ANDREW - [Jonah Goldberg]
The dogs at the Gray's Papaya on 72nd and Broadway are, in fact, superior. Plus, it was in The Warriors.
Posted at 05:29 PM
FOOD OF THE GODS [Andrew Stuttaford]
This weekend’s Financial Times has an excellent article on how, in these tough times, the humble hot dog is back in favor. There’s one serious error, however: the omission of the Papaya King on 86th and 3rd, home of the best hot dogs (“tastier than filet mignon”) anywhere, particularly when washed down with a delicious papaya 'tropical drink'.
Posted at 01:37 PM
SEAN PENN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Sean Penn has been complaining that he’s losing work for his stance on Iraq. The (un-named) producer quoted in this week’s New York Observer makes this response:
“Sean Penn has a constitutional right to speak out about the war. Good for him. But don’t whine about the repercussions. I have a constitutional right not to go bankrupt hiring him. If there’s a black list, it’s not going to be created by the studios; it’s going to be created by the American public.”
Posted at 01:19 PM
TIME TO MOVE ON [Andrew Stuttaford]
Secretary Rumsfeld has, as the New York Times notes, been hinting that some American units should leave South Korea. He’s right. South Korea is wealthy, well able to pay for its defense and, apparently, increasingly unappreciative of its US military presence. The withdrawal of some its American military support might be just the sort of wake up call that the country needs.
While Rumsfeld is thinking about such matters he should also look at the US bases in Germany. With Germany effectively no longer an ally, it might well make sense to start redeploying those forces in Poland. The Poles could do with the economic boost that this could mean and something tells me that it is they, not the Germans, who are likely to be better friends to the US in future.
Posted at 01:00 PM
VILLEPIN WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Designer weasel Dominique de Villepin is profiled in today’s New York Times. As a picture of arrogance, incompetence and intellectual pretension it is hard to beat, but the following extract made truly remarkable reading:
“Describing Napoleon’s philosophy as “Victory or death, but glory whatever happens,” Mr. De Villepin added, “There is not a day that goes by without me feeling the imperious need to remember so as not to yield in the face of indifference, laughter or gibes” in order to “advance further in the name of a French ambition.”
And they call George W. Bush a cowboy?
Posted at 12:38 PM
SAND IN THE FACE [John Derbyshire]
Is it really true, as Mark Steyn says in his Telegraph piece today, that "I fart in your beard" is a common Arab insult? A schoolfellow of mine claimed to have looked into a textbook of the Arabic language and encountered the insult: "You cross-eyed son of a three-legged hunchback with no thumbs!" He also said that the book contained the endearment: "I love you, you love me, and my he-camel loves your she-camel." He was not, however, a very truthful boy.
Posted at 12:35 PM
GIVE 'EM THE FINGER [Andrew Stuttaford]
According to a report in today’s New York Times, the North Korean MIGs that intercepted an American plane over the Sea of Japan were trying to force the aircraft to land in North Korea and seize its crew. At one point, apparently, one of the MIG pilots “made internationally recognized hand signals to the American flight crew to follow him, presumably back to his home base.” The Americans correctly (and bravely – their plane was unarmed) ignored the gestures.
Lets hope that they also made a few “internationally recognized hand signals” of their own.
Posted at 12:22 PM
COLUMBIA TRAGEDY [John Derbyshire]
Here is an interesting new angle on this from NR reader Vern Pall, who is a retired Air Force Major. "...Each day brings new stories that reveal that NASA knew they were sending a sick bird aloft. While in orbit, the shuttle poses no threat to those who live below; if it blows up, most of the debris will burn up on re-entry. What bothers me and many others is this: When the shuttle blows up, as Columbia did, after entering the atmosphere, it becomes a threat to everyone beneath its flight path. It is a miracle that no one was hurt on February 1, when tons of debris rained down. Some of us, retired Air Force officers, have formed an organization called SAFE SKIES. What we are proposing is that NASA continue to launch the shuttles as they now do from Florida, but recover them at Edwards AFB in California, thereby keeping the shuttle over the Pacific ocean until moments before touchdown. Presently, when weather precludes a landing in Florida the shuttle lands at Edwards, and is then flown back to Florida on a modified 747. All we are asking is that the Edwards recovery be made standard procedure for shuttle flights. In future disasters, we may not be as lucky as we were on February 1. Just think of the collateral losses if an airliner had been struck by falling debris."
Posted at 12:08 PM
NURSE GETS WORSE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Nurse Bloomberg is a coward as well as a bully. It turns out that his ludicrous new anti-smoking law is going to be enforced selectively. The New York Post is reporting that health inspectors will issue tickets to the owners of bars and restaurants that ‘permit’ smoking, but not to the smokers themselves. This is nonsense, and it puts the proprietors of these businesses in an untenable position. Why should they be solely responsible for enforcing this law? Either smoking is illegal in such places or it is not. The law should be enforced properly, and that means by police, not barmen. Bloomberg has championed a grotesque, intrusive and expensive piece of legislation. He should now be made to enforce it.
And if that makes him a laughing stock, that will be exactly what he deserves.
Posted at 12:01 PM
57 VARIETIES [Andrew Stuttaford]
I pass this story on without comment
Posted at 11:57 AM
CRAZY FOR YOU [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
Apparently, they’d have a fighting chance as a couple. (That is the first hit when you google Saddam and Madonna, ok?!)
Posted at 11:48 AM
LUCKY STAR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Saddam Hussein is Madonna’s most famous fan.
Posted at 11:47 AM
SUPER NR/NRO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I fear Lowry is going to see this and want one of us to complete this drug-enduced alertness experiment David Plotz tried and bailed on early. Man, I hope our medical plan doesn’t cover it (he may chickened out if we have to pay full price). WE’LL NEVER SLEEP AGAIN.
Posted at 11:24 AM
BLAIR'S TENDENCY [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: I agree with you about the contradiction in Blair's foreign policy. I think it arises from a rather common affliction among British Prime Ministers -- the desire to belong to something big and international. The name "Ted Heath" mean anything? In Blair's case, this tendency manifested itself early on via a sort of teasing infatuation with the Roman Catholic church (his wife is a Catholic). Now his head is swiveling between the EU and the Anglosphere. I predict the EU will win in Tony's heart (though he will probably be out of office by the time it does).
Posted at 11:06 AM
TIME FOR TAFTA [Andrew Stuttaford]
The contradiction at the heart of Tony Blair’s foreign policy lies in its combination of firm support for the US with an obsessive desire to take the UK deeper into the EU. Such an entanglement with ‘Europe’ would make a repeat performance of Britain’s current stand alongside this country quite impossible. The shambles of the last few weeks should have led Blair to realize that the EU was not all that he had hoped. Unfortunately, this may not be the case. Here are some comments from Peter Mandelson, the individual most often credited with the rise of ‘new’ Labour and the creation of ‘Tony Blair’. Mandelson, by many accounts still a confidant of Blair, is now suggesting that the Prime Minister should use any post-war popularity to propel Britain into the Euro. Such a step would be a disaster, a defeat stolen from the jaws of victory. Blair should know better than to listen to his old friend.
Perhaps his new friend, George, could have a few words.
Posted at 11:03 AM
WHAT A LEADER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Pelosi calls for more diplomacy. Won't even take till March 16 for everyone to cave...
Posted at 11:02 AM
MARCH 17 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I keep thinking how much momentum we would have had had we set the March 17 deadline when Powell made his main presentation to the U.N. Security Council weeks ago. As it looks now March 16 will come. Saddam TV will sent out images of a missile being dismantled, Blix will announce that they are proactively cooperating and this will endlessly continue. Unless we this last phase stuff means something this time. Our legitimacy challenge to the U.N. is starting to lose its meat as we give them second chance after second chance to "make inspections work" and show Saddam we're serious. This is a familar observation, and getting more tired by the day.
Posted at 10:48 AM
TBL, REMEMBERED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Friday before Sept. 11, 2001 I was on. One of the assorted topics: Is Michael Jackson's comeback real (it was the weekend he was doing that "Michael Jackson and Friends" thing in NYC). It would be the perfect "Sept. 10 vs. Sept 12" story except TBL never really adjusted. A month or so ago I was on and one of the planned topics was why people in Hawaii were skinnier than people in Philly. Mercifully things like the presidential race (EDWARDS: AMBULANCE CHASER OR SAVIOR....I made that up, sorta) and the war on terror (seriously....) ate up the bulk of the time. Black hole, indeed. Wonder what will take its place as worse quasi-pol/pundit talk on TV. There is the whole CNN primetime weeknight lineup. Sorry, Jonah...but I don't think you spend too much time from Connie Chung to Aaron Browne anyway.
Posted at 10:47 AM
THANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOUTHANKYOU!!! [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm so happy to hear TBL is cancelled. I'm very happy with my relationship with CNN but I loathed Talk Back Live. As Ramesh once said "it's the black hole of the intellect." He should know he was once on to talk about the pros and cons of breast-feeding in public.
Posted at 09:24 AM
NOT VILLEPIN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Napoleon is said to have described Talleyrand as a “mass of filth [except he didn’t use the word ‘filth’] in a silk stocking”, a phrase that nicely combines images of outward elegance and inner squalor. Anyone who thinks that quote has come to mind because of the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin, would, of course, be quite wrong.
Posted at 01:57 AM
KUMBAYAH? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Meanwhile, the EU’s dodgy and disreputable constitutional convention continues its deliberations, briefly summarized in this Cato piece. There have been efforts to suggest that the document that emerges will be comparable to the US constitution. Over at Airstrip One, Blogger Philip Chaston reckons that this is like comparing Kumbayah with The Battle Hymn of the Republic. He’s too kind to the Eurocrats. Kumbayah is an inoffensive, if insipid, tune. The proposed EU constitution is altogether worse. If it were a piece of music it would need to combine menace, incompetence and a self-important tinpot grandeur.
Perhaps the boys of Spinal Tap have written something appropriate.
Posted at 01:51 AM
Friday, March 07, 2003
CHEMICAL-DROPPING DRONES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Why would Blix leave this out of his report?!
Posted at 11:48 PM
WEIRD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Incident at a Celtics game.
Posted at 11:41 PM
TBL, RIP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
CNN has cancelled Talkback Live, at last.
Posted at 11:38 PM
MARK STEYN [Rod Dreher]
Mark Steyn says he's running out of things to say about the coming war with Iraq. Of course, he's full of it; Steyn's as sharp and witty as ever. Here, from his newest column, is Steyn on certain anti-war nincompoops:
Even more telling than the human shields scramming out of town is the alarming failure of recent "naked protests" to get naked. Many of my fellow warmongers have mocked the nude protests mounted by the women of California's Marin County, cruelly pointing out that many of the bits on show are excessively saggy. But I'll take what I can get. If we have to have an incoherent, anti-Western "peace" movement, then women showing off their hooters in support of a culture that would stone them to death for showing off their ankles is about as good as it's gonna get.
Posted at 10:54 PM
CAN A BRIT BE A COWBOY? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Posted at 06:49 PM
WOW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Corner empties out on Fridays.
Posted at 06:47 PM
YES.... [Jonah Goldberg]
I wrote a column.
Posted at 06:18 PM
KATHRYN [Jonah Goldberg]
I can't even begin to tell Cosmo about the beagle story, not when Cosmo is still in a purple rage over this story.
Posted at 03:03 PM
NEW DEADLINE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 01:43 PM
CAN A BRIT BE A COWBOY? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I know I praised Jack Straw yesterday (if he and Tony would on adopt regime change, too!), but his force today at the Security Council was of the kind that the polite types at the morally irrelevant body aren't used to.
Posted at 01:33 PM
LOOK AWAY, COSMO [Rod Dreher]
Fox just aired Iraqi video showing lab tests of botulinum toxin being administered to beagles.
Posted at 12:50 PM
MAYBE NOT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We're disputing the OBL sons report.
Posted at 12:26 PM
PROPER PRIORITIES [Andrew Stuttaford]
Posted at 12:25 PM
DEAR ABBY, YOU'RE A MORAL IDIOT [Rod Dreher]
"Vic in Graham, NC" wrote to the "Dear Abby" column saying that he had helped arrange a sexual encounter with a prostitute for his 40-year-old friend "Kent" who is 95 percent paralyzed, and lives at home with his parents, who care for him. Kent's mom and dad are deeply religious, and objected to this. Abby and her readers concluded that mom and dad are abusing their son and denying his basic human rights by trying to keep him and his friends from bringing hookers into the house. You think I'm making this up? Follow the discussion here and here.
Posted at 12:17 PM
SADDAM, "GENTLE SOUL" [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's a glimpse of Saddam's state at work today. Barbarians.
Posted at 12:00 PM
MORE ON COLEEN ROWLEY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I have an article on the site about her latest memo to the FBI director. When she originally became famous, Mark Levin raised some questions about her conduct (see third item).
