IRAN AND ISRAEL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The mullahs won't take "Zionist" help for their earthquake victims.
Posted at 11:28 PM
ADVENTURES IN LIBERAL RELIGION [Rod Dreher]
The Rt. Rev. John Bryson Chane, the Episcopal Bishop of the nation's capital and Dean of National Cathedral, delivered a real lulu of a Christmas sermon this year. Excerpt:
And what was God thinking... when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the Law to Moses? And what was God thinking... when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the sacred Quran to the prophet Muhammad? And what was God thinking... when the Angel Gabriel was sent by God to reveal the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God?
It will come as news to many Christians that an Anglican bishop believes that the Islamic revelation was true, not false, as Christianity teaches implicitly. Nevertheless, a Michigan lawyer friend suggests that Bp. Chane has opened up a new and exciting area for exploring ecumenism/syncretism. Now, the Episcopalians of Washington can have a gay wedding in the church, and push a wall over on the two grooms at the reception.
Posted at 08:29 PM
FROM THE "NO-DUH" DEPT. [Jonah Goldberg]
The Associated Press reports:
Bush re-election effort could hinge on the economy and Iraq
Posted at 06:33 PM
THE COW [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't understand. This cow with Mad Cow Disease has caused so much trouble. Shouldn't we have marched it down Main Street in chains and thrown things at it before we executed it?
Posted at 06:26 PM
FYI [Jonah Goldberg]
Doing C-Span tomorrow at 9:00 AM.
Posted at 06:07 PM
WHAT NRO READERS WILL DO FOR LOVE...OR HATE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas and to let you know my wife gave me a copy of Rich Lowry's book for Christmas...she says she saw me rearranging the book display at our local Waldenbooks - replacing all of the Franken tomes with Legacy. She then thought, correctly, that I should have one in my collection.
Posted at 11:39 AM
ST. PETER'S WAS A CHRISTMAS TARGET [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Maybe. Maybe not.
Posted at 10:42 AM
RE: JONAH'S MUG [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You look positively angelic in the new one.
Posted at 10:06 AM
MY MUG [Jonah Goldberg]
A great many readers -- or many great readers -- have informed me how much they prefer my new picture for the syndicated column as opposed to the old, Trostkyite one. I agree. Hopefully, Townhall and the Washington Times will swap them out one of these days.
Posted at 10:04 AM
ONE BIG CONSPIRACY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Arab News on what Saddam has on us.
Posted at 10:04 AM
DEAN THE CHRISTIAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
NRO's Meghan Gurdon e-mails with a rewind on Dean on Christianity:
Ever since I read the news...that Howard Dean is going to sell himself south of the Mason-Dixon line as a "committed Christian," I have been bothered by an appalling thing I heard Dean say...one morning when, as it happened, I was on my way to Mass. He was chattering away about being "spiritual, really," and then said -- drumroll, please -- "I consider myself a Christian in the best sense of the word."Here's the exchange, caught by a blogger, too. He also talked about leaving his church over a bicycle path in the interview (Jay Nordlinger highlighted the bike-path controversy here).
Posted at 09:46 AM
VERMIN SUPREME FOR PRESIDENT [Tim Graham]
The Washington Post editorial page acts horrified today that the ballot for the D.C. presidential primary (non-binding) on January 13 includes one "Vermin Supreme," who sounds like a good Godzilla villain. But his ironic-hippie platform sounds within the Kucinich mainstream, if you can distinguish between joke candidates...Have they heard about him yet at MoveOn.Org?
Posted at 09:17 AM
HOSTAGE TURNED POL [Tim Graham]
Demonstrating the revolving door between journalism and Democratic politics, former AP correspondent Terry Anderson, famous for being held hostage in Lebanon for seven years, will run for the state senate in Ohio as a Democrat.
Posted at 09:16 AM
UH-OH, TOO PRO-LIFE? [Tim Graham]
Joe Lieberman comes under attack for suggesting to the Manchester Union Leader that medical advances have shortened "the period of time in a pregnancy when the right to choose prevails." Dean says Lieberman "doesn't understand the science." In a classic case of backpedal-speak, a Lieberman spokesman says the boss meant to "say nothing new."
Posted at 09:15 AM
AND SPARE A PRAYER... [Rick Brookhiser]
...for the victims of the Iranian earthquake. Surely they have enough to bear without this.
Posted at 09:11 AM
WARNING ABOUT ANTI-SEMITISM IN EUROPE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From a Vatican cardinal--the same one, by the way, who was the papal envoy to Iraq earlier this year. He's now free to call Saddam an "inhuman tyrant."
Posted at 09:02 AM
LONG, INTERESTING PIECE ON SAUDI ARABIA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 08:28 AM
NEWS FROM VEGAS [Steve Hayward]
We Haywards are here in Las Vegas for Christmas, where local officials are heatedly denying the reports of a terrorist plot. Jonah's column on increasing the number of congressional districts made the paper this morning.
Here's the really big news in town. I thought the first paragraph was hilarious, and very Vegas-y:
Rival weighs Galardi lawsuit Sapphire owner studying civil case in San DiegoBy ADRIENNE PACKER REVIEW-JOURNAL
Posted at 08:23 AM
Friday, December 26, 2003
THE ISLAMIST MIND [Rick Brookhiser]
Women arrested for public folk dancing in Iran (NYT, p. A-4)
Posted at 07:20 PM
DEAN ON OSAMA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
To the Concord Monitor:
New Hampshire's Concord Monitor reported that Dean said he would not state his preference on a punishment for bin Laden before the al Qaeda leader was captured and put before a jury.and then in a statement tonight:
BURLINGTON -- "I share the outrage of all Americans. Osama bin Laden has admitted that he is responsible for killing 3,000 Americans as well as scores of men, women and children around the world. This is the exactly the kind of case that the death penalty is meant for.
Posted at 07:15 PM
DECONSTRUCTING KWANZAA [John Derbyshire]
Almost as traditional as Kwanzaa itself is the annual deconstruction of it. Kwanzaa was invented out of whole cloth by a violent 1960s criminal-radical thug, employs a language spoken by the ancestors of practically no black Americans at all (and a language which owed its own prominence to its use as a lingua france for Arab slave traders), celebrates the fruits of harvest at a time of year when nobody in the world is harvesting anything, promotes communistic values, etc. etc. My own award for best Kwanzaa-deconstruction effort this year goes to Rick Rosendall .
Posted at 07:12 PM
CHRISTMAS DEBRIEFING [John Derbyshire]
Some pluses, some minuses. Leaving aside the general expected worldly joys (family, food, gifts, goodwill) and disappointments (no snow, was using wrong connect code for my 3 hrs of calls to England & shall now face $$$$$ in phone charges), the following are noteworthy:
Plus: The Queen's Christmas broadcast. You can listen to it here (the sound clip is only 4m 12s). Dear old Betty has this down to an art: plain, concise, grammatical, and sincere. Good Lord, please send us a politician who can speak as well & wisely as this. This year she broadcast from the barracks of the Household Cavalry at Windsor, and gave over much of her speech to praising the armed forces, expressing heartfelt "respect and admiration for their steadfast loyalty to each other and to the nation." Then she speaks of teamwork, leading off with the observation that Christ chose 12 disciples to help him in his ministry. (He Majesty is, by all the reports I have ever seen, a very devout person.) That leads through to a fine old prayer: "Teach us, good Lord, to serve Thee as Thou deservest: to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labor and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do Thy will." While this fine woman is on the throne, something of old England -- that great nation of Christian warrior gentlemen -- is still alive.
