Magazine August 5, 2013, Issue

A Sinecure for Your Thoughts

In the future, I would like to see every sentence that begins “The public official declined comment” end with the following words: “and was promptly terminated under the Mandatory Comment Act of 2013.”

The spur for this idea came from a Wall Street Journal article on an innocuous subject: An Iowa museum had removed a puppet from the lobby. Not just any puppet: Floppy, a mascot from an old children’s TV show that entertained corn-fed tots in the days before cable. Every town had one. Some fellow in a costume with an avuncular name would amble out, tell tales, talk to

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Sensitive SEALs

Americans know there’s something special about the SEALs. Arguably the most skilled and motivated military unit ever created trains to be ready for any possible challenge on land, at sea, or ...
Politics & Policy

Salon and Breakfast

If you were a distinguished philosopher, economist, political theorist, or literary critic arriving at Heathrow from the U.S., Australia, or New Zealand between, say, 1990 and 2010, there was a ...

Features

Politics & Policy

The Anti-Che

Miami, Fla. — Felix Rodriguez seems fated to be linked to Che Guevara. This is not entirely just. Rodriguez loves freedom, and has worked tirelessly for it; Guevara loved tyranny, ...
Politics & Policy

An Arm and a Leg

In 1994, two eminent Boston hospitals, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, merged. Officials hailed it as a new era for integrated, high-quality care. The state’s secretary of ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

Law, Naturally

Natural-law theory provides the principal philosophical justification of traditional sexual morality, opposition to abortion, and other paradigmatically conservative views in ethics. Princeton law professor Robert P. George is the most ...
Politics & Policy

The Bard in SoCal

Discussions of movies like Joss Whedon’s new version of Much Ado About Nothing — filmed in his own well-appointed California home, remarkably enough, during a lull in the making of ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Mike Bloomberg may want to sit down with Bob Filner and explain what ‘stop and frisk’ means. ‐ According to conventional wisdom, the Gang of Eight immigration bill went from ...
Athwart

A Sinecure for Your Thoughts

In the future, I would like to see every sentence that begins “The public official declined comment” end with the following words: “and was promptly terminated under the Mandatory Comment ...
The Long View

Memorandum

TO: V. Jarrett FROM: Staff IN RE: Your request for upcoming state and local criminal/civil cases that might be of interest Following Monday’s status meeting, staff researchers and others spent four days searching state, local-court, ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

WEAVE OF THE DARK To conceive of the weave of the dark is to lift forward the cloth with a texture of silk, or wool, or nothing, melting into the air, where the mind is ...
Happy Warrior

Cinema ex Machina

Of my two local-ish movie theaters in New Hampshire, one has an irksome habit of always showing the film just a little larger than the screen, so that anything happening ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Wind Power’s Spotty Record Rupert Darwall’s excellent article “Free Markets Mean Cheaper Energy” (June 17) had a minor, but salient, error. He correctly noted that Danish electricity spot prices sometimes go ...

Most Popular

Elections

How Trump Could Have Reacted to the Election

It was predictable, and widely predicted, that Donald Trump would respond to an election loss, particularly one by as narrow a margin as this, with claims of fraud, efforts to delegitimize the outcome, and increasingly implausible attempts to find some lever to overturn it. Handling setbacks without grace or ... Read More
Elections

How Trump Could Have Reacted to the Election

It was predictable, and widely predicted, that Donald Trump would respond to an election loss, particularly one by as narrow a margin as this, with claims of fraud, efforts to delegitimize the outcome, and increasingly implausible attempts to find some lever to overturn it. Handling setbacks without grace or ... Read More
White House

A Justified Pardon

President Trump’s pardon of retired General Michael Flynn, who fleetingly served as his first national-security adviser, was a justified act of clemency. You don’t have to be a fan of how Trump has wielded his pardon power (often recklessly and on behalf of friends and supporters) or believe that Flynn was ... Read More
White House

A Justified Pardon

President Trump’s pardon of retired General Michael Flynn, who fleetingly served as his first national-security adviser, was a justified act of clemency. You don’t have to be a fan of how Trump has wielded his pardon power (often recklessly and on behalf of friends and supporters) or believe that Flynn was ... Read More
Film & TV

The Brilliant, Scabrous Satire of The Boys

Mega-corporations are the new Nazis: Everybody hates them. The Left deplores them for exploiting workers; the Right despises them for injecting woke politics into everything. The cracked superhero series The Boys capitalizes on the unifying potential of this enmity, and what’s more, it’s being brought to us ... Read More
Film & TV

The Brilliant, Scabrous Satire of The Boys

Mega-corporations are the new Nazis: Everybody hates them. The Left deplores them for exploiting workers; the Right despises them for injecting woke politics into everything. The cracked superhero series The Boys capitalizes on the unifying potential of this enmity, and what’s more, it’s being brought to us ... Read More