The Weekend Jolt

National Review

Fired the Shot Heard Round the World

Dear Weekend Jolter,

Lookee below and see the link-sharing for just some of the great content found in the new issue of National Review. It’s extravagant title is: “The Gun Issue.” We don’t often do special issues at NR. This one is one of the best in my 30-whatever years hanging around this joint.

It’s hot and the water looks inviting so let’s just dive in straight away.


1. Of course I am overjoyed that one of the greatest lawmakers I have ever known — Connecticut state senator Joe Markley, a man of such principle and class — has been endorsed by NR for lieutenant governor of Connecticut. From our editorial:

Connecticut holds its primaries August 14, and the Republican contests really matter this year. We strongly urge the GOP voters to give their nod for lieutenant governor to state senator Joseph Markley.

The lieutenant governor, who presides over the senate among other duties, is a position that has been very consequential in Connecticut’s decline. The Lowell Weicker tax increase depended on the tie-breaking vote of a lieutenant governor and so did Dan Malloy’s sweetheart union deal.

We have no doubt that Joseph Markley, if ever faced with such a choice, would make the right one. He has written for this website, and his conservative bona fides are so excellent that Bill Buckley held a fundraising event for him when he first sought office in 1984. He is a lawmaker of great principle, discernment, eloquence, and energy. He knows how the legislature works, in ways formal and informal. If there is to be reform in Connecticut, we believe Markley will be integral to it.

2. We believe the time has come for carmakers to be freed from abusive, nutty, and political federal regulations on fuel economy standards. From our editorial:

The Trump administration has proposed two major changes to federal vehicle regulations. First, it seeks to abandon its predecessor’s 2012 plan to nearly double cars’ fuel economy by 2025, to an average of 54.5 miles per gallon; instead, the standard would stop rising after 2020, at 37 miles per gallon. And second, the administration wants to eliminate a waiver that gives California the right to create state-level emission rules that are stricter than federal law.

Obama’s fuel standards are a looming boondoggle and Trump is right to discard them. And California’s waiver, despite its pretensions to federalism, gives the state an unwarranted and outsized sway over federal policy: Unlike any other state, California can threaten to create a separate regulatory regime if federal policy doesn’t track its own prerogatives.

3. The PRC-hacked-and-violated Google is now considering reentering its business and products into China. We advise: Don’t do it. From the editorial:

Our concerns with Google’s possible reentry do not end with censorship, which in China is just one element of a unified state strategy to manage the Internet. As a New America Foundation brief notes, “Party leadership is expanding the legal tools at its disposal to monitor and control information disseminated online.” The 2017 cybersecurity law and a spate of related regulations require “critical information infrastructure” to be based in China and restrict the flow of “sensitive” data. Hence Google is reportedly in talks with state-aligned companies Tencent and Inspur to partner on its cloud service; the data would be stored in China. The party has also tightened its ban on anonymous online activity and ramped up its tracking of personal information, enlisting private companies to help enforce these rules. If Chinese law enforcement demands access to such data, will Google provide it to them? If it wants to comply with the law, it won’t have a choice. No American company should willingly become an adjunct of the Chinese state.


1. We spied New York Times columnist and NR film critic Ross Douthat in our NYC HQ, there to be interviewed by the intrepid host of The Remnant with Jonah Goldberg, a session in which such questions as “is Saruman a Randian superman?,” “should Alex Jones be banned?,” “has Jonah ever made love in the back of a Model T?,” and other pressing inquiries were entertained. As you will be when you when you listen here.

2. On the new episode of The McCarthy Report, Andy and Rich discuss “Trump Tower Turmoil.” It’s must-listenable, here.

3. The Editor trio of Rich, Charlie, and Luke triage the week’s politics, considering the Sarah Jeong affair, Alex Jones’ bannery, and the Ohio special elections. Get informed, here.

4. They’re calling it “The Brief Phone Call Episode” — Charlie and Kevin do their Mad Dogs and Englishmen thing about the thoroughly unlikeable Andrew Cuomo. Catch it here.

