LAW ON THE LAM?: [Rod Dreher] Despite denials from the chancery, the Boston Herald is sticking by its Friday story quoting an unnamed Catholic Church official saying the plan is for the Vatican to get Cardinal Law out of Boston before he has to face the indignity of a deposition in the Shanley civil suit. You know what I think? That the story is true, and that it was leaked by some high-ranking priest who knew he and others would be left to face the peasants with pitchforks who would storm the chancery walls (so to speak) if the Vatican turned the cardinal into a fugitive from justice. You know what else I think? That unless some cooler American heads talk the Pope out of that disastrous course of action, it's going to happen. What convinced me of this was a passage I ran across today from "Man of the Century," Jonathan Kwitny's appreciative 1997 biography of John Paul. On pages 460-463, Kwitny discusses the role of Archbishop Paul Marcinkus in the Vatican Bank scandal, which broke early in JP's papacy. Marcinkus, who worked in the Vatican, was pushed by Paul VI to get the Vatican Bank involved profit-making. Marcinkus engaged in some extremely dark financial doings, which became public under John Paul, and was an international scandal. Kwitny reports that John Paul stonewalled Italian investigators, refusing to hand over Marcinkus for criminal indictment, and signing off on patently false public explanations of what had really taken place in the dirty affair. Behind the scenes, JP forced the Vatican Bank out of the kind of schemes that got it into such trouble -- but, writes Kwitny, "Even more important to him, though, was that the public never find out what wrongs had already occurred. He said he wanted 'the entire truth ... brought to light' and would 'cooperate' with authorities. Yet he publicly endorsed a new statement the Vatican issued that week, merely repeating the lies of the previous statement. A report [Vatican Secretary of State Agostino Cardinal] Casaroli had requested from several prominent Catholic banking experts was hushed up. That so unhypocritical a man as John Paul could utter such blatant deceits proves that for him, the image of the Church took extraordinary precedence."
Posted 9:04 PM | [Link]
WAR PLANS: [John J. Miller]
The New York Times says we'll invade Iraq early next year.
Posted 6:13 PM | [Link]
HORNETS' NECTAR [Andrew Stuttaford]
On a more cheerful note, today's Financial Times reminds readers that Japanese marathon runner (and Olympic gold medallist) Naoko Takahashi uses an energy drink made from the stomach secretions of the larvae of giant hornets.
Suddenly I feel a lot better about my Diet Coke habit.
Posted 11:51 AM | [Link]
SPEAKING OF SLAVERY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Of course, when it comes to enslavement, the Saudis know what they are talking about. Slavery was not finally abolished in their 'kingdom' until 1962.
Posted 11:44 AM | [Link]
KOWTOW ROW [Andrew Stuttaford]
Rod, That's a truly disgraceful story, and, like you, I know who I believe. Still, I suppose those female air traffic controllers should consider themselves lucky. From what we have been reading recently, it is clear that some Saudi ideologues might to have wanted to see them enslaved.
Anyway, the ladies should go and see their lawyers. Then we can get to the bottom of the story. Subpoenas too for any Saudis allegedly involved. They can then come forward and tell the truth or, alternatively, keep out of the US. I'd prefer the former, but the latter will do.
Posted 11:28 AM | [Link]
CDL. BEVILACQUA GETS IT!: [Rod Dreher] Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua of Philadelphia delivered some knockout comments yesterday, concerning gays in the priesthood. It's astonishing that a prelate would speak so openly and sensibly about the situation. You really, really should follow the link and read all his words, but the gist of them is that life in the all-male priesthood is too great a temptation for homosexually-oriented men, and that they should not be ordained because of this inordinate risk. As always, we should watch what the hierarchy does, not what it says -- but the cardinal's words are encouraging nonetheless, and he should be defended from the inevitable assault coming his way.
Posted 10:39 AM | [Link]
WHY DO WE KOWTOW?: [Rod Dreher] The Dallas Morning News reports that Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah requested that no female air traffic controllers handle his flights in Texas this past week -- a request that ATC personnel say was honored on parts of the prince's trip. The Saudis and the US Government deny it, but angry ATCs are saying it's true. Whom do you believe? Why do we abase ourselves before the Saudis like this?
Posted 9:00 AM | [Link]
REPARATIONS: [Rod Dreher] No, not the Revvum Jackson kind. There's a fairly interesting religion debate going on among some culturally engaged Catholics over the cardinals' call for a national day of prayer and reparation for the sex-abuse-related sins of the Church. Emily Stimpson (scroll down to Thursday's entry) makes a perfectly valid Catholic theological argument in its favor. K. Shaidle is having none of it, believing the hierarchy is putting theology in the service of public relations. She writes: "I suspect some of those most enthusiastic about Reparation Day -- who are (still) so naively willing to take our suddenly remorseful Bishops at their (weaselly) word -- are Catholic converts who haven't put up with this crap as long as we 'cradles' have." Come on, religion columnist Terry Mattingly, tell us what all this means. Is this a generational thing? Or what?
Posted 12:32 AM | [Link]
THE FULL BROCK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The terrific folks at the Media Research Center have posted a transcript of David Brock's dissembling on Crossfire Thursday night, whining about folks boycotting his new book. As it turns out, CNN got their transcript wrong. All due apologies. Brock was still bad, just not as bad as the CNN transcript suggested. Here's the Crossfire deal.
Posted 10:25 PM | [Link]
DON'T WORK TOO HARD [Andrew Stuttaford]
The London Times is reporting that the EU Commission has ordered Britain to impose a maximum 48-hour week on British workers. Consistent with its usual approach to matters of individual choice, the Commission is arguing that a UK law allowing workers to volunteer for additional hours should be scrapped. The real reason for this step? EU aversion to free competition between its various members. If the workers are allowed to work longer hours in one country, then that would be 'unfair' to other more repressively regulated member states. Pan-European working-time legislation is only a small part of this process, which one day may even be extended to taxation. That's bad news for the EU's few remaining free market hold-outs. There is already grumbling that tax rates in certain EU countries are 'unfairly' low, so watch for increasing calls for tax harmonization, a process that will only drive taxes in one direction. Up.
