SHE ONLY WANTED MORE TIME TO STUDY... [KJL]
But isn't News of the World that checkout-line "Hillary Cheats on Bill with a Martian" paper?
Posted at 10:58 PM
NOT ZAWAHIRI, [KJL (now posting from a cyberbar)]
but 100 Qaeda detained.
Posted at 10:55 PM
GITMO PAYS [KJL]
(Ok, now I'm really turning it off.)
Posted at 10:52 PM
LONG COMMERCIAL FRIVOLITY POST [KJL ]
As a long-time reader of That Happy Corner on NRO, I've often thought about writing to say how much I appreciate and enjoy you, Jonah, Derb and the rest of the Gang. However, I've never wanted to bother you with another e-mail (I'm sure your box is always overflowing) -- until now.ME: I have no idea if it goes well with Marmite or haggis, but Diet Pepsi is a-okey with me. I actually have no real preference--they both seem to do the job, unless the day is especially ugly (and Diet Mountain Dew works as well--especially in the case that brings in any subscribers.
And, now, go ahead and subscribe, thank you very much!
And, don't worry, I'm turning the computer off now.
Posted at 10:43 PM
TOOMEY@PENN STATE [KJL ]
An undergrad reports: "Last night I went to fundraising event here in State College, PA for Pat Toomey. To hear him speak, it feels like you’re listening to a conservative John Edwards. He’s youthful, energetic, and highly intelligent. He makes you excited he’s running. And considering how far his campaign has come and how he’s closing in on Specter every week, you can only get more excited. He also spoke with myself and four other students from Penn State and encouraged our Republican friends to register to vote and send in their absentee ballots. We all came away in awe of how personable he is. He’s nothin’ but a stand-up guy."
Posted at 10:29 PM
FALLING ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL [KJL]
Many e-mails about Bob Moran's piece and Kerry falling. Many mention the Bush Segway incident. I will give the benefit of the doubt--I'm assuming there's no actual photo of the Kerry fall, or someone would have published it. Right?
Another reader mentions this, which is tangentally related, and, well, it's Saturday night:
Do you remember while campaigning Bush had a incident with a dump truck while jogging and a member of his security detail was hurt? The archived story is here, ....
Posted at 09:48 PM
ISLAMOPHOBIA? [Andrew Stuttaford]
The UK’s Muslim News is reporting that Atlanta Plus, a feminist organization, is campaigning to have Muslim countries that don’t send female athletes barred from the Olympics for, effectively, ‘gender apartheid’ (South Africa was banned for years). The newspaper, of course, is predictably outraged, and, needless to say, descends into familiar ideological slime with suggestions of, wait for it, “cultural imperialism,” “racism” and “islamophobia.” That’s the usual nonsense, of course, but it’s revealing as an example of the way that many Muslim activists often try to suppress any critical discussion of their religion as a ‘phobia.’ The truth ought to be perfectly obvious to anyone not deafened by the rhetoric of fanatic 'imams': the thuggish way in which a number of Islamic countries treat women as second-class citizens is a disgrace, and the West should say so. Often.
Posted at 06:57 PM
CROOKS WITH A CAUSE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Members of the reliably worthless European ‘parliament’ like nothing better than mocking America’s ‘Enron capitalism,’ but what do these crusaders for honesty do when they are asked to vote on the EU’s Commission’s accounts, accounts so tawdry that they have been rejected by Brussels’ own auditors?
Yup, they approve them.
Part of the reason, of course, is that the EU parliament, a cesspit notorious for graft, greed and cronyism, is in no position to face much scrutiny of the way that it manages its own affairs, but part of the reason too is the fanatic belief of so many MEPs in ‘Europe’.
Blogger Terrance Coyle takes up the story:
“When I interviewed Diemut Theato MEP, Chairman of [the parliament’s budgetary] Committee, on this subject she put it in a nutshell for me. "European Parliamentarians have a duty to Europe, not just to their electors", if they attack the Commission they undermine the project, and that will never ever do.”
Posted at 06:53 PM
POLICE STATE? [Andrew Stuttaford]
The EU’s bureaucracy has never been very tolerant of dissent, but even by Brussels standards, the arrest of a leading investigative journalist (he was held for ten hours without access to a lawyer, something that’s normal in Belgium, apparently) is something of a low point.
The EU 'constitution' (much more likely to be forced through, incidentally, in the wake of the change of government in Spain) is filled with highminded boilerplate, but the plight of Hans-Martin Tillak shows what this misbegotten 'Union' really stands for.
Posted at 06:31 PM
ARMAGEDDON WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
So you’ll know when the end is nigh.
Posted at 06:30 PM
INNOCENTS ABROAD? [Andrew Stuttaford]
It seems not.
Posted at 04:09 PM
CRETINS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here’s a charming little party being hosted today by Al-Muhajiroun, an Islamic extremist group based in the UK:
“This Saturday's LIVE talk on Paltalk will discuss one of the greatest forgotten obligations in Islaam - Hating false religions. Allaah (swt) orders the believers to hate all other religions, way of lives, creeds, doctrines and beliefs that contradict with Islaam, and one cannot be Muslim without to declare animosity and hatred towards kufr, bid'ah, shirk and nifaaq (Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Democracy, Freedom etc.).”
That’s just something to remember the next time that you read that the British police are cracking down on ‘hate speech’. This sort of event, presumably, does not count.
Posted at 04:06 PM
RE: KERRY ON THE SLOPES [KJL]
Here's the AP coverage.
Posted at 10:00 AM
WHERE'S THE PHOTO? [KJL]
Robert Moran makes an interesting media-bias point re: Kerry on the slopes.
Posted at 09:58 AM
TAIWAN VOTES "NO" ON CHINA REFERENDUMS [John Derbyshire]
Posted at 09:51 AM
RE: LOWRY'S SCHIP COMEUPANCE [John Derbyshire]
You readers want me to correct my boss on a point of math? My **boss**?
Oh, yeah. Just as soon as I get through this detailed analysis of why William F. Buckley has got the passive subjunctive all wrong...
Posted at 09:13 AM
Taiwan's president survives a bullet and a reelection.
Posted at 09:11 AM
HEATHER HAS TWO MARRIED MOMMIES [Tim Graham]
Human Events caught something I should have in my Washington Post. The daily "Kids Post" feature in the Style section recently reported on kids of gay parents and their desire for what proponents call "gay marriage."
Posted at 08:58 AM
JOHNNY MAC VS. ZELL [Tim Graham]
Times Watch finds that while John McCain gets front-page huzzahs for suggesting Kerry isn't weak on defense, when Democratic Sen. Zell Miller openly endorsed Bush, the New York Times didn't notice in its pages for three weeks, and then downplayed it as "bewildering" party betrayal.
Posted at 08:57 AM
RUN, DON'T WALK [Michael Graham]
Go see "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." I can't remember (no pun intended) the last movie I saw that was this good. It's amazing
Posted at 08:55 AM
Friday, March 19, 2004
KERRY ON KERRY: RECKLESS AND IRRESPONSIBLE [Rich Lowry]
This is from "Face the Nation" on September 14, 2003:
Sen. KERRY: I think we need--I think we need to roll back the top end of the Bush tax cut.
McMANUS: If that amendment does not pass, will you then vote against the $87 billion?
Sen. KERRY: I don't think any United States senator is going to abandon our troops and recklessly leave Iraq to--to whatever follows as a result of simply cutting and running. That's irresponsible. What is responsible is for the administration to do this properly now. And I am laying out the way in which the administration could unite the American people, could bring other countries to the table, and I think could give the American people a sense that they're on the right track. There's a way to do this properly. But I don't think anyone in the Congress is going to not give our troops ammunition, not give our troops the ability to be able to defend themselves. We're not going to cut and run and not do the job.
Look, we could--we could do this job over a period of time at greater loss, at greater risk, and with much loss around the world with respect to the United States. The question is will we do this the best way possible so that we do the best to protect our troops and the best to advance the safety and security of the United States?
SCHIEFFER: Senator, let me...
Sen. KERRY: My plan will do that.
Posted at 07:18 PM
RE: WHAT RIGHT? [Jonah Goldberg]
Thanks for all the emails about Supreme Court cases affirming the right to marry. I knew about those. I was trying to speak from first principles. I'm going back to sleep now. I only got about an hour and a half of shut-eye last night. Also: rereading that post I mispoke about something else (I'm really on a roll). I wrote:
"I certainly agree with you that the plain meaning of the Constitution is silent on the question. But at the same time I sincerely doubt many heterosexual readers would feel that their basic rights were being infringed upon if the state told them they couldn't marry the woman or man of their choosing."That "would" should be a "would not."
Posted at 06:07 PM
TRADE AND JOBS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Brink Lindsey has produced an extremely sober and sensible primer on the subject. Let me mention one question that he (reasonably) does not go into, but on which his analysis reinforces my prejudice. Liberal and conservative free traders--I'm thinking specifically of Gene Sperling and George Will here--have suggested that workers who lose their jobs, or presumably see their wages go down, as a result of free trade should get either financial compensation or job training from the federal government. Let's assume that the federal government can isolate those workers who have been adversely affected by trade, as opposed to domestic competition, technological change, and other factors. Why exactly is a person who lost his job to domestic competition less entitled to our help than one who lost it to foreign trade?
Posted at 05:46 PM
"THE CIVILIZED WORLD IS AT WAR" [KJL]
President Bush's anniversary speech today should be read.
Posted at 05:12 PM
KERRY ON THE SLOPES [Steve Hayward]
There is so much wrong with the stories of Kerry on the slopes that I can hardly contain myself, starting with the spectacle of a 60 year old guy SNOWBOARDING, a sport for outlaw kids in baggy pants. When I tried it out about ten years ago (I've been a regular two-board skier since I was 7), two teen-age chicks went by me and my brother and said, "Hey, look, there's two OLD guys trying it!"
And I was always taught that if you didn't take some falls on skis, you weren't trying very hard to get better at it. So when Kerry says, "I never fall," all kinds of alarm bells about character and other things go off.
And my how Sun Valley has gone to hell, having to put up with the likes of Kerry. I learned to ski in Sun Valley in the mid-1960s, when it was mainly a Republican hangout. Now Blaine County, Idaho, is, s as the NY Times story noted, the one outpost of blue in red-state Idaho. It has been "Hamptonized,' as the saying goes. In the old days, there were no private homes--just two large hotels where everybody stayed, including the Bobby Kennedys. One night Bobby Kennedy and clan barged the nice steak house in the then-little village, walked up to the head waitress and tried to pull a DYKWIA, saying he had a reservation for 12. This restaurant didn't take reservations, however; we had been waiting about an hour for a table in the lounge, in earshot of the whole thing. The head waitress informed Bobby that he would have to wait 60 minutes for a table, whereupon he wheeled around and left. At which point, everyone in the lounge, led by my dad, gave the head waitress a great cheer and round of applause. In later years I used to note that Ted Kennedy was usually the subject of glares when he turned up at Sun Valley.
As I say, the good old days.
Posted at 05:07 PM
PENTAGON STEM CELL RESEARCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
You ask why, Kathryn. Well, this movie gives one clue. Be afraid.
Posted at 05:04 PM
RE: THE STEM-CELL STUDY [KJL]
And here is a clarification to the Reuters story. (What did I tell you?)
Posted at 04:43 PM
RE: PENTAGON-SWEDE ESC STUDY [KJL]
A source familiar with the situation tells me that "they made absolutely sure that the stem cell lines in question were created before August 9, 2001, so the lines are so-called 'Bush approved' lines, which can be legally funded by the federal government. The lines in question are on the NIH registry.” Why the Pentagon is involved in this at all, though, remains a mystery, however.
Posted at 04:40 PM
MORE ON GOOD BOOKS RE: A BAD WAR [Peter Robinson]
Really and truly, this happy Corner must have the best-informed readers on the face of the planet. Late last night, I posted a question about good books on Vietnam, and when I checked my inbox at lunchtime today I found more than sixty replies. (Not to mention, of course, the postings below by Andrew Suttaford, Mac Owens, and Ramesh Ponnuru.)
Now, I confess that I haven’t had time to read all sixty of those emails (the more so since the server here at Hoover seems to be acting up today, making the reading of email move very, very, very slowly), but I have hopped from one to another, getting a feel for the traffic. One book came up again and again: America in Vietnam, by Gunther Lewy. Lewy’s book was recommended by a reader who teaches at a military academy; received high praise from Kirby Wilbur, the genial, witty, and widely-read host of the conservative talk radio show in Seattle; and was the object of this encomium from historian (and frequent NRO contributor) Steve Hayward: “By far and away the best Vietnam book, and I have read probably two dozen or more.”
Other books our readers recommend:
Vietnam, the Necessary War: A Reinterpretation of America’s Most Disastrous Military Conflict by Michael LindThe Corner: If our readers can’t answer it, the question ain’t worth asking.
Posted at 04:33 PM
AND [Ramesh Ponnuru]
One more I forgot: The Irony of Vietnam by Leslie Gelb and Richard Betts.
Posted at 04:14 PM
VIETNAM BOOKS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
that I've found helpful include: No More Vietnams by Richard Nixon (really); White House Years and Years of Upheaval by Kissinger; America in Vietnam by Guenter Lewy; On Strategy by Harry Summers; and Tet! by Don Oberdorfer.
Posted at 04:05 PM
RE: CURSE-OUT [KJL]
A lot of emails like this in the in-box:
I'm asking myself what I would say to a man who has pledged to lay down his life for me, to take a bullet for me, if he accidentally knocks me down on a ski slope *while* trying his best to protect me.
Posted at 04:05 PM
PENTAGON-FUNDED SWEDISH EMBRYONIC-STEM-CELL STUDY [KJL]
This raise all sorts of questions. Why would we be funding an embryonic-stem-cell study? Why would the Pentagon be funding it? Why would we be funding a Swedish study?...But then, before I go on, I must rememeber that one can rarely trust a wire story on bioethics-type issues...
Posted at 03:59 PM
RE: FLOSSING [John Derbyshire]
Hey, thanks for the plug, Rich. As Straggler fans know, all human life is there. In 1,000 words about teeth you get Shakespeare, Nabokov, Orwell of course, Sir Isaac Newton, two members of the Royal Family, and an Anglican Bishop. We don't sell you short at National Review.
Posted at 03:55 PM
WHERE WAS THE STATE DEPARTMENT? [Mark Krikorian]
Another reason to regret that Colorado Gov. Bill Owens isn't running for Senate -- he's the only executive-branch official at any level of government I've yet heard of who has pushed back against Mexico's blatant interference in our internal affairs. Mexico's recently replaced consul in Denver gave an href="http://www.denverpost.com/Stories/0,1413,36~53~2024669,00.html">interview published yesterday blaming Owens for having her recalled because of her involvement in the campaign to extend in-state tuition to illegal aliens, among other outrages. The governor denies any involvement, but it looks like he's just being diplomatic, as it were.
Posted at 03:53 PM
SAM HUNTINGTON, CALL YOUR OFFICE [Mark Krikorian]
I'm happy to be corrected by alert Corner readers, but I don't recall the Italian government a century ago providing the New York schools with foreign-language textbooks, or the Tsar's government credentialing teachers in Russia headed for the U.S. But this is what the Mexican consulate is doing in L.A. Then, New York's schools never had nearly three-quarters of their student body coming from a single foreign-language group.
Posted at 03:38 PM
GREENCARD SOLDIERS [This Nicaraguan non-citizen soldier deserted his unit rather than return to the "oil-driven war" in Iraq, and has now teamed up with "this war is evil" pacifists and is claiming to be a conscientious objector.
This tells us nothing universal about green-card soldiers, but it at least serves to deflate the more hyperbolic claims that they're more American than we are.
Posted at 03:36 PM
RE: DIET COKE [Mark Krikorian]
Kathryn, feel free to tell the suits that I provide my staff with all the free Diet Coke they can drink. Of course, I have only eight people working for me.
Posted at 03:34 PM
RE: VIETNAM BOOKS [Mac Owens]
Most of my suggestions about Vietnam books focus on the military aspects of the war. However, I was remiss in not mentioning Norman Podhoretz’s splendid Why We Were in Vietnam, which does an especially good job of explaining the morality of the decision to undertake the enterprise. Indeed, for most interested readers, this is the place to start. Then a reader might look at Guenter Lewy’s America in Vietnam, upon which I relied heavily in my critiques of Kerry.
Posted at 03:28 PM
RE: DONKEY LEFT THE BARN [John Derbyshire]
Rich: Just so. And many settled Hispanics dislike unrestrained and illegal immigration for just the natural reasons of self-interest you point out. One outstanding example was Hispanic culture hero Cesar Chavez, a third generation American. Chavez's United Farm Workers union was very active in helping the INS catch illegal Mexican workers, and I believe Chavez offered the INS his own union members as manpower to help patrol the border!
Posted at 03:24 PM
RE: LIKABLE GUY [Jed Babbin]
Jonah, notice the language the Times used to describe the flow of attacks coming and going from Camp Kerry. See how they all seem to be coming at him, but barely going out from him?
"His getaway came at a particularly rough time for the senator, the expected Democratic presidential nominee. For more than a week, he has had to defend himself from an onslaught of attacks by President Bush and millions of dollars in negative advertising, while taking criticism for calling Republicans 'crooked' and 'lying' and claiming to have the support of leaders whom he has not named."
Posted at 03:19 PM
MS. BROWN'S TOUGH QUESTIONS [Tim Graham]
Get a load of how NBC's Katie stand-in, Campbell Brown, began her interview with Howard Dean this morning:
"You more than any other candidate on during the Democratic nomination fight made the war a central issue for all Democrats in this campaign, your opposition to the war. And Dr. Rice just came on and said, we're making progress, we didn't underestimate that we were going to face these kind of problems, that has got to be infuriating for you."
Campbell did NOT ask Dean about this gaffe: "The president was the one who dragged our troops to Iraq, which apparently has been a factor in the death of 200 Spaniards over the weekend."
Posted at 03:18 PM
FLOSSING [Rich Lowry]
I promise you, if you are lax with your flossing, you won't be after reading John Derb's delightful dentristy-themed "Straggler" column in the new issue of NR.
Posted at 03:16 PM
HANNITY & COLMES [Rich Lowry]
I'm scheduled to be on tonight around 9:40 p.m.
Posted at 03:15 PM
DONKEY LEFT THE BARN [Rich Lowry]
The Journal had an immigration editorial yesterday (no link, I believe). It read in part: “At 36 million and counting, there are so many Americans of Hispanic heritage already in the U.S. that even if we stopped immigration cold today, their share of the electorate would rise, and rapidly. That donkey has left the barn. And that’s bad news for any party that lets itself be perceived as hostile to migration among Hispanics..." What the Journal is acknowledging is a dynamic that NR and John O’Sullivan have long warned about—high levels of immigration would make it politically impossible, as a matter of pure demographics, to restrain immigration. Now the Journal tells us that NR was right all along. A couple of other things. The Journal says, "The point isn't that Republicans need to play identity politics the way Democrats do. Hispanic voters will settle for being treated like other Americans, but they will punish politicians who appear to be actively hostile to their efforts to get ahead.” OK, fair enough. But how does continued mass Hispanic immigration help an individual Hispanic “get ahead”? If he’s low-skilled, doesn’t it actually work against his individual economic interest, by potentially depressing his wages? High-level immigration seems to do more to help Hispanics as a collective class by increasing their political and social clout, in other words its helps basically as a matter of identity politics. Finally, the Journal says of Hispanic voting patterns, “Especially as they vote for the first time, Hispanics are persuadable.” I may be wrong but I have always had the impression that new Hispanic immigrants, who are generally poor and obviously not well-assimilated, tend to vote Democratic. And that Hispanics tend to vote GOP only as they become wealthier and are in the country longer. But the Journal makes it sound as if it is a great boon to the Republican cause to have new Hispanic immigrants in the voting booths.
Posted at 03:11 PM
MY SCHIP COMEUPANCE [Rich Lowry]
Thanks to those readers who have pointed this out. I did indeed misread Franken in the way descirbed below--and did it in a very snotty way. I duly stand corrected. While we're involved in counting issues, please count me as redfaced!
Posted at 03:09 PM
MODEST PROPOSAL [Andrew Stuttaford]
I've been thinking some more about that law banning smoking in front of 'the children'. If the solons of Port Orange really insist on curbing this supposed threat to their youth, why not simply make it illegal for 'the children' to go outside apart, of course, from excursions to school and, in the interest of keeping the always entertaining obesity 'crisis' bubbling away at maximum intensity, McDonald's? Such a measure would also have the added advantage of cutting crime, noise, public skateboarding and irritation at the mall. Hey, it might even be fair: there may well be fewer children in Port Orange than there are smokers. Keep the tykes inside!