Posted at 11:25 AM
THE NEXT CHOICE [Rich Lowry]
After war the Bush administration has to decide how to treat Iraq's neighbors, Syria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia: as partners in stabilizing Iraq, or as part of the region's problem. There will be pressure from the State Department and the "international community" to consider them as partners, yes imperfect, yes dictatorial, yes terrorist-tainted but necessary. If we don't work with them, the argument will go, we'll have Syrian and Iranian-supported suicide bombers targeting our troops. But this approach would be short-sighted, and mean lending a kind of support to the last remnants of the Arab status quo. Instead, the administration should work to change the nature of the surrounding regimes, with Syria probably most vulnerable to American pressure--almost everything we've said about Iraq applies equally to its Baathist neighbor.
Posted at 11:24 AM
NO NEWSPAPER IS GOOD NEWSPAPER [John Derbyshire]
I yield to no-one in my admiration for Victor Davis Hanson, whose book Carnage & Culture stands on my shelf. I am sorry to see, though, that he subscribes to the common American fallacy that there is a British newspaper named "The Manchester Guardian." No such newspaper exists.
Posted at 11:20 AM
PREEMPTION, NK & ME [Stanley Kurtz]
Peter Beinart quotes me in his new piece on the Korean crisis, as though I favor a preemptive strike. That’s not quite true. I do believe that, like it or not, it will eventually come to war. But I’m not necessarily recommending a strike right away. More than anything, I’ve been laying out the unpleasant options, none of which, I think, are clear choices. If, on the other hand, Beinart thinks negotiations are obviously the way to go, he needs to articulate a plausible scenario for their success. What I see in Beinart’s piece is not a policy, but an attempt to blame president Bush for the impossible choice foisted on him by the Clinton administration’s actions, North Korea’s perfidy, and the new world of terrorism. But I’m not interesting in blaming Beinart. The Korean situation is a profound dilemma, and we need the help of The New Republic, which has served this country so well since 9/11. If The New Republic really wants to move the Bush administration toward a solution, the most important thing it can do is lay out a scenario for how to achieve one. I believe that the administration would eagerly consider any plausible new ideas. Right now, more than anything, it must feel trapped–because trapped is what we are.
Posted at 11:17 AM
BEINART ON NORTH KOREA [Stanley Kurtz]
Peter Beinart, editor of The New Republic, has put out a piece on the situation in North Korea. I very much admire Beinart’s work, but I found this piece disappointing. Beinart seems to be angling to blame president Bush for the current crisis. I think that’s wrong. But the real problem with this piece is that Beinart appears to strongly favor negotiations with the North Koreans, yet doesn’t lay out an argument for how or why negotiations might succeed. Before taking the president to task for the failure to negotiate bilaterally, let Beinart explain how a viable and verifiable agreement might result.
Posted at 11:16 AM
PATIENCE ISN'T ALWAYS A VIRTUE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Hans Blix on Iraq's fake motions: "welcome," "proactive." He really would be comfortable going on like this for decades.
Posted at 11:00 AM
WOMEN IN THE RUSSIAN ARMY [Sarah MAserati]
I guess women in the military is not such a bad idea . . . if done this way:
The Russian Army held a beauty contest for women in the military, aimed at attracting women to the forces. "Beauty in Epaulets" judges rated women on firing kalashnikovs, singing, ballroom dancing, and cooking. "'Woman are a decoration,' said Vitaly Gusak, spokesman for the Moscow Military District. . . . After reading out the results of the shooting contest, Nuzhdin handed out the prize, a small, white pennant, saying 'Take this pennant and hang it in the kitchen so that the food for your husband will be very tasty.'"
Posted at 10:59 AM
MORE ON MUSLIM FBI AGENT [Jim Boulet]
For those startled by Rod Dreher's post this morning, ABC News adds these alarming details:
[A]n FBI agent named Gamal Abdel-Hafiz seriously damaged the investigation. [FBI Agent Robert] Wright says Abdel-Hafiz, who is Muslim, refused to secretly record one of al-Kadi's suspected associates, who was also Muslim. Wright says Abdel-Hafiz told him, Vincent and other agents that "a Muslim doesn't record another Muslim."The Muslim agent's religion is not the issue here, but rather his behavior. His oh so politically correct supervisors have some serious explaining to do.
Posted at 10:49 AM
KEEP IT UP [Rod Dreher]
That's great news! Whatever they're doing to make KSM talk, it's working. And look, now the UN Security Council is gathering. What high drama!
Posted at 10:30 AM
FROM AP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) -- Two sons of Osama bin Laden were arrested in southeastern Afghanistan in a joint operation involving Pakistani and U.S. forces, Pakistan's provincial home minister Sanaullah Zehri said.
Posted at 10:24 AM
FROM FOX.... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Sons of Bin Laden Captured in Afghanistan
Posted at 10:23 AM
FAIR-WEATHER CITIZENS [Mark Krikorian]
In this article (an English report on a Spanish-language newpaper story), the Mexican consul in San Jose, Calif., says Mexicans who have become U.S. citizens (and, incidentally, sworn to renounce all prior allegiances) are attracted to dual citizenship in order to be able to use a Mexican passport and thus avoid anti-Americanism abroad. "There is no rejection of a Mexican passport. If one has to travel, it's better to do it with a Mexican passport," he said.
Posted at 10:15 AM
THE RIGHT CALL [Jonah Goldberg]
WASHINGTON - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Thursday the stationing of U.S. troops near the border with North Korea has become intrusive to South Korea, and said forces could be moved southward or out of South Korea altogether.
This is huge news and I've been convinced for a while now this is the right call. Our troops have made South Koreans lazy about their own self-defense. I don't think we should abandon our commitment to South Korea, but we could certainly make them a security guarantee the way we do with Taiwan. Stationing 37,000, increasingly unwelcome, troops just so we'd be committed to fight if they were slaughtered strikes me as, at least, a doctrine which has outlasted its usefulness.
Posted at 10:09 AM
OFF TO CNN... [Jonah Goldberg]
(Actually, I'm off to the shower) Doing an 8:30 AM (EST) segment. Haven't figured out what G-File will be about yet. You'll know when I do.
Posted at 07:09 AM
MEL & GOD & MOVIES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Raymond Arroyo, a great guy and reporter (news head honcho at EWTN)--and occassional NRO writer--sheds some light on Mel Gibson's Passion project.
Posted at 06:45 AM
FRENCH REALLY WORK AGAINST US [KAthryn Jean Lopez]
A French company has been helping IRaq build up its fighting machines?
Posted at 06:11 AM
THE MORNING AFTER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"Democrats may come to regret" the Estrada cloture vote yesterday, says the Washington Post editorial page.
Posted at 06:05 AM
"MAJOR OPERATION" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Osama in Balochistan...and captured rumors, from the Balochistan Post.
Posted at 05:55 AM
SHE WAS THERE.... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Remember the "Where's Helen" question from last night. Well, she was snubbed. Bush rocks.
Posted at 05:38 AM
SHE'S BACK! [Rod Dreher]
Yesterday, Camille Paglia, from whom we don't hear nearly enough these days -- sent me a hard copy of a long, fascinating essay she has about religion and the 1960s. I read it on the subway home last night, and hoped it would be online somewhere so I could share it with The Corner. Here it is!
Posted at 02:06 AM
"FINALLY, A RAPID RESPONSE" [Rod Dreher]
Here's my column from today's Wall Street Journal. It's about the Vatican, the war in Iraq, and the priest scandal.
Posted at 01:35 AM
THE MUSLIM FBI AGENT [Rod Dreher]
Bill O'Reilly had a startling interview last night with a retired FBI special agent who alleges that a Muslim FBI agent with whom he was working on a case refused to wear a wire to tape a fellow Muslim the agency wanted to investigate. A current working FBI agent who complained about this too was forbidden by the agency from going on the O'Reilly show, under threat of an insubordination charge. This is an incredible story, and if it's exactly as the special agent said on O'Reilly, a real outrage. O'Reilly is right: FBI Director Robert Mueller owes the public an explanation.
Posted at 01:33 AM
Thursday, March 06, 2003
C.W. [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
RE: the press conference; David Gergen says his obvious sincerity was "compelling."
Posted at 11:09 PM
WALDORF? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Is being partially evacuated because of a suspicious package. Powell staying there.
Posted at 10:53 PM
THIS IS FOR DERB [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Math jokes. Nerd heaven?
Posted at 09:53 PM
ANOTHER READER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"I listened to Bush on the Radio. He came across measured, focused and seemed to have a 'quiet resolve.' I guess that's the advantage (or disadvantage) of listening to the radio. "
Posted at 09:49 PM
ONE READER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
"I'm a lifelong Democrat, and I voted for Mr. Gore. But I have never felt so inspired by a leader as I felt watching Mr. Bush tonight. The nits and quibbles that Cornerites are obsessing about seem almost sacrilegious."
Posted at 09:48 PM
PREZ NEWS CONFERENCE [John Derbyshire]
Key phrases: "I see a gathering threat." "We are now a battlefield." "The fundamental question facing the Security Council is, do its words mean anything." "Twelve years of denial and defiance." "We'll call for the vote... It's time for people to show their cards, to let the world know where they stand." Dumbest question fom the press: "Will this be another Vietnam?"
Posted at 09:19 PM
RAMESH IS PROBABLY RIGHT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
(What a shock she says sarcastically.) I'm flipping and that seems to be consensus. The Corner may wind up having been the most critical (maybe fickle) in the end. I could deal with that. But hey, unlike the cable guys, we were commenting during. E-mailers, by the way, seem split. Half of you think we were morons for commenting on his tiredness and trade, the others of you were thinking the same thing....
Posted at 09:17 PM
A HUNCH [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I think his "tiredness" will read as "seriousness," i.e., non-cowboyness, to the public.
Posted at 09:11 PM
PERMISSION SLIP [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Probably the most significant remark Bush made was that the United States needs nobody's permission to deal with the Iraqi threat. The runner up was his remark that he will seek a U.N. vote whether or not the "whip check" indicates that we'll win. He's not letting other governments off the hook. I imagine there are people in the administration who think it would be more diplomatic not to press for a vote if we'll lose. But Bush wants governments to show their cards, as he said.
Posted at 09:09 PM
COWBOY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rod, Kondrake said the same thing on Fox. Just seems that message would be lost on those who really think he is a cowboy.
Posted at 09:04 PM
MY FAVORITE PHRASE.... [Jonah Goldberg]
"Al Quaeda types." One can see that phrase popping up on SNL.
Posted at 09:03 PM
MAYBE [Jonah Goldberg]
There's a method to his somber somnolence. Maybe this was a press conference for foreign consumption -- signaling to the French, Chinese, Russians et al that he's made his mind up about this. That's still the best way to get the Security Council Gang Who Couldn't Vote Straight to go along. He certainly seemed resigned to the idea that he's going to go ahead and do this. One of the main messages here, after all, was: Saddam's a threat to the US and therefor the UN can suck eggs if it's not going to get our back.
And...it's the best way to put the fear of God in Saddam Hussein and his generals.
Posted at 09:01 PM
SPIN ON HIS FATIGUE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A friend just commented: "He always looks tired these days. It really makes you wonder what's in those intel reports." About North Korea, too...
Posted at 09:00 PM
AND SO... [Rod Dreher]
I have to say it was only an okay performance. The transcript and the quotes in the papers will read better than it came across tonight. At times I thought he was working hard to be clear, sincere and controlled, keeping the antiwar audience at home and abroad in mind. Message: "This man is not a cowboy." But we are on the brink of war, and as a friend of mine e-mailed me during the press conference, "he could use a little momentum right about now."
Posted at 08:57 PM
VIETNAM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I wish he had quipped: "Haven't we heard that before?" Um, Afghanistan. Amir Taheri answered some of that on NRO.
Posted at 08:55 PM
ISRAEL [Rod Dreher]
Well, Bush's just speculating about how costly it would be if the Iraqis dropped a WMD on Israel is going to give fuel to the "this war is all about Israel" crowd. I take his point, and agree with him, but it would have been helpful if he had said "or on Kuwait, or one of his Arab neighbors."
Posted at 08:50 PM
I LOVE HIM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
But he needs to keep to his pre-9/11 bedtime tomorrow night.
Posted at 08:47 PM
TERRY MORAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Is a British journalist by proxy. Caught the end of a BBc interview with Rumsfeld right before this press conference, and Terry Moran's Bush vs. the world setup was a near-perfect mimic.
Posted at 08:45 PM
I'M WITH HIM... [Jonah Goldberg]
But with the exception of a few lines -- "we like freedom and we're not changing" -- I don't know that he's moving any numbers here. He seems very tired and he seems like he hasn't had to justify his plan to a critic in quite a while.
Posted at 08:44 PM
I'M GLAD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
He got beyond the airing of opinions back to the legitimacy of the U.N.
Posted at 08:40 PM
HEY... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
What's with "Gregory" getting a followup?
