ALIEN VS PREDATOR [Andrew Stuttaford]
There had been a lot of sneering and carping by the pointy-headed and the purists ahead of the release of this potentially wildly entertaining epic. Around here we are, as you would expect, far more open-minded than that, so together with Alex Rose, I went last night to check out this clash of truly nasty titans in a packed, cheering cinema just off Times Square.
Paper-thin characterization, laughable dialog, wooden acting, lotsa slime, Spud from Trainspotting, hoky mythologizing, sub-Tomb Raider sets, a weird X-Files reference (oh yes), interesting details for Alien completists, Frank Black, and great, great creature punch-ups, this movie has it all, except, disappointingly, gratuitous nudity (that pesky PG-13, I suppose).
Two (severed) thumbs up.
Posted at 11:21 PM
EMAIL FROM TIBET [John Derbyshire]
"Mr. Derbyshire---I write from Lhasa, Tibet. I tried accessing the link you posted on The Corner to 'Epoch Times' [see below -- JD]. Any guesses as to why the site isn't coming up? Just kidding.
"I first noticed this strange occurrence when Drudge posted a story about the violent squashing of an uprising somewhere in China's countryside. I'll just pick up a copy of China Daily to get a better idea as to what that was all about.
[NB: He's kidding about China Daily -- it's an English-language paper put out by the ChiComs.]
Posted at 11:09 PM
LOUIS MICHEL [Andrew Stuttaford]
The new president of the EU Commission has announced which of his new team is getting which job. One of the appointments is Louis Michel, until recently Belgium’s foreign minister. Here’s what Michel had to say earlier this year about a BBC documentary on Belgian rule in the Congo, a rule that cost some ten million lives:
"It totally ignores the historical, intellectual and cultural context, and amounts to a tendentious diatribe… I object to the way in which this film presents our country."
The “historical, intellectual and cultural context” of genocide?
Louis Michel will now be the EU’s Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid.
No further comment necessary.
Posted at 02:41 PM
MORE QUESTIONS. [KJL]
Captain Ed does more inconsistency work in the Kerry Vietnam story. I honestly just wish Kerry would release the records and end all this.
Posted at 11:27 AM
WIRELESS IN THE AFGHAN DESERT [KJL]
Posted at 11:16 AM
MWC QUOTES [John Derbyshire]
The mother lode.
Incidentally, any time I mention MWC on NRO I get snooty little e-mails from people accusing me of aiding and abetting the decline of Western Civ. -- in which decline, apparently, MWC has been instrumental.
To these people I reply thus.
Posted at 11:13 AM
MEDIA AND KERRY-CAMBODIA [Dave Kopel]
Another important daily newspaper breaks the media vow of silence on Kerry's Cambodia Christmas Caper: my latest media analysis column in the Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post.
Posted at 11:11 AM
O'NEILL VS. KERRY [KJL]
I'm told the debate is airing on C-SPAN, from the Dick Cavett Show, Sunday, 8/15, at 6 p.m. EDT.
Posted at 11:08 AM
RE: MCGREEVEY [John Derbyshire]
The customers are clamoring for a clerihew. Right-o.
James E. McGreevey
Practiced to deceive. He
Lost his job in Trenton
Because of an affair the pursuit of which he was foolishly bent on.
Posted at 11:05 AM
OLYMPICS [John Derbyshire]
I watched the Olympics opening ceremony last night. There is only one word for that stuff, and Vladimir Nabokov coined it (at any rate for the English-speaking world): "poshlost."
Posted at 10:59 AM
Friday, August 13, 2004
NOT HIP [KJL]
Huey Lewis endorses JK.
Posted at 08:59 PM
RE: MCGREEVEY [John Derbyshire]
[Sorry. Slow afternoon here chez Derb.]
Posted at 06:17 PM
RE: MCGREEVEY [John Derbyshire]
James E. McGreevey
Resigning his office
Gave us a speech.
Spoke in the plural
Of "truths" and "realities."
Someone should tell him
There's just one of each.
Posted at 06:16 PM
AND THERE ARE, OF COURSE, HURRICANE BLOGGERS [KJL]
Posted at 06:05 PM
HURRICANE WATCHING [Rod Dreher]
If you've got broadband, watch hurricane coverage from NBC Channel 2 in Fort Myers -- scary, fascinating stuff.
Posted at 06:02 PM
BEHEADING [Andy McCarthy]
Following hard on my rebuttal today of Mustafa Akyol's contention yesterday that Islam condemns the terrorist beheadings of captives is the news today of the most recent decapitation of an Egyptian man labeled an American spy by Tawhid (Zarqawi's Qaeda-affiliated terror organization). You can read about it here. I don't know what is more discouraging: the matter-of-fact reporting by the Associated Press that the "morality" of beheading captives is a fit subject for "debate," or the course that debate appears to be taking in Islamic cyberspace -- i.e., that the only real question is the propriety of savaging MUSLIM captives. Here's the pertinent part of th AP report:
The morality of killing Muslims who work for the U.S.-led multinational force in Iraq has long been debated on Islamic extremist Web sites, but generally it has been considered justifiable. . . .Me: This is definitely one where I'd be delighted to say Mr. Akyol is right and I am wrong. I don't see how, though, one gets to an unequivocal condemnation with all that.
Posted at 05:59 PM
ALL AT SEA [John Derbyshire]
A person who has signed up for the November cruise has e-mailed in to inquire anxiously whether I shall take any part in sailing the ship.
No, ma'am. While I shall certainly make myself available for consultation on nautical matters, the actual navigation will be in other hands. Should the cruise ship be so unfortunate as to capsize, though, I know exactly what to do.
Posted at 03:19 PM
THE ABCS OF LIFESAVING [KJL]
by Donna Hughes
Posted at 02:58 PM
RE: INSTAWARNING [KJL]
An e-mail from Florida:
Not true. We're very prepared here in Florida. As is the nation. Governor Bush called it a "6 year hurricane amnesia", but EM services have been drilling in and out for this sort of thing. Emphasis on terror has been a main focus of Homeland Security, but Florida has some of the finest, if not the finest first responders in the nation. Response and recovery will be strong.
Posted at 02:55 PM
Posted at 02:43 PM
RE: AMERICA'S FIRST FAMILY [John Derbyshire]
Sorry, can't stop:
Peg: "My mother's a little shy."
Al: "Of what -- a metric ton?"
Posted at 02:23 PM
REMEMBER YOUR FATHER, W. [KJL]
Rand Simberg has a hurricane-related warning for our president.
Posted at 02:07 PM
WHAT LANNY'S SELLING [Mark R. Levin]
Lanny Davis, who is trashing the Swift Boat vets on places like CNN, has his own interesting past:
[The Washington Post, December 21, 1996] He won the 1976 Democratic primary and was neck and neck with Republican Newton Steers until a controversy erupted over the portrayal of Davis's academic record in a campaign brochure. Davis claimed he had graduated from Yale Law School cum laude -- a designation the school didn't award in 1970, the year he finished.And if you think Lanny often sounds like a door-to-door Amway salesman, there's a reason for it. The same Post article teaches us:
After he narrowly lost a 1976 House race, Davis, 51, began evangelizing for the motivational door-to-door distribution company, which markets everything from toothpaste to telephone service. A prominent Maryland lawyer-lobbyist, who refused to speak for attribution, recalled that Davis once invited him to lunch to discuss a "business opportunity."
Posted at 01:56 PM
RE: AMERICA'S FIRST FAMILY [John Derbyshire]
They missed a few.
Fat lady customer in the shoe store, after waiting in vain for Al to stop chatting with Griff and serve her: "Excuse me! -- Am I invisible?"
Al: "From Pluto, possibly."
Posted at 01:54 PM
AMERICA'S FIRST FAMILY [Andrew Stuttaford]
The sayings of Al Bundy can be found here. Warning; some of these are, well, Al.
Posted at 01:42 PM
IRAQI OIL-FOR-FOOD [Alex Rose]
If I may refer back to the NYT story on the Iraqi Oil-for-Food shocker, Kathryn Lopez mentioned that it was a "[Claudia] Rosett victory." Yes, it certainly was.
However, at the risk of sounding immodest, I would like to think that I played a small, but vitally important, role in the downfall of the scheme and its subsequent exposure to public scrutiny. Was it not I, after all, who revealed to a stunned and amazed world the existence of the "Iraqi Oil-for-Food Spam Email" - which became the subject of a NRO Special Investigation and was nominated for a Pulitzer? (Michael Moore and I are currently discussing options).
The link is here.
No doubt you were only trying to protect my obscurity, Kathryn, but you must give credit where it is due.
Posted at 01:40 PM
ANNOYING BRITISH IN-JOKE [Andrew Stuttaford]
John, would that make the GOP non-eiuw?
Posted at 01:34 PM
TOP 10 REASONS TO COME ON NR "POST-ELECTION" CRUISE [Jack Fowler]
Number 5: DINESH D’SOUZA We are ecstatic that Dinesh will once again be part of an NR sea-faring extravaganza. The author of numerous important books--Ronald Reagan, Illiberal Education, The End of Racism, What’s So Great about America, Letters to a Young Conservative, and so many more--is always a big hit because he is as congenial as he is mega-bright, witty, and no-punch-pulling. On our forthcoming voyage, we’re particularly looking forward to his reflections on The Gipper, and America’s ever-raging cultural wars (imagine Dinesh and columnist Michelle Malkin on the same panel, gleefully tipping over liberal sacred cows!).
Now, you can spend the week of November 13-20 at home, kicking yourself because you never got around to signing up for the National Review 2004 Post-Election Caribbean Cruise, trying to blame the dog and the weatherman and your mother-in-law for making you miss the opportunity to spend seven glorious days and nights in the company of Dinesh, Michelle, and a host of other great speakers--including Bernard Lewis, Victor Davis Hanson, Dick Morris, Rep. Pat Toomey, Ed Gillespie, Stephen Moore, John Hillen, John Derbyshire, John O’Sullivan, Rich Lowry, Ramesh Ponnuru, and Jay Nordlinger--who will be thrilling hundreds of NR readers with their dead-on analyses of the election results, the ongoing war against terrorism, American strategy in Europe and the Middle East, and so much more.
Or you can do what you know you should do (and what some 300 NR and NRO fans have already done): sign up now for this fantastic trip aboard Holland America Line’s world-class Zuiderdam, which will be the setting for numerous seminars of sharp/witty discussions of politics and policy, revelrous pool-side cocktail parties, late-night “smokers” (featuring H. Upmann cigars and complimentary cognac!), and intimate dining (on at least two nights) with our speakers.
If that seems like a pretty obvious choice, well, that’s because it is. And to make it even easier on you, we’re offering super-affordable rates: our ultra-low prices start at just $1,549 a person! So do the right thing, right now: reserve your luxury stateroom on the National Review 2004 Post-Election Caribbean Cruise. We’ve even got a website that has complete information about our trip, the ship, and a secure reservation form--visit us now.
Posted at 01:29 PM
CHILDREN OF A DIFFERENT GOD [John Derbyshire]
"Married with Children" fans are e-mailing in to remind me of great lines from that greatest of all sitcoms.
A particular favorite:
(Al enters the house)
Kelly and Bud: "Dad! Mom sold the TV to buy plane tickets and she and Marcy went to Vegas! She didn't say anything about coming back! Dad, what are we going to do about her?"
Al (Staring at the empty table in shock): "Kids, let's not gloss over this TV thing..."
Yes, folks: Once upon a time there were sitcoms that guys could watch without squirming.
Posted at 01:15 PM
"TAKE A REPUBLICAN TO LUNCH WEEK" [KJL]
Does the bill payer have to show an vast left-wing conspiracy card? Jonah, we should test this. You play liberal.
Posted at 01:12 PM
RE: CAMBODIA [KJL]
If it were the difference between March and April, ok. But how do you think you spent Christmas somewhere you didn't? Like that would be memorable, you'd think. Even in war, Christmas is memorable because of what it is. Maybe even moreso since you are off at war. Fog of war and all, sure. But just seems odd.
But then releasing records would end all of this speculation and wondering, right?
I heartell Chris Matthews was a little emotional with John O'Neill last night. And Carville was downright mad on Crossfire--really over the top, even for him, earlier this week. I can't help but think it is because of this: They don't want Kerry's inconsistencies--on issues, on his record, etc.--exposed, because then people will see a sure-fire dealbreaker: He simply can't be trusted. People have gotta want president they can trust on simply factual matters, right?
I picture John Kerry , a few years down the line. Oprah asks: Why did you take both sides of so many issues? Why didn't you just release the darn records? "Because I could," says former (ACK) president John Kerry. "I knew I could get away with it all, and wouldn't be called on it. The media wanted anybody but Bush. I could do whatever I wanted. Teresa ran with that, but I enjoyed it, for sure."
Posted at 01:11 PM
MEDIA MONITOR [Jonah Goldberg]
Report from a reader:
Posted at 01:01 PM
THE EIUW PARTY [John Derbyshire]
Referring to my July 13 Corner posting about my daughter's discovery of the universal, metaphysical dichotomy between things eiuw and things non-eiuw, a faithful reader points out that the McGreevey resignation & speech confirms once and for all, as it it needed further confirmation, that the Democrats are the eiuw party.
Posted at 12:57 PM
NYT ON MCGREEVEY [Jonathan H. Adler]
The NYT's editorial nails it: McGreevey's statement was "incomplete"; "If Mr. McGreevey put someone in that critical post because of a personal relationship, that would be an outrage, regardless of his sexual orientation." And, delaying his resignation until November 15 "doesn't serve New Jersey residents well."
Posted at 12:55 PM
PATTI DAVIS & ESCR COMMERICAL [KJL]
Blogger Justin Katz watched last night's Primetime Live.
Posted at 12:49 PM
RE: FOX [Tim Graham]
Apparently, K-Lo, from your hurried segment on Fox, what the women watching at home want is less time spent on talking about who they will vote for, and more news about hurricanes and poor Lori Hacking.
Posted at 12:46 PM
CLIFT ON FOX [Jonathan H. Adler]
I watched Eleanor Clift on Fox earlier, and we agree! McGreevey's sexuality would be "no big deal" if he hadn't hired his lover to a homeland security post for which he was completely unqualified. GOP gubernatorial favorite Brett Schundler said the same thing yesterday on the radio.
Posted at 12:33 PM
Drudge says the moderators will be Jim Lehrer, Bob Schieffer, Charlie Gibson, and Gwen Ifill. Who decides these things? Surely, Russert should be in that mix, for starters. (And then, of course, The Corner: Remember Hugh Hewitt's blogger-debate suggestion.)
Posted at 12:32 PM
RE: JULIA CHILD [Jonah Goldberg]
I have no idea what her politics were, but conservatives have always missed the boat, in my opinion, by not lionizing her more. First of all, she lived to 91 proving daily that the health zealots were wrong. Yes, yes, I know she brought French food to America and I'm supposed to hate all things French. But I don't. French food, particularly traditional French food is wonderful, though I can do without the frogs, brains, snails and intolerably clever cheese. (What I object to is the notion which has even penetrated into these precincts that because their food is good, their politics can't be all bad).