Posted at 02:44 PM
RUMSFELD! [Andrew Stuttaford]
Undisclosed location disclosed.
Posted at 02:40 PM
NEVER DISAPPOINTS [KJL]
"Terrorism didn't exist in Iraq before," Dominique de Villepin said.
Posted at 02:27 PM
WHAT A LIKABLE GUY [Jonah Goldberg]
Kerry curses out one of his secret service agents on the slopes because men like John Kerry don't fall down:
The image-conscious candidate and his aides prevailed upon reporters and photographers to let him have a first run down the mountain solo, except for two agents and Marvin Nicholson, his omnipresent right-hand man.
Posted at 02:05 PM
TERMS OF ENDEARMENT [John Derbyshire]
A reader chides me for having used the word "Congressperson" in my recent column. He recommends Jerry Pournelle's usage: "Congresscritter."
Posted at 01:22 PM
MORE DIALECTOLOGY [John Derbyshire]
A curious reader asks: "Mr. Derbyshire---Is it just that people in different parts of China pronounce words differently? Or are there differences of grammar too?"
Yes, there are differences of grammar. Stepping aside to let someone precede him through a door, for instance, a Beijinger would say: "Ni xian qu" --- literally: "You first go." A Cantonese person, however, would say: "Lei heui sin" --- literally: "You go first." Same words, different order (and of course different pronunciation).
Actual words are often different, too. Cantonese has words that just don't exist in Mandarin, even if you "map" the pronunciation. (In these cases, when writing, a Cantonese person will generally use some Mandarin synonym, though there are a few written characters peculiar to Cantonese that you see in newspaper cartoons and so on.) In other cases, a dialect will use a word that fell out of favor in Mandarin 1,000 years or more ago. The common Cantonese verb for "to like," for example, is "jung-yi." Nobody says this in Mandarin, not even in a Mandarin pronunciation, though it shows up in the Confucian classics. The Mandarin verb is "xi-huan." You can say that with a Cantonese pronunciation ("hei-fun") and will be understood... but the Cantonese prefer "jung-yi." Generally speaking, the southern dialects are more conservative than the northern ones. North China suffered much more historical "churning" --barbarian invasions and so on -- so the language changed more up there. Ancient poems still rhyme in Cantonese, but much less often in Mandarin.
One of the best general-interest books on the Chinese language is SOUND AND SYMBOL IN CHINESE by the great Swedish Sinologist Bernhard Karlgren. Now deeply out of print, unfortunately.
Posted at 01:20 PM
BOOK ON VIETNAM [Mac Owens]
Re Peter’s query on The Corner about a good book on Vietnam: I recommend “A Better War” by Lewis Sorley. It confirms my own belief that we were getting the upper hand by 1969. I have a bumper sticker that says, “I don’t know what happened. When I left, we were winning.” I also like Peter Braestrup’s “Big Story” on the media in Vietnam. And don’t miss Hal Moore’s “We Were Soldiers Once…and Young” on the Ia Drang battles of Nov. 1965, the first big fight between the US Army and the PAVN. Several years ago, I did a review essay of Vietnam books for Joint Forces Quarterly. This is available online for those who might be interested.
Posted at 01:00 PM
SEE THE RUSH VIDEO [Tim Graham]
I can now announce that last night's biggest "DisHonor Awards" surprise -- an in-person speech by Rush Limbaugh that had the audience in a frenzy -- can now be watched at www.mrc.org.
Posted at 12:40 PM
BEYOND PARODY [Andrew Stuttaford]
A dimwit city council has just passed a law banning outdoor smoking in front of, you guessed it, "the children."
Posted at 12:36 PM
DIET COKE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Kathryn, I'm sure you will agree that no breakfast is complete without the first (of many) Diet Cokes of the day - nectar of the gods. The new lime flavor is also delicious. That said, let's not forget Red Bull, an essential supplement for more difficult mornings.
Posted at 12:29 PM
TAIWAN MARKET WATCH [John Derbyshire]
Courtesy of Larry Henry again, here is the Taiwan stock-market watch. Note -- it's all in Chinese. "Looks like it's mixed," says Larry. Yep.
Posted at 12:19 PM
LET ME SAY THIS ABOUT THAT [John Derbyshire]
A reader has e-mailed in to tell me that Texan and Bostonian **ARE** separate languages.
Posted at 12:17 PM
TAIWAN SHOOTING -- A POSSIBLE MOTIVE [John Derbyshire]
Another possible motive for the shooting of Taiwan's president and vice-president is gambling. The election looks close. Gambling -- both legal and illegal -- is very big business. Someone might be trying to swing the odds....
Posted at 12:06 PM
TAIWAN SHOOTING AND THE MARKETS [John Derbyshire]
Lawrence Henry, whom many stock-watching Corner readers will know, very kindly sent in the following: "Derb---I own the stock of AU Optronics, maker of LCDs and flat-panel displays for some big industry computer operations, a Taiwan company. I checked anxiously this morning for any pre-market selloff, and there was none. AUO is now down 50 cents (off $19 open, and a gain of $1.25 yesterday), and seems stable after the first (usually wild) opening hour of trade. It's a growth stock, and I would have expected it to get hit seriously if there were any real market worries about Taiwan or its election.---Larry"
Posted at 12:04 PM
DERB'S DIALECTOLOGY CORRECTED [John Derbyshire]
"Dear Mr. Derbyshire--A slight correction: Tai Yu [the common spoken language opf Taiwan] is a slightly mutated version of Xiamen (City) dialect not Fujian dialect. As you may know, the other main dialect of Fujian Province is Fuzhou, which is a completely different dialect and incomprehensible to speakers of the min nan dialects of which Tai Yu is one."
Got that? "Dialect" is not a very happy usage in the Chinese context. It brings to an American mind something like the difference between Texas speech and Bostonian. These dialects are much farther apart than that, more like separate languages. (The whole issue confused by the fact that WRITTEN Chinese, being non-alphabetic, can be used to represent all of them.)
Posted at 11:50 AM
COLUMBIA’S UAE CHAIR [Rachel Z. Friedman (NR Associate Editor)]
Last Friday Columbia University finally released the list of donors to its Edward Said Chair, held by Rashid Khalidi (also director of Columbia’s Middle East Institute). Among the donors is the United Arab Emirates, a nation that appears to have an interest in paying American universities to do its ideological bidding. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahayan, the UAE’s unelected president since 1971, is also a backer of Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and the source of a $2.5 million gift to the Harvard Divinity School. Harvard froze that money in August--after the source of the gift became public along with the anti-American, anti-Semitic venom coming from Zayed’s now-defunct think tank--and is still in deliberations over whether to give it back. Columbia, after keeping its list secret for months, couched the release in a puff-piece about Said in the Columbia Record, the print-only newspaper of the Office of Public Affairs, according to a source. Daniel Pipes’s Campus Watch has issued a press release with the full list of donors here. With enough pressure from students, alumni, and the media, Columbia too might be brought to think again about keeping the UAE’s problematic gift--but getting it to go even that far won’t be easy.
Posted at 11:48 AM
CORNER ARCHIVES [KJL]
A year ago today.
Posted at 11:44 AM
HOYA LIBERATION DAY [KJL]
Vic Matus on madness totally off my radar screen.
Posted at 11:35 AM
WHAT RIGHT? [Jonah Goldberg]
Michael - Frankly I don't know if marriage is a constitutional right as we currently define such things. I certainly agree with you that the plain meaning of the Constitution is silent on the question. But at the same time I sincerely doubt many heterosexual readers would feel that their basic rights were being infringed upon if the state told them they couldn't marry the woman or man of their choosing. I certainly agree, and have argued many times, that something can not only be wrong and immoral but it can be fully criminal without being unconstitutional. My problem with Rhea County policy is not so much their desire to ban civil unions or marriages but with the stated view that gays can be legally banned from living in the town. I sincerely doubt that there are a lot of gays who want to live there. But I think Sullivan is right to be offended by such a law. Whether Sullivan's comparsion to a similar law banning Jews holds water or not is a subject for another time. But even if the comparison is unpersuasive (religion is protected in the Constitution after all) that doesn't mean I don't think the basic point has merit. Banning gays is different than refusing to recognize gay marriage.
Posted at 11:34 AM
"WILL HE OR WON'T HE?" [KJL]
I do wish Sullivan would save time and come out for Kerry now. In just amatter of time he will come up with the rationalizations, but it's taking him painfully long to get on with it. I'm betting all Kerry will have to do is say that he's against terrorism.
Posted at 11:28 AM
FIELDING MICHAEL'S QUESTION [KJL]
Even though you asked it of Jonah: No, National Review does not believe that there is a constitutional right to marry, still less that there is a constitutional right to marry anyone who wants to marry you. Andrew Sullivan is making a cheap debater's point. He's claiming that our willingness to amend the Constitution to keep the courts from reading same-sex marriage into the Constitution means that we think that it really is there. Obviously that's not true, and this sort of argument should be beneath him. But since he has never taken conservative arguments about the proper role of the courts seriously before, I guess there's no reason to start now. And I guess that wanting Sullivan to make more consistent, fair-minded arguments makes me a "paleocon" (or whatever his swear word du jour is).
Posted at 11:21 AM
TAIWAN PRESIDENT & V-P SHOT [John Derbyshire]
Still no clue who did this, or for what reason. Both President Chen and V-P Lu are OK, conscious and not in serious danger.
The thing everyone wonders is: Were the ChiComs behind this? We have, of course, no real clue yet. The fact that the shooting was rather incompetently done suggests an amateur, and Taiwan politics is plenty fractious -- you may recall occasional TV clips of fist-fights on the floor of Parliament. Certainly the ChiComs hate Chen for his past history of pro-independence statements (somewhat muted since he's been in office). But nothing can be said for sure yet.
We had a Taiwanese house guest the week before last. She told us that independence sentiment gets stronger all the time. There is now even a movement to drop Mandarin as the official language of Taiwan, and switch to "Tai-yu," the dialect that most Taiwanese people speak among themselves most of the time. (It's a slightly mutated form of the mainland's Fujian dialect, incomprehensible to Mandarin-speakers.) This is a very odd thing, as trade and even cultural links between Taiwan and the mainland are opening up at the same time. Perhaps this tells us something interesting about globalization: that people become more fiercely protective of their local identity even as the world becomes more economically interdependent. Or perhaps it's just that the more Taiwan people see of the mainland and its ruling party, the more they like their own democratic arrangements.
Posted at 11:10 AM
84 NATIONS [KJL]
"will defeat...terrrorism." President Bush is giving his one-year anniversary speech now, from the White House.
Posted at 11:03 AM
WHERE FNCERS GIVE [KJL]
Run Fox News as an employer through www.tray.com, a la the Tim Graham link on the NYTimes. Here's what shows up, though, no doubt, there are others who didn't fill in their employers exactly as "fox news." Interesting, the first person on the list gave to Dean (though the rest definitely did NOT).
Burkholder, Amy 7/22/2003 $250.00 New York, NY 10021 Fox News Channel/SR Producer -[Contribution] DEAN FOR AMERICA
Posted at 10:26 AM
are not leaving Iraq.
Posted at 10:13 AM
SOCCER VERSE [John Derbyshire]
Fair dinkum, the soccer debate has another side too. They are of course totally wrong, but they deserve to be heard:
"Mr. Derbyshire---As a conservative soccer writer, I beg to differ with you about the 'communist' nature of soccer (football). I wrote the following in 1995:
"IT'S ONLY A GAME
"Soccer is a game aesthetic.
"Its energy, potential, comes to life when it's kinetic,
"And discipline refines the otherwise frenetic.
"The game is all anticipation.
"When done with style, it's syncopation.
"You swing the ball from left to right.
"You see the space and see what might,
"Become, with skill, a sweet delight.
"A trophy stands for those who've won.
"But after all is said and done,
"It's how you strove and what's inside
"That gives the team a lifelong pride.
"There is a certain individual pride in optimizing one's potential, doing very well against others who are similarly performing well. It is an essential of good sport. Bill Russell describes it in a book he wrote many years ago. Soccer is an exceptionally fitting vehicle for this Maslovian pursuit."
Grantland Rice would be proud of you, Sir.
Posted at 10:07 AM
QUICK QUESTION FOR JONAH RE MARRIAGE [Michael Graham]
Andrew says that "the right to marry is a basic constitutional right that no government can or should deny under the Constitution as it stands. Interestingly, so does National Review. Otherwise, they would not be so keen to amend the constitution to prevent such equal protection from ever taking place."
Is he right? Jonah, do you believe there is a constitutional right to marry? Is there an amendment that I missed? I just did a word search on the Constitution and "marriage" didn't turn up anywhere.
I don't believe there's a constitutional right to marriage anymore than there is a constitutional right to divorce. What I do believe is that the Constitution is silent (other than in indirect ways, such as the "full faith and credit" clause) and, therefore, these laws are left to the states. Which is why there are no-fault divorces in some states and 14-year-olds marrying without parental permission in others.
So I go back to my point on Rhea County, TN's ban on homosexual behavior: I think the law is repulsive and idiotic (and I live in Virginia!), but that doesn't answer the question of whether they have the right to pass such laws. I assume that Rep. Barney Frank and other supporters of San Francisco's mayor support Rhea County's decision. Is it against the ruling of the US Supreme Court? So what--same-sex marriage is clearly a direct violation of California and New York law. If these matters should be left to local governments, then how did Rhea County get to be the bad guys? Other than the fact that they're Neanderthals.
Posted at 09:54 AM
EURO DIPLOS ON EURO, ON KERRY [KJL ]
An American in Rome e-mailed earlier in the week:
I attended an embassy party last night. Speaking to European diplomats, you get a gist of two things:
Posted at 09:47 AM
POP CULTURE IS FILTH [KJL]
is here, fyi
Posted at 09:39 AM
SIX BOMB THREATS AGAINST DC SCHOOLS [KJL]
are being reported by CNN and others. Officials have put DC public schools in "lockdown" and are doing "sweeps"
Posted at 09:33 AM
NRO, POWERED BY DIET COKE [KJL]
This writer clearly doesn't care if NRO exists or not--perish the thought. Let's just say a lot certain NR staff salaries are blown on Diet Coke every day. Efforts to obtain a grant that would subsidize caffeine-drinking habits have so far failed.
Posted at 09:27 AM
DAVID FRUM [KJL]
will be on Bill Maher's show again tonight.
Posted at 08:54 AM
GIRL SCOUTS [KJL]
I've been remiss in noting the latest controversy, involving Texas Girl Scouts involvement with Planned Parenthood. (Here's the Girl Scouts piece I did a few years ago.) if any of you have any similar recent experiences with the Scouts to relay, please do. No offense to the likes of Susan Konig, who is part of one of the cool troops, the GSUSA is nowhere near as cool as the Boy Scouts.
Posted at 08:52 AM
POWELL IN BAGHDAD [KJL]
Robert Alt blogs.
Posted at 08:46 AM
CLAREMONT PROF [KJL]
fakes a "hate crime."
Posted at 08:16 AM
VIETNAM BOOK [Andrew Stuttaford]
Peter, it doesn't have the wider perspective your correspondent might want, but 'A Bright Shining Lie' by Neil Sheehan is an informative and tremendous read.
Posted at 08:10 AM
THE YEAR THAT WASN’T [Michael Graham ]
One year ago today, a number of things did not happen that are worth noting.
No Islamic terrorist--not Osama bin Laden, Ayman Zawahiri or Mullah Omar--was able to flee to Iraq and escape the reach of international justice.
One year ago today, Libya did not get a signal that it could continue its illegal weapons program without consequence.
One year ago today, terrorists in the West Bank were not mailed a $50,000 check after blowing up a pizza parlor filled with families.
One year ago today, an Iraqi scientist did not get an additional million-dollar payment from Saddam’s oil money to continue working on plans for a medium-range missile.
One year ago today, no boats filled with parts for those missiles set sail from North Korea. No weapons, chemicals, or night-vision goggles from France or Russia arrived that day, either.
One year ago today, the Dom Perignon did not flow in Paris celebrating the likely success of the $100 billion oil deal France had with Saddam Hussein.
One year ago today, no left-leaning British politicians picked up a check from Baghdad.
And no 16-year-old girls were picked up by Uday Hussein’s henchmen one year ago today. Soldiers were too busy stockpiling weapons to re-stock Uday’s rape rooms.
One year ago today--and for the first time in more than a decade--American troops stationed in Saudi Arabia didn’t have to worry about the designs of the Iraqi Army. For the first time in 30 years, the world’s oil supply was no longer threatened by Saddam Hussein.
One year ago today, there were no successful terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. Or on an American embassy, ship or military barracks. That was 365 days ago…and counting.
One year ago today, there was still a brutal dictator governing Iraq, one who had spent his life sponsoring terror, training and harboring terrorists, and using terror against neighbors, his citizens and his enemies abroad.
But on this day, one year ago, did he have any hope of continuing his war of terror?
He did not.
Posted at 08:05 AM
RE: RHEA COUNTY [KJL]
The nuts have dropped their plan.
Posted at 08:03 AM
ANDREW DODGES, I CLARIFY [Jonah Goldberg ]
I was wrong about something big in my post yesterday about Andrew Sullivan and Federalism. I wrote about the Rhea County anti-gay initiatives: "If you read Andrew Sullivan today, he makes it sounds as if he thinks this measure is completely illegitimate even though it seems its actual intent is to ban gay marriages in their county."
This is entirely my fault and I was wrong. Andrew is right to think that the Rhea County measure is totally illegitimate. Okay maybe not illegitimate in the strict meaning of the word in that illegitimate basically means illegal and it has always been my position that sodomy laws and the like may be wrong but that doesn't mean they're unconstitutional. Regardless, Rhea County's "crime against nature" law is wrong and stupid. My mistake was in conflating two different efforts while reading too quickly and while trying to do too many things at once. In my defense I did post an email very shortly afterwards which corrected me on this point, which Andrew probably missed.
That said, despite Andrew's comment that I'm being gob-smackingly obtuse, he's being sand-poundingly obstreperous. My main criticism stands. Not just on Rhea County but on all measures he considers to be "anti-gay" Andrew invokes the rhetoric of anti-Federalism and moral absolutism. Andrew ignores my point about his use of the word "pogrom" to describe what Virginia is doing. He didn't use that word about Rhea County. He used it about the legislature of Virginia. As readers know I'm a fan of Sullivan's but it seems impossible to ignore the fact that on matters gay, he's grown less tolerant of those who disagree with him and more willing to use Manichean rhetoric in which all of those who disagree with him to his right are purely dark and evil forces: "right wing fanatics," "theocons" "religious zealots," and, of course, "bigots." Having been in the middle of the road on this stuff for a while now -- with the the tire marks on my back from some social conservatives to prove it -- I find this truly dismaying. Merits aside, Andrew increasingly tends to argue his worldview with the same totalitarianism of the very people he so clearly despises. He may not be all the way there yet, but no one can doubt which way the trend lines point.
Posted at 07:36 AM
PENNSYLVANIA "YOU'RE FIRED" OPPORTUNITY [KJL]
From a Keystone State e-mailer last night:
I'm pretty sure this isn't what the Senator had in mind, but I'm a Pennsylvania Democrat who he's convinced to switch parties. For years I've remained a registered Democrat because I hoped that I could help pull the party back toward rationality by supporting moderate candidates. My fellow Democrats generally disappoint me by nominating a leftist, so I invariably end up voting Republican in the general election. I nearly re-registered as a Republican in '00, but by the time the Pennsylvania primary was held the presidential nomination was already decided, so I didn't bother.
Posted at 07:06 AM
POWELL IN IRAQ [KJL]
Colin Powell is in Baghdad, now at a press conference with Paul Bremer. A group of journalists just staged a walkout in the name of two journalists killed in Iraq. As Powell pointed out, that's nothing they could have done a year ago. (Think CNN kissing the feet of Baghdad Bob, for one.)
Posted at 06:51 AM
DINNER WITH JONAH [Tim Graham]
Mrs. Graham found Jonah to be her favorite MRC "award" presenter last night. Alas, she isn't much of a Web surfer (it's usually contained to finding links of Tahitian travel sites and sending e-mails titled "HINT HINT"), so she hadn't been exposed to the G-File sense of humor. There were many funny lines most of you missed. I laughed hardest after one CBS commentary compared Limbaugh to Hitler. Jonah deadpanned: "Yeah, she's qualified to be spell-checker at an M&M factory."
