DR PEPPER AND HAGGIS [Rod Dreher]
Gee, thanks Andrew. Now you've got my wife all stirred up again. "He's trashing Dr Pepper again!" she fumed. "No haggis for Andrew Stuttaford!" I reminded her that if not for you and Papa Goldberg, there are no others in our circles who would dare to eat the thing. "Well, okay," Julie said, "but he has to drink Dr Pepper with it." I wouldn't wish that on anybody; the Macallan will do just fine.
Happy Bobbie Burns Day, y'all. Maybe the Goldbergs can be persuaded to hold a Mardi Gras dinner for Jonah's NYC colleagues. Now that he's no longer vegan, Jonah can come too. We'll have haggis, gumbo, king cake, Abita, Dr Pepper and the Macallan. Luci can masquerade as Marie Laveau. Who says right-wingers aren't multicultural? Oh man, I've got Professor Longhair on my disc player right now...
Posted at 04:20 PM
HANDED BACK [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s a disturbing story from Iraq. Without knowing more of the background it’s impossible to know whether either of these guys were crazy, potential assassins, refugees or defectors with something to say, but shouldn’t the UN inspectors have tried to find out?
Instapundit has more on this.
Posted at 03:55 PM
RE: GREAT FIRST LINES [Jonah Goldberg]
So far, I have no opinion on the subject. But I got this from Poppa Goldberg:
I insist that the greatest opening line is in the early 18th century play "Chrononhotonthologos" by Henry Carey (who was a "Grub Street" hack who also wrote "Namby Pamby" and "Sally in Our Alley"). The memorable opening line: "Aldiborontiphoscophornio! Where left you Chrononhotonthologos?" (Later in the play, Aldiborontiphoscophornio is at times addressed affectionately as "My dear Phoscophorny." )
Posted at 03:31 PM
MOXIE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Rumors that Hans Blix is headed south to the Lone Star state to investigate reports of a large cache of a sinister substance known as ‘Dr Pepper’ will come as no surprise to many, but should he stop there? Recent postings on the Corner discussing this questionable mess from Texas have produced a response that includes reports of other mysterious concoctions including ‘Mr. Pibb’ and ‘Dr Thunder’. Up in chilly Maine, meanwhile, any criticism of Moxie, a cold ‘drink’ beloved by the really frozen (Ted Williams was a spokesman), is (I have discovered) poorly received.
What’s Moxie? Well, claims made on some of its early labels included the following:
"Contains not a drop of Medicine, Poison, Stimulant or Alcohol. But is a simple sugarcane-like plant grown near the Equator and farther south, was lately accidentally discovered by Lieut. Moxie and has proved itself to be the only harmless nerve food known that can recover brain and nervous exhaustion, loss of manhood, imbecility and helplessness. It has recovered paralysis, softening of the brain, locomotor ataxia, and insanity when caused by nervous exhaustion. It gives a durable solid strength, makes you eat voraciously, takes away the tired, sleepy, listless feeling like magic, removes fatigue from mental and physical over work at once, will not interfere with action of vegetable medicines. "
You may laugh, but Calvin Coolidge was (reportedly) a fan – and did he?
Posted at 01:46 PM
SNUBBED? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Hey Rod, what's this about a haggis feast? I like the stuff too...
Posted at 01:38 PM
RIGHT OF FIRST REFUSAL A WRONG? [Andrew Stuttaford]
In posting something on the Corner on the new Scottish law that would give crofting 'communities' new rights to purchase the land on which they live, I commented that there didn’t seem to be anything wrong with part of it – giving the crofters the right of first refusal when the land comes up for sale.
One reader disagrees:
“Agreeing to a right of first refusal is a huge "give" in negotiations. The reason is that if …[the] asset [is] subject to a right of first refusal… the universe of potential buyers of the asset [is decreased] -- many won't want to spend the time and money required to negotiate a deal… only to have it taken away by the holder of the right of first refusal. By decreasing the universe of buyers, you decrease…liquidity and quite possibly the market price of [the] asset.”
I think he's right.
Posted at 01:27 PM
RE: POPPA GOLDBERG LOVES HAGGIS [Rod Dreher]
Glad to hear it! I shall repair to Casa Goldberg on the Upper West Side with this haggis, and we'll steam the damn thing together. My kid has taken to thinking of it as a troll dwelling in the back of the freezer. He's going to start having nightmares soon. I take it out twice a day to let him pet it, and see that the haggis is his friend. It's not working.
Posted at 01:14 PM
CHANDLER [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jay has already given NRO readers a splendid selection of great first lines, but here (quoted in the Economist) is an extract from the opening section of Raymond Chandler’s Red Wind that’s too good not to repeat. Chandler is describing the not always positive effect of the Santa Ana wind that blows into LA from time to time:
“Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks.”
Posted at 12:45 PM
SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT, STAY MARRIED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You never know what kind of studies researchers are working on. The latest news: Divorce is bad for the environment.
Posted at 12:34 PM
WINGTIP TRAVEL TIP [Andrew Stuttaford]
Going through security at a West Coast airport this week my harmless-seeming (if battered) shoes once again triggered off the system.
“Metal shanks,” explained a sympathetic screener as he studied these not so lethal pieces of fine English footwear. “Try wearing sneakers when you travel and just pack the regular shoes in your hand baggage”.
OK, maybe most people have already worked this out for themselves, but it seemed like good, if aesthetically distressing, advice to pass on to anybody (like me) not smart enough to do so. Just thought I’d mention it.
Posted at 12:09 PM
MUGABE'S MOTORCADE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Want to shout at a President? Don’t do it in Zimbabwe. A new law (the Economist notes) “expressly forbids any denigrating noises or motions being made at the presidential motorcade”.
So that’s why Chirac has invited Mugabe to Paris for talks.
Or was it just more of that ‘Old Continent’ wisdom at work again?
Posted at 11:53 AM
EURO WISDOM WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
One of the better initiatives of the post-Cold War era has been the establishment of the so-called Nunn-Lugar funds to assist Russia in dismantling or otherwise securing “loose nukes” errant relics of the old Soviet arsenal. A report in this week’s Economist notes that the US spends more on “co-operative threat reduction” in a year than Europeans have over the past ten.
That's just another reminder that, when it comes to really trying to secure the peace, most of today’s European leaders manage to blend the humility of Marie Antoinette with the statecraft of Neville Chamberlain. They are all about words, nothing about deeds.
Posted at 11:47 AM
WISDOM? [Andrew Stuttaford]
One of the more revealing responses to Rumsfeld’s jibe about the old and the new Europe was the remark from a French politician that America had much to learn from the wisdom of the old continent.
Ah yes, that would be the continent of the EU – the organization that agreed to abstain when it came to voting on the appointment of Libya to act as the ‘chair’ of the UN’s Human Rights Commission.
Posted at 11:38 AM
Friday, January 24, 2003
CONFISCATION WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Scottish parliament, a hothouse of class hatred, ethnic resentment and economic illiteracy, has just passed a bill designed to give crofting ‘communities’ (a ‘crofter’ is (very roughly defined) a tenant - traditionally a smallholder or other agricultural worker - on a large Scottish estate) the right of first refusal to buy 'their' land when it comes up for sale. In itself there’s nothing wrong with that – so long as the price is a market price – but what is unacceptable is that, under the new law, the 'community' can compel a sale even when the landlord doesn’t want to sell.
Other provisions will increase the access of hikers, ramblers and other (uninvited) visitors to tens of thousands of acres of privately-owned land.
What is it about the notion of private property that the Scottish parliament doesn’t understand?
Posted at 07:56 PM
POPPA GOLDBERG ON HAGGIS [Jonah Goldberg]
My Dad weighs in on the haggis controversy:
I read the items on Haggis in the Corner. It reminds me of "scare foods" when I was a kid - like Limburger cheese, which you weren't supposed to get close to because the smell was overwhelming. Of course it wasn't, it's just that Limburger was one of the few U.S.-made cheeses that resembled authentic European ones. Haggis has been one of these "scare" foods, but it's delicious - and it's very much in the same category as Kishke (stuffed derma). Nearly all Jews love Kishke and so they would love Haggis if they were brave enough to overcome it's dread name. Jewish Kishke is an intestine (the derma) stuffed with beef, lung, rice, and a bunch of herbs and spices. Haggis has much the same but instead of the intestine itself it uses the lung and stomach. There is a great similarity of taste. With Haggis, there can be great ceremony as it has been elevated to a Scottish symbol. With Jews, there is no ceremony with Kishke, beyond the eating of it. Of course, we did contribute the word to the language, and all boxers know what it's like to be hit in the kishkes.
Posted at 05:30 PM
RE: EASTERBROOK [Jonah Goldberg]
FYI, I've long been a big fan of Greg Easterbrook's so I was pretty disappointed when I heard he said that in the ESPN chatroom. So, while with Cosmo in the park, I wrote to him on my blackberry about his comments and pointed out a couple things. 1) More people read NRO than TNR by a sizable margin. 2) And if he meant "nobody influential" when he said "nobody reads" NRO, he'd have to explain why The New Republic sees fit to comment on it in its own pages so often. He wrote me back and since it was a private conversation, I won't repeat it here. But I think he didn't mean to sound as bad as he did in the chatroom and was simply trying to fend off a request to say something bad about us. I think he failed, but I still think he's a pretty decent guy. And, besides, the best revenge for NROniks is for us to say nice things about him.
Posted at 05:22 PM
I LIKE THIS LETTER [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader in the military on the subject of "France":
Posted at 05:12 PM
TIME CORRECTION [Jonah Goldberg]
You know I've been thinking about it, and while I agree with Andrew Sullivan -- and even Maureen Dowd -- that, if true, the wreath story would have represented a dumb decision by Bush, on the merits I'm not 100% sure it would have been so terrible. After all, wasn't it Lincoln who said, "with malice toward none and charity for all?" He was addressing both the North and the South and he was trying to bring the country together, not to keep the embers of retribution burning. He thought Robert E. Lee was perhaps the finest gentleman of the war and wished he had sided with the North.
Posted at 05:00 PM
IT REALLY IS JUSTICE O'CONNOR'S WORLD [Jonathan H. Adler]
So proclaims the Committee for Liberal Reform.
Posted at 04:54 PM
SHAKE-UP IN N.C. [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This, from John Hood:
On Friday, a very conservative Republican legislator from the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina announced that he was switching parties, to the Democrats, and would vote for the current Democratic Speaker, Jim Black, to continue to lead the North Carolina House. In a Jeffords-like move, now-Democratic Rep. Michael Decker could reverse one of the Republican Party’s pivotal legislative gains in the November elections, as the GOP recaptured a slightly 61-59 majority in a legislative chamber they first won in the 1994 Republican Revolution. Rumors of a high-level legislative post, a job in the Democratic administration of North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley, or at least a boost in Decker’s post-retirement pension as a legislator are among the possible causes of the switch.
