Special Report

Special Report

From ‘Love Story’ to ‘Love Letters’

By 2.9.16

Love means never having to say you’re sorry.

That of course was the most famous line from Love Story, the biggest box office hit of 1970. It was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Best Actor and Best Actress for the movie’s two stars Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw, and a Best Director nod for the Canadian-born Arthur Hiller. Competing alongside M*A*S*H, Five Easy Pieces, Airport, and Patton, it lost to Patton,and the Best Actor trophy went to Patton’s star George C. Scott, who famously refused the award. MacGraw would be beaten out for Best Actress by Glenda Jackson for her role in Women in Love. Jackson would later be elected to the British House of Commons as a Labour MP and I would become acquainted with her during my time in London. But that’s another story for another day.

Special Report

Rubio’s Debate Disaster

By 2.7.16

I’ve said repeatedly that Marco Rubio is potentially the best Republican communicator since Ronald Reagan. But Saturday night’s GOP debate in New Hampshire left me wondering whether the only candidate I’ve contributed to in this cycle is instead just so well-rehearsed with talking points, brief sound-bites, and longer speeches that I may be hearing great memorization rather than what I thought were true insights into the man’s character, philosophy, and policy priorities.

Early in the debate, Senator Rubio was asked about his accomplishments in politics. He gave a short answer naming a few mostly unmemorable items and then strangely turned to this: “Let’s dispel once and for all this fiction that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country.”

Special Report

The Gestalt of Guilt

By 2.5.16

Last fall was an angry time on campus. What now? Will the Ivy League and other top colleges and universities get back to business or resume the St. Vitus dance in the spring?

The dreamed-of academic Shangri-las for ambitious, able youth of every background and color stand accused of crimes and neglect they have spent decades trying to cure.

According to the indictment: Whatever gains peoples of color have made on and off campus, white racism is far from diminishing. It remains formidable, but unlike racism in the past, is subtle and covert. Decades-long policies to widen fields of study, faculties, and enrollments have not yielded satisfactory results. Microaggression is everywhere.

Special Report

Reality TV: Obama at the Mosque

By 2.4.16

“Thou doth protest too much.” That’s my reaction to President Barack Obama’s visit to a mosque yesterday.

There is no national attack on Muslims that requires Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and major Democrats in Congress and in state legislatures, and Democrat governors and mayors, universities, mainstream media, to dignify a problem that doesn’t exist. They are projecting Obama’s enthusiasm for Islam.

Let’s stop demonizing Donald Trump as an excuse to accelerate the Islamization of America. Trump deserves credit for his blunt denunciation of political correctness, where a San Bernardino County resident did not report suspicious activity among the terrorists because of Obama’s chilling environment of political correctness. 

Special Report

What’s the Issue — Etiquette or Submission?

By 2.2.16

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani came calling on the Italians and the French, as part of a tour of the greedy capitalist countries who were tripping all over themselves in their eagerness to sell him the rope by which he would hang them. He would allow them to do this only on the condition that they would not offend him. As we’ve learned over the last decade, it’s very easy to offend a Muslim. No wine was to be served at meals. No statues displaying nudity were to be in his line of sight. The French would not pass on the wine. The Italians would be more accommodating. They wouldn’t serve wine.

Furthermore, they would address the issue of nudity, not with fig leafs, but by entirely surrounding the offending masterpieces in the Capitoline Museum with white boxes. This was ingenious in a way, and very Italian. A fig leaf might only serve to draw attention to the offending anatomy. But large white boxes scattered throughout the exhibit would create a “negative space” that would define the boundaries of the positive space, demarcating the sacred from the profane, what is permissible from what is forbidden. The Italians raised their shame to an art form.

Special Report

Bungling in the Bayou State

By 1.29.16

Earlier this month, there were no Democrat governors in the Deep South. And just two weeks after that changed with the inauguration in Louisiana of John Bel Edwards, a trial lawyer and two-term back-bencher in the Louisiana House of Representatives who pulled off a 56-44 thrashing of Sen. David Vitter in the November runoff election last year, it’s beginning to be fairly clear why.

Edwards was the beneficiary of an almost perfect storm. He was the only Democrat in a field of four major candidates, and the three Republicans spent time beating each other up — or, more to the point, two of the Republicans (Public Service Commissioner Scott Angelle and Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne) spent months attacking Vitter and Vitter returned fire in turn. That meant Edwards had a glide path into the runoff in Louisiana’s jungle primary without being vetted or even having attention paid to him. And when he ran a relatively strong 41 percent in the primary against Vitter’s weak 23 percent without a single punch having been laid on him, all Edwards had to do was to bring up, repeatedly, the long-in-the-tooth scandal about the latter’s dalliances with hookers.

Special Report

How the National Teachers Union Usurped a Local Election

By 1.28.16

In November of 2013, the people of Jefferson County, Colorado elected me to represent their interests on the Board of Education. My goal was ambitious, but straightforward: help turn our 83,000 student school district, where I attended elementary through high school, into the nation’s leader in public education.

Special Report

Laura Nyro: A Tale of Two Tributes

By 1.25.16

Many performers from the 1960s and 1970s have inspired tributes in the form of cover bands, the recording of new interpretations of their material and even Broadway shows. Of course, there are hundreds, probably thousands of tributes to the Beatles. But it is certainly not limited to the Fab Four. Led Zeppelin, Carole King, the late David Bowie and the Eagles (featuring the also recently departed Glenn Frey) immediately come to mind.

Then there’s the case of Laura Nyro. Unlike the other acts mentioned, Laura Nyro is not a household name. I suspect that many music fans who were around during the ’60s and ’70s probably never even heard of her. But those who come to know Nyro’s music are a devoted lot who remain fans for life.

Special Report

Why We Need a National Internet Strategy

By 1.22.16

We love the Internet! The average American goes online more than 30 times a day and spends at least 30 hours a week online. And why shouldn’t we? The Internet is our on-ramp to worlds of sports, history, culture, banking, entertainment, gaming, and connectivity with others. In just a generation, it has become the oxygen we need to live many aspects of our daily lives.

While it is a tremendous resource, the Internet raises new challenges on security. While our national business and government leaders have focused their energies on protecting our financial, transportation, water, and electrical infrastructures from potential terrorist attacks, cyber-risks to these systems remain as real and potentially even more devastating.

In the United States, many of us view the riches of the Internet as a fundamental right. And a number of Internet-related policy issues confirm this, driving a new generation of political activism.

Special Report

2016: The West’s Last Chance — Last Gasp?

By 1.21.16

Behold recent developments: the moral inversion elevating Hamas over Israel, skewered by Dennis Prager (4:12); the fascism of militant Islam; insanely strict rules of engagement that tie our hands in battle; Miss Puerto Rico suspended from the Miss Universe pageant for an anti-Muslim online rant; rampant political correctness describing as “peaceful or moderate” Muslims who take offense at those who link Islam to terrorism; the government questioning the loyalty of an American dentist, two of whose siblings had emigrated to Israel, seeking to provide dental ser