G.I. JOE GETS REJECTED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 07:56 AM
GROOM IN SPACE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Getting married Richie Cunningham style.
Posted at 07:54 AM
GENTLEMAN AND BOOKS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
They're not the ones in publishing. Via Arts& Letters.
Posted at 07:48 AM
TWO PERSPECTIVES ON THE COP INCIDENT [John Derbyshire]
Reader A: Well, see, in most states in the Union, the presence of a police officer in an intersection trumps a traffic signal. This has been on the driver's licence test in every state I've ever lived in, and the D. of C., too. (Unfortunately, the one about how a dysfunctional traffic signal works as a four-way stop wasn't.) One is supposed to wait for a wave-on from the officer before proceeding, light or no light. So the cop probably just figured that everybody knows that.
Reader B: [After telling me a ghastly personal story about the arrogance and irresponsibility of Long Island police.] That tiny proportion of applicants who make it through the arcane testing and training system to become LI police officers are made for life and accountable to no one, and they know it. And it shows.
On A: Fair enough--but why did he have to be SO UNSPEAKABLY RUDE? On B: I've known a more than average number of cops in my time, though more city than suburban. Most were decent sorts. Still, power corrupts--and power plus a job for life with a 6-figure salary after (I think) 5 years, retirement at 40-something on some huge, inflation-indexed proportion of your final salary, corrupts a lot. There are some people who should not be given a uniform and a gun, and I feel pretty sure I just met one of those people.
Posted at 07:35 AM
RE: STUPID WHITE MEN, WITH FAVA BEANS & CHIANTI [John Derbyshire]
Several readers went to the Amazon UK site to look at that book about cannibalism They all noticed the same thing I noticed: that Amazon pairs this book with Michael Moore's Stupid White Men, I suppose because of the similarity of title. Personally, I think we should give an Oscar to the sailor and eat Michael Moore...
Posted at 07:33 AM
ACHTUNG! POLOZEI! YOUR PAPERS PLEASE [John Derbyshire]
Achtung! Polizei! Your papers please! From reader Joseph George (who favored me with a PIN tag, for "Please Include Name")... though other readers expressed similar sentiments: "Dear Mr. Derbyshire, I just have one thing to say about your post on the NRO Corner: you should have told the cop that you were in a movie with Bruce Lee. Not only would that have awed him with your unassailable coolness, it would have made him think you could kick his ass w/o breaking a sweat." Or perhaps the cop himself would himself have turned out to be a devotee of Jeet Kun Do ("Jie Quan Dao," for you Mandarin-speakers) & I would have ended up flying backwards through the air once again.
Posted at 07:31 AM
GUY INTEREST [John Derbyshire]
Enough of this pandering to the distaff side. Yesterday afternoon I spent a happy hour at the town range. Tried some 357 magnum rounds in my S&W 38. The recoil nearly broke my wrist. What are those things FOR? To stop a charging rhino? Note on range psychology. It's a very hot day here & I drove to the range with my windows open. Pulled into the parking lot, got my guns, shut car door, and left it unlocked with windows open. There are very, very few places I would do this--can't think of any others, in fact. (The parking lot is out of sight from the firing points.) Why don't I bother to lock my car at the range? I guess I trust gun people. OK, you can all go back to discussing needlepoint, or whatever.
Posted at 07:28 AM
RE: OY [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: "It took six days to create the world..." Sorry, can't resist.
Guy goes into tailor's store, shows tailor a pair of pants with a big rip in them. Customer: "How long would it take you to fix this?" Tailor: "Two weeks." Customer: "TWO WEEKS? Come on! It only took the good Lord six days to create the world!" Tailor: "Yes--and just look at it!"
I think this is a conservative joke.
Posted at 07:26 AM
Friday, July 18, 2003
WINNERS [John J. Miller]
The White House has just released a list of this year's Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients. They include Jacques Barzun, Vaclav Havel, Charlton Heston, Edward Teller, and James Q. Wilson. What an outstanding group--the White House deserves an A+ for this. Choosing Edward Teller is especially bold, given how much the Left hates him, but he is a great man who fully deserves the honor.
Posted at 04:59 PM
I'M SURE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The New Republic is working up an editorial on the House Republicans' abuse of power even as we speak.
Posted at 04:30 PM
YOUR INSUBORDINATION CHANNEL [Tim Graham]
Brent Baker announces ABC's favorite recent soundbite: "If Donald Rumsfeld was here, I'd ask him for his resignation."
He notes: "World News Tonight featured, in a story by Jeffrey Kofman on Tuesday's World News Tonight, the blast from an Army soldier in Iraq. World News Tonight re-ran it Wednesday night and Good Morning America played it once on Wednesday morning and then twice more on Thursday morning. Plus, I'm sure it has run a few times on World News Now and World News This Morning."
Posted at 04:04 PM
IF YOU CAN'T GET TO C-SPAN [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 03:57 PM
TURN ON CSPAN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Mayhem in the House. Apparently Ways and Means chairman Bill Thomas called the police, either to evict committee Democrats who were "caucusing" in the library to protest his actions, or to prevent a fight that threatened to break out with the one Dem who went to the committee mark-up. Pelosi's complaining about this now.
Posted at 03:39 PM
OY! [Jonah Goldberg]
I made the Jewsweek 60. I have no idea what to say.
Posted at 03:03 PM
RE: WOMEN & BOOKS [John Derbyshire]
K-Lo: Know what you mean. I've been getting angry e-mails from lady bibliophiles, too. All I can say is: read the original P.J. article, then go argue with him. To facilitate this I have put it up (as an Acrobat PDF file) on my website: go here then click on the link that says "P.J. on books" at bottom left. Since I am putting myself at hazard of a copyright lawsuit here, to mollify the good people at Literary Review, please send $60 for a year's subscription to "Literary Review Subscriptions, Freepost LON 17963, London SW20 8YY, England," and tell them I sent you.
Posted at 02:43 PM
RE: MARIE CLAIRE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A reader writes:
Derb blew his chance at brownie points when he passed up Kathryn Jean as the title for a anitdotal conservative women's magazine, no? The editor's column could be "Shut Up and Type", or "Would You Look At the Time?"I was amused.
Posted at 02:30 PM
2:30 FRI RAMBLE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I'm getting some great emails. Will try to digest, respond, and incorporate in due time. And to clarify for those of you worried we're going to segregate NRO or something--or make an "NROxygen" as one woman put it: chill. I'm just asking. (And some of you have some great ideas.) If you guys have something that is particularly masculine that you want more of on NRO, tell me that too (um, within reason (and that you would feel comfortable telling your mother, thank you)--I can hear the jokesters now). You are always encouraged to send feedback, of course, and so many of you do. And, I'll be quiet for now and find a Diet Coke because it is Friday and I am falling asleep without a Jonah, or...
Posted at 02:26 PM
DERB, DUDE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Corner gals have been emailing me day and night now about their book collecting. Some of them, I might add, are currently reading your book or Rick's.
Posted at 02:04 PM
CORNER GALS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One day I would love to know how many women are out there reading The Corner. I suspect it is more than you let on. (What do you want to see--and how can we get more of you?)
Posted at 01:40 PM
RE: MARIE CLAIRE [John Derbyshire]
Well, the name of THAT magazine tells you all you need to know, doesn't it? Obviously there is an opening here for some enterprising publisher. We need a conservative women's magazine. In opposition to Marie Claire we could call it, oh, Margaret Hilda.
Posted at 01:37 PM
KELLER'S "IMPECCABLE CHARACTER" [Tim Graham]
For those of you who think that the new NYT boss Bill Keller's liberalism is only found in his recent columns, sample these beauts from his error as a Moscow reporter and foreign editor:
"Watching the Supreme Soviet invent itself is a little like speed-reading the Federalist Papers." -- Moscow reporter Bill Keller in The New York Times Magazine, August 27, 1989. This from the people who choked when the Contras were compared to the founding fathers...
"It mystifies Westerners that Mikhail Gorbachev is loathed and ridiculed in his own country. This is the man who pulled the world several steps back from the nuclear brink and lifted a crushing fear from his countrymen, who ended bloody foreign adventures, liberated Eastern Europe and won for the Soviet Union at least provisional membership in the club of civilized nations. By the standards of the West (and by comparison with the incumbent, Boris Yeltsin), Mr. Gorbachev is a man of impeccable character." -- New York Times foreign editor Bill Keller reviewing Gorbachev's memoirs, October 20, 1996.
Can you have a 40-year career in the Communist Party of the USSR -- not to mention ordering the shooting of pesky separatist Lithuanians in the midst of your "perestroika" -- and have an "impeccable character"?
Posted at 01:34 PM
A GREAT IDEA! A GREAT IDEA! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A gal reader writes:
Have you seen Marie Claire lately? I can't get to the fluff fast enough, speeding past the leftist propaganda -- wait that's also fluff -- that many other women undoubtedly read and accept during their weekly manicures. I wish that there was a way to get women to be better informed about issues, but how could we possibly send NR to everyone? Perhaps it's time to adopt the "Legally Blonde 2" approach and send an NR gift subscription to my old sorority chapter and my nail salon. It couldn't hurt.Just click here to do it, gals!
Posted at 01:31 PM
PA CORNER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Another reader from Philadelphia writes:
Just wanted to let you know that after seeing the note in the Corner about Specter siding against DC school choice, I immediately when and signed up as a volunteer on Pat Toomey's Website. www.pattoomey.org. This is just the last straw. If I'm going to have two Republican Senators representing my state, then I want two Republican Senators (not 1 and 1/4).
Posted at 01:06 PM
DERB EXHIBITS AMAZING SELF-CONTROL [John Derbyshire]
At 10:50 this morning, I was driving my daughter Nellie (age 10) home from Huntington High School, where she has a music program, to my house a half-mile away. I'd left Ollie (age 8) in the house on his own for the 10 minutes this took. At the intersection with Oakwood Avenue the light was green, but a Suffolk County police patrol car was stopped in the intersection. Just in it--not blocking my path. Another cop on a motorcycles was in front of the patrol car. I stopped; then, my light still green, crawled over the intersection, passing in front of the motorcycle cop. He exploded. WHERE DO YOU THINK YOU'RE GOING? GET BACK THERE! GET BACK AND WAIT TILL THIS PARADE HAS PASSED! WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK IS GOING ON HERE? GET BACK! GET BACK AND PULL OVER THERE! _THERE_! I had a wellnigh uncontrollable impulse to get out of the car and punch this ill-mannered moron on the nose. However, (a) my daughter was in the car, (b) my son was home alone, and (c) I had a contractor coming to the house at 11:00 for an estimate. I kept right on driving (the cop screaming at me from behind) and went home. I am still seething, though. Is that what they teach these guys--these "public servants," PAID OUT OF MY EXORBITANT TAXES (Suffolk police recently got a huge new wage & pension deal)--at Police Academy? Whoever that arrogant, cretinous jerk was, I should like to say something to him. Unfortunately, I cannot say it on a family website. It concerns him and his flashlight. If he'd like to hear it face to face, he can find my address in the Huntington phone book.
Posted at 01:01 PM
THE SPECTER OF FRUSTRATION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A Pennsylvanian e-mails:
Posted at 12:55 PM
CANNIBALISM CORNER [John Derbyshire]
A myriad readers want to know the title of that book I mentioned yesterday (i.e. the one reviewed in _Literary Review_) about the Scottish sailor who went native in the South Seas and ended up being eaten. I'm not sure that I should encourage your interest, but here is the book. Bon appetit!
Posted at 12:50 PM
WHICH TWIN HAS THE TONI? [John Derbyshire]
At the urging and harrying of readers, I am trying really, really hard to like Tony Blair, but I have some way to go yet. He is what my Uncle Fred calls "One of those love-the-world types." His great peculiarity is that, while he is indeed a "love-the-world" type at heart, he yet manages to be cold-eyed about what the nastier parts of the world are like--a very unusual thing, in those circles. He probably doesn't even know the words to "Kumbaya." Another way of saying this is that, while a realist about international affairs, he has a blind spot for the continued necessity and strength of the nation-state.
[That subject line is for fellow boomers ]
Posted at 12:45 PM
BARNEY & CHENEY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Dave Enrich (who has written for NRO here and here, for instance) reports that Barney Frank is citing Dick Cheney in a Dear Colleague supporting gay marriage.
Posted at 12:16 PM
NEED SEX CHANGE, GET ARRESTED [Nick Schulz]
KLo, if folks aren’t reading today, they’d miss out on news like this:
In a decision that outraged state officials and prosecutors, a federal judge has ruled that a lawsuit by a convicted murderer who wants the state to pay for an operation to make him a woman can go forward…Of course, what I want to know is, after we pay for the sex change, would we have to pay to transfer him/her to the women’s prison? Your tax dollars at work.
Posted at 11:53 AM
THE TWO BLAIRS (CTD) [Andrew Stuttaford]
Kathryn, that’s an interesting letter. There are some in Britain who say that Blair’s performance over here is just another example of the PM telling an audience whatever it wants to hear. That, I think, is far too simplistic. More than that, it’s just wrong. Blair has paid a high political price domestically (at least within his own party) for his stance on Iraq – a crude opportunist would not have done that. He has done what he has done because he thinks it is right.
To understand Blair it is essential to realize that he is not a conventional socialist. Rather he is a reforming ‘liberal’ on the early Twentieth Century model (it’s easy to imagine him as a leftist member of Asquith’s cabinet). Such liberal ‘modernizers’ often lack any sense of history (we see that in many of the constitutional changes that Blair champions in the UK) and are typically unsympathetic to notions of the sovereignty of the nation-state (that can be seen both in Blair’s approach to the EU and, ironically, Iraq). Because such folk regard themselves as acting for the most high-minded of reasons (For example, in Blair’s case he is, unusually for a British politician, explicit in the importance he attaches to his religious faith), they are quite prepared to use the most ruthless means necessary to secure their agenda (thus all the spinning and deception that Brits have come to associate with the man).
Finally, they tend to be economic illiterates – that is the only possible explanation for Blair’s mishandling of the British economy and his rush to sign up for that suicide note better known as the Euro.
Posted at 11:47 AM
IS ANYONE OUT THERE? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I always wonder if anyone is reading on summer Fridays. I always feel like there are about three people left in Manhattan working. And no one anywhere else working--everyone else is too smart to be! What do you guys like to read on Fridays? What do you guys want to see more of on NRO generally? Do tell. We're always wanting input. So e-mail, do, please, anytime.
Posted at 11:42 AM
PETER'S PARADISE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Peter Robinson just called (called! phones are rarely used on NRO). He's got the greatest excuse ever--to AVOID work! (I'm kididng, the dude's a workhorse.) He's vacationing with the lovely family and the laptop battery has died and he has no charger...and I no powercord. So, "on his last dying breath" he implored us to carry on anyway, without him. He'll check in when he returns to reality--you know, cyberspace. Meanwhile, he has no connection to the outside world. Poor guy!
Posted at 11:33 AM
RECALL POLITICS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Posted at 11:28 AM
CHINA & HONG KONG [John Derbyshire]
This reader is generalizing from an extrememly small sample: but the idea is interesting, none the less:
So far history has shown that a totalitarian empire collapses 9 years after holding Olympic Games in its capital. Interestingly, it appears that since Germany overdosed (having hosted BOTH Winter and Summer Games in 1936), its collapse was much more violent and abrupt than that of the USSR. Just some mathematical analysis... Actually it all started as I was thinking about Red China being 32 years younger than Soviet Russia and trying to compare modern China with the USSR 32 years ago. The Olympiad emerged as a really striking parallel.
Posted at 11:20 AM
CBS'S GAY MARRIAGE [Tim Graham]
On CBS's The Amazing Race last night, the global-travel reality show where pairs of competitors struggle to compete on often tedious tasks like who can get the most effective airline tickets, the gay male couple, Reichen and Chip, announced to the group of remaining competitors that they are gay and were "married in California," and it was their anniversary. This being network TV, the others clapped appreciatively. Every time they're identified on the show, the screen says "Reichen and Chip: Married."
(Memo to Stan Kurtz: the Web site bio of these two also says "Reichen's views on relationship are much more liberal than Chip's -- He enjoys flirting with other guys, but that makes Chip upset.")
The real outcasts on the show are Millie and Chuck, whose on-screen tagline is always "Dating 12 Years / Virgins." The official bio says nothing about why these late-twentysomethings have chosen virginity. They only note "Millie was once on the Tonight Show after Leno bumped into her and her roommate and asked them to 'say stupid Baywatch lines in our shower--in bikinis--which we did,' so she has a wild side somewhere deep down."
Posted at 10:58 AM
LAND MANAGEMENT MISTAKES [Jonathan H. Adler]
A piece in the Daily Standard yesterday critiques moves to transfer management authority for national widlife refuges to Indian tribes. This may or may not be a bad idea -- I don't know -- but the article ends with a highly questionable bottom line: "If national parks, refuges, and, most important, their wildlife are to flourish, they need to be subject to an overarching and consistent national system of management, not the whims of numerous independent tribes." The history of federal land and wildlife management shows just the opposite.
National Parks are consistently underfunded, subject to maintenance backlogs and mismanaged resources. National Forests lose money on timber sales while creating tinder boxes that ignite nearly every summer. Yet while federal lands suffer, state and private lands thrive, despite the fact that they governed independently, rather than by "an overarching and consistent" national plan. Indeed, because of that fact local managers can respond to local conditions -- a key component to effective ecological management. There is one last irony in the piece, which focuses on a bison refuge. Most, if not all, of the bison on federal lands today are descended from private herds -- herds created on independent whims at a time when the federal government was indifferent, if not hostile, the bison's survival. Federal "management" helped bring bison to the verge of extinction; it was independent conservationists that saved bison from the brink.
Posted at 10:35 AM
KHAMENI: I'M NOT CORRUPT! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
And Saddam was democratically elected.
Posted at 10:33 AM
THE 2 BLAIRS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Andrew, a reader sent me this earlier about "evil incarnate":
I think this line explains completely to those who have scratched their heads at times (like me) and said, "Is this the same Tony Blair?" why he's behaved the way he has over the last almost 2 years....
Posted at 10:18 AM
BLAIR [Andrew Stuttaford]
It's an odd feeling (for me anyway) reading all the praise for a fine speech (and it was a fine speech) by a certain visiting Prime Minister and then realizing that we're talking about, well, Tony Blair, EU stooge, taxer and spender, evil incarnate etc.
Blogger Iain Murray seems to feel the same way about the two Tony Blairs.
Posted at 10:13 AM
POST ON SCHOOL CHOICE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Washington Post criticizes the Democrats holding up the D.C. school-choice initiative in their lead editorial this morning. Meanwhile, we'll focus on Specter.
Posted at 10:10 AM
AND MORE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
There's lots of good stuff on NRO (IMHO), do check it all out over on the homey. (Also check and see if you missed anything this week here.)
Posted at 09:56 AM
FACING FACTS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Cliff May on what critics of the White House should be asking and what the White House should be saying. He's tough on both. Read it here.
