Category: Between the Lines

Home Between the Lines
Post

The Drones of Mordor

It’s like something out of The Lord of the Rings: a vast empire ruled by a king known as “B’arack”—an Orcish name if ever there was one—sends out its mechanical murderers to wreak destruction far and wide.  They strike

Post

Lynchings and Litmus Tests

When it comes to race, life in America resembles nothing so much as a reenactment of Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.”  That story, you’ll recall, depicted a town that seemed normal—except that, once every year, there would be a

Post

Snooping Gets Personal

Washington is reeling from revelations that the NSA is turning the country into a virtual Panopticon.  Americans are now learning that all our phone calls are turned over to the feds, who also have their tentacles in the servers of

Post

Killing the Invader

I first saw it lying right under the fence, stretched out a good eight to ten feet long.  A rope?  Did I put that there?

In the next moment I realized what it was.

When I moved out to Sonoma

Post

The Specter of History

There are ghosts in this house.  Yes, more than one, I think.  Of course, I don’t believe in ghosts—except that I can hear them.

Every house emits noises, especially late at night.  Or, perhaps, it speaks during the daylight hours,

Post

A Revolutionary Who Wasn’t

The death of Hugo Raphael Chávez Frías provoked cries of “Hallelujah!” from pundits on the right.  Michael Moynihan, writing in the Daily Beast (the internet incarnation of Newsweek), jeered “Good riddance!” while he danced on the Venezuelan strongman’s grave. 

Forgetting Prisoner X
Post

Forgetting Prisoner X

In the early months of 2010, a prisoner was brought to one of Israel’s most secure prisons, the Ayalon facility in Ramla, and put in a cell designed to hold the murderer of Yitzhak Rabin.  None of the prison personnel

Post

Neocons in the Dock

The nomination of Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense has sparked a firestorm of opposition from Israel’s fifth column in the United States.  It is a useful example of just how the Jewish state’s parasitic relationship with America works.

Israel

Post

Death Becomes Him

When 20-year-old Adam Lanza walked into Sandy Hook Elementary School and murdered 26 people, most of them children, after killing his own mother at home, the nation went into one of its periodic orgies of recrimination—mostly directed at the National

Post

Petitioning Satan

Talk of secession is in the air.  A number of internet petitions from several states, asking to be allowed to leave the Union, have garnered tens of thousands of signatures.  Unsurprisingly, Texas leads the list, and Ron Paul has endorsed

Post

Dashed Hopes and Neocons

For once, we actually had a candidate, but as Ron Paul retires and his son does his best to sully the family brand name, the future of the movement he inspired is in doubt.  No one was surprised that Jesse

Post

Surprised by Believers

St. Patrick’s Church is now a modern structure consisting of two red-brick tetrahedrons sprung up, like some poisonous mushroom, over the transformed landscape.  The original building, Old St. Patrick’s, is down the street from the usurper, crouching in the shadows,

Post

Friendly Reminders

A fine summer day it was, and as I walked down my quiet country road I smugly congratulated myself for being unafraid of any bills that might lie waiting in the darkness of the rusty old mailbox.  I made a

Post

Get On My Lawn

“Hey, why don’t you get out there and mow the lawn?”

How many times had I heard that refrain?  Through all the days of my youth, it seemed.  My father would always laugh when he said it, knowing full well

Post

Prophecies Fulfilled

Ray Bradbury’s passing, at the age of 91, evokes sadness and nostalgia for the lost world of my youth.  I discovered him early on, before he became quite as famous as he is today, in the science-fiction magazines that were

Post

Approval and Gay Marriage

There’s no doubt the President’s endorsement of gay “marriage” was stage-managed: The timing was the key.  He did it hours after the news that North Carolinians had voted to put a ban on the practice in their state constitution.  Pressure

Post

One of Them

I’ve avoided writing about racial politics for the same reason I’ve avoided stepping on land mines, but the news is filled with nothing but racial conflict these days: Trayvon Martin, the firing of John Derbyshire from National Review, the

Post

Cato, Crane, and Koch

Charles Koch was standing in line, waiting for his greaseburger.  The scene: a little greasy spoon at the foot of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill, where we low-level Kochtopus employees grabbed a quick hamburger for lunch.  The place was smoky, unappetizing,

Post

There Goes the Neighborhood

The contractor is gone, the painter has departed, and the electrician has shed light where before there was only darkness.  The house glints fresh green as the afternoon sun finally pierces the clouds on this unusually warm winter day: 65

Post

Paul’s Last Hurrah

At this point it is clear that Rep. Ron Paul is not going to be the presidential nominee of the Republican Party.  Yet it seems likely that he will outlast all his rivals but for Romney, and that he will

Post

An Action Program

What is a populist?

This much used (and abused) term has gone through several American incarnations.  First, it was the name of a 19th-century political party whose program was as vague as its success was short-lived: The party combined an

Post

Confessions of a Serial Homebuyer

I’ve bought three houses in as many years, and sold two of them.  Having been excluded from participating in the housing bubble by extreme poverty, I suppose I’ve been making up for lost time.  In 2008, when my mom died,

Post

Am I a Threat to National Security?

When I first saw the memo from the FBI’s counterterrorism center in Newark, declaring that I’m “a threat to National Security,” not to mention an “agent of a foreign power,” I was incredulous.  These can’t be real FBI documents, I

Post

Ron Paul, Now and Then

People don’t usually get more radical as they get older; it’s almost always the reverse.  And the successful politicians were never radical to begin with.

The one exception to this rule is Ron Paul.