5. Is it true that The Pump Don’t Work ’Cause the Vandals Took the Handles? Scotty (Wotty Do-Do) Bertram and Jeff Blehar (Witch Project?) will have you rolling stones and complete unknowns grooving to the discussion — with The Daily Beast’s Andrew Kirell — of Bob Dylan. Activate your headphones here.

6. More Daily Beast invading of NR podcast space: Matt Lewis gets grilled on The Jamie Weinstein Show, about Trump, Palin, Bannon, Alex Jones, and a kajillion other things. Listen here.

7. Andrea Neal joins John J. Miller to discuss her book, Pence, on the new episode of The Bookmonger.Get your warm bucket of spit here.

8. The stuff that dream are made of? More JJM: on the Great Books podcast, crime-novel reviewer Tom Nolan waxes about commie pinko Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon. Learn a thing or two or three here.

BONUS: Bogie fondles a bird.

9. Way out West, David and Will send forth a new episode of Radio Free California, discussing the much-rumored Los Angeles teachers strike and the dark money behind a statewide ballot measure to resuscitate rent control. And there’s what they call a “special bonus track” about banning plastic straws and shopping bags in a state that hands out free hypodermic needles. Get hip and hep to it all, right here.

10. Alexandra and David conjure up a Twitter War peace plan on the new episode of Ordered Liberty, in which they break down the Sarah Jeong and Alex Jones free speech controversies and solve all the internet’s problems. And then they move on to discuss the intersection between race, class, and religion in America’s culture wars. Sounds like a rollicking time, which you can hear here.

The Baker’s Dozen of Cream-Filled, Frosted, and Sprinkled NR Doughnuts

1. Elizabeth Warren, forked-tongue speaker, fails Rich Lowry’s lie-detector test. From his new column:

Her riff is a sign that the Democrats are going to leaven their lurch toward socialism with a condemnation of America as fundamentally racist. After helping fuel Donald Trump’s rise in 2016 with loose rhetoric about the bigotry of cops, Democrats hope to dislodge him in 2020 with even more sweeping accusations of systematic racism.

The U.S. criminal-justice system is obviously a legitimate topic of debate. The war on drugs has been a blunderbuss mistake, and we should be reconsidering how many people we jail, and how we do it and why. But the contention that U.S. law enforcement is a product of racial hatred is a paranoid lie, from top to bottom, from beginning to end, from front to back.

2. The title of Victor Davis Hanson’s new essay says pretty much all: “The Police Were Not Policed.” From his piece:

Our current agency directors and cabinet are rightly calling universal attention to the ongoing threat of Russian espionage efforts.

They do so in concert because they are apparently worried, though they cannot say such openly, that President Trump himself and the American public are not yet sufficiently woke to these existential threats from Russia.

Such concern for the national security is fine and necessary.

But somewhere, somehow, someone must also must explain and rectify the past. For two years, the top employees of these agencies, most appointed during the Obama administration, have been engaged in unethical and illegal behavior, likely intended to throw the election to President Obama’s preferred candidate and then, after the election, to subvert the new presidency.

In other words, those who are warning of Russian collusion efforts to warp an election now work for agencies that in the recent past were doing precisely what they now rightly accuse the Russians of doing. The damage that Brennan, Clapper, Comey, and others have done to the reputations of the agencies they ran will live on well after their tenures are over.

The public will not be able to square such a circle — believe that the intelligence agencies are trustworthy now, while knowing they were deeply corrupt in the very recent past — unless there is some accountability for U.S.-government misdeeds.

3. Armond White finds Spike Lee’s new film, BlacKkKlansman, to be “stupidly incendiary.” And confusing. And this:

Consider BlacKkKlansman’s “Infiltrate Hate” ad poster, which recycles the font used for Gordon Parks’s Shaft in Africa. Lee’s advertising is usually his cleverest ploy. But this campaign’s unclear emphasis on police as white-hooded villains carrying an Afro comb is mere exploitation of an issue minus the sincere dramatic investigation of a crisis like in Melvin Van Peebles’s Panther. Lee leaves it unclear whether cops are good or bad; the simplistic association with the Klan is a weak meme for a born Madison Ave. hack.

