John Hayward

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'Batman' at 25

John Nolte mentioned that Tim Burton's epochal "Batman" film is now 25 years old, which immediately made every aching joint in my aging body flare up, and more of my remaining hair turn white.  Twenty-five years ago?  Really? Jun 24, 2014 1:00 PM PT

'The Last Ship': This boat doesn't know how to go slow

I had a pretty good time with 2012's "Battleship" until the huge alien war machines rose out of the water.  There just isn't enough good cinema about the modern surface Navy.  It seemed a pity to spend the kind of money "Battleship" did, and muck it up with a dopey plot about extraterrestrials (and a childhood-favorite board game.)  ETs are generally quite welcome in my movie and TV diet, but I left the theater thinking that a more realistic look at contemporary surface action would fascinate audiences, just as books on the subject have been captivating readers for many years. Jun 23, 2014 9:24 PM PT

Migrant Army Massing at the Border

Not all of the children flung against our border in the current migratory wave are getting through. The Arizona Republic has the story of one kid who didn't make it... and ended up parked in a Mexican city ripped by drug gang violence, within sight of the Rio Grande, which his parents thought he could win a jackpot of free citizenship and social benefits by crossing. Jun 21, 2014 7:09 AM PT

Nailing down the narrative of failure in Iraq

David French at National Review makes some of the same points I did the other day, about how the new "everyone who supported the Iraq war needs to shut up now" narrative assumes an idyllic alternate timeline where the lovable Saddam Hussein behaved himself after being left alone by the United States.  Why, that sweet old man would never have dreamed of using the WMD stockpiles our friends on the Left insist do not exist, even though ISIS found them in less than two weeks.   Jun 21, 2014 6:39 AM PT

Tipping your waitress is the latest sacrilege against union power

Writing at the Washington Times, Mike Paranzino chronicles the latest Big Labor crusade, this time against tipping.  When I first saw the headline, I spent a few moments frowning and trying to remember what arcane business or high-finance practice might have become known by the nickname "tipping."  I even briefly considered the possibility that unionized agricultural workers were going after the old drunken prank of cow-tipping.   Jun 20, 2014 8:30 AM PT

Saddam's Iraq, Three Iraqs, and other dubious scenarios

While everybody argues over whether the likes of Dick Cheney have anything useful to say about the current Iraq crisis, I can't help thinking the dangers of leaving Saddam Hussein in power are being grossly undersold.  Have the years since his death really been so kind to the memories of the old monster?   Jun 19, 2014 11:50 AM PT

Chicago teeters on the edge of financial oblivion

Sure, I could write that headline about any number of cities, and you could say Detroit is doing a lot more than just "teetering on the edge of oblivion."  But it's going to be a huge deal when Chicago goes down... and I think "when" is the appropriate word to use, not "if."  The lovely state surrounding Chicago isn't in very good shape either, and the nation surrounding that isn't exactly rolling in dough. Jun 18, 2014 1:57 PM PT

Obama's fake followers strongly approve of his performance

I've long been a student of a phenomenon I call "manufactured credibility," in which the Internet makes it easy to fake popularity and approval for everything from books and consumer products to politicians.  One of my early writings on the subject was inspired by the saga of a guy who made good money running a business that supplied planted reviews to sites like  You paid a fee to his fairly large and sophisticated operation, and his people would flood the big consumer websites with highly convincing, authentic-sounding positive reviews for your book. Jun 17, 2014 9:19 AM PT

The joys of training your imported replacement

The immigration debate is mostly driven by the crisis of massive illegal immigration, which has been deliberately conflated with legal immigration by activists, to the extent that we're not even supposed to refer to them as "illegal aliens" any more.  When people protest efforts to allow illegals across the border and give them amnesty, you can bet they'll be described as "anti-immigration" by the media, even though they haven't said a word about legal immigration. Jun 16, 2014 12:47 PM PT


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