Posted at 03:38 PM
"THE HOURS" -- ONE WOMAN'S STORY [Rod Dreher]
I received this extraordinary personal testimony from a female reader in New Jersey:
"Too bad the author [of The Hours] didn't have access to my mother's 'plight.' Depressed, bored, she left my father, who, on that day, was dressed in a hospital gown, sitting at the kitchen table, bandage on his shaved head, recovering from BRAIN SURGERY. Motive: to find herself - her words. She loaded the bedroom dresser, assisted by her boyfriend, into the moving van. (That's why dad had to wait at the table before he could crawl into bed having just arrived from the hospital.)
"We children, ages, 22, 16 and 12, and our 80 year old grandmother, nursed him back to health for the next year. She felt no remorse. She felt justified in her search to be happy as properly dictated by feminist doctrine.
"The feminist equation seems to be: whatever suffering, inconvenience, mental illness, and abandonment my family members must suffer is WORTH the price of my finding happiness. That's it in a nutshell. 'Cold-hearted bitch' is exactly right. Also try 'devoid of conscience.' 'Shatter the lives of a bunch of innocent children - no problem; the feminists will applaud my courage.'
"My mother also told me, (post divorce), that Dad, suffering from severe headaches, from the undiagnosed brain tumor, 'hadn't wanted to go out dancing anymore, so what was (she) to do.'
"She found someone else, since Dad was tired in the evenings and in pain. Dad went from country-western dancing partner to not-so-fun, work-all-day, tired-at-night provider in 6 months.
"What boggles the mind is that NONE of these details deterred her from her self-righteous path. In her mind: She couldn't help falling in love with someone else. She said this was a 'friendly' divorce. This was just between her and my father. No one else should be hurt by this. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! Straight out of the pages of the feminist manifesto. She was absolutely delusional."
"The truth is far more wicked than fantasy."
Posted at 03:30 PM
SADDAM GETS A "B"?? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Please tell me the Onion has hacked into the AP wire.
Posted at 03:28 PM
CHASING THE BUG-CHASING STORY [Rod Dreher]
This is getting interesting. Newsweek has a piece up that largely follows Andrew Sullivan's criticism of the story's sourcing. An NRO reader writes, of the RS piece: "Nothing really new here though. I was aware of that whole scene back in the early 90s here in San Francisco. There were conversion parties where a [passive anal sex partner] would be infected or Russian roulette orgy parties where one unknown person would have AIDS."
Posted at 03:09 PM
OUCH! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jonathan, I think Easterbrook's sore at you. A reader sends this to me:
in an online chat on ESPN just minutes ago:
Posted at 03:03 PM
CONSERVATIVE GREENS [Jonathan H. Adler]
I agree with Jonah that many conservatives seem to adopt liberal positions on environmental matters as well as to be swayed by Malthusian population arguments. What I find more disturbing, however, is that so many conservatives adopt the conventional wisdom that the only way to ensure environmental protection is through extensive government regulation or other intrustions into economic and other private affairs. I find this to be true even among those who are skeptical of government regulation, and especially true among Republican elected officials. Thus, many conservatives call for "reasonable" regulation, and accept the premise that less regulation means less environmental protection. As I have written elsewhere, this is complete nonsense -- and it undermines most principled arguments against federal regulation.
Posted at 02:40 PM
INCREASE DEFENSE SPENDING! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One Rich Lowry signs onto a Bill Kristol & co. letter to the president.
Posted at 02:38 PM
DR IS NOT HAPPY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Those leaked memos from Rumsfeld about poor strategizing from the Joint Chiefs are not encouraging. Rowan Scarborough reports.
Posted at 02:37 PM
FAIR PLAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
That Andrew Sullivan Salon piece Rod links to deserves a comment: I’m sure Sullivan is right to be skeptical about the 25 percent number, as others are doing as well, but he unfairly attacks Sean Hannity in that piece. Sullivan offers no evidence to back up his contention that Hannity is a “gay-hater” and “pleased as punch” that this bug chasing exists (happy people are getting sick and dying?). Sullivan has an argument without the name-calling—it’s a shame he resorts to it.
Posted at 02:36 PM
A MORMON WRITES [John Derbyshire]
Lotsa mail on names. This my favorite so far.
Posted at 01:32 PM
WRAPPING THE PARK [Melissa Seckora]
Looks like NY Mayor Bloomberg likes the idea of “Christo and Jeanne-Claude” adorning Central Park with yards of saffron fabric even if most art critics don't. They’ll be wrapping the park in February 2005.
Posted at 01:29 PM
THE COSMO INTERVIEWS [Jonah Goldberg]
This reader didn't like it:
Not funny and not apropos to anything. It's really unfortunate that people like you get to write for the NRO because the legitimacy of their e-zine is lowered by the likes of your "garbage."I just posted it because I like the formulation about how I "get to" to write for NRO.
Posted at 12:52 PM
WAN BINGZHANG A TERRORIST [John Derbyshire]
Wang Bingzhang is being (as they say in the London underworld) "stitched up" by the ChiComs. He is as far from being a "terrorist" as it is possible to be. For my 1989 interview with him, see here.
Posted at 12:39 PM
OATS [John Derbyshire]
Rod: Samuel Johnson's great dictionary offers the following definition: "Oats -- A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.
Posted at 12:37 PM
TIME MAGAZINE RETRACTS, DOWD BETTER TOO [Jonah Goldberg]
Time magazine completely blew its story about Bush reinstating the practive of laying a wreath at the Confederate Memorial at the Arlington National Cemetary. They've issued an honorable correction. Time says the story was "wrong" and that virtually none of the events which took place in the story actually happened. One can only hope that Maureen Dowd will issue one too, given her snarky column on Bush this week using the Time story as a lynchpin.
Posted at 12:37 PM
WHO'S AFRAID OF HER? [John Derbyshire]
Just read Iron Rod's splendid piece, also taking some swipes at Virginia Woolf. I say let's bring her down. She was a horrible person--such a snob she was even snobbish towards her servants. A feminist acquaintance of mine some years ago urged me to read "A Room Of My Own," told me it was a founding text of modern feminism. What a crock--with all her money, VW didn't have a room of her own? Heck, **I** don't have a room of my own. I have a study, but it's on the way to the downstairs bathroom, so I don't get much privacy. And the high point of "Room" is when VW is refused admission to the Bodleian Library. My friend thought this was absolutely scandalous. I pointed out that if, at around the same point in time (1920 or so) my grandfather John Henry Knowles had showed up at the Bodleian in his moleskin trousers & carrying his coal-miner's lamp, HE wouldn't have been admitted either. VW was just a pampered middle-class neurotic with too much time on her hands. The Bloomsberries have a lot to answer for. Their net contribution to Western Civ was negative, and VW was at the heart of it.
Posted at 12:37 PM
UNDERPOPULATION [Jonah Goldberg]
As Rod has noted there are lots of conservatives who have liberal environmental views (I honestly don't know if that was a cheap shot to the Crunchy Cons). But I've found that the most enduring misperception on the Right is a tendency among many conservatives to buy into Malthusian scare scenarios about over-population. I say this mostly from my experience of arguing, via email, with some readers over population trends. So I'd be interested in what Jon Adler's experience has been in this regard on the Right. Maybe there's another doom-and-gloom scenario he finds right-wingers particularly suseptible to. My suspicion is that conservatives, generally being more skeptical about immigration issues, tend to lump the two issues together.
Anyway, the simple fact is that birth rates are declining everywhere, not just in the Western industrialized nations, but in the so-called Third World too.Yes some nations are still growing in absolute terms because their total fertility rates are above 2.1 children per woman. But the rate of growth is shrinking across the board. And this means that the most likely scenario is that global population will max-out by mid-century and then begin declining. I bring all of this up because today's Wall Street Jourrnal has an excellent primer on the whole story on page B1. It's not web-able, but if you're interested in this stuff you should definitely check it out.
Posted at 12:30 PM
SURPRISE, SURPRISE [Rod Dreher]
Al Sharpton's supporters have a sneaking feeling that the fire at Sharpton HQ was a ... conspiracy! I'm skeptical. I mean really, the CIA is too busy spreading crack in the ghetto and infecting African-Americans with HIV to get involved in arson. No?
Posted at 12:20 PM
FINALLY [Jonah Goldberg]
Not only is the G-File in with K-Lo, but it is an old school unrestrained assault upon our Gallic brethren. While you're waiting for that, you might want to check out my syndicated column on Libya taking over the UN Human Rights Commission. I think it's pretty good and I am aware that I mispelled Lex Luthor's name. A correction has been sent out already.
Posted at 12:16 PM
BUG-CHASING BOGUS? [Rod Dreher]
Andrew Sullivan says the bug-chaser story is a crock.
Posted at 12:11 PM
HAGGIS UPDATE [Rod Dreher]
Thanks to all of you kind folks who have written in with haggis recipes, advice and lore. I must admit that I don't feel spiritually or gastronomically fit enough to prepare Angus, as I've named him, for Burns Night on Saturday (besides which, I can't find anybody willing to try it with me). My wife and three-year-old son are behaving as if I have a human head in the freezer. I told Matthew I had a neat thing in the freezer to show him. "Look, it's a sheep's stomach stuffed with minced guts and oatmeal!" I said cheerfully. He tapped it, then ran off to tell mommy about the gross thing daddy has. "Hey, some really good oatmeal cookies came with it," I said to Matthew, offering him one. The kid's a cookie monster, but this he wouldn't take. Julie, knowing what the deal was, said to him, "It's okay, honey, it never touched the haggis." She's decided that's going to be the title of our yet-to-be-written book on crunchy-con parenting: It Never Touched The Haggis.
Posted at 12:03 PM
THE PIRATE BOWL [John J. Miller]
You're right, Jon, the Raiders insignia shows a guy with an eyepatch and he's presumably a pirate. I decided to focus on the Tampa Bay team name instead, to the apparent outrage of Bucs fans everywhere, judging from my email. (I think some of them want to run me over in an SUV.) I'm disappointed, though, that nobody's linked today's anti-Bucs article with the piece I wrote last year arguing for New York and against Tampa as the site of the 2004 Republican convention. If the Tampa partisans knew about my pattern of anti-Tampa bromides, they might get really mad at me.
Posted at 11:39 AM
ONOMASTIC DIVERSITY [John Derbyshire]
Larry Henry tells me that Johnnie Cochrane's brother was killed in a crime in Los Angeles a year or so ago. His name was Rolonzo Philectron Cochrane.
Posted at 10:51 AM
DERB ON THE END OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN [John Derbyshire]
If I hear one more TV commentator say that the administration is "between Iraq and a hard place," I will do such things, what they are yet I know not; but they shall be the terrors of the earth.
