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The Right to Be Wrong

After writing about the secular inquisition that is intent on forcing the proprietors of the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, to perform gay marriages in violation of their religious beliefs, I have been assured by some commenters that this is not a real case. The city of Coeur D’Alene, they tell me, […]

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The Virtue of Liberty

One of the big stories of the Obama era is the rise of a more stridently individualistic and “libertarian” (for lack of a better word) wing of the right—the Ayn-Rand-influenced, Tea Party wing. As a certified graduate of both of these camps—the Ayn Rand fans and the Tea Partiers—I’m pretty happy about this. But it […]

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Loyal to Whom?

The new memoir from former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has been aptly described as a vindication of just about everything the president’s critics on the right have been saying about his policy in Iraq and Syria. So naturally Panetta is now a marked man. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, for example, […]

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What the Right Can Learn from Ayn Rand

In The Federalist, Hunter Baker recently argued that conservatives should approach the ideas of Ayn Rand with a little more “Christian charity,” and that they should reverse the attempt by William F. Buckley and Whittaker Chambers, decades ago, to drum Ayn Rand out of the right. I have a few quibbles with this piece, but […]

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The Moral Invariance Theory of Politics

After I moved from Illinois to Virginia, I used to feel so superior about living in a state where governors don’t get caught in bribery scandals or go to jail. When they sent George Ryan and then Rod Blagojevich off to the pokey, I chuckled in a smug and condescending way, shook my head, and […]

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It’s Not the Crime, It’s the Cover-Up

The Neil deGrasse Tyson kerfuffle has reached a conclusion of sorts. To recap, The Federalist‘s Sean Davis has done some good old-fashioned, dogged reporting and tracked down a list of dubious examples commonly used by science popularizer Neil deGrasse Tyson, the unvarying effect of which is to make Tyson and his listeners feels smart and to […]

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What I Learned from the Geeks

You know how old I am? I’m so old I can remember when “geek” was still an insult. Today, of course, it’s a boast. It has become cool to be a geek, precisely because so many people who had that insult thrown at them went on to do big, important things—and generate billion-dollar fortunes along […]

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Science Is as Science Does

I have to admit that I missed out on the ascendancy of Neil deGrasse Tyson. In my era, the nation’s beloved “scientific communicator” was Carl Sagan. And he had many of the same flaws. As I’ve written about elsewhere, Sagan spoke eloquently about need to follow the evidence wherever it goes, without regard for your […]

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Ten Way Obama Has Failed as President

A poll released last week had some pretty bad news for congressional Democrats heading into the midterm elections. But buried in the poll numbers was a figure that just might constitute an even more important turning point. Respondents were asked: “On balance, do you feel that Obama’s presidency so far has been more of a […]

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Strategy or Fantasy?

President Obama has finally come up with a strategy against the self-styled “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria. Better late than never—and there is much in this strategy that is correct, if the administration is actually willing to face up to the reality of what its strategy will require. Which we have very good reason […]

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