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Observations of a Bystander

Writing about foreign policy these days is an exercise in frustration, because the United States is in the unusual and unnecessary position of being a bystander to world events. The reason is that President Obama is deeply committed to a policy of inaction, or more accurately, action so halting and reluctant as to be nearly […]

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Shrug Trek

A Reader’s Guide to Atlas Shrugged, Part 2 Spoiler Alert: You do not need a reader’s guide to Atlas Shrugged—at least not for your first reading. Ayn Rand’s novel is clear, compelling, eminently readable, and perfectly comprehensible on its own terms. Yet Atlas is also a rich and complex novel, with an intricate plot in […]

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Flame Spotting

How to Achieve a Benevolent Sense of Life Part two of a four-part series. In the first installment of this series, I challenged the notion that a malevolent sense of life is a reaction to the uniquely bad circumstances of “today’s world,” both because sense of life is not about your momentary circumstances and because […]

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The Prophet of the Oppression

An Atheist Reads the Bible, Part 4 The religion of the Old Testament is not the religion of Abraham. It is the religion of Moses. In the previous installments, we looked at the sections of the Bible that relate to Abraham and which convey to us the key religious assumptions that he brought to his […]

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The Universal Message

Three Paradoxes of American Politics, Part 3 Just after November’s election, I posed three paradoxes of American politics, asking why certain demographic groups make up reliable voting blocs for the left, even though the pro-free-market ideas of the right have so much to offer them. I have been addressing these paradoxes one by one. In […]

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Rubio-Cruz in 2013!

As it looks to revive its electoral fortunes on the national level, what the Republican Party desperately needs is a Rubio-Cruz ticket—not for 2016, or not just for 2016, but now, in 2013. As conservative Republicans continue to defect from Marco Rubio’s “Gang of Eight” immigration deal, he and Ted Cruz are emerging as the […]

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The Philosophy of Gosnell

Unlike the executive editor of the Washington Post, I did not just become aware of the Kermit Gosnell case. I wrote about it back when the indictment was first reported. On February 7, 2011, I mentioned Gosnell in the context of a “truce” between two wings of the right, the social conservatives and the more […]

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Where Is John Galt?

A Reader’s Guide to Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 You do not need a reader’s guide to Atlas Shrugged—at least not for your first reading. Atlas Shrugged is not like the Bible. The Bible is full of diversions that seem inexplicable or that don’t seem to advance the story, because their meaning has been obscured through […]

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The Last of the Indomitable Britons

So far, the best summary of the legacy of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher is a line from Mark Steyn: she was the “anti-declinist.” Mrs. Thatcher’s predecessor as prime minister, the amiable but forgotten Sunny Jim Callaghan, once confided to a friend of mine that he thought Britain’s decline was irreversible and that the […]

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The End of an Illusion

Many years ago, I remember thinking that it would take many years to refute the panicked claims about global warming. Unlike most political movements, which content themselves with making promises about, say, what the unemployment rate will be in two years if we pass a giant stimulus bill—claims that are proven wrong (and how!) relatively […]

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