More plus: My bottle of Tokaji Furmint Hungarian wine. EXCELLENT! Talpra Magyar! And, of course, Boldog uj evet!
Minus: Sponge Bob's Christmas Special. A let-down, by common agreement among the Chestnut Street critics circle. Too much of that lame pirate and his stupid parrot, Squidward (whom the kids, for reasons I cannot fathom, identify with me) unacceptably out of character. And having gone to the trouble of inspiring Squidward's warm, human side (which, on the whole, we'd all prefer he not display anyway, even at Christmas), Santa might at least have filled his house with goodies after everything was given away. Perhaps the scriptwriters were trying to get across the message of that prayer: "to give and not to count the cost," etc. If so, I much prefer Betty's presentation.
Grinches of the year: Radica toy company and their accomplices in crime at KBtoys.com, who shipped me a "Play TV Boxing" game that DOESN'T WORK. Thanks a lot for disappointing a little boy at Christmas, guys. Not only does the right glove NOT WORK, you can't even close the confounded battery compartment without resorting to scotch tape. You should all be in jail.
Posted at 07:10 PM
ADDENDUM [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 06:35 PM
LOWRY ON NPR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rich will be on NPR tomorrow morning at 9 am, subbing for Dan Schur.
Posted at 05:05 PM
RE: THAT EUROPEAN [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Regarding your email friend - when some European says something about how many Jews live in America, I always take the time to remind them that the reason why is that we didn't kill all of ours.
Posted at 01:40 PM
FROM THE HORSES, ER, "MOUTH" [Jonah Goldberg]
A Frenchman writes:
Posted at 10:29 AM
CHRISTMAS AND HONOR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
by Lee Harris
Posted at 09:01 AM
FORD FUNDING TERRORISTS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 08:58 AM
NR BOOK GETS A WSJ PLUG [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Check it out. And buy the books here.
Posted at 08:55 AM
CHRISTMAS FROM THE CRYPT [Tim Graham]
Who comes up with this kind of sick Christmas tie-in? Deck the Halls with Parts of Charlie? To cheer up that potential psycho murderer on your list....
Posted at 08:45 AM
GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If your father kills your mother (or vice versa), might it harm you?
Posted at 08:09 AM
CHRISTMAS IN IRAQ [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
And an Iraqi blogger's Christmas message. And another.
Posted at 08:03 AM
DEADLY EARTHQUAKE HITS IRAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 08:02 AM
DESTINATION LAS VEGAS? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 08:02 AM
Thursday, December 25, 2003
BLAME AMERICANS FIRST [Jonah Goldberg]
My syndicated column. Merry Christmas, by the way.
Posted at 11:49 AM
A CHRISTMAS THOUGHT [Rick Brookhiser]
"Spirit!" he cried, tight clutching at its robe. "Hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse. Why show me this, if I am past all hope?"
Posted at 10:06 AM
VICTORY IN FAITH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From ocassional NRO contributor Fr. Raymond DeSouza:
Herod was not the first aspiring totalitarian tyrant, and his ilk are with us still. And beside the brutal tyrants who oppress religion outright, there are those in the West who speak the language of tolerance but whose worship of the secular state necessarily turns against religion.
Posted at 08:21 AM
MORE ON PAKISTAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Al Qaeda has evidently settled in.
Posted at 08:11 AM
MUSHARRAF [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Would-be assasins get close, again.
Posted at 08:02 AM
DEAN AND THE MAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Howard Dean says he's a Christian and will be citing Mr. JC himself in speeches. In black churches, especially, I would guess. Expect the Dems to be evangelizing big-time, will little IRS questioning, I would suspect.
Posted at 08:01 AM
AIR FRANCE CANCELS FLIGHTS DUE TO TERROR THREAT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You'd think they'd get it.
Posted at 01:06 AM
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
MERRY CHRISTMAS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Many of you are probably logged off or logging off for Christmas festivities. Thank you so much for your support and loyalty over the past year. We love the e-mails you send, positive and negative and everything in between. Readers send us the best links, great input, and its great to know we have you. God bless you and your familes and Merry Christmas.
Posted at 06:57 PM
POSTCARD FROM OMAHA [Rod Dreher]
A Nebraska friend sends this coal for America's holiday stocking: I'm not completely sure, but I think Nebraska's economy just disappeared. It seems that the beef export industry just collapsed, with every country that matters banning American beef over the Washington state mad-cow scare. (When Mexico -- MEXICO! Home of food-borne illnesses! -- bans your food products, it's over.) And if the beef industry collapses (which is a sizable chunk of the Nebraska economy all by itself), it just might finish off farming, being that most of the corn crop goes for feed. And the sugar industry (up here, that means sugar beets in western Nebraska) will be gone shortly with the latest free-trade fiasco. On the bright side, the population of illegal immigrants should go way down when all the beef-processing plants start to shut down. On the gloomy side, if the economy tanks here to its full potential for tanking, many of the rest of us might be forced to follow them south. Furthermore, the state budget picture -- already catastrophic -- is about to get a lot more so. Merry Christmas, huh?
Posted at 06:53 PM
YELLOW CAKE RED HERRING [Clifford D. May]
Dig deep into Walter Pincus’ front page Washington Post story today, “White House Faulted on Uranium Claim,” and you’ll find this tidbit:
“The CIA and the State Department had doubts about the purported Niger information [Bush’s claim, in his 2003 SOTU, that Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase uranium from Africa] because they knew Hussein already had a stockpile of the same type of uranium that he was supposed to be seeking.”
Oh, well, so if Hussein already had the uranium he needed to make nuclear weapons, then, clearly, there was no cause for concern about Iraq’s nuclear weapons programs. To put it another way, if Hussein was trying to buy uranium from Niger, then President Bush might have been justified in seeking to secure regime change to prevent him from making such purchases in the future. But if Hussein already had the uranium, then President Bush should have left him alone. Is there even a crumb of logic here?
Posted at 06:48 PM
DUMBEST POLITICAL STUNT OF THE YEAR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Tim's colleague Ken Shepard is taking a tally.
Posted at 06:46 PM
TWO MEN ENTER, ONE MAN LEAVES... [Jonah Goldberg]
Correction: I'm doing Sunday Thunderdome, er, C-Span, with Will Saletan at 9:00 A.M. to 10:00 A.M.
Posted at 05:15 PM
EPISCOPALIANS VS. THE LAW [John Derbyshire]
Just been reading a report on the 137th Convention of the Diocese of Long Island. The Convention (that is, of the Episcopal Church) took place last month. Among the resolutions passed was the following.
3. Concerning Human Rights: Immigration and Undocumented Workers. Whereas, at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church meeting last summer, Deputies from our Diocese proposed a resolution on "Human Rights: Immigration and Undocumented Workers,"
Whereas, this resolution passed both the House of Bishops and House of Deputies and will be forwarded to members of Congress and state legislatures as an authoritative "expression of the Episcopal Church" urging
"...that the Congress of the United States enact legislation to expand the temporary workers' programs to include all persons currently residing in the United States engaged in meaningful labor..."
