Ukraine, Dictatorship

Timothy Snyder reports on depressing developments in Ukraine: “President Viktor Yanukovych, in having the deputies of his Party of Regions endorse an extraordinary packet of legislation, has arrogated decisive political power to himself. After hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians spent weeks in . . . . Continue Reading »

Gay Marriage and Religious Freedom

Miles Kimball of the University of Michigan argues that supporting gay marriage is support for religious freedom. After all, most of the opposition to gay marriage is religious, and in America we aren’t permitted to impose our religion on other people. Besides, Kimball says, gay marriage is an . . . . Continue Reading »

Israel’s abortion law

Beginning next year, “Israel will pay for abortions for women aged 20 to 33 regardless of circumstance . . . health officials said Monday, adding that they hope to make eligibility for state funding universal in the future.“The new rule opens it up for 6,300 more women to have a . . . . Continue Reading »

Method in’t

North Korea keeps warning that it’s ready to test devastating weapons. Sometimes the warnings include a threat against South Korea or the United States. As George Friedman points out, it doesn’t seem to make sense to develop a weapons system in public: “If the test fails, you look . . . . Continue Reading »

Spandex in your wallet

Dan Glover writes from Canada: “You argue about giving up stretchy jeans as we dont want any of that spandex getting into the bills. I dont know. It seems to me that now-a-days it would be beneficial to make our dollars go further. And what better season than Christmas for trying to stretch . . . . Continue Reading »

Stretching your money

As if there aren’t enough reasons to avoid stretchy jeans, here’s another: They contaminate the money supply . US currency is made from cotton, much of it from denim. During the 1990s, though, spandex was added to jeans, and the denim scraps used for money were tainted: “Even a . . . . Continue Reading »

Path to Citizenship

South Korean Kim Dong-hwan has been offered Americanvisa as an “internationally recognized athlete.” His sport? Starcraft. Kim is not the first Starcraft athlete to receive such an offer, and Starcraft experts aren’t the only ones to receive these offers: “The US willingness . . . . Continue Reading »


Lufsig, a toothy stuffed wolf dressed like a lumberjack who holds a miniature distressed grandma in one arm, is selling out from Hong Kong to Sweden. The toy became a symbol of anti-government protest last weekend when someone threw one of them at CY Leung, Hong Kong’s chief executive. . . . . Continue Reading »

Paul Ryan, Politician

Newt sees what Ryan is doing with his budget deal: Taking the budget and government shutdown out of the discussion for the mid-term elections, increasing the likelihood of a GOP takeover of the Senate. A savvy move. Then Ryan becomes the object of Tea Party attack. Perhaps that was part of the . . . . Continue Reading »

Trojan Pope

Mary Eberstadt thinks that Francis is a Trojan Pope . In his recent encyclical, he denounces consumerism and the “throw-away” culture for its treatment of animals. The Trojans cheer, but Eberstadt thinks that Francis is a sly one: “The bridge between the religious and secular . . . . Continue Reading »