Posted at 10:35 AM
TRASHING VIRGINIA WOOLF [John Derbyshire]
It's a dirty job, but needs doing.
Posted at 10:32 AM
WHAT'S HATCH THINKING? [Jonathan H. Adler]
The good news is that Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch will expedite the confirmations of most of President Bush's judicial nominations. I say most because Hatch is definitely putting the brakes on some others. At this morning's business meeting, Hatch announced he plans to hold more hearings on Justice Priscilla Owen and Judge Charles Pickering. As if giving Schumer & Co. another chance to take pot shots at the nominees will somehow make their confirmation easier. In more positive news, it looks like Miguel Estrada may finally get a committee vote next week.
Posted at 10:25 AM
MORE SUVS ON THEIR WAY [Jonathan H. Adler]
That's enough of the Jonathan Adler show in The Corner. Besides, rumor has it I have another SUV article on its way, and I need to make time for the inevitable flood of complaints for SUV haters.
Posted at 09:32 AM
LEGACIES OF LAWLESSNESS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Um, John, fair point about the name of the Tampa Bay Bucanneers in your column today, but what about the name of their opponents? The Oakland Raiders have always been presumed to be named after pirates as well.
Posted at 09:29 AM
MED-MAL FEDERALISM [Jonathan H. Adler]
As for medical malpractice reform, Ramesh, I largely agree with you. As you note in your article, the justification for federal intervention only arises where states are able to extraterritorialize their tort system. In the case of med-mal litigation, I am skeptical that such a case can be made. Federalism works, when we let it.
Posted at 08:56 AM
LOMBORG'S SELF-DEFENSE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Skeptical environmentalist Bjorn Lomborg defended himself in yesterdays Wall Street Journal. He challenges the Danish committee that charged him with scientific dishonesty and notes that some 280 Danish academics have signed a statement condemning the ruling. I suspect this fight isn't over.
Posted at 08:51 AM
FEDERALISM LIMITS [Jonathan H. Adler]
More seriously, Ramesh, I think you misunderstand my post. I believe that Congress has the obligtation to properly invoke the source of its alleged constitutional authority whenever it enacts legislation the authority for which is not glaringly obvious. Such authority should not be assumed. Moreover, such statements are particularly important if the ultimate check on Congress is not the courts, but the people. Second, I don't believe that Congress' Section V power is subordinate to the Court's interpretation, but it is subordinate to the substantive guarantees of the Fourteenth Amendment. Here again, if Congress wishes to advance a non-obvious understanding of the Amendment as a justification for legislation, it should assert the basis of its understanding. It has not done so here, and -- as you know -- I do not believe that the text of the Constitution can justify such an extension of federal power.
Posted at 08:43 AM
FEMINISTS ARE SEETHING THIS MORNING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
White House floats Title IX reforms in Washington Post.
Posted at 08:41 AM
JUDICIAL SUPREMACY [Jonathan H. Adler]
But Ramesh, haven't you heard? This is Justice O'Connor's world, we just live in it. (I should attribute this quote to someone, but I can't remember who it is.)
Posted at 08:39 AM
SOTU PREVIEW? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
TOKYO, Jan 24 (Reuters) - The United States has evidence on Iraq's maintenance of weapons of mass destruction, which it will reveal at an "appropriate time," Washington's top arms control diplomat said on Friday.
Posted at 08:27 AM
FEDERALISM AND LIFE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Jonathan, I can't even agree on the propositions you hope will make for common ground between us. Whether a bill's assertion of federal power is constitutionally justified is a question independent of whether the justification its text attempts to make is sound; so while I would change those parts of the bill, I don't worry about its constitutionality on that score. Also, as you know, I believe that to regard the congressional role in "enforcing" equal protection as being subordinate to the federal courts--with the courts defining what equal protection entails and the Congress implementing its definition--reflects a judical-supremacist understanding of the Fourteenth Amendment at odds with its original meaning. So there should in principle be no need for Congress to "show" its warrant for action to Justice O'Connor's satisfaction. . . . Speaking of federalism, I'll be interested to hear your thoughts on my piece online today on medical-malpractice reform (although I probably won't be able to get back online until Sunday night).
Posted at 07:51 AM
THE UN-CHURCH [John J. Miller]
A reader who saw my post on the Freedom From Religion Foundation has fowarded a link to the North Texas Church of Freethought, which describes itself as "a fellowship of unbelievers." In what amounts to a mission statement, the NTCF declares, "We offer the benefits of traditional church membership to those who are uncomfortable with supernatural beliefs..."
Posted at 07:04 AM
WEEKS AWAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We get serious about Iraq.
Posted at 05:02 AM
RICHARD LAMM: ROE V. WADE MAY BE WRONG [Dave Kopel]
As a freshman Colorado legislator in 1967, Richard Lamm sponsored what was then the most liberal abortion law in the nation: allowing abortion in cases of rape, incest, fetal deformity, and physicial and mental health (narrowly defined, in practice). Lamm, who was elected Governor three times, continues to strongly support broad abortion rights. Yet on the 30th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, he writes: ""I think it might have been better to let states develop" abortion policy. "There's a question of whether to have nine people change such a dramatic thing is the wisest course of action."
As Glenn Reynolds and I have argued, federalization of the abortion issue is a terrible constitutional mistake. Our law review article argues that neither the federal law protecting abortion clinic entrances, nor the proposed federal law banning partial birth abortion are legitimate exercises of federal power to regulate "interstate commerce." More generally, we suggest that national unity is better served when the national government does not impose winner-take-all national policies on divisive social issues such as abortion, drugs, and guns.
Posted at 02:17 AM
FIFTH COLUMN [Rod Dreher]
Guess what, England? You've got a fifth column. You're at war with these people. They intend to kill you. A lot of you. How many Brits will have to die before the government closes the Finsbury Park mosque and begins deportations?
Posted at 12:23 AM
Thursday, January 23, 2003
CULTURE OF DEATH [Rod Dreher]
Here's the Rolling Stone story about "bug chasers," a subculture of gay men who actively try to become infected with HIV. These people are beyond sick. This stuff is raw, ugly evil. "Carlos," a New York bug chaser, tells the reporter that his hobby is "about freedom." Later, he says that if he finds out that he's carrying the virus, he might become a "gift giver," the term for one who passes on the virus to someone who doesn't have it: "If I know that [my sexual partner is] negative and I'm f--king him, it sort of gets me off. I'm murdering him in a sense, killing him slowly, and that's sort of, as sick as it sounds, exciting to me."
There are 40,000 new HIV infections each year. Nearly a million Americans are believed to be living with HIV and/or AIDS. It costs between $10,000 and $15,000 a year to treat each one. How much will the taxpayer be willing to spend to treat and research a cure for AIDS when you have people like these scumbags running around? They should be locked up like the murderers they are. If they were going around making a game of spreading typhoid or smallpox, we'd deal harshly with them, strictly as a public health measure.
A gay friend of mine recently had an HIV scare after doing something he ought not to have been doing with a man who, as it turns out, was HIV+ but lied about it so my friend would go to bed with him. Now, my friend ought not to have taken the foolish chance he did, and he knows that now; he had the hell scared out of him, and has sobered up. Still, as far as I'm concerned, this HIV+ guy tried to kill my friend as surely as if he'd have put cyanide in his food. I wish this evil SOB were in jail.
Posted at 11:21 PM
HERE COMES JERRY [Jonathan H. Adler]
Let's hope he only shoots for Mayor Springer, not Senator.
Posted at 07:44 PM
THE RIGHT WAY TO REJECT [Jonathan H. Adler]
Ramesh and I agree that Roe was a massive power grab on behalf of the federal judiciary, but disagree as to whether Congress can do much about it (save, perhaps, depriving the Court of jurisdiction to hear such cases). I think we might also agree that even if Congress has sufficient Constitutional authority to ban partial birth abortion under the 14th Amendment, the current bill -- which purports to ban such procedures "in or affecting interstate commerce" -- is wholly inadequate for this purpose. While it contains extensive findings, these findings are almost exclusively focused on addressing Justice O'Connor's pet concerns about the basis for abortion restrictions, and not on the extent to which the failure of states to adopt partial-birth abortion bans represents a denial of equal protection. Because Congress' only has power under the Fourteenth Amendment to "enforce" its substantive guarantees, it would have to demonstrate a Fourteenth Amendment violation before proceeding further (as the Court has rightly noted in several of its recent sovereign immunity decisions). It has not done so here.
Posted at 06:10 PM
E-MAIL ALERT FOR ANYONE WHO CARES OR NEEDS TO CARE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
People keep asking "Did you get my email?" Still, very possibly NOT if you sent it to my nr address. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted at 05:52 PM
MY FAVORITE ITALIAN [Rod Dreher]
"It’s my temperament. When you have been born in a war like me, living in a war as a child, when you have been in wars as a war correspondent all your life—trust me! You develop a form of fatalism; you are always ready to die. And when you love your own freedom as much as I do, you don’t bend to the fear to be killed, because otherwise you do nothing—you go under the bed and you stay hidden 24 hours."
"The point is not winning or losing," she said. "Of course, I want to win. The point is to fight well with dignity. The point is, if you die, to die on your feet, standing up. If you tell me, ‘Fallaci, why do you fight so much? The Muslims are going to win and they’re going to kill you,’ I answer to you, ‘F**k you—I shall die on my feet.’"
Posted at 05:33 PM
YES, YES, YES... [Jonah Goldberg]
I will be writing the G-File again. Plan on a big column for tomorrow. It's just that the world has been conspiring against me: my beautiful 8.6 months pregnant wife began her maternity leave this week and her nesting instincts are firing on all cylanders. My computer decided to blow up this week (I got OSX running but my computer's slower than Alec Baldwin off his Ritalin), and there was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. But for those of you who keep writing me to say that I haven't written anything since December 6, that's just not true. The archives haven't been updated in a very long time for reasons having to do with the float on the Yen and the reproductive cycles of red-assed baboon. But that's not my fault.
Posted at 04:49 PM
HAGGIS, MY HAGGIS [Rod Dreher]
I've discovered the identity of the haggis donor. It's a friend, a priest with a perverse culinary sense (when I suggested to him that he should avoid a pungently aromatic cheese called Stinking Bishop, he ran out, bought some, and pronounced it divine). I don't know whether he'll consider it a blessing or a curse, but I intend to have him over to dinner when we cook the haggis. My wife says, "Er, you're eating that one by yourselves." Have we any haggis lovers among Corner readers? How would you suggest preparing the thing? The haggis company sent along Robt Burns poem, "To a Haggis," which I suppose we'll have to recite over the bloody thing as it lies in repose atop my table. But I will have to throw in some choice observations taken from "The Wit and Wisdom of Groundskeeper Willie."
