ACTUALLY, NEVERMIND [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I should have read on. Bono said: Bill Clinton is "more of a rock star than any in this room."
Posted at 05:41 PM
SPEAKING OF BONO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
What the heck was Bill Clinton doing at this Grammy event? (His wonderfully useful words to the crowd: "If you immediately think it's us versus them, then this will not be a world for your children to grow up in." Bet he'll have good karma.)
Posted at 05:39 PM
BEWARE LONE TERRORISTS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Are we surprised this wasn't a Ridge press conference?
Posted at 03:33 PM
BLEGGING ON LIBRARY BIAS [Rod Dreher]
World is a high-quality Christian newsmagazine published from an Evangelical Protestant perspective. It's not an obscure or unpolished publication by any means. Yet how often do you see it on newsstands and in libraries? True, bookstores and libraries can't subscribe to every magazine out there, but if you're like me, you find a dearth of magazines, religious and political, published from a conservative point of view. I remember visiting the magazine rack at the Borders in downtown Washington DC a few years ago, and finding a multiplicity -- 15 or 20 -- of arcane New Age and left-wing religious titles, but on First Things and Crisis from the orthodox side. You cannot tell me that there's no market in Washington for First Things and Crisis (which is published there), but there is for The Vegetarian Zoroastrian Glue-Sniffer Review (OK, I made that up, but it's not far off the mark).
Since then, I've paid attention to this on my travels, and I find the same thing in chain bookstores all over the country. Anyway, this is what happened when World's Joel Belz went to his well-stocked local library, and asked the people in charge standards were used to decide which magazines belong on the shelves there.
I'd like to write about this phenomenon, both regarding libraries and bookstore magazine racks. Anybody have any experience like Belz's? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted at 02:24 PM
CT ON BONO [Rod Dreher]
The rock star Bono has made himself into sort of a secular saint because of his advocacy on behalf of AIDS sufferers in Africa. Well and good. But Christianity Today takes issue with some of Bono's self-righteous criticism of Christian churches, saying he's talking far outside his depth and experience. A good read.
Posted at 02:08 PM
LAMB AND (MR.) CHIPS [Andrew Stuttaford]
There was a classic obituary in the Daily Telegraph some weeks ago of Colonel Michael Singleton, “infantryman, spin-bowler and pipe-smoker who ran a prep school with disregard for normal procedure.” In England, a ‘prep school’ is a private school for children aged between 8-13. Traditionally these were boarding schools, and traditionally they could be highly eccentric. Colonel Singleton’s establishment (which he ran between 1948 and 1973) was obviously no exception.
Here’s an extract too good not to repeat:
“What central heating there existed was not always effective, or even switched on. Boys were permitted to capture owls and keep them in the fives court, provided they caught enough sparrows to feed them. One boy recalls being given the task of rearing a lamb to which he developed some emotional attachment [note that marvelous ‘some’ – this was pre-Diana, the old England now lost]. The animal, called Lottie, disappeared shortly before the school’s Christmas feast, and the boy realized what had happened only when he was the first to be summoned for second helpings.”
Old school, indeed.
Posted at 11:31 AM
NO NEED TO MAKE ANY PLANS FOR 2061 [Andrew Stuttaford]
The end is nigh, sort of.
Posted at 11:18 AM
VINTAGE HOLLYWOOD [Andrew Stuttaford]
On a different note, there was yet another tremendous movie on TCM this morning – Each Dawn I Die. Best moment, George Raft, as (surprise!) a gangster sneering as he points out the members of his gang to the framed reporter’s (Jimmy Cagney) nice but naïve girlfriend:
“Look at Johnnie, the weasel with the punk cigar…”
And, no, this isn’t a reference to the French or the Germans.
Posted at 11:13 AM
RE: PILGRIMAGE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Andrew, I do think there is a point in addressing the concerns of the leading Western religious leader about the war--including because what comes out of the Vatican, even when it is just a cardinal mouthing off to the press, does make many Catholics in the U.S. and the U.K. (and elsewhere) ill at ease--and that's not because they are anti-American anti-warriors, either. But I think you make an interesting point, again, about the Christian "Crusaders" argument--jihadists can't say the war on terror is such as easily when the Vatican is uber-hesitant.
I do think that Blair's spin coming out of the papal visit was a useful one. He said, "What the words of His Holiness the Pope have described... is the reluctance of people to go to war except as a last resort. That is our position." That is exactly right.
Posted at 11:12 AM
PAPAL VISIT [Andrew Stuttaford]
Tony Blair and his wife, New Age enthusiast Cherie, have been to see the Pope. At least part of the reason for the visit seems to have been to convince the pontiff of the merits of the case for war. Why this is necessary, important or even desirable escapes me. There is either a moral case for war or there is not. A papal endorsement of an invasion should make little difference in that respect, but the more Bush and Blair try to secure it, the more it will seem that such a sign-off really does matter.
Ironically, as noted before on the Corner, the people most likely to be affected by such an endorsement are those in the Muslim world all too ready to see a war against Iraq as the latest installment in some supposed Christian crusade against Islam. As such, it would actually be counter-productive.
No more pilgrimages, please.
Posted at 11:05 AM
CHIRAC HAS A FRIEND [Andrew Stuttaford]
Mugabe, apparently. Here’s what Zimbabwe’s dictator said yesterday:
“All I can say is that all the European Union should behave like France.”
Posted at 10:49 AM
THE NEW EUROPE REPLIES [Andrew Stuttaford]
Mentioned in passing earlier this week in The Corner, here’s a good round-up of the New Europe’s press response to Chirac’s insults.
This comment from Latvia stands out:
“All right, Monsieur Chirac, perhaps we are poor, perhaps we were not raised properly - but we do not repay those who have helped us and who continue to help us with ingratitude.”
And there’s more here on East Europe’s response. An extract: "America speaks with passion for democracy which is something that you miss in Europe," said Linas Linkevicius, Lithuania's foreign minister, whose office decor includes a blue baseball cap with "Mr Nato" emblazoned above its peak."
Posted at 10:44 AM
JACQUESBOT 6.1 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Mark Steyn, ever brilliant and hysterical.
Posted at 10:36 AM
HAVE YOU? [NRO Staff]
We interrupt The Corner to make sure you have read The Right Man by former Bush speechwriter David Frum. If not, what are you waiting for? Order it now.
Posted at 10:15 AM
SOMETHING I NEVER GAVE A MOMENT'S THOUGHT TO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Occupational hazards at crematoriums.
Posted at 10:13 AM
ALL BAD? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
By the way, that much discussed Woolsey piece is online now for all to read.
Posted at 10:10 AM
DAVID FRUM IS PRO-DUCT TAPE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In the Journal.
Posted at 10:08 AM
PUTIN'S CLUB [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Once a hardliner...a newspaper in Russia is shutdown for lampooning the Soviet Premier--oops, I mean Russian president--in their pages.
Posted at 09:57 AM
CHIRAC'S CLUB [Andrew Stuttaford]
So is Chirac now set on excluding much of the New Europe from the EU? Not yet, it seems, but an interesting article in the latest Economist (link requires subscription) includes the following:
“Alain Duhamel, an influential pro-European commentator, gave an insight into the French establishment's thinking in a recent article in the left-leaning newspaper Libération headlined “Europe: stop enlargement”. He gave warning that the dreams of those who want a “European Europe” are in danger of being swamped by new arrivals “fascinated” by the United States: “the Europe of Brussels is encircled by the Europe of Washington.” Mr Duhamel urged the French parliament to refuse to ratify enlargement.”
More on this topic to come, doubtless.
Posted at 01:23 AM
Friday, February 21, 2003
NO PYROTECHNICS MENTIONED [Rod Dreher]
The Smoking Gun has obtained a copy of Great White's rider, a kind of contract between the band and venues where it plays, specifying details of the planned performance, and listing what the band expects the venue to provide. There is nothing in the contract mentioning that the band will be using pyrotechnics in its performance. This would appear to back up the contention of the Rhode Island club's owners that the band never told them they would be using pyrotechnics in their performance -- a claim that's been backed up today by the owners of two other clubs where this band recently played. It's too early to say for sure, but it's looking more and more like this hair-metal band is responsible for the death of 94 of its fans, and its own guitarist.
Posted at 06:46 PM
GRAMMYS GO SPANISH-ONLY [Jim Boulet]
This Sunday's Grammy Awards program is expected to include the first Spanish-only advertisement during a national English-language television network broadcast.
Procter & Gamble Co. believes its Spanish-only Crest toothpaste ad will help the company "connec[t] with Hispanic consumers." P&G should have consulted Tamar Jacoby, even if she is no fan of English First:
[I]t's not true, as Univision claims, that Spanish-language TV is the best or only way to reach U.S. Latinos. On the contrary, most of them speak English well or very well. What's more, in contrast to what a growing chorus of Spanish-language marketers will tell you, much of the Hispanic population prefers English and English-language media. Yet thanks in part to companies such as Univision - which, like the marketers, has a stake in encouraging companies to spend on Spanish-language advertising - the myth that immigrants don't speak English is taking root across the land.These politically correct ads also have a nasty habit of backfiring, as the California Milk Advisory Board learned. After all, people who don't speak English aren't usually watching English-language television. People who do speak English and see a Spanish-only ad get the message, "this doesn't concern you. Go make yourself a sandwich."
Posted at 05:22 PM
LIMERICKS [Michael Ledeen]
just so you should know, I've received now about a dozen really great limericks, most of them unsuitable for publication in a family corner, and I am most grateful.
Posted at 05:05 PM
THE WASHINGTON MONTHLY [Rich Lowry]
Just visited the offices of The Washington Monthly, a very charming, cluttered space in downtown Washginton. On a shoe-string, those guys--some of the smartest liberals around--produce excellent journalism. Editor Paul Glastris is doing a fantastic job. Watch for another hot cover story--this one by my sometime-nemesis Nick Confessore--to be out soon....
Posted at 03:22 PM
MUTE ON, UH, THAT COUNTRY [Rich Lowry]
Since Jonah is out of the French game for the moment, in fairness, let me point to a piece that provides some support for his argument. It makes the case that the French are pussilaminous would-be imperialists.
Also, Mark Steyn beat Krauthammer to the It's-not-really-about-Iraq column.
Posted at 03:14 PM
HAGEL [Michael Ledeen]
I wish I were clever enough to write a ribald limerick about Hagel, he's certainly earned it. This is a man who has never met a tyranny he didn't want to appease. His genuflections to the People's Republic of China are of a piece with his wimpery on Iraq.
Posted at 03:07 PM
SOUTHERN CULTURE [Michael Ledeen]
If you want to read some really great books on the Southern aristocracy, take a look at the works of Eugene Genovese, a Communist from New York who decided to write the definitive Marxist analysis of the Old South...and found himself full of respect for the virtues of the slave owners, despite their monumental sins.
It's kind of like Brecht's Mother Courage, which he intended as the ultimate anti-war play but which turned out to be one of the most moving tributes to human bravery and sacrifice.
You can get a taste of Gene's great work--and great writing--in a little paperback called The Southern Front.
Posted at 03:05 PM
A DICTATOR IN PARIS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Mugabe is now in Paris for the latest Franco-African summit. Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's opposition party leader (who is currently on trial for treason in Harare) is quoted by the London Times as follows: “Zimbabweans will remember in the future that France has betrayed them when they were in need.” Many Iraqis, doubtless, will feel just the same way.
Posted at 02:39 PM
BAT YEOR ON EURABIA [Rod Dreher]
Bat Yeor again connects the dots and explains why Europe is headed for dhimmitude (as she did earlier for NRO here). If you want to understand part of the reason why European governments are doing what they're doing with regard to Iraq, this is must reading.
Posted at 02:38 PM
UNFINISHED BUSINESS [Andrew Stuttaford]
From the look of it, this exhibition is yet another reminder that Russia needs a Nuremberg-style reckoning of the crimes of the Soviet era.
Posted at 02:37 PM
HAGEL: IT'S A RUSH TO WAR [Rich Lowry]
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R., Cliche) strikes again.
Posted at 01:33 PM
RON JEREMY [Jonah Goldberg]
Well, I can't say I'm that familiar with the hedgehog's oeuvre. For those of you enjoying a certain it's-friday-and-it's just-me-and-my-male-cubicle-buddies espirit d'corps, you might find his official filmography amusing. That's where I found those particular titles. But, be warned, the titles I cited were PG compared to some of the stuff here.
