Phi Beta Cons

Re: Amazing Ignorance at UCLA

A reader chides me for not acknowledging that such videos as I posted on yesterday are often designed to showcase ignorance and might even ignore those students who do know the facts. True, but I still found it surprising and a little alarming to hear such things at a top-flight university. The reader also wonders if we have decided not to call Iraq a democracy when we speak of Israel as the only democracy in the Mideast. Well, they do have elections in Iraq, but Freedom House lists Iraq as “not free.” This is how they explain it:

Iraq held parliamentary elections in March 2010 that both international and domestic monitoring groups described as free and fair. However, rival political groupings were unable to form a governing coalition until December. Insurgents took advantage of the prolonged political limbo to pursue a campaign of violence against national institutions and sectarian targets. Government statistics suggested that violence during the summer reached levels not seen in two years. Meanwhile, the U.S. military formally declared an end to combat operations in Iraq, but some 50,000 U.S. troops remained in the country under a mandate to “advise and assist” their Iraqi counterparts. In the Kurdish region, political elites launched a series of attacks on opposition journalists during the year.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

‘Judges for the #Resistance’

At Politico, I wrote today about the judiciary’s activism against Trump on immigration: There is a lawlessness rampant in the land, but it isn’t emanating from the Trump administration. The source is the federal judges who are making a mockery of their profession by twisting the law to block the Trump ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Friendships Are America’s Asset

The stale, clichéd conceptions of Donald Trump held by both Left and Right — a man either utterly useless or only rigidly, transactionally tolerable — conceal the fact that the president does possess redeeming talents that are uniquely his, and deserve praise on their own merit. One is personal friendliness ... Read More

Columbia 1968: Another Untold Story

Fifty years ago this week, Columbia students riding the combined wave of the civil-rights and anti-war movements went on strike, occupied buildings across campus, and shut the university down. As you revisit that episode of the larger drama that was the annus horribilis 1968, bear in mind that the past isn’t ... Read More

Only the Strident Survive

‘I am not prone to anxiety,” historian Niall Ferguson wrote in the Times of London on April 22. “Last week, however, for the first time since I went through the emotional trauma of divorce, I experienced an uncontrollable panic attack.” The cause? “A few intemperate emails, inadvertently forwarded ... Read More

Poll Finds Nevada Voters Support School-Choice Programs

According to an April poll, a large number of Nevada voters support school-choice programs. The poll, conducted by Nevada Independent/Mellman, found that 70 percent of voters support a proposal for a special-needs Education Savings Account and 59 percent support expanding the funding for the current tax-credit ... Read More