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Winds of the New Year Evoke Reverie of Korea Where the Trees Snuck Up

Wed, 27 Dec 2017 03:26:38 EST

Trees move at night. My father taught me this when I was a single-digit boy and he was eleven years home from the war in Korea. "At night over there, the trees never stayed still," he told me. "If you looked away and then looked back, the trees were never where they had been before. It looked like the North Koreans were hiding behind the trees to sneak up and kill us."We were walking from our farmhouse to a barn seventy yards away. Cows slept inside on straw bedding during winter. They started...

Debauchery at Park Avenue Armory Gets Exhibit in Art Space Underwritten by Taxpayers

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 11:26:40 EST

It's going to be quite something to see what the taxpayers of New York are going to make of the spectacle opening today at the Park Avenue Armory. It's a work called "WS" by the artist Paul McCarthy, whom no less a blue nose than The New York Times calls a "demented imagineer."He has erected within the taxpayer-funded space what the armory's promotional material calls "a massive, fantastical forest of towering trees with grotesque video projections of iconic characters playing out their own...

How Stephen Hawking Abandoned Einstein and Turned on Israel

Fri, 10 May 2013 05:38:01 EST

Has Stephen Hawking really left the company of Albert Einstein, an avowed Zionist who worked to create the State of Israel, and replaced him with the august company of Elvis Costello and other Israel boycotters?In 1998, I hosted Hawking for a lecture at Oxford, where I introduced him to 1,000 students. He could not have been more humble and approachable. Aside from his lecture, delivered through his voice synthesizer, on string theory little of which I understood but which my students assured...

Cold War Looms as Precedent For America Rousing Itself When It Hoped the Fight Was Ended

Mon, 22 Apr 2013 13:12:50 EST

The war isn't over. That's the big takeaway from the Boston Marathon bombing, like it or not.A lot of Americans thought the war which Congress had never formally declared to begin with was already over. President Obama announced the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. The attacks on New York and on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 are more than a decade past, and the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya was geographically distant. Osama Bin Laden was...

As Distrust of Bloomberg Grows Among Gun Owners, NRA's National School Shield Is a Sensible Plan

Tue, 2 Apr 2013 16:22:37 EST

Mayor Bloomberg ought to know by now that gun owners do not trust him. The more he agitates against guns the more they dig in their heals. The more magnificoes he gets behind his Mayors Against Illegal Guns the more gun owners and advocates of the Second Amendment see him as their enemy. He and his colleagues might only oppose the ownership of small cannons. They might only oppose extending gun ownership to convicted killers and to the criminally insane. Still gun owners and Second Amendment...

Invasion of the Body Snatchers: Now the Liberals Covet the Corpses of Milton Friedman, Ronald Reagan

Wed, 1 Aug 2012 11:15:03 EST

Milton Friedman, the great economist, was one of a handful of intellectuals whose work forms the foundation for the modern conservative movement. He has been dead since 2006, but this week would be his centennial. He lived a long and prodigious life. In his lifetime, he was viewed as an odious figure by the Liberal brethren, a close advisor to dictators, an advocate of child labor, a favorite of fat cats.Yet with the passage of time his repute as the prophet of an age of unsurpassed prosperity...

How Elizabeth II Burnished Her Monarchy and Earned Dividends for Britain

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 10:27:08 EST

There may seem to be little left to add to descriptions of the mighty celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II. But a reflection on comparative government is timely. Of the major powers, only the governments of Germany and Canada have been reelected and command support from their countrymen in sustainable numbers if they returned at once to the electors (exceptions have to be made for the brand new, but deeply unpromising, French regime and the technocratic...

Strategic, Economic Crises Edging Closer in a World Without Leadership

Thu, 31 May 2012 05:44:42 EST

The world is now somnambulating toward bone-cracking economic and strategic crises, sporadically and intermittently aware that grave outcomes impend, and generally aware that it is all very unsatisfactory, but afflicted by various versions of prevarication.In the United States, it is an uncharacteristic version of ma na; the system of government to which ten generations of Americans have pledged allegiance with such fervor that omissions of the Pledge of Allegiance at anodyne public occasions...

Getting 'Forward' Backward

Thu, 10 May 2012 10:02:11 EST

President Obama is getting razzed for seeming oblivious to the hard-left associations of his new campaign slogan, "Forward," which was once used by the Marxists, the socialists, and even the communists. Glenn Beck's Web site, The Blaze, posts an anthology of communist posters featuring the word and asks "IS OBAMA'S NEW 'FORWARD' SLOGAN REALLY A COINCIDENCE?" Lou Dobbs is notingthat the word has "a very long history with Marxists and socialists and communists."All that's true and fair enough...

Lifelong Republican Calls for Hike in Capital Gains Taxes, But Errs on Reagan Record

Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:41:50 EST

The founder of the Vanguard group of mutual funds, John C. Bogle, who says he is a lifelong Republican, is calling on Congress to raise capital gains taxes to the rates that apply to ordinary income."As a general policy, equalize the taxes, raise the taxes on capital gains," Mr. Bogle said earlier this month in an interview with Bloomberg Television's Betty Liu. "I look at this position as just simply logic, with maybe a touch of concern for our fellow human beings who aren't doing as well as...