"...that such temporary workers receive such compensation and benefits for themselves and their dependents living with them that parallel those available to other legal residents such as the Federally mandated minimum hourly wage, Social Security, drivers' licenses, medical care and education..."
"...that based upon a specified period of residence in the United States, such workers have the option of adjusting to permanent resident status, which could lead to naturalization."
Therefore be it resolved that this 137th Convention of the Diocese of Long Island designate the Second Sunday of Lent, March 7, 2004, to be Immigration and Undocumented Workers Human Rights Sunday, and be it further EPISCOPALIANS VS. THE LAW Resolved that the clergy and lay leaders of each of our parishes be urged, on that Sunday, (1) to call attention to the plight of Undocumented Workers in our communities and across our nation, (2) to make use of a bulletin insert "fact sheet" prepared by the Long Island Episcopal Immigration Taskforce for that occasion and (3) to invite informed speakers to talk about immigration into America... Now (this is Derb again) I'd like to make a couple of points here. First, the conflation of immigration with the issue of "Undocumented Workers." These are two separate issues. In fact, they are in a sense two OPPOSITE issues, like arson and fire brigades. Immigration concerns the orderly entry of foreigners into this country, according to the laws of the U.S.A. and associated regulations. "Undocumented Workers" are people who have scoffed at those laws and wilfully violated those regulations. Immigration and "Undocumented Aliens" do not comprise one single issue. It is gross dishonesty to put them together as a single issue.
Second, "temporary workers' programs" are a species of immigration policy. Most of the workers brought in by them will stay here. There is, as everyone who has studied the issue agrees, nothing temporary about "temporary" immigrants. Thus, "to expand the temporary workers' programs to include all persons currently residing in the United States engaged in meaningful labor" actually means "to make illegal immigrants legal." It is, in a word, amnesty.
Third, given that "temporary workers" are just a species of resident aliens, the second quoted paragraph is redundant. The entire sense-content of these first two quoted paragraphs is as follows: "Make illegal immigrants legal, so that they have access to all the welfare benefits legal immigrants have access to."
Fourth, that third quoted paragraph illustrates the thing I just said: that "temporary workers" will mostly stay here. They are immigrants. And by the way, what "specified period" does the Convention have in mind? I entered this country legally in October 1985, jumped through all the INS hoops, and got permanent residence status in November 1993--over EIGHT YEARS. I doubt this is a record. May we at least be assured that whatever the record is for a LEGAL immigrant such as myself, the "specified period" for these ILLEGAL immigrants will be LONGER? Or would that somehow infringe upon their "human rights"?
And finally, having passed through the immigration mill, I consider myself an "informed speaker," and will be glad to address any Long Island congregation on the topics (that's a plural, mind) of "Undocumented Workers" and immigration.
Posted at 01:12 PM
DEAN AND KWANZAA PANDERING [Tim Graham]
Anyone who was amused/disappointed by Bush's Kwanzaa declaration should see Howard Dean taking a similar PC tack at www.deanforamerica.com.
Posted at 01:06 PM
ANOTHER DREAM STORY FOR TABLOID TV [Tim Graham]
Associated Press reports from Denver: "Prosecutors in the sexual assault case against NBA star Kobe Bryant are being helped by a respected investigator who recently was hired to help solve the JonBenet Ramsey slaying."
Posted at 01:02 PM
HERO MILES [Jed Babbin]
Hero Miles: Merry Christmas and thanks to all for the e-mails supporting the troops and military charities. Here's another idea: donate your frequent flier miles so that troops can fly home more easily -- and cheaply -- on leave. It's a great idea.
Posted at 12:52 PM
A QUESTION OF DIGNITY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Nice piece by a West Pointer on cameras on the coffins of those volunteers who give the ultimate sacrifice.
Posted at 11:56 AM
ATTITUDE IS SHOWING [Tim Graham]
WashPost gets a little snotty on Limbaugh today.
Posted at 11:52 AM
NIXON=DUBYA [Tim Graham]
Reviewing David Greenberg's book on images of Nixon, the annoying Jonathan Schell finds typical parallels: "Curiously, having painstakingly traced Nixon's images, Greenberg does not go on to show their importance for post-Nixon America. For example, have not many of them -- secretive Nixon, Nixon the impugner of others' patriotism, imperial Nixon -- found a home, the reader may reflect, in the Bush White House?"
Posted at 11:51 AM
THANKS FOR YOUR HELP [Rod Dreher]
Man, I tell you, Corner readers really come through when you bleg. Thanks to the hundred or so of you who wrote with your advice on video cameras. I went after work last night to Best Buy and bought a Sony Mini-DV camcorder, a DCR-TRV22, which was on sale for $599 -- the same price as the next-step-down model. The difference, it seems, is you get a memory stick with which you can take still images. I hadn't planned on this feature (I'd been prepared to get the lower-end model), but with no price difference, hey, why not? I only found out later, reading reviews online at home, that this model is known for taking grainy still shots. Oh well. Anyway, I got lots of useful advice from everybody, and I can't tell you how grateful I am. Funny thing is nearly everyone who wrote seemed so knowledgeable and committed to certain formats and models. It was really hard to choose. It's like that online, when you do research: there are a thousand reasons to buy this or that model, and a hundred reasons not to. It seems that you're bound to have buyer's remorse, no matter which way you go. The good news is that we now have a camera in time for Christmas, and a month before the birth of little Diocletian, the second Dreher boy. Mama was worried that I wouldn't take care of this, and if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. Mama's happy now. Thanks, readers, for making that happen.
Posted at 11:50 AM
C-SPAN [Jonah Goldberg]
Yes, I was supposed to be on today. I have been rescheduled to appear this Sunday with Will Saletan from Slate, from around 8:45 to 9:30. I'll be the larger one.
Posted at 11:47 AM
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
RE: "ALONE" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Was out buying Jonah's gold star. If beer is what will keep the Corner hopping, though, I'll email the suits for a keg budget for 2004.
Posted at 05:59 PM
RE: I'M HERE [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm not buying, but I'll get the crowbar and get to work on Lowry's liquor cabinet.
Posted at 05:58 PM
VIDEO GEEKS -- HELP! [Rod Dreher]
OK Cornerites who know their A/V equipment, I need your advice, and I need it fast. I have to go tonight to buy a video camera for the family's Christmas present. Our Hi-8 camera has given up the ghost, and it's not worth getting it fixed. We're going to go digital, but we don't know which is the best format. We don't want to spend more than $700. I really like that cool pocket-sized Panasonic digital camcorder ($900), but I worry about storing the images. I don't have the space in my home computer to store much video, and I like the conceptual idea of being able to access video I want by popping a mini-DV disc into the player. On the other hand, I'm wondering if the technology is there, or is close, that would enable one to download digital video into a computer, and burn it onto a formatted disc playable on a DVD player. Basically, I'm a techno-idiot who needs a new video camera, and who doesn't want to commit to something expensive that will soon be obsolete, or too much of a hassle to deal with. We don't want to do anything fancy with the camera, just record family events, police beatings, and what have you. What do you advise? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org -- and soon!
