Bible? What Bible?

Featured image Time was when a politician like Patrick Henry (“Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace–but there is no peace!”) or Abraham Lincoln (“A house divided against itself cannot stand”) could quote from the Bible and assume that pretty much everyone in his audience got the reference. Those days are gone, of course. But most Americans still have at least a nodding acquaintance with the Book. Not, however, those who write and edit »

No Speeding!

Featured image The Duke and Duchess of Sussex (Harry and Meghan) are among the world’s most annoying people. They are the ultimate in having one’s cake and eating it too; i.e., abandoning royal duties but insisting on royal status. Unsurprisingly, they are massively unpopular in the U.K. In their never-ending quest to remain in the public eye, despite the fact that they do nothing noteworthy, they claimed rather hysterically to have been »

Victor Davis Hanson: We’re in a Revolution

Featured image Victor Davis Hanson joined Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night to react to New York County District Attorney Alvin Bragg’s indictment of former President Donald Trump. Hanson characterized it as “the worst example of third-world election tampering” and said, “We are in the middle of a revolution that we don’t even know we’re in.” We’re seeing war clouds gather abroad, and I think the United States’ economy, politically, foreign »

Biden goes Blanco

Featured image President Biden handed out National Humanities Medals and National Medals of Arts to 12 recipients (including Bruce Springsteen, Gladys Knight, Julia Louis-Dreyfus et al.) in the East Room of the White House yesterday. The transcript of his remarks is posted here. One of the honorees was “Maine poet” Richard Blanco. I’m guessing the quality of Blanco’s poetry was not Blanco’s principal qualification for the award. His citation reads: For breathing »

Assume Nothing: Edward Jay Epstein speaks

Featured image In my comments on his new book I expressed my regard for the incomparable Edward Jay Epstein and his autobiography Assume Nothing, just published by Encounter Books. I wanted to follow up with Ed to bring the book to your attention again and ifperhaps to spark your interest in reading it. Below is my written interview with Ed geared to the publication of the book on March 7: Power Line: »

Fourteen Ways to Start an Argument In a Bar

Featured image The news is doing nothing for me today, so here is something I have done once or twice before. The following are 14 propositions that I believe to be true. Or at least, I think I do. Each is intended to be fodder for disagreement. Feel free to say “Amen, brother” or “You can’t be serious” in the comments. If this gets a good reception, maybe next time I will »

Are Americans Getting Dumber?

Featured image Mean scores on IQ tests rose generally in the U.S. beginning in the 1930s, apparently reflecting better nutrition and improved schooling. But that trend has now been reversed. A paper published in an upcoming journal finds IQ scores now declining: Labeled the Flynn effect (Herrnstein and Murray, 2010), intelligence quotient (IQ) scores substantially increased since 1932 and through the twentieth century, with differences ranging from 3.0 to 5.0 IQ points »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image And now for something completely different, I would like to introduce readers to Benjamin Bagby. Mr. Bagby is a medievalist, musician, composer, and performer. Among other things, he has memorized and performed the epic poem Beowulf. At the bottom of this post is a video of Bagby performing Beowulf at the 92nd Street Y in August 2020. Bagby’s performance begins at about 1:50 of the video. I read Beowulf in »

Liberal Girls Are Depressed

Featured image That isn’t surprising–social science data have long shown that conservatives are generally happier than liberals. But this study, which sampled 12th graders from 2005 through 2018, documents the deteriorating condition of liberals, and especially liberal girls: Adolescent internalizing symptoms (e.g. depressive affect) have increased over the past decade in the US, particularly among girls. The reasons for these increases are unclear. We hypothesize that increasing exposure to politicized events has »

March madness, TCM style

Featured image I love the screwball comedies of the 1930’s as well as the Peter Bogdanovich homage to them in What’s Up, Doc?, but I hadn’t even heard of Ball of Fire before I caught up with it on TCM last year. I watched it again this week as TCM warmed up for its version of March madness — its 31 Days of Oscar programming. TCM has quite a lineup of films »

A tardy salute to Marianne Mantell

Featured image I had never heard of Marianne Roney Mantell before learning of her death in James R. Hagerty’s fantastic Wall Street Journal obituary. Mrs. Mantell started out struggling to make a living in the early 1950s by writing liner notes for record albums and translating opera libretti. Hagerty continues her story: Men who ran record companies often asked her for ideas about what they should record—but rejected all of her suggestions. »

It’s a Long Way From Davy Crockett

Featured image This afternoon, I appeared on the “U.S. Report” show on Sky News Australia with host James Morrow. It is a terrific show: the guests ahead of me were Mick Mulvaney and Tammy Bruce. Morrow began our conversation by showing this Disney video: This Disney clip is pure critical race theory, including the insane conspiracy theory that Lincoln did not free the — Christopher F. Rufo ⚔️ (@realchrisrufo) February 5, »

A Black Victor Hugo?

Featured image A controversy has erupted in France over the renovation of a statue of novelist Victor Hugo that portrays him as a black man. The New York Times, always quick to jump on any racial angle, is on the case. And Steve Sailer has an excellent post that pulls it all together. First, the controversy, as described by the Times: The statue of Victor Hugo has loomed outside the city hall »

Money Talks, In Spanish

Featured image A political reality in today’s world is that the Left has vastly more money than the Right. That is certainly a problem, but the more important question is how each side deploys its resources. We have just emerged from an election cycle in which vast amounts of money were spent on both sides, in most cases inefficiently if not entirely fruitlessly. Some years ago, Glenn Reynolds proposed that the Koch »

Word of the year

Featured image The AP hasn’t gotten around to correcting its headline over the story reporting the word of the year according to Merriam-Webster. At the moment the headline reads: “What headline? ‘Gaslighting’ Merriam-Webster’s word of 2022.” That “What headline?” can’t be right, can it? This must be the AP’s “Mush from the wimp” moment. Speaking of mush from the wimp, I give the Biden administration credit for the rise of “gaslighting” to »

Persecution and the art of Dave Chappelle (2)

Featured image We are awash in a wave of anti-Semitic hatred and violence that is coursing through the black community and elsewhere. I heard it in the troubled musings of Kanye West and wrote about in “Anti-Semitism for Ye — but not for me.” The December Commentary features Elliot Kaufman’s deep backgrounder “O Ye of Little Faith: The Anti-Semitism of Kanye West.” Over the weekend comedian Dave Chappelle hosted Saturday Night Live »

Persecution and the art of Dave Chappelle

Featured image Dave Chappelle hosted Saturday Night Live last night. In his opening monologue, Chappelle held at painful length that “the Jews” control the world but that this can only be said out loud ironically — because, you know, “the Jews.” It was an unsubtle performance that might be funny if you are on board with that particular “point of view.” Then it might be hilarious. I caught up with video of »