Monthly Archives: December 2015

Dean Minow: How’s That Investigation Going?

Featured image I wrote here, here and here about an alleged hate crime at Harvard Law School, the placing of pieces of black tape over pictures of African-American professors at Wasserstein Hall. The law school’s administration launched an investigation of the incident. On December 2, the law school’s dean, Martha Minow, sent an email to all alumni about the incident. It said, in part: Several days ago, our community was shocked and »

The Year in Pictures: Chilled Champagne Edition

Featured image I’ve got a magnum of 2003 Sine Qua Non Omega Pinot Noir ready for a pile of grilled beef tonight, with a magnum of 1992 Dunn Cabernet Sauvignon ready as a backup in case the Omega hasn’t held up, but even if we have both (a very likely possibility), it won’t be enough to dull the senses of this year’s nonsense. Here’s a look back at a not entirely random »

The Big Snort

Featured image Scott rightly scores The Big Short for its, um, shortcomings. John Goodman lays out ten lessons that ought to be understood about the whole story, including these two key lessons completely omitted from the film: Lesson 5: It is also a movie about a massive failure of government. As the movie makes clear, government regulators had no interest prosecuting fraud, even when the protagonists put the evidence right in front »

Are Bill Clinton’s sex scandals “fair game” in this election?

Featured image Ruth Marcus, a liberal Washington Post columnist, has argued that Bill Clinton’s sex scandals are “fair game” for his wife’s fellow presidential aspirants now that she has (1) enlisted Bill to campaign actively for her and (2) accused Donald Trump of sexism. Is Marcus right? In her terms, perhaps. “Fair game” in this context apparently now corresponds to the concept of “opening the door” in the context of the rules »

U.S. foreign policy: from bad to worse in 2016?

Featured image 2015 was a bad foreign policy year for America. Our enemies in Tehran won a pathway to prosperity and additional regional influence without losing the ability to obtain nuclear weapons within 10 to 15 years, or sooner if they choose. Our enemy in Moscow enjoyed an enormous expansion of his influence in the Middle East and continues to menace U.S. allies in Europe. Our enemy in Damascus, propped up by »

Media Corrections of the Year

Featured image Kudos to Robert Rector, whose media criticism can be followed regularly at his website, for compiling the best (that is worst) media corrections of the year. Here are my five favorites, though the whole review is worth taking in: “Norma Adams-Wade’s June 15 column incorrectly called Mary Ann Thompson Frenk a socialist. She is a socialite.” — The Dallas Morning News. Comment: It is less than clear these days that »

“Islamophobia” in one state (4)

Featured image I greatly enjoyed talking about “Minnesota men” with John Hinderaker as he sat in for Laura Ingraham yesterday morning and with our buddy Seth Leibsohn on Phoenix KKNT/960 The Patriot’s Seth Leibsohn Show yesterday afternoon. Seth was interested in my Star Tribune column “Islam and Minnesota: Can we hear some straight talk for a change?” Below is the audio clip that Seth has posted. I also got a kick out »

Cano: Can, can’t or cant?

Featured image The Star Tribune raps Minneapolis City Council member Alondra Cano on the knuckles for doxing her constituents who expressed disapproval of her participation in the Black Lives Matter action against the Mall of America and the Lindbergh/Humphrey terminals at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The Star Tribune editorial nevertheless asserts a point I also made in passing on Cano’s behavior: In resending Dent’s and others’ contact information, Cano didn’t break »

Worst movies of 2015

Featured image I didn’t see enough movies in 2015 to make a ten-worst list, but I saw enough to make a five-worst list. My moviegoing is limited mostly to serious films aimed at an adult audience. Scouts Guide to the Apocalypse was therefore not in the running. Neither was Zombeavers nor a host of others you either never heard of or don’t need to be warned away from. I avoided several films »

Maryland under pressure to change its state song

Featured image A state advisory panel is calling on Maryland to change its state song (“Maryland My Maryland,” sung to the tune of “Christmas Tree, My Christmas Tree”) because the lyrics “do not reflect the feelings of all Marylanders at the time they were written or today.” Actually, the lyrics, which called on Marylanders to rise up against the Union during the Civil War, don’t reflect the feelings of anyone in the »

Ms. Cano Explains

Featured image Scott wrote here and here about Minneapolis City Councilwoman Alondra Cano who disregarded a judge’s order to participate in a Black Lives Matter protest at the Mall of America. That action drew critical emails from several of Cano’s constituents. Cano responded by tweeting the names and home addresses of the citizens who expressed their disagreement. This is known as “doxing.” This local television report does a good, and brief, job »

Another Day, Another Hate Crime Hoax

Featured image I’m sure some of the hate crimes reported on college campuses and against mosques are genuine (including one here in my back yard that I was sure was a hoax but appears to have been an actual bigot), but on the whole the vast majority seem to be Reichstag fires. The latest comes out of Houston today: Suspect in Houston Mosque Fire Attended Services There The suspect in a “suspicious” »

Crime Wave? No, Just Big Wave Silliness

Featured image In my never-ending quest to research the highest camp in trashy C-movies, years ago I rented Surf Nazis Must Die. It was not a success, even as schlocky camp. Just check out the few viewer comments at IMDB if you’re a glutton. Stick with Army of Darkness instead. (Or really anything with Groovy Bruce Campbell, the Olivier of B-movies, who can do no wrong on screen.) I hadn’t given Surf »

Elliott Abrams on spying on allies

Featured image At NR’s Corner, Elliott Abrams gives his take on the report that the Obama administration spied on the Israeli government. Abrams served for many years as a U.S. foreign policy official and is, of course, a leading pro-Israel advocate. Thus, his is a voice I wanted to hear on this potential scandal. Abrams believes there should be a strong presumption against spying on allies. He also believes that we should »

Report that NSA spying on Israel reached Congress raises abuse of power questions

Featured image Last night, I wrote about a Wall Street Journal report that the NSA spied on Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and members of his government, and that the spying included intercepting communications with members of Congress. I included in the post the Journal’s brief discussion of the rules that apply to U.S. surveillance that reaches such members. According to the Journal: A 2011 NSA directive said direct communications between foreign intelligence »

The Bottomless Economic Ignorance of Liberalism

Featured image We’ve commented before on the bottomless economic ignorance of Bernie Sanders, and only with some effort do we not make this a daily feature. But The Bern outdid himself with this recent tweet: Apparently Bernie has never been told the difference between a secured loan and an unsecured loan, let alone the higher lending risk involved in making a student loan to a gender studies major. Maybe this parody picture »

Live from Council Bluffs, it’s Donald Trump

Featured image I think the end may be nigh in Nebraska attorney David Begley’s series on the appearances of the candidates in Iowa over the past year. Yesterday Donald Trump came to Council Bluffs. This is Dave’s report: Who is Donald J. Trump? I attended a rally with my three young voting age children in Council Bluffs last night and I learned nothing new. While his speech was rambling it was essentially »