Posted at 08:34 PM
JONAH... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
He sounded like he was sitting around casually going through a mental scrapbook reminiscing...very weird.....also, I am all for honesty, but could he be a little less obvious about the reading of prescripted reporters names? He so does not seem like he wants to be there.
Posted at 08:31 PM
WHERE'S HELEN THOMAS?! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 08:31 PM
THE BOTTOM LINE [Rod Dreher]
"The price of doing nothing exceeds the price of taking action, if we have to." That's it. That's the bottom line. This is what the Europeans, and the Vatican, do not understand. We suffered through September 11; they did not. The risk they expect America to take in the cause of appeasement is unacceptable.
Posted at 08:30 PM
SORRY... [Jonah Goldberg]
But his response to Jim Angle's question about "what are you waiting to hear to declare war" and what do you think of the protests, was pretty awful. Trade? I get the point he was trying to make, but it sounded awfully rambling.
Posted at 08:26 PM
"MY GOVERNMENT" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Weird phrase coming from an American, isn't it? Nearly on par with "homeland security."
Posted at 08:21 PM
"THIS IS THE LAST PHASE OF DIPLOMACY" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Don't let the U.N. say any differently....
Posted at 08:20 PM
MINOR MINOR MINOR COMMENT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
That Ron Fournier had to read his question makes me feel better about having heard the president loudly turn his statement pages.
Posted at 08:14 PM
BUSH... [Jonah Goldberg]
Is wearing a blue tie. (In case you're listening to the speech on the radio.)
Posted at 08:07 PM
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Posted at 08:06 PM
BE STILL MY HEART [John Derbyshire]
I'm in love again
Posted at 06:58 PM
KUMBAYA WATCH [Jim Boulet]
"Iraq, the religious and historical cradle of civilization, is a potent metaphor for femininity. . . . The invasion of Iraq is a crime against all women, against all that is feminine and sacred."
-- Leah C. Wells, "Reckless Abandon".
Posted at 06:53 PM
WESTERN FASHION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Saddam hopes to confuse groundtroops--and Iraqis.
Posted at 06:52 PM
ESTRADA? QUE? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
ABC and CBS have not done a single story on Estrada in the last two years, according to the Media Research Center. NBC's done one.
Posted at 06:48 PM
THREE STRIKES? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Can a good argument be made for California's "three strikes" law? Yes, sometimes, but it's difficult to see what it would be in this case.
Posted at 06:44 PM
RE EUROPEAN DEBATE [Jonah Goldberg]
Andrew - I certainly endorse your Euro-skepticism, but I'm not sure I see it the same way. If you asked an American to name the greatest Europeans he'd probably name Galileo, Newton, Churchill, Descartes, Voltaire, (boo hiss!) etc. I doubt the suggestions would be contingent upon the ethnicity of the American being questioned. What's necessary to remove the bias is to remove the person from his sense of nationality. That's not creating memories, it's abolishing one sense of identity and nationality and replacing it with another. That is outrageous, but I'm not sure it's Orwellian. In a sense its Stalinist. He loved playing games with nationalities in order to encourage a "Soviet" identity among the populous.
Posted at 05:59 PM
WHY WE FIGHT [Rod Dreher]
A timely reminder. Shock them, awe them, make them and their allies unable to threaten this nation again. Let's roll!
Posted at 05:43 PM
ESTRADA FOR SENATE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Remember this? Check out this.
Posted at 03:08 PM
TONIGHT IN THE CORNER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We'll be watching the president's press conference. Come join us in your favorite Corner.
Posted at 02:50 PM
GREAT EUROPEAN DEBATE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Opinion pollsters have been asking Europeans to identify the greatest
Creating memories? George Orwell would have had something to say about that.
Posted at 02:39 PM
SPY? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Was British historian Christopher Hill a Soviet spy? There's a good case, but, needless to say, Eric Hobsbawm doesn't think so.
Posted at 02:38 PM
GOO [John Derbyshire]
Rod: COSINE! Scrape him up, Kathryn. (The first occurrence of the word "goo" in my book, by the way, is at the bottom of page 290. The proper spelling is of course "GUE." Those who understand, will understand. Those who don't--BUY MY BOOK!)
Posted at 02:31 PM
PRIME OBSESSION [John Derbyshire]
I am also sorry that you got the Advance Reader Copy. I wish publishers wouldn't do this, but they all do. That was a _very_ advance reader copy--printed off as we had just begun working through a vast checklist of errors and "issues." No doubt you have spotted many of the errors already. All have now been fixed & the copy that comes out on April 16th (that's A-p-r-i-l 1-6-t-h) will be as clean as a new pin.
Posted at 02:30 PM
MOT JUSTE [John Derbyshire]
Warlock? Time lord? Alas, guys, the word you are searching for is "nerd." It's as simple as that, I am very, very sorry to say.
Posted at 02:28 PM
RE DERB [Jonah Goldberg]
For the record, I've had readers suggest Derb is a Watcher a la Buffy the Vampire Slayer, a Time Lord a la Doctor Who and one of various characters from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Posted at 01:54 PM
POST-9/11 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Remember when every mention of Jack Straw was a negative one from Andrew? How times change (he's doing a great job at a U.N. press conference right now)!
Posted at 01:46 PM
(LONDON) TIMES WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Also in the London Times today, this provocative piece from Anatole Kaletsky. The criticism of the position in which the US now finds itself is harsh, to say the least, but the greatest interest lies in Kaletsky's analysis of the Franco-German contribution to the current crisis.
Posted at 01:34 PM
RUMMY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's an interesting article from the London Times on Rummy (which also includes a nice reference to David Frum's new book). The writer notes that Rumsfeld and his team are seen by some critics as "difficult and cranky mountain men hiding from diplomacy in a cave of reaction". Apparently that's not a complimentary description. Who knew?
Posted at 01:33 PM
DERB IS A WARLOCK! [Rod Dreher]
Derb, Kathryn and I were just in her spacious, oak-paneled office looking through the advance copy of your book, and we've decided that it's flat-out witchcraft. I refer you to the equations on pp. 104-05. Come on, admit it, those are incantations in an ancient tongue, which, if uttered backwards by the light of a candle burning in Whitaker Chambers' pumpkin, have the power to turn Noam Chomsky into a Dittohead.
Actually, your grimoire inspired K-Lo and me to hold a ranking contest to see which one of us is dumber in math. It was a disedifying spectacle. As a matter of fact, I was pretty good in math when I went to high school here. Then I went off to this smarty-pants academy, a great school where, tragically, I found myself sitting in trigonometry class with supergenius kids who are probably now working on time travel devices in secret underground CIA labs. The effect of this on my fragile math ego was, to borrow a phrase, "shock and awe." I curled up in a ball and quit going to class.
I flunked, but managed to graduate anyway, thanks to summer tutorials. But I was never the same again, and to this day, can be reduced to a quivering pot of goo by the very word "cosine." I am literally not kidding when I tell you that at age 36, I am still haunted by dreams that my Permanent Record has been discovered to have been falsified, and I am now required to go back and re-do my math classes.
Posted at 01:29 PM
NEWS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
True, it's a big place with a lot of ground to cover. But I did do a doubletake when I saw the State Department's most recent press release: Sea Turtle Conservation and Shrimp Imports
On January 29, 2003, the Department of State determined that Honduras and Venezuela no longer meet the requirements set by Section 609 of P.L. 101-162 related to the protection of sea turtles in the course of commercial shrimp harvesting. As a result of this determination, importation of shrimp harvested in Honduras and Venezuela with commercial fishing technology that may adversely affect endangered sea turtles will be prohibited. However, imports of shrimp harvested in Honduras and Venezuela by other means, including by aquaculture and with artisanal methods, may continue....
Posted at 01:26 PM
CRUNCHY CON IN DC [Rod Dreher]
Crunchy-cons in the DC area might be interested in coming out to a do put on by the America's Future Foundation on Wednesday March 12. It's a free discussion of crunchy conservatism. AEI's Steven Hayward and I are going to bat around a few ideas on this curious species of right-winger for the pleasure and edification of all and sundry. The event is going to be at the Fund for American Studies (1706 New Hampshire Ave., NW). Drinks at 7 p.m., dinner and discussion at 7:30. If you plan to show, write to firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know. Sorry, but my wife is out of town, so I cannot offer sachets of her homemade granola as lovely parting gifts. You'll take your Turtle Wax and be happy.
Posted at 01:01 PM
BUSH V. GORE [Stanley Kurtz]
NRO readers will know that Political Theorist and George Mason University Law Professor, Peter Berkowitz, along with Washington Post editorial-page staffer, Benjamin Wittes, have written, singly and together, and important series of articles arguing that the widespread criticism of Bush v. Gore is overblown and highly questionable. Berkowitz and Wittes are about to publish the definitive version of their analysis as an article in the Villanova Law Review. A preview of this article, “The Lawfulness of the Election Decision: A Reply to Professor Tribe,” in the form of a working paper, has now been posted on the Internet.
Posted at 12:53 PM
NEWS READERS? [Andrew Stuttaford]
He wasn't exactly eye candy, but a good candidate for the news reader hall of fame was Britain's legendary (and much missed) Reginald Bosanquet. His eccentric, yet curiously distinguished, renderings of the day's crises were a badly needed antidote to the miseries of 1970s Britain, particularly the rather slurred bulletins that were always a highlight of the Christmas holidays.
Posted at 12:46 PM
THE JEWISH CONSPIRACY [Rod Dreher]
I wasn't going to say anything about the tone and content of last night's Nightline feeding into anti-Semitic conspiracy thought. Some of the leading lights of the Project for a New American Century happen to be Jewish. As I was watching the show, I thought, "Oh boy, the Jew-haters are going to go wild with this." But I didn't say anything about it, not wanting to overreact.
Well, a reader wrote a short time ago:
I just heard a caller to the Diane Rehm show this morning spin out the same theory, with an ugly edge. He noted most of the neo-cons were “Jewish Americans” and implied that their unwavering support for Israel was the prime source of their motivation.
The reader went on to say that last week he was having a beer at a his regular watering hole in Old Town, Alexandria, when he struck up a conversation with a woman who was born and raised in Marin County, California. When Iraq came up, the woman started in with the usual America-bashing. Then things turned ugly.
What eventually caused me to walk away within seconds of punching her lights out was when she said the U.S. got what it deserved on 9-11 because we are a terrorist state, and that you can’t believe anything in the news media “because everyone knows the Jews control this country.” What shocked me was this wasn’t some skinhead from northern Idaho but a cosmopolitan, educated woman from Marin County. Have I been leading a sheltered life?
Yes sir, you have. But then again, we all have. I have heard the same thing recently come out of the mouths of some intelligent, sophisticated, educated people -- the kind of people who should know better. I'm not talking about merely disagreeing or criticizing the policies of the Israeli government. This goes beyond that.
Posted at 12:43 PM
ONE HECK OF A PADDY'S DAY? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A March 17 start in Iraq?
Posted at 12:41 PM
RE: FOX ATTIRE [John Derbyshire]
A reader notes that my earlier posting that "I prefer my news and comment without knickers" can be understood more than one way. I have no idea what he means.
Posted at 12:34 PM
LARGEST CHEE-TO IN THE WORLD [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 12:23 PM
STICKY WICKET [John Derbyshire]
Knowing my English origins, readers occasionally ask me to explain the game of cricket for them. Glad to oblige. Here you go. (Thanks to Shiva Pennathur for this link.)
Posted at 12:21 PM
BUSH HOLDING PRESS CONFERENCE TONIGHT... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...and rumors floating that OBL has been captured are reportedly "false."
Posted at 12:18 PM
HEADING OFF THE STAMPEDE [Jonah Goldberg]
Yes, yes, yes. I know about nakednews.com.
Posted at 12:10 PM
STILL DEBATING ESTRADA 
We lost the vote, but not the battle!
Posted at 12:08 PM
SMALL WAR IN THE CONGO [John Derbyshire]
The late Claud Cockburn claimed that when he was a sub-editor at the London Times, he won a competition among his colleagues for the most boring headline ever to make it into the pages of that august Paper of Record. The winning headline was: SMALL EARTHQUAKE IN CHILE--NOT MANY DEAD. I was thinking about that this morning, reading the Africa news. Here is a clip from the BBC about a small war that's been going on in the north-east Congo this last 5 years. More than two million people have died. There has just been a massacre of "hundreds of civilians." A major battle seems to be going on... It's OK, though: the U.N. is sending a team to "investigate." Thank goodness for the U.N.!
Posted at 11:57 AM
RE HOT NEWS ANCHORS [Jonah Goldberg]
I've always had strong opinions on this subject. If you ask news execs why news personalities have to be good-looking, you'll get lots gobbedygook at first. But after that, they attempt to justify having underwear models read the news by noting -- accurately -- that people like to look at beautiful people (It's a fact, look it up. We tend to trust good looking people more than ugly people). They then say that this is ultimately a public good because, at the margins, it attracts more people to the news, which is socially redeeming because we need an informed citizenry. Fine, fine, I say. But if that's the case, why not have topless anchors? (Just to clarify, I mean anchorettes. Nobody wants to see Dan Rather's pecs every night). Or, if that's too much, why not have a naked woman in a little screen in the corner, like they used to have for sign language translators? That would certainly get teenage boys to watch the news more -- a demographic we desperately need to educate. The naked women could do jumping jacks.
