History

CRB: Blood-soaked monsters

Featured image The Claremont Review of Books is of course the flagship publication of the Claremont Institute. I find in every issue an education in the true understanding of politics and statesmanship. It is my favorite magazine. Purchase an annual subscription here for $19.95 and get immediate online access to the whole thing. The Fall 2018 issue of the CRB has just gone to the printer. The editors have given me a »

A tribute to Hyman Shapiro

Featured image The Twin Cities Cardozo Society held its annual dinner this past November 1, on the Thursday following the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. The dinner has become an impressive event. Each year two older attorneys — one male, one female — are recognized with the Sidney Barrows Lifetime Commitment Award for professional achievement and good works. Videos with testimonials are played. A law student or younger attorney is recognized for his or »

Sammy Davis: I’ve Gotta Be Me

Featured image I don’t recall a time when Sammy Davis, Jr. was not a celebrity along with the rest of the Rat Pack. Although I learned as a teenager that he had overcome obstacles galore on his way to the top — I read his memorable autobiography, Yes, I Can — the story stopped with his marriage to May Britt, and he left out a lot of the pre-Britt story in any »

Democratic Mobs, Then and Now

Featured image News item: Two GOP candidates assaulted in Minnesota. News item: Antifa mob overruns Portland, and Democratic mayor stands aside. (And to think, I had dinner once with Ted Wheeler a few years ago, before he was elected mayor of Portland, and thought he was a sensible human being. Another case of misleading first impressions I guess.) News item: Ricin sent to Sen. Susan Collins. News item: Democrat assaults, critically injures »

Walking with destiny

Featured image Steve Hayward argues that biography is an overlooked resource in the study of statesmanship. The life of Winston Churchill may be the single best example available to us of the opportunities afforded by biography. His life and works remain inexhaustibly rich and rewarding. Statesmanship itself is an overlooked field of study. Churchill’s life and works illustrate the critical importance of statesmanship in all times. One of the books of the »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 92: “We Can Win This Thing”

Featured image I’ve finished a long review of three new books out about Reagan and two key moments in the Cold War, specifically the “war scare” during the Able Archer exercise in the fall of 1983 when, it was subsequently learned, the Soviet Union went on high alert and possibly (it still isn’t clear) contemplated a pre-emptive first strike of their own, and Reagan’s efforts, through the CIA, to undermine Communism in »

The Jews of Salonika at the death camps

Featured image I wrote here about the rich, unique history of Thessaloniki, Greece. For more than four centuries, this was a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious city on the edge of Europe. Ottomans ran it. Jews, who made up at least half of the population, dominated the economic life. Orthodox Christians rounded things out. For those interested in learning more, I recommend this post by Neo. She focuses on the Jewish history of »

Salonika

Featured image Last night, we returned from a two week trip to Greece. We visited Athens, Crete, and Thessaloniki. Athens and Crete are familiar American tourist destinations. Thessaloniki is not, and for good reason. It’s interesting, but not interesting enough to cause many American tourists to visit it. We went because it’s where my wife’s father was born. At that time, in the early years of the last century, Salonika (as the »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 91: The Deep End of the (Lord) Liverpool

Featured image This week the Power Line Show takes a break from the All-Kavanaugh-All-the-Time format of recent weeks, and sits down with historian William Anthony Hay, author of a brand new biography of Robert Banks Jenkinson. What? You’ve never heard of Robert Banks Jenkinson? You might recognize him better by his “stage name,” Lord Liverpool, Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1812-1827, during the windup of the Napoleonic wars and the War »

Notes on fake news (1)

Featured image On Monday I am scheduled to make a presentation on the subject of “fake news” to our local Cardozo Society chapter. The society is an affinity group of Jewish lawyers. I am a member of the group. Unlike the past president of the Hair Club for Men (now Hair Club), I can’t say I’m both an owner and a client, but that’s the idea. It will make me nervous to »

Our Present Discontents, Then and Now

Featured image I’m deep into the weeds of Edmund Burke these days, in part for a recent lecture at Yale (video to come) and a series of seminars I’ll be doing soon on Burke (podcasts to come, I think), but even reading this great judicious man from more than 200 years ago can’t draw me away from our current catastrophic political scene. One of Burke’s famous essays was “Thoughts on Our Present »

That’s Zinncredible

Featured image I’ve never bothered to declaim on the fundamental shoddiness of Howard Zinn’s scandalously popular People’s History of the United States, in part because I simply can’t get through it. Every few pages offer egregious errors of fact and even more tendentious interpretations of facts, such that it is impossible to take seriously. I’d rather read Heidegger or grind my teeth. Certainly an honest history of America (or any country) should »

The FBI in nominee ambush cases, then and now

Featured image One of the Democrats’ main talking points regarding Christine Blasey Ford’s accusations against Brett Kavanaugh is that the FBI should investigate before the Senate Judiciary Committee hears from Ford and Kavanaugh. In support of this talking point, Democrats and their friends in the media note that the FBI investigated Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas prior to Hill and Thomas testifying before the Committee. Hill herself says the »

Liberal Presumptions, Take Two (Updated)

Featured image A couple days back I posted a long item about the presumptions of the contemporary liberal mind that act like garish wallpaper—unnoticed by the residents of the house of liberalism, but jarring to anyone else who steps inside. Along the way I referenced Geoffrey Kabaservice’s recent article in Politico on the abysmal ignorance most liberals have of conservative history, and then went on to the main event—Stanford historian Jennifer Burns’s »

Thinking About Liberal Presumptions

Featured image Thesis: the presumption of liberalism that they have absolute truth and perfect justice on their side—that theirs is “the side of history”—makes liberals intellectually lazy and unable to think seriously. Now for the evidence. Start with a sympathetic liberal witness, Geoffrey Kabaservice, author of a well-written if not entirely persuasive book a few years back entitled Rule or Ruin: The Downfall of Moderation and the Destruction of the Republican Party. »

Remembering “Whitewater”

Featured image For the past 20 years, Kenneth Starr has avoided the limelight. And why not? As the independent counsel who investigate Whitewater and other Clinton-related scandals, he received enough attention to last several lifetimes. Now, however, Starr has written a book about those days. It’s called Contempt: A Memoir of the Clinton Investigation. The contempt in question was that of Bill and Hillary Clinton. The two manifested it differently, though. According »

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, »