The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Trump may have been right about Obama efforts to derail campaign
President Donald Trump, who is noted for his frequent exaggerations, just might have been right about the Obama administration’s attempts to derail his campaign. CNN, a hostile news source that had previously denounced Trump’s claims that he had been wiretapped at Trump Tower, reported late on Monday that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was... Read More
Hearings are endorsements of established viewpoints
A congressman once admitted to me that he and his colleagues know a lot of things, generally speaking, but their knowledge only “extends about one inch deep.” In other words, the briefings provided by staffers and in committees is intended to touch only on what is important to know to look well informed in front... Read More
Thanks to at least nine opposing Republican senators, Congress left for its July 4 break without passing a replacement bill for Obamacare. The opposition from these Republicans was two-fold: Four conservatives thought the GOP bill on the table went too far in retaining government control over the medical insurance market, while five centrist members complained... Read More
Trump may be testing his supporters today, but it is worth remembering how bad the alternative was
Yes, I voted for Donald Trump. When people confront me and ask me why, I sort of shuffle off, head down, while muttering something about how “he wasn’t the war candidate.” I even stuck with Trump until he launched cruise missiles at an airbase in Syria and overnight became the establishment favorite, with all the... Read More
The simplest explanation is that Trump doesn’t like him much and doesn’t trust him at all
The firing of FBI Director James Comey may have been a surprise to some, most particularly in the media, but there was a certain inevitability about it given the bureau’s clear inability to navigate the troubled political waters that developed early last summer and have continued ever since. The initial reaction that it may have... Read More
In a period when any contact with Russia is considered toxic, the attorney general is being tried by innuendo
We are entering into a politically charged environment where ordinary interactions between senior government officials and their foreign counterparts can quickly become toxic. Incoming National Security Advisor Michael Flynn did nothing wrong when he spoke to Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. It is just as evident that Sen. Jeff Sessions did nothing wrong when he spoke... Read More
Foreign espionage is routine. Careless use of unsecure email shouldn't be
On Friday, the Washington Post reported that the CIA has concluded that Russia acted to aid Donald Trump in winning the election. The story follows accusations that the Russian government was behind the hack of the private servers used by the Democratic National Committee, as well as the Gmail account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager,... Read More
Blame the media, not Moscow
“Fake stories” are in the news. The narrative goes something like this: fabricated accounts that misrepresent “the truth” are proliferating on the internet, and once they appear on a social networking site, they are frequently spread far and wide, often doing serious damage along the way to whatever or whomever was the target of the... Read More
Security directors from a number of North and East African countries have been discussing the issues raised by the continued flow across their borders of immigrants seeking to reach Europe. The numbers are expected to decline as colder weather arrives, but not as much as in previous years, and the migration is expected to surge... Read More
A blanket ban on Muslims goes too far, but pausing travel from some countries is a sensible idea
I am surely not the only one noticing the extent to which the corporate media worldwide are damning Donald Trump. In the wake of Brexit, his supporters were repeatedly likened to the Brits who voted Leave, both groups being characterized as “white and less well educated.” And over the past week, the Washington Post has... Read More
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes the right of free speech. Though there may be instances when speech cannot be truly uninhibited because of possible consequences, e.g. yelling “fire” in a crowded theater, the right to speak freely has been enshrined in American law and custom. Lately, however, free speech has come... Read More
Democracy is often subverted by special interests operating behind the scenes
It has frequently been alleged that the modern Turkish Republic operates on two levels. It has a parliamentary democracy complete with a constitution and regular elections, but there also exists a secret government that has been referred to as the“deep state,” in Turkish “Derin Devlet.” The concept of “deep state” has recently become fashionable to... Read More
Major universities and taxpayer-maintained repositories are too often coopted by political legacy-shaping
It is sometimes observed that universities, far from being centers for the free exchange of different viewpoints, frequently are victims of their own orthodoxy in their eagerness to excommunicate promoters of views that are considered to be outside the pale or otherwise unacceptable. That type of complaint most often comes from conservatives who are appalled... Read More
The pontiff recognizes the Armenian genocide of a century ago, but can he do more about today's wars and injustices?
Last week Pope Francis described the slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire as “genocide,” joining France and 20 other countries in adopting that designation. The massacres and forced relocations of Armenian civilians began 100 years ago and concluded with the end of the First World War in 1918. Even Turkey’s German military advisers were... Read More
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Amid the fury over the ex-Heritage staffer's work the question to ask is: was he right?
