Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Stranded in Afghanistan

Featured image Transcript and video of the State Department’s September 15 press briefing are posted here. This exchange with department spokesman Ned Price is worthy of note: QUESTION: I wanted to ask if there have been any movement on the flights out of Mazar. A week ago [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] said, quote, “Those flights need to move.” And also the Secretary had said State would be coordinating with veterans groups »

Haitians under the bridge

Featured image Easing back into the news cycle, I want to note Byron York’s Examiner column “A renewed, intensified crisis at the border.” Byron’s column takes off from the Twitter feed of FOX News reporter Bill Melugin. Byron aptly notes: The Twitter feed of Fox News reporter Bill Melugin has been an extraordinary place for the last few days. Melugin has spent a lot of time reporting from the U.S.-Mexico border, and »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll counsels WHEN ANIMALS ATTACK! (With a Groovy Surprise Announcement!). She writes: So I was surfing the Net, trying to avoid actual news of the world, clicking on things like “Try not to gasp when you see Raquel Welch now…”-type stories, which always disappoint and never deliver the bombshells they promise, like a hooker who only wants to cuddle*. And I came across a story about angry cows attacking »

Leo Baeck, Berlin, 1935

Featured image Jews begin the observance of Yom Kippur at sundown tonight with the Kol Nidre prayer service. Ten years ago our friend Rachel Paulose asked to join us at our service. Since then she has regularly attended the service with us and joined my family when we break our fast, as she will do again this year. The first time around she pointed in our prayer book to an adaptation of »

Noor murder charge reversed

Featured image The Minnesota Supreme Court has reversed former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor’s conviction for third-degree murder in the case of Justine Ruszczyk or Justine Damond as I referred to her in my reporting. The reversal came in a unanimous opinion written by Chief Justice Lorie Gildea. It is a good opinion that persuades me on an issue I have changed my mind about a few times. The Court’s ruling leaves »

Iran picks up nuke pace

Featured image Iran seems to be accelerating the pace of its nuclear program in the age of Biden. According to the report flagged by the Times of Israel, Iran could have enough enriched uranium for a nuke in a month. Posted online as “The IAEA’s Iran NPT Safeguards Report” and published under the auspices of the Institute for Science and International Security, the September 9 report is written by David Albright, Sarah »

Blinken firing blanks, day 2

Featured image Following up on his remote appearance before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Tuesday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in person yesterday. The State Department has posted the text and video of his opening statement here. ​ The song remains the same. Blinken continues to fire blanks. However, some of the senators had live ammo. Blinken faced a barrage of critical questions and »

Newsom persists

Featured image An unfunny thing happened on the way to the recall election featuring California Governor Gavin Newsom. Newsom prevailed. With 65 percent of the vote in, Newsom has won 64.2 percent of the vote in favor of his retention. Newsom’s 64.2 percent is nearly a mirror image of Joe Biden’s 63.48 percent share of the California vote against Donald Trump in the 2020 election. Newsom and his allies turned the No »

Blinken firing blanks

Featured image Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee yesterday. He gave a 15-minute opening statement and responded in his fashion to questions posed by members. The State Department transcript and video of Blinken’s opening statement are posted here. The State Department video of the entire hearing is posted below. The hearing commences at about 45:00 of the video. The New York Times account of the hearing »

Unvax me here

Featured image President Biden gave his speech announcing a program of mandated vaccinations — a program of dubious legality, to say the least — on September 9 at 5:02 p.m. The speech was denominated “On Fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic” by Biden’s handlers in the White House daycare operation. I have posted the White House video below. The White House text is here. It’s a rich text that is beyond my poor power »

Inflation, Biden style

Featured image Biden NEC guru Brian Deese explained from the lectern in the White House press room last week that “[i]f you take out” beef, pork and poultry from the calculations of recent retail grocery prices, the “price increases are more in line with a historical norms” (video below). I thought the methodology invited mockery. If you throw out dietary staples, it’s not so bad! However, Deese cited a report that he »

One more word on Jonathan Mirsky

Featured image Former Dartmouth College Professor Jonathan Mirsky died earlier this week. The fantastic Guardian obituary on Jonathan recalls that at Dartmouth “he became co-director of the East Asia Language and Area Studies Center. However, he was refused tenure, in part because of his anti-Vietnam protest activity[.]” My comments on Jonathan elicited the message below from one of his former students. With his permission I am publishing the message verbatim because it »

A day to be stupid

Featured image Last night the White House released President Biden’s recorded statement on the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. This was to be the day that Biden celebrated our departure from Afghanistan. As our departure turned into the epic humiliation of the United States at the hands of forces that were instrumental to the 9/11 attack itself, he had a change of plan. While the 9/11 attack was still underway, Rick Rescorla understood »

Dartmouth’s 9/11

Featured image Following 9/11 the New York Times ran Portraits of Grief profiling many of those lost in the 9/11 attacks. The Times attributes authorship of these artful profiles collectively to Kirk Johnson, N.R. Kleinfeld, David Barstow, Barbara Stewart, Jane Gross, Neela Banerjee, Constance L. Hays, Lynette Holloway, Janny Scott and Somini Sengupta. We can’t capture the magnitude of the loss, or the meaning of who and what we lost, but the »

About that drone strike

Featured image The New York Times has just posted this intensely interesting investigative scoop by Matthieu Aikins based on reporting by him as well as Christoph Koettl, Evan Hill, and Eric Schmitt: ” In U.S. Drone Strike, Evidence Suggests No ISIS Bomb.” Subhead: “U.S. officials said a Reaper drone followed a car for hours and then fired based on evidence it was carrying explosives. But in-depth video analysis and interviews at the »

Biden to desecrate 9/11 remotely too

Featured image President Biden is set to attend events at all three 9/11 memorial sites — in New York City, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon — on the twentieth the anniversary of the attacks tomorrow. We can be thankful that he will not give a live speech to commemorate the anniversary. Rather, he will instead speak in “in the form of a video in advance — or if that will be available »

Jonathan Mirsky, RIP

Featured image Journalist and China scholar Jonathan Mirsky died this week at the age of 88. Britain’s Guardian has just posted Jonathan Steele’s fantastic obituary with many links recounting his career, mostly in British journalism. Jonathan taught Chinese and Chinese history at Dartmouth when I was an undergraduate. I got to know Jonathan (as we all called him) as the center of the antiwar movement on campus. He must have spoken at »