In a sense what Julia Child did was rescue France's most valuable (and exportable) goods before the place went south. Think of someone racing into a building seconds before the Brown English department ransacked the place in order to collect all of the cookbooks. She was a consumate professional and career woman who would not tolerate political correctness in or out of the kitchen. She volunteered for the OSS during World War Two and while many authors and biographers have claimed she was a pretty serious spy, she always denied it, saying she was merely a file clerk.
In short, she was the bomb.
Posted at 12:29 PM
GOD BLESS JULIA CHILD [Rod Dreher]
That is sad news about Julia Child. She would have been 92 on Sunday. It is impossible to overestimate her importance to cooking in American popular culture. I was telling a colleague just now that she is to cooking in America what WFB is to American conservatism: so profoundly influential that it is hard to imagine where we would be today without her. Julie and I will open a bottle of wine tonight and toast the passing of a great lady and a great American.
Posted at 12:23 PM
RE: MCGREEVEY [John Derbyshire]
An angry reader: "Is there some haven, free from post-modernity, where a traditional Catholic can go and not have his child exposed to so much immorality in the news media? ... Where do these politicians get off going to the airwaves with all the details of their lives? Sorry to vent."
No need to be sorry, Sir. These seem to me to be excellent and pertinent questions.
Posted at 12:21 PM
MCGREEVEY [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
All the news coverage seems to be missing the point re: New Jersey. It was a great speech. Likely calculated, he was a long shot to retain office. The outing was the nail in the coffin. His political capital is now sky rocketing. Well done, Jim. Worry about wife and kids later. Here is the point the Wonkette's of world miss, but us locals(I'm a NY resident) ponder. Homeland Security Aide? Couple people round the tri state area died a few years back. This job was created with the idea that we'd make an effort to avoid a repeat going forward. He created and filled the role with his boy toy. Wonderful speech, citizens be damned. Kudos for Jim coming to terms with his sexuality, but he oughta be out of office this morning. If Condi was Bush's incompetent, unqualified plaything, she and the president would be run out of town, if not up on charges. Don't let this be about sex, that's the spin, not the story.
Posted at 12:16 PM
EASTERN TURKESTAN GOVERNMENT IN EXILE [John Derbyshire]
Expats from Eastern Turkestan (which appears in your atlas as the "Xinjiang Autonomous Region" of communist China -- the autonomy is, of course, perfectly fictitious) are going to form a government in exile. For this purpose, they are going to have a rally in Washington DC.
The rally was originally intended for August 26, the anniversary of a highly suspicious plane crash in 1949 that killed the leadership of the Eastern Turkestan Republic while they were on their way to meet with Mao Tse-tung in Peking. (It was August 27 local time, and is more often presented like that.) China subsequently colonized Eastern Turkestan, and remains in possession today.
However, I am told by the indispensible D.J. McGuire that the date has been shifted to a probable Sept. 7, or possible Sept. 13. There may still be an event on August 26, though. Check in with the China e-lobby website (the one I just linked to) for updates.
To the question: "Why should I support a bunch of Muslims who want their country back, given all the problems we're having with existing Muslim nations?" I respond that the Uighurs of Eastern Turkestan are *good* Muslims -- like Turks (to whom they are close ethnic cousins) or Indonesians. You can certainly find a few crazies among them. The ChiComs can be guaranteed diligently to promote any such crazies as "typical." They are not, though. The Uighurs, like their Turkish relatives, take their religion mild, and are pro-American. (Though goodness knows why they should be pro-American, since we never lifted a finger to help them in all their sufferings under the Maoist tyranny.)
Posted at 12:14 PM
NEWS THE CHICOMS WOULD RATHER YOU DIDN'T KNOW [John Derbyshire]
The English-language version of the excellent China-interest website EPOCH TIMES is coming up to its first birthday. You're not going to agree with everything you read on Epoch, but you can be pretty sure that anything you find there is something the Chinese Communist Party would rather you didn't know.
Posted at 12:05 PM
MISSING THE STORY [Jonathan H. Adler]
From my hotel room in Utah it seems that most media outlets are emphasizing Gov. McGreevy's "coming out" -- and several "on the street" interviews emphasize that point. But this isn't the story (no matter how much he would like it to be). Nor is the story his "affair." Both have been known in New Jersey political and media circles for years. The story is McGreevey's cronyism and corruption.
Posted at 12:02 PM
NJ ELECTION [Jonathan H. Adler]
I don't know who would benefit from a special election for governor of New Jersey this November. Some argue Brett Schundler would be in a strong position, and that this would help GOP turnout in the presidential campaign. Others suggest John Corzine has the money and name recognition to keep the statehouse in Democratic hands. Either way, it seems to me there should be an election in November. If McGreevey believes he should resign because he's too tainted (and corrupt) to be an effective governor, then he should step down now. There's no legitimate reason for him to hang around.
Posted at 12:00 PM
WOULD HAVE TOLD YOU [KJL]
I was just on FNC, but you would have missed the three-minute segment when you blinked. (Was on women voters: All you need to know: They don't want Alan Alda (aka John Kerry) to be president, or at least that's my story I am sticking with.)
Actually, more on that topic later (Women and the vote).
Posted at 11:43 AM
JULIA CHILD RIP [Jonathan H. Adler]
Go eat something tasty (and fattening) in her honor.
Posted at 10:53 AM
SPLICE THE MAINBRACE! [John Derbyshire]
Top ten things I have learned in nine hours of sailing instruction.
(10) The boom gets its name from the sound you hear when it hits your head.
(9) You can secure pretty much anything with a bowline knot.
(8) When the opposite rail goes under the water, you are about to capsize, and there isn't a darn thing you can do about it.
(7) It is much easier to right a capsized boat when you remembered to put the center-board down. (Because you can pull, then sit, on it.)
(6) When re-boarding after a capsize, climb in at the STERN. Anything else is asking for a repeat capsize.
(5) Tacking is much easier than jibing. In fact, jibing should probably be banned by federal law.
(4) If you doubt the modern physical theory that space has six extra "hidden" dimensions, meet the TILLER EXTENSION.
(3) Sheets, halyards, stays and shrouds are all different things. None of them is the same as the other. They just LOOK the same.
(2) It is much harder than you would think to know where the wind is coming from. And when you have finally figured it out and got the boat moving, by the law of vector addition, the wind is now coming from a DIFFERENT place.
(1) You can't do ANYTHING with a sail boat if it isn't moving.
Posted at 09:35 AM
THE KEYES FUNDS [Tim Graham]
Baltimore's City Paper explores the various campaign funds (and half a million in campaign debts?) of Alan Keyes.
Posted at 09:32 AM
GIRLIE NEWS [John Derbyshire]
Is there any male inhabitant of these United States who gives a flying fandangle about the two Laci stories? Is this girlie news, or what? The wives I know are all fascinated by it; the guys are all, like, zzzzzz.
I dawns on me that perhaps our wives all creep around in terror that we are going to murder them, and see these stories as validating their fears. Nothing could be further from our minds!
Or maybe this is some kind of coded news aimed just at women, like those broadcasts into occupied France during WW2. Or like that episode of "Married With Children" where Al, dragged along to some show in the school auditorium, notices that the socks Peg laid out for him are odd colors... then he notices that all the men are wearing odd-colored socks... and the women are winking at each other...
Honey, could we talk for a minute? Honey?....
Posted at 09:11 AM
WHAT WOULD AMY RICHARDS THINK? [KJL]
Posted at 08:57 AM
WHY HERE? [Rich Lowry]
Why has Rumsfeld come to Azerbaijan and here? And visited this general neighborhood fairly often? It has something to do with securing U.S. influence in Central Asia to try to "surround the problem" in the Middle East and Afghanistan. I also suspect it has something to do with throwing a kind of brushback pitch to Russia, which may have designs on the "Near Abroad." More later...
Posted at 08:28 AM
YALTA [Rich Lowry]
Just left the Livadia Palace, where the Yalta conference was held. We all walked through the room where there is the roundtable around which Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin divided the world. Rumsfeld and his Ukranian counterpart posed together in the same courtyard where a famous picture of the three WWII giants was taken. It was exciting to be in this spot where history was made, and also a little sad, given exactly what transpired. Say whatever else you will about Yalta, it is beautiful. The Crimea is a bright blue fading into the hazy sky on the horizon. And the palace itself looks like a cross between the White House and an estate you might see in Coral Gables, Florida. It is a semi-tropical climate and there are a few palm trees in front...
Posted at 08:26 AM
OOPS [Rich Lowry]
Haven't been very up on US news. Now realize that my earlier post on how nice it is here on the Crimea may have been a little insensitive to those now battening down for a hurricane....
Posted at 08:24 AM
JUDITH MILLER SUBPOENAED IN PLAME CASE [KJL]
Posted at 08:00 AM
GETTING CLOSER? OR GETTING CLOSER TO BEING BLAMED? [KJL]
BAGHDAD (CNN) -- Radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr suffered shrapnel wounds to his arm and chest during Friday fighting in Najaf while he was inside the Imam Ali Mosque, according to his spokesman Sayed Hazim al-Arajy in Baghdad.UPDATE: BBC
Posted at 05:20 AM
LIES & COVERAGE: SCOTT PETERSON VS. JOHN KERRY [KJL]
Hugh Hewitt makes a great point.
Posted at 05:04 AM
TRAVEL UPDATE [Rich Lowry]
We spent two nights in Azerbaijan. Now we're in the Ukraine, somewhere near Yalta. We're at a resort where Politburo members used to stay. Just strolled down to the beach--it's all gravel. It's like sunning yourself on an American driveway. But its nice, sunny, and cool here. More later...
Posted at 05:00 AM
Jonah has no drive without the couch, I suppose.
Posted at 03:35 AM
Thursday, August 12, 2004
WOW: NYT ON OIL FOR FOOD [KJL]
I say it's a Rosett victory.
Posted at 11:13 PM
NEW JERSEY [Rick Brookhiser]
The layers of turpitude in the Garden State recall Dr. Johnson's insult: "Thy mother, under pretence of keeping a bawdy house, is a receiver of stolen goods."
Posted at 10:44 PM
I'm always getting accused of being a shill (sometimes shrill one) for W. So where is my "W4W" pin?
Posted at 10:01 PM
THE QUESTION MOST PUZZLING ME THIS HOUR [KJL]
Not to complain, but isn't August supposed to be slow? WHERE ARE THE DOG DAYS? I know I am not alone here.
Posted at 08:33 PM
RE: MCGREEVEY [KJL]
Andrew, it does, however, sound like there is more to it. And if so, he did the right thing by resigning. Now how he is resigning is another story--by avoiding an election. That is so N.J., dontcha think, Sen. Lautenberg?
Posted at 08:26 PM
RE: CRIBBAGE LIT [John Derbyshire]
Blogger David M takes my cribbage theme and runs with it.
Posted at 08:13 PM
RE: MCGREEVEY [Robert A. George]
Kathryn, you are quite correct that by staying in office until November (or, more accurately, by not leaving office before Sept. 15), McGreevey manages to prevent a special election that would take place on Election Day, Nov. 2nd. That's Weaselly Action Number One.
Weaselly Action Number Two is that this involves an apparent sexual harassment lawsuit coming from McGreevey's lover. The governor had placed the gentleman in question on the state payroll. In fact, he was McGreevey's homeland security/terrorism adviser. McGreevey had to replace him when it became quite obvious that the person was totally unqualified for the $100K+ position.
So, the quick, free-of-titillation-story is that a politician has an affair, pays his paramour on the public dime, gets caught and -- partly because of the corruption that had come to infest his administration at all levels -- resigns. End of story.
Posted at 08:07 PM
MCGREEVEY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Oookay, I don’t know much about McGreevey, and much of what I have seen (not least some nasty tax increases, I seem to recall) I don’t like. What’s more I have absolutely no idea whether there are other revelations to come that would make it impossible for him to do his job, or unseemly for him to try. I do know, however, that, in and of themselves, his matrimonial difficulties should not be a resigning matter. Governor McGreevey has a great deal of explaining to do, certainly – but to his wife and to his daughters, not the voters. That his adulterous relationship was with a man should make absolutely no difference - in this respect at least.
Looking in more general terms, in the absence of grotesque hypocrisy or (and you know who I am talking about) a spot of perjury, I couldn’t care less about the sex lives of our politicians. What should matter is whether they can govern effectively, legitimately and honestly. So long as it’s legal, what they do in their bedrooms ought to be their business, not ours. When it comes to government, better the competent rake than the incompetent ‘saint’. And to anyone who disagrees with that, I have only one thing to say.
Posted at 06:28 PM
MY TRUTH [John Derbyshire]
"My truth is that I am a gay American."
Look at the postmodern solipsism there. *My* truth. Not *the* truth. Each of us has his own truth, see, and mine is just as good as yours.
Wonder how this guy reads John 8:32.
Posted at 05:15 PM
MORAL OF THE STORY? [Michael Graham]
Gov. John G. Rowland, Republican moderate, resigns in disgrace due to scandal.
Gov. James McGreevey, Democratic moderate, resigns in disgrace due to scandal.
Moral: Never trust a moderate.
Posted at 05:12 PM
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE [KJL]
Moderate Muslims please take a stand. A Homeland Security appointee with dubious ties is under investigation.
Posted at 05:10 PM
RE: SWING STATE [Michael Graham]
And, um, his campaign slogan was "Straight Talk."
Posted at 04:55 PM
THE GOVERNOR FROM THE SWING STATE [Jonah Goldberg]
I suppose we should wait a respectable period of time before the jokes start?
Posted at 04:54 PM
is resigning effective Nov. 15, which I believe means he can keep his party in power through the remainder of the term McGreevey was elected for (if he resigned by Sept. 15 (I think), a special election would be held in Nov.).
Posted at 04:34 PM
"MY TRUTH IS I AM A GAY AMERICAN" [KJL]
Am I alone in thinking that is an odd--diversity-group conscious--contruct?
I'm nitpicking though: This is a gracious, responsible newsconference, it seems. We don't know the whole story at the moment--evidently there may be a lawsuit pending, that he doesnt want to drag the state through. Kinda what a Bill Clinton should've done, especially since we know the latter abused power.
Posted at 04:32 PM
It really is Christmas for the news: McGreevey is coming out and resigning.
Posted at 04:28 PM
MAN WITHOUT A PARTY: WE FOUND AN R. [KJL]
One misdemeanor partyless Republican here.