Posted 9:52 PM | [Link]
THE EURO AND POLITICS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Rich, there is a lot in that Wall Street Journal editorial that doesn't add up, but then, that is rather appropriate when it comes to discussing the Euro. There is plenty to say on this topic, but on this occasion, let's take a look at the politics, both in the UK and France. Starting with the UK : to suggest that the Tories are "in the wilderness" because of their opposition to the Euro is, quite simply, nonsense. It was the Conservative government's divisions over Europe that contributed to its 1997 defeat, not the decision to reject the Euro itself. That is why, despite winning the largest parliamentary majority for over a century, Tony Blair made no attempt to take Britain into the Euro during his first term. The Conservatives suffered a second crushing defeat last year, but their opposition to the Euro was not to blame. In fact, it was one of the few Tory policies that voters liked (even if they disagreed with the Conservatives on the importance to attach to it).
Turning to France, whatever the Journal may say, it is difficult to see Sunday's election as much of an argument for the single European currency. On the contrary, the arrogant imposition of the Euro played no small part in creating the sense of alienation that was to prove so helpful to Le Pen and various other extremists of both Left and Right. Jospin was squeezed out rather than Chirac, but it could easily have gone the other way. Maybe Chirac will now take advantage of his now inevitable re-election as president to lead the center-right to victory in June's parliamentary elections. And maybe this most opportunistic of politicians will then implement genuine free market reform, but I'd rate the chances of this taking place at about the same as the percentage of votes won by Alain Madelin, the presidential election's one true economic liberal: Four percent.
Posted 6:32 PM | [Link]
DON'T MESS WITH JEWISH WOMEN: [Rod Dreher] Blogger Anne Wilson saw the NRO item about the dirtbag official Saudi cleric who urges Muslims to capture and enslave Jewish women. La Wilson suggests this as an example of what you get when you mess with armed Hebrew sisters.
Posted 5:23 PM | [Link]
THIS GUY IS GOOD: [Rod Dreher] Thank goodness orthodox Catholic Mark Shea finally got a blog. He used to send his brilliant, frequently hilarious observations on the Scandal throughout the day, and they were often the best thing I'd read on the mess since ... well, since the last time Mark Shea wrote me. Now everybody can get in on a very good thing.
Posted 4:44 PM | [Link]
LAW TO ROME DENIED: [Rod Dreher] Cardinal Law's spokeswoman denies the earlier Boston Herald report citing unnamed sources who claim that Rome is going to promote Law to a Vatican post by early June, in part to get the cardinal out of town before having to give a deposition in the Shanley civil suit. The Herald story is "groundless" says the archdiocese. I hope they're right.
Posted 4:25 PM | [Link]
THEY GOT THE GOODS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Fox has in its possesion copies of documents seized from Arafat's headquarters including list of 102 deceased Palestinians--commanders and suicide bombers--whose families have each been paid the equivalent of $5,340 by the Saudi Interior Ministry.
Posted 3:45 PM | [Link]
WHO'S PRO-TRADE? [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Brink Lindsey discusses an interesting poll of global attitudes toward trade.
Posted 3:20 PM | [Link]
SHOCKED, SHOCKED: [Rod Dreher] Preacher-tycoon Pat Robertson is against gambling, but he owns a half-million-dollar racehorse. He's shocked, shocked to discover that people bet on racehorses. Columnist Cal Thomas takes Brother Pat to the woodshed.
Posted 1:07 PM | [Link]
A CAPTURE A DAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
War still goes on in Afghanistan.
Posted 12:59 PM | [Link]
TIRESOME: [Rod Dreher] I don't mind Andrew Sullivan criticizing my publicly stated opinions (and those of other conservatives) on the role homosexual priests play in the Church scandal. But it is awfully tiresome to read his constant twisting of my/our arguments to make us into bigots, and therefore not worth taking seriously (a standard rhetorical practice of the Left, by the way). For the record: In my view, homosexual priests who keep their vows of chastity and uphold Church teaching are not villains, but heroes (as are chaste homosexual lay Catholics, and straight unmarried Catholics who live by Church teaching in this hypereroticized culture). I do not believe all, or even most, homosexuals are pedophiles. Yet as I have said time and time again, though, that this is not a pedophilia scandal; the overwhelming majority of cases involve men having sex with postadolescent male minors. This is no less wrong, but it does suggest that if not for homosexual chicken hawks in the priesthood, there wouldn't be near the numbers of sexual assault cases we have. I have presented evidence that homosexual sex is rife in many seminaries and among priests. Nobody who knows Catholic priests personally, and who listens to their stories, can deny it. This has consequences, among them the establishment of a culture of secrecy, lies and even blackmail in the priesthood. What do we do about it? I'm not sure. But we sure as hell cannot afford to deny it any longer. Sullivan can look away all he likes, but one expects him to be honest enough to state his opponents' views accurately, even while rejecting those views.
Posted 12:55 PM | [Link]
AMEN TO THAT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - Urged by Saudi Arabia to temper support for Israel, President Bush said Friday his message to the Arab world is unequivocal: "We will not allow Israel to be crushed."
Posted 12:54 PM | [Link]
K-LO IN FANTASYLAND? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rod, I’m sorry you expect the worst, but I for one wouldn’t be so quick to consider that the Vatican is planning to obstruct justice (especially before we know what the actual story is). You’re right to say that Shanley--who clearly fits in the “moral monster” category that a member of the hierarchy referred to this week--was depraved and that the fact that he was there as long as he was and shuffled around was a terrible tragedy, but I tend to think we are in a new reality now with the whole Church publicly humiliated, the American cardinals having been called to Rome for a scolding, the lawyers ready for the kill, etc. The “nobody in power lifted a finger” scenario is history now; everyone is watching and they've got to be able to defend their every move to everyone with a blog site, the man on the street, the woman in the pews, and the pope. I'm not condoning a free pass for anyone, but I'd give them a shot at reform and wouldn't be quite so fast to condemn.
Posted 12:53 PM | [Link]
DIARY OF A CITY PRIEST: [Rod Dreher] New documents released by the Boston Archdiocese reveal that the chancery knew as far back as the 1970s that Fr. Paul Shanley was unspeakably depraved. Shanley wrote in a diary, which the archdiocese had a copy of, that he had taught street kids how to shoot drugs properly. And there's this charming journal entry: ''Let me tell you that my name is to be found in the files of countless VD clinics across this fair land." Finally, there is evidence in the documents that Shanley tried to blackmail then-Cardinal Medeiros, by threatening to reveal corruption in the Boston seminary if he didn't get his way. And nobody in power lifted a finger to stop him.
Posted 12:03 PM | [Link]
RE: LAW TO MOVE ON: [Rod Dreher] Sorry, K-Lo, but I take no comfort from the news that the Vatican may be moving Cardinal Law to Rome in June. Why? Did you read the line about the Vatican not being willing to have the cardinal sit for his scheduled deposition in an abuse case? If this turns out to be true, and if Law vamooses before having to give testimony, how can anybody see that as anything other than the moral equivalent of obstruction of justice? And it will have been orchestrated by the Vatican.
