PRES BUSH'S GREAT, STIRRING WORDS TO THE PEOPLE OF SLOVAKIA [Michael Novak]
President Bush's speech of February 24 in Bratislava should not be missed. It was delivered in the very square where 17 years ago "the candlelight protest" by thousands of Slovaks was mercilessly harassed by the Communist police until the police finally got the word to put those candles out--which they did with firehoses and beatings. That was an important milestone in Slovakia's first bid for freedom, not long before the Velvet Revolution of 1989. The leading freedom movement was called in Slovakia 'People Against Violence', in which a great many brave people took part. They built on earlier precedents. Slovakia has long been deeply religious, and all through the Communist days hundreds of thousands used to meet for Marian pilgrimages at historic sites, in defiance of the authorities. Then, after the bad days of the Meciar regime, just after Slovakia's "Velvet Divorce" (well, it was a little pinkish) from the Czech Republic in 1993, the Slovak democrats had to rally again, learn to organize a national coalition, defeat Meciar and the Communists again, and practice the coalition politics of compromise and steady progress. So many Slovaks feel that they have won their freedom twice in the past twenty years. And have they done so! They lead all Europe in their advanced, neoconservative economic policies--personal old age pensions, a flat tax, personal medical accounts, a kind of Steve Forbes/G. W. Bush platform already written into law. Slovakia will soon be one of the three largest auto producers in Europe. Investment is at last streaming in. Their young people lead all Europe in computer skills. Their young women are among the most sought-after fashion models in Europe (those faintly high cheekbones and clear eyes, humor and spirit). Thus does a once poor country, which gave up a third of its population to emigration a century ago, come roaring back, once given liberty for all.
Well, President Bush congratulated the thousands of them gathered in the Square in front of the Slovak Opera House, and cheered them on. Again and again, the crowd erupted with very gratified applause. Among other things, he said:
"Many of you can still recall the exhilaration of voting for the first time after decades of tyranny. And as you watched jubilant Iraqi dancing in the streets last month, holding up ink-stained fingers, you remembered Velvet Days. For the Iraqi people, this is their 1989, and they will always remember who stood with them in their quest for freedom.
"In more recent times, we have witnessed landmark events in the history of liberty. A Rose Revolution in Georgia, an Orange Revolution in Ukraine, and now a Purple Revolution in Iraq....
"Iraqis have demonstrated their courage and their determination to live in freedom, and that has inspired the world. It is the same determination we saw in Kiev's Independent Square, in Tbilisi's Freedom Square, and in this Square almost 17 years ago."
Applause followed every line in this refrain. Between 5000 and 19,000 people, according to various estimates, waited in the square and surrounding streets for more than three hours in the cold before the address took place.
Read the whole speech here.
Posted at 06:49 PM
WHAT THE... [K. J. Lopez]
Behold the dangerous power of The Corner. Great job, Jonah.
Posted at 05:29 PM
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Another of the remarkable, um, recent ‘achievements’ of EU bureaucrats was the antitrust action against Microsoft. This will lead to the sale in Europe of a version of Windows without Mediaplayer. The Guardian is now reporting that Brussels has “rejected out of hand Microsoft's initial suggestion of calling the "degraded" version of its operating system "Windows reduced media edition" - viewed as a serious deterrent to consumers.”
Of course it has. For such a name would be, well, honest. Microsoft should stick to its guns or, better, follow the advice of the folks over at EU Referendum. They think that Microsoft should simply label the degraded product the "EU version" with a prominent "ring of stars".
”As the EU is a by-word for corruption and inefficiency, such a version would readily fit with the EU brand image and happily remind the "citizens of Europe" of the benefits of EU membership.”
Ha ha ha.
Posted at 04:51 PM
MADD ABOUT GM [Andrew Stuttaford]
MADD was an organization begun with the best of possible motives, but over the years its mission has quite clearly expanded to embrace a quasi-prohibitionist agenda. Now it turns out that this agenda has been bankrolled in part by GM, something of dubious benefit to GM’s shareholders and which reflects very poorly on the company’s own priorities.
Now, people are beginning to object. MADD at GM has been formed by an organization representing owners and operators of bars, taverns and liquor stores. Their website is well worth a visit, and notes this:
"As part of its agreement with MADD, General Motors has become a vocal opponent of any drinking before driving. Think about that before your next car or truck purchase."
Indeed. Friends don’t let their friends buy GM.
Posted at 02:09 PM
MEN IN BLACK [NRO Staff]
NYTimes bestselling author and NRO contributor Mark R. Levin will be on Book TV Sunday night. Check it out here.
Posted at 02:02 PM
WISE WORDS FROM ICELAND [Andrew Stuttaford]
A professor in economics from the University of Iceland asks himself what exactly the EU is, and then answers his own question:
"It's a customs union. It protects itself from outsiders with walls of tariffs. It is in many ways very reactionary. Those who control everything, the Central European states France, Germany, Spain and Italy, are not the countries of the free market and have never been. Those are countries which have cetralised their economy very much. Their economy is in many ways incomplete with much rigidity in the labour market. They have a very complex and wide-ranging system of subsidies and grants. State interference in the economy is vast. And in many ways the European Union is driven by dreams of past greatness; dreams of keeping Europe as a superpower. The result of all this is that growth in the EU is rather small compared to America and Asia."
Wise words. For suggesting that the current evolution of the EU is not altogether a good thing, the good professor will now doubtless find himself described, much to his surprise, as a ‘neoconservative’. I know I was. Who knew?
Hat-tip North Sea Diaries
Posted at 02:02 PM
STARTING POINT OR CONCLUSION [Andrew Stuttaford]
As usual, there’s plenty of good stuff over at the EU Referendum blog. Most interesting today, perhaps, is the discussion of comments from a minister in the German government that the draft EU constitution will be the launch pad for even deeper integration. True enough, but not very helpful for Tony Blair who is busy telling Brits that signing up for the constitution will represent the end-stage of the process of European integration.
It’s worth noting that one of the reasons for the bitterness of the EU debate in the UK is the sense among many Brits that they have been consistently lied to over the nature of what it is they have signed up for. At almost every stage of the EU process, going the whole way back to the accession debates in 1972, ‘pro-Europeans’ (inaccurate description, but it will have to do) have downplayed the possibility of any further integration.
And at almost every stage of the EU process they are later shown to have lied.
Posted at 01:59 PM
EAGLES SORE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Recent claims that smoking bans have no negative effect on business are based on statistical manipulation so shabby that it makes the science of ‘passive smoking’ look reliable. Here’s one story (from New York State, rather than City) that points the other way.
“ITHACA -- For now, the smoking room in the Fraternal Order of the Eagles No. 1253 is two green metal chairs and a tin can that greet visitors outside the front door. Within weeks, though, the club will become the first establishment where smoking is permitted since the Tompkins County Legislature passed a law in August 2003 outlawing smoking in bars and restaurants. The Tompkins County Board of Health Tuesday approved its first waiver to the New York State Clean Indoor Air Act. The board ruled that the Eagles were able to show a loss of income since the smoking ban took effect, and were able to provide a separate room where smoking will be allowed. "They showed they had a significant decrease in income since the enactment of the ban," said John Andersson, director of environmental health services at the Tompkins County Health Department. "They clearly had a loss of income." According to figures submitted to the Health Department, the Eagles revenue dropped from $92,343 in 2003 to $57,327 in 2004. The revenue drop almost crippled the organization's ability to donate to charitable causes, members said. Donations went from $60,000 before the ban to $12,000 after it went into effect. “
Of course you can’t build a counter argument (so to speak) on the basis of just one bar, but this story is a reminder that the costs of smoking bans can run beyond the small things like, oh I don’t know, freedom, personal responsibility and the right of a proprietor to run his establishment in the way he sees fit.
Via Radley Balko.
Posted at 01:57 PM
SALT SUIT NO JOKE [Jonathan H. Adler]
As Andrew noted, the food police at Center for Science in the Public Interest are suing the Food and Drug Administration to force federal regulation of salt. No, this is not a joke. CSPI claims that salt -- the "forgotten killer" -- should be regulated as a food addititve by the FDA. The details of the lawsuit can be found here.
Posted at 01:54 PM
Friday, February 25, 2005
WHAT IS THE POPE TRYING TO TEACH? WHAT CAN A SICK POPE DO? [Michael Novak]
Here's what I've been thinking on the topic: A Pope is not actually like the Commandant of the Marine Corps, there is really nothing he has to do except be. The church normally runs itself, its departments hum on. Only a few decisions await him, really. The church could go months without appointing new replacements for bishops. What a Pope does is be another Christ. What does Christ have to do, except be? And the comparative advantage of Christianity is that it roots itself in suffering, the suffering of age that each of us will undergo, of cancers and disabilitities and mental illness in the family, the inescapables of every life. Secular humanism ignores these. Professor Rawls thinks Christian emphasis on suffering is life-denying. Not so. I think that's why so many people are touched by JPII. They know all about suffering, but nobody ever says how ennobling and transformative it can be. That it's quite all right to be ill and suffering. That it's a great and valuable gift. That it means a lot. That it's at the heart of things. In a way, the Pope is teaching more powerfully about Christianity and its comparative advantage than he ever has. The most important work of his life.
Posted at 06:06 PM
DIAMOND READING [Shannen Coffin]
Ironically, Rich, I was planning to nap, but my wife played the "I'm pregnant. Go to the grocery store" card. If you have never read David Halberstam's Summer of 49, I suggest you read it. The ending stinks, for reasons similar to the 78 season, but it is a masterful work that really gets at the importance of the game at that time. In response to your dig, however, I just put in my early order for Blood Feud: The Red Sox, the Yankees and the Struggle of Good Versus Evil, by Bill Nowlin and Jim Prime. That ought to make me feel better after your post.
Posted at 06:05 PM
BUT SERIOUSLY FOLKS [Rick Brookhiser]
Joe Conason comments in the current New York Observer on the Douglas Wead tapes, especially George W. Bush's comments on pot.
"The poor and the black are incarcerated for using pot and coke, while the rich and the white lie to their kids (and occasionally to the voters) about those same transgressions."
He is absolutely right. Mr. Bush, tear down that law.
Posted at 06:03 PM
THANKS [Rick Brookhiser]
...to Jay for his kind notice of "Alexander Hamilton, The Man Who Made Modern America," the exhibition at the New-York Historical Society which I curated (up for three more days!). [See today's Impromptus.]
I don't know about women throwing panties, however. There is quite enough of that in a show on Alexander Hamilton as it is.
Posted at 06:00 PM
MORE PARTY [Rick Brookhiser]
A special shout to the Chelaks, who, I discovered, also know the Rainbow Diner in Kerhonkson, N.Y. I would link to its web site, but I don't think it has one.
Posted at 05:58 PM
LAST NIGHT [Rick Brookhiser]
Great party, as all have said. The puking game that Jonah organized in the bathroom displeased Mrs. Buckley a bit, however.
Posted at 05:53 PM
DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO [Jim Boulet]
"As soon as I got into my car for the four-block ride back to EPA headquarters ..." -- Christine Todd Whitman, at that time head of the Environmental Protection Agency, in her new book, It's My Party, Too, page 176.
Posted at 05:31 PM
SHARANSKY VS. KRAMER [Cliff May]
Natan Sharansky’s thesis on the innate human desire for freedom and the imperative of spreading democracy and human rights is appealing.
More significantly, it’s been embraced by President Bush. Arguments against it, by post-humanitarian/post-democratic leftists, as well as by such paleo-conservatives as Pat Buchanan, have been generally churlish and unpersuasive.
But Middle East scholar Martin Kramer has more serious and cogent doubts that are at least worth considering.
Kramer asks: “Is it possible that one part of the world, one unique nexus of history and culture, is an exception to the rule that leads peoples to democracy? If you answered ‘yes’ in Middle Eastern studies over the past thirty years, you were denounced as a heretic, or even worse, as an orientalist. The worst orientalist thought crime was the belief in Islamic or Muslim exceptionalism. Now that same belief has become a thought crime in the neoconservative doctrine.”
It’s worth reading and it’s here.
Posted at 05:29 PM
FLYING MONKEYS ATTACK [K. J. Lopez]
that Rove conspiracy theorist NY congressman.
Posted at 05:08 PM
50 YEARS-FEST KICK-OFF [Kate O'Beirne]
Last evening was fun and interesting. I did a little book research owing to the generosity and smarts of our readers. Many thanks to Bill and Pat Buckley and to the wonderful guests who made it such a successful event. (Dr. John, I never got to say good night and "safe back to Palm Springs"). I parted ways with Jonah at Penn Station this morning to avoid a possible scene in the quiet car. Who knew if Derbyshire might be on board.
Posted at 05:01 PM
MEDMAL REPORTING [Jonathan H. Adler]
Walter Olson dissects the NYT's misleading coverage of medical malpracitce insurance rates here and here. For more, see RiskProf here.
Posted at 04:57 PM
ON THE OFF CHANCE... [Rich Lowry ]
...that Shannen Coffin is off napping somewhere on this Friday afternoon: I took a little vacation last week and did some light reading, including Roger Kahn's October Men: Reggie Jackson, George Steinbrenner, Bill Martin, and the Yankees' Miraculous Finish in 1978. After last October's unfortunate events, its nice re-living a season that ends with the Yankees not blowing the big game. 1978 is one the of the best “pennant races” of all time, not just featuring the big Yankee come-back, but a gutsy Red Sox comeback at the end--that tends to be forgotten--after the Yanks had built a pretty comfortable lead. It will always be my favorite year because there's nothing like being 10-years old and having your team win in such a dramatic fashion, which is why part of me was happy for all the 10-12 year old Red Sox fans out there last year. In the end, the difference in the Yankee 1978 season came down to the difference between a nasty drunk and a benign one. Billy Martin (fired mid-year) would get drunk and engage in lunatic and self-destructive behavior that un-nerved everyone around him. Lemon (hired to replace him) was a more amiable sort, who put his team at ease: “After my team wins, I drink to celebrate. After my team loses, I drink to cheer up. Aside from that, to break up the boredom, I drink after rain-outs.” If you have fond memories of that year, you should pick up October Men (if you don't, you should wait until the histories of 2004 are written).
Posted at 04:56 PM
GOVERNOR SWANN [Jonathan H. Adler]
I don't usually root for Pittsburgh Steelers, but I might have to make an exception if Lynn Swann runs for Governor of Pennsylvania. (LvVC
Posted at 04:54 PM
PRAISE! [ This email (the writer asks for anonymity) is the kind we love to get about our "Sawbuck Challenge" effort...]
This email (the writer asks for anonymity) is the kind we love to get about our "Sawbuck Challenge" effort to get Choosing the Right College into the hands of high-schoolers:
"Wish my parents & I had read it before I set out to be brainwashed @ CU Boulder in the fall of 1979. It was crawling with Ward Churchills then & appears to be no better or to have only gotten worse. This project is an excellent idea & I suspect that it will be very successful. I hope that pale face Churchill was correct the other night in Hawaii in his prediction that his will be just the first of a general purging of self-loathing leftists from our Universities. Thank you again for creating this excellent project."
Well, thank you Mr. Anonymous! And thanks to the rest of you, in advance, for taking part, as surely you will, in our campaign where, for a meager $10, you can have a gift copy of America's premier conservative college guide -- for that matter, the premier guide of any stripe -- sent to a high school (how about your alma mater?). Or make that plural: for $30 hundreds of college-searching juniors at three schools will benefit from your generosity! Take part in our "Sawbuck Challenge" today : to send your gift copies of Choosing the Right College go here.
Posted at 04:44 PM
MARCH 18 [K. J. Lopez]
Exactly one week before Good Friday, Terri Schiavo can be taken off her feeding tube, according to the latest court order.
Posted at 04:38 PM
DIFFERENT KINDS OF RIGHTWINGERY [Jonah Goldberg ]
Matt Yglesias takes the right (particularly NR) to task for our "token opposition" to big government. I'll have more thoughts later. I guess Sagerism is spreading.
Posted at 04:01 PM
I HAVE RETURNED [Jonah Goldberg]
Great time last night. Too much post-prandial bacchanalian revelry though. I think my snoring on the train would have gotten me kicked out of the quiet car. Great bunch of people. It took me 45 minutes to get out of the Buckley’s foyer though, so many folks wanted to chat. Fortunately the waiters delivered drinks from the bar. Anyway thanks to everyone – starting with the Buckleys – for such a good time.
Posted at 03:52 PM
THANK YOU... [Rich Lowry ]
...to everyone who came to the WFB party last night. It was a blast. At the end, I thought some party-goers were having such a good time and were so reluctant to depart the sacred precincts that they were going to have to be removed by force! People flew in from London, Geneva, San Francisco, and other far-flung points. We will be having more such events around the country this year, so watch this space...
Posted at 03:38 PM
HOW BLUE STATE IS YOUR CORNER? [K. J. Lopez]
Man, we're not this bad, are we? An e-mailer:
Your "Dead Zone" emailer is quite obviously a Corner newbie. Fridays, for whatever reason, are ALWAYS slow around there. I never questioned it; I just assumed slacking the day before a weekend was a blue-state thing. Sort of like how you whine about weather.That's a rhetorical question.
And, uh, did Coffin say something. No? Good. I didn't think so.
Posted at 02:21 PM
JETER STADIUM [ Shannen Coffin]
K-Lo, what's next? A-Fraud Arena?
Posted at 02:17 PM
JETER TO INVADE RED SOX LAND? [K. J. Lopez]
How sweet it would be if Shannen Coffin types had to pass by here EVERYDAY on the way to and from work.
Posted at 02:11 PM
THE DEAD ZONE [K. J. Lopez]
90 minutes??Four words: Yep. Something like that.
Posted at 01:43 PM
WHAT WOULD BILL CLINTON DO? [K. J. Lopez]
Chicago (AP) -- A man who says his former lover deceived him by getting pregnant using semen obtained through oral sex can sue for emotional distress — but not theft, an appeals court has ruled.Sorry.
