Harry Potter and the Danger of Words

“Avada Kedavra!” —Voldemort It must have been J. K. Rowling. That’s the only explanation that makes sense. Rowling, with her Harry Potter series, somehow convinced a generation of kids that words, spoken in just the right sequence, can affect the physical world in exactly the same way force can. After exhausting every other rational explanation,

By | 2017-03-09T08:17:03+00:00 March 9th, 2017|

The Denunciation Racket

Maybe it’s my background as a Soviet-era Jewish Russian emigre, but I’ve always found calls from politicians to denounce someone or something unsettling. From the days of Ancient Rome when senators would pressure each other to out-denounce political enemies to appease the emperor, to the French Revolution where the Sans-Culottes pamphlets read: “Denounce the crimes,

By | 2017-03-04T09:54:09+00:00 March 3rd, 2017|

Donald Trump Hasn’t Changed—And That’s a Good Thing

When President Donald J. Trump walked into the Capitol on Tuesday evening to give his first speech to a joint session of Congress after his first month in office, the mood among the political establishment was apprehensive. Before the speech, the news cycle churned with stories about how the president was set to moderate his

By | 2017-03-01T00:57:17+00:00 March 1st, 2017|

CPAC 2017: An Autopsy

President Trump at CPAC: For a few shining moments, the conference had the feel of a political movement with a future. Author’s note: I have prepared this piece in accordance with the factual standards used by CNN and Buzzfeed. Any “fake news” is thus immune from criticism. Shortly after the opening ceremonies of

By | 2017-02-27T21:24:47+00:00 February 27th, 2017|

A Partial Defense of Milo Yiannopoulos

Some thoughts on the Milo Yiannopoulos brouhaha. Of course the former Breitbart.com editor's videotaped comments, in which he seemed to condone sex with young teenage boys, are appalling. And, like many others, I found his denials and apologies to be insufficient. But I’d like to put some other things on the table to explain why I’m

By | 2017-02-24T15:28:27+00:00 February 24th, 2017|

Trump’s Governing Agenda: It’s a Marathon, Not a Sprint

The agents of the status quo are at it again. CNN host Fareed Zakaria’s recent op-ed in the Washington Post excoriates President Trump for his administration’s “lack of forward movement.” Zakaria took to the Post’s pages to compare Trump’s administration with the motion of  a rocking horse. Zakaria cautioned Trump’s supporters not to “confuse motion

By | 2017-02-21T15:25:11+00:00 February 21st, 2017|

Media Still Don’t Understand How Trump Plays Them

Did Donald Trump and his media savvy staff purposely set up CNN and the rest of the adversarial White House press corps during this week’s press conferences? And more important, are we seeing signs of the tactics Trump and Steve Bannon are planning to use against what he refers to as the “opposition party?” I

By | 2017-02-16T17:09:54+00:00 February 16th, 2017|

The New York Times Cites Italian Thinker Who Inspired Fascists

Italian philosopher, Julius Evola. Cited by The New York Times. The New York Times recently published an article that was, at best a poorly done hit piece; or, at worst, a poorly done piece that gives us insight into the paper's view of the dangers of uncurated knowledge. Jason Horowitz thinks he has the goods

By | 2017-02-15T15:39:37+00:00 February 15th, 2017|

Authoritarians Today Lob Lies from the Left

The reaction to Michael Anton’s elevation to the National Security Council confirms that he is a man of penetrating insight. Anton, of course, was for some time better known as “Publius Decius Mus,” writing at the Journal of American Greatness, the Claremont Review of Books, and, of course, American Greatness. In his famous piece, “The

By | 2017-02-13T23:54:56+00:00 February 13th, 2017|