Author Archives: Steven Hayward

Who or What Killed the Liberal Arts?

Featured image Mark Bauerlein of First Things and Emory University offers this Tweet of lament today that certainly fits with my own retrospective: To be sure, back in those days the liberal arts faculty tilted left, and occasionally quite radically left, but the liberal arts enterprise was more grounded in a body of serious, if mistaken, ideas that could be contested. I’m not joking when I say I wish our universities actually »

The Week in Pictures: Monolith Mystery Edition

Featured image I’ve totally solved the Great Monolith of 2020 Mystery. It’s obvious in fact: they are just Christo’s last, posthumous performance art project. I know, it may be hard to wrap your head around this, but it’s not like Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself or something. But this time the joke’s on Christo, since everyone is going around in a mask in the greatest health performance art stunt ever. And everyone »

Race: Asking the Right Questions, Avoiding the “Wrong” Answers

Featured image Robert Putnam, the Harvard political scientist who became famous 20 years ago for his “bowling alone” hypothesis about the erosion of social capital in the U.S., is out with a new co-authored book (with Shaylyn Romney Garrett) on racial disparities, The Upswing. Although a liberal, Putnam has not shrunk in the past from reporting data findings uncongenial to liberals, such as his careful work concluding that “diversity” and high rates »

The Higher Ed Meltdown Accelerates

Featured image In my Geek in Pictures post a couple days back I included this chart showing that the financial impact of COVID on colleges and universities has led to serious job cuts—back to the level last seen in 2008, right before the last major economic crisis. (Strangely, as you can see from the chart, the financial crisis in 2008-09 barely slowed the overall rise of university employment levels at all, unlike »

The Geek in Pictures (2)

Featured image Time for another tour of the current scene by way of charts and graphs that have been piling up on my computer. • Let’s start with COVID trends. We keep getting told by the media and the “experts” that European countries are dealing with COVID so much better than we are, because Europeans!, and Orange Man Bad. But then how come: A larger view: • Mark Perry strikes again at »

Walter Williams, RIP

Featured image Another sad passing to report today—the economist Walter Williams, at age 84. Where to begin describing this wonderful man and teacher? I first came across his early book The State Against the Blacks when it came out in the early 1980s. This and many other works over the years made the compelling case that, as William himself put it, “The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t »

Bruce Herschensohn, RIP

Featured image Sad news of the passing yesterday of Bruce Herschensohn, long time conservative activist, documentary filmmaker, and commentator in California. I got to know him a bit in the mid-1980s when he was a commentator on a local TV news program in LA (paired up for nightly debates with former Democratic Senator John Tunney—see the promotional ad below), and then when he ran for the Senate in 1992, losing narrowly to »

Chicago Vs. Smith College

Featured image As is well known, you aren’t allowed to criticize Black Lives Matter (still less say anything as offensive as “All Lives Matter”), Critical Race Theory, or any aspect of transgenderism. And it seems increasingly difficult to criticize the orthodoxy of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) in any way. Witness the case of Dorian Abbot, a professor of geology at the University of Chicago, who has criticized the DEI orthodoxy. He’s »

The Media Mask Slips

Featured image There’s a refrain on the left that is now so familiar as to be unremarkable. The form runs, “Even Reagan wasn’t as bad as [insert current Republican president here].” It got a workout under George W. Bush, and it’s gotten heavy use under Trump. And already I’ve seen several articles in the New York Times and elsewhere saying, “Whatever the GOP offers us after Trump will be even worse.” To »

Steal the House?

Featured image Paul notes below several razor-close House races, including especially Iowa 2, where the Republican candidate, Mariannette Miller-Meeks, is leading by six votes. Prediction: if Miller-Meeks is certified as the winner, House Democrats will refuse to seat her in January, so desperate are they to secure every possible House seat they can. Can they do this? Yes—because House Democrats have done this before. Back in 1984, in what became known as »

Podcast—The Three Whisky Happy Hour: Counting Courts

Featured image At one point during the livecast recording of this week’s episode on Zoom, a commenter said the score was “Lucretia 6, Hayward 0,” so naturally I thought I was only behind by two field goals, and thus easy to make up in the 4th Quarter. But then the commenter clarified that he was using soccer scoring, which meant that I was getting crushed. “Ask Paul,” he added unnecessarily. Oh well. »

The Week in Pictures: Tryptophan Edition

Featured image By now we’re supposed to be clear of our tryptophan-induced post-turkey coma, which, come to think of it, previews the comatose future of a prospective Biden Administration. With John Kerry holding a cabinet-level position, I suspect the first cabinet meeting might last until next Thanksgiving, or at least to Biden’s new favorite liturgical holiday, Psalm Sunday. Headlines of the week: And finally. . .  Ashley St. Clair: »

Reminder: Live Three Whisky Happy Hour Today

Featured image For those of you sleeping off your Thanksgiving dinner coma, a reminder that this afternoon at 4 pm (Pacific)/7pm (Eastern), “Lucretia” and I will be hosting a live taping of the Three Whisky Happy Hour podcast via Zoom. We’ll be covering the highlights of the week, as well as taking audience questions. We’re making this event open to all Power Line readers as a bit of an experiment. Our Zoom »

Behind the Left’s Primal Scream Over the Supreme Court’s Religious Liberty Ruling

Featured image I’ve noticed today that the left is in a fury about the Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling last night striking down New York’s wholly arbitrary restrictions on churches and other places of worship because the Court is “ignoring the advice of the experts.” True indeed. I could go on at some length about old cases involving the arbitrary (and therefore unconstitutional) use of the government’s police power, but in this case »

Macron—Defender of the West?

Featured image Who would have thought that French President Emmanuel Macron would emerge as a Defender of the West against the multicultural nihilism eating away at our foundations. In the aftermath of the beheading of a French schoolteacher for the sin of displaying some of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed, Macron has not been mincing words. In fact he’s been sounding like the polar opposite of an American-style “inclusionary” »

Thanksgiving Day in Pictures: Special COVID Edition

Featured image Remember our counsel from last Saturday. Your gathering today is not a Thanksgiving holiday dinner. It is a protest. What are you protesting? It doesn’t matter: just quote Marlon Brando in The Wild Ones: “Whaddya got?” Happy “Thanksgiving” everybody! And finally. . . »

Orwell’s America

Featured image Scott has written this morning of Amazon’s erratic censorship of Alex Berenson’s contrarian work on COVID, as well as his own reviews, but this is just one instance of a leftist censoriousness and authoritarianism that is accelerating. Let’s continue with COVID authoritarianism, with these headlines: NYC Will Have Covid Checkpoints at Key Bridges and Crossings New York City will have vehicle checkpoints at key bridges and crossings, and will strictly »