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Special Report

Instead of Immigration, Let’s Try Colonialism

By 7.25.14

Democratic Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi visits shelters housing the thousands of children streaming across the border from Central America and says, “We’re all North Americans” and she’d like to take them all home with her.

Democratic Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont thunders that 9-year-old girls are being raped on the streets of Guatemala and that we must take them in to save them.

And Democratic Congressman John Lewis of Georgia is even more generous. He says that there’s no sense in having borders anymore. America belongs to the whole world and we should open our doors to let everyone in.

Democrats are obviously the “Party of Compassion.” They want to extend the blessings of America to the whole world. They believe, it would seem, that we have created something close to the perfect society here — a society in which only half the population has to work, where 20 percent receive food stamps, where 10 million people are on disability and where, in the words of Pelosi herself, government healthcare enables people to “quit their job to stay home and write poetry.”

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Live From New York

You’re Under Arrest, Cardiac Arrest

By 7.25.14

Smoking is healthier than fascism. The aphorism’s latest affirmation comes via the death of a seller of cigarette singles at the hands of New York City police officers.

“Are you serious?” Eric Garner asked the approaching New York City cops. “I didn’t do nothing. What did I do?” No good deed goes unpunished. He apparently captured the attention of the police last week by breaking up a fight. But he appeared on their radar long before that.

“In a city where the authorities are increasingly focused on stamping out petty offenses as a way of heading off larger ones,” the New York Times reported this week, “the local officers had tangled with Mr. Garner time and time again, arresting him for selling untaxed cigarettes at a price far below what local deli owners could offer.”

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State Watch

New England’s Blue-State Blues

By 7.25.14

They call it the “Texas Miracle,” though California doesn’t think there’s anything heavenly about it. Texas’s economic boom, driven by low taxes and a business-friendly regulatory climate under the cocksure leadership of Governor Rick Perry, is the envy of the rest of the country. There’s a running joke that California’s biggest export is its own people, headed straight for the Lone Star State.

But it’s not just California that has the blue-state blues. Outside the West Coast, the most cerulean part of the country is the Northeast, and specifically New England, the six-state region once bound together by Puritan values, now bound together by mandatory sex education classes. But while New England has embraced looser social values, economically it’s a case study in high taxes, obscene spending, and coercive regulations.

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The War on Terror Spectator

Where Are the Good Guys in Iraq?

By 7.25.14

A search for the good guys and bad guys of Iraq commenced during a hearing in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs with representatives from the Departments of State and Defense on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was the first "bad guy," in the view of Congress. A few representatives are still making thinly veiled accusations about incompetence on the part of Bush for sending troops into Iraq, or Obama for taking them out, but most seem to agree that Maliki is out of favor. 

On the other hand, several congressmen expressed support for the Kurds, both in general and in their desire for an independent state. One remarked that no American troops were lost in the Kurdish territories during the Iraq war, thanks to the friendliness of the Kurds. 

Warm wishes were also expressed towards Jordan, while any partnership with Iran was roundly condemned. 

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Another Perspective

My Father, L. Brent Bozell Jr.

By 7.25.14

As his title suggests (“An appreciation ….” TAS, July 4), Daniel J. Flynn’s review of Dan Kelly’s book Living on Fire: The Life of L. Brent Bozell Jr. is meant as a salute and I’m grateful for that sentiment. But it’s also flawed. I suppose that reaction’s a normal one for the progeny of the person discussed, but in this case it’s serious enough to beg a response. I pre-emptively plead guilty to the charge of bias while underscoring that I also speak with authority.

Just one paragraph in this review is devoted to my father’s contributions to the modern conservative movement (which, he might joke were he still with us, is one paragraph too many). Less than two deal with his final years in service to the poor. Everything else in Mr. Flynn’s piece focuses on my father’s eccentricities, some which were nothing of the sort, and manic depression, which was very real. It is essential that both topics be discussed, but not this way.

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Kids These Days

Back Off, Tiger Moms: The Kids Are Alright

By 7.24.14

The news has been filled with their stories—children just seven or nine or eleven years old, on their own, faced with the impossible, braving death under a hot sun, with nothing but their wits to tell them when to roll down the window.

You thought I was talking about the child migrants? No, I’m referring to our own chubby doltlings, who apparently aren’t up to playing in the park by themselves or even capable of sitting quietly in a car without spontaneously expiring, much less handle a 1,400-mile journey from Guatemala unaccompanied.

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Special Report

Three Cheers for Tax Inversions

By 7.24.14

Former Chief of Staff for the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT), Edward Kleinbard, writing in the Wall Street Journal, argues that “tax inversions must be stopped now.”

Kleinbard may understand taxes but like so many on the left has a weak grasp on economics and on the proper relationship between a government and its citizens (including those operating within corporations).

Tax inversions involve an American company buying a foreign firm in order to move its tax domicile to the lower-tax foreign location. Some of the most common recent inversions involve buying Irish companies.

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The Nation's Pulse

Olbermann Wannabes at Play

By 7.24.14

Once again Tony Dungy demonstrates why many consider him the classiest and most thoroughly decent man in professional sport. And the national sports press demonstrates again that it is mostly a pack of mindless, left-ideology-besotted jackals with no more principles, restraint, or sense of proportion than their news-side brethren (and sistren). Perhaps less.

The latest obsession of the sport media, though by no means an obsession of American sports fans, is St. Louis Rams rookie defensive end Michael Sam, who is the first openly gay player in the NFL, and therefore a cultural hero to the mainstream media and other poobahs of the cultural cognoscenti. A large scrum of reporters is trailing Sam and reporting his every action, thought, and move. They’re also acting as a kind of Inquisition, outing and punishing those who do not celebrate Sam’s arrival with unalloyed joy and in exactly the language that the homosexual political movement and the Left’s cultural police demand of us all. 

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Political Hay

The Vindication of Barry Goldwater

By 7.24.14

How did our national government grow from a servant with sharply limited powers into a master with virtually unlimited power?
Senator Barry Goldwater writing in The Conscience of a Conservative (1960)

July, 1964. Fifty years ago this month. The Republican Party nominates Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater for president. The resulting uproar was somewhere north of hysteria. And that was just from the GOP establishment of the day. Followed famously by a November landslide Goldwater “defeat” in which the Arizonan carried a mere five states in his race against Democratic President Lyndon Johnson.

Goldwater was the first conservative Republican to win nomination since the 1924 selection of Calvin Coolidge (the vice president who had succeeded Warren Harding after his death). From 1928 all the way through 1960, every GOP nominee from Hoover to Nixon was drawn from the progressive/moderate wing of the party.

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Ben Stein's Diary

A Day of Nausea

By 7.23.14

Sandpoint, Tuesday, July 21, 2014
Rain. It is startling to see rain on my window pane. It is an extinct phenomenon in California. Just a few drops on the glass here are intoxicating. Will it ever rain again in Sunny Cal? It had better. Someone will make a fortune trucking in water. But it won’t be me.

I awakened with a nasty intestinal virus. Why? I don’t know but my wife had it two days ago so it’s going around. As my pal Phil always says, just a touch of nausea makes life deeply unsettling, destroys all sense of proportion, robs you of your vitality. That’s just a touch of nausea. My Tazo Refresh Tea helps, but I need lomotil as well.

I slept very late, then answered e-mails. As I saw the rain hovering over the lake, I read the encouragement of those who have been angered by my rough treatment in the media. The one I treasured especially was from a woman of roughly my age. Many years ago, she had a middle-aged pregnancy through an affair with a married man in the construction trades.

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