April 17, 2010
In memory of Tomasz Merta (1965–2010) The event known as Katyn began when the Red Army invaded Poland, along with the Wehrmacht, in September 1939. The Soviets took thousands of Polish officers prisoner and held them in the ruins of Orthodox monasteries. When these men were allowed to leave the camps, 70 years ago in April 1940, they expected that they would be returning home. Instead, they were taken to Kharkiv, or Tver, or Katyn. Over the course of a few days, 21,892 of these prisoners were shot in the base of the skull.
Tone Down the Mushfulness In Punditry
April 12, 2010
I made a prominent guest appearance in Michael Gerson's Washington Post column the other day. It is very hard to summarize what the column was about. The general theme was a defense of civility. I came into the picture, as you might have guessed, for writing a 2003 article in which I confessed, "I hate President George W. Bush." Among many conservatives, especially those, like Gerson, who worked for Bush and continue to adore him, that article is a seminal moment in American history.
What Are Nukes Good For?
April 09, 2010
Peter Scoblic comes via Arms Control Today, which is not the usual stepping stone to our magazine, and has been studying the issue deeply for a long time. With the START treaty signing, it happens to be a very good time to have a nuclear weapons expert in house. Peter's cover story is a definitive essay on the future of the bomb. The most compelling question about this subject is whether nuclear deterrence still works against madmen. He says it can: That is, in the face of the most aggressive, most highly armed, most revolutionary power the United States has ever known, deterrence worked.
Quote Of The Day
April 08, 2010
From the Sarah Palin-Michelle Bachmann rally yesterday: Betty Soban, an admiring constituent of Bachmann's, said: "My family left Germany because of Hitler and socialized medicine. I see it happening here." Important to her, she said, are "freedom of ownership. Freedom of our guns. Freedom of having babies." Really? That's why they left Nazi Germany? The canceling of elections, the militarism, the rounding up of political opponents -- they could accept all that, but they fled because of universal health care?
What Are Nukes Good For?
April 07, 2010
The nuclear order seems to be falling apart. Gone is the uneasy balance between the cold war superpowers. We now face a slew of new nuclear actors. North Korea has reprocessed enough plutonium for perhaps ten bombs, in addition to the two it has already tested. Iran’s centrifuge program seems poised to produce weapons-grade uranium. And Syria was apparently constructing a clandestine nuclear facility, before it was destroyed by Israeli air strikes in 2007. It’s not just enemies that pose a problem.
Why Law Should Lead
April 02, 2010
The Will of the People: How Public Opinion Has Influenced the Supreme Court and Shaped the Meaning of the Constitution By Barry Friedman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 614 pp., $35) In 1952, as the Supreme Court contemplated the set of cases that would eventually become known as Brown v. Board of Education, a law clerk named William H.
March 31, 2010
The latest turn in the sad and increasingly bizarre career of Naomi Wolf is her newfound embrace of the Tea Party movement. Here she explains the harmonic convergence of left and right: JS: How is your comparison of Obama to Hitler any different from someone at a Tea Party holding up a placard of Obama with a Hitler mustache? NW: Those signs are offensive. If only the Holocaust was just about imposing health care on my people. Obama has done things like Hitler did. Let me be very careful here.
NR vs. The Weekly Standard, A Case Study
March 27, 2010
A few weeks ago, Mary Katherine Ham at the Weekly Standard featured this quote from Nancy Pelosi: "Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance." Ham proceeded to riff on Pelosi's desire to subsidize people who don't work -- "If liberal Boomers such as Nancy Pelosi insist on creating government incentives for a generation of people to be unemployed artists who nonetheless have their health care paid for by productive members of society, there will be fewer productive membe
The Remnant Next Time
March 23, 2010
WASHINGTON--Every nation needs an intelligent and constructive form of conservatism. The debate over the health care bill, which mercifully came to a close on Sunday night, was not American conservatism's finest hour. In its current incarnation, conservatism has taken on an angry crankiness. It is caught up in a pseudo-populism that true conservatism should mistrust--what on Earth would Bill Buckley have made of "death panels"? The creed is caught up in a suspicion of all reform that conservatives of the Edmund Burke stripe have always warned against.
February 17, 2010
Ajami Kino International The Last New Yorker Brink Films North Face Music Box Films A Palestinian, Scandar Copti, and an Israeli, Yaron Shani, have co-written, co-directed, and co-edited Ajami. This title is the name of a multi-ethnic district in the city of Jaffa, so it fits the film, not merely in facts but in feeling. Copti and Shani knew what they were doing and why they were doing it. Coincidentally, they prove again that the film medium has made a contribution to social revelation.