SHOCKER! Climate Alarmist Musical Finally Runs Out of Taxpayer Money, Quickly Closes

The asinine ambitions of our know-it-all federal bureaucrats know no bounds. Really. No. Bounds.

A collection of bureaucrats at the National Science Foundation (NSF) used $700,000 of taxpayer money this spring to play out their Broadway fantasies by funding what they surely thought was a sure-fire hit play.

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HS Football Coach Suspended for Joining a Team Prayer

It has been a tough few weeks for football suspensions. As lurid tales of players beating women and “whooping” children dominate the headlines, a successful Arizona high school football coach has been suspended for an even more shocking offense:

Tempe Prep football coach Tommy Brittain has been suspended two weeks for praying with his team after the Show Low [Ariz.] win two weeks ago, his wife, Melissa, confirmed.

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Foreign Affairs
Ladies & Gentlemen, Foreign Affairs

Burning Globe

Making Sense of A Seemingly Senseless World

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Remy on ISIS

Let’s head into the weekend with Reason.com’s brilliant Remy Munasifi. This week, he channels the Obama Administration planning to cripple ISIS non-militarily:

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Radio Free Delingpole
Scottish Dependence and #GamerGate Exposed

Scottish Aftermath

You Can Take Away Our Freedom, But You Can’t Take Away Our Whores!

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A Day in the Life

People often ask me what it’s like to teach at Berkeley as a conservative. This gives you an idea:

DC: One moment that you’re probably more remembered for among members of my generation is your appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart in 2010. Stewart later described talking with you as something “like interviewing sand,” it was so hard.

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On the Feeling of Belonging

It’s question often asked and answered, if you live in New York City: “Where are you from?” It’s an easy conversation starter, and since countless residents of the Big Apple are born elsewhere, the answer is often interesting. People flock to the city not just from around the country but also from around the world.

Though I have lived in this place for nine years, I am not a New Yorker.

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Need To Know with Mona Charen and Jay Nordlinger
From Scotland to Spanking

N2K_001bThis week, Need to Know breathes a huge sigh of relief that our second favorite country (or maybe tied for second with Israel, in Mona’s case), Great Britain, remains intact. Jay and Mona talk of Edmund Burke and Al Qaeda, and whether spanking children is bad for the black community. Jay recalls that of all the left’s depredations over the years, the libeling of Republicans and conservatives as racists was the worst. Mona agrees and notes that it’s always Groundhog Day on matters of race relations for a very good reason – it’s the only way Democrats can get elected.

Music from this week’s episode:

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Submit Your Questions for FreedomWorks President and CEO Matt Kibbe

kibbeIn the fight to bring Tea Party principles to Washington, few organizations have been as influential as FreedomWorks, a group that has organized over six million Americans in defense of limited government and free markets. The man driving that mission is the organization’s president and CEO, Matt Kibbe, whom Steve Forbes has characterized as having “been to FreedomWorks what Steve Jobs was to Apple.” You can read more about Kibbe here.

As part of our ongoing series of Ricochet forums, Mr. Kibbe has agreed to take questions from you, the Ricochet members. Simply submit your questions in the comments of this post and then we’ll post his answers to some of the best inquiries here next week. Remember to keep your prompts concise and on topic. Want to get it on the conversation? Become a member of Ricochet today!

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Does America Want Sharply Higher Taxes on the Rich?

Where are top income tax rates heading? The answer may depend on how Americans view the rich and the reasons behind high-end income inequality. Are the 1% and 0.1% and 0.01% pretty much deserving or undeserving?

Or to put it another way: If you believe — mostly — that macro forces such as technology and globalization have boosted top incomes by allowing highly talented and educated individuals to manage or perform on a larger scale, then you might be less inclined to support higher top marginal rates. But if you believe the “rich getting much richer” phenomenon is mostly driven by compliant corporate boards overpaying CEOs and a breakdown of social norms against exorbitant pay, then you might favor sharply higher tax rates.