Posted at 04:25 PM
ENDING THE IRS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
I've gotten a bunch of emails from people about my article making the case against leadership on tax reform. One idea that I did not deal with keeps coming up: that a national sales tax would allow us to eliminate the hated IRS. This assumes that the introduction of the sales tax would coincide with the permanent elimination of the income tax. Otherwise, you would end up with both taxes. (Sometimes sales-tax advocates talk about repealing the Sixteenth Amendment, but they would have to go further and write an actual ban on income taxes into the Constitution. I find it hard to believe that the modern courts would block an income tax even if the Sixteenth Amendment did not exist.)
Anyway, the federal government cannot raise the amount of money it takes to fund its current operations, or anything close to them, without being intrusive. Perhaps the intrusion could be confined to business owners who would be tasked with collecting sales taxes--in which case it might end up being much more onerous on this class. But almost every economic transaction you make will continue to be the business of the federal government in some way or other.
A number of correspondents also criticized my defeatism. Here's one: "I am a little dismayed at your recent article . . . . You mention the political difficulties of getting [flat-tax] legislation passed, well if you work to have a political majority you can ram this stuff right down their throats. The key is to build a significant majority, especially in the Senate so no obstacles get in your way. You also have to, as President, use the bully pulpit to convince the American people of your idea. If it is explained thoroughly and with the right emotional tugging words it will pass. . . . Your dismissive and defeatist attitude on this is quite dishearting."
You are never, ever going to build a political majority so committed to the idea of abolishing the mortgage-interest deduction that you can ram it through. Rather than wasting their time trying to build such a majority for comprehensive reform, I argued that conservatives are better off seeking actually achievable policy improvements that make further progress possible in the future. If that is "disheartening," so be it. I think conservatives should generally be talked out of useless enthusiasms.
Posted at 04:23 PM
RE: CHRISTMAS MORNING [KJL]
Ramesh: Don't forget the Amber tapes! FNC promised earlier today: hours of Scott Peterson-Amber Frey recordings are being released and DNC will bring them all to you! And FNC even has war stud ex-Marine Greg Kelly covering the hurricane from Florida. They are all set.
Posted at 04:23 PM
Forgot to mention earlier: RNC has locked in Michael Reagan as a speaker. Also added some more conservatives: Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney.
Posted at 04:20 PM
MORE N.J. [KJL]
An insider type tells me he is hearing that John Corzine wants the job if McGreevey steps down--suggesting that Corzine doesn't think they can win the Senate back.
Posted at 04:18 PM
ABOUT NEW JERSEY'S BRAVE NEW WORLD [KJL]
No rollback likely. McGreevey's replacement is expected to be Richard Codey, the president of the state senate, who was a big supporter of the pro cloning bill. Someone who watched the developments closely notes: "If anything, he's even worse than McGreevey on these issues."
Posted at 04:17 PM
GOING AROUND [KJL]
Posted at 04:10 PM
ANOTHER MAN WITHOUT A PARTY [KJL]
An e-mail: "Same story in California. The secretary of state may have laundered state funds via an SF immigrants' organization; the only mention of a Democrat (which he is) says he beat his Democratic rival, then his Republican one — his own party isn't stated."
Posted at 04:07 PM
RE: "FRIENDLY AUDIENCE" [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, it is interesting that reporters might use "friendly audience" more for Bush than for Kerry, since the friendliness might seem odd or misguided to the reporter. It might seem like a way for a reporter to imply that the president is pandering to the uber-patriots or the scary religious people. But it's pretty mild stuff as bias goes.
I'd caution that using a two-year time period does not give you the most accurate picture of a disparity. John Kerry was hardly a great national figure in August 2002, and wasn't even the acknowledged Democratic nominee until March 2004. I'd be tempted to start your Nexis comparison there and see how it breaks down.
Posted at 04:05 PM
IT'S CHRISTMAS MORNING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
for cable news: they can switch between coverage of a hurricane and a political sex scandal. And in August!
Posted at 04:03 PM
THE MAN WITHOUT A PARTY [KJL]
McGreevey corruption story has no party id for him. Shocking. UPDATE: The story now has a party id.
Posted at 03:49 PM
A KERRY FICTION CONTEST [KJL]
is here. But shouldn't you just be redirected to johnkerry.com?
Posted at 03:43 PM
INTERESTING: WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE [KJL]
Posted at 03:39 PM
"AMERICA DESTROYED MY COUNTRY" [KJL]
Sigh. I guess the Iraqi soccer coach might not appreciate my cheering.
Posted at 03:30 PM
THE DEAL WITH THE FLAG [KJL]
Posted at 03:26 PM
THEY DID IT! CONGRATS TO IRAQI SOCCER TEAM! [KJL]
4-2. Let's hope for many more. I'm with Jennifer Graham on this.
Posted at 03:21 PM
MCGREEVEY IS RESIGNING... [KJL]
(K-Lo's first thought, natch: maybe we can roll back his Brave New World.)
Posted at 03:17 PM
SUPREME NEWSOM SMACKDOWN [KJL]
The text of the decision is here.
Posted at 03:10 PM
I DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO THIS [KJL]
An e-mail re: the soccer game: "What's with the old, Ba'athist flag next to the IRQ in the score box? Is that NBC or the Olympics being retrograde? Oh, hey, the Iraqis have it on their jerseys, too. My bad. What happened to that blue-and-white job?"
Posted at 03:09 PM
MORE CHENEY [KJL]
This time, Mrs. Cheney:<blockquote>QUESTION -- Senator Kerry has made the statement that he would like to fight a more sensitive war on terror. What in the world he be thinking about there? What's your thoughts?
MRS. CHENEY: I just kind of shook my head when I heard that. With all due respect to the Senator, it just sounded so foolish. I can't imagine that al Qaeda is going to be impressed by sensitivity. (Laughter.)
But it did remind me of kind of this -- we've heard for a long time from the extreme left in this country, whenever it comes to a matter of our national interest, that somehow the problem is not with the people who are attacking us, the problem is with us. You've heard that. And it struck me as a kind of expression of that idea -- somehow the problem is not with the people who are attacking us, the problem is with us. If we'll just adjust our attitude seems to be the idea. We just do a little mental adjustment here, things will go well. Well, I think it just fits with what Dick is saying. This is kind of left-wing foolishness that certainly isn't appropriate for someone who would seek to be Commander-in-Chief. (Applause.)
Posted at 03:07 PM
IRAQ TO UPSET PORTUGAL? [KJL]
My Olympic soccer guy e-mails:
On MSNBC right now.I (I'm all confessional today) didn't even realize the games had started. But now I've got MSNBC on and am cheering Iraq.
Posted at 02:58 PM
"I LOVE JK" [KJL]
Can you imagine anyone buying these? I mean, actual Dems who love John Kerry? Do they exist? I might sound like The Note yesterday, but I am serious. I don't think I've talked to or heard of anyone who actually is voting for Kerry because he is Kerry. It's all the anyone but Bush momentum pushing him. (And yes, at least he's not using "JFK"--though you gotta wonder if they focus-grouped it: Reminded too many people of Camelot, took attention off the Kerry-Edwards race, people rememembered a candidate they actually liked.)
Posted at 02:26 PM
CHENEY IN DAYTON TODAY [KJL]
Senator Kerry has also said that if he were in charge he would fight a "more sensitive" war on terror. (Laughter.) America has been in too many wars for any of our wishes, but not a one of them was won by being sensitive. President Lincoln and General Grant did not wage sensitive warfare -- nor did President Roosevelt, nor Generals Eisenhower and MacArthur. A "sensitive war" will not destroy the evil men who killed 3,000 Americans and who seek the chemical, nuclear and biological weapons to kill hundreds of thousands more. The men who beheaded Daniel Pearl and Paul Johnson will not be impressed by our sensitivity. As our opponents see it, the problem isn’t the thugs and murderers that we face, but our attitude. Well, the American people know better. They know that we are in a fight to preserve our freedom and our way of life, and that we are on the side of rights and justice in this battle. Those who threaten us and kill innocents around the world do not need to be treated more sensitively. They need to be destroyed. (Applause.)Here's the full text.
Posted at 02:20 PM
RE: NRO CRUISE -- ADDED ATTRACTION [John Derbyshire]
...And that, of course, is in addition to the usual popular features: female mud wrestling, "Fight Club"-style bouts between senior editors, and Jonah's *sensational* trampoline act.
Posted at 02:00 PM
NRO CRUISE -- ADDED ATTRACTION [John Derbyshire]
A reader suggests that I should be able to get a game of cribbage going on the NRO post-election cruise. This gives me an idea.
In the spirit of Nathan Detroit's floating crap game, I shall take on all comers at cribbage. I shall pack my Dad's lucky cribbage board. (And shall need the luck -- I haven't played for years.)
Posted at 01:07 PM
GORE VOTERS FOR BUSH [KJL]
The Note has gotten the message. (The Note also gets in a plug for the Kerry Spot.)
Posted at 01:04 PM
"NO" TO SAN FRAN SAME-SEX "MARRIAGES" [KJL]
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The California Supreme Court voids all gay marriages sanctioned in San Francisco, saying the mayor overstepped his authority by issuing licenses.
Posted at 12:55 PM
PROGRESS AGAINST AL KUT MILITIA IN IRAQ [KJL]
Posted at 12:53 PM
BOREDOM FIX: ZIXI OF IX [Jack Fowler]
“I’m booooored Mom”--it’s the cry of late summer. Here’s a surefire cure for those whining younguns who’ve OD’d on fruit punch, video games and other electronic dazzlements: The National Review Treasury of Classic Children’s Literature (the original volume and Volume 2), and for beginning readers The National Review Treasury of Classic Bedtime Stories. All three are big, beautiful, and lavishly illustrated books filled with wonderful and wholesome stories from the best writers ever (we can’t imagine how all three aren’t in the bookcases of every home!). Buy any one of these delightful books and you’ll receive absolutely FREE a copy of Queen Zixi of Ix, or The Story of the Magic Cloak, by the great L. Frank Baum. Best known for his “Oz” book, Baum rated Zixi his best literary effort (and our 100th anniversary edition of this timeless tale overflows with delightful drawings). Find out for yourself how right Baum was (and put an end to the moaning and groaning!)--order your books securely here.
Posted at 12:34 PM
LITERACY TESTS [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Jonah, I'm a self-proclaimed liberal and I agree with you on literacy tests. In fact, I'd even go further -- unless you can pass a basic exam, similar to that of naturalized citizens that displays you understand our system, you should not be allowed to vote. A friend of mine who works in a typical office with a citizen who had just been naturalized decided to take an informal test of his American-born office mates to see who else could pass the test. No one could. Only one person out of 11 could name the three branches of government, and that person could not correctly identify the functions of the branches. Yet they all can cast a vote. Cripes. Unless you care enough to educate yourself about how the system works, you shouldn't be able to participate in the process.
Posted at 12:32 PM
STATE ON IRAN [Michael Ledeen]
Today is one of those days when my heart just keeps on sinking. I should never listen to the State Department spokesthings. The proximate cause of my despair is this:
"They've got a clandestine weapons program, which, combined with delivery systems, is a threat to stability," deputy State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said when asked about Iran's test earlier Wednesday of an upgraded version of its conventional medium-range Shahab-3 missile.As is so often the case, State has it exactly backwards. Iran’s nuclear weapons program is a threat to revolution, not to stability. We don’t want stability in the Middle East, we want democratic revolution. And if the mullahs get their bomb, they will attempt to impose a lethal stability on the region.
Can’t somebody explain this to Powell and Armitage? Sorry, lost my mind again…
Posted at 12:32 PM
TIME WASTER [Jonah Goldberg]
Shoot your smelly roommates.
Posted at 12:30 PM
MST NRO [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
Oh, you *can't* let a great idea like NRO-MST3K out, Jonah, without at least casting the thing! Who would be the robot? A no-brainer there: Derb. Couch is ready, too, I'm sure.
Posted at 12:27 PM
RE: RE: CORNER ON CABLE [KJL]
And if you think Jonah sound unambitious, I actually have committed the fatal TV crime of saying "no" to bookers a number of times. I confess: I simply can't be bothered. Too many other things to get done. Too many other things I rather do that I don't have time to do. Prioritizing, and all that.
Posted at 12:26 PM
BLEG -- ACTIVISM [ Jonah Goldberg]
Does anyone know when and where the word "activist" came into the language? I don't have access to the OED and the like out here in the Pacific Northwest. Serious, informed, answers only please. Update: Okay, plenty of email from the OED already. Thanks much (Thomas at U. Iowa was first, by the way). The OED entry is useful, but it prompts more questions. I'm particularly intrigued by this passage:
1907 W. R. B. GIBSON Eucken's Philos. of Life (ed. 2) App. 170 Eucken deliberately adopts the activistic label as a distinctive philosophical badge. 1909 Athenæum 17 Apr. 469/3 Pragmatism..is tainted with the characteristic activist fallacy of making process as active account for the structural form of process which it implies. 1913 E. UNDERHILL Mystic Way 31 The positive and activistic mysticism of the West. 1915 Times 7 Aug. 7/6 For some, neutrality simply means a passive aloofness. For others, neutrality should be active, and these are divided, in the current jargon, with active and passive ‘activists’. 1949 Theology LII. 363 American Christianity has tended traditionally to express itself in an activist form. 1954 KOESTLER Invisible Writing 206 He was not a politician but a propagandist, not a ‘theoretician’ but an ‘activist’.I'd still like a better take-out on the etymology if there is one. But I'm also interested in the philosophical ties with Pragmatism. Any serious feedback on this would be greatly appreciated.
Posted at 12:04 PM
LITERACY TESTS [Jonah Goldberg]
A few liberal readers seem horrified --or at least dismayed --- by my belief that voting should be more difficult. They ask, "What do you want, literacy tests?"
My short answer is yes. My slightly longer answer is, I haven't a clue what is wrong with literacy tests if you take the racial connotation out of the equation. What, exactly, is so bad about the idea of expecting a certain minimal degree of education before letting citizens vote? It seems to me that literacy tests are the bare minimum. Of course they would be a logistical nightmare to implement and wholly unpractical. But as an abstract standard I simply don't get why liberals are horrified by the idea (other than the fact that it might dissuade some of their voters).
Seriously, the argument for letting ex-cons vote is that it encourages them to rejoin society as stakeholders and citizens. Okay, well, wouldn't letting only the literate vote encourage citizens, including ex-cons, to learn to read? And, isn't an informed/educated electorate better on the whole than an uninformed/uneducated one?
Posted at 12:01 PM
MORE RE SADR: COWARD'S IN A MOSQUE [KJL]
)I don't see a link yet):
NAJAF, Iraq (Reuters) - U.S. forces stormed the home of rebel Iraqi Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in the holy city of Najaf Thursday, witnesses said.
Posted at 11:59 AM
RE: CORNER ON CABLE [Jonah Goldberg]
I've often thought that a Mystery Science Theater version of the Corner could be pretty funny (if it worked, otherwise it would be horrendously lame).