Posted at 03:40 PM
KIRK ALERT [John J. Miller]
I've been getting some very nice feedback on my Russell Kirk article today--apparently I'm not the only one who's been reading the guy's fiction. One reader informs me that copies of Kirk's excellent but out-of-print novel, The Old House of Fear, may be purchased here. Another--who happens to be James E. Person, the author of a worthy book on Kirk--says he's currently writing a screenplay based on The Old House of Fear. Any takers out there?
Posted at 03:37 PM
LISTEN, THEN REJECT [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Adler says we should "listen" to Glenn Reynolds's argument that federal restrictions on abortion are a violation of federalist principle. Fair enough. Note, however, that Reynolds does not deal--either in his short summary of his argument or in the law-review piece to which he links--with the equal-protection argument for congressional authority here (which Adler and I debated on the Corner last year). I'd note also that the federal government is already deeply involved in abortion policy. Roe v. Wade was, among other things, a massive federal power grab.
Posted at 02:41 PM
SHOP AWAY [NRO Staff]
We don't have the anti-French thing, but if you wanna buy other cool stuff at the NRO Store, go here.
Posted at 02:07 PM
SADDAM WILL KILL THEM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Paul Wolfowitz told the Council on Foreign Relations today that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has ordered that any scientist who cooperates with UN inspectors be killed with their families.
Posted at 01:57 PM
THANKS, JIM FLAHERTY! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Lunch at National Review was on him today. He surprised the staff of the flood-ravaged NR World Headquarters a multi-course lunch. Wow--and thanks!
Posted at 01:50 PM
THE SUITS ARE KICKING THEMSELVES [Jonah Goldberg]
I cannot believe we donr't have something like this in the NRO store.
Posted at 12:56 PM
A LITTLE ADVICE... [Jonah Goldberg]
One of the first things my father ever told me was: If a man comes to your door and delivers haggis uninvited -- and you don't know who it's from -- don't eat it. But hey, that's just how we do things in the Goldberg household.
Posted at 12:46 PM
HOW OFTEN DOES THIS HAPPEN TO YOU? [Rod Dreher]
Doorbell rings at home this morning. It's the FedEx man, and he's got a big package. I sign for it, bring it in out of the cold, open it up. It's a ... HAGGIS! There was no card, so I don't know who my benefactor is. Groundskeeper Willie, I salute you!
Posted at 12:18 PM
CLINTON THE ANTI-ENVIRONMENTALIST [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Democratic Policy Committee is distributing a nine-page list of the Bush Administration's alleged "anti-environmental" actions. Ironically enough, the first item on the list -- the Bush Administration plan to use effluent permit trading to reduce water pollution at lower cost -- was originally proposed by the Clinton Administration.
Posted at 11:29 AM
WHAT BROOKS DID TELL WSJ SUBSCRIBERS [Jonathan H. Adler]
TAPped criticizes David Brooks for quoting Keith Bradsher's characterization of SUV drivers without noting that Bradsher claims to be summarizing auto industry research. Looking at the OpinionJournal version of the Brooks column, that appears to be a fair point. Interestingly enough, the print and WSJ.com editions of the article (subscription required), Brooks makes note of Bradsher's source: "Mr. Bradsher says he is only reporting on what Detroit's market research reveals, but thoughtful people are usually skeptical about broad generalizations about people's souls on the basis of what car they drive." UPDATE: The OpinionJournal version of the column has been corrected.
Posted at 11:22 AM
GREAT NEWS [Jonah Goldberg]
Seth Gitell writes that that awful woman Cynthia McKinney might be the Green Party candidate in 2004. Not only would this make her fair game again for mockery and ridicule, but it would also make a third party challenger a black southern woman. Add Sharpton's pot stirring in the Democratic primaries and we could see the Democratic black vote take a huge plunge.
Posted at 11:19 AM
CAN CONGRESS REGULATE ABORTION? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Glenn Reynolds is highlighting the limits of federal power -- and conservatives should listen.
Posted at 11:17 AM
GOTTA LOVE BRITISH PAPERS [Jonah Goldberg]
A RENEGADE weapons inspector who embraced Saddam’s vile regime has been exposed as a child sex pervert.
Posted at 11:12 AM
TRAFFIC AGONISTES [Jonah Goldberg]
John Hawkins of Right Wing News has compiled a list of the top 50 political websites. It was nice of him to do and worth looking at. But the problem is he uses the Alexa service as his source. He notes some of the problems with Alexa, but not all of them. The biggest problem, as I understand it, is that Alexa ranks sites using based upon visitors who use the Alexa tool bar or otherwise register with them. And, Netscape and Mac users can't even download the toolbar if they want to. So, they are invisible to Alexa. As you can imagine, this wildly skews results. So much so some sites have come to believe that Alexa actually reflects their real comparative rankings rather than their ranking among a small and disproportionate subset of web users (some of whom might be disposed to playing games to artificially spike their traffic). So while it's nice to be listed as the #7 political website, we have to take it with a grain of salt (though I suspect we might rank higher).
Posted at 10:59 AM
CARELESS CONCEPTIONS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I mentioned the other day that it was a mistake to assume that there would be 42 million more Americans if not for abortion, because legalized abortion increased the conception rate. Steve Sailer reminds me that "social scientists have estimated that 60%-75% of the fetuses aborted in the 1970s would not have been conceived if not for legalized abortion." He also points me toward the John Donohue-Steven Levitt paper on abortion and crime, which cites evidence that abortion reduced the birth rate by only 5 percent. That paper was widely criticized (by Sailer and me, among others), but not on this point.
Posted at 10:38 AM
FRANCE [Jonah Goldberg]
My syndicated column on the cheese-eating-surrender monkeys. Alas, there's a small error. While I was correct to say they are crap weasels, I mistakenly identified President Chirac as Prime Minister.
Posted at 09:33 AM
AGAINST GONZALES, PT. 2 [John J. Miller]
We'll probably never know what precise impact the Bush brief will have on the fate of racial preferences, because Supreme Court justices and their clerks don't discuss such things--at least not until memoir-writing time. Yet Sandra Day O'Connor is generally viewed as the swing justice in these 5-4 votes, as the big and meaningful ones tend to be, and may be enough of a Republican loyalist to look with sympathy upon what the administration and its lawyers tell her through these formal channels. That's why the stakes are so high in the opinions expressed in a brief. And consider what a disaster it will be if the Supreme Court allows that "diversity" is an educational necessity allowing the unequal treatment of individuals: So much of the hard work of Ward Connerly, Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Linda Chavez, Abigail Thernstrom, Roger Clegg, Tom Wood, Glynn Custred--I'd could go on, and on, and on--will have been overruled. But Alberto Gonzales's little brief will have been accepted.
Posted at 09:14 AM
EMAIL FROM POPPA GOLDBERG [Jonah Goldberg]
On the Left defending Iraq's "sovereignty":
It's peculiar to listen to lefties make "sovereignty" a sacrosanct issue, so that it is sinful to attack the "sovereign" state of Iraq. Without going into the merits of it, historically the Left has been against the concept of sovereignty. This is what broke up the Second International at the outset of WWI, in which the socialist parties had been expected to be "international" in the sense that Marx and Bakunin (a leader in the 2nd International) made the case that the working classes in France and Germany had more in common with each other than with their respective states. To the chagrin of the traditionalist Lefties, the socialist parties sided with their respective nation-states, rather than with the international workingclass movement. One of the very few socialist parties to uphold the anti-sovereign position was Lenin's Bolsheviks.
Posted at 09:12 AM
AGAINST GONZALES [John J. Miller]
Everybody worries that if President Bush nominates White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to the Supreme Court, his administrtaion will have created its very own David Souter. Conservatives have been worried about Gonzales, but they've shied away from declaring outright opposition. This reluctance should end right now, based upon what Robert Novak reports in this column: Gonzales played a decisive role in the severely disappointing brief filed in the University of Michigan racial preferences cases before the Supreme Court, over the the objections of Ted Olson and probably most of the other conservative lawyers at the Department of Justice and Department of Education. If it hadn't been for Gonzales, in fact, the Bush administration would have taken a principled stand against racial preferences.
Posted at 09:03 AM
Wednesday, January 22, 2003
RITTER CRASHES, BURNS [Rod Dreher]
Anybody catch Scott Ritter on Aaron Brown's show tonight? Man, what a pathetic boob. He was asked straight off about his arrest having to do with being caught in an Internet sex-with-minors police sting, and he refused to talk about it. He said he was obligated by "the rule of law" to respect the court's seal in the matter, and not talk about it. Aaron Brown was ready for this, and told Ritter to cut the crap, there was no such law preventing him from discussing this. Ritter wouldn't budge, and claimed that because the case (the details of which he refused to discuss) had been dismissed, we are all obliged to think of him as innocent. He looked like a fool. We'll never hear from him again.
Posted at 11:39 PM
BUSH LOVES AFFIRMATIVE ACTION? [Rod Dreher]
Christopher Caldwell thinks the U. of M. briefs put President Bush squarely on the side of affirmative action. He writes: "The Bush memos are the most important substantive defense of affirmative action ever issued by a sitting president. If the Court accepts the president’s reasoning, it will have rescued affirmative action from what appeared to be a terminal constitutional illogic. More than that–it will have secured for this rickety program an indefinite constitutional legitimacy."
Posted at 05:23 PM
NYC NEEDS CATALUNYAN DESIGN [Rod Dreher]
Somebody else agrees with me that Antoni Gaudi ought to be the architect for the World Trade Center redux.
Posted at 05:16 PM
SUV MARKET RESEARCH [Jonathan H. Adler]
As I noted in my anti-anti-SUV column, Gregg Easterbrook and Keith Bradsher make much of auto industry market research which purports to show that SUV owners are "insecure and vain," and "frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood." This prompted a response from an NRO reader and former product planner with a major automaker who worked on the development of several successful SUV models. He found Bradsher's characterization of the industry research suspect and implausible, and offered his own take:
If I had to describe with one phrase the motivation of an SUV buyer from my experience, I would borrow “Be Prepared” from the Boy Scouts. Consistently, our market research told us that SUV owners know that they may never use many of the features and attributes of their vehicles, but that they want them anyway, just in case.What many anti-SUVers fail to accept is that many SUV owners place substantial value on such versatility, making SUVs the right vehicles for their wants and needs.
Posted at 05:02 PM
RE: DEATH PENALTY, CONT'D [Rod Dreher]
Jonah, I don't believe anybody wants to see innocent people die for crimes they didn't commit. I simply believe folks on your side, in good faith, simply don't take seriously enough the prospect of the state killing innocents.