Posted at 01:16 PM
EXPLAINING TO DO [Rod Dreher]
The owner of New Jersey's famed Stone Pony nightclub was just on CNN saying that when the band Great White played his bar recently, they turned on the pyrotechnic display without informing the club management they were going to do that. "We were not happy," the owner said. Last night on TV, Jack Russell, the lead singer of the band, said he had gotten permission from the Station's manager to use the pyrotechnics. But that club's sound man, who survived the fire, said he was stunned to see the pyrotechnics, because nobody had told him they were going to be used. This is why he didn't have a fire extinguisher close at hand, he said.
It sounds to me like that band has a lot of explaining to do.
Posted at 01:03 PM
GFILE QUESTION [Sarah Maserati]
Jonah, a friend wrote me this morning: "After reading the G-File this morning, I feel someone needs to pop into The Corner and ask Jonah how he became so well-versed in Ron Jeremy's film opus."
Posted at 01:02 PM
WALKER PERCY SAYS [Rod Dreher]
Thinking about the outrage against Gods and Generals, and how the current thinking seems to require Southern whites to repudiate their ancestors and feel nothing but shame over their culture (N.B., slavery and Jim Crow were despicable, and shameful -- but that's not all there was to the South) reminded me of something Walker Percy wrote in 1957. He was addressing Northern liberals chastising the South over segregation. Percy agreed with them that segregation was evil, and had to end. But he said the absolutely wrong way to win followers among Southern moderates was to put them into the position of abjuring any affection, admiration or loyalty to their homeland and its culture. He wrote:
There is a Southern heritage, and it has nothing to do with the colonel in the whiskey ad. It has to do with the conservative tradition of a predominantly agrarian society, a tradition which at its best [Emphasis mine -- R.D.] enshrined the human aspects of living for rich and poor, black and white. It gave first place to a stable family life, sensitivity and good manners between men, chivalry toward women, an honor code, and individual integrity. If one wishes to sneer at such values, let him; but I can't help wondering if the sneer does not conceal a contempt for all traditions.
Posted at 12:44 PM
THE BLUE AND THE RED [Rod Dreher]
The reviewer for the Village Voice, which is the parish newsletter of the Church of New York Liberalism, can't understand why there aren't protests against Gods and Generals:
If a Confederate flag flying in South Carolina is cause for uproar, how is this movie escaping into theaters without precipitating an NAACP press conference? Ballooning, jingoistic goat spoor, Maxwell's movie, with its relentless nationalism, mooning over the soldiers' steeliness of nerve, purity of heart, and evangelical self-justification, is all too relevant today. Unfortunately, in a nation where the word 'evildoers' is used by straight-faced adults, the film might end up being effective propaganda.
Yeah. Courage, virtue, patriotism, faith -- all right-wing garbage, back then and even now. Tell me again about the split between Blue America and Red America.
Posted at 12:38 PM
THE LIMITS OF GRATITUDE [Rod Dreher]
A reader writes:
"Making the accurate observation that France's freedom was
I think he has a point. I bow to no one (well, except to Jonah) in my ire at the French over their cynical behavior towards us over Iraq. However, it really is unfair to think that France, or any other nation liberated by America, owes us total fealty in all foreign policy matters, forever.
Posted at 12:14 PM
MALAYSIAN IMMIGRANT VS. HOLLYWOOD [Dave Kopel]
Malaysian immigrant Anuska Anastasia Solomon criticizes the narrow-minded Hollywood anti-war protesters who refuse to confront the world's realities of good and evil:
The anti-war demonstrations - reminiscent of the 1960s and heady, I am sure, for Americans enamored with democratic process - do not address the vitriolic anti-Americanism that caused Sept. 11. Nor do they take careful account of the peculiar dilemma of the Iraqi people and of Muslims all over the world.Ms. Solomon is one of the Denver Post's "Compass" columnists who provide perspectives from under-represented communities.
Posted at 11:54 AM
HUMAN SHIELD CHICK [Jonah Goldberg]
This picture says it all.
Posted at 11:51 AM
RE: S.I. REFINERY FIRE [Rod Dreher]
I wonder if non-New Yorkers can appreciate how it feels to look up in the sky and see a vast plume of black smoke billowing into the air. A friend of mine IM'd me from a few blocks away and said, "28,000 New Yorkers are now going back into therapy." It seems that it was just an industrial accident, but when I saw it, the first thing I thought of was a story a private pilot friend of mine in Louisiana told me right after 9/11.
He and his buddies were approached at their hangar in the week or two after the 9/11 attacks by a European (Austrian, as I recall) who asked them to take him up to photograph the refineries along the Mississippi River. It startled the men, because they all pilot ultralight aircraft, and not too many people know where their private hangar is. This Euro did. The pilots played dumb, and asked the guy to come back the next day and they'd take him up. Then they called the FBI. When the European returned the next day, the Feds arrested him.
I was later told via a local law enforcement source that this cat was on an international wanted list, but I couldn't confirm that. Point is, our enemies are watching our refineries. That's why the first thing I thought of when I saw the fire was: "Terrorism."
Posted at 11:34 AM
A FIRST? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Maybe it's just the station I have on, but CBS radio is emphasizing that terrorism has not been ruled out in the SI fire, because it is exactly the kind of site al Qaeda trains terrorists to target. Remember the LAX July 4th shooting when everyone feel over themselves saying it wasn't terrorism? Maybe we have learned something from code orange.
Posted at 11:31 AM
"HIS SHAMEFUL DEFENDERS" [Rod Dreher]
John Podhoretz of the NYPost has a terrific column today, criticizing those journalists who rushed last year to defend Sami al-Arian as the victim of McCarthyism. Al-Arian has not been convicted of anything, of course, but Podhoretz points out that some media liberals are so desperate to see something sinister in any move against Islamists in American life that they blind themselves to evidence contrary to their ideological assumptions. His closing is great: "Idiots? Yes. Useful? Not any more."
Posted at 11:29 AM
IRAQ IS SMUGGLING OIL VIA JORDAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From Reuters: Iraq is smuggling large shipments of crude from its Gulf port of Khor al-Amaya in Baghdad's most successful contravention yet of United Nations sanctions, oil industry and shipping sources said on Friday.
Shippers and traders contacted by Reuters said that six tankers totalling nine million barrels had been chartered to load from the port, located adjacent to Mina al-Bakr, one of two U.N.-authorised outlets.
Even at discounted prices the crude would be worth about $250 million on the international market....It remains unclear who exactly is the final customer for the crude or where it is being discharged. Jordan is too small to need such large volumes.
Posted at 11:11 AM
BY THE WAY.... [Jonah Goldberg]
The G-File is in at NRHQ. I woke up at 6 this morning and wrote it before I took Cosmo out because Kathryn demanded I have it in early and all of you people were harrassing me about late-filings etc.
Posted at 11:11 AM
FOR THE RECORD [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm going to try to go the whole day without once mentioning the big country south of our allies the British and North of our allies the Italians and the Spanish. I have nothing left to say.
Posted at 11:03 AM
KRAUTHAMMER GETS IT [Rich Lowry]
What am I saying? Of course Krauthammer gets it. His column today analyzes what France is up to--namely, a full frontal assualt on American power. I could point out that one of the nation's foremost foreign-policy thinkers has just written a whole column about France and Iraq without even mentioning the word "appeasement," but I won't--actually, I just did. Now that conservatives are beginning correctly to diagnose the real problem with France (not cowardly appeasement, but a bold power play), it's just a matter of agreeing on the correct policy prescriptions--to that end I recommend John O'Sullivan's last two pieces in NR.
Posted at 10:55 AM
STATEN ISLAND REFINERY FIRE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Remarkable reach of the smoke: a reader from Stamford, CT just emailed to say his office is seeing parts of the black cloud coming from it.
Posted at 10:53 AM
THE FLORIDA ARRESTS... [Michael Ledeen]
...might get us started (finally) on one of the most serious aspects of the war against the terror masters, namely what should we do with the enemies within? No doubt we will now hear a lot from those who claim that Sami was only exercizing his 1st Amendment rights by urging jihad, and that might lead us to ask about other forms of "protected speech" that take place in mosques and madrasas.
The Feds are using the Al Capone approach for now. They're going after Islamic Jihad on the grounds of illegally transfering money. But those thousands of Saudi sponsored ultra radical schools and mosques are the incubators for the next generation of terror, and we have got to get a grip on it.
Posted at 10:10 AM
NO GRAMMY ANTIWAR RALLY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
According to Drudge, CBS brass are saying they do not want it to become a rally Sunday night. Of course, it will...
Posted at 10:09 AM
WEIRDNESS [Rod Dreher]
So I've got insomnia, and I'm channel surfing in the middle of the night. And there's a weird black and white movie on. And look, there's William Shatner. And he's speaking ... Esperanto! What exquisite pop-culture madness is this? The 1960s art-horror film Incubus, that's what.
Posted at 03:23 AM
WORLD'S SMALLEST VIOLIN [Rod Dreher]
Arab, Islamic and civil rights groups are worried that the arrest of Sami al-Arian and others sends a negative message to Muslim Americans. Sure it does. That message is: "If you get mixed up with Islamic terrorist organizations, you could get in big trouble."
Posted at 01:48 AM
DONNA & KARL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Donna Brazile has been hanging with Karl Rove.
Posted at 01:02 AM
STATLER AND WALDORF [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rod, you mean that Corner post wasn't a expansive essay? :-)
Posted at 12:58 AM
"LESSONS AND CAROLS" [Rod Dreher]
I got lots of mail in response to a blog I posted during the Christmas season, about an outdoor concert my family and I attended downtown, near Ground Zero. If you liked that Corner item, you might be interested to know that Touchstone magazine asked me to expand it into an essay, which is in its current issue.
Posted at 12:53 AM
Thursday, February 20, 2003
WELL, UH, I LOVE JIM WOOLSEY BUT... [Michael Ledeen]
...it sounds like multiculturalist apologetics to me. Sure, there have been terrific French and Germans, even during fascism. But in Germany the overwhelming majority of the people loved Nazism, and the sort of heroics that Jim writes about were minuscule (that's one of the most horrible things about fascism, by the way; it was enormously popular). In France, yes, there was a bit of a resistance, but again minuscule. The French Army collapsed quickly, the French people adjusted nicely to Vichy, and would have continued ad infinitum if it hadn't been for...the American Army, the greatest force for democracy in the 20th century.
But Jim is entirely right that just because a country or a culture hits a bad patch, is no reason to think that it's genetic. Italy, too, loved fascism, but Berlusconi said in Washington a couple of weeks ago that the Italians know they have a democracy because of the sacrifice of American fighting men, and they will not forget that. When we needed French help during the Cuban Missile Crisis De Gaulle was at our side without hesitation, and he was hardly an aberration, he was "la France."
The problem with France and Germany is not just that they've abandoned us; they've abandoned themselves. Their countries are headed for a crash, they continue to delude themselves about the workability of the welfare state, and they're trying to pretend that they matter in the world even though--and this really drives them round the bend--they can no longer participate in modern warfare because they've stopped paying for military power in order to appease the demands of nannyism.
I'm really worried that anti-Americanism will be invoked for this generation's failures, as anti-semitism was used to "explain" the European malaise at the turn of the 20th century.
But I blog excessively...
Posted at 06:48 PM
YOU HAVE NO IDEA... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...how relieved I was when I realized what Rod's whore post was about....
Posted at 05:56 PM
NOT ALL BAD [Rod Dreher]
Former CIA director Jim Woolsey provides a useful chastening in today's Wall Street Journal. He writes that we ought not be so quick to bash the French and the German people. He mentions two friends of his, the German Ewald von Kleist, who as a German army officer strapped explosives to himself in an aborted (by Hitler, who changed his plans) attempt to assassinate the Fuhrer; and Jeannie Clarens, a Frenchwoman who infiltrated the Nazi V-2 missile program, and provided the British with information that likely made D-Day possible, and won the war. Writes Woolsey:
It is appeasement of Saddam by Messrs. Chirac and Schroder that should draw our anger, and our satire -- not the people of these two countires and their cultures. To take only one case, Internet messages mocking French courage and denying that the French have ever successfully defended Paris should not only be beneath us but are quiet false -- the drafters of this nonsense should consult, among other things, the history of the Battle of the Marne in September, 1914. Gen. Gallieni's mobilization of the taxis of Paris to rush reinforcements ot the front and save the city is as famous in France as Washington's crossing the Delaware is to Americans. We diminish ourselves and our arguments by denying the noble side of these nations' history and slandering their national honor. Yes, the Germans had the Nazis and the French the Reign of Terror and Vichy. And we had slavery. We have both had our villains and our heroes -- we have had our Audie Murphys, they their Ewald von Kleists and Jeannie Clarenses.