But on a larger note, I get questions from readers all of the time about "Why don't you have a TV or radio show?" Or, "Why don't you go on show X or Y and set so-and-so straight?" I know other NROniks get these sorts of questions too. It's all very flattering, but I try to tell folks that that's not the way things work. Unless you've got the fire in the belly to be a TV star and are therefore willing to hustle and work to get a show, you have to wait until somebody offers you a shot. Ditto being invited as a guest or substitute host. Personally, while I'd certainly entertain offers to do that sort of thing, and I even have some ideas of what would constitute a good show, I really don't have a burning, yearning passion to be infotainer.
Posted at 11:57 AM
REUTERS IS REPORTING: "U.S. FORCES STORM HOME OF RADICAL CLERIC SADR" [KJL]
Posted at 11:48 AM
CORNER ON CABLE [KJL]
A reader suggests: "Any chance you could get yourselves a cable show for the next few months? Cover the convention and election and who knows where it might go? The choices available out there are pretty slim. Witty, opinionated and informed commentators such as yourselves could really fill a gap. The need for a change was driven home having to watch the Chris Mathews show last night as he informed us he just wasn't as attracted to Laura Bush as he is to Teresa. Gail Sheehy agreed." Hey, if you are a cable news producer who wants to make an offer...
Posted at 11:22 AM
BULLDOGGING NORTHWEST 327 [Rod Dreher]
Annie Jacobsen will not let the story of Northwest Flight 327 go. Good for her. She's back today with another on-the-record interview with a fellow passenger, who brings important -- and disturbing -- new details to light. She's also been on the phone arguing with Dave Adams of the Federal Air Marshals service, who says that the FBI considers this matter an "ongoing investigation." Hmm.
I accept that the Syrians were, as Clinton Taylor first reported in NRO, a legitimate band of musicians hired to play at a casino. But does that mean that at least some of them weren't up to no good? I'm still bothered by a few things here. First, I don't like the way the government authorities are handling this. When I spoke personally to Dave Adams right after Jacobsen's initial story broke, he was very polite and thorough, and confirmed that the Syrian behavior Jacobsen says she saw on the flight really took place -- he only disputed the dire conclusions she drew from it. A couple of weeks later, after Jacobsen's story became a national sensation, the FAMS marched out an anonymous air marshal who claimed to have been on the flight, making this person available to Time magazine for an interview in which the marshal painted Jacobsen as some sort of hysteric. I don't buy it at all -- and if she was a hysteric, then so were the others on that flight who have now come forward with detailed, corroborative accounts of Jacobsen's initial story.
Second, if this is such and open-and-shut case, why is the FBI still investigating it? Why did the booking agent for the concert refuse to answer media queries about it after Taylor's article ran, saying that Homeland Security had told his people not to talk to the press ( here and here)?
Posted at 11:21 AM
RE: DEAD KENNEDYS [KJL]
There are, of course, PunkCons.
Posted at 11:15 AM
ANTI-KERRY ADS RUN ON BLACK RADIO STATIONS [KJL]
Posted at 11:12 AM
Michelle Malkin, author of the new In Defense of Internment will be on Bill Maher's HBO show Friday night. You go, girl!
Posted at 09:59 AM
OPPORTUNITY NEARLY LOST [KJL]
An e-mail: "I'm surprised with the corner on this Kerry in Cambodia thing. After all the posts I read after Joe Strummer of the Clash died I would have thought someone in this group would have the punk background to suggest 'Holiday in Cambodia' by the Dead Kennedys as Kerry's new campaign theme song. It's the perfect song since the band has that Kennedy thing going for it too."
Posted at 09:54 AM
NOT THE HOT SAUCE [KJL]
Posted at 09:48 AM
MORE TEENWIRE [KJL]
I meant to flag this earlier--smart, fresh Dawn Eden's blogsite's look at their porn connections. There is, and has been since it started, so much graphic, outrageous content on that Planned Parenthood site. Makes Seventeen look like Highlights.
Posted at 08:43 AM
ANTI-CHRIST LINK--CORRECTION [Andrew Stuttaford]
HEre's the right link.
Posted at 08:30 AM
CRIBBAGE LIT [John Derbyshire]
Having recovered from my amazement that the noble game of cribbage is known and played beyond my ancestral shores, I now learn, courtesy of a reader, that the game actually shows up at least once in American literature.
Two of the US Forest Service workers in Norman Maclean's short story "USFS 1919: The Ranger, the Cook, and a Hole in the Sky" play cribbage, though one of them very incompetently. (That must surely, by the way, be one of the klunkiest titles ever given to a short story in any language, with Bruce Jay Friedman's "An Ironic Yetta Montana" a close runner-up.) The ranger, tired of his partner's cribbage incompetence, tries without success to get other colleagues to play cards with them, so they could get away from cribbage and play some three-handed game.
Fair enough: but cribbage can actually be played three-handed, too. I used to play this way with two friends in England. One of them -- a great collector of curiosities and minor antiques -- had a lovely old cribbage board with, of course, the usual two tracks, but with a third track on an arm that folded out from the side. Dealer deals five cards to everyone and one to the box. Then all three playes discard, to give a full box. Play then proceeds as usual. We never played for money, though, so I don't know how you'd handle payouts in a three-handed game.
Posted at 08:28 AM
PRIME-TIME INFOMERCIAL? [Tim Graham]
From today's WashPost TV listings for tonight on ABC's "Primetime Thursday": "Ronald Reagan's daughter Patti Davis interviews a 13-year-old girl with diabetes who's become an advocate of embryonic stem cell therapy."
Posted at 08:26 AM
RE: "SMEAR" [Tim Graham]
K-Lo, the Washington Post editorial is just silly today. My favorite line: "Mr. Kerry's wound doesn't seem to have amounted to much, but he didn't claim it did..." No, Terry McAuliffe only ran around for weeks boasting about Kerry's "chestful of medals" compared to President Bush. The Post ought to try and find an occasion where Kerry has modestly insisted on the campaign trail that his Purple Heart wounds weren't very serious.
It's also odd that the Post piece considered briefly the possibility that Jim Rassmann's tale is wrong and there was no enemy fire as he was fished out of the Bay Hap river: "If accurate, this would demolish a central part of the picture of Mr. Kerry as Vietnam hero." Now wait. They write "If accurate"? In a piece titled "Swift Boat Smears"? The Post piece just condemns the ad without really investigating the issues.
Posted at 08:25 AM
WP WMD MEA CULPA [KJL]
In a Howard Kurtz piece, Washington Post editors regret they were not more skeptical about what the Bush administration was saying about Iraq pre-war.
Posted at 08:11 AM
This week's Opinion Duel is over. Read it all here.
Posted at 04:46 AM
Washington Post condemns the swift-boaters. doesn't mention Cambodia.
Posted at 04:35 AM
READ THE KERRY SPOT [KJL]
for the latest on Kerry in Cambodia and much more.
Posted at 04:21 AM
OF FIRST POSTS AND E-MAILS [KJL]
The WSJ (subscriber only) has up the Van-Doren/Taylor piece NRO would have had had I sent the e-mail asking for it before the WSJ did. True confessions. Right here, right now. Off to work on the reflexes...
Posted at 03:49 AM
OH COME ON [KJL]
It takes this long for a first post of the day? With Jonah in a different time zone. Sad.
Posted at 03:49 AM
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
HAMDI TO BE RELEASED? [KJL]
Posted at 07:41 PM
Posted at 06:48 PM
RE: REMINGTON STEELE PUNDIT [KJL]
The Remington Steele pundit brings up a great point about In Harm's Way. It is a neat picture with a solid cast (John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, Burgess Meredith, and Patricia Neal)--and has even more parallels to Kerry's naval service than the ones he remembered.
Posted at 06:44 PM
SPEAKING OF NYC MAYORS [KJL]
Another Gore voter for Bush: ED KOCH
Posted at 05:26 PM
RICH DIDN'T RUN FOR MAYOR, BUT WHAT IS HE PLANNING FOR LATER...? [KJL]
A reader cc:ed me on an e-mail to Rich: "did you carry the Marines cap you mention on the corner in the secret compartment of your attache case?"
Posted at 05:11 PM
THE REMINGTON STEELE PUNDIT [KJL]
RE: ART & LIFE: Another reader, goes beyond Apocalypse Now re: Kerry:
I saw something interesting in another movie recently, "In Harm's Way" (1965). I think the title of the film is pretty ironic, too. There is a brief scene where two naval officers are having a discussion about being sent to hostile waters. One of the officers is a secondary character, Commander Owynn, who has a political career in mind after the war. He's not too keen on being shipped out to a danger zone, so the other officer consoles him by saying (and I'm paraphrasing) "Some combat would be good for your political career, a purple heart might be worth half a million votes."
Posted at 05:06 PM
MEDIA BIAS IN ACTION [Rod Dreher]
My colleague Ruben Navarrette has now written a terrific column denouncing the appalling display of partisanship at the UNITY minority journalists conference, which he attended last week. Ruben says it's true: the journalists there fawned embarrassingly all over Kerry, and treated Bush rudely. Writes Ruben:
It was disrespectful - and distasteful. It was also dumb. Things like this help set back the larger cause of bringing racial and ethnic diversity to journalism. Those who want to keep things the way they are - those who don't bat an eye at statistics showing that people of color make up just 10 percent of the Washington press corps and just 12.5 percent of the reporters, editors and supervisors in America's newspapers - will now cite this episode as a justification for not hiring and promoting more minorities. After all, they'll say, not enough of these people are professionals. And too many are minorities first, journalists second. All week at the conference, I heard minority journalists complain that they're tired of writing about Black History Month and Cinco de Mayo - that they want to cover the serious stories.
Fair enough. But first, they have to get serious about their profession and all that it demands of them.
Posted at 04:10 PM
W. C. FIELDS IN KABUL [John Derbyshire]
"He's a good man. Certainly I voted for him... five times."
Since, in order to find that funny, Americans of 70 yrs ago presumably knew exactly what common electoral practice Fields was poking fun at; and since our democracy survived that practice pretty well; I'm not going to bother too much about a spot of multiple voting in Kabul. Good luck to them.
Posted at 04:05 PM
RE: THE NOTE [KJL]
The ABC guys say they can't find a Gore voter who's for Bush this time. Here's one. And here's another, Ron Kessler, who went out and wrote a book about the guy. UPDATE: Some more here.
Posted at 04:00 PM
CALL IT STRATEGIC DECEPTION [Rich Lowry]
Um, I was actually headed with Rumsfeld to Oman, the country, yesterday. Not the entirely different place that is the capital of Jordan, as was until recently relayed in the dateline on my NRO piece on the homey. (Kathryn: might want to try Derb’s 9-hour sleep plan.) In any case, been there, done that. Will be sending some stuff about our day in Afghanistan soon.
Posted at 03:41 PM
REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS [Rich Lowry]
I’ve always been impressed with Karzai, but when you watch him at a press conference where the mikes are constantly going on and off and he spectacularly flubs a question about the most basic element of the democratic process—not that other presidents aren’t prone to flubs—you realize again that he is a leader of a deeply poor Third World country that is desperately trying to keep its head above the water. That is not to take anything away from him, in some ways it makes him more impressive and noble. But in evaluating progress in Afghanistan and Iraq—NR has made this point over and over about Iraq—it is important to judge them by their own standards. People are registering to vote in Afghanistan. That’s amazing. It’s still amazing if some of them are doing it three times. Better and decent are what our short-terms goals should be in both countries, and if we achieve that, it is quite a lot, and the predicate for more progress down the line.
Posted at 03:38 PM
WHO ELSE? [Rich Lowry]
Karzai, as usual, cut an impressive figure at a joint press conference with Rumsfeld this afternoon. But he flubbed a question about people possibly registering twice for the election. He briefly endorsed voting multiple times in the election as an even more energetic exercise in democracy, before catching himself and explaining that an ink spot on people’s finger will keep them from going to the polls twice. But this all prompted an outburst from a very hostile reporter with a British accent who originally had asked the question about double registration: “What you’re describing is a farce!!!” Some guys with defense assumed he had to be with the BBC. I thought maybe he was with The Guardian or something. Nope. BBC…
Posted at 03:37 PM
THE ELECTION [Rich Lowry]
The certification of 18 candidates in the October presidential election is a very encouraging step. Here is all you need to know: We want Karzai to win. The important thing is that he get a big enough margin to avoid a run-off, because in a run-off there’s a chance forces opposed to him could group together and get 51 percent.
Posted at 03:35 PM
IN KABUL [Rich Lowry]
Later we were back in Kabul, and Rumsfeld’s motorcade spent some time going back and forth in the city. I’m not going to pretend to tell you anything important from what I saw going through Kabul in a van, but here are some impressions. It’s gut-wrenchingly poor, as you would expect. Lots of abandoned and twisted steel sitting around. Lots of shanties. Lots of very beaten-up concrete buildings. Rumsfeld says he sees more energy on the streets every time he is here. It still looks pretty bleak. Although on the main road to the airport—“The Great Masood Road” they call it, or something like that—you see splashes of color and rows of shops. One said, “Ice Crim-Barger”—maybe an ice cream and burger joint? I don’t know. I counted three boys flying kites. Many women are still in blue burkas. But then you see some women just in scarfs who have taken some care in their dress and I think would qualify as decked out by any reasonable standard. And some carried brightly-colored parasols against the sun. I tried to read the mood of people as we went by. Mostly they just watched impassively. At one point I thought a boy was making a gun-pointing gesture at us, but I’m pretty sure he was actually making an emphatic double thumbs-up.
Posted at 03:34 PM
SPEAKING OF WHICH [Rich Lowry]
I think we may have been on a Sea Stallion—something like that, I’m probably messing it up. Don’t bother correcting me, because I can’t check my email. But it was quite an experience. We went through passes where you could see mountains rising above us on both sides. It was loud as all get out, and the occasional gusts of engine exhaust were almost as hot as Oman. We flew with the back open all the way, and a guy kept an eye out for trouble—I’m assuming—back there. Sometimes he would sit down and let his legs dangle over the edge, and seeing him silhouetted against the desert and mountainous terrain was a little like a movie. There were two American flags pinned up inside on either side of the copter near the back, and at the absolute back a Marine banner: “Mess with the Best. Die Like the Rest.”
Posted at 03:32 PM
SEMPER FI, NO, NO [Rich Lowry]
I absent-mindedly took a Marines cap with me on this trip. When I tried to talk to some Army Special Forces troops in Jalalabad today that didn’t go over so well: “So a guy in a Marines hat wants to talk to a bunch of Army guys?” It was my worse headgear choice since I absently wore a “Forbes 2000” hat covering John Kerry in New Hampshire. At least then I could claim it was somehow a reference to Kerry’s middle name. My cap was a little safer on the Marine helicopter on the way there from Kabul, however…
Posted at 03:29 PM
OMAN [Rich Lowry]
I’ve been traveling with Secretary Rumsfeld and other journalists the last couple of days. We stopped over last night in Oman. Here are a few useless facts about Oman: 1) It is hot, very, very hot. When we got off the plane I quite literally thought that somehow my pants had caught on fire. During the day it’s 110 and so humid it takes your breath away. As an embassy official said dryly, “It’s not a dry heat.” 2) There are few left turns in this country. When you want to make a left, you usually have to go into a round-about, I’m told. 3) It sometimes rains here, in the South, in monsoon season. So folks from the rest of the Gulf come here on vacation to escape the oppressive heat in their own countries.