The question you and I were asked to respond to was: Is the Death Penalty Unjust? I couldn't say "yes, always and everywhere," because I don't believe that (perhaps Kathryn could have founded a conservative who does, but she asked me to do this debate thing with you, so I took the opposing side in the only way I could). I do believe that the d.p., like war, should be seen at best as a necessary evil. My view is that if we can protect society reasonably without using the d.p., then we should choose life, and mercy, even though a murderer deserves to die. It's all a matter of degree for me, though.
Remember, a jury convicts a man for capital crime when they are convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that he is guilty. Yet we've seen cases in which the man wasn't guilty at all; the jury, in presumed good faith, erred. They thought they had proved that he and he alone had done it. But he hadn't.
What it comes down to for me is I don't trust the government enough to yield it any more power over life and death than it has to have. I can imagine a time and conditions under which the d.p. might be necessary. We don't live in that time now.
Posted at 04:43 PM
RACISM IN NEWSROOMS [Rod Dreher]
Andrew Sullivan yesterday quoted a Boston Globe columnist who wrote, "The editor of a sizable newspaper told me recently that he decided the racial makeup of four new hires - two minorities, a white woman, and a white male - before reviewing a single applicant." Andrew commented: "Isn't that illegal? And if a leading editor is enforcing illegal racist hiring policies, shouldn't a journalist tell us who he or she is? Or are liberal editors above the law?"
A similar thing happened to me. I can't tell you the newspaper involved, because it could get innocent people there who were honest with me fired. I was interested in a position at the Bugle (we'll call it), also a sizable newspaper. My clips and resume was greeted with sincere enthusiasm by the section editors, who told me arranging a job interview would be simply a formality. Suddenly I didn't hear from the Bugle for a long, long time. I was told by a highly-placed source within the Bugle's management that my status as a white male hurt me with the top editors, that the paper was looking to hire a minority.
Not sure if I believed this, I communicated with the (white male) managing editor, and told him I'd be willing to fly to his city at my own expense if he'd at least grant me an interview. He refused, and wouldn't give a reason. I knew something was up. I later discovered from a sympathetic source inside the paper that the Bugle had done the same thing to another white male candidate for a job -- they told him point-blank that he was the most qualified of all applicants, but that he would have to wait for them to do a national search for a female and/or racial minority candidate first.
Anyway, journalism jobs are so scarce that people in the biz don't want to taint themselves by making trouble. But one of these days, these racist liberal bastards are going to face a discrimination lawsuit from a white guy who only wants a fair shake at a job, and is being denied it because of his sex and/or the color of his skin.
Posted at 03:16 PM
HELP--DEPLETED URANIUM [Rich Lowry]
I'd like to try to write a column about the controversy over depleted uraniam weapons. I assume the criticism of them is hysterical and wrong-headed, but would love to hear from anyone with expert knowledge about them at this e-mail.
Posted at 03:13 PM
MEANINGLESS POLLS: [Rich Lowry]
The Washington Post has a poll today saying most Americans support more time for inspections. Of course they do. The same dynamic was at work in the first Gulf War, when, if memory serves, people opposed sending 500,000 troops to the region, opposed started the air war, and opposed starting the ground war, but swung around and supported Bush I after he undertook each action. It's up to Bush to lead.
Posted at 03:11 PM
NO CORRUPT DEAL WITH THE SAUDIS: [Rich Lowry]
I frankly don't care about a war crimes trial for Saddam. This isn't about achieving cosmic justice in Iraq. But I'd strenuously oppose any exile deal or coup that has us effectively working with the Saudis to:
1) preserve a Sunni baathist regime in Baghdad, thus ensuring the continuation of that model of governance in the Middle East;
2) maintain the oil status quo, in which Iraq under-produces and the Saudis slurp up the extra market-share; 3) repair our relationship with the Saudis by working out such a deal with them rather than radically undercutting the relationship by creating something totally new in Iraq, over their objections.
Posted at 03:09 PM
FOR MY SINS: [Rich Lowry]
Perhaps for the sin of assigning Jonah the vegan article, I've come down with the flu and eaten nothing except about a dozen Saltine crackers over the last two days. At this point I'm even craving legumes.
Posted at 03:08 PM
GO, FREDERICA, GO! [Rod Dreher]
I know we've had a lot of pro-Frederica stuff on The Corner, but I've just read her long NRO piece, and ... wow! It's terrific. I should also encourage you to write to National Public Radio (email@example.com) and thank them for running her pro-life commentary this morning, if you've heard it (follow K-Lo's link below if you haven't). Our side loves to complain about public broadcasting's anti-conservative bias, but when PBS or NPR does something right, we should praise them.
Posted at 02:59 PM
PRINCIPLE AND POVERTY [Jonah Goldberg]
Rod - I'm not saying you're unprincipled in your position. Rather the principle you're upholding isn't one I disagree with. No supporter of the death penalty I know of actually favors an error rate of any kind. The question is whether or not we are willing to tolerate error -- in the abstract -- in order to maintain the death penalty. I find it more than a little objectionable when anti-death penalty proponents say proponents favor the execution of innocent people. But that's an argument we've all heard by now. But as for your comments about Columbia or impoverished nations needing the death penalty more, I find that a very morally problematic argument. It places the justification for the death penalty in pure utilitarianism. I think deterrence matters and that utilitarianism is a legitimate consideration. And I agree that in such a country the death penalty might be more useful than it is here, the question still boils down to justice. Is the death penalty just? Yes. Is it moral? Yes. So if a person deserves and we can prove he and he alone deserves it, concerns about the larger problems with the death penalty don't matter. Here's a longer column I wrote which addresses some of this.
Posted at 02:43 PM
SHARPTON H.Q. BURNS DOWN [Rod Dreher]
One day after he declared his candidacy for the U.S. presidency, the Rev. Al Sharpton's Harlem headquarters burned down. No word yet on the cause of the blaze, or as to whether or not Marinus van der Lubbe had anything to do with it.
Posted at 02:26 PM
BY THE WAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The NR email server remains dead to the world. So if you need us, it's firstname.lastname@example.org for now.
Posted at 02:23 PM
RE: D.P. DEBATE [Rod Dreher]
Actually, Jonah, I think I am against the death penalty on principle: the principle that justice is better served by allowing murderers to remain alive in prison until their natural deaths, rather than risk putting an innocent man to death. What's not principled about that? I admit I cannot make my mind up on whether the death penalty is essentially immoral. I'm inclined to think it's not, though again, my judgment is contingent on societal conditions. A place like (say) Colombia, which suffers from poverty and corruption, is far less able than America to guarantee that a convicted killer will be locked away for life. The death penalty is therefore, in my view, more justifiable there than here. Anyway, the main reason I didn't suggest ways to "mend it, don't end it" is because K-Lo gave you and me a limit of 500 words in which to make our case. For the record, I'm all in favor of raising the evidentiary bar in capital cases, for the same reason that I favor laws restricting abortion, even as I wish to see abortion outlawed. Why make the perfect the enemy of the good? But your military analogy doesn't work, I think, because there is no reasonable alternative to having a military, so we have to live with the possibility of friendly-fire deaths. There is a reasonable alternative to capital punishment.
Posted at 02:14 PM
A CRIB SHEET FOR K-LO [Jonah Goldberg]
The Official Geek Hierarchy.
Posted at 02:10 PM
HERE! THERE! FREDERICA EVERYWHERE! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A number of readers have pointed out what a compelling commentary Frederica Mathews-Green delivered on NPR this morning. (She also has a piece on NRO today.) Of her NPR piece, one reader says: "That was probably as powerful a statement of the argument against abortion that many NPR listeners have ever heard. " You can hear her on NPRhere.
Posted at 02:02 PM
HEY TOWNHALL! [Jonah Goldberg]
Where's my syndicated column? Here's the routine: every Wednesday and Friday I post a link to my syndicated column. Ninety-percent of the time it's a link to you guys. The system doesn't work if you guys don't post it. Come on, it's about the French!
Posted at 01:53 PM
DEATH PENALTY [Jonah Goldberg]
I've read Rod's piece. It's well done. And, of course, I disagree with it (why else have a debate?). I guess my basic problem with Rod's position is a simple one. He opposes the death penalty out of pragmatism, not principle. If the death penalty were perfect in its implementation, I seem to gather, Rod would have no problem with it. His problem is the error rate. Fair enough. Pro-death penalty people aren't in favor of the error rate either. But what I don't understand is why Rod leaps from endorsing the death penalty in principle to opposing it in practice simply because the system needs fixing. Why not propose raising the evidentiary standard for imposing the death penalty? Why not suggest the establishment of a new court to hear such cases? Why not demand a special counsel to investigate every death row case? In short, why does Rod assume the system cannot be refined, improved or otherwise corrected? It sounds to me like Rod's argument would demand the abolition of the military because it cannot promise to elminate friendly fire. Compare it to affirmative action. Someone opposed to special treatment based on race would oppose a mend-it-don't-end-it solution because you cannot "fix" a fundamental injustice. But if, in principle, you agree with affirmative action -- but are clear-eyed about its excesses -- you would enthusiastically endorse a mend-it-don't-end-it approach. Rod is not opposed to the death penalty as a matter of principle, so why not offer ways to mend it instead of ending it?
Posted at 01:38 PM
CLASSIC QUARRY [Jonah Goldberg]
Would have a lot of rocks.
Posted at 01:29 PM
CLASSIC QUANDARY [Jim Robbins]
Some readers have written that Socrates would not have said "the Hoi Polloi" because "hoi" means "the" and thus is redundant. But knowing the ways of NRO readers I checked this before publishing, and most guides on usage state that it is an English word of Greek origin, not just a Greek term. Thus "the Hoi Polloi" is perfectly acceptable, in the same way as "the alcohol content" is. See for example The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition (2000) . Also note that in my dialogue Socrates was speaking English. If you want to translate it to Greek, the superflouous "hoi" should be removed. I'd be intrigued to know an accurate, contextual -- as opposed to literal -- Greek translation of "precision strike weapon."
Posted at 12:52 PM
NRO DEBATES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
OOOPS. Guess I should read The Corner more religiously to see my marching orders. Yup, the death-penalty debate is up, Jonah vs. Rod. Read it here. Expect more of these in the future. And let us know what you think and what kind of debates (and between whom) you'd like to see in the future. Send your email here.
Posted at 12:41 PM
HOLLYWOOD AND POLITICS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I obviously agree with Jonah re the constituency claptrap. But, I do have to say: I'm not against stars lending their names to issues they believe in. Of couse, it's a free country and they can do or say whatever they want. And, frankly they will. So if Kathleen Turner is going to be everywhere promoting abortion, I'm glad there is someone who's willing to do some events and talk against abortion on the other side.