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The Necessity (And Limits) Of Tradition

Last week, member Mike Rapkoch offered the following in an excellent post on Judge Richard Posner’s derisive comments regarding tradition:

Mike Rapkoch: Tradition is not… just a bunch of old stuff. Tradition is the foundation of rational conduct, and the means through which mankind passes on the social capital which has accumulated through the experience of thousands of generations that have already confronted the vicissitudes of life…

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Why Intervention is Necessary with ISIS

In his recent post, Richard Epstein’s Faulty Case for Intervention, my Hoover Institution colleague David Henderson takes me to task for attacking what I termed “Rand Paul’s Fatal Pacifism“, a reaction to the senator’s position (since changed) that non-intervention against ISIS was the correct strategy for responding to the dangers in the Middle East. The implicit assumption in Paul’s position, as expressed in the Wall Street Journal, was that the United States typically makes a mess of its interventions overseas, and that it is thus better off doing nothing at all when the likely alternative is to stoke the flames of resentment and radicalism in distant nations by backing the wrong horses in all sorts of internecine fights.

There is no doubt that one can find a cautionary tale in our international efforts; one that suggests a presumption against overseas intervention given the costs of the operations and the all-too-evident danger that we will misfire. Even for libertarians, however, that presumption is rebuttable. Indeed, Rand Paul himself quickly changed his tune and announced in Time that he was different from President Obama and would follow a policy of “Peace Through Strength” that would allow the United States to combat the risk that ISIS poses to the United States.

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Conservative Urbanism

shutterstock_153379958Over at Politico, Ethan Epstein of the Weekly Standard writes that Mesa, Arizona may be the model for conservative urbanism:

While it’s willing to make investments, Mesa is also lean in ways that more bloated liberal cities can’t boast. Take the City Council. Despite Mesa’s hefty population, council members are part-timers who have day jobs in fields from education to copper mining. City leaders also pay themselves considerably less than those in other cities do. Mesa City Council members make only $33,000 a year, and the mayor is paid only $73,000. (And those salaries represent the fruits of a big raise: Before last year, city councilmembers made less than $20,000 a year and the mayor earned only $36,000.)

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Would You Vote For Independence For Your State?

Yesterday, Peter asked how we all would vote on independence for Scotland, but I have a question for you: if you could be certain it wouldn’t cause a war, would you vote for independence for your state?

Now, I realize that the question is very different from Peter’s — Scotland having a very long and very different history from England, different people, different language, different culture — but I think it’s still relevant.

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The UK Survives

About seven hours ago, the BBC called the vote for Scottish Independence in favor the “No” camp. I guess Long Shanks wins this one. Now we get to see Westminster try to give the Scotts more devolution, but without independence.

Watching the results come in was very anticlimactic. I guess the Scotts didn’t have that much rebellion in them after all.

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Can One Teach College Students How to Write?

Forty-three or so years ago, I had lunch in my residential college at Yale with Donald Kagan, with whom I had three years before taken a couple of courses on ancient history. I had won a Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford, and I was considering getting a Ph.D. in history in due course and teaching college for a living. Don was encouraging, but he urged me not to underestimate the downside. Half of what you end up doing, he said, will be no more interesting than driving a truck.

I am not sure whether Don got the proportion right, but his basic point was correct — and I was reminded of his remarks yesterday and again today as I graded the first batch of freshman papers to come my way. I have been doing this, I realized, for four full decades now. I have graded something like 8,000 undergraduate essays, I thought, and what does anyone have to show for it?

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A Shameful Confession…

I admit to writing this essay with a great deal of trepidation. As a Conservative, and as an American, and moreover as a Male, a Husband, and a Father, I feel that I have failed in fulfilling my moral, familial, and community obligations. I have gone back over this confession many times, have rehearsed the words in my mind and aloud in the confines of my garage many times, yet still my fingers tremble as I type this. I apologize to you all and beg for your forgiveness.

