• Is Transgender The New Anorexia? New Study Suggests So

    Is Transgender The New Anorexia? New Study Suggests So

    Brown University Professor Lisa Littman recently published a blockbuster study on the “transgender” phenomenon, presenting evidence that parts of it might be a “social contagion”—a maladaptive coping technique for troubled teens, spread by peer groups and the Internet. Brown issued a press release about the study, then promptly retracted it and replaced it with a weasely non-statement that just drew more attention to Littman’s research. This was in response to a furious outcry from transgender activists, and I can see why they find this study such a threat.

    The study itself is not actually about “gender dysphoria” as it has previously been defined in the scientific literature.

  • The Catholic Church Is Losing Its War On Human Nature

    The Catholic Church Is Losing Its War On Human Nature

    For 2,000 years, the Catholic Church has been at war with human nature. It usually loses, as it must, and over the past few weeks it has been losing more than usual.

    The “pedophile priest” scandal has gotten widespread publicity in the United States since the Boston Globe broke the story all the way back in 2002. A few weeks ago, a grand jury convened by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court released its report detailing the vast extent of the priests’ criminal action, and of the church’s cover-up. Here is just a small sampling, from John Daniel Davidson’s summary in The Federalist.

  • New Economic Growth Shows A Rising Tide Really Does Lift All Boats

    New Economic Growth Shows A Rising Tide Really Does Lift All Boats

    It has been two decades since the U.S. enjoyed sustained economic growth above 3 percent, and it turns out that a rising tide really does lift all boats.

    The New York Times reports:

    The least educated American workers, who took the hardest hit in the Great Recession, were also among the slowest to harvest the gains of the recovery. Now they are a striking symbol of a strong economy.


    The unemployment rate for those without a high school diploma fell to 5.1 percent in July, the Labor Department reported Friday, the lowest since the government began collecting data on such workers in 1992.

  • Warren's 'Accountable Capitalism' Is More Proof Of Left's Feudalism

    Warren’s ‘Accountable Capitalism’ Is More Proof Of Left’s Feudalism

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a good chance to be the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate in 2020. (I would say it’s definitely not going to be Andrew “America Was Not That Great” Cuomo, but I thought a guy whose pastor screamed “God d-mn America” would never make it, either.) Warren would have all the warmth, charm, and heartland appeal of Hillary Clinton, but be farther to the left.

    To kick off her campaign as the “progressive” standard-bearer for 2020, Warren has proposed the Accountable Capitalism Act. As legislation, it is certain to go nowhere. But it is meant as a statement of where she stands and the direction she wants to take her party.

  • Charlottesville In Panic Over Nazis Who Might Not Even Show Up

    Charlottesville In Panic Over Nazis Who Might Not Even Show Up

    ‘Reports surfaced from concerned citizens who believed they saw persons resembling Nazis and white supremacists in locations from office supply stores to coffee shops.’

    CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — A year after violent brawls and a vehicular homicide marked a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the town is shutting itself down for three days. Is this because the Nazis are coming back? No, it’s because they might come back, a speculation that is spinning a fair number of people around here into a full-blown panic.

    I realized this when I discovered that the gym I usually go to is shutting down for the whole weekend, because it’s sort-of kind-of not very far from the site of last year’s riots.

  • Ending Birthright Citizenship Will Make GOP Look Pro-Dred Scott

    Ending Birthright Citizenship Will Make GOP Look Pro-Dred Scott

    Are Republicans ready to become the party of Dred Scott? I ask because that’s what Michael Anton—a conservative intellectual, former Trump administration official, and fanatical supporter of the president—advocated in the Washington Post. Even worse, he implies that Trump should do it by executive fiat, in defiance of the Supreme Court.

    This is not just intellectually and morally bankrupt. It would spell disaster for the Republican Party by making it de facto what the Democrats have long wanted it to be: the party of white people—and only white people.

    Anton’s op-ed is an argument for eliminating “birthright citizenship,” the provision from the Fourteenth Amendment (with roots going back much, much earlier) that states children born in America are automatically citizens, even if their parents were not.

  • It's Past Time To Break Up The Supreme Court's Harvard-Yale Duopoly

    It’s Past Time To Break Up The Supreme Court’s Harvard-Yale Duopoly

    Democrats have already issued their pro forma denunciations of Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Some are more pro forma than others, such as one press release dismissing Kavanaugh as an “extremist”—except it was clearly written before the announcement, and someone forgot to include the actual name of the nominee, so it merely denounces the placeholder “XX.”

    Meanwhile, religious conservatives are disappointed that Trump passed over Amy Coney Barrett—a devout Catholic, mother of seven, and guaranteed vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. (They’ll get over it.) My own objection is, in some way, much smaller and more niggling, but it points to a problem that is big and getting bigger. 

  • The Left Celebrates July 4 By Denouncing The First Amendment

    The Left Celebrates July 4 By Denouncing The First Amendment

    The biggest news this week is that the Left has officially turned against the First Amendment and freedom of speech — and just in time for the Fourth of July!

    If you’re on the Right, it is not news that the Left wants to shut us up. The only change is that this goal is being announced openly in the leading publications of the mainstream Left, specifically in a long article in The New York Times warning about “How Conservatives Weaponized the First Amendment.” Weaponized. That’s right, they’re giving the First Amendment the same treatment they gave the Second.