Posted 11:55 AM | [Link]
HEY ABDULLAH, MIND IF I SMOKE AND DRINK?: [Rich Lowry]
A bit from the book The Kingdom, from the days when leaders of the free world weren’t so sensitive: “Winston Churchill, however, made a little speech [to Saudi leader Abdul Aziz] to the effect that, while he realized ‘it was the religion of His Majesty to deprive himself of smoking and alcohol, I must point out that my rule of life prescribes as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol, before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them,’ and the Prime Minister proceeded to sip whiskey and puff his pungent cigars through much of his three-hour discussion with the Sa’udi King.”
Posted 11:44 AM | [Link]
THANKS [Jonah Goldberg]
In light of Rich's post on the Saudi view of things, I'd just like to say thanks to all the Allah-dividers out there.
Posted 11:28 AM | [Link]
Saudi Telethon Host Calls for Enslaving Jewish Women: [Rich Lowry]
(WASHINGTON DC) April 26, 2002 …The Saudi Information Agency has obtained a tape by prominent government official cleric Shaikh Saad Al-Buraik calling for enslaving Jewish women. The tape is called “a Monkey Desecrates Mosque,” and was delivered in a Riyadh government mosque. The monkey refers to Jews.
Al-Buraik, a Wahhabi cleric, is closely tied to Prince AbdulAziz Ben Fahd, the king’s youngest son, and member of the Saudi delegation accompanying Crown Prince Abdullah on his current visit.
Al-Buraik was the host of the two-day long telethon raising funds for Palestinians, which raised $109 million. He is also the host of "Religion and Life,” a program on government television Channel One and on MBC television owned by Prince AbdulAziz Ben Fahd. Al-Buraik said on the tape that the money raised would go to Palestinian fighters.
The following are excerpts of the tape:
On Jews and Christians he said:
People should know that Jews are backed by the Christians, and the battle that we are going through is not with Jews only, but also with those who believe that Allah is a third in a Trinity, and those who said that Jesus is the son of Allah, and Allah is Jesus, the son of Mary.
About America he said:
I am against America until this life ends, until the Day of Judgment;
I am against America even if the stone liquefies
My hatred of America, if part of it was contained in the universe, it would collapse.
She is the root of all evils, and wickedness on earth.
Who else implanted the tyrants in our land, who else nurtured oppression?
Oh Muslim Ummah don’t take the Jews and Christians as allies.
Jewish women as slaves he says:
Muslim Brothers in Palestine, do not have any mercy neither compassion on the Jews, their blood, their money, their flesh. Their women are yours to take, legitimately. God made them yours. Why don’t you enslave their women? Why don’t you wage jihad? Why don’t you pillage them?
Posted 10:57 AM | [Link]
CAN WE HAVE FRIES WITH THAT? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Good junk-science news if you bought fries with your burger or chips with your sandwich for lunch today.
Posted 10:43 AM | [Link]
MR. O'SULLIVAN, I PRESUME? [Rich Lowry]
From the Journal's editorial today: "We will, of course, be told by some anti-euro Tories and their U.S. imports at National Review magazine that none of this is what French voters were calling for on Sunday."
Posted 10:43 AM | [Link]
LAW TO MOVE ON? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In one of those unnamed-source stories we all know well, the Boston Herald reports that Cardinal Law might be headed away from Boston, afterall. The story is that he'll reassigned to Rome. A good reminder that there are things going on behind the scenes too--that the Vatican might not immediately issue a press release about.
Posted 10:38 AM | [Link]
HOW THE SAUDIS…: [Rich Lowry]
…define a free press.
Posted 9:53 AM | [Link]
BIAS! [Andrew Stuttaford]
Le Pen has been complaining that the French media's election coverage has been hugely biased against him. He may well have a point. Even Loft Story 2 (the French equivalent of Big Brother) devoted a few minutes of last night's show to the anti-Le Pen feelings of the participants, one of whom was in tears.
Posted 9:32 AM | [Link]
FRANCE'S RACISM [Jonah Goldberg]
David Ignatius' column today notes that the French do not collect racial or ethnic data about their citizens. Also, they have no affirmative action policies -- which he cites as the cause of France's troubles these days. We can argue about that later. But what I love about tidbits like this is how much they undercut American liberal outrage. In the US, pointy-heads look to France as a progressive beacon. Hell, they elect Communists and Socialists and have prayer vigils for Mumia! But it turns out they have a "racial policy" which is far, far, far to the "Right" of America's. Here, if you propose the abolition of affirmative action in education and the complete ban of racial data-gathering you are indisputably a hard-hearted conservative, at best, and more likely a racist and, if you're black, an uncle Tom. And yet, American liberals nod enthusiastically whenever Frenchies call the United States racist. From now on we should just say we want to follow France's lead.
Posted 9:18 AM | [Link]
IS ABDULLAH DECLARING WAR? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Another good one from John Podhoretz in today's New York Post, on Abdullah's silly threat.
Posted 6:41 AM | [Link]
ISLAMIC JUSTICE AT WORK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted 5:04 AM | [Link]
NO KOWTOWING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Before the personal bond grows in Crawford between President Bush and the Crown Prince, be warned--Bernard Lewis: "the exemptions accorded to some terrorist leaders, movements and actions not immediately directed against us have undermined the strong moral position which must be the foundation of our global war on terrorism." I hope they get the Journal in Crawford.
Posted 5:01 AM | [Link]
UGH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Hanging on the ranch.
Posted 5:01 AM | [Link]
YES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Methinks George Weigel talks sense.
Posted 5:00 AM | [Link]
LIAR, LIAR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
David Brock lied on Crossfire last night, claiming he has never been on Fox to discuss his latest book, making the case for a conservative boycott of it (note that we've wasted bytes on him in The Corner and elsewhere on NRO, too, in recent months). Here's him on Fox, thanks to the Media Research Center. (Thanks to AndrewSullivan.com for the link.) Can anyone say pathological?
Posted 4:42 AM | [Link]
SEVEN MONTHS LATER... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The House votes to split the INS.
Posted 4:36 AM | [Link]
GIMME THAT OLD-TIME RELIGION: [Rod Dreher] And some people still believe Monsignor Clark of St. Patrick's Cathedral is nuts.