Posted at 09:47 AM
IAEA FINDS ENRICHED URANIUM... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 09:36 AM
BRIT SCIENTIST DEAD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
David Kelly, the Defense adviser scientist in Britain who has been taking heat for possibly being the mole for a BBC story on the alleged"sexing up" the goods on Saddam has been found dead.
Posted at 09:16 AM
MORE ON THE PASSION [Rod Dreher]
The New York Post's Page Six ran an item this week predicting box-office doom for Mel Gibson's Jesus movie, The Passion. The item quotes an unnamed source predicting the film will fail because it is too graphically violent (you can get an idea of what the source is talking about by going to the Ain't It Cool News site and viewing the film's incredible trailer. Also, Gibson apparently doesn't want to subtitle the movie, which was filmed in Aramaic and Latin, the actual languages spoken in the Holy Land of Jesus' day. The subtitle thing could be a problem, but I find it very hard to believe that violence would keep adult viewers away. Gibson has said he wanted to depict the actual physical agony involved in the crucifixion. Every single Christian I've talked to who has seen the trailer appeared deeply affected by it, and said they wanted to see the film more than ever. Within Christianity, the passion and crucifixion are so ever-present that it's easy to forget how much pain the man Jesus endured. I went to mass last Sunday after seeing the Passion trailer, and I looked at the bloodless crucifix above the altar with different eyes. This movie is going to be an enormous hit -- if only it overcomes the Hollywood whispering campaign against it, and gets released.
Posted at 09:09 AM
AS FOR CATHOLICS AND HEALTHCARE [Susan Konig]
As you intimated last night, Kathryn, it was Catholic nuns who started this booming business (Catholic hospitals) in this country in the first place by selflessly caring for those no one else would. They went (and still go) to rural areas with no decent medical services and provide for people with no money, no insurance and little hope. They are helping the homeless, people with AIDS and, for eons now, pregnant women with nowhere to turn.
Posted at 09:07 AM
ALMS FOR THE POOR [Susan Konig]
BTW, I'd like to point out that I'll probably never work again in the women's magazine business as I have been slightly critical of half the books on the shelf in the past month. I mean, I'm just trying to be helpful. Always room for improvement and all that. Hello, anybody there...?
Posted at 08:59 AM
COSMO IS WHAT IT IS [Susan Konig]
Cosmo (the magazine) is defensible, Tim & Kathryn, because it is what it is. It never pretends to be something else. And most women's books are decidedly liberal, I know. But Catholic-bashing under the guise of health reporting in a fitness mag is a new twist for sure!
Posted at 08:54 AM
THE BLAIR NECESSITIES [Nick Schulz]
I was traveling and unable to see Blair’s speech. I’m genuinely bummed since I’m a sucker for great political speeches and there’s little doubt that Blair is the great political orator of his generation.
After reading accounts of the speech and the speech itself, I imagine a lot of folks who have had their doubts about the war – and even some who were vehemently opposed to it – pausing to think hard about what the Prime Minister had to say. The extraordinarily bright and perceptive liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias, recently wrote (well before the Blair speech to Congress):
As ever, the Iraq venture sounds a lot more sensible when Prime Minister Blair talks about it than when President Bush does...
I know a lot of people who feel that way – who are uncomfortable with what Bush wants to do because Bush doesn’t always articulate his aims in a way that rings nicely on the ears. But as an exercise in intellectual honesty, when weighing the merits of an action – such as going to war in Iraq – isn’t it incumbent on us to consider the merits of the best case itself? Maybe Bush doesn’t inspire as much confidence as Blair. But for liberals of good faith, how is it that Blair is unpersuasive?
Posted at 08:30 AM
ATLA V. BUSH [Jonathan H. Adler]
The trial lawyers are girding for political battle.
Posted at 08:18 AM
INCONVENIENT FACTS [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Daily Howler simply shreds the latest Harold Meyerson Washington Post column (on uranium, Iraq, etc.) to pieces.
Posted at 08:12 AM
ONE MORE CHICK-MAG POST [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Tim, you just reminded me I wrote a defense of Cosmo once. (No, not the mascot.)
Posted at 08:01 AM
PRIM AND PROPER? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Here's what Susan had to say about the Wal-Mart ban controversy.
Posted at 08:00 AM
RE: WOMEN'S MAGS [Tim Graham]
K-Lo and Susan, my colleague Jessica Anderson showed me a rather stunning set of feminist articles in Self magazine (although it could be seen as appropriate: save your Self, lose the inconvenient "pregnancy"). MRC did a study of women's magazines with Consumer Alert years ago that proved how liberal they were on economic and consumer issues. I'm sure a study on social issues would demonstrate a greater tilt.
Even so, some try to pretend the women's mags are still prim and proper.
Posted at 07:58 AM
BUSH IS A BIG GOV'T CONSERVATIVE [Jonah Goldberg]
I have to go to CNN. So I won't be around for a while. But here's a nugget from my syndicated column:
The second explanation has to do with the changing nature of conservative dogma. Or, to be more accurate, the faltering adherence to conservative dogma. For fifty years, it was an article of faith that growth of government was synonymous with loss of liberty. Many conservatives believed that government meddling in the free market put us all on what Friedrich Hayek famously called "The Road to Serfdom," his literary way of saying the slippery slope to communism or fascism. But welfare reform, the collapse of communism and the relative popularity of middle-class entitlements like Social Security and home mortgage interest deductions have caused that dogma to lose much of its oomph. A movement that believes writing checks to old folks is a step toward tyranny is more likely to fight government spending than one that thinks it's merely bad bookkeeping. When you look at it from this perspective, it's fair to say this administration is conservative. But it's also fair to say it favors big government. What will make politics very interesting in the years to come is that "big government conservative" used to be an oxymoron. now it means "compassionate conservative."
Posted at 06:51 AM
MORE SENATE ANTICS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Another Senate committee (Appropriations), another delayed vote. This time on D.C. school choice. Guess who the common denominator Republican is? Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, who is voting with the Democrats against D.C. school choice (a remarkable position when you consider the state of D.C. schools). In the case of the Bill Pryor nomination battle, Specter is said to still be deciding if he is going to support Pryor's nomination or not. (Care to place wagers?) This is the White House man in the Pennsylvania Senate race? These are big enough issues to the White House (and these two examples just scratch the surface) to effect a warming to one Pat Toomey, one would think.
Posted at 06:29 AM
TERRORIZING THE POOR [John J. Miller]
Bet you didn't know that the War on Terrorism hurts the poor. Here's a report from--where else?--the BBC.
Posted at 06:05 AM
ACTUALLY... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...the NYTimes link here to Blair's includes the jokes--and an apology for burning down the congressional library. The previous link is the formal Downing Street release.
Posted at 05:15 AM
BLAIR, BUSH AND BLAIR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Here's a link to Blair's speech to Congress. Here's the joint press conference later.
We are bound together as never before.
Posted at 05:09 AM
Thursday, July 17, 2003
SORRY, C-SPAN [Tim Graham]
Ramesh's reporting on the Traditional Values Coalition reminds me: an e-mailer suggested "Lou Sheldon's daughter" appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal on Sunday, which would balance out their Tuesday solo interview with Elizabeth Birch of the gay-left lobby group Human Rights Campaign. I checked. The e-mailer is right. Andrea Sheldon Lafferty was interviewed on the program Sunday, on subjects including the gay agenda. So there was an effort at balance. Shut my blog-hole.
Posted at 11:07 PM
RE: BIKINIS & MERGERS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Oh, Susan, how I wish I could say that was new to me. There could be an entire think tank devoted to finding this kind of stuff in the women’s mag world (though I can see how it was a jolt from your friendly Shape). I learned of mergerwatch’s existence--it’s wildly popular among the liberal feminist and abortion (sorry to be redundant) groups—from Glamour or one of the other glossy’s a few year’s ago. Here’s another instance when women’s health proves to be of little consequence to some of these groups when abortion is at all involved: In many of these merger instances, the secular hospital would have closed if the Catholic hospital was not there and willing and able to merge (the Catholic hospital most often the solvent partner). One would think, especially in some of these middle-of-nowhere places anti-Catholic-hospital types cite, it would be better to have a hospital that doesn’t do abortion and doesn’t pass out contraception or do IVF than to have no hospital at all! Whatever you think of Catholics, the Catholic healthcare system is a big deal in the U.S., for Catholics and non-Catholics alike. Rather than seen as the enemy, you’d think some of these folks would give credit where it is due here. (I get into this all a bit here.)
Posted at 11:06 PM
BIKINI WORKOUT & CATHOLIC BASHING [Susan Konig]
I was absolutely bowled over by an article in the August 2003 issue of Shape magazine. I always read Shape because it is health-oriented and typically has many success stories about real women who went from being couch potatoes with no self-esteem to highly motivating personal trainers. It's always a lot of fun, very upbeat.
So after reading the tips and recipes and making a mental note to try belly-blasting crunches, I found an article entitled, "Who controls your health care?" Underneath it read, "You might be shocked to discover what your hospital has already decided for you."
This got my attention. In between features on how to beat rebound pounds and de-flabbing your arms, the magazine occasionally runs an informative service piece about breast-cancer screening or coping with various health problems. So I thought the article would be about one of two things:
1) how many women complain that they are not taken seriously by the medical community--a topic I am researching myself after two close friends brought this up to me before they succumbed to cancer.
Or, 2) the influence of pharmaceutical companies on providers.
I started to read about a pregnant woman whose water broke at 13 weeks and it seemed the baby would be lost; the doctor persuaded her to have an immediate termination because her life was at risk but she couldn't because the hospital had merged with a CATHOLIC hospital.
Basically, the piece goes on to suggest that Catholic hospitals are in business to watch pregnant women die because they won't provide an abortion when medically necessary and also to torment rape victims by withholding emergency contraception.
There was no other side to the coin. Even the helpful Internet sources sidebar links to mergerwatch.org which can tell you if there's been a "faith-based hospital union" in your area and asks, "Want to fight a merger?"
Shape founder Joe Weider, the former bodybuilder, sold his magazine group to American Media a few months ago. Now Catholic-bashing is mixed in with the "Get the Best Butt on the Beach Plan"?
What the heck is going on here?
Posted at 11:00 PM
CHICKS & BOOKS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Derb: Huh? Women don't accumulate books? Kathleen Parker just emailed me on the topic exactly as I was thinking: Derb, you've seen my office! And, man, just follow me home. I suspect us women book gluttons are a minority party, but we're out there and right here.
Posted at 09:53 PM
PRYOR UPDATE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
So much for that. No vote tonight. Hatch has rescheduled the vote on Bill Pryor until Wednesday at 9 am. The Dems are fighting to the death on this one.
Posted at 09:01 PM
BIN LADEN SPEAKS, AGAIN? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If he is alive, this may be what he is saying. A MEMRI translation.
Posted at 08:28 PM
WHERE IS DERB? [John Derbyshire]
Well, the morning was wiped out by the arrival of the electrician, who came to install a new main box. We now have 200 amps of gushing current. Then the afternoon was wiped out by the arrival of a favorite magazine, Literary Review. (Which has no web site. You have to subscribe and wait for it to come by snail mail: $60 per annum to "Literary Review Subscriptions, Freepost LON 17963, London SW20 8YY, England.") In this month's issue:
(1) A beautiful essay by Paul Johnson (thanks for relaying my question, Peter--I agree with PJ on both points) about the very interesting difference between men and women in the matter of accumulating books--viz. men do, women don't. Though if I had written it--which, pace J. McN. Whistler, I will, Oscar, I will--I would have worked in a mention of Helene Hanff's book 84 Charing Cross Road, which helps make PJ's point.
(2) A review of Nicholas Farrell's much-rumored biography of Mussolini. The reviewer (Michael Burleigh) describes Musso's regime as: "An odd, creeping, but not spectacularly bloodthirsty dictatorship, in which about thirty people were executed over a period of sixteen years..."
(3) A review of a book about a 19th-century Scottish sailor who went native in the South Pacific islands. The review includes a detailed account of the proper way to prepare and dress a human for eating, and of certain taboos associated with the eating (don't pick your teeth!) The sailor himself got eaten at last.
(4) A cartoon I shall not attempt to describe, with the caption HEART OF DORKNESS [sic].
(5) A review of a book by Bill Deedes, elder statesman of conservative British journalism, 90 years old and still going strong. Deedes (whom I once worked for) was the original for the character William Boot in Evelyn Waugh's novel Scoop. (In which, for some reason, the exchange that always sticks in my mind is the one that goes: "I want some cleft sticks, please." ... "We can have some cloven for you.")
(6) One of those cryptic English crosswords I like. ("19 across: Warren, say, to beat writer "**)
(7) A review of two books about the human body, living and dead respectively. The first book apparently makes much of the issue: why are women's breasts so big? (Compared with those of other mammals.) This, it seems, is a great zoological mystery. Well.
(8) A review of a novel by the very funny Spectator writer James Delingpole. The novel's title is Thinly Disguised Autobiography ... which now joins the long list of Book Titles I Wish I Had Thought Of First.
(9) The latest episode of the long-running comic strip "Du Côté de chez Smith," with a scatological theme I cannot possibly describe here.
(10) The regular poetry competition, whose rules are that entries must rhyme, scan, and make sense. The subject was "Clowns." Sample lines, from the winner: "....Who finds / the clown much fun these days? Children, perhaps, / though some turn screaming to their mothers' laps / for reassurance. Our fast modern minds / despise the satire of a cruder age...."
So, okay, I frittered away most of my day. I still have the evening in which to get some actual work done. Ha ha ha ha ha!
Posted at 07:28 PM
CELIA CRUZ [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
was an anti-Castro Cuban exile. This is from the Florida Sun-Sentinel:
City commissioners in Miami plan to pass a resolution during their meeting today on behalf of the people of Miami who are in mourning, said City Commissioner Tomas Regalado.R.I.P.
Posted at 06:34 PM
BROOKINGS'S PETER SINGER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Man, that's a burden of a name (see link previous post). Assuming, of course, he is not pro-infanticide (N.B. pro-choicers who just rolled their eyes: I mean the actual killing of delivered infants. You probably aren't a fan of Princeton Singer either, I suspect. Though maybe you are, he's got someone publishing his books, paying his university salary, and giving him awards.)
Posted at 06:28 PM
IT'S COMING, BUT IT IS HARD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
David Kay's report, I must say, is talked about much more often on FNC than on CNN. Just noticing.
Posted at 06:25 PM
AN ASIDE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Those italed quotes may not be perfect, I was typing as I was on an interview, so, just know that. They're probably right, but you have been warned. Links to come.
Posted at 05:50 PM
“URANIUMGATE” [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Bush: I will remind the skeptics that in 1991 it became clear that Saddam Hussein was much closer to developing nuclear weapons than anyone ever imagined...The removal of Saddam Hussein is an integral part of winning the war on terror.
Blair: The British intelligence we had, we believe is genuine. We stand by that intelligence.
Posted at 05:46 PM
POST-JOINT SESSION: BUSH AND THE MS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
He may not have all the eloquence of Blair, but he's got the essentials, with a Texan twist. As long as I hold this office I will never put American lives in danger by assuming the goodwill of dangerous dictators.
Posted at 05:35 PM
RE: JUSTICE MFUME [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You think Kucinich has a list of transgenered nominees he's ready to name when he's in the White House?
Posted at 05:29 PM
JUSTICE MFUME [Ramesh Ponnuru]
A Lieberman campaign promise I hadn't seen before.
Posted at 05:17 PM
THE GOOD NEWS THOUGH [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
Several sources tell me Sen. Hatch is determined to see this thing through to a vote tonight.
Posted at 05:09 PM
TELLING RE: SENATE DEMS & PRYOR [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
A source familiar with the Pryor process (sorta reminds you of the Middle East peace process as far as progress and honesty go) reports that “three times in the past two days…including once less than two hours ago, the committee had scheduled -- apparently at the Dems' request--an interview with Pryor to clear up the questions that Kennedy and Leahy are huffing and puffing about. All three times the Dems pulled out at the last minute, saying they hadn't had time to prepare.” Like other nominees before him, Pryor’s available and willing to answer their questions—dangerously honest, even. But them Dems aren’t interested in what he has to say, none of it is going to change their minds.
Posted at 04:57 PM
AL QAEDA SPOKESMAN REPORTEDLY IN IRAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 04:45 PM
KUCINICH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I just saw him sitting during one of the applause lines and he looked very comfortable--like he had been sitting for the last 40 minutes or so. Was he? He ever stand anyone know? Just had to ask.
Posted at 04:40 PM
THE TVC SCANDAL [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I've got an update based on today's events.
Posted at 04:36 PM
THE THREE MS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The charmer's working his way back to them as he winds down, though. Being an American means being free, etc...
Posted at 04:36 PM
MANFUL, MORAL & MAGNIFICENT [Jonah Goldberg]
My view on the first half of Blair's speech. Now that he's getting into Kyoto etc, it's a bit of a disappointment. But I guess he needs to do some of this to keep his job.
Posted at 04:33 PM
NO PRYOR VOTE YET [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The jud cmte senators headed over to see Blair, sounds like they might head back to committee today though. Via SouthernAppeal, the source on the Pryor battle!
Posted at 04:28 PM
"HISTORY WILL FORGIVE SOME WEAK EVIDENCE" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Tony Blair, just now. (More re: the speech.)
Posted at 04:16 PM
GRINNING LIKE AN IDIOT [Terry Teachout]
So here I am, hacking away grimly at links for my new blog while a plumber snakes my sink, and suddenly I decide to pay a quick visit to the Corner, and what do I see? Paul Johnson thinks I'm wonderful. I think I'll post that on my blog. Or maybe I could have it done in cross-stitch to hang over my desk....
Posted at 04:03 PM
REDUCTIO AD ABSURDUM [Rod Dreher]
There's an interesting discussion going on right now on an e-mail list to which I subscribe, that of the national editorial writers' association. One of its members is soliciting advice on what to do to keep a colleague from quitting journalism. The distressed colleague is a reporter who is a member of an ethnic minority. Her editors keep assigning her to do stories on the "diversity" beat. It's driving her crazy, because they apparently see her as only qualified to cover "minority" stories. As another writer on the list pointed out, this is the kind of result you get when news managers buy into the idea that they should hire minorities because only minorities are qualified to report properly on minority communities. I don't blame the poor young reporter for being frustrated, but it must be said that this is the logical consequence of this ridiculous notion of diversity that the news biz has bought into re: hiring practices.
Posted at 03:26 PM
BUSH WILL BE REELECTED, SAYS STEYN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Mark Steyn in the Spectator on Uraniumgate:
I wrote a gazillion pieces urging war with Iraq, and never found the time to let the word Niger pass my lips. And, if it had passed, my lips would have said ‘Ny-juh’ and not ‘Nee-zhaire’. But here’s what the President had to say, when he ‘LIED OVER NIGER URANIUM CLAIMS!!!!!!!!!!!’ back in the State of the Union address in January: ‘The British government has learnt that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.’
Posted at 03:20 PM
TODD GITLIN [Jonah Goldberg]
Always interesting, not alway right.