All these pop-culture miscues indicate that Lee operates from the peculiar antipathy of the black middle class that remains angry despite its own successful pop-culture maneuvering. His most offensive — and thereby most effective — stunt is the end credit that turns the American flag upside down, then shifts from egalitarian red, white, and blue to fascistic black and white. It’s a millionaire (film nerd’s) scam artist’s version of a Colin Kaepernick prank.

4. Kathryn Jean Lopez reflects on two important matters. From her column:

Adoption and foster care are subjects that, like abortion, tend to be obscured from public view. If it happens to you, you know — and may feel quite alone in it. If not, it may be something foreign, the stuff of bad headlines or miserable politics. And adoption and fostering, being much rarer than abortion, also suffer from our lack of attention: Whether you’re a birth, adoptive, or foster parent, you may have to go it alone in your community. Even our language is woefully inadequate: “Giving a child up for adoption” sounds to a lot of people, most especially and unjustly birth mothers, like abandonment — when in truth it’s the most selfless act there is. When we throw around the word lovein the most casual of ways, we should stop to reflect that this is exactly what it is: radical self-sacrifice. In this case, wanting the best for another, and knowing you may not be the best for them.

5. Conor Friedersdorf wrote an unpleasant piece about Hillsdale College and its president for The Atlantic. But Larry Arnn, said president, was having none of his “concern trolling.” From his counterpunch:

Third, it is alleged that, because I support Donald Trump politically, I am eroding the moral standards of the college and of its students. This is silly. What one teaches the young about morality is a very different thing from choosing whom to support for president of the United States. For the young, a whole life is before them, and it is right and possible to encourage them to build all of the virtues in themselves. The first step is for them to learn what those virtues are. We teach that.

The choice for president is by contrast sharply circumscribed: One opts for the best of two people. I made the choice for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. I thought that was an easy choice to make. I still think so. If one believes as I do that the Constitution is precious and in danger of eclipse by the modern administrative state, then one places a high value on stopping and reversing that. Donald Trump stated the intention to do this, and so far he has done it more than any president excepting, maybe, Ronald Reagan. This seemed and seems to me the decisive thing. I feel this acutely as a citizen, but also because of my station: I am responsible for keeping the college independent in service of its ancient mission, and the extension of the administrative state in recent years has threatened Hillsdale’s independence as surely as it has threatened religious liberty.

6. “Gender-neutral” pronoun rule dictators continue to do their amok-running on campuses. Brad Palumbo explains why this is a threat to free speech. For thee, thou, and thine, a selection from the essay:

After decades of such free-speech precedents, it’s unlikely that mandatory-pronoun rules would pass constitutional muster. Samantha Harris, FIRE’s vice president of policy research, told me in an email that “it would certainly be unconstitutional for a public university to require students and faculty to use gender-neutral pronouns or face punishment,” although she noted that since the language of the University of Minnesota’s proposed policy is vague, it’s possible that this wouldn’t be how the rule was implemented. But it’s clear that if they did force students to use pronouns they disagreed with, university administrators would be trampling over the Constitution in their race to prove their progressive bona fides — and students shouldn’t stand for it.

From my experience as a conservative activist on campus, it’s clear to me that most right-of-center students don’t actually want to harass transgender people — and many are even willing to use alternative pronouns — but rather they take issue with the idea that we should be compelled to do so. I spoke with Michael Geiger, a conservative student at the University of Minnesota, and his frustration with the administration’s new proposal was clear: “The fact that the bill is receiving serious consideration shows that the school’s administration has no grasp of what free speech means and why it is so important.” If liberal faculty really want to promote the inclusion of transgender students, force simply isn’t the way to do it. In fact, it may only engender more hostility.

