Quotations from Co-Chairman Keith

Featured image Keith Ellison represents Minnesota’s Fifth District in Congress. He proudly identifies himself first and foremost as the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus. With a little help from Karen Hunter (as he notes in the Acknowledgements), he has now written the memoir cum manifesto My Country, ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future. Ellison writes in chapter 9 (“The Politics of Generosity and Inclusion”): When I graduated from »

Inequality — a necessary ingredient of New York’s greatness

Featured image At his inauguration, New York’s new mayor Bill DeBlasio denounced the city’s economic inequality. He seemed to argue that to remain truly great, New York must remedy income inequality. I submit, however, that New York is great in part because of income inequality. The wealth at the top end of the economic spectrum clearly has played a major role in the city’s greatness. For one thing, the very rich have »

The Power Line 100: Francis J. Beckwith

Featured image In a lecture a few months back I observed that you generally find very few conservatives in philosophy departments at American colleges and universities (as opposed to political philosophy in political science departments, where you tend to find conservatives much better represented).  There are, however, two notable and interesting exceptions to this general rule: when you do find a conservative academic philosopher, he or she (but much more often a »

Common Sense on Common Core

Featured image I have totally ignored the controversy about “Common Core” standards for K-12 public schools emanating from the bureaucratic penumbras of the Obama Administration.  For one thing, I’m still mastering the core requirements of higher education, which tend to be either non-serious or so diffuse that they are neither “common” nor a “core.”  Why should the watery “guidelines” for Common Core be much different than the higher ed slop? In general »

Education, immigration, and diversity

Featured image According to a just-released study, eighth-grade students in more than half of the U.S. states performed better than the international average on a test in science. In math, eighth-graders in 36 states outperformed the international average. On the other hand, even students in top performing states were significantly outperformed by their counterparts in South Korea, Singapore, and Thailand. I imagine that the results of this study will provide fuel for »

Washington Post calls out Obama/Holder for suing to block school choice

Featured image The Washington Post’s editors have ripped the Obama administration for petitioning a federal court to bar Louisiana from awarding vouchers for the 2014-15 school year to students in public school systems that are under federal desegregation orders, unless the vouchers are first approved by a federal judge. John wrote about this disgraceful suit here. The Post notes that “9 of 10 Louisiana children who receive vouchers to attend private schools »

Macalester College, then and now

Featured image I grew up in St. Paul a few miles down the street from Macalester College. I have a vivid memory of seeing students stream in to hear Richard Nixon speak at the college fieldhouse on Snelling Avenue in September 1960. I recall seeing the young men dressed in coats and ties and the young women in equally formal attire. Nixon’s appearance came of course in the run-up to the presidential »

Eric Holder Sues to Block Louisiana School Choice

Featured image In a sane world, this would be a scandal: Obama’s Department of Justice has sued to block poor African-Americans (and others) from escaping failing schools in Louisiana and trying, at least, to get a decent education: The Justice Department is trying to stop a school vouchers program in Louisiana that attempts to help families send their children to independent schools instead of under-performing public schools. The agency wants to stop »

The Power Line 100: Mike Adams

Featured image I’d not paid close attention to Mike Adams, professor of criminology at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, until the following account came to my attention courtesy of, but after you take this in you’ll see why he belongs on the Power Line 100. Among other things (like high ratings on, he’s the author of Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically-Incorrect Professor Confronts “Womyn” on Campus.  I »

Obama’s higher ed plan — a power grab, not a shake-up

Featured image President Obama has announced a plan that he claims will make “college more affordable, tackle rising costs, and improve value for students and their families.” The key elements of his plan are (1) a federal college-rating system that will evaluate colleges on measures such as graduation rates, the number of low-income students served (i.e., the percentage of Pell Grant recipients), graduate earnings, and affordability and (2) the tying of federal »

Dez Wells fights back

Featured image Dez Wells is the best basketball player on the University of Maryland’s men’s team. He came to Maryland after being kicked out of Xavier University due to allegations that he sexually assaulted a female student. My first reaction to Wells’ transfer was disappointment that the team I support would accept a player deemed morally unsuitable by his prior school. But it quickly became apparent to me that Xavier treated Wells »

The Power Line 100: Stephen Knott

Featured image With all of my moving I’ve fallen behind on keeping up the process of vetting professors for the Power Line 100 roster, but this week’s correspondence with Stephen Knott about the passing of Bill (“Judge”) Clark prompted me to return to my list, and lo and behold, guess who has risen to the top of it.  Stephen Knott! He is not a stranger to Power Line readers, of course.  Steve »

Mitch Daniels, Hero (with comment from Steve)

Featured image I’ve never thought of Mitch Daniels as the heroic type; not until now. But he deserves a medal for trying to spare Indiana students the mis-education that comes from reading the execrable Howard Zinn. The Associated Press obtained emails by then-Governor Daniels, now the President of Purdue: Purdue University President Mitch Daniels said Wednesday he never tried to quash academic freedom while serving as Indiana’s governor and criticized an Associated »

God and man at Penn

Featured image It should come as no surprise that some of the very worst rants about George Zimmerman’s acquittal are coming from an Ivy League professor. The competition is stiff, but will be hard-pressed to keep up with Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religious studies at the University of Pennsylvania. The Zimmerman verdict has caused Butler to conclude that God is “a white racist god with a problem” who “is carrying »

The Power Line 100: Alan Jacobs

Featured image It was big news last fall when Baylor University’s honors program hired Alan Jacobs away from Wheaton College, where Jacobs had been a prominent fixture as the Clyde Kilby Professor of English for nearly 30 years.  (Check out his useful home page here.)  Jacobs is much in the mold of C.S. Lewis, combining a grounding in classical thought and literature with an interest in modern writers and contemporary perspectives (especially »

Nice work if you can get it, or if you lose it

Featured image Janet Napolitano will step down from her job as Secretary of the Department Homeland Security to become president of the University of California system. According to Katrina Trinko, Napolitano will probably be paid about $600,000 in her new job. Her predecessor made %591,000. That’s good money. But at Dartmouth, Jim Wright makes more than that in wages and benefits for not being president. I wonder what he charges not to »

Most interesting man in the world accused of sex harassment

Featured image No, I’m not talking about the guy who plays the most interesting man in the world on television in beer commercials. I’m talking about Colin McGinn. He’s a philosopher (he thinks, therefore we are), surfer (when he catches a wave, the wave is sitting on top of the world), and tennis enthusiast (the net exists, but only for others, not for him). And, of course, the most interesting man in »