Author Archives: Steven Hayward

John Nash, RIP

Featured image Sad news this morning of the car accident death, at age 86, of Nobel Prize winning economist and mathematician John Nash, made more publicly famous (if not entirely accurately) in A Beautiful Mind. A psychiatrist friend posted the following note on Facebook about the news: Let me try, surely in vain, to set the record straight as there are so many subtle but horrifying myths that the Left has created »

Behind Science Fraud

Featured image We reported here the other day about the latest fraudulent article in Science magazine, but don’t miss the op-ed about the broader problem of science fraud in today’s New York Times by Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky (who is one of the founders of RetractionWatch). Here’s the most relevant excerpt: Science fetishizes the published paper as the ultimate marker of individual productivity. And it doubles down on that bias with »

Standard Deviation Indeed

Featured image This photo is reported to be from the graduation program for Columbia University’s MA degrees in statistics. Two observations: First, the mode is fairly obvious. Second, I’m willing to bet that none of these graduates toted a mattress across the stage when picking up his or her diploma. »

Chris Pratt’s Pre-Emptive Apology

Featured image I haven’t really followed the acting career of Chris Pratt very closely, though I did enjoy him as the lead in the surprisingly effective Guardians of the Galaxy last year. He’s in the upcoming Jurassic World, and he’s posted on Facebook a “pre-emptive” apology that suggests he might be a Common Sense Fellow Traveler. This is a work of considerable literary skill: I want to make a heartfelt apology for »

The Week in Pictures: Tactical Setback Edition

Featured image ISIS rolls over Ramadi and Palmyra, and Obama calls it a “tactical setback.” Hillary’s missing emails are a “tactical setback.” Riots in Baltimore and Ferguson? A “tactical sectback.” If the Supreme Court strikes down Obamacare subsidies next month in King v. Burwell? A “tactical setback,” I’m sure. Iran getting a nuclear weapon? Well it won’t happen on Obama’s watch, so it will be a “tactical setback” for someone else. And »

Today’s Energy Unicorn: The Scent of Musk

Featured image What is it about Elon Musk? People must think his name is “Steve Jobs” in some obscure Slavic language. Sure, I think the Tesla is cool, and think they might lead to something useful some day, but right now they’re a boutique toy for affluent people. (A friend who drives a Tesla in a Midwestern state has a custom bumper sticker: “How do you like my coal-powered car?”) And I »

Is Hillary’s Candidacy Just Another Business Deal?

Featured image Jennifer Rubin notes this morning that Hillary’s obviously terrible campaign skills are getting noticed in the mainstream media. It’s so bad that Hillary is actually going to launch her campaign a second time next month with a big public rally. It is said that a lot of second- and third-tier Republican candidates (Carson, Huckabee, Fiorina, etc) are only running to enable them to get nice post-campaign media contracts from Fox »

Paging Dr. Emily Litella: Another Science Fraud Exposed

Featured image Last December Science magazine published the results of a survey that found people who had a conversation of at little as 20 minutes with a gay person changed their mind about gay marriage. You may well wonder why Science, usually concerned with settled scientific matters like global warming climate change, would jump on a research survey more suited for a public opinion or social science journal, and further you’d wonder »

This Week’s Energy Unicorn

Featured image The belief that we can power the world with unicorn flop sweat, Obama’s incandescent speeches, refined banana peels, etc runs deep. I call it “energy romanticism,” and like all other kinds of romanticism it is hard to shake, even with things called facts, which are always inconvenient to the dreams of world-saving liberals. Typical is the story last year about how we could put solar panels on roads, a really »

Is Hillary’s Glass Jaw Starting to Crack Already?

Featured image If Hillary Clinton’s feeble performance in the 2008 campaign is any indication, she has a glass jaw as a candidate, which will manifest itself at some point—though perhaps too late for a credible candidate other than Joe Biden to have enough time to organize a serious campaign. People keep saying the Republicans might have a brokered convention, but maybe it will be the Democrats who revive the e-cigarette-filled-backroom.* As we »

Democrats: White Males Need Not Apply

Featured image According to a story reported in the New York Daily News and other outlets, Hillary Clinton already has a list of prospective running mates, but there’s only one name on it: A former top Clinton administration official predicted Sunday that Hillary Clinton will pick Julian Castro as her running mate if she wins the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. “What I am hearing in Washington, including from people in Hillary Clinton’s »

28 Days Later

Featured image 28 Days Later is one of the early zombie-apocalypse movies of the last decade (though as Danny Boyle thrillers go I prefer the flawed but still interesting Sunshine), but the title clearly fits the cater-to-the-zombie-vote strategy of Hillary Clinton, who went 28 days before taking a press question. You can see ABC’s two-minute report on it here (though why is George Snuffulupagus still anchoring any political coverage at all?).  She »

The Crisis of the Administrative State, Part 5: Government as Faction

Featured image The whole point of a limited government republic with the separation of powers and other constitutional safeguards is to keep government as a neutral force between factions and interests.  (See: Madison, Federalist #10. Rinse and repeat.) But today’s administrative state—the increasingly independent fourth branch of government—has transformed government into its own special interest faction, lobbying itself on behalf of itself—increasingly in partisan ways. Case in point is a front page »

Civil War on the Left, Part 19

Featured image I recall back in the 1980s that you could always count on Duke political scientist and “Sovietologist” Jerry Hough to take the wrong line on everything. Reagan was a dunce, the Soviets are normal folks just like us, détente is dandy, the arms buildup is bad—the whole catechism. You wondered sometimes whether he was on the Soviets’ payroll. So it is with some delight to see this octogenarian grandee of liberalism »

And Now Hillary Bids to Ruin Everyone’s Summer

Featured image At least that’s how Saturday Night Live took another whack at Hillary this weekend. If you’ve lost SNL. . . (Video about 6:30 long, but worth it.) »

The Week in Pictures, or “This Weak, with George Stepalloverus”

Featured image So George Stepalloverus has been re-exposed as a Clinton toady (people around in the 1990s remember this). If he survives at ABC News it will confirm that the major media outlets are a small club dedicated to protecting Democrats—but we knew that, too. Meanwhile, we’re now up to more than three weeks that Madame Hillary has disdained to answer any  media questions. Another 500 days or so, and she’ll be »

Consciousness-Lowering on Campus Continues

Featured image There’s been a familiar pattern on college campuses in recent years of incidents of blatant racism or “hate crimes”—nooses hung on doors of black students, racist graffiti, etc—that in nearly all cases turned out to be hoaxes, after which the professional class of jellyfish employed as “college administrators” would cancel classes or wring their hands and declare the hoax to be a “teachable moment.” The good folks at The College »