7. RIP, Paul Laxalt. Quin Hillyer remembers a conservative lawmaker. From his piece:

Laxalt, governor of neighboring Nevada while Reagan was governor of California, was liked and trusted entirely by both Ronald and Nancy Reagan. Serving three times as chairman of Reagan’s presidential campaigns, for years as general chairman of the Republican National Committee, and as a stalwart conservative senator known for integrity, decency, and quiet effectiveness, Laxalt played key roles in implementing the Reagan agenda. Perhaps his greatest single triumph came when he personally persuaded Philippine strongman Ferdinand Marcos to abdicate in the face of (justifiable) civil unrest, rather than trigger a bloodbath that might have resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands.

8. Bruno Macaes sees a New World Order that is chaotic. From his essay:

The global order created after the Second World War had been endangered before, but in the past the threat had come from the outside. Now it seems to be in danger of being abandoned by those who had been responsible for building it and who had always benefited from it. For some, Brexit and Trump have simply been an error of perception: It is true that the countries at the core of the system have to restrain their power and cannot come out on top every time, but over the long term they reap the largest benefits and have the most interest in preserving the system.

As domestic divisions in Europe and the United States became increasingly exposed, relations between elites and a large section of the electorate acquired something of the old, familiar dynamic between Europeans and those inhabiting the rest of the world. They sound like an effort by the rational and enlightened classes to persuade the irrational and the superstitious — professedly in the interest of the latter. Politicians and intellectuals scrambled to explain the bizarre voting behavior through all sorts of economic and psychoanalytic theories, all the while insisting that a new effort at civic education had become urgent. Such messages can only deepen the divisions and alienation.

9. Andrew Cuomo hates the Second Amendment. And the First. David French has the skinny on a man at odds with the Bill of Rights. From his piece:

New York’s Andrew Cuomo is engaging in a deliberate campaign to use state power to drive the NRA out of business. It’s using a combination of consent decrees and warning letters directed at financial institutions to coerce them into cutting of business relationships with the NRA.

Cuomo’s intentions aren’t hidden. He’s on a crusade. “If I could have put the NRA out of business, I would have done it 20 years ago,” he said earlier this week. He followed up with this pithy statement: “I’m tired of hearing the politicians say, we’ll remember them in our thoughts and prayers. If the NRA goes away, I’ll remember the NRA in my thoughts and prayers.”

Clever. But when statements like this are accompanied by state action, there’s another word that applies — unconstitutional.

10. You don’t say — a socialist demagogue? Who trades in anti-Semitism? And is on the verge of grabbing a nation’s power? Jonathan Tobin considers if Jeremy Corbyn might be replicated on our shores. From his analysis:

Far from moderating once installed atop the party, Corbyn stuck to his radical stances on both domestic and foreign issues. Yet when Labour voters were given a chance to replace him after the parliamentary party repudiated him, he won reelection as leader in 2016 by an even greater margin. At that point, pundits still dismissed his chances of winning election to No. 10. Prime Minister Theresa May was so unthreatened by the prospect that she called an early general election in June 2017. Of course, rather than increase her majority as the polls predicted, May lost seats and barely retained power. Though Corbyn fell short of winning the election, Labour’s share of the vote increased to 40 percent and it gained 30 seats in parliament. His chances of replacing May could no longer be dismissed. In fact, given the deep divisions Brexit has opened up among Tories, the prospect of a Prime Minister Corbyn is less remote than ever before.

Despite this seemingly golden opportunity, however, Corbyn hasn’t budged an inch toward the center. His hostility to Israel and his refusal to unambiguously condemn anti-Semitism are particularly instructive examples.

11. Heather Mac Donald finds Sarah Jeong . . . boring. As hell. She explains in part:

Jeong’s five-year tweet trail is much longer than a mere “period of time” during which she allegedly experimented with counter-trolling. But most important, her tweets are not imitative of anything other than the ideology that now rules the higher-education establishment, including UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School, both of which Jeong attended. And that ideology is taking over non-academic institutions, whether in journalism, publishing, the tech sector, or the rest of corporate America. Sarah Jeong’s tweets and blog posts are just a marker of the world we already live in.