Posted at 03:28 PM
WILL WILKINSON'S [Ramesh Ponnuru]
defense of merit at TCS is worth a read.
Posted at 03:22 PM
KERRY SAID THIS, RIGHT? [KJL]
Posted at 03:01 PM
ANTICHRIST WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
So is Jimmy Carter, apparently. Handy quiz here.
Posted at 02:50 PM
BRITONS FOR SADR [KJL]
Sound like F9/11 fans.
Posted at 02:38 PM
IRAN'S PEACEFUL NUKES [KJL]
They claim peace--while wanting to "crush" Israel.
Posted at 02:31 PM
BUSH IS THE ANTI-CHRIST [KJL]
Posted at 02:17 PM
MAN OVERBOARD! [John Derbyshire]
OK, back from today's sailing lesson. Windy out there in Northport Bay, windy. Whacked on head by boom: 3 times. Capsized: twice. I am getting real familiar with the underside of a Club 420.
Lots of good stuff from readers about the "Total Immersion" technique of swimming instruction. Opinions are all over the place though: It's ideal for beginners / It's really only to polish up experienced swimmers' technique. It gets anyone swimming effortlessly / You'll never amount to anything as a swimmer if you're not really, really fit. It's the bee's knees / It's a crock. One kind reader has a video instruction course he's going to send me, though, so I shall check that out & report back.
Andrew: Your comment reminds me of W.C. Fields' response when someone offered him a glass of water: "Water? That's what fish copulate in, isn't it?"
Posted at 02:16 PM
WE GOT DA BUZZ [KJL]
on Yahoo. Jonah, you can stop putting "National Review" into yahoo over and over and over and over and over...again, finally.
Posted at 12:42 PM
COLLECTIVE DELUSIONS [Andrew Stuttaford]
In Britain, it seems, scientific illiteracy is bipartisan. An all-party of committee of MPs is calling on the government to increase fuel taxes. The reason? "Climate change." If this is the sort of nonsense that the Tories are endorsing, they do not deseve to win.
Posted at 12:34 PM
THEY STARTED IT [Jonah Goldberg]
A Reader writes:
My gf and I have discussed this considerably. Without condoning it, I have concluded that it's certainly not different in principle than slogans on the chest area of tight t-shirts adorned by a woman with a bosom. The only key difference is that the latter (ie, sloganed t-shirts, not women with bosoms) have been around since I (born in 1968) was too young to question it, and the former is a recent invention. For someone much older than I (and, I guess, you), or much younger, there's probably no perceived difference.Me: I'm not entirely sure I buy this, though it makes a good point. The difference, I think, is that in the 1950s and 1960s men wore shirts that said stuff on them and women were just following suit. I am unaware of any men who wore butt slogans -- at least not before women started it.
Posted at 12:01 PM
WORLDS COLLIDING [Jonah Goldberg]
I guess I spoke too soon.
Posted at 12:00 PM
PRESTO CHANGE-O [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader writes in response to today's column on Keyes:
I've got to remember this one:
Me: Sorry, I don't buy it. To use an example Ramesh brought up before, I'm in favor of tort reform, but I'm also in favor of fighting the war on terrorism and cutting taxes and government. What if we were talking about Republicans who were good on all of those things, but not tort reform? Couldn't I make the same sort of argument about the dismaying trend of the GOP abandoning tort reform? If Alan Keyes were actually from Illinois, but opposed tort reform couldn't I write that there were good arguments for supporting his candidacy even though his candidacy would represent a continuation of this disturbing trend?
Posted at 11:59 AM
The Note: "[T]he reality is — as amazing as this seems — this is now John Kerry's contest to lose." Read here.
Posted at 11:15 AM
THE RELIGIOUS LEFT [KJL]
Jewish Reform Movement complains Bush administration is too pro-Israel.
Posted at 11:11 AM
POLLING THE SWIFTVETS AD [KJL]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tony Fabrizio
Posted at 11:04 AM
SWIMMING [Andrew Stuttaford]
John, as someone who prefers to swim only in alcohol, I've another word for this 'total immersion' method - drowning.
Posted at 10:59 AM
The only appropriate response to John Kerry's Iraq policy(ies), as Jim Geraghty makes clear.
Posted at 10:54 AM
WATER BABIES [John Derbyshire]
Last week was woody for the Derbs -- we were camped out in Yosemite National Park. This week is watery, at any rate for myself and son (aged 9). We have signed up for an intensive 2-week course in small-craft sailing.
First session was yesterday, and the very first item was a swim test. We all had to swim fifty yards in clothes and shoes; then tread water or float for five minutes; then put on a life jacket while still in the water.
I just barely made it through the swim test (learning in the process that it is twice as hard to swim when wearing a large pair of old sneakers). I was highly relieved to get to the floating part (which I can do pretty well). My son had no trouble with either.
I am, this vividly reminded me, a hopeless duffer at swimming. I have had swim instruction at various times, to no avail at all. My "style" is self-developed from decades of occasional splashing around with friends and family. I would describe it as an elegant dog paddle. When asked, my stock answer is: "I can swim for survival, but not for pleasure." Yesterday proved the truth of this -- though if survival involves more than a 50-yard swim in calm salt water, I'm a goner.
Now a friend has told me about a radical new technique for teaching swimming, "total immersion." They claim miraculous results in short times. My experience of radical new techniques in general is that they are usually a crock; but I'm intrigued by this one, for reasons given above.
If any reader has tried this technique of swim instruction, I'd be glad to hear about it.
Posted at 10:37 AM
RE: ASSASSINATION PLOT [KJL]
Lunacy galore over at the Democratic Underground: Bush is planning on killing Kerry and blaming al Qaeda.
Posted at 10:27 AM
I WAS JUST THINKING [KJL]
what a relaxing and celebratory or therapeutic time (DEPENDING WHAT HAPPENS--YEEARRGH) a NR cruise will be post-election. You really ought to consider going. All the 411 is here.
Posted at 10:20 AM
YOU GO, JONAH! [Tim Graham]
Ah, it's nice to hear the dad of a young girl talking. My girl is six, and the wife returned from Target saying "you, too, can make your six-year-old look like a French hooker for $8.99." The Mrs. did allow Old Navy shorts with "Old Navy" and "Surf Girl" on the booty. Dads should always be the first prudes on these things -- they know the cheesy-porn-music thoughts that other men think when they see women in them. It might be extreme to think men or even boys would think them about a six-year-old. But why must the merchandisers try to prop open the generation gap so young?
Posted at 08:18 AM
KERRY, VIETNAM & CAMBODIA [KJL]
Blogger Captain Ed e-mails (I’m slow to the e-mail): “I've found a major inconsistency in Jim Rassman's account of the Bronze Star incident. It appears that Rassman has told different stories about this Bronze Star incident. Story 1, January 2004 -- he's on a boat following the one Kerry commanded:”
Former Lieutenant John Kerry was reunited today with fellow Vietnam veteran Jim Rassman, who says Kerry saved his life during combat.“Story 2, [yesterday’s] WSJ -- Rassman was on Kerry's boat:?
While returning from a SEA LORDS operation along the Bay Hap River, a mine detonated under another swift boat. Machine-gun fire erupted from both banks of the river, and a second explosion followed moments later. The second blast blew me off John's swift boat, PCF-94, throwing me into the river. Fearing that the other boats would run me over, I swam to the bottom of the river and stayed there as long as I could hold my breath.“Well, which was it? Was Rassman on Kerry's boat at the beginning of the action, or on another boat? I would assume that the first version would be the most reliable, but it would also detract from Rassman's contention that he "served" with Kerry.”
ME: Listen, I simply don’t know what to make of the Swift-boat controversy. But it does seem that Unfit for Command & the SwiftVets ad raise more than enough questions that the Kerry campaign should feel the need to address them--and release the records. Instead of, say, to borrow a phrase, the politics of personal destruction.
On this, be sure and read Byron York if you haven't.
Posted at 07:46 AM
ART & LIFE [KJL]
A reader, catching up on his DVD watching, notes: "In the film 'Apocalypse Now,' there is a scene in which the man sent to kill Colonel Kurtz (Marlon Brando), Cpt. Willard (Martin Sheen) informs the commander of the boat on which he is being transported (not a Swift, but the smaller PBR) of his ultimate destination. 'The Chief' looks at the map and observes, 'That's Cambodia.' Willard replies, 'That's classified.'"
Posted at 07:29 AM
I KNOW, I KNOW, I KNOW THIS MUCH IS TRUE [KJL]
"I wish they had a delete button on LexisNexis." --John Kerry, June 1, 2003 Washington Post profile
Posted at 07:23 AM
JONAH GOLDBERG - DECLINE AND FALL [Andrew Stuttaford]
"One of the most dismaying things – particularly as a father of a little girl – is how young women and teenagers dress like tramps today. "
Posted at 07:07 AM
"LACTATE WITH LATTE" [KJL]
Meant to mention this earlier this week: the Maryland Starbucks "Nurse-in" Sunday. Now that's the kind of story Derb misses while getting his 9 hours. (He also might miss, from the Booknotes piece below: "'What is buggery?' Lamb once asked author Martin Gilbert.")
Posted at 07:05 AM
Booknotes has been cancelled.
Posted at 06:55 AM
IRAN STUNS "EU-3" [KJL]
Posted at 05:29 AM
AL QAEDA ASSASSINATION PLANS [KJL]
Posted at 04:52 AM
COORS WINS IN COLORADO [KJL]
Posted at 04:46 AM
HEY OMBUDSFOLK [ Jonah Goldberg]
Do I really have to capitalize Braille?
Posted at 01:51 AM
SPEAKING OF DYING FEMINISM… [Jonah Goldberg]
One of the most dismaying things – particularly as a father of a little girl – is how young women and teenagers dress like tramps today. Oh, I don’t mind it that much late at night, on Cinemax. In fact I don’t relish sounding like a prude, and that’s not really my point. What I do find interesting is the intersection of two kinds of feminism which cannot be sustained – at least not logically – during an age of slattern chic. First, there’s the sort of feminism which says that unwanted looks from men are demeaning and borderline harassment. The second sort of feminism says that women should own their sexuality, enjoy expressing themselves physically, relish being sexual creatures etc etc. Obviously, both kinds of feminism are tedious in their own ways. But they cannot be simultaneously operative. In airports, for example, I’m constantly seeing young women wearing sweatpants with “sexy” or “juicy” or, I dunno, “this space for rent” emblazoned across their butts. I use this example because it just seems inconceivable that you can put text across your posterior and then take offense when people look at it. I suppose these two worlds will finally collide for sure when such phrases are written in Braille.
Posted at 01:50 AM
LAST FEMINIST STANDING... [Jonah Goldberg]
I’ve been watching a bunch of the NBC series “Last Comic Standing.” I like it, generally speaking, although the guy who won it last year was a travesty. One thing that’s sort of interesting is how so many of the comics are what humorless women in the 1980s would call “misogynists.” A huge amount of the material over the last couple months has been devoted to how women are – or can be -- money-grubbing, duplicitous, shrewish, gold-diggers etc. That’s not that interesting except for the fact that nobody even nods to the existence of political correctness or feminism. It’s as if any woman watching will think it’s funny stuff. I suppose that’s progress of a sort, but worth pondering for its broader implications as well. Simply, because something annoys the politically correct doesn't mean it's well-mannered.
After all, political correctness is/was in many ways an attempt by the puritain left to reinvent Victorian morality without any reference to God or religion or tradition, rooting it instead in victimology and neo-Romanticism. But, hey, that's a topic for another day.
Posted at 01:48 AM
GLOBAL WARMING? [Jonah Goldberg]
My baby’s mama – as they say in the urban contemporary scene these days – is in Alaska as we speak, showing off the grandchild and other festivities. Anyway, she reports that it’s crazy hot up there and the smoke from the forest fires make Fairbanks look like LA. It was pretty hot last year when I was up there, but apparently it’s been worse this year. Nobody can remember a summer like this. Anyway, I doubt global warming has much to do with it, but it is freaky hot up there. And sure as shinola we can expect another NY Times story about how Global Warming is destroying Alaska and how Sen. Ted Stevens needs more pork to fight it.
Posted at 01:44 AM
RE: THE "REAL" ALAN KEYES [Jonah Goldberg]
Lots of angry email about that email I posted. Here are a couple:
Jonah: Thanks for your consistently excellent work.
Whoa! This guy feels strongly about this -- and writes well about it! But Jonah, it seems to me he is just superimposing the "blackness" question on the real issue I struggle with daily: Is the Republican Party the party for conservatives, or has it left us behind? And since his inclusion of names like Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell on his list of black shills marginalizes some of our best conservative thinkers, the subtext is clearly: "You can't ever be black and conservative, but if managed properly, you can be black and Republican."
Posted at 01:41 AM
FIRST POST OF THE DAY [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 01:38 AM
Tuesday, August 10, 2004
ON THE BORDER [Rod Dreher]
A reader in the Southwest, responding to my item about John Lehman and the INS, offers this insight: I can give you my recent observations on an attempt to pass a piece of legislation in Arizona called the Coyote Violence Reduction Act (CVRA). Coyote, of course, is the term used for those persons who smuggle non-citizens across the U.S. border. Because being a coyote is now as profitable as being a drug smuggler, and because there are far fewer laws against alien-smuggling, many drug smugglers are using their existing infrastructure to smuggle aliens for fun and profit. They are also using the violent tactics often used in drug smuggling. They kill people, rip-off other coyote's loads, abandon their cargo to rot in the desert to save their own skin, etc. The main gist of the Coyote Violence Reduction Act was to give state prosecutors power to disrupt the alien smuggling business through the use of asset forfeiture laws: i.e., removing the financial incentive and the transportation vehicles would make people less inclined to enter into the coyote business. Such laws exist at the Federal level, but did not exist at the Arizona state level. Federal enforcement was minimal. State law enforcement that came into contact with a large van of illegals driven by a coyote with a big 'ol sack of money really couldn't do anything if the feds didn't have the resources or the interest to immediately run right over and take control of the situation. The bill, which would have provided several remedies to all prosecutors in the state, was met with resistance. Hispanic legislators didn't want to completely end alien smuggling. They longed for the old days of the mom & pop coyote that didn't charge so much, wasn't prone to violence and maybe helped a hard working relative or two get into the country to earn a decent wage for honest labor. On the other hand, they did not like the new "corporate" drug smuggling culture coyote that demanded more money, stashed aliens in safe houses by the hundreds, and was more violent and ruthless. Law enforcement was also opposed mostly from the standpoint that the border is a federal issue, the feds have the laws and the personnel, they should take care of the problem. Local law enforcement felt overwhelmed by enforcing state law and didn't want to have to also be burdened with enforcing what was covered by federal law. Because of these concerns, ultimately what was passed was a watered down version of the CVRA. It gave the Attorney General, but not county or municipal prosecutors, discretion to enforce the law. There was also a mom & pop coyote exemption which essentially said as long as you don't smuggle too many aliens or make too much money, the law didn't apply.