Posted at 10:58 AM
SECOND TIME AS FARCE [Mark Krikorian]
The Red Army is coming! Actually, it's the Red Army Chorus and Dance Ensemble, coming next month to DC and NY. The ad in today's paper has a takeoff of the old Soviet coat of arms, hammer and sickle included, with the names of the songs they're going to perform wrapped around the sheaves of wheat instead of "Workers of the world, unite!" in the 15 languages of the Soviet republics. I'm not sure how I feel about this -- on the one hand, there's an element of Prince Harry boorishness here, trading in the symbols of a demonic regime. On the other hand, what better way to bury the dictatorship of the proletariat than to trivialize it through commercialization?
Posted at 10:38 AM
RINO ALERT [Mark Krikorian]
Virginia State Sen. Russ Potts plans to run for governor as an independent "Republican" to represent moderates in the party. Full disclosure: I loathe him personally, having lived and worked in his hometown for a number of years and seen what kind of man he is -- but that's not important now. This is a politician who, in the reporter's words, feels that the GOP "is gripped by conservative social issues and anti-tax rhetoric." In fact, the Virginia Club for Growth backed a challenger in the primary in 2003 who only lost by a handful of votes. Well, maybe he's good on illegal immigration? No! Earlier this month he single-handedly killed a bill passed overwhelmingly by the lower house of the state legislature, to bar illegals from attending public colleges. And, to top it all off, his senior campaign advisor used to work for Connecticut "Republican" Lowell Weicker. The sooner Potts makes an honest man of himself and becomes a Democrat, the better off we'll all be.
Posted at 10:37 AM
MIND AT THE END OF ITS TETHER [John Derbyshire]
A despairing email in response to mine of a couple of days ago, in which I grumbled about cellphone users on Amtrak.
"Mr. Derbyshire---OK, I admit I am an acerbic Dane, but two observations I have made on the need for noise and cell phones...
"I work in a public library. To me, it is a no-brainer that cell phones, when entering a library, should either be put on vibrate or turned off. 95% of the patrons who pick-up the cell call are cool with my request to remove themselves to the lobby. About 5% think that meeting the patrons who wish to read and study halfway means they will walk into the stacks to bellow and chortle their conversation, usually a sales call. Every now and then I'll get one who huffs into the phone that 'the little QUEER who works in the library says I have to take my call out in the lobby.' Again, it floors me that common courtesy in a library setting absolutely flummoxes a few people.
"Offside observation: their seems an inverse relationship between the length and complexity of the ringing set for the cell phone and the importance of the conversation - i.e. if the ring is a setting of Eine Kleine Nacht Musik, the full opening exposition repeated three times before the person picks up, set at maximum volume, the conversation will be about a sale of eye liner at the Wal Mart, or if the lodge is having that fish fry this week-end or next week-end. People look at me like the crabby Scandanavian when I opine that only people who trade currencies for high flying mutual funds or work in inner city trauma centers need their cell phones constantly on for a ring.
"Point two on noise. The YMCA at town was once relatively noise free. Then as a SERVICE, the management decided to pipe in music, but on the policy of one constant setting to the least OFFENSIVE music station, in this case, Classic 80s rock. As a youth of the 80s, let me assure you Mr. Derbyshire, there was no classic rock. It is an oxymoron. The same twelve tunes every single night, Mr. Derbyshire, no variation. No Cannonball Adderly, no Stacey Kent, no Dexter Gordon, no Blossom Dearie. Heck, Les Preludes is better work out music. So I wear earplugs. I can't believe the volume! I see younger men wearing that MP3 player around the bicep, so I think I'll get one of them this week-end. Anyway point being, what is it with the need for noise 24/7? It is it to fill an empty brain?
"Forgive me for belaboring the point. I have to cut back on the morning coffee intake."
Posted at 10:26 AM
GETTING WARMER? [K. J. Lopez]
A top aide to Al-Qaeda's frontman in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has been arrested along with a man who was Zarqawi's driver, the Iraqi government said Friday.
Posted at 10:09 AM
IT’S A RARE DAY [K. J. Lopez ]
When we give away too much from the print mag on NRO, but every once in awhile…. Today is one of those days. Ramesh’s piece on Larry Tribe is important enough though, given Tribe’s standing, to make an occasional exception.
Among other things, I hope it entices you to get signed up with the high-quality NRODT club. Longer spiel for NRODT, and complete links, here. Read it if you haven’t, please.
Posted at 09:18 AM
RE: I HAVE A QUESTION [K. J. Lopez]
Ignore me (assuming you don't routinely!--on days like today when I'm disconnected from my caffeine IV, especially): I am assured by several readers (who are way too certain) NYC subway "turnstiles" are increasingly unjumpable.
Posted at 09:07 AM
I HAVE A QUESTION [K. J. Lopez]
NY City police officers are getting MetroCards because a cop had to ask a rider for one in responding to a call at a subway station recently. I'm lost. Why couldnt't the cops jump the turnstiles? I went through high school watching teens do it. Am I missing something? Where the street cops physically unable (my knee-jerk concern)? I have no idea. Maybe there's some oddity at the particular Chelsea station. I actually haven't focused on "how does one jump a turnstile" so I might just be missing something and have not been in a subway station in the last week. Genuinely asking.
Posted at 08:56 AM
TOWARD ENDING OBSTRUCTIONISM IN THE SENATE ON JUDGES [K. J. Lopez ]
In an effort to halt blatantly partisan and personal attacks on many of the President’s nominees to the Federal Courts, the Judicial Confirmation Network is circulating a national petition and is partnering with more than seventy citizen and grassroots organizations across the country calling on Senators to bring the President’s judicial nominations to the floor for respectful debate and timely votes.Details here.
Posted at 08:41 AM
SALT AND NUTS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Passed on with no further comment - for now:
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A consumer group sued the federal government Thursday, saying that salt is killing tens of thousands of Americans and that regulators have done too little to control salt in food."
Posted at 08:29 AM
THIS FEELS LIKE A BAD SIGN [K. J. Lopez]
Specter, from the Milbank piece:
And he made clear that he is in no hurry to reconsider the appellate court nomination of William H. Pryor Jr. of Alabama, one of Bush's most controversial judicial choices.
Posted at 08:06 AM
IS DANA MILBANK JOSHING WITH US? [K. J. Lopez]
His lede, in a Specter-love piece:
On an otherwise quiet day on the Hill, 100 journalists and jostling photographers jammed the Senate TV studio yesterday for a sighting of that most exotic and endangered of species: a moderate in the United States Senate.
Posted at 08:04 AM
MEANWHILE, HERE’S A PROMISE FOR YA [K. J. Lopez ]
(Same WashPost story):
Schumer told reporters that Senate Democrats see no reason to back Myers and other nominees who were turned back last year "unless there's new and dramatic information. . . . I think the president nominating them [again] is, sort of, a poke in the eye." Of the nominees sent back by Bush, Schumer said, "I think [Myers] would have the easiest chance of all of them, and I don't think he has the votes yet, either."
Posted at 08:00 AM
"IF WE HAVE A NUCLEAR OPTION, THE SENATE WILL BE IN TURMOIL AND THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE WILL BE HELL." [K. J. Lopez]
I’m fully expecting “hell,” and before we see nukes (see next post).
Chairman Specter met the press yesterday and said, among other things, that he doesn’t know that there are enough votes for Myers, one of the judges first up.
Posted at 07:59 AM
CONDI, DOMINATRIX OF STATE [K. J. Lopez]
So I've weaned myself off MoDo (mostly because you tire of me complaining about her rants). How about the WashPost Style section next?
Posted at 07:12 AM
KEEPING DISTANCE FROM DEAN [Tim Graham]
CNN discovers that Dean's trips to the red states are greeted by Democrats running away from happy-handshake pictures with Howard:
Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, a Democrat who scored a surprising win in 2002 but is a top GOP target next year, won't appear with Dean during his two-day visit. An aide noted that Sebelius remained neutral in the DNC race and backed Kerry in the presidential primary. Rep. Dennis Moore, the state's only congressional Democrat, is traveling out of the country and won't return until next week. A Moore spokeswoman declined to comment on Dean's trip. Aides to other Kansas Democrats, including state Sen. Janice Lee and Kansas City Mayor Carol Marinovich, also declined to comment on Dean's visit. Dean is likely to face a similar reception next week in Mississippi, where Rep. Gene Taylor, the state's only white Democrat in Congress, has been openly critical of his party's new chairman.
Posted at 07:07 AM
THANKS [K. J. Lopez]
to everyone who was able to make our fundraiser at Bill Buckley's house tonight--most especially Bill and Pat Buckley for letting us invade. Was a great success. Wish you all could have been there. (They'll be more, varied chances.)
And yes, Jonah kept the nudity to a minimum, as promised.
One thought though: We totally have to make the morning after a holiday next time!
Posted at 02:22 AM
Thursday, February 24, 2005
DUAL CITIZENSHIP ALERT [Mark Krikorian]
The lower house of Mexico’s congress overwhelmingly approved a measure that would allow Mexicans in the United States to vote in the 2006 presidential election, and the Senate is expected to follow suit soon. Ordinarily, this would be irrelevant to us, since there are plenty of other countries that permit this. But because of the massive immigrant presence here, this measure will promote the president’s implicit goal of blurring the distinction between the United States and Mexico: there will be extensive campaigning on this side of the border, with mass rallies and ads in print, radio, and even TV; hundreds of thousands of people are likely to line up at consulates to vote, with employers pressured not to punish absent workers and the Border Patrol prohibited from enforcing immigration laws, which would have a “chilling effect” on turnout; and thousands of dual citizens will make a mockery of their oaths of allegiance to the United States by voting in a foreign election.
Posted at 06:45 PM
1848 REDUX? [Mark Krikorian]
As the “Cedar Revolution” continues to spread with today’s announcement that Syria would finally start pulling back some of its troops, the parallel to the revolutions of 1848 occurred to me. We’ve seen democratic movements bubble up simultaneously in a wide variety of countries in the Middle East and former Soviet republics, and this time the great powers aren’t united in their determination to stifle them, as was the case 150 years ago. I’m still dubious about the whole idea of basing our foreign policy on the spread of democracy and, of course, the changes caused by many of the 1848 revolutions were short-lived, and that may be the case again. Nonetheless, I’m open to the possibility that this may turn out better than I expected.
Posted at 06:44 PM
IS EUROPE FINISHED? [Mark Krikorian]
“Though Muslims make up only 3 percent of the British population, more people attend Friday prayers than go to Sunday church, a recent survey found.” Via the Christian Science Monitor.
Posted at 06:43 PM
RE: CHRIS ROCK [Mark Krikorian]
Am I being too conspiratorial if I think that Matt Drudge’s objections to Rock are a subterfuge, trying to put Hollywood at ease about Rock because, after all, conservatives don’t like him?
Posted at 06:41 PM
WHAT THEY TEACH IN SCHOOLS NOWADAYS [John Derbyshire]
I had to read this one twice to make sure I'd got it right:
"Dear John---They are teaching Macbeth, at least in the 11th grade at our
"I thought you might like to file this under your 'American Education Today'
Macbeth with sock puppets! "Before my body I throw my warlike shield!"
Why does this make me think of that Monty Python sketch: "Wuthering Heights
Posted at 06:39 PM
IT TAKES A VILLAGE... [John Derbyshire]
...to tax the Derb. Or possibly not: Some sharp-eyed readers tell me I am exempt under Section 3A2: As far as I can tell -- my eyes glaze very fast reading this kind of thing -- they are correct.
Posted at 06:33 PM
I SWEAR I DIDN'T WRITE THIS [K. J. Lopez]
I just received my first issue of National Review. Although I have been reading Newsweek and Time for years and always end up throwing the darn things in despair, it is wonderful to finally have a lively, thoughtful, and intelligent magazine to read. I don't know why I waited so long. I think it's important to read what the liberals are reporting so I will continue reading the Newsweek and unoffensive liberal blogs. Speaking of which, thank you so much for the wonderful 2004 campaign and election coverage at NRO. I continue to visit your website several times a day.Subscribe here.
Posted at 03:48 PM
TAX SCAM? [John Derbyshire]
I just got a wee pre-printed postcard from somewhere I had never heard of: the Village of Gambier, Ohio. The card said I owed them taxes, and I better pay up or dire things will happen to me.
I called the phone number they gave to ask what this was all about. Turns out that the Village of Gambia includes Kenyon College, where I gave a talk last year for the usual modest honorarium. And the Village of Gambier believes they have the right to collect taxes from me on this.
Do they? Call me naive (Derb, you are WAY naive) but I never heard of this before. I mean, federal and state taxes, sure; New York City taxes, OK (it's a big place), but **village taxes**? How many people are there in the Village of Gambier, I asked the tax lady (who sounded very pleasant). Answer: Not counting students, around 360-400.
Question: If every jurisdiction of 360-400 souls in the USA has a claim on my income, should I just stop working right now? Or resign the rest of my life to filling out tax forms?
My mood at the moment is, that the Village of Gambier (I have to keep correcting myself for having written "Gambia" -- This is all so... **Third World**) can kiss my honorarium. However, I await input from knowledgable readers.
Posted at 03:44 PM
LARRY SUMMERS--IT COULD BE WORSE [John Derbyshire]
In Sweden, the government has *banned* scientific research into male-female differences.
Posted at 03:43 PM
HUGE [Jack Fowler]
That’s how the response has been to our special NR kids book offer: $29.95 gets you The National Review Treasury of Classic Children’s Literature (volume two), The National Review Treasury of Classic Bedtime Stories, and L. Frank Baum’s classic Queen Zixi of Ix, or The Story of the Magic Cloak. Shipped free, and ordered safely here.
Posted at 03:37 PM
ROME WATCH [K. J. Lopez]
The pope is evidently preparing for a tracheotomy [actually--3:45--MSNBC reporting it went successfully]
Posted at 03:28 PM
RE: CHRIS ROCK AS WFB [K. J. Lopez]
I obviously think the Slate guy has a point (what's with the J-Lo and no K-Lo reference though, huh?). But, yeah, Rock could lose the f-word. But, you know, there's a case to be made, I suppose, that he has more impact with it, if there is a cultural message he's sending.
Posted at 03:26 PM
CHRIS ROCK MUST ROCK [K.J. Lopez ]
Just read the title of this piece.
Posted at 12:48 PM
RE: MILLER-COOPER CASE [K. J. Lopez]
NEW YORK (AP) -- A federal judge ruled Thursday that The New York Times has a First Amendment privilege to protect the confidentiality of its sources by denying the government phone records in certain instances.
Posted at 12:42 PM
PUTIN PRESSER [K. J. Lopez]
One is tad skeptical when a member of the Russian press (Interfax) defended Putin on freedom of the press during the course of a press conference (just ended, in Slovakia).
That said, I was only able to pay attention, there was a lot of gushing in that room between George and Vladimir. A reminder that Gvosdev (see NRO homey), has a point--Putin's not Stalin, but as RR would say, Trust but verify, emphasis on the verify when he's ex-KGB.
Posted at 12:29 PM
LARRY SUMMERS COMMENTARY [John Derbyshire]
Well forward in the competition for "Silliest Commentary on the Larry Summers Flap" is Andrea Peyser in America's Newspaper of Record yesterday. Quote from Miz Peyser: "Harvard University President Lawrence Summers did, in fact, declare that, in his learned opinion as head of one of the world's leading educational institutions, women, on average, are dumber than men."
Summers did not say anything of the kind. The only thing he said that even came close was: "There is relatively clear evidence that whatever the difference in means -- which can be debated -- there is a difference in the standard deviation, and variability of a male and a female population."
The word "means" here means "averages." There are all sorts of differences between men and women in their mean measurement of various attributes -- rates of incarceration, for instance. Whether there is a difference in means for cognitive ability is, as Summers said, debatable. (If there is one, it is small.) There is no doubt, however, that there are differences in standard deviation; and that, as Summers also said, such differences have large effects at the tails of the bell curve: "Even small differences in the standard deviation will translate into very large differences in the available pool substantially out."
To understand the difference between a mean and a standard deviation, you need to have mastered some elementary statistics, a thing that plainly Andrea Peyser never bothered with.
Posted at 12:22 PM
QUICK SCI-FI TANGENT (SINCE JONAH'S ON A TRAIN AND CAN'T CAUSE TOO MUCH DAMAGE): IS THIS TRUE? [K. J. Lopez]
re your comment:
Posted at 12:20 PM
ARNOLD KLING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
has another interesting, informative column on Social Security.
Posted at 12:16 PM
THE PONNURU-SAGER DEBATE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Ryan has another comment here. I'll let him have the last word.
Posted at 12:13 PM
"GROSS BETRAYAL OF THE PUBLIC TRUST AND A SHAMEFUL WASTE OF TAXPAYER MONEY" [K. J. Lopez]
Will there be a showdown in NJ over state-funded embryonic-stem-cell-research and cloning? The Washington Times suggests so. We'll see. Legislation there, of course, managed to pass without most of the state's residents even knew what was going on (actually most probably still don't). Would be nice (understatement) if these things would be preempted before they become law (see [Washington state] now...)
Posted at 11:54 AM
AS GOES VERMONT, SO GOES CONNECTICUTT? [K. J. Lopez]
(Hartford-WTNH, Feb. 23, 2005 7:35 PM ) _ At the Connecticut capitol, a powerful legislative committee has just approved civil unions for the state.
Posted at 11:38 AM
RETURN OF THE DERB [John Derbyshire]
OK, back at keyboard after family ski trip. Just did email. 00s from readers about:
(a) My "Diversitoids" piece. Lots of cris des coeurs from poor devils trapped in academia, public employment, or big corporations (who are just as bad). They have to go through this stuff and pretend to take it seriously, or lose their jobs. Heart-breaking.
(b) Radio Derb. Sorry, I called Lebanon "Libya" at one point. Lebanon is cedars. Libya is the place that used to have a king with the same name as a Welsh god. Shall strive to keep them apart in future. Also, a lot of people, while enjoying the commentary, disliked the inter-segment bleep. I sympathize. I fished around in my spiffy new computer for suitable sound clips, but nothing was really satisfactory & I lost patience. I'll try to find a better one.