Posted at 11:54 AM
WHAT DO HAZMAT KNICKERS LOOK LIKE? [John Derbyshire]
Sorry to flog dead horse, Kathryn, but I can't stop myself trying to imagine Laurie Dhue in a hazmat suit.
Posted at 11:46 AM
HEY, OVER HERE! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Now that the great FOXXX debate is over, onto other media business. Media outlets in NYC have supposedly been armed with protective gear in case of bio or other attacks. I'm looking around, and don't see the delivery at NR world headquarters. Rod had already volunteered to run down to the scene of any attack (I'm totally kidding, Mrs. Dreher!), so where is his hazmat suit?
Posted at 11:43 AM
COMMON GROUND [John Derbyshire]
I can meet you on this one, Kathryn. I, too, draw the line at underwear. I'd like my news & commentary without the knickers.
Posted at 11:37 AM
HAMAS HORRORS [John Derbyshire]
I have been reading a full account of the horrible bus bombing in Israel yesterday. The act, by a suicide bomber has been praised by the terrorist group Hamas. Reading this stuff isn't nice, but you should read it none the less. The people who do this kind of thing, and the people who egg them on, are beasts and monsters. I hope the Israelis find and kill every one of them. When you publish remarks like this, you get angry e-mails from Israelophobes saying: "What about the child killed in that Israeli raid last week?" Now look: A large portion of the Arab world wants to destroy Israel and slaughter her people. They always have, and quite likely always will. The Israeli army acts to defend the country against these folk, as best they can. That's what an army is for. In doing so, they often kill innocent people. That's awful: but it is *N*O*T* morally equivalent to deliberately blowing up a bus full of schoolkids. If you don't understand that, you have no moral sense. John Derbyshire
Posted at 11:27 AM
SPEAKING OF DICTATORS [Jonah Goldberg]
Interesting email from readers regarding yesterday's G-File. Among the thoughtful responses two objections keep coming up. First, that dictatorships are inherently antithetical to an open society and the rule of law. The second is that God is the author of all things and therefor he did create the Buick.
There's a lot of stuff tied up in here and we could get into the nitty gritty of a lot of theology and poli sci if we wanted to. But I'm not over-qualified in this arena and, besides, I've got a syndicated column to write. So let me just make a couple quick points. I agree entirely that as a practical matter, dictatorships have proven to be hostile to open societies and the rule of law. And in no way do I want to live under a dictatorship -- unless I am the dictator, of course. But then I wouldn't be living under it, now would I?
But at an abstract level, I'm not so sure there's anything inherent to dictatorship that would automatically preclude an open society and the rule of law. After all, God is an unelected and absolute dictator. This is particularly so in the Hebrew bible. But I would guess that most Christians would concede that when Christ returns and rules on earth -- I hope I'm getting this right -- he won't be running a democracy. I mean would Tom Daschle require the King of Kings to get sixty votes in the Senate? Surely, if the rule of law and open societies are good things, it would be hard to believe that God would oppose them.
This leads to the second point. Yes, God is the author of all things. But we do have free will -- at least as far as I'm concerned. It is the free will of dictators which tends to make dictatorships unpleasent forms of government and it is the free will of citizens which causes us to favor democracy (in part because we don't trust the free will of others).
I've never been able to reconcile the notion that God wills every single human action with idea of sin. I've read plenty on the subject (so please, no long essays on Calvinism etc) and it always seems to me that if God wills every human action, then God has no right to get angry at people when they mess up. It sounds to me like yelling at a remote control car you made hit a tree.
Note: Nothing in this post should be interpreted as an assertion of authority or expertise on these issues. Whenever I write something about religion or theology I get all of these emails from people who say I should keep my mouth shut etc.
Posted at 11:26 AM
TONY STARK, DICTATOR? [Jonah Goldberg]
I guess they'd have to change the lyrics to the Iron Man cartoon:
Posted at 11:15 AM
POSTCARD FROM A CHAPLAIN [Rod Dreher]
A military chaplain friend writes from the Gulf:
"As a chaplain, this is another of those 'where else but America?' moments.
Posted at 11:03 AM
FOXXXY FOX [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
I’m not going to belabor the point, John, but I just want to clarify that I have no objection to “hot” anchors (it would be a shame if the likes of Nic Robertson left CNN for a print outlet). What makes me cringe is when their skirt lengths get competitive with Ally McBeal’s famously near-nonexistence ones (HMMM…FOX, too). I’m talking underwear showing, etc. I’m not going feminist on you, it’s just a decency thing.
Posted at 11:01 AM
FOX FOXES [John Derbyshire]
Um, Kathryn, I beg to differ with you on the sartorial choices of female Fox News presenters. Given the state of our culture, even the furthest reaches of this phenomenon still count as demure. Personally, I watch Fox News for the news coverage (which is at least as good as anyone else's) and the comment (which really is, I agree, fair and balanced), not for the skin show. I gotta confess, though, that given the choice between news and comment delivered by (a) a very pretty woman in a bold-but-not-quite-saucy outfit, and (b) a woman starched up like my mortgage broker, I'll go for (a) every time. It's a guy thing. Though I really, really admire O'Reilly's tie knots, too.
Posted at 10:57 AM
FOX DRESS CODE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I knew I would get complaints from some of our large percentage of male readers about FOX chicks and their frequent state of undress. One of the calmer male emailer makes a great suggestion: 'Perhaps you could send the Women of Fox a gift certificate to the NRO store. Laurie Dhue in an NRO sweatshirt would cement me as a viewer for life."
Posted at 10:56 AM
LET'S HEAR IT FOR PRIVATE ENTERPRISE! [John Derbyshire]
Apropos my rantings about the U.S.S.P.--sorry, that should read U.S.P.S.--a reader tells me he actually conducted the following experiment. Go to your local post office at a busy time and get on the end of the line. Count the number of people in front of you, and clock how long you have to wait. Divide the first number into the second to get waiting time per person on line. (E.g. if there are 20 people ahead of you and you have to wait 30 minutes, that's 1.5 minutes per person.) Now do the same at your local McDonalds. Compare the results; and reflect on the fact that at one place, you were being served by unionized federal employees making $20 an hour with plump retirement & pension deals, while at the other you were being served by English-deficient immigrant teens on minimum wage. Let's hear it for private enterprise!
Posted at 10:51 AM
DEFLATED....JUST A LITTLE [John Derbyshire]
A techie reader tells me that Amazon rankings are calculated from viewing hits on a particular book's pages, not from actual orders. Oh, well. Seems funny to call them "sales rankings" then. Still, there must be some correlation. My publisher is impressed, anyway. Publishers track Amazon.com rankings with rapt attention. And the signing offer stands, of course. And I am still blushingly grateful for the interest. (It's Prime Obsession, here, by the way.)
Posted at 10:48 AM
WHO LOST CHINA? [John Derbyshire]
Good meaty debate in the current issue of that wonderful, indispensable quarterly China Journal. The topic: Who lost China? I.e. the old 1949-50 debate on who was responsible for China turning into a hostile power. Answer: Mao Tse-tung. In a review essay titled "The Opportunity Costs of Mao's Foreign Policy Choices," Grade-A Sinologist Prof. John Garver of the School of International Affairs, reviewing a new book by Chen Jian, shows how Mao had many opportunities to befriend the U.S., and blew every one of them, for ideological reasons. A corollary issue, from the Chinese point of view, is: Who lost Taiwan? Same answer. The U.S. was willing to cut Chiang Kai-shek off completely & let the PLA take Taiwan. (Whether the PLA could actually have accomplished this is another question...) Again, Mao blew it. Mao's foreign policy was really, really dumb. Author Chen Jian replies, in a good scholarly exchange. Great China reading. China Journal is published by ANUC, the Australian National University at Canberra. (If there is also an Australian National University at Sydney, I would much rather not know about it.)
Posted at 10:46 AM
RE: EEEEUUWW [John Derbyshire]
Where does our President get those wacky ideas about an overthrow of Iraq leading to democratization in the Middle East? Bob Novak knows: it's those darned Sharonists putting ideas in his head.
Posted at 10:44 AM
MORE FOX ADVICE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I, too, Stanley love Brit Hume and Tony Snow, especially. Contrary to the "conservative" rap, they live up to their fair and balanced motto with their array of hosts and some good reporting and even bullying (O'Reilly). But following from your previous criticism, I offer them this friendly advice: The female dress code there has to change. In recent weeks, near close to every time I have turned it on, I have seen way too much of some of their female hosts. I'm sure it is not by accident that no one is telling the gals to watch the skirt lengths or be careful when crossing their legs (or to not wear see-through blouses)--or that they don't just put them behind desks. FOX does some great stuff, but some of it is just crass.
Posted at 10:41 AM
RENEWED RESPECT [Jonah Goldberg]
For Byron York. He's been following the Estrada brouhaha for months. I watched six minutes of Chuck Schumer piously prattling on and I nearly went on a three state killing spree.
Posted at 10:37 AM
ADVICE FOR FOX [Stanley Kurtz]
I am a huge fan of the FOX news network–-Brit Hume, O’Reilly, and all the rest. The gossipy stuff is not to my taste, although O’Reilly, especially, is good at bringing out the larger implications of crime stories and the foibles of stars. But I recognize the imperatives of television. Still, this morning FOX had an extended interview with a bunch of jokers who claimed to believe that they had been in contact with Princess Diana in seances, and had messages from her for the world. (She really loved Dodi, and she strongly approves of the book written by the folks who speak to her in the land of the dead.) I think FOX news needs to consider that it hurts itself by going this far. I say this as a friend, who wishes only success for FOX.
Posted at 10:18 AM
OSAMA BIN WASHINGTON? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) on terrorism and the American revolution in an interview with the Toledo Blade. Among the highlights: "One could say that Osama bin Laden and these non-nation-state fighters with religious purpose are very similar to those kind of atypical revolutionaries that helped to cast off the British crown."
Posted at 09:50 AM
EXILES: ALTERNATIVE READINGS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Another reader on Exiles:
I picked that one up as well, and it *is* an alternate reality, so I just assumed that either Rich had undergone sex-reassignment surgery or that you had ruthlessly seized control of NR, leaving only despair and ruin in your wake, much like Tony Stark (Iron Man) had done for the rest of the world.
Posted at 09:50 AM
OH NO. [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A reader just sent this:
The latest issue of the comic "Exiles" (issue #23, on the stands now, by Marvel Comics) features a story about an alternate future wherein the hero Iron Man rules the Earth as "President for Life". During an exchange with some of his staff, he not only mentions National Review but even orders the murder of the editor. She has to be killed, he says, because "...the media is supposed to be our tool, not a soapbox for that woman's damn opinions."Well, since the editor of National Review on Dead Tree (hey, by the way, do you subscribe yet? NO??????? Why not, for goodness sake? Subscribe here .) is not a "she" and Rich Lowry has never done anything that would offend Iron Man, so far as I know, I wonder....did I complain about comic-book talk in The Corner one too many times?!
Posted at 09:01 AM
COOL SITES WANTED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Send us your "cool site of the day" candidates at mailto:"email@example.com". War-watching, fun and games, educational, category-defying--sent them all, as long as there is something cool about them. Of course, until we discover some new ones, there is always Duran Duran's official site in reserve.
Posted at 08:48 AM
P.S. [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Mary McGory never meant to imply she was for the war.
Posted at 08:31 AM
AMAZON RANKINGS [John Derbyshire]
Considering the book won't actually appear for 6 weeks, it's pretty thrilling. I'm not sure how those rankings work, but I assume most of that boost was due to NRO readers, to whom I am everlastingly grateful. When the book finally does come out, if you mail me a copy at NATIONAL REVIEW--clearly marked with my name, please--I'll inscribe it with the words of your choice, and sign it, and return it to you postage paid. You want the address for NATIONAL REVIEW? Why, it's right there on the Contents page of your subscription copy....
Posted at 08:14 AM
EEEEUUWW [John Derbyshire]
I appreciate the support, but I wish he could have found some other metaphor in which to express it. "Saddam is a great acne spot on the otherwise beaming face of the earth, and it is time he was squeezed." -- Boris Johnson in today's Daily Telegraph (London).
Posted at 07:57 AM
DERB MUST BE IN HEAVEN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Reader update: John Derbyshire's Prime Obsessionis at 768 at Amazon. BUY! BUY! BUY!
Posted at 07:30 AM
AS THE WAR GETS SET TO BEGIN... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...we'll have $100,000-a-pop commentary spots from William Jefferson Clinton to look forward to on CBS, according to Drudge.
