Liberals

Is Thomas Piketty a Fraud?

Featured image French economist Thomas Piketty is the darling of the international Left. His book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, argues that in a free economy, wealth is inexorably concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. He credits (!) the two world wars and the Great Depression with temporarily interrupting this process and giving rise to more equality, but now, he says, concentration of wealth has resumed in both Europe and America. Piketty »

Down Memory Lane: Remember When Liberals Said the VA Was Proof that Socialism Works?

Featured image At the Wall Street Journal, James Taranto pulls together liberals’ endorsements of Veterans Administration health care. It goes beyond just claiming that VA medicine was top notch; liberals often claimed that the supposed success of the VA is proof that government is superior to the private sector. Taranto titles his post “Socialist Supermodel.” You should read it all, but here are a few highlights: [I]n January 2006, … former Enron »

James O’Keefe Punks Hollywood Greens

Featured image There are advantages to being a video guy rather than an ink-stained wretch. James O’Keefe is currently in Cannes, where he is premiering his latest video prank. O’Keefe’s targets are Josh and Rebecca Tickell, producers of environmental documentaries including “Fuel.” Ed Begley Jr. and (former?) actress Mariel Hemingway appear, but are mostly along for the ride. And there isn’t actually much video; it’s mostly recorded conversations. But the content is »

The Great Society’s greatest achievement isn’t so great

Featured image The Washington Post is running a series called “The Great Society at 50.” At times, the project seems like an effort on behalf of progressivism to revive the reputation of a shockingly bad liberal president, just as the buzz around Thomas Piketty’s new book seems like an effort to revive shockingly bad economic doctrine. It happens that my father had a ringside seat for the launch of the Great Society »

Civil War on the Left, Part 8 (Updated)

Featured image The list of things you can’t dispute on college campuses or within liberal orthodoxy generally include global warming, anything having to do with innate differences between the sexes (and sexual identity generally), and of course race.  Except perhaps the ice is cracking on this last one. We read The Nation magazine so that you don’t have to, and the latest issue features an article on how, 60 years after the »

Liberalism and the NBA locker room

Featured image In a comment on my post about the punishment of the NFL player who was offended by Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend on national television, and expressed his disapproval publicly, John says the NFL’s reaction shows that modern liberalism has nothing to do with protecting people from being offended. John’s contention finds support in the locker room of basketball’s Indiana Pacers. After a big Pacers win over the Washington Wizards, »

Paul Pillar, CIA Terrorism Expert, Descends to Anti-Israel Smear Merchant

Featured image Scott wrote this morning about Paul Pillar, the now-retired senior CIA official who was a friend of mine, and a roommate of Paul’s, in college. At the CIA, Pillar was one of the bureaucrats who carried on a six-year war against the Bush administration and thereby became something of a hero on the Left. In The National Interest, Pillar writes on a topic unrelated to his government service. Called “The »

Civil War on the Left, Part 6

Featured image Liberalism today is destined to be an unstable political isotope because it has accumulated too many disparate “causes,” and acquiesces to every grievance and pressure group.  Pretty soon the difference causes start to turn on one another, not merely because resources are scarce but because their causes will come in conflict.  What’s a liberal president to do when labor unions favor the Keystone pipeline while environmentalists oppose it?  Actually, this »

Liberal Follies on the Minneapolis City Council

Featured image This headline in the Minneapolis Star Tribune caught my eye: Mpls. City Council president frustrated, angry over racial equity plan. Here is the story: In a rare display of emotion, City Council President Barb Johnson said she’s frustrated and angry at the time employees at Minneapolis City Hall are spending on a plan to close racial disparities, noting the rampant gunshots and other problems afflicting her North Side ward. … »

Picking on Piketty: Why He Won’t Fade Away, and Why His Message Won’t Work

Featured image Pretty clearly Thomas Piketty is making a bid to become the most popular French export to America since Bridgett Bardot, but the difference is that Bardot had more substance to her.  There are numerous devastating critiques of his framework for arguing we need a wealth tax, though above all I’ve never once heard someone explain how higher taxes on the rich will benefit the middle and working classes.  (You don’t »

Slow Learners on the Left

Featured image I know, being on the Left means you’re a slow learner by definition, but still, the story reported the other day that former leftist Congressman David Bonior (D-Managua) has become an entrepreneur and discovered, lo and behold!— regulations are slow and costly!  From the Washington Post earlier this week: Bonior said if he had the power, he would lighten up on pesky regulations. “It took us a ridiculous amount of »

“The debate is over” — a core progressive tenet

Featured image Joel Kotkin writes about the spread of “debate is over” syndrome. It’s a good article, but marred by the author’s surprise that this “embrace homogeneity of viewpoint” finds expression by the American left, “the same people who historically have identified themselves with open-mindedness and the defense of free speech.” Actually, “debate is over” syndrome expresses a core tenet of American progressivism, and one that has been present from the beginning. »

Roots of totalitarian liberalism

Featured image With the cashiering of Brendan Eich as Mozilla’s chief executive officer last week, we are struggling to understand what we have just seen. There is an important book that remains to be written about the totalitarian imperative at the heart of liberalism, and the insight into the nature of the larger forces at work is one of the many reasons Eich’s forced departure strikes a nerve. It is a revealing »

Mayor Hodges submits

Featured image In the “closing argument” she made on her own behalf in her (Minneapolis) mayoral campaign this past October, Betsy Hodges checked all the right (left) boxes. To borrow Samuel Johnson’s formulation regarding Metaphysical poetry, she violently yoked a couple of heterogeneous ideas together at the heart of her mind-numbing speech: “I have worn hijab, and it changed me. I have run and danced my way through the gay pride parade.” »

Romney was right, corporations are people too

Featured image Mitt Romney received much criticism for saying during his 2012 presidential campaign that “corporations are people, my friend.” In the same connection, liberals (though not all) have rallied behind the idea that, by their very nature, corporations cannot hold religious beliefs for purposes of the First Amendment. But Romney was right. Corporations have feelings and emotions — like pride, disappointment, and humility — and they are capable of feeling hurt. »

The rise of totalitarian liberalism

Featured image George Orwell gave us a look at the operation of a totalitarian one-party state in 1984. This week Mozilla gave us a look at its nascent liberal variant. Recently appointed CEO Brandon Eich was officially made a nonperson. He was dispatched down the memory hole as the company announced that he has “step[ped] down from his role as CEO” as a result of his contribution of $1,000 to the passage »

Mozilla speaks, sort of

Featured image Under the heading “Brendan Eich steps down as CEO,” Mozilla has posted the following statement in the name of executive chairwoman Mitchell Baker. Eich has “stepped down” from his position at Mozilla days after his appointment, following the revelation that he contributed $1,000 to the campaign supporting the passage of Prop 8 in California six years ago. The Wall Street Journal covers the story here. Baker’s statement is must reading, »