Amid loud cries of “Witch! Witch! Burn the Witch!” an enraged throng of ideological activists and media pundits late last week besieged the fortress-like DC headquarters of the conservative Heritage Foundation, demanding the person of one Jason Richwine, Ph.D., employed there as a senior policy analyst. The High Lords of Heritage, deeply concerned about any... Read More
Given the unprecedented peace and prosperity currently enjoyed by nearly all Americans, it's hardly surprising that a symbolic issue such as Gay Marriage has now moved to the forefront of the public debate, not least among the contributors to my own magazine. Personally, it’s not the sort of issue that keeps me in a state... Read More
As many may know, I have spent most of the last decade or more producing a content-archiving website that provides convenient, readable access to over 500,000 print articles from the 19th and 20th centuries, together with hundreds of thousands of books. Most of these articles are drawn from what were once America’s leading journals of... Read More
Although I’ve been critical of my state's current governor, it’s usually been to twit him for not cutting budgets sufficiently. While Tom Corbett is spot on in wanting to privatize Pennsylvania's liquor monopoly, he should not be trying to feather the nests of other public employees by promising to pay off teachers with the proceeds... Read More
Some god-terms that issue from the media, and which I had the misfortune of hearing incessantly as an academic, make me wince as soon as they come out of someone’s mouth. Among these particularly obnoxious terms are "social justice," "fairness," and "sensitivity," all of which drip with righteousness and dishonesty. The term or concept that... Read More
Earlier this week Washington Post Columnist Matt Miller published an excellent piece making the case for a large increase in the federal minimum wage, including arguments drawn from a wide range of prominent business and political figures, as well as mention of my own recent New America article on that issue. Given the importance of... Read More
I’ve no idea how former Nebraska senator and decorated Vietnam War veteran Chuck Hagel became President Obama’s preferred nominee for the job of Secretary of Defense. But when I learned about Hagel’s prospects, I was delighted. A social conservative with a skeptical view of America’s mission to convert the rest of the world to our... Read More
Pace Dan McCarthy’s hope about the possible implications of a Romney victory, I think it may be time to hear counter-arguments. Although Dan is right that Romney holds no principles, and although the neocon form of aggressive liberal internationalism may not enjoy huge approval outside of Fox News junkies, this does not justify the belief... Read More
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How Los Angeles undercut its pathbreaking IHP project
In late September I attended a memorial service for William M. Fitz-Gibbon, a retired public school teacher who had passed away a few weeks earlier, just short of his 78th birthday. Without doubt Bill Fitz-Gibbon—“Fitz” to everyone—was the individual who had the greatest academic influence on my life, and my feelings were shared by many... Read More
Even as the front pages of America's top newspapers were debating the vital question of whether Obama's raised eyebrow had overcome Romney's clenched jaw, and which of our two ideologically-polar-opposite candidates was more sincere in his pledge of undying loyalty to Israel, a story of perhaps greater significance was reaching our shores from across the... Read More
What's the matter with wealthy, white Massachusetts?
As a European historian specializing in the 19th century, I’ve never been able to figure out what American journalists and politicians (not to mention academic sociologists) mean when they refer to “classes.” This term has two time-tested meanings. Either we’re talking about social groupings with legally recognized statuses which until the 19th century had certain... Read More
Today's parties are neither Jeffersonians nor Hamiltonians, but social democrats.
In what for me illustrates the use of confusing labels, George Will recently complained about attacks of "cognitive dissonance" in trying to understand our political terms. Although Americans identify overwhelmingly as “conservatives,” many of them vote differently from the way they describe themselves. They lean theoretically toward Thomas Jefferson, who advocated very limited government, but... Read More
Despite my usual agreement with Sam Goldman on historical questions, I beg to differ with him in his judgments about what kind of alliances European Jews should be making in view of the anti-Jewish sentiments that is now apparent among many Muslim immigrants. In my view, Jews would do best supporting those parties, typically on... Read More
The endless pace of change in our media landscape regularly plays tricks upon all of us. Many have seen the amusing web video in which a very young child repeatedly attempts to click or swipe the colorful pages of a magazine, before finally declaring it "broken" to his smiling father, who finally hands him an... Read More
A remarkable historian has died -- but does it matter that he was a Stalinist?
The death of Marxist historian Eric Hobsbawm at the age of 95 two days ago set me down memory lane. The one time I met this illustrious historian was when Gene Genovese (who predeceased Hobsbawm by just a few days) introduced him to me at a meeting of the American Historical Association in Boston in... Read More
The justly renowned social historian Eugene D. Genovese died yesterday at the age of 82 in Atlanta. His death followed several years of dealing with a worsening cardiac ailment and with a jolting loss in 2007 from which he never recovered. This was the death of his beloved wife Elizabeth (Betsey), who was his frequent... Read More
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GOP efforts to suppress the Constitution Party have a postwar German parallel.
Lately I’ve been gathering information that has made me dislike the GOP more than ever. The Constitution Party (CP), which is a small-government, avowedly pro-Christian, and immigration restrictionist party that came into existence in 1992, is being kept off the ballot in the presidential election in many states thanks to costly Republican efforts. Republican operatives... Read More
In a recent column Cal Thomas states the obvious when he observes "Democrats and their friends in the big media protect their own when accused of outrageous acts." Thomas contrasts the way the media has savaged the Republican Party, including Mitt Romney, for a stupid remark by Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin about women being... Read More
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Remembering Alexander Cockburn (1941–2012)
I first encountered the writing of Alexander Cockburn in the early 1990s on the op-ed pages of the Wall Street Journal, where he served as a regular columnist. Given that Alex was one of the premier radical-left journalists of our era, this highlights the unique background of the man. Being myself then a rather moderate... Read More
The Wisconsin congressman is, if anything, too timid.
