Captain Pronoun

To the politician looking to shade the truth and evade responsibility, there is no greater superhero than Captain Pronoun. You wouldn’t believe how much can be obfuscated simply by shifting the number and person of a narrative’s dramatis personae. For example, on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, President Obama gave us a demonstration of how much […]

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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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Anti-Science and Anti-Intellectual

Sean Davis’s work at The Federalist documenting Neil deGrasse Tyson’s tendency to make up quotes and examples to fit his narrative has gotten some notice in an article at The Daily Beast. While the article itself is fair and nicely balanced, the subtitle the editors gave it, which speculates that criticism of Tyson might be […]

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What United the Kingdom

I breathed a sigh of relief when Scotland voted Thursday to stay in the United Kingdom. It was partly nostalgia, I suppose, for the storied history of Great Britain as a bastion of liberty and mother of parliaments and all that sort of thing. But it was also because it has never been quite clear […]

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The Metaphysical Dilemma of the Left

The recent Neil deGrasse Tyson kerfuffle and the dogmatic defense of the global warming consensus raises the question: what’s the impetus? Why do people feel the need to proclaim themselves so loudly as the pro-science side of the debate and to write off all opponents as anti-science? What makes scientists so susceptible to a cultural […]

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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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An American Heresy

A short clip was recently leaked out from a service at the megachurch run by the toothy-grinned, perpetually upbeat celebrity pastor Joel Osteen. In video, his wife Victoria Osteen delivers a peculiar little sermon. I want you to know this morning: just do good for your own self. Do good because God wants you to […]

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