Posted at 05:52 PM
WHORE OF BABYLON? [Rod Dreher]
A German beauty queen is vying for a date with Saddam to talk him into disarming.
Posted at 05:49 PM
PEACE IN MIDDLE EARTH [Rod Dreher]
Dominic Bettinelli has news from the land of hobbits.
Posted at 05:45 PM
PROGRAM NOTE [Sarah Maserati]
I’m scheduled to be on MSNBC tonight, at 10 PM with Joe Scarborough. The topic: The hypocrisy of the Dems regarding their own use of Confederate imagery in GA to win elections.
Posted at 05:44 PM
THE NATION ON NRO [Jim Boulet]
The Nation's Katha Pollitt responds to an NRO piece:
Back in May, I received brickbats, whatever they are, for a column titled "Regressive Progressive?" in which I pointed out Dennis Kucinich's little-noticed 100 percent antichoice voting record and modestly suggested that if he wanted to run for President he would have to rethink his willingness to force pregnant women to give birth. A surprising number of readers felt pro-choicers should shut up about their silly little issue and embrace Kucinich in the interests of progressive unity. Fortunately, Kucinich is more sensible and less sexist than these benighted admirers. In recent abortion-related votes he has taken the pro-choice side and now, just in time for his announcement of his presidential bid, affirms Roe v. Wade on his website. National Review Online attributed this change of heart to "a tiny article" in The Nation (thanks a lot). I'd rather credit Kucinich's own instinct for what is right and fair in a pluralist society. Better late than never!
Posted at 05:19 PM
MILKING IT [Emmy Chang]
Antiwar group Students 4 Social Justice is planning a rally and march in Chicago tomorrow, at 35 West Wacker Drive. The reasoning: That's the home of advertising giant Leo Burnett, which is a "war profiteer" because... it does the advertising for the U.S. Army and Army Reserve.
For any Chicagoans who want to know: The rally begins at 3:30 at the corner of Clark and Randolph; at 4:00 they'll be marching to Burnett (Dearborn and Wacker).
Posted at 04:43 PM
SHE'S ON TO JESSE'S GAME [Rod Dreher]
A black Chicago alderwoman is denouncing Jesse Jackson for hypocrisy, claiming he's doing his best to suck up to the families of the nightclub stampede tragedy to cover up for the fact that he ran interference for the club owner with city officials. Said Alderwoman Madeline Haithcock: "He's grandstanding. He does things right for the families, then he goes over on the other side ... with his friends. He's got to pick his sides--who he wants to be with. Be for the owners or the people. You're one or the other."
As we know, though, Jesse picked sides a long time ago.
Posted at 04:29 PM
DUDE, THAT'S SO FRENCH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 03:35 PM
A LONG LOST DERB? [Rich Lowry]
When I saw this story, I thought, it's in the Telegraph, it's by a guy named Derbyshire, it's about Darwin and promiscuous lesbian Japanese monkeys--he's gotta be related to our Derb:
"Lesbian Japanese monkeys challenge Darwin's assumptions"
By David Derbyshire, Science Correspondent, in Denver
The promiscuous sex life of lesbian Japanese monkeys is challenging one of the central tenets of Charles Darwin. He argued that females are coy, mate rarely and choose mates to ensure the best genetic inheritance for their offspring, while males are promiscuous and fight among themselves for female partners But after studying Japanese macaques in the wild, Dr Paul Vasey, of the University of Lethbridge, Canada, begs to differ. He found that bisexuality is common in females and that they often compete with males for sexual partners...."
Posted at 03:11 PM
DIEN BIEN PHU & IVINS [Jonah Goldberg]
Every French soldier who was in Indo-China volunteered to be Indo-China. So every last Frenchman at Dien Bien Phu was a volunteer who knew that they were volunteering for combat. They were untypical examples of the French (or anyone else's) military. The reason that all of Vietnam was not handed over to Ho Chi Minh in 1954 was that the French threatened to get serious and send non-volunteers there so that there would finally be sufficient troops to fight his forces. This information is available in Bernard Fall's histories which were widely available in the 1960's. "Hell In a Very Small Space" deals with Dien Bien Phu. She should be ashamed not to have read Mr. Fall's books during the Vietnam era.
Posted at 02:49 PM
BOMBS AWAY! [John J. Miller]
NOVA has decided to broadcast its episode on dirty bombs next Tuesday night, rather than in late March. (Get listings for your area here.) The folks at WGBH have just sent me an advance tape, so I'll watch it and write a preview for NRO before it airs.
Posted at 01:50 PM
FOX AND THE HOUND: THE CONCLUSION [Rod Dreher]
The doggie stranded on the ice floe was rescued. Arf.
Posted at 12:53 PM
HMMM. PUSH COMES TO SHOVE OVER IRAQ… [Rich Lowry]
…and Sen. Hagel is still defending France.
If I ever compared him to John McCain, I apologize. Totally unfair to the Arizona senator…
Posted at 12:44 PM
MORE IVINS [Jonah Goldberg]
I have to apologize. In my zeal to defend my own positions I rolled right pass an absolutely outrageous and actually quite disgusting comment in Ivins' column. She writes:
For those of you who have not read Paris 1919, I recommend it highly. Roosevelt was anti-colonialist. That system was a great evil, a greater horror even than Nazism or Stalinism.
The contra-factual stuff about Roosevelt is just boring. But the suggestion that colonialism was a greater horror than Nazism or Stalinism is so stupid and so repugnant it really must be addressed. Does she know what she's saying? Doesn't she know how many tens of thousands of brave colonial troops fought side by side with the British against the Germans and the Japanese? And whereas there are many defenders of British colonialism - and other colonial regimes - I think she will have to look under a lot of rocks to find defenders of the death camps of the Holocaust. Considering that Nazism and Stalinism represented the very worst kind of colonialism, one wonders what it was about the Raj that Ivins considers worse than Stalin's collectivization or the rape of Poland.
When you re-read her column it becomes clear that she just likes pointing out she read some books and saw some movies, it's far less clear that she understood them.
Posted at 12:34 PM
FOR THE RECORD [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jonah, if you really want to talk about a 'foreign legion' manned by the French, there's always the Charlemagne Division of the SS. Strangely, Molly Ivins seems to have omitted them from her article.
Posted at 12:24 PM
EMAIL [Jonah Goldberg]
From one of my regular reader correspondents:
As a black person with a sense of humor, that "commercial" is very funny. Though I do wish the person or persons who coined the term "ebonics" and advocated it, would be shot and their bodies dragged through the center of their respective towns. Damn fools had to give an name for poor english and embarass themselves and our community by advocating for that crap.
Posted at 11:30 AM
RE: SCHOOLS [Rod Dreher]
Kathryn, I think readers would be shocked to know the kinds of things that GLSEN and their allies in state government were doing in Massachusetts. I wrote this for the Weekly Standard a couple of years ago, about how two Mass. fathers were appalled by the sort of sex education the state and GLSEN were providing schoolchildren. They taped a state-sponsored presentation, and made the tape public. Then their ordeal began. These guys have been sued to within an inch of their lives by the gay Left, and have been violently threatened. I talked to one of the men, Brian Camenker, a couple of weeks ago. These guys could use some help to pay their legal bills, which are massive and ongoing -- all because they challenged activists that insisted on teaching public schoolchildren about sex techniques, and encouraging them to explore their sexuality, in the name of promoting "safety." Find out more about the resistance to this sort of thing here. As Camenker points out, GLSEN is trying to bring these types of programs to schools nationwide. I personally reviewed GLSEN material explaining how to "queer" elementary school curricula. This stuff is unbelievable, and parents should know about it. It's one thing for schools to demand respect and tolerance for gay students, who deserve that not because they are gay, but because they are human beings. This GLSEN business is something else entirely.
Posted at 11:06 AM
INTERESTING STUFF [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't always have the nicest things to say about Slate, but I must say this is a really good feature and I wish we'd done it first. Slate asked a bunch of people where they come down on war. Some interesting answers. For example, Paul Glastris of the Washington Monthly favors war and Heather MacDonald of the Manhattan Institute opposes it. Charles Murray, author of "What it Means to be a Libertarian" favors war based on the Bush administration's say-so.
Posted at 11:02 AM
CORNER CLASSIC [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm pretty sure I posted this a long time ago, but the ebonic Delta commercial remains a classic.
Posted at 10:46 AM
WHY CAN'T PAUL GIGOT BE THE EDITOR OF THE WHOLE JOURNAL? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
An unfair piece in today’s Wall Street Journal (“Schools' Efforts to Protect Gays Encounter Opposition”--in print edition and online only available to subscibers) about efforts to fight the bullying of homosexual kids in schools. Conservative, Christian, family groups are part of the bullying problem, most readers would understandably conclude after reading the “news” story. Meanwhile, groups above political labels defend kids from bullies. Human Rights Watch, for instance, comes off as some agenda-less groups only caring for the welfare of kids. The article uses the word “conservative” four times, labeling the Family Research Council and the West Virginia Family Foundation, among others. But never does the word “liberal” appear alongside the names of groups like the Anti-Defamation League, Human Rights Watch, and the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
Posted at 10:29 AM
MILITARY AND AFFIRMATIVE ACTION [Rich Lowry]
Thanks for all the e-mails. Here is a good one. Does this sound right to people?
E-mail: "The reason affirmative action works for the services is we are the only employer who has the time, energy, and resources to provide the extra oomph to get the poorly prepared person to parity with their peers, officer or enlisted. Officer candidates accepted to the academies don't miss class - they walk 'tours' and suffer other unpleasant consequences if they do. They have mandatory study hours - and people check to ensure they are studying. Their peers are organized and motivated to help them if they need it (key cultural component of military morale).
If they are doing poorly, they are in remedial classes almost immediately. There are people from upperclassmen, tac officers, and faculty whose job it is to spend the extra time with these people to get them past their deficiencies and up to the minimum standard and beyond. The same is also true of soldiers in general - at least in basic training. Once you get into actual deployable units the support is somewhat less, and more variable based on leadership and other constraints - but in our initial entry processes (OTHER than the ROTC) the support structure is immense. If you aren't properly prepared, but are willing to put in the time, we'll get you through.
But, as I said, no one else can afford that. And if you are an ROTC cadet - that kind of support isn't really there, either. Why? Because you are where, a major university, like, oh, say, Michigan? While the ROTC cadre will do what they can, there are only 3-8 of them or so, and may not have the academic background or experience to help, and don't have resources to procure that help if it is available - and unlike academy cadets, who are subject military discipline, ROTC cadets are not, except in a limited fashion after they sign the contract."
Posted at 10:25 AM
INACTIVISTS AND IRAQ [Jonah Goldberg]
Over the last few months several readers have queried me on what they see as an inconsistency on my part. As longtime readers know, I am a champion of what I like to call "inactivism." Inactivism can be summarized by Calvin Coolidge's observation that "When you see ten problems rolling down the road, if you don't do anything, nine of them will roll into a ditch before they get to you."
These readers also note that I am in favor of an activist foreign policy when it comes to Iraq -- and a few other places as well -- and they accuse me of hypocrisy. It's a fair point as far as it goes in that I've never made a distinction between foreign and domestic policy when it comes to inactivism. But there is an important distinction here. In a decent, democratic, society individuals and associations of individuals can be trusted to regulate themselves and each other with minimal governmental -- especially minimal federal -- interference. Businesses solve their own problems without Washington, property owners protect their own property, communities devise ways to protect their citizens. Etc.
In the international arena these rules do not apply. Here, a state of nature exists. Here, states, peoples, nations and faiths often vie in a zero-sum environment. And these actors must act on their interests to regulate the "global community." In America, we can count on the fact that most individuals share common values, common understandings of self-interest and common agreement upon the rules of settling disputes. Such a regime doesn't exist outside our borders, except perhaps among a few allies or on a few subjects like trade. Many regimes and movements would gladly destroy or at minimum harm America if they had the means. It is up to our government to make sure that doesn't happen. There is no conflict with inactivism because the global arena is a libertarian environment and therefore we must take it upon ourselves to deal with criminal actors -- not rely on some global superstate to fix problems.
Also, keep in mind that even the inactivist recognizes that 1 in 10 problems are real problems in need of our attention. We are not considering waging war on 10% of the bad actors in the world.