Posted at 05:43 AM
NIGHTLINE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rod, Nightline has had a string of unfair and unbalanced winners this week. Here's the Media Research Center on the Tuesday night show. (I confess: if I am still awake at 11:30, watching Nightline is the last thing I want to be doing.)
Posted at 05:41 AM
JUST CURIOUS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Is there anyone reading The Corner who knows of a woman's studies type who is for the war? It's probable that the field just attracks a certain type who would oppose anything a Republican administration would ever do, but if you know anything different, holler.
Posted at 05:13 AM
A CONSPIRACY TO DUNCES [Rod Dreher]
Anybody see Nightline tonight? The show was about a "conspiracy" among neoconservative intellectuals at the Project for a New American Century, who have been pushing for a war with Iraq since 1997. Some of these "conspirators" are named Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. The spin being put on this among hysterics in Europe, and which ABC was rather too eager to play up, is that these sneaky right-wingers have long been plotting American global domination, and now that they're in power, are instituting their nefarious plans. "A blueprint for global domination," as one European newspaper called it.
What rot. This group has been public about its geostrategic vision and objectives since its inception. There's nothing secret about it. What are they guilty of? Having foreseen that America cannot live with the status quo in the Middle East. The Pearl Harbor on September 11 vindicated this view. And we're supposed to think there's something wrong with the fact that some Washington insiders have been thinking boldly and creatively -- and openly -- about this problem for years?
Posted at 12:16 AM
Wednesday, March 05, 2003
RE: KISSLING [Rod Dreher]
Kathryn, on the program tonight, I looked tonight for an opportunity to point out how odd it is that Kissling is all in favor of us listening to the Pope now, when she has built her entire career on saying that Catholics don't have to listen to the Pope on the matter of abortion. (N.B., it may not be clear to non-Catholics or ill-informed Catholics, but on the matter of abortion, Catholics cannot in good conscience dissent from the Church's teaching that it is evil; on the matter of war, however, the Church does not have the same level of moral authority with regard to the bind it can put on a Catholic's conscience. Don't take my word for it; look it up in the Catechism).
Anyway, I wanted to point out that Kissling has been active in an effort to get the Holy See kicked out of the United Nations, where it has official observer status. But now she's a big defender of the Church and its influence! Hypocrite.
Posted at 11:44 PM
IRAQI SPIES SENT HOME? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 09:07 PM
RE: I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS ILLEGAL [John Derbyshire]
Emmy: I keep my handguns as far away from my computer as possible. Gives me time to think while I go and fetch them...
Posted at 05:08 PM
PRIME OBSESSION [John Derbyshire]
NRO readers TRULY ROCK. I peaked at Amazon ranking 6,173 today. (And that is a prime number, by the way.) Closing ranking: 6,880. T-H-A-N-K Y-O-U.
Posted at 05:07 PM
I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IS ILLEGAL [Emmy Chang]
Posted at 05:01 PM
"CATHOLIC" IN THE CROSSFIRE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rod, leave out the "Catholic" next time you describe Frances Kissling (who I wrote about here). She is an abortion activist. Paid for by the industry. Describing her as "Catholic" just aids and abets her shtick.
Posted at 04:55 PM
AN ACADEMIC FOR THE WAR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 04:27 PM
THANK YOU [John Derbyshire]
Lots of advice on video compression from NRO readers. Many thanks to all. I am trying various things.
Posted at 04:24 PM
SOVIET THEME (CONT.) [John Derbyshire]
OK, just got back from the Post Office, where I had to stand in line for 20 minutes. I know, I know, I have a bee in my bonnet about the U.S.P.S.--or, as I prefer to think of it, the U.S.S.P. It's really a Soviet-style experience, standing there waiting on a line of 30 people while unirormed bureaucrats interpret arcane regulations at a speed barely visible to the unaided eye. You can see their horrid little minds working: "Uh-oh, here comes the lunchtime crowd, better shut down a couple of stations..." Can't anything be done with this behemoth?
Posted at 04:23 PM
ME IN THE CROSSFIRE [Rod Dreher]
Looks like I'll be on CNN's Crossfire tonight, debating the Catholic Church's anti-war activism with pro-abortion Catholic activist Frances Kissling, who will, for once, be taking the Pope's side. Should be an interesting exchange.
Posted at 04:12 PM
HOW FAR ARE YOU WILLING TO GO? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Woman offers to be crucified if we don't go to war with Iraq.
Posted at 04:02 PM
EAST IS RED [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: In the China book of the 1990s there was a fad--you figure out the social dynamics for yourself here, I can't explain it--among 30-ish Chinese for songs from the Mao era: "Socialism is Good for You," "The Night-Soil Gatherers are Coming Doen the Mountain," etc. etc. Half a dozen of our friends sent us tapes of this stuff. Next time we get together I shall sing some for you. Andrew? Andrew?..... Hello?.....
Posted at 03:05 PM
BAD BRITISH HISTORIANS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Hobsbawm may be bad, but here's another British historian who may have been far, far worse.
Posted at 02:42 PM
JOE'S LEGACY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's the Daily Telegraph on Stalin's legacy. British 'historian' Eric Hobsbawn
"In his widely praised Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991, the historian Eric Hobsbawm denies that Stalin's Soviet Union was totalitarian and compares it with America, concluding that "the second was probably the more dangerous.""
It speaks volumes about the state of academic life that Hobsbawm was awarded a honorary degree by the University of Pennsylvania last year. The citation described him as somebody "generally considered to be the most influential historian alive", a claim no less absurd than their praise for his "profound erudition and cosmopolitanism, piercing insight, and...limpid, elegant prose."
"Limpid?" Grotesque would be a better word.
Posted at 02:41 PM
MORE ON DEVIL MOVIES [Andrew Stuttaford]
John, Master Class was terrific - Timothy West played Stalin the time I saw it. As for Russian expats at a play, I remember seeing a dramatized version of Eugenia Ginsburg's "Into the Whirlwind" here in New York. It was a Moscow production and the majority of the audience was Russian and (it seemed) relatively elderly. Most of the play is set within one of Stalin's jails in 1937, but concludes with a number of the surviving inmates being shipped out to the Gulag. Prison had been so awful that some of them actually saw this as good news, and even as a first step to earning Stalin's forgiveness for their 'sins' . As they filed off the stage, gleefully singing some song about the glories of building the socialist motherland, the audience joined in enthusiastically, clapping rhythmically as they did so. People find nostalgia where they can, I suppose, but it was an eerie and disconcerting moment.
Posted at 02:39 PM
THE FRENCH FIRST, WE HOPE [John Derbyshire]
Drudge headline today: "Europe heads for the moon in July." This brings to mind an old Soviet-era joke. Two Hungarians meet in the street in Budapest. First Hungarian: "Janos, did you hear the news? The Russians have invented a vehicle to take them to the moon!" Janos, face lighting up with joy: "What----ALL of them?"
Posted at 02:37 PM
VIDEO FILES--A BLEG [John Derbyshire]
Here's a bleg. I have two *.AVI-format video files. Please don't ask how I got them. I was fooling around 4-5 yrs ago with some stuff for capturing VHS tape images. The stuff is long gone, I have no video capability on my desktop (unless there's something in Windows Me that I don't know about--& even if there is, based on my 2 yr experience with WinMe, it probably doesn't work). Anyhoo, these files are HUMONGOUS--around 120 Mb each. Don't ask me why, I forget. Now, I want to put these two video clips up on my web site. Obviously, they're going to need to be compressed for me to do that. WAY compressed. So... how do I compress them? Without spending a fortune (I don't mind spending a BIT), or wasting hours frigging around with software designed by propellor-heads for propellor-heads? Any help much appreciated. Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line VIDEO COMPRESSION.
Posted at 01:30 PM
IN THE NEWS [Dave Kopel]
My new media analysis column looks at coverage of fencing the Mexican border, the Iraqi stock market, Jihad demonstratorsm, a NPR station that can't handle diversity, and "affordable housing."
Posted at 12:58 PM
WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO KHRESTYALOV? [John Derbyshire]
It's funny the things that stick in your mind. The one detail about Stalin's death that I always remember is from the account in Khrushchev's memoirs. I know, I know, the old peasant needs to be taken with a large grain of salt, but this one rings true. The Politburo is round Stalin's bedside. When it becomes clear that the old rogue has breathed his last, first out of the door is Beria, who was confident that everything would now come to him. Khrushchev heard him going off down the corridor, shouting out triumphantly to his valet: "Khrestyalov! My car!"
Posted at 12:54 PM
INEBRIATE OF AIR AM I [John Derbyshire]
This is probably one of those things that native Americans know from age 8, but it was a revelation to me. A reader has told me that all of Emily Dickinson's poems can be sung to the tune of "The Yellow Rose of Texas." It checks out. Amazing! Since presumably the same is true for anything in iambic tetrameters, you could likewise sing Pushkin's "Eugene Onegin" to that tune. We learn something new every day.
Posted at 12:43 PM
PRIME OBSESSION [John Derbyshire]
My Amazon.com sales rank is 41,457. Believe it or not, that's a very respectable number for a book that won't be available till next month. This must be due to NRO readers pre-ordering. God bless you all, and THANK YOU! Now go order some more. You have friends & relatives, don't you? (I am trying to get the misleading blurb fixed.)
Posted at 12:40 PM
NEW YORK TIMES STALIN OBIT, 1953 [John Derbyshire]
If I recall correctly, that was the only occasion on which the NYT came out with a black border--right, Kathryn? (Sorry, couldn't resist that.)
Posted at 12:37 PM
AXIS OF EVIL [Jonah Goldberg]
David Frum makes a good point about the possibility of al Quaeda and Iran working together undermining the glib skepticism from some quarters that the Axis of Evil wasn't really an Axis. People who say it's inconceivable that fanatical theocrats like al Quaeda would work with secular Iraq's Baathists need to take a look at the Hitler-Stalin Pact to understand that common enemies make for common bonds.
Regardless, I have this weird feeling that there may be a whole lot of Axis-ing going on. Here's one entirely unsubstantiated theory: North Korea is hassling us because Saddam has asked it to. We've heard all sorts of punditry about how Saddam is trying to undermine Western resolve by encouraging the anti-war crowd. Well, it's certainly true that the "North Korea is a bigger threat" talking point is used in Congress, the UN and the op-ed pages every day. The more provocative Nort Korea's behavior, the more compelling that talking point is.
So why not offer North Korea a few million in hard currency and maybe some promises of cheap or free oil assuming Saddam can stay in power? Perhaps Saddam is offering to pay top dollar for North Korea's new nukes when they come on line and North Korea wants to make sure the US doesn't take out its best customer.
North Korea, with its nuclear deterrence and a supine South Korea, might reason it can challenge the US quite a bit without risking an attack. Besides, it's strategy to shake down the US is still operative. It just has more than one incentive for its misbehavior, because common enemies create common friends.
Posted at 11:56 AM
CHARLIE DANIELS TELLS THE REST OFF [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 11:47 AM
THE NEW YORK TIMES STALIN OBIT, 1953 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Reading is believing.
Posted at 11:45 AM
FEET OF CLAY [John Derbyshire]
Stanley Kurtz watches Spongebob! That's like discovering that Hegel played tiddleywinks. You have burst my bubble, Stanley.
Posted at 11:37 AM
PRIME OBSESSION [John Derbyshire]
OK, my new book is up on Amazon for pre-ordering. Please ignore the stuff under "editorial reviews," which is all nonsense. I am NOT an "investment banker." I do NOT respond to begging letters. And Bernhard Riemann was NOT obsessed with the Hypothesis, and did not "devote his life" to topics in number theory. The 1859 paper was in fact his only venture into Number Theory, and there is no evidence he gave it a moment's thought after publishing that paper. "In lapidary inscriptions, a man is not upon oath"---Dr. Johnson. The same, apparently, applies to publishers' blurb-writers.
Posted at 11:32 AM
WHAT IF THE OTHER EIGHT START DOING IT? [John Derbyshire]
Dumbest email so far today: "In your most recent column on National Review Online, you stated: 'Why a crab would be selling patties made from members of his own species is not explained.' Surely the Hon. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who continuously makes rulings against the interests of his own race, can relate to the experience of Mr. Krabs and explain it for you. If 'the silent justice' refuses, then maybe you could ask Miguel Estrada ... that is once he decides to reveal his views." So now you know: a Justice of the U.S. Supremem Court is supposed to rule in "the interests of his own race." Liberalism unmasked.
Posted at 11:30 AM
THE DERB & BOB [Stanley Kurtz]
Thanks Derb. Reading you has helped me to nurture my inner pessimist. By the way, loved your Spongebob Squarepants piece. Spongebob is hilarious. But I’m horrified by the political correctness of much of the rest of children’s television.
Posted at 11:29 AM
WHAT IF PETA ADS FEATURED PALESTINIANS? [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 11:28 AM
ANGLOSPHERE IS THE BOMB [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 11:25 AM
FYI [Jonah Goldberg]
The Goldberg File is up.