Posted at 03:06 PM
METAFILTER [Jonah Goldberg]
Goldberg, like most of his conservative buddies, has a deep contempt for Americans. Conservatives usually hide their contempt, but Jonah is so filled with his ill feelings for the majority of Americans that it leaked out on TV, and now he feels exposed....
Posted at 02:28 PM
PRYOR PLAY-BY-PLAY [Jonathan H. Adler]
Feddie provides the play-by-play on this morning's Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on the nomination of Bill Pryor. (LvHB) And don't miss K-Lo's latest on the anti-Pryor campaign. Expect a vote later tonight.
Posted at 02:25 PM
HERE COMES THE JUDGE [Peter Robinson]
Herewith my Q & A with Judge Bork, in which I read him a handful of questions I’d received from readers of the Corner.
YOURS TRULY: “In Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution it is established that the federal judiciary’s role is subject to ‘such exceptions and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.’ How could Congress best use these powers to rein in judicial overreach?”
JUDGE BORK: I don’t think Congress can very effectively use Article III, Section 2--the exception clause--to rein in the Supreme Court. In the first place I’m not sure the Court would uphold such a measure as constitutional. But even if it did, that would only mean that the issue would then go into the state courts. Aside from the possibility of chaos--you’d have fifty different state courts going different ways--the fact is many of the state courts are quite as active and adventurous as our Supreme Court. You would get, for example, the abortion rulings the same way, you would probably get the pornography rulings, and you’d probably get the homosexual rulings the same way. In fact the state courts are taking on that latter issue now. They’ll probably hold for a right to same-sex marriage before the United States Supreme Court even gets to it.
YT: “Given that there needs to be an arbiter in matters constitutional, what should the check on the judicial branch be? Is impeachment the only option?”
BORK: Impeachment is the only option, and impeachment is not going to work. You couldn’t get a justice impeached--not for misbehaving as a judge, at least, although maybe you could if you caught him in some other activity, but not for the way he behaves as a judge. There is currently no way to block the Court except, I suppose, through the confirmation process. But that’s long run, and you can’t count on the confirmation process really digging out what people will be like once they’re on the Court. And furthermore our political parties have now split on this issue, and the Democrats clearly want activist judges. So barring a series of strong electoral victories and some luck, I don’t think there’s any way to stop the Court from its adventures.
YT: “If you were writing your book today, would you change the name from Slouching Toward Gomorrah to something a little more present-tense, like Now Entering Gomorrah Village Limits?”
BORK: (Laughing) Well, they’re reissuing the book, and I’m adding an epilogue. Maybe I should title it, “Welcome to Gomorrah.” But Slouching Toward Gomorrah is a play on Yeats’s poem, “The Second Coming,” and I’d hate to lost that play.
Posted at 01:57 PM
ME FOR SENATE [Jonah Goldberg]
I got one vote from this guy. Alas, I'd only be eligible in DC (we still have shadow Senators right?) or NYC and I don't think it'd work out.
Posted at 01:57 PM
PAUL JOHNSON: YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED! [Peter Robinson]
A week ago, faithful readers will recall, I mentioned that I’d soon be shooting episodes of Uncommon Knowledge with Robert Bork and Paul Johnson. And when I rolled out of bed the next morning, my inbox contained dozens and dozens of questions for the great men. I couldn’t ask Bork and Johnson all your questions, alas, but your correspondent certainly made sure to ask each man a few of the juiciest. I’ll type up my notes on Judge Bork after the kids and I get back from the beach, but here’s what Paul Johnson had to say. (Note to Terry Teachout: Lord, but I envy you Johnson’s interjection.)
YOURS TRULY: Mr. Johnson, National Review’s John Miller would like to know how you manage to prove quite so astonishingly productive.
JOHNSON: Get up early, say your prayers, work hard, play hard, go to bed early. So far as the books are concerned, it is vital to plan the structure of the book. This is what a lot of writers, very good writers, don’t always spend enough trouble doing. And that’s how they come adrift and suffer from writer’s block. You must get the structure absolutely right--down to each atom of 300 words.
YT: Terry Teachout asks--
JOHNSON: I know Terry Teachout. He’s a wonderful writer, especially on music.
YT: Terry would like to know if Paul Johnson has a favorite painting by Norman Rockwell.
JOHNSON: (After a long silence while he thinks.) The one of the barbershop. All of his paintings are interesting and good and a lot of them are funny. But that is one which clearly has the right to be called a considerable work of work. The actual structure of the painting is marvelous.
YT: John Derbyshire asks--well, let me simply read his question: “Back in the 1960s when Paul Johnson was editor of the London New Statesman, I was a devoted reader of that journal. I recall that in one of his weekly diaries, he passed an observation to the effect that there were only two things he was sure of: One, that money is the root of all evil, and, two, that the only cure for unhappiness is hard work. I should like to ask Mr. Johnson whether in the subsequent years he has revised his opinion on either of these points.”
JOHNSON: Ah, that’s the kind of question one loves to hear. Something from a reader who still remembers what one wrote 40 years ago. It can certainly lead to evil, but, no, I no longer believe money is the root of all evil. And on hard work, I haven’t really changed my mind. It is a cure. And it’s a part of every cure.
YT: From a reader of The Corner: “What's wrong with the way history is taught? History books (like those of Paul Johnson) have been known to hit the bestseller lists, so there's certainly interest--but my (New Jersey public school) kids hate history.”
JOHNSON: I just don’t understand how history can be badly taught. I’ve always loved history. I don’t just think it’s important. I think it’s exciting and wonderful. In the Middle Ages it was called the School of Princes. Princes had to learn history so they would know what to avoid and what to imitate. In an age of democracy, history should be considered the School of Peoples. Why isn’t it? There’s no answer to that. It ought to be. It must be.
Posted at 01:30 PM
ANOTHER CLASSIC [Jonah Goldberg]
Unions won't let old folks plant flowers either.
Posted at 01:01 PM
MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN [Kevin Cherry]
This is certainly a problem worth wrapping our heads around. I think marriage has a more useful social function than simply child-rearing (namely, encouraging stable male-female relationships). But I would also suggest is that marriage is not only about taking care of the children who are born but also encouraging, to an extent, children to be born. The decrease in birth rates among the women of most first- world nations is problematic, and I would think that it is a problem that is necessary for public policy to address. Aristotle talks about this very issue in the Politics: The city needs a certain amount of citizens. When it has too many, it tightens up the rules about who can be a citizen; when it has too few, it loosens them (cf. Politics III.i-ii). So if the state needs to encourage children to be born, and needs them to be born into stable families, then wouldn't the state need to encourage marriage?
Now that I've put my one cent in, I need to leave for the weekend. My college roommate is getting married, so I'll do a little bit of first-hand research into the whole phenomenon.
Posted at 12:46 PM
SPRINGER PLATFORM [Jonah Goldberg]
David Letterman's Top Ten List:
Posted at 12:10 PM
RE THE RECESSION WAS [Jonah Goldberg]
In other words, the recession ended right around the moment the Florida recount was settled in Bush's favor. Eeenteresting.
UPDATE I'm an idiot and shouldn't post to the Corner while on the phone. Disregard the above. Florida recount was, of course, in 2000. Not 2001.
Posted at 12:07 PM
CLASSIC [Jonah Goldberg]
Cleaning-up the environment is againt union regulations.
Posted at 12:04 PM
THE RECESSION WAS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The National Bureau of Economic Research announced today that the recession that began in March 2001 ended in November of the same year. Since then, we've been in a weak recovery, something the administration attributes to 9/11. "The recession lasted 8 months, which is slightly less than average for recessions since World War II," says NBER.
Posted at 12:00 PM
TRADITIONAL VALUES OR TRADITIONAL BRIBES? [Jonah Goldberg]
If you haven't read Ramesh's article today you should. It appears that the pharmaceutical industry might be trying to bribe pro-life conservative groups into opposing a bill on bogus grounds. And the Traditional Values Coalition may have taken the money. This has all the makings of a very big story and a scandal.
Posted at 11:54 AM
BROWN FOR D.C. CIRCUIT [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Washington Post reports that Bush intends to nominate California Supreme Court Justice Janice Rogers Brown for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. This is a bold move, as it clearly tags Brown as a potential Supreme Court nominee. This also means that Senate Democrats are likely to vigourously contest her confirmation, much as they have with other Supreme Court prospects, such as Miguel Estrada and Justice Priscilla Owen. That Brown would be the first African-American woman nominated to the High Court only further ups the stakes.
Posted at 11:44 AM
PRYOR BATTLE [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Senate Judiciary Committee is exploding over the Pryor nomination. Senate Democrats are seeking to delay the vote over William Pryor to "investigate" alleged inconsistencies between Pryor's statements before the committee about his fundraising efforts for the Republican Attorneys General Association and leaked documents obtained by Senate Democrats (and reported on in the Washington Post today). Senate Republicans smell yet another effort to stall a nominee until Democrats can find an excuse to vote against Pryor other than his conservative political views. Given the baselessness of the accusations -- detailed by Quin Hillyer -- the Republicans' suspicions are well grounded. The Committee has just recessed, but a vote is still expected later today.
Posted at 11:39 AM
D.C. GUN LAWS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Jonah mentioned Sen. Hatch's bill to liberalize the district's gun laws, which are the strictest in the nation. I was inclined to applaud Hatch, especially since I have had so many occasions to criticize him in the past. But then I talked to Bob Levy, who has been challenging D.C.'s gun laws in court. (I wrote about his efforts in May.) Levy sees Hatch's bill as the NRA's latest attempt to derail his lawsuit. The NRA seems to fear the prospect of a Supreme Court ruling on the Second Amendment. If the bill becomes law, Levy's lawsuit becomes moot--and the Supreme Court loses the opportunity to weigh in.
Hatch's bill comes after previous NRA attempts to stop Levy had failed. Levy finds the timing suspicious. "Why not wait for a court decision?" Levy asks. "The legislative option is always open."
Posted at 11:37 AM
RE: BAYLOR [Rod Dreher]
Thanks for posting that, Kathryn. What's going on at Baylor is tremendously important, and reflects a clear understanding on the part of the university's president of the cultural reality of American Christianity today. Those of us who hold to Christian orthodoxy (small-o), whether we're Protestant, Catholic or Orthodox, have much more in common today than we once did. We now live in a post-Christian society, and it's imperative that believers from the various strands of Christianity work together to formulate authentically Christian responses to the challenges of secularism and post-modernity. I've often said I have far more in common with my believing Evangelical and Orthodox friends than I do with fellow Catholics who have abandoned the core teachings of Christianity. If Dr. Sloan succeeds with his vision at Baylor, I can easily foresee sending my son to the Baptist university, 14 years from now, instead of a Catholic school that's Catholic in name only. There's a good reason orthodox Catholic scholars like Mary Ann Glendon, Robbie George, Ralph McInerny and others have publicly endorsed what Dr. Sloan is trying to do at Baylor. By the way, I've already heard from a fundamentalist Baptist today who didn't like my column. He wrote, "No, I do not believe that Baylor is a beacon for intellectual Christians. I believe Baylor is in the process of selling its soul to the devil for the price of intellectual acceptability."
Posted at 11:13 AM
SCARBOROUGH'S EYE-POPPING TOPIC [Tim Graham]
MSNBC's Scarborough Country last night devoted a segment to the Cuban-American complaints that the NAACP doesn't care about the oppressed black people in Cuba. Wow! Scarborough's activist guest, Tara Martin of "New York Communities of Color" tried this defense: "Let's be clear, you know, and really concise: There is oppression of black people here right now in the United States." Compared to Bull Castro?
Posted at 11:11 AM
THE PROBLEM IN MIDDLE EAST STUDIES [Stanley Kurtz]
Here is a wonderful account from an undergraduate at the University of Chicago describing the problems of bias in Middle East Studies that I testified about before Congress.
Posted at 10:38 AM
AU REVOIR LES JUIFS [Rod Dreher]
Muslim youth in France continue to exemplify peacefulness and human solidarity towards French Jews. The French establishment continues to honor Christian and republican values in protecting its Jewish citizens from racial violence, and in refusing to allow bigots (including neo-Nazis) to intimidate and persecute Jews. Not.
Posted at 10:35 AM
GAY MARRIAGE LAW [Stanley Kurtz]
Tom Sylvester has been having a running and pretty intense exchange with a law professor over gay marriage. I am involved. Go here and scroll up.
Posted at 10:34 AM
STOP THE INSANITY [Jonah Goldberg]
Quotas for gays?
Posted at 10:16 AM
AMERICAN OBESITY, SOLVED! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jennifer Graham has the answer.
Posted at 10:16 AM
IN CASE YOU KNOW ANYONE WHO IS TAKING SPRINGER'S CANDIDACY SERIOUSLY JUST BECAUSE THEY SEE HIM ON CNN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
National Journal's Hotline, the Cliff Notes of modern American politics, has been running a daily Springer report. From yesterday's "Daily Springer":
Today's "Jerry Springer Show" topic: "Bad Girls Confess"
Posted at 08:56 AM
BAD MORNING FOR BUSH [ Jonah Goldberg]
Assuming the President reads the Washington Post with his morning coffee, he can't be pleased. This has to be the single worst front page of his presidency. Out of seven stories, here are the five non-local articles on page one (my comments are in italics):
'Guerrilla' War Acknowledged
Rumsfeld gets taken out at the knees, Bush gets a invigorated "another Vietnam" storyline
Repeal Of D.C. Gun Ban Urged
Not what Karl Rove wants the debate to be about.
Tenet Says He Didn't Know About Claim
Iraq's Highway of Constant Hazard
GOP Attorneys General Asked For Corporate Contributions
Posted at 08:54 AM
RE: KUCINICH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
'Tis true: A reader writes:
There is something especially reprehensible, no, evil,about a politician,a Catholic who only months ago had been staunchly pro-life, casually joking about upholding an extra constitutional decision that has effectively transformed millions of unborn babies into the practical equivalent of used tissue paper. And the joke gets laughs.See here and here and here for the backstory on Kucinich.
Posted at 08:53 AM
WEST WING: WHAT'S THE DEAL? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
15 Emmy nominations. Why? In the past, maybe, sure. But this season?
Posted at 08:46 AM
JUST A THOUGHT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If there are surface-to-air missiles in Iraq still in enemy hands, it is certainly conceivable there are other weapons awaiting discovery yet.
Posted at 07:40 AM
OCCUPYING GERMANY WAS TOUGH? [Tim Graham]
Internet chats with reporters are an underrated chance to prod activist/reporters with a different perspective (and a neat way of learning how reporters think). In Newsweek's live chat with somewhat slanted reporter Michael Hirsh this week, a questioner (who deserves a medal, or at least an Oreo) asks didn't we face occupation problems in other wars? We haven't seen those comparisons in the news, have we?
Hirsh replied: "During the occupation of Germany after WWII, attacks on U.S. soldiers continued into at least 1947, I believe. The difference is that Germany and Japan were countries already decimated by 3-4 years of war. In Iraq the outcome was so quick that people remember that their lifestyle was often better a few months ago, when Saddam was still in power, than it is now. That contributes to further hostility." Ah, the leisurely lifestyle of Baathist Iraq. Wouldn't you miss it?
PS: If you look this up, enjoy the question which charges the media's calling Bush a liar, and Hirsh responds with "no, our reporting may undercut his credibility, but that's entirely different." Read: "No, our reporting may be forcefully intended to undercut his credibility, but we need to be a little subtler than Al Franken."
Posted at 06:44 AM
SUPREME COURT BETWEEN STATES [Kevin Cherry]
I'm a bit jaded about the Supreme Court getting involved in interstate disputes. Such cases often lead to ridiculous decisions--much like the unanimous 1985 decision, authored by Blackmun, that held Long Island is, well, not an island, despite the simple fact that you can't get on it without crossing a bridge.
This article from Newsday is a good summary of the evidence against the court's ruling.
And the decision can be found here.
Posted at 06:43 AM
HOWARD IN THE MIDDLE? PLEASE [Tim Graham]
One sign of Dean's rise among the Dems: a fall-off in liberal labels and an uptick in ridiculous claims of Dean the "moderate" or "centrist."
Posted at 06:41 AM
TRANSGENDERS FOR SCOTUS! [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
That should be an interesting confirmation hearing. This is from the “Gay Day” piece. Every campaign needs a Kucinich, I suppose (though is there anyone quite like him?):
He absolutely would appoint a homosexual judge to the Supreme Court, Rep. Dennis Kucinich said yesterday during a candidate forum hosted by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights advocacy group. He also would appoint "any lesbian, bisexual or transgender person" to the court, Kucinich says.[Yeah, what to think of that, Reagan Leagan Project?!]
Posted at 06:40 AM
“GAY DAY IN DEM LAND” [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
Speaking of pandering…you need to read this Washington Post piece from yesterday if you haven’t. (Yes, I am behind on my reading—and everything else.)
Posted at 06:38 AM
OF COURSE… [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
…Kerry, falling into more comfortable pander mode, also told those assembled on Tuesday that he was for gay rights before it was cool to be. "Before Ellen DeGeneres, before Will and Grace, before anyone knew who Melissa Etheridge was ... when it was radioactive."
Posted at 06:38 AM
A WORD FOR KERRY & LIEBERMAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez ]
It takes nerve to go in front of the Human Rights Campaign and say marriage is for men and women.
Posted at 06:36 AM
JIMMY HOFFA STILL MISSING [John J. Miller]
But the search for his body continues--yesterday, police used a backhoe to dig up a backyard in Michigan. Here's the Detroit News story. I remember reading somewhere a couple of years ago that President Bush had promised Jimmy Hoffa Jr., now head of the Teamsters, that he would spare nothing in the search for his dad's body, and that this was part of the administration's (in my view, quixotic) attempt to win a Teamsters endorsement in 2004.
Posted at 05:28 AM
IN PRAISE OF COLONIALISM [John Derbyshire]
Rich: I was WAY ahead of you on this one.
Posted at 01:37 AM
BAYLOR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rod on a controversy at Baylor U--(no, not that controversy)--that NRO contributor Tom Hibbs is involved in as head of the new honors college there.
Posted at 01:32 AM
Wednesday, July 16, 2003
CALIFORNIA VS. NEVADA [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Most conservatives will instinctively share the views Iain Murray expresses on their legal dispute on NRO today. For a very smart, though long, explanation of why the Supreme Court's decision actually set back such important conservative goals as restoring federalism and ending the liability crisis, read this.
Posted at 06:38 PM
I FORGOT... [Rich Lowry]
...to dedicate this column from earlier this week to Derb and Stuttaford.
Posted at 04:53 PM
MY 'NO WAY' MOMENT... [Rich Lowry]
...checking in briefly (I still need to finish this book) to last night's All-Star game was when they said that Billy Wagner had broken his arm a couple of times, so just learned to throw with his other arm. (You might have missed this commentary, b/c immediately afterward Giambi sent a 100 mph Wagner fastball about as as hard as it could go in the other direction.)
