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A Further Perspective

The Killing of Free Speech

By 5.25.15

Do blondes really have more fun? That’s a question often thrown at a serious woman with brainy gray matter under her golden tresses. The popular perception that blondes paid for those tresses with diminished intellectual power remains pervasive in the culture. (You could Google it.) But it’s specifically used as a cudgel by the left if a particular blonde is a conservative. These critics increasingly employ a variation on the theme to disparage any good-looking blonde you’re likely to find on one specific network. (Guess which one.)

“So pervasive is the smear that all the female commentators and anchors on Fox (News Channel) are dumb blonde chicks that it was actually fact-checked” by PolitiFact, writes Kirsten Powers, who found many such examples in researching her book about how liberals try to shut up those with whom they disagree.

In the book, The Silencing: How the Left Is Killing Free Speech, she offers a trenchant analysis of how the “illiberal left” tries to delegitimize and demonize opponents (and not just blondes). As a blond Fox News commentator herself, she’s the wolf in chic clothing.


Human Rights in Egypt and Iran: The Post’s Continuing Hypocrisy

By 5.25.15

Every few months since President Sisi took office someone at the Washington Post takes Egypt to task for “human rights abuses.” These articles and editorials seem all to be written on the same template, using much of the same material and making the same misleading points. They might appear as a news column, an editorial, and op-ed piece, or a “how this affects one Egyptian family in the U.S.” story in the Metro section. Last Thursday’s “human rights under Sisi suck” article follows the established pattern.

First, President Sisi is falsely described as having come to power in a coup. In fact, he came to power in the same way former President Morsi did: via a popular uprising, as described in an earlier Post article.

Special Report

A Methodist Boycott of the Holocaust Museum?

By 5.23.15

Recently a longtime United Methodist official, lamenting that Israel’s Independence Day obscured the Palestinian “Nakba” or catastrophe, urged boycotting the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. until the Palestinians have their own Holocaust museum.

Here’s the quote from Janet Lahr Lewis, “Advocacy Coordinator for the Middle East” at United Methodism’s General Board of Global Ministries in New York, and “Peace with Justice Associate” at the church’s General Board of Church and Society in Washington, D.C., in an article originally appearing in but now seemingly removed from the online weekly newsletter of the latter agency:

Special Report

Seven Brothers: A World War II Story

By 5.23.15

This time last year for The American Spectator, I wrote about the five Bailey brothers of World War II: Dick, Jim, Fonnie, John, and Fred. They were from Western Pennsylvania, my neck of the woods. All served in World War II. We’ve all heard of the Ryan brothers in “Saving Private Ryan” and perhaps the Sullivan brothers in the old black-and-white film “The Fighting Sullivans.” And we know from these movies that the U.S. military resolved to never again take the risk of exposing so many of one mother’s sons to the risk of death in one war.

And yet, there they were, all five Bailey boys. Not one was granted a desk job on the home-front. All five volunteered for combat after Pearl Harbor and all five faced—Europe, the Pacific, Northern Africa; by land, by air, by sea.

Imagine: Five brothers in one war.

Ben Stein's Diary

An Oxford Education

By 5.22.15

So… It is Thursday night and I am in Greenville. I just had an incredibly good meal at the Commerce Club in downtown Greenville. Tommy and his wife, the spectacular Kitten, were there, and my angelic granddaughter, Coco, almost 4. And my perfect wifey, and my pal Bob, and Tommy’s pal, Matt. We were on the 17th floor overlooking the upstate of South Carolina. The sky turned pink and gray and the fried chicken was outstanding. So was the service. Coco was in a rare mood. The Kitten told us a story. A few days ago, Coco came to her with a sheet of paper with some writing on it, not really saying anything.

“This is a letter to my school from my mother saying I don’t have to go to school tomorrow,” said Coco.

“But, I’m your mother, and I don’t remember writing that,” said The Kitten.

“I know,” said almost 4-year-old Coco. “That’s why you have to sign it.”

A born lawyer.

I had just come from a street fair on Main Street. Happy, happy, happy men and women. Music. Diet Pepsi. Really happy, cheerful, smiling, healthy-looking. This is a happy place. Don’t miss out on it. Happy place in a sad world.

The Marital Spectator

What the Faked Gay Marriage Study Says About Academia and the Media

By 5.22.15

Two aspiring political scientists exposed a widely referenced study, which maintained that homosexuals discussing gay marriage with citizens proved “capable of producing a cascade of opinion change,” as a total fraud.

Berkeley grad student Joshua Kalla and Stanford professor David Broockman, eager to add to the project with their own study, discovered that the survey firm identified in “When Contact Changes Minds: An Experiment on Transmission of Support for Gay Equality” maintained “no familiarity with the project,” “never had an employee with the name of the staffer” believed as assisting the research, and “denied having the capabilities” to conduct such an endeavor.

The debunking unleashed myriad reactions, none as gleeful as the ones that greeted the initial study late last year.


Blumenthal: New Age Gooney Bird

By 5.22.15

The Rise of the Counter-Establishment: From Conservative Ideology to Political Power
Sidney Blumenthal/Times Books/$19.95

(Reviewed by Penn Kemble in our September 1986 issue)

Sidney Blumenthal is the jaundiced eye through which the Washington Post views the politics and culture of the New Right, the neoconservatives, and those it believes are the “objective” allies of these distasteful usurpers. My colleagues and I at Prodemca—many of us Democrats who had the presumption to favor aid to the Nicaraguan resistance—have been a regular object of his attentions. I accepted the offer to review his new book with the expectation that it might explain whatever broader perspective underlies his animadversions. I am still confused.

Special Report

Where the Truth Wanders

By 5.22.15

On the night of April 9, 2015, masked men belonging to an anti-Russian militant group launched an audacious nighttime raid in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv. Their targets were not pro-Russian partisans, but rather three Soviet-era statues of Bolshevik heroes, including the Red Army commander Nikolai Rudnev. A week later, a similar nocturnal razzia was carried out against a monument to Vladimir Lenin that had theretofore graced the campus of Kharkiv’s National Technical University.

The Nation's Pulse

Asian-American Leaders Are Scarce in Silicon Valley. And?

By 5.22.15

A longtime friend of mine who will go unnamed was never a great student. In high school, he “achieved” passable grades by babysitting the teachers’ kids. I kid you not. He was in band, but couldn’t play his instrument. Or at least not very well, whatever it was. But what he could play was the conductor, by making him laugh and otherwise inundating him with hard-to-resist charm. This white and partly Hispanic friend of mine got by on a kind of old school personality type that relies more on street smarts than books smarts. And now he’s a successful salesman, living internationally no less.

The above comes to mind — as does public high school corruption, come to think of it — when hearing about the paltry number of Asian-Americans in executive positions in Silicon Valley. Paltry when considering that Asian-Americans are roughly 50% of the SV workforce. Mother Jones’ Josh Harkinson queries America’s social conscience on the matter:

Special Report

Charter Schools: The New White Ruling Class?

By 5.21.15

Raleigh, N.C.

Bereft of arguments to discredit charter schools on their merits, education bureaucrats are resorting to one of their favorite go-to arguments in a jam—accuse the opposition of racism and re-segregation.

Although this renewed offensive is unfolding on a national scale, North Carolina has become an epicenter for the conflict, as school-choice advocates and education establishment interests cross swords. The battle came to a head recently when a Duke University study claimed that charter schools don’t live up to their promise of attracting and retaining minority students.