John Hayward

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Charity, dependency, and entitlement

I've always been fascinated by the differences between charity and government-provided welfare entitlements.  There are many practical differences, of course, including the eternal left-wing contention that voluntary charity can never adequately provide for the needs of the destitute, so an immense system of compulsory welfare is required.  There are important conceptual differences, too, and the big ones are contained within two words from the previous two sentences: "compulsory" and "entitlement." Aug 25, 2014 8:44 AM PT

Movie review: 'Boyhood'

Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" is a coming-of-age story about ordinary people, filmed using a remarkable technique: it took 12 years to complete the movie, with a few scenes filmed every year using the same cast.  The main character, a boy named Mason played by Ellar Coltrane, is six years old at the beginning of the film.  He's an eighteen-year-old college student at the end, but it's still the same actor.  His sister Samantha, played by the director's daughter Lorelei, ages the same way. Aug 24, 2014 5:51 PM PT

Target credit card hack much worse than originally thought

The hackers who busted into the credit card system for Target stores hit a thousand other businesses too, in an online crime spree big enough to get the Department of Homeland Security involved.  The New York Times reports that DHS issued an advisory concerning the havoc wrought by the "Backoff" malware package on Friday: Aug 23, 2014 9:51 AM PT

The unseen evil of ISIS

The Boston Globe headlines its editorial on the hideous murder of American journalist James Foley "Beheading of Foley Exposes True Nature of 'Islamic State.'" Aug 22, 2014 12:29 PM PT

The real lesson of Ferguson: we need more Big Government stimulus bills

Leftists believe one should never let a crisis go to waste.  Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont certainly isn't going to let the Ferguson riots pass by without using them as theater to push a big "jobs" bill - you know, the kind of "stimulus" spending that has been conspicuously failing to stimulate healthy job growth for years.  The Hill has details of Sanders' spend-a-palooza: Aug 21, 2014 1:23 PM PT

Coyote thanks Obama for big profits from illegal alien smuggling operation

At long last, after six years of dismal failure, there is clear evidence that Barack Obama's policies finally managed to stimulate an industry.  The Washington Examiner tells us that "coyote" smugglers are doing great business across the porous southern border of the United States, expanding rapidly into a corporate empire that includes a professional "sales force," competitive pricing, first-class hotels, and even VIP bus service for those who can afford a platinum-level illegal immigration experience: Aug 21, 2014 12:55 PM PT

In high-strung America, not even Taylor Swift gets to be playful any more

This morning John Nolte brought us the remarkable news that some significant number of people - significant enough to generate some Salon click-bait, at any rate - think Taylor Swift's new music video is racially insensitive.  It would make a fun party game to show the "Shake It Off" video to different people and ask them to guess which part of it was supposedly offensive: Aug 20, 2014 10:13 AM PT

The Paper of Record helps frantic Democrats distance themselves from Obama

After relating a highly amusing incident in which a crestfallen Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was brusquely told by President Obama to deal with Republican leader Mitch McConnell on his own (just try to imagine the expression on the Crypt Keeper's face - you'll bust a gut laughing) the New York Times runs the latest Democrat National Committee talking points as if they were a "news" story: Aug 19, 2014 9:33 AM PT

Constant apology and the oppression of 'precise language'

I appreciate what the new movie (and 20-year-old book upon which it is based) "The Giver" was trying to say enough to feel bad about giving the film a tepid review, but I've got to call 'em like I see 'em.  For counterpoints, John Nolte here at Breitbart loved the movie, as did my old friend Ed Morrissey at Hot Air (who had almost exactly the opposite take as mine, comparing "The Giver" to other young-adult movies created after the book was published) and Emily Schultheis at The Federalist.  I like to read varying takes on movies and books, so perhaps the connoisseur of criticism will find some value in comparing what each of us had to say, pro and con. Aug 18, 2014 11:57 AM PT


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