Posted 11:31 PM | [Link]
FRENCH FARCE [Andrew Stuttaford]
As many as 250,000 people have taken part in demonstrations against Le Pen in France today. But why all the fuss? Le Pen has absolutely no chance of winning or, for that matter, taking much more than 20 percent of the vote. That's 20 percent too much, but it is no threat to democracy (we can leave that to the EU). Some of the marchers participate, doubtless, for the best of motives. Others do so to proclaim some supposed moral superiority, or maybe just to feel good about themselves. Nevertheless, it is difficult to avoid the suspicion that much of this fear of the 'extreme right' is a manufactured panic, deliberately being whipped up with an eye not to the presidential contest (which is a foregone conclusion) but to the parliamentary elections due in June (which are not). As conservative candidates for the legislature may discover, guilt by association is a powerful political weapon, and it is one that the Left know how to wield.
Posted 8:03 PM | [Link]
TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT [Andrew Stuttaford]
To the extent that there is any co-operation between the US and the current regime in 'Saudi' Arabia, it should be seen for what it is: an ugly political necessity. Abdullah's invitation to Crawford (rather than a more businesslike venue) seemed to imply that the relationship with the House of Saud was something more than a diplomatic convenience. That was a mistake. President Bush has now compounded the error with effusive comments after the meeting with the Saudi 'prince'. According to Mr. Bush, America and the Saudis have a "strong and important friendship", a friendship that, apparently includes a "personal bond" between the President and the Saudi despot.
These remarks send a message to potential Saudi dissidents: Don't turn to America for comfort, support or inspiration. As a result, they won't. They will look elsewhere - to Bin Ladenism.
Posted 7:14 PM | [Link]
GAY CATHOLIC FISH: [Rod Dreher] Roger Cardinal Mahony's minions are pushing a rainbow "ichthus" pin so Los Angeles gay Catholics and their supporters can identify themselves to each other. I'm no art critic, but the poor little thing looks like a psychedelic Pepperidge Farm Goldfish cracker.
Posted 6:06 PM | [Link]
BLESSED ARE THE PEACE-MAKERS [Jonah Goldberg]
In an email with the header "Apologies from a gun nut," a reader offers this olive branch:
As one of the upset gun nuts who wrote you yesterday, I thought I'd drop a quick apology. When I read:
"We allow the most extreme stuff, the stuff out on the periphery of social and legal behavior for the simple reason that if we allow the stuff on the fringe, the freedoms at the core of our constitutional order will be preserved. For people who zealously defend our Second Amendment rights, this means arguing about the right to carry concealed weapons into churches, schools, airports, wherever."
I misunderstood your intent when you were said that concealed carry in certain places was an example of something fringe because it is on the periphery of social and legal behavior. The statement is entirely accurate, if not understated (carrying a gun onto an airport is more than just at the edge of legal behavior, it's completely illegal.) I somehow read that as a statement that it should be fringe in the same way child pornography and yelling fire in a crowded theater should. I forgot the second step of internet communication, read->comprehend->post. At any rate, I'm not terribly surprised you got more email on this than your comments on abortion. The views that you mentioned are clearly on the two extreme edges of the debate. For most of us gun nuts, we consider fringe views to be total ban or nukes for everyone. Odd how those of us on the fringe tend to be oblivious of the fact. Looking forward to your next column.
Posted 5:29 PM | [Link]
AN EARTHQUAKE -- IF TRUE: [Rod Dreher] A potential bombshell from Mike Dubruiel today. Citing an unnamed bishop, Dubruiel reports that the Vatican has just sent to the rectors of all U.S. seminaries a "secret missive" ordering them to purge all homosexual candidates for the priesthood. Mike confirmed the report with a priest friend, who had been told the same thing by a priest who claimed to have access to the letter, but was afraid of faxing it. There seems to be confusion between Mike's sources as to whether that letter was sent to every seminary (as the bishop believes) or just one seminary (as the priest believes). From this angle, I've been shaking the trees all afternoon, and I can't find anyone from my clerical sources who knows anything about this. It seems that if this had gone out from Rome, the lavender mafia would have been screaming bloody murder by now, eh? Any Corner readers who have solid information on the purported letter, check in at once(email@example.com). If there is such a letter, it's impact will be seismic.
Posted 5:13 PM | [Link]
NOT GUN NUTS, "SECOND AMMENDMENT ENTHUSIASTS" [Jonah Goldberg]
Now the SAE's are mad at me for using the phrase "gun nut." I was only poking fun a little. You wouldn't believe the colorful phrases some you guys came up with for me. Look: I'm with you guys on most of this stuff but, as I've explained before, I think it's a shame gun talk has become so ideological. But that ain't my fault.
Posted 5:03 PM | [Link]
ON THE RIGHT TRACK WITH ONE OF THEM [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Andrew Sullivan quotes Nicholas von Hoffmann in The New York Observer: "In these awful days, George W. Bush has become the American Yasir Arafat, an empty, repetitive, shifty public personality who talks out of both sides of his mouth, with little or nothing to say from either of ’em." Too bad lefties don't actually view Arafat that way.
Posted 3:27 PM | [Link]
PROGRESS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Kathryn, those security arrangements planned by Disney look impressive. What's more, it will no longer be possible to say that Norm Mineta runs a "Mickey Mouse" operation.
Posted 3:22 PM | [Link]
BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU CARRY TO DISNEY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Orlando's airport is set to use those super-powered full-cavity X-Ray machines for security. If the DC area (where all those screeners were arrested this week) could only meet them half way.
Posted 3:21 PM | [Link]
NOVAK'S "AMEN CORNER" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
"From the moment terrorists attacked America Sept. 11, Powell's efforts to build a global alliance have come under fire from hard-liners, inside and outside government, who are sympathetic to Israel's Sharon government." That peculiar formulation comes from Robert Novak's latest column. His words aren't false, exactly. Most of those who are skeptical about "the coalition" and Powell are indeed "sympathetic" to Sharon. But Novak's apparent implication is that our skepticism stems from our sympathy. And that's both false and mischievous, at best.
Posted 3:21 PM | [Link]
HOW CAN YOU TAKE THESE PEOPLE SERIOUSLY!? [Jonah Goldberg]
From a Reuters story today:
"A lot of young people voted for Olivier Besancenot and now regret it," said Sciences-Po student Patrick, 19, referring to a 27-year-old Trotskyite postman who won 4.25 percent on Sunday."
I'm really beginning to hope Le Pen wins the whole thing; a couple years in hard labor would do nicely for this kid.