The key features of Jeong’s worldview are an obsession with whiteness and its alleged sins; a commitment to the claim that we live in a rape culture; and a sneering contempt for objectivity and truth-seeking. These are central tenets of academic victimology. From the moment freshmen arrive on a college campus, they are inundated by the message that they are either the bearers of white privilege or its victims. College presidents and the metastasizing diversity bureaucracy teach students to see racism where none exists, preposterously accusing their own institutions of systemic bias. “Bias response teams,” confidential “discrimination hotlines,” and implicit-bias training for faculty and staff roll forth from university coffers in wild abandon.

12. Rich Lowry (again!) finds that the erasure of crackpot Alex Jones has “worrisome ramifications for free speech.”

13. Picking winners and losers and losers and more losers. Amelia Irvine finds much to criticize in the Trump Administration’s trade policy. A healthy chunk from her essay:

In short, no American business did anything to merit the special treatment of Trump’s tariffs, and no American business did anything to merit the punishment of Trump’s tariffs. Instead of allowing the free market to decide the value of products, the Trump administration has sought to use tariffs as a weapon to improve the American economy, even though tariffs will always give rise to arbitrary winners and losers. This is fundamentally unfair to businesses whose only crime was exporting goods into an emerging market, and to those whose only merit was happening to have the “right” foreign competitors. (Trump’s $12 billion agricultural bailout puts a nice bow on the whole farce: His tariffs hurt American farmers, and then he turned to the taxpayers to offset the damage.)

Supporters of Trump’s trade war might point to his recent success in securing negotiations with the European Union toward the goal of “zero tariffs.” They may say that he is using steel and aluminum tariffs to gain leverage in the ongoing NAFTA-renegotiation talks, or to force Beijing to end its “unfair trade practices,” as administration officials have put it. If so, Trump’s actions are even more irresponsible. Allowing American farmers and manufacturers to take hits in the hopes of securing better trade deals is political suicide and economic malpractice. . . .

Trump supports trade wars so heartily because he believes there is something intrinsically economically harmful about the trade deficit, the difference between exports and imports. Of course, there are working-class men and women in the United States who have been harmed by global trade as manufacturing jobs are offshored and factories shut down. But workers lose jobs and factories close because of trade itself, not because of the trade deficit. Though job displacement is one awful side effect of an innovative and prosperous economy and the U.S. should do a better job of mitigating it, in the long run, everyone benefits from trade. The alternative — an increasingly closed economy — would foreclose any potential for economic growth, hurting us all.

You Want a Job?

National Review Institute is seeking an Accounting and Office Manager for the NYC HQ. Description here. You get to turn off the AC in KLO’s office and force Jonah to submit expenses in triplicate. Think of the fun!

You Want a Filet Mignon?

I think that’s what will be served. Anyway, get one for yourself and nine friends when you sponsor a table at NR Institute’s Fifth Annual William F. Buckley Jr. Prize Dinner.

In the New Issue of NR (the Magazine!)

Here are four selections — to whet your whistle — from the special gun issue!

1. Kevin Williamson profiles bad boy Jesse James and his move from Motorcycle maker to gun manufacturer. From his piece:

“The gun regulation — I didn’t even realize how bad it was until I moved to Texas,” James says. “I was like: Whoa. It happened when I was in high school, but I wasn’t paying attention.” For much of his time in California, James’s experience with firearms was a lot like that of any other California-based celebrity: the Hollywood version. “We rented a lot of guns for filming Monster Garage,” the reality show in which teams of colorful characters worked to create unlikely mechanical monstrosities, e.g., turning a DeLorean into a hovercraft. Unsuccessful projects were dispatched with dynamite, tank treads, and, on occasion, gunfire. “Full autos, .50-calibers. But I didn’t realize what it was really like until I bought an AR-15 in the 1990s and it was this weird composite breechloading thing.” California law requires that AR-style rifles have fixed magazines rather than detachable and swappable ones, which more or less defeats the purpose of an AR. “It kind of made me mad,” he says. And his interest in gunsmithing? “It kind of found me.”