Ron has been around a long

Post

Bohemians in the Redwoods

Every year at midsummer, the secret rulers of the world meet in solemn conclave down the street from me.  In the down-at-the-heels resort town of Monte Rio, on the banks of the Russian River in California’s wine country, is the

Post

The Enchanted Orchard

I moved to the northern reaches of California’s Sonoma County, known as the Russian River, in 2008 and eventually settled in a house, built in 1930, in the midst of an ancient orchard.  Peaches, pears, plums, persimmons, walnuts, grapes, apples,

Post

Ideology and Everyday Life

I’m a libertarian, as perhaps some of my readers know.  My late mentor, Murray Rothbard, practically founded the movement in his living room, and I’ve been an activist since my teenage years—a long time ago.

I wear my libertarianism like

Post

Our Antiwar Opportunity

The politics of U.S. foreign policy are governed by the tides of partisan warfare, the ebb and flow of the constant struggle between “left” and “right.”  Which means that, every decade or so, the political spectrum switches polarities: Witness the

Post

Obama’s Fatal Mistake

Never underestimate the stupidity of our rulers.

When Judge Andrew Napolitano of Freedom Watch asked me if I thought President Obama would intervene in Libya, I said, “No, he’s too smart for that.”  I attribute my misreading of events to

Post

The Man Behind the Protests

By now we’ve all heard a number of analyses of the events in Egypt and the outbreak of revolutionary fervor that is toppling regimes throughout the Arab world: It’s a replay of the revolution that overthrew the shah of Iran

Post

Another Brown Scare

In the run-up to World War II, when FDR was locked in a political struggle with his conservative Republican opponents, Roosevelt’s “brain trust” came up with a scheme to win the war of ideas and get rid of the President’s

Post

Annus Horribilis

The year 2010 was a depressing one in the foreign-policy world; the decline and fall of a world empire, no matter how well-deserved its fate, should be seen only as a tragedy.  The sheer scale of its fatal gigantism portends

Post

Are You Smarter Than a Terrorist?

The idea that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) can stop terrorist attacks by means of its now-infamous “porno scanner,” or by forcing Americans to undergo intrusive body pat-downs as if they were inmates in a correctional facility, is utter nonsense,

Post

Justice Entrapment

When I was very young, I often explored my grandfather’s library, inhaling the musty secrets of tomes not opened for many years.  It was on one such visit that I first came upon John Roy Carlson’s Under Cover.

Published

Post

Going Rove

The idea that the “far right” is on the cultural warpath is, like most liberal canards, the exact opposite of the truth.  See, for example, the sort of treatment handed out to the victor in Delaware’s GOP senatorial primary.  The

Post

I Say Goodbye, and I Say Hello

Barack Obama, you’ll recall, campaigned as the antiwar candidate, at least insofar as Iraq was concerned.  Iraq was a “war of choice,” according to him, one that should not have been fought, and he defeated Hillary Clinton in the primaries

Post

Adios, Rio Nido

I moved to Rio Nido, a tiny hamlet in the middle of a redwood forest, in the winter of 2008, just a day after the Big Crash.  I had found my sanctuary in a world of trouble.  What I

Post

Dialoguing With Douthat

Surely, the defining characteristic of the paleoconservative temperament is disgust—with the current state of the country, the culture, and (most of all) the “official” conservative movement.  On this last point, there can be no compromise: Eight long years of

Post

To Teach or To Sneer

Authentic conservatives and their libertarian allies have long been a small minority in a larger movement that, for the most part, rejected their radical critique of the managerial state.  The “paleos” were singled out for attack by the neoconservatives, that

Post

Attack of the Hyphenates

The immigration debate is often framed in terms of ethnicity, and the arbiters of permissible expression are appalled that anyone would approach the issue in terms of cultural identity and a reasonable desire for homogeneity.  Permit me, however, to raise

Post

Middle Eastern Hijackers

Have the Israelis gone crazy?

We have recently witnessed a number of incidents in which Israeli hostility to the West has been made manifest.  Yet the Western world has been the biggest—indeed, the only—supporter of the Zionist project outside the

Post

Rothbard Was Right!

As the Tea Partiers swarm town-hall meetings, and talk of nullification, the Tenth Amendment, and even secession is in the air, I can’t help thinking, Rothbard was right!

That’s Murray Newton Rothbard (1926-95), the libertarian economist and theorist whose uncompromising

Post

Mr. Brown Goes to Washington

As I write, the pundits are all atwitter over the stunning upset pulled off by Scott Brown, the “independent” Republican who made mincemeat out of former state attorney general Martha Coakley in the race to fill the Massachusetts “Kennedy seat”

Post

Going Green for Goldman

What’s behind the cult of “global warming”?  We’ve been hearing about it for years on television, in magazines, from politicians, and from certain corporate entities: Mankind is destroying the earth, and the only solution is to “go green.”  Unless we

Post

Muslim Problem

It isn’t all that easy being a paleoconservative/libertarian as well as the editorial director of Antiwar.com.  I would estimate that more than half of my readers and financial supporters are from the left side of the political spectrum, although

Post

Thirty Pieces of Silver

The news of the arrest of Stewart David Nozette, a top government scientist, on charges of spying for Israel had barely hit when none other than Steve Rosen, former top AIPAC official and accused Israeli spy, piped up in Nozette’s

Post

The Sibel Edmonds Story

Sibel Edmonds is a former translator for the FBI—and she’s a tease.  And I don’t just mean the seductive allure of her dark good looks.  For years, she’s been hinting at the vastness of the story she’s been sitting on,