Posted 3:18 PM | [Link]
MAYBE NOT (BELLESILES CHRONICLES) [Melissa Seckora]
Eric Foner, a Columbia University history professor, and chairman of Columbia's 2002 Bancroft Prize Committee, says that the Bancroft has never been revoked, and that he's not sure that Roger Lane is right when he says Columbia is considering taking back Bellesiles's. "I've heard nothing about Columbia rescinding the prize. The University's trustees would have to do it, not the Bancroft Committee." Foner, who was critical of Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stephen Ambrose when their plagiarism charges were in the news, says he is agnostic on the Bellesiles case: "I haven't made up my mind. The problem is that I'm not in a position to know--I'm not an expert in the use of probate inventories."
Posted 3:16 PM | [Link]
HAS IT OCCURRED TO ANYONE…" [Jonah Goldberg]
That maybe what we’re dealing with here is a serial killer? After all, thanks to O.J. Simpson, we know the real killers in his case are still out there. Maybe this is what connects the Robert Blake and Chandra Levy cases?
Posted 3:07 PM | [Link]
ALREADY COVERED [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jonah, the German card has already been played in this campaign. Chancellor Schroeder has told the French not to vote for Le Pen. They seem ready to comply.
Posted 2:53 PM | [Link]
REMEMBER WHEN PAULA ZAHN USED TO INTERVIEW THESE FOLKS? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
They were supposed to help her find Chandra Levy.
Posted 2:49 PM | [Link]
THE EMORY WHEEL [Melissa Seckora]
Campus paper says Bellesiles might have lied to them too.
Posted 2:47 PM | [Link]
FRENCH MARCH [Jonah Goldberg]
100,000 Frenchmen march to protest Le Pen. If things get ugly they might try the water cannon and rubber bullets. If that doesn't work, someone will have to shout something in German. Then they'll scatter.
Posted 2:15 PM | [Link]
KRISTOL ON SAUDIS—SPOT ON: [Rich Lowry]
On the eve of his meeting with President Bush today, Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warned of “a strategic debacle” that could result in the Saudis employing “the oil weapon” against the United States, and demanding that U.S. forces leave their bases in the Kingdom. Although the ostensible cause for these threats is the Bush Administration’s support for Israel’s actions against Palestinian terrorists, the Saudi ruling family clearly has been unnerved by the president’s commitment to win the larger war on terrorism in the region.
The Crown Prince has serious questions to answer about where he and the rest of the House of Saud stand in this war. The repressive Wahhabi strain of Islam is Saudi state religion and has been the prime source for spreading Muslim irredentist thought throughout the region; it is no surprise that 15 of the 19 September 11 terrorists were Saudi citizens. In his State of the Union address, President Bush said that an integral part of the war on terrorism is to bring democratic principles to the Islamic world. This cannot but be a threat to the Saudi regime. That is why a source close to Crown Prince Abdullah has made it clear to The New York Times that the Saudi princes wouldn’t hesitate to stand against the United States in a crisis: “And if that means we move to the right of [Osama] bin Laden, so be it; to the left of [Libyan leader Moammar] Qaddafi, so be it; or fly to Baghdad and embrace Saddam like a brother, so be it.” The Crown Prince makes it clear: to preserve itself, the Saudi regime is prepared to join the Axis of Evil.
In protecting its interests in the Persian Gulf, the United States has always hoped for a regional partner: first Iran, then Iraq, then the Saudis; in their turn, each of these has proven itself incapable of the job. Fortunately, the Saudis probably overestimate the threat they pose to the president’s policy. Denying the U.S. access to Saudi bases will make the war against Iraq harder, but will not stop it. Further, removing Saddam Hussein’s regime from power in Baghdad will reduce the Saudis’ leverage even more -- returning Iraqi oil fully to market can only reduce the Saudis’ ability to set oil prices, and make the U.S. bases there superfluous.
Finally, that the Crown Prince should come to Crawford brandishing these threats -- attempting to veto an attack on Saddam and hamstring American and world economic recovery -- suggests that the current Saudi regime is part of the problem, not part of the solution.
Posted 1:40 PM | [Link]
KILLERS BROUGHT TO THE BAR OF JUSTICE [John Derbyshire]
The news that the assassins of Israel's tourism minister have been "convicted" after a "trial" in Arafat's compound brought to my mind some other defendants in another trial some years ago.
Posted 1:16 PM | [Link]
CUDDLY COMMIES [Andrew Stuttaford]
The New York Times has an article today about Gisors, a village in France where about 21 percent of the population voted for Le Pen. It is the usual sort of Times' reporting (the first Le Pen voter we meet is, naturally, the local butcher, complete with "bloodstained apron") but there was one phrase that caught my attention:
"The Communist Party...is part of the governing coalition in France and [is] not considered extreme".
Really? It is never made clear who exactly it is that does not consider the Communist Party extreme. But if it is the French, then that says a lot about France, and if it is the writer, then that says even more about the New York Times.
Posted 12:15 PM | [Link]
MORE TITLE IX [Jonah Goldberg]
I don't want to sound like Imus and his ranch, but .... It turns out that Tilting the Playing Field is reviewed positively in today’s Wall Street Journal as well. For reasons that remain murky and mysterious this review is not available on the web either. I suspect Gender Feminist skullduggery.
Posted 12:08 PM | [Link]
"LE PEN CAN WIN" [Ramesh Ponnuru]
That's what Martin Sieff says in his latest UPI analysis (not yet online), contradicting the analyses of almost everyone else (and also of himself previously). He writes, "[A] Chirac victory is by no means the done deal that everybody has taken for granted. Chirac's core support is far less than anyone dreamed and Le Pen's core support is at least as strong, possibly more so than his. . . . A lot of those who did vote for protest candidates on the left last Sunday look much more likely to vote for Le Pen than Chirac next time. And Le Pen stands a good chance of corralling a lot more of the stay-at-home votes from last Sunday than anyone expects either." Sieff thinks that lefties might support Le Pen for tactical reasons or simply because they agree with him about globalization and European integration. I'm skeptical.
Posted 12:01 PM | [Link]
THE BAD GUYS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One last thing: I think it is worth remembering that while it wasn't the Knights of Columbus who abused kids, it also wasn't a bulk of the bishops. Bad decisions are moral wrongs and tragic, but these guys still aren't the ones who "raped those boys."
Posted 11:59 AM | [Link]
NOT SO FRUITY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Additionally, Weigel may have a point--and, yes, I do know "the parish trenches," too. But a wake-up call and cleanup of the seminaries would be a revolutionary event, and it would do amazing things for orthodoxy, among many other things. I also note the good seminaries of recent years, and good, orthodox, faithful men who have been ordained despite the realities we are all now talking about that they were exposed to (i.e. The New Men?).
