I Confess My Sin to the Pope

Dear Pope Francis: I am writing to confess my sin. That’s what you Catholics are supposed to do, to confess your sin to an authority figure, right? OK, then, I’m confessing mine. You see, I fit the description you recently gave of those who support the capitalist economic system, who have fallen into the sin […]

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Wish-Fulfilling Prophecy

Democrats predicted that the war in Iraq was unwinnable, Harry Reid said it was already lost, and Senator Obama declared that President Bush’s “surge” wouldn’t work. And now here we are in 2014, and by golly it looks as if they were right: Iraq is a total disaster. An al-Qaeda splinter group, the Islamic State […]

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On the Origins of “Individualism”

Objectivists get used to hearing something like this every once in a while, so it didn’t surprise me when I read the following in an article by a conservative colleague: The number of true individualists is still relatively small…. If you buy or sell things, consume popular culture, or have anyone in your life you […]

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Why We Fired Eric Cantor

Here’s all you need to know about Eric Cantor’s stunning loss in the Republican primary for Virginia’s seventh congressional district. For almost as long as I’ve lived here, which is coming up on 20 years now, the purpose of the seventh district has been to re-elect Eric Cantor every two years. It’s a strongly Republican […]

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Legalization Is No Love-In

I think we should take Maureen Dowd’s bad marijuana trip seriously. I know I’m in the minority on this. It’s like shooting fish in a barrel to make fun of Dowd for blithely chomping away at a marijuana chocolate bar, having made no effort to figure out the proper dosage, and consequently spending the rest […]

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Obama Releases the Monsters

Democrats have been promoting the idea that they stand firmly against a “War on Women.” So how come President Obama just released some of that war’s worst aggressors? I’m talking about the “Taliban Dream Team” who were just traded for ransomed soldier Bowe Bergdahl. These were top officials in the Taliban regime: a provincial governor, […]

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Obama Stops Going Though the Motions

Last week, President Obama was widely criticized for the emptiness of his big speech on foreign policy and national security at West Point. This weekend, with the trade of five high-level Taliban leaders for ransomed American soldier Bowe Bergdahl, we saw the consequences of that emptiness. There is one thing that wasn’t quite captured in […]

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Religious Right Opposes Abortion, Women and Minorities Hardest Hit

Folks on the religious right may have thought that one of their major motivations was opposition to the practice of abortion. But no, Slate’s Amanda Marcotte informs them, their real motivation is defending segregation. The religious right, who liked to call themselves the “moral majority” at the time, actually organized around fighting to protect Christian […]

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When You Want a Hammer, Everything Looks Like a Nail

Post-racial politics is officially over. The hope that electing the first black president would put an end to the era of racial politics has long ago seemed quaint, along with many other exaggerated expectations for Barack Obama. But now we have proof that a whole new era of racial politics is just beginning. The new […]

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The Contest Between Homer and Hesiod, in Space

There is not much about Andy Weir’s The Martian that ought to work. And yet it works. The novel is like a twisted literary experiment: can you write a story that is about 5% dialogue, 10% action, and 85% exposition? And can the exposition be about scientific problem solving and the technical details of NASA […]

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