Posted at 11:35 AM
TIMEWASTER [K. J. Lopez]
I don't think we've posted this one before. It's annoying, but I got annoyed when I saw "a basic understanding of math is required" (as Barbie said, "Math is hard.").
Posted at 11:31 AM
I'M AUDI [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm heading to NYC for the NR swank bash at WFB's will be on the train for the next few hours. Keep hope alive.
Posted at 11:13 AM
"A BEACON OF REFORM" [K. J. Lopez]
Gary Andres puts in a good word for the Dana Gioia-led National Endowment for the Arts (which, I confess, might be right but feels dirty because I'm so used to hating the NEA).
Posted at 10:55 AM
RE: PROTECTING GAYS FROM ABORTION [Jack Fowler]
For more on that and related issues, The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians is the place to go.
Posted at 10:29 AM
NYTIMES ON AHMED OMAR ABU ALI [Andy McCarthy]
Just wanna make sure I have this straight. A federal Grand Jury has found probable cause to believe Ahmed Omar Abu Ali was conspiring to murder the President of the United States, and the New York Times is worried about ... why we didn't bring Ahmed home sooner. Just want to make sure I was clear on that.
BTW, the Times's whining about interrogation is misplaced. To the extent it is suggesting that the interrogations amounted to torture which we tolerated in the hope of gleaning statements that could be used to convict people like Abu Ali, that's absurd. Under federal law, statements elicited by torture are absolutely inadmissible for any purposes -- they would not have helped in any trial, and might well be damaging to the government's case since juries do not like it when people are tortured.
To the extent the Times is contending that the interrogations have been an abject failure, they have absolutely no way of knowing that. The fruits of the interrogations are classified (and even where not classified are not made public and are protected from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act).
As for the lame-o bit at the end about "America's conscience," what the Times is talking about is the Times's conscience. It is fine that they have one, but they really ought to stop pretending that what is thought on West 43d Street is reflective of what is thought in the rest of America.
Posted at 10:21 AM
TINA BROWN AGREES WITH LARRY SUMMERS [K. J. Lopez]
Well in a sorta-kinda-not-really way. (To save you time: Men and women are different [duh]--women have to save men from their social cluelessness--puts him in the company of W & Howell Raines (see the kinda sorty not really now?).
Posted at 10:12 AM
CONGRESS GETS THE BLOGGING BUG [K. J. Lopez]
However slowly--helped immensely by John Thune, who gets the blogosphere thang.
Posted at 10:07 AM
GAYS & ABORTION CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
Interesting point from a reader:
Posted at 09:57 AM
AHA [Jonah Goldberg ]
An Arab sociologist currently in Saudi Arabia, explains to Arab News that America is too close-minded. One piece of evidence:
The problem is further compounded by its media which gives out only filtered news preventing the people at the grassroots level from gaining an insight into the real issues. “When I was in the US some years ago, I was shocked to find that the people there were having AM/FM radios and not the short-wave radio. That means they are only interested in knowing things concerning them and have no interest in the world beyond.”Take out your red pencils everybody.
Posted at 09:55 AM
YOU'LL THANK ME. [K. J. Lopez ]
Dudes, you have unfinished business to attend to.
I know you all don’t subscribe to National Review (known affectionately in these parts as NRODT--National Review on Dead Tree). Why not sign up now? Right now.
Not buying yet? Read on. Bear with me. I haven’t done this in a few weeks.
Without the typos of The Corner, the 50-year-old vibrant conservative powerhouse is what everyone needs on their coffee table. It’s what you want around for your teenager to pick up and casually read in the bathroom. It’s the only place where you’ll get to read about Jacques Chirac’s shrink session (thank you, Rob Long—issue that just went to bed).
NRODT has Mark Steyn and Rob Long in every issue. This current issue has the one and only Victor Davis Hanson, Byron York (on the ridiculous Gannon story), Steve Moore, Jay Nordlinger, Roger Kimball, Theodore Dalrymple (on Prince Charles), Ramesh Ponnuru, John O’Sullivan, David Frum, Alan Reynolds, John Derbyshire (on accents) and much more (including the ever-popular “The Week,” our pithy-nugget-laced editorial section).
And, dudes, if you are spending your days reading NRO, not only do you get more National Review to read in NRODT, but you support the future of the NRO you already know and love.
Are you considering it at least? Give me another few seconds to tell you about the options you have here. You can subscribe to the traditional print version folks have been reading for 50 years now. You know, the paper version that Cliff Claven delivers between stops at Cheers (which, oh, by the way, Rob Long wrote for). You can subscribe to the paper version here.
But, you may be thinking, the last thing any home needs is more paper? Easy solution: Subscribe to the digital version of NR. You get the same magazine, faster, online. You go here for the digital version.
You’ll be glad you joined the club. And I look forward to you telling me I was right.
Posted at 09:47 AM
DOUBTS ABOUT HILLARY 2008 [K. J. Lopez]
(I know, I know, stop with the 2008 already, before it's too late and we have to cover it.)
Larry Sabato raises some today in a mass e-mail:
Many Democrats believe that it will be impossible to stop her from securing the party nomination in 2008. The Crystal Ball disagrees for one very important reason: Senator Clinton is likely to win the general election only if 2008 turns out to be a strong Democratic year when any major Democrat would have prevailed. Despite her attempts to moderate, Senator Clinton is firmly fixed in the public's mind as a Northeastern liberal from a deep blue state--rather reminiscent of another recent nominee from Massachusetts. Those Arkansas days are far behind her, and few in the Razorback State believe she could carry the only Southern state where it is plausible she might have a chance.
Posted at 09:46 AM
GAY PRO-LIFERS [Jonah Goldberg]
You've got to find email like this at least a bit interesting:
I am a gay conservative living in the liberal bastion of New York City (Chelsea, for that matter). I have always wondered how being pro-choice is a matter in which gay rights groups needed to be involved. Certainly, the thinking within the community cannot be monolothic. I often began asking if they believed that it was morally correct to abort babies because of their gender. I would bring up South Korea and China, where women often will abort their child because the child is female. The response would always be that although it is unseemly, it is a matter of choice. I would then follow it up with the gay gene hypothesis - namely, if there is a gay gene and it is determined, would it still be a matter of choice for a woman to abort a child knowing the child would be gay. I would then ask if the pro-choicer believed that most women would give birth to a child knowing that the child would grow up to be gay. The answer is obvious; many would not. Thank you for putting this in the corner today. The pro-abortion stance of the left and the Democratic party is one of the reasons that I am as staunch a Republican as I am. Although gay marriage is an issue that deserves discussion, it pales in comparison to the gruesome death that unborn gay and lesbian children currently endure (and would endure in far greater numbers if a gay gene were discovered). Great post.
Posted at 09:35 AM
A CYBER GIRLFRIEND YOUR IMAM WOULD APPROVE OF [K. J. Lopez]
This might be the oddest sentence to appear in the NYTimes today (how's that for a contest). In a sad story on "Vivienne," an artificial computer girlfriend (who you can marry in a "virtual cermony"), there is this (I give you two sentences for setup purposes):
But Artificial Life has already run into delays in introducing Vivienne to men in Asia and Europe. It originally hoped to have her flirting on cellphone screens by last Christmas.
Posted at 09:30 AM
BLOGOTRY ON THE RISE [Jonah Goldberg]
On tuesday I mentioned that the word "blogotry" had only one hit in google. Now there are sixteen. By my rough calculation, there will be [carry the one, add.... uh......] lots more mentions by the end of the year.
Posted at 09:29 AM
PROTECTING GAYS FROM ABORTION [Jonah Goldberg ]
It's been something of a minor talking point on the right that should the "gay gene" ever be found, homosexuals would become pro-life in a flash. I've been hearing this for years. And for the record, I've never heard anyone on the right say that if the gay gene were found that conservatives would become pro-choice.
Anyway, Rush Limbaugh was discussing the first point recently on his show and now a Republican lawmaker in Maine has introduced legislation to protect fetuses from orientation-selection abortions. Gay Patriot has more. This is probably just a small harbringer of all sorts of political shifts the biotech revolution will introduce. It will be very interesting to see how right and left are defined in the world of liberation biology.
Posted at 09:13 AM
BAD DECISION [Jack Fowler]
There aren’t too many decisions you can make with worse consequences than choosing the wrong college. Maybe you’re one of the unlucky ones: when you wrote that massive tuition check, it seemed right, because you and your kid bought into all the hype and bogus Pomp and Circumstance College. And then for the next four years, he bought into all the PC hogwash the professors were force-feeding students in the lecture halls! You look back and scream: Why didn’t someone warn me that this school was a liberal indoctrination camp?!
There are hundreds of thousands of kids--high-school juniors and seniors – who stand on the brink of making that same bad decision. You can help them avoid that--for only $10--by taking part in NR’s “Sawbuck Challenge.” For every $10 you give us we’ll send a gift copy of the special NR edition of Choosing the Right College to a high school, where scores of kids can read it and learn about which top schools are lousy, and which really can offer you a good traditional education. Find out more here.
Posted at 08:57 AM
WHAT THE CHAIRMAN THINKS OF YOU [K. J. Lopez ]
If you were among the gazillions who clogged Senate phone lines and in-boxes post-election-day re the judiciary chairmanship slot...
Of course, it's just that attitude that almost cost Specter the chairmanship in November. His post-election comments that a Supreme Court nominee who opposed abortion rights was not likely to win Senate confirmation was reported as a warning to the president, and the groups that had hoped to unseat the moderate Specter in favor of a more conservative Republican then mobilized in an effort to deny him the chairmanship. Or, as Specter not so diplomatically put it, "the far right was ready to pounce on me if I'd done nothing but said the Lord's Prayer, and that was a crevice and they went after it."Actually, if I’m “far right,” it’s a heck of a lot more ecumenical than Senator Specter knows. He should get out and meet the base sometime. And, you know, senator, we have lawyers, too, if you’re still looking to hire. Since you’ve already met your ACLU lawyer and other liberal slots.
Just a thought…
Posted at 08:02 AM
THE OVERSTRETCH MYTH [Jonah Goldberg]
Very useful, if number-heavy, Foreign Affairs article on why America isn't about to fold like a cheap hooker who got hit in the stomach by a fat guy with sores on his face.
[Okay, I promise that is the first and last reference to "Friends" for the year.]
Posted at 07:48 AM
THE PRESIDENT MUST LOVE [K. J. Lopez]
getting advice from the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee via the Washington Post.
Hmmm. This feels familiar.
Posted at 07:33 AM
ANOTHER SMALL SIGN OF PROGRESS [Jonah Goldberg ]
The Palestinian legislature has allegedly purged the Arafat loyalists and cronies.
Posted at 07:25 AM
THE SYRIAN CONFESSOR [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader in the military:
I happened to see this at the local Hajii shop here at the FOB Freedom CMOC the other night. It was in Arabic, of course, so the Iraqis translated for me. They were pretty excited and happily fired-up about this guy getting captured. The locals accept it as common knowledge that the Syrians are the primary source of the terrorist activity around Mosul and in Iraq in general.
Posted at 06:36 AM
PJPII [K. J. Lopez]
is back in the hospital.
Posted at 06:19 AM
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
TERRI SCHIAVO [K. J. Lopez]
gets another extension
Posted at 06:56 PM
CHRIS ROCK ZZZZ [K. J. Lopez ]
Roger Simon is worried it will be a very long Oscar night (it would be) if Rock latches onto Bush-is-dumb jokes he’s trotted out for the media.
I suspect he'll be smarter than that. maybe W-dumb was a good quick way to get the MSM off his case for his previous transgressions.
Besides, really, isn’t it time to demonize someone else by now?
Posted at 06:43 PM
MILLION DOLLAR BABY [Mike Potemra]
I finally saw it. To the extent that it rises above (or sinks below) the level of a formulaic boxing movie, it is a film that combines right-wing Nietzscheanism with left-wing Nietzscheanism in a strong brew of despair and dehumanization. Enough has probably been said about the film’s depiction, in its final scenes, of bioethical issues. What does need pointing out, I think, is the extent to which the final scenes are not tacked on, but rather are a natural outgrowth of the rest of this pernicious film. The movie from the very beginning uses boxing as a metaphor for life: The people who have dignity are the fighters. This is an easy metaphor to get away with, because--in its fallen condition--mankind does indeed tend to lose sight of its true source of dignity, and seek its redemption on an individual basis: being better, stronger, tougher, faster, smarter, wittier, more famous, etc., than the next person. But acquiescing in this metaphor of struggle can carry a prohibitive moral cost, which is abundantly on display in this ugly film. The movie’s chief villains are the woman boxer’s female relatives: They are depicted as without any redeeming virtue, a bunch of thugs and welfare cheats who live off others without any gratitude. The film does not use the old Nazi phrase “useless eaters” to describe them, but the idea comes through loud and clear. No wonder, then, that when the heroine—remember, she is tough, famous, pretty, and noble; in short, someone who deserves to be alive—faces the possibility of life as just such a “useless eater,” she, like the film, chooses death. This is a dull movie, punctuated by a handful of emotionally effective moments, and carries a degrading message. It is a not an analysis of what sin has done to humanity; it is a symptom.
Posted at 06:37 PM
RE: WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE [Jack Fowler]
I had the Rev. John Paris for a course while at Holy Cross, where the oh-so-Jesuit cleric peddled his plug-pulling ethics before he went to BC. The last time I saw his puss he was testifying before Congress in 1983 against the “Baby Doe” regulations that sought to protect spina bifida children from the Useless Eater police that crawl through some hospitals. As you can imagine, Paris was there to find fault with the Reagan Administration’s policy. As a teacher, I found Paris insufferable. If he is a “theologian,” then the bar has been set very low indeed. Thomas Aquinas must be doing backflips in his coffin. And people wonder why the pews are emptying
Posted at 06:31 PM
LEST WE FORGET [Mac Owens]
Today is an important date in American history. Sixty years ago today—February 23, 1945—a Marine patrol from Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Marine Regiment reached the summit of Mount Suribachi, the highest point on the volcanic island of Iwo Jima. It was the fifth day of the savage battle for the island, which would last another 31 days and kill nearly all of the 22,000 Japanese defenders and 6,825 Marines and sailors. Another 19,000 Americans were wounded during the 36-day operation. One out of every three Marines was either killed or wounded, including 19 of 24 battalion commanders. Twenty-seven Marines and naval medical corpsmen were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions on Iwo, 13 posthumously. In the words of Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Command, "Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
After reaching the summit of Mt. Suribachi, members of the patrol raised an American flag that one of the Marines had brought with him. It was too small to be seen from the beach, so the Marines raised a second, larger flag. AP photographer Joe Rosenthal captured the second flag raising on film. The result was the most famous image of World War II.
Rosenthal’s photo also has come to symbolize the Marine Corps as a fighting force. In 1954, the sculptor Felix de Weldon rendered the photo into three dimensions, creating the Marine Corps Memorial that stands near Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
As subsequent events in such places as Inchon, the Chosin Reservoir, Hue City, Khe Sanh, and Fallujah have proven, uncommon valor continues to characterize the Marine Corps. But is hard to imagine anything worse that the living hell those men experienced on seven square miles of volcanic island.
Posted at 06:30 PM
JEWS @ CMU [Jonah Goldberg]
From my new "CMU Guy":
Posted at 05:01 PM
YGLESIAS & SUMMERS [Jonah Goldberg]
If conservatives were calling for Larry Summers to resign – or apologize, or both - because he publicly expressed an opinion about Social Security that they disagree with, then Mr. Iglesias would have a point.
Posted at 03:28 PM
RE: WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader
So, the World Council of Churches wants us to divest from companies that profit from Israel’s “control” of Gaza and the West Bank eh? I eagerly await their call to divest from Red China for it’s conquest of Tibet, Iran for it’s oppression and murder of dissidents (and hanging of school girls), European companies pursuing oil leases in genocidal Sudan….etc, etc. Surely these actions will be announced soon!
Posted at 03:21 PM
"YOUNG ADULT USED TO MEAN 12 TO 18," HE SAID. "NOW IT'S FOR READERS AS OLD AS 25." [K. J. Lopez ]
I suspect this says more about the reading comprehension of 25-year-olds than it does about the maturity levels of 12-year-olds.
Posted at 02:53 PM
SYRIANS TRAINING INSURGENTS [Jonah Goldberg ]
An alleged Syrian officer confesses Since this appeared on a US-backed Iraqi TV station, I really, really hope it pans out as authentic. Here's the opener:
BAGHDAD, Iraq Feb 23, 2005 — Iraqi state television aired a video Wednesday showing what the U.S.-funded channel said was the confession of a captured Syrian officer who said he trained Iraqi insurgents to behead people and build car bombs to attack American and Iraqi troops.
Clarification: Contrary to some tendentious email, let me be clear what I meant. I hope that this story doesn't turn out to be fake in the sense that I would hate for America's credibility on Syria's threat to be undermined.
Posted at 02:51 PM
RE: SITCOM CANCELLED [Shannen Coffin]
Hey, K-Lo, guess what? "The Boston Red Sox will receive their World Series rings just before their home opener against the New York Yankees." Just thought you'd want to know.
Posted at 02:48 PM
WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE… [K. J. Lopez ]
A Catholic priest, in that Newsweek piece:
Indeed, as the pope's weakness becomes more pronounced, critics wonder if the Vatican's bureaucrats will be doing his bidding, or making up their own policies in their own interests. After all, if John Paul dies or resigns, their own power in the church hierarchy is likely to evaporate. Hence the suspicion with which some theologians view the new doctrines about sustaining terminal patients through extraordinary means. "The right-to-life types want to renounce brain death and keep everyone going forever," says John Paris, a Jesuit theologian at Boston College who has been writing about end-of-life issues for 30 years. "It seems that Lenin's mausoleum will be the model for the future. The entire enterprise is mischief-making at the Vatican."I’m a lot more concerned about unplugging ordinary means--let’s talk “do no harm” basics here.