Posted at 06:43 AM
MARCH 18, 2004 [KJL]
From a regular reader/emailer serviceman in Baghdad:
Things have been getting a bit interesting over here for the last few days. I had dinner with a few members of the Spanish contingent here in Baghdad and they were not at all pleased with their new Prime Minister's directive to pull out. They realized that the only way to fight terrorism is to find the terrorists where they live and kill them, but they were also concerned that their government had already alienated the French and the Germans by joining the coalition and now the government was going to alienate the U.S. It was a very interesting discussion. None of the ones at the table wanted to leave and realized that what we're doing here is important for not only the future of this country, but also could demonstrate that democracy can succeed in this region.
Posted at 05:08 AM
THE MOST MISPRONOUNCED WORDS [KJL]
Posted at 05:02 AM
TAIWAN'S PRES & VP SHOT [KJL]
on eve of election. neither wound is life threatening.
Posted at 04:23 AM
Thursday, March 18, 2004
RE: SULLIVAN [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm not even going to read it until morning because I just got back from the MRC dinner and I still have to finish my London Times column. That goes for any of the hate-mail -- I haven't already opened -- which has come in response to Andrew's remarks.
Posted at 11:35 PM
MR. SULLIVAN [KJL]
Has some words for Mr. Goldberg and KJL, and blogger Justin Katz has a good response.
Posted at 11:05 PM
LOOKING FOR A GOOD BOOK ON A BAD WAR [Peter Robinson ]
From a reader:
“I have caused my somewhat liberal (but turning conservative) wife to now have some doubts about the “conventional” wisdom of Vietnam – “unjust war”, blah blah…I’m stumped. The Best and the Brightest is probably still the finest portrait of the main figures in the war—LBJ, McNamara, Taylor, Westmoreland, and all the rest—but it assumes the war was a fiasco. A balanced treatment? A book that shows the fundamentally good American intentions? That demonstrates the way in which the war achieved a kind of holding action, creating the opportunity for Thailand, Taiwan, and other Asian nations to develop their economies and attain political stability? I’m unable to name nary a one.
Derb? Jonah? Anyone?
Posted at 10:56 PM
ABSOLUTE BALLS [Peter Robinson]
Just received an email from Thomas Madden, the historian of the Crusades at St. Louis University, who brings to my attention a new movie about the Crusades that has created a brouhaha in Britain. To be released next year, the movie is being directed by Ridley Scott and will include Orlando Bloom, Jeremy Irons, and Liam Neeson. And—the important bit—it will portray the Crusaders as crude, ignorant, and bloodthirsty, while making Saladin, the Muslim leader, into a hero.
From the London Telegraph:
Jonathan Riley-Smith, who is Dixie Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Cambridge University, said the plot was "complete and utter nonsense". He said that it relied on the romanticised view of the Crusades propagated by Sir Walter Scott in his book The Talisman, published in 1825 and now discredited by academics.(Read the complete article here.) Mel Gibson, call your lawyer. You need to buy up the rights to Louis IX and Richard the Lionheart—fast.
Posted at 10:34 PM
SUPREME CONDESCENSION [Peter Robinson]
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has denied the Sierra Club's ridiculous motion that he recuse himself in the Club's case against Vice President Cheney. To wit:
"The question, simply put, is whether someone who thought I could decide this case impartially despite my friendship with the Vice President would reasonably believe that I cannot decide it impartially because I went hunting with that friend and accepted an invitation to fly there with him on a Government plane. If it is reasonable to think that a Supreme Court Justice can be bought so cheap, the Nation is in deeper trouble than I had imagined."
If you'd like to treat yourself to an extended piece of writing that's in composed of equal parts of wit, erudition, and entirely justified condescension, read Scalia's whole decision here.
Posted at 10:22 PM
WEDGE ISSUES [KJL]
I know the Dems always call gay marriage a "wedge issue," as Tim Graham has well noted here. But the chairman of the DNC tonight went in front of a sold-out crowd at Catholic University tonight--which every Catholic parish in America collects money for annually--and voluntarily called partial-birth abortion a "wedge issue," along with gay marriage. That helps make things black and white for Catholic voters and politicians--good bishops--leaders--should help make such things clear.
Posted at 08:55 PM
MCAULIFFE AT CUA [KJL]
Almost one year to the day after the start of the war on Iraq (now liberated): “I don’t think we are safer off today.”
Posted at 08:18 PM
TOO KERRY [KJL]
Trying to stop more of the thugs and anti-Semites of the world from revealing their love for John Kerry, the Kerry campaign has now said: "It is simply not appropriate for any foreign leader to endorse a candidate in America's presidential election."
Posted at 08:04 PM
VAN HOLLEN'S OPUS [Michael Graham]
One of the topics on my radio show today was the decision of 90 Democrats (OK, 89 and one Socialist)to vote "no" on the resolution praising our troops and declaring the world is safer thanks to the removal of Saddam. I casually mentioned that, if the GOP wanted the Democrats to cross over, they just needed to add the phrase "PS--Bush Sucks."
I meant it as a joke. Then I read the website of Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen explaining his "no" vote and offering a resolution he could have supported. It can best be summed up as "Bush Sucks, and So Did His Dad. Oh, and Reagan Sucked, Too." Instead of praising anyone, the Van Hollen amendment is an openly-partisan attack, listing the same old liberal complaints re: American foreign policy.
What makes Van Hollen's amendment so hilarious is that the Democrats' complain about the original resolution is that it's too political, so they respond with a tract straight out of Kerry campaign HQ.
Upon re-reading, make that DEAN campaign HQ...
Posted at 07:45 PM
THE ANTIWAR MIND [Rick Brookhiser]
Overheard in a store in New Paltz, New York (yes, that New Paltz). A man with a chin beard, purple sweater and an Australian or lower-class English accent, ordering shellfish: "Spain is taking its troops home. We're serving paella." Two hundred Crusaders died--is he serving lamb couscous?
NB: He was driving an old Volvo station wagon, one of the ugliest vehicles on the road. Matched his chin beard.
Posted at 07:41 PM
AND WHAT ABOUT RUTH BADER GINSBERG? [KJL]
People who think Antonin Scalia shouldn't duck hunt in the presence of the vice president ought to consider Ruth Bader Ginsberg's actual ideological ties to the National Organization for Women. How about the National Right to Life Committee or someone calling for her to recuse herself from all abortion or gender or "reproductive-rights" cases?
Posted at 06:41 PM
“RAID” ON BREMER FRENCH HOME [KJL]
Around 15 members of the left-wing Basque nationalist movement Abertzaleen Batasuna (AB) clambered over the gates and let off fireworks and firecrackers during a 20-minute raid on [Paul Bremer’s summer home].Jim Geraghty e-mails: I kept waiting for the last line to be "Bremer promptly ordered a response in the style of the Iraqi "resistance" the protestors support, and detonated a car bomb outside the Basque group's headquarters, killing 12."
Posted at 06:35 PM
J.J. JACKSON DIES [KJL]
If you were a charter MTV watcher, you know who he was.
Posted at 06:30 PM
AMTRAK'S SCHEDULE [KJL]
My new official "train guy" explains the no 11-pm train out of Union Station: (Sorry if I'm the only one vaguely interested in this thread):
There's no 11:00 for several reasons. One is there isn't enough equipment because our rail system has been undercapitalized for decades. Amtrak has position its equipment for the morning rush, where the greatest demand is northward in the morning, so sending an extra train out of Washington late at night cuts into that capacity.
Posted at 06:06 PM
RE: THE CHIEF DEFECT OF PETER KING [John Derbyshire]
While agreeing with my remarks about Rep. Peter King, a reader is puzzled by the subject line. It's an allusion to the magnificent Hilaire Belloc.
Posted at 05:08 PM
TRUMPED--THE RACE CARD [KJL]
Omarosa, fired from the Apprentice, may get more buzz off the show than the Donald. Among the clearest non-team-players on the show, she's claiming racism (as she did on the show). And, according to the previous link, the ex-Clinton admin official will be seen on Hardball or some other talking-head show doing political commentary soon.
Posted at 05:05 PM
THIS IS FOR DERB [KJL]
Australia is outlawing swords.
Posted at 04:55 PM
BARN BURNERS [John Derbyshire]
A reader advises me of a short story titled "The Barn Burner" by Wm. Faulkner, and recommends it: "Like all great literature, it touches on something universal. I have seen many 'barn burners' in my life, and am ashamed to admit that at times I have found a bit of him in myself as well."
I have made a couple of attempts to read Faulkner, but didn't get very far on either. Time for another try, perhaps.
Posted at 04:44 PM
IS POLAND NEXT? [John Derbyshire]
From reader Dave Skorka (who gave permission to use his name): "Mr. Derbyshire---I admit I'm also a little concerned about Poland possibly leaving the coalition. I'm a member of a Polish reenacting group, and we have some folks from Poland participate in our Yahoo chatroom. My understanding from them (admittedly anecdotal, but I never see anything about Poland on the news) is that the Polish government joined the war effort over the objections of most of the people, much like the British and Spanish governments.
"So I think the Polish President is probably doing a little public relations damage control with this announcement. They were scheduled to come out mid-2005, and he's just telling his people 'No, it's not a quagmire, in fact we might be ahead of schedule and come home early.'
"The earlier Bush-lied comment, though, I find a little harder to explain. Perhaps it is just meat for the public, empty words, something to calm and reassure the electorate ('I feel your betrayal') while Polish forces remain on the job in Iraq. Maybe the Kwasniewski saw Aznar's government fall and is buying the media line that it was because of Iraq, not 11-3, and is making noises to head-off that kind of opposition. I hope so, anyway. I am fiercely proud of my Polish heritage, and would feel a bit stung if Poland pulled out."
So would I. Other issues apart, it would put the kibosh on Rummy's "Old Europe, New Europe" argument, which I rather like.
Posted at 04:39 PM
SAY GOODBYE TO THURSDAY [Jonah Goldberg ]
Check out who your neighbors donated to.
Posted at 04:18 PM
INFIELD FLY RULE [John Derbyshire]
I have got it. Thanks to all. I HAVE GOT
Posted at 04:10 PM
RE: FIRED [John Derbyshire]
....Or did you mean that I am, actually, fired? Pls clarify.
Posted at 04:05 PM
SEUSS & TRUMP [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
On Seuss and appeasement: He may have some guts himself in the '40s, but read "The Butter Battle Book" from his twilight years where he presents the struggle between American freedom and Communist tyranny as really no different than what side of bread one chooses to butter.
Posted at 04:01 PM
RE: FIRED [John Derbyshire]
Sounds like a bit of lefty oh-the-poor-suffering-masses historical revisionism to me, Jonah.
In my home county (Northamptonshire) there was a much better-established tradition of farm laborers who got dismissed from their jobs, usually for drunkenness, setting fire to the offending farmer's barn by way of revenge.
A large wooden barn full of hay was a much more tempting target for a disgruntled employee than a brick-built laborer's hovel was for a disgruntled employer. And where would the farmer put the replacement employee, anyway? The work had to be done by someone.
Posted at 04:00 PM
OFFSIDE [Andrew Stuttaford]
I don't think that I'm going to take seriously any criticism of the way that the offside rule interferes with the flow of play from devotees of American 'football', a game that stops as soon as it starts.
Posted at 03:50 PM
WHAT? IS IT A SLOW NEWS DAY? [Michael Graham]
Here's an actual headline up at Foxnews.com right now:
CLOSE, BUT NOT CLOSE ENOUGH 100-foot-wide asteroid to have near-miss with Earth todayOK, so when it comes to massive asteroids approaching the Earth, how close would be "close enough" for Fox News?
Posted at 03:43 PM
TRADEMARKS [Jonah Goldberg]
I call dibs on "Are you going to eat the rest of that?"
Posted at 03:40 PM
"YOU'RE FIRED" -- DERB? [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 03:38 PM
POLAND NEXT? [John Derbyshire]
Here's more from the Polish president.
Posted at 03:38 PM
RE DOC SEUSS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 03:37 PM
ONE OF KERRY'S FOREIGN LEADERS [KJL]
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has endorsed John Kerry. Remember him? "The Jews rule this world by proxy . . . They survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back, but by thinking. They invented and successfully promoted socialism, communism, human rights, and democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so they may enjoy equal rights with others. With these they have now gained control of the most powerful countries, and they, this tiny community, have become a world power."
The Bush campaign "Bring Em On" strategy re: foreign-leader endorsements seems just right.
Posted at 03:31 PM
RE: YOU'RE FIRED [KJL]
He does say it well. Maybe I could trademark "You're banned!" As in Stuttaford, was that another post in Klingon? "You're banned!"
Posted at 03:26 PM
THE OFFSIDE RULE -- A COMMIE PLOT [John Derbyshire]
"Mr. Derbyshire---I know you have indicated that you did not wish to hear an explanation of the off-sides rule in soccer. But I must share this as the off-sides call completely flummoxed me when I attended my sons' soccer games (excuse me) matches. But after much discussion with referees (after the matches) and coaches, I now understand.
"Off-sides is called whenever the offense (the team in control of the ball) uses its speed, dexterity, or cunning to gain advantage over the defense. As soon as this occurs, the whistle blows, off-sides is gravely intoned, the ball is taken away (from the team that has just accomplished what you try to do in all other sports), and given to the other side.
"My oldest son, who still enjoys playing soccer, still gets mad at me when I call soccer a communist game but it is. First, you have off-sides, which is simply wealth redistribution: you take from the successful and give to the less able. Next, if the referees are successful and the game ends in a tie because no one could gain enough advantage to score, you end the game with a shoot-out. Remaining ancestors of the kulaks would understand this only too well."
I am not the least bit surprised, Sir. My own theory, aired in the pages of National Review a few years ago, is that "the game [i.e. soccer] was brought into the world by Satan to drive the human race mad."
Posted at 03:21 PM
NAFTA -- A READER DISSENTS [John Derbyshire]
"Mr. Derbyshire---I love your columns, and pretty much agree with most of your latest one. However, I can point out something good to come from NAFTA. It may not have done much for Mexico, or the U.S. at large, but it has been a Godsend for Texas. When I was a child in the 1970's the Texas economy was entirely dependent on oil. Our fortunes rose and fell with OPEC. You would not believe the change in Texas in just the last decade. My sister owns a ranch and meat company. Half of her live cattle sales go to Mexico. My father works in a plant that packages wheat flour for export. Their biggest customers are in Mexico. Even my job relies on trade. Texas is booming for a lot of reasons including business friendly policies and low taxes. But NAFTA is very important to us as well."
Posted at 03:17 PM
DR. SEUSS ON APPEASEMENT [Jonah Goldberg ]
Who woulda thunk it was possible to like him more? Check these out.
Posted at 03:10 PM
TRUMP CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
If the producers had been really smart, they would have told Trump to use something a bit more distinctive than "you're fired." Like "hit the pavement" or "don't let the door hit you." That would have been much better for marketing and the like.
Posted at 02:53 PM
UGH [Jonah Goldberg ]
I haven't watched "The Apprentice" pretty much entirely because I can't stand Donald Trump. I know, I know, it's supposed to be good. But I can't get past my antipathy. This story doesn't help. Trump wants to trademark "You're fired."
Posted at 02:51 PM
THE CHIEF DEFECT OF PETER KING [John Derbyshire]
From Kathryn's Q&A with Rep. Peter King on today's NRO:
"Rep. King: I have known Gerry Adams for more than 20 years. I became convinced during the 1980s that he was committed to a peaceful settlement in Northern Ireland and that he could deliver his community. I think events have proven me right. Certainly the American government and the British government believe he has kept his word. As Vale of Tears makes clear, however, once the political process was put in place in 1994, there was no rationale for any further IRA violence."
So, then there WAS a rationale for IRA violence prior to 1994? That certainly seems to have been Rep. King's point of view at the time. When the IRA, of which Gerry Adams was a senior executive, was murdering policemen (both Northern Protestant ones and also Southern Catholic ones ), and setting off bombs in public places to kill civilians, Rep. King was their leading shill in the U.S. I recall seeing him on TV comparing Gerry Adams to George Washington.
But... If it is OK to blow the arms and legs off old ladies at bus-stops in order to bring the British government round to your way of thinking, why is it wrong to fly planes into office towers to bring America round to your way of thinking?
And if "the American government and the British government believe [Adams] has kept his word," they are bigger fools than I take them for. Everybody in Northern Ireland, and in London and Washington too, believed at the time of the Good Friday Agreement in 1998 that the IRA had forsworn violence and would decommission its arsenals of guns and explosives. They have not done so. Why not, Rep. King?
Terrorism is one thing, indivisible; a gross violation of the most basic morality, a war on all civilized values. That was just as true in London or Belfast twenty years ago as it is in America today. I was saying so at the time -- so were many others (NR's John O'Sullivan, for instance). What was Peter King saying back then?
Posted at 02:42 PM
AL ZAWAHIRI [KJL]
AP is reporting it might be him, and Rita Cosby just got a Pakistani official to make the same suggestion.
Posted at 02:26 PM
MORE FEDERALISM [KJL]
Jonah: I think you may be conceding too much to Andrew. He thinks laws against sodomy are noxious. Many social conservatives think the same thing about same-sex marriage laws. His answer to the former is that they cannot be tolerated anywhere in the nation. His answer to the latter is that they have to be tolerated until such time as the Supreme Court mandates their approval everywhere. That's not federalism. It's a preference for judicial rule when it accords with his policy views.
Posted at 02:14 PM
MEL'S NEXT [Dave Kopel]
Folks who would like to preview the general plot background for Mel Gibson's forthcoming (I hope) movie on the Jewish war of independence against Syria might want to check out my 2002 column on the military history of the war, and my 2000 column providing a broader historical perspective.
Posted at 02:09 PM
RE: BRIT RAIL [KJL]
Another reader on trains: "Re: your recovering Amtrak fan. Actually the British railroads are carrying a lot more passengers with a lot fewer employees than they did under post-WWII government ownership. And they were built and run in their glory days for more than a century by the private sector. "
Posted at 01:48 PM
"ONE DOWN, THREE TO GO?" [KJL]
The Economist's cover this week: playing cards, with Aznar crossed out. You can guess the others.
Posted at 01:47 PM
ON THE ONE HAND … [Cliff May]
The fact is, as scholar Robert Kagan recently wrote, that “separation from the United States is one effective, nonviolent defense against future terrorist attacks.” The fact also is, as Winston Churchill wrote, that “an appeaser is one who feeds the crocodile hoping it will eat him last.”
Posted at 01:42 PM
RE: "HIGH VALUE" [KJL]
CNN has seemed to chill on the story a bit, while Fox tries to keep it alive. But even FNC has someone on saying Pakistan officials are saying it is not OBL or Zawahiri (Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir). Mir says he's being told they're Chechen fighters surrounded.
Posted at 01:37 PM
BUSTED FLUSH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Khatami throws in his hand, well, more or less. So what do the opposition do now?
Posted at 01:31 PM
POLYGAMY WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Well, this is a touch ironic.
Posted at 01:25 PM
"TAKEN FOR A RIDE" [KJL]
Poland's way of making sure al Qaeda doesn't stop by for a visit?
Posted at 01:23 PM
US V THEM [Jonah Goldberg]
Drudge links to a story about how the EU wants to appoint a "Mr. Terrorism." I think it's a fine idea. I just think it's funny that we in America appoint "Czars" on education, terrorism, drugs whatever while they appoint "Misters."
Posted at 01:21 PM
OUR ALLIES [Jonah Goldberg]
I can't tell you how many emails I get like this one (which frames the issue nicely):
Notice how the Dowdy leftists now call Spain "our ally" and treat the country as if it is the epitome of civilization since it tucked its tail between its legs and slipped over to the dark side. Wasn't it just last week they were scoffing at the idea that the US could call any of those 'also-ran' countries who sided with us an 'ally'? Aren't we lucky that they don't politicize the war on terror?
Posted at 01:18 PM
"HIGH VALUE" TARGET IN PAKISTAN [KJL]
Pakistan's Musharaf just told Aaron Brown that they have surrounded a "high-value target." He said, "I can't say who." That sounds like that's because they really don't know if they do or not.
Posted at 01:16 PM
RE: WHAT'S WRONG WITH (THE NORTHEAST CORRIDOR) WORLD? [KJL]
A lot of informed Amtrak email; here's one:
As a FORMER employee of Amtrak, and knowing something about train operations, your comment about privatizing Amtrak is well heard. But, if Amtrak were to privatize, you wouldn't get an 11 PM train or even a 10 PM train leaving DC or NYC, because the ridership numbers are not there on a consistent basis to make any money (or break even). Trust me, Amtrak could do better operationally (they do have the right man in there now, David Gunn), but when your are forced to work with a track system infrastructure (rail beds, tunnels in Baltimore, which by the way are about 100 years old, and have leaks from the Baltimore City storm sewers, which the city has refused to pay to fix) originally built over 100 years ago, and a catenary system over 70 years old (on the south end DC-New Haven, CT), many funds are needed to just band-aid the infrastructure. Just be happy that Amtrak is subsidized in part, because if it wasn't you would have probably left at 8 PM to get back home (1.3 or 1.8 billion ain't much out of a 2 Trillion Dollar budget). Just some food for thought, not defending Amtrak, just giving a little lesson in transportation economics. I know your arguments are for privatizing, but please name one privatized passenger railroad in the world that is successfully making money owning there own infrastucture? It may work here, but not really to sure it would (some of the privatization proposals are comical), based on the British Rail fiasco.