Posted at 05:37 PM
CAMPAIGN SCHOOL 101 [KJL]
A definite don't
Posted at 05:31 PM
FACT ISSUES [Jim Robbins]
Senator Kerry states, "I remember spending Christmas Eve of 1968 five miles across the Cambodian border being shot at by our South Vietnamese allies who were drunk and celebrating Christmas. The absurdity of almost being killed by our own allies in a country in which President Nixon claimed there were no American troops was very real." Not to be picky, but wasn't Nixon only President-elect on Christmas eve 1968?
Posted at 05:15 PM
"THE 'REAL' PROBLEM WITH ALAN KEYES" [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't agree with all of this by a long shot, but it's an interesting conversation starter. From a reader:
Posted at 05:13 PM
BIG ORANGE NEWS [John Derbyshire]
I just hope they closed off the aisle while this was going on
Posted at 04:57 PM
RE: WORLD'S BEST PICKPOCKET [John Derbyshire]
Readers, God bless 'em, rarely let me down. Here is the actual reference.
Note it was Carter, not Clinton. This is just as likely to be my fault for mis-hearing as my informant's for mis-speaking. Easy to confuse Clinton & Carter, anyway...
Posted at 04:56 PM
TERESA! [Andrew Stuttaford]
Caption of the week.
Posted at 04:48 PM
RE: CIA [Michael Ledeen]
On Porter Goss, I think it's a terrible choice. Not because it will be controversial (Rockefeller's opposition actually speaks well of Goss, in my view at least), but because CIA badly needs an outsider, not someone who is part of the failed culture. And Goss is an insider. First he worked at the failed AGency. Then he worked at the failed oversight committee in Congress.
No. We need Bobby Knight.
Posted at 04:44 PM
RE: KERRY'S COLD WAR FREEZE [Michael Ledeen]
Josh is certainly right to say that what's important is Kerry himself, not some obscure event in the past. But the "Cambodia" episode is all about Kerry today. It comes from his own contemporary mouth and is posted on his own website. And it's pure fantasy. So the reason that Instapundit and Rogerlsimon and Powerline and the rest of the precious and wonderful bloggers are so agitated...is that it strongly suggests that Kerry is nuts. Today. Because he is inventing his own past. And that business about carrying the little cap around in his briefcase. Wow.
Posted at 04:42 PM
ABA WATCH [KJL]
From the Federalist Society:
HEALTH CARE OPTIONS IN CATHOLIC HOSPITALSFor more see Shannen Coffin's piece from yesterday's NRO. Good job, Shannen, I say!
Posted at 03:38 PM
KERRY'S ENERGY "PLAN" [Jonathan H. Adler]
I hope to have more on Kerry's absurd plan for "energy independence" later. But in the meantime, the NYT reported over the weekend on how even some of Kerry's advisers think the plan is unrealistic and "asinine."
Posted at 03:33 PM
ZZZZZZ [John Derbyshire]
There's truth in jest. I can't get by on less than 9 hrs sleep a night. This is a liability -- wellnigh a disability, in my opinion.
When M. Thatcher came to power & we heard that she copes with 4-5 hrs a night, I was green with envy. Tried to emulate but couldn't. A medical man once told me that there is an upside: apparently I should live to be about 120, barring accidents or lethally enraged readers.
Posted at 03:18 PM
Derb, you can keep up with the news and still have a life. You just gotta sacrifice sleeping.
Posted at 03:08 PM
WORLD'S BEST PICKPOCKET [John Derbyshire]
I heard the following story over dinner last night. It came from a new acquaintance, though as far as I could judge a perfectly reliable person. If anyone can confirm it, I'd be much obliged. I'd never heard it before -- but then I miss a lot of news stuff because *I HAVE A LIFE*.
Here's the story: There is a fellow who goes by the pseudonym "Apollo," and who claims to be the world's most accomplished pickpocket. For reasons not too challengingly hard to fathom, he hangs around in Las Vegas a lot. Well, during the Clinton presidency, our boy Bill went to Vegas -- with, of course, the usual Secret Service bodyguards. "Apollo" had a lot of fun removing the shields, transmitters, guns, etc. from the pockets of these bodyguards. (Whether he later returned the items, my informant did not know.)
Posted at 03:06 PM
BUSH KEEPS KIDS FROM BREATHING? [KJL]
That's basically RFK Jr.'s contention, as Rich notes today. But take a look at nanny-state zero-tolerance reality in this Cathy Seipp piece from 2002. Look Left, young Kennedy, look Left.
Posted at 03:03 PM
A PICTURE IS WORTH... [KJL]
Posted at 02:47 PM
KEYES TO THE KINGDOM? [Mark Krikorian]
I'm back after almost a month in the forest, so I'm catching up. Regarding the Illinois race, forget about carpetbagging or Mike Ditka or why Rep.'s Hyde or Crane didn't run -- after Ryan dropped out, why didn't the state party just turn to the candidate who came in second in the primary, Jim Oberweis? Because he was a vocal proponent of enforcing the immmigration law, that's why -- Denny Hastert said so explicitly in an interview published Sunday. The state and national parties' spinelessness on immigration guarantees that Republican will lose this seat and may well end up costing the GOP control of the Senate -- so much for the political benefits of supporting open borders.
Posted at 02:37 PM
MCCAIN-FEINGOLD TO KERRY'S RESCUE [KJL]
Three groups file a FEC complaint against the SwiftVets.
Posted at 02:35 PM
EVER ACTUALLY GET THE IMPRESSION TERESA WANTS TO BE ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL? [KJL]
On a slow pass through Arizona last night, Teresa took the microphone and said, "Hello, Nevada!" Kerry leaned into his fatigued wife quickly and said, "Arizona." "Oh, Arizona!" she replied. "We're in Arizona. We're still in Arizona. and we are going to Nevada. If you've been in as many places as we've been in in the past 12, 13 days, even if you have a map, the hours make you mix them all up."
Posted at 02:25 PM
WHATCHA CALLING GENOCIDE? [KJL]
Another reason not to worry about what European leaders think of us.
Posted at 01:56 PM
COLORADO PRIMARY TODAY [KJL]
John J. Miller’s profiled Pete Coors and Bob Schaffer.
Posted at 01:21 PM
LEHMAN ON INS [Rod Dreher]
I forgot to mention in my Friday item that 9/11 Commissioner John Lehman told us that they'd found that state authorities in Arizona and New Mexico were not cooperating with the INS on making the border with Mexico more secure. The reason, according to Lehman, was that the state authorities wanted to protect the supply of cheap labor coming across the border illegally. Anybody know more about this? I hadn't seen this finding publicized.
Posted at 12:34 PM
AUTOEROTIC ASPHYXIATION [Jonathan H. Adler]
Is death by autoerotic asphyxiation an "intentional self-inflicted injury"? Apparently the Second Circuit has had trouble making up its mind.
Posted at 12:29 PM
"I'M GONNA KILL THE PRESIDENT" [KJL]
Posted at 12:25 PM
PORTER GOSS AS TOO PARTISAN [KJL]
Dems are saying that Goss is too partisan and that he was picked because he is from Florida. I.e. It is all about politics. Just ran into this link, interestingly, from last month: A Hill interview with Pat Roberts in which he says Goss won't be picked because Dems will take aim:
We do not want a partisan fight right before the election,” Roberts said.Well, now he's the pick. What happens? Senate Dems let him go through because they don't want to look like they are playing politics with the CIA. Or, the Dems somehow make this case that he is unqualified for the job (because he's not a Democrat?). I'm guessing the Bush camp, doing the right thing, can handle this one just fine.
Posted at 12:15 PM
APOCALYPSE NOW [Rod Dreher]
On E-bay, someone is offering a napkin that blotted the sweat from Alan Keyes haloed head. Current bid: $465.
Posted at 12:07 PM
RE: KEYES [Jonah Goldberg]
Yeah, I'm getting a lot of similar email too. Look, I obviously hope Keyes wins, but I still think it's a bad trend. And I'm not sure why it's significantly less of a bad trend because the GOP asked Keyes to run. The New York and national Dems clearly paved the road for Hillary. Anyway, I think I'm going to write about this today.
Posted at 11:44 AM
DMN SLAPS MINORITY JOURNO BIAS [Rod Dreher]
My editorial board colleague Ruben Navarrette, who is Latino, returned from the UNITY conference of minority journalists appalled by the naked partisanship his 5,000 fellow minority journalists displayed in the way they treated John Kerry, versus the way they treated President Bush. And he wrote a staff editorial about it. Here's the first sentence: Anyone who has ever harbored suspicions that there's such a thing as a liberal media need only to have been in Washington last week to observe how thousands of minority journalists treated the two headliners to their conference: President George Bush and Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry. There you have it. One of the country's major newspapers calls out this bias -- and it wasn't in a column by the National Review alumnus on the editorial board, but was the opinion of the board itself, speaking on behalf of the newspaper. My hope is that the mainstream media will at least admit it has this problem, begin to realize that "diversity" that includes a newsroom full of minority journalists who all share the same liberal politics is a diversity that's only skin deep, and start to rectify the situation by seeking ideological diversity.
Posted at 11:43 AM
G-FILE VS SYNDICATED COLUMN [Jonah Goldberg]
I continue to get email from folks who don't like one or the other or who don't know there's a difference. Yesterday's G-File on "No Child Left Behind" received a bunch of mail from folks who really don't like the syndicated column style and who said essentially "good to see your rut is over." Other emailers complained about the glibness and the self-indulgence.
Here's the deal: you simply cannot write a national syndicated column the way G-File is done. Most newspaper columns are about 700-750 words, some are cut even shorter.There's no room to mention the couch, get distracted by movie quotes etc. Also, you have to assume that most newspaper readers have no idea who you are and so all of your running jokes have to be explained. It's just a different beast. This doesn't mean that the syndicated column needs to be emasculated, dumbed-down, or dull -- like, say, Leonardo DiCaprio -- it's simply a different style. In fact, there are many ways in which the syndicated column is superior, it's just that some of the G-File vets who hang out around here are looking for something different.
What may be confusing some folks is that NRO has been running both G-Files and syndicated columns. We've tried to make it clear which is which, but I don't think a lot of folks look at the fine print. Regardless, here are few hints. I don't believe the Couch has ever been mentioned in syndicated column ("Yer darn right!" -- the Couch). The syndicated column will never go longer than 850 words and is usually much shorter. The first paragraph will pretty much always tell you what the column is about whereas the topic of the G-File often arrives like an afterthought halfway through. Oh, and at the end of the syndicated column there will always be a copyright for Tribune Media Services.
Posted at 11:30 AM
COSMO WOULD HAVE SEEN THIS COMING [KJL]
Posted at 10:50 AM
ALAN KEYES [Rick Brookhiser]
Alan Keyes's opinion of himself and the universe's opinion of him have fatally parted company.
Posted at 10:38 AM
MORE COURAGEOUS LEADERSHIP [Michael Graham]
Last year, John Kerry called it "both heartless and divisive." In August he wrote a letter to the Tucson Citizen, signed as a U.S. senator and candidate for president, saying it was pushed by "forces of hate and discrimination."
But what is Kerry saying about Arizona's Protect Arizona Now initiative to deny illegal aliens some social services and require proof of citizenship to vote?
"It's up to states to decide what the states want to do with respect to their own expenditures."
Has Kerry had an epiphany, or is this related to the fact that most recent polls show a 3-1 margin in favor of the Protect Arizona Now initiative?
John Kerry: Principled leadership for our time.
Posted at 10:13 AM
KERRY ON IRAQ [KJL]
What will the NYT say to this? "Yes, I would have voted for the authority. I believe it is the right authority for a president to have but I would have used that authority effectively."
Recall (NYT, post Kerry DNC speech):
He did not, however, provide a clear vision on Iraq. Voters needed to hear him say that he understands, in retrospect, that his vote to give President George W. Bush congressional support to invade was a mistake. It's clear now that Kerry isn't going to go there, and it's a shame.
Posted at 10:08 AM
Iraq's defense minister points in their direction.
Posted at 10:05 AM
2 STRANGE 2 B PRESIDENT [KJL]
with Kerry, even before any gaffes or scandals, the official narrative makes no sense. He's publicly opposed to the Vietnam War. But he volunteers for it. Then he comes back disgusted with his experience in war, publicly hurls his medals away (or someone else's: that story keeps changing), denounces his fellow veterans as war criminals, torturers and rapists, and claims that he personally committed atrocities.
Posted at 10:03 AM
KERRY'S COLD WAR FREEZE [KJL]
The detractors may only be playing into his hands by focusing on what he did or did not do on the Mekong 35 years ago. The more telling point is that nothing he has done since then sustains the claim that he would be an effective leader in the war we face today — any more than George McGovern's 35 combat missions in World War II, which won him the Distinguished Flying Cross, qualified him to lead us in the Cold War.Read it all here.
Posted at 09:50 AM
USING MRS. KNOWLES [KJL]
Kerry leaves out some details in a fave campaign story of his.
Posted at 09:47 AM
MORE BREAKING NEWS [KJL]
"Campaign 2004: Election likely to alter make-up of Supreme Court." If only more people realized this (the top court, and all federal courts).
Posted at 09:41 AM
THE ANSWER [Tim Graham]
From July 30 through August 5, 1,345 adults were asked “Do you favor or oppose Federal funding of research on diseases like Alzheimers using stem cells taken from human embryos?” Sixty-four percent said they favored such funding, while 28 percent opposed it. The margin of sampling error was plus or minus three percentage points.
"Taken from"? How about "extracting stem cells and in the process destroying human embryos"? No wonder NBC can claim a great majority. Someone needs to do a poll with more precise wording. Many may still choose the embryo sacrifice, but the less informed people right now think nothing's dying in the process.
Posted at 08:15 AM
THE STEM CELL [Tim Graham]
Chris Matthews said on "Today" this morning that pushing embryo-killing stem-cell research is a "slam dunk" for the Democrats, since people with diseases "don't want to be told by Laura Bush" that research isn't promising when they're ill. He said it was morally complicated, but politically obvious. In a half-decent segment that made the right distinctions about federal funding and embryo destruction, Matt Lauer showed that an Annenberg survey found great support for stem-cell research, even among Republicans. And were the polling victims told about the embryo destruction?