  • For The Left, The Enlightenment Is Just Another Excuse To Cry 'Racism'

    For The Left, The Enlightenment Is Just Another Excuse To Cry ‘Racism’

    One of my concerns about the Trump era is that it signals a wave of anti-intellectualism on the Right, a collapse in concern for basic ideas. It has also triggered something of an anti-intellectual response on the Left, because Trump is the bogeyman who justifies blind, frenetic “resistance” in place of thoughtful criticism and reasoned debate.

    But now we’re finally getting some compensation for this, because the latest controversy among the pundit class is a debate over the ideals and legacy of the eighteenth-century intellectual and philosophical movement known as the Enlightenment. Maybe it is precisely the anti-intellectualism of today’s politics, the futility of debates over the normal issues of public policy, that is driving people back to the really big and fundamental questions.

  • Supreme Court's Masterpiece Majority Wants To Kill Freedom Softly

    Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Majority Wants To Kill Freedom Softly

    Monday, in a resounding 7-2 ruling, the Supreme Court affirmed that the government cannot crush your freedom unless they’re really nice about it.

    The court ruled in favor of Jack Phillips, a devout Christian and proprietor of Masterpiece Cakeshop, who had been prosecuted by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding. Yet the court ruled in his favor on very narrow, purely procedural grounds that are intended to punt on the underlying issue of religious liberty.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion makes it pretty clear that they’re punting on the substantive issue, because it keeps referring to future rulings in nearly identical cases that might go the other way.

  • The Enlightenment Is Not The Enemy

    The Enlightenment Is Not The Enemy

    Jonah Goldberg has a new book out defending the “liberal”—i.e., pro-freedom—legacy of the Enlightenment, the philosophical awakening of the eighteenth century. Such a defense is certainly needed in light of the Enlightenment’s wholesale rejection by today’s mainstream intellectuals.

    Yet this has required many others on the Right to come to terms with their views of the Enlightenment, and it’s not going well. Many conservatives are dismissing the Enlightenment and trying to hand over its legacy to the anti-Enlightenment intellectuals on the Left.

    My Federalist colleague John Davidson sums up Goldberg’s view of the Enlightenment.

    Goldberg calls the emergence of the liberal order ‘the Miracle,’ because we can’t exactly account for why it emerged about 300 years ago.

  • Yes, We Should Celebrate Our Anglo-American Heritage

    Yes, We Should Celebrate Our Anglo-American Heritage

    The latest Outrage of the Day is Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaking before the National Sheriffs’ Association and referring to “the Anglo-American heritage of law-enforcement.” This is a hideous racist statement—if you have been educated extensively in how to seek out offense but have learned next to nothing about history.

    We do in fact have an Anglo-American system of law in this country, in the literal sense of being derived from English law. “Anglo-American law” is a widely accepted alternative term for the common law tradition that came to America with English settlers and formed the basis for our judicial system.

  • The GOP Budget Deal Throws Fiscal Sanity Out The Overton Window

    The GOP Budget Deal Throws Fiscal Sanity Out The Overton Window

    They told me if I didn’t vote for Donald Trump, Washington DC would go on a massive, unsustainable, Big Government spending spree — and they were right!

    Early this morning, Congress passed and President Trump signed a deal to avert a government shutdown for another two years by basically giving the Democrats all the spending they wanted and increasing discretionary spending by $150 billion a year.

    There are also reports that Republicans are working on a bill to bail out Obamacare, and we haven’t even gotten to Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan yet. But no big deal. Rush Limbaugh says he isn’t worrying about the debt because “all of the apocalyptic warnings I grew up hearing have yet to happen.”

    Limbaugh knows full well why the budget apocalypse hasn’t happened yet.

  • Republicans' Latest Family Leave Scheme Shows Why We Can't Be Free

    Republicans’ Latest Family Leave Scheme Shows Why We Can’t Be Free

    The basic income. The individual mandate. Cap and trade. Income-tax withholding. What do all of these ideas have in common? They are all schemes for implementing a massive and ever-growing welfare and regulatory state—and they were all brought to you by people on the Right.

    The basic income is the brainchild of Charles Murray. The individual mandate originated from a Heritage Foundation proposal. Cap and trade was floated by libertarian “free-market environmentalists.” And what about income-tax withholding, the mechanism that makes it possible to tax a third of our incomes without outright rebellion? That was invented by Milton Friedman.

    Now here we go again.

  • 'Don't Be Evil'? Google Is Becoming A Police State

    ‘Don’t Be Evil’? Google Is Becoming A Police State

    Back in the day, Google famously adopted the corporate motto, “Don’t be evil.” It hasn’t turned out so well.

    The problem is that their motto didn’t define what constitutes evil, so it left an opening for narrow-minded zealots to commandeer company resources in a witch hunt against whatever they define as the forces of wickedness. That’s what has happened at Google, which has adopted a corporate culture of quasi-totalitarian ideological uniformity that it is now starting to impose on everyone who uses its services. Which is, let’s face it, pretty much everyone. For now.

    Google’s internal culture has been laid bare by James Damore’s lawsuit alleging employment discrimination.