Posted at 10:13 AM
SHUT UP, CHIRAQ, TOO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A nice summary of New Europe's response to Chirac.
Posted at 09:44 AM
IVINS [Jonah Goldberg]
Molly Ivins, fast approaching the "whatever happened to Molly Ivins?" stage of her career chastizes me in her latest column . In a sense this is progress since last time she wrote about me she pretended she hadn't heard of me. She called me "some juvenile jerk attacking Canadians as a bunch of wimpy wimps." I doubt she hadn't heard of me, but her schtick is to sound more important than she is, so fair's fair. Anyway, she mentions me by name today, and is less snarky about it, so I guess that's even more progress. As for the gist of her article, she likes France and she thinks they are very brave. She cites the 100,000 French soldiers who died defending France and she is surely right to call them brave. But what about the 37 divisions which surrendered en masse? She mentions the Foreign Legion at Dien Bien Phu -- and the Foreign Legion is most assuredly very, very brave. Alas, the Foreign Legion, historically speaking, was also mostly made up of foreigners. King Louis Philippe founded the Legion as a way to deal with poor immigrants and keep casualties among actual French soldiers to a minimum. I like the Foreign Legion and have long believed the US should have a version of it if we are going to use the military for humanitarian missions. But, citing Dien Bien Phu as a huge French sacrifice when many of the grunts were actually Germans and Brits isn't exactly a great point.
Anyway, I'm hardly shocked that Molly's sticking up for the French. That seems to be the enlightened liberal position these days. What's so funny about it is that the French remain colonialists in many respects and they have policies on such things as race that folks like Ms Ivins consider outrageously right-wing when proposed here. I wonder if she reveres the French policy of zero affirmative action and a complete ban on collecting racial data -- policies championed by Ward Connerly & Co. But that's a subject for another time. I'm just so delighted to have been mentioned by name by Ms. Ivins before she slips completely into the "whatever happened to..." category.
Posted at 09:36 AM
MEMO TO EX-PREZES CARTER AND CLINTON [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Shut up." But that is not from me, that comes from Arizona senator John McCain.
Posted at 09:35 AM
FLORIDA PROFESSOR ARRESTED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
For terror ties.
Posted at 08:24 AM
HELP--MILITARY AFFIRMATIVE ACTION [Rich Lowry]
Al Hunt has made the argument that affirmative action works for the military at the academies, and now there's this brief in the Michigan case. If you have an informed view on this, I'd love to hear from you....
Posted at 07:00 AM
PRESIDENT BARTLET FITS RIGHT IN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I'm told West Wing had some colorful words for the French last night.
Posted at 06:01 AM
A SIGN! A SIGN! [Rod Dreher]
You've heard about the plane crash in Iran that took the lives of 300 of the Islamic republic's soldiers. A reader writes to wonder what all the Muslims who saw the crash of the space shuttle Columbia as a sign from Allah that America was going to come to a bad end in the Middle East are thinking about this plane crash.
Posted at 01:18 AM
Wednesday, February 19, 2003
CATS AND DOGS TOGETHER [Andrew Stuttaford]
It’s Bizarro world in the British media today. Martin Sheen is (fairly) sympathetically profiled in the Daily Telegraph and Instapundit is writing in the Guardian.
Posted at 11:45 PM
LORD RYAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The poet fireman won on the Bachelorette, seemingly proving that chicks--even apparent self-centered fame seekers like Trista--are more Pride andBronte than Sex in the City.
Posted at 11:40 PM
CAMPAIGN FINANCE [Andrew Stuttaford]
State funding of political parties comes with its own type of corruption. Here’s the EU with a prime example.
Posted at 11:32 PM
WAR OF THE WORLDS? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Chirac needs to check who he’s messing with when he takes on the New Europe. Look where the Latvian prime minister really comes from.Via Baltic Blog
Posted at 11:27 PM
BUNDY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Ramesh, I’ll leave it to John Derbyshire to explain how Al Bundy's reactionary defeatism can, in its own way, be inspiring. As to that NYT piece, I thought it was pretty amusing. Yes, it was somewhat condescending and the refrigerator jibe was a cheap shot, but, Ramesh, we’re talking about the New York Times here. The New York Times without condescension and cheap shots would be like Al without Peg, better but somehow unimaginable.
Posted at 11:20 PM
INTERESTING EMAIL [Jonah Goldberg]
In response to G-File:
Very interesting observtion--giving one's successor the opportunity to achieve greatness. President Buchanan was considered the premier politico in America of the 1850s, just the kind of man who could find a political solution to prevent nation dissolution. He failed, of course. But Abraham Lincoln did not.
Posted at 07:51 PM
COULD GROUNDSKEEPER WILLIE AND JONAH GET SOME KIND OF AWARD? THE FREEDOM MEDAL, MAYBE? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Surrender monkeys made the White House press briefing today:
Terry Moran, ABC News: "Ari, on the U.N. resolution, a second U.N. resolution, one of the forces that's at work, it seems, is increasing rancor and nastiness within the Western alliance. You've got newspapers here showing France and Germany as weasels at the Security Council, people calling France ‘surrender monkeys.’ Then you've got a lot of anti-Americanism on the streets over in France."
Posted at 06:35 PM
SERVING UP FREEDOM FRIES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
It's catching on!
Posted at 06:06 PM
RE: BUNDY [John Derbyshire]
Ramesh: Never fear. As NR's resident Bundyologist, I have just penned a paean to Al, Peg, Kelly, Bud and Buck. Should be on NRO later this week.
Posted at 06:04 PM
RE: PAGING PETER SINGER [Rod Dreher]
The U.S. is going to use chickens to help our troops in combat in Iraq? That's great news! I knew the French would help us out one way or another.
Posted at 05:43 PM
ST. PAT'S DAY BRAWL [Rod Dreher]
The New York chapter of The Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, an elite Irish fraternal organization, is holding its annual fundraising dinner on St. Patrick's Day Eve. The event brings together all the male Catholic bigshots in New York, including, of course, the cardinal. This year, the organization, which is not affiliated with the Archdiocese, is honoring Eliot Spitzer, the Democratic NY state attorney general. This is causing a groundswell of opposition from rank-and-file Catholics. Some of them object to his past refusal to march in the St. Patrick's Day parade (which excludes gay and lesbian Irish organizations, hence his disinterest), and his caginess as to whether or not he'll march this year. Others are angry at Spitzer, a big Planned Parenthood supporter, for his investigation of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, which I wrote about here. It is assumed that Cardinal Egan will, as is the longstanding custom, share the dais with the honoree, who, aside from Gov. Pataki, is the most powerful and important pro-abortion politician in the state.
Posted at 05:03 PM
A SAUDI GUIDE TO WIFE-BEATING [Rod Dreher]
The Saudi-based Arab News is always a font of useful information. Today we learn that wife-beating is "widespread" in the Kingdom, in part because men are under the mistaken belief that Islam permits it. Not so! says the Arab News, but only conditionally:
It is certainly against Islam to beat a good wife. An erring wife should be warned first and advised. If that does not work, then the husband could give her a light beating, the purpose of that being to embarrass rather than inflict pain.
Posted at 04:50 PM
FOR THE RECORD [Jonah Goldberg]
Opinion Journal linked to it first.
Posted at 04:21 PM
"I'M STILL LIVING IN AL BUNDY'S AMERICA" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I was too lazy to blog about this New York Times article on Sunday, and figured other people would call attention to it. With the exception of a neutral-to-approving link from Andrew Stuttaford, nobody in blogdom has. Walter Mosley's piece is incredibly condescending ("Al Bundy. . . is working-class America with all of its ignorance, misogyny and resentment"). It also weirdly, and falsely, assumes the public shares the author's pessimism: "Al Bundy is my hero because he knows that there is no hope. . . . He's my hero because he's flat broke, like most of us are, and always will be." It's badly written: "No one is listening. No one cares about his day or his complaints. There's no dinner on the table. The dog won't even bring him his slippers. This is the show's comment on the sad reality of American life." But what tops it off is the political note injected at the end: "Al coming home to an empty refrigerator is me coming home to our president's state of the union address." Or me finding the Times on my doorstep.
Posted at 04:19 PM
THIS IS A MUST WATCH [Jonah Goldberg]
If you can play this mini-documentary on your computer, you really have got to set five minutes aside and check this out if you haven't already. If you've ever spent any time trying to debate fashionably angry protestors this won't surprise you, but you will find it quite amusing nonetheless. I don't know anything about the people who made it, but I think it's awesome.
Posted at 04:17 PM
PAGING PETER SINGER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
U.S troops will use chickens to detect chemical attacks.
Posted at 04:12 PM
TEE HEE HEE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Members of Congress are finally beginning to realize what they got when voting for McCain-Feingold.
Posted at 04:02 PM
IRAQI TERROR SHIPS [Rod Dreher]
There's a report out that U.S. and British intelligence are tracking three cargo ships in international waters, all suspected of carrying Iraqi WMDs smuggled out through Syria or Jordan. The ships are all said to be sailing under three "flags of convenience." US and UK are afraid to order them boarded, for fear that if the ships are scuttled by their crews, an environmental catastrophe could result. If this story is true, I suppose we can take comfort in the fact that we know where these boats are, and can prevent them from docking where they might do damage. On the other hand, the report says that these ships are being resupplied by smaller boats. Where are the smaller boats going, and what, if anything, are they taking off the cargo vessels, for delivery ... where?
Posted at 03:34 PM
ALAS [NRO ANSWERING SERVICE]
The staff of NRO has already gone home to finish shoveling snow. The next polar bear to make his way to NR World Headquarters will post it...someday.
Posted at 03:33 PM
ONCE AGAIN [Jonah Goldberg]
Terrible writer's block has been conquered by your humble servant. Alas, it was an ugly victory. The column is in triage at NRHQ. This is what happens when you take a week off from writing.
Posted at 03:30 PM
"RING OF DEATH" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A former Iraqi scientist tells of Saddam Hussein scorched earth and air plans.
Posted at 03:21 PM
CORRECTION [Rod Dreher]
What a moron I can be. Math-literate Corner readers -- and just about everybody is more math-literate than I -- point out that the convicted Islamic terrorist in Germany will actually be serving only 1.8 days per life he helped take on 9/11. That makes the idea of German justice even more laughable, if there were anything funny about it. Anyway, now you know why I majored in journalism in college: no bloody math requirement!
Posted at 02:52 PM
JUST REWARDS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Mona Charen's Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First will debut on the New York Times bestseller list next week at #6.
Posted at 02:26 PM
RE: GERMAN JUSTICE [Rod Dreher]
Kathryn, that sentence works out to roughly eight days for each man, woman or child killed on 9/11. Eight days. Eight. That's German justice for you.
Posted at 02:26 PM
A NOTE ON "SURRENDER MONKEYS" [Rich Lowry]
Haven’t seen Jonah’s File yet today. But let me mention preemptively that I’ve never attacked him directly as being a pure representative of the “French are appeasers” school, because I never got the impression that that is exactly what he thinks. The weird thing—as I’ve discussed with him—is that his Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey phrase captures perfectly the “appeasers” view, even if Jonah doesn’t entirely hold it himself. I think we agree that France is wrong, perfidious even (!), about Iraq. And hope that France’s obstruction over Iraq and its power-grab in Europe both fail so utterly that Jonah’s little Lucy one day, years from now, will look wondrously up into his eyes and ask, "Daddy, what were Surrender Monkeys?"
Posted at 02:22 PM
O’SULLIVAN V. STEYN [Rich Lowry]
Actually, John O’Sullivan takes up this notion in his latest NR piece, which responds to pieces by Mark Steyn and the Wall Street Journal. Here’s part of it:
“What Steyn does is argue that Tony Blair may be even more dangerously hostile to the Europeanist strategy than Lady Thatcher was, precisely because he is both an Atlanticist and a European. Hence, under Blair’s influence, "it’s possible that Europe will develop in ways that are not in France’s interests." Perhaps I am over-interpreting Steyn here, but this sounds very like the old State Department orthodoxy that Britain will prove a very useful American "Trojan Horse" within Europe—with the added twist that, unless Chirac really does veto the entry of the east Europeans next year, Britain will soon be strengthened by a new wave of pro-American recruits. The Wall Street Journal editorial page takes essentially the same view.
The boldness of this approach—stealing the EU from the Franco-Germans—is appealing. And it may well be that this is the approach that Atlanticists will have to adopt if the U.S. will not encourage a more fundamental reshaping of Atlantic relations. But it is fraught with difficulty and danger.