Posted at 02:48 PM
“LIFE IS SACRED, NO MATTER HOW PAINFUL” [K. J. Lopez ]
A deeper look at understanding of human suffering than one would expect in Newsweek, framed around the ailing PJPII:
"I must lead her with suffering," he said. "The pope must suffer so that every family and the world should see that there is, I would say, a higher gospel: the gospel of suffering, with which one must prepare the future."Read it here.
Posted at 02:46 PM
SITCOM CANCELLED [K. J. Lopez]
Speaking of Corner prohibitions: One way to get banned from The Corner. Leave messages reminding me: "The Boston Red Sox will receive their World Series rings just before their home opener against the New York Yankees." You'll never guess who...
The world will never see K-Lo & Coffin, alas.
Posted at 02:42 PM
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE [K. J. Lopez]
In case you didn't notice, I'm a squish on life.
If I'm not purist enough, forget about too many Republicans in the running for 2005!
Posted at 02:40 PM
VOX POPULI [Jonah Goldberg]
From a reader:
personally I think if K.LO is going to carry on about Romney and 2008 elections, just three months after the last presidential election, you should be free to carry on about a litany of forbidden subjects, Star Trek, FF, your liking the new Battlestar Gallatica series (despite making starbuck a woman), etc.
Posted at 02:39 PM
CONSERVATIVES CAN NEVER WIN PT 3,009,098, 997 [Jonah Goldberg]
STRANGE NEW RESPECT. Now that Larry Summers is suddenly garnering strange new respect from conservatives, I can't help but wonder if his new friends on the right will start paying attention to his views in his actual areas of expertise. Social Security, for example. It seems to me that when he talks about that stuff, the wingnuts don't much care for him. But he really is an economist and not a biologist. Just saying.
Despite the cutsey tone -- or maybe because of it -- this strikes me as profoundly lame. If Summers agreed with the privatization crowd, he would be treated as the right's pet Harvard hack and conservative support would be written off as Popular-Frontism. But since Summers opposes privatization, Yglesias insinuates, conservatives must be hypocrites for coming to his defense. Yglesias surely knows how cheap and lame this point would be if put in the form of serious argument, so he does it with a light touch, perhaps to make it sound more clever than it really is.
Posted at 02:21 PM
COURT RULES ON PRISON SEGREGATION [Roger Clegg]
The Supreme Court ruled today that California’s policy of temporarily segregating its incoming prisoners by race triggers “strict scrutiny,” reversing a Ninth Circuit court of appeals ruling that upheld the policy after subjecting it to a lesser level of scrutiny. It is, I suppose, good that the Court is reluctant to carve out exceptions to the general rule that any race-based classification is presumptively illegal; that, I am told, is why the Bush administration advocated the position the Court has taken. On the other hand, there is also a line of Supreme Court cases holding that prisoners’ constitutional rights generally get less protection than other citizens’, and dissenting Justice Thomas (joined by Scalia) is right that the Court does not persuasively explain why prisoners’ equal-protection rights ought to be given more protection than their free-speech rights.
The danger now is that courts will be tempted to water down the strict-scrutiny standard in order to uphold prison officials’ understandable desire to keep members of the Aryan Brotherhood from murdering members of the Black Guerrilla Family, to name just two prison gangs. And that dilution will then lead other courts to uphold racial classifications with more dubious and politically correct rationales, like the celebration of “diversity.”
Postscript: Justice Ginsburg, joined by Souter and Breyer, filed a concurring opinion, saying that she doesn’t think ALL racial classifications should be subjected to strict-scrutiny—that there should one (lenient) equal-protection standard for laws that are designed to help historically-discriminated against racial minorities, and another (strict) equal-protection standard for everything else. Unequal equal protection, in other words.
Posted at 01:11 PM
RE: SAGER ROUND THREE [Jonah Goldberg]
Ramesh - Just to add a few more: I seem to recall deep skepticism about the Depertment of Homeland Security, the new Director of National Intelligence, Bush's faith-based initiative and the entire rhetorical construct of compassionate conservatism appearing in articles by you, Rich, Kate O'Beirne, myself and others appearing many times in both the print NR and NRO.
In fact, it would be very helpful if Sager could back up his sweeping claims with some examples of what he is talking about. If his interpretation of NR's position on big government is so penetratingly accurate perhaps he could provide some quotes from NR's in-house writers and editors lauding big government conservatism.
Posted at 12:44 PM
RE: RSS FEEDS [K. J. Lopez]
Look around. Leaves are brown. But there are RSS feeds on the ground--all around.
NRO Articles has one. Corner has one. Frum has one. TKS has one. Beltway Buzz has one.
Posted at 12:36 PM
JAMES BOND AND ME [K. J. Lopez]
If Sean Connery can be sued for being a bully, what next? Will Jonah sue me for being a nag?
Posted at 12:22 PM
BRYAN PRESTON [Ramesh Ponnuru]
has his own take on this whole libertarians-and-conservatives discussion that arose out of CPAC. I especially appreciated the far too generous praise for me.
Posted at 12:19 PM
SAGER: ROUND THREE [Ramesh Ponnuru]
(Unless I've lost count.) I think it's not quite fair for Sager to say that I'm happy to live with "big government conservatism" "so long as it keeps Republicans in power. "I wrote a cover story for NR criticizing big-government conservatism and big-government conservatives. Nor is it fair to associate big-government-conservatism-for-Bush's-sake with NR generally. The magazine opposed Bush's education bill, his steel tariffs, his expansion of national service programs, his regulation of campaign finance, his agriculture bill, and probably a few other initiatives that I'm not thinking of at this moment. It even opposed his federalization of airport security. (And I agreed with all of these positions.)
Perhaps more to the point--and I'm responding here to Andrew Sullivan, too--for seven years I've been arguing that a strategy of expanding the new investor class is conservatives' best bet for creating a constituency for limited government--and thus strengthening some needed libertarian elements within the conservative coalition while also strengthening the coalition overall. This strategy is certainly open to criticism. But it seems a more intelligent way to go about shrinking the federal government than wishing away political realities.
Posted at 12:13 PM
NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY GIG DETAILS [Jonah Goldberg]
Here's what I know. I'll be there Feb 28. I'm speaking at 7:30 in Harris Hall (room 107). They want me to discuss web journalism, politics and whatnot, though I intend to work-in as much nude mopery as possible. It is supposed to be open to the "community." I think that you people count.
Posted at 12:12 PM
ROBERTS & ARROYO TOADS [Jonathan H. Adler]
The Mauro article on John Roberts misrepresents his opinion in the arroyo toad case. Roberts' opinion did not claim that the federal government lacked the commerce clause authority to protect arroyo toads -- a position advocated in a separate opinion by Judge Sentelle. Rather, he argued the analytical failings in the court's opinion and its conflict with the rationale adopted by another circuit court justifed rehearing the case en banc. That's quite a difference (and quite a bit of sloppy reporting by Mauro). Maybe Judge Roberts would have struck down the rule -- but that is not what his opinion said.
Posted at 12:02 PM
IT HAS ARRIVED! [K. J. Lopez]
Many of you have asked for it. Now you've got it. The grayish box near the top of this page is your RSS feed key. Enjoy.
If you have no idea what I'm talking about either a) don't worry or b) get primed.
Posted at 12:01 PM
TOO LITTLE TORT REFORM [Jonathan H. Adler]
Cato's Mark Moller thinks the class-action reform bill does not go nearly far enough.
Posted at 12:00 PM
SMOKING CAN KILL [Jonathan H. Adler]
But not always in the the way you might expect. See here.
Posted at 11:56 AM
TWO GOOD SIGNS ON JOHN ROBERTS [Ramesh Ponnuru]
1) Mark R. Levin is a fan. 2) The critics seem to be reduced to arguing that he has displayed "insouciance toward arroyo toads." (I'm not as thrilled by the friendly quote from Prettyman.)
Posted at 11:51 AM
DARK HORSE FOR CHIEF? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Law professor Rick Duncan suggests Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott could be a dark horse candidate for Chief Justice. I'm dubious, but it's an interesting thought.
Posted at 11:51 AM
DIVESTMENT CONTINUES [Jonah Goldberg ]
The World Council of Churches divides to divest from Israel. Here's the opener:
Posted at 11:48 AM
RE: ROMNEY [K. J. Lopez]
It's soooo early, let me begin with. Soooo early.
But what better time to scope out the prospects?
Why all the Romney bizness? Because he's one to watch.
To be honest, he first caught my eye on the superficial grounds (see, uh, "Hot for Governor"--the titles one opts for when sleep deprived inauguration week!). He's a young, good looking, articulate, charming Republican--which, hey, doesn't hurt in a presidential candidate.
He has a real job.
I'm impressed with some of the people around him.
He's not perfect, as I have pointed out--his vague position on abortion being problem number one (not an issue I, for one, am going to give our '08 guy a pass on, as you can imagine!), but, again, he's worth watching.
Most recently, I've been impressed with his anti-cloning position (despite his embryo research position not being my ideal)--it's so infrequent that a pol even knows what he's talking about on the "bioethics" issues, and he really seems to get the problems with opening the door to cloning as Harvard and much of the Mass. statehouse would do. Because he is taking a hardline position on cloning, he deserves support from cloning opponents, many who might shy away because he is willing to permit the use of "surplus" IVF frozen embryos. But my take is: It's a start. Let's support his efforts to prohibit all cloning there. That's an uphill enough battle.
That's not a '08 endorsement by any stretch, but I'd keep my eye on.
Posted at 11:48 AM
JUSTICE ROBERTS [Jonathan H. Adler]
Orin Kerr thinks Judge Roberts would be an excellent pick for Chief Justice, and I do too. I would note that Kerr's support for Roberts (like mine) is not solely -- or perhaps even primarily -- ideological. The simple fact is that John Roberts is the sort of person who would be a shoo-in for the Supreme Court were nominations less politicized and based solely on merit.
Posted at 11:46 AM
ASSISTED SUICIDE SILLINESS [Jonathan H. Adler]
In his noble efforts to fight doctor-assisted suicide, Wesley Smith once again trots out the argument that allowing Oregon to decide what constitutes a legitimate medical use of prescription drugs threatens "chaos." I've debunked this claim before. Contrary to Smith's suggestion, there is nothing unprecedented about predicating a federal offense on the violation of state law. Nor does it threaten chaos to allow states to adopt different rules for prescription drugs. Indeed, there are already instances where a doctor's ability to prescribe medications udner federal law is a function of the law and policy in the state in which he practices. The only difference here is that doctors in Oregon will be prescribing drugs for a purpose that Smith doesn't like. That's a reasonable basis upon which to attack Oregon's law. It is not a reasonable basis upon which to argue federalist principles do not apply.
Posted at 11:40 AM
LIBERTARIANS IN THE GOP [Jonathan H. Adler]
Randy Barnett thinks the Libertarian Party has made American politics less libertarian. He might be right.
Posted at 11:32 AM
DIVORCE ON THE RIGHT? [Jonathan H. Adler]
Speaking of whether the GOP can remain home to both conservatives and libertarians, the America's Future Foundation is hosting a roundtable tonight in Washington, D.C. on whether conservatives and libertarians should continue to make common cause. Details here.
Posted at 11:29 AM
CORNER '08 [Jonah Goldberg]
Now that I think of it, the next GOP presidential primaries should be a blast for Corner readers, especially if we all pick different favorites from a wide field. The Corner is always best when there's some disagreement in here.
Posted at 11:18 AM
ROMNEY [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn - I know I'm late chiming-in here. But why exactly do you, et al., like Romney so much? I feel like I missed a couple posts somewhere. For the record I can't get interested in the next presidential race yet. Though thanks to all of this Romney stuff I'm getting tempted to dust-off my Phil Gramm '08 slogans.
Posted at 11:17 AM
PRIMO PROSE [Jack Fowler]
Here are just some of the world-class authors and delightful tales that you’ll find in Volume Two of The National Review Treasury of Classic Children’s Literature:
MARK TWAIN “Tom Sawyer, Detective”
RUDYARD KIPLING “The King’s Ankus” and “Toomai of the Elephants”
L. FRANK BAUM “Aunt ’Phroney’s Boy”
JACK LONDON “The Cruise of the Dazzler”
LOUISA MAY ALCOTT “The Blind Lark” and “Daisy’s Jewel-Box and How She Filled It”
FRANCES HODGSON BURNETT “The Cozy Lion” and “The Troubles of Queen Silver Bell”
THORNTON BURGESS “Tommy and the Wishing Stone”
JOEL CHANDLER HARRIS “The Creature with No Claws”
HOWARD PYLE “The Princess on the Glass Hill”
MARION AMES TAGGART “The Wyndham Girls”
ELLIS PARKER BUTLER “Pigs Is Pigs”
There are over 20 more stories in this is great book, which costs $29.95. Buy it and we’ll also send you two FREE titles: The National Review Treasury of Classic Bedtime Stories (a beautiful 360-page hardcover with 10 delightful Thornton Burgess tales and 60 charming Harrison Cady illustrations), and L. Frank Baum’s Queen Zixi of Ix, or the Story of the Magic Cloak (a handsome 160 page tale that the famous Oz author considered his best work!). And the shipping is free too! Order here.
Posted at 11:14 AM
JUMBLATT [Jonah Goldbeg]
From a reader:
Maybe the most interesting thing about this story is that he's head of the Progressive Socialist Party and he's making an analogy to the fall of the Berlin Wall? Intriguing. Thanks, Z
Posted at 11:12 AM
DON’T CALL HIM “MR. CHRISTO” [K. J. Lopez ]
Christo and Jeanne Claude’s website is a timewaster for ya, especially the common errors page. “It is totally idiotic to call Christo and Jeanne-Claude the "wrapping artists," for the record. And this is for you, Poppa Goldberg: “Seven thousand, five hundred structures together in Central Park IS a work of art.”
Posted at 11:04 AM
SHOCKER [Jonah Goldberg ]
Okay, since last time I posted something like this I got so many complaints from people with heart conditions and the like it wasn't really worth it. So here this is with the full disclosure that it's shocking (if it won't play, you can downloadit). Send it to your friends as you see fit. You've been warned.
Posted at 10:40 AM
ANTI-ZIONISTS FOR MANIFEST DESTINY [Jonah Goldberg]
As you might imagine I get a lot of email I don't post. Indeed, there are whole categories which almost never see the light of the blogosphere. One interesting sub-category which comes along every few weeks is a form of argumentation about Israel and the Palestinians. It goes like this: The Palestinians are simply doing what we would do if Texas was being invaded by Mexicans trying to take our land. Now, I havve used a similar argument to defend Israel's self-defense against Palestinians. So as an analogy, I don't have huge problems with it even when used for exactly the opposite perspective to my own. What I find interesting is what comes next.
I will, if the emailer seems reasonable enough, point out that the more apt application of the analogy would have the Mexicans play the role of Palestinians. After all, white Europeans came and took Texas (and lots of other land) from Mexicans and indians. Indeed, the Europeans were more alien to North America than Jews who've always been in the region and have a historic claim on the land.
Now, keep in mind, I don't buy all the implications of this counter-analogy, I just think it's useful to point this fact out to some emailers. What is amazing to me is that on occassion I'll hear back from these people complaining "How dare you question America's God-given right to this land?" After that the nastiness usually commences. Though sometimes I do try to ask where in the Old Testament God promised the Scots-Irish a big chunk of North America, since I know where in the Old Testament God promised Israel to the Hebrews.
Now this has only happened in one form or another a half-dozen times, so I want to be clear I'm not trying to create a strawman or apply to broad a brush. But it seems to me that this does illuminate a certain strain of cognitive dissonance. There are lots of folks out there who dislike Israel and believe its claim to its land is tenuous while they have an unquestioning, pretty much theological, conviction that white America deserves our slice of North America. Now, don't get me wrong. I think America should hold on to its real estate against all encroachments. I just think the inconsistency is fascinating and revealing.
Posted at 10:19 AM
ROBERTS TO SCOTUS? [K. J. Lopez ]
Legal Times profiles John Roberts as a potential Supreme pick. Summation: “Roberts may combine the stealth appeal of Souter with the unwavering ideology of Scalia and Thomas.”
Posted at 10:04 AM
THE TED RALL SCHTICK [Jonah Goldberg ]
Continues. He rants about how blogs stink and constitute neo-McCarthyism.
Posted at 10:03 AM
OBSCENITIES [K. J. Lopez ]
I know if you disagree with me on abortion, you will be particularly annoyed by this post, but it’s hard not to note this sentence from Kristof’s Sudan genocide column today, especially because it unintentionally points to something very close to home: “But the real obscenity isn't in printing pictures of dead babies--it's in our passivity, which allows these people to be slaughtered.”
Posted at 10:01 AM
SEEING GENOCIDE [K. J. Lopez ]
Nicholas Kristof shows the ugly reality of “victims of our indifference” in the Sudan in his column today. An example:
The photo at the upper left was taken in the village of Hamada on Jan. 15, right after a Sudanese government-backed militia, the janjaweed, attacked it and killed 107 people. One of them was this little boy. I'm not showing the photo of his older brother, about 5 years old, who lay beside him because the brother had been beaten so badly that nothing was left of his face. And alongside the two boys was the corpse of their mother.See and read.
Posted at 10:00 AM
EU'S PROBLEMS [Jonah Goldberg]
Lots of email like this:
The main problem at this time with the EU establishing a military is the fact that there are 3 main centers of military production and R&D in the EU and they are all running their own programs with little integration and so the price per unit goes up.
Posted at 09:59 AM
JUMBLATT [Jonah Goldberg]
However, we have more than one reason to hope that Jumblatt's conversion is real. Some excerpts from Steven Stalinsky's December 16 NY Sun piece:
Posted at 09:56 AM
TKS' QUOTE OF THE DAY [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted at 09:48 AM
AND THAT'S NOT THE END OF THE PARTY [K. J. Lopez]
As if the galas weren't enough, Ed also notes (don't feel like the red-headed stepchild--50 does beat 10!):
Overshadowed by its parent and the events planned, National Review Online observes its 10th anniversary in July. We have yet to settle on an appropriate way of observing this milestone, but you can bet we’ll come up with something appropriate.(And before you e-mail: I'm way fond of red-heads.)
