Author Archives: Steven Hayward

Loose Ends (205) & More Balloon Memes

Featured image • Bill Kristol, a superspreader of Trump Derangement Syndrome, long ago demonstrated that one of the side effects of the TDS virus is losing your wit, but it appears the next symptom is losing your mind: Meanwhile, this guy has the right idea: • Speaking of humorless liberal scolds, Three Whisky Happy Hour podcast intends to lodge a protest at this gross slander—right after we refill our custom-engraved whisky glasses: • Maybe »

Breaking Wind

Featured image One of the favorite talking points of the climatistas is that we need to take account of the financial risk of future climate change. This is one reason the Biden Brigade is trying to impose a number of climate risk requirements on American business, even though by every conventional method of economic forecasting, the present value of hypothetical large costs decades from now is quite small. This is one reason »

Bill Maher Crushes It Again

Featured image There is something drastically wrong when the most prominent voice in popular culture on behalf of common sense about our runaway wokery is Bill Maher. And yet he keeps killing it, once again on last night’s broadcast ratifying what we’ve reported here several times—that today’s woke climate and cancel culture resembles nothing so much as Mao’s infamous (and murderous) “Cultural Revolution.” Chinese liberals (in the old and correct sense of »

Podcast: The 3WHH on Memphis Blues Again

Featured image John Yoo assumes the host chair for this week’s episode, and despite declaring this week to be a Ukraine-Free Zone, Lucretia still manages to get in a sequel to some of last week’s discussion threads. But the main event for the first third of this episode is reviewing the dreadful events in Memphis last week, though John has to go a stretch to reach the  Dylanesque heights of “Memphis Blues »

The Week in Pictures: Hot Air Balloon Edition

Featured image So this was the week our (p)resident known chiefly for his hot air failed the hot air balloon challenge (though my theory is that the balloon has more classified documents that Biden pinched), while reassuring us that “More than half the women in my administration are women,” which might actually be true, which would make it the most brilliantly droll thing Joe Biden has ever said. Which is unlikely. Exit »

Thought for the Day: Aaron Wildavsky on Party Turmoil

Featured image This reflection of the great political scientist Aaron Wildvasky (about whom I intend to write at much greater length some day soon), written in 1969 about the turmoil in the Democratic Party the year before, could apply in some ways to both parties today, showing that some things about our current moment are not new at all, nor limited to the Republican Party, despite what the “media” tell us: The »

The Daily Chart: Accident Rates

Featured image Cars have gotten much much safer for the last 50 years or longer: On the other hand, pedestrian fatality rates, after dropping for decades, suddenly reversed course about 15 years ago: What could have caused this sharp reversal? Here’s one theory: »

Podcast: Power Line University Lesson 6—the Progs vs. the Feds

Featured image This week’s Power Line University seminar on The Federalist completes our discussion of the separation of powers in Federalists 47 – 51, and then takes an extended detour into the Progressive Era attack on the separation of powers and other basic principles embedded in The Federalist—and by extension, in the Constitution. There are few things more fun than beating up Woodrow Wilson, but we note several of the ways his »

The Daily Chart: Liberal Students Are the Worst

Featured image Yesterday the University of Wisconsin released the results of a student survey on campus free expression issues taken on all of its campuses, and many of the results demonstrate that the censoriousness to typical of campuses today is driven largely by students who classify themselves as “very liberal.” Here are a few of the charts displaying this problem most vividly: College administrators could end cancel culture in a stroke if »

Thought for the Day: J.D. Vance on Statesmanship

Featured image The freshman Senator from Ohio, J.D. Vance, writing today in the Wall Street Journal: [F]rom grand-strategy seminars to the State Department, our entire notion of statesmanship is broken. For many, statesmanship means having a polite social-media presence and throwing out slogans about “freedom” and “democracy” while starting world-historic catastrophes in the Middle East. I prefer a different kind of statesmanship: one that stands athwart the crowd, reminding leaders in both »

The Daily Chart: Dover Beach by the Numbers

Featured image Matthew Arnold’s most famous verse from “Dover Beach” laments the ebbing of Christian faith in Europe: The Sea of Faith Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled. But now I only hear Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Retreating, to the breath Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world. Here’s a snapshot »

Your Chance to See Academic Superheroes in Action

Featured image Needless to say the academic scene in America is dismal, but there are some excellent conservative academics scattered around. I’m delighted that the Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) has organized a two-day conference taking place on February 23-24 in Fort Lauderdale featuring many leading conservative professors, under the general title “American Politics and Government Summit.” There is a modest registration fee, but the conference is open to the general public as »

Live Podcast: PLU on The Federalist, Session 6

Featured image Power Line University will be back in the seminar room again tomorrow (Wednesday) afternoon at 5 pm Pacific time/8 pm Eastern, to resume our leisurely stroll through The Federalist Papers.  We’ll begin this week’s session with a detour into why and how the Progressives attacked the separation of powers along with rejecting the natural rights philosophy of the Founding, both of which were necessary for their project of creating the »

Thought for the Day: C.S. Lewis on ‘Subjectivism’

Featured image From C.S. Lewis’s essay “The Poison of Subjectivism”: One cause of misery and vice is always present with us in the greed and pride of men, but at certain periods in history this is greatly increased by the temporary prevalence of some false philosophy. Correct thinking will not make good men of bad ones; but a purely theoretical error may remove ordinary checks to evil and deprive good intentions of »

The Daily Chart: Film Genre Trends

Featured image I’ve wondered for a long time why westerns declined so precipitously in film, along with musicals (though both have their occasional breakthrough exceptions), and it seems that they have been replaced by horror and thriller films. It is also apparent that comedy has been the most durable genre for almost a full century. I wonder if fantasy films will begin a slow decline. The latest Marvel-style superhero movies don’t seem to »

War Games (2)

Featured image As a follow up to our previous item asking questions about our grand strategy toward Russia, Iran, and the Ukranian war (such as whether the Biden Administration has a grand strategy at all), this item from today’s Wall Street Journal jumps out: Yet the largest ground war in Europe since World War II isn’t translating into boom times for U.S. defense contractors. Hobbled by supply chain disruptions, a tight labor »


Featured image Sometime back around 1990, I was privileged to get to spend some time with Jaime Escalante (d. 2010), the Bolivian-born high school math teacher whose compelling story was made into a feature film, Stand and Deliver, which featured Edward James Olmos playing Escalante. Escalante had become nationally famous in the 1980s when 18 of his hispanic students from a low-income east Los Angeles neighborhood scored highly on the AP calculus »