Posted at 05:57 PM
SHATTERED GLASS [Jonah Goldberg]
The glass ceiling is broken, but somehow I doubt this is the end of the complaints:
More U.S. women crack glass ceiling
Posted at 05:55 PM
DEAN'S BROTHER [Jonah Goldberg]
This is interesting, but I kind of find hard to believe. From a reader:
The government has to treat every civilian who died in the Indo-China theater of operations exactly the same, otherwise we will positively identify to enemy intelligence services exactly who our agents were. Even after 30 years, it could be harmful for us to freely confirm or deny the accuracy of the information that our enemies have learned about our intelligence services.
Posted at 05:51 PM
I'M HERE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
for the free booze, of course. You are buying, right, Jonah?
Posted at 05:45 PM
RE: UNBELIEVABLE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
So let me get this straight...according to Clark, Clinton is responsible for an event (Libya) that happens 3 years into the Bush presidency, since he laid the groundwork for it throughout *his* 8 year presidency...BUT he is *not* responsible for an event (9/11) that happens 8 months into the Bush presidency, although he laid the groundwork for it throughout his 8 year presidency.
Posted at 05:39 PM
RE: NEOCONSERVATIVES [Jonah Goldberg]
First, what the hell are you doing here? I thought I was going to be all alone here for a while. I had my feet up on the desk and I was going to get drunk and Xerox body parts later.
Second, yes, those are excellent points. And, I did say, I raced through the piece earlier. I will reread tonight and get back to you on the major stuff tomorrow.
Posted at 05:31 PM
NEOCONS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I'm less taken than you, Jonah, with Adam Wolfson's Public Interest essay. There is a lot of intelligence and learning in it, as one would expect. In totality, however, it is an expression of the kind of triumphalism that is perhaps the worst feature of neoconservatism. In conclusion, he writes, "Conservatism’s other strands are strangely anti-democratic. Traditionalists"--he is speaking of Russell Kirk and his heirs, not the modern religious-conservative movement--"pine for aristocracy; libertarians look to limited government by technocracy; while paleoconservatives dream vaguely of postmodern utopias. Only neoconservatism among contemporary conservative modes of thought has made its peace with American democracy, and so long as it flourishes, so will neoconservatism." I am not at all convinced that these modes of thought are the only, or even the chief, ones available to contemporary conservatives--particularly when these modes of thought are presented on Wolfson's terms.
These categories lead Wolfson to one serious error about our recent political history: the description of the 1994 "Republican revolution" as a triumph for libertarianism. There was a libertarian element to the victory. But that election was famously won, particularly in the South, on "God, gays, and guns"--and libertarians, particularly as Wolfson defines them, were not with the Republicans on two-thirds of that platform. During the 1994 election, the Republican message was really a kind of watered-down fusionism: big government was a threat not merely to economic efficiency (as Wolfson describes, or really parodies, the libertarian critique) but to "values." The moment the Republicans acted as though the election were a victory for libertarian economics, when they decided to take on Medicare, was the moment of their undoing.
Here again is another bit of deck-stacking: "Anyone of us can’t help but have a gut feeling about modern American life--its possibilities and limits, whether it is humane and decent or alienating and corrupting. Those of us who regret much of modern American life and find solace in old, inherited ways will cling to traditionalism. Others, who celebrate the new freedoms and new technologies, will turn to libertarianism. As for those who see in modernity admirable principles but also worrisome tendencies, their persuasion will be neoconservatism."
Notice, first, that the entire left half of the political spectrum has been chopped off. Second, that anyone with a nuanced take on modern American life--indeed, anyone with the only take on American life that any intelligent person could possibly hold--is defined as a neoconservative. If that really were the case, then I suppose it would be the only outlook that could be compatible with democratic politics. But I'm not buying.
Posted at 05:24 PM
BLAME AMERICA FIRST, LAST, ALWAYS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 05:23 PM
SPEAKING OF MEXICO [Jonah Goldberg]
One place I didn't get to check out in Cabo San Lucas was "Señor Greenberg's Mexitessen." Anyone ever been there? Is Mexican pastrami as scary as I always imagined?
Posted at 05:19 PM
SOLO WORK [Jonah Goldberg]
Yes, it's true I'm all alone in the Corner today -- as if you hadn't noticed. I promised K-Lo I'd stick around because I was gone all week last week in Mexico. I've also had to do a pile of work today, which has kept me chained to the 'puter.
Posted at 05:18 PM
UNBELIEVABLE [Jonah Goldberg]
Clark credits Clinton for Libya breakthrough.
Posted at 05:15 PM
CARPE DIEM [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Since you're all alone in the Corner today... do it! Pull the trigger! Start talking about Star Trek: this is your big chance! Or show how Howard Dean is like Denethor from the Lord of the Rings! All this fun you could be having and instead we're getting speculation about whether Howard Dean's brother was engaged in an early crunchy-con vacation gone awry or not. Sheesh...
Posted at 05:13 PM
FAIR ENOUGH [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 05:11 PM
FEEL GOOD STORY OF THE YEAR... [ Jonah Goldberg ]
In the parallel universe where Spock has a goatee. Palestinian kids collect terrorist baseball cards.
Posted at 05:08 PM
MORE DEAN [Jonah Goldberg]
Since I'm all alone here, from another reader:
I do not know why Dean's brother was there. I have no insight. I have heard he was a civilian working for the US government, I have heard he was a tourist. Frankly, until the body was found, I did not even know Dean had a missing brother.
Posted at 03:08 PM
MORE DEAN'S BROTHER [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
I know you're tired of my e-mails, but I thought I'd add to the Charles Dean theory. Dean firmly believes his brother was NOT an agent, even though some of his family members believe Charles Dean was a member of the CIA. As for me, I find it odd that he would take a river rafting expedition in the middle of a war zone with an aussie photographer, who was killed with Charles Dean. Whether he was a CIA agent, possibly a communist sympathizer, or even a tourist, nobody knows. There is as much evidence that he was a sympathizer as there is evidence that he was a CIA agent. He worked for McGovern and was staunchly anti-war. Could that have been cover? I guess so. But could he have had a great stoner moment (pure speculation) and decided to help those Laotians realize their socialist utopia? That's possible too. Tragically, he turned out to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and lost his life.
Posted at 02:54 PM
DEAN'S BROTHER [Jonah Goldberg]
Dean apparently lied on a questionaire, saying his brother was in the armed forces. I'd like to presume he lied because he strikes me as the lying type. But I've long had a sneaking suspicion that his brother was in the CIA. Dean comes from blood possibly even bluer than George W. Bush's. The CIA used to fill its ranks with the fruit of the WASPy loom and it's entirely conceivable that Dean's brother followed that tradition. I have no evidence of this except for the fact that his brother was travelling as a "tourist" in the backwaters of Laos when he was killed by Communist insurgents in the early 1970s. Considering how dumb it would be to go "hiking" through the jungles of Southeast Asia at that geopolitical moment, it seems to me a plausible explanation for why he was there. If that was the case, it would be understandable that Dean listed his brother as a member of the armed services even though it would still be technically inaccurate. And, if that's the case he should say so. Otherwise, let him get zinged for making stuff up. He does it quite a bit for a guy who's a Dashboard Saint in the Church of Bush is a Liar. PS: I forgot. This would also explain his brother's remains otherwise outrageous military reception in Hawaii not too long ago.