Posted at 11:07 AM
GOLDEN ANGER [Stanley Kurtz]
Thanks to my two recent NRO pieces on Korea, I’ve been doing an unusual amount of radio. Just got off the Eric Hogue show in Sacramento, and I can tell you that ordinary Californians are boiling mad about public school teachers who are canceling classes to encourage their students to take part in anti-war demonstrations. Looks like the same sort of politicized faculty nonsense we’ve been seeing so openly at colleges and universities is now filtering down to high schools. Of course, K-12 education in the United States has been corrupted by leftist teachers for years. But the politicization wasn’t quite as obvious as in colleges. Now it is.
Posted at 11:05 AM
ON MY MIND [John Derbyshire]
Top email so far this morning, from reader Fred Bartlett: "Since you also know a little (or a little about) Georgian, I'm surprised you didn't mention Repentance, which is a mildly surrealistic movie about a Stalin-like dictator from 1984. Directed by Tenqiz Abuladze and starring Avtandil Makharadze and Zienab Botsvadze. The title makes it a great movie to watch on Ash Wednesday. It's in Georgian with English subtitles -- though every video guide I've ever looked it up in has claimed that it's in Russian. The poor Georgians just don't get any respect. Incidentally, did you know that the Georgian for 'Hello!' (gamarjoba) is etymologically related to 'Victory!' (gamarjveba)? Do you suppose we should adopt that? Especially when greeting French folk?"
Posted at 11:03 AM
TODAY'S OPINIONS [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Supreme Court today rejected two challenges each to "three strikes" laws and "Megan's laws".
Posted at 10:55 AM
DEMS SHOULD REJECT SHARPTON [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:49 AM
CLEFT STICKS [John Derbyshire]
Key essay by Stanley Kurtz, who is worth ten average pundits, on NRO today. Stanley points out something just dawning on a lot of Americans--how LONELY this fight is going to be. Name almost any country in the world: there are strong reasons of interest for them NOT joining us in the coming fight. If we fight, we fight alone. If we don't fight, sooner or later we shall lose a city. We are in a cleft stick. This is a truly horrible situation.
Posted at 10:26 AM
DEVILS [John Derbyshire]
Andrew: Yes, Burnt by the Sun also terrific, but no Stalin. I think there is one of those fundamental human divides here. Some people like to see the monster in a horror movie, some just like to have it suggested. I want to see the monster. And BTW, best Stalin play: David Pownall's MASTER CLASS. It was written for radio, but I saw it done on stage in London, with Peter Bull doing Stalin to perfection. The theater was full of Russian expats. Every time Stalin hoicked up his withered arm, they all breathed "Aaaaaah!" in unison.
Posted at 10:23 AM
SHOCK AND AWE [John Derbyshire]
"[General Richard B. Myers] said the war plan will employ a concept dubbed 'shock and awe' to finish a conflict quickly. 'Some of those techniques will be used,' he said." Shock and awe. In other words, sudden and overwhelming violence and disruption (e.g. by use of EMP weapons to disable all electronics). This is the U.S. battle plan, according to Ge. Myers Shock and awe. Rolls nicely off the tongue. Shock and awe. I like this phrase.
Posted at 09:10 AM
STALIN MOVIES [Andrew Stuttaford]
John, for a tremendous Russian movie about the Stalin era, try Burnt By The Sun. It is focussed on Stalinism rather than Stalin himself, but a sense of his malignancy saturates the entire film.
Posted at 09:09 AM
CLOTURE [John Derbyshire]
Wow. I thought it was a fancy French term for high fashion. Or else one of those horrid things rural Africans do to their womenfolk.
Posted at 08:58 AM
STALIN MOVIE [John Derbyshire]
This day should not pass without a mention of the best of all Stalin movies, THE INNER CIRCLE. If you haven't seen it, see it. Alexandr Zbruyev is a wonderfully creepy Stalin. Not even Bob Hoskins, a perfect Beria, manages to upstage him.
Posted at 08:51 AM
CHIEFTAIN [John Derbyshire]
All right, all right, enough already with the "What the hell is a Vozhd?" emails. Old Slavic tribal chieftain, the Russian equivalent of "Fuehrer."
Posted at 08:50 AM
MULTICULTURAL CORNER [John Derbyshire]
Irish step-dancing sweeps Taiwan
Posted at 08:44 AM
OPEN INVITATION [John J. Miller]
The Claremont Institute is sponsoring a conference on citizenship and immigration, March 20-22, at Chapman University Law School in southern California. The event is open to the public and will include several NRO contributors: John Fonte, Charles Kesler, Mark Krikorian, Stephen Schwartz, Matthew Spalding, and me. Paul Gigot of the Wall Street Journal and Viet Dinh of the Justice Department are also on the program. Come early, come often!
Posted at 08:43 AM
WHAT???!!! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You didn't have to learn cloture to become a citizen?
Posted at 08:33 AM
BAFFLED IN THE BURBS [John Derbyshire]
What the hell is "cloture"?
Posted at 08:32 AM
AND DON'T FORGET PROKOFIEV [John Derbyshire]
All together now: "Happy deathday, dear Vozhd! Happy deathday, dear Vozhd! Happy deathday dear Stalin! Happy deathday, dear Vozhd!"
Posted at 08:30 AM
CHRISSIE HYNDE [Jonah Goldberg]
I was wrong, there's absolutely no anti-Americanism among the celebrity anti-war crowd. From a story about Chrissie Hynde (Via Drudge):
Between songs, the pugnacious Hynde, in a classic black T-shirt and jeans, bantered and battled with the crowd. She dedicated "You Know Who Your Friends Are" to "all you junkies and f--," gave a shout-out to the late Joe Strummer, opined that she hopes the United States loses if it goes to war with Iraq ("Bring it on! Give us what we deserve!"), and introduced the song "Fools Must Die" with the self-deprecating quip, "I'll show you how it's done."
Posted at 06:57 AM
PEPPER'S PLOT [Andrew Stuttaford]
I hope I can speak for the others around here when I say that The Corner will be very reluctant to participate in the sort of marketing described here, especially when associates of that sinister Dr Pepper appear to be to blame.
Perhaps the Dr was feeling the pressure from this.
Posted at 12:29 AM
Tuesday, March 04, 2003
"LOL" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Someone out to make me nuttier than I am: the time posted on my piece today is 2am. We did not post it at 2am.
Posted at 10:25 PM
CORNER BOOKSHELF [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Stopped by a shin-dig for Bill Kristol and Larry Kaplan's new book The War Over Iraq. If you haven't gotten it it is worth a read even if you've been keeping up with...well NRO daily. :-) A clearer book-lenght layout for why doesn't exist. And if you know someone on the fence, don't let let the knowledge be wasted on the already convinced. Unless they have read the British and U.S. dossiers, the depth of Saddam's monstrosity could yet be unrevealed to them. the War Over Iraq might very well fix that.
Posted at 10:08 PM
EAST ST. LOUIS [Jonah Goldberg]
I haven't fact-checked this, but it's pretty funny if true. From a reader:
East St. Louis makes anybody's short list. In the mid-70's, an arsonist was arrested....he just happened to be the Chief of the city Fire Department. City Hall was privately-owned in the 1980's--the city used it as collateral in a lawsuit over an accident in the Drunk Tank and lost. The Mayor of East St. Louis at one time lived not far from the riverfront.......across the river in St. Louis, MO. How bad is that? They've got river boat gambling, but that's the only safe attraction on the river. During a campaign several years ago for Mayor, one of the candidates was shot at by opposition supporters at a speaking engagement. Like he told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:"This is is East St. Louis. This ain't Disneyland."
Posted at 08:18 PM
MAYBE... [Ramesh Ponnuru]
the thing to do is for President Bush to give Estrada a recess appointment to the bench. This wouldn't set a bad precedent the way applying a 60-vote standard would, since President Clinton made a recess judicial appointment. Democrats who claim they don't have enough evidence to evaluate Estrada could be told to check in two years from now, when he can be renominated having judged in many cases.
Posted at 06:37 PM
A LITTLE REASON TO CHILL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If that story is true, Rod, it does not say that we're talking a nuclear warhead.
Posted at 06:34 PM
THE REPUBLICANS BLINK [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I’m concerned about the Senate Republicans’ shift in strategy on the Estrada nomination. They’re going to make Democrats go on record again and again in opposition to giving Estrada a floor vote. They think it’s going to get harder and harder for the Democrats to refuse that vote. The longer they hold out, the more obstructionist they’ll look. But I think it could work the other way: It could get easier and easier for Democrats to vote against having an up-or-down vote. Every vote after the first one will be justified as the maintenance of the senator’s existing position. In fact, given that people don’t pay a lot of attention to these kinds of political disputes and know little about Senate rules, the Democrats could actually get away with claiming that they voted on Estrada and he didn’t have the requisite suport. (When in fact they would have voted on whether to vote on Estrada, with an artificially high 60-vote requirement.) Republicans will not be able to capitalize on the perception that Democrats are not allowing a vote. And even if the Republicans “win,” they will have acquiesced in a 60-vote requirement for confirming judges. Is getting Estrada on the bench worth that concession?
Posted at 06:34 PM
RE: SOFITEL [Ramesh Ponnuru]
French companies are taking down their French flags so as not to offend people? That will prove the French aren't cowards.
Posted at 06:19 PM
PARDON MY IGNORANCE [Jonah Goldberg]
But, Derb, how far did you live from the Hobbits?
Posted at 05:14 PM
DEAR LEADER IN ALASKA? [Rod Dreher]
Drudge and Lucianne are linking to a South Korean newspaper story claiming that that country's Parliament has been told that a North Korean nuclear warhead has been discovered in Alaska. I'm not going to give a link because I've been trying for an hour to connect to the story; the server must be overwhelmed. Let us all hope this story proves false. That warhead in Alaska, if indeed it exists, puts the world at once in the most dangerous place it has been in since the Cuban missile crisis.
Posted at 05:12 PM
THE DERB SHIRES [John Derbyshire]
Following my earlier posting about regimental ties, several readers have sent me the link to the tie for the Derbyshire Yeomanry. It's a nice thought, and I appreciate it, but I have no connection at all with Derbyshire. I spent a week there once on business, and I must say they seemed like very odd folk to me. "Derbyshire born, Derbyshire bred--strong in the arm, weak in the head," as the saying goes. For the record: my Dad was born in Lancashire to Lancashire people, but was raised in Shropshire and spoke Shropshire dialect. My mother was a Staffordshire lass, from near Cannock Chase, though her father originally came from Worcestershire. (When my mother told her father she was going to marry a fellow from Shropshire, he said: "Shropshire? Them's neither Welsh nor English over there.") I myself was born and raised in Northamptonshire, on the banks of the Nene (pronounced "Nen"). Northampton people are mild-mannered and under-achieving, with a pleasantly self-deprecating style of humor. You can buy bumper stickers that say: SORRY! I'M FROM NORTHAMPTON. The surname "Derbyshire," by the way, belongs to Lancashire. The great hearth-place of the Derbyshires is Wigan, where in fact my father was born.
Posted at 04:54 PM
SPORT OF KINGS! [Jonah Goldberg]
Finally, I've found my sport!
Posted at 04:33 PM
NATIVISM, HO! [Rod Dreher]
New York blogger Patrick Sweeney, a pro-war Catholic, has some worthwhile comments on his site regarding the Vatican's opposition to the Iraq war (scroll down to read them). I especially liked this observation about the visit this week of papal envoy Cardinal Pio Laghi, who is coming at the Pope's instigation to try to talk President Bush out of attacking Saddam:
Imagine if the current President were Catholic. Could there even be the merest thought that the Pope would make a great public show of sending a Cardinal to influence the Catholic President on a matter of national security and war?
The images of Thomas Nast's alligators transforming themselves into bishops as they climb out of the Atlantic. It would trigger a Gangs of New York nativist moment -- from Bob Jones University to the editorial room of the New York Times.
Posted at 04:18 PM
FRANCE [Jonah Goldberg]
Great news on the no-veto news, if it's true. Maybe my Buffy the Vampire Slayer Theory of Geopolitics will be proven true in the end after all. Meanwhile, Sofitel has decided to fold-up its flag out of respect to Americans.
Posted at 03:59 PM
A GREAT IDEA! [NRO Staff]
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Posted at 03:56 PM
MOVING OUT [Andrew Stuttaford]
Phillip Morris USA is moving its corporate headquarters from New York City to Richmond, Virginia. The move will affect nearly 700 employees. Doubtless they will be thanking Nurse Bloomberg for his efforts to make the tobacco industry feel so welcome in the Big Apple.
Posted at 03:48 PM
FRANCE WON'T VETO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 03:36 PM
UM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
WHERE IS EVERYONE?
Posted at 03:28 PM
MONEY FROM IRAQ [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Philippine terrorists are claiming IRaq link.
