The Remedy for Sloppy Thinking

The Claremont Institute is a terrific organization. If you’re not familiar with it, the best way to get started is to check out the Institute’s web site.
For historical reasons that I don’t really know, there is a strong connection between Minnesota and Claremont. Several friends of ours have been members of Claremont’s Board, and quite a few years ago they signed up Scott as an Adjunct Fellow. Scott brought me along for the ride. Thereafter, when we wrote newspaper or magazine articles or appeared on television, and we were asked to identify ourselves with some affiliation, we would always describe ourselves as Adjunct Fellows of the Claremont Institute. It sounded impressive, but, as I used to say, what it meant was: if we feel like writing something for them, we write it; and if they feel like printing it, they print it. That’s my kind of relationship.
Last year, I happened to be in Los Angeles on business at the time of the Institute’s annual Churchill dinner; it was a great event, which I wrote about under the title A Splendid Evening.
The Claremont talent scouts have now scooped up Tom Joscelyn, one of the web’s best and brightest. His web site is a former Blog of the Week, and Tom is one the country’s most respected writers on issues related to terrorism. Recently, Tom has been a Lincoln Fellow at Claremont. His just-posted article on Claremont’s site is The New Know-Nothings; it devastates the “realist” view that Iran is some kind of natural ally of the U.S. in the Middle East.
It’s an excellent analysis; please do read it. We would all be much better off if newspapers would report on Tom’s analysis with half the enthusiasm they will devote to what promises to be an utterly misguided product from James Baker’s Iraq Study Group.
SCOTT adds: The Minnesota connection to the Claremont Institute is my friend Bruce Sanborn, long-time chairman of the Institute. Bruce had read and admired Harry Jaffa’s magnificent Crisis of the House Divided and sought out Jaffa while Bruce was on a business trip to southern California in the mid-1970’s. Professor Jaffa welcomed Bruce with open arms and told him that a few of his former students had set up shop with this new organization in town. As I recall, that led Bruce to Larry Arnn, then the president of the Institute. Before long, Larry had invited Bruce to join the Institute’s board and Bruce started recruiting other Minnesota business friends to join as well.


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