For I have been harboring a shameful and dark secret now for many years, and while I would, for your sakes and for your peace of mind, gladly continue to live this lie, I am driven to confess for the sake of my own sanity. I cannot even look my own wife or our own dear, sweet daughters in the eyes any more, concealing this festering wound as I do. I must unburden myself and throw my fate upon your mercy.

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Obamacare Architect Thinks We Should Die by 75

Ezekiel Emanuel, former White House Special Adviser on Obamacare and current Director of Clinical Bioethics at NIH, has decided the optimal age for death: Seventy-five.

Doubtless, death is a loss. It deprives us of experiences and milestones, of time spent with our spouse and children. In short, it deprives us of all the things we value.

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Aye or Nae, Smaller Nations on the Rise

Today’s vote in Scotland, no matter the result, continues the trend of smaller and smaller nations. Scotland raises the question of how big a state should be. We are living through a period of the collapse of large nations into smaller, more homogenous, parts. There were 74 independent states at the end of World War II. There are about 195 today. Nation-states could be broken up into even smaller and smaller pieces, even into city-states like the ancient Greek world or Renaissance Italy.

Where does it end? Not now.

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Your Prompt For the Day — Is Physical Discipline Bad for Children?

The editorial board of the Chicago Sun-Times is out with a piece today praising the fact that the Minnesota Vikings have decided to bench star running back Adrian Peterson until his child abuse case is resolved. In the course of doing so, they take an immoderate stance on the topic at hand:

We’re hoping … that the most important reason for Peterson’s benching doesn’t get lost in the shuffle: It’s never okay to hit a child — even if your parents did it to you and you turned out all right. Not only can it be harmful to kids, but it doesn’t change children’s behavior for the better. In other words, it doesn’t work. That includes a well-intended swat here and there.

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The Making of a FiCon

My teenage daughter, who is very keen on astrophysics and space exploration, came to me in a huff. She had watched a video that claimed a manned Mars mission was now only a matter of money, not engineering. “According to the video, if everyone in the country paid something like only half a penny, NASA would have the money they need for the mission!”

I don’t know enough about the science to evaluate the truth of the engineering claim without further research. But we had a fruitful discussion of whether money is truly the only obstacle in government bureaucracies, who pays taxes, how much they pay, where the spending goes, and what the disincentive effects are of taxes on the labor supply.

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Why the President Doesn’t Want Boots on the Ground

Polls rule this White House. Other Presidents have relied upon public opinion, but no previous administration has been as poll-driven as the current one. Their use of high-tech is astounding and, in some respects, to be admired. They’re good at it—better than all of their predecessors.

They focus group concepts 24/7, rounding up targeted demographic groups and questioning them both in person and digitally as to their attitudes regarding major issues of the day. From “What do you fear most about the new healthcare law?” (answer: that they’d lose their insurance and not be able to keep their doctors—hence the President’s famous fumble) to whether or not D.C. should become the 51st State, folks are polled in a variety of ways. They have their finger on the pulse of the people like no other White House in history. 

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What Will the Scots Do?

About independence, that is. Right now, no one has a clear idea of how the referendum vote today will go. The latest polls suggest a slim lead for the ‘no’ vote. There are some indications that support for the ‘yes’ vote may have peaked too early last week. But there’s no clear picture on the horizon.

What is clear is what a ‘yes’ vote will bring. Scottish “independence” (the quotation marks are necessary, as I’ll explain in a minute) means the dissolution of a 307-year-old political union between the then-kingdom of Scotland and the then-Kingdom of England, Ireland, and Wales into the United Kingdom. Proponents of the referendum, like Scottish premier Alex Salmond, point out that Ireland left the union some time ago and has prospered since. So will Scotland, goes the argument, especially once the newly independent nation sheds the livery of London and takes on that of Brussels and the European Union instead.

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The Shocking Lack of Historical Knowledge in Today’s America

This is a verbatim transcript of a conversation at work last night:

Colleague: Dennis Rodman is going to meet with ISIS. [This was a rumor going around the internet]

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