Posted at 09:30 AM
THE SUN WILL COME OUT TOMORROW [K. J. Lopez]
Actually, I hear it will be snowing, but no matter.
Tomorrow night is our fundraising shin-dig at WFB's crib (Jonah and K-Lo in the same room again? Or will we alternate between the Buckleys' and a top-secret catacomb under the rat-infested NYC streets??). We had some tight limits on seats for this one, which I apologize for--I know some of you were bummed (or because you are unable to attend for other reasons). But bear in mind this, which Ed Capano announces in the current issue of NRODT (so this is old news for subscribers--you can be a member of that club, too. SEE HERE.)
We’ll celebrate NR’s 50th anniversary with a gala party at the Building Museum in Washington, D.C. on October 6. That will be followed by a commemoration of [WFB's] 80th birthday with a bash at the Pierre Hotel in New York City on November 17. The plans for both events are still in the works but I think our readers would like to mark those dates on their calendars.
Posted at 09:29 AM
EU VS. NATO [Jonah Goldberg]
Does anyone really think the German-French of almost-but-not-quite ditching NATO in favor of a EU defense apparatus is really a serious idea? I know Europe thinks the world should operate like an Ivy League campus where you settle you differences before a committee at the Dean's office, but do they really think Europe has what it takes to muster a formidible independent defense force? And if all they want is to promote the EU to the status of our primary military partner instead of NATO where we have much more leverage, well, they'll have to pony up quite a bit more euros to do it.
Posted at 09:18 AM
DOES CMU HAVE A JEWISH PROBLEM [Jonah Goldberg ]
These folks make a pretty good case.
Posted at 09:04 AM
APOLOGY RECORDS [Jonah Goldberg]
Has Summers apologized for his comments more than Bill Clinton did for America's behavior during the Cold War? I think Summers' old boss is still out ahead.
Posted at 09:04 AM
WHAT WOULD LIFE BE WITHOUT THE INTERNET? [K. J. Lopez ]
Posted at 08:53 AM
RE: FOR THE GUINNESS BOOKS [Steven Hayward]
If Summers keeps apologizing, it will not only make the Guinness Book, but become a case of life imitating art--specifically the opening credits to "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" where there are multiple apologies for the previous apology, etc. Of course, those apologies all ended with the apologists being sacked.
Posted at 08:49 AM
RE: CANADA'S A "NO" [K. J. Lopez]
A reader from up north writes: "I do look forward to my US visa arriving this April so I will finally be able to leave the Democratic Peoples Republic of Canada for your fine country."
Posted at 08:49 AM
THE GATES [K. J. Lopez]
have been crashed.
Posted at 08:45 AM
ROMNEY CORNER [K. J. Lopez ]
This morning’s installment is done.
Posted at 08:42 AM
SIGH--“PERSONALLY PRO-LIFE" [K. J. Lopez ]
It’s early in his potential '08 life yet, but it’s no secret that Gov. Romney will have to much better elucidate his views on “the sanctity of human life," as the Boston Herald notes today. (I.e. A “John Kerry” won’t cut it.)
Posted at 08:40 AM
BAYSTATEITRY [K. J. Lopez ]
I kinda feel about Massachusetts this morning the way Jonah felt about some whining bloggers yesterday: The Boston Globe is overcome about “a cattle rancher at a vegetarian convention” quip Romney made during his S.C. speech Monday night. In a news piece, one responder seems to call it “vile.” I said this about the blog thing yesterday and repeat it for the benefit of upset Mass. residents: Chill a little.
Posted at 08:38 AM
“I’M NOT PULLING A JOHN KERRY” [K. J. Lopez ]
Mitt Romney gets grief for an anti-civil-unions remark he made in South Carolina. (Seems like it was not breaking news, however.)
Posted at 08:30 AM
CANADA'S A "NO" [K. J. Lopez]
on missile defense.
Posted at 08:16 AM
THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION KILLS [K. J. Lopez ]
So says Patti Davis, writing about stem cells (really, embryonic stem cells):
The cost of this administration’s heartlessness will be measured in lives. Not only in the lives of people battling fatal illnesses or spinal cord injuries, but in the lives of family members and loved ones, who watch helplessly as bank accounts are drained to finance the desperate hopes of someone who simply doesn’t want to die yet. It’s doubtful that any of them will be comforted by religious homilies coming out of the White House.Besides anti-Bush anger, Davis’s piece has lots of hard-to-argue-with emotion, with an unfortunate lack of focus on some of the more promising alternatives that have fewer ethical stings attached than embryonic stem cells have. Which pretty much is the stem-cell debate, summed up.
Posted at 08:11 AM
KATIE GANNON [Tim Graham]
While NBC was so concerned about the menace of softball-throwing reporters in the White House, the network's own Katie Couric saved all her softballs for a liberal group promoting new legislation sponsored by Ted Kennedy and Rosa DeLauro to mandate every employer with 15 employees or more offer at least seven sick days a year. Remaking American society to look more like Europe is essential, suggests Katie: "So obviously the legislation may be helpful, but the whole mentality of the workplace needs to change as well, right?"
Posted at 08:00 AM
CBS FORGOT TO MENTION [Jonah Goldberg ]
The private eye it hired to investigate the memos.
Posted at 07:54 AM
FOR THE GUINNESS BOOKS [K. J. Lopez ]
How many times can one man apologize and keep his dignity?
After five weeks of mea culpas for his remarks about women in the sciences, Dr. Summers issued yet another apology. He promised professors that they would no longer experience the intimidation, anger and hurt feelings that many of them have reported in his three-and-a-half-year tenure.(Or did he give the latter up in the second apology?)
Posted at 07:53 AM
AM I JUST PARANOID? [K. J. Lopez ]
Or is the AP hoping you’ll dismiss the California cloning legal effort in while reading their lede? “Conservative public-interest groups with ties to Christian organizations filed lawsuits Tuesday seeking to invalidate the $3 billion stem-cell research institution approved by California voters in November.”
Posted at 07:52 AM
CELEBRITY BLURB [John J. Miller]
I suspect I'm one of the few people in America who has never watched an episode of Law & Order. But maybe I'll become a fan now, because Michael Moriarty, who once acted on the show, has written a short essay on French thought in which he says Our Oldest Enemy is "an insightful history of Franco-American relations."
Posted at 07:51 AM
U.N. SCANDALS [K. J. Lopez ]
From Claudia Rosett:
If you believe in the U.N. charter's promise to promote "justice and respect for obligations arising from treaties," along with "the dignity and worth of the human person," then the real scandal--less racy, but colossally more devastating in human cost--has been the UNHCR's failure in recent years to stand up for refugees fleeing North Korea. The problem here is not, as far as I am aware, one of embezzlement or fraud. Nor is it on a par with any amount of sexual harassment in the comfortable Geneva headquarters of the UNHCR--however upsetting that might be. The true horror is the way in which the well-mannered nuances of U.N. bureaucracy, structure and management have combined to dismiss demurely the desperate needs of hundreds of thousands of human beings fleeing famine and repression in the world's worst totalitarian state.
Posted at 07:48 AM
GAL WHINERS WILL BE GAL WHINERS [K. J. Lopez ]
Nevermind, the sisterhood’s in denial. Everyone’s keeping their jobs. From that Washington Post piece:
The findings drew immediate criticism from some feminist groups and scholars.Well, saves her from the unemployment roles.
Posted at 07:44 AM
OH, BOY! [K. J. Lopez ]
This is not the morning for the woe-is-we girl-victimhood community. From WashPost:
Contradicting both sides in the long-running debate on whether boys or girls have it better in America, the most comprehensive examination of the overall well-being of male and female children has found that the sexes are faring about equally. Although boys have the advantage in some areas and girls score better in others, they are doing about the same in a broad array of measures assessing essential dimensions of life, such as health, safety, economics and education, the researchers found.
Posted at 07:44 AM
BREAKTHROUGH! [K. J. Lopez ]
In the Washington Post today, columnist Anne Applebaum raises a dirty little (bleedingly obvious) secret—that are often a few steps behind men on the career track because they choose to take time to raise kids.
Posted at 07:43 AM
YOU HAVE AN EXCUSE TO IGNORE FBI WARNINGS [K. J. Lopez ]
I imagine IRS virus spam is next. (One I'll especially enjoy ignoring.)
Posted at 07:41 AM
THE FIRST STORY ON THE TODAY SHOW [K. J. Lopez]
was the queen snubbing the Charles-Camilla wedding.
Sheesh, I might just take the day off.
Posted at 07:17 AM
SPEAK FOR YOURSELF [Andrew Stuttaford]
An essential part of the EU project is the denigration of the very idea of the nation states corralled into the ‘Union’. They are redundant, useless, past, relics that need to be replaced by the bureaucrats and braggadocio of Brussels. For a good example, here’s the Belgian Prime Minister, Guy Verhofstadt, explaining to George W Bush why a federal Europe is necessary:
"…Europe can do little or nothing unless it is united and cooperates. To paraphrase my illustrious predecessor, Paul Henri Spaak, Europe consists solely of small countries. There are some who know it. And there are some who are now beginning to understand - just like James Madison and George Washington understood in 1787 in Philadelphia - that a loose confederation must be forged into a strong union."
Solely of small countries, Mr. Verhofstadt?
Well, speaking as you do, as the prime minister of a petite, not-quite-country (ask the people of Flanders what they think of your ‘Belgium’) which is no longer even a full democracy, I can see why that’s your perspective. Other countries (ahem…) might see themselves in a rather different way.
Posted at 07:02 AM
PUTIN URGED TO EASE ADOPTION RED TAPE [K. J. Lopez ]
Here. (I suppose “red tape” has a whole different meaning in Putin Russia…)
Did you know? “Americans adopt more children from Russia than from any other country except China.”
Posted at 07:01 AM
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
STANDING ATHWART CLONING IN CALIFORNIA YELLING STOP! [K. J. Lopez]
A suit is filed with the California supreme court to stop state-funded embryonic-stem-cell/cloning research.
Posted at 09:36 PM
MULLAHS JAIL EDITOR [K. J. Lopez ]
TEHRAN (Reuters) - An Iranian journalist was jailed for 14 years on charges ranging from espionage to insulting the country's leaders in an unusually heavy sentence in Iran, where tens of journalists have been tried in recent years.
Posted at 09:32 PM
LIBERTARIANS [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't think this reader is right about libertarians being happy with totalitarianism. But I think he does make an important insight about some faux-libertarians, left-libertarians and libertines in all parties. There is a growing tendency in America to think government is oppressive it steps on what *I* like but not if it steps on what you like. Anyway, from a reader:
[I wrote:] "I know lots of small government types who love government funded scientific research..." Actually, many libertarians will tell you that the government _should_ be involved in things that individuals don't have an incentive to contribute towards, i.e. scientific research (usually specified as Manned Space Exploration) and also national defense.
Posted at 09:18 PM
STOP HIM BEFORE HE HANGS MORE SHOWER CURTAINS! [K. J. Lopez]
Christo heads to Colorado next.
Posted at 08:37 PM
IT'S POST-5 P.M. EST [K. J. Lopez]
Do you have any idea where your day went?
Posted at 05:09 PM
"INSUFFERABLE SNOBBERY OR COMPLETE CLUELESSNESS"? [K. J. Lopez]
Matt Scully's LATimes review of Christie Todd Whitman's book.
Posted at 05:07 PM
TEARING DOWN WALLS@DARTMOUTH [K. J. Lopez ]
Scott Johnson on WFB, Ward Churchill, and Peter Robinson’s current campaign.
Posted at 05:05 PM
RAMESH V. RYAN [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't how I missed Ramesh's excellent post from earlier this morning. I would just chime in on one point that he speaks to only indirectly. There is a notion much championed by libertarians that if you believe in small government you are automatically a libertarian and not a conservative. This would be news to many Goldwaterites, Buckleyites and Reaganites. There's a related claim that Sager implies when he complains about all the whining about Will & Grace. Depending on the policy prescription that comes with such complaints, it's fairly absurd to suggest that libertarians cannot actually be very socially conservative when it comes to values.
Moreover, to expect normal Americans to accept philosophical denominations whole is entirely unreasonable. Heck, we can't even get most of NRO's readers to agree on what's conservative and what isn't, never mind the writers. Ramesh demonstrates this in the aggregate by discussing issues as net gains and net losses. But it's important to remember that individual voters are also deeply schizophrenic. I know lots of small government types who love government funded scientific research or even farm subsidies. And there are more than a few pro-life libertarians. Lots of people call themselves libertarian about sex and drugs, but would be horrified by privatizing the schools. The number of actual, honest-to-goodness, Cato-style libertarians in this country is very, very small. And, whatever the actual number of Christian Conservatives who want to make the Bible the platform of the GOP may be, I can guarantee it's much, much, much, much smaller than the number of self-described Christian Conservatives who would like a smaller government.
Posted at 04:23 PM
THE ENEMY OF MY ENEMY [Jack Fowler]
Some 100 Yale woman scientists are petitioning college president Richard Levin to blast Harvard’s Lawrence Summers for his recent “controversial remarks.” Here’s the story from today’s Yale Daily News, with the usual fem ranting about “institutional barriers” and the like. So far Levin is keeping quiet, which must mean that he too is a hierarchical oppressor.
Posted at 03:56 PM
ONE LUCKY KID [K. J. Lopez ]
A mom e-mails in response to that Philly Inquirer piece:
Dear K.Lo.,If only more girls (and women—wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age) realized that they're allowed to let the kid live. As the mom writing says, it doesnt' have to be baby lives OR college.
Posted at 03:41 PM
YOU SAY YOU WANT TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE [Jack Fowler]
Well, prove it! Send a gift copy of Choosing the Right College: The Whole Truth About America’s Top Schools to your high-school alma mater, where scores of kids will use this acclaimed book (“By far the best college guide in America” says Thomas Sowell) to find a college that will offer an authentic, traditional education. For only $10 you’ll put countless kids on the right path (and keep them from going to a school with a reputation that is great but a curriculum that is PC). Go ahead and make someone’s day--indeed, make their life--by getting a high school (or a bunch of high schools) this great book. Order here.
Posted at 03:37 PM
THE CYA OFFENSIVE [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 03:32 PM
PROFESSIONAL WHINER [Jonah Goldberg]
An excerpt from a letter to the editor (no link) from Louise Antony -- a feminist philosophy professor at Ohio State -- to the Columbus Dispatch about my column on Churchill v. Summers:
Finally, there is the notorious Ward Churchill. What columnist and professional whiner Jonah Goldberg forgot to mention in his pity party for Larry Summers (Forum column, Monday) is that Churchill is in danger of losing his job because of his political incorrectness, whereas Summers has only to endure polite rebuttals of his ignorant remarks. His job is secure.
Me: Um, I wouldn't be surprised if Summers is fired/forced out before Churchill. Moreover, the differences between the two are more extensive. Churchill is a buffoon and a fraud. Summers is not.
Posted at 03:20 PM
INDICTMENT-- ABU ALI [K. J. Lopez]
From a DOJ release:
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A Virginia man arrested in Saudi Arabia nearly two years ago has been returned to the United States to face charges of providing material support to al Qaeda, a designated foreign terrorist organization, the Department of Justice announced today.Here's the indictment.
Posted at 03:16 PM
WHY WOULD STARVATION BE “TERRIBLE”? [K. J. Lopez ]
I have more than one e-mail from readers objecting to my characterization of the earlier Schiavo news (pre court stay). The gist of the e-mails: What about her quality of life? Why should everyone (family, etc.) have to suffer when she’s clearly not getting any better?
Because her parents and siblings are willing to take all responsibility for her, this woman who has shown signs of response to nurses, her family, and others (and there are doctors willing to try to help her). Because with stories like this, one cannot help but have hope for her. Because if we cannot manage to protecting the lives of the most vulnerable among us, how civilized can we consider ourselves?
(If you’re new to the case, here’s some background.)
Posted at 03:02 PM
RE: SCHIAVO [K. J. Lopez]
an emergency stay has been issued (which expires at 5 p.m. Wed.) by an appeals court.
Posted at 02:53 PM
SOMEWHAT UNEXPECTED... [Rich Lowry ]
...e-mail about my Negroponte column, from a mainstream journalist who covered Central America during the 1980's for a major news organization:
Your piece on John Negroponte in Honduras is accurate and well-informed. He is a good man.
Posted at 02:45 PM
HILLARY'S "POSITIONING" [Jonah Goldberg]
I think the way the media discusses Hillary Clinton is just astounding. Every time she makes a hawkish utterance or expresses a vaguely pro-lifish sentiment, her friends in the media immediately talk about how she's brilliantly "positioned" herself.
Here's one typical example from this weekend's Meet the Press:
I keep seeing this sort of commentary everywhere, every time she says something moderate. What is so amazing is that even mainstream journalists cannot bring themselves to even pay lipservice to the idea that Hillary is actually expressing her feelings or convictions on these issues. I'm not saying she isn't, but if I were her press people I'd be mighty peeved that no one says "Hillary is a moderate." They all say Hillary is "positioning herself as a moderate."
