The Weekend Jolt

Politics & Policy

Everybody Must Get Stoned

Dear Jolters,

I had the pleasure of filling in for Jim Geraghty last week on the Morning Jolt, so having daily plowed the NR turf, I might repeat a link or three shared via MJ. Forgive me, and offer it up for the souls in Purgatory. That said, we’ll follow the emerging form of the Weekend Jolt: links to NRO editorials, podcasts, selected NR articles, pieces by friends, random other stuff, something about baseball, annoying PS’s. But first:

I’ve gotta sell you this book. Got to. Why? Because you are going to want it, “it” being Skirmishes, the collection of over six dozen essays, reports, speeches, etc. by Neal B. Freeman, NR’s first Washington Editor and, half a century later, still an excellent and frequent analyst on the American scene for NR, the Wall Street Journal, and The American Spectator. About Neal: he was Bill Buckley’s de facto campaign manager (remember 1965 and Wanna-Mayor WFB), created Firing Line, and a million other impressive things. And now his best works have been collected into Skirmishes. Find out more about it, and order a copy, at the NRO Store.

Now, off to the races.

NRO Editorials

This week’s sole editorial urged the President to condemn white supremacists.


I have plugged them daily, but you should head over to the NRO Podcast page to spot new episodes of favorite programs, and maybe even a new program: National Review’s Radio Free California, which will weekly feature the financial whiz and NR Institute trustee David Bahnsen, who also regularly writes smart stuff for NRO, and Will Swaim, president of California Policy Center. The NRRFC podcast launches this weekend, and we’re thrilled for NRO to serve as the platform to bring attention to the vital efforts to fight for free markets and against insatiable government in the Golden State.

Meanwhile, over at the Liberty Law Talk podcast center, Professor Dan Mahoney, the acclaimed conservative academic (Assumption College) and NRI trustee, is featured in a scintillating interview about “The Peronist Pope Francis.”

Seven NRO Pieces that Merit Your Attention

1. Kat Timpf is on the warpath against Democratic Socialism (i.e., spending other people’s money and taking credit for it).

2. Kyle Smith profiles Yale’s disgraceful effort to erase history by “fixing” a masonry sculpture to appease the multicultural mob.

3. A very thoughtful essay by NR editorial intern Elliot Kaufman on whether “Universities Can Learn from Conservatives Love of Humanities.” He says yes. Here is a slice:

The purpose of humanities education will always be fiercely debated. But it is important to ask, what is worth the attention of a beginner? And no less important, what will keep the attention of a beginner? It is my contention that conservatives have this right and the modern research university has it wrong. Humanities education should free students from apeirokalia, lack of experience in things beautiful, and launch them on their own adventure in search of what truly matters. If it can do that, it will breathe new life into the university.

4. When judging President Trump, how to call “balls and strikes” — or do we even do that? Ramesh Ponnuru has an opinion. So does Jay Nordlinger.

5. There may be no truer piece ever written than the one by Jim Proser about our Secretary of Defense: James Mattis: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy.

6. I pushed this yesterday in the Morning Jolt but I repeat here the request that you read Victor Davis Hanson’s excellent piece, Silicon Valley Billionaires Are the New Robber Barons.

7. Ilya Somin says that the Left and Right can come together over federalism. From her piece:

Both the Left and the Right could benefit from a more principled commitment to limiting federal power. In a large and diverse nation, it is unlikely that we can find a workable, one-size-fits all approach to numerous contentious policy issues involving law enforcement, health care, and drug use, among others. This is especially true in an era of deep partisan polarization, when Democrats and Republicans are farther apart on most issues than they have been in decades.

Seven Worthwhile Articles from Other Places

1. Andy Ferguson, who long ago and far away wrote NR’s back-page “Gimlet Eye” column, has a phenomenal and groovy essay in The Weekly Standard on the 50th anniversary of “The Summer of Love.”

2. What an insufferable twit. Acculturated looks at PBS food snob Christopher Kimball, who “Wants to Be a ‘Woke’ Chef, Claims Ethnic Food Is Colonialism.”

3. Jesuit-run University of San Francisco is hosting a “segregated orientation dedicated to black students,” reports Michelle Fortunato for College Fix. What is it about Jesuits and blacks and segregation?

4. Writing recently for The Chronicles of Higher Education, professors Robert Maranto (University of Arkansas) and Matthew Woesnner (Penn State) declared that conservative fears about leftist indoctrination on campuses was “overblown.” Not so, writes Peter Wood in an excellent essay at Minding the Campus.

5. He’s from the South (Bronx), where countless pigeons are on the lookout for statues, so he ought to know: Bernie Goldberg asks, “Where Does It End.”

6. John Hillen, Head Suit, chairman of NR’s esteemed board of directors, CEO consultant extraordinaire, professor (George Mason), etc. and etc., looks at the mess caused by Google’s from-on-high gaggers and ponders about their skills and abilities to lead a company (it’s about a lot more than running a business).

7. Saher Fares asks “How thin can excuses wear every time an atrocity is committed in the name of Islam?” You’ll find the answer at Gatestone Institute.

On My Soapbox

Un-naming, statue-toppling, disassociating. Well, if this is going to become a real and permanent thing, it’s going to be a full-time job for some lucky West Virginian to strip the name of former Klan Kleagle and Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd from public structures, roads, bridges, centers, etc. Check out this list of Byrd honorings: There are over 50. Toss in another nine for Mrs. Byrd. By the way: Byrd was so damn sanctimonious.

What is Black Lives Matter Really About?

My pal Anne Sorock explains in a new video from The Frontier Lab. Or read the report.

NRI’s Buckley Prize Dinner

I had better see you there. You’ll find complete info here. If you don’t come I will cry and that is not a pretty sight.

Holy Baseball!

Could Roberto Clemente, the great Pirate and humanitarian, become a saint? That would be very cool and deserving.

Gratuitous Yankee Item

Long ago and far away in The Bronx, two stadiums ago, Steve Hamilton throws the folly floater. Bonus: Phil Rizzuto calls the pitch. And Thurman Munson does his thing. Even Yankee haters will enjoy. So, enjoy!

The Sabbath approaches. If only for this weekend, maybe it’s a good idea to keep it holy. We could all use some peace, no? That said, pray for God’s wisdom, do not leave dirty mugs in the sink, do not kick the dog, give the kids an extra scoop of ice cream, and if you are not passing anyone get the heck out of the left lane.


Jack Fowler

P.S.: I just finished binging on the old PBS series, Foyle’s War, set in WW2, which in the final episode had a storyline based on the SAS, the Brit’s secret, special forces operation that sabotaged the Nazis, to great benefit. And then today across my tiny, cluttered desk come a press release about Ben Macintyre’s Rogue Heroes (paperback edition), the history of the SAS and its exploits. I just ordered it on Amazon (the softcover is out on August 29th). You can order a copy here.

P.P.S.: P.J. O’Rourke has a magazine. It’s online and free. Looks interesting. You should find out more at American Consequences.