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Kevin D. Williamson

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The Gift Outright

Amanda Gorman recites a poem during the inauguration of Joe Biden at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters) Amanda Gorman, youth poet laureate, can’t believe she wasn’t murdered at Joe Biden’s inauguration. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I have some good news for Amanda Gorman: Americans don’t murder our poets. Gorman, who embarked on her splendid career as a poet of the oppressed while studying at a $50,000-a-year private school in Santa Monica, Calif., and then carried the work on to Harvard with the financial support of the Milken Family Foundation, was named the nation’s first “youth poet laureate,” and read a poem, “The Hill We Climb,” at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. It is not a very good poem, but Americans are not a very poetic people. Gorman writes in the New York Times (as all the downtrodden do) that … To Read the Full Story

Biden in Hidin’

President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington, D.C., January 26, 2021. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters) As the president prepares to hold a rare press conference, the jokes practically write themselves. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE P resident Joe Biden has announced his first formal press conference in months. We are all very curious about what exactly he is going to say — Biden most of all, I imagine. Republicans are having a great deal of fun with Biden’s unreadiness to submit himself to the rigors of giving staged answers to predictable questions from a corps of mostly friendly and polite reporters. That’s fine — hoist on his own petard and all that — and the rhyme between Biden and hidin’ is difficult to resist. The limericks practically write themselves. By the Republican Party’s calculation, Biden held only nine … To Read the Full Story

Ordinary Madness or Political Extremism?

Malik Faisal Akram visits a Christian outreach center in Dallas, Texas, January 2, 2022. (OurCalling, LLC via Reuters) In the case of the British Islamist who took worshippers hostage at a Texas synagogue, it’s a distinction without a difference. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he hostage-taking by British Islamist Malik Faisal Akram at Temple Beth Israel in the Dallas–Fort Worth suburbs raises some familiar questions: Why was Akram, an extremist who was already known to British intelligence, allowed into the United States at all? Where did he get his gun? Why do so many progressives and agents of the government play down the antisemitic character of antisemitic attacks? But there is another question that is of interest here: Where is the line between ordinary madness — meaning mental illness pure and simple — and political extremism? Mental illness is sometimes offered as an exculpatory consideration by … To Read the Full Story

So Long, Djoker

Novak Djokovic practices at Rod Laver Arena ahead of the 2022 Australian Open at Melbourne Park, in Melbourne, Australia, January 11, 2022. (Kelly Defina/Pool via Reuters) If Novak Djokovic won’t play by Australia’s rules, then he shouldn’t be allowed to play at all. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE Y ou would think that a professional athlete would understand the concept of playing by the rules. Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic is having some trouble in Australia. Australian rules require that foreigners arriving in Australia be vaccinated against Covid-19. Djokovic refuses to be vaccinated but showed up for the Australian Open anyway, and then made things worse for himself by lying on his immigration paperwork. Australia has canceled his visa — twice, thanks to legal wrangling — and now proposes to deport him. Which it should. Australia, like the United States and every other country with a democratic government, passes some bad laws … To Read the Full Story Something to Consider If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content on the site including the digital magazine and archives, no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. If you enjoyed this article and want to see more premium content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Become a Member

Biden Misses the Senate’s Point

President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd at the Atlanta University Center Consortium, part of both Morehouse College and Clark Atlanta University, in Atlanta, Ga., January 11, 2022. (Megan Varner/Getty Images) The upper chamber was never meant to be an instrument of vulgar majoritarianism. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE ‘W ill you stand for democracy?” Joe Biden asks. That has the grammatical form of a question, but it is not really a question. The real question is, “Will you stand for gross majoritarianism?” And the answer should be, for all Americans, “No.” Not that the Democrats are even much interested in majorities right now. As Charles C. W. Cooke has documented at amusing length, Democrats such as Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders are consistently befuddled and irritated that 48 senators out of 100 do not make a majority and cannot do their will when 52 senators oppose them. “Why should two … To Read the Full Story