Posted at 02:30 PM
WALTER REED [Rich Lowry ]
I've been out of pocket for a while, so never got a chance to write about our visit to Walter Reed hospital. I don't have much to add to the excellent things Kathryn and John Hillen wrote about it. But, for the record, I just want to say how awe-inspiring these guys are, and how wrenching it is to see the sacrifices that they have made. I talked for a while to a guy who had gotten hit twice. The first time was a minor shrapnel wound from a mortar attack. He had been buried deep in a bunker, but still had gotten hit, prompting jokes from his buddies, “Next time, duck.” His response was, “Hey, all I was doing was ducking.” His second injury was much, much more serious. He was manning the 50-caliber gun on an armored vehicle--sorry, I had never heard of it and now don't quite remember what it was--when a roadside bomb exploded. He was hit in the head. He was temporarily blinded and went deaf. A comrade pulled him to safety inside a Stryker, which then barreled down the road at high speed to get him to medical help. His sight began to come back and he remembers being loaded onto a helicopter and looking at the sky. Then he fell into a coma for 9 days. His brain swelled to--I believe he told us--twice its size. Part of his skull was removed to relieve the pressure. That fragment of his skull is still stitched into his stomach, for preservation. He has had countless surgeries and faces more. He recently had to decide whether or not to get a certain nerve cut: If he did, he would lose forever the sense of taste on the left side of his mouth. If he didn't, the left side of his mouth would always taste like metal. But his spirits seemed good. He loves talking to the guys in his unit back in Iraq whenever he gets a chance. He has a strong religious faith. At the open house, he was looking for a girl he had talked to there before. He wasn't the least bit hesitant talking about his experience. He said he doesn't have many dreams anymore, but that when he does it's about his injury. He said at one point, “The one thing I've learned is that you don't want to be in a coma very long.” He says he gets flashbacks from his coma, weird distorted memories that must have some connection to reality. The hospital rooms will come back to him. Or he'll remember being caught in a nightmare, trying to run from a doctor in a surgical mask--probably a vague recollection of being strapped down and thrashing around as often happens to patients with brain injuries. He said, of his coma, or his memories of it, “I've never been so terrified in my life.” I talked to a friend afterward and we both agreed that these were the most chilling things he told us. He will live with his injuries and these memories the rest of his life. And he is just one guy--multiply the sacrifice he has made, and the burden he has taken on, by several thousand and you get some sense of the price we have paid in Iraq. We should always, always be mindful of that.
Posted at 02:16 PM
HILLARY'S CREDS [K. J. Lopez]
Beltway Buzz passes along the new National Journal ratings. Worth noting that my junior senator, Mrs. Clinton, is in Russ Feingold territory in terms of having a liberal voting record (moderately more liberal, actually--80.7 vs. 80.2).
Posted at 01:35 PM
TERRIBLE NEWS [K. J. Lopez]
DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida appeals court has cleared the way for the husband of a severely brain-damaged woman to remove the feeding tube that has been keeping her alive for 15 years.
Posted at 01:32 PM
THE U.N. AND CLONING, ONE LAST TIME [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Bradford Short responds to Julian Ku. I think at this point the disagreement is pretty narrow.
Posted at 01:20 PM
TERRI SCHIAVO [K. J. Lopez]
Her husband is believed to be poised to begin the starvation process today. What a terrible end that would be.
Posted at 12:59 PM
THE BIRDS AND THE BEES AND THE PLANNED PARENTHOOD CREED [K. J. Lopez ]
From the Philly Inquirer (a few days back):
My 9-year-old son overheard my friend telling me about her situation, and he was worried on her behalf. Days later, when I reported my friend's good news - everything looks healthy - to my son, he replied, "Good, then she doesn't have to have an abortion. I mean, if she'd had to have one, that would have been fine, but it's not a good thing."
Posted at 12:31 PM
"ET TU, WEADIE" [Rod Dreher]
the title of today's Dallas Morning News commentary on the dishonorable Doug Wead's selling out of his friend and his personal honor.
The tapes tell us little new about the character of the president, but they speak volumes about the character of Doug Wead. He's a former Pentecostal minister, so surely he was taught that it profits a man nothing to sell his soul, even to gain the world. Alas for poor Weadie, who settled for the front page of the Times!
Posted at 12:28 PM
FROM THE MOUTH OF A BABE? [K. J. Lopez]
Couldn't help but notice this from the Paris Hilton story in the NYPost today: One of her notes-to-self that was hacked into said "Get birth control kill pill." In some odd way, perhaps we think alike.
Posted at 11:29 AM
“NO ONE KNOWS HOW MANY WOMEN ARE BURIED OUT THERE.” [K. J. Lopez ]
A disturbing reflection on “honor” killings from Saudi Arabia.
Posted at 11:28 AM
PROOF [K. J. Lopez ]
(here) that He’s Not That Into You will remain a bestseller for some time to come.
Posted at 11:26 AM
CONDI AS SHE-RA [K. J. Lopez ]
Secretary Rice, the action figure.
Actually, I have a Barbie in my office—courtesy of the White House Project, dedicated to electing a woman president (they so didn’t know who they were dealing with)--which most passers-by presume is Condi.
Posted at 11:14 AM
RE: FUNDGATE [Jonah Goldberg]
Re my comment that it might have reflected John's respect for "property rights," I wasn't questioning his fealty to Lockean principles. Nevertheless, I should have included more forcefully the more logical possibility that this was a misunderstanding. My apologies to John.
Posted at 11:11 AM
“FUNDGATE" (!) [K. J. Lopez]
John Fund e-mails about that CPAC incident:
I appreciate a practical joke as much as the next person, but not when the one played on me at CPAC threatens to spread around the blogosphere and the joke takes on elements of an urban legend.
Posted at 11:01 AM
ON FOXNEWS.COM [K. J. Lopez]
"U.S. Citizen Charged in Plot to Kill President Bush" [Update: More here.]
Posted at 10:57 AM
BLOGOTRY CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
This represents a considerable fraction of emailers. From a reader:
Let me say first that I'm not a blogger.I am a huge consumer of news and opinion. What still gripes me about the MSM writers, is their condescending attitude, when they describe the Bloggers as 'biased'. Keller wants us to think that the MSM has no bias or prejudice. Baloney. The fact is, that every blogger I read, has some kind of baggage, or some agenda or something that he's flogging. Great. I know this going in ,and I read accordingly. The marvelous thing that I find about the blogs, is that it all levels out. There are enough opinions that you can quickly get a good 'average'. The MSM used to be the only source for news reporting and opinion, and that was what you had to pick from. I know now what slim pickings they were. The blogs also have a sort of 'self-righting' quality, that seems to keep things on an even keel. If you read some egregious comment at 8 am, usually by noon, it's been totally sliced and diced, beaten with a clue bat and reduced to a pile of what it was to start with. The MSM is totally incapable of this sort of stuff. The MSM projects the attitude, " We are the authority, we know everything, and that's all you need to know". With only a very few exceptions, who shall remain nameless, I don't find that attitude among the blogs. I do find the attitude that " I know a guy, who knows a guy..." The MSM tries to palm themselves off as experts. More baloney. The bloggers, thousands and thousands of them and their readers millions and millions, are the real experts.
Posted at 10:31 AM
MORE PRYOR [K. J. Lopez]
I should have noted again the Birmingham News edit, too, especially because it comes from a more liberal edit page:
Perhaps it's fair enough to argue that Pryor has an incentive to temper his behavior while he is awaiting Senate approval. But to buy that, you'd have to disregard the rest of his legal career, which is wholly consistent with his actions as part of the 11th Circuit.
Posted at 10:28 AM
THIS JUST IN: SUPREME COURT & ASSISTED SUICIDE [K. J. Lopez]
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to consider a Bush administration bid to block Oregon's first-in-the- nation law permitting doctor-assisted suicide.
Posted at 10:26 AM
RE: AMBER'S EGGS [K. J. Lopez ]
I wonder if Amber was told that egg “donation” would basically just be ”really bad PMS.''
Posted at 10:22 AM
“ODD JOBS” FOR COLLEGE GALS [K. J. Lopez ]
Amber at the University of Oklahoma got $3,500 for her eggs: “I wouldn't consider any child to come from the eggs as my own child unless I carried it to term myself,” she said. “I also felt great for helping couples who couldn't have a child on their own.”
Posted at 10:21 AM
IS THIS GOOD ENOUGH? [K. J. Lopez]
I dunno. An e-mail: "K-Lo. No offense to all you New Yorkers, but a favorable rating in NY is tantamount to an unfavorable rating in flyover country. In other words, the more New Yorkers like [Hillary], the more the rest of the country dislikes her. Works for me."
Posted at 10:20 AM
TV [NRO Staff]
John J. Miller be on MSNBC for a segment in the noon hour on Bush in Europe.
Posted at 10:20 AM
RE: SUMMERS [Stanley Kurtz]
This Summers thing is huge. It's becoming impossible for him to govern Harvard, but equally impossible to fire him for fear of setting the ultimate public example of political correctness. Today's front page WaPo story is disturbing. It says that even Summers's agree that he made a "major blunder" by even raising the questions he did. That is not how to defend free exchange in the academy. I said the other day that Summers' remarks on affirmative action were what really set his opponents in motion. Now that's confirmed on the op-ed page of today's Post by Eugene Robinson. I still say the Summers affair is going well. It has put political correctness in the academy back on the front pages. Every day, it proves that even raising reasonable questions about un-pc subjects is taboo in the academy. And if Summers can't break the taboos, you can imagine how impossible it is for a grad student, or an untenured faculty member to do it.
Posted at 10:16 AM
RE: GROUNDHOG DAY [K. J. Lopez]
We could have easily re-run the Groundhog Day cover for our Valentine's Day issue, in other words.
Posted at 09:54 AM
RE: PRYOR [K. J. Lopez ]
Jon Adler linked to this Mobile Register editorial yesterday (scroll down--there was Corner actitivity yesterday--if you were offline) that bears re-highlighting in case you missed it.
There is no reason Pryor should have to go through another hearing. He was qualified last time he went through hearings. He is qualified now—and with a year on the bench, has an even firmer record to make that clear. And not because he has come down with “progressive” decisions. He, uh, upholds the law. (What a concept.) Like a judge does. And can still believe Roe is an abomination.
Let me direct you to an earlier Byron York piece for a reminder about Pryor's record in Alabama:
Pryor chose the latter. "I have a record as attorney general that is separate from my personal beliefs," he told Hatch. "I am able to put aside personal beliefs and follow the law, even when I strongly disagree with it." On abortion, Pryor argued that, despite his personal opposition, he had ordered Alabama's district attorneys to take "the narrowest construction available" of the state's newly passed partial-birth-abortion ban. Pryor told the committee that he believed Supreme Court precedent, specifically the Casey decision, dictated a more moderate reading of the law than the aggressive stance favored by some pro-life groups in Alabama. "Look at my record," he told the committee. "I have done my duty."Senate Democrats already wrongly filibustered Pryor. If the expectation is that they are going to again, why give them another hearing show-trial opportunity (where they can get back to the really big relevant questions—like Pryor family vacation choices)?
Posted at 09:51 AM
GROUNDHOG DAY [Jonah Goldberg]
Every couple of days I get an email along these lines:
I saw the movie Groundhog Day for the first time over the weekend. I used to avoid it, but was interested in seeing it after the mentions of it on NRO and your piece in NRODT.
I do not want to start another GHD thread in here. But let me just say this once so I can have a link to send to readers in the future. The spell doesn't end because Murray and McDowell have sex. They don't even have sex. They merely fall asleep together, a point made explicit by McDowell when they wake up in the morning. Second, as a reader pointed out to be the other week, the first sign that the GHD spell is broken is not when Murray wakes up on a new day. It comes the night before when it snows unexpectedly while McDowell and Murray are mooning over each other after he makes an ice-sculpture of her. Not to get too sappy, but it was love, not sex, which broke the spell.
Now in the porn spinoff Groundho's Day, sex does have redemptive power...
Posted at 09:33 AM
BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID [K. J. Lopez ]
Hillary Clinton is popular in NYS:
Her progress appealing to once skeptical New Yorkers was illuminated by a New York Times poll released last week that showed that 21 percent of New Yorkers had an unfavorable opinion of how she is handling her job, down significantly from the 29 percent of voters who expressed similar sentiments in October 2002.
Posted at 09:33 AM
RE: VENNOCHI ON ROMNEY [K. J. Lopez ]
I’m not so sure losing in Mass. is a national killer, by the way: "I was too conservative for Massachusetts" beats the Kerry alternative--and helps his “moderate” perception problems in red states.
For the moment, though, it's good to have him there...fighting the good fight on cloning, for one thing.
Posted at 09:33 AM
OR DOES HE? [K. J. Lopez ]
Liberal Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi speculates that Romney may not run for reelection.
Posted at 09:32 AM
ROMNEY DOES S.C. [K. J. Lopez ]
The blue stater was well-received last night in Spartanburg. Talked war on terror, “the sanctity of human life," (he’ll have to elaborate on more specifics on that point in the future) marriage, and more. A stump speech? He has to win reelection first. But a good stump speech—especially in a red state.
Posted at 09:32 AM
IF MOONBATS CAN BLOG. . . [Steve Hayward]
. . . why not the Moonbeam? Jerry Brown has started his own blog.
Posted at 09:30 AM
RYAN SAGER ON CPAC, CTD. [Ramesh Ponnuru]
In his latest post, he offers examples of religious extremism and intolerance at CPAC. "1) I couldn’t count on all my fingers and all my toes how many times speakers said either directly or indirectly that God had chosen George W. Bush as president. . . . 2) There was plenty of rhetoric about how God should be front and center in our civic and political cultures. 3) There was plenty of ranting about 'Will & Grace' and other immoral popular culture." I have to say that none of this strikes me as particularly extreme; it would depend on how these things were said. But since Sager was at CPAC and I wasn't, I'll defer to his sense of its overall tone.
Obviously, our disagreement goes beyond CPAC. Sager thinks that the Republican party's reputation for intolerance is an electoral liability. It alienates swing voters. "It seems to me that there was a huge chunk of the electorate that, under different circumstances (i.e. no War on Terror), would have voted for Kerry over Bush without batting an eye. These were people who were disgusted with runaway spending, disgusted with the Republican fear-mongering regarding gays and none-too-impressed with the rest of the Bush presidency. . . . Given a slightly better Democratic candidate, or given less concern about terrorism, the Republicans would have lost the presidency this time around. And there’s no reason to think that with a credible Democrat on the top of the ticket in 2008 -- and even Hillary Clinton is busy fashioning herself into a strong-on-defense moderate -- that the Democrats won’t win big."
Let me start off my response by saying that I think libertarians are right about the proper functions of the federal government 90 percent of the time. I would certainly like for there to be a lot fewer federal programs. What follows is my take on the electorate we have, not the one we might wish for.
Most sets of positions on contested political issues bring advantages and liabilities to the party that holds them. It is certainly true that social conservative positions--and the attitudes these positions are perceived to signify--alienate some voters. (I'm going to set aside illegal immigration, which Sager mentions but doesn't quite fit in with the social conservative vs. libertarian divide.) But they also bring in voters. The same can be said of opposition to big government: It too appeals to some voters and alienates others (at least when it's put in terms of opposition to specific government interventions).
I think at this point we have quite a lot of evidence, however, that the social issues are net winners of votes and the size of government issues net losers.
--Republicans' biggest setbacks over the last decade occurred in 1995-96, when they were associated, fairly or unfairly, with anti-government extremism rather than social-conservative extremism--and particularly with hostility to Medicare.
--Bush seems to have strengthened the party partly by giving ground on the size-of-government issues but not on the moral ones.
--In 2004, which issue set was Bush most defensive about and which was he most aggressive about? During the debates, he seemed much happier to talk about abortion and even stem-cell research than about outsourcing, the minimum wage, or prescription drugs. I think his relative enthusiasm for these issues reflects basic political facts on the ground, not something specific to his philosophy or record.
--Over the last two presidential races, the Democrats have acted as though the social issues were more damaging to them than the economic ones, too.
--What are the issues Hillary Clinton is "moderating" on? The war; abortion; the role of faith in public life. She's not moderating on size of government issues.
By the end of his post, Sager is tacitly conceding that many swing voters in Ohio--I would add Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Minnesota, among others--are attracted to the Republican party because of its social conservatism. When "swing voters" aren't just a media abstraction--when parties are actually competing for them--they don't turn out to be social liberals who want less spending. They are much more likely to be socially conservative union members and blue-collar hunters.
If you want some of conservatism's libertarian elements to be strengthened--and I join Sager in wanting this--getting a clear view of our actual political circumstances is a prerequisite. Sager's a smart guy, but I think that his political prescriptions reflect wishful thinking on his part.
Posted at 09:24 AM
BLOGOTRY [Jonah Goldberg]
Glenn Reynolds fairly zings me for quoting Drezner out of context. I guess I focused too much on the phrase "anti-blogger jerk" a label which Drezner goes on to partially absolve Keller of. What resonated with me was the phrase itself, as if this is a category in its own right, like "anti-Dentite bastard" from Seinfeld.
Regardless, my apologies to Dan for the larger misreading.
Also, Tim Graham made a good point to me around the virtual water-cooler. The best part is Keller's assertion that blogs don't question the prejudices of their readers enough. That may be true. But Mr. Pot might like to meet Mr. Kettle.
Posted at 09:24 AM
60 YEARS AGO [K. J. Lopez ]
Arthur Herman on the lessons of Iwo Jima:
Yet even this valor and sacrifice is not the full story of what Iwo Jima means, or what Rosenthal's immortal photograph truly symbolizes. The lesson of Iwo Jima is in fact an ancient one, going back to Machiavelli: that sometimes free societies must be as tough and unrelenting as their enemies. Totalitarians test their opponents by generating extreme conditions of brutality and violence; in those conditions--in the streets and beheadings of Fallujah or on the beach and in the bunkers of Iwo Jima--they believe weak democratic nerves will crack. This in turn demonstrates their moral superiority: that by giving up their own decency and humanity they have become stronger than those who have not.
Posted at 09:18 AM
THE SOCIAL SECURITY TOUR [K. J. Lopez ]
Cong. Paul Ryan goes on the road for the sell.
Posted at 09:16 AM
COLOR ME SKEPTICAL [K. J. Lopez]
I am very nervous for Bill Pryor and William Haynes. Read Byron on the GOP judge strategy.
Sigh. We won the election, right? Do we have to act like we didn't?
Posted at 09:12 AM
BLOGOTRY! [Jonah Goldberg ]
A reader (Bud from Texas) refers to the New York Times' attitude toward blogs as blogotry. I like it. I googled it and found a single site mentioning the word here.. I predict that by the end of the year, there will be thousands of pages using the word.
Posted at 09:11 AM
SCIENCE JOKE [John Derbyshire]
A joke picked up from a human-sciences e-list:
At a meeting with the board of Harvard University, Larry Summers performed a lengthy self-ctiticism, followed by his 47th groveling apology. As the meeting was being concluded, however, he was heard to mutter: "Eppur si muove."
