Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll assures us that THIS TIME IT WILL WORK FOR SURE! She writes: Virtually every generation spawns a new crop of young people who believe that Socialism is a really good idea. The vast majority of those historically-ignorant young people eventually grow up and their Utopian ideas are dashed on the Hard Rocks of Reality. Or as the brilliant Thomas Sowell replied when asked what made him abandon the »

Jillian Becker: A terrorism archive lost

Featured image Jillian Becker is the esteemed author and founder of the Institute for the Study of Terrorism. I became friendly with her through my interest in the subjects of her expertise. She has forwarded this first-hand account of the loss of her institute’s terrorism archive: A University Has Lost an Archive The University of Leicester has lost the archive of the Institute for the Study of Terrorism (IST). I founded the »

McConnell fact-checks Biden

Featured image Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered the following remarks yesterday on the Senate floor regarding President Biden’s speech in Atlanta the day before. In part, McConnell fact-checks Biden. In part, he criticizes the sense and sensibility of Biden’s remarks. I think McConnell’s speech is as good or better than any of the columns I have seen exposing the disgusting demagogy and outrageous falsehoods of Biden’s speech. McConnell’s staff emailed the »

An Omicron update [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Kevin Roche joined Justice & Drew to discuss Omicron madness just before the top of their third hour yesterday. Kevin consumes the research literature and writes about it on Healthy Skeptic. I have found Kevin a reliable guide for the perplexed. Jon Justice asked Kevin to talk about his background at the outset of the interview. As always, Kevin understates his professional experience and qualifications. His opinions and recommendations are »

Biden’s hustle

Featured image In his Temperance Address of 1842, Abraham Lincoln reflected on how to win friends and influence people: When the conduct of men is designed to be influenced, persuasion, kind, unassuming persuasion, should ever be adopted. It is an old and a true maxim, that a “drop of honey catches more flies than a gallon of gall.” So with men. If you would win a man to your cause, first convince »

Princeton’s Iranian tool

Featured image Adam Kredo reports for the Washington Free Beacon: A former Iranian official who is a faculty member at Princeton University recently bragged in an interview about how his hardline government’s death threats against a former top Trump administration official had him and his family “trembling” with fear. Hussein Mousavian, a former member of Iran’s nuclear negotiating team who works as a Middle East security and nuclear policy specialist at Princeton »

Voting rights, lies, and videotape

Featured image President Biden and most Senate Democrats want to make “voting rights” a hill to die on. They want to “carve out” the Senate filibuster rules to ram their current bill through. Biden is headed to Atlanta today to perform in support of the Senate version of the bill. In its Senate incarnation it is titled the “Freedom to Vote Act.” Posing a question about the bill to Rep. James Clyburn »

How Sidney Poitier learned to read

Featured image Sidney Poitier died at the age of 94 last week. I knew he was an immigrant from the Bahamas and loved many of the movies he starred in, but I didn’t know much of the life story that John Podhoretz briefly related in the New York Post column “Sidney Poitier’s life was a testament to the greatest of American stories.” John didn’t get around to the deeply touching story about »

When Elvis met Nixon

Featured image Yesterday I focused on Elvis’s recorded work while nodding to Peter Guralnick’s two-volume biography of Elvis — Last Train to Memphis and Careless Love — to tell the life. Guralnick has made himself the essential Elvis historian. Guralnick of course recounts the true story of the day in December 1970 when Elvis met Nixon in the White House. The story of the visit provides insight into Elvis’s patriotism as well »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image I grew up in the ’60s loving the Beatles. It took me a long time to hear the music of Elvis Presley with ears attuned to its riches, but Elvis was the man, even for the Beatles themselves. Yesterday was his birthday. I thought we might note the occasion with a look back that draws on the availability of his work on YouTube. In addition to hitting a few highlights, »

Emerging uses of “emergency”

Featured image Two of the Biden administration’s vaccine mandates came before the Supreme Court for oral argument yesterday, one arising under OSHA and the other arising under the auspices of HHS. I thought the first of these cases raised the question of administrative law regarding the lawful scope of agency authority in an unusually pure form. Listening to the oral argument in NFIB v. OSHA, however, I have been disabused of the »

Tom Cotton corrects WaPo fact check

Featured image The fact-check genre of mainstream (left-wing) journalism has become something of a self-parodying joke. It is yet another branch of Democratic Party politics Glenn Kessler provided a case study in how it’s done in the March 2021 Washington Post fact-check “Murderers, undocumented immigrants: Hyped-up claims about who’s getting stimulus checks.” Kessler awarded Senator Tom Cotton two Pinocchios for his prescient criticism of the Democrats’ CARES Covid/stimulus bill, or whatever it »

A note on Peter Bogdanovich

Featured image The death of the director Peter Bogdanovich caught me by surprise and saddened me yesterday. The New York Times obituary by Margalit Fox captures something of the vagaries of his life and career. In my memory he will always be the boy wonder who arrived seemingly out of nowhere with the brilliant black and white throwbacks The Last Picture Show (with the unforgettable performances of Ben Johnson and Cloris Leachman) »

Mask delusion: A footnote [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Paul Mirengoff added a comment to Kevin Roche’s column on the inutility of masks to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Paul didn’t want readers to be misled into believing that there isn’t another side of the argument. The column itself implicitly acknowledges the existence of contrary literature. Although the column is phrased in the conclusory terms of an op-ed column, I think it unlikely that Power Line readers could have »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll declares: NOW I SEE WHY! She writes: Today being the first Friday in the Brand Spanking New Year, I am in a reflective mood. You might even say, philosophical. Funny anecdote about “philosophy” – when I was in college, I had to read Immanuel Kant’s ponderous Critique of Pure Reason for a class on Big-Deal European Thinkers. (There may have been a more dignified course title, but it »

Kevin Roche: Mask delusion [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Minneapolis and St. Paul have just imposed mask mandates again. Foreseeing where we were headed, Healthy Skeptic’s Kevin Roche submitted the column below to the Star Tribune. The Star Tribune “has actually been pretty good about publishing” his columns, he writes, but he “apparently went a heresy too far this week.” They declined this column. “[I]f the stupid masks can’t stop Delta, how the hell would anyone think they will »

The Luger letter revisited

Featured image Andrew Luger served as the highly regarded United States Attorney for the District of Minnesota from February 2014 to March 2017 under President Obama and the early days of the Trump administration. A favorite of Amy Klobuchar, Luger has been nominated by President Biden to serve again as our United States Attorney. I wrote about his prospective renomination in “The return of Andrew Luger.” Please see it for the relevant »