Posted at 01:06 PM
ME V. FRANKEN [Rich Lowry]
As Mark alluded to: It is more Franken back-and-forth than will interest most folks, but here is my response to Franken's critique of Legacy.
Posted at 12:36 PM
RE: MY DAY [KJL]
Since you mention the topic, apologies to everyone to whom I said, "Ok, will see you there" to concerning tonight's big debate at my alma mater Catholic U in DC--RNC vs. DNC chairs, both alums--too much going on on your favorite website. The CUA debate, though, will be on CSPAN at 8.
Posted at 12:32 PM
LOWRY AND FRANKEN [Mark R. Levin]
Rich, good response to Franken - or whomever is writing under Franken's name these days. However, I understand he now goes by O'Franken, although I refer to him on my radio show as Frankenstein. You might want to correct that in the future
Posted at 12:22 PM
RE: AMERICANA [John Derbyshire]
An exchange with a reader:
Reader: "Derb---I know you are a bona fide American citizen now, and glad to be out of England, but are you really so Americanized that you have surrendered the British insistence on snippily calling soccer 'football' even when speaking to people who think footballs are oblong? I guess once you took up an interest in baseball, it was only a matter of time. Pretty soon you'll think of 'cricket' first and foremost as a bug, just like the rest of us Yanks."
Me: "No, Sir. A cricket is a member of Buddy Holly's backing group ." (I have always wondered if Joe B. Maudlin is related to Johnnie B. Goode....)
Posted at 12:21 PM
RE: SULLIVAN V. FEDERALISM [Jonah Goldberg]
Fair objection from a reader, but my larger point stands:
Posted at 11:42 AM
MY DAY [Jonah Goldberg ]
I've got to write my syndicated column and finish my Times of London column today and I have to do it early because I am a "celebrity" presenter at tonights famous (notorious) Dishonor Awards given out by the Media Research Center. So I've got homework for that too (Damn you Bozell!). So my posting might be a bit sparse for a chunk of the day.
Posted at 11:40 AM
DERBLE GARBLED [John Derbyshire]
In re the initial garbling of my column by web gremlins, I am disturbed to find I have two e-mails from readers who PREFERRED the garbled version. Says one: "Your madness was fun while it lasted. Now I'm worried about me, because, well, I was digging it."
This postmodernism business has gone too far...
Posted at 11:36 AM
SULLIVAN V. FEDERALISM [Jonah Goldberg]
Michael - It sounds to me that the Tennessee folks are getting a bit carried away with some of this. But I think you hit on the right point. If you read Andrew Sullivan today, he makes it sounds as if he thinks this measure is completely illegitimate even though it seems its actual intent is to ban gay marriages in their county. Andrew has been saying time and again that he favors federalism. But you wouldn't know that from the way he's talking about the various anti-gay marriage movements in the states. He calls efforts in Virginia along these lines a "full-scale anti-gay legislative pogrom." Now, I haven't followed what Virginia is doing exactly and I am opposed to sodomy laws generally speaking. But the use of the word "pogrom" speaks volumes, I think, about Andrew's analysis these days. What is a legislative pogrom anyway? Presumably it's not very similar to an actual pogrom since those are usually defined as the organized, state sanctioned massacre of a whole community. Last I checked, nobody was riding around on horseback burning gay homes and killing homosexual men, women and children.
If there were actual pogroms against gays in this country, obviously I would be against them. Moreover, I wouldn't argue that federalism protects the "right" of local communities to commit violence against homosexuals. This is an important point, because when Sullivan and other gay activists use language like "pogroms" and invoke a direct analogy to Jim Crow and the 1960s Civil Rights movement they are using the rhetoric of anti-Federalism. Obviously, it's fine to criticize what Tennessee or San Francisco or any other community does. But there's criticism and then there's argumentation whose logic demands federal action. Lynchings and the like are examples of activities where the national government has the right and obligation to intervene in states and local communities. If Andrew really believes there's no moral difference between denying gay marriage rights and Jim Crow, he should stop saying he's a federalist because clearly he's -- at least not morally. If I say I'm in favor of federalism for X but then in the same breath say it's akin to murder if a state does not-X, I'm not really making a federalist argument.
Similarly, I think Sullivan all too often sounds like what he's really saying is federalism for thee, but not for me.
In short: federalism demands that you accept the legitimacy of local policies you disagree with, otherwise you're not a federalist, you're an opportunist.
Posted at 11:27 AM
IT'S THE MARKETPLACE OF IDEAS [Rod Dreher]
Catholic uberblogger Amy Welborn raises the question of how come left-wing Catholics gather in church basements to caucus, while right-wing Catholics gather on the blogosphere. It's pretty obvious to me: generally speaking (and despite what the secular media think), the Catholic Left holds most of the institutional power within the American church, and that includes the Catholic media. Until the advent of blogdom, there were very, very few media forums for conservative Catholics to discuss the issues that matter most to us. Even the established conservative Catholic press suffers, in most cases, from a sort of political correctness that inhibits free discussion. As Amy points out, the conservative Catholic blog explosion came directly as the result of the advent of scandal in 2002, when many conservative Catholics were desperate to learn what was going on in Boston and beyond, and comment on it. We didn't trust either the diocesan press or the secular media. Bloggers like Amy, Mark Shea and others became reliable conduits of information, and provided a place for us to talk (and argue -- Lord how we argue) about what was really happening in the Church, as distinct from what the secular media and the official Catholic media said was happening. There was a demand for conservative Catholic blogs, and folks like Welborn and Shea rushed to fill it. In a way, though, the lack of power re: the institutional church frees them up to hold a more freewheeling critical discussion. And that's a good thing.
Posted at 11:24 AM
AMERICANA [John Derbyshire]
From a reader: "Mr. Derbyshire---While it's great that you understand what a ground-rule double is, that is, as such things go, child's play. If you can say that you've got a handle on the infield-fly rule.... well, then you're really on to something. (Ask Lowry; I'm guessing he knows.)"
I strike out (Ha!) on that one, Sir. I have a sort of general mental block in regard to minor sporting rules, which is why I am so pleased with myself when I get one. I grew up in soccer-mad England, and actually played soccer through primary school (i.e. to age 11 -- after which I moved to a rugby school). Yet I still don't understand the offside rule. Please DO NOT try to explain it to me, readers -- it's much too late now, and I don't care anyway. I shall go happily to my grave not understanding the offside rule. I am open to explanation of the infield-fly rule, though, if it can be done without complicated diagrams.
Posted at 11:14 AM
MCCAIN, SO VAIN [Tim Graham]
If you've given up cursing for Lent, do not read any further, as the last man who should ever be called "Mr. Republican" stuck up for the hawkishness of Kerry on "Today" this morning:
Matt Lauer: "The President is hammering away at Senator John Kerry about his record of voting on military issues. Do you think Senator Kerry is weak on defense and should it be a concern for American voters?"
Posted at 11:12 AM
MAYBE NOT SO USELESS [John Derbyshire]
An encouraging -- though probably doomed -- development: "Mr. Derbyshire---In your latest article, you mention that Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution gives the Congress power to make Regulations and Exceptions with respect to the Supreme Court's appellate jurisdiction, and ask, 'Why don't they act on it?' Well, they are. There's a bill before the House that would allow the Congress to reverse a Supreme Court decision on 'the constitutionality of an Act of Congress.' It will be interesting to see what happens to this bill. I suspect it won't make it out of committee."
Posted at 11:11 AM
RE: IT'S NOT SELMA [John Derbyshire]
Jonah: Wait a minute -- you mean gay is the new black?
I thought gay was the new Jewish....
Posted at 10:57 AM
FLIMSY FMLN STORY [Tim Graham]
The WashPost today has a big picture on the front of the Metro section of women lovingly raising funds for the FMLN, the Soviet-backed communist guerrilla insurgency that terrorized El Salvador in the 1980s. Schafik Handal, the same communist revolutionary that founded the FMLN, is still running for president. But Mary Beth Sheridan, the Post reporter on this story doesn't get to the proper ideological label -- "Marxist" -- until paragraph 16.
Posted at 10:54 AM
DOWD [Jonah Goldberg ]
From a reader:
Posted at 10:52 AM
IT'S NOT SELMA [Jonah Goldberg ]
Shelby Steele has a very interesting piece on gay marriage and how the fight for gay equality is not directly analogous to the fight for black equality. Obviously, I agree with him. But I find Steele's owenrship of an argument largely owned by the far gay left to be a very interesting new development in the Right's opposition to gay marriage. In the past -- and still -- most conservatives have decried homosexual relationships because they were temporary or polyamorous or simply alien to the traditional norm. Here Steele is essentially arguing these alien or unconventional relationships deserve social approval, acceptance or even celebration. I think it's an interesting perspective, with considerable merit, even if I'm not ready to buy it entirely. Here's the relevant part:
The true problem with gay marriage is that it consigns gays to a life of mimicry and pathos. It shoehorns them into an institution that does not reflect the best possibilities of their own sexual orientation. Gay love is freed from the procreative burden. It has no natural function beyond adult fulfillment in love. If this is a disadvantage when children are desired, it is likely an advantage when they are not -- which is more often the case. In any case, gays can never be more than pretenders to an institution so utterly grounded in procreation. And dressing gay marriage in a suit of civil rights only consigns gays to yet another kind of mimicry. Stigma, not segregation, is the problem gays face. But insisting on a civil rights framework only leads gays into protest. But will protest affect stigma? Is "gay lovers as niggers" convincing? Protest is trying to hit the baseball with the glove.
Posted at 10:49 AM
RE: TO INFINITY AND BEYOND [John Derbyshire]
If you would like to HEAR that poem (i.e. Zhang Ji's "Night Mooring at Maple Bridge") read in Chinese, by the way, you can go to this web page, scroll down to "Zhang Ji," then click on the poem above his name.
It's not a good reading, though, in my opinion -- doesn't have the half awake, half dreaming quality the written poem has. The reader sounds like a gym instructor conducting a calisthenics session right after learning that she's inherited a modest sum of money.
I have a number of CDs of Chinese poetry being read, and most of them sound like that. I blame Communism.
Posted at 10:48 AM
THE WAY WE WERE [John Derbyshire]
From a friend: "John---I watched 'Dial M for Murder' last night, and was struck by one scene in particular. It's near the end, as the Scotland Yard inspector, played by the terrific character actor John Williams, is about to spring a trap on Ray Milland. It involves the switching of keys to the house owned by Milland and Grace Kelly. He takes one key from Kelly's purse, replaces it with another (useless) key, and hands the purse to one of his junior detectives, telling him to take it to the nearby police station (where Milland will call for it). The junior detective takes the purse, puts it on his arm, and turns to leave the room.
"The inspector barks at him:
"'Wait a minute, you clot! You can't walk down the street like that. You'll be arrested.'
"I'm sure that got a big laugh in theaters in 1954. We've come a long way since then, eh?"
Oh yeah. Too darn far.
Posted at 10:46 AM
SEAN DELONAS CARTOON [John Derbyshire]
I squirted coffee out through my nostrils in a most undignified way when I got to the Sean Delonas cartoon on page 10 of this morning's New York Post On Dead Tree. The cartoon -- it's not online yet -- shows a bullfight arena. A fierce snorting bull labeled TERRORISM is pawing angrily at the ground while a matador labeled SPAIN cowered trembling out of sight behind wone of the wooden wall thingies (sorry, been a while since I read my Hemingway).
Delonas is a national treasure. Probably an endangered species, too, though. He doesn't give a toss for Political Correctness -- see his Feb. 15 cartoon, for instance. This, of course, will get you dead -- professionally, at least -- in the U.S. today. Enjoy him while he lasts.
Posted at 10:45 AM
BARNEY FRANK'S NEW HEROES [Michael Graham]
Newly-minted state's righter Barney Frank, who sings the praises of local political activists like the Mayors of San Francisco and New Paltz, NY is no doubt just as supportive of the local government in Rhea County, TN.
Taking Congressman Frank at his word that issues like the legal standing of homosexual relationships should be left to the local community, they've just asked the legislature to amend state law so the county can charge local homosexuals with crimes against nature. They have also asked the county attorney to find ways to ban homosexual couples from living in Rhea County.
Now, I happen to disagree with Congressman Frank on this. I think President Bush is right, that a marriage in California should be a marriage in Tennessee. President Bush and I think the American people should determine as a whole what constitutes a marriage, that a minority of knuckleheads in one community should be able to determine a national social issue.
But Barney Frank is on the side of Rhea County. I anxiously await his first public statement on their behalf.
Posted at 10:43 AM
CHOOSING SIDES [Michael Graham]
Much has been made of the poll released yesterday showing that President Bush and the US are losing popularity around the world. But it's not until you get to the last paragraphs in the WaPo story that you find out who's against us:
"The poll showed some increased support in Muslim countries for suicide bombings and other forms of violence; 82 percent of Jordanians, 40 percent of Moroccans, 41 percent of Pakistanis and 15 percent of Turks said such violence could be justified. Majorities in Pakistan and Jordan had favorable views of Osama bin Laden, while majorities in Jordan and Morocco said attacks against Americans and Westerners in Iraq are justified."
No doubt John Kerry considers it a great tragedy that fans of mass murder and suicide bombings aren't fans of the US. Boo, hoo, hoo.
Posted at 10:40 AM
JOHN'S MANGLED COLUMN [Rick Brookhiser]
I wondered why he was suddenly welcoming illegal Mexican men, especially of they were married to each other.
Posted at 10:39 AM
MACCABEES [Jonah Goldberg]
Personally, I think Gibson's right. It would make a great story, and it's a lot more complex than the usual Chanuka stories. I wish I could remember the words to the "Hey, Hey it's the Maccabees" song (to the tune of the Monkees theme) some friends of mine once made up.
Posted at 10:38 AM
HMMMM [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn "Casablanca" means "White House." Are you saying the White House was behind the bombing? Maybe I've been reading too much DemocraticUnderground.
Posted at 10:35 AM
RE: ABOLISH! ABOLISH! [KJL]
Here's the good Derb link. He doesn't see the point of Congress. Can you blame him?
Posted at 10:18 AM
ABOLISH NRO [KJL]
Sincerest apologies for the severe, repulsive mangling of John Derbyshire's prose today on NRO. If you read it before about now, you, well, could not read it. That is the fault of one Kathryn Lopez and such a thing will not happen again. This is not the first time there has been cyber-homicide done due to bad KJL coding in a Derbyshire column. Lopez will be replaced with Cosmo or Boris immediately if it ever happens, in a clause, in a footnote again. (The worst thing about this, too, is he sent this column last week, and I was holding it to give him a fun abolish Congress art spot--and he got this debut instead.)
In a note on longer-term administrative and readability matters, such things really are at an end--of late we are updating some of our equipment, and working with a few more talented core staff (always doing double-duty with NRODT)--the creative assembly line should be a well-oiled machine before long. You would still be shocked to see a day in the life of NRO, I think--let's just say we make excellent use of limited resources--but everyday our goal is that you'll have no reason to NOTICE such things. Please forgive me when, like this morning, you do.
Posted at 10:15 AM
CASABLANCA CONNECTION [KJL]
Spanish police say one of the men arrested in connection with last week's train bombings is also wanted in connection to the Casablanca attack.
Posted at 10:00 AM
THE LATEST ON SPECTER [KJL]
He's REALLY looking for the Dem vote--encouraging them to switch to the GOP so they can vote for him in the primary next month. Jim Geraghty reports.
Posted at 09:00 AM
RE: MEL'S MILLIONS [KJL]
Today Show just had a segment on Steven Speilberg giving his Schindler's List DVD money to Holocaust charities. Not collecting a penny for himself, they teased. I'm surprised they didn't explictly ask, UNLIKE GIBSON?.
Posted at 08:30 AM
TELGRAPH REPORTS ON SYRIA RIOTING [KJL]
Posted at 07:36 AM
HERE COME THE MEL'S MILLIONS STORIES [Tim Graham]
The Washington Post reports today that Gibson could make hundreds of millions off "The Passion." The story has also been promoted as a feature of Thursday's "Entertainment Tonight."
PS: The Post adds Gibson told ABC Radio that there were several "R-rated" Old Testament stories that "fired his imagination," most notably the tale of the Maccabees, who overthrew an idol-worshiping Syrian king in 164 B.C. "They stood up for their beliefs and made war and came out winning," Gibson said. "It's like a western, you know."
Posted at 07:35 AM
WHAT'S WRONG WITH THE WORLD? [KJL]
This is a very NY-DC dorky comment to make, but I don't think I will ever understand why there is no regular Amtrak train from DC to NY at 11 p.m. There is one at 10 and then the next one is at 3 am. Now, generally, if you are actually in DC for an evening event, 10 pm is too early to leave, and 3 am is a ridiculous time to leave. Midnight would be perfect, 11 would make some sense. But 10? Infuriates me everytime I encounter it. It all just screams PRIVATIZE THIS.
Posted at 05:11 AM
CHENEY AT THE REAGAN LIBRARY [KJL]
Here's the text.
Posted at 05:01 AM
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
ERIN GO JOHN [KJL]
I'm tired and that's the only title I could come up with! But don't let fatigue or inebriation keep you from reading John O'Sullivan's review of the Gerry Adams book in the Journal today. (Sub only--sorry)
Posted at 11:30 PM
IRAN: THE SCHEDULE [KJL]
An activist type tells me: "it's never calm over there...there's always SOME town or region that's in upheaval but where yesterday's movement is concerned it has subsided. The next big day where people are going to go out there will be April 2nd which is the 25th anniversary of Khomeini declaring Iran to be an Islamic Republic. "
God bless them.
Posted at 10:29 PM
THE LOOK OF IRAN [KJL]
Here are some photos from the ground yesterday.
Posted at 10:27 PM
Amnesty International seems to be paying some attention.
There are some photos and links here.
Posted at 10:16 PM
RE: MODESTY [KJL]
What the world needs now is the love, sweet love that's in The Corner.
Posted at 09:34 PM
MODESTY CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm not sure I deserve any praise on that score, but I'll take it with gratitude. Kathryn, on the other hand deserves all praise including that praise only voiced in parallel universes, alternative dimensions and bizarro worlds.
Posted at 07:05 PM
MODESTY [Rick Brookhiser]
Kathryn and Jonah were too modest to highlight the heart felt plug I gave them in my New York Observer column for their efforts to highlight Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian voices, so here it is.
For hearing Iranian, Syrian and Iraqi voices, the best forum is the blogosphere. I have to praise Jonah Goldberg and Kathryn Lopez of National Review Online, even though they are my friends. They serve the function that The New York Review of Books did for Eastern European dissidents in the last days of the Soviet empire: letting them speak truth to indifference, with the result that the indifferent become concerned.
Posted at 04:38 PM
RE: TO INFINITY AND BEYOND [John Derbyshire]
Since a couple of readers asked: On that picture of Danny with his science project, the framed poem in the background is Zhang Ji's "Night Mooring at Maple Bridge," written around A.D. 760. In Bynner's translation:
"While I watch the moon go down, a crow caws through the frost;
"Under the shadows of maple-trees a fisherman moves with his torch;
"And I hear, from beyond Su-chou, from the temple on Cold Mountain,
"Ringing for me, here in my boat, the midnight bell."
I have actually stood at the spot where Zhang's boat was moored, and have a photograph somewhere to prove it.
Posted at 04:24 PM
LINKS GALORE [Jonah Goldberg ]
A letter allegedly from al Qaeda associates says it's declaring a "truce" with Spain pending evidence the Spanish are really bugging out of Iraq. Could be a fake, of course. But we don't see a lot these sorts of stories going the other way.
Posted at 04:13 PM
THE OFFICE-FOOD RULE [Tim Graham]
The cheesecake sounds delightful, but having something devoured by the office folks is hardly the most exacting judgment on a recipe. Our office has been known to take apart any free food if it doesn't have a foul odor or a scary gray appearance. Even the foul-odor rule has been broken, if you'd agree with me that rye bread smells icky.
Posted at 04:04 PM
OK, ONE MORE [KJL]
Posted at 03:13 PM
I'M AMAZED [KJL]
how many emails I've gotten along these lines: "How come The Corner is the only place I'm reading about the Iranian rebellion? If mobs are firebombing the Mullah's houses, shouldn't there at least be a line or two about on the wire services? Even Reuters?" Remember CNN in Iraq, pre-liberation? They are keeping the authoritarian landlords happy.