The Rent-Policy Debate Is Too Damn Stupid

A “For Rent” sign is placed in front of a home in Arlington, Va., June 8, 2021. (Will Dunham/Reuters) When it comes to housing, more is more. Even socialists ought to be capable of understanding that. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T here is almost no subject — not even Modern Monetary Theory! — that inspires toxic stupidity quite like the subject of rental properties. The New York Times has brought its subscribers a video (because some things are, in fact, too blisteringly stupid for print) about a so-called tenants’-rights bill under consideration in the state of New York, a daft little sliver of propaganda put together by Jeff Seal, “a comedian, visual journalist and member of the Lower Manhattan chapter of Democratic Socialists of America,” as the Times puts it. That description is just terrific — no Upper West Side socialists here, comrade, we … To Read the Full Story

Toward a Politics of Charity

Passengers board an American Airlines flight at San Diego International Airport, May 20, 2020 (Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images) We must strive to understand our opponents even as we disagree with them, and even as we consider at least some of their fears irrational or unfounded. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he Covid-19 era is a cascade of related tragedies, and we would be adding one more item to the tragic catalogue if we were to fail to take the opportunity presented by the heightened contrasts created by the epidemic to understand our national differences a little better. An epidemic is a bit like a war in that it injects an unusual measure of intensity into public affairs, which helps both to reveal and to clarify preexisting differences. Think, for example, of how World War I drew out the militaristic, nationalistic, and centralizing tendencies in American progressivism, producing a reaction whose … To Read the Full Story Something to Consider If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content on the site including the digital magazine and archives, no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. If you enjoyed this article and want to see more premium content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Become a Member

What Happened on January 6

Protesters climb walls at the U.S. Capitol during a protest against the certification of the 2020 presidential election results by Congress in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters) The Capitol riot was just the tip of a very dangerous spear. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W hat happened on January 6 of last year? In one sense, it is simple: Donald Trump refused to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election, told many fantastical lies about the election and repeated the fantastical lies of others, and instructed a mob of his supporters to march on the Capitol and “fight,” to make what he frankly described as a show of force — which they did. What happened was not a peaceful protest with a few rowdy elements. For a very detailed look at the violence itself and its relation to what was happening in the political sphere at … To Read the Full Story

So Pay Them More

A store advertises for workers in downtown Los Angeles, Calif., November, 16, 2021. (Mike Blake/Reuters) If employers want workers to fill their job openings, there’s a ready-made solution staring them in the face. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he hearts of men are mysterious. Economics is hard. But the Great Resignation is the least-mysterious development of the Covid era. I know the secret to keeping employees on the job: Pay them more. The econometric libertarians in their propeller beanies, the country-club Republicans in their blue blazers, the people who lecture the world about “bootstraps” and “self-reliance” and “rugged individualism” — all of these people seem to understand how supply and demand work in every market except the labor market. We go through this every year. If the price of gasoline spikes, the would-be central planners of the Left (and, often enough, … To Read the Full Story

The Hangover

A Covid sign amid confetti after New Year’s celebrations in Times Square, January 1, 2022. (Hannah Beier/Reuters) It’s coming — that’s the bad news. The good news is that hangovers end. NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE H appy New Year. About last night . . . We have, in a way, been here before. The Covid-19 epidemic and the federal response follow a familiar pattern: A crisis emerges, extraordinary action is taken, that extraordinary action acquires interest groups who wish to see it become ordinary action, economic troubles inevitably follow, and sorting it all out gets pretty hairy pretty quickly. Sometimes, this doesn’t go too badly. Consider the end of World War I, when many progressives desired to keep Woodrow Wilson’s “war socialism” as a permanent practice, giving the federal government broad managerial powers over both the economy and … To Read the Full Story Something to Consider If you enjoyed this article, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Members get all of our content on the site including the digital magazine and archives, no paywalls or content meters, an advertising-minimal experience, and unique access to our writers and editors (through conference calls, social media groups, and more). And importantly, NRPLUS members help keep NR going. If you enjoyed this article and want to see more premium content like this, we have a proposition for you: Join NRPLUS. Become a Member

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