Posted at 01:38 PM
NO FLIGHTS [Rod Dreher]
CNN is now reporting that the United States has "temporarily" halted recon flights over international waters off North Korea, following Sunday's intercept by Dear Leaders MiGs. This is understandable, I suppose, because if we sent that plane back into the air with fighter escort, we'd better be prepared to shoot down any MiGs that threatened our aircraft. And if we did that, it would give the North the casus belli it so clearly -- and insanely -- craves.
Now, if we're taking the temporary break to steel ourselves for the possibility of imminent war with North Korea, fine. But as Joshua Muravchik's sobering article in the current issue of Commentary details, American policy toward North Korea has been one long list of communist bullying, and American backing down, hoping to avoid confrontation. Ultimately, they cannot be allowed to get away with it. Where is the condemnation from governments around the world against the North for acting illegally and provocatively? The North Koreans are bringing the world ever closer to nuclear war -- and we hear not a peep from the French, the Germans, the Russians, or anyone else.
Posted at 01:29 PM
ESTRADA NEWS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In case you missed it, the Senate Republicans are moving on Estrada. Byron reports.
Posted at 12:44 PM
GAY MARRIAGE IS COMING [Stanley Kurtz]
Arguments began today in Goodridge v. Massachusetts, the case that could impose gay marriage on Massachusetts, and eventually, to the entire country. Initial questioning by the justices indicated a uniform hostility to the state’s case. Legal experts are privately predicting victory for the plaintiffs. Get ready for a massive national battle over gay marriage, beginning this spring or summer.
Posted at 12:30 PM
REGIMENTAL TIES [John Derbyshire]
The first time I went for a job interview in New York, I was sitting there thinking: "These Americans sure do seem like nice people. But why is this bloke wearing a Brigade of Guards tie?" Practically all conceivable patterns of what in America are called "rep ties" have some tribal significance in the U.K. They belong to a club, or a college, or a regiment. Here is a store that covers the full range. They even have the tie for my Dad's old regiment, the King's Shropshire Light Infantry. Thanks to reader Boris Evseev of Moscow (that's Moscow, Russia--we span the world here at NRO) for tracking this down for me.
Posted at 12:19 PM
PETA [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm working on a syndicated column on the whackos. Here's one thought worth sharing. I wonder if the outrage would be any greater if instead of their "Holocaust on your plate tour," they ran a slavery in your barn tour. Why not show pictures of horses and dogs on leashes or pulling carts alonside pictures of African-Americans bound in shackles? Philosophically, the logic is the same.
Maybe it's me, but it does seem like Jews have now been fully exiled from the Coalition of the Oppressed and so it's less costly for groups like PETA to offend their sensibilities.
Posted at 12:17 PM
ANOTHER LETTER TO EUROPE [Rod Dreher]
Bob Bartley, who, as it happens, lives in my neighborhood, also wrote an open letter to a European anti-war friend. Bartley sees the key difference between us and them is that we lived through 9/11; Europe did not. Now, it's certainly true that many Americans, even many New Yorkers, who lived through that day still don't support war on Iraq. But they made their decision with that experience informing their conscience.
Posted at 12:16 PM
THE WHOLE TRUTH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Q: A judge from which country has just issued an arrest warrant for Khaled Sheikh Mohammed? A: France
Posted at 12:14 PM
OHIO [John Derbyshire]
Well, Jonah, any state that can produce a Warren G. Harding must have something going for it. I await the inevitable protest from our most indefatigable reader and emailer, Rob in Athens.
Posted at 12:13 PM
MARMITE TO THE RESCUE [John Derbyshire]
The Saturday edition of the London _Times_ reports a new use for Marmite: as an insect repellant. (Go here http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ & search on "midges.") All you Marmite-scoffers, eat your hearts out--preferably in a nice broth flavored and stiffened with a spoonful of the dark brown nectar.
Posted at 12:12 PM
NO JUSTICE, NO BRAS [Jonah Goldberg]
Are we really supposed to believe that nude protestors in Chile will stop Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld? [In accordance with the Lopez Decency Fatwah of June 10, 2001, I hereby notify you there is nudity in this picture].
Posted at 12:07 PM
POPPA GOLDBERG [Jonah Goldberg]
On checkbook journalism.
Posted at 11:32 AM
BUSH UBER ALLES [Jonah Goldberg]
Howard Kurtz has a good column about how the media is obsessed with George W. Bush. When you think about it, it's hard to recall a president who has so dominated the public debate in terms of substance in the last few decades. Sure, there was often equal media obsession with Clinton, but that was as often as not about the man or the slick politician.
Posted at 11:25 AM
DOWN TO THE MAGNIFICENT TWO [Jonah Goldberg]
Horst Buchholz -- one of the Magnificent Seven -- has died.
Posted at 10:26 AM
CLEVELAND [Jonah Goldberg]
Derb: I wouldn't dare show such disrespect to Cleveland. First of all, as we all know, Cleveland rocks. Second, I've always had a special respect for Ohio. I've always thought of it as America's Rhineland. Maybe I spent too much time hanging out at the Toledo Lounge in Washington DC. Maybe I picked the wrong week to stop sniffing glue.
Posted at 10:21 AM
WORST CITY IN THE WORLD [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: Right. And where on that list is Cleveland?
Posted at 09:57 AM
GET OUT YOUR RESUMES [Jonah Goldberg]
From the Prowler:
"We don't want people who just read the New York Times," says a New York-based MSNBC producer. "We've got plenty of those types. We want people who read and understand National Review, the Drudge Report and Lucianne.com." Understand?
Posted at 09:51 AM
AMERICA BAD, CANADA GOOD? [Jonah Goldberg]
USA Today has a story on the difficulty some Americans are having in Europe. From the actor Vince Vaughn:
"Man, it was bad," says the Rat Pack-y star of Swingers. "These girls saw us and were kind of flirting, and they kept asking us if we were American. Finally we said, 'Yes,' and they just took off.
Posted at 09:47 AM
WORST CITIES [Jonah Goldberg]
Derb, interesting stuff. But I'd like to see the full list. Frankly, I'm stunned East St. Louis doesn't come up.
Posted at 09:43 AM
PROFS FOR PEACE -- THE FEMINISTS [Jonah Goldberg]
This thing reminds me of one of those "what's wrong with this picture?" games. I particularly like the casual mockery of the idea that cracking down on terrorists who blow up our buildings is merely our own male-oriented concept of "national interest."
Posted at 09:33 AM
GETTING ON WITH IT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
AP story suggests Estrada may fall to the sidelines as the Senate deals with other issues. Byron York tells us that despite the cry that Estrada won't answer questions, NOT ONE Democrat took up the White House Estrada availability offer to have him answer ANY questions. Just for the record, he was first nominated on 5/9/01.
Posted at 09:33 AM
HEADACHE FACTORY [Jonah Goldberg]
Sign up for Professors for Peace.
Posted at 09:28 AM
DENIAL AIN'T A RIVER [Jonah Goldberg]
Robert Fisk can't let go.
Posted at 09:25 AM
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY [Jonah Goldberg]
From Dennis Miller:
"I’d like to have allies, too, but what’s happening in this world right now is we’ve got a competency chasm – we’re getting really good at what we do, and the whole rest of the world is going to hell in a handbasket. As that gap gets wider, they’re going to hate us more, and more, and more. You have to remember, we are simultaneously the most hated, feared, loved and admired nation on this planet. In short, we’re Frank Sinatra – and the chairman didn’t get to be chairman lying down for punks."
Posted at 09:21 AM
BOMBS KILLS 19 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In the Philippines.
Posted at 09:19 AM
HILLARY TO JOIN THE RACE THIS YEAR? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From Sunday's Orlando Sentinel:
Whoever wins the nomination, Pelosi said, "he or she will make us very proud." Wait a minute, I asked the minority leader afterward:
Posted at 09:17 AM
WORST CITY IN THE WORLD [John Derbyshire]
The worst city in the world is Brazzaville, in the Congo. Runners-up: Bangui (Central African Republic) and Baghdad (Iraq). I know some New Yorkers whose municipal pride will be badly dented by this news.
Posted at 09:08 AM
COWBUY AMERICAN [John Derbyshire]
For a particularly egregious specimen of the Americans-are-infantile-cowboys line of thinking, see Adam Nicolson's silly piece in today's DAILY TELEGRAPH (London).
Posted at 08:13 AM
BRITISHISMS [John Derbyshire]
Jay: I have left most of my Britishisms behind & am studying to master the use of "gotten." There is one British idiom, however, that I like a lot: "pear-shaped." As in: "Indonesia looks as though it's about to go pear-shaped." I have heard three or four suggested etymologies for this. The one I like best (though it is no more probable than the others) is from ballooning (or sometimes, depending on who's talking, from the so-called "barrage balloons" used during the Blitz in WW2). If your balloon goes pear-shaped, you're in trouble....
Posted at 08:06 AM
Monday, March 03, 2003
RE: BASE OVER APEX [Jay Nordlinger]
John, DP-J really did say "ass over t*t" to me -- I suspect he Americanized it for the benefit of my understanding! I've learned quite a few British locutions from him. "In the event" -- we never say that. (We would be more likely to say, "as it happened.") David will say something like, "Indonesia looks like blowing up." We would say, "It looks like Indonesia's about to blow up," or something like that. I do love this stuff. A break away from the grim business of worldwide war, etc.
By the way, in my family back in Michigan, we used to say "ass over elbow." Forgot to include that in my remarks, for some reason.
Posted at 10:33 PM
IS YOUR CITY CREATIVE? [Rod Dreher]
This guy says that if you want economic growth in the information economy, you need to get gays and rock bands in your city.
Posted at 06:29 PM
GODS AND PRESIDENTS [Rod Dreher]
Over on Touchstone's blog, David Mills slices and dices a Newsweek report that badly misreads the effect President Bush's Christian faith has on the way he approaches his the war on terror. It's yet another simplistic error of the sort that's constantly being made by journalists who seem not to know any religious believers, to say nothing of religious teaching. Says Mills: "For the writer to miss this because he does not know Christian theology is to miss something rather important about the man he is writing about, and attempting (or pretending) to explain. ... This helps explain why the characters in Gods and Generals are so foreign to these people. Note to Newsweek's editors: if you want your writers to understand George Bush, make them watch Gods and Generals till they know how those men thought and felt."
Posted at 05:32 PM
HEAR "HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN?" [Rod Dreher]
Reader Bill Paisley sends this link to a website where you can hear the song "Have You Forgotten?" And, here's the website for Darryl Worley, the singer-songwriter behind the ballad.
Posted at 04:40 PM
BASE OVER APEX [John Derbyshire]
Jay: I laughed at your comments on "a** over teakettle." However, I seriously doubt that David Pryce-Jones said "ass." In England, "ass" is a quadruped related to the donkey, or else a very silly person. The thing you sit on is your ARSE. Remember Dudley Moore: "The Americans have their soul singers, and we have our soul singers..." (You have to say the vowels Britishly.) There is, by the way, a mathematicians' version of "a** over teakettle"---see the subject line.
Posted at 04:26 PM
BUT DOES HE LIKE KIMCHI? [John Derbyshire]
The news item about Kim Jong Il offering sanctuary to Saddam Hussein brings to mind the old Jack Benny joke: "Your money or your life!" "Lemme think a minute." Something like this: GWB--"Okay, Saddam, the deal is, you can cower in your bunker, waiting to become a target for our guided munitions, and end up buried alive beneath several hundred tons of concrete rubble. **OR**, you can spend the rest of your life in Pyongyang watching movies with Kim Jong Il in his private screening room. What's it to be?" Saddam: "Mmmmmm.... How long do I have to think about this?"
Posted at 03:57 PM
"HAVE YOU FORGOTTEN?" [Rod Dreher]
My mom told me last night that the hottest song on the Baton Rouge country radio station they listen to is a war-themed ballad called, "Have You Forgotten?" Turns out that song is burning up the country airwaves everywhere. Sample lyric: "I hear people saying we don't need this war / I say there's some things worth fighting for / What about our freedom and this piece of ground / We didn't get to keep 'em by backing down."
This is great. Let Sheryl Crow, David Byrne, Russell Simmons and all musical members of the Appeaser-American community stew. Once again, country music gets it right, and provides the soundtrack for Red America.
Posted at 03:41 PM
DON'T READ THIS AFTER READING STANLEY'S NRO PIECE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
North Korean MiGs intercepted a U.S. reconnaissance plane.
Posted at 03:04 PM
MAJOR REVEALATION [Robert A. George]
So, the big story dominating local New York sports in the last few days is that--(gasp! shock! horror!) -- Yankee pitcher David Wells likes to drink and can be something of an obnoxious boor! So, is this what's the enforced sobriety has come down to!?
Wells may even be rode out of town because he admits--in an upcoming biography--that he was "half-drunk" when he pitched his perfect game in 1998. Wells also claimed that as many as 40 percent of major-leaguers use steroids.
