News Quiz for Discerning American Spectator Readers

Identify the bogus item.

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

May 5th 2010

In this contest, readers are asked to identify the bogus news item. All three items are “reported” in similar style, from The American Spectator News Service. Two of them record actual events reported by other news outlets. (Certain telltale aspects of the real stories have been altered in order to prevent sneaky contestants from finding the items on the web.)

Item 1

TAS NEWS SERVICE, MADRID (APR. 15, 2010): Antonio Tajani, … Read more

The Hand on Rocker’s Cradle

By Daniel Oliver and M.D.B. Carlisle

The Washington Times

June 14th 2000

John Rocker, the famed Atlanta Braves relief pitcher, has been demoted to the minor leagues and fined again after having words again with Sports Illustrated reporter Jeff Pearlman. It was Mr. Pearlman’s piece last December that called Rocker to the attention of the liberal guardians of our society, who have devised standards of conduct by which they presume to judge the world. Those who fail their test and Rocker is surely one … Read more

Deciding Abortion

The key questions.

By Daniel Oliver

National Review

May 2nd 2005

 

The pro-abortion and anti-abortion forces are warships passing in the night. Their slogans, “pro-choice” and “pro-life,” don’t engage the central issue that divides them, which is, what actually happens in an abortion. Neither group really disagrees with the other’s slogan. None of the opponents of abortion would object to a woman’s choosing to do what she wanted with a tumor or some other unwanted tissue growing on or in her body. On … Read more

A Born Teacher

A review of Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription: Notes and Asides from National Review by William F. Buckley, Jr., and of Strictly Right: William F. Buckley, Jr. and the American Conservative Movement by Linda Bridges and John R. Coyne, Jr.

By Daniel Oliver

The Claremont Review of Books

Spring 2008

A review of Strictly Right: William F. Buckley, Jr. and the American Conservative Movement by Linda Bridges and John R. Coyne, Jr.; and Cancel Your Own Goddam Subscription: Notes and Asides from National Review, … Read more

Conservatism and Civil Rights

By Daniel Oliver

Claremont Review of Books

Fall 2008 issue

As I read William Voegeli’s piece on William F. Buckley, Jr., and the civil rights movement, I thought, “Come on, Voegeli, make up your mind. Was Buckley right or wrong?” I concluded that Voegeli’s answer would be, “Yes.” Then I decided that, given the record, Buckley and the conservatives probably got a more balanced treatment from Voegeli than they would, and perhaps will, get from a lot of people.

No responsible person can regret … Read more

Accuracy Is Desirable

Conservatism finds itself at a rhetorical Crossroads.

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

March 9th 2009

In 1837, a henpecked Jefferson Jackson, husband of a volcano known as Marjory (“yellin’ and screamin'”) Jackson and proprietor of the Crossroads Tea Shop in Crossroads, Tennessee, whispered to a frightened employee, “It takes a man with courage to make Marjory tea.”

His remark, which has come down to us as “It takes one brave man to make a majority,” has been attributed regularly to Andrew Jackson and … Read more

What’s Your Metric?

How do you measure freedom?

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

September 2009

How do you watch freedom?  How do you watch it grow? How do you watch it shrink? What’s the metric? What’s your metric? What do you think the metrics of your fellow citizens are? If you have no idea what their metric is, how do you talk to them about freedom with any sense of urgency?

Milton Friedman’s metric was the percentage of GDP spent by government.

Friedman said we could … Read more

Laughing Gas: A review of The Death of Conservatism by Sam Tanenhaus

With The Death of Conservatism, Sam Tanenhaus establishes himself as one of America’s premier comic geniuses in the field of political commentary.

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

October 2009 issue

With The Death of Conservatism, Sam Tanenhaus establishes himself as one of America’s premier comic geniuses in the field of political commentary. There’s a guffaw waiting for you on almost every page. And like a good showman, he saves the very best for the very last.

The Death of Conservatism is … Read more

Lash and Chain Morality

The last refuge of a self-regarding socialist — and the only argument left to the Obamacare crowd.

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

March 10th 2010

David Ignatius writes in the Washington Post that President Obama should try to shift the health care argument to what Ignatius calls the high ground: morality. He says that what is lacking is the sense that Congress must act because health care for all is a matter of social justice, “required by our moral conscience.”

Ignatius cites the … Read more

Freedom Worth Its Salt

What will Big Brother outlaw next? Salt shakers?

By Daniel Oliver

The American Spectator

April 28th 2010

The Food and Drug Administration has announced that it will soon require the manufacturers of many food products to use less salt. They assure us that the changes will be calibrated so that consumers will barely notice them. That raises the question: Is there anything (other than sex) that the government can’t regulate?

If people want less salt in their food, manufacturers will respond to their desires. … Read more