Latest News

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.

Send to Kindle

Eminentoes

When the UN Apes Al Sharpton

By 12.12.14

Among the familiar hucksters who sought to capitalize on the troubles in Ferguson, Missouri, came a new face: Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights and self-styled heir to the non-existent royal houses of Iraq and Syria.

“I am deeply concerned,” Prince Zeid said in a press release, about “institutionalized discrimination” in America, and “I urge the U.S. authorities” to conduct “in-depth examinations” of racial justice. Notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence that Michael Brown’s death resulted from the criminal acts he engaged in before and during his encounter with officer Darren Wilson, Zeid’s Human Rights Council invited the Brown family to testify before a hearing and afterwards issued a 14-page condemnation of America’s record on race.

Self-awareness, it’s safe to say, is neither Prince Zeid’s nor the Human Rights Council’s strongpoint. Far from representing “the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights,” the Council includes many of the poster-children for abuse: Pakistan, Venezuela, China, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Russia and Cuba.

Send to Kindle

The Nation's Pulse

Our Competitive Entitlement Economy

By 12.11.14

It’s not unusual for non-Americans, and many Americans of a center-left disposition, to portray the United States as a dog-eat-dog society: one in which the poor are left to fend for themselves and where a night-watchman state doesn’t intervene, save in extreme circumstances and often not until it’s too late. It’s a mantra that’s endlessly repeated, from the academy to the pulpit, from Congress to your local council.

Judging, however, from the latest update on global social expenditure released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)—hardly a den of infamous “neoliberal” bogeymen—this portrait simply isn’t true. In fact, as the Washington Post’s Robert Samuelson notes, it turns out that America is the world’s second-biggest social spender, right after that global exemplar of fiscal rectitude and economic prudence: France.

Send to Kindle

Political Hay

Does the Democratic Party Have a Future?

By 12.11.14

In a rather wistful, even elegiac piece in the December 2, 2014 edition of National Journal, political analyst Charles Cook describes how leading to last month’s election, the Democratic Party “paved the way for their own defeat.” Describing as “noble” such priorities as “health care, the environment, and civil rights,” Cook notes that “an argument can be made that it is because Democrats have subordinated their traditional focus on helping lower- and working-class Americans move up the economic ladder” that there has been a “decline in support for Democrats among certain groups.”

Send to Kindle

Patriot Nation

The Self-Hating Americans

By 12.11.14

They hate America. They hate themselves for being Americans. 

And in a vivid display of just how far self-hating Americans will go to smear their own country, look no further than this quickly infamous leftist-generated so-called CIA report. Its title as bequeathed by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence: Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program.

Three former CIA directors, two former deputy CIA directors, and a former Democratic Senator on the Senate Intelligence Committee have responded in detail to the report pushed out by California’s Senator Dianne Feinstein, the outgoing committee chairwoman. And they have not been kind.

In the Wall Street Journal, the three former CIA directors — George Tenet, Porter Goss, and Michael Hayden — say this:

Send to Kindle

Media Matters

Rolling Stone’s Journalism by Synecdoche

By 12.11.14

The moral of Rolling Stone’s unraveling story about gang rape at the University of Virginia should be simple: reporters ought to stop treating rape stories as a unique genre of journalism, exempt from scrutiny.

Modern guidelines for reporting on sexual violence from the Columbia Journalism School, for example, instruct reporters: “Don’t be surprised if accounts only make partial sense.”

Sabrina Rubin Erdely was so unsurprised by a nonsensical story about seven fraternity brothers ambushing and raping a UVA student that she made it the centerpiece of her 9,000-word article about campus sexual assault. Because she did, she will now have a glorious opportunity to seek out a new career in technical writing or public relations.

Send to Kindle

At Large

The KGB’s Old Headquarters Lives On

By 12.11.14

Moscow

Red Square is one of the world’s most iconic locales. Dominated by the Kremlin, St. Basil’s Cathedral, and GUM Department Store, the space looks little different from Soviet times. While Lenin’s mausoleum remains, any hint of menace is gone. Indeed, even during the worst of the USSR the square was more symbolic than threatening. For the most part no one went to the Kremlin to die.

Very different, however, is Lubyanka, just a short walk up Teatralny Proezd past the Bentley and Maserati dealerships. 

In the late nineteenth century 15 insurance companies congregated on Great Lubyanka Street, prospering as the great czarist despotism entered the industrial age. The Rossia agency, one of Russia’s largest, completed an office building in 1900. Excess space was turned into apartments and leased out to retailers selling everything from books to beds.

Send to Kindle

The Current Crisis

The Future of the ‘New Republic’ and Us

By 12.11.14

I should like to pose a question to the overnight press baron, Chris Hughes, who owns the moribund New Republic that he has rendered moribund with astounding speed and no class at all.

My question is an old-fashioned one that might have circulated within the humanities faculty at universities two generations ago. “What,” I would ask, “makes a book more authoritative and satisfying than a news report?” Most of the profs in their tweed jackets and some pulling on their briar pipes would answer that the author of a book has more time to write it than the author of a news story, and the author of a book has more sources to consult and more interviews to conduct. He or she works from more evidence and writes with greater care—at least one would hope. To which today’s slightly crazed neoteric shouts some gibberish about “a vertically integrated digital media company” and leaves the room, preferably with the slam of a door.

Send to Kindle

The Health Care Spectator

Adding to the Lies Obamacare Supporters Have Told Us

By 12.10.14

Jonathan Gruber’s attempt at contrition before the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee might have been convincing had he not lied again. Gruber began his testimony trying to explain away his controversial remarks that have come to light in recent months, but he used deception to do so.

Gruber’s actions are part and parcel of how the Obama administration has handled Obamacare. Deceit is routinely employed to reassure the public that the law is a success.

Of course, politics is not the most honest of professions, and there will always be some “spinning” and shading of the truth. But that’s not the case with Obamacare. Rather, there are numerous instances when the president, another member of the administration, or someone closely linked with the administration knew that the truth was “A” but told the public it was “B.” In other words, they lied.

Here are eight of the most brazen lies, beginning with Gruber:

1. Gruber: Of course people on federal exchanges are supposed to receive premium subsidies.

Send to Kindle

Buy the Book

Christmas Books

By 12.10.14

This year, Christmas shopping may be an especially welcome respite from the ugly events going on across the country, as mobs take to the streets because grand juries that examined evidence reached different conclusions from those reached by mobs who made up their minds without examining that evidence.

Perhaps more than in other years, shopping malls can become shopping mauls. One of the ways to make Christmas shopping less stressful is to give books as presents — after ordering them on the Internet. There is a good crop of new books to choose from this year, as well as some old favorites that can make good gifts.

For people concerned about current racial issues, Jason Riley’s new book Please Stop Helping Us cuts through so much of the current toxic rhetoric spread by politicians, hustlers and media pundits. It is amazing how refreshing plain English and common sense can be, especially when backed up with hard facts that are seldom discussed in the mainstream media.

Send to Kindle

Pages