Posted at 02:39 PM
DEAN'S AMERICA [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's the third reader review from the top of Atlas Shrugged at Amazon:
Reviewer: A reader from Richmond, VA United States
Posted at 02:22 PM
ANOTHER PERSPECTIVE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Here's my Krugman analogy:
Posted at 12:51 PM
ANOTHER INTELLIGENT ARTICLE ON NEOCONS [Jonah Goldberg]
Click on Adam Wolfson's essay in The Public Interest. I'm not sure I agree with everything -- in part because I had to read fast. But again, Wolfson shows it's not impossible to speak intelligently about neoconservatism.
Posted at 12:08 PM
P.S. [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 11:54 AM
KRUGMAN [Jonah Goldberg]
I think I've figured it out. Paul Krugman is the media equivalent of John McCain. McCain was a reasonable, decent conservative who was implicated in a money-scandal. In response, he went batty about campaign-finance-reform. I think he's still a decent guy in other ways. But when it comes to CFR he lost the ability to think seriously. He claimed that everyone was corrupt even though he could not name anyone in particular who was corrupt.
Something similar is going on with Krugman. He used to write some pretty reasonable stuff in the mid-1990s. He got paid boatloads for speeches, to sit on boards etc. He was up to his beard in academic-media-business incestuousness. Then he got his NYT column and he was forced to sever all such relationships. This freed him up to denounce everyone else even while claiming his pwn purity, even when it was revealed that he'd taken big dollars from Enron himself. Rightly exposed as a hypocrite -- and quite often a hack -- he did what is natural to most humans. He dug deeper into denial. He became more strident. More angry. he protested too much over and over again to prove he was the exception to the very rule he has asserted but not proved. He probably also became addicted to his fan mail (and convinced himself is biggest fans are wise and perceptive), a real danger in the internet age.
Anyway, when I read him now iI see him as a psychological and political phenomena, not as a serious person who thinks about things in a serious way. I have no doubt his fans think the same thing about me and many of my NR colleagues. That's fine. My only complaint is that I wish we, as conservative cronies of corporate America, could get paid a fraction of what this shining paladin of the proletariat makes (working for the War Room of corporate media, I might add).
Posted at 11:37 AM
OH, HILLARY, OUR HILLARY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 10:38 AM
RUSH PAID BLACKMAIL [Tim Graham]
Rush Limbaugh's defense lawyer Roy Black was on at least two network morning shows today, charging that the state of Florida improperly gained Rush's medical records, and admitting that Rush paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in blackmail money to his maid, who then sold the story to the Enquirer for $250,000. The basic outline of the evolving story is here.
Posted at 09:53 AM
BERNIE GETS MY BACK [Jonah Goldberg]
Bernard Goldberg (no relation, except in the whole Zionist-cabal-ruling-the-world-sense) gives an interview to Townhall:
Townhall: In a recent article on National Review, Jonah Goldberg talks about how conservatives are crowing victory over the Reagan movie. He argues instead that conservatives aren't winning and in heartbeat they'd be willing to trade Fox for ABC...
Posted at 09:18 AM
CORNER SPECIAL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In case you are beside yourself, hoping for some brilliant gift suggestion for the last few people on your lists, here are a few ideas from some familiar faces:
Travel. The grand tradition of travel writing in English is alive and well in Stephen J. Bodio’s Eagle Dreams, a book about the Kazakh eagle-hunters of western Mongolia. These are not people who hunt eagles, but people who hunt with eagles--a sort of ultimate falconry. Fascinating, brilliant, often moving, and sometimes very funny--as I said, this book is firmly in the great travel-writing tradition of Robert Byron, Evelyn Waugh, Eric Newby and Paul Theroux.
And speaking of that tradition, the cover of the December 2003 Literary Review features a drawing of Norman Lewis, the fine English travel writer of the 1940s and 1950s who died in July at the age of 95. Lewis’s 1951 book A Dragon Apparent, about his travels in what was then French Indo-China, is a real classic, an ideal introduction for anyone who wants to know about that misty, jungly, strangely cruel part of the world.
Math and science. I very much liked Julian Havil’s book Gamma--Exploring Euler’s Constant, notwithstanding the fact that Julian disappeared mysteriously in the middle of a lunch date I was having with him in Manhattan. I hope he found his way back to England all right. Euler’s constant is one of those numbers, like pi and e, that crop up all over the place in math. Its value is a tad larger than 0.57721566490153286060651. Julian Havil’s book will tell you all about it.
Another book I have enjoyed was Stephen Webb’s Where Is Everybody?, an exploration of the outstanding scientific conundrum of our era, the problem of the Great Silence. (The book came out in 2002; I have only just caught up with it.) According to what we think we know about the origins of, and development of, living things, the universe ought to be teeming with life, some fair proportion of it much more advanced than homo sapiens. So... where are they? How come we can’t detect their radio and TV broadcasts? Or spot any of their star-transforming engineering works? Why haven’t they visited us? Webb surveys all the available speculation about this tremendously important but desperately data-poor subject, and boldly offers his own opinion.
Just one small quibble with both these books, and indeed with most pop-math and pop-science books: What is this thing about putting literary, historical or philosophical quotes at the head of each chapter? Havil and Webb both do it; everybody in this area seems to do it. I have made a brief foray into my own bookshelves in the hope of finding out who started this habit, but it goes back into the mists of time. H.S.M. Coxeter’s Introduction to Geometry (1961) does it; James R. Newman’s multi-volume World of Mathematics (1956) does it; and so on. My sense of the thing is that math and science types feel they have to offer some evidence that they are widely read, that they don’t spend all their time with formulas and test tubes. Could they please find some other way to do this? Write an occasional novel, perhaps? If they want a model for how to write a pop-math book without this irritating embellishment, I have a suggestion for them.
MEGHAN COX GURDON
I urge every NRO reader to buy, give, and pore over Gulag, Anne Applebaum's stunning, gut-wrenching history of the Soviet work camp. NRO readers are probably more likely than most Americans to understand already the hideous nature of the Soviet system, and the special brutalities of the Stalinist era. But Applebaum's meticulous research--she cross-references survivors' memoirs with documents from newly opened archives--and austere writing will take that understanding to a deeper and more bitter level. It is an astonishing and terrible tale, and not to be missed.
On the other end of the Russo-spectrum, may I also recommend George MacDonald Fraser's brilliantly witty Flashman at the Charge, in which the swashbuckling coward, Harry Flashman, leads the Charge of the Light Brigade in one of the funniest scenes of flatulance ever to make it into print.
JOHN J. MILLER
Bandbox, by Thomas Mallon: True, this novel doesn’t officially come out until early January. But Mallon’s other novels are excellent and I try to read most of what he writes. This one is set in 1920s New York and I gather that Calvin Coolidge has a cameo.
The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien: Have you heard of it?
Napoleon, by Paul Johnson: An impressive takedown of a horrible little man whose lust for power led to some 6 million deaths.
Encyclopedia of the American Civil War, edited by David Stephen Heidler and Jeanne T. Heidler: An outstanding resource--not cheap, but unbelievably comprehensive. And who wouldn’t want to own a book with 2,733 pages?
Posted at 08:09 AM
A BIT DISCONCERTING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jihadists currently flying commercial jets? Dirty bombs within the continental U.S.?
