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Special Report

Hillary’s Iran Scandal: The Empress Has No Clothes

By 4.23.15

Iran, Victor Pinchuk, and the Clinton Foundation?

Did you miss the story of Erika Smalley? 

Where to begin as the fairy tale image of Hillary Clinton begins to dissolve under the white heat of a presidential campaign?

The smoldering began yesterday afternoon on Sean Hannity’s radio show when Hannity tipped breaking news by saying, “I have sources, and I am telling you that maybe even as early as tomorrow there is going to be a huge, massive blow-up for the Clintons. You might hear this figure: 100 million dollars. And you might hear a country that is named Iran. That’s all I’m going to say now.”

Hours later Megyn Kelly led her Fox show with the tale of Victor Pinchuk, a story originally surfaced in the still-barely-alive Newsweek. The Newsweek story was headlined as follows:

Hillary Clinton’s Big Benefactor Has Trade Links with Iran

The Hillary Watch

Who Does She Inspire?

By 4.23.15

Who other than college students enamored of voting for the “first woman president” — because voting for the “first black president” has worked out so well — will be inspired by the candidacy of Hillary Clinton?

I don’t mean in contrast to any of the increasing number of interesting Republican candidates whom liberals object to with unbecoming condescension.

I mean in her own right.

Putting aside what many of us understood to be the true nature of Barack Obama and despite his vapid rhetoric about “hope and change,” the man was to many Americans an inspiration.

Ronald Reagan, because he understood and spoke honestly of the true nature of man and of Soviet communism, remains an inspiration and will do so long after history doles out to Barack Obama the verdict of failure he so richly deserves.

A Further Perspective

Debate on the Merits, Anyone?

By and 4.23.15

Marching under the banner of “transparency,” there is a growing movement in the U.S. to limit truly free speech. The movement claims to be attacking “dark money,” but the reality is that its adherents want to shut up its ideological opponents. Independent expressions of support or opposition for candidates or political issues are marginalized by irrelevant questions about funding sources. Honest research and well-formulated arguments are denounced as “biased” or “untrustworthy” because of who the donors are rather than based on the merits of the arguments presented.

One doesn’t need to look further than the tragic case of Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Dr. Willie Soon to see how calls for transparency can unjustly harm others and deter future quality research. Soon was recently smeared by the New York Times and organizations like Greenpeace for his allegedly biased scientific research into the theory of catastrophic man-caused climate change.

Campus Scenes

People in Black: Aging Hipsters and the Humanities Brain Drain

By 4.23.15

Having won the culture wars, the tenured humanities professoriate has dug in, ideologically petrified with guild seniority, at a potentially lethal cost to venerable disciplines losing their luster and prestige.

Whole fields of study are languishing. “The humanities have yet to recover from the disaster of postmodernism, with its defiant obscurantism, dogmatic relativism, and suffocating political correctness,” Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker writes in the New Republic. “And they have failed to define a progressive agenda.” 

The question is: can they recover? Aging hipsters and their acolytes control entire fields. For everyone not in on the game, their postmodern vamping never made much sense, even when it was white-hot. Today the relativism, transgression, and revisionism seem formulaic and even passé. While the Race, Class, and Gender trifecta rules as an idea system across whole courses of study, it is increasingly death at the box office.

But at State U no problema — not if you are tenured and featherbedded.

A Bigger Perspective

‘Death to America’ by Other Means

By 4.22.15

“Iran is a small country,” our president sagely tells us. “They could not possibly defeat us.” The small and shrinking number of knowledgeable Americans know that he is wrong, and surely he must know that.

EMP stands for “electromagnetic pulse.” Since the dawn of the nuclear age, scientists have known of the vulnerability. Though many have tried to warn the American people of the danger, in the modern age of party-controlled media, the message still has not broken through.