Posted at 08:14 AM
MADONNA TO OPEN A KABBALAH SCHOOL [KJL]
Posted at 08:11 AM
DEFENDING KEYES [KJL]
I'm getting a lot of these: "Look, Alan Keyes did not actively seek to be nominated by Republicans in Illinois, they sought him and asked him to run for them. I cannot believe you, Jonah, and the rest of the NRO pack would casually dismiss this opportunity in Illinois because of some little hangup about 'carpetbagging'. One Democrat and one Republican incident in four years are hardly a trend. If anything, it is righting the balance. Get over it and on with the show."
Posted at 08:08 AM
"THEY MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING GOOD" [KJL]
"VIENNA--More than a third of Austrians believe that the Nazi era was in some ways positive, although pro-Nazi sentiment in Austria has dropped over the past two decades, according to a poll published Thursday. "
Posted at 08:05 AM
TERRORISTS HIT [KJL]
two hotels in Istanbul
Posted at 07:47 AM
PORTER GOSS [KJL]
Is headed to the CIA.
Posted at 07:42 AM
MCVEIGH'S 168 COUNTS OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER [KJL]
includes one unborn child.
Posted at 03:46 AM
A KEYES STRETCH [KJL]
I did a doubletake on this, from Inside Politics yesterday; this race is downright embarrassing:
CROWLEY: Mr. Keyes, when you look at this, and I know that you have said -- you criticized Hillary Clinton for going to New York, and we have to at least discuss the carpetbagger issue. You have said, look, I don't know what the issues are in Illinois, I'm going to listen. But is that, like this close to an election, really a bumper sticker you can run on?
Posted at 03:42 AM
BREAKING NEWS [KJL]
"UN oil-for-food charges 'serious'"
Posted at 03:32 AM
A SWIFT VET INTERVIEW [KJL]
in the blogosphere, natch.
Posted at 03:29 AM
JIM RASSMAN COMES TO KERRY'S AID [KJL]
Posted at 03:20 AM
Monday, August 09, 2004
TIME'S MATT COOPER TO JAIL? [KJL]
Posted at 08:20 PM
RUNNING AROUND [Rich Lowry]
I'll be out running around for the next week. Will try to check in from the road...
Posted at 07:49 PM
WHY KEYES? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Another friend passes along a possible explanation for why Keyes was the only option: Reps. Hyde and Crane have substantial seniority in the House, and that is quite a bit to give up -- for oneself and one's constituents -- just to be a junior Senator.
Posted at 07:06 PM
PARANOIA WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Marie-Antoinette gazes out of the palace windows and is worried by what she sees:
"We don't have to fear being hung from a lamppost or shot or sent to jail. Not yet. Not yet. And please God, not ever" (Teresa Heinz Kerry, August 5th).
Not Yet? Calm down, dear, calm down.
Posted at 06:33 PM
CHIEF JUSTICE THOMAS? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Posted at 06:14 PM
ON SWIFT BOATS AND KERRY LIES [Jonthan H. Adler]
Instapundit excerpts Bob Novak, Mark Steyn, and James Lindgren on the swift boat controversy and Kerry's seeming penchant for stating alleged untruths. Read 'em all (especially Lindgren, who doesn't share Novak's and Steyn's anti-Kerry bias).
Posted at 06:08 PM
BILL CLINTON [KJL]
does The Daily Show tonight
Posted at 05:16 PM
B&N'S UNFIT FOR COMMAND PAGE GETS HACKED [KJL]
(As I link, book cover says "Fit for Command")
Posted at 05:05 PM
RE: NORMS [Jonah Goldberg ]
I suspect I'm even more bothered by carpetbagging than Ramesh is. As I wrote about Hillary's New York run at the time, carpetbagging of this sort contributes to the worst sort of trends in our politics. It's a nationalizing force which makes the Senate in particular a House of Lords for the media age, in which celebrities from anywhere can parachute in and run for office based upon name recognition and public relations. Keyes isn't nearly as a good an example as Hillary, in part because Keyes will almost surely lose. But I really don't like the idea that growing up in -- or at least setting down roots in -- the place you're going to represent is becoming quaint in the eyes of the voters and the media.
That said, considering how Hillary Clinton and her supported considered any mention of her out-of-state status to be an unfair attack, it will be interesting to see how many Democrats become suddenly comfortable with the carpet-bagger epithet.
Posted at 05:02 PM
POLITICAL MUSIC [Jonathan H. Adler]
Why don't the major record labels sign more politically outspoken artists? It's not because of politics, as most record execs are liberal. Rather, as one explained to the WSJ today, "The biggest problem with politial music has not been that it's controversial, but that it's boring." Nonetheless, the same WSJ story reports that record labels are signing lots of new overtly political acts. Up next, a Green Day "concept album" title "American Idiot."
Posted at 04:05 PM
KEYES [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The idea that Senate candidates should be actual residents of the state from which they are running--and not just barely in compliance with the state's laws--isn't a constitutional requirement, or an absolute moral principle. It's a political norm that has some persuasive rationales. If we had a situation in which one party routinely parachuted in appealing candidates to crucial states and won advantages thereby, at some point the other party would have to abandon its scruples and do the same--because the norm would no longer be a norm. Until Alan Keyes decided to run in Illinois, we had one example of the norm's being flouted, that of Hillary Rodham Clinton. The norm still existed, albeit in slightly weakened form. I regret its further erosion.
Posted at 04:04 PM
WAS KEYES THE BEST CANDIDATE? [Jonathan H. Adler]
I am inclined to agree with the Alan Keyes of 2000 who criticized Hillary Clinton's decision to move to New York to run for the Senate over the Alan Keyes of 2004 who has jumped into the Illinois Senate race. But was this necessary? As a friend of mine pondered, why were none of the Illinois GOP House members willing to run? Reps. Hyde and Crane have both had full, distinguished careers, and would be giving up (at most) only a handful of congressional terms by running. Both would have had plenty of name recognition and fund-raising ability. Either could have mounted a credible campaign -- more credible than Keyes. Were they not approached? Did they refuse to run? After Ryan's implosion it was fun to speculate about celebrity candidates, but I would have thought Illinois could do better than to import a former ambassador and talk-show host from out-of-state.
Posted at 04:02 PM
MR. SQUELCH SPEAKS OUT [Tim Graham]
The New York Times has a funny way of finding judges of Omitting Administrations:
Among many of the administration's critics and even, to a more limited degree, among some of its allies, Mr. Ridge's performance was seen as fueling disbelief and cynicism. 'This episode certainly undermines the credibility of Secretary Ridge whether it was his fault or not,' said Joe Lockhart, who was press secretary to President Bill Clinton. 'He was the guy who stood up there and omitted some pretty important facts.'"Lockhart omitted so many inconvenient facts about Clinton while he was the White House spokesman that Jonah would be tempted to call them "Joe-missions."
Posted at 03:45 PM
BLAME SAN FRAN [KJL]
for the homeless-relocation problem at the GOP convention.
Posted at 03:33 PM
HILBERT ANECDOTES [John Derbyshire]
In Prime Obsession I remarked of the great German mathematician David Hilbert that: "There is a vast number of anecdotes about him..." (p.186).
Well, here is a web site full of Hilbert quotes and anecdotes:
I have a problem with math anecdotes, actually. If you read that Hilbert page, you will see that only a few of them are much good. Well, after P.O. came out I got a couple of reader responses along the lines: "I liked the anecdotes about mathematicians, but they were the same ones I heard from my own lecturers."
Well, yes. Mathematicians are a dry lot for the most part, and the number of good math anecdotes is pretty small. I think I "spent" all the best ones in P.O. Now I've engaged to write another pop-math book, and have no decent anecdotes left to season it with. So if any reader has good, but little-known, humanizing stories about mathematicians, I'd appreciate them. Subject line MATH ANECDOTES, please.
Posted at 03:03 PM
"HE THINKS HE'S MY DADDY" [KJL]
Can you imagine putting this on your child?
Posted at 02:53 PM
NEVER AGAIN? [KJL]
Jewish students attacjed at Auschwitz by French tourists.
Posted at 02:46 PM
MORE DARFUR BLAME THEORIES [KJL]
Egypt says the U.S. is intervening so we can take Sudan's oil.
Posted at 02:41 PM
RE: POETRY BLEG [John Derbyshire]
Tech-savvy readers advise me that, yes, Google searches count CR-LF as a distinct character. If, therefore, you search on a string like this: "aaa bbb ccc ddd," while the actual web page has a line break between "bbb" and "ccc," the string won't be found.
My own experience of coding covers at least a dozen computer languages across 30 yrs, and every search algorithm I ever coded or used followed the "all whitespace is equal" rule. It seems amazing to me that Google doesn't.
The correct approach in Google searches for text strings with imbedded whitespace is:
(1) Search for "aaa bbb ccc ddd," with the whole string in quotes like that.
(2) If no hit, drop the quotes and search again.
Posted at 02:36 PM
"SCREAM, ANN. SCREAM FOR YOUR LIFE." [Andrew Stuttaford]
No more, alas. Gorgeous Fay Wray, Canadian (who knew?) dead at 96. RIP.
Posted at 02:33 PM
BLAME ISRAEL [KJL]
The Sudanese foreign minister does just that, for the crisis in Darfur.
Posted at 02:30 PM
THIS COULD NOT HAVE BEEN HARD TO TALLY [KJL]
Planned Parenthood's Gloria Feldt, to Newsweek, about the Democratic Convention: "I wasn’t on the floor every minute … nor did I get to watch all of the convention, but my observation was without fail any time anybody, myself included, mentioned a women’s right to choose or reproductive health, that was met with loud cheers and approval from the audience." As the Newsweek interviewer notes in the intro, abortion was not often spoken of at the convention this year.
Posted at 02:19 PM
CHALABI BANK DENIAL [KJL]
AFP: "The governor of Iraq's central bank Monday denied that it had sought the prosecution of prominent politician Ahmed Chalabi for banknote forgery after a court issued a warrant for his arrest on the charge. " (And see Michael Rubin here for more re Chalabi.)
Posted at 02:06 PM
DASCHLE'S RELIGION PROBLEM [KJL]
could be his reelection problem: his bishop speaks out on pro-abortion pols.
Posted at 01:09 PM
DEBATING HOMELAND SECURITY [KJL]
The New Republic's Michael Crowley and NRO's Jim Robbins are going at it.
Posted at 01:04 PM
RE: POETRY BLEG [John Derbyshire]
Everyone and his brother is better at Googling than I am.
I was putting in the whole "line," as I remembered it. Actually, the text I gave is broken across two lines, and this accounts for the no-hit on Google (I suppose).
A Google on "+softly +centuries +fall +civilized" does the trick. The poem is "Raiders' Dawn" by the Welsh WW2 soldier-poet Alun Lewis.
Here is the poem.
Here is some bio on Lewis.
Many thanks to all who helped.
Be nice to think that the old soldier-poet tradition is still alive, and that some of our fighting guys in Iraq and Afghanistan are putting their thoughts into verse.
Posted at 12:16 PM
POETRY BLEG [John Derbyshire]
OK, here's a poetry bleg for starters.
In my Cole Porter piece a few days ago. I quoted, as an example of alliteration, the following line: "Softly the civilized centuries fall." A couple of readers want to know who wrote this line. I am embarrassed to say I can't remember. When writing that passage, I fished around in my memory for an alliterative line, and up it popped. Google doesn't help -- and yes, I tried both the American "z" and British "s" spellings of "civilized."
If anyone can locate this poem for me I'd be much obliged. All I know (probabilities in parentheses, as percentages) is
--- It's a real line of verse (100). I didn't make it up (100). And I'm pretty sure it's word perfect (90).
--- It's the first line of a poem (85), or just possibly the first line of a stanza but not of the poem (15).
--- It's one of the mid-20th-century British poets (80).
--- But not Auden (99). It sounds like Auden, I know, but it ain't him. (All the midcentury British poets sound like Auden at least some of the time -- his influence was tremendous.)
Posted at 11:36 AM
SCROLL DOWN! SCROLL DOWN! [KJL]
Monday e-mails always suggest to me there are a number of you who do not read The Corner on weekends. (Non NRO priorities--I can't imagine!) Scroll down or you'll miss Planned Parenthood's insane Choice Chick flick, Andrew Stuttaford on tattoos, Rick Brookhiser reporting from Ulster County, the Swift Vets stand up to Kerry and the DNC, and much more.
Posted at 11:15 AM
RE: NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader in response to today's G-File:
Posted at 10:49 AM
ELECTION MONITORING [Jonah Goldberg]
Obviously I think there's a lot of silliness in the election-monitoring of Florida stuff. But in generaln I don't understand why Republicans and the Bush White House ran away from the issue of electoral reform. Democrats have this myth that if elections were run more honestly and accurately in this country that Democrats would gain. One can see why they'd think that in the wake of Florida (let's not start that argument again). But the obvious fact, it seems to me, is that if every vote was counted -- and counted only once -- Democrats would suffer big time. They'd come out poorly in states like Arizona where, allegedly, the Democrats bus indians from one polling station to another; in Lousiana where the Democrats do the same with blacks and in various major cities like St. Louis where the Democrats play games by extending voting times in certain areas.
To me it's a lot like DNA testing for people on death row. I think it should be free to anyone who might be helped by it. Why? Because wherever DNA might be relevant it will in all likelihood prove the guilt of the convict. And, if in the off chance it proves his innocence, great. Who wants to execute innocent people? That may just boost the public's confidence when it comes time to fry the guilty.
Let's have serious electoral reform, which would include making it much harder to vote in different locations, with bad ID and without proof of citizenship. How, exactly, would that hurt the GOP?
Posted at 10:47 AM
THIS JUST IN [Jonah Goldberg]
I meant to post this last week but travel etc got in the way. Did anyone see the lengthy piece in the NY Times last Thursday revealing that -- gasp -- when it comes to terrorism coverage, "The further a publication is situated from the New York and Washington areas, where the risk was said to be greatest, the less coverage the threats often received."
It goes on and on, quoting for example, Fred Zipp the Managing Editor of the Austin-American Statesman: "If the warning had been that Al Qaeda is going to attack the tower on the University of Texas campus or a University of Texas football game, then we would have been equally aggressive."
What's shocking is that this might be shocking to the folks at the New York Times. Do they think New York City and Washington are so beloved and revered that newspapers in Texas should treat events -- even important ones -- 2,000 miles away with the same intensity. All of the papers in question gave the terror threats front page treatment, just not saturation coverage.
Maybe this phenomenon explains why the LA Times covers earthquakes in California with a bit more enthusiasm than earthquakes in Uzbekistan?
Posted at 10:38 AM
MORE PPFA TEENWIRE [KJL]
Infuriating, from one of their experts, addressing the question "Is having an abortion emotionally and psychologically dangerous?."
Most women feel relief after an abortion. Serious emotional problems after abortion are much less likely than they are after giving birth. But anti choice extremists make false claims about this. They want people to believe that most women who choose abortion suffer severe and long lasting emotional trauma. This is not true.