The EU was established to be a regulated market internally and a counterweight to the U.S. in world politics. Its bureaucracy is staffed with Europeanist ideologues sympathetic to the Franco-German vision. Its legal system is built on the principle of encouraging "ever-greater union" and thus the erosion of national sovereignty. New member-states have to accept all previous Euro-regulations, however damaging to their economies. The EU is designed to enable its bureaucracy and most powerful members to bribe, bully, and manipulate the relatively poor new arrivals into going along with initiatives such as an intrinsically anti-American common foreign policy in return for subsidies from Brussels. Even if such tactics do not succeed in creating a rival European superpower—which they might—they would probably frustrate the emergence of a clearly Atlanticist Europe under U.S. leadership…."
Posted at 02:19 PM
"FRANCE’S STRUGGLE FOR DOMINANCE" [Rich Lowry]
That phrase is from the front page of the New York Times today about France’s fight with pro-American Eastern European states. Of course, that is exactly what is going on. But the article raises this thought: Why shouldn’t conservative be boosters of a great, big E.U. in order to dilute French influence in Europe?
Posted at 02:17 PM
GERMAN JUSTICE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
ONLY 15 years for assisting in the 9/11 attacks?
Posted at 02:07 PM
FOR THE RECORD [Jonah Goldberg]
I do not think all Todds are gay. But, a surprising number are and many who aren't should be. And no, Todd, I don't mean you.
Posted at 01:48 PM
FRENCH PRESIDENT CHIRAQ CHIRAQ CHIRAQ [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
That was for the emailer who just send the message: "I hereby pledge to subscribe to NRODT if I can see one, just one, corner writer refer to the president of France as 'Chiraq.' I promise!"
Posted at 01:27 PM
"FASTER, PLEASE.".. [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...Or, IF THE ADMINISTRATION HAD PAID AS MUCH ATTENTION TO IRAN AS MICHAEL LEDEEN HAS, THIS WOULDN'T BE HAPPENING. Iranian-backed troops are moving into Iraq (see story). Our expert on all things Iranian tells The Corner: "It means that the Iranians are going to take advantage of the war to try to wipe out the Mujahedin, whom they hate ever more than sodominsane...or us...then they will go after us..."
Posted at 12:52 PM
THE ORGANIZATION TO DEFEND TODD AGAINST SWEEPING GENERALIZATIONS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"I would like to inform Jonah that all guys named Todd are NOT gay. I present myself as exhibit #1, happily married for 6+ years with a 6-week-old son. It is this kind of sweeping generalization that shows Jonah CANNOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES be left in the corner without adult supervision. Kathryn, where are you when we need you? " Signed, of course, Todd.
Posted at 12:45 PM
BACK TO DUCT TAPE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Tom Ridge tells announces the keys to surviving terrorist attacks.
Posted at 12:37 PM
THE JONAH CHALLENGE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We're just waiting to see what happens if you are left in here alone for too long.
Posted at 11:59 AM
DON'T MAKE ME... [Jonah Goldberg]
announce that it's "Sweeping Generalization Wednesday" just to entice all of you guys in here. I could start declaring things like "I've never met a guy named Todd who wasn't gay" or "If you're still buying new Rolling Stones albums you probably smell like cabbage."
Posted at 11:57 AM
WHERE.... [Jonah Goldberg]
The heck is everybody?
Posted at 11:50 AM
MIKE TYSON.... [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 11:26 AM
IF KADD STEPHENS DIDN'T EXIST, WE'D HAVE TO INVENT HIM [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader has tracked down more info on "Kadd." In this interview Kadd explains that he was born "Joshua Stephens" and that he doesn't think punk music holds a "monopoly on effective resistance." A few highlights:
Infoshop: How would you describe your style of music-making?
Posted at 10:52 AM
FOX AND THE HOUND [Rod Dreher]
I'm sorry, but the Fox News Channel has lost its mind. A dog has gotten stuck on an ice floe in a river in New Jersey. Authorities are trying to figure out how to rescue it. Fox has a helicopter over the scene, and they're treating this like it's the freakin' roof of the U.S. Embassy during the evacuation of Saigon. It's a pitiful sight, to be sure, and we all have to hope that the dog is rescued. But come on! (OK, flame shields up, and anticipating incoming from Cosmo's companion.)
Posted at 10:25 AM
HILARIOUS [Jonah Goldberg ]
This is really apropos of nothing. A friend sent me this because he thought I'd be amused by the fact that these guys operate a couple doors down from where I used to live. It's called the "Mintwood Media Collective." Read through these bios and tell me you don't want to smash their "collective" guitar against the wall of Delta House. Here's on of my favorite snippets:
Kadd Stephens.... later moved to DC, where his accelerated disillusionment with the military manifested distrust of systems of domination in general and led him to delay his pursuit of a degree in Justice, Law, and Society at American University and pursue resistance work full time.
Posted at 09:53 AM
JACKSON DOESN'T EVEN TRY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
When police shut down part of a nightclub, Jesse Jackson rallies around the owener claiming the cops are on a witchunt against black-owned businesses. When 21 people die in a stampede at said nightclub, Jackson threatens to sue the city for not doing enough to stop such things from being possible.
Posted at 08:23 AM
SNOW DAY [John J. Miller]
My one and only snow shovel broke yesterday--the plastic blade split in half--on the second-to-last scoop of the day. (Thank goodness for no more snow overnight.) I came inside the house to learn that the spring issue of the Claremont Review of Books is just out. Doesn't seem like spring yet, but I was glad to have something new to read. It contains an article by Derb here; the best part is a consideration of New Zealand's contributions to civilization, compared to those of Madagascar.
Posted at 05:24 AM
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
CONSPIRACY THEORY [Andrew Stuttaford]
A reader writes to suggest that Chirac's comments about the East Europeans might have been deliberately designed to provoke anti-EU sentiment in those countries, with the result that their electorates would be less likely to agree to join the Union.
Why would Chirac want to do that? Well, having only just regained their sovereignty, many of those Eastern European countries are likely to prove somewhat unwilling to give it up again in favor of an ever more federal EU, particularly one dominated by France and Germany. This might make them rather awkward members of the EU’s club, the sort of members that would vote against further encroachments by Brussels, the sort of members, in fact, that Chirac would prefer to do without. He, of course, couldn't admit to such feelings outright, so how convenient if, at the last minute, a number of those countries chose not to join the EU after all.
It’s an ingenious theory, but it’s a little reminiscent of the story told, I think, about our old friend Talleyrand. On hearing that some well-known diplomat had died, the ever-suspicious Talleyrand was said to have asked, “yes, but what did he mean by that”?
Best explanation for Chirac’s speech? He lost his temper.
Posted at 11:49 PM
TONY BLAIR, MEET HARRY TRUMAN [Dave Kopel]
Harry Truman was an undistinguished political hack of the Prendergast machine from Kansas City. As a senator, he was known mainly for blind loyalty to his party, and accomplished little except successfully heading a commission on corruption in military procurement. As president, he advocated a variety of failed big government measures, such as wage and price controls and socialized medicine. Yet on the most important issue of his time, he was courageously and stubbornly far-sighted. He recognized Soviet expansionism as a mortal threat to civilization, and he rallied his nation and Western Europe to defend themselves. Tony Blair, while born in much more elevated circumstances than Harry Truman, has devoted too much of his own tenure to repressive domestic nannyism. Yet, like Truman, he is defiantly and proudly right on the most important issue of his day: the awful mortal danger to civilization posed by Islamic terrorism. He may, like Harry Truman in 1948, win an unexpected vindication in the next election, but there is little doubt that he will join Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy among the greatest of liberals who embraced the privilege to defend freedom in its hour of maximum peril.
Posted at 11:31 PM
DUBIOUS MILESTONE [Andrew Stuttaford]
A reader writes to say that CNN's Paula Zahn has just referred to the blizzard as "the blizzard of the century." True, perhaps, but not much of an achievement considering that this century began on January 1st, 2001 (or January 1st 2000 - if you want to be inaccurate, but generous).
Posted at 10:39 PM
EVEN THE LONE RANGER HAD A SIDEKICK.... [Jonah Goldberg]
Reuters reports: "Canada Says Will Not Join Solo U.S. Attack on Iraq."
Future headlines include:
France Won't Cooperate if America 'Goes it Alone.'
Pigs Won't Fall From Sky if it Rains Cats and Dogs
Big Dogs Excluded from Toy Dog Competition
Posted at 10:02 PM
OUT OF POLICY [Jonah Goldberg]
My normal rule is to never publish email addresses or names without expressed permission. But in this case, I'll make an exception. The following email came from the email address, "email@example.com":
In reference to your article last year on Canada being wimps... You’re the biggest idiot I’ve ever encountered and I work in a mental institution. You’re an obtuse piece of flotsam that doesn’t have the mentality to get a better job and instead writes weak articles in magazines, expressing his personal bias. Where did you get your degree or do you even have one? Comments such as yours are they main cause of anti-Americanism. You’ve definitely made me anti-American just because you’re too conceited to look at the world objectively. Congratulations. Hopefully your employers will do the right thing and fire you. Up yours!
Posted at 09:48 PM
IT HAD TO HAPPEN [Rod Dreher]
Posted at 06:17 PM
HIS GIFT TO AMERICA [Rod Dreher]
The cover story of the next issue of National Review will be on military chaplains. We send the issue to the printer today, so a response I received from Cmdr. Mitchell Schranz, a Jewish chaplain in the Marine Corps stationed in Okinawa, came too late for the article. But you should know why he chose to serve God as a military chaplain:
I felt a debt to America. Much of my family would have perished in the Holocaust, and I never would have been born, if not for the United States Armed Forces. When I became a rabbi I thought that being a military Chaplain was an important, valid ministry for any clergyperson, but in my case the added bonus would be that it was a way of giving back to America for what it had done for my family and countless others when it freed the world from Nazi evil.
Posted at 06:02 PM
"AT LEAST UP TO THIS POINT" [Rod Dreher]
Reading the tea leaves in Ari Fleischer's daily briefing, something positif might be quietly happening here, non?:
Q And to follow up on Deb's point. During the German reelection campaign, it was spoken from your position and other positions around the government about how the relationship had been poisoned because of Chancellor Schroeder's repeated public statements against the President. Has the President shared any thoughts of that nature with regard to President Chirac, and how he seems to be almost relishing his daily role as countering?
MR. FLEISCHER: No, I think President Chirac has been very direct and open
And the President respects President Chirac, and he appreciates the fact
Q So if Schroeder had called, it would be okay.
MR. FLEISCHER: Let me -- the issue, again, is what he said privately is
Posted at 05:42 PM
FOR YOUR PEACENIK PASTOR [Rod Dreher]
Do not neglect to read Catholic theologian Michael Novak's terrific piece today about Iraq, just-war theory, and the duties of the Catholic laity. In the spirit of Vatican II, print it out, show it to your peacenik pastor, and ask to put copies of it on the pamphlet table at the back of church.
Posted at 05:12 PM
MORE ON THE BAKE SALE [John J. Miller]
Here's the Ann Arbor News story on the Michigan Review's affirmative action bake sale, which of course is now being denounced as racist. And here's the Detroit News coverage.
Posted at 04:38 PM
L'AFFAIRE DUTROUX [Rod Dreher]
Here's Court TV's history of the notorious Marc Dutroux case, which sheds light on the diligence of Belgian law enforcement, and the possibility that Dutroux was mixed up with some high-level members of the government. To be fair, the Belgian public has in the past taken to the streets to protest the incompetence and corruption of its own government in this matter.
Posted at 03:37 PM
NEWSFLASH FROM CNBC [Andrew Stuttaford]
New Yorkers are calling the blizzard of 2003 "the blizzard of 2003."
Posted at 03:35 PM
MORE BELGIANS [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader reminds me of this classic Monty Python skit about the television show, "Prejudice" where viewers were asked to come up with derogatory names for the Belgians. Among the choices:
Posted at 03:10 PM
MAYBE... [Jonah Goldberg]
It's all about Mosque envy?