Posted 11:58 AM | [Link]
MAYBE THEY’RE BEING STRAIGHT WITH US [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rodster, A few things about the cardinals' statement: I would not be so quick to blast them. They were called to the Vatican in what the world certainly took as a reprimand. With the whole bloody world watching--and the arm of the law reaching for each accused priest--they have little choice but to come clean, even if anyone was still reluctant. Perhaps we should wait a little before we condemn their reform attempts--I'm not saying don't remind people what happened last time--but knowing what the whole world now knows about seminaries, etc., I tend to think this won't be—and frankly, can’t be--a sham investigation, for instance.
Posted 11:57 AM | [Link]
GUN NUTS, BACK OFF [Jonah Goldberg]
In yesterday’s column, I wrote:
"We allow the most extreme stuff, the stuff out on the periphery of social and legal behavior for the simple reason that if we allow the stuff on the fringe, the freedoms at the core of our constitutional order will be preserved. For people who zealously defend our Second Amendment rights, this means arguing about the right to carry concealed weapons into churches, schools, airports, wherever."
This has elicited angry email from a number of defensive gun rightsers, upset at me for calling their positions "fringe." Interestingly, I’ve gotten much less flack for my similar comments about abortion. Anyway, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what I said. My comments did not address whether or not I agree with the gun rights crowd on these issues, they simply pointed to the obvious fact that the hardcore gun-rights arguments are not "mainstream" opinions. If they were more in the mainstream we wouldn't need the NRA to work so hard, after all. Since when – at National Review no less – is saying something is out of the mainstream tantamount to saying it’s wrong?
Posted 11:39 AM | [Link]
SAUDI PRINCIPLE, FIRM AS THE SAND IT WAS BUILT ON [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn - this is my favorite quote from that piece on the Saudis:
"'It is a mistake to think that our people will not do what is necessary to survive,'" the person close to the crown prince said, 'and if that means we move to the right of bin Laden, so be it; to the left of Qaddafi, so be it; or fly to Baghdad and embrace Saddam like a brother, so be it. It's damned lonely in our part of the world, and we can no longer defend our relationship to our people.'"
Posted 11:27 AM | [Link]
GEORGE WILL AND THE RIGHT [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The Washington Post's best regular op-ed columnist thinks, correctly, that Beltway conservatives should be "on balance, quite pleased" with Bush, just as conservatives across the country are. He errs, I think, in assuming they (we) are not. Would Will recommend any specific changes in our behavior toward the administration? It can't be that we shouldn't criticize the president on steel or campaign finance; none of us have been harsher on those decisions than Will himself. One of the reasons Will gives for optimism about Bush's future policies is that "Bush cannot have enjoyed the reaction, here or abroad, to his protectionism." When we criticize Bush, as Will has done, for what we regard as his mistakes, it's part of the process by which we ensure that we can continue to be, as we should be, "quite pleased."
Posted 11:23 AM | [Link]
MORE ON THE EMINENCES: [Rod Dreher] My take on the cardinals' statement is up, but I'm still trying to make some sense of their statement. What do they mean that only a "serial" and "notorious" child molester should be instantly removed? Is it less egregious if the offender only does it once, or if the public doesn't find out about it? Other objections are well-noted by Amy Welborn today (scroll down her blog to read the various comments), but I am especially taken by her observation that the end of the catechetical "silly season" prophesied by George Weigel has little to do with reality in the parish trenches. And she's right about the offensiveness of the red hats' suggestion that the whole Church do penance for the sins of pederast priests and the bishops who enabled them. It wasn't the old ladies of the sodality who raped those boys, and it wasn't the Knights of Columbus who covered up for them either. The blame-shifting continues.
Posted 11:19 AM | [Link]
VIDAL'S MOMENT [Andrew Stuttaford]
There is a moment when contrarianism becomes conspiracism, and when cynicism turns into stupidity. If there was any doubt before, there isn't now: this moment has now arrived for Gore Vidal. If you have time, the inclination and a great deal of patience, check out this interview in Salon (unfortunately, only subscribers can access).
Posted 11:19 AM | [Link]
THIS COULD GET UGLY [Jonah Goldberg]
Gray Davis seems to be caving on reparations at the behest of Jesse Jackson.
Posted 11:17 AM | [Link]
SO ABDULLAH'S THREATENING US? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted 11:08 AM | [Link]
BUSH AND THE RIGHT [Ramesh Ponnuru]
It's true there has been some conservative grumbling about some recent Bush decisions. But there is no rift. Almost all conservatives in Washington support the administration and wish it well, while reserving the right to disagree on occasion. The press wants there to be a bigger story here because 1) it likes conflict, 2) it especially likes intra-Republican conflict, and 3) it doesn't understand conservatives very well (although its understanding has improved over the last half-decade).
Posted 11:06 AM | [Link]
REVISIONISTS REVISED [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Fred Barnes has a useful response to the revisionism about Arafat, Barak, and Camp David.
Posted 11:03 AM | [Link]
THE WORD FROM EMORY [Melissa Seckora]
A Emory University release: "On February 7, Emory University announced that its History Department and Michael Bellesiles had jointly initiated a formal process to address allegations of misconduct in research concerning Professor Bellesiles' book, Arming America: The Origins of a National Gun Culture. That internal inquiry is now complete, and based on it, Robert Paul, Dean of Emory College, concluded that further investigation would be warranted by an independent committee of distinguished scholars from outside Emory University. That investigative committee's work is now underway and should be concluded no later than summer's end. During the course of the investigation the committee's work will remain confidential. Professor Bellesiles has concurred that the outcome of the investigation may be made public."
Posted 11:02 AM | [Link]
HOT POD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
John Podhoretz has had a string of hits recently, Jonah. If you missed his Jenin war-crimes lie piece, here it is.
Posted 10:50 AM | [Link]
THE PRESSURE IS ON CUOMO [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Dems in NY want Andrew Cuomo to drop out of the running for governor.
Posted 10:45 AM | [Link]
AMNESTY CALUMNY [Jonah Goldberg]
In case you missed it in the New York Post, John Podhoretz has an excellent piece on Amnesty International and Israel.
Posted 10:43 AM | [Link]
WORD IS [Melissa Seckora]
Emory will make an announcement on Arming America author, Michael Bellesiles today.
Posted 10:38 AM | [Link]
CASE CLOSED: [Jonah Goldberg]
I guess my friend Andrew Sullivan really is gay. Today he asks:
"How to describe the joy imparted by a new Pet Shop Boys album?"
