Politic Snatchers

Featured image Forget the pod people of Invasion of the Body Snatchers: it seems the plastic people have taken over California government.  Think of it as Invasion of the Body Politic Snatchers.  Today Gov. Jerry Brown, who never found a goofy environmental idea he didn’t like, signed the bill to outlaw “single-use” plastic bags in California.  Which prompts the following 45-second video rant from me about how it is going to reduce »

Where The Gipper and Chesterton Meet

Featured image I’m in the throes of doing a close analysis of Reagan’s famous 1964 “Time for Choosing” speech for a lecture I’ll be giving next month on the 50th anniversary.  I rather like this line: “We have so many people who can’t see a fat man standing beside a thin one without coming to the conclusion the fat man got that way by taking advantage of the thin one.” Reminds me »

Some Liberals To Applaud on Climate

Featured image In my Forbes.com column today, “Climate Change Jumps the Shark,” I take aim at the old “no-enemies-on-the-left” mentality that will extend a free pass to the lunatic rantings of Naomi Klein and “Little Bobby” Robert F. Kennedy Jr. So when a liberal does step up and object strongly to this kind of infantile leftism, it is worth noting and praising. No surprise that it comes from our center-left friends at »

Chesterton on “The American Creed”

Featured image A lively discussion thread has broken out in response to Paul’s post immediately below about Donna Brazile’s call for scrapping the Constitution to save the country from conservatives. I’ll let that discussion play out there, but introduce here a new angle by way of following on my post invoking G.K. Chesterton several weeks ago that met with approval and calls for regular sequels. As it happens, one of our faithful »

Poor, Poor Obama: The World Is Just Too Complicated

Featured image What, did Thomas Friedman run out of taxi drivers or pink-haired hipsters to help him with today’s column? Today’s Friedman thumb-sucker, “Who Had It Easier—Reagan or Obama?”, he offers up one of the most ironic and tired out tropes of liberalism—that the Cold War era was so much less complicated than today because it was a binary conflict between two otherwise rational superpowers. Hate to break this to Friedman, but other »