Posted at 03:04 PM
RE-DEFINING MULTILATERALISM [Rich Lowry]
After what is shaping up as a U.N. debacle, we’re going to have to think about what we want the effectively post-U.N. world to look like. But conservatives should avoid getting caught in the "unilateral" trap. Yes, the U.S. sometimes has to act alone. But how often do we haul off and start a war without any international backing? Allies and international legitimacy are important for all sorts of reasons, not least of which is that they matter to the American public. So, the battle should be between different kinds of multilateralism, the U.N. multilateralism of moral neutralism and low-grade pacifism or a liberal multilateralism of like-minded democratic nations. This latter multilateralism would be defined by institutions like NATO that—with all its current problems—at least has a moral core, and perhaps by a new U.N. follow-on organization made up only of liberal democracies. These organizations, then, should become the definers of international legitimacy rather than the random mish-mash of the U.N.
Posted at 02:57 PM
RE: TONIC TROUBLE [John Derbyshire]
A collective THANK YOU to the many readers who responded to my bleg this morning about Tonic Trouble. In blegging for this, I inadvertently revealed that I am the last person left in the U.S.A. that has not yet used e-Bay, & in fact I had no clue what it was, though I had heard the name. Look, I'm a C-O-N-S-E-R-V-A-T-I-V-E. (Among my heros are those crusty old English judges who periodically peer out from under their horsehair wigs to interrupt court proceedings with questions like: "Who, exactly ARE these 'Beatles' Counsel is talking about?") It looks as though e-Bay may deliver for me (though I still have not much idea how the thing works). Other readers directed me to the UbiSoft web site, which I already knew about, but which is useless--you call one of their phone numbers and some different gaming company answers, & knows nothing about TT. An advance thanks to the many readers who alerted me to TT's smarter brother, Rayman, which I shall definitely try. NRO readers ROCK!
Posted at 02:52 PM
ALIEN ABDUCTION EXPLAINED? [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Daily Telegraph's interestingly named science correspondent has a report today suggesting that a person's belief that he or she has been abducted by aliens may be attributable to a sleep disorder. This isn't a new theory, but it's worth repeating. There is, unfortunately, still no explanation for what possessed Steven Spielberg to produce "Taken".
Posted at 02:14 PM
NOBEL PRIZE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Chirac is a contender!
Posted at 01:27 PM
PLUCKY LITTLE BELGIUM [John Derbyshire]
In a contrarian spirit, I can think of at least two nice things to say about Belgium. (1) They have produced at least their quota of fine mathematicians: Pierre Deligne, Charles de la Vallee Poussin, etc. (2) They rank third in the world for per capita consumtion of beer.
Posted at 01:25 PM
HEZBOLLAH HARDER LINE THAN CHIRAC [Rich Lowry]
E-mail from Zach Barbera:
Even Hezbollah is taking a harder line than Chirac. This is pitiful—"It is now urgently up to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, said Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah, to avert a war that would be 'among the greatest catastrophes in all of Arab history.' Nasrallah called on Saddam to meet with Iraqi opposition leaders, to step down in favor of a government of reconciliation and to declare immediately to the United Nations whatever weapons of mass destruction he still has. Sheikh Mohamed Kawtharami, one of the founders of Hezbollah and a senior member of its politburo, "We have no intention of becoming a pawn on Saddam Hussein's chessboard.'"
Posted at 01:13 PM
THE BELGES [Rod Dreher]
So the French mock the Belgians? So do the Dutch. Ask a Dutchman, and he'll probably tell you that Belgium is a land of idiots (impossible to prove) that is thoroughly corrupt in its government (easy to prove). If you push him, he might make a wisecrack about it being a nation ruled by pederasts, re: the curious case of Marc Dutroux, the scumbag who ran a pedophile prostitution ring, but whose treatment at the hands of state prosecutors was curiously delicate.
Posted at 12:24 PM
RICH.... [Jonah Goldberg]
I'd be with ya if you'd written that "the French must be answered with a concerted putsch" instead of "push."
Posted at 12:20 PM
CHIRAC THE WIMP [Rich Lowry]
Well, if the French get anymore wimpy and adverse to conflict they’re going to invade Poland. There are roughly two views of "Europe," as represented mainly by France. One is largely a neo-con view. It holds that Europe is exhausted and militarily weak, and opposes the U.S. in Iraq chiefly out of pique at our awesome strength. "Europe" spends so much time "irritating" and "annoying" us because it is incapable of power politics on its own. The implication of this view is clear: Forget about Europe, since that’s all you can do when people are being annoying. The other view, best represented by John O’Sullivan, is that the current situation is all about power politics, about France exploiting the widespread anti-American, appeasement sentiment on the Continent to secure its dominance of Europe and make it an explicitly anti-American project. This view gets more confirmation by the day, the latest being Chirac’s extraordinary chest-beating rebuke and threat toward the pro-American nations of Eastern Europe. Indeed, the neo-con view of France is mostly false: it is a country that believes deeply in the concept of national interest, has no qualms about using force (although its ability to project it is very limited), and feels little guilt at its colonial history. If you look at the 1990s, France was much more willing to put its ground troops at risk in Bosnia and Kosovo than the United States. And, after France and Britain froze the U.S. into inaction early in the Bosnia crisis, Chirac later relentlessly pounded Clinton to do more, saying at one point that the position of leader of the Free World was "vacant." The rhetoric now from France about war almost being a failure is situational hot-air meant to cloak its venal and self-interested position on Iraq with high-mindedness.
Another thing about France: it’s capable of high diplomatic duplicity, demonstrated again and again lately, in the service of its national interest. The implication of the O’Sullivan view—explored at length in the current NR--is that France’s machinations can’t just be shrugged off as whining, but must be answered with a concerted push, involving trade, diplomatic, and security policy, to detach the rest of Europe from the Franco-German project.
Posted at 12:14 PM
UGH [Jonah Goldberg]
My CNN gig is cancelled. Something I learned only after I trudged through the snow to my assigned pick-up point. Oh well. Who among us can say I didn't need the exercise?
Posted at 12:06 PM
I'M OFF... [Jonah Goldberg]
To CNN for "Showdown Iraq" around 12:30 or so. Spader.
Posted at 11:27 AM
GOOD POINT [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader notes:
Your correpondent derided the USA for having only existed "for a few hundred years". Belgium has existed less than 100 years and is a totally artificial country. It was the Spanish Netherlands for centuries. And you know how every country has a butt for its jokes (Americans/Polish, England/Irish, Canadians/Newfoundlanders, etc.), well Belgium is the butt of French jokes.
Posted at 11:26 AM
CARTER-BLAIR SWAP [John Derbyshire]
Kathryn: That Daily Mirror piece says that JC is "the only US president since 1945 never to order American soldiers into war." That ignores the "Desert One" Iran-rescue fiasco of April 1980. One quite understands, of course, that JC would LIKE to ignore it...
Posted at 11:17 AM
THE WASHINGTON POST [Jonah Goldberg]
Has a very good editorial on Miguel Estrada. What's in the water over there? It's like they're trying to embarrass the New York Times editorial board.
Posted at 10:36 AM
SOSAN AGAIN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The North Korean ship that transferred SCUDS to Yemen last year recently transported cyanide from Germany to North Korea, according to Bill Gertz.
Posted at 10:33 AM
HOMELAND INSECURITY (AND SEXUALITY) [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Mrs. Tom Ridge is spokeswoman for an invasive school survey program (sex, drugs), with few conservative fans.
Posted at 10:33 AM
NO... [Jonah Goldberg]
I haven't retired from writing my column (though you couldn't tell from the woefully out of date G-File archives). New baby, recovering wife, mother-in-law in the hizzy, historic snow storm, Cosmo writing one letter after another to his shop steward and Dog Rights Watch about this strange interloper: these things have conspired against the timely delivery of the Goldberg File (and the syndicated column -- which went dark last week too). But tomorrow, ah tomorrow, there will be a Goldberg File on the sunny uplands of your web browser or else.
Posted at 10:19 AM
OH NO! THE BELGIANS ARE MAD AT ME [Jonah Goldberg]
Lots of amusing email from my LA Times piece on the French. (Registration is required). Here's one from a Belgian woman. Cut her some slack on the spelling etc, she is writing in a second language:
Posted at 10:03 AM
NOW THAT THERE'S NO JOE MILLIONAIRE TO WATCH... [NRO Staff]
GET 4 FREE ISSUES OF NATIONAL REVIEW!
That's right: We'll send you 4 FREE issues of National Review at absolutely no risk to you. If you're impressed by National Review's superior writing style, analysis, and wit, we'll send you the next 12 issues for a total of 16 in all! for only $19.95. Click here for details.
Posted at 10:02 AM
BRAIN SCAN [Jonah Goldberg]
Great piece in the NYT today on the state of research into general intelligence (I spotted it through AndrewSullivan.com). One gets the sense, however, that there are numerous "significant silences" in the article -- for fear, perhaps, of lapsing into Bell Curve territory and I'm a bit surprised Sullivan didn't note them. Also, the statement from one doctor that it might take 50 years to understand how intelligence works sounds like a punt saying, in effect, "Don't politicize my research in my lifetime, because it won't matter until 2053!"
I'm not saying the concept of intelligence isn't complicated. It is. And, yes, it's true: you can study for the SAT and environment matters a great deal and all of that. But the fact remains, intelligence exists, it can be measured -- albeit, imperfectly -- and you can inherit good brains just as you can inherit a good nose. To date, they haven't designed a single test that stupid people do better on than smart people -- and they never will.
Posted at 09:53 AM
ZORA! ZORA! ZORA! [John Derbyshire]
Darwin in action. Evan/Joe wants to propagate his genes. He wants to be quite sure that when his woman gets pregnant, it's his kid. Ergo, he disses the sluts and picks the one real woman. May their first child be a masculine child.
Posted at 09:49 AM
TONIC TROUBLE--A BLEG [John Derbyshire]
May I bleg, please? There is a computer game called "Tonic Trouble," made by UbiSoft, I think. It came bundled with a bunch of other stuff on an installation CD from Matrox, to go with a fancy video card I bought 3-4 yrs ago. My son located it somehow & it is absolutely his favorite game. It features a strange little guy named Ed, whose hands and feet are not connected to his body (pretty much the way I feel after a day spent shoveling snow), who goes through various adventures involving ski slopes, hot lava, etc. etc. Don't ask me, I've only caught the game in passing. I located a couple of reviews on the web, both agreed that Tonic Trouble may be the dumbest game ever sold. Be that as it may, it's a huge hit with Daniel Oliver Derbyshire; and so far as I can see no-one gets eviscerated or decapitated in it, which puts it way ahead of most computer games nowadays in ethical content. Trouble is, I just got my son a new machine, and the Matrox version doesn't work on it. Does anyone know of a version of Tonic Trouble I can buy that will work on a plain vanilla PC running Win 98? I'll pay full list price. Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org Hotmail account is hopelessly jammed up.
Posted at 09:45 AM
I KNOW... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We can trade Jimmy Carter for Tony Blair.
Posted at 08:35 AM
I'LL SHUT UP ABOUT SNOW, I PROMISE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Yesterday, many towns in the burbs declared a snow emergency, so only emergency vehicles could be on the roads. There was no way in and no way out. Wouldn't be neat if we could do that when we get snowed under with work? Maybe declare a state of emergency on my desk, in my inbox, and maybe everywhere outside my door so I can just stay put and get it all done for once! For those northeasterners who managed to get a snow day today out of it, I salute you...except you are probably shoveling and I'm glad not to be just right now. Oh, and, by the way, Andrew, the snow is much prettier in the burbs than in the city, even if it is a foot or so more.
Posted at 08:34 AM
AFFIRMATIVE ACTION BAKE SALE [John J. Miller]
The University of Michigan selects students by giving blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians an extra 20 points toward admission (with about 100 or 110 points guaranteeing a slot in the freshman class)--a policy that is now before the Supreme Court. My old student newspaper, the Michigan Review, held a bake sale yesterday: whites and Asians had to pay $1 for bagels and muffins, and "underrepresented minorities" were charged 80 cents. All proceeds went to the United Negro College Fund.
Posted at 05:41 AM
AMERICA'S SWEETHEARTS [Rod Dreher]
God bless America! Zora wins! The scheming, stuck-up hooch with the kinky film career lost, and Our Working Boy picked the modest girl who is kind to old folks. On behalf of a grateful nation, let me thank Fox for the distraction the fun and dopey Joe Millionaire provided from Osama bin Laden and all his pomps and works.
Posted at 02:54 AM
BLAIR'S POPULARITY PLUMMETS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
At least in the U.K. Perhaps we could offer him a U.S. post?
Posted at 12:36 AM
Monday, February 17, 2003
BELGIUM [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s just something to remember at a time when Belgium seems to be setting itself up as some sort of moral arbiter.