Unlike motorcycles or monster mutant cars, guns become family heirlooms, meaningful in a way that few other things are. “I’ll always build bikes and cars. But a motorcycle is just like a boat. You can sell it on Craigslist. Guns are a personal thing. It provides protection for you and your family, and that gives it a higher meaning. You’re not going to think about showing it off this weekend, but about two generations from now. And that seems more important than motorcycles.”

2. Frank Miniter makes the case for defending hunting. From his piece:

One main reason conservatives should support hunting is that hunters and their associations act as a counterbalance to far-left environmentalism. Not all hunters vote Republican (many Democratic-voting union members hunt), but most hunters tend to be conservative on environmental issues. Hunters don’t share today’s preservationist belief that humans can only harm nature; those who hunt tend to understand that we are part of the ecosystems we live in, so forest and game management aren’t off-limits, though we must take a responsible and scientific approach to them. This is why the environmental Left fears and fights local sportsmen’s groups all the time. It’s why environmentalists don’t like to admit that hunters are some of wildlife’s greatest advocates.

Just look at the League of Conservation Voters’ “National Environmental Scorecard”: The “issue categories” by which the group ranks politicians include “climate change,” “clean energy,” “drilling,” and “wildlife . . . including the Endangered Species Act,” but “hunting” appears nowhere on the list. Moreover, the candidates who receive the organization’s highest grades are Democrats who often fail to support hunting.

3. To set things straight about the Second Amendment, Charlie Cooke puts down the Colt and takes to the keyboard to explain that it was always meant to protect an individual’s right to be armed. From his essay: From his essay:

Given changing sensibilities; the evolving meaning of words; the decline of a shared republican worldview that regarded government as an auxiliary, not all-conquering, domestic force; and a healthy helping of cynical gamesmanship from the gun-control movement and its allies in the press, one can comprehend how we went from a widespread understanding that Americans enjoyed the right to keep and bear arms to breathless online headlines insisting that the “gun lobby” has “rewritten the Second Amendment!” “Arms,” “state,” “militia,” “well-regulated” — these terms have all changed in the popular imagination in the years since 1791, as have what we would now refer to as America’s “gun politics.” For many unfamiliar with the history, the mistake is a forgivable one.

For those who are familiar, however, it is most decidedly not. Indeed, to be cognizant of the history is to arrive at one clear and unmistakable conclusion: that the “collective right” theory is just nuts. As a 1982 Senate report on the meaning of the Second Amendment concluded bluntly, it is “inescapable that the history, concept, and wording of the second amendment to the Constitution of the United States, as well as its interpretation by every major commentator and court in the first half-century after its ratification, indicates that what is protected is an individual right of a private citizen to own and carry firearms in a peaceful manner.”

4. Have Big Gun, Will Travel. Rabbi Rob Thomas collects . . . tanks. Takes ‘em out for a spin. And a bang bang. From his wonderful piece:

My first tank was an M4A1 Sherman Grizzly medium tank, built in 1943. I flew to the seller’s location and inspected the tank with great enthusiasm and a discerning eye. Being a neophyte to tank collecting, I quickly deduced that the tank was large, smelly, and green. I took it for a test drive (yes, qualified buyers do this) and loved it. It was much easier to drive than one might expect, as long as one had driven a manual transmission. It handled well and rattled even better. I bought it and immediately began to learn that transporting a tank is never routine. There are countless state permits required (wide load, heavy load, etc.), rules restricting trucking traffic on certain days of the week, and significant costs.

Yet it was worth it. The Sherman was truly the tank that won the war. While German WWII armor (meaning tanks, tank destroyers, and assault guns) were rarely operational more than 60 percent of the time, the American Sherman tank was at least 89 percent operational during the entirety of WWII, and often more so. Further, while Sherman tanks were taken out by German armor and guns, resulting in an average of 1.1 crewmen per tank becoming casualties, German tank crewmen were lost at a rate eight times higher. The Sherman was reliable, durable, and survivable. Thanks to it, at the end of World War II, the U.S. had achieved dominance over opposing German armored vehicles, with a kill ratio of 2.75 to 1.