Posted at 03:10 PM
FREE NR KID'S BOOK STORY [Jack Fowler]
Posted at 02:29 PM
KIDS SUCCESSFULLY SEE PASSION [KJL]
Kathryn -- my husband and I took both our daughters, aged fifteen and nine, to see The Passion of the Christ the first weekend it was out. Taking Anne, the younger, was my husband's idea and at first I was very much against the idea. However, it turned out that he was right. She took away from the movie as much as a nine-year-old could, without being at all traumatized by it. I think at that age, it strkes them more as iconography than reality. At least, Anne was much more concerned about some of the abstract ideas than about the physical reality of all the blood. The images that interested her the most, which she wanted to talk about later, were the snake in the garden, Satan's baby, and the tear that fell from heaven and rent the temple veil.
Posted at 02:10 PM
Cheney , in a speech, just ran with this point that Barbara Comstock makes today.
Posted at 02:09 PM
BAGHDAD HOTEL DESTROYED [KJL]
at least 27 dead.
Posted at 01:59 PM
TIMES GETS PINCHED [Tim Graham]
Blogger Michael Petrelis has the goods on federal contributions made by staffers of the New York Times. Janet Maslin gave $500 to Howard Dean, for example. Current publisher "Pinch" Sulzberger gave $500 to the Handgun Control Voter Education Fund.
Posted at 01:56 PM
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND [John Derbyshire]
...Into my son's first science project
Posted at 01:45 PM
HOLY PATRICK [Peter Robinson]
As we hoist our tankards of green beer today, it’s worth taking a moment to recall St. Patrick himself (c. 398-c. 461), an important historical figure. Born in Roman Britain, he was sold into slavery in Ireland. After six years he escaped, returning first to Britain, then traveling to the continent, where he was ordained a priest. Patrick then returned to Ireland, preaching in the West and North, the wildest regions of what was then a very wild country. Patrick left us a number of documents, including his Confessio, which he composed as an old man, and which scholars consider authentic, and the Lorica, a prayer that tradition has always associated with him.
Below, excerpts of the Lorica (for the entire prayer, look here). Note in particular the second verse. St. Patrick predated him by some eight centuries, but he had just as intense a love of the natural world as did St. Francis.
I bind to myself today [to]
Posted at 01:45 PM
GOOD POINT [Jonah Goldberg]
Re: Today's Kerryism, from a reader:
Posted at 01:14 PM
NOT MY FIGHT [Jonah Goldberg]
But a lot of Hampden-Syndey students are mighty peeved by the idea that W&L is more conservative. One of many similar emails:
Slanderer! The two most conservative colleges in the U.S. are Hampden-Sydney and Hillsdale. Washington & Lee looks conservative, but is really pretty light in it's well-shined loafers. What would the Princeton Review know about conservative schools anyway. Hillsdale is pretty doctrinaire, but it's in the middle of the tundra. How can you read your Austrian economics with mittens on? The litmus test for conservative colleges in the south is the shotgun to student ratio, and Hampden-Sydney has got everyone beat. It must be something like 3:1. Plus, it never went co-ed, unlike the nancy boys at Washington and Leigh.
Posted at 01:13 PM
NUANCE OVERLOAD [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 01:11 PM
SPEAKING OF P&R [Jonah Goldberg]
The G-Philes get my back.
Posted at 12:56 PM
PUNISH AND REWARD [Jonah Goldberg]
That's what you can do with this handy tool which allows you to keep track of what other blogs are saying about NRO/The Corner.
Posted at 12:48 PM
SIM NONSENSE [Jonah Goldberg ]
This timewaster has a message and little else going for it.
Posted at 12:45 PM
KERRYISMS V. BUSHISMS [Jonah Goldberg]
I know that a lot of liberals, particularly at places like Slate and TNR, are deeply invested in the idea that Bush's "Bushisms" are very significant. That's fine. I can't imagine conservatives would say similar verbal fumbles were irrelevant if they came out of a liberal president's mouth. But I would like to know what the principled argument would be for holding that Kerryisms are less revealing, less significant, less damning than Bushisms. So W. mispronounces nuclear. So he sometimes pops the clutch when trying to finish a sentence. His meaning is clear and even his detractors concede he rarely waffles. Meanwhile Kerryisms, I think, reflect a serious character flaw and a seriously troubling view of democracy and democratic accountability. Kerry refuses to give straight answers. Very often he refuses to say steadfastly he believes one thing to the exclusion of another thing. He almost never wants to be on the wrong side of an issue, so he not only denies that he's on the wrong side but he denies that a wrong side exists.
The only argument I can think of that Bushisms are more damning than Kerryisms is the one which says they reveal Bush is too dumb to be president. But that's an argument nobody but the liberal choir believes at this point.
Posted at 12:40 PM
AND AT CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY [KJL]
tomorrow, Gillespie vs. McAulliffe--like me, both CUA grads. Details here.
Posted at 12:37 PM
ABORTIONIST AT CATHOLIC HOSPITAL? [KJL]
"heart, Mind and Strength weblog is reporting on Providence Hospital.
Posted at 12:33 PM
KERRYISMS [Jonah Goldberg ]
I guess were gonna have to start collecting them just like the other side collects Bushisms. The definition of a Kerryism should be pretty obvious: A statement motivated by a desire to get all possible credit while leaving oneself immune to any possible blame. Both sides of an issue, no sides of an issue, a denial that there are any sides to an issue: these all qualify as Kerryisms for he follows the advice of Yogi Berra who once said "When you come to a fork in the road -- take it!" The first Kerryism (nod to Andrew Sullivan) comes from today's New York Times:
"I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it," -
Posted at 12:27 PM
SECOND POLL SHOWS TOOMEY-SPECTER NOW A HORSERACE [Jack Fowler]
The polling company's analysis of tightening Pennsylvania Republican Senate primary has now been seconded by local television station WNEP -- its just-completed survey of likely voters shows Arlen Specter dropping to 47 percent, Pat Toomey jumping to 38 percent, and 15 percent undecided. Six weeks to go -- for Arlen, April may indeed prove to be the crueles month. Here's thestory.
Posted at 12:15 PM
RE: PAINTBALL [Jonah Goldberg]
If Lowry will cover my costs, I'm definitely in. I've played before and I got the skills.
Posted at 12:13 PM
GOOD THING THERE'S NO ANTI-SEMITISM IN EUROPE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader of my syndicated column:
It's quite simple actually... Al Qaeda fights Israel and its American lackey. America, directed by Israel through its neocons, apart from keeping Israel alive it now also occupies an Arab country. This by itself is enough for Al Qaeda to keep the war going and any other country which supports the US will pay a price. Spain just did. But as you very well know, there's nothing else that binds Saddam's Iraq and Al Qaeda but both being Islamic and Arab. For America there's no way back to independence from Israel, Jews are in control. In Europe, where I live, many decades ago we were also heading that way, toward Jewish control. Someone took care of that problem.
Posted at 12:11 PM
SENATORIAL HUMOR TESTER [Jonah Goldberg]
This is pretty funny.
Posted at 12:01 PM
WOW: WORLD BANK, PAINTBALL, JONAH, STAR TREK [KJL]
I must quote this one in full:
Please do not refer to the incident with the Wold Bank president as getting "paintballed". Yes, some paint was tossed at them, probably in the form of a balloon filled with the stuff, but it is obviously not the work of a paintball gun, or marker, that would be used in the sport.
Posted at 11:54 AM
ADMINISTRATIVE ALERT [KJL]
All "nationalreview.com" addressed will be dead from about an hour from now through sometime Monday. So please, please, please email email@example.com if you need to get anything to me. Thanks.
Posted at 11:48 AM
IRAN: OIL WORKERS CONTINUE TO STRIKE [KJL]
Posted at 11:34 AM
REPORTER SPINS FOR KERRY [Tim Graham]
On last night's "Hardball," NBC reporter Andrea Mitchell proved that her spin and John Kerry's spin are indistinguishable. Chris Matthews played the new Bush ad banging on Kerry for opposing the $87 billion supplemental bill for the war, including funding for body armor, higher combat pay, and better military health care.
Mitchell responded like Bob Shrum: "Now that is a complete distortion, Kerry would say, and anybody who really covered the $87 billion supplemental has to agree. A complete distortion."
Matthews: "Were those items in there?"
Mitchell: "They were in there, but he was voting against one part of the bill."
Matthews: "But didn’t he vote against the final? Didn’t he voted against final?"
Mitchell: "No, no, he did vote against final."
Matthews: "Well then he voted against all those elements."
Mitchell: "He voted against those elements in the supplemental, but he was voting against it as a protest, he said, you know, again..."
Matthews: "Well, that’s what he says. That’s his spin. But he’s nailed here, I think. I think it’s a devastating. You, by the way, you said to me before we were on tonight, that was a hell of a tough ad."
Mitchell: "A very tough ad."
Matthews: "I think it’s devastating."
Posted at 11:31 AM
RE: GO FIGURE [John Derbyshire]
On that story about the little adopted boy who died when his overweight Mom fell on him: "Dear Sir---When my wife and I adopted our kids from private, non-profit, church sponsored agencies we had to:
--be fingerprinted by local, state, and federal law enforcement for background checks,
--earn above a minimum level,
--have excellent credit,
--provide detailed and documented financial and employment histories
--have our home inspected and certified safe and healthy
--live in an area with good medical services and low crime rates
--pass comprehensive physicals, including HIV tests
--pass several interviews/inspections by social workers (plus follow-ups)
--obtain four referrals from reputable, non-related, public figures (minister, profs etc.)
--have relatives capable of caring for the children in the event we were incapacitated
"Obviously the mom of that poor child in the report, while she surely loved him, could not have satisfied all the above. Most likely the child was placed by a state/government agency with (typically) lax enforcement of standards. It's also possible that the child, being black, was only to be placed with a black parent. There is considerable opposition to placing black kids with whites ('cultural genocide' and all that). Consequently, many black kids often go to whomever is available, or move through a series of foster homes until they reach majority."
I must say, the whole business of adoption is very puzzling. I know four adopter families (3 married couples, 1 single woman). All adopted kids from the Far East -- China, Vietnam -- at immense trouble and expense. Yet there seem to be categories of people who can adopt American kids with very little trouble at all: homosexual couples (e.g. Mrs. and Mrs. Rosie O'Donnell), and people like the unfortunate Ms. Hines.
Is there a Political Correctness litmus test for adopters?
Posted at 11:24 AM
THE RECIPES [KJL]
Yesterday, you’ll recall, I asked for St. Patrick’s Day recipes. Most were typical: soda bread or “just go to the bar already” types. Here, some highlights and staples:
”ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PADDY’S DAY YOU LEARNED IN COLLEGE”FOOD? WHAT FOOD?
My mother, whose parents immigrated from Ireland in the late 19th century to escape crushing poverty and hunger, and who, herself, grew up very poor here during the depression likes to say that the traditional Irish meal is an empty plate.MARY’S COLCANNON
This is a delicious one, and very traditional. And tell Rick Brookhiser that it's tough to develop a national gourmet cuisine when your cottages are being razed, your agricultural products are being shipped overseas by tyrannical landlords during a famine, and your young men are being shipped off to Australia in prison barges. (I'll stop my ranting now.)WHAT’S FOR DINNER
Corned Beef DinnerMONAGHAN-MCDONALD SODA BREAD This was my grandmother's soda bread recipe (her maiden name was Monaghan). She'd make it year-round, but I usually don't think about it until St. Patrick's Day. It's nice with a cup of tea. If you leave out the sugar, it might stand a bit of butter.
Irish Soda Bread
4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sugar (optional)
1/4 cup butter
1 3/4 cup buttermilk
1) Mix the dry ingredients (except seeds and raisins) thoroughly in a bowl.
2) Cut butter into the mixture until it is crumbly.
3) In a small bowl, beat egg and buttermilk. Stir into crumbly mixture until blended.
4) Blend in seeds and raisins.
5) On a floured surface, knead bread for 2 or 3 minutes.
6) Split into two. Shape each loaf into a round dome. Use a knife to cut a cross into the dough.
7) Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 375 F for 30 - 40 minutes.
Keep one and share the other!
Posted at 11:09 AM
YES! IT WAS SARCASM [Jonah Goldberg]
Lexington has no thriving gay community as far as I can tell. Indeed, W&L was voted the #1 college in the country where alternative lifestyles are not an alternative.
Posted at 11:08 AM
UPDATE NEEDED [Jonah Goldberg]
From the people who firmly believe in South Park Republicanism (You know who you are), in the wake of Howard Stern's new campaign to unseat George W. Bush. I used to be a fan of Stern's, but it seems that when he's forced to choose between winning the war on terror and having a more hospitable climate for dirty jokes, he'll choose the latter.
Posted at 11:06 AM
THEN AGAIN.... [Jonah Goldberg]
If Lowry does replace me with some blogo-scab, I will be freed up to dedicate myself more fully to cataloging photos of men who look like Kenny Rogers.
Posted at 11:02 AM
44 WITHOUT A BULLET [Jonah Goldberg]
Peter Singer According to Blogrunner I'm the 44th most "influential" figure in the blogosphere (in the last 60 days), behind many likely folks and quite a few unlikely ones. I take these measurements with the usual grains of salt. Still once this &^%$#! book is done I plan a scorched earth campaign to to get "back" to my rightful standing! In the meantime, I just hope you good people will stick with me and keep that awful man Rich Lowry from giving away my job!
Posted at 10:59 AM
YES, YES [Jonah Goldberg]
My historical analogy generator was on the blink yesterday when I was used a WWII analogy here in the Corner. Sorry about all of that.
Posted at 10:42 AM
WHAT? I WAS JUST GIVING HIM A HELPFUL PUSH [Jonah Goldberg ]
Peter Singer is needed in Afghanistan.
Posted at 10:19 AM
WASHINGTON & LEE [Jonah Goldberg]
I had a very nice time down in Lexington last night. The campus is beautiful. I gave my remarks in Lee Chapel which is stately, impressive and contains the remains of the whole Lee family from what I gather (the horse is somewhere nearby too). Giving a speech in a chapel, never mind this particular chapel, was a bit inhibiting when it comes to the usual porn jokes and what not. But I told them in Latin so only the really cool kids got them. My one regret is that I didn't get to make likee Cyrus in the "Warriors" and shout "Caaaaannnnn youuuuuu diiiiiiggggg it!?" even once. (Also, just for the record since I hear the W&L administration is fixated on Williams College, their chapel is nicer looking though less historic).
The crowd wasn't as big as I would have expected from a school which is allegedly the most conservative in the country (#2 actually after Grove City according to Princeton Review). Other impressions: as I anticipated, the students at first were painfully polite in the finest southern tradition (Mr. Goldberg this, Mr. Goldberg that) almost -- but not quite -- reaching that children-of-the-corn uniformity. But once they loosened up they were a very impressive bunch of kids and at least the ones I met are disturbingly up-to-speed on all things NRO. Brett Kirwan the young man who introduced me might as well have been parked outside my house in a gray Buick with a parabolic mic taking notes, he had so many G-philic details (that's G-phillic with two "i"s, one "l" an no "a"s). Lexington is a very charming little town from what I saw of it (which wasn't much). And, man, what a thriving gay community!
Anyway, thanks very much to Brett, Victoria Guroian (Chairwoman of the ominously titled "Welcoming Committee") and to the Young Americans Foundation and W&L Hillel (go figure!) for bringing me to campus.
Posted at 10:16 AM
GO FIGURE [John Derbyshire]
Grossly obese Roslyn Hines (51) of New York City was taking her 3-yr-old boy to the bath when she suffered a massive coronary and fell on him. Mother and child are both dead.
Hines lived on public assistance. Her oldest son (34) is homeless. Her daughter (25) is "emotionally disturbed" (apparently autistic). Hines herself suffered serious health problems: lupus and asthma, as well as, obviously, a heart condition. She had also suffered a stroke.
The little 3-yr-old boy was adopted.
Posted at 09:28 AM
W. AS CONSTANTINE? [KJL ]
Posted at 09:26 AM
JOHN KERRY SERVED IN...WHERE? [Michael Graham]
On the Michael Graham Show, we have noted John Kerry's ability to answer any question by referencing his service to Vietnam. That was one reason we laughed so loudly when Kerry accused others of raising Vietnam in the current campaign "for personal, political gain." This from a guy whose driver's license photo features Kerry in his Navy uniform standing in the jungles of Southeast Asia. (Ok, not really--but would you be shocked?)
So we weren't particularly surprised when to find this exchange between the Humane Society and Senator John F. Kerry:
HUMANE SOCIETY: "Do you have any pets that have made an impact on you personally?"Kerry goes on to tell how little VC survived after Kerry's boat struck a mine. What we're trying to figure out is why the dog hasn't appeared in any of Kerry's TV ads. (Thanks to Opinionjournal.com for the tip!)
Posted at 09:25 AM
HEY, NOBODY EVER CALLS THEM "THE FIGHTIN' SPANISH." [Michael Graham]
The incoming Spanish president, Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, shows his intellect and/or his cohones (or lack thereof) with the quote of the day: "Fighting terrorism with bombs ... with Tomahawk missiles, isn't the way to defeat terrorism."
What would you suggest, Senor Zapatero, hugs and flowers? Or perhaps spineless appeasement? One has to wonder about the Spanish. What does it take to get their Irish up?
Posted at 09:20 AM
HAVE A BEER WITH MICHAEL GRAHAM [KJL ]
He’ll be broadcasting live and buying Beamish at 713 E. 8th Street SE in D.C. He’s live on the air from 10 AM until noon, but he expects to be there until 2 or so…”at least.”
Posted at 08:44 AM
THAT'S AN IDEA, THOUGH [KJL]
How much would you all pay to paintball NRO writers, but Jonah specifically?
Posted at 08:41 AM
LET'S HOPE [KJL]
Jonah didn't get the same treatment on campus as World Bank president got from anti-globalization protesters yesterday: He got paintballed.
Posted at 08:41 AM
THE LITTLE THINGS [Tim Graham]
In The Washington Post, reporter John F. Harris offers today that the Bush-Kerry race is getting "personal." (I would suggest the candidates are no more "personal" in their attacks than the reporters are.) In the big picture, the story offers both campaigns' perspectives and charges, but note the little things.
First, this sentence is annoying: "Bush's TV ad accused Kerry of voting against legislation to pay for military needs in Iraq after originally supporting the U.S. invasion." Can't the reporter suggest to readers that it's not an accusation, but fact, that Kerry voted against the $87 billion supplemental bill for the war?
Second, notice how Kerry gets more words in quotes, and how it's always "Kerry said" or "Kerry told." Late in the story, Bush "needled" Kerry and "joined in the sniping." Harris's roughest line on Kerry is his defense of his vote against the $87 billion supplemental was a "less-than-crisp statement defending the nuances of his position." l
Posted at 08:39 AM
BTW [Kathryn Jean McLopez]
Happy Saint Patrick's Day. I trust Jonah is back from his college trip (Spring Break in reverse?) and brewing the green beer.
Posted at 08:35 AM
ALLEGED OHIO SNIPER CAUGHT [KJL]
A friend of mine's husband was making a morning trip daily on the highway this sicko was hitting for awhile; there are a lot of Ohians relieved this morning, like the cloud that lifted when the D.C. snipers were caught. D.C., being as small as it is, was so palpably on edge the whole time.
Posted at 08:33 AM
MORE RE: IRAN [KJL]
ISNA - The Islamic Students News Agency, which is to a large extent affiliated with the Islamic Republic, who does have students roaming the streets in Tehran and reports pretty regularly about street events, but with an eye to government sensors, also reported the events in the streets of Tehran.
Posted at 08:05 AM
RICK BROOKHISER [KJL]
on Spain, Europe, Islamofascists, Bush, and NRO.
Posted at 12:48 AM
Tuesday, March 16, 2004
SILLY ME [Peter Robinson]
for having had the temerity to criticize Irish cuisine on the very eve of St. Paddy’s Day itself. Herewith, a sampling from my inbox.
From one reader:
My fiancee and I ate at the Lemon Tree restaurant in Temple Bar, Dublin in May 2002. Best lamb I ever had, her salmon was also extremely good. Note that neither beast nor fish was boiled -- grilled and smoked, respectively. Veggies were also good (not boiled, except rice). All foods had appropriate hues.From another reader:
Yes, food [in Ireland] has dramatically improved [since you were there with Vice President Bush]. In fact, I would put the best chefs of Ireland up against the best from anywhere else nowadays. This is especially true in Dublin and down in Kerry and the resort areas, and on the West Coast, where the fresh seafood is spectacular.And from yet another:
The food is often better than good, it can be great. My wife and I were just there in Sept and we had some very fine meals. We stayed at the Merrion and had a wonderful dinner next door (French) and at the hotel itself. We also had great Italian food with my children nearby. And in the country, we had an amazing 2 1/2 hour, 5-course meal in Gorey at a small inn.And with that, I retire from the field, and ask any other annoyed Irishmen to direct their emails to Rick Brookhiser.