In an August 12, 2014 commentary by former CIA Director R. James Woolsey and Peter Vincent Pry, a member of the 2008 Presidential EMP Commission, the Wall Street Journal tried to sound the alarm bell. Woolsey and Pry wrote:

The Current Crisis

Where to Find America’s Aristocracy

By 4.22.15

Notwithstanding what the Marxist whim wham artists have been telling the youths of our country for over a generation, there has been little sign of a true aristocracy in America. For a very short period of time something like an aristocracy appeared during the era when the Robber Barons plied their arts, but it did not last. They built their palaces and raised their empires among the steel mills, the transcontinental railroads, the oil fields, and so forth, but then they declined, submerged in the hustle and bustle of the market place. Their monuments remain as various museums and libraries and even universities, for instance, Vanderbilt University, but for the most part American aristocracy is gone. Allons-y, Messrs. Vanderbilt, Morgan, Carnegie and the rest, but thanks for the museums, the libraries, and the increasingly irrelevant universities.

A Further Perspective

Plus-Sized Paris

By 4.22.15

You’ve heard by now, haven’t you, of the new French law banning women with an unhealthy body mass index (BMI) from modeling?

The legislation, backed by the country’s Socialist Party, also makes it illegal to promote anorexia online, or even manipulate a photo to render a woman ultra-thin unless the photoshopping effort is made public. The move is meant to curb “excessive thinness,” which can result in “risk of mortality or damage to health.” Reuters reports on the measure which was earlier adopted by Israel:

The measure is part of a campaign against anorexia by President François Hollande’s government.

Models would have to present a medical certificate showing a BMI of at least 18, about 55 kg (121 lb) for a height of 1.75 meters (5.7 feet), before being hired for a job and for a few weeks afterwards.

Special Report

Is This the Best Green Conservatism Can Do?

By 4.22.15

Tory Perfetti had done a pretty good job.

His shiny purple and black tie hung from the approximate middle of his collar, and he hadn’t stumbled at all during his remarks to the journalists assembled at the Florida Press Association.

He introduced Stephanie Kunkel of Clean Water Action, the first of a half-dozen activists from across the spectrum gathered, literally, under the banner of Floridians for Solar Choice, Perfetti’s new group, which is arguing for a ballot initiative that would insert some pro-solar boilerplate into the state Constitution, plus allow homeowners with rooftop solar setups to sell electricity to their neighbors.

As Kunkel launched into her prepared remarks, the Floridians for Solar Choice banner came unstuck and crashed to the floor right behind her. Perfetti grimaced.

Media Matters

The Media’s Litmus Tests

By 4.22.15

The media’s dissection of political arguments is primarily demagogic, turning not upon their intrinsic merits but upon whether or not they conform to “mainstream” expectations as defined by the media. Any position outside what it deems the mainstream is automatically invalid. In this mindless atmosphere, politics grows more and more narrow and dangerous. Objective reality becomes irrelevant to any discussion and politics is reduced to a chase for the latest poll and strategic deception.

In this atmosphere, even the mildest moments of conservative truth-telling become occasions for the media to hurl accusations of sexism, racism, and homophobia. Of course, the media’s definition of what’s mainstream is conveniently elastic. It would never declare Hillary Clinton’s support for late-term abortions “outside the mainstream.” Nor would it describe Democrats who now want the military to champion transgender soldiers extreme. But it will routinely describe even the most toothless Republicans as aliens to mainstream opinion.

Reader Mail

Conservatives and Patent Reform Continued: Rick Santorum Responds

4.22.15

Comprehensive patent legislation is bad for small business and entrepreneurship in America, and conservatives should join me in supporting only targeted change to deal with abuse of the system. Gary Shapiro, whose organization represents giant technology companies, declares that H.R. 9, the so-called “Innovation Act,” would “protect small businesses and innovation… through transparency” in patent litigation. But Shapiro’s critique of my views misses the point entirely: H.R. 9 would have serious unintended implications for an entire innovation ecosystem in which small businesses and entrepreneurs thrive.

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