The Six

1. In a mega-essay/review in Claremont Review of Books, Michael Anton takes on six blame-Trump tomes (such as Wiliam Galston’s Anti-Pluralism: The Populist Threat to Liberal Democracyand David Frum’s Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Republic) and finds authoritarian pots noticing kettle pigmentation. From the essay:

What Harvard’s Nathan Glazer said of the original study — “the authors of The Authoritarian Personality seem quite oblivious to authoritarianism on the political left, and so set a precedent for studying authoritarianism without need for unpleasant self-examination” — may not be true to the letter of these present-day updates. Hugo Chavez, for example, is a sometime target. But it is true to their spirit. One gets the sense that Chavez and other leftists, such as Greece’s Alexis Tsipras, are included not to demonstrate genuine belief that authoritarianism cuts both ways, but as inoculations against charges of left-wing bias. How can that be, when I criticize Chavez on pages 16-19?

These new exposés on the threats to democracy have the same dry social science-y surfaces that obscure (if not exactly conceal) polemical cores. President Trump’s name appears in the title of only one, David Frum’s, but he is the real subject of all six. Their purpose — with perhaps one-and-a-half exceptions — is, like The Authoritarian Personality, to clothe polemic in scholarly robes, this time to make Trump’s legion of haters feel more high-minded about their rage, but mostly to misuse “science” to categorize Trump as “authoritarian.” The finding being “scientific,” it is therefore irrefutable and not subject to debate. “Authoritarianism” being beyond the pale, thus so is Trump and all he represents.

2. What the Frack! At Forbes, David Bahnsen celebrates the 20th anniversary of hydraulic fracturing. From his piece:

“Fracking” is the term we have applied in the culture to the combination of vertical drilling (where the well is dug deep into the ground, often many thousands of feet deep), followed by hydraulic fracturing, where sand and water are pumped into the shale rock that exists many thousands of feet below the surface to “fracture” that rock, and allow the oil and gas embedded deep underground to be captured. The volumes of natural gas, natural gas liquids, and crude oil that this technique has uncovered all over the country have been unfathomable, and over the last decade alone has caused the United States to more than double their crude oil production on an absolute basis, and to surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia in production on a relative basis.

3. At Gatestone Institute, Majid Rafizadeh writes about how the hijab is a force of torment and suppression. From his piece:

Last month, an Iranian court ordered Shaparak Shajarizadeh, 43, to prison for two years, with 18 years’ probation, for removing her headscarf in public.

In our childhood in Iran, my sister’s screams would cut through the silence of our home at night. Nightmares would wake her and leave her too terrified to go back to sleep. We all encouraged her to share her fears; she would always refuse. On the night she finally opened up, her entire body was shaking with fear.

Afraid to ask the question out loud, my sister, then nine years old, whispered: “Will Allah hang me from my hair? The religious and Quran teacher at our school told us in class that if we show our hair in public, God will hang us from our hair in the afterlife and torture us for infinity. He will resurrect us if we die and then torture us again,” she was sobbing. “I went to the grocery store and forgot to wear my hijab. Will He torture me for infinity?”

4. Modern Age, founded in 1957 by Russell Kirk, celebrates the approaching centenary of his birth with an essay by Jack Hunter on his enduring relevance. From the essay:

Kirk’s preference for practical reform over radical change was conservatism at its most basic: conserving the best or most integral traditions and institutions of a community, nation, or civilization even in the face of unavoidable evolution or correcting injustice. So while sympathizing in many ways with the antebellum South, Kirk viewed Abraham Lincoln as a conservative reformer, not a radical Republican or tyrant as so many Confederate apologists would characterize him (including me, for a time).

