At the Beach (cont.)
Actually, we've been back from the beach for a while, laboring away at work, shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone, and all that....But two final comments just to finish off last week's Bethany Beach-based reflections.
1. After all the drama (ok, it was kind of a pseudo-drama) of my not being able to get the Sunday newspapers at the Rhodes 5 & 10 in Bethany and having to go up the road to Wawa to buy them, I should report that the papers sat basically unopened all week (except for the Times magazine, for the crossword). But it felt good having them sitting there while we all kept up with the news on our laptops and mobile devices.
2. I'm sure several of you were shocked by my failure last week to mention Funland in Rehoboth, always a highlight of our beach vacations. We hadn't yet been when I wrote a week ago, but we did of course visit Funland a couple of times in the next few days. I'm pleased to report it seems totally unchanged from when I first set foot there 30 yeas ago (and probably from when it opened over 50 years ago). More important, you'll be relieved to know that when I took a break from supervising or pretending to supervise the grandchildren, I won the horse game twice (in only four tries!)--one a stirring, come-from-behind Phelps-like victory. It was the talk of the boardwalk. At least it was all I talked about for the next day or two...





Back at work


Meanwhile, back at the aforementioned grindstone: Several articles in last week's issue provoked a fair amount of comment. Bill McGurn in the Wall Street Journal didn't agree with Jonathan Last's piece on Mitch McConnell, Paul Ryan and Donald Trump (spoiler alert: Last is right, and McGurn, uncharacteristically, is wrong). Peggy Noonan did like Chris Caldwell's report on Angela Merkel, Germany and refugees. Everyone thought Matt Continetti's cover story on "The 'Condition of America' Question" was important and thought-provoking. GOP Trump apologists weren't thrilled by my editorial, "Panic Among the Chickens"--I guess people don't like being called chickens with their heads cut off? And Hillary supporters didn't like the fact that Jay Cost pointed out that "nearly one in three Americans have shifted from a positive to a negative view of her in the last four years." (This really was SUCH a winnable election....but don't get me started!)

Instead of getting me started on that, let's move on to the new issue, where you might want to take a look if you'd like at my editorial looking forward to the 9/11 generation by contrast with Trump v. Clinton, the last gasp of the Baby Boomers. (And do go back and read the great 2007 article by the late Dean Barnett that, I believe, introduced the term 9/11 generation.) And of course you'll want to set aside plenty of time to savor Matt Labash's account of hanging out with John McAfee (and also to listen to Matt discuss his story with Eric Felten on The Confab podcast). You'll want to reflect on Jeffrey Anderson's observation that the issues this year favor the GOP, if only the GOP nominee were able to discuss them (this was SUCH a winnable election....) And you'll want to read Mike Warren's profile of Evan McMullin, the new independent presidential candidate who's stepped forward and is off to an impressive start. And then there's Eric Felten on the music of campaign ads, Lee Smith on Ichiro Suzuki...and of course more!
Meanwhile, over at, Chris Deaton's report on the comments Friday by Trump's New York co-chair Carl Paladino about Gold Star father Khizr Kahn has provoked lots of commentary and served as the basis for follow-up questions on the Sunday shows. Trump's campaign manager, Paul Manafort, dodged the question and changed the subject when pressed by CNN's Jake Tapper. We'll see where the story goes in the next few days.
Of course it would be a bigger story if, given the apparent total meltdown of the Trump campaign in the last few days, maybe the current nominee could be persuaded to step aside and Republicans could then win this winnable election. Now that would be something to write about in next issue!
Incidentally, do you know any young (or not so young) people who'd be a good fit for THE WEEKLY STANDARD and who are willing to work hard? As you may have seen in the Scrapbook, we have two positions available. One is for a talented individual with digital media, social media and editorial expertise, who'll be a key contributor to all of our online efforts. The other is for assistant literary editor, a clerical/administrative post with editorial and production duties and the opportunity to ­assist in the composition of the Books & Arts section. The ideal applicant will be interested in promotion of the magazines' material, contributing online, and would be knowlegeable about social media. Knowledge of Adobe In­Design is desirable but not mandatory. For either position, email a résumé and cover letter to .
Paul Cantor's reading list


Of course, summer's a time for fun reading, and I'd be the last person to try to pry you away from Donald Westlake or Agatha Christie or Lee Child. (By the way, I see Child's "Never Go Back" has been made into a movie to be released in October--here's the trailer. The problem is Jack Reacher is a big guy while Tom Cruise who plays him is a shrimp (not that there's anything wrong with that!). I'll leave it to John Podhoretz to judge how big a problem that turns out to be.)

In any case, if you want to try some fun reading that's a little more high-brow, the Foundation for Constitutional Government has released a new conversation with University of Virginia literature professor Paul Cantor. In this conversation, Paul focuses on works of literature--plays, short stories, and novels--that deepen our understanding of the characteristics and challenges of political and economic liberty. Cantor considers a variety of authors from across the centuries--Ben Jonson, Daniel Defoe, Georg Büchner, Elizabeth Gaskell, Joseph Conrad, Franz Kafka, and Tom Stoppard--who thought deeply and wrote powerfully about the politics of freedom, and he discusses particular works by them in some detail. 
Guided by Cantor, I'm going to try to find time to read a couple of these works in the next few weeks--I'm thinking Büchner's play, "Danton's Death" (I'm embarrassed to say I'd never even heard of Büchner before), and Conrad's "The Secret Agent." Or maybe some Kafka to cheer myself up! In any case, I hope you can find time to explore some of the authors and works Cantor discusses. And of course it's not too late to go back to read Paul's cover story marking the 400th anniversary of the death of Shakespeare and Cervantes, in case you missed it a few months ago.
The print magazine's off next week, but the website will be active as always, so do visit in between getting depressed by Kafka stories!


Bill Kristol