Posted at 04:50 PM
THANKS FOR X-TREME WEATHER STUFF [Rich Lowry]
I think I'm good to go. I have news stories reporting that "In an astonishing announcement on global warming and extreme weather, the World Meteorological Organisation signalled last night that the world's weather is going haywire." I have been advised to goggle, "Greater climatic optimum (ca. 1st century AD)," "Lesser climatic optimum (ca. 10th century AD)," "Maunder Minimum," and "galactic cosmic ray flux global warming" (kathryn, please excuse the sci-fi-sounding reference). I have been called R-Lo (I'm sorry it just doesn't work). And I have talked to a meterologist who is a Cosmo fan. I stumbled through a conversation trying not to sound totally ignorant on the subject. After I said, "Well, global warming is projected to take place mainly in the upper latitudes," I feared he might ask: "OK, smart guy--define `latitude.'" Anyway, we were just about to hang up, when I heard him yelling "Wait! Wait!" on the other end. Thinking this might be some final insight crucial to my column, my new meterologist source said only, "Give Jonah a raise..."
Posted at 04:49 PM
RUINING YOUR COCOA KRISPIES [Tim Graham]
Anyone flipping channels between the network morning shows this morning at 7:20 Eastern time could have witnessed the following:
ABC: In Baghdad, reporter Jeffrey Kofman encourages members of the Third Army Division to run down their commanders and Donald Rumsfeld (who apparently should resign) over failing to let them rotate out of country after a very long stay. You feel bad for the troops, but you know Peter Jennings is smiling like the Grinch on Christmas Eve.
CBS: Political analyst Craig Crawford insists none of the President's political problems are going away. Troops will remain in Iraq, and the economy shows no sign of major improvement. Crawford suggests maybe Bush should take his campaign treasury and put a dent in the national debt. Yuk! Yuk!
NBC: Matt Lauer interviews John Kerry. Interview includes Matt reading long paragraphs out of Kerry's speech today denouncing Bush for endangering homeland security. So even the "hard questions" are Kerry commercials.
Posted at 04:17 PM
JONAH AND MAKING MARRIAGE HARDER [KAthryn Jean Lopez]
From reader Matthew Mehan, who manages to get in Aquinas, Burke, and Luke Skywalker:
Here are a few points I consider thorny regarding any prance down this primrose path of making marriage harder or stricter by making children the litmus test:
Posted at 04:16 PM
IRAN CONFIRMS: PHOTOJOURNALIST WAS BEATEN TO DEATH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 03:58 PM
BROKAW CAN BE BORKED! [Tim Graham]
I think Mr. Brokaw plans on retiring AFTER the 2004 elections, not on retiring to be PART of the 2004 elections. But the anchors are all easily demonized as ultraliberal. Do I have a paper trail for you....
Posted at 03:56 PM
SINNER'S IMMUNITY [Jonah Goldberg ]
Carnal self-enjoyment decreases chances of prostate cancer. Not since the President swore to punish the one-eyed cleric have I had to show so much restraint in making inappropriate jokes about a serious news story.
Posted at 03:53 PM
THIS ONE'S FOR TIM GRAHAM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Brokaw for president?
Posted at 03:26 PM
SUPER FRAUD [Jonah Goldberg]
Also, yes, I do know that Springer supposedly sometimes faked his shows. But I found this email illuminating nonetheless:
Posted at 03:23 PM
BTW [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 03:19 PM
NICE EMAIL [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 03:15 PM
RE: FAUTE DE MIEUX [John Derbyshire]
For the last word on purging French- (and I think also Latin- and Greek-) derived words from the language, here is a brief treatise on nuclear physics, written in words of pure Anglo-Saxon derivation.
Posted at 03:12 PM
A TINY, INTERESTING CONTRAST [Tim Graham]
"UNtruth & Consequences" -- Time cover, July 21, 2003, complete with pictue of President Bush delivering the State of the Union address
"Truth And Consequences" -- Time cover, August 24, 1998, with black and white picture of President Clinton.
PS: Actually, Time wasn't hot about consequences then. Instead, their Table of Contents asked "Did Monica have sex with Bill but not vice versa? Writer Richard Lacayo found that "Strange as it may sound, under one reading of the definition, Lewinsky could have been having sex with him...while at the same moment he was not having sex with her...Isn't the law a wonderfully intricate device?"
Posted at 02:41 PM
HELP--EXTREME WEATHER [Rich Lowry]
Trying to write a quick column on "extreme weather" supposedly being caused by global warming. If you've seen good stuff on this, or know someone to talk to, I'd love to hear from you. Thanks!
Posted at 02:18 PM
HE WRITES LIKE AN ANGEL? [Mike Potemra]
The fellas here at National Review like to razz me about seeing only movies that have subtitles. And it's a fact that, on the whole, I find Hollywood movies of the past 20 years or so insufferably boring. But last weekend, I went to see the new Charlie's Angels movie-and it was actually pretty entertaining, played very self-consciously for laughs. In my favorite scene, one of the Angels has quit the team to protect the others from death threats. She leaves behind a box of stuff she has borrowed over the years and wants now to return; lying conspicuously on top of the box is a copy of Swann's Way. So you guys can knock Proust all you want, because I now have the killer argument in defense of my favorite novelist: "If he's good enough for Drew Barrymore, he's good enough for me."
Posted at 01:49 PM
OR, CONSIDER DIVORCE [Jonah Goldberg]
I guess I agree that there are too many problems with restricting marriage solely to parents. But I think the better point remains intact. If the price for entering the institution were higher, the market, i.e. society, would come up with cheaper mechanisms for those unwilling to pay the price of admission to matrimony.
Many have made the argument that one way of strengthening marriage is to make divorce more difficult and costly. The rise of no-fault divorce, civil marriage and the decline in the belief that getting divorced will send you straight to heck, has made the consequences of divorce far less severe. As a matter of logic, if divorce was made far more difficult and expensive, there would be fewer divorces. But there would also probably be fewer marriages. If people knew this would be a permanent, no-way-out decision, at the margins we'd probably see fewer marriages because the "cost" of getting married would be far greater. In turn, this would result in stronger marriages because only stronger confident couples would take the plunge. I guess one question would be, Are we better off with fewer but healthier marriages or more but weaker ones?
Another question would be, if Kurtz et al are right about homosexual promiscuity being a permanent incompatibility with marriage, we'd probably see quite a few same-sex couples having second thoughts about making the commitment. Anyway, just some food for thought.
Posted at 01:34 PM
LOCKE'S TAKE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Along the lines of your last post, in the 2nd Treatise on Government, Locke suggested that marriage be a contract irrevocable until the youngest child of the marriage is of age. In light of recent studies suggesting that a bad marriage (sans abuse) is better than the best divorce for children, maybe Locke’s suggestion would both improve the lot of children, simplify child support issues, and make people think twice before either marrying or having kids.
Posted at 01:33 PM
MARRIAGE FOR PARENTS ONLY [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
As a woman who has been married for almost 9 years and who has no children and no intention of having children, I find the latest argument regarding restricting marriage to only couples with children a bit silly. I agree that children are better off in a home with a loving mother and father. But I do not agree that the sole purpose of marriage is to produce children. Isn't society better off with the stability married couples provide, whether or not they have children? And what are we going to do with those men and women who are infertile? Surely there is an argument to be made against gay marriage without resorting to that old canard "It's for the children."
Posted at 01:27 PM
SPRINGER [Jonah Goldberg]
I know I should ignore the guy, but I'm getting perturbed by the kid glove treatment he's getting from the media. From today's G-File:
No, if you think it's only worth voting if Springer's on the ballot it's not because you like his ideas. It's because you like the man. You like what he represents. Or, you're just bored and think it's all a big joke to send the human incarnation of a burning bag of dog droppings to the U.S. Senate.
Posted at 01:23 PM
WAIT FOR THE FACTS [Jonah Goldberg]
A good and sensible editorial from The Washington Post on Bush's troubles.
Posted at 01:22 PM
DUH! [Rod Dreher]
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is officially cheesed off that the government's anti-terror work is disproportionately (in its view) and negatively impacting Muslims. "More than any other year, the daily experiences of Muslims in schools, the workplace, airports, and in encounters with the courts, police and other government agencies included incidents in which they were singled out because of actual or perceived religious and ethnic identity," said CAIR Research Director Dr. Mohamed Nimer. Here's a hint for Dr. Nimer: Muslims are being singled out for extra scrutiny in the anti-terrorism fight for a reason akin to Willie Sutton's stated rationale for robbing banks: "Because that's where the money is." When Swedish Lutherans start murdering Americans, setting up international terrorist organizations based on Lutheran principles, and finding aid and comfort in some American Lutheran churches, it will be time to for the government to change its tactics.
Posted at 01:20 PM
ATTENTION RICH LOWRY [John J. Miller]
The viking kittens are coming! The viking kittins are coming!
Posted at 01:15 PM
MAKE MARRIAGE HARDER [Jonah Goldberg]
Over the last few weeks a number of readers have suggested that maybe the answer isn't to "open up" marriage to same-sex couples, but to close it off to a larger number of heterosexuals. The argument takes many forms and I haven't pondered it enough myself, but the basic idea is that if we make the standards for marriage much stricter -- particularly restricting it to couples with children -- we not only preserve the special status of marriage we take away many of the arguments for same sex marriage. In a sense this is what various Churches and synagogues do when they require extensive counseling before marriage. By increasing the costs of marriage thet increase the value of it. I'm not sure I agree entirely, but it's interesting. This reader responding to Charles Murray's post gives a good sense of the idea:
Jonah, I agree with Michael Kinsley changing the legal institution of marriage, but would take it one step further to address some of the moral issues. Since one of the main concerns of pro-marriage folks is the effect on children, (and justifiably so), I propose that the legal, state recognized definition of marriage be restricted to couples that have children. Furthermore, to address the illegitimacy issue, that once a couple gives birth to a child, they are automatically legally married, with all of the attendant responsibilties, whether they like it or not. This would also help address the concerns about monogamy voiced by folks like Stanley Kurtz, because by definition, if you fathered children by more than one woman (without first obtaining a divorce), you would be legally married to both, and therefore a bigamist, and could be punished under the law. Lots of wrinkles to be ironed out, I know, but it seems to me like a solution that increases individual resposibility, doesn't discriminate, promotes accepted morality, and protects children more than the current system. I'd be interested in hearing what you guys think. -Doug Lach
Posted at 12:48 PM
COLSON ON GIBSON [Rod Dreher]
Chuck Colson says Hollywood's skittish refusal to distribute Mel Gibson's The Passion, presumably over fears that it will be seen as anti-Semitic, reflects a double standard. Writes Colson, "Gibson's defenders include Archbishop Charles Chaput of Denver. He wrote that he found it 'puzzling and disturbing that anyone would feel licensed to attack a film of sincere faith before it has even been released.' He reminded Gibson's liberal critics that when The Last Temptation of Christ-an attack on the historic Jesus-came out, 'movie critics piously lectured Catholics to be open-minded and tolerant. Surely that advice should apply equally for everyone.'"
Posted at 12:16 PM
DICK [Jonah Goldberg]
Several readers have told me I should blame Phillip K. Dick for several of the things I blame Spielberg for since, for example, the "precogs" were tortured teens in his original story too. Fair point.
Posted at 12:16 PM
NEW LINE OF ATTACK ON PRYOR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Democrats are on a fishing expedition to find anything that could possibly help them kill Bill Pryor's nomination. Here's the latest from Quin Hillyer.
Posted at 11:58 AM
"MINORITY REPORT" [Jonah Goldberg]
I caught a little of the movie again last night on HBO. Look, I know a lot of people who loved it, but I think the fundamental premise is a bunch of hooey. Just to recap, the film is set in the future in Washington, DC. Tom Cruise basically runs the "Dept. of Pre-Crime." With the aid of some clairvoyant teens, the police can predict murders before they happen and hence stop them. The program has been so successful, premeditated murders simply don't happen in Washington anymore because the murderers know they'll get caught before they do the deed. So the only arrests Cruise and his team make these days are for crimes of passion -- husbands who want to kill their wives in a fit of rage after catching them in flagrante with a lover etc. The obvious controversy/concept is that people are being arrested for crimes they haven't actually committed. Boo hoo, that's wrong etc.
Anyway, to make a long story short, Cruise's boss figured out how to rig the system so he could murder someone without getting caught. When Cruise stumbles on this his boss tries to set him up for a murder rap.
Okay, now. When all of this is revealed, they shut down the program entirely. The audience is supposed to understand the rightness and justice of this implicitly. I don't at all.
1) Our current system -- which prevents far fewer murders than the one in "Minority Report" -- is far, far, far more vulnerable to corruption of this sort. But we don't simply get rid of it.
Posted at 11:35 AM
NOT HELPING MATTERS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
War--even postwar stabilization--is hell, so it's still not a shock, but there have been more killings in Iraq, including a pro-American mayor, U.S. soldier, and eight-year-old Iraqi child.
Posted at 11:20 AM
“I DESERVE IT BECAUSE…” [Nick Schulz ]
Sydney Smith AKA MedPundit points to an interesting story on a massive class action suit against “309 companies -- many of them high-tech start-ups that had high-flying IPOs during the bubble” -- seeking damages from them after their stock prices fell.
Like many average IPO investors, Gallagher is hazy on exactly what iBeam or its investment bank was alleged to have done wrong. But he feels he deserves a cut of the settlement anyway.Let’s stipulate that there was lots of easy money flying around in the late nineties. How are lawsuits brought by trial lawyers on behalf of people who are “not certain why” they deserve awards helpful to anyone at this point? Rep. Chris Cox has done terrific work trying to help curb these kinds of suits, but there’s still a long way to go.
Posted at 11:10 AM
FAUTE DE MIEUX [John Derbyshire]
Nick: In a spirit of reciprocity, I suggest that we expunge from NRO all such usages as "passé," "de trop," "naïveté," "tête-à-tête," "coup," "débâcle," "dénoument," and the like. We could even drop all French-derived words and use only those with Germanic roots--"chop-house" for "restaurant," that kind of thing. But wait a minute, we're not too keen on the Germans right now, either, are we? This is getting complicated.
Posted at 10:57 AM
NOT YOUR FATHER'S JIM MORRISON [Tim Graham]
Newsweek reporter Mark Miller has found a new celebrity politician to celebrate: gay New Jersey state Senate candidate Jim Morrison, whose claim to legislative fame is having entered two contests where judges picked the “prettiest” schlong, and he won both times. Morrison’s utter lack of shame is supposedly refreshing all of New Jersey with candor. His biggest supporter in shamelessness is Dear Old Dad. We also learn through a Q&A that Jim has a boyfriend and they run a T-shirt business at “Www.Jesushatesyour.com. We make T-shirts with slogans like JESUS HATES YOUR SUV or YOUR DEATH PENALTY. The irony is that it’s stupid, of course, and you need to keep Jesus out of politics.”
Posted at 10:34 AM
FIDEL & THE MULLAHS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The satellite signals into Iran are being jammed from a location in Cuba, the NY Sun reports.
Posted at 10:03 AM
THAT'S RIGHT! [Jonah Goldberg]
Charles Murray is in the house!
Posted at 09:47 AM
AMERICAN MAIL, NON! [Nick Schulz]
In a move that would have made the Jacobins proud, the French have banned the use of the word “email.”
THE French government, in a bid to turn back the tide of English words in the field of technology, has banned its civil service from using the term "email" instead of its approved French equivalent, the culture minister announced.Meanwhile, supporters of celebrity jailbird Jose Bove (the French Mumia) tried to sabotage US Postal Service team captain Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France.
Demonstrators supporting jailed farmers' union leader Jose Bove stopped Tour de France leader Lance Armstrong in his tracks during the 136.4-mile 10th stage to Marseille on Tuesday.
Suffice it to say, neither rain nor sleet nor coddled French farmers will keep Lance from his appointed rounds.
Posted at 09:05 AM
MIKE KINSLEY MAY HAVE A POINT [Charles Murray ]
I'm having fun playing with Mike Kinsley's argument of a few weeks ago about abolishing marriage altogether. Suppose the state no longer used marriage as a basis for anything. People could designate anyone they wanted as their partners for purposes of obtaining Social Security benefits, tax benefits, etc.--spouses, gay partners, maiden aunts, whatever. Marriage would revert to what it was before the state started tying benefits to it: a covenant between two people that has gravitas because it is morally (better if religiously) grounded, but with contractual aspects enforceable under civil law.
One thing that would happen, for sure, is a flurry of other civil contracts to pin down those non-marital commitments. A gay lover who is designated as the beneficiary today is going to want some way to make sure that he can’t be dumped unilaterally tomorrow. Similarly for maiden aunts--and similarly for cohabiting heterosexuals. I think this would be healthy. Right now, the meaning of marriage is constantly diluted by treating other arrangements as legally equivalent. The cohabiting heterosexuals sue on grounds that their relationships are de facto marriages. I’d much rather put the cohabiters out in the cold. You want the benefits of the contractual obligations of marriage? Go out and write a contract.
What about the state interest in promoting this absolutely crucial institution called marriage? That’s real, but like so many state interests, it is not necessarily promoted by getting the state involved. The religious analogy comes to mind. In Europe, the state “helped” the Christian religion big time--and pretty much killed European Christianity in the process. The same thing may be happening from the state’s involvement in--read, perversion of--marriage.
It’s not a position I’m willing to go to the wall for quite yet, and there’s lots more to be said on all sorts of its implications. But the idea itself is worth thinking about.
Posted at 08:49 AM
CHARLES MURRAY JOINS THE CORNER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I’m delighted to welcome Charles Murray into the Summer Corner mix. Charles is author of Losing Ground and What It Means to Be a Libertarian, among other books, and co-author of The Bell Curve. His next tome comes out in the fall: It’s called Human Accomplishment : The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 (no small project there!). He hangs his hat at the American Enterprise Institute as W.H. Brady Scholar in Culture and Freedom. Among many other things he’s done and places he’s seen, Charles (who is from Newton, Iowa--thank you, Michael Novak!) was a Peace Corps volunteer in Thailand in the late ‘60s. He has, of course, written for NRODT and NRO (in our embryonic days!) over the years (see here and here, for instance). Obviously, Charles Murray is a sagacious heavyweight and we are quite excited to have him. Check in The Corner often for his analysis and insights.
Posted at 08:45 AM
BASTILLE DAY, MALAISE DAY, THEN WHAT? [Kevin Cherry]
After pointing out that yesterday was Malaise Day, following Bastille Day on the 14th, I wondered if there would be a special occasion today. Alert Corner reader Stephanie B. e-mails me to suggest Schism Day:
Yes, that great day when (according to) The "Great Schism" between the Western and Eastern churches begins over rival claims of universal pre-eminence. (In 1965, 911 years later, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I meet to declare an end to the schism.)One might also point out that this is also the last day of Luther's Disputation in Leipzig back in 1519. Finally, it is also the day that Saddam Hussein took power in Iraq, back in 1979. Almost twenty-five years of brutality from that man, and people wonder why we haven't been able to put an effective society and polity in place yet . . .
On brighter notes: Barry Goldwater's convention speech was delivered on this day back in 1964; Ronald Reagan won the GOP nomination back in 1980.