If my partisan political interests had led me to Kirk, his conservatism also dovetailed with new developments in U.S. politics in the mid-1990s. My newfound fascination with Kirk coincided with Pat Buchanan’s meteoric 1996 Republican presidential primary campaign. In that election, Buchanan adorned the covers of Time, Newsweek, and other major outlets, and he won the New Hampshire primary. The “Buchanan Brigades” were a popular movement within the Republican Party, but they were also largely in opposition to it on many fronts.

Buchanan, like Kirk, was deeply critical of U.S. foreign policy. (Conservatives could oppose war? Rush Limbaugh never told me that.) He also preached a “conservatism of the heart” that favored Main Street over Wall Street and Washington, D.C. Buchanan’s conservatism might have been populist in style, but in substance it was similar to the anti-populist Kirk’s preference for local community over Leviathan. I was not surprised to learn later that Kirk was the Michigan chair for Buchanan’s 1992 primary challenge to President George H. W. Bush.

5. The Catholic News Service reports that Edward Scharfenberger, the Bishop of Albany, NY, is strongly advocating lay oversight of the bishops’ exploding perv scandal. Per His Excellency: “I think we have reached a point where bishops alone investigating bishops is not the answer. To have credibility, a panel would have to be separated from any source of power whose trustworthiness might potentially be compromised.” Amen.

6. Related. First Things publishes an open letter from young Catholics (including our Alexandra DeSanctis) attacking “the culpable silence or active complicity of men at the highest levels of the Church.” From the letter:

We are scandalized by the fact that men like Archbishop McCarrick have held positions of authority in the Church. Indeed, we are alarmed by reports that Pope Francis acted on McCarrick’s guidance in creating cardinals and appointing men to senior positions in the Church. Men McCarrick mentored and lived with are now important archbishops and heads of Vatican dicasteries. We want to know what those men knew about McCarrick and when they knew it, especially since “everybody knew.” If the pope himself knew, we want to know that as well.

You are the shepherds of the Church. If you do not act, evil will go unchecked. As members of your flock, we therefore ask the following of you.

We ask you to agree to a thorough, independent investigation into claims of abuse by Archbishop McCarrick, both of minors and of adults. We want to know who in the hierarchy knew about his crimes, when they knew it, and what they did in response. This is the least that would be expected of any secular organization; it should not be more than we can expect from the Church.

BONUS: Ed Ring at California Policy Center has written a terrific essay on the amount of taxpayer money being spent on “water” that . . . isn’t being spent on water. As in a desperately needed increase in supply. Read it here.

Attention All Rand Fans

The Fountainhead is playing at 6PM (Eastern) tonight on TCM. Mamma miaPatricia Neal!


Happy birthday Bobo Newsome, born this day in 1907. His pickled soul and other cirrhotic organs went to the Big Ballpark in the Sky in 1962, at the young age of 55. His may be the longest, most-traveled, staggering, and oddball career of any hurler — his career record was 211-222, and he was 2-2 in World Series play (for the Tigers in 1940 and the Yankees in 1947). The journeyman played for the Brooklyn Dodgers (he broke into the majors with them in 1929) twice, the New York Giants, the Chicago Cubs, both Beantown teams, the Boston Braves and Red Sox, the St. Louis Browns for three separate tours of duty, twice for the Philadelphia As (where his career ended in 1953), and an amazing five separate tours with the Washington Senators. He led the league in losses during four seasons, was a four-time All Star, had three 20-plus win seasons, one home run, and one stolen base. R.I.P.

A Dios

Primary elections are held in Connecticut on Tuesday. Is it wrong to pray for certain people to win, certain to lose? I’m going with yes. I’ll also be praying for all the interns who have graced the offices this summer — the last two marked their final day on Friday. Their presence in part was due to the generosity of NR supporters — and we are confident that this experience will be for their own good, and for the good of the causes and principles we hold dear.

God bless you and your family and all those you love, and maybe even those you don’t.

Jack Fowler

Toss the ball at and watch his blubber plunge into the dunk tank.

P.S.: is where to go to buy that cabin.


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