The Corner

Trouble At The Former Streisand Center

Didn’t know there used to be a Barbra Streisand Center? Neither did lots of other folks who were supposed to gravitate towards the Malibu-based think tank on environmental issues. And once the folks in Malibu learned what the leaders of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy decided to do with the little-used property, thousands of acres preserved from commercial development, they got rather upset:

The conservancy . . . has used state bond money and other funding to acquire more than 62,000 acres of land in some of the most coveted areas of Southern California, including Malibu. However, its initial good began to disappear after Streisand donated her lush 22-acre estate to the agency in 1993.

The conservancy opened its headquarters there and moved to set up what it promised would be an academic think-tank called the Barbra Streisand Center for Conservancy Studies. But when interest in conferences lagged, the conservancy began renting out the estate for weddings and garden tours to pay for maintaining its five houses and grounds.

Neighboring homeowners complained about music and catering trucks, and also fear that more traffic could block narrow roads during brush fires. Homeowners sued in 1999, and the conservancy eventually halted the events. Streisand asked that her name be removed from the center, and it was renamed Ramirez Canyon Park.

To add to the fun, Don Henley is involved in the dispute, as well. Meanwhile, the conservancy’s leader tagged the snobbishness imbedded in community opposition to the plan. “Having a glass wall and people pressing their noses against it watching the ultra-rich as they walk their dogs is not going to work for very long,” he said.

John Hood is a syndicated columnist and the president of the John William Pope Foundation, a North Carolina–based grantmaker.

Most Popular

Elections

Put Up or Shut Up on These Accusations, Hillary

Look, one 2016 candidate being prone to wild and baseless accusations is enough. Appearing on Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s podcast, Hillary Clinton suggested that 2016 Green Party candidate Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” that Republicans and Russians were promoting the Green Party, and ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Elizabeth Warren Is Not Honest

If you want to run for office, political consultants will hammer away at one point: Tell stories. People respond to stories. We’ve been a story-telling species since our fur-clad ancestors gathered around campfires. Don’t cite statistics. No one can remember statistics. Make it human. Make it relatable. ... Read More
National Review

Farewell

Today is my last day at National Review. It's an incredibly bittersweet moment. While I've only worked full-time since May, 2015, I've contributed posts and pieces for over fifteen years. NR was the first national platform to publish my work, and now -- thousands of posts and more than a million words later -- I ... Read More
Culture

Feminists Have Turned on Pornography

Since the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the feminist movement has sought to condemn traditional sexual ethics as repressive, misogynistic, and intolerant. As the 2010s come to a close, it might be fair to say that mainstream culture has reached the logical endpoint of this philosophy. Whereas older Americans ... Read More
Economy & Business

Andrew Yang, Snake Oil Salesman

Andrew Yang, the tech entrepreneur and gadfly, has definitely cleared the bar for a successful cause candidate. Not only has he exceeded expectations for his polling and fundraising, not only has he developed a cult following, not only has he got people talking about his signature idea, the universal basic ... Read More
White House

The Impeachment Defense That Doesn’t Work

If we’ve learned anything from the last couple of weeks, it’s that the “perfect phone call” defense of Trump and Ukraine doesn’t work. As Andy and I discussed on his podcast this week, the “perfect” defense allows the Democrats to score easy points by establishing that people in the administration ... Read More
Elections

Democrats Think They Can Win without You

A  few days ago, Ericka Anderson, an old friend of National Review, popped up in the pages of the New York Times lamenting that “the Democratic presidential field neglects abundant pools of potential Democrat converts, leaving persuadable audiences — like independents and Trump-averse, anti-abortion ... Read More
PC Culture

Defiant Dave Chappelle

When Dave Chappelle’s Netflix special Sticks & Stones came out in August, the overwhelming response from critics was that it was offensive, unacceptable garbage. Inkoo Kang of Slate declared that Chappelle’s “jokes make you wince.” Garrett Martin, in the online magazine Paste, maintained that the ... Read More