According to the general manager, this sort of behavior isn't upholding "Yankee tradition." Um, as, (unfortunately) only one sports-talk radio host has noted, is this the same team for which Babe Ruth played? Mickey Mantle? Billy Martin? Sparky Lyle? Jim "Ball Four" Bouton? Seems to me Wells is most definitely upholding the Yankee tradition!
As for Wells being "half-drunk" while tossing a perfect game, am I the only person who's reminded of President Lincoln's response when someone told him that Ulysses S. Grant was a world-class drinker? "Find out what brand he favors, and give it to my other generals."
Posted at 02:56 PM
PATRIOT ACT AND THOUGHT CRIMES [Rod Dreher]
I haven't been keeping up with the proposed follow-up legislation to the Patriot Act, but civil libertarian Nat Hentoff has, and he's deeply worried. When I read his column on it, I thought, "If Nat's right, it's going to be simply a matter of time before this thing is turned on pro-lifers and other activists who manage to get labeled 'terrorist' by an unsympathetic government." What do you know, the National Organization for Women, having failed to get pro-life free speech adjudged as a RICO crime, is now working to do just that, to keep women safe from these "ideological terrorists." Now, I don't worry about this happening under Bush. But I well remember the VAAPCON scandal from the Clinton years, in which the Reno Justice Department kept a secret database on pro-life activists, hoping to prove a "domestic terrorism" conspiracy. Tell me readers who follow these things: are my worries misplaced?
Posted at 02:40 PM
BE GRATEFUL FOR SMALL FAVORS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Chris Dodd is not running for president.
Posted at 02:28 PM
BIG DEAL [Jonah Goldberg]
I keep getting email from anti-war folks touting the example of
Posted at 02:23 PM
DON'T READ THIS [Jonah Goldberg]
If you don't want to know how the number finder thing works. From a reader (several got it):
I will admit, and my wife will certify, I'm a geek. This thing bothered me, so I had to figure it out. If you take any two-digit number, sum its digits together, and subtract the sum from the original number, you always get a multiple of nine. If you look at the chart, all of the multiples of nine have the same symbol. Now it wouldn't be impressive if the same symbol appeared after each guess; that's why the symbols change each time you hit the back button. I hope I haven't ruined the magic for you.
Posted at 01:49 PM
WOOPS. [Jonah Goldberg]
The Simpsons vendor sells crab not clam juice. I can't believed I butchered that. He's also more formally known as the Khlav Kalash guy because he sells Khlav Kalash on a stick.
Posted at 01:34 PM
KRAMER VS. COLE ON IRAQ [Stanley Kurtz]
I and other critics of American Middle East studies have often noted that, prior to 9/11, no scholarly studies of Osama bin Laden or Islamic terror were written. This, despite the appropriation of millions of U.S. government dollars on grounds of "national security," to support Middle East Studies. Now, in a post on his blog, Sandstorm, Martin Kramer exposes an equally damning truth. Government subsidized American Middle East Studies have produced no studies of Baathist Iraq. Kramer's devastating post on the complete absence of scholarly studies of contemporary Iraq takes on Juan Cole, the University of Michigan historian and defender of MESA I clashed with in January.
Posted at 12:47 PM
BIG CASE [Stanley Kurtz]
Tomorrow, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court begins consideration of the case that may well bring gay marriage to the United States. You can read about it in today’s Washington Times. I’ve discussed the case in “The Coming Battle,” and in “The Real Issue.”
Posted at 12:40 PM
KHALID MOHAMMED [Jonah Goldberg]
Rod - He also looks like the Slavo-Turkic NYC street vendor who gives Homer Simpson the choice of buying Mountain Dew or clam juice (Homer chooses clam juice).
Posted at 12:33 PM
IT'S ALL DONE WITH BALL BEARINGS [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 12:28 PM
KUM BA YAH ALERT [Rod Dreher]
A reader found this upchuckable "Prayer to End the War Against Iraq" on the literature table at his Catholic parish in Cincinnati. It was distributed by Pax Christi USA, the Catholic leftie group:
We beg your forgiveness for the war the U.S. is waging against the Iraqi
O God, make us channels of your peace and reconciliation. Amen.
Posted at 12:11 PM
WHAT'S URDU FOR "BELUSHI"? [Rod Dreher]
Is it just me, or do you also, when beholding the bloated, disheveled face of Khalid Shaikh Muhammad, think not "Allahu akbar," but "cheeboiger, cheeboiger"?
Posted at 11:39 AM
COSMO GEAR [Jonah Goldberg]
Another loyal reader gets on the right side of history.
Posted at 11:33 AM
ANOTHER FIRST RESPONDER [Jonah Goldberg]
Jonah: I'm stocking up on Cosmo gear. I'll be the only attorney in my office with a cool coffee mug. And the shirts, what a great way to torment my wife's cat and the damn squirrels that steal from the bird feeder.
Posted at 11:02 AM
SEPARATED AT BIRTH? [Jonah Goldberg]
A dismaying number of readers have pointed out to me that Ron Jeremy and Khalid Mohammed resemble each other. You be the judge.
Posted at 10:45 AM
INSANITY ON TRIAL [Jonathan H. Adler]
Sally Satel on one of today's Supreme Court argument over whether the government can forcibly medicate a criminal defendant so that he is competent to stand trial.
Posted at 10:29 AM
LAYERS OF NONSENSE [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Washington Post takes after Estrada's critics yet again, challenging their "revisionist's memory of Mr. Estrada's hearing last September" and needless politicization of the confirmation process.
Posted at 10:23 AM
FIRST RESPONDER [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader who gets it:
Posted at 10:18 AM
BUSTED... [Rich Lowry]
…not just KSM, but all those Democrats who said we couldn't fight the war on terror and the war in Iraq at the same time. I'm writing my syndicated column about it. Here's the rough start (if you have any other examples or thoughts, please let me know, but not after 12:30 PM):
The only Democratic presidential candidate who voted against the Iraq war resolution in Congress is Bob Graham. The Florida Senator, widely considered one of the few Democrats with serious national-security credentials, cast his “nay” chiefly for one reason--a war in Iraq would supposedly distract the administration from the more important war on terror.
The mere buildup to war was forcing the administration to give al Qaeda a pass, according to Graham. As USA Today reported a month ago, “Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla., said Bush has `lost focus’ on the war on terrorism. `Osama bin Laden and about two-thirds of his key operatives are still on the loose,' he said.”
Since the terror war and a war in Iraq were mutually incompatible, Graham argued, the U.S. should drop Iraq and concentrate on the terrorists who might launch attacks in retaliation for a second Gulf War. “So, to me,” he explained on CNN, “smartness says, let's try to reduce the capacity of those terrorists before we get them into the position that they're most likely to have their trigger pulled. And then we'll fight the war against Saddam Hussein.”
Rarely in American politics is an argument so utterly and directly refuted by a real-world event…
Posted at 10:04 AM
THE "IT" DOG OF THE AMERICAN RIGHT® [Jonah Goldberg]
And there's nothing like having a cup of coffee out of my brand new Cosmo® Stainless Steel Travel Mug.
If you're wondering why it has an endorsement for Glenlivet on it, that's because the first sponsorship of the Goldberg File was provided by Glenlivet. If you're wondering why it's on all the T-shirts and other items in our new Cosmo Gear section, well, Cosmo does take after his "father" in his affection for the brown liquors from across the pond.
Now, if you're at all interested in helping me make Cosmo the It-Dog of the American Right, I cannot implore you enough to snap up all the Cosmo gear you possibly can. If this stuff sells, I can get the suits to come up with more and better products, slogans, pictures, etc. How'd you like a picture of Coz saying, "Illegitime non carobundum" (Cosmo spells his Latin phonetically)? Or maybe a 70's style poster of an adorable cat hanging from a branch with Cosmo underneath it saying sarcastically, "Hang in there, baby."
Get in on the ground floor now. These will be collector's items one day. Run, don't walk. No wait, don't do either, because you're already at your computer. Just click fast!
Posted at 10:03 AM
I'M HERE, I'M HERE [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 09:41 AM
HEY, WAIT! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Is it still the weekend and no one told me?
Posted at 09:23 AM
YOU'VE BEEN JAILED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Dozens of Iranians arrested for online dating.
Posted at 07:55 AM
PEARL HARBOR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Is a terrorist target, reports Bill Gertz. Expect airplanes to be used as bombs again, too.
Posted at 05:11 AM
Sunday, March 02, 2003
GET READY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The final-countdown rumors.
Posted at 11:20 PM
IRAQ LESSONS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From Paul Johnson.
Posted at 09:37 PM
NOT SURPRISING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Former treasury secretary shopping around a book critical of White House.
Posted at 05:28 PM
THIS MONTH'S MATH PUZZLE--SOLUTION [John Derbyshire]
I have put the solution to this month's math puzzle up on my personal web site.
Posted at 02:49 PM
MORE ON THE DAJJAL [Rod Dreher]
I heard from a kind reader who was grateful to read the interview I did with Prof. David Cook, on the subject of Islamic apocalypticism. The reader believes Americans won't really grasp what kind of enemy we face until we become conversant with concepts like the "Dajjal" (Islam's version of the Antichrist), and how fervent belief in this vision of the End drives those who hate the West the most. He sent along a couple of interesting links, from Free Republic, for those who want more information (try here and here).
One the second thread, which is a discussion of my Islamic prophecy interview, I found a fascinating link to an article about eclipses during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Apparently eclipses during Ramadan are interpreted by many of the Muslim faithful as significant. Two total eclipses during Ramadan is a very rare phenomenon. The last time it happened was 200 or so years ago. It's going to happen again this November. There is speculation that pious Muslims may view this phenomenon as a sign from heaven that Something Major Is Going to Happen.
Remember, folks, it doesn't immediately matter whether these people are right or wrong about the way history is going to unfold. We have to pay attention to this stuff, because somewhere, there are Islamic zealots now plotting their own violent role in what they see as the apocalyptic drama, in which the forces of Islam clash for the final time with the forces of the Dajjal (that is, non-Muslims).
Posted at 01:55 PM
FAIR PLAY? [Andrew Stuttaford]
If there was something that supporters of East Germany liked to boast about, it was their ‘country’s’ sporting success. Well, here’s the legacy.
Posted at 12:55 PM
NIT-PICKING [Dave Kopel]
Today's Sunday New York Times includes a cartoon about Michael Bellesiles and John Lott, accusing them of moral equivalence. It's a hard claim to make since Bellesiles's book was a fabrication through and through, as Clayton Cramer has proven. In contrast, the Lott controversy involves only a single sentence in his book, and the rest of the book is supported by a detailed data which Lott has made available to many dozens of researchers. But I think the worst thing about the cartoon is that it shows the continuing decline of quality editing at the Times. The cartoon refers to "knit-picking" scholars who questioned Lott. People who pay attention to small details are not like people who pick at knitted fabric; the proper word is "nit-picking"--a metaphor for picking tiny lice eggs (nits) out of hair. Nit-picking, both literally and figuratively is a very important activity. During my father's 22-year career in the Colorado legislature, he was known as the body's chief nit-picker, which meant that he paid careful attention to how proposed statutes were worded, so that sloppy language did not cause unintended problems. (He also worked on scores of bigger projects, authoring many major bills, and serving for a while as House Judiciary Chairman, and as Assistant Minority Leader). Nit-pickers get rid of problems which are tiny now but which will cause serious trouble later if they are not removed. Let's not confuse much-needed nit-pickers which the pointlessly destructive people who distress knitted clothing.
Posted at 12:52 PM
HUMAN SHIELDS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Posted at 12:52 PM
ASYLUM WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
First it was former members of the Taliban, now it’s this guy.
Posted at 12:50 PM
RECYCLING? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Can recycling be as bad for the environment as it is time-consuming? Judging by this report, some Swedes think that it could be.
Posted at 12:46 PM
AKHMATOVA (2) [Andrew Stuttaford]
A reader e-mails to say that Akhmatova actually wrote those lines around 1940. She then showed what she had written to about a dozen people (even that was an act of extraordinary courage), committed the words to memory and destroyed the original text.
Posted at 12:42 PM
CATCHING UP TO CRUNCHY [Rod Dreher]
Geoffrey Nunberg, writing in The New York Times' Week in Review section, takes a mild shot at NR's own Dear Leader today, and other educated conservative writers, saying that "their politics turns them into traitors to their demographic." The idea is that proper conservatives should stay away from Sam Adams, Starbucks and gruyere, and only partake of Stroh's, Maxwell House and Velveeta. Now, I'm not going to accuse Meister Lowry of being a crunchy conservative, but I do think Nunberg is behind the curve. Crunchy-cons shop like broke Episcopalians, but vote like Pentecostals. We look like Blue America on the outside, but are Red America through and through. Come on, Nunberg, pay attention! Maybe the Nunbergs of the world will be learning about crunchy conservatism when they open their Utne Reader this month. The magazine reprints NR's crunchy-con cover story from last year. Thanks, Utne Reader!
Posted at 11:05 AM