History

Secret history of the exclamation point

Featured image I’ve been reading Michel de Montaigne’s Essays with friends this year. When I took his course on Renaissance classics in college, Professor Dain Trafton observed that Montaigne was the one author we had read who in his estimation stood with Shakespeare. That made an impression on me because Professor Trafton is himself a devoted Shakespearian scholar and we had read Machiavelli, Cervantes, Rabelais, Erasmus, Castiglione, and Thomas More in the »

The Power Line Show. Ep. 145: Reagan in the 1960s, and the Lessons for Today

Featured image Last week I was honored once again to be the after dinner speaker for the fall meeting of the Friends of Ronald Reagan, a local civic group in Los Angeles that meets at the California Club to celebrate the enduring greatness and example of the Gipper. It’s always a fun evening, usually capped off with brandy and cigars out on the patio when dinner concludes. I decided to talk about »

How the great truth dawned

Featured image Professor Gary Saul Morson’s essay “How the great truth dawned” leads off the September issue of The New Criterion. It’s not terribly long, but it must be the longest article ever published by the magazine, and you can easily see why. It is brilliant and moving. Beginning and ending with Solzhenitsyn, it takes up the Gulag, Communism, mass murder, Russian literature, the turn to God and much more. I want »

Hiring ex-cons, then and now

Featured image Frederic Pryor died earlier this month. He was the “throw in” in the 1962 prisoner exchange between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. The principals were Francis Gary Powers and Rudolf Abel. The deal was the subject of the 2015 movie “Bridge of Spies.” Pryor was a Yale graduate student in economics. He found himself in East Berlin studying East Germany’s economic system when the Stasi arrested him for spying. »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 144: “Guilt Is The Greatest Form of Self-Indulgence”—Breaking Down the 1619 Project, Part 3

Featured image “Lucretia,” Power Line’s international woman of mystery, is back with me again this week with the third installment in our special series confronting the pernicious New York Times “1619 Project,” this time taking on the argument that slavery is the central factor in the rise of modern industrial capitalism—a proposal so laughable that we actually spend a lot of our time talking about entirely tangential subjects. (For listeners interested in a serious compilation »

Double that demogrant

Featured image The proposed “demogrant” on offer in George McGovern’s ill-fated presidential campaign of 1972 was set at $1,000 per year. Adjusted for inflation, that would be about $6,000 in current dollars. Now Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang proposes to raise McGovern’s demogrant to $1,000 per month. McGovern is not exactly the yin to Andrew Yang. They are on the same wavelength and the memory is making me feel young and foolish »

Ilhan Omar’s 9/11: Nicholas Haros explains

Featured image Nicholas Haros, Jr. lost his mother Frances in the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11. He therefore takes Ilhan Omar’s dismissive remarks about the attack somewhat personally. Speaking at the Ground Zero memorial event yesterday, Mr. Haros addressed a portion of his remarks directly to Omar (video below). The media widely covered Mr. Haros’s remarks; Omar is a national disgrace. The New York Post covered his remarks here, »

A day to be proud…

Featured image I first wrote about Rick Rescorla in 2003 after finishing James Stewart’s Heart of a Soldier, the book based on Stewart’s New Yorker article “The real heroes are dead.” (“The real heroes are dead” is what Rescorla would say in response to recognition of his heroism on the battlefield in Vietnam.) It’s a good book that touches on profound themes in a thought-provoking way: life and death, love and friendship, »

Flag Battles In Massachusetts

Featured image Flags are, by the their nature, entirely symbolic. Maybe that helps to explain why liberals get away with such utter nonsense whenever they talk about them. The New York Times reports on liberal attacks on the state flag of Massachusetts. When former State Representative Byron Rushing first looked closely at the Massachusetts state seal, he could not believe his eyes. Created in the 19th century, the official seal, which appears »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 142, Special Edition: Breaking Down the “1619 Project,” Part 2

Featured image We have a new theory about the mainstream media: they have decided to work without editors any more. How else to explain how the Washington Post slandered J.D. Vance with the claim that he decried the “falling white birth rate” (he said no such thing, and the Posthad to correct the story), or MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell going to air with a completely uncorroborated story about Trump’s supposed Russian financial connections? Or »

The Last European War

Featured image Lots of notices today of the 80th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II, which commenced with the German invasion of Poland following the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in which the USSR and Germany agreed to carve up Poland between themselves. I decided to dust off John Lukacs’ terrific 1976 book The Last European War, which I haven’t cracked open in nearly 30 years. This long book (550 pages) covers just »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 140 (Special Edition): Breaking Down the “1619 Project,” Part 1

Featured image As promised in our last episode, we return early this week with the first in a series of bonus episodes devoted to a deep dive into the New York Times‘s agitprop “1619 Project” that seeks to place slavery and racism as the central fact of the American story. In this first installment, Power Line’s International Woman of Mystery, “Lucretia” (who happens to teach political philosophy and American government . . »

Woodstock @ 50

Featured image Forget asking about citizenship status on the next Census. I’ve always wanted to have the Census ask: “Were you at Woodstock in 1969?” The event was such an icon for the appalling baby boomer generation (to which I sadly belong) that I estimate that you’d get 5 million Yes responses to the question. Maybe that many people believe they were there by astral projection during an acid trip or something. »

Grand strategy in WWII

Featured image The Hoover Institution’s Peter Robinson convened an all-star panel of historians to discuss something like the grand strategy of the allies in World War II. Included on the panel ore Stalin biographer Stephen Kotkin, Roosevelt expert David Kennedy, and Churchill biographer Andrew Roberts. This is an exhilarating discussion from beginning to end. Having now taken it in its entirety, I recommend it for the sheer pleasure of the thing — »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 137: Burke, Lincoln, and the Politics of Prudence with Greg Weiner

Featured image “Prudence” is not just something Dana Carvey liked to lampoon back when President George H.W. Bush was in office. Rather, it is the highest and most essential quality of those superb human beings we used to call “statesmen” before political science and history banished both terms in a fit of egalitarian madness that has yet to abate in our leading intellectual circles. One antidote to this narrowing of our horizons »

Misrepresenting Woodstock

Featured image The music festival at Woodstock 50 years ago was a big deal. There had never been anything quite like it in America before — not in terms of size or caliber of performers (though Monterrey Pop might not have been too far behind in terms of the latter). But with the 50th anniversary approaching, it was inevitable that precincts of the mainstream media would make Woodstock out to be more »

Smearing Reagan, Again

Featured image Normally I don’t ever jump to the step-and-fetchit demands of our many lefty trolls, but I’ll make an exception for the story rocketing around right now that way back in 1971 Governor Reagan made a crude racist comment in a private conversation with (checks notes). . . Richard Nixon.  You can listen to the audio here (about the halfway mark). Here’s how Timothy Naftali (a nasty piece of work whom »