Posted 10:36 AM | [Link]
ALSO IN THE STANDARD [Jonah Goldberg]
Reuel Marc Gerecht has a pretty interesting piece on how Sharon’s "aggression" has strengthened the US position. And, Beth Henary has a review of Jessica Gavora’s new book Tilting the Playing Field. Sadly (and surprisingly) the review reads a bit like a book report, but it’s still positive and spells the Missus’ name correctly. Alas, it’s not accessible to the general public. Maybe they can fix that.
Posted 7:28 AM | [Link]
OSAMA’S BRAIN [Jonah Goldberg]
Dinesh D’Souza has a very useful piece on Sayyid Qutb in the latest Weekly Standard. Aside from coming in third in the 1972 name-most-sorely-in-need-of-more-vowels contest, Qutb is the intellectual father of modern Islamic fundamentalism.
Posted 7:26 AM | [Link]
FRENCH TO AMERICAN JEWS: "DROP DEAD" [Jonah Goldberg]
Okay, the "drop dead" is premature, they have to work their way through their own Jews first. In the meantime, the French Foreign Minister complains that American Jews are the source of Israeli intransigence. Truth be told, I find these arguments bothersome but not necessarily beyond the pale. That said, can you imagine if Colin Powell had asserted that the French are turning a blind eye to terrorism in the Middle East because of the inordinate influence of millions of pro-terrorist Arabs and North Africans in France? Why they’d go into such anti-American hysteria they might even forget to burn a synagogue or beat-up some Jewish kids for a whole week.
Posted 7:24 AM | [Link]
WHY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Do I ever think that I will learn anything from having Larry King on in the background? Correct me if I am wrong, but it is always a disappointment. Tonight he interviewed the cast of Queer as Folk. Figured some interesting debate might happen. Nah. Larry must have asked every straight cast member--and maybe more than once--"what is it like" to kiss someone of the same sex. Background noise is sometimes way too ridiculous to be worth the distraction.
Posted 11:51 PM | [Link]
WOW... [Jonah Goldberg]
Andrew - Here I thought I was winning huge points for holding paper on Maurice Thorez for so long and it turns out you've got the goods on him far better than I do. I'm very impressed.
Posted 11:39 PM | [Link]
WELL, HE DOES HAVE BILL CLINTON IN HIS ARCHDIOCESE: [Rod Dreher] No wonder Cardinal Egan never talks to the press. He says things like this weird line, from a New York Times story: "When asked about homosexuals in the priesthood, Cardinal Egan responded: 'I would just say this. The most important thing is to clean up the truth. And the truth is I have never said anything.'" He's talking about a quote saying gays shouldn't be in the priesthood, which was mistakenly attributed to him by an Italian newspaper. Isn't it interesting that Egan thinks that his actual opinion on this very important issue matters less than what people think he may or may not believe? This, as well as his "I hope it worked" comment in the same interview, indicates a prelate more concerned with his image than with what the Catholic people of New York are actually thinking and talking about.
Posted 11:34 PM | [Link]
RED NORM [Andrew Stuttaford]
This hasn't got much to do with Maurice Thorez, but I'll post it anyway. Another of his successors as party leader was the dreadful Georges Marchais. Put that name into at least one of those on-line translation services and it is transformed into 'George Went'. The spelling (Went rather than Wendt) is slightly different, but I like the idea of the great French proletarian revolution being led by Norm from Cheers.
Posted 11:24 PM | [Link]
THOREZ THE WIMP [Andrew Stuttaford]
Thorez approved an execution, but the best-known of his successors, Jacques Duclos, may have been involved in an assassination, that of the defecting Soviet agent Ignaz Reiss in 1937. Duclos, a revoltingly unrepetentant Stalinist, continued with his political career over many subsequent decades. In 1969 he won 21.3% of the vote in the first round of France's presidential election. That's a higher percentage than Le Pen managed on Sunday, but there were very few protests.
Posted 11:07 PM | [Link]
THOREZ THE ADDRESS [Andrew Stuttaford]
On a lighter note, it is worth noting that Thorez was featured in one of the Soviet bureaucracy's better jokes. When the time came to name something in Moscow after the old French Stalinist, the Party decided on a street just across the river from the Kremlin, the street which just happened to be the home of the British embassy. Very funny, Comrades.
Posted 10:39 PM | [Link]
THOREZ THE KILLER [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jonah, Thorez did, at least once, get to participate in the execution process. While visiting Moscow in 1957 he was one of a group of international Communist leaders asked to approve the death penalty for Imre Nagy, the reform Communist who briefly headed the Hungarian uprising. This was not mandatory (the Polish leader had the decency to decline) but Thorez was one of those who voted in favor of the hangman. Nagy was executed the following year.
Posted 10:28 PM | [Link]
COME AGAIN, CARDINAL?: [Rod Dreher] Cardinal Edward Egan was just interviewed on local news here in New York. He said that protecting children has to be unquestionably the most important thing in this matter. But Your Eminence, said a reporter, there are people who believe you acted otherwise when you were bishop of Bridgeport. Egan wouldn't talk about it. "I have said what I thought I needed to say to the people, and I hope it worked." I hope it worked?!? Oh brother.
Posted 10:06 PM | [Link]
ON THE OTHER HAND… [Jonah Goldberg]
The French did have a would be mass-murderer in their midst for years and they treated him like a statesman. Maurice Thorez the former leader of the French Communist party. Thorez was 100% - some would say 110% - Stalinist. His was allegedly the largest CP in the world outside Russia, and would garner 25% or so of the vote regularly. Thorez would have executed thousands of the establishment in France – or tried -- if he had come to power. The Europeans lived with this - but they can't abide anyone from the kooky right getting a piece of the action because they think the kooky right is dangerous but the kooky left is "sincere" and "well intentioned." Of course, history shows that the kooky left - perhaps because they follow their logic to the bitter end - usually tends to be more dangerous, though certainly not always. This is the same selective outrage which wants to pursue Pinochet, Sharon and Kissinger to the ends of the Earth as "war criminals," but would never dream of writing Arafat, Idi Amin, Assat or Castro a parking ticket.
IF ONLY HITLER WAS LE PEN! [Jonah Goldberg]
I’ve tried to stay out of this Le Pen stuff because it’s just so much damn fun and I just didn't want to spoil it. But this Hitler thing is driving me nuts. The European press is full of comparisons to Hitler and the American press has indulged the comparison more than once. A banner in Strasbourg "Mussolini: 1922. Hitler: 1933. Le Pen: never." Now, as much as I would love to say that the snail-sniffing capitulationists could breed their own Hitler, this strikes me as just so much Hitler envy. "Why should the Germans be able to produce a world-historical mass murderer while all we could come up with is Hitler’s valet?" they seem to be asking. The fact is Le Pen is a crank and isolationist, but it’s absurd to call him a would-be Hitler.