Women suffering are not propaganda from "anti choice extremists." And true feminists would see that. But the women who hang around PPFA, NOW, etc. are not feminists, they are abortion advocates. Period. (See here and here here and here for a different take on abortion and women.)
Posted at 10:27 AM
RON KESSLER ON W. [KJL]
Penguin's new conservative imprint releases its first book today, A Matter of Character, about the Bush White House. Read NRO's Q&A with the author here.
Posted at 09:15 AM
"OPEN WATER" [Rich Lowry]
Saw it this weekend. It's so minimal and low-budget it's hardly a movie, but has occasional moments of real terror. For what it's worth...
Posted at 08:51 AM
THE EAGLE HAS LANDED [John Derbyshire]
Back home after a week in Yosemite with the family. No radio, no TV, no computer, no newspapers for a week --- it was WONDERFUL.
Seems I didn't miss much. I vaguely hoped that by the time I got back Herman Munster & his choirboy pal might have magically disappeared. Nope, they're still there, still running for office. Grrrrr. Shoulda stayed in the woods.
Masses of e-mail, I shall be behind for a month. (As opposed to the usual fortnight.)
Posted at 08:50 AM
SEX ED, PPFA STYLE [KJL]
Why is Planned Parenthood selling "Does Size Matter?" rulers aimed at teens? The rulers advertise Planned Parenthood's graphic teen webzine, teenwire. (I'd cite some graphic examples, but your company's filter might block us.
Posted at 07:09 AM
NFL JUNKIES, GET JAZZED [Tim Graham]
Mrs. Graham is already wincing at the first strains of "Are you ready for some football?" Monday night, fellas, Monday night! The game will stink, but nobody will care. Our fantasy-football league gathered for our draft yesterday, and once again, it was dominated by my colleague Geoff Dickens seeming to move Heaven and earth to acquire his new Washington Redskins idol Clinton Portis from a fellow Redskins fan. We were wondering if Geoff would sink to offering free gin to sweeten the deal.
The highlight of the season this year is our beloved Green Bay Packers coming to Washington for the first time in oh, several decades, at least since I arrived in D.C. in 1986. I acquired tickets last week, so I'm ready to crash the Stephen Hayes tailgate party. I can bring the brats, dude.
Posted at 07:08 AM
RE: RIDLEY [Tim Graham]
Aaron is right, "Undercover Brother" is a thumbs-up laugher, but the NPR commentary is lame. You could try to insist that transplanting Keyes in Illinois is cynically racial, or that Keyes is too humorless and white-hot in his dazzling stump style to win, or that Illinois seems just too darn blue-state liberalish for a conservative to have a good shot. But you should not suggest that conservatives don't give a flying Fig Newton about black people and expect not to hear back about it.
Posted at 07:08 AM
ELECTION DAY [KJL]
We will be watched. Maybe Mary Frances Berry will send Jimmy Carter down to Florida, too.
Posted at 06:18 AM
DAMN REPUBLICANS [KJL]
Are displacing the homeless in NYC later this month.
Posted at 06:14 AM
PRE-ELECTION ATTACKS [KJL]
From the weekend, White House homeland-security adviser:
Townsend said announcing the precise targets and raising the alert level in Washington and New York may have had an impact on the terrorists' plot. "I certainly think that by our actions now that we have disrupted it," she said on Fox. "The question is, 'Have we disrupted all of it or part of it?' "
Posted at 06:11 AM
CHECK IN IN THE KERRY SPOT [KJL]
regularly. On Friday you would have read about Kerry's Cambodia lie and more.
Posted at 06:00 AM
NUKES [Andrew Stuttaford]
Could it just be that the New York Times has actually got something right?
”There is no bigger and more urgent threat to the security of every American than the possibility of nuclear bomb materials falling into the wrong hands. That is why it is astonishing, and frightening, that the Bush administration is now pushing to strip the teeth from a proposed new treaty aimed at expanding the current international bans on the production of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. With talks on the new treaty set to begin later this year, the administration suddenly announced last week that it would insist that no provisions for inspections or verification be included.”
I’m no megaton-head, but I have to believe that the US has more than enough weapons-grade uranium and plutonium to satisfy the country’s defense needs for the indefinite future. Given that fact, and the fact that we are living in an age facing the threat of nuclear terrorism, anything basically reasonable that could result in less of the bad stuff being manufactured by the bad guys (and from there falling into the hands of the worse) should, one would think, be pursued.
Properly amended, this treaty looks like a good idea. Time for a rethink?
Posted at 05:50 AM
WORKS FOR ME [KJL]
"John Kerry will lose this election, and he will do so decisively. The defeat will go down as perhaps the only thing this candidate has ever done decisively." see here.
Posted at 05:49 AM
ATTACK BY HELICOPTER? [KJL]
Posted at 05:38 AM
OBESITY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The Public Interest has an interesting article by two economists. It notes that obesity rates have doubled since 1980, and concludes that two factors were primarily responsible: the growth in the number of fast-food and other restaurants (itself, they say, largely driven by increases in female labor force participation) accounted for two-thirds of the increase in obesity; the rise in the price of cigarettes (largely driven by taxes) accounted for another fifth.
Posted at 12:42 AM
LIBERAL MYTHOLOGY [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Wieseltier performs what has become a typical move among liberals who deplore the excesses of anti-Bushism. He surveys the "degradations" around him: among them, the rehabilitation of Noam Chomsky by the New York Review of Books, Al Gore's reference to Abu Ghraib as "the Bush gulag," moveon.org's comparison of Fox News to Pravda, and Black Sabbath's likening of Bush to Hitler. He says that all of this is not only uncivil but, worse, stupid. But again and again he suggests that liberals are sadly lowering their standards to match those of conservatives. "Liberals must think carefully about their keenness to mirror some of the most poisonous qualities of their adversaries. It was never exactly a disgrace to American liberalism that it lacked its Limbaugh." Right. We had this great, civil, elevated political discourse until Limbaugh and Coulter came along, and it's too bad that liberals are now meeting fire with fire. I don't have the space, time, or patience to go into all the counter-evidence here, which could stretch all the way back to the Goldwater campaign or, for that matter, to William F. Buckley Jr.'s first coming to public attention. Suffice it to say that no right-winger wrote a major book talking about killing Bill Clinton during the 1990s. It's nice that Wieseltier is trying to rescue liberalism from madness, but this is such a cheap way to do it.
Posted at 12:36 AM
BLOGGERS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
will probably be up in arms about Wieseltier's offhand remark (in that review you mentioned, Jonathan) about "the deranging influence of blogs." Rightly, too. That some blogs are deranged I have no doubt. But many blogs have an enlightening influence. Besides, the people who get deranged by reading Bush-hating blogs (to return to the context of the review) would just as easily be deranged by reading Bush-hating books.
Posted at 12:22 AM
HELPING AN 'ALLY' [Andrew Stuttaford]
“Aug. 4, 2004 | Even staunch defenders of the U.S.-Saudi alliance, such as former Secretary of State James Baker, would be hard-pressed to assert that Saudi Arabia respects religious freedom. A 2003 State Department report flatly states that "freedom of religion does not exist" in that nation. The State Department has also concluded that "non-Muslim worshippers risk arrest, lashing, deportation and sometimes torture for engaging in religious activity." Even Muslim members of the Shiite minority "are the subject of officially sanctioned political and economic discrimination," according to the same report. Yet the evidence in the report, mandated by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, was not quite persuasive enough for the Bush administration. For the past several years, the State Department has ignored the recommendation of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom -- an independent body created by the IRFA -- to list Saudi Arabia as a country of "particular concern for religious freedom."
Yes, let’s read that again:
"Non-Muslim worshippers risk arrest, lashing, deportation and sometimes torture for engaging in religious activity."
Yes, yes, of course, it’s important to understand that the current situation in the Middle East may mean that the US has to tread a little carefully when dealing with the ‘Kingdom’, but at the same time, it’s difficult not to think that this craven approach to Saudi theocracy (which will, doubtless, have been noticed by the more secular elements in that unfortunate country) is doing anything other than stirring up yet more trouble for the future.
Does the State Department never learn?
Read the whole thing – despite the annoying registration requirement.
Posted at 12:01 AM
Sunday, August 08, 2004
HEAD CASE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Just when you think that some of the Church of England vicars can sink no further into smugness and stupidity there’s this:
”A Birmingham vicar was today accused of "political correctness gone mad" after calling for the historic Saracen's Head pub to be renamed because it offends Muslims. Kings Norton's rector, Canon Rob Morris, said the name, which harks back to the Crusades, was "offensive", although he had heard no complaints.”
Morris’ stance, of course, is so wrong on so many levels, that it’s impossible to know where to begin.
It’s worth noting, however, that one of those seemingly in agreement with this presumptious parson was none other than the chairman of the Birmingham Central Mosque. Judging by this report, published a day or two after Saracengate, he might have been better employed paying attention to matters rather closer to his own patch:
“A long-running feud between rival factions at a Birmingham mosque is believed to be behind two murders, including the fatal shooting of a 35-year-old man at a gym last week. Azmat Yaqub was repeatedly shot in the head and chest as he worked out at the Chic Physique Health and Fitness Gymnasium in Birmingham on Thursday night. The hit is being linked to a second attack in which Mr Yaqub was injured and his friend, Shaham Ali, 30, was killed in a drive-by shooting in Birmingham in March last year…The first, unsuccessful attempt to murder Mr Yaqub was blamed on a dispute between rival groups at the Birmingham Central Mosque, Europe's largest Islamic centre which can hold 5,000 worshippers. The row centred on an affair between the mosque secretary and a wife of the centre's imam, or preacher.”
Posted at 10:32 PM
BRITISH JUSTICE, CTD. [Andrew Stuttaford]
For another glimpse of the way that Britain’s draconian gun control laws work, check out this story:
”A Farmer was being quizzed by police today after shooting at a suspected burglar. Police said the farmer, 73 - who has been burgled twice in recent months - had spotted a burglar at a detached garage at Keys Farm, in Ockbrook, at 6am. A Derbyshire Police spokesman said: "The offender fled from the farm. During the incident the farmer fired a shotgun and a 22-year-old man was later found a short distance away, suffering from minor pellet injuries to his left leg." The victim was taken to the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary for treatment. Both the farmer and the victim are now under arrest.”
Well, of course. The farmer – a septuagenarian and two-time burglary victim - was clearly a menace to society.
Meanwhile, ‘real’ gun crime, you know, murders, robberies, and things like that, have continued to soar, and the only people who are disarmed are those looking to defend themselves.
Blair’s Britain: Soft on crime, tough on its victims.
Posted at 10:03 PM
RFK, JR. [Andrew Stuttaford]
The ignorance of ‘environmentalist’ Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is, it seems, multi-disciplinary. A period of silence is, I think, now called for, at least until he has written a more detailed account of the battle of Runnymede.
Ha ha ha.
Posted at 09:45 PM
PERMANENT INK [Andrew Stuttaford]
Perhaps it’s a curmudgeon thing, but I have never really understood the appeal of tattoos. One remorseful Brit seems to agree:
“Having a tattoo young is akin to buying a T-shirt when you're 16 and being told you have to wear it, regardless of style or fashion, for the rest of your life. You just wouldn't do it. Tastes change, fashions change, you change.”
Posted at 09:39 PM
SOMA WATCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
The secret of Tony Blair’s support?
Posted at 09:29 PM
There goes the young female vote for the GOP: George P. got married this weekend.
Posted at 07:03 PM
IT'S ALL ABOUT CHANGING THE SUBJECT [KJL]
I just read the Human Rights Campaign response to the Missouri gay-marriage vote last week: "This was part of an effort by President Bush to distract Missourians from the fact that the state has lost almost 80,000 jobs over the past three and half years."
Posted at 04:49 PM
CHALABI ARREST WARRANT ISSUED [KJL]
(also: for his nephew, Salem)
Posted at 03:57 PM
WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED? [KJL]
"W Stands for Women" t-shirts are currently out of stock at the georgewbush store.
Posted at 03:18 PM
HUNTING THE PRESIDENT [Jonathan H. Adler]
Does trendy author Nicholson Baker want to kill the President? Maybe not, but he wrote a book about it, reviewed here by Leon Wieseltier. Some may recall that one of Baker's earlier novels played a bit part in l'affaire Lewinsky.
Posted at 02:20 PM
BOOT ON KERRY [Jonathan H. Adler]
Max Boot dissects Kerry's foreign policy record in the LA Times.
Posted at 02:06 PM
LEBOWSKI FEST [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Big Lebowski has been a cult favorite for years, but who knew there was a national convention? [I must admit, though, while I liked the film, I hardly think it was the Coen Brothers' finest.]
Posted at 02:02 PM
MONTANA SUPREME COURT [Jonathan H. Adler]
Although I've been in Montana all summer, I was unaware of this year's contested races for the state supreme court until I read this article, linked by Howard Bashman. Montana's Supreme Court is infamous for strikingly activist and wildly inconsistent rulings, so it would be nice to see some better jurists on the bench. According to Eugene Volokh, one of the candidates -- Brian Morris, a former clerk for Chief Justice William Rehnquist -- would fit the bill.
Posted at 01:53 PM
UNDERCOVER BROTHER [Aaron P. Bailey]
Depsite John Ridley's poor comments about Alan Keyes, Undercover Brother was a fantastic flick. A friend and I rented it on a whim one night and never stopped laughing. Rent it and you'll see what I'm talking about.
Posted at 11:35 AM
RODNEY ALEXANDER, "COWARD"? [KJL]
How is it cowardly to switch parties before Election Day?
Posted at 11:01 AM
CHOICE CHICK GIVES ME CHILLS [KJL]
Bush is diabolical? Sigh.
Posted at 10:55 AM
THE TWO AMERICAS, IN ULSTER COUNTY, N.Y. [Rick Brookhiser]
In New Paltz, a woman shaking her head at traffic backed up for the Ulster County Fair said, "They should all get out of their cars, and stop bombing Iraq for oil, you know what I mean?"
I did not.
In Samsonville, a house with a big sign: "Welcome Home Capt. Deb and Maj. John." A smaller sign read, "Welcome Home Aunt Deb." Flags, parked cars, a service at the Methodist Church. I happened to drive past a nearby cemetary, which had a guide to the graves of veterans (it was an Eagle Scout project). There were veterans from the Civil War, and both World Wars. In the Civil War list, I saw a Rappelyea--one of the oldest names of Nieuw Amsterdam. In the World War II list I saw a Naguchi (my guess: a nisei who moved to, or lived in New York City, then retired to the Catskills). The Ballinger family had at least two veterans in all three wars.
To them, and to Capt. Deb and Maj. John--thank you.
Posted at 09:32 AM
SWIFTVETS STRIKE BACK [KJL]
at the DNC & Boston Globe.
Posted at 09:28 AM
ORANGE OUTING [KJL]
The press interferes with anti-terrorism work?
Posted at 09:22 AM