Posted at 08:43 AM
DOES AMERICA REALLY WANT TO KNOW? [Rod Dreher]
Two new comprehensive studies out today find that children in day care "may experience more stress and are at increased risk of becoming overly aggressive and developing other behavior problems."
Posted at 08:41 AM
NO CREDIBLE NEW REASONS FOR HOPE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rowan Scarborough reports that the fate of downed Gulf War (I) Navy pilot Scott Speicher looks grim. A classfied report--previously suggested to include some new evidence that he may be alive--calls the source for previous optimism a "born liar."
Concludes the report, "U.S. CentCom has searched every known location associated with Speicher. Other than at Hakimiyah prison, where U.S. forces found the initials 'MSS' carved in a cell wall, no significant evidence of his status has been discovered."
Posted at 05:47 AM
TALES OF A NEW BLOGGER [Terry Teachout]
Thanks, Nick, for your kind words about "About Last Night," my new arts blog, which is humming along quite nicely (I sure didn't count on getting all that e-mail!). Which reminds me that I have a semi-important announcement: effective immediately, you can visit "About Last Night" by going to www.terryteachout.com.
The old URL is still valid and will remain so, so you don't have to change your bookmark, but this one is a lot easier to remember, should any of you feel moved to tell your friends to pay me a visit. (Hint, hint.)
I promise to return to the Corner as soon as I get all my nuts and bolts tightened and answer a bit more e-mail....
Posted at 12:34 AM
Tuesday, July 15, 2003
RE RE TAPPER [Jonah Goldberg]
Fair enough. ABC has my number. And -- obviously -- I think ABC would never dream of hiring someone from NR, who'd worked as a conservative activist type (Tapper worked for Handgun Control Inc.) as an objective political reporter. Having experience as a professional conservative makes you permanently untrustworthy according to network types like Westin. Having experience as a professional liberal gives you a rich professional background.
Posted at 08:17 PM
TAPPER, NO PHONY WRAPPER [Tim Graham]
Okay, Jonah, I can buy the preference for biased and knows it. But I'd feel better if ABC also picked up an NR star to flesh it out with a little diversity...
Posted at 07:13 PM
GRAY DAVIS DOES HAVE FRIENDS! [Kevin Cherry]
According to this AP story, a group of Davis supporters is challenging the recall petitions, alleging that some signatures were gathered by non-California voters and that some were not properly witnessed.
The recall effort has more than twice the amount of signatures necessary. It's doubtful a recall can be avoided, but one can certainly be delayed. As the last paragraph notes, the longer the wait the better: If the recall can be tied to a March Democratic primary, then Davis's chances increase greatly (especially if the memory of a butt-kicking Ahnuld in T-3 has faded). Thankfully, the office of the (Democratic) secretary of state has indicated that it will not throw out petitions signed in good faith by legitimate voters.
I've not yet made up my mind about the whole recall effort; I'm usually distrustful of such initiatives, relics of the progressive era. The voters had their chance to recall him in the last election and failed, by a somewhat wide margin, to do so. That said, it's curious that their hopes seem to be that people not registered to vote in California circulated the petitions. Shouldn't it be more important whether the people who SIGNED the petition are registered to vote in California? Besides, since when are California Democrats so strict about people being registered citizens of the state?
Posted at 06:06 PM
RE: TAPPER [Jonah Goldberg]
Tim - I think Tapper's a good guy all in all and certainly intellectually honest enough to be a reporter for ABC News. If the choice is between folks like Peter Jennings who can't even see their own biases or Tapper who may be biased, but understands where his biases lie, I'll take the Tappers every time.
But what do you expect from Westin? This is a guy who got tongue-tied over whether or not the Pentagon was a legitimate target and whether or not his journalists were really Americans at all.
Posted at 05:50 PM
RE: BREMER AND SOCIALISM [Nick Schulz]
Ramesh, Dionne’s column borders on the insane. It’s as if he thinks Iraq is just shy of becoming another Norway or Sweden, provided Iraqis have the good sense to ignore the “ideological claptrap we mouth to the world.”
Here’s a simple illustration. The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom said of Iraq before Saddam fell:
“The government controls all financial transactions… the government controls almost all prices, and for items like food, rationing is the norm… property is not protected in Iraq… the state owns all significant industries… ”
This is a (recently liberated) Stalinist society that has no absolutely no comprehension of what a functioning market system might entail. And yet Dionne says let’s not give “the Iraqis moralistic lectures about the free market” because we have Social Security and state parks. What planet is he on?
Posted at 05:39 PM
JAKE TAPPER, MR. OBJECTIVE? [Tim Graham]
Anyone have any thoughts on ABC hiring Jake Tapper as an "objective" political reporter?
In their press release, ABC News President David Westin gushed: "Jake has distinguished himself with thoughtful reporting and important political journalism throughout his career. We are very pleased to have someone of his proven talent join ABC News." He's also (perhaps too typically for network TV) worked for Democratic Rep. Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky and the liberal Clinton-loving Salon.com. ABC never seems to care how these hires look.
Posted at 05:36 PM
YOUR CHILD'S SUMMER READING LIST [NRO Staff]
Should include this.
Posted at 03:40 PM
216-211 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Smith/etc. amendment keeping the strict, Reagan-era human-rights standard for UNFPA funding passed.
Posted at 03:38 PM
MISSING THE POINT [Jonah Goldberg]
Jonah, Considering the tone and direction/trend of your recent posts, it can hardly be a surprise that a gay prof would agree with you. I'm also a little shocked that you appear to see the devaluation of marriage or the redefinition of marriage (any twosome) or the need for a special gays only union as remedy for a flawed visitors list. Let's get real, we don't need to reorder society for the benefit of gays. If we have laws or policies that unfairly harm gays than change them. Of course, I could be wrong but I see a trend where we all will sooner or later have to accept the Jerry Springer show as portraying "normal" events and behaviors (note the growing references to "trans-gendered and whatnot).
My response: I've gotten a lot of email like this. All I can say, again, is my position in favor of some form of civil unions is derived partly to avoid outright gay marriage. Yes, I think there's a fairness issue to gays involved too. But I also think that if conservative opponents don't make some concessions -- short of actual gay marriage -- then they will lose entirely. That's my non-partisan analysis.
Posted at 02:59 PM
MICHIGAN JUDGES MAY MOVE [Jonathan H. Adler]
Howard Bashman has a round-up on potentially positive developments concerning the "Michigan Four" -- President Bush's four nominees from Michigan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit heretofore blocked by Michigan's two Democratic Senators.
Posted at 01:50 PM
NEVADA'S CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Since Tim Sandefur wrote about the Nevada Supreme Court's decision to disregard the Nevada state constitiution, a federal lawsuit has been filed alleging the Nevada Supreme Court's action violates the U.S. Constitution and federal law. Yesterday, a federal judge temporarily barred the legislature from enacting an unconstitutional tax increase, pending a hearing later this week.
Posted at 01:47 PM
MARRIAGEMOVEMENT.ORG [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 01:32 PM
SPELLING DECEIT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From a major media vantagepoint, this kind of thing is just a waste when a Dem does it.
Posted at 01:26 PM
RE: CIVIL UNIONS [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader makes an entirely fair point:
Posted at 12:57 PM
RE: NOT MY DARLING [Rod Dreher]
I should have been more precise. I meant to say that many social conservatives do not approve of all of Pat Robertson's political activities and stands, simply because he's a social and religious conservative. We are not an undifferentiated lump.
Posted at 12:45 PM
GIVING AN INCH [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
I would only disagree a little, and it's more of a clarification...I think many gays may indeed 'want' the mile, even if given the 'tangibles' you mentioned. But the average gay person will probably not spend the energy mobilizing for protests, etc afterwards.
Posted at 12:33 PM
YES, REALLY, CSPAN BIAS [Tim Graham]
The only guest on C-SPAN's "Washington Journal" this morning was Elizabeth Birch, , head of the Human Rights Campaign, the hard gay-left group now pressing all the Democratic candidates to support what proponents call "gay marriage." No debate. First question: "Do you think that President Bush has been detrimental to gays and lesbians?" So much for balance.
She said this morning that all nine candidates are "great friends" of the HRC, and seven are expected at an HRC forum today. The moderator is ABC's Sam Donaldson. As in the NARAL candidates' forum in January, expect no reporter to point out the Dems are tap-dancing away from the mainstream of public opinion on social issues -- unlike GOP candidate appearances before the Christian Coalition.
Posted at 12:17 PM
NOT MY DARLING [Rod Dreher]
Andrew Sullivan, pointing to a couple of reprehensible things Rev. Pat Robertson has done lately, calls him "the social right's darling." That's fatuous, and he knows it. Very many of us social conservatives in no way approve of Pat Robertson's political stands and activities. In fact, today's Washington Post quotes a prominent religious conservative saying that Robertson is all alone on the Taylor issue. I realize it suits Andrew's polemical interests to lump social conservatives (specifically, those of us who oppose gay marriage) in with Robertson's indefensible carrying-on, but it's unfair and inaccurate, and he should withdraw the guilty-by-association charge.
Posted at 12:14 PM
MY LARGER POINT [Jonah Goldberg]
I’m not going to get into my whole anti-slippery slope thing again, but I think opponents of gay marriage sometimes misunderstand that occasionally giving in a little prevents giving in a lot. Consider feminists today. There was a time when their arguments galvanized millions of ordinary Americans. Today, feminism is something of a joke – at least when it’s identified as feminism – because the issues groups like NOW yap about are so distant from the lives and desires of ordinary women. The Equal Rights Amendment failed precisely because most women felt they’d won what they needed to win – the vote, anti-discrimination laws etc. The same, to some extent, holds true for blacks. Black activists today whine about reparations and state flags because the major legal and political victories have been won already.
Judging from many of the gays I’ve talked to or heard from, the demand for marriage is less strong than the demand for the tangible things they want: social security benefits, hospital visitation, health insurance etc. etc. I understand the argument that conceding these items would be giving gays an inch when their hell-bent on taking a mile. But I’m not at all sure it’s true that all that many of them want the mile. As we’ve learned from the presidencies of both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, co-opting some of the agenda of the opposition more often takes the wind out of the sales of the opposition. Opponents of gay marriage want to concede nothing. I think that’s misguided on public policy grounds (see below). And, in political terms it keeps the pro-gay marriage coalition unified. Just something to think about.
Posted at 12:12 PM
CIVIL UNIONS [Jonah Goldberg]
Over the last few weeks, I've gotten hundreds upon hundreds of emails on gay marriage, civil unions etc. (and I'm not excited about getting any more of them). I've read pieces by Stan Kurtz, Derbyshire and everybody else. Personally, I'm increasingly sympathetic to a constitutional amendment, though I haven't made up my mind about the FMA. All of that said, I just read this post over at Andrew Sullivan which strongly suggests the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America are -- or were -- opposed to any of the constituent benefits of civil unions.
Now, I understand the arguments against civil unions and gay marriage. But frankly, I'm appalled at the idea that the state can tell me that I can't have whoever I want visit me on my deathbed. Forget about homosexuality, if I had no family but my best friend was still alive, I would be furious at the idea that the state would or could prevent him from visiting me. Going further, I simply don’t understand why the law should forbid me from designating whomever I want to benefit or handle my estate. I think there are any number of these marriage benefits which have less to do with "rewarding" marriage and have more to do with simple convenience on the part of bureaucrats.
Posted at 12:11 PM
WHAT WOULD JESUS (RIVERA) DRIVE? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Why, an SUV, of course.
Posted at 11:39 AM
CLINTONS DENIED [Jonathan H. Adler]
Bill and Hillary Clinton sought reimbursement for approximately $3.5 million in legal fees realted to the independent counsel investigation of Whitewater, et al. No dice, ruled the unanmous three-judge panel overseeing the independent counsels: "Because we conclude that the Clintons have not carried their burden of showing that the fees would not have been incurred but for the requirements of the Act, we deny the petition, save for a single unique item." How much do the Clinton's get? About $85K.
Posted at 11:12 AM
PETER'S SUBTLE SCANDAL SLANT [Tim Graham]
On Friday night, Peter Jennings began: "Good evening everyone. It has happened to other Presidents. They go off on a trip to some part of the world and as much as they would like the news to be about them and where they are, sometimes they cannot avoid the news at home or from somewhere else. President Bush's trip to Africa -- and it's an important trip -- had been overshadowed for several days by the war in Iraq." He folllowed that by reciting new poll numbers that a majority now find the level of casualties "unacceptable."
So viewers might assume that ABC always hounds presidents on foreign trips with disturbing domestic questions. Wrong. In May of 1997, ABC White House reporter John Donvan reported with President Clinton from Mexico as he denied any "factual discrepancy" whatsoever in his wife's statements about her fishy lawyering work for Clinton business partner Jim McDougal, convicted of mucho felonies: "Mexicans could care less about Whitewater. They are joining the administration in calling this summit a success." Four days later, Donvan was at it again: "When the President fended off a Whitewater question by saying, 'Look, I'm just down here doing my job,' the Caribbean journalists burst into applause, in part because they had heard enough about Whitewater and wanted to talk more about bananas."
Posted at 10:57 AM
SILLIEST EXPLANATION TO DATE OF THE IRAQ WAR [John Derbyshire]
Why did we go to war with Iraq? James Pinkerton knows. It's because Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld & Rice had been reading too many chivalric romances.
Posted at 10:21 AM
BREMER AND SOCIALISM [Ramesh Ponnuru]
On the same page, E. J. Dionne Jr. has an op-ed claiming that Paul Bremer's desire for all Iraqi citizens to benefit from Iraq's oil wealth is "socialist." Not that that's a bad thing. Hostility to socialism is "ideological claptrap" that we wisely ignore. Medicare and Social Security are "socialist" programs, after all.
Actually, Dionne's characterization is an overstatement. But hey, fine with me: Let's not complain the next time a Republican backbencher or conservative direct-mail piece warns of creeping socialism in America.
As for Iraqi oil: Dionne says that the American equivalent of Bremer's idea would be to take "all the profits from the oil industry--or, perhaps, the entire energy sector--and split them up among all Americans. Bremer is operating here in teh tradition of the legendary Louisiana populist Huey Long..." The analogy would work just fine, if America's energy sector had previously been nationalized. In the world we actually inhabit, the idea of giving Iraqis shares, preferably tradable, has been talked up more by conservatives and libertarians than by progressives. Glenn Reynolds is no socialist.
Posted at 09:54 AM
SCHOOL CHOICE FIGHT [John J. Miller]
Milwaukee may have a school-choice program, but the fight on its behalf continues. Supporters currently hope the Democratic governor will lift the cap on the number of students allowed to participate. Here's a story.
Posted at 09:49 AM
"BLACK THURSDAY FOR BUSH" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
A shadow now hangs over Bush's bright hopes for a second term. It's true. David Broder says so. It is the shadow of--well, actually, Broder doesn't complete the metaphor. I guess it's the long shadow of unemployment, missing weapons of mass destruction, and intelligence failures. That shadow. Broder thinks this shadow is eroding confidence in Bush. His poll numbers are slipping. This is true, but it doesn't take you very far. There is no reason to assume that the unemployment numbers next fall will be where they are now. (And anyway, I think unemployment drives a lot fewer votes than it used to do. The last time it turned the election was in 1982. But that's a story for another day.) WMD and intelligence are great issues--for Bush. Even Bush's declining poll numbers are a good thing for him. Both facts tempt the Democrats to do things they shouldn't: attack Bush's honesty, trash the Iraq war, and generally go negative. This is not to say that Democrats and Republicans shouldn't raise real questions about intelligence. But I really don't think Bush is in danger.
Posted at 09:44 AM
IT WAS 24 YEARS AGO TODAY [Kevin Cherry]
The infamous malaise speech (though President Carter did not use the word). Just another event that ushered in the election of Ronald Reagan.
Hmm, Bastille Day, Malaise Day . . . what could tomorrow bring?
Posted at 09:24 AM
WASSUP IN MASSACHUSETTS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The court waived its internal procedural deadline that mandated they decided the gay-marriage case this month. What that means is anyone's guess.
Posted at 09:23 AM
"CONSIDERING THE SOURCE" [Jonah Goldberg]
Apparently Keith Olbermann said this last night to Jerry Springer: (Thanks to the guys at MRC.):
Posted at 09:17 AM
A N.K. STRIKE [Stanley Kurtz]
The North Korean problem is the most serious issue facing our country right now. Thank goodness President Bush dispatched Saddam Hussein before he became an “imminent danger.” Korea is an imminent danger right now, and that’s exactly why it’s so hard to do anything about it. I hope to write more about Korea just as soon as I get a chance. But here is the bottom line. We need to at least consider a strike against North Korea, even if that puts Seoul at risk. A strike against North Korea may not be the right policy, but it has got to be openly debated. We have to understand that in very short order, we could lose the war against terror. In fact, we may be losing it right now. Korea has every reason to sell bombs to Iran and Al Qaeda. They may already have the capability to do so. If Saddam were still around, the North Koreans would be sell him a bomb as well. This country is wasting its time on a silly debate about Iraqi WMD and missing the point. There really is an axis of evil. Any part of it with nuclear capacity will sell bombs to all the rest. The end result will be the destruction of a major American city–possibly the decapitation of our government. After that, we face military rule and at least the temporary suspension of government as we know it. We are at great risk. Yet for the most part, the press is silent about this.
Posted at 09:17 AM
WAR WITH NORTH KOREA [Stanley Kurtz]
We are drifting toward war with North Korea. That is the message of former defense secretary William Perry, as reported in today’s Washington Post. I think Perry is right. In fact, I said as much some time ago in, “The Other Imminent Danger,” “It’s All About North Korea,” and “An Ominous Cloud.” Former Secretary Perry appears to believe that the Bush administration ought to be negotiating with Kim Jong Il, offering him economic aid and a non-aggression pact. I think that is folly. The administration is divided and, to a degree, paralyzed by disagreement between accommodationists and hard-liners. The punditariat has been relatively silent on Korea, chiefly because there is no good answer to the dilemma. Personally, I have been frustrated by the need to attend to the Title VI and gay marriage issues. I want to be writing more about Iraq, about our too-small military, and above all, about Korea. But lately it’s been impossible to find the time.
Posted at 09:17 AM
IRON UXBRIDGE [Andrew Stuttaford]
John, that story about the Marquess of Anglesey (better known as Lord Uxbridge) is marvellous, but may be apocryphal. What is true, however, is that Uxbridge, an inspired leader (who had previously also shown his courage by eloping with Wellington's sister-in-law) lost a leg at Waterloo. Years later he returned to the scene of the amputation and enjoyed a hearty meal served at the same dinner table where the surgeon had once lopped off his shattered limb. At no time is Uxbridge thought to have gone through 'counselling'.
Posted at 09:13 AM
MAKERS OF FINE WHINE? [Tim Graham]
Ramesh, Cathy Young scores some points against Alterman, but her desire to seem even-handed goes overboard into insulting those of us who get to critique the media for a living.