Posted at 08:48 PM
CHIRAC'S EUROPE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Note his reference to Romania and Bulgaria "joining Europe." Last I checked, they're there. We've all gotten too used to referring to the European Union as "Europe." It isn't, and the U.S. ought to be working to make sure that nothing like today's EU ever is Europe.
Posted at 08:40 PM
JACQUES THE RIPPER [Andrew Stuttaford]
France, it seems, is cracking the whip. Here's what Chirac had to say about those Eastern European countries that had the effrontery to sign those letters of support for the US position on Iraq:
"It is not really responsible behavior," he told a news conference (AP reports). "It is not well brought up behavior. They missed a good opportunity to keep quiet."
There is, it has to be admitted, more than a touch of the ethics of Vichy and the Occupation in Chirac's suggestion that a discreet silence might be the most appropriate way to behave in the face of a difficult political and moral challenge. Note too the patronizing way (“It is not well brought-up behavior”) in which Chirac presumes to treat the leaders of these countries like naughty schoolchildren.
With the bluster comes, naturally, a threat. Chirac has warned those countries that are candidate members for the EU that their pro-American position could be "dangerous". Why? Because the parliaments of the 15 EU nations still have to ratify the decision to admit these new members into the EU.
Naturally, like all bullies, Chirac prefers to attack the most vulnerable members of the group, Romania and Bulgaria, two countries that have applied to join the EU, but will not be joining this time round – they may be considered for membership in 2007. They were he said, “particularly irresponsible to (sign the letter) when their position is really delicate…if they wanted to diminish their chances of joining Europe they could not have found a better way."
Well, we shouldn’t be surprised, I suppose. This is how that sophisticated Old Europe likes to work.
Posted at 08:23 PM
CAMBRONNE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Could there be less to General Cambronne than we have been told? According to a number of readers his moment of monosyllabic heroism may be nothing more than a legend. I have no idea whether these accounts are true –but the case for the prosecution is here. Be warned - the British are not always the most impartial commentators on French history.
On the subject of French quotations, another reader has sent in some from a French author by the name of Jean Dutourd. I know nothing about Dutourd, but judging by these comments the guy was no fool:
"When I was small and had a quarrel with another boy, a grownup would invariably come along and say, "You are the cleverer of the two; give way.' In other words, the function of intelligence is to make capitulation easier. With that kind of reasoning, stupidity always comes out on top."
"Most of the time the word realism is a polite translation of the word cowardice."
"A complete theory about present-day France could be developed under the title 'Failure Considered as Success."
Dutourd was writing in the twentieth century. Well over one hundred years before (my correspondent notes), Antoine Livarol had this to say:
"They were always late by one idea, one army, and one year."
Livarol was writing about the coalition against Napoleon (so this was not a jibe directed at the French), but these are words worth remembering today.
Posted at 05:42 PM
LES NEIGES D'AUJOURD'HUI [Andrew Stuttaford]
Snow? No complaints here – Manhattan looks beautiful, the buildings shrouded in white are a delight and so are the streets, muffled and half-empty, almost ghostly as the day draws to a close. Those of us who don’t have to drive should enjoy it while we can – the slush will be a nightmare.
Posted at 05:27 PM
DESPITE THE SNOW AND WHINING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I promise you'll love NRO tomorrow. I have a computer hooked up to the shovel.
Posted at 04:39 PM
BACK TO THE SELF-CENTERED NORTHEAST [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
So you have to keep going out and shovelling so your neighbors do not look down on you, but by doing that, you wind up reshovelling when, for instance, the sidewalk truck passes by and dumps another foot of snow in your driveway, so the accumulation is actually above your shoulders. Meanwhile, IT JUST KEEPS SNOWING. Rant over.
Posted at 04:32 PM
FRANC-TIREUR? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Infuriated by my citation of Talleyrand and recitation of the facts of French history in the Corner over the weekend, a reader from France writes to complain about such “insultes grossieres” against his country and his people. Such insults are nothing more, he believes, than the utterances of a nation of “ parvenus et... réprouvés” (which translates as parvenus and reprobates, or, perhaps outcasts).
Hmm. My initial response is to borrow that useful one word reply used so magnificently by France’s General Cambronne when asked to surrender the Old Guard at Waterloo (look it up – this is a ‘family friendly’ blog).
But on second, more reflective, thoughts, it is interesting to look more carefully at our Frenchman’s choice of insult. ‘Reprobate’ is unsurprising, but, assuming that this correspondent wrongly thought that I am, like Derbyshire, a Yank rather than a 'rosbif', it’s fascinating to see ‘parvenu’ included among the jibes.
The Shorter Oxford Dictionary defines a parvenu as a “person of humble origin who has gained wealth or position and risen in society”. In America, Monsieur, that sort of social mobility is a source of pride, not shame.
Now, it is true that the word parvenu comes with a sense that the individual in question is an upstart or is someone in some way unfitted for his new status in society, but generally the people who use that term are those who feel most threatened by the newcomer’s success – faded aristocrats, say, or jealous inadequates.
Which brings me back to France.
Posted at 02:14 PM
GREAT PICS [Jonah Goldberg]
The San Francisco anti-war rally.
Posted at 01:24 PM
BET YOU WISHED YOU HAD THE LATEST NR TO CURL UP WITH? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
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That's right: We'll send you 4 FREE issues of National Review at absolutely no risk to you. If you're impressed by National Review's superior writing style, analysis, and wit, we'll send you the next 12 issues for a total of 16 in all! for only $19.95. Click here for details.
Posted at 12:07 PM
FLYOVER COUNTRY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
People who actually have to deal with snow all winter long must be laughing at us whiny Northeast Corridor types. But when the snow is nearing my waist, I whine.
Posted at 12:03 PM
SNOW HIGH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Boing! Boing! sorta describes how I feel as I bounce off the walls, having just had hot chocolate. Not even trying to make it to the sidewalk, I just go outside hourly to shovel enough so the door isn't sealed shut with snow (as it was at 3 am, after no shovelling for three hours). Between that and working right by the drafty door, I thought I would try warming with Nestle. Never again.
Posted at 11:48 AM
SNOW DOGS [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: Boris is another snow-lover. Whined at the door till I HAD to take him for him morning walkies. We went through the woods, which are filled with 2-foot drifts. (Boris is about 12 in. high at the shoulder.) He made his way for a while with a sort of kangaroo motion--boing! boing! in a sort of bounding, looping, jumping way. Then he started to tire, and I started to worry about him getting a heart attack (he's 12, i.e. 84 in people years). So I CARRIED him, which he didn't mind at all. Then, about halfway through the woods, I started to worry about ME having a heart attack, so I put him down but walked ahead of him, pushing my legs through the snow to make a channel he could walk in without having to do the bounding thing. It was murder on the quads after a while, but we made it. OK, the darn mut's had his walkies. I AM NOT GOING OUT AGAIN TODAY.
Posted at 11:43 AM
COSMO... [Jonah Goldberg]
Loves the snow. Unfortunately, it's so deep he has to move like a porpoise.
Posted at 11:18 AM
MORE TURKEY TALK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Turkey delays cooperating with U.S. troops.
Posted at 11:13 AM
ARE WE READY FOR LIFE WITHOUT THE NATION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Reader suggestion: "Why doesn't National Review take out an add in The Nation? That act alone could destroy the left as we know it. "
Posted at 10:12 AM
TODAY ON NRO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
NRO is on a posting holiday/snow day on Monday. We'll keep things going in The Corner today in between shovelling and such, AND check out David Frum's diary, where he talks with Mona Charen about her new book Useful Idiots and Matthew Spalding on why today should not be called Presidents Day.
Posted at 09:35 AM
SOMETHING TO READ [John Derbyshire]
A great American classic. Enjoy.
Posted at 09:22 AM
GUMBO DIPLOMACY [John Derbyshire]
This is for Rod.
Posted at 09:12 AM
GREAT GOOGLY MOOGLY! [Rod Dreher]
<--- I've never seen Mojo Nixon quoted in the Corner, but now's a good a time as any to start. I opened the front door this morning to take in the damage, and MAN! It's unbelievable out there. The only way I'm coming in today is if K-Lo dispatches the NRO Sherpa Team with a sledge and a bottle of single-malt. CNN says the wind will be gusting to 60 mph by 9 a.m. This can only mean one thing: time to get out the black-iron pot and make gumbo.
By the way, given the spectacularly abysmal conditions outside, to my utter and complete astonishment, my New York Times was delivered this morning. Howell Raines, you should know that our neighborhood delivery guy, Angel Bravo of the Bronx, is a hoss. When they find his body in a snowdrift, let us know, because we'd like to send flowers to whichever hospital is thawing him out.
Posted at 08:20 AM
NOT-SO FOXY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
50 people cancelled their Nation subscriptions over a Fox News ad.
Posted at 06:47 AM
CAN YOU RETURN DUCT TAPE? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Tom Ridge says we're likely to go back to yellow soon. Is he serious? Can we just shut down his department now before any more money is wasted?
Posted at 06:20 AM
LIBERALS DISCOVER AN ALTERNATIVE TO WHINING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Al Franken to go on air.
Posted at 06:18 AM
BLIX 2.0 [John J. Miller]
When Hans Blix is done in Iraq, there's an ideal job waiting for him. It involves a trip to Antarctica and penguin poop. The UN's already being asked to intervene. I'm not making this up.
Posted at 05:54 AM
GREGG EASTERBROOK ON HOMELAND INSECURITY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Your risk of dying in a car accident while driving to buy duct tape likely exceeds your risk of dying because you lacked duct tape."
Posted at 05:37 AM
MILLER... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...you should work for Tom Ridge. And, with your SUV, maybe Transportation, too. And the EPA...
Posted at 05:21 AM
HIDDEN MEANING [John J. Miller]
Maybe Code Orange means a really big snowstorm is on the way.
Posted at 05:15 AM
TALKING TURKEY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
NATO will defend, after all.
Posted at 04:38 AM
BLIZZARD REACHES NY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Really wish I had John J.'s SUV right now. Without it, today marks the first NR editorial meeting I've missed since working here (since infancy, mine, not NR's).
Posted at 04:27 AM
ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIERS! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
On Saturday Night Live this weekend, President Bush (Chris Parnell) invited the Knights of Columbus (among others, Amnesty International, etc) to take on Saddam Hussein themselves.
Posted at 03:50 AM
THE PERFECT DAY [NRO Staff]
Snowed in, wishing you had some good reads? How about Richard Brookhiser on George Washington this Washington's birthday?
Posted at 03:07 AM
Sunday, February 16, 2003
TONY BLAIR, STATESMAN [Rod Dreher]
Here's the entire speech Britain's courageous prime minister gave to the Labour Party meeting this weekend. An excerpt:
There will be no march for the victims of Saddam, no protests about the thousands of children that die needlessly every year under his rule, no righteous anger over the torture chambers which if he is left in power, will be left in being.
I rejoice that we live in a country where peaceful protest is a natural part of our democratic process.
But I ask the marchers to understand this.
I do not seek unpopularity as a badge of honour. But sometimes it is the price of leadership. And the cost of conviction.
But as you watch your TV pictures of the march, ponder this:
If there are 500,000 on that march, that is still less than the number of people whose deaths Saddam has been responsible for.
If there are one million, that is still less than the number of people who died in the wars he started.
Posted at 10:35 PM
THE FRENCH [Jonah Goldberg]
This might be familiar territory for you guys, but here's my LA Times piece on the French. Registration is required.
Posted at 10:01 PM
PREACHING TO AN EMPTY ROOM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Carol Moseley Braun launches her campaign.
Posted at 09:08 PM
WHAT IF THE PEACE MARCHERS PREVAIL? [Rod Dreher]
London's Daily Telegraph asks, "What would happen if the peace marchers got what they are asking for?" And, Tony Blair wants people to read an e-mail from an Iraqi exile, which inspires his determination. The young woman, a first-year student at Cambridge, slams the naivete of the anti-war movement: “Do not use the Iraqi people as a pawn in your game for moral superiority — when you allow a monster like Saddam to rule for 30 years without so much as protesting against his rule. ... Of course, it would be ideal if an invasion could be undertaken, not by, the Americans, but by, say, the Nelson Mandela International Peace Force. That’s not on offer. The Iraqi people cannot wait until such a force materialises.”
It's going to be great to watch the faces of the French, the Germans, the Vatican and all our anti-war marchers when American troops are welcomed by the Iraqis as liberators.
