Scenes From a Starbucks

Featured image Starbucks is one of America’s growing cadre of “woke” companies. Now that one need not be a customer to hang out in a Starbucks store, the inevitable consequences are beginning to appear. These observations were penned by a friend of mine: When I quit smoking, coffee replaced cigarettes and I’ve been frequenting a Starbucks in downtown Minneapolis twice a day since November, 2017. One day in March 2018, I couldn’t. »

Pride? That Depends

Featured image As Steve noted earlier today, we have just emerged from “Pride Month.” It was hard to miss. What were we supposed to be proud of? Being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transsexual. Meanwhile, tomorrow is the 4th of July, Independence Day, a time when Americans typically express a different, more traditional sort of pride–pride in their country. Pride in country gets a day, not a month. How is that pride faring »

Bob Newhart lives

Featured image Bob Newhart makes infrequent live appearances at age 89, but he was featured last night at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Minneapolis as part of the first-ever Minneapolis Comedy Festival. He must have three generations of fans in Minneapolis. The line to get into the theater wound around the block last night. I think it’s fair to say that Newhart is beloved. What a thrill to see him perform a »

Meaning & Western civilization

Featured image Douglas Murray is the brilliant author of The Strange Death of Europe. Everything he writes is worth reading and everything he has to say is worth hearing. Following him on Twitter, I came across the video below. It makes for something of a wake-up call in less than three minutes’ time. Someone has picked up on comments I recently made on 'Meaning and Western civilisation' and turned them into this »

Lovebirds Canceled

Featured image Phelim McAleer and Ann McElhinney are Irish documentary filmmakers who have made several notable movies, including Gosnell. Their latest project is a play called FBI Lovebirds: Under Covers: The play, “FBI Lovebirds: UnderCovers,” casts Dean Cain and Kristy Swanson as FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. The production’s dialogue comes straight from the pair’s texts, which revealed both their romantic affair as well as plans to battle Donald Trump’s »

Boycott This!

Featured image The Left increasingly uses economic coercion in the form of boycotts to stamp out conservative ideas and institutions. Efforts to ban Chick-fil-A, one of America’s most popular restaurant chains, are one example. Apart from outliers like Chick-fil-A, corporate America tends to respond to boycotts as liberals desire, because corporate America is mostly liberal already. Liberals also sometimes boycott states, which is mostly an effort to enlist companies within those states »


Featured image Michael Connelly’s books featuring Los Angeles Detective Harry Bosch are among the world’s most popular police procedurals. Connelly published the first Bosch book in 1992, and there have been 22 altogether. The Bosch series has spun off two other characters, Mickey Haller (the Lincoln Lawyer) and Renee Ballard, a young detective who has been featured in two books so far, which I like a lot. One of my sisters-in-law turned »

Sunday morning coming down: Philip Furia, RIP

Featured image On Friday we received the sad news that University of North Carolina-Wilmington Professor of English Philip Furia had died at the age of 75. Professor Furia died on April 3 following a fall at his home in Wilmington. The news came to us via Professor Furia’s friend Tony L. Hill, who is aware of the many acknowledgements of my debt to Professor Furia’s work deepening our understanding of American popular »

Feel the truth, unity & love

Featured image In “Villainy at Villanova” I wrote about the Wall Street Journal column by Villanova Professors Colleen Sheehan and James Matthew Wilson as well as the response by the Villanova president and provost. The president and provost were big on the truth, unity, and love the new “diversity” questions in the student evaluation would bring to Villanova. Professors Sheehan and Wilson decried the enforced conformity they threatened. Sociology Professor Rory Kramer »

If you love Cyrano

Featured image The Guthrie Theater’s production of the beloved play Cyrano de Bergerac opened on March 22 on the Guthrie’s McGuire proscenium stage (rather than its Wurtele thrust stage). So far as I can tell, the production has not been widely reviewed yet. Speaking to Guthrie publicist Marita Meinerts Albinson yesterday, I was reminded that Terry Teachout will not be out here to take the play in for the Wall Street Journal »

Stanley Donen dies at 94

Featured image The death of Stanley Donen at the age of 94 gives us an occasion to reflect on the descent of Hollywood from the heights not so very long ago — within the lifetime and under the hand of Donen himself — toward absolute nullity. The New York Times has a good obituary of Donen here. Variety has an obituary with the traditional eccentricities here, recognizing Donen as “the last surviving »

Smollett hoax exposed

Featured image Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called a press conference this morning to announce the department’s findings in the matter of Empire actor Jussie Smollett. According to the department’s investigation, Smollett orchestrated the alleged attack on himself. And that’s not all. He also sent a threatening letter to himself at the Fox studio lot before the attack. He said Smollett was dissatisfied with his salary. “I’m left hanging my head and »

Sammy Davis: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Featured image On the Sunday following the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue shootings this past October we saw the documentary Sammy Davis Jr.: I’ve Gotta Be Me at the Sabes Minneapolis Jewish Community Center. I mention the shootings because they accounted in part for the emotional reaction I refer to below. The film is finally to be broadcast tonight at 9:00 p.m. (Eastern) as part of the PBS American Masters series. This »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll had me at her heading: GIRLS (OF BOTH SEXES) GONE VILE! She writes: As it happened, last week Mr. AG and a friend and I were watching a rerun of Blue Bloods, a series we quite enjoy. There was a scene set in one of those trendy, incredibly loud, incredibly crowded dance clubs that – to me – looks like the 10th Circle of Hell. (I think Dante »

Ilhan Omar carries on

Featured image The Star Tribune is the hometown newspaper of international superstar and Minnesota Fifth District Rep. Ilhan Omar. As a state legislator she was the subject of the documentary Time For Ilhan. Hey, does anybody really know what time it is? The Star Tribune has given Omar celebrity treatment at every step of her career since the moment in 2016 when she won the primary to represent a heavily Somali district »

My eye on “Black Eye”

Featured image The new Fox Nation subscription service posted the documentary Black Eye: Dan Rather and the Birth of Fake News at 6:00 a.m. (Eastern) this morning. The documentary revisits the Rathergate scandal from its origin in the 2000 presidential campaign to the 2015 film Truth and slightly beyond. I have now watched the documentary and want to offer a few notes with my impressions on it for what they may be »

Carlson’s complaint

Featured image Tucker Carlson rang in the new year with a 15-minute monologue in which he claimed that the leaders of both political parties don’t care about American families. Liberals, libertarians, and social conservatives aren’t misguided in their beliefs about what’s good for America and its families, they are indifferent or, in some cases, hostile. Only those who subscribe to Carlson’s populist narrative, consisting of views he didn’t used to hold, care »