Start with the sentence: “Right-wing diatribes against the ‘liberal media’ often have an unpleasant whiff of whining.” This is the first refuge of every talk-radio scoundrel. But it’s ridiculous, unless every NAACP complaint, every Sierra Club study, every Heritage Foundation report on educational progress, in short every investigation of a policy shortcoming, is similarly dismissed with the “whiff of whining” line of argument. I imagine this is how King George greeted the Declaration of Independence, suffused with the “unpleasant whiff of whining.”
Young also feigns balance by saying Bernard Goldberg’s Bias and Ann Coulter’s Slander are “seriously flawed,” that Goldberg had too much overwrought rhetoric and Ann Coulter is somehow Michael Moore. I would agree that both books overstate, probably in an attempt to move the merchandise. But that’s not a “serious” flaw, unless you’re serious about convincing your friends that Katie Couric is roughly comparable to Eva Braun. Anyone looking for evidence to sustain a persuasive conservative media critique will definitely get find their money’s worth in either of these tomes.
Finally, Young annoys by giving credence to the old media professional’s spin that “bias is in the eye of the beholder.” While it’s true that liberals are more upset about criticism of liberal ideas and leaders, and conservatives the opposite, some facts about media coverage cannot be spun with “beholder” arguments. Young cites that “Alterman is exercised over the rough treatment of Al Gore during the 2000 campaign but oblivious to the rough treatment of Newt Gingrich after the Republican takeover of the House.” But Young does not consider that the liberal case about “rough treatment” of Gore is much more debatable than the treatment of Gingrich. For starters, Gore was never mocked as Ebenezer Scrooge or the Grinch on the cover of a news magazine. Hard facts about coverage, not mugwumpish spin about beholders and whiners, ought to win the day.
Posted at 08:20 AM
SOME CLANS HAVE ALL THE CLASS [Tim Graham]
P. 495 of The Clinton Wars, where Sid reveals his son Max (then a student at the U. of Pennslyvania) joined in the premature celebrations of impeachment's end after the 1998 elections with his "epic Clintoniad," which reads:
Goodbye Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Posted at 08:17 AM
MORE ON THE BOX [John J. Miller]
The best case for the ossuary box may be read here. For the case against, go here.
Posted at 08:05 AM
U.N.WORTHY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You can call me abortion obsessed (some of you have, perhaps rightly), but it will always be a mystery to me why liberal feminists in the U.S. cannot get upset about forced sterilization in Peru, coerced abortions in China. The U.N. Population Fund has a lot to answer for--but, for the most part, it’s only the pro-lifers who are the ones sounding the warning bells. Unfortunately that means the Left gets to portray congressional debates over UNFPA money (they’ll be a vote in the House on this today, as Tim mentioned yesterday) as just more attempts to make abortion illegal and unavailable throughout the globe. While I certainly wouldn’t shed a tear at the prospect, women’s groups show their colors again and again when they gloss over these kinds of human-rights violations, and America’s ability to influence their end. (See here and here and here and here for some background.)
Posted at 08:04 AM
BOXING COMPETITION [John J. Miller]
Remember that ossuary box last year? The one that once possibly held the bones of James, "brother of Jesus"? In June, reports indicated that its inscription was a forgery--and much of the archaeological establishment cheered because the box had surfaced on the antiquities market rather than in an excavation, which is to say outside the purview of the academy. Well, the fight is far from over, as this report indicates. We're probably headed for Shroud of Turin territory--you'll be able to believe whatever you want to believe, and have scientific reasons for doing so. I don't have a personal opinion on the authenticity of the box or the inscription, though I wish archaeologists would quit feeling like they have to trash anything that comes to light by some means other than a member of their profession digging it out of the ground.
Posted at 07:59 AM
A&A [John J. Miller]
Growing up, I loved playing Risk and Stratego--especially Stratego. I can't wait for my own kids to reach the age when they can play (we're currently hitting the checkers phase). As an adult, I've played a fair amount of Diplomacy. Until about a year or two ago, I had a little group of right-wingers meet at my house every couple of months for a game. Oddly, the player who had France seemed to win a lot of games. The board game that has most fascinated me since high school, though, is Axis & Allies. Best way to describe it: A more complicated version of Risk, based on the Second World War.
Posted at 07:50 AM
Monday, July 14, 2003
SANG FROID [John Derbyshire]
Just one more from the Iron Duke. During the battle of Waterloo, the Marquess of Anglesey (in charge of the British, Hanoverian, and Belgian cavalries) was standing beside the Duke of Wellington when a shot pierced his right knee. "By God, sir," he simply remarked, "I have lost my leg." "By God," Wellington replied with a nod, "I believe you have."
Posted at 08:42 PM
RE: THIS GENTLEMAN HAS A POINT [John Derbyshire]
Nerd? NERD? Who does this guy think he's talking about?
---Derb (level 45 Dragonmaster)
Posted at 08:41 PM
THE GOP & THE DARKSIDE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One wonders what the NACCP would do if a Herman Cain ran, as a Republican, for a top-slot.
Posted at 08:37 PM
THIS GENTLEMAN HAS A POINT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Subject: Stratego????Stutt, care to bring up the high-school chess team again?
Posted at 07:09 PM
MORE STRATEGO [John Derbyshire]
A reader wonders: "35 years ago, in my Stratego heyday, I used to use my Spy to capture the enemy flag. Some one told me that wasn't legal since the spy could only take the marshal. The rules didn't seem to address this specific question. Any thoughts?"
This was, of course, the main point of contention at the memorable 1979 meeting of the Internationale Vereinigung für Kriegkunstbrettspiele in Yokohama. The majority view, which the U.S. representatives upheld, was that the Spy may indeed capture the enemy flag, since the flag, being an inanimate object with no means of defense, is vulnerable to any mobile piece. A dissident minority, led by a Polish faction under the disreputable Wladimir "Wlad the Mine-shifter" Sienkiewicz (whose game books were later shown to have been forged, probably as part of a broad KGB scheme to halt the inroads that Stratego was making against chess in the old USSR), held that the Spy was emblematic of bourgeois-liberal subversion, so that his underhand methods could not be permitted to play such a decisive part in victory. The dissidents broke away from IVKB to form a rival governing body, and their eccentric interpretation of the rules held sway behind the Iron Curtain for some years. Following the fall of the old USSR, however, this regrettable schism is now a mere historical curiosity. Only in Cuba, Laos, and North Korea may the Spy not take the flag, and the IVKB is putting constant pressure on these nations to conform to international norms of conduct on the Stratego board.
Posted at 07:01 PM
FACT-CHECKING ERIC ALTERMAN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Cathy Young is on the case.
Posted at 05:47 PM
RE: RE: STRATEGO [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: The Atzemoglou opening? That old thing? With the Spy right behind the General, so when you've found one, you've found both? Feu! I am not going to name my own favorite gambit: but if I murmur "Budapest 1988," those who understand, will understand.
Posted at 04:31 PM
RE: STRATEGO [Rod Dreher]
Don't know about Stratego, but I can't believe I worked at NR for about a year and a half, and never asked if anybody on staff was up for Diplomacy, which is only the best damn boardgame ever. O Skaggerak!
Posted at 04:30 PM
RUSH TO FOOTBALL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Limbaugh gets an ESPN gig.
Posted at 04:27 PM
STRATEGO [Jonah Goldberg]
Derb - You're on. But I do not need your charity! The Riemann hypothesis cannot save you!
By the way, look what I just found!
Posted at 04:20 PM
RE KELLER [Jonah Goldberg]
Ramesh - I agree with you on Safire. Too often he brags that he's taking a contrarian position because it is contrarian. This is not only profoundly juvenile it is staggeringly egocentric -- "the whole world says X, so I will say not X solely because I am Bill Safire not because I have a good reason." He calls himself a "libertarian conservative," it seems, whenever he wants to cloak the fact he's just a moderate Republican with some vestige of principle. When faced with the choice of making a hard hitting observation or a useless pun, he will more times than not opt for the pun.
As for the Times not having a conservative, I always thought Andrew Sullivan would have been the obvious choice for the Times. He's conservative, but he's also gay which seems to be more important to the Times. He's Catholic, and hence a threefer, but he disagrees with the Church on homosexuality and he defends his pro-life position with being anti-death penalty.
Of course the only problem is that they hate each other.
Posted at 04:07 PM
RE: STRATEGO [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: Two minds with but a single thought. Stratego rules! Next time we have a fund-raising drive, I suggest a grand NR/NRO Stratego-off in some public place--Madison Square Garden would be fine. Or if you'd rather just go mano a mano, heck, I'll spot you a colonel.
Posted at 04:07 PM
MORE ON THE PASSION [Rod Dreher]
That trailer for Mel Gibson's Jesus movie is red-hot on the Internet. Here's another site where you can view it. Alternately, here again is the link to the item Harry Knowles' website, where I first saw it. I just screened it for my colleagues here at the Dallas Morning News, and folks were amazed by what they saw.
Posted at 03:58 PM
RE: TRICKY PRONUNCIATION THREAD MEETS HIGH CULTURE THREAD [John Derbyshire]
Blogger Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D., grumbles that I did not include his name, or a link to his TRULY BODACIOUS BLOG, when I posted the Duke of Wellington's Peninsular-campaign letter from an e-mail he (Kevin, not the Duke) sent me.
There is actually an ISSUE here that I have kept meaning to raise. I often post interesting titbits or follow-ups from reader e-mails, and I think other Corner denizens do too. The question is: do you include the reader's name, or not? Some readers would much rather you NOT include their names; some are desperate to see their names in pixels. I suppose the gentlemanly thing would be an exchange of e-mails with the reader to find out his preference... but who has the time? By the time he got back to me, the original would be lost in the great e-mail ocean, and I'd have forgotten what it was all about. So I default to the safe option, and leave out the name. (A reader who wanted his name left out but sees it, is going to be much angrier than a reader who wanted the publicity shot but didn't get it.)
Could I therefore float the following suggestion to Corner readers? If you e-mail us with anything you think might be Corner-worthy, please indicate in some unmistakable way whether or not you would like your name included. We could have some sort of standard code: PIN for "please include name," DIN for "don't include name," IYINIGFMWWDMMPWSMOOTWMDWAHTTASAMFWCMDITS for "If you include name I'll get fired, my wife will divorce me, my parents will strike me out of their wills, my dog will admit himself to the animal shelter, and my friends will cut me dead in the street," and so on.
Posted at 03:56 PM
RE: DERB'S WATERLOO [Jonah Goldberg]
Simply because I can't imagine there will be another opening anytime soon, I must get something off my chest: I think Stratego is one of the greatest board games ever invented. Obviously, it doesn't rank in the top tier with such timeless classics as chess, Monopoly and Scrabble (and please, let us not have a long discussion of chess -- a game I love but despise reading about). But Stratego definitely deserves high placement in the second tier. It is certainly better than Life and I would argue it is even be better than Risk, since Risk is too dependent on dice.
Posted at 03:55 PM
KELLER [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I think the appointment is one more confirmation that the internal critique of the Times in the aftermath of the Blair fiasco diverges from the external critique. The liberalism will at best be toned down and made less crusading. I still find the paper's line-up of columnists scandalous. I know that the paper generally has a Catholic slot on that page, and also know that it is inconceivable that the paper would pick a writer who agreed with her church's teaching on abortion. But in this vast land, couldn't the Times find one mainstream conservative op-ed columnist to be a regular? (I'm not sure William Safire would even bother to characterize himself that way.)
Posted at 03:41 PM
A IS FOR ASHCROFT [Tim Graham]
Jonah, see National Journal's last turn at grading the Cabinet...if you can track it down. They gave Ashcroft an A for his performance in the war on terrorism.
Posted at 03:40 PM
RE: TRICKY PRONUNCIATION THREAD MEETS HIGH-CULTURE THREAD [John Derbyshire]
A kind reader has sent me the text given to people auditioning as announcers on the classical radio station WFMT:
However, it must by no means be assumed that the ability to pronounce L'Orchestre de la Societé des Concerts du Conservatoire de Paris with fluidity and verve outweighs an ease, naturalness and friendliness of delivery when at the omnipresent microphone. For example, when delivering a diatribe concerning Claudia Muzio, Beniamino Gigli, Hetty Plumacher, Giacinto Prandelli, Hilde Rössel-Majdan and Lina Pagliughi, five out of six is good enough if the sixth one is mispronounced plausibly. Jessica Dragonette and Margaret Truman are taken for granted.
Poets, although not such a constant annoyance as polysyllabically named singers, creep in now and then. Of course Dylan Thomas and W.B. Yeats are no great worry. Composers occur almost incessantly, and they range all the way from Albeniz, Alfven and Auric through Wolf-Ferrari and Zeisl.
Let us reiterate that a warm, simple tone of voice is desirable, even when introducing the Bach Cantata "Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis," or Monteverdi's opera "L'Incoronazione di Poppea."
Such then, is the warp and woof of an announcer's existence "in diesen heil'gen Hallen.
Posted at 03:39 PM
JENIN [Jonah Goldberg]
More proof the Jenin massacre wasn't a massacre. (Reg Req'd) From the Jerusalem Post:
Posted at 03:38 PM
RE: NYT VS. ASHCROFT [Jonah Goldberg]
Ramesh - I agree that the Nagourney piece was almost a caricature of Times-myopia. But I would also add two more points. First, as you've written yourself regarding the Patriot Act, virtually everything the Democrats say about Ashcroft's policies is partly, largely or entirely untrue. There is very little substance to the "lost liberties" rhetoric, but the press has simply swallowed the meme whole. In fact, I'm amazed the Democrats have the chutzpah to denounce Bush for not doing enough to make America safer -- John Kerry has started asking "Are you more secure than you were 3 years ago?" -- when at the same time they denounce the one cabinet official who's done more than anyone, with the possible exclusion of Rumsfeld, to thwart terrorist attacks on the United States. Relatedly, Ashcroft has been by far the most effective cabinet official in terms of working with foreign law enforcement and intelligence agencies, but we never read about that.
Second, Ashcroft's SOB status may not hurt Bush with as many Democrats as Democratic strategists and the Times think. Many swing voters may in fact like the idea that Bush has a pitbull running law enforcement. Better to be too aggressive than not aggressive enough on such issues. So long as Bush can carve out the image as the compassionate conservative (I still hate that label) who has to keep his top cop on a tight leash, it's not at all clear to me that Ashcroft isn't a an asset with lots of Americans, not just the conservative base.
Posted at 03:26 PM
DERB MEETS HIS WATERLOO [John Derbyshire]
Bah! The little devil snuck down my left flank and took my flag with a mere Major, while all my forces were concentrated for an attack up my right--too concentrated to actually move. A Major! And this was after my spy had assassinated his Marshal!!
Posted at 03:25 PM
LEE BOCKHORN [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Stanley Kurtz praised his article on the Standard's website. I thought he got a number of things right. I think he got my own work wrong.
Bockhorn calls my article in the latest issue of NR "defeatist" on gay marriage (and I assume that's how Maggie Gallagher viewed it as well). That is not an unreasonable characterization, I suppose: I do offer reasons for thinking that resisting gay marriage will be extremely difficult. Bockhorn does not dispute these reasons, and indeed seems to agree with them. He proceeds to write as though I were calling for social conservatives to surrender. This is not true. I didn't call for anything.
My article was a neutral, descriptive account of the politics of gay marriage. A social conservative who reads it may decide to quit the fight against gay marriage as hopeless. Or he may decide to throw himself into the fight because gay marriage is closer to happening than he had previously realized. If he chooses this second course, he will be going into the fight with open eyes. (There is, of course, a third option: He may decide my analysis is incorrect.)
It is a little rich, in any case, for a Weekly Standard writer to be complaining that conservatives are not doing enough to fight gay marriage. Did anyone at the Standard, either in print or on the web, make the constitutional case for upholding sodomy laws before the Lawrence case was decided? Did anyone at the Standard, either in print or on the web, criticize the constitutional reasoning of the Supreme Court once it was decided? Has the Standard run anything on the decision's implications for gay marriage other than Bockhorn's article? I believe that the answer to all of these questions is no. Bockhorn challenges conservatives to support the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment. The Standard has mentioned that proposal once, in an article in Oct. 2002, and never endorsed it editorially. If folks at the Standard want conservatives to engage on the issue of gay marriage, they could always try doing so themselves.
Posted at 03:16 PM
WE SUPPORT U [Jonah Goldberg]
This is a great slide show in support of the men and women in uniform. It runs a little long, but it's hard to avoid a lump in your throat if you watch it. I predict it will be sent around the web a lot in the next few weeks.
Posted at 03:08 PM
THE NYT VS. JOHN ASHCROFT [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Over the weekend, Adam Nagourney had an article in the New York Times about the Ashcroft-bashing that has become a staple of Democratic presidential candidates' oratory. To read the article, you would think that John Ashcroft is the most loathed man in America. That is, in fact, how Nagourney ends the piece. "'I think he might be the most loathed man in America,' said Janos Marton, 20, a Dartmouth student who pressed Mr. Edwards on the subject of Mr. Ashcroft's civil liberties record at a town hall meeting the other night. 'The way he is undermining civil liberties is disgraceful.'"
We also learn that Ashcroft is "an unpopular figure." A "Republican strategist" is quoted anonymously to the effect that Ashcroft is a political liability for the president: "None of those Democrats can beat George Bush, but John Ashcroft can." (That's a nice line, almost Grover Norquist-like in its quotability.)
Nagourney continues, "But a senior political adviser to Mr. Bush argued that no matter how unpopular Mr. Ashcroft might be, he would not hurt the president."
Enough already. It's quite clear that Ashcroft is unpopular with Democrats (and libertarians). But--and I know this will come as a shock to the Times--many, many Americans are not Democrats. Last month, Harris Interactive found that 54 percent of respondents rated Ashcroft's job performance positively, only 32 percent negatively. Gray Davis would kill for those numbers. Ashcroft is more popular than Hillary Clinton (barely), Al Gore, Ted Kennedy, Joe Lieberman, or John Kerry.
Posted at 03:08 PM
AMWAY RELATION CORRECTION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Opinionjournal fixes our record.
Posted at 02:51 PM
SOMETHING FRENCH THAT'S GOOD [Susan Konig]
In honor of Bastille Day, who doesn't love this fine gentleman...?
Posted at 02:35 PM
BILL KELLER, A REALLY LIBERAL FELLER [Tim Graham]
For anyone who has any doubt that new NYTimes boss Bill Keller is a passionate liberal, do chek out the Timeswatch link K-Lo posted earlier, and see these quotes from his recent columns.
The Howard Kurtzes of the world should be asking: Was this a tactical mistake by the Times, to pass over Keller last time, but give him a column to display all his opinions with the sharpest partisan invective, so that when he finally takes over the top job, everyone questions his capacity for fairness?
Posted at 02:16 PM
CLARENCE PAGE'S VIETNAMIZATION [Tim Graham]
My colleague Geoff Dickens relates a "highlight" from the Chris Matthews show this weekend:
Matthews: "Clarence, what struck me, a couple of events this week. Horrible events. We graduate seven police over there, Iraqi police, guys all dressed up in their uniforms ready to go out and work and keep the streets safe, shot right, blown up right there in the middle of their graduation ceremony. A G.I. goes into a university campus to get a Coke somewhere, shot like this. [Points finger to his head] Just melts into the crowd. What is your make, what is your take on this?"
