Chapman’s News & Ideas | Page 17

Kiwis Re-elect Conservatives


The good news from little Scotland is repeated in New Zealand this past weekend where the National Party won an unusually strong voter mandate (48 percent to the Labour Party’s 25 percent). The Internet-Mana Party that received a lot of international attention because it featured such endorsements as Edward Snowden and a figure called Kim Dotcom, got no seats in Parliament at all.

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Chapman Center (I Blush) Opens at Discovery Institute

Believe it or not, having a luncheon in my honor Monday was a bit like getting married; it was lots of fun, but a surprisingly tense occasion. Before 170 guests at Seattle’s Harbor Club, Discovery’s President Steve Buri and other colleagues formally announced the new “Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.” KVI radio host John Carlson emceed. Dr. Steve Hayward, the Ronald Reagan biographer (among other literary accomplishments), spoke on leadership–citing lessons from Churchill and Reagan–and State Rep. Hans Zeiger, who formally directs the center, explained why we need financial help to make the program work.

A crowd gathers:


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Scientist’s Unethical Quote Fabrication

Neil deGrasse Tyson is supposedly a scientist of such renown that the Fox network decided to build a new “Cosmos” TV series around him. Fox was repaid–deservedly–by really bad ratings. The programs not only were boring but the boring also revealed one factual misstatement after another.

Tyson turns out to be a political propagandist for a particular secular agenda, not an objective observer of science. Similarly, Tyson just now has been called out by The Federalist for serial fabrications of quotations on George W. Bush. In a breathtaking takedown, Sean Davis reviews some of Tyson’s past inventions, and then focuses on a particularly obnoxious and sophomoric attack on Bush’s supposed ideas on the stars. If President Bush could be faulted on science issues, it is  not, as Tyson claims, for being ignorant and destructive, but for the misjudgment of  naming Tyson to a presidential science committee. How did someone as shoddy as Tyson slip by? Read More ›

New Court Victory for Free Speech

Twenty states have “false statement” laws that allow a government agency to adjudicate complaints of “lying” in political campaigns. A prolonged effort by the Susan B. Anthony List in Ohio has concluded with a court ruling today that nullifies a version of the “false statement” act in the Buckeye State, placing judgement about political truths and falsehoods back in the hands of voters, where it belongs. This win will reverberate around the country. Read More ›

Aye or Nay in Scotland

Photo by Judi Beck.

Scots are famously (or notoriously) tight; er, frugal. They may look at the upcoming referendum through the lens of Braveheart resentments going back hundreds of years (and to the recent Mel Gibson movie), but those old issues really don’t apply today in any meaningful spiritual sense, let alone a practical one. The smart vote is “No”, as the Scotsman newspaper just said on its front page. Read More ›

The Hobbit Party, by Witt, Richards

J. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings had political messages (and economic messages, and cultural messages, etc.) that contributed, if subtly, to making these enormously popular books–and the films based on them–among the most influential and best loved works of art of the past century. However, the didactic back-story has not been well explored: until now. Read More ›

James Foley Likely Was a Martyr

Serious faith is not talked about on mainstream television very often, so when the parents of James Foley, who was beheaded by ISIS, held a press conference in Rochester, N.H., faith was not a theme the media emphasized. There was however coverage of the parents’ statement that the many prayers for James’ safety were appreciated, as he had noted himself when in a tight situation earlier in Libya. That led me to wonder what else was said. Read More ›


Education Idea of Gorton’s Gets a New Look

Our friend and Discovery Institute board member, former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton, had a number of good ideas while in Congress (and since) that deserve fresh attention. Read More ›

A Just War: Rescue the Christians of Iraq and Syria

Catholics and other Christians often appeal to the Just War doctrine of St. Augustine to decide whether force is justified in combatting armed evil. Many Christians have the de facto position of “Never.” But that usually is a mask for indifference or, worse, appeasement, as it was for many pacifists before World War II. Church congregations routinely are asked to pray for various persecuted and victimized peoples around the world, but somehow there seldom is any mention of Christians. Yet fellow Christians, one would think, should elicit especial concern, since the future of the Church is plainly challenged by persecution, and especially now by the arrant genocide going on in the Middle East. I have been appalled by the reluctance of Christian Read More ›