Book Party Review–“Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump”

My tremendous jet-setting ways landed me at a book party this evening for Rick Reilly, the celebrated ESPN talent whose new book, Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump, has garnered significant amounts of attention and favorable reviews. I of course have not yet had time to read the book—having just purchased it this evening, …

Quote of the Day

It seems that not one single thing escapes the attention of hardliners in Iran, bent on using the extraordinary powers they hold to suppress every effort by Iranians to exercise their right to freedom of expression. They have even decreed that men should refrain from sporting various hairdos and—yes I am not kidding—from plucking their …

How to Be Smarter about Dealing with Iran

I was struck by the following in Aaron David Miller's piece, which argues that Iran is outwitting and outmaneuvering the United States in the Middle East: Iran isn't 10 feet tall in this region, but by making the nuclear issue the be-all and end-all that is supposed to reduce Iran's power, the United States is …

A Modest Improvement in Internet Freedom in Iran

Instead of banning websites completely, the Iranian regime is now just censoring their content. Sure, Iranians will only see redacted versions of websites, but at least they'll see them. I guess this is supposed to mean that everything is both hunky and dory in Iran now. How very wonderful all of this is. Utopia has …

A Modest Endorsement of the Venezuelan Regime

Behold. Of course, in a better world, we could spend less time parodying failed regimes and instead, spend our time implementing political and economic policies that actually do serve to alleviate immiseration and provide others with political freedoms. But the Venezuelan regime--and all those who enable its existence--is utterly uninterested in helping the people it supposedly …

Why Don’t Evil Regimes Get Called Out as Evil Regimes?

I agree with Benjamin Wittes when he writes that "there’s a lot to be said for a foreign policy organization’s willingness to hear out, ventilate, and challenge the views of our foreign policy adversaries." I also agree with Benjamin Wittes when he writes that during the hearing, there should be no effort to whitewash awful and despicable …

I Keep Telling You People that the Human Rights Situation in Iran Is Awful

And here is more proof--assuming that more proof is actually needed: Executions have surged in Iran and oppressive conditions for women have worsened, a United Nations investigator said on Monday, drawing attention to rights abuses just as Iran’s president is pushing for a diplomatic breakthrough with the West. The investigator, Ahmed Shaheed, a former diplomat from the Maldives and now special …

Some Things Never Change–Like the Awful Human Rights Situation in Iran

To wit: Iran hanged a woman on Saturday who was convicted of murdering a man she alleged was trying to rape her, drawing swift international condemnation for a prosecution several countries described as flawed. Reyhaneh Jabbari was hanged at dawn for premeditated murder, the official IRNA news agency reported. It quoted a statement issued by …

Congratulations to Malala Yousafzai

In Pashtun, "Yousafzai" has the same meaning as "Yousefzadeh," so I am entirely willing to pretend that Malala Yousafzai is my cousin. In that vein, my family is immensely proud that she has won the Nobel Peace Prize, and in a much more serious vein, the prize is entirely deserved. Malala's work in fighting to ensure that …

Iran’s Political Establishment Has Not Reformed Itself

To wit: Six Iranians arrested for appearing in a video dancing to Pharrell Williams' song Happy have been sentenced to up to one year in prison and 91 lashes, their lawyer says. The sentences were suspended for three years, meaning they will not go to prison unless they reoffend, he adds. The video shows three …