Posted at 02:08 PM
CHALLENGE [John Derbyshire]
That's enough of this aimless blogging. Serious matters await. My son has just challenged me to a game of Stratego, and we Derbs do not refuse a challenge.
Posted at 02:06 PM
IRON DUKE'S BEST LETTER [John Derbyshire]
A reader has trumped my Iron Duke letter with the following, which may be not only Wellington's best, but one of the best letters ever written. Commandants of military academies please note: if you are not teaching this to the cadets, you darn well should be.
Allied Headquarters, 1812
Posted at 01:55 PM
KELLER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A briefing from timeswatch.
Posted at 01:36 PM
RE: PHILISTINES PHOOEY [John Derbyshire]
Having wandered into this zone, I may as well answer the 3 or 4 NRODT readers who e-mailed to ask me what my favorite opera aria is. This is one of those questions I'd answer differently at a different time, or in a different mood: but the other day I heard a recording of the young Pavarotti singing "A te o cara" from Bellini's opera I puritani, and haven't been able to get it out of my head since. I know, bel canto isn't everybody's cup of cappuchino, but it does it for me. Warning: This aria contains a sensational high note--put away your glassware somewhere safely out of range. A lot of singers shy at that note--I saw Gregory Kunde, a fine Bellinian, do just that at a Carnegie Hall concert performance 5-6 yrs ago. Others attack it but are defeated: Justin Lavender (imagine going through life with a name like that!) on the otherwise wonderful Nightingale CD set, for example--though Edita Gruberova's "Son vergin vezzosa" is more than sufficient compensation. Pavarotti makes it sound effortless. Say what you like, he is a truly great singer.
Posted at 01:30 PM
RE: DEFENDING THE FRENCH [Rod Dreher]
Jonah, I wrote an NRO piece earlier this year defending what I found defensible about the French. In honor of Bastille Day, here it is again. I woke up this morning and gave a Quatorze Juillet thought to John Zmirak, known to many NYC conservatives, who once got into the New York Times for organizing a requiem mass on Bastille Day for the executed King of France.
Posted at 01:25 PM
TOO SOON TO BE DEFEATIST [Stanley Kurtz]
Lee Bockhorn has a very thoughtful piece out today on gay marriage. I think Lee is right that this is a battle that must be fought, and that it is far too early to be defeatist. I also agree with Lee that all the traditional conservative points about marriage can and should be invoked in this debate. I would add, however, that it is not necessary to believe that marriage ought to return to what it was in the fifties in order to oppose same-sex marriage. As I said a bit earlier today, even with all of the changes in marriage since the sixties (some for ill, some for good, some for both), gay marriage challenges elements of marriage that still enjoy a rough consensus by the public–monogamy and the connection between marriage and child rearing. Gay marriage does not simply ratify what marriage has already become. Gay marriage undercuts even those pillars of our current reformed version of marriage that are still surprisingly strong. That is why I think a coalition of social conservatives and social moderates against gay marriage can be built–but only if we have the kind of battle that forces a real debate.
Posted at 01:08 PM
RE: CONSERVATISM'S PROUD PHILISTINES [John Derbyshire]
Nick says, of Terry Teachout: "A lot of conservatives give lip service to the importance of the arts, but don’t know Howell Raines from Picasso (wait a minute, maybe Howell Raines doesn’t know Howell Raines from Picasso). Either way, for cultural trogs (like me), Teachout is a godsend." Let me tell you, Nick, from long experience, that there is a proud philistine faction among conservatives, certainly among NRO readers. Any time I blog about my encounters with high art (encounters of which, be it noted, high art generally gets the better) I get emails from readers telling me that this stuff is for the fairies (you can take that any way you like) and that a robust commercial republic of free citizens doesn't need poetry, classical music, or any of that sissy stuff--just guns, liquor, attitude and a banjo. (I think that's what they're saying.) Obviously I don't agree with this myself, but it's a point of view, and if you blog on NRO you better be ready for it. It's not entirely wrong-headed, either. Robert Conquest notes somewhere that Tsar Nicholas of Russia went to the opera while Disraeli went to the races; then he asks rhetorically: "Which country was better governed?"
Posted at 12:57 PM
NEWSCASTER'S WORST NIGHTMARE [John Derbyshire]
I think I have cooked up a news item that would cause the average network news anchor's head to explode trying to get the pronunciations right: "A consortium of entrepreneurs, led by Joey Buttafuoco and his new wife Regina, will attempt to launch a space probe toward Uranus from a base in Niger..."
Posted at 12:35 PM
A BOOK I SIMPLY MUST READ [John Derbyshire]
Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, by Simon Sebag Montefiore. Just been reading Simon's account of his researches for the book on "Arts & Letters Daily." Utterly gripping.
Posted at 12:15 PM
RE: NEWS ABOUT NOTHING--A BOTANICAL RESPONSE [John Derbyshire]
From a reader: "[T]he North American Violets (Viola appalachiensis) I am familiar with have very shallow roots (typical of most forest plants). However, your question led me to find a website listing ALL the NA violets. I had no idea there were so many! So some may be long-rooted, as may be their English cousins."
Posted at 12:08 PM
MORE ON THE IRON DUKE [John Derbyshire]
This is from memory--can't find it on the web and can't be bothered to go to the attic & search for it. The Duke was punctilious about answering mail from officers under his command... but not always very helpful. One young subaltern wrote to him in desperation, explaining that he had got a respectable girl pregnant, and was under heavy pressure from both his own family and hers to marry her, which he did not want to do. The Duke's reply, in its entirety, was something like: "Sir, You have got into a pretty pickle, and must extricate yourself as best you can. Yrs. etc.--Wellington."
Posted at 11:32 AM
SUPERNATURAL ASSISTANCE [John Derbyshire]
Two different readers have now suggested that the video clip of me singing the Riemann Hypothesis song has some strange hypnotic power. Sample (from a reader in Canada): "Derb, I don’t know if it’s your haunting delivery ... or if it’s the clever composition of the lyrics, but I CANNOT GET THAT SONG OUT OF MY MIND!! For the last three days all I have heard, playing over and over again in my head, is '…and-their-DEN-sity’s-one-O-ver-two-pi-log-TEE.' I only watched the clip twice! Could this be some sort of subliminal psychological programming to get viewers to buy your book? ... Must go to bookstore ... must go to bookstore..."
OK, I confess: I had supernatural assistance in making the clip. To be exact, I prepped for the shoot by channeling Berhard Riemann for an hour beforehand. Thanks, Bernie.
Posted at 11:30 AM
THE IRON DUKE [Andrew Stuttaford]
On catching sight of his bride on their wedding day (if I recall the story correctly, he had been abroad for some time and hadn't seen her for years), he is said to have commented to a friend, "she's grown ugly, by Jove." The marriage was not a success.
Posted at 11:19 AM
POST-RAINES TIMES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Bill Keller will be named executive editor today.
Posted at 11:17 AM
RE: TITLE IX [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The long version of what Jonah just said is here on NRO.
Posted at 11:10 AM
TITLE IX [Jonah Goldberg]
Lots of readers have inquired what my wife and I think about the Bush Administration's surrender on Title IX. For the record, my lovely bride is back working at the Justice Department -- though she's physically working from home most of the time. Still, that precludes her from commenting publicly on the the White House's complete and total sell-out on Title IX (my characterization, not hers). But since I've read her book, Tilting the Playing Field , I can certainly say that the decision is a major disappointment. It shows two things: First, it shows that feminist groups and a pliant media have successfully defined this debate to deny reality entirely. Any change in Title IX whatsoever, we were told, would "turn back the clock" and result in girls' soccer games being cancelled everywhere. This was all a huge lie. Title IX is
The second thing it shows is that this administration is in full campaign mode. Because it was afraid of being mau-maued on even modest changes to Title IX, they decided to simply surrender entirely. It's a shame. It may not be as big a deal as surrendering on Medicare or affirmative action, but it's all part of the same pattern.
Posted at 11:05 AM
I REALLY ENJOYED [Ramesh Ponnuru]
reading Andrew Sullivan on Howell Raines today.
Posted at 11:04 AM
CAT NIPPED [Nick Schulz]
Does the savagery of the Russian mob know no limits? Where’s PETA when you need ‘em?
Posted at 10:41 AM
YOU SAY NEE-ZHAIR, I SAY NYE-JUH [John Derbyshire]
One small side pleasure of the uranium-from-Niger story (which I otherwise couldn't give a fig about) is watching the agonized terror on the faces of blow-dried liberal network TV newscasters as they have to pronounce the name of the place. Most have settled in to "Nee-ZHAIR," on the grounds (it seems to me) that this is as phonetically far from the dreaded n-word as you can get and still be understood. Good ol' boy Bill O'Reilly is sticking with "NYE-juh," though. (Which is also how I say it, and seems to me is the proper--or at any rate, least affected--English pronunciation.)
Posted at 10:35 AM
RE: YOU'LL FIND OUT SOONER OR LATER [John Derbyshire]
Susan: It's OK, really. Remember the Duke of Wellington, responding to a person who had called him Irish on the grounds that he was born in Ireland: "Being born in a stable does not make one a horse."
The Duke was, in fact, extremely quotable. Here's one for Bastille Day: "We always have been, we are, and I hope that we always shall be detested in France."
Posted at 10:32 AM
NOW THAT'S A CHILLING EFFECT [Jonah Goldberg]
Palestinian mob attacks a researcher who found that Palestinians don't want to live in Israel. (Link via Drudge).
Posted at 10:22 AM
YOU'LL FIND OUT SOONER OR LATER [Susan Konig]
I'd better come clean. I was born in the land of cheese-eating surrender monkeys. That's right. The City of Light. My parents, loyal citizens of Astoria and Sheepshead Bay, were living there at the time and, coincidentally, my sister and I arrived on the scene.
But we were both registered within hours of our births with the US State Department and were repatriated to New York for our formative years. There, I said it. Happy Bastille Day.
Posted at 10:21 AM
WAQUI GADDAFY [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 10:11 AM
NETWORKS SCRAMBLING [Jonah Goldberg]
Howard Kurtz has a good piece on how the networks are starting to sweat the fall out from the Rick Bragg story. Networks give far, far, far less credit to their staffers than newspapers do. For the record, Jeff Jarvis and I both made this point a long time ago.
Posted at 10:06 AM
RE: INSTADEAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Gee, Nick, it wouldn't take a minute to find near-identical boring posts on The Corner.
Posted at 10:02 AM
INSTADEAN [Nick Schulz]
Howard Dean is guest-blogging this week at Stanford prof Larry Lessig’s online home. Why someone who recently leapt into the ‘top tier’ of Democratic presidential hopefuls is spending time blogging for a small readership (albeit influential) blog is beyond me. Perhaps, a la Al Gore, he’s trying to develop even greater street cred with the geek set.
Besides, Dean already has a mind-bendingly dull official ‘BlogForAmerica’ on which you can find gems such as:
As much as I love to celebrate our growing numbers, one of the numbers I don't like thinking about too much is the 3,516 emails in my inbox. For those of you who have written, I apologize for not getting back to you, but please know that I am reading your ideas and your stories, and we're all inspired by them.Do we really need more of this kind of stuff?
Posted at 10:00 AM
BASTILLE DAY [Jonah Goldberg]
Like a French soldier creeping up on a soufflé Bastille day has once again arrived without me noticing. For the last four years, I've been writing special Bastille Day French-bashing columns. I totally forgot this year. And, as I indicated last year, I'm losing my taste for it. Oh, I haven't lost my distaste for the French, but French-bashing is so clichéd these days, I feel like I'm doing schtick when I talk about Cheese-eating surrender monkeys and the like. So, I'm going to try to do something different this week (alas, not today) and defend the French. If you have suggestions of what a defense of France might look like, I'm all ears. In the meantime, here are a few columns which satisfy your need for an anti-French fix. "Le Chutzpah," "Chiraq Envy," and of course my Bastille Day columns from 2002, 2001, 2000, and 1999.
Posted at 09:56 AM
NEWS ABOUT NOTHING [John Derbyshire]
Gotta feed neighbor's cat (they're away). My back hurts again. Lawn needs mowing. Just been reading John Masefield after lapse of 30 yrs. Surprised to find him very good on old age and death: "Her beauty must go underneath the grass, / Under the long roots of the violets." Do violets really have exceptionally long roots? Somehow I feel sure he checked.
Posted at 09:56 AM
RE: RE: PARAGRAPH OF THE WEEK [John Derbyshire]
Well, Maggie already has my thanks for several years of sound common-sense writing about sex, love, marriage and the family.
Posted at 09:51 AM
CELEBRATE BASTILLE DAY THE BLUTO WAY [Kevin Cherry]
This Newsday article on Animal House ought to cheer Jonah and the rest of us up.
Posted at 09:47 AM
RE: PARAGRAPH OF THE WEEK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Can we take the week off and thank Maggie?
Posted at 09:40 AM
YOUR AFFIRMATIVE-ACTION DOLLARS AT WORK [Roger Clegg]
The Washington Post reported Friday that two former high-level Pentagon officials have been convicted of getting more than $1.1 million in cash, as well as sexual favors and gifts—“including expensive gold watches and the services of prostitutes”—in exchange for helping minority-owned companies secure government contracts. One of the men had actually headed the Defense Department’s influential Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization. This is, of course, only the latest in the unbroken record of corruption in the federal government’s minority contracting programs. But since the whole point of these programs is to award contracts to companies other than those that submit the lowest bids, what’s a little additional baksheesh among friends?
Posted at 09:39 AM
MAGGIE GALLAGHER & THE SLOPE [Stanley Kurtz]
I think Maggie Gallagher’s piece today on marriage and the gay marriage battle is excellent. I do think Maggie underestimates the importance of the slippery slope argument. But I also think she’s right that the slippery slope argument is only a part of the story. Over the next weeks and months, I am going to be touching all of these bases in great detail. On the one hand, I am going to be putting the slippery slope argument forward with new scope, vigor, and evidence. I intend to show that the slippery slope argument is far more than a debating tactic–it describes a profound danger, and one that cannot be separated from the concerns that Maggie raises. But I am also going to be directly addressing the issues the Maggie has just focused on–the connection between marriage and children, the relation of that connection to the size of government–and how gay marriage is deeply implicated in all this. I think the case against gay marriage is building, even as we speak. The country will now focus on this issue, and the debate is going to grow and change. That, among many other reasons, is why Maggie is absolutely right that it is very premature to despair of success in this battle. The truth is, the gay marriage movement is using marriage to accomplish ends that are external to the institution. The more the public understand about what is really at stake, the more likely it is that this debate can be turned. And it is mistaken to believe that marriage has already been so gutted that nothing is left worth defending. With all the changes and problems, certain key features of marriage–particularly monogamy and the connection between marriage and child rearing–are still quite strong, and are still deeply accepted by the broader public. Both monogamy and the connection between marriage and child-rearing are greatly threatened by gay marriage, and that is something that the public can be brought to understand.
Posted at 09:29 AM
PARAGRAPH OF THE WEEK [John Derbyshire]
From Maggie Gallagher on NRO. All right, it's early in the week--but this one will last and last.
"The answer to this question [i.e. 'Do we need marriage?'] is, I think, abundantly clear from 40 years of experimentation both here and in Europe. The consequences of our current retreat from marriage is not a flourishing libertarian social order, but a gigantic expansion of state power and a vast increase in social disorder and human suffering. The results of the marriage retreat are not merely personal or religious. When men and women fail to form stable marriages, the first result is a vast expansion of government attempts to cope with the terrible social needs that result. There is scarcely a dollar that state and federal government spends on social programs that is not driven in large part by family fragmentation: crime, poverty, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, school failure, mental and physical health problems. Even Medicare spending is inflated, as elderly singles spend more of their years in nursing homes."
Posted at 09:24 AM
TIA, DOA [Nick Schulz]
Civil libertarians can breathe easier. According to Wired magazine, John Poindexter’s Terrorism Information Awareness program – formerly the Total Information Awareness program – appears dead, killed by a Senate committee.
Critics on the left and right have called TIA an attempt to impose Big Brother on Americans. The program would use advanced data-mining tools and a mammoth database to find patterns of terrorist activities in electronic data trails left behind by everyday life.The proposed TIA program was never as much of a threat to civil liberties as its critics suggested, and the potential merits were considerable. Most of the critics never understood that the technology is fairly straightforward and it’s easy to prevent against abuse. The Manhattan Institute’s Heather MacDonald and Corante’s Arnold Kling made that abundantly clear.
Posted at 09:23 AM
KOREAN SNIPPETS [John Derbyshire]
Guess who's decided to stand as a candidate for Constituency No. 649 in the upcoming elections for deputies to the 11th Supreme People's Assembly of North Korea? Yes, it's that indefatigable old campaigner Kim Jong-Il! In an open letter to voters, Kim professes "heartfelt thanks" for the "deep trust" they have placed in him.
In related news, the Korean Central News Agency reports that "Palestinian President Yasser Arafat sent a floral basket to the statue of President Kim Il Sung on Mansu Hill on the occasion of his 9th death anniversary. The floral basket was laid before his statue by Palestinian ambassador to the DPRK Shaher Mohammed Abdlah on July 7. Written on the ribbon of the floral basket were letters 'H.E. The Great Leader Kim Il Sung Will Be Immortal.'"
Posted at 09:09 AM
BOTTLENECKS... [John Derbyshire]
...in the distirbution of Prime Obsession. Anyone who's had an Amazon order canceled because they are out of stock, please note that Barnes & Noble at http://www.bn.com have plenty. Sorry about the Amazon snafu, we are trying to sort it out.
Posted at 09:04 AM
AFRICAN DESPOTS UNION HONORS MUGABE [John Derbyshire]
African despots union honors Mugabe
Posted at 09:03 AM
RUMOR WATCH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Despite rumors all weekend suggesting otherwise, CNN just reported the gay-marriage decision in Massachusetts will not come down today.
Posted at 09:02 AM
IF HE'D BEEN ROWING TO BRITAIN THINGS MIGHT HAVE BEEN DIFFERENT [John Derbyshire]
Don't know whether to laugh or cry at this story from the New York Post.
Posted at 08:56 AM
TEACH ME [Nick Schulz]
My fellow Summer Corner contributor, the inestimable Terry Teachout has his own blogsite, debuting today. Teachout really is one of the truly indispensable writers and critics today. A lot of conservatives give lip service to the importance of the arts, but don’t know Howell Raines from Picasso (wait a minute, maybe Howell Raines doesn’t know Howell Raines from Picasso). Either way, for cultural trogs (like me), Teachout is a godsend. “About Last Night” is worthy of a bookmark and daily visitation.
Posted at 08:51 AM
IT'S 8 AM ON BASTILLE DAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
WHERE IS JONAH GOLDBERG?!?