Posted at 12:02 PM
THIS JUST IN... [Byron York]
New Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Orrin Hatch has scheduled a session for Friday morning in which the committee is expected to vote on the appeals court nomination of Miguel Estrada. Estrada, viewed as a rising star in Republican legal circles, was targeted by Democrats last year, when they controlled the committee. He was given a hearing last September but never a vote in the committee. If Republicans, who now control the committee, bring Estrada's name up for a vote Friday, it is possible that Democrats will exercise their privilege to delay the vote for one week, meaning that a vote will instead be held next week.
Posted at 11:52 AM
OFF TO CNN... [Jonah Goldberg]
Doing showdown Iraq around 12:30 (EST) with Katrina Van Den Heuval (SP?). Back in a bit. K-Lo will let ya know when my death penalty thing is up -- I hope.
Posted at 11:37 AM
CHILLED ENTHUSIASM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Turns out Nicholson seems to be one of those personally pro-life, publicly pro-choice types. (All to whom, I say: BE A MAN! STAND UP FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN, assuming of course, you do, in fact, believe it.)
Posted at 11:36 AM
ONE THING ABOUT NICHOLSON [Jonah Goldberg]
Delighted to hear he's pro-life. But, um, where the hell does Jack Nicholson get off talking about his "constituency"? Actors do not have constituencies. They have fans. And we will all be better off when they stop thinking of themselves as representatives of groups and spokesmen. They are actors. At best, they are actors with hobbies. But they do not have constituencies.
Posted at 11:34 AM
KELLY SETTLES IT [Jonah Goldberg]
Awesome op-ed on the anti-war marchers.
Posted at 11:29 AM
POP CULTURE OF LIFE? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Neat to know, Rod, about Jack Nicholson. Patricia Heaton, Ray's wife on Everybody Loves Raymond--who is pro-life--contends there are a lot more pro-lifers in Hollywood than will ever admit to it. Same with Republicans. With reports that the likes of CSI Miami and other shows have had pro-life themes lately, that may be true, and folks may be slowly willing to fess up and use their best instincts to tell stories that real people--the majority of whom are not for abortion on demand--can embrace. Sounds like baby steps to a pop culture of life.
Posted at 11:07 AM
WOULD HAVE BEEN FUN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Was just on a Kansas radio show (The Randy Miller Morning Show) with Martha Burk (which I was really looking forward to), talking about Roe. Well, sorta. We started. She rattled off some platitudes, I started to debate her, and then she said she had another call to take. Oh well. Listeners heard more pro-life talk than not that segment. Change from most of the coverage today, I am sure.
Posted at 10:03 AM
TAG THE HOMELESS? [Jonah Goldberg]
DC authorities are going to attempt to count the homeless today. Which got me thinking. Why not tag them like wildlife? 1...2...3...4...5...6....7...8...9...10. Okay now that your initial righteous indignation has died down. Think about it. Every winter untold numbers of homeless die because the police cannot find them on sub zero nights. Every year we have absurd debates on how many of them there are. Tagging the homeless with small, GPS-loaded, markers would enable us to keep an honest count and it would allow police to zero in on them on nights when they are in danger of freezing to death. Some homeless want to stay on the street when it's cold, but at least now the police could give them a choice.
I admit there are problems. Many homeless people are nuts and already believe the government has implanted chips in them. Well, to them I say, "What's one more?" Other homeless are inclined to criminal activity (indeed by definition almost all of them are loiterers) and they would not want the government monitoring them. But arguing that you want to be free to commit crimes is not a great argument. Indeed, we could present the homeless with a choice: wear the tag and take a few bucks for your troubles or be put into a shelter. We could call them "homeless licenses."
And there are added benefits. First, it would make the lives of the homeless a lot more interesting, adding drama and excitement to otherwise dreary lives. Second, such a policy might help us find the CHUDS, Mole people, etc.
Posted at 09:52 AM
GUESS WHO'S PRO-LIFE [Rod Dreher]
The actor Jack Nicholson, who discovered as an adult that the woman he was raised to believe was his sister was actually his mother, who had conceived him when she was a teenager. She was advised to get an abortion, but chose life. Her son became a pro-lifer. He once said, "I'm very contra my constituency in terms of abortion because I'm positively against it. I don't have the right to any other view. My only emotion is gratitude, literally, for my life."
Posted at 09:37 AM
HOW DO YOU MEND A BROKEN HEART? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Bee Gees are no more, says Robin Gibb.
Posted at 09:11 AM
I HATE THE TODAY SHOW, PART 43 MILLION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
They cover the 30th anniversary of Roe by going to Buffalo and telling viewers there will be abortion opponents marching there in defense of the murder of abortionist Bernard Slepian. Thousands praying, readying to march peacefully in defense of innocent life, and a handful of lunatics get the coverage. And least Today doesn't ever promise to be "fair and balanced."
Posted at 07:26 AM
FREESTINKERS [John J. Miller]
I've just happened upon what may be the looniest site on the Internet: the Freedom From Religion Foundation. At first, I thought the whole thing was a clever satire of anti-religious bile. In a recent press release, for instance, the group announces that it is "appalled and shocked" that the White House faith-based office would host a lunch during which people were actually fed. This is, after all, an "economically uncertain time," so apparently we're all supposed to go on a hunger strike until the stock market rebounds. Alas, these "freethinkers," as they like to call themselves, form a real organization and they despise religion in all its forms. They don't think that believers are merely misguided souls--we're the source of horrific evil. One of their pals, the distinguished scientist Richard Dawkins, declares his view that "belief in an afterlife [was] the key weapon that made the New York atrocity possible" on 9-11. There's plenty more like this on the site, if you enjoy subjecting yourself to such stuff.
Posted at 06:30 AM
DEAN A LIBERTARIAN ON MEDICAL ISSUES? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Democratic presidential candidate Howard dean, who is a doctor, told "NARAL Pro-Choice America's" 30th-anniversary party last night that "We don't want the government telling us how to practice medicine." Really? No, he doesn't actually believe that for anything other than abortion. But it was hard to make sense in the midst of all that celebrating.
Posted at 06:09 AM
SUV MAIL TRUCK [Jonathan H. Adler]
I've been flooded with e-mails over my SUV column. Thanks to all who have written. I especially appreciate the personal anecdotes illustrating the utility of SUVs in many people's lives, especially those with large families or who otherwise need cargo space. I also appreciate the criticisms, even if most are unfounded. Be advised I'm planning a follow-up column to address some of the points I did not get to in Monday's article. I should get it to K-Lo by the end of the week, and she'll post it at her whim. (But don't e-mail her about it, as she gets enough e-mails about the G-Files.)
Posted at 12:36 AM
Tuesday, January 21, 2003
A RESPONSE TO TARANTO [Mark R. Levin]
This is pretty good, Ramesh.
Posted at 10:46 PM
COLOR-NEARSIGHTED [Roger Clegg]
Last week the president sang the praises of diversity while, at the same time, decrying the discrimination undertaken in its name. This week, apparently chastened by criticism from the left, he proudly announced that he was increasing the federal funding given to heavily black and Hispanic colleges, thereby succeeding in contradicting both of last week’s messages by himself engaging in racial discrimination on behalf of schools because they are un-diverse. Next week: In a bold move to counter Condoleezza Rice’s declaration of civil rights policy, Ted Olson issues a personal statement supporting the invasion and liberation of Sweden!
Posted at 04:45 PM
SENATOR WINFREY? [Jonathan H. Adler]
What's next Jerry Springer for Senator? (Oh, wait, people are talking about that one too.)
Posted at 04:34 PM
UGH -- FYI [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm going up against Bianca Jagger tonight on Crossfire (around 7:30). Couldn't be worse than the Canada Crossfire disaster.
Posted at 03:49 PM
MORE ON DR. REISMAN [Rod Dreher]
Dr. Judith Reisman, who has accused the late sexologist Alfred Kinsey of being pro-pederasty, has had her credibility on that story questioned in a brouhaha over an advertisement (I blogged about this in The Corner yesterday). She says she's being smeared, and is directing people to her website to counter what she claims is pro-Kinsey propaganda designed to discredit here.
Posted at 02:40 PM
REASON/SUCKS [Jonah Goldberg]
See for yourself.
Posted at 02:13 PM
CHURCHMAN GETS TOUGH [Rod Dreher]
An Anglican bishop in Canada has had it with dissenting members of his diocese, and he's now saying, "No more Bishop Nice Guy! Trouble is, the dissenters are all conservatives who won't go along with the his plans to institute blessing rites for gay and lesbian unions. That's how it goes: religious liberals are all for "dialogue" until they get into power, at which time they are ruthless in playing power politics. (Thanks to Amy Welborn for the link.)
Posted at 01:40 PM
RITTER [Jonah Goldberg]
In response to all the email: No, no, no. I wasn't suggesting -- or didn't mean to -- that the Iraqis have control of local police departments in the US. Rather, I meant that people with unusual sexual appetites are often great candidates for being turned into intellgence assets by foreign governments (this was one of the main arguments against allowing homosexuals in the government -- back when being a homosexual carried a lot more social stigma). All I meant was that if Ritter likes little girls, that might be a vulnerability the Iraqis could have exploited. I don't really buy this theory since I've spent exactly 109 seconds thinking about it. But people have been wondering for quite a while what exactly could explain Ritter's about-face. That's all.
Posted at 01:36 PM
SUV CORRECTION [Jonathan H. Adler]
In my anti-anti-SUV article, I may have misrepresented one thing Gregg Easterbrook wrote. When I stated that: "Easterbrook finds the typical SUV owner is 'insecure and vain,' 'frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood,'" I should have made clear that Easterbrook was quoting from Keith Bradsher's characterization of auto industry marketing research. Easterbrook does go on, however, to write "There are lots of self-centered and self-absorbed people with little interest in their neighbors. Somebody finally made a class of vehicles designed to bring out the worst in them." Therefore, while I may have improperly attributed the quotes, I do not believe I misrepresented Easterbrook's views on the matter.
Posted at 01:22 PM
PERPLEXED ON PREFERENCES [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'll be interested to see what the conservative critics of the administration makes of James Taranto's defense of it. So far the only response I've seen is Steve Sailer's remark that he "gets it all wrong." It may be that Sailer weighs the president's political and rhetorical concessions more heavily than Taranto, who focuses narrowly on the brief, does.
Posted at 01:16 PM
ANYONE WATCH THE VIEW? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I hear they talked about post-abortion syndrome today. Very curious what they said.
Posted at 01:02 PM
GAUDI AT GROUND ZERO [Rod Dreher]
Here's the first proposal for rebuilding the World Trade Center site that I'm excited about: a revival of a 1908 design for a massive New York hotel by none other than Antonio Gaudi. It's not only beautiful (paradoxically futuristic and primitive) but there's nothing else like it in the world (except for Gaudi's unfinished masterpiece, the Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona). It would be an instant NY icon. Enough of this sharp-edged modernist banality!
