The Corner

Misc.

1) I see that President Obama has been conferring with Al Sharpton again. You may remember a little something — Steven Pagones does: Sharpton accused Pagones, then a young assistant DA, of raping a girl named Tawana Brawley. As Pagones held a press conference, Sharpton entered and bellowed, “Your accuser has arrived!” For ten years, Pagones pursued a defamation case against Sharpton — and won. Sharpton, who calls himself a “reverend,” has never apologized for his evil lie.

Consider: If there were an equivalent of Sharpton on the right, and a conservative president conferred with him and a conservative TV network employed him, would that be all right?

2) Readers of NRO are familiar with Guillermo Fariñas, the Cuban independent journalist. He won the Sakharov Prize from the European Parliament. Last week, he was meeting in his home with some fellow dissidents. An agent of the state broke in and stabbed four of them. Two of the victims — members of the Ladies in White — were seriously injured.

And, as the indispensable Mauricio Claver-Carone tells us, “not one Havana-based foreign journalist has investigated or reported on this violent attack.” Governments around the world have been largely silent, too. As always.

Many years ago, I wrote a piece called “Who Cares about Cuba?” When I raised this issue with Jeane Kirkpatrick, she said that indifference to Cuba is “both a puzzling and a profoundly painful phenomenon of our times.”

Worse than indifference, of course, is support for the regime, or excuses for it.

President Obama has been flexing his executive muscles, as in his unilateral amnesty. “I just took an action to change the law,” he boasted. Some think that his next action will be the normalization of relations with the Castros’ dictatorship. Our Left is egging him on. He can do a lot of damage in his remaining two years, in multifarious ways. And, like Clinton, I believe, he will keep the pedal to the metal until noon on Inauguration Day.

3) WFB (William F. Buckley Jr.) once said of Paul Johnson something like this: “He is so routinely excellent, we can take him for granted. We must not.” I feel the same way about Heather Mac Donald. I don’t pause to praise every piece she writes, and thank her for it. But maybe I should.

Here is her piece, on this website, yesterday. It is about the Ferguson nightmare. Thank you, Heather Mac. A keeper (another one).

4) A lady I know asked, “Could you explain something to me? As soon as the first rock was thrown — as soon as the law was first violated — why didn’t the authorities put a stop to it? I mean, isn’t that what law-enforcement authorities are for? You can’t just go break the law, can you?”

I’m afraid that much depends on the law-breakers. Does anyone believe that, if skinheads or anti-amnesty protesters had begun to riot, the authorities would not have swooped in immediately? The president could have ordered an Air Force strike on the rioters, and the New York Times would have cheered!

(Forgive the hyperbole — but that is part of life, and editorializing.)

5) Yesterday, I had a quick note on this blog about Christmas — the verbotenization of the term. (A box of Christmas cards was labeled “Holiday Cards.”) Now I want to tell you this:

Last night, I was on Columbus Avenue (Manhattan), near my home. And what to my wondering eyes did appear? Carolers, lined up and ready to sing. They were young people, probably in their twenties. They sang — not “Santa Baby” or something semi-acceptable — but “Silent Night.” Just like it was Peoria in 1962 or something.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is damn near a miracle. Merry Christmas, early!

Most Popular

White House

There’s No Fix for Trump’s Bad Tweets

Whether social media have been good or bad for society is an open question. Whether social media have been good or bad for President Trump isn’t as difficult to discern. For even the most sober-minded and introspective figures, Twitter can serve as a dangerous temptation. For a man as capricious and mercurial ... Read More
White House

There’s No Fix for Trump’s Bad Tweets

Whether social media have been good or bad for society is an open question. Whether social media have been good or bad for President Trump isn’t as difficult to discern. For even the most sober-minded and introspective figures, Twitter can serve as a dangerous temptation. For a man as capricious and mercurial ... Read More
Economy & Business

Boiling Over

Andrew Ross Sorkin’s frustration over having missed so much of the post-COVID realities in markets and economic life boiled over this morning in one of the more outrageous outbursts I have ever witnessed on financial media. Perhaps this outburst was rivaled only by his behavior during the March COVID market ... Read More
Economy & Business

Boiling Over

Andrew Ross Sorkin’s frustration over having missed so much of the post-COVID realities in markets and economic life boiled over this morning in one of the more outrageous outbursts I have ever witnessed on financial media. Perhaps this outburst was rivaled only by his behavior during the March COVID market ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Five Thoughts on the George Floyd Story

After a night of riots, looting, and arson in Minneapolis to protest the police killing of George Floyd, five thoughts spring to mind: One: It is always hazardous to draw sweeping conclusions about society from individual criminal cases. Every individual case involves individual facts, and those facts often ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Five Thoughts on the George Floyd Story

After a night of riots, looting, and arson in Minneapolis to protest the police killing of George Floyd, five thoughts spring to mind: One: It is always hazardous to draw sweeping conclusions about society from individual criminal cases. Every individual case involves individual facts, and those facts often ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Spread of the Debt Virus

The current U.S. budget deficit could soon exceed a record $4 trillion. The massive borrowing is being driven both by prior budget profligacy and by a hurried effort by the Donald Trump administration to pump liquidity into a quarantined America. The shutdown has left the country on the cusp of a ... Read More
Economy & Business

The Spread of the Debt Virus

The current U.S. budget deficit could soon exceed a record $4 trillion. The massive borrowing is being driven both by prior budget profligacy and by a hurried effort by the Donald Trump administration to pump liquidity into a quarantined America. The shutdown has left the country on the cusp of a ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More

The Need to Discuss Black-on-Black Crime

Thomas Abt’s book Bleeding Out (2019) has garnered a fair amount of attention for its proposals to deal with gun violence in mainly black urban neighborhoods. The entire focus of the book is on interventions in high-crime locations to stem the violence, including: hot-spots policing, working with young males at ... Read More