Posted at 05:56 AM
Monday, December 22, 2003
WINTER OLYMPICS IN PYONGYANG [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: That suggestion about Gaddafi's motivation is very thought-provoking--especially when you put it together with the possibility that the ChiComs are on their best behavior so as not to cause any problems for the 2008 Olympic Games in Peking. Perhaps other dictators could be bribed with sporting events. North Korea has sensational mountains, and lots of snow--ideal for a Winter Olympics. Or how about a Baseball World Series in Havana? World figure-skating championships in Tehran? Masters in Damascus? Etc. etc. Just a thought.
Posted at 04:43 PM
STIFFENING DERB'S ANTI-MULTI-CULTI SPINE [John Derbyshire]
A reader: "Well, I'm afraid your anti-mulitculturalist credentials _are_ slipping a bit. No one doubts that Hanukkah is a real holiday, and I am glad you enjoyed the Hanukkah ceremony at your friends' home. But one of the main reasons Christmas has been marginalized and even the word 'Christmas' is disappearing from public discourse is because Hanukkah has been elevated to a position out of all proportion to its traditionally minor significance. And the success Hanukkah has enjoyed in gaining public recognition has inspired the more recent success of Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and other winter festivals in gaining prominence in America, all at the expense of Christmas.
"It is rather easy making a distinction between Christmas and all these others. As I drove into work this morning, one of our local classical stations played 'Lift Up Your Head, O Ye Gates' from 'Messiah,' one of Torelli's Christmas concerti, John Henry Neale's translation of 'In Dulci Jubilo'--'Good Christian Men, Rejoice'--and a fantasia of carols by Ralph Vaughn Williams. Neither Hanukkah nor the other winter festivals have anything to match even this very tiny portion of all the great art inspired by or associated with Christmas. However, once we admit that Hanukkah should be treated as the equal of Christmas, despite the fact that its significance in Western culture is close to zero and its significance in traditional Judaism is minor, we really cannot complain about Kwanzaa or Ramadan. And this leads us, inevitably, to 'Happy Holidays' and 'winter concerts' featuring Kwanzaa songs. Merry Christmas!"
Just one nit to pick there. Since the Islamic calendar is strictly lunar (unlike the Chinese, by the way, which has lunar months but throws an extra month in every 3 years or so to keep the years in sync), Islamic festivals "float" through the Gregorian year at a rate of roughly 11 days a year, i.e. on a roughly 33-year cycle. Thus Ramadan can occur in midsummer, or midwinter, or at any other point in the solar year. It is therefore impossible to "fix" any one Islamic celebration to coincide with Christmas--even approximately, as is done with Hanukkah.
Posted at 04:33 PM
GIVING UP E-MAIL [John Derbyshire]
Here's a question for you: Who was the first person in human history to give up e-mail? Don Knuth seems to be a pretty good candidate. According to his website (yes, he has a website though not an e-mail address--go figure) he has had no e-mail address since January 1, 1990, having previously lived by e-mail for 15 years. How many Americans had even HEARD of e-mail in January 1990?
I mention this because I am contemplating it myself. My e-mail is totally out of control, I admit it. Trawling through my inbox this morning, I discovered an invitation to appear on a radio show last week, that had somehow got lost in the pile. It would be nice to think I have so many opportunities to publicize myself that I could afford to ignore the odd radio slot, but this is very far from being the case. I need this stuff. Yet there it is, lost in the pile. I can't even say "pile of dross," either--most of the stuff it got lost among is matter that I really should deal with. At some point in the last few weeks, though, it all got out of control. Now when I look at my inbox I am overcome by the wellnigh irresistible urge to go upstairs and pull the bed-covers over my head.
All of which is by way of saying that if I owe you an e-mail, it may be a while coming.
[NB: Knuth also favors dropping the hyphen in "e-mail." I remember doing this myself about 5 yrs ago... but then getting to think that it just didn't LOOK right, and re-instating the hyphen. Knuth is right on logic--as he darn well should be, having written the ultimate multi-volume text on computer programming--but wrong on esthetics.]
Posted at 04:31 PM
THE CA QUAKE [Steve Hayward]
The quake was centered almost exactly where my summer house is (Cambria, CA); I am in Las Vegas at the moment, and I haven't reached any of my friends (or my contractor) yet, but one good sign: I called the house, and my answering machine picked up, which means the power is still on to the house and it probably hasn't fallen over or slid down the hill. I did hear on the news that some wineries have had barrels fall over; the wineries there typically and follishly stack barrels to the roof. Updates to come. . .
Posted at 04:29 PM
INTERESTING THEORY [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 02:51 PM
UNDERREPORTED [Jonah Goldberg]
Thanks so much for all of the suggestions. It turns out I need the underreported "political" story of the year, the underreported "pop-culture" story of the year and the u-r'ed national story of the year. Also, while we're on the subject, nominations for the most overreported story of the year would be welcome too.
Posted at 02:43 PM
6.5 EARTHQUAKE IN SO CAL [KJL]
But so far NR types in the area are reporting feeling nothing... UPDATE: MANY readers felt it though.
Posted at 02:32 PM
BBC LOGIC [Jonah Goldberg]
After visiting Israel to discuss the peace process, the Egyptian foreign minister visits the Al-Aqsa Mosque. While praying, he is mobbed and pelted with shoes by "Muslim militants -- possibly Palestinians" (who else, really?) and, according to the BBC "the incident is sure to cause some embarrassment for the Israelis."
Posted at 01:41 PM
KERRY ON KADAFFY [Jonah Goldberg]
His full statement from Saturday:
Statement of John Kerry on Libya’s Dismantling Weapons of Mass Destruction
This is like the text version of one of those "What's wrong with this picture?" games. Kerry wants Bush to put aside his "go it alone" unilateralism to negotiate with the North Koreans the way he did with Libya. And the Libya negotiations were good because they were multilateral. Um, okay. But Bush wants to negotiate with the North Koreans multilaterally and Kerry wants him to do it unilaterally. In other words Kerry wants Bush to abandon his unilateral approach to multilateral negotiations in order to embrace a multilateral approach to unilater negotiations. Follow that? Probably not. And neither will voters.
Posted at 01:07 PM
DERB FEELS HIS ANTI-MULTI-CULTI CREDENTIALS SLIPPING FROM HIS GRASP [John Derbyshire]
A reader in Colorado: "Dear Mr. Derbyshire,--Regarding your posting on The Corner about your attendance at a Hanukkah celebration; I wondered if you felt uncomfortable at this celebration. I know I wouldn't. And if someone were to say to me 'Happy Hanukkah' as we parted company, I wouldn't be offended either. I would feel rather honored that they thought enough of me to include me in their wishes for such an important celebration of faith, even if I wasn't a practicing member. That is partly the reason I still wish people 'Merry Christmas' instead of 'Happy Holidays.' It isn't a refusal to be PC; I see it as more of an invitation to join a celebration, rather than an exclusion from the same. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year."
I'm going to have to think about that one. Though for the record, my kippah-ed host wished us "Merry Christmas!" as we left. And no, I didn't feel the least bit uncomfortable.
Posted at 01:03 PM
RE: TY, K [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Intercepted from interoffice e-mails: MEMO TO JONAH, ET AL: NO NEED TO COUNTER DERB'S POST ABOUT ME WITH THE TRUTH. DERB: THANKS SO MUCH, CHECK IS IN THE MAIL. NON-DERB WRITERS: SIMILAR EXTRA-MONEY OPPS AVAILABLE FOR YOU, TOO. JUST ASK.