Posted at 11:36 PM
AND OVER IN SYRIA [KJL]
Photos and bloggings.
Posted at 11:32 PM
and China head to the seas.
Posted at 11:08 PM
MAN TRIES SELF-CRUCIFIXION [KJL]
Surprisingly, Mel Gibson has not been blamed.
Posted at 10:28 PM
CNN & IRAN [KJL]
Well, CNN's reporters won't get kicked out of Tehran. (Hopefully, someday when the Iranians are liberated, we'll have an Eason Jordan fill us in on what really happened.)
Posted at 07:20 PM
RE: DA VINCI [KJL]
Amy Wellborn has a decoder coming out soon, too, John. (Here's the Amazon link.)
Posted at 06:11 PM
IRAN SIDEBAR [KJL]
We clashed with Iranian border troops Sunday.
Posted at 05:59 PM
RE: KERRY PHOTOSHOP [KJL]
Here's another, by the same guy.
Posted at 05:51 PM
RE: NIGHT OF THE WHITE SUPPER [John Derbyshire]
Peter: I cannot let all this negativity about Irish food (to which I myself have, I confess, contributed) pass without putting in a few words for the dear old Royal Hibernian Hotel, now I think turned into a discotheque, or a mosque, or an abortion clinic, or something else suitably Celtic-Tiger-zeitgeistisch. The RH had a wonderful kitchen, at the best prices in the British Isles. Though as an institution it was, to be sure, more Anglo-Irish than Irish, as can be seen from the name.
Posted at 05:44 PM
BUSH ADMIN TO IRAN ON WEAPONS-INSPECTION SUSPENSION [KJL]
State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said, "It's time to come clean fully, unequivocally and completely." (Which are supposedly resuming on March 27.)Next, let's hope, some more words of support for the Iranian people.
Posted at 05:40 PM
NIGHT OF THE WHITE SUPPER [Peter Robinson]
Arriving in Dublin late one night with Vice President George H. W. Bush and his party (I was writing speeches for the veep), a hungry colleague and I discovered that very restaurant in the city had closed. Asking around, we found a cab driver who had a cousin who worked in a restaurant. The driver took us to the restaurant, the cousin fired up the stove, and half an hour later later we found ourselves served boiled potatoes, boiled cauliflower, and boiled sole, all of which was, you will note, white, and which was buried in a sauce that was also, as if to avoid confusing us, white. Never had either of us ever laid eyes on a meal so utterly unappetizing. Yet we were alone in the restaurant, with the cook himself delightedly hovering around us, and with no choice, we...ate.
Someone, please tell me that over the last quarter century food in Ireland has improved.
Posted at 05:33 PM
PASSION AND KIDS [KJL]
I saw The Passion again this weekend (I hadn't since a screening back before Thanksgiving) and was surprised how many kids were in the theater--we're talking 7-10 range (all boys, I noticed). Depends on the individual child, of course, and certainly up to his parents, but still surprised me.
Posted at 05:32 PM
BYE BYE MULLAHS [John Derbyshire]
Kathryn: Tremendous news from Iran. God help the protesters. Let's pray this will not be another Tiananmen.
This works both ways with Iraq.
(1) A liberalizing of Iran will damp down calls for extremism among Iraq's Shiites.
(2) The liberation of Iraq must surely have been a factor in this uprising. My guess is that something of the sort would have happened anyway, but it sure can't have hurt to see Saddam go down, and to know that the U.S. armed forces were just over the border in strength.
Posted at 05:03 PM
IRISH CUISINE [Rick Brookhiser]
John, I described the corned beef at the St. Patrick's Day breakfast I attended as looking like "the tongues of old shoes."
Posted at 04:59 PM
A POEM FOR SURRENDER [Rod Dreher]
Dallas poet and scholar Frederick Turner has written a poem titled, "On Hearing That Spain Has Capitulated to the Terrorists."
Posted at 04:58 PM
PROTESTING IRANIANS [Rick Brookhiser]
These are the bravest people on earth; God bless them. We haven't seen anything like this since the Gdansk ship yard workers almost 25 years ago.
Posted at 04:55 PM
NOT-SO-GREAT MOMENTS IN ELECTION 2004: THE PHOTOSHOP VERSION [KJL]
This is going around the net:
Update: here's the source.
Posted at 04:50 PM
YOU THINK ENGLISH SPELLING IS BAD? [John Derbyshire]
A reader (commenting on my post about Irish cuisine): "Call me a stickler, but shouldn't that be 'ceilidh'?"
My response: "Probably. Irish spelling is not my strong point."
All I can tell you is that it SOUNDS like "ceili" (rhymes with "daily"). And "h" after a consonant in Irish very often renders that consonant silent. But Irish spelling is a nightmare -- even worse than English. Do you know the proper Irish spelling of the surname "O'Flaherty"? It's "O Flaithbheartaigh" (I think). I rest my case.
Posted at 04:38 PM
MORE FROM IRAN [KJL]
Click here. And, a "plea for help."
Posted at 04:31 PM
IRAN ERUPTS? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Secondhand, from an Iranian:
I am listening to KRSI (Radio Sedaye Iran) right now. There are many Iranians calling (from Tehran, and Gorgan, etc.).
Posted at 04:12 PM
RE: BLOOMBERG [KJL]
A note to critics of the Kass Commission on bioethics, who ludicrously think the president has stacked the deck: THIS is how one stacks a deck.
Posted at 03:42 PM
GOLD STAR FOR MIKE BLOOMBERG [KJL]
I know this is an anti-Bloomberg Corner, but he deserves kudos for his social-promotion ban for third graders.
Posted at 03:40 PM
MELTDOWN KERRY [KJL]
I'm slow to hearing the audio from this weekend (I just heard it on Sean Hannity's radio show) when West Point grad, Vietnam-era Army man Cedric Brown (here's more on this gent) asked John Kerry who the foreign leaders who support him are. (Rush Limbaugh called the incident a "Dean-like meltdown"; the excerpt below comes from Rush.)
KERRY: No, wait, wait, wait, wait you asked me if I'd met with any leaders. Yes. I have had conversations with leaders, yes, recently. That's not your business, it's mine. I've met with foreign leaders for any (inaudible) purpose - I never said that. What I said was that I have heard from people who are leaders elsewhere in the world who don't appreciate the Bush administration approach and would love to see a change in the leadership of the United States. I'm talking our allies, I'm talking about people who were our friends nine months ago, I'm talking about people who ought to be at our side in Iraq and aren't because this administration has pushed them away in its arrogance, that's what I'm talking about. Are you a registered Republican? Are you a Republican? You answer the question. That's not an answer. Did you vote for George Bush? Did you vote for George Bush? Thank you.It's much more of Mr. Brown's business who those leaders are than it is Kerry's business who Brown voted for. And, for that matter, does Kerry not want the vote of people who voted for Bush in 2000? Nice strategy. [N.B. Updated from original post]
Posted at 03:28 PM
Posted at 03:16 PM
RE: THERE THEY GO AGAIN [John Derbyshire]
Mark: On the matter of immigration (and with acknowledgments to the estate of the late P.G. Wodehouse) it has long been my impression that the Wall Street Journal is, if not exactly unhinged, very far from being hinged.
Posted at 03:09 PM
SO THERE REALLY IS A GLOBAL COALITON, AFTER ALL [KJL]
I'm told (it's Arabic) that the London-based Internet journal Ilaf reports that the al Qaeda-connected Abu-Hafs al-Masri Brigades has released a list of 29 countries they claim to be targeting, all of which maintain a presence in Iraq. The terrorists know George W. Bush is no lone ranger, perhaps they might let the Democratic party in on the big secret.
Posted at 03:02 PM
THERE THEY GO AGAIN [Mark Krikorian ]
The Wall Street Journal has reached a new low in its advocacy for open borders. It published an article yesterday by one of its editorial writers (it's not at the Journal's free site, but has been posted here) slamming NR and my Center for Immigration Studies as being part of a cabal of baby-killing, white-supremacist Chi-com lovers. NR can adequately defend itself from the Journal's claim that it becomes "unhinged" on immigration, but the article's lies about CIS were more serious. The author, one Jason Riley, claimed CIS is a "big fan" of China's one-child policy, that we support RU-486 and cutting U.S.population by half, and implied that we were protectionists and had taken money from a eugencist outfit called the Pioneer Fund.
Needless to say, this is undiluted nonsense, so I called the author of the piece to find out what the heck he was talking about. He said he based his claim not on anything CIS had actually said or published but on the fact that we had "published authors who hold those views." Presumably he's talking about people who've written for us on the demographic consequences of immigration (all our material is on line here), some of whom probably are pro-abortion -- but as an immigration think tank, we don't ask what people think about other issues. Of course, we've also published articles by supporters of high immigration, such as Steve Moore, because sparking debate is what a think tank is supposed to do, even though we make no secret of our preference for lower immigration levels and better enforcement.
I know politics is hardball, but this kind of thing is beneath the Journal. In fact, it suggests that the libertarians have grown desperate in the face of conservative resistance to their post-American approach to immigration.
Posted at 02:42 PM
RE: THE BEIJING-PARIS AXIS [John Derbyshire]
From a reader on the left coast: "I couldn't stop laughing after reading this sentence in the article you cited: 'Through this joint exercise, we hope to learn the French navy's combat training experience and combat thought,' [Chinese naval captain] Ju was quoted as saying. Oh yes, the French navy has a rich tradition of 'combat thought.' In most wars, when they weren't being blockaded in port by the British, they were captured by their opponents and used against their allies.
"The one high water mark of French naval history was its victory over the British fleet in the Chesapeake Bay in 1781, which helped the Americans to win the battle of Yorktown, and ultimately the Revolutionary War. The French navy has been ineffectual ever since, even more so than their land army, which at least scored some impressive victories under Napoleon."
Posted at 02:33 PM
"IRAQ: INTELLIGENCE, FACTS & FANTASIES" [KJL]
Jon Kyl took on Ted Kennedy’s previous attack on the Bush administration vis-ŕ-vis Iraq, prewar at the Council on Foreign Relations Friday. The whole speech is here. Excerpts are here.
Posted at 02:31 PM
...funny typo in the Herald piece:
The New York senator said Kerry is now in the crosshairs of the sane ``vast, right-wing conspiracy'' that came after her husband, and urged Kerry to ``counterpunch.''
Posted at 01:44 PM
VIRGINIA TAX HIKE [John J. Miller]
A Democrat in the Virginia state Senate has called Republicans in the House "a mob" for not falling in line and supporting the tax-increasing budget that just about every other politician in the state seems to want. (Funny how it's "a mob" that now defends me, in Prince William County, from a Richmond shakedown.) Republicans in the Senate appear to want the tax hike as much as Democratic Gov. Mark Warner, who got this business started a few weeks ago. Warner is arguing in favor of the tax increase on radio this way: ""I've got my kids talking to me, saying, 'Dad, why can't they just compromise?' " Memo to Virginia House Republicans: Make Warner tell his kids, "It's because real Republicans don't compromise on taxes."
Posted at 01:38 PM
OUR KIND OF PROTESTERS [Tim Graham]
While CBS annually ignores tens of thousands of pro-life protesters coming to Washington for the March for Life, barely 200 anti-liberation of Iraq protesters get a full story from Dan Rather (or in this case, an infomercial).
Posted at 01:08 PM
RE: VRWC CONTINUED [John Derbyshire]
Kathryn: That news picture of HRC with the Kennedy bust fairly cries out for a speech balloon.
"Eeeeuw, what's this thing stuck on my hand?"
Posted at 01:06 PM
FRANCE CITES TERROR THREATS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted at 01:04 PM
FOUCALT IN LEGO [KJL]
I bet WFB, Jonah, Derb... LEGO kits would sell.
Posted at 01:01 PM
TOOMEY VS. SPECTER [KJL]
Club for Growth has all the results up.
Posted at 12:48 PM
VRWC, CONTINUED [KJL]
Yup, HRC still gives us a lot more credit than we deserve.
Posted at 12:42 PM
MORE RE: TOOMEY VS. SPECTER [KJL]
From polling company poll memo: "Intensity among voters who say they will “definitely” vote to re-elect Specter over someone new has been halved since January (27%, compared to March 13%)."
Also: ·"Pat Toomey has gained, in overall, name recognition since late January, but still suffers a large deficit in defined name identification. Nearly half (48%) have formed an opinion of him, a ten-point increase since January. "
Posted at 12:33 PM
OKAY TWO LINKS [Jonah Goldberg]
To tide you over. First, on ebay we've got Kerry's foreign leader endorsements for sale.
And another timewaster.
Posted at 12:32 PM
TEN POINTS [KJL]
Toomey has a real chance in these final days in the runup to the April 25 primary for Senate in Penn. The latest polling company poll finds: "· In the latest head-to-head ballot, Arlen Specter beats Pat Toomey by 10 points (47% - 37%) among likely Republican primary voters. Specter’s showing is under 50% and has significantly narrowed since January when he led Toomey by 23-points. Still, 15% of Republican primary voters remain undecided with just seven weeks to go, providing an opening for the lesser-known."
Posted at 12:30 PM
OFF TO WASH & LEE [Jonah Goldberg]
Talk to you later.
Posted at 12:19 PM
ARGH! MY EYES [Jonah Goldberg]
I turned on the TV and caught Richard Crenna making out with Tyne Daly before I could turn the channel.
Posted at 12:17 PM
SAME DIFFERENCE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader (also, it was clear long before Pearl Harbor that the US was preparing for war with Germany):
Technically, I believe that Germany declared war on the United States, after the USA declared war on Japan, in response to the attack on Pearl Harbor. Germany and Japan had a pact that Germany was honoring.
Posted at 12:12 PM
KERRY'S IMAGINARY FRIENDS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Powerline suggests Kerry's comment about having the uspport of foreign leaders was likely an embellishment, if not an outright lie, as Kerry hasn't "met with" any foreign leaders of consequence over the last year.
Posted at 12:11 PM
NUANCE UBER ALLES [Jonah Goldberg ]
Josh Marshall often has intelligently persuasive things to say and even when he doesn't he at least says them succinctly. In his discussion about Spain, Iraq and al Qaeda he does neither. The upshot of Marshall's long argument is that Iraq and al Qaeda aren't linked because al Qaeda would smack Spain for helping the US invade any Arab country. He writes:
Just because you’ve inflamed or emboldened your enemies doesn’t mean you’ve used the most effective means of attacking them. Indeed, quite the opposite can be true.
I think Marshall's right. But I also don't care. Hitler would have been just as happy if the Chinese beat the stuffing out of America instead of the Japanese, too.
Of course al Qaeda's opportunistic. Of course, it's exploiting the Iraq war. Of course Saddam wasn't Bin Laden's kind of tyrant. This is all beside the point. The fact of the matter right now is that al Qaeda will suffer a big setback if American succeeds in Iraq and it will celebrate a huge victory if America blows it. We are trying to defeat Islamic radicalism from behind Islamic radicalism's own frontlines. The complexity of al Qaeda's motives or the motives of Spanish voters are interesting, sure. Let's have a seminar about all that some time. In the meantime, the important thing is not giving the radicals the sorts of victories they had in Spain or putting Iraq in their column.
I am constantly amazed by the tendency of the nuance brigrades -- i.e. Marshall, Blix, Kerry, Prodi et al -- to hang on to their past objections to invading Iraq as if those past objections are relevant to the current situation. The war happened. And whether you were for it or against it, matters as little as whether it was right or wrong for the US to declare war on Germany after Pearl Harbor.
Posted at 11:58 AM
W. ON KERRY'S FOREIGN CONSTITUENCY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
On the wires:
Bush was asked about the controversy Tuesday morning during a brief Oval Office appearance. "If you're going to make an accusation in the course of a presidential campaign, you ought to back it up with facts," he told reporters.
Posted at 11:36 AM
BIG-DEAL ELIMINATION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
An al Qaeda leader, Kahlid Ali Hajj, was killed in a shootout yesterday. He's been described in the Middle Eastern press as the real leader of al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia (clip from the Daily Times of Pakistan is below).
Khaled Hajj Qaeda chief in Saudi Arabia’
Posted at 10:56 AM
IRAQIS ARE BETTER OFF [Jonah Goldberg ]
According to a new poll. It sounds like security is still job #1:
LONDON (Reuters) - A majority of Iraqis believe life is better now than it was under Saddam Hussein (news - web sites), according to a poll released on Tuesday.
Posted at 10:48 AM
THE BEIJING-PARIS AXIS [John Derbyshire]
What Al Qaeda did to the Spanish election, the Chinese Communist Party is trying to do to Taiwan's March 20 Presidential election, with an offshore show of military bluster. Guess who is eagerly helping them?
Posted at 10:44 AM
MORE RE FOREIGN LEADERS [KJL]
This would be funny if he were not running for president: Kerry continues to stand by the statement that, according to that Boston Globe reporter, he didn't make in the first place.
Posted at 10:31 AM
ROBBINS'S LAROUCHIAN GHOSTWRITER DAYDREAMS ABOUT LEO STRAUSS [KJL]
Terry Teachout has the goods on a bogus Strauss quote in the Tim Robbin play--one that came from a LaRouche magazine.
Posted at 10:24 AM
BLACK ADDER IN SPAIN [KJL]
Is it me, or is there a strong resemblance between Senor Zapatero and Mr. Bean.
Posted at 10:15 AM
NYT PANS TIM ROBBINS [Tim Graham]
In Monday's New York Times, theater critic Ben Brantley knocks the Tim Robbins play "Embedded," which he said "examines the making and selling of the war in Iraq with such collegiate energy and earnestness that it feels as if it would be only good form to respond with a chorus of indignant amens...Yet for anyone who has brought an even mildly skeptical eye to the trials and errors of American foreign policy in recent years, 'Embedded' winds up sounding like last Sunday's sermon. Audience members already in sympathy with Mr. Robbins's political views — the folks, in other words, most likely to attend 'Embedded' — will quite possibly go from nodding in agreement to simply nodding off."
Team Bush's neocons are "the satanic power center in 'Embedded,' a coven of policy makers called the Office of Special Plans. Its members have resonant names like Dick, Rum Rum, Gondola, Woof and Pearly White. They wear sinister half-masks and offer Black Sabbath-style hymns of praise to Leo Strauss, the neo-conservative philosopher. And though they plot their military strategy with icy detachment, they become sexually aroused at the mere prospect of more power."
Wow, that does sound like a play best described as "collegiate." Usually it's 19-year-old leftists who make beer-buzz allusions comparing Leo Strauss and Black Sabbath in the same thought, not to mention the old kiddie-piano-plunking power lust lines.
It reminds me of college in old Bemidji about 20 years ago. After I wrote a contrarian column in the student newspaper in support of Reagan's Interior Secretary James Watt, someone responded by writing a dopey column imagining Ron and Nancy gyrating suggestively to Watt doing a rock singing act about happily destroying the planet. I was placed in the role of Watt's concert promoter. Wait, has Tim Robbins ever been seen in Bemidji?
Posted at 10:04 AM
RE: GO COUNTRY [Jonah Goldberg]
Stan - We've been around this sort of thing a few times around here (oh the Epic Battles over Crunchy Conservatism!), but since I've staked so much ground on this point I should at least defend it. So I'm not going to go long on this. However, Isn't the best, and really only, reason to "switch" to any music because the music in question is good and you like it?
Posted at 10:02 AM
SPAIN AND US [Stanley Kurtz]
The shameful events in Spain are going to have a major impact on our own elections. Will there be terrorism in November? Whether it happens or not, there will be constant speculation about the possibility. That will help shape the coming campaign. On balance, I think this tells in favor of the president. But the remarkable thing is that this election is going to be held under the shadow of a possible “vote” by the terrorists in November.
Posted at 10:01 AM
RE: ASIA IMPLODING [John Derbyshire]
Stanley: For some years now, my stock reply to the question: "Could China and Japan fight a war for supremacy in north Asia?" has been: "Well, if they hold off for a decade or two, they'll have to fight it on the shuffleboard court."
The lack of interest in marriage and childbearing among young urban Chinese women is one of the most striking features of China today, and a popular topic of conversation among Chinese people. Out in the sticks, of course, peasant women are still expected to produce a son -- and a spare, too, if they can finesse local birth-control regs (which they increasingly can). In the cities, though, childbearing is way, way down the priority list of the average young Chinese woman.
