Special Report

Special Report

Obama’s Keystone Confusion

By 12.16.14

In his appearance last week on The Colbert Report, President Obama restated his approach to the Keystone XL pipeline decision, a mindset that can only be described as confused.

The president summarized his strange dilemma as follows: “[Keystone] could create a couple of thousand potential jobs in the initial construction of the pipeline, but we’ve got to measure that against whether or not it is going to contribute to an overall warming of the planet that could be disastrous.”

But this thinking hinges on three key — and false — assumptions.

First, that whatever carbon dioxide or pollution (note that I did not say “or other pollution” since CO2 is plant food, not pollution) would be generated in the building or operation of Keystone will not be generated in whatever other method ends up being used to transport oil from Canada through the United States.

Special Report

Burma Enjoys an Uneasy Peace: Time to Close Thailand’s Refugee Camps?

By 12.15.14

Mae La Refugee Camp, Thailand

Trees give way to primitive wooden homes in the rolling hills approaching Mae La refugee camp on Thailand’s border with Burma. Access is controlled by the Thai army. The largest camp in Thailand, Mae La, holds 50,000 refugees. Some residents have spent their entire lives within Mae La’s confines.

Burma, also known as Myanmar, has been at war most of its history. A British colony occupied by Japan during World War II, Burma gained its independence shortly after that conflict ended. But the new government refused to grant the autonomy promised the nation’s many ethnic groups. War erupted.

Although the bloodiest and most tragic aspect of Burma’s history, the fragmented civil war has been overshadowed by the democracy struggle centered in Rangoon. In 1962 the superstitious Gen. Ne Win overthrew his country’s young democracy. The junta changed shape over the years, with his eventual ouster, but the generals refused to relax their bloody grip.

Special Report

The Self-Enforcing Nature of the Old Moral Code — It’s Gone

By 12.12.14

Yeah, yeah, I’m I’m olllllld. I know and confess it. I remember the Kennedy assassination. I remember when all the guys wore coat and tie at college football games. I remember when the New York Times could be characterized as more or less a pro-American institution.

I mean, look — I even recall when a kind of moral consensus about sex, and sexual relationships, denied the likes of Rolling Stone magazine and Lena Dunham the privilege of whomping up national crusades against the Predatory Male.

We no longer have that consensus. But, boy, do we have Lena Dunham. And Taylor Swift. And the president of the United States — to sound the alarm about the male multitudes who view women as disposable playthings, fit for ravaging at will. Presently, America’s rape “crisis,” as we’re probably supposed to call it, vies with CIA torture and Obamacare for Topic of the Moment status.

Special Report

We Can Handle the Truth

By 12.9.14

What do the recent University of Virginia gang-rape charges made in Rolling Stone magazine, rape implications against an Oberlin College “campus conservative” by talented-but-annoying darling-of-the-left Lena Dunham, and the unending “Hands up, don’t shoot!” and “die-in” pantomimes of murder-by-racist-cop regarding the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, have in common?

The obvious answer is that all three stories are unsupported by actual evidence. While something tragic certainly happened in Ferguson and something bad may have happened to a young woman in Virginia, the aspects of the stories that made them national sensations were fabrications.

(Given Lena Dunham’s admissions that she was drunk and high on both illegal and prescription drugs, and that she willingly had sex with someone even after he had done something exceptionally inappropriate to her in public, no part of her insinuation of rape seems credible… and further scrutiny demolishes it entirely.)

Special Report

Mad Sounding Meds: Is This Any Way to Treat a Condition?

By 12.8.14

My friend said he was stunned by the headline in the Wall Street Journal, “ACTIVIS, ALLERGAN NEAR DEAL.” He said the article went on to talk about a flirtation with Zoetis, while Salix waited in the wings. I had no clue what he was talking about. 

The story was all about a corporate drama unfolding in what is known as Big Pharma. Problem is, no one except those familiar with the industry would know any of the players. In Big Pharma the corporate names are as bizarre and confusing as the names of their products, all of which need FDA approval.