Posted at 11:29 AM
A THEORY [Jonah Goldberg]
Maybe this has already been discussed. But it seems to me this Scott Ritter kiddie-sex bust might explain Ritter's sudden and inexplicable 180 on Iraq. Maybe they set him up in a sting? That sort of thing was standard op for the KGB. Just a thought.
Posted at 11:25 AM
A POPULATION QUESTION [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Dowd, like a lot of people, including Peggy Noonan in a fine pro-life essay published yesterday, assumes that America's population would be 40 million higher if not for abortion. I find this hard to believe. I suspect that the rate of careless conceptions increased after Roe.
Posted at 11:17 AM
EVEN PRO-LIFERS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
misunderstand abortion law, as Alan Dowd's article on NRO today shows. Dowd believes that "Roe v. Wade did not legalize abortion throughout the nine months of pregnancy," but allowed restrictions after the first trimester. As time went on, he writes, abortion in "the second and third trimesters became as sacrosanct as [abortion in] the first." Not true. Roe has to be read in conjunction with Doe v. Bolton, the companion case that was handed down the same day. Together they legalized abortion at any stage of pregnancy. Any restrictions in the second and third trimester had to include an exception for health, and Doe defined health so broadly that the exception swallowed the rule.
Posted at 11:12 AM
LATEST DOODAD IN THE ARSENAL OF DEMOCRACY [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 11:01 AM
FRONT-LINE TROOPS DISPROPORTIONATELY WHITE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
USa Today catches on to news Mac Owens reported on NRO months ago.
Posted at 09:50 AM
IRAQI DEMOCRACY BOTTOM LINE [Stanley Kurtz]
So, when it comes to the problem of democracy in Iraq, the bottom line is this: the favorite examples of the democratizing optimists are Japan and Turkey. But those examples are much more problematic than we are told. Nor are other, arguably better, if more discouraging, examples considered. I would have a lot more confidence in what the optimists say if they had come to their conclusions after a careful weighing of the similarities and differences between Japan and Turkey, on the one hand, and Iraq, on the other (not to mention careful consideration of more challenging examples, like India). But as far as I’ve seen, none of the optimists has bothered to do this. I think that calls their conclusions into question. In “After the War,” I put evidence and argument behind that suspicion.
Posted at 09:38 AM
QUALITY REPLY [Stanley Kurtz]
Briefly, here is my reply to Robert Musil’s critique of “After the War.” Turkey may have become at least partially democratic on its own, but Iraq and the Arab states did not. In fact, the Arab world is the least democratic part of the globe. Turkey may be Islamic, but Turkish culture and Arab culture differ. In fact the breakup of the Ottoman Empire was facilitated, not only by World War I, but by the rise of Arab cultural nationalism. Democracy in Turkey, such as it was, took the form of Kemalism, a movement almost unique in the non-Western world for the complete antagonism it draws between modernization, on the one hand, and traditional religion and culture, on the other. The very radicalism of the opposition between Kemalism and Islam confirms that Islamic society is particularly difficult to adapt to modernity. Kemalism’s radical antagonism to tradition tends to inhibit its spread to other Islamic societies. In fact, Kemalism is a minority taste, even in Turkey. Certainly, Japan was anything but fully democratic. But that fact is well known, and constantly recited as proof that the MacArthur experience can be exported to Iraq. The point of “After the War” was to show that there is also a more democratic history in Japan, yet nothing at all comparable in Iraq. That calls the analogy between Japan and Iraq into question.
Posted at 09:37 AM
QUALITY BLOG [Stanley Kurtz]
Robert Musil has posted a thoughtful critique on his blog, Man Without Qualities, of “After the War,” my recent piece for City Journal on the problems and prospects of bringing democracy to Iraq. In “After the War,” I argue that Japan’s long tradition of Westernization, and even democratization, means that the post-WWII MacArthur experience is not the right analogy for what we will face in Iraq. India’s route to democracy under the British is the better model, I claim. Musil makes two points against this argument. Turkish democracy, he notes, emerged from the Islamic Ottoman Empire, without being imposed by the West. So if an Islamic society like Turkey can democratize, asks Musil, why can’t Iraq? Then Musil points to various ways in which pre-World War II Japan was not democratic. So why, if we could change autocratic Japan, asks Musil, can’t we change autocratic Iraq?
Posted at 09:37 AM
PORTLAND HAS FREAKS TOO! [Jonah Goldberg]
So say dozens of Corner readers from the Portland area. I like this email:
God forbid anyone should argue there weren't freaks at Portland's protest.
Posted at 08:17 AM
ARRRRGGGHHH! [Jonah Goldberg]
My humble desktop computer which lasted me through the entire Lewsinsky saga, and all my years with National Review is going through horrible, horrible death spasms. Loading OSX seems to have killed it. I will be on the phone with tech-support much of the morning. Just to be interesting, I personally blame all Corner readers wearing red sweaters.
Posted at 08:12 AM
COULD BLACKMAIL BE THE REASON? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
People have wondered why Scott Ritter, the former weapons inspector did such a 180, becoming a mouthpiece for Saddam Hussein. Today the New York Post editorial page writes on news that he had an unsavory arrest here in the U.S. two years ago. We have no way of knowing, of course, but, could the desire to keep this kind of thing quiet help someone change his tune regarding a totalitarian regime?
Posted at 07:24 AM
CHEESE-EATING SURRENDER MONKEYS... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...throw their weight around at the U.N.
Posted at 06:13 AM
THIS IS JUST WRONG [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Government officials seen hugging Jesse Jackson should immediately be forced to resign.
Posted at 05:36 AM
WHAT DID PEOPLE DO WITHOUT EMAIL? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I'm getting phone call after phone calls from people. "But didn;t you get my email?" "But I sent it to you." I've hired a homing pigeon for the rest of the week. Meanwhile, if you need to get me something, remember to send it to email@example.com. (NOTE: If it is an invitation for Rod to some granola party, I am NOT forwarding it.) Thanks.
Posted at 05:10 AM
Monday, January 20, 2003
SPRAWL SHMAWL [Rod Dreher]
The estimable blogger Anne Wilson is ticked off at the Boston Globe for editorializing against urban sprawl.
She writes: "The omissions glare like headlamps. First off, the editorial makes no mention whatever of the bitter Boston desegregation battle, where white students were forcibly bussed to achieve racial integration within the city schools. Sprawl today is largely the consequence of these racial battles of 25-30 years ago, as people moved outside the bounds of court-ordered bussing."
Believe it or not, the Boston Globe editorialist argues that sprawl is making American kids fatter by keeping them from walking to school. Wilson ain't buying it. For the record, I hate the way sprawl looks, and believe that more intelligent design could mitigate the worst aspects of sprawl. But all it takes is riding the NYC subway daily, and having to live with fear and loathing of the violent, profane and altogether anti-social teenagers who make public spaces here their playpens, to understand why middle-class people get fed up and move the hell out of town to raise their kids.
Posted at 05:02 PM
STILL NO E-MAIL [Rod Dreher]
NR's e-mail system is down ... still. The only good thing about this is thinking about how frustrated the spammers -- the porn freaks, penis-enlargers, African get-rich-quick schemers, et alia -- must be. I'd say 90 percent of my e-mail is crap like this. I've had to apologize to a couple of people lately for inadvertently deleting their e-mails as I've cleaned out the day's muck. There's so much garbage in there to delete unread that I occasionally throw out something I was supposed to read. Sorry, but you know how it is with spam (and if you don't, count yourself lucky).
Posted at 04:52 PM
DON'T APOLOGIZE, JONAH [Rod Dreher]
Not that you would, but still, the anti-war demo was a freak show. Here's photographic evidence, via Andrew Sullivan. Some anti-war comedian was on Conan O'Brien's show the other night, and complained that every time you have one of these demos, the Left turns it into a kitchen-sink display of their own pathologies. Guy wanted to know what the hell "Free Mumia!" had to do with the war. I agree that the more people see of the personal character of the war's opposition, the better for the pro-war forces. I have a few conservative friends who are passionately against the war. I'm glad I don't have to have the kinds of people in these photos on my side.
Posted at 04:17 PM
SURPRISE!! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Elian's father won!
Posted at 04:02 PM
SHOCKING: PORTLANDERS ARE LIBERAL! [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's on email I like. And, for the record I made it clear in my initial CNN comments and later that I was referring to the leadership of the DC march, not every fuzzy-wuzzy accountant and (non-right wing) homebuilder in the crowd:
Mr. Goldberg - -
Posted at 03:51 PM
OH NO! THE PROTESTORS ARE MAD AT ME [Jonah Goldberg]
Yesterday on CNN's Final Round I offered my opinion what I think about the "anti-war movement." Since then I've been getting deluged with email from peaceniks angry at me for calling them nut-jobs.
WOLF BLITZER: Jonah, is the anti-war momentum growing?
Posted at 03:41 PM
DAWN OF AN ERA (FOR ME AT LEAST) [Jonah Goldberg]
Today begins the Fair Jessica's maternity leave. Though she has not commenced official maternity yet. This means she will be home with me until baby makes three and well beyond. This highlights just one of the reasons why the G-File has been so sporadic in its appearances of late. I am trying to drop down to two columns a week for NRO (while providing increased or at least sustained Corner content). The hope is that when the baby arrives (Feb 7 still official due date) I will stick to that frequency. K-Lo and I haven't worked out all the timing issues yet, in part becaue we haven't had to. Anyway, just wanted people to know I that I haven't lost myself in the bottle.
Posted at 03:28 PM
MLK DAY: WHY NOW? [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Last year, Steve Sailer said it should be moved to a week before Labor Day. It made sense to me then, and still does now.
Posted at 03:23 PM
ON THE OTHER HAND [Rod Dreher]
Conservative blogger Doug Sirman says Dr. Reisman's attack on Kinsey is not credible.
Posted at 02:59 PM
KING NO; MUGABE YES [Rod Dreher]
The mayor of south Florida's Broward County, who happens to be Hispanic, was asked months ago to be the grand marshal of the town's MLK Day parade. Alas for her, she stated publicly last week that a black local official, the elections commissioner, should resign because of her incompetence on the job. Saying King wouldn't approve, the parade committee disinvited the Hispanic woman. What a crock. Did King really stand for the right for black public officials not to have to hear criticism for the work they do? I do believe these jerks really revere not King, but Robert Mugabe. What a pack of racists.
Posted at 02:34 PM
THE HUFFER [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Arianna Huffington always had an emetic quality for me, even when she was supposedly "on the Right," and I'm happy she's veered left in recent years. But while the Nation and Barbara Ehrenreich are aware of her remodeling, the New York Times is a little slower on the uptake. "You're thought of as a conservative. . ." is how one question put to her in a Times Magazine interview starts. Nope. She's all yours.
