Tag Archives | Notebook

You Have to Pass Through It to Find Out What’s in It

I finally made it into the New York Times—sort of. In an effort to demonstrate that they are totally not in an ideological bubble, the Times has started a “Right and Left React” feature in which they link to and quote from various writers reacting to the latest controversy of the day. And look who’s […]

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Guns and the Monopoly on Force

The Objectivist corners of the Internet have been lit up recently by some new comments from Yaron Brook (executive director of the Ayn Rand Institute) about the Second Amendment and gun control. I’m not going to take on these comments in much detail because they strike me as offhand, flippant, and offensively arrogant—you really have […]

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But He Fights (Against Liberty)

My readers may have noticed that I am occasionally wrong in my predictions about politics, including such little things as who is going to win the presidential primaries or who is going to win the general election. But the more important part of my job is to figure out who ought to win, so I […]

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The Anti-Climax of Kantianism

I just came across such a comically grotesque philosophical expression of everything that’s wrong with our culture that I had to write a piece on it for The Federalist. I’m going to include that piece here, but afterwards I have some additional comments I want to make, just for this newsletter, that take it down […]

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The Trump Threat Level Is: Elevated

Three weeks into the Trump administration, is the new president living down to our worst fears, or is he doing better than expected? Let me put this in terms borrowed from the old color-coded Homeland Security Advisory System. The current Trump Threat Level is: Elevated. That’s the middle level, the yellow one between High and […]

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I Regret to Inform You That You Will Probably Survive

I noted recently that 2016 was a year considered so awful, politically, that it had a lot of people joking that they wished for death. Some took that idea farther than others. As 2017 gets under way, I regret to inform you that you will probably survive. That’s a line I started using when my […]

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Success vs. Achievement

Is success good? Or is achievement better? Is there a difference? Well, yes, in a way. The words are frequently used interchangeably, and they are clearly closely related. In making a distinction between the two, I don’t intend to criticize anyone for not parsing the fine differences between them in everyday use, nor am I […]

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Is Personnel Policy?

In politics, there is an old saying: personnel is policy. What a president does is determined to a large extent by the people he hires. Consider the rumors that Donald Trump is considering appointing Mitt Romney as his Secretary of State. Trump’s stated foreign policy involves a much friendlier approach toward Russia. But he’s not […]

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Post-Mortem

Last week, I got knocked down by something that sure felt like the flu—or maybe it was just a really severe case of post-election depression. I don’t think that’s the case, though, because I was already pretty depressed before Election Day. At any rate, I’m sorry for not sending out much in the past week. […]

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Our New Reality TV President

One of the more intriguing facts to emerge from Tuesday’s vote is that Donald Trump won a greater share of black and Hispanic votes than Mitt Romney. Chew on that a little. A man widely denounced as a racist (and not totally without basis) who launched his campaign with disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants should […]

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