Posted at 08:52 PM
I LOVE THIS EMAIL [Jonah Goldberg]
From a CNN viewer upset with my poo-pooing of the anti-war demonstrators:
You do not belong in a democracy, nor are you a true American. If all voices are not heard and considered (something you are incapable of doing in your own smugness) unique solutions to difficult problems will never occur. You are of the sledgehammer variety that says might is right, not might for right. I will remember to turn off my TV the next time you sit on the round table. And by the way, tell CNN to get a more rounded round table. Thanks.
Posted at 06:56 PM
BUNDY MANIA [Andrew Stuttaford]
It’s been a grim weekend, but all is not lost. There’s a Married With Children reunion on TV tonight. Walter Mosley pays tribute to the great Al Bundy in today’s New York Times.
Posted at 06:15 PM
PICTURES FROM A DEMONSTRATION [Andrew Stuttaford]
Via blogger Asparagirl.
Posted at 06:02 PM
LET DOWN BY THE LEFT [Andrew Stuttaford]
A British leftist on how the Stop the War coalition is betraying Iraq’s democrats. Harold Pinter comes in for a dishonorable mention.
Posted at 05:56 PM
MOVIE OF THE MOMENT [Rod Dreher]
Channel-surfing looking for a weather report a few minutes ago, I happened upon USA Network's broadcast of The Siege, a film in which martial law is declared in New York City because of Islamic terrorist attacks. Of course now I'm hooked -- the terrorists have just bombed to rubble One Federal Plaza, and the recovery scene looks exactly like the remains of the World Trade Center. When the movie came out, Arab-American groups went berserk, saying the film was stirring up racism by imagining a scenario in which Muslim villains destroyed New York landmarks. Now that it's happened, in an event far worse than anything depicted in this movie, and it may happen again, I wonder what they would say if the film were re-released. Probably the same thing -- except now that we have seen that Islamic extremists are in fact exactly what this film portrayed them to be, there's little chance politically correct Hollywood will ever make them villains again.
One eerie thing: the Twin Towers are still there, in the film. Absolutely chilling to see.
Bruce Willis, playing a general in this film, stands near the Brooklyn Bridge (with the Twin Towers in the background!) saying that the military has sealed off Brooklyn and is "squeezing" the borough looking for the Arab terrorists. I remember thinking when I first saw that four years ago that that was laying it on pretty thick. It seems a lot more realistic sitting here in Brooklyn this cold afternoon in February, 2003.
Commercial's over. Back to the film.
Posted at 04:05 PM
PINTER, AGAIN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Also available at the New York demonstration yesterday were copies of a recent speech by our old chum, British playwright Harold Pinter, a cheerleader, it sometimes seems, for any tyranny so long as it is opposed to the US. He recalls having emerged from a “private nightmare” (he has been very ill) into “an infinitely more pervasive public nightmare – the nightmare of American hysteria, ignorance, stupidity and belligerence; the most powerful nation the world has ever known effectively waging war against the rest of the world.”
To believe that requires either a remarkably low IQ or quite astonishing malevolence. Harold Pinter is not a stupid man.
Pinter is also interviewed in this weekend’s Financial Times. The interviewer writes, “It is not necessary to agree with [Pinter] to see that he speaks from the heart.”
From the heart?
I would choose another part of the body, but read this extract from the FT piece and judge for yourself:
“[Pinter] last visited the US in July 2001, for a festival of his work in New York. While there, he met an old friend from 30 years ago. “It was very nice to see her again. We had lunch. Then I came back, and my birthday was in October – and October follows September, right? – and she left me a message on my answering machine wishing me a happy birthday. I thought: “That’s very nice.” I rang her number in New York, to thank her, and she wasn’t there. So her answering machine came on and said: “I am out, I’ll be back at four o’clock” – or whatever it was – “God bless America.” When I heard those words, I looked at the receiver and put it very slowly down.” He didn’t call her again. “God, of course, is on the American side. And blessing America. I find it stultifying and pathetic.”
Simply put, here we see yet another example of an anti-Americanism that has tipped over into the pathological. It’s no surprise that Pinter was at yesterday’s protests in London. His comment?
The US is “a country run by a bunch of criminals…with Tony Blair as a hired Christian thug.”
Harold Pinter, clearly, is in no position to criticize anyone for “hysteria, ignorance and belligerence.”
Posted at 03:59 PM
SAUDI 'JUSTICE' [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's a reminder that a Riyadh Nuremberg might be a good idea too.
Posted at 02:58 PM
MANAGING THE AFTERMATH [Andrew Stuttaford]
It seems, to put it mildly, a little premature to be fighting over the spoils of a war that has not yet been launched, and the politics at play are murky, to say the least. Nevertheless it’s worrying to read these claims by Kanan Makiya, an adviser to Iraq’s main opposition group. According to Makiya, the US has abandoned its plans to bring democracy to Iraq in favor of a continuation of Baathist rule (but without Saddam Hussein).
If that is indeed Washington’s longer term plan, it would be a mistake. An important element in the management of the war’s aftermath will be reconfirming the conflict's moral legitimacy. That implies a thorough investigation of who did what in Saddam’s Iraq - a Baghdad Nuremberg, in effect.
And that’s something that would be impossible if Hussein’s cronies were left to run the show.
Why would the US act in this way? Well, according to Makiya (who has, doubtless, his own axe to grind) it’s the result of pressure from the Gulf States and, you guessed it, ‘Saudi’ Arabia.
Posted at 02:46 PM
OUTPOSTS [Andrew Stuttaford]
There’s a disturbing story in today’s New York Times magazine on a new generation of ‘radical young Israelis’ intent on extending settlement still further on the West Bank.
Here’s an extract:
“When these young settlers claim a new hill, they also claim the land around it, which in some cases Palestinians have been farming for many years. The new settlers don’t seize the land in any official way; they simply uproot Palestinians’ trees or shoot in the air at any Palestinian who comes close. About 70 of these small encampments, known in Israel as outposts, have been built in the last two years; together they represent a movement that intends to transform the West Bank, and the conflict in the Middle East, from the ground up.”
Well, if this article is accurate, indeed it may – but, tragically, for the worse.
Posted at 02:18 PM
GRATITUDE WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Taliban fighters were the storm troopers of a vicious ideology, gun-toting, torturing louts with no place in a civilized society. Or so you would think. In recent weeks there has (as previously mentioned on the Corner) been controversy in Britain over the decision to admit one of these thugs as an ‘asylum seeker’.
Well, that controversy can be expected to get worse. In a reminder of the stupidity that, along with cruelty, was one of the defining characteristics of the Taliban regime, Wali Khan Ahmadzai, has now chosen to speak to the British press. Amongst his pearls of wisdom:
"I live here but I still think America and Britain are enemies of the Afghanistan people and Muslim people," he said. "But I don't want to fight anymore. I just want the chance to live in peace and safety and to be a good Muslim."
Ahmadzai’s presence in the UK, in that ‘enemy’ nation he so clearly despises for everything other than its welfare benefits and material comforts, is an insult to the British troops who fought in Afghanistan – he should be sent home.
Posted at 01:34 PM
WERE THE DEMONSTRATIONS RACIST? [Andrew Stuttaford]
More from today’s Sunday Telegraph, this time from NR senior editor, David Pryce-Jones. The key argument is contained in the opening paragraphs:
"Ignorance, fear and lack of respect for Arabs - these were the most obvious traits on display in yesterday's demonstration against a war in Iraq. Could so many people really think that it is better to leave Iraqis under Saddam Hussein's vicious tyranny than to liberate them from it?
Their protests suggest that it is not worth risking anything at all to free Arabs. To risk spilling a single drop of blood to liberate Iraq would be futile - not merely because it would be "destabilising" or "kill children", but because the Arabs have no capacity for "Western" freedom anyway. Behind the demonstrators' slogans lies the assumption that Arabs should be left alone: they don't mind being brutalised, tortured and murdered by a fascist thug like Saddam. Where they come from, it is the natural order of things.
That line of thought is nonsense. More than that - it is racist nonsense. No one knows better than the Arabs the horror of being oppressed. No one knows better than they that tyrannical oppression is all that they will get so long as Saddam and his family are in power. Saddam's despotism is not a denial of "Western" freedom: it's a denial of the freedom that every person needs to be able to live a worthwhile life. To imagine that the Iraqis don't want to be freed, or are not entitled to it, is simply to suppose that they are less human than us. "
Posted at 01:05 PM
STIFF UPPER LIP? [Andrew Stuttaford]
One of the proudest boasts (albeit one that is a little tatty round the edges in the aftermath of Diana-wake) of the Brits is our stiff upper lip, that legendary sense of calm in the midst of crisis. Writing in today’s Sunday Telegraph, David Thomas takes a look at this phenomenon. His less than flattering conclusion:
“Maybe we are not so phlegmatic, after all. Maybe we are exhausted by the weight of our own history. Maybe, like our cheese-eating fellow-Europeans, we have become unwilling or unable to meet threats head-on, and defeat them. And that is where the advantage swings to America. You could say they panic - although it is only fair to point out that mockery of the Homeland Security department's advice was at least as scathing in Middle America as it was in Middle England. But one could also say that Americans come from a culture which still believes in taking action.
If Americans think they are going to be gassed, they buy gas-masks. If they think they might go thirsty, they buy water. And if they think their country has deadly enemies, they expect their President - whoever he is - to find the person and blow that sucker away.
British phlegm is the response of a nation that has lost the capacity to mould events, and decides, instead, to endure them. Americans may not have so much phlegm. But they do have stealth bombers, aircraft carriers, and the 101st Airborne Division. And who needs phlegm when you've got all that on your side?”
Posted at 12:52 PM
HAPPY BIRTHDAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Today is the Heritage Foundation's 30th birthday.
Posted at 12:12 PM
OLD MEDIA MISS THE STORY, AGAIN [Dave Kopel]
My latest media analysis column for the Rocky Mountain News examines how newspapers overlooked two stories which have been well-reported by Internet media: the Franco-German cover-up of their role in helping Saddam acquire illegal WMDs, and the celebrations of some Arabs about the Columbia tragedy. I also examine polling about gay rights, and whether it's "McCarthyism" to call a Communist a "Communist." Finally, I retract my earlier statement that ANSWER/WWP are "Stalinist." Hardline revolutionary Communist, yes; Stalinist, no.
Posted at 12:11 PM
I DON'T UNDERSTAND THE PARISIANS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 11:48 AM
AND ONE MORE THING [John J. Miller]
Every time I shovel the driveway, I think about what the global-warming worrywarts were telling us not long ago: This is supposed to be the hottest year on record.
Posted at 10:44 AM
MY SUV PROBLEM -- AND OURS [John J. Miller]
Just returned from Mass, which is usually standing-room only but today was close to empty because of all the snow. The only reason we made it was because of our SUV's 4-wheel drive. In fact, the only vehicles in the parking lot were SUVs and pick-ups. It made me think of all the people who say SUVs are pointless, and how wrong they are. The snow's still coming down and we're not going out again unless it's really important, like a kid with a gash in the head (as happened a couple of months ago). If we do venture forth, we'll need our SUV once more, and we'll get where we need to go. Thank goodness for these great vehicles.
Posted at 10:40 AM
SHAME [Rod Dreher]
Tariq Aziz, the valet for mass-murderer Saddam Hussein, continues to play the Catholic Church for fools. He's now gone to the tomb of St. Francis of Assisi to pray for peace. This is shameful beyond words. One is reminded of the immortal line sung by the late Joe Strummer: "If Adolf Hitler flew in today/They'd send a limousine anyway."
Posted at 12:33 AM
THE ANTI-WAR STREETS [Rod Dreher]
So I had to be on the streets around Grand Central late this afternoon, as the demonstration was breaking up. Now, I grant that there are morally serious people against the war. I just didn't see any of them today. This is what I saw: a child whose parents hung a poster around her neck that read: MORE CANDY AND ICE CREAM/LESS WAR AND BIGOTRY. I'm not making that up. I also saw this slogan on a poster: THE IRAQI PEOPLE NEED OUR LOVE, NOT OUR BOMBS. Ooh yeah, and mean people suck.
I also saw a woman carrying a poster that had an image of President Bush with a Hitler mustache drawn on. I nearly lost it over that. What kind of decent person would have anything to do with a movement that likened the President of the United States to a genocidal mass murderer? Just to see them walking the street is to put oneself in touch with one's inner Teamster.
By the way, one of four lesbians I stood with as they tried to cross the street said, "It didn't snow today. Goddess was with us!" It was that kind of day in New York.
Posted at 12:22 AM