Posted at 01:02 PM
THANK YOU, KATHRYN [John Derbyshire]
NRO is a well-oiled machine, in which all concerned--editors, webbies, advertisers, agents, and of course us ink-stained "content providers"--all have parts to play. I don't think it is invidious to observe, though, that the site would not be what it is, or anything LIKE what it is, without the tireless efforts of Kathy Lopez. She is with NRO 24/7. When anything happens--most recently, the capture of Saddam, but most memorably on 9/11--it's from Kathy that we get the phone call or email. On top of all that, she yet manages to make important editorial contributions to the print NR, as well as doing signed articles for other magazines (like this one) and occasional TV appearances. And on top of all THAT, she is never anything but cheerful and helpful. I've known Kathy for close to 4 years, and have never once seen her with an attitude, though I have given her good cause once or twice. I wish her joy and contentment on her Christmas break, with no untoward events to pull her back to the keyboard. And... THANK YOU, KATHRYN!
Posted at 12:59 PM
CAMBRIDGE TALES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I was in Cambridge, Mass., this weekend for my wife's family Christmas party. Yes, there are still people in Cambridge who celebrate Christmas. That being said, the anti-Bush sentiments are as thick as the Christmas shoppers on Mass. Ave.
Posted at 11:53 AM
"I WAS AFRAID" [Jonah Goldberg ]
Andrew Sullivan has found a nice encapsulating quote from Clare Short, a former Blair minister, and now a "bitter old lefty" in Andrrew's words:
"Any pretence that this means that the tactics of their so-called war on terror are succeeding is sadly false. Obviously the news about Gadaffi is welcome, but it has been a long process, and any suggestion that events in Libya are linked to the war in Iraq is unfounded. The co-ordination of the Blair-Bush press conferences claiming a big success in the war on terror has a pathetic tone that reflects Blair's desperation and the two men's continuing belief that they can prosecute their war with half-truths and deceptions."
Andrew does a nice job smacking this idiocy. But he -- as well as all of the establishment media as far as I can tell -- has missed the most money quote refuting this sort of nonsense and denial. Gadaffi apparently told Sylvio Berlusconi:
"I will do whatever the Americans want, because I saw what happened in Iraq, and I was afraid."
That sums it up quite nicely, no?
Posted at 11:50 AM
DESCENT INTO THE MAELSTROM [John Derbyshire]
The great day approaches, with orange-level panic alerts about whether the kids' presents are well balanced. I worry about giving the kids too much, far more than I worry about giving them too little. Kids have too much of everything nowadays; I want mine to know the value of things. But then, I remember my own parents, who were so poor they sometimes had trouble paying the rent, but who always gave us a sumptuous Christmas, with pillow-cases full of presents. And of course, one tries to mimimize the Christmas afternoon bickering about which of the kids got the better deal from Santa. A tricky balancing act.
Yesterday, off to a third-night-of-Hanukkah party given by some Jewish friends. We all took menorahs--mine was a $7.99 number from the local drug store, but some more creative guests had got their kids to make their own. As darkness fell we had a menorah-lighting ceremony, for which I donned a kippah (proper name for a yarmulke, I just learned) for only the second or third time in my life. The ceremony was lovely, very moving actually, with our host and those guests sufficiently well-instructed (not the Derbs) executing a long rhythmic chant in (I guess) Hebrew. All this was prefaced with an account, by our host, of the origin of the festival, and the proper lesson to be drawn from it--a CONSERVATIVE lesson, according to him, along the lines of: "Through this miracle, G-d wanted to reassure humanity that traditional observances should be maintained, and will continue to be efficacious, even through tremendous worldly upheavals and disasters." I came away wiser and more respectful, and vowing never to speak lightly of Hanukkah again. It's not just an excuse for Jews to party at Christmastime, it's a real festival with a serious message to it. And some TERRIFIC food.
Posted at 11:21 AM
MY MONEY WHERE MY MOUTH IS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I have just purchased an armfull of Legacys to give as Christmas gifts. Amazon will still letcha, with some extra postage...
Posted at 10:59 AM
I DON’T BUY IT [Jonah Goldberg]
The Sunday Express (link Via Drudge) claims that members of the Kurdish Patriotic Front captured Saddam, drugged him and then left him for the Americans to find. Read the story yourself, but a number of things strike me as implausible. First of all, why wouldn’t the Kurds who captured Saddam try to ransom him for either the $25 million reward or for even more shmundo? Why wouldn’t they at least use Saddam to curry favor with the Iraqi public or American officials? If it was somehow in their interests to leave Saddam for the Americans secretly, why turnaround and undermine the Americans by revealing their efforts? If you’re not going to keep it secret, there are a lot of better ways to go public. Indeed, why wouldn’t the Kurds hold onto him themselves for trial? Why wouldn’t they kill him themselves if this was the product of a blood feud? Why reveal the story to a British tabloid?
Posted at 10:52 AM
RED AND GREEN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You might have noticed some Christmas cheeriness about NRO today. It's the beginning of our two-day rollout of Christmas (and other) features. You'll have a little extra time to read this stuff--our next homepage update after tomorrow will be on Dec. 29, a week from today. In other words, I plan to catch up on a year's worth of sleep tomorrow, with the Christmas shopping happening on the 24th. That's the plan. In the meantime, The Corner will be here and hopping (I know where our writers live, afterall) throughout.
Posted at 10:20 AM
WHAT SADDAM DESERVES [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm getting increasingly tired of the locution that Saddam "deserves" a fair trial. Yes, yes, he should get a fair trial and then a fair execution. But he deserves nothing, nada, bupkis. I don't want to get into all of that procedural due process stuff, so let me just say that if we had a machine which could prove with 100% percent certainty that a suspect committed the crime he was accused of, there would be no reason to have trials in this country at all (except, perhaps, as a means of educating the public). We wouldn't need evidence, Miranda warnings, none of it. Instead, we'd simply plug the guy in, read his brain, and go straight to sentencing. Our legal rights are not and should not be conceived as protections for guilty people. They are necessary safeguards against falsely convicting the innocent. It is never unfair to the guilty if they are convicted without proper due process. The danger is that the system will grow accustomed to such slackness and might falsely convict the innocent. In that sense, circumventing due process is unfair to the rest of us.
Saddam is guilty of crimes too numerous to catalog let alone charge him with. The only thing he deserves is a hot poker. In the eyes of man, God (I presume), and history he deserves nothing but the punishment. In other words, the argument shouldn't be over what we "owe" Saddam. The argument is over what good can we squeeze out of this meat prop -- for the Iraqi people, America and the world. If it helps establish an indpendent judiciary, the rule of law, increased stability in Iraq to give this guy a team of Johnny Cochrans, so be it. But let's not let the tail wag the dog here. He doesn't "deserve" a fair trial. He doesn't deserve a trial at all. He deserves a painful death.
Posted at 10:18 AM
BLACK AND FRUM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
David Frum interviews Conrad Black today. Read here.
Posted at 10:15 AM
CHRISTMAS READING [John J. Miller]
The English major shines through in my article today on Charles Dickens and A Christmas Carol. Since writing it, I've learned of The Annotated Christmas Carol, edited by Michael Patrick Hearn. If I'd known about it sooner, it might have made my Christmas list.
