History

Liberals Double Down on Dumb

Featured image Paul and I have already commented on the invincible ignorance of Sen. Brian Schatz’s comment that invoking “Anglo-American heritage” is racist, and it really does seem as though Sen. Schatz was jumping to someone’s talking points memo about what right-thinking people on the coasts should say about Attorney General Sessions. Because Schatz has company, such as this from the likely next governor of California: Not to be left behind is »

Jeff Bell, RIP

Featured image Very sad news over the weekend of the passing of Jeff Bell, a truly original and important conservative thinker who first became well known in 1978 when he defeated the incumbent liberal Republican Senator Clifford Case in the primary election in New Jersey (going on to lose the general election that November to Bill Bradley). I didn’t know him especially well, but he was a big fan of my Reagan »

A genius for friendship

Featured image Abraham Lincoln stands not only as America’s greatest president but also as its greatest lawyer. At the time of his election to the presidency in 1860 he was the most prominent practicing lawyer in the state of Illinois. As a politician and as president, Lincoln was a profound student of the Constitution and constitutional history. Perhaps most important, Lincoln was America’s indispensable teacher of the moral ground of political freedom »

Remembering Mr. Lincoln

Featured image Today is of course the anniversary of the birth of America’s greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. As a politician and as president, Lincoln was a profound student of the Constitution and constitutional history. Perhaps most important, Lincoln was America’s indispensable teacher of the moral ground of political freedom at the exact moment when the country was on the threshold of abandoning what he called its “ancient faith” that all men are »

Introduction to the Federalist

Featured image Hillsdale College’s John Miller hosts a series of podcasts on the great books for National Review. NR compiles the podcasts on this page (including access and subscription to the podcasts in the various podcast forms). There is a wealth of riches here. You will want to scroll through the list to find those you want to take in, such as Assumption College’s Professor Dan Mahoney on The Gulag Archipelago. In »

Who You Callin’ Eccentric?

Featured image I really like Joseph Bottum (Jody to his friends), the literary editor of the Weekly Standard back at its launch, author of a terrific book (An Anxious Age) and nowadays head of the CLASSICS Institute at Dakota State University in his home state of South Dakota. (Which makes him some kind of 8th cousin of Hinderaker, doesn’t it?) He’s quite the polymath as well as an extraordinary dinner host, as »

Poland’s unwise ban on certain Holocaust speech

Featured image Poland has enacted a law that bans blaming Poland as a nation for Holocaust crimes committed by Nazi Germany. The law establishes prison sentences of up to three years for falsely attributing to Poland the crimes of Germany. The law will be submitted to Poland’s constitutional court for review, which I think leaves open the possibility that it will be amended. Amendment would be good. Striking down the law would »

The XYZ affair

Featured image The dust-up over releasing the Devin Nunes memo reminds me of the XYZ affair. Readers, at least those of a certain age, likely remember studying this affair in school, but some may not recall what it was about. X, Y, and Z were code names for three French agents who, in 1797, approached three emissaries of the U.S. government in Paris. The three emissaries were Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, Elbridge Gerry, »

Tet (2)

Featured image Continuing with yesterday’s excerpt about the 50th anniversary of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam, a little bit more from The Age of Reagan, vol. 1: On the morning of January 31, the first full day of the Tet attack, Associated Press photographer Eddie Adams and a Vietnamese TV cameraman employed by NBC were wandering around Saigon getting photos and footage of the battle damage when they noticed a small contingent »

Tet at 50

Featured image Today is the 50th anniversary of North Vietnam’s “Tet offensive” that is largely credited with finally breaking the back of American resolve to prevail in Vietnam. As Peter Braestrup demonstrated in copious detail in his terrific book Big Story: How the American Press and Television Reported and Interpreted the Crisis of Tet 1968 in Vietnam and Washington, the media and most historians got the story completely wrong—a story recounted well today »

Darkest two hours revisited

Featured image I gave my quick take on the highly praised Churchill film Darkest Hour in my post “Darkest two hours.” By contrast, Steve Hayward declared the film “great” in this post and put it in the context of other depictions of Churchill on film in a valuable Weekly Standard column. In praising the film, Steve joins other esteemed Churchill experts who have written about it (Larry Arnn, Victor Davis Hanson, and »

The Generation That Knew Not Josef

Featured image Outgoing Senator Jeff Flake—an old friend from years ago before he entered electoral politics—has roiled the waters with his recent remarks that were said (not quite accurately) to have compared President Trump to Josef Stalin. This purported comparison understandably upset conservatives (and Flake was quick to correct the Tweet-fueled mischaracterization of his point), but I naturally wondered if he wasn’t onto a brilliant bit of misdirection: Everyone knows that Trump »

Abate Abbas: Text, video & more

Featured image Yesterday I noted the speech of Palestinian Authority President for Life Mahmoud Abbas, referring readers to the Times of Israel account of the speech and Times of Israel editor David Horovitz’s column on it. Abbas had given his speech this past Sunday to the PLO Central Council. My post, however, lacked the text of the speech. Now the invaluable MEMRI provides us a 17-minute video of excerpts posted here and »

Abate Abbas, please

Featured image Mahmoud Abbas is one of the many people to whom President Trump is getting. It is entirely to Trump’s credit that Abbas’s usual shtick has failed so miserably with Trump, as is the contrast with President Obama in this respect. Abbas is a deeply unsavory figure in a world of unsavory figures. Entering the fourteenth year of his four-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority, he lacks legitimacy of »

Deep thoughts by James Comey

Featured image Former FBI Director James Comey has been a public figure for a long time, but we are only now really getting to know him. It is difficult to fathom the depth of his self-regard. He is deeply imbued with the sense of his own righteousness. He therefore played the part of a straight-talking G-Man with undiluted conviction. No one would ever mistake him for a man with a sense of »

The two Martin Luther King Jrs

Featured image Today being Martin Luther King’s birthday, I took time off from thinking about the dossier/s***thole and read an essay written for the Heritage Foundation by Peter C. Myers: “The Limits and Dangers of Civil Disobedience: The Case of Martin Luther King, Jr.” I recommend it. Myers argues: (1) America’s founding principles of natural rights and the rule of law permit the practice of civil disobedience narrowly conceived. (2) American civil »

The prophetic voice

Featured image When Martin Luther King, Jr., brought his nonviolent campaign against segregation to Bull Connor’s Birmingham, he laid siege to the bastion of Jim Crow. In Birmingham between 1957 and 1962, black homes and churches had been subjected to a series of horrific bombings intended to terrorize the community. In April 1963 King answered the call to bring his campaign to Birmingham. When King landed in jail on Good Friday for »