Posted at 02:34 PM
PROTECTING KINSEY [Rod Dreher]
Somebody's making a movie about Dr. Alfred Kinsey, the notorious American sexologist. Well, the guy was a pederast, or at least a fellow traveler. Dr. Judith Reisman wanted to point out that Hollywood was in danger of glorifying a monster. But Variety, the entertainment biz bible, won't run her ad.
Posted at 02:20 PM
"HOOKING UP" [Rod Dreher]
Here's a bracing account of the latest thing in the sociology of high-school sex: "hooking up." Seems that the done thing now is to have lots of casual sex partners -- except it's not "sex" to these kids, because fellatio doesn't count. The sadness and degradation among these girls is incredibly depressing. The thing that caught my eye was the description of the sexually permissive and aggressive girl culture as "Ally McBeal sexuality." In other words, these girls want to explore and express their "right" to unfettered sex-on-demand, just like the TV character. What was I telling you just last week about Sex and the City, mass media, and the mainstreaming of dildo parties for middle-American women?
Posted at 01:29 PM
BALINT VASZONYI, RIP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
America's lost the wonderful Balint Vaszonyi, concert pianist, Communist survivor (he was from Hungary), and lover of America's Founding principles died last week of cancer. (Here's an interview NRO did with him when he was on his famous bus tour in '00 promoting Founding principles.)
Posted at 01:05 PM
LAST TECHNICAL NOTE [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
No NR email addresses work. Folks who need to get in touch with NRO should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted at 12:42 PM
HI THERE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We're semi-functioning here in floodsville, have a smaller-than-usual site up, appropriate on a federal holiday, anyway. Dreher on a pro-abortion prayer service in Brooklyn, Adler on Gregg Easterbrook's SUV issues, Dan Flynn on the antiwar protesters, David Frum's diary and a little more. Back at full force (I hope) tomorrow.
Posted at 11:55 AM
MORE ANTI-CHAVEZ RALLIES [Jonathan H. Adler]
A West Coast reader e-mails that there was a small anti-Chavez rally in San Francisco civic center on Saturday too. He sent this first-hand account:
when I arrived at the Civic Center (the site of the rally) there was already assembled a sizeable (100 - 200 people) anti-Chavez contingent off to one side. They were great; all festooned in colorful outfits, waving Venezuelan flags, banging on drums, and singing this wonderful song/chant about how "He must go!" I went over to talk to them and was happy to see that several of their signs said things like "Chavez = Communist," etc. Just then the main anti-war march arrived at the plaza led, of course, by the hard-core Socialist Worker Party types who were the main organizers of the event. As they passed in front of the laughing, singing Venezuelans I saw some of the dour communists recoiling as they read the anti-communist signs of the anti-Chavez crowd. The Venezuelans, on the other hand, surged forward in warm solidarity with the marchers causing the SWP drones to go quite a bit out of their way to avoid contact with the ideologically un-clean. This deformation of the march only ended once the true-believer vanguard had passed and the marchers became more ordinary Bay Area lefties who were only too happy to greet and enjoy the Venezuelans. I don't think the Anti-Chavez folks ever understood why they were at first shunned by their fellow demonstrators.
Posted at 10:05 AM
TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
There's a little flood here at NR World Headquarters that's making NRO (and everything else) a bit of a challenge this morning. Stay tuned--we'll try to get things up and running when the hair dryers do their thing. Meanwhile, I'll count on the troops in the field (Jonah save us!!!!) to save the day and keep The Corner lively until we dry out here. (Note to authors: Contact me today at a backup email, email@example.com.)
Posted at 08:37 AM
WHAT'S DRIVING ARIANNA? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Do you think Arianna Huffington's anti-SUV ads might really be about promoting her new book? Jacob Sullum does.
Posted at 08:32 AM
"THE BLADE" [Jonathan H. Adler]
Congressional appropriators really don't like OMB chief Mitch Daniels -- and that's a very good thing.
Posted at 08:11 AM
X-MEN AREN'T HUMAN [Jonathan H. Adler]
So concluded a judge on the U.S. COurt of International Trade. (There's a real news story here -- but you may need to be a WSJ Online reader to get it.)
Posted at 08:05 AM
Sunday, January 19, 2003
BUCS-RAIDERS IT IS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Okay, so Condi Rice knows more about picking football teams than I do. At least my Flyers schooled the Rangers in the Garden tonight.
Posted at 10:19 PM
STILL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
On the Golden Globe Awards just now, Robin Williams suggests Gene Hackman as a transvestite in The Birdcage looked like Linda Tripp. Some nastiness will always be in vogue.
Posted at 09:59 PM
BLACK SHUCK [Andrew Stuttaford]
In its preview of tonight’s PBS showing of a new version of The Hound of The Baskervilles, the New York Times notes how, “according to older Celtic myths”, Dartmoor (the story's setting) was reputed to be infested by various supernatural beings including “the dreadful Black Shuck, a monstrous hound that was said to bleed fire from its eyes”.
Well, Black Shuck was certainly a sinister creature, but he wasn’t from Devon and nor was he a Celtic myth – he is a legend from the other side of England, from the east coast (my part of the world, as it happens) and his name has either Anglo-Saxon or Norse roots. Devon had its own demon dogs, but Black Shuck wasn’t among them.
It’s a small point, perhaps, but the devil is always in the details. Besides, in Norfolk we were always rather proud of our marshland horror. In Texas they feel much the same way, except there the evil is carbonated and put in a can.
Oh no, I’ve gone and mentioned Dr Pepper again.
Posted at 03:06 PM
WHILE PATAKI SLEEPS [Andrew Stuttaford]
In the aftermath of 9/11 the Feds offered New York State a minimum of $418m to help the New York City metropolitan area’s preparedness for any future terrorist attack. Since then, the state has reportedly missed two deadlines for submitting any proposals.
Posted at 02:58 PM
BERLIN REDUX [Andrew Stuttaford]
The New York Times is reporting that officials in a “deeply conservative” (in other words, radical Islamic) Pakistani province have begun public burnings of “obscene” materials. Apparently “the burned material included English-language, Indian and Pashtun films, as well as pornographic films and films of Turkish dancing.”
And, yes, there is more than a touch of 1930s Berlin about the image this presents. We’ve seen these types of “official” before, self-satisfied in their self-righteousness as they make a bonfire of “offensive” materials before a cheering crowd of fanatics and other fools.
In the aftermath of the horrors of the last century we no longer need to turn to Heinrich Heine (“Whenever books are burned men also in the end are burned”) to remind us where it usually ends.
Posted at 02:52 PM
GRAND OLD MAN? [Andrew Stuttaford]
There’s a piece in today’s New York Times on how Latin America’s ‘political compass’ is veering ‘toward the Left". Castro is flatteringly referred to as ‘the grand old man of the Latin American left’. It's a curious description for a dictator whose dated policy prescriptions have generally been rejected by the region’s left for years now.
The writer of the article goes on to note how Castro and three other Latin American leaders “share similarities” including “opposition to the unfettered market reforms that have failed so far to bring prosperity to Latin America”. Well, yes, but only in the most literal sense – Castro, who is something of a fan of fetters (both real and figurative) tends to be opposed to almost all market reforms, whether unfettered or not.
As to the comment about how these supposedly ‘unfettered’ reforms have worked, it’s worth saying that while the reforms may be unfettered, the markets in which they are supposed to work are not – thus the need, the problem and, inevitably, the delay.
If it wants to find a system that has failed to bring prosperity, the New York Times needs to check out the ‘grand old man’: he knows a thing or two about economic incompetence.
Posted at 02:40 PM
STRUMMER FANS UNITE... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...and plant a forest in his name.
Posted at 02:33 PM
NO RALPH REED FOR SENATE--THIS TIME [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Reports Bob Novak.
Posted at 02:21 PM
ANDREW ROCKS THROUGH THE WEEKENDS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Then I go and steal his posts (see Sheen).
Posted at 02:16 PM
CHOCOLATE BAR? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Enjoy that chocolate while you can. Not content with their onslaught on tobacco and alcohol, the totalitarians of ‘public health’ are now eyeing your chocolate bar.
Is there any truth in the rumor that Nurse Bloomberg is considering banning dessert from New York City restaurants?
Posted at 01:01 PM
SEEING THE LIGHT? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Is European liberal opinion beginning to shift on Iraq? Here’s an interesting editorial from London’s leftist Observer.
Posted at 12:33 PM
TOO COLD TO GO OUTSIDE? [NRO STAFF]
Sit back, read NRO, break out your credit card, and SHOP NRO!
Posted at 12:17 PM
SUNSET, INTERRUPTED [Andrew Stuttaford]
Commercials are a necessity for most TV stations, but when AMC is showing one of the real classics (something they seem to do less and less these days), they are a disaster. As I type this, Sunset Boulevard is playing, still marvelous after all these years, but the constant commercial breaks are infuriating.
Norma Desmond and acid reflux medication do not mix: it's time to buy the DVD.
Posted at 11:53 AM
WESTERN SELF-DESTRUCTION WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
The long, slow suicide of the West continues: a former fighter for the Taliban has arrived in the UK. As is only to be expected in a culture now gone completely insane, he has (the Sunday Telegraph reports) been given asylum in Britain on the grounds that he could face ‘persecution’ at the hands of the new regime in Kabul.
The word is justice. The Taliban thug should be returned to face it.
Posted at 11:35 AM
SMOKING GUN? [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Sunday Telegraph is reporting that the UN inspectors discovered evidence last week that Saddam Hussein is still trying to develop nuclear weapons. That’s disturbing to say the least, and so is this:
“Although Dr Hans Blix, the head of the UN inspections teams, was made aware of the discovery last week, he failed to mention it during talks with Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, and Jacques Chirac the French president.”
Posted at 11:14 AM
OBSTRUCTION, MICHIGAN-STYLE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Most of President Bush's judicial nominees will go through now that the Senate is in GOP hands (filibuster threats notwithstanding), but Michigan's Senators plan to block all four Michigan nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit because Clinton's nominees did not get through. (Link from The LitiGator.)
Posted at 11:03 AM
CONDI LOST MY VOTE [Jonathan H. Adler]
She picked the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Philadelphia Eagles on Meet the Press.
Posted at 10:59 AM
HEARD ABOUT THIS? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Glenn Reynolds notes that as many protested against Hugo Chavez yesterday in Miami as likely protested against war with Iraq in Washington, D.C. -- but few news outlets took note.
Posted at 10:52 AM
ASK DAVID FRUM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
AskFRUM@NATIONALREVIEW.COM is taking questions for David Frum, a selection of which he will respond to later this week, until Monday morning. Send them now, for Q&A on his New York Times bestselling book The Right Man and the inside scoop on the Bush White House.
Posted at 05:41 AM