For example, just imagine ingesting yohimbine or phentermine. Those sound like something that a medicine man might have prescribed for a skin rash or chronic gastric distress. No thanks, I’ll leave those to the aliens for whom those exotic names are familiar. 

Special Report

Eric Garner, Tax Martyr

By 12.5.14

The protesters picked the wrong poster child.

Michael Brown stole tobacco. Eric Garner sold it.

Michael Brown assaulted a cop. Cops assaulted Eric Garner.

Eric Garner provided a public service in the free market. Michael Brown proved a public nuisance by regarding the market as free.

Michael Brown taunted: “You’re too much of a f---ing p-ssy to shoot me!” Eric Garner pleaded: “I can’t breathe!”

Note the not-exactly subtle differences between the cases of two towering black men weighing over 300 pounds. These surely eclipse the superficial similarities between the dead pair at the hands of police. Some, on either side of the controversies, can’t see through color or size to grasp the massive, black-and-white differences.

Despite damning video evidence showing police ignoring protocol and proportion, a grand jury declined to bring an indictment against a policeman placing the Staten Island “loosie” cigarette salesman in a chokehold—surely more rear-naked choke than headlock—precipitating a police pile on the nonviolent suspect in July.

The autopsy announced “homicide.” The grand jury announced “no true bill.”

Special Report

David Brooks Insults Capitalism

By 12.3.14



I object to the term “crony capitalism” because it gives a misleading and negative perception of the most beneficial — and moral — economic system ever experienced by man.

I object to New York Times columnist David Brooks for the same reason.

Few things are more harmful to a rational debate over national economic policy than an electorate that is not just uninformed, but misinformed. And when it comes to economics, misinformation almost always has the effect — no doubt intentional — of encouraging voters to mistrust liberty, especially economic liberty, while looking to a feckless, impersonal, self-serving government for care and comfort.

Special Report

‘Hands Up, Don’t Shoot’: An Ignoble Lie for the Ages

By 11.28.14

We never met Michael Brown. Meeting the people who knew him makes us feel as though we had and yet relieved that we hadn’t.

Brown’s mother, 34-year-old Leslie McSpadden, allegedly led a party of twenty-to-thirty people who bum-rushed Michael Brown’s paternal step-grandmother in October for unauthorized sales of Michael Brown memorabilia in the parking lot of a neighborhood barbeque joint. The grandmother quotes Brown’s mother as saying “get her ass.” That the mob did, allegedly striking the on-the-make matriarch in the gauche street battle and stealing several thousand dollars of merchandise and money.

“Burn this bitch down!” Brown’s stepfather Louis Head shouted loudly, and repeatedly, after losing his head over the grand jury’s decision not to indict Darren Wilson earlier this week. Ferguson denizens and visitors, recently impervious to police instruction, proved particularly obedient to the ex-con’s command.

Brown’s followers, perhaps in homage to the lasting images of him inconveniencing a convenience store owner, looted shops and destroyed local businesses. One can condemn the rioters. One can’t accuse them of betraying Michael Brown’s legacy.

Special Report

A Culture of Lies

By 11.26.14

The hucksters who falsely accused Darren Wilson of a racially motivated “killing” won’t face justice, even though they have ruined his life and inspired monstrous race riots. The media should treat them as permanently discredited, but of course it won’t. Outlets will continue to give them platforms from which to pontificate on all the “changes” that should come from the controversy. Self-reflection will not be one of them, as they search for new outrages to stoke.

Most of their recommended changes amount to giving criminals a wider berth in society. It is impossible to see how police departments could conform to the demands of Al Sharpton and company unless they simply stopped arresting black criminals.

Almost all of the focus is on changing the police’s reaction to criminal behavior, not changing the behavior itself. Out of this mindset has come a culture that canonizes criminals and criminalizes cops.