Listening to Fox News contributor Kirsten Powers give her (and the Democratic Party leadership’s) reaction to the choice of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate the other day, I thought my ears had suddenly failed. Powers began to rail against Romney’s “dangerous” ideological choice; she assured the TV-viewers that this “is exactly what President... Read More
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Never in my life have I encountered a politician who does a better imitation of a mannequin than Mitt Romney, particularly when called on to address social issues. Does this presidential candidate have an “opinion,” for example, on recent attempts to run the food chain Chick-Fil-A out of large municipalities because its president, Dan Cathy,... Read More
Students once led monk-like lives. Now they party at taxpayers' expense.
I belong to a generation that still values what is now indiscriminately referred to as "higher education." What that once meant was going to a four-year college, if one’s high-school grades showed promise, and in return for about $700 each semester spending the next four years immersed in books. Back then we studied traditional disciplines,... Read More
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Romney owes his only win to English for the Children.
With Mitt Romney now the de facto Republican presidential nominee, I sometimes recall how I inadvertently launched his political career a decade ago, which is less implausible than it might sound. Unlike the vast majority of previous major-party presidential candidates, Romney has a remarkably slender record of election victories, having previously won just a single... Read More
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Rabbi Elmer Berger's long struggle against the Zionist movement
An antiwar libertarian and a principled critic of Jewish nationalism, Jack Ross seems the ideal author to have undertaken a biography of Elmer Berger (1908-1996), the Reform rabbi who pursued a rearguard action against the Zionist movement for more than 50 years. An increasingly marginalized figure after the birth of the Jewish state in 1948,... Read More
As the president lurches left, Romney struggles to rally the right.
A recent syndicated column by Peggy Noonan makes useful observations, together with one rather questionable point. Noonan blithely assumes that while the president has “fully absorbed the general assumptions and sympathies of the political left,” his opponent Mitt Romney reflects “the general attitudes, assumptions and sympathies of the political right.” Noonan may be seeing something... Read More
A broad-minded reactionary takes libertarians to task for abusing the term.
Having been at work on a book dealing with changing definitions of the “F word,” meaning in this case not the one-time obscenity but the ultimate evil in the world of political correctness, I find my comments on the subject have caused considerable irritation. Although I once assumed that only the conventional left was fixated... Read More
Having seen Samuel Goldman’s thoughtful response to Kenneth McIntyre’s sizzling review of my book, I think that I might introduce myself as the author of the still rarely read volume that Professor McIntyre discusses in his essay. By now I am used to the admission that most critics of the review use to introduce their... Read More
Between Obama's left-wing agenda at home at Romney's neoconservative foreign policy, the right hardly has a choice.
As the November election approaches, I find myself faced with a dilemma. I would like to vote for the Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, as the better of two distasteful choices, but would have to hesitate at this point. It’s not that I’d be tempted to vote for Obama, although I can well understand the... Read More
What may be a declining force in American political life is the Tea Party movement, which in 2010 played a critical role in winning congressional seats and governorships for the economically conservative wing of the GOP. Since then, national support for this loosely organized movement has fallen precipitously. Between March 2010 and April 2011, according... Read More
Ever since I dared criticize the Obama administration and its partisans, I’ve been getting less than friendly email messages. Supposedly I work slavishly for the GOP and spend every waking hour listening to Rush Limbaugh or trying to imitate his verbal outbursts. For the record, I’ve been attacking the GOP at the national level ever... Read More
Despite high unemployment and soaring gas prices, it seems the Obama administration may survive the November election. This is due not only to Republican infighting but also to the support given to liberal Democrats in the media, educational establishment, and entertainment industry. But even these factors may not tell everything. Perhaps more importantly, Obama and... Read More
Although not many people in high places may notice what I’m doing, I’d like to ask the following questions to three of the surviving GOP presidential contenders. First, why did Mitt Romney, as late as 2002, respond to a questionnaire from Planned Parenthood indicating that he fully supported Roe v. Wade and favored state funding... Read More
For the last few weeks Catholic clergy and GOP politicians have denounced the Obama administration for forcing Catholic-affiliated institutions to provide coverage for birth control and abortion-producing pills. After hearing strong reactions from his Catholic Democratic advisors, Obama offered an apparent compromise (if a pun may be permitted) to coat the bitter pill. Arrangements would... Read More
Allow me to vent an old complaint. It’s something that I can’t get off my chest, although I have written about it many times. Every time I hear a politician utter the word “values,” I throw my shoe at the TV. I throw both shoes at the screen when I hear the term “family values.”... Read More
Just a few days ago prominent liberal economist James K. Galbraith strongly endorsed the economic proposals at the heart of my recent immigration article, arguing they constituted the best chance for reviving the American economy. And now National Review's leading domestic policy analyst, Reihan Salam, has written a lengthy column discussing Galbraith's arguments and exploring... Read More
During the Republican presidential primary debate from Des Moines on December 15, Ron Paul caused uproar when he said that a strike against Iran “would risk a repeat of the useless Iraqi war.” In response to a question from Bret Baier, Paul made this statement: “To me the greatest danger is that we will have... Read More