Posted at 09:58 AM
RE: IRISH CUISINE [John Derbyshire]
My own experience of Irish cooking, which is fairly extensive, suggests that Mr. Bulger left out some essentials.
I think it should be: "We put the food in boiling water. Then we go and hoe the fields for ten hours or so. Then we have a ceili [=dance party] for a few hours. Then, when we have slept off the ceili, we go to Mass, followed by quiet private devotions for the rest of the day. Then we take the food out."
Posted at 09:54 AM
EUROPE'S DEATH WISH [John Derbyshire]
A very interesting question, which has surfaced in one or two places in the blogosphere, is whether there is any connection between the reluctance of Europeans to fight against the enemies of their civilization, and their imploding birth rates.
The pseudonymous Spengler, for example, writing in Asia Times Online notes that:
"The country's [i.e. Spain's] fertility rate of 1.12 live births per female is the lowest in the world."
"Countries too lazy to produce their next generation will not fight. Who will lay down his life for future generations when the future generations simply will not be there?"
The demographic collapse of the European nations is the great phenomenon of our era, and keys in to many of the problems we discuss daily here at NRO -- immigration, for instance. The old Catholic nations (Spain, Portugal, Italy, Ireland not far behind) seem to be taking the lead; though Latvia -- which I believe is mostly Lutheran -- also offers a dramatic example)
Posted at 09:52 AM
GEORGIA PEACH [John J. Miller]
In the GOP primary for the Senate in Georgia, the Club for Growth is endorsing Herman Cain.
Posted at 09:51 AM
GO COUNTRY [Stanley Kurtz]
Had enough of Janet Jackson? Try country music. Don't give me excuses. OK, if you don't like any American pop, forget about it. But if you're conservative, and sometimes enjoy pop music, you can and should learn to love country music. Genre switching can be difficult, but it's doable. Country music is by no means consistently "conservative," in any simple political sense. Just think of Willie Nelson (who endorsed Dennis Kucinich, by the way) and Johnny Cash, whose recent tribute special on CMT played a bit like a sixties anti-war rally. On balance, though, country music is remarkable for being both conservative and popular.
Country music's conservatism comes through, even when there's nothing overtly political or religious about the music. Right now, though, there are some strikingly "conservative" hits at the top of the country charts. Jimmy Wayne's "I Love You This Much" and Josh Turner's "Long Black Train" are deservedly popular hits, each of which is deeply and overtly Christian. (Turner's conservatism comes though very strongly in the video.) It is not at all uncommon to hear passing references to God or religion in country songs. Yet it is relatively rare to have such overtly religious songs on the top of the country pop charts. Then there's Toby Keith's "American Soldier." The message and sentiment of this song and video are powerful and important. A generation ago, they would have been entirely unremarkable. Today, a song like "American Soldier" is difficult to imagine anywhere but in country music. So stop complaining about Janet and do something about her. Switch to country music.
Oh, and let's end with a word about the Dixie Chicks. I can't deny that I like their music. But the Vhicks handling of the controversy over their remarks about the president has been odious. There's all the difference in the world between Willie Nelson endorsing Dennis Kucinich-or even Tim Robbins' political posturing during the Johnny Cash tribute special-and what the Chicks did. There's a difference between taking a political stand, and egregiously insulting the president in front of a foreign audience. Of course the Chicks are free to speak as they please. But others are free to object to their conduct. For more on what I think is wrong with the Chicks, go here and scroll up.
Posted at 09:48 AM
ASIA IMPLODING [Stanley Kurtz]
I am continually impressed by Nicholas Eberstadt's ability to reveal the cultural and political significance of demography. Eberstadt's lead piece in the current issue of Policy Review, "Power and Population in Asia," is fascinating from any number of angles. Forget about the so-called population explosion. The real news is the world-wide population implosion. I knew about the declining fertility rate in Europe. That has everything to do with the war on terror, immigration, and the increasing rift between Europe and America. What I didn't know about was the decline of population across Eurasia. The developing meltdown of the former Soviet Union is only part of the story. The China angle was completely new to me, and deeply interesting. Note particularly the problem of Chinese sex ratio imbalance. A combination of the traditional Chinese preference for sons, China's "one child policy," and sex-selective abortion means that huge numbers of Chinese men will soon be unable to find wives. The social-political implications could be great. This many sided article is an eye-opener.
Posted at 09:46 AM
WATCHA WEARING? [Stanley Kurtz]
Joseph Epstein's essay on Americans as perpetual adolescents is a must read. This piece is too good to summarize.
Epstein begins with some reflections on the way even crowds at baseball games used to wear suits and fedoras. Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" was blaring from speakers of the café where I was reading this, and I realized that Lavigne was answering Epstein. For Epstein, our casual clothes show that we think of ourselves as adolescents. In contrast, when Lavigne's boyfriend puts on "preppy clothes," she chews him out for being inauthentic. For Epstein, Lavigne's world betrays and unbecoming refusal to grow up. For Lavigne, Epstein's universe looks like pretentious and inegalitarian social climbing.
Why the difference? Epstein points to affluence, which allows modern Americans to put serious life-choices on hold for years. Affluence is key, it's true-but I think the secret of our contrasting cultural modes lies in the connection between economic necessity and obligations to others. In Epstein's examples of adulthood, the theme is responsibility for others. The Depression forced even youngsters to support a family. World War II taught discipline, cooperation, and risk in the service of a higher goal. Alan Greenspan's careful words are obviously governed by his responsibility for others.
Formal clothes say that we are ready, willing, and able to subordinate ourselves to interests beyond ourselves. Adults have learned that discipline and sacrifice on behalf of someone or something else is actually a higher form of self-fulfillment. But to Epstein's perpetual adolescents, the discipline and apparent uniformity of adulthood is both a repudiation of self, and a grasping at oppressive hierarchy.
What makes Lavigne appealing, though, is her secret participation in the pleasures of hierarchy. Lavigne seems to be fighting for egalitarian informality. Actually, she's discovered a way to strike a pose of angry superiority-and enforced uniformity to boot.
By the way, for a very deep reflection on the connection between fashion, democracy, and modern culture, see Gilles Lipovetsky's, The Empire of Fashion.
Posted at 09:34 AM
POST ON SPAIN [KJL]
The Washington Post, at least this morning, gets it. See their "Spanish Response" editorial here.
Posted at 09:23 AM
IRISH CUISINE [Rick Brookhiser]
My favorite definition of Irish cooking came from William Bulger, former President of the Massachusetts Senate, at his annual St. Patrick's Day roast: "We put the food in boiling water. Then we take it out."
Posted at 09:17 AM
DECRYPTING DA VINCI [John J. Miller]
Last night, I finished reading The Da Vinci Code, the best-selling novel by Dan Brown, after requesting the book from my public library a couple of months ago. (More than a hundred people had their own requests ahead of mine.) My interest came from two places: 1. The book has become a cultural phenomenon; 2. I assumed its popularity meant that it was a very good example of genre fiction. Let me take the second matter first: The Da Vinci Code is well done, a real page-turner that held my interest as its heroes solved puzzles and uncovered a huge (if ridiculous) religious conspiracy (essentially to hide the “fact” that Jesus had a wife and a daughter). The ending was a letdown, but that’s a problem with so many thrillers (books and movies) that I’ve almost come to expect it--a build-up that’s better than the climax. Sometimes I have to remind myself, zen-like, that the journey is the destination. Having said all that, I was of course aware of book’s deep anti-Catholicism. Perhaps because I knew it was coming, I found this aspect less grating than I would have otherwise. I chose not to let it frustrate me, and so it didn’t, or at least not much. (For the Crisis magazine critique, go here; for Christianity Today, go here.) In the end, The Da Vinci Code reminded me of an Oliver Stone movie--go ahead and enjoy it, just don’t believe any of it. Nothing brought home that point more than this line, which has nothing to do with Brown’s silly premise: “The BBC producers ... had concerns that the concept was so shocking and hard to swallow that the network might end up tarnishing its reputation for quality journalism.” Obviously, Dan Brown writes about a make-believe world.
Posted at 08:57 AM
"MORE" VERSUS "FOREIGN" CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
CNN.com changes it to "more" without even explaining why. However, I think this isn't that big a story. It seems from the context that reporters took him to be talking about foreign leaders when he said "more." Here's the revised quote: "I've met more leaders who can't go out and say this publicly, but boy, they look at you and say, 'You got to win this. You got to beat this guy.'" Since Kerry has stood by this interpretation of his remarks by defending them, the change from "foreign" to "more" is pretty meaningless.
Posted at 08:55 AM
SYRIA SEALS OFF BORDER WITH IRAQ [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
From Haaretz: "Syria on Monday sealed off its border with Iraq after Iraqi Kurd fighters threatened to enter the country if violent clashes between Syrian security forces and Syrian Kurds were not brought to an end. "
Posted at 08:44 AM
RE: MORE VS. FOREIGN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Yes, as Jonah noted, Kerry was very clear here.
Posted at 08:38 AM
STEYN SULKS [Rod Dreher]
The Spanish election results have put Mark Steyn in a bad mood re: the appeasement-minded Continent: The other day, the editor of Le Monde, writing in the Wall Street Journal, dismissed as utterly false the widespread belief among all Americans except John Kerry's campaign staff that France is a worthless ally: "Let us remember here," he wrote, "the involvement of French and German soldiers, among other European nationalities, in the operations launched in Afghanistan to pursue the Taliban, track down bin Laden and attempt to free the Afghans."
Oh, put a baguette in it, will you? The Continentals didn't "launch" anything in Afghanistan. They showed up when the war was over - after the Taliban had been toppled and the Afghans liberated. And a few hundred Nato troops in post-combat mopping-up operations barely registers in the scale against the gazillions of Americans defending the Continent so that EU governments can blow their defence budgets on welfare programmes that make the citizens ever more enervated and dependent.
Posted at 08:25 AM
GREEN BEER, CORN BEEF & CABBAGGE [KJL]
Send in your favorite St. Patrick's Day recipes here and we'll post the most edible tomorrow. Please include whether or not you want your name and town included when posted.
Posted at 08:24 AM
CAMPUS CONS [John J. Miller]
Were you ever associated with a conservative student newspaper or magazine at a college or university? If so, the Collegiate Network, which organizes and supports these publications, wants to hear from you. Go here.
Posted at 06:40 AM
Monday, March 15, 2004
MORE VERSUS FOREIGN [Jonah Goldberg ]
This Drudge story about how the Boston Globe reporter mistranscribed Kerry's comment as "foreign leaders" when Kerry really said "foreign leaders" is pretty confusing since Kerry has defended a comment he now supposedly never said. Is it because Kerry simply assumed the reporter got it right and Kerry didn't remember saying otherwise?
Posted at 09:51 PM
MISTAKE [Rich Lowry]
I say in my Franken critique that the Barnes flag passed in Georgia a couple of weeks ago. It didn't. It lost big to another alternative that was broadly acceptable to all sides.
Posted at 05:43 PM
LESBIAN MEDIA ETHICS [Tim Graham]
After much hand-wringing and approval from liberal journalism guru Tom Rosenstiel, San Francisco Chronicle editors decided that Rachel Gordon and Liz Mangelsdorf shouldn't continue to cover the same-sex marriage story after recently getting married.
"The issue here is most definitely not the integrity of the journalists themselves," wrote editor Phil Bronstein. "Nor is it about gay and lesbian rights, even as the story itself is. (Rachel and Liz disagree on this point in particular, and with the decision in general). Nor is it about the paper determining whether anyone should get married or not. We can’t, shouldn’t and won’t determine that. ...But the issue is the integrity and credibility of the paper, as well as conflict and the perception of conflict."
Posted at 05:42 PM
"DIBS ON THE COCKTAIL ONIONS!" [The Couch]
Posted at 05:05 PM
THE REST OF US.... [Jonah Goldberg]
Will be at a local dive bar drinking rail liquor and eating from the cocktail condiment tray!
Posted at 05:04 PM
PERLE & SIKORSKI ABOARD NR BERMUDA CRUISE! [Jack Fowler]
SHAZAM! Richard Perle, author (with David Frum of An End to Evil) and former head of the Defense Policy Board, and Radek Sikorski (one-time NR “Roving Correspondent” and senior Polish diplomatic and defense official, now director of the New Atlantic Initiative--whew!) will be joining Bill Buckley, Bill Bennett, former CIA director James Woolsey, Rich Lowry, John O’Sullivan, Jay Nordlinger, and Ramesh Ponnuru on NR’s 2004 Bermuda Cruise (scheduled for May 12-19, leaving from New York). That’s an amazing lineup of speakers (we’ll be holding several seminar sessions discussing current events, in addition to cocktail receptions and smokers with world-class H. Upmann cigars!). Lucky you: There are still a few staterooms (on Radisson Seven Seas Cruises’ super-luxurious MS Navigator). Sign up right now: Simply go to www.nationalreviewcruise-bermuda.com and reserve your cabin (securely) and to get complete info on this fantastic trip.
Posted at 04:47 PM
WASHINGTON & LEE [Jonah Goldberg]
This just in:
Jonah, I'm a student at W&L and a member of the committee that invited you. The speech is most definitely open to the public. Please tell everyone you know to come. Feel free to bring the missus, Lucy and Cosmo.
Posted at 04:30 PM
SHUT UP MOM AND DAD [Rod Dreher]
My DMN colleague and fellow Gen Xer Ruben Navarrette had a controversial commentary on NPR this morning, saying he's sick and tired of hearing Baby Boomers complain about the president's war record, and whine about Vietnam. Ruben says that 9/11 is the big issue in this election, not Vietnam, and he wishes the Boomers would get over themselves.
Posted at 04:02 PM
MY GAY LOVER? [Rich Lowry]
One thing I should address right away. Franken suggests the Robert to whom I dedicate my book might be my gay lover. He is actually my brother. I think this is what liberals usually call “sexual McCarthyism.”
Posted at 03:56 PM
FRANKEN V. LOWRY [Rich Lowry]
Here is Franken’s piece on Legacy. And my piece on Lying Liars. Franken’s critique is shot through with errors which I will try to write about sometime this week.
Posted at 03:39 PM
ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE BETTER THAN COUNTING SHEEP NOW! [KJL]
Sharpton is to drop out and endorse Kerry, CNN just reported.
Posted at 03:25 PM
SPANISH ELECTIONS [John Derbyshire]
Without intending any disrespect to the dead of Bali, Israel, or of course Madrid, I think the Spanish election result is the worst thing to happen yet in the War on Terror. It is a huge victory for Al Qaeda, their greatest to date. Not even 9/11 changed any consequential government. (Unless you count New York City's, which I don't.)
You can argue that last week's terror bombings were not the main factor in this change of government, and you may be correct. What matters, however, is whether Al Qaeda, and their potential recruits, BELIEVE it was the main factor. I have no doubt they do so believe. Greatly heartened, they are back on their feet and swinging, asking themselves which Western election result they would like to change next.
The blame must, of course, fall squarely on the Spanish electorate. It would be wrong to think, however, that there is anything peculiarly Spanish about their abject surrender. There has only been one instance in recent years of a War on Terror being fought to any kind of conclusion, and that was the war between Britain and the Irish terrorists. That war ended, or at any rate quiesced, with a near-total surrender on the part of the British. Irish terrorist capos are now ensconced in ministerial positions in London and Ireland, on salaries paid for by British taxpayers. Their foot soldiers, those serving jail time, have been pardoned and let free. Their arms caches are all intact. They control large areas of Northern Ireland (and some in the Irish Republic, too) where police simply will not go.
This will be the pattern, I fear. Confronted with terrorism like Al Qaeda's, the pampered, fat, comfortable electorates of the West will not fight. They will jump to do the terrorists' bidding. Change our government? yes, Sir! Stop giving support to President Bush? Yes, yes, Sir! Jump, you flabby swine! How high, Sir?
The West will pay the Danegeld. Does this apply to the USA, too? I wish I could say I felt sure it didn't. In despair, I reach for my Kipling.
Posted at 03:06 PM
KERRY ON ALLIES [Jonah Goldberg ]
Posted at 02:58 PM
GETTING A CLUE [Rod Dreher]
Writing in today's Opinion Journal, a conservative Methodist pastor makes a solid, if depressing, argument that the attempts to stop gay marriage amount to closing the barn door after the horses have already left. Writes the Rev. Donald Sensing: Sex, childbearing and marriage now have no necessary connection to one another, because the biological connection between sex and childbearing is controllable. The fundamental basis for marriage has thus been technologically obviated. Pair that development with rampant, easy divorce without social stigma, and talk in 2004 of "saving marriage" is pretty specious. There's little there left to save. Men and women today who have successful, enduring marriages till death do them part do so in spite of society, not because of it. If society has abandoned regulating heterosexual conduct of men and women, what right does it have to regulate homosexual conduct, including the regulation of their legal and property relationship with one another to mirror exactly that of hetero, married couples? I believe that this state of affairs is contrary to the will of God. But traditionalists, especially Christian traditionalists (in whose ranks I include myself) need to get a clue about what has really been going on and face the fact that same-sex marriage, if it comes about, will not cause the degeneration of the institution of marriage; it is the result of it.All of this was predicted by that prophetic 1968 papal encyclical American Catholics love to hate, Humanae Vitae.
Posted at 02:54 PM
PERSPECTIVE [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 02:24 PM
WASHINGTON & LEE [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm still speaking there tomorrow night. I can't find any info one way or the other about whether it's open to the public. But my experience is that it's usually not a problem. It's at 7:30 at Lee Chapel. The requested subject: "Diversity, Pacifism and other Crazy/Strange Ideas"....
Posted at 02:23 PM
JESSE JACKSON UPDATE [Tim Graham]
As Illinois voters prepare to select who will run to succeed retiring Sen. Peter Fitzgerald, MRC's Ken Shepherd notes that this sort of primary-season speech would be seen as a chilling bit of church-state commingling if it came from religious conservatives:
"Mr. Jackson stood in front of a Chicago church choir, endorsed Barack Obama and recalled how Congress passed the landmark Voting Rights Act 39 years ago after civil rights marchers outside Selma, Ala., were met with dogs and police clubs. 'We must never forget the blood of the cross or the blood on the bridge at Selma, Ala.,' Mr. Jackson said."
Posted at 02:14 PM
MIDEAST STUDIES CORNER [Stanley Kurtz]
A public letter endorsing HR 3077, the bill that would reform the government’s system of subsidies to programs of Middle East and other area studies, has now been issued and signed by nearly every important Jewish group in the nation. Details are here.
Posted at 02:13 PM
DIZZY WOMEN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
My review of Spin Sisters: How the Women of the Media Sell Unhappiness-- and Liberalism--to the Women of America is here. The book is here.
Posted at 02:04 PM
TOTALLY THE STUPIDEST INTERNET TIMEWASTER YET [John Derbyshire]
Though it DOES at least use Latin.
Posted at 01:55 PM
RE: BOY SCOUTS [John Derbyshire]
Andrew Sullivan takes great umbrage at my declared refusal to believe the following proposition:
"[H]omosexuality and pederasty are utterly different things, not related to each other in any way, shape or form whatsoever."
According to Merriam-Webster's Third, homosexuality is "atypical sexuality characterized by manifestation of sexual desire toward a member of one's own sex," while pederasty is "anal intercourse especially with a boy as the passive partner."
According to the BSA website "Boy Scouting is available to boys who are 11 through 17 years old."
So in order to share Sullivan's outrage, you have to believe that there is not, never was, and never could be a homosexual anywhere who would like to engage in sex play with any boy aged from 11 to 17.
You can believe it if you like, but I still refuse to.
Posted at 01:54 PM
LOMBORG'S CONTINUING VINDICATION [Jonathan H. Adler]
Ron Bailey reports.
Posted at 01:44 PM
EXORCIST BUNNIES [Jonathan H. Adler]
Unless he's already seen it, I suspect Jonah will be amused by this.
Posted at 01:41 PM
ROONEY'S MAIL [Tim Graham]
In response to the great revulsion over his acidulous "God told me Mel Gibson was crazy" commentary on CBS about "The Passion of the Christ," Andy Rooney devoted his "60 Minutes" commentary last night to the most obnoxious (read: hardly Christian) retorts: "Andy Rooney is a nut case, and should be fined and removed for his obnoxious, sarcastic and vicious comments....Or better yet -- he should have his eyebrows shaved off." I'm sure Rooney made his point about the lack of charity, but I think it must have still been funny to see him read these insulting letters about himself on the air. Let's have all the anchormen do that...