Posted at 09:09 AM
NOW THAT’S A TESTIMONIAL! [Jack Fowler]
This e-mail from David S. of Georgia is--well, just read it:
I'll have to admit to being annoyed more than once for your persistent pitches in The Corner for various NR books. But I gave in and bought the Bedtime Stories volume in late December, and it has been nothing short of terrific. This is the first "chapter book" that I have read to my oldest son, a five-year-old, and so I was unsure if he'd be interested.David, you’ve made our month--we’re warm and fuzzy knowing that NR’s acclaimed kids books are doing precisely what we hoped they would! And you can get The National Review Treasury of Classic Bedtime Stories (Did I mention it’s FREE?! Did I mention L. Frank Baum’s classic tale, Queen Zixi of Ix, is FREE too?!) during NR’s special children’s book sale. Order here.
Posted at 09:02 AM
SICK [Tim Graham]
Soviet nostalgia is back in Russia, complete with a restaurant celebrating KGB killers.
Posted at 09:01 AM
A POLITICAL SUICIDE? [Tim Graham]
In today's Washington Times, reporter Stephanie Mansfield finds Hunter S. Thompson, "vehement" in his opposition to President Bush, committed suicide over the "state of society," according to a dear friend who is also...the foreign editor of NPR. The NPR editor, Loren Jenkins, exclaims that Thompson was like Mark Twain, if Twain had discovered acid.
The countercultural affinities of the liberal media are there for all to see, as they celebrate Thompson and seemingly don't find any politics in him. The Washington Post's Henry Allen concludes his appreciation that perhaps through the "forbidding scowl of post-9/11 America," we can find that Thompson was a great American. I'd love to see some vintage NR reviews to counter the laudatory trend.
Posted at 09:00 AM
CHARLOTTE SIMMONS UNMASKED [John Derbyshire]
We have some very intelligent readers who come up with very interesting ideas. Here's one of the best from the last few days:
"Mr. Derbyshire---Based on your review and because I now have a daughter in college I picked up and have just finished reading I Am Charlotte Simmons. It occurred to me that there were some slight character parallels, perhaps echoes, from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
"According to my thinking they are as follows:
"Quasimodo (Pope of Fools) ---- Jojo
"Archdeacon Claude Frollo --- Buster Roth for one facet of his personality (the adoptive father) , Prof. Quat for another(the twisted moralist) and Prof. Starling for yet another ( the alchemist)
"Jehan Frollo --- Hoyt Thorpe
"Esmerelda --- Charlotte Simmons
"Pierre Gringoire --- Adam Gellin
"Fleur-de-Lys de Gondelaurier --- Beverly
"Phoebus de Chateaupers --- Vance
"Perhaps you havent read Hunchback since prep school, but still I hope you find this idea of some interest.
"Sincerely -- [Name]"
I love this kind of thing. I reread Hunchback 6-7 yrs ago, when my kids were little & the Disney version came out. I saw the Disney thing, thought: "I don't recall it being ANYTHING like that," went & reread the book, & was pleased to find it the same sinister riot of sadism, necrophilia, gratuitous violence & soft porn that I remembered so fondly from my adolescence. Should be sold in a brown paper bag.
Posted at 08:58 AM
“FREE MOJTABA AND ARASH DAY” [K. J. Lopez ]
Blogging for Iranians.
Posted at 08:56 AM
THE UN AND CLONING, CTD. [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Bradford Short and Julian Ku continue the conversation.
Posted at 08:51 AM
RE: BLOG BIGOTRY [K. J. Lopez]
The reaction to that Fund thing sounds ridiculous (though I only know of it what I've read on that link Jonah provided).
But call me a knee-jerk NYTimes hater: I just can't get beyond laughing at Bill Keller--the very description of blogs as "online writing that blurs news and commentary." I'm sure he didn't mean to simply distinguish blogs from NYTimes front-page dead-tree "writing that blurs news and commentary."
That said, looking at the Fund nonsense, I see and am reminded of the Sean Hannity "Freeper" episode. And here I am again warm to Jonah's rant. Folks are upset that Hannity evidently called his website a "blog" (how dare he!) and critcized Free Republic (how dare he criticize a conservative website!). Just because a dude is "MSM" and makes a criticism here and there of a "blog"/website (is Free Republic a "blog" either?) doesn't thereby make him the enemy of the blogosphere. It's certainly debatable whether or not you think the Hannity website offers anything for you, but it does have some personality--beyond selling Hannity t-shirts. Does that make it a blog? I dunno. Seems to me like blog is still a developing word. (A little like his site, I might add.) You may not find it worth your time, but he doesn't have to have an official membership card, either (as Hugh Hewitt points out in his book on the topic, Blog, there are over four million blogs out there of all shapes and sizes--they obviously don't all look like InstaPundit). And describe Hannity as "clueless" re: new media, especially on the Internet, is ridiculous (just listen to his show most days and see who he is directing people too--not every A1 NYTimes piece).
So, yes, blogs are a great and useful thing. But--I think this sums up what Jonah was saying, too--chill a little.
Posted at 08:34 AM
HHMMM [K. J. Lopez]
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Shiite Iraqi alliance officials say Ahmad Chalabi drops his bid to be next prime minister of Iraq.
Posted at 08:08 AM
A BOBBIT'S TALE [Jonah Goldberg]
In Alaska a woman takes a kitchen knife and....
Posted at 07:12 AM
JAPANESE TIMEWASTER [Jonah Goldberg]
Would it be trafficking in stereotypes if I called this inscrutable?
Posted at 07:06 AM
BEING ANTI-BLOG ISN'T BIGOTRY [Jonah Goldberg ]
I hope I'm not stepping in it too badly here, but I think it's time to remind some people that bloggers aren't a race or a religion. For some it may be a way of life or a creed or some such. But that may be part of the problem. I think it started with the Pajama thing. Maybe I took offense for that remark for different reasons than others did. I thought it was bad because it was a way of arrogantly deflecting the problems at CBS by attacking the accusers who had the facts on their side. But it increasingly seems that bloggers, as a group, don't like criticism period. This is a gross generalization about a sentiment more than absolute declaration of fact. But I get more and more email from bloggers -- or devout blog readers -- in which the correspondents make it sounds as if criticizing the medium is entirely illegitimate and almost immoral.
Consider two posts from over the weekend. The first is about the already-noted Bill Keller anti-blog comments. Keller, the executive editor of the New York Times said:
Keller also sees “blogging,” or online writing that blurs news and commentary, as a mixed blessing. While he celebrated the blogger’s ability to uncover breaking news, he noted that a blog’s inherent bias might be detrimental to the reader. “A blog is still a view of the world through a pinhole,” he said, noting that it can sometimes fall as low as being a “one man circle jerk.”
To which the excellent blogger (and political scientist) Dan Drezner responded "Wow, sounds like this Keller guy is a bit of an anti-blog jerk."
Or consider this odd story about John Fund allegedly using bloggers' laptops at C-Pac without permission. I don't completely understand or care what the details were. But it seems that Fund just sat down at someone's unused computer and started tapping away.
Here's how Kevin McCullogh -- another fine blogger and radio host -- responded:
What this is - is a total and complete disrespect for the medium of blogging. It is the actions of the self-superior "big media" journalists (be they on our side even) steam rolling over the pajamaboys and pajamagirls and not caring one ounce about the end result.
Uh...maybe. Maybe this doesn't say very much about Fund's respect for bloggers and says more about his respect for property. I don't know what was in John's mind, but is it really so inconceivable that he might have done the same thing with a print reporter's laptop too? I mean, I personally could imagine Fund -- or a lot of other people -- borrowing someone's idle computer at a big press-area, like at the political conventions. If he used a print reporters computer would we assume that he was showing complete disrespect for the printed word?
Similarly, Keller may or may not be a jerk (though he is a widely liked guy). He certainly sounds more than a bit smug in his comments. But Drezner seems to be suggesting that being anti-blog can ipso facto make you a jerk. I think TV news is inherently inferior to written news -- be it online or off -- and I've said so many times. But I don't know many TV producers or reporters who would consider me a jerk simply for those views.
Blogging is a medium not a caste. I think it's a very exciting and important one. But if bloggers want to be taken more seriously they might want to become a little bit less defensive. Maybe I just don't get it, but there's something about all of this which reminds of the Seinfeld where everybody calls Jerry an anti-Dentite because he doesn't like dentists.
Posted at 07:03 AM
CHURCHILL LIED [Jonah Goldberg]
University of Colorado officials rushed to award tenure to Ward Churchill in 1991, thinking he had been offered a full professorship in American Indian studies at a California university.
Posted at 06:30 AM
SUMMERTIME SUPREME COURT HEARINGS? [K. J. Lopez]
Guess is Rehnquist is trying to serve out his term, which ends in June.
Posted at 04:27 AM
BED-TIME FOR GONZO [Rick Brookhiser]
Hunter Thompson was the druggie Jerry Lewis, trying soo hard to be funny. His Colorado home, from which he made late night phone calls to his movie star friends, was his Sands Casino.
On a point of craft, I once compared how three writers handled an arcane maneuver at the 1972 Democratic Convention. The McGovern forces had to win a procedural point by losing a substantive vote; such was their discipline that they succeeded. NR's James Jackson Kilpatrick explained the paradox in a paragraph. Theodore White, in The Making of the President 1972, took six pages. Hunter Thompson, in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 1972, took 22 pages, and didn't explain it all that well. They weren't funny either.
Posted at 01:11 AM
Monday, February 21, 2005
ST. PAJAMA [John J. Miller]
We Papists already have a patron saint of the Internet. Should we now petition for a patron saint of blogging?
Posted at 08:57 PM
TROUBLING [Andrew Stuttaford]
Marmite “a vegan alternative”.
Posted at 05:49 PM
RE: THE POPE AND THE BLOGS [K. J. Lopez]
Here I thought Jonah had confirmation PJPII read The Corner.
Posted at 05:47 PM
WEEKEND LAUGH LINES [Tim Graham]
Clarence Page on the Chris Matthews Show: "I’ve been saying on this show for weeks that, that, that Hillary Clinton is the woman to beat for the nomination and she is making sure that she's gonna be even harder to beat. For all the talk about her moving to the center; she was always there. I mean, the conservatives have always tried to make the Clintons appear to be more to the left than they really are because it makes them a more convenient target. But her current position...remember, remember, faith-based organizations started with Al Gore. It didn't start with George W. Bush."
Posted at 05:46 PM
UN, CLONING - AND THE EU [Andrew Stuttaford]
Ramesh, Kathryn, I read Bradford Short’s fair-minded post with great interest, even if I’m not convinced by his arguments for a number of reasons, mainly revolving around the general importance of doing as little as possible to boost (or acknowledge) the authority (legal or moral) of the UN as it now stands. I was particularly intrigued, however, by what he had to say about German diplomats and the Belgians lobbying against that UN vote.
There are some who might see this as a contrast with what is being done at the European level. Both Belgium and Germany are currently pushing hard to secure ratification of the EU’s draft ‘constitution’ across Europe. If I have understood it correctly (and it’s difficult read any part of that enormous and indigestible document without nausea, exhaustion and troubling suicidal urges), Article II-63 includes an express ban on “the reproductive cloning of human beings.” EU law generally trumps national law, and so if the EU constitution really does come into force that particular type of cloning would be prohibited throughout the EU, regardless of any skullduggery at the UN.
So far as I am aware, however, the draft EU constitution has nothing to say about therapeutic cloning, and that may be the crucial distinction for those wily diplomats.
Posted at 05:44 PM
THE POPE AND THE BLOGS [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader send this:
Dear Mr. Goldberg,
Posted at 04:48 PM
"ON THE ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE" [K. J. Lopez]
Mitt Romney is speaking in South Carolina tonight and C-SPAN will air it as part of their '08 series.
Posted at 04:35 PM
REP. HINCHEY'S CONSPIRACY THEORY [K. J. Lopez]
I'm just hardpressed to give this guy more attention then he's already getting, why I've not yet posted anything about his Rove-Rather theory.
Posted at 04:27 PM
PUNITIVE POLITICAL PRAYER [K. J. Lopez]
The opening prayer in the Virginia House of Delegates Friday was led by a lesbian minister who prayed against those who presumably are against same-sex unions:
"Holy One, convict those who are using their power not to lead or to guide, but to harm gay and lesbian citizens, a small minority within this commonwealth," she said Friday. "We need to be reminded of what unites us, not pitted against one another. A house divided, you have warned us, cannot stand."
Posted at 04:18 PM
IRAN, SYRIA, DEMOCRACY... [K. J. Lopez]
President Bush is supposedly on an apology-crawl visit to Europe, but he sounds like a pretty cool and confident leader, here in Belgium.
And then there was his cowboy Chirac moment...
Posted at 04:07 PM
MORE SCOTT RITTER [K. J. Lopez]
Writing for al Jazeera
Posted at 03:54 PM
"FACT OBSESSED BLOGGERS" VIA COMEDY CENTRAL [Jim Boulet]
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" on "'Fact' Obsessed Bloggers" (4 1/2 minute multimedia clip with a required ad to view first, works poorly on dial up connections). Partial transcript:
Stephen Colbert, Senior Media Correspondent: "I draw the line with these 'attack bloggers.' Just someone with a computer who gathers, collates and publishes accurate information that is then read by the general public. They have no credibility. All they have is facts. Spare me."
Posted at 03:41 PM
"I WILL NOT BE IGNORED" [K. J. Lopez]
Susan Estrich's Fatal Attraction moment.
Posted at 03:21 PM
SCOTT RITTER'S STILL OUT THERE [K. J. Lopez]
He claims we're attacking Iran in June.
Posted at 02:56 PM
TIMEWASTER [K. J. Lopez]
Posted at 02:51 PM
RE: THE WEAD TAPES [K. J. Lopez]
Mickey Kaus: The treachery is that Doug Wead waited until after the election..."[A] nother round of explosive front-page revelations from secretly recorded phone conversations like today's and Bush's approval will hit 70 percent. ... "
Posted at 02:38 PM
LOL [K. J. Lopez ]
NYTimes Exec Editor Bill Keller speaking on blogs and the MSM:
“At the moment,” he said, “the major press is under attack from ideologues on the right and left.” Keller also sees “blogging,” or online writing that blurs news and commentary, as a mixed blessing. While he celebrated the blogger’s ability to uncover breaking news, he noted that a blog’s inherent bias might be detrimental to the reader. “A blog is still a view of the world through a pinhole,” he said, noting that it can sometimes fall as low as being a “one man circle jerk.” “There is a pressure to feel well informed without ever confronting an opinion that confronts your prejudices,” he said of blog readers.
Posted at 02:22 PM
MULLAHS UNPLUG & PUNISH [K. J. Lopez ]
BBC: “Iran is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to keep an online diary.”
Posted at 02:21 PM
DEATH AND LIFE [K. J. Lopez ]
Ultimately, experimenting on and creating and destroying human embryos may help humans conceive, the San Fran Chronicle reports. Infertility is an awful pain for couples to bear, but yet, am I alone in seeing this all as somewhat perverse?
Posted at 02:20 PM
AN ANTI-SYRIA RALLY [K. J. Lopez ]
Posted at 02:19 PM
SUNNIS [K. J. Lopez ]
Some potentially good Iraq news.
Posted at 02:19 PM
FIGHTING FOR WASHINGTON'S DAY [K. J. Lopez]
A California lawyer tries his best.
Posted at 01:53 PM
WHERE ARE THE WOMEN INTELLECTUALS? [K. J. Lopez]
Charlotte Allen says feminism has done women in.
Posted at 01:32 PM
JOHN DERBYSHIRE, MEET HOMER SIMPSON [Jim Boulet]
Via the New York Times: "'The Simpsons' has been featured ... in a mathematical course to explore topics like calculus and Riemannian geometry."
A Simpsons = math episode index is here.
Posted at 01:22 PM
OUT OF AFRICA [Mark Krikorian]
A story on increasing African immigration in today's NY Times helps illuminate black Americans' conflicted views on the issue. On the one hand, many black intellectuals view mass immigration as payback: "Basically, people are coming to reclaim the wealth that's been taken from their countries," said the director of one black research group. This view has helped Hispanic groups, in particular, to dupe blacks into supporting open borders. On the other hand, the concern lingers (certainly among ordinary black Americans) that, as one scholar says, "Historically, every immigrant group has jumped over American-born blacks. The final irony would be if African immigrants did, too." Politically, immigration restriction will become politically unstoppable when an articulate, sober black political figure takes it up, as did every prominent black figure in American history.
Posted at 12:24 PM
TOM HIBBS [K. J. Lopez]
is watching 24.
Posted at 12:18 PM
RYAN SAGER ON CPAC [Ramesh Ponnuru]
He says that "conservatism can't survive by religious extremism and tax cuts alone." (The "religious extremism" seems to consist of opposition to same-sex marriage.) He wishes that the CPACers had been more libertarian and suggests that the lack of libertarianism "threatens to undo Republican gains in the long term." I'm certainly all for friendliness and alliance between conservatives and libertarians where possible. But of course it's not as though libertarians are always respectful of conservatives. Some of them are awfully quick with the "religious extremist" tag, for example. If conservatives brush off libertarians more often--and I'm not sure that they do--that may reflect the simple fact that conservatives have a stronger position within the Republican coalition. If Sager's got any evidence or even an argument that the party's political success requires increased libertarianism, I'm sure a lot of people would be interested in hearing it.
Posted at 11:57 AM
OOPS, THEY DID IT AGAIN! [Mark Krikorian]
In the wake of the Mexican Foreign Ministry's how-to guide for illegal immigrants, the government of the southern Mexican state of Yucatan has just published a similar guide (with a DVD, to boot!).
Posted at 11:44 AM
ANOTHER UN SCANDAL [Mark Krikorian]
Re: Ruud Lubbers, the UN High Commission for Refugees, who announced Sunday that UN Secretary General Kofi Annan forced him to resign because of charges of sexual harassment. I have no idea whether the charges are true, but this sure likes like Annan throwing someone to the sharks in order to deflect attention from the growing Oil-for-Graft scandal and child rapes by UN peacekeepers in the Congo.