Why People Prefer To Talk About Limbaugh's Choice of Words on Sandra Fluke

Mon, 5 Mar 2012 20:40:12 EST

President Obama and the press have been all over Rush Limbaugh for the words he used to criticize a Georgetown Law student, Sandra Fluke, who spoke on February 23 at a meeting of the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee.There's been less attention paid, alas, to the details of Ms. Fluke's testimony, which, when you get into them, help explain why Mr. Limbaugh was worked up about the issue.Here is some of what Ms. Fluke said:Without insurance coverage, contraception can cost a woman...

Obama Ignites a 'Catholic Moment' in the Culture Wars

Wed, 15 Feb 2012 10:26:42 EST

The last two weeks have produced an astounding convergence of profound philosophical public controversies in the United States that finally does justify the phrase, much bandied about for some years, "culture wars." That expression was coined originally for Bismarck's mad Kulturkampf against the Roman Catholic Church (and, to a lesser degree, other churches) in the mid 19th century. It was the usual self-aggrandizement of secular states against a vast, international, un-submissive...

Why Gingrich Floundered in Florida

Tue, 31 Jan 2012 18:15:18 EST

Ah, yes, Newt Gingrich did in the last days of the Florida primary precisely what I predicted he would do. He hurled wild charges at Mitt Romney that suggested Newt was losing his grip. He charged Romney with lying and falling into the hands of George Soros and Goldman Sachs, and he did this while seeking the Republican presidential nomination!Newt quoted Soros as saying, "We think either Obama or Romney's fine, but Gingrich, he would change things." Citing Goldman Sachs' profiting from the...

State of Obama Begs for a Challenger Like Mitch Daniels or Jeb Bush

Tue, 31 Jan 2012 18:06:38 EST

I cannot have been the only person who found President Obama's State of the Union message and much of the indulgence of it, even by serious commentators, worrisome. The president was correct that "too many of our institutions have let us down." He seemed not to recognize that first among them were the administration (especially the presidency), the Congress, and the Supreme Court the speaker and the audience for the occasion (apart from the justices who boycotted because of Mr. Obama's...

Gingrich Meets the Enemy and It Turns Out To Be His Own Policies

Mon, 30 Jan 2012 12:49:12 EST

Even before polls opened in Florida's Republican primary, some pundits were trying to explain a potential Newt Gingrich loss there by saying he'd been outspent.Mike Allen's influential Politico Playbook daily morning email reported Monday, "Newt Gingrich has been outspent on the Florida airwaves by a nearly $12 million margin," about $15 million to about $3 million. The thought was echoed on Twitter by a political reporter for the New York Times, Nick Confessore, who asked, "Money carrying the...

William Jefferson Gingrich

Wed, 25 Jan 2012 12:00:46 EST

How long have I been saying it? At least for 15 years, but in private I have been aware of it longer. Newt Gingrich is conservatism's Bill Clinton, but without the charm. He has acquired wit but he has all the charm of barbed wire.Newt and Bill are 1960s generation narcissists, and they share the same problems: waywardness and deviancy. Newt, like Bill, has a proclivity for girl hopping. It is not as egregious as Bill's, but then Newt is not as drop-dead beautiful. His public record is already...

A Comeback of Nixonian, If Not Lazarene, Proportions Warrants a Low Bow To Gingrich

Tue, 24 Jan 2012 06:46:58 EST

Just when it seemed the presidential campaign could not become odder, it has. If, as I wrote last week here, Mitt is an improbable savior for America, Newt Agonistes is an apparition that the mothers of America could use to frighten their children into eating their breakfast cereal. As the inventor last month (I doubt if anyone else would claim or even admit to it) of the Hegelian Newt who would not win the nomination but could prevent Mitt from closing the deal and enable the Republican...

Romney Could Hit Problems at Florida Over His Stand on Medicare

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 12:48:52 EST

With the Republican presidential candidates headed to retiree-heavy Florida in advance of its January 31 primary, expect the debate about Medicare, the federal health care program for the elderly, to heat up.If voters start focusing on the issue, it's not going to be particularly helpful for Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts.Mr. Romney raised the issue twice the other night in a debate on CNN. First, he said, "we do not want a $500 billion cut in Medicare to pay for 'Obamacare...

Romney Offering the Right Stuff on Obama's Crony Capitalism

Fri, 20 Jan 2012 17:18:21 EST

Let me build on Charles Krauthammer's great Friday column, "The GOP's Suicide March." Mr. Krauthammer argues that just as President Obama's class-warfare, soak-the-rich mantra started lagging in the polls, some Republicans on the campaign trail started making the case that Mitt Romney's Bain Capital was involved in nothing more than vulture capitalism, looting companies, and destroying jobs. Keeping class envy alive.I'm not going to name names, because everybody knows who these Republicans are...

Gingrich Has Chance Tonight To Trump Interview With His Ex-Wife and Launch Reagan 2.0

Thu, 19 Jan 2012 18:55:34 EST

Might a strong Newt Gingrich debate performance tonight trump the ABC Nightline interview with Newt's ex-wife Marianne? Remember, the debate comes before Nightline. And the roughly 5 million to 6 million people who watch the debate will be a lot more than the roughly 2 million folks who turn on Nightline. Plus, the Nightline crowd is largely liberal, and these viewers are not going to favor Newt Gingrich.I'm not saying the ABC Brian Ross interview with Marianne isn't something. But I'm not sure...