Posted at 08:08 AM
YOU DESERVE AN ABORTION TODAY [Tim Graham]
A vote may come tomorrow in the House on funding for the United Nations Population Fund. Planned Parenthood’s latest suggested letter to Congress on UNFPA says nothing about forced abortions in China, or aiding International Planned Parenthood’s abortion-promotion agenda with the money of American pro-life taxpayers. It argues that UNFPA should be supported simply “because it is the single largest global source of multilateral funding for maternal health and family planning programs, providing desperately needed health care services to poor women and their families in 150 countries.” It is big, therefore it is good. PPFA wants Members of Congress to think their activists aren’t the slightest bit motivated by the desire to export the joys of the abortion revolution and stem the tide of planet-polluting humanity. For a glance at what UNFPA and your U.S. Agency of International Development do on population matters, see here.
Posted at 08:06 AM
Sunday, July 13, 2003
SEE DICK GET ALONG WITH OTHERS [Tim Graham]
Kathryn, what on Earth is Gephardt talking about? How many have-an-omelette-pal bipartisan breakfasts has he been to at the White House? Or does he mean Bush really should have tried a more heart-to-heart approach with Saddam Hussein? We're not electing Mr. Rogers here, Dick. It's a dangerous world out there, and it doesn't all get fixed with happy talk and handshakes.
Posted at 11:20 PM
DEAN IN BIG D [Rod Dreher]
I went down to Dallas City Hall Plaza this evening to stand in the scorching heat for a Howard Dean rally. There were several hundred Dallasites there. I heard one Dean worker say she was disappointed there wasn't a bigger turnout -- Austin, the liberal capital city, had a much larger Dean rally -- but it was about what I expected for Dallas. Dean was a late-show, but he fired the crowd up real good. He's a sharp, vigorous stump speaker, and his delivery made his liberal boilerplate speech sound lively. I thought his best shot at Bush was on the economy, bashing the president for fiscal irresponsibility. It's risible, not to say cheeky as hell, for the most liberal of the credible Democratic contenders to bash Bush as a big spender, but regrettably, the president deserves it. That said, Dean's my favorite Democrat, for the same reason he's Karl Rove's. Go, Howard, go!
Posted at 11:20 PM
THE HIGH ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I paraphrase, from Dick Gephardt in Iowa today, shown on C-SPAN tonight: You know in grade school, that part of the report card where it says "plays well with others?" This president didn't get a good grade there. I did.
Posted at 10:11 PM
CANADIAN PHOTOGRAPHER DIES IN IRANIAN CUSTODY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
An Iranian photojournalist died this weekend, a month after her arrest under spying charges. She is believed to have been beaten and tortured.
Posted at 08:16 PM
MORE CIVICS LESSONS [Kevin Cherry]
As if the Dixie Chicks' civic lessons weren't enough, Jonathan Zimmerman, author of Whose America? Culture Wars in the Schools, takes to the op-ed page of the Washington Post today. The beginning of his piece is excellent, detailing the sorry ideology of the Iraqi school system.
Unfortunately, and almost as an afterthought, Zimmerman then takes on the American school system, contending that it promotes an "ideology." While he concedes that the America of our history books--"an exceptional nation in human history, an engine of opportunity for its own diverse people and a beacon of liberty for the world," as he puts it--is not quite as bad as the Iraq depicted in Hussein's textbooks, he also suggests that "Before we ask a tyrannized people to promote democratic education, we might try practicing a little more of it ourselves."
Having seen some recent school books, I find it a bit hard to believe that children are in danger of believing our nation is a city on a hill; rather, they are often subjected to a national history that focuses on our shortcomings, our failures, rather than our successes. It is more than appropriate to point out the times that we have failed to live up to our principles, but children ought to learn that many times we have lived up to those principles, which, as far as I know, still represent the last, best hope of earth. (They also ought to learn those principles, but that is a somewhat different problem.)
Posted at 08:05 PM
RE: CORNER READERS: [Rod Dreher]
Peter, I'm glad you've discovered what intelligent, loyal and helpful readers The Corner has. I've spent much of this weekend compiling an e-mail list of the 480 readers who wrote in to say "megadittoes" to my crunchy-con articles. I'm about to start mailing out interview questions for the research on my crunchy-con book (if you want to participate in the project and don't think you're on the list, write me at email@example.com and I'll add you). Yesterday afternoon I re-read some of the letters readers sent on the crunchy-con topic, and I was bowled over all over again by the stories our readers told about their own lives and thoughts. What a wonderful thing the Internet is; before we had it, I doubt very much that many of us would have ever had the opportunity to learn each others names, much less share ideas and histories.
It's 100 degrees here in Dallas, and time to return to the dog-eared paperback copy of The Conservative Mind that I accidentally liberated from the NR bookshelf. Sorry John Virtes, I'll mail it back when I'm done.
Posted at 08:00 PM
BLOCKING DOCS? [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Bush administration is (AP reports) appealing a federal court ruling blocking the investigation and punishment of doctors who recommend marijuana to their patients. The source of the controversy is a policy put in place by the Clinton administration (yes, this is a piece of bipartisan stupidity) that would require such doctors to lose their federal prescription licenses. This is, of course, nonsense – and cruel nonsense at that. Remember that we are not talking here about doctors who actually ‘prescribe’ (or otherwise procure) pot for their patients. Rather, what is being penalized here is the giving of medical advice – something that doctors are meant to do. If the Feds think that such advice is negligent, they should say so, but on that topic they seem curiously silent.
The ruling that has caused the trouble comes from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco (usually, bad guys, I seem to recall, but never mind) which held that doctors should be able to give advice to their patients without fear of sanction. The should only be punished if they actually help their patients obtain the drug. Until the moment that pot is – as it should be – legalized, that seems like a fair compromise. The Justice Department should be ashamed of itself.
Posted at 01:16 PM
MYSTERY OF THE PYRAMIDS [Andrew Stuttaford]
This beggars belief and it will probably end up beggaring a great deal more than that.
Via blogger Iain Murray, who is not impressed.
Posted at 01:15 PM
MORE BRUSSELS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Peter, a British reader writes to remind me of another reason that so much of the British establishment signed up for the EU – the Americans wanted them to. Throughout the Cold War years it was widely believed (not incorrectly) that a more united (western) Europe would be a better bulwark against the Soviets. The tragedy on Washington’s part was the failure to realize that after 1989-91 the strategic equation had changed. There was no Soviet threat and the EU itself was rapidly mutating into the far more malevolent and often explicitly anti-American entity that we see today. Despite that, the US continued to encourage a ‘united Europe’ until at least last year (For example, George Bush made a nauseating speech on the topic in, I think Berlin).
It was a classic failure of imagination on the State Department’s part roughly akin to the inability to realize (after the first Gulf War) that the assumptions that justified the need for a special relationship with ‘Saudi’ Arabia had ceased to exist.
Posted at 01:13 PM
RE: FEELING GUILTY [Kevin Cherry]
I'm not so pessimistic about the state of American marriage as the article Susan linked to would suggest. The methodology -- self-selected samples -- is problematic; better data from the National Opinion Research Center (although from 1996) suggests that about 11 percent of wives have been unfaithful to their husbands, and 1.3 percent have cheated on their husbands in the past year. (For men, the numbers are about 20 and 3.6 percent, respectively.)
What is troubling is that so many women see so little wrong with adultery. I wonder how many had children . . .
Posted at 01:09 PM
CRASS COMMERCIAL HOLIDAYS [Susan Konig]
Old Saddam-instituted holidays are out in Iraq and a new one, April 9, is in. That's the day Saddam's regime was toppled. We'll know it's a real holiday when Iraqis start complaining that it's become over-commercialized and it's just an excuse to run Fall of Saddam Day sales at the Tikrit department stores.
Posted at 01:08 PM
"A SELECTED DICTATOR" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Ralph Nader on Bush; in the Arab News.
Posted at 10:39 AM
FEELING GUILTY [Susan Konig]
A Manhattan researcher interviewed 120 drunken slags who cheated on their husbands and 108 felt no guilt. Based on this, the researcher predicts that 60% of all American married women will have affairs. I'd like to comment but I have to get my brake light fixed, we're out of Cheerios and I'm late for church...
Posted at 10:23 AM
THE DIXIE CHICKS WON'T SHUT UP [Kevin Cherry]
According to this op-ed in the Salt Lake Tribune, the Dixie Chicks performed a bit of audio-visual self-defense at a recent concert. While the song "Truth No. 2" -- written by Patty Griffin -- played, a collection of footage from protests past (civil rights, women's rights, gay rights) was shown on the screen. The lyrics go something like this: "You don't like the sound of the truth/Comin' from my mouth/You say that I lack the proof/Well baby that might be so/I might get to the end of my line/Find out everyone was lying/I don't think that I'm afraid anymore/Say that I would rather die trying."
The author of the op-ed, whose byline proclaims that he "has spent his 35-year professional career in positions by the First Amendment," argues that this is a "civics lesson." The response to the Chicks' anti-Bush comments was, he implies, un-American: "What seemed most moving was old film of Nazis throwing books on bonfires, probably in the late 1930s, and the images of a steamroller smashing hundreds of Chicks CDs."
Two quick points. First, the fact that their concerts are still being performed and reviewed by people like him is a clear indication that America 2003 is not quite like Nazi Germany. Second, one would think, or at least hope, that someone who has spent his life in journalism can distinguish between the civil rights movement and the controversy over the Dixie Chicks.
Posted at 09:59 AM
"INSTANEITY" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Kathleen Parker on blogs (including The Corner).
Posted at 09:57 AM
HAMMERING THE KRAUTS [John Derbyshire]
There is a wonderfully non-PC piece by Ralph Peters in this morning's New York Post. Peters takes on the Germans, leaving us in no doubt at all about how he feels. The context is German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's having canceled his Italian vacation over the Berlusconi flap. "Italy, the home of grace and beauty, doesn't need any more loud, fat krauts polluting its environment... the German contribution to the Renaissance was the realization that you could fit more beer in a bigger mug... Poor Gerhard may have to settle for that incomparable paradise on earth, Dusseldorf in July... the elegant Italians just have to grit their teeth as Hans and Hilda slop marinara sauce over the shirts they've both worn for three days running, argue about the bill... [Speaking of a German couple he encountered in a Rome restaurant] grunting, barking... grotesquely fat... horrible Herman gave orders [to a waiter] in the same voice that Obersturmbannfuehrer Schultz must have used in Rome 60 years ago..."
I am in two, maybe three minds about this. On the one hand, as a hater of P.C., I think it is wonderfully refreshing to see such bluntness in print. On the other, as a Germanophile, and a great admirer of Germany's tremendous contributions to our civilization (which go much, much further than beer steins and lederhosen), I think it's a bit cheap. On the other other hand, as one who has been squirming for years under the restraints of public comment in the U.S.,which are so much narrower and more confining than in Britain, I welcome any sign that we are loosening up a bit. On the other other other hand, what about those famous Italian tanks, whose four gears include three for reverse and one for forward?.... And I have actually been in Dusseldorf in July--it's a nice town. Well, no worse than Scranton.
Posted at 09:55 AM
"LEANING" TOWARD AMERICAN-LOATHING [Tim Graham]
Wandering out and down the driveway to get my Washington Post in the morning can bring a sense of trepidation--especially right now as the Post has begun a mini-campaign on making the Niger Sentence the center of Campaign 2004. So I leaf through from the least offensive sections to potentially the most, savoring a little Sports, then a quick flip through Metro and Business, Style, and then the front section.
Saturday was one of those days where the Metro section lives up to its Iraq war pattern of celebrating what they think is courageous “dissent.” A D.C. motto for the hard left: if you hold a rally, the Washington Post will come. Saturday’s Metro section features just the latest in a long series of “anti-war” (pro-inaction) rallies, this one in the fussy liberal boutique area of Dupont Circle. “At Open-Mic forum, a Yearning to Open Minds,” reads the headline under a huge picture of a man standing in front of huge black letters spelling PEACE. Reporter Manny Fernandez explained the rally was “hosted by the D.C. Anti-War Network and D.C. Statehood Green Party to repeal the USA Patriot Act and end the U.S. occupation of Iraq.”
Soon enough, what the tabula rasa “open minds” of the headline are supposed to accept is revealed: “D.C. activist Adam Eidinger said he hoped the outlet opens people's minds to progressive causes. ‘This is free speech,’ said Eidinger, an organizer with the D.C. Statehood Green Party. ‘You've got to have a discussion in this country to understand why we want regime change.’” So far, I’m left waiting for an accurate ideological classification of the events being promoted. “Progressive” is a clue, although how leaving Saddam Hussein in power can be defended as progress we could debate.
But in reality the truth is this: these people think Ted Kennedy is a tool of the establishment. The website of the Washington Peace Center explains if you scroll down far enough that the “open mic” for “open minds” was followed by a dance party at the “Paul Robeson Study & Struggle Center.”
Fernandez does eventually use the adjective “left-leaning activists” to describe the assembled. It would be nice for reporters to use “leaning” to describe someone who’s partially of the left, or a centrist sympathetic to the left. Former Rep. Connie Morella, with a career ACU rating in the 30s, is a good example. Once again, the assembled in Dupont Circle think the legislators with zero ACU ratings are part of the national security state. They are not “leaners” of the left – they have broken beyond any confining parameters of leftism into a nihilist Nirvana of decrying American “colonialism” in Iraq.
They are hard-core leftists, people who believe that everywhere America goes, freedom vanishes and death and pollution and oppression arrive. The Post usually describes this sort of ideologue in the most favorable terms: a “peace activist.”
Posted at 09:49 AM
A SMALL VICTORY [Kevin Cherry]
According to this AFP story, via Yahoo news, Belgium has ditched its law which allowed leaders of just about any country to be indicted for just about anything. The new law will require victims to be either residents or citizens of Belgium before filing suit.
President Bush can now safely enjoy his fine Belgian chocolates.
Posted at 09:43 AM
NY TIMES MAGAZINE [Kevin Cherry]
WFB is mentioned in the "Lives" column on the last page of the magazine, encouraging a young Brendan Greeley to try to sail across the Atlantic and live off a boat in France.
The letters to the editor responding to the recent SCOTUS Atkins decision are, predictably, opposed to the execution of the mentally retarded. What is noteworthy is that they also seem uniformly opposed to the death penalty in general: "until this so-called civilized nation of ours gets around to abolishing capital punishment altogether . . ." and "Why is the United States the only Western democracy still using such a barbaric practice?"
The most interesting article is Elizabeth Rubin's article on the Iraq-based Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen. While the enemy of my enemy may be a strategic ally (Soviet Union in WWII) he is not my friend (Saudi Arabia), and Rubin nicely documents that there is a good reason why Congress should hesitate before embracing this group with open arms. But she misses one of the key aspects of the story: Yes, the French recently cracked down on the organization, but they originally welcomed the group's leaders with open arms. Could the French be cracking down on this band of terrorists not to curry favor with the EU or US, but with Tehran? Amir Taheri hit the nail on the head with this article, originally written for the Wall Street Journal.
Posted at 09:40 AM
WHAT AN AUDIENCE [Peter Robinson ]
I may as well admit that I can recall not only Ronald Reagan but Jackie Gleason. "The Miami Beach audience," Gleason would say at the end of each of his TV show, which he taped in Florida, "is the greatest audience in the world!"
Which is just the way I've come to feel about the audience that reads the Corner. I've only been posting for a few days now, but I've already received a couple of hundred emails, only three of which have proven abusive and only two of which have attempted to sell me something. The remaining 98 percent have proven friendly, well-written, useful (special thanks to the 30 or so readers who advised me on comic books for my eight-year old, who at this very moment is reading "Essential Spiderman," one of your recommendations) and, very often, extremely intelligent. In response to my puzzlement over Tony Blair's eagerness to cozy up to Europe, for example, a reader has just slapped me around a little, rightly reminding me that the British left lives on:
[The European constitution would be] a dream come true for British left-wingers; with a single stroke of a pen, the EU constitution would implement virtually their entire agenda on British soil. Britain's leftists would gain powerful allies from the Left on the Continent (where socialism and other left-wing ideologies are much stronger politically). And there won't be a damn thing that Britain's conservatives could do about it, short of a full-blown revolution, once that constitution is adopted.Readers like that keep this poor boy right where he ought to be, which is on his toes.
Posted at 09:32 AM
BEYONCE INAPPROPRIATE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
NBC is taking heat for letting Beyonce perform at Grant's Tomb on the 4th of July, during the fireworks show. The singer's and dance crew's dress and suggestive performance was more the stuff of a nightclub than a presidental monument. One also wonders how much of the at-home on the 4th audience was panting for Beyonce to sing in the first place (Does your mother/father/aunt/etc. know who she is?). I've always thought, as hokey as it is, that the D.C. 4th, on the Mall, which airs on PBS, is much more family-4th style.
Posted at 08:14 AM
MORE ON THE FOOD FIGHT [Andrew Stuttaford]
More evidence that the food fight is going to be around for a while – editorials like this patronizing piece of preaching on July 10th from the New York Times. It was prompted by Kraft’s insulting – and self-destructive - decision to give its customers less value for money (the food giant is threatening to reduce the portion sizes contained in single-serving packages):
“An industry that has prospered by selling high-fat, high-calorie or sugary foods in ever larger quantities will probably be loath to deviate too much from a proven path to profits. But any smart chief executive will feel the increasing pressure from public health officials to combat obesity and will heed recent warnings from Wall Street that big food companies with a high percentage of unhealthy products face major legal and financial risks. If the companies are really serious about refashioning and downsizing their products, they can give a major boost to the global fight against obesity.”
Let’s go through this one more time. Food companies should serve their customers what their customers want. How much those people choose to eat is up to them, not the food companies, not the regulators, not the legislators and especially not the trial lawyers.
Posted at 01:49 AM
PEARLS BEFORE SWINE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Noam Chomsky, the philosopher-cretin of today's left, on Vaclav Havel's first US speech (in February 1990):
A "shameful performance" and an "embarassingly silly and morally repugnant Sunday School sermon."
Quoted in a letter to this month's Reason magazine.
Posted at 01:00 AM
NONE TOO BRIGHT (2) [Andrew Stuttaford]
Seen in San Francisco on Friday – a man wearing a coat with the slogan “Selenium causes AIDS, Alzheimers.”
He was holding a poster reading “Kucinich for President.”
Posted at 12:49 AM
NONE TOO BRIGHT [Andrew Stuttaford]
There was a goofily enthusiastic op-ed in the New York Times yesterday on a movement to rename atheists, agnostics and other such godless heretics. The suggestion is that they should be dubbed “bright.” There’s even a horribly gung ho website to back it up. “Bright?” Oh, come on. That won’t do. Part of the pleasure in not being religious (and I should know) is a certain morbid delight in the thought of the futility of existence – “the dog barks,” as the saying goes, “but the caravan moves on.” “Bright” is far too optimistic and far, far too chirpy. How about “doomed?” It’s accurate (we all are, in the end) and, what’s more, it will give more devout folk a certain grim satisfaction.
Posted at 12:33 AM