Posted at 11:43 AM
TALLY HO! [John Derbyshire]
A reader reminds me of the best case yet put FOR fox-hunting.
Posted at 11:42 AM
TWAIN, KIPLING, ALOTT, BAUM, BURGESS--THE GANG’S ALL HERE! [Jack Fowler]
NR’s kids books have been justly acclaimed for being wholesome collections of the best writers and the best stories. Our titles are exactly the kind of books that should be in every home. That’s why we have this special promotion, where you’ll get two books--The National Review Treasury of Classic Bedtime Stories and Queen Zixi of Ix--FREE and postpaid when you buy (for just $29.95) volume two of The National Review Treasury of Classic Children’s Literature. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, godparents, parents: these books make great gifts! Take advantage of this special offer here.
Posted at 11:21 AM
EMINENT DOMAIN AT THE SUPREMES [Jonathan H. Adler]
Tomorrow the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Kelo v. New London, a case challenging the use of eminent domain for economic development. I think this is a tough case for some conservatives. While the use of eminent domain to take private property for economic purposes is clearly suspect, that doesn't mean it's unconstitutional. Moreover, the original meaning argument that the Fifth Amendment precludes the use of eminent domain for such purposes is not all that strong. For more on the issues involved, check out the papers and webcast materials from this conference on the case.
Posted at 10:52 AM
CHALLENGING PRYOR [Jonathan H. Adler]
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court is due to consider several petitions challenging the constitutionality of Judge PRyor's recess appointment.
Posted at 10:48 AM
JUDGE PRYOR'S ANNIVERSARY [Jonathan H. Adler]
It's been one year since President Bush recess appointed William Pryor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. How Appealing has more here as does Southern Appeal.
Posted at 10:46 AM
RE: THE SIMPSONS [Tim Graham]
Sorry I missed "The Simpsons" episode, although I assumed it would hardly be a slam-dunk for the GLAAD activists. It sounds to me from reading press accounts that it would please GLAAD more than I thought, what with Marge greeting her lesbian sister with the lame line that just cause you're lesbian "doesn't make you less of a human bein'." Hollywood just always starts from the gay-left assumption that disapproval of sin equals thinking sinners are sub-human. That claim in itself matches "The Simpsons" -- it's a snarky cartoon of Christianity.
It's true that parents should know "The Simpsons" ain't "Baby Looney Tunes," but it's also true that kids are much more likely to stop on cartoons of any sort. In case people didn't click on your link, my boss Brent Bozell also said "At a time when the public mood is overwhelmingly against gay marriage, any show that promotes gay marriage is deliberately bucking the public mood." Why did the Simpsons pick this fight? Ratings. This is just another classic ratings stunt: get the social conservatives mad, get the rest of the country to watch to see what the fuss is about. For a fuller view of Brent's take, see his column about the sweeps-month trend here.
Posted at 10:27 AM
STANDING WITH THE FEMINISTS [Stanley Kurtz]
Kim Gandy, president of The National Organization of Women (NOW) has once again called on Harvard President Lawrence Summers to resign. I would like to reciprocate by calling on NOW President Kim Gandy to resign. In fact, I now call for all feminist critics of Lawrence Summers on Harvard's faculty to resign. Wait a minute, scratch that. I have a better idea. Maybe we conservatives should ally ourselves with campus feminists instead of opposing them. After all, we have no power on college campuses, while feminists obviously have tremendous power. So why not ally with feminists in order to achieve conservative ends? Yeah, that's the ticket....Alright, as of now, I call on all tenured male professors on Harvard's faculty to resign. In fact, I call on all tenured male professors throughout the entire American academy to resign. Long live the feminist-conservative alliance!
Posted at 10:14 AM
RE: IF YOU DO HAVE OFF TODAY [K. J. Lopez]
More Brookhiser on some presidents: there's also his Adamses book to pick up if you haven't.
Posted at 10:12 AM
IF YOU DO HAVE OFF TODAY [K. J. Lopez]
it's the perfect day to curl up with a book like Founding Father from Rick Brookhiser.
Posted at 10:08 AM
P.S. [K. J. Lopez]
If it makes it any better, there is lots of work going on--print magazine going to bed today and tomorrow, lots of work on upcoming NRO things, and much more.
Posted at 09:44 AM
SOME FRIEND [K. J. Lopez ]
What a rotten thing one Doug Wead has done—taping his “friend” George W. in the first place, now making the tapes public.
Posted at 09:44 AM
THE BLUES [K. J. Lopez]
"We’re not going all out today, figuring most of you are either off for the holiday or rushing through work so you can get out of the office."Actually, I got more hate mail about my New Hampshire throwaway line (as I was throwing away a map) Saturday...I promise to make a red-state pilgrimmage soon.
Posted at 09:43 AM
STANDING ATHWART HISTORY [John Derbyshire]
Posted at 09:20 AM
RICHARD DAWKINS TO CONVERT TO ANGLICANISM? [John Derbyshire]
This is for those gamblers among you who like long odds: Steve Sailer (scroll down a bit) thinks it's possible that arch-atheist-lefty-materialist Richard Dawkins may convert to the True Faith.
I'd like to open a book on the first Western writer or intellectual of any consequence to convert to Islam. (Shobiz types don't count.) Who will it be? Personally, I think Camille Paglia would look great in a Burka...
(Congratulations to Steve, by the way on having clocked up the millionth "unique visit" to his website.)
Posted at 09:19 AM
THE SIMPSONS [K. J. Lopez]
It's after 9:30 EST and no one has commented on the big outting episode (which I missed).
My only comment, actually, is to take issue with our friend Brent Bozell. He told the NYTimes:
"I'd rather them not do it at all," he added. "You've got a show watched by millions of children. Do children need to have gay marriage thrust in their faces as an issue? Why can't we just entertain them?"If parents don't want their kids asking for explanations of jokes on hot-button issues of the day, The Simpsons is probably not a show they should be watching.
Posted at 09:18 AM
RE: HAPPY PRESIDENTS’ DAY [K. J. Lopez ]
We’re not going all out today, figuring most of you are either off for the holiday or rushing through work so you can get out of the office. If you’re off, you might be snowed in and making snowmen like many of us on the East Coast. If you’re looking for NRO stimulation, though, The Corner will be active, with some added bonuses throughout the day.
Posted at 09:09 AM
GET INSTAWELL [K. J. Lopez]
I've missed InstaPundit the last few days and just read up on his wife's hospitalization (I've missed a lot of Internet reading of late). Best Corner wishes for a successful recovery.
Posted at 09:04 AM
SHOW SOME OPENNESS FIRST [K. J. Lopez]
Egypt cancels democracy conference, presumably because the U.S. wants Egypt to be less authoritarian.
Posted at 09:00 AM
MORE UN NEWS TO BE SKIPPED [Tim Graham]
While the networks wasted no time publicizing sexual-harassment charges against Bill Cosby (and don't think that boomlet of coverage had nothing to do with Cosby's tough words about black parenting, no doubt seen as "right wing moralizing"), the networks are not likely to offer as much time to news the U.N. refugee chief is stepping down over sexual harassment allegations, partially influenced by other UN sex scandals, like the sexual misconduct in the Congo.
Posted at 07:55 AM
GOD'S FOR REMOVING GOD? [Tim Graham]
A slow-news Monday is a pretty good time to discover how liberal the Washington Post is. One of its front-page stories hails a homeless lawyer from Texas who's suing to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the state capitol. No one in the story has a critical word for the man, even as he strangely claims "It's like God called me to do it. How could I walk away from that?" he said. "It just looked to me like the light shined on me."
Posted at 07:54 AM
HAPPY PRESIDENT'S DAY [John J. Miller]
For the weekly books page I edit for the Washington Examiner, I asked a group of scholars and authors--many of them NROniks--to recommend a single book on several important presidents: Gleaves Whitney on George Washington, Bill McClay on John Adams, Ken Masugi on Abe Lincoln, Rick Brookhiser on TR, Matthew Spalding on Calvin Coolidge, George Nash on FDR, Elizabeth Spalding on Harry Truman, Steve Hayward on JFK, Matthew Dallek on Ronald Reagan, and Jeff Shesol on Bill Clinton. Read the results here.
Posted at 05:56 AM
HUNTER S. THOMPSON, RIP [John J. Miller]
The gonzo journalist apparently has killed himself.
Posted at 05:30 AM
RADIO [NRO Staff]
Rich Lowry will be a guest on Bill Bennett's nationally syndicated radio show, "Morning in America," today at 7:30 a.m. Eastern.
Posted at 05:13 AM
Sunday, February 20, 2005
JACKALS [John J. Miller]
Cliff: The Day of the Jackal is a good movie. It's an even better book -- the best thriller ever written, I often say. I reread it every couple of years because the storytelling is so good.
Posted at 07:47 PM
THE U.N. AND CLONING [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Bradford Short has written a response to Andrew Stuttaford that seems quite persuasive to me.
Posted at 07:42 PM
RE TERRORIST CHIC [Cliff May]
Last night, I watched the 1973 film, “The Day of the Jackal,” directed by Fred Zinnemann and based on the Fredrick Forsyth book. From a contemporary perspective, it seemed quaint – a period piece.
The villain, played by Edward Fox, is debonair, well-dressed, smokes cigarettes and drives an Aston Martin convertible. He is a complete professional. He only wants to kill his target: Charles de Gaulle. He enjoys playing cat-and-mouse with the authorities but he does not want to be captured or killed.
In those days, it was not so easy to forge a passport. The police – and even hotel keepers – could ask anyone to show their “papers,” and a Virginia driver’s license was not sufficient. The police could tap phones – even those of government ministers without a peep from the ACLU. A government official who was compromised (his mistress was working for the anti-Gaullist underground) politely excuses himself from a high-level meeting and returns home – not to call William Morris but to commit suicide.
Again, it all seems very quaint. But what is troubling: Today, the rules are stiffer for the good guys, while the bad guys play by no rules.
Also, it’s worth recalling this Paul Berman piece on Che chic among intellectuals.
Posted at 05:43 PM
VICTIMS OF TERRORISM [Cliff May]
Most of them are Muslims.
Also, this point: “One expression of the pathology of the broader Middle East is that often the choice is between ruthless authoritarianism on one side, and religious totalitarianism on the other. Paradoxically, it is in the interest of despots of both stripes to suppress advocates of liberal democracy, to make certain there is no third way.”
Both ideas are explored at somewhat greater length in my current Scripps column.
Posted at 05:39 PM
HARVARD [Stanley Kurtz]
Here’s a task for some enterprising reporter at The Harvard Crimson. Check out my Corner post on the scandal of Harvard University Press’s suppression of The Case for Marriage, by Linda Waite and Maggie Gallagher. Then find out what Harvard faculty members were sitting on the Harvard Press Board on Syndics when the book was axed. See if any of those professors are willing to talk about what happened. While you’re at it, see if any of those professors might be among the prominent faculty critics of Lawrence Summers today. The most interesting finding of all would be the possibility that one of today’s prominent feminist critics of Lawrence Summers might have had a direct hand in suppressing the publication of The Case for Marriage. The key question is, which Harvard faculty member short-circuited the usual process of approval, after two positive reviews, by authoring an extraordinary internal critique of the book for the press. My guess is that whoever did that was a doctrinaire faculty feminist unwilling to give a fair shot to alternative points of view. If that person is still on Harvard’s faculty, I’d guess they’re likely to be among the loudest voices calling for Summers’s head. I’m speculating here. This mystery may never be solved. But I do think it’s well worth pursuing.
Posted at 05:34 PM
TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN USE [John Derbyshire]
I have **GOT** to get one of these.
Cellphone story. I came up from DC Saturday evening on the train -- that is, via Amtrak. Now, Amtrak trains generally have a quiet car, where cellphones, along with beeping laptops, loud conversation, and other nuisances, are banned. I wanted to read Rebecca Goldstein's book about Kurt Goedel so I asked an Amtrak guard standing by the train where the quiet car was. He pointed it out to me. I entered it. A woman was sitting in the first seat eating tuna sald from a box. "Is this the quiet car?" I asked her. "Yes it is." I found a seat and settled down with my book.
The carriage was nearly empty. Not many people ride Amtrak on a Saturday evening. However, there was a young couple in the seats across the aisle from me. They were some kind of Europeans -- Germans, I think -- in college outfits -- jeans, sneakers, sweaters, rucksacks -- and talked pretty incessantly. They weren't loud, though, so I couldn't say anything. They were also extremely interested in each other, with a lot of smooching and pawing. I dislike that kind of thing in public; but it's not against the law, just mild bad manners, so I got on with my book as best I could.
Then the guy pulled out a cellphone and addressed it loudly in his own godforsaken language. I gave him a LOOK, right across the aisle. He caught it. The two of them got up and went and sat a few seats back of me. As I said, the carriage was mostly empty. There the man proceeded to engage in an interminable conversation on his cellphone. I could hear every word. After a while I got up, went to where they were sitting, and said: "Excuse me. This is the quiet car. You're not supposed to use a cellphone in here. You can go to the next carriage and use it." My tone was brusque and annoyed, but I felt I had a right. The couple stared at me. The woman mumbled an apology. "We didn't know... we are visitors to your country..."
Back at my seat 5 minutes later, the woman came by. "Excuse me," she asked, "where is the sign saying that this is the quiet car?" I said I didn't know, but had been assured by a guard, and then again by a passenger, that this was it. "OK," she said, and went away.
Half an hour later, in came an Amtrak guard and a young woman. They sat one on each side of the aisle, in the seats immediately in front of me, and commenced a loud conversation, the gist of which was, that they wanted to know each other better. The guard was in full working uniform. The woman was apparently an Amtrak employee, but in mufti. The guard took a couple of train-related calls on his walkie-talkie, which beeped loudly. Then he made a couple of work-unrelated calls in response to something the woman wanted to know.
I leaned forward and said politely: "Excuse me, but I was told that this is the quiet car, and that no cell phones are allowed." No, said the guard. There is no quiet car on this train. Often at weekends there isn't one. He was friendly & polite... just as had been his colleague, who'd told me that this was the quiet car. I wondered whether I should now go back and apologize to the foreign couple. No, I thought, let them die hating me.
Morals of this story:
---Amtrak employees are idiots. If you ask two of them a question about your train, you'll get two different answers.
---Don't assume you're in a quiet car on Amtrak unless you see a sign saying so.
---Young Europeans have no manners and no clue how to behave in public.
---If you enjoy reading, writing, thinking, or any other activity that requires quiet surroundings, you were born about 50 years too late.
Posted at 05:33 PM
RIEMANN HYPOTHESIS ON THE TELLY [ John Derbyshire]
Numerous readers emailed to tell me about the CBS cop show that features math. Saturday night's episode apparently concerned the Riemann Hypothesis. No, I didn't catch it -- was on Amtrak heading home from DC to NY. I just hope they had a copy of my book lying around in one of the shots.
As I have noted before, the RH showed up a year or so ago in the "Jimmy Neutron" kids' show. In fact it showed up twice: once in an episode titled "I Dream of Jimmy," where JN gets trapped inside his friend Carl's dream. There Jimmy actually reads the RH word for word out of my book. (There are many different ways to state it.) In another episode -- forget the title -- Jimmy tells his parents that when he can't sleep, he occupies himself by trying to compute the Mertens function for large integers -- a topic closely related to the RH.
In a just world, of course, I would be getting some royalties on all this....
Posted at 05:30 PM
FEMINISTS AT HARVARD [Stanley Kurtz]
An important challenge to feminist orthodoxy has been silenced by political correctness at Harvard. No, I’m not talking about the Summers affair, but about a controversy I exposed five years ago. See my piece “What Harvard Finds Unfit to Print,” from The Wall Street Journal, and my follow-up on NRO, “Harvard’s Book Problem, and Ours.”
Posted at 08:56 AM
CUSSING "LIKE CRICKETS" [Tim Graham]
The Washington Post displays a little softness toward the Democrats today in an article worrying about the hard-left grass roots that Howard Dean is massaging, especially how the left ruins the Democratic image on national security. Reporter Dan Balz begins: "The bloggers have been busy on the Democratic National CommitteeWeb site since Howard Dean was elected party chairman a week ago." He then quotes from "Paul in OC" and "Steviemo in MN" expressing they had just donated to the DNC for the first time.
But Balz helpfully leaves out the title of the DNC blog: "Kicking Ass." (Not appropriate for a family newspaper?) And the fact that the bloggers there are often quite perverse in their opposition to the Bush team. As participants chewed over the recent debate between Dean and Richard Perle in Oregon, which was interrupted by a screaming heckler throwing a shoe at Perle, one DNC blogger wished for an army of cussing shoe-tossers:
Rose, for a minute you would think I was there! Lying MF this, MF that…. Shoes are flying. They had to carry the guy out, and has he was going, he was still calling Perle a MF liar! Other people objected to his lies as well, but it would have beeen really neat if as soon as one person was dragged out, another would start up. Like Crickets.
Posted at 08:51 AM
I'M OFFICIALLY OLD [Tim Graham]
Discussions at work with college-age interns is a terrific test of just how old you've gotten. When I began to discuss this week my golden days on campus as a polemicist, writing an editorial in the college newspaper in support of Reagan interior secretary James Watt, I got the James WHO? look. The Washington Post today has another funny moment (can't locate the link). The RNC has two young ladies interview prominent GOPers in an e-mail feature called "Off the Record." In the latest edition, Sen. John Thune discusses his affinity for Styx, Boston, Journey and the Doobie Brothers -- music we fogeys grew up with -- but the ladies in their e-mail refer to Thune's enthusiasm for "The Sticks."
Posted at 08:49 AM
GOTTA HAVE ART [John J. Miller]
Christo has some competition.
Posted at 05:58 AM
RAF IS THE NEW CHE? [John J. Miller]
In Germany: "terrorist chic."
Posted at 05:37 AM