Magazine | November 29, 2010, Issue

Letters

U. Topia Up North

Jonah Goldberg’s “U. Topia” (October 18) was a terrific piece, but his cheap shot at Canada — he says Canadians “think they’ve transcended international conflict when really they are enjoying their posh welfare benefits under the security of America’s cape, subsidized by the billions we spend on a credible military deterrent so they don’t have to” — drops his grade to “A.”

He should have looked at the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom rankings to see where our respective countries rank. He should have compared the size of the American stimulus to that of the Canadian one. He should have reflected on the health-care debates in our two countries and determined which one is intellectually honest and grapples with the issues, and which one is a screaming contest focused on finger-pointing. He should have considered how infinitesimally small is the difference between the ways the average American and the average Canadian view the fundamental values at the heart of freedom and responsibility. Had he done so, he would have excised the cheap shot and earned an “A+.”

Mike Ferguson

Via e-mail

Jonah Goldberg replies: Mr. Ferguson makes many fine points for which I am grateful. I am willing to concede that our neighbors to the north run the best college campus in the world.

Waiting for the Apocalypse

In his fine review of Waiting for “Superman” (“A Mighty Wurlitzer,” November 1), Ross Douthat fails to mention that director Davis Guggenheim’s last major documentary renders this one moot: Given that we failed to follow the prescriptions outlined in An Inconvenient Truth, our first priority must be to get these kids to higher ground.

Scott Reusser

Westlake, Ohio

Correction

James P. Pinkerton, the author of “Talking Cures” (June 21), was identified as a former domestic-policy aide in the George W. Bush administration. In fact, he held that position in the George H. W. Bush administration.

NR Staff — Members of the National Review editorial and operational teams are included under the umbrella “NR Staff.”

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

States Right

Voters obviously gave the president plenty to wince about on Election Day, so it is understandable that one particular irony escaped his notice: Barack Obama, whose most substantive political experience ...
Politics & Policy

Tea in 2012

Amid all the recriminations about the electoral ineffectiveness of some Tea Party–backed candidates, it’s easy to lose sight of a central fact: It’s doubtful that, without a newly emboldened grassroots ...
Politics & Policy

Political Economy

On November 2, Democrats suffered one of the worst midterm beatings in American history. The 65 House seats that they are now set to surrender represent the largest net loss ...
Politics & Policy

What to Cut

If the 2010 election produced any conservative mandates, they are to create jobs and to rein in soaring spending and deficits. Republicans should begin implementing this agenda by extending the ...
Politics & Policy

Thus Does It Grow

The American people did not give power to congressional Republicans; they took it away from congressional Democrats. Republicans now have an opportunity to prove that they deserve majority status — ...
Politics & Policy

Tax Extension

The 2001 and 2003 tax cuts are set to expire on December 31. In the months before the election, the White House pressed the case for permanently extending tax cuts ...
Politics & Policy

Four Governors

The 50 states may be “laboratories of democracy,” but sometimes their experiments go awry. Many of America’s newly elected governors will be inheriting severe budget deficits that demand root-canal fiscal ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

For God and Man

In this book, George Weigel maintains the very high standard he has long achieved of presenting controversial Roman Catholic subjects with the sympathy and insight of a committed adherent and ...
Politics & Policy

Mad Scientists

The English philosopher C. D. Broad once noted that “the nonsense written by philosophers on scientific matters is exceeded only by the nonsense written by scientists on philosophy.” You might ...
Politics & Policy

A Religious Journey

V.S. Naipaul is a gifted writer whose diction, imagery, and insight on postcolonial societies from the Caribbean to South Asia have won his work, both novels and narrative non-fiction, great ...
City Desk

Whoa, Dude!

When Sony stopped production of the Walkman, it had long been superseded by more advanced technology, but in the early Eighties, when it first caught on, it was a revolutionary ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

U. Topia Up North Jonah Goldberg’s “U. Topia” (October 18) was a terrific piece, but his cheap shot at Canada — he says Canadians “think they’ve transcended international conflict when really ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Sixty-five and counting: Nancy Pelosi does turn out to be a job creator. ‐ Soon-to-be-former Speaker Pelosi wants to stay on as minority leader in the new year. For now, ...
The Bent Pin

Unbalanced

In baseball you can’t tell the players without a scorecard, but in political commentary you need a metaphor. As intellectually destitute as it was, the midterm campaign now blessedly drawn ...
The Long View

POTUS Communication Surveillance Transcript

National Security Agency POTUS Communication Surveillance Transcript BEGIN EXTRACT 12:03:55 [Static. Ringing.] UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE: Y’hello? POTUS: Bill? It’s Barack Obama. UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE: Hey! Greetings, Mr. President. POTUS: Did I call at a bad time? UNIDENTIFIED MALE VOICE: ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

TATTERS I see the garment of a grief and pain you no longer can feel, the sleeve of my own heart tugged at on this lost winter’s afternoon, cold and indecisive sun reflected in the eyes ...
Politics & Policy

From Defeat to Rout

They can’t say they weren’t warned. The polls showed independents beginning to turn away from President Obama in the spring of 2009. Town halls in the summer showed strong grassroots ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More