Posted at 10:00 AM
CONGRATULATIONS [Jonah Goldberg]
My buddy Nick Schulz (editor, Techcentralstation ) just had (translation: stood around nervously while his wife Lauren did all of the work) a beautiful little girl Olivia Lynne Schulz. I don't know all the stats yet, but mom and baby are both reportedly well. Lucy is very excited for a new friend. Give TCS a few celebratory page views to congratulate him on his wonderful Christmas present.
Posted at 09:51 AM
GORED [Jonah Goldberg]
I know this isn't a new insight, but can anyone doubt that Al Gore simply has terrible luck, terrible instincts and terrible prospects? Gore endorses Dean and burnishes both of their images only to be smacked on the left cheek with the wet flounder of Saddam's capture, then on the right cheek with the news that Libya is the latest strategic domino to fall. Gore predicated his endorsement on Dean on the Vermont doctor's vision in understanding that Iraq is a quagmire and nation-building is folly there (despite the fact that Gore endorsed Japan and Germany as the models for nation-building during the 2000 race). All of a sudden, Americans support the effort in Iraq by a margin of 2-1 and even the Washington Post is denouncing Dean's foreign policy as out of the mainstream.
I still think Dean's the guy to bet on for the nomination, but since Gore picked "Primary Howard" -- i.e. angry, lefty, Howard -- rather than General Election Howard, Gore presumably will be less than psyched when Dean moves back to the center, leaving Gore alone with his smattering of fans and followers, including of course his son, who will probably keep getting his tie caught in the mimeograph machine.
Posted at 09:37 AM
MERRY RIDGEMAS [Tim Graham]
Lots of Tom Ridge and Jerry Bremer on morning TV today. At the end of both Ridge interviews I saw, the host wished him "Happy Holidays." Don't you think you can safely wish Ridge a "Merry Christmas"? Or would that be offensive to some?
Posted at 08:25 AM
THE GORE RAP SHEET [Tim Graham]
Will the media ignore Al Gore III's latest brush with the law? They did in 2000.
Posted at 08:24 AM
EXOTIC GARDEN STATE? [Tim Graham]
These poll showings against "gay marriage" are obviously not a result of media immersion. For the latest New York Times exercise in gay-friendly propaganda, see this Andrew Jacobs piece. In New Jersey, we're introduced to two lesbians, "soft-spoken," "nerdy," with "exceedingly polite children," as "all-American and unremarkable as they come." Friends pipe up that they're extremely boring, really "Ozzie and Harriet."
Dear New York Times, who do you think you're fooling with this unpaid commercial? Being touted as "boring" and having "well-maintained Saturns" doesn't make you deserving test cases for draining all meaning out of the word "marriage." If New Jersey follows its hurray-for-cloning law with some same-sex union legislation, it's getting more than a bit ultraliberal there...
Posted at 08:22 AM
MORE HARD-LEFT "NONPARTISANS" [Tim Graham]
In a fairly positive story about public opinion galvanizing against what some call "gay marriage," New York Times writers Katharine Seelye and Janet Elder typically identify the "religious right" Traditional Values Coalition" and the "conservative" Concerned Women for America and then, on the left, they call the Human Rights Campaign only a "gay rights group."
It's merely the latest example of Graham's Law of Liberal Media Labeling: Apparently, if you read the papers, the epic political battles of our time are fought between the ultraconservatives and the nonpartisans.
Posted at 08:20 AM
COMMIE HEPCAT [Rick Brookhiser]
From The New Brain, by Richard Restak, MD, a work of popular neurology. [Restak is writing of amusia, which he defines as an inability to distinguish music from other sounds]
"The revolutionary leader Che Guevara suffered from amusia. When attending dance parties he had to rely on companions to help him distinguish between a tango, with its slow gliding movements and abrupt pauses, and a gentle Brazilian samba."
He probably wasn't so good at what Methodists are supposed to think dancing is like, either.
Posted at 08:20 AM
MICHAEL GRAHAM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
is filling in for Glenn Beck today. Listen in.
Posted at 07:15 AM
MICHAELNOVAK.NET [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Michael Novak's new website is a ever-growing treasure trove. Links, archives, beautiful artwork from his lovely wife, and much more. Check it out--and often: Michael's even got a blog there.
Posted at 12:01 AM
Sunday, December 21, 2003
NO SAINTS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The NYT on the bad guys the Pakistanis may have sold nuke info to.
Posted at 11:57 PM
CLINTON WHITE HOUSE ON IRAQ & AL QAEDA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Steve Hayes continues to follow the document trail.
Posted at 11:53 PM
BLUE STATE CHRISTMAS [Rick Brookhiser]
I did see a mention of "Christmas," in the East Village no less, on a T-shirt for sale on Avenue A: "[The Kerry word] CHRISTMAS." But I don't think that would satisfy most of us.
Posted at 09:26 PM
UNDERREPORTED STORIES OF 2003 [Jonah Goldberg]
I need nominations. Send 'em my way please. With "underreported" in the subject header.
Posted at 03:15 PM
CLIFT MIFFED [Tim Graham]
From the Department of Wishful Thinking comes Eleanor Clift, who consoled her fellow Democrats in the Newsweek.com live chat last week. She began by listing her favorite negatives: "The Democrats' challenge is to expose the flaws in Bush's house of cards — the jobless recovery, the most expensive manhunt in history that can hardly be justified by capturing Saddam, and a Medicare plan that promises way more than it will ever deliver..."
She also suggested the terror-worried economy should be big trouble for the White House: "The loss of 3 million jobs is a potent political issue. Bush will be the first president since Herbert Hoover to register a NEGATIVE job growth. That alone should be enough to sink him. But as they say, 9/11 changed everything, and it certainly changed the political outlook for Bush, who has staked his presidency on his claim that he has made us safer. A lot of Americans want to believe that, and puncturing that myth is what the Dems must do if they are to defeat Bush."
Posted at 01:58 PM
A DUCT-TAPE CHRISTMAS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Ridge says we could be at the highest threat level since 9/11 and that al Qaeda is chatting about something that would “rival or exceed” 9/11. Also, he suggests aircraft might be their weapon of choice again.
Posted at 01:43 PM
LIBERAL JOKE [Rick Brookhiser]
Since the occasion of this liberal joke is so wonderful, I shall pass it along. Why was Saddam checked for lice and tongue-depressed? Because, unlike us, he gets free medical care.
Thanks to my friend Danny Saltiel, proprietor of Danal Restaurant, 90 E. 10 St. in Manhattan. It is an excellent restaurant and he is a charming host. Any Cornerites who confirm my opinion please tell him who sent you.
Posted at 01:41 PM
TERROR COLOR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Tom Ridge is evidently raising the threat level at a press conference in an hour. Be vigilant while helping the economy (shopping and travelling) this week.
Posted at 12:31 PM
HOW THE DEMOCRATS SAVED CIVILIZATION? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
According to Thomas Cahill, author of How the Irish Saved Civilization, "Republican" and "Christian" are "contradictory terms."
Posted at 12:15 PM
TIME'S YEAR-END ISSUE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
honors "the American soldier." Much better than my Saddam Hussein prediction.
Posted at 12:11 PM