Posted at 01:38 PM
RE: THE FUNNIEST PERSON IN WASHINGTON, DC [Michael Graham]
I was there, Jonah, as one of the "special guests" (a.k.a. a "ringer") and Grover Norquist did an outstanding job representing the Right. And you're wront about Julianne Malveaux--she was HILARIOUS! Instead of material, just merely read some economic theory from her most recent columns. Hilarity ensued.
The winner was Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Congressman Brian Baird (D-WA), who does a dead-on GWB, was first-runner up.
Most Memorable Moment: DC Mayor Tony Williams requesting bottled water instead of city tap water. We think he was joking, but we're not sure.
Posted at 01:35 PM
PAID ENVIRONMENTAL ENDORSEMENTS? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Some Republicans are crying foul over the League of Conservation Voters' endorsement of Senator John Kerry for President. The endorsement should be no surprise -- the LCV rarely endoreses Republicans, especially those to the right of the late Senator John Chafee. Nonetheless, the endorsement did come rather early in the primaries, whereas in 2000 LCV did not endorse Al "Earth in the Balance Gore until April. What could explain the eagerness to endorse Kerry? Some suggest its the vast sums of money given by the various Heinz foundations to LCV and related organizations. The Hill reports on the charges here.
Posted at 12:12 PM
KENNEDY V. PRYOR [Jonathan H. Adler]
Senator Kennedy steps up his efforts to delegitimize the recess appointment of Judge William Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. See also this report from The Hill.
Posted at 12:11 PM
DAMNABLE TURNOUT [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Posted at 12:01 PM
FUNNIEST WASHINGTONIAN [Jonah Goldberg]
They had the annual competition for the funniest person in Washington last week. I wasn't invited again. I'm really torn about this. On the one hand, I'm not sure I'd want to do it. I try to discourage folks from describing me as a conservative "humorist" whenever possible. On the other hand, it bugs me I've never been invited. They invite all sorts of folks with even less of a reputation for being amusing than me. I mean Julianne Malveaux was invited this year. And from the reports I've heard, she was exactly as funny as you'd expect.
Posted at 11:57 AM
SYRIAN RIOTING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Some photos and bloggings
Posted at 11:52 AM
KERRY: IT DEPENDS ON THE MEANING OF "FOR" [Jonah Goldberg]
John Kerry boasts to a Cuban group that he voted for Helms-Burton, except well he didn't actually vote for it. (Nod to Mickey Kaus)
Posted at 11:50 AM
COLORADO MAN [John J. Miller]
Former congressman Bob Schaffer, a conservative, becomes the GOP's first Senate candidate in Colorado today. Republicans have had a tough time coming up with a man to run for the seat of retiring Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell. So far, Gov. Owens and the entire Republican congressional delegration has declined to get in. So has state treasurer Mike Coffman, former RNC chair Jim Nicholson, and Secretary of the Interior Gail Norton. Lt. Gov. Jane Norton is still thinking things over. From what I can tell, Schaffer will be the preferred candidate for conservatives--though any Republican will have a tough time against the anointed Democrat, state AG Ken Salazar--who has been described to me as "to the right of Joe Lieberman," i.e., a pro-life, pro-school choice Hispanic.
Posted at 10:38 AM
ALLIES: WHAT ARE THEY GOOD FOR? [Jonah Goldberg ]
Recall Ramesh's -- and others' -- critique of Krauthammer's AEI speech? The upshot was that Krauthammer doesn't care enough about allies. I think the criticism was valid, but the Spanish election has me re-thinking the value of allies like Spain.
I salute the courage of the Aznar Government, the Spanish troops in Iraq and no doubt countless individual Spaniards who see the war on terror for what it is. But at the end of the day it's clear that the Spanish people were never with us. Public opinion was always against Aznar -- which makes him all the more courageous -- and this one attack was all it took for public opinion to have its way.
So, the question is, what good was it to have Spain as an ally at all? Yes, there was some political cover, but clearly not very much in the eyes of the "world community." Spain's membership in the Coalition didn't sway any Americans to support the war who otherwise wouldn't have. And, Spain didn't alleviate a very significant share of the military burden.
Meanwhile, if terrorists learn the lesson that blowing up a few trains will cause nations like Spain to drop out of the Coalition, that helps nobody.
"Multilateralists" like Kerry insist we should have had more allies like Spain. Yes, I know. Kerry says if he had been president he would have won the "significant" support of allies -- i.e. securing whole divisions for the fight etc. But I think Kerry is lying to us or himself. How could he have won more support if he was less supportive of the war than Bush himself. I know he's got a lot of juice with these foreign leaders who want him to win, but his quest for allies would have been eternal.
But, the more important question is Why grovel for allies in the first place? If, at the end of the day, only those nations which truly want to be with us can be relied upon to stay with us then why jump through so many hoops to get allies in the first place? If something needs doing, it needs to be done. If we've got help, great. If not, so be it.
Posted at 09:55 AM
RE: THE TERRORISTS WON [KJL]
Jonah, even Hans Blix agreed with that assessment, on FNC this morning.
Posted at 09:42 AM
SPAIN [Stanley Kurtz]
Appeasement and shame, they name is Spain. This people lives an ocean away from us. Yet they have brought shame on all of us.
How would Americans react to terror here on the eve of our next election? Not like the Spanish, I'll wager. We are not Europeans. And yet we are. We have the potential to show their weakness. Yet I also believe that Europe has the potential to show our strength. The West is being tested. Yes, this will confirm some appeasers in their cowardice. Yet the spectacle of Al Qaeda using terror to flip the government of a major European state may wake some Europeans up. These events will be iconic. They will sharpen our internal differences on the war to a spear point. Many Spanish themselves-having acted without courage or forethought in the heat of the moment-may soon regret what they've done. Who are we? We shall soon find out.
The underlying cause of the drift between the United States in Europe is an apparent change in our interest situations. American soldiers once acted as a trip wire on the front lines of Europe (and Korea). Our presence in Europe meant protection for Europeans, and emphasized our shared fates. When the front lines shifted to American cities, everything seemed to change. The Europeans believed that they could escape the terrorist danger by distancing themselves from us. Europe's large population of Muslim immigrants, porous borders, and proximity to the Middle East stoked their fears, and made them see America's tough policy on terror as a danger to them. Now, Europe's fears about American policy have been dramatically realized. Americans need to understand this. Europe has blamed us for failing to see the danger they are in. Europe has hoped to escape that danger by disowning America. And now, from one perspective, Europe's worst nightmare has been confirmed. By following America, they have been dragged into the terrorist mire.
Yet it may take the realization of Europe's worst fears to bring change. Only now are the full implications of appeasement apparent. Only now has European self-knowledge become possible. Spain has realized the worst fears of Europe's appeasers-and of Americans who fear appeasement. Change was impossible without this shock to the system. We have surely not seen the end of terror, it is true. But we have not seen the end of the West's internal struggle either. The true test of who we are has just begun.
Posted at 09:40 AM
OK, MY CORNER COMPADRES [Michael Graham]
Does anyone know the Spanish word for "coward?"
I need to know before I go on the air at 10am (630wmal.com via the net).
Posted at 09:36 AM
NO RIGHT TO JUDGE [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm not going to get back into the whole "Mel's Profits" thing. However since I had to read so many emails making similar arguments, let me respond to one point en masse.
To summarize: People say my "comparisons" of Gibson to Michael Moore or Oliver Stone are inappropriate because Gibson's a good guy -- for want of a better term -- while the other two are crapweasels.
Well, first of all, I didn't really compare Moore and Stone to Gibson so much as use their examples to illustrate my point. Nevertheless these readers illustrate it just as well when they say Gibson's a good guy (which I still think is probably true).
If you think Gibson's a good guy you're "judging" him just as much as you would be if you thought he's a bad guy. If Gibson had announced he was going to give all of his profits to orphanages, how many of the readers pounding their keyboards about how I have "no right to judge Gibson or what he does with his money" would have still complained if I said the guy was a hero? In other words, it seems like most of the readers who say I have no right to judge Gibson have judged him too. They just think he shouldn't be judged poorly.
If we have no right to judge people, then it must be absolute. Otherwise, we live in the sort of cultural sewer which says we can celebrate everything but condemn nothing.
Posted at 09:28 AM
EL PROBLEMA? [John J. Miller]
I had no idea--or at least I'd forgotten long ago. I guess I'm the product of a failed bilingual education program.
Posted at 09:26 AM
ON A LIGHTER NOTE [Jonah Goldberg]
Chappelle's Show on Comedy Central is rude, offensive, borderline racist and one of the #%&*$ funniest shows on TV. I only recently started watching it and I'm very impressed.
Posted at 09:17 AM
"THEN THE TERRORISTS WILL HAVE WON" [Jonah Goldberg]
Nine out of ten times this phrase is used, it's nonsense (i.e. "if NEA funding doesn't increase above the inflation rate -- the terrorists will have won!). But I cannot see how the terrorists -- whoever they may be -- haven't won here. If the Socialists came into power and said, "We will not be intimidated by terror" the terrorists would not have won. If Aznar's party had been reelected, the terrorist would not have won. But when the Spanish people basically shout "We're sorry" after having 200 of their people blown to smithereens, then the terrorists have won. The only possible upside is that this analysis gains adherents around Europe. Meanwhile, I hope the polls are boosting their domestic security.
Posted at 09:16 AM
MAD MAX AND ARISTIDE [KJL]
Maxine Waters is escorting Aristide to Jamaica asylum.
Posted at 08:48 AM
RE: SCOUTS [Tim Graham]
I've meant to add to Rich's column on the Boy Scouts being a "church"...when I was a Cub Scout leader a few years ago, we were handed a sheet of the different religious awards the Cubs could earn. The Catholics have the "Parvuli Dei," which one of my nephews just earned. But it's amazing how many religions are included, from Mormons to Muslims to Buddhists to Hindus. It would be one enormously contradictory church.
Posted at 08:45 AM
EL ESPANOL DEL RINCON [KJL]
"I'm glad the Corner is showing its Spanish solidarity this weekend (I've always felt an affinity for the country since living there briefly a few separate times). However, I can't resist pointing out to John Miller that it's 'el problema,' not 'la problema' (though I agree we now face one in light of Spain's response to al Qaeda). And if anyone then tries to say "no problema," stop them quickly! Gracias."
Posted at 08:38 AM
HOW ABOUT SOME GOOD NEWS? [Tim Graham]
MRC's Brent Baker reports this morning that good news may slip in as the networks mark the first anniversary of the war to liberate Iraq. On Friday's Larry King Live on CNN, CBS's Dan Rather in Iraq opined to King that if he were to travel to Iraq, "I think the biggest thing you would notice is freedom." On Saturday night, ABC's John Donvan conveyed, over video of kids on swings and people smiling from their trucks and rickshaws as they drove by, that "to a surprising degree, that doesn't often make the news," much of life goes on in Baghdad with dry cleaners functioning, chicken grilling at street side and sidewalks full of goods for sale.
Posted at 08:37 AM
A SPANIARD WHO GETS IT [Michael Graham]
"The terrorists have killed 200 people and defeated the government -- they have achieved all their objectives. I think the terrorist attacks were politically planned. We have transformed terrorists into political actors with this."-- Gustavo de Arustegui, a Popular Party member of parliament and foreign policy spokesman for the government.
Posted at 08:33 AM
MAKING SENSE OF 9/11 [Michael Graham]
One of the questions pragmatic observers have asked since the Al Qaeda attacks on Washington and New York is "What were they thinking?" What could the terrorists possibly hope to accomplish? Didn't they know America would strike back, and strike back hard? Al Qaeda lost far more than they gained. What did they think we would do?
Now we know. The Islamo-fascist terrorists thought that America would do in 2001 what the Spanish did Sunday: Surrender. They thought we would say (as a handful of Americans on the left did at the time) "just let them have what they want. Let's abandon Israel and leave Saudi Arabia. It's not worth it."
We did not retreat. We fought. The Islamists misjudged us. They thought we were Europeans.
When they withdraw their brave soldiers from Iraq, will it be fair to call the Spanish voters "cowards?" Should they be blamed if other Western nations are attacked in coming months because the Madrid bombing is perceived as a success for the terrorists?
Does it matter, if that's what the Islamo-fascists think?
Posted at 08:29 AM
PLANET X [John J. Miller]
So scientists have found a 10th planet, sort of. This is actually going to increase pressure to go back to eight planets, because discovering a bunch of icy rocks about the size of Pluto way out in the Kuiper Belt--as seems likely over the next few decades--is going to make the astronomers give more thought to what it takes to classify an object orbiting the sun as a "planet." This new object, currently called Sedna after an Inuit goddess, is a bit smaller than Pluto, but possibly big enough (like Pluto) to have a limited atmosphere. The major threat toward Pluto will come when somebody finds a Kuiper Belt object that's just a little bigger.
Posted at 05:57 AM
MUY MALO [KJL]
Spanish troops in Iraq will be headed home.
Posted at 05:55 AM
LA PROBLEMA [John J. Miller]
The odds of a terrorist attack in the United States this October have just gone up. Not sure how eager I'll be to ride Amtrak around then. And if the Bush administration raises the threat level a few weeks before the election, it's going to be accused of playing on people's emotions in order to win votes--i.e., playing politics with that threat advisory thingie.
Posted at 05:40 AM
Sunday, March 14, 2004
CATASTROPHE [Peter Robinson]
Terrorists--Basques, Islamists, or whatever, they were terrorists--have now succeeded in producing a change in government in a major Western European nation. Jacques Chirac, Gerhard Schroeder, and even Tony Blair have no doubt already begun to factor events in Spain into their own political calculations, and it is difficult to imagine that the conclusions they'll draw will help Bush prosecute the war.
Posted at 10:49 PM
VERY BAD [Jonah Goldberg]
The socialist victory in Spain is very bad news if, as it seems, they wouldn't have won save for the terrorist attacks. If al Qaeda -- or any other terrorist groups -- conclude that such attacks will be rewarded at the polls then the war on terror is in real trouble and a lot of Western allies may be in jeopardy. Moreover, if this is really what's happened, John Kerry had better stop talking about how foreign leaders want him to win. The gist of Kerry's boasting is that if he's elected "moderates" (i.e. accomodationists) will be ascendent. That's precisely the wrong message to send.
Posted at 10:26 PM
NEUROTIC? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Tim, I’d agree that the examples you cite are juvenile, unfunny and tasteless (OK, OK, I confess to smiling at the notion of a ‘chipmunk whore’). I also concede that there has to be some (light) regulation of broadcast content (satellite and cable are an entirely different debate), but the extent of the proposed changes in the law do, I fear, seem to have more than a touch of hysteria about them. I'll stick with my adjective.
Posted at 04:53 PM
REICHSTAG? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Rod, I may be proved wrong tomorrow, but I’d be astonished if there’s anything sinister (in the sense that you mean), by the fire in Moscow. The building in question, the Manezh, is a well-known landmark, but unlike the Reichstag has little or no symbolic value. Besides Putin now has all the power he could possibly want. He doesn’t need to resort to arson.
Posted at 04:38 PM
TERRORISTS TOPPLE SPANISH GOVT [Rod Dreher]
The election results are terrible news. It shows that the Europeans are willing to be cowed by terror into voting for appeasers. Message to terrorists: commit terrorism on the eve of elections, say you're doing it to punish the government for standing by the United States, and you can drive a wedge between Western allies.
Posted at 04:21 PM
TERRORISTS IMPACT THE SPANISH ELECTIONS [KJL]
"Mike in Madrid" sent this last night and it seems to be holding true, very unfortunately: "
Posted at 04:15 PM
OBC, THE O'DONNELL BROADCASTING COMPANY [Tim Graham]
In case you missed it, Friday night's "20-20" on ABC (or make that OBC, the O'Donnell Broadcasting Company) performed another Rosie infomercial. The entire show promoted the gay-left agenda. Here's the rundown.
1. Another "exclusive interview" looking into Rosie World, this time focusing on Kelli Carpenter, Rosie's "partner." They don't use the word "wife." It is the world according to Rosie again, with Kelli presented as a pretty picture of the lesbian lifestyle, and Kelli's parents playing the role of Troglodytes Who Have to Surrender.
2. An interview with Elton John, who says he's never contemplated a "gay marriage," but hits the politically correct lefty points about marriage "discrimination."
3. John Stossel, ostensibly adding "balance" to the program, offers a few moments to Jan La Rue, a sharp conservative expert at Concerned Women for America. Stossel's point is that both sides are too blinded by certitude to find common ground. But the real criticism is saved for the conservatives. Why don't they fuss about the damages to heterosexual marriages, like the shows "Married by America" or "Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire"? Or the stunt wedding of Britney Spears? Stossel makes a showy point of saying that he couldn't find condemnation of the Britney stunt on the Concerned Women web site.
Stossel is lame on several counts, starting with only really applying scrutiny to the conservative groups. Second, CWA has been a daily fighter for the sanctity of marriage, whether or not it has a sour word for Britney. (For example, see here. ) That's not to say that conservatives in general haven't hit these shows and stunts as they appear. (See here. )
But why does ABC have to dip back four years into Darva Conger, when they could have used current examples: "My Big Fat Obnoxious Fiance" or "Joe Millionaire" or "Average Joe"...or ABC's "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette"?
Posted at 04:06 PM
REMEMBER THE REICHSTAG [Rod Dreher]
I have a bad feeling about this Moscow fire burning now near the Kremlin. Maybe it was an accident. Maybe it was deliberately set. But it seems all too convenient that this thing broke out at the end of the election day in which Vladimir Putin was returned to power with the people's mandate. It will be interesting to see what the Kremlin has to say about this fire. Will Putin blame it on Chechen terrorists, accurately or falsely, and use it as an excuse to institute a formal dictatorship? Who will be the Marius van der Lubbe of Moscow? This bears close scrutiny.
Posted at 04:01 PM
WHO'S NEUROTIC? [Tim Graham]
Andrew, I must take exception to your definition of the new FCC-fine-hiking legislation as "neurotic." I have a different definition of "neurotic": radio announcers who are supposedly well into adulthood, but are doing unfunny radio skits about Scooby-Doo telling Shaggy he'll have to act like a Clinton intern to satisfy his crack habit, George Jetson boasting of his Spacely Sprocket penis ring, and the Chipmunks talking about how they haven't been laid for weeks and need a "filthy chipmunk whore." That boy needs a shrink. But the media are too bound by notions of decency (or pro-shock-jock bias) to actually describe what these people spew on the airwaves.
Posted at 03:36 PM
MADRID [Andrew Stuttaford]
It’s not difficult to see how the arrests in Spain (as well as a videotaped claim of ‘credit’) could point to the involvement of an Islamist group in the Madrid atrocity. It will be a while, doubtless, before we know for sure. Sadly, finding out the truth may be also be complicated by domestic political considerations in Spain (today is an election day). If ETA was responsible for the murders this may well be seen as justifying the government’s tough line on Basque separatism. If al Qaeda (or a related group) turn out to be the perpetrators, the argument is bound to be made that the government have brought this tragedy upon Spain by supporting the US in Iraq. To think that would be a mistake. The aim of the Islamic extreme is, quite simply, the destruction of western civilization: our books, our learning, our culture, our freedoms, our everything. It’s all of us. It’s you, and it’s me. The order in which these terrorists select their victims is just a detail, just part of a greater plan.
Writing in the London Observer David Aaronovitch sees an analogy:
“How shall we imagine [the bombers], though? Sitting around a kitchen table in a suburban apartment perhaps, with glasses of apple juice or tea, pieces of paper scattered about, covered in diagrams and sketch maps. How many devices? Thirteen should do it, packed with nails, because that really increases their effectiveness. Where placed? All on suburban trains timed to get into the central station in the same period. If it goes to plan we should be able to kill or maim possibly hundreds of commuters. Which will be a great victory. Good luck! God bless!
”This is a picture of a minor Wannsee that must have happened in some form, a conference of technicians planning the deliberate deaths of innocents. Where the whole point was the deliberate deaths of innocents.”
Posted at 02:23 PM
RUMSFELD [Andrew Stuttaford]
So Rumsfeld is under attack for having a piece of the plane that crashed into the Pentagon on display in his office. Blogger Jeff Jarvis says what needs to be said:
”Well, I say he should keep it there. And he should give it to his successor, who should never forget whom we're fighting and what we're protecting. And I'll go farther: Take a piece of debris from the Towers and put it in the lobby of the FBI under a sign that says, "Remember." Take a piece of the debris and put it in the Office of Homeland Security under a sign that says, "Never again." Take a piece of that day and put it in the Oval Office and drill it into the wall so every President from now on will remember his or her first and most important job: protecting the people of America. And while we're at it, why not take a piece and put it in a frame and give it to every congressman and every newspaper editor and every network news head and send one to every delegate in the U.N. with a sign that says, "This is what we are fighting for.""
Posted at 01:26 PM