Posted 9:24 PM | [Link]
ISLAM MEANS PEACE, CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
Renounce Christianity or die.
Posted 9:08 PM | [Link]
ON THE OTHER HAND [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The current president was gratefully nowhere to be seen alongside ex-prezes Ford, Carter, and Clinton. Rewind two years and odds are the president would have appeared.
Posted 9:05 PM | [Link]
GONE HOLLYWOOD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
What was Karl Rove doing on West Wing's little documentary/best-of flashback this week?
Posted 9:03 PM | [Link]
FREE SPEECH EU STYLE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Le Pen has today been visiting the 'European Parliament' in Brussels (he is an MEP, a member of that august body). He was due to hold a press conference while he was there. The press room was filled to capacity with a crowd that included parliamentary staffers, MEPs and other visitors, who (the Financial Times reports) demanded that any journalists walk out in the event of an appearance by Le Pen. To their credit, the reporters present appeared to understand that journalists are meant to report opinion, not censor it. To their credit the parliament's security guards then attempted to clear the room of everyone except for the press. They failed. Heckling continued, despite requests for quiet from the journalists who were there. Le Pen never turned up and the press conference was abandoned.
Remind me again, isn't it Le Pen who is meant to be the fascist?
Posted 5:37 PM | [Link]
JUST THE FACTS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Nice primer from Empower America: Twenty useful facts about the Mideast conflict.
Posted 3:05 PM | [Link]
ON TO BERLIN: [Rod Dreher] A Catholic friend in Texas writes: "My coworker is leaving today for a trip to Berlin and Brussels in the company of a Jewish friend. Their contacts in Berlin have urged them to stay away, because of random attacks on Jewish citizens. There's innuendo that May 1 is going to be a big day for anti-Semitic action. I've become more convinced that hating Jews is not merely a sociological phenomenon, but a pernicious devilforce that will never be eradicated on this earth. I cannot stand the thought that Europe is again abandoning Jews to their ravenous enemies, just 60 years later. Those fiends, those self-righteous frauds and cowards!" Hmmm. I wonder what Pastor Martin Niemoller would say if he were alive today to see this. Maybe: First the Islamofascists came for Americans in the World Trade Center, and the Europeans didn't speak up, not as they ought to have done, because their capitals were not attacked. Then the Islamofascists came for the Jews, and the Europeans didn't speak up, because they were not Jewish, and besides, Israel is a sh**ty little country...." You know, reader, how the story ends.
Posted 2:34 PM | [Link]
RE: CHURCH AND BOY SCOUTS: [Rod Dreher] A reader responds to my post below about the Church and Boy Scouts: "There's one problem with drawing the connection: The Church bars openly homosexual men from serving as priests. Indeed, the Church bars openly sexual men from serving as priests. What, then, does the Boy Scouts' policy have to do with the crisis that's hit the Church?" This: The Boy Scouts, unlike the Catholic Church, has an explicit policy barring gays from serving as Scoutmasters. The Church only bars, in theory, noncelibates; celibate gays, like celibate straights, may receive holy orders. The real kicker is that the Scouts, to the best of my knowledge, kick out any Scoutmaster discovered to be gay. The Church not only doesn't defrock gays (understandably; a homosexually-oriented priest who lives up to his vows and who upholds Church teaching is no villain, and in fact may be a hero), but when it discovers sexually active gays among its priestly ranks, it typically takes no action to remove them from the active priesthood.
Posted 2:23 PM | [Link]
JONAH, OVER TO YOU: [Rich Lowry]
From Best of Web:
In 1995 the delightfully named Kevin T. Amiss was granted U.S. Patent No. 5,443,036 for "a method for inducing cats to exercise [that] consists of directing a beam of invisible light produced by a hand-held laser apparatus onto the floor or wall or other opaque surface in the vicinity of the cat, then moving the laser so as to cause the bright pattern of light to move in an irregular way fascinating to cats, and to any other animal with a chase instinct."
Posted 2:21 PM | [Link]
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...: [Rod Dreher] An American friend of mine whose company transferred him two years ago to its European headquarters has been shocked by the open anti-Semitism he encounters there. My friend, who happens to be Christian, writes, "When you move to Europe, you first notice 'anti-Zionism.' The anti-Semitism comes up later, and it is bad. In the United States I am considered very pro-Palestinian. Here I am considered a Zionist dog, and my 'pro-Israeli' views are considered shocking. I haven't changed any of my views at all - very strange."
Posted 2:16 PM | [Link]
THE SAUDI PROBLEM: [Andrew Stuttaford]
There's a lengthy article in today's 'New York Times' on the increasing problem posed by Islamic fundamentalism in Britain. One activist is quoted as claiming that jihad recruitment is "more promising in smaller towns" because, he says, "In smaller towns, there's nothing happening." That, in a nutshell, is also the problem with 'Saudi' Arabia.
In the Sauds' desert kingdom, social repression and economic failure have combined to produce a society where there is little to do by day, and even less at night. The result? Large numbers of underemployed, bored young men, desperate for a little excitement, and crying out for something to occupy their time. Bin Laden is only too happy to oblige.
Posted 1:54 PM | [Link]
House Members Seek Apology From Saudi Ambassador: [Rich Lowry]
Emissary Likened Palestinian Terror Campaign To American Revolution
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of House members on Wednesday called on Saudia Arabia's ambassador to the U.S. to apologize for "outrageous, untrue and intemperate comments" likening Yassar Arafat and the Palestinian terror campaign against Israel to George Washington and the American colonists' struggle for independence.
The ambassador, Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, made the comments in an editorial column that appeared in the Washington Post on April 5th entitled "Why Israel Must Stop Terror."
Over 50 House Republicans and Democrats added their signatures to a letter circulated by U.S. Rep. J. D. Hayworth (R-AZ) calling for the apology.
Posted 1:52 PM | [Link]
NEWBERRY AWARD IN QUESTION, TOO [Melissa Seckora]
The National Endowment for the Humanities has sent a letter to the Newberry Library in Chicago which raises serious questions about the Library's $30,000 grant to Michael Bellesiles for the second book he is writing on guns. In a letter to Dr. James Grossman, director of the Newberry Library, the NEH asks the Newberry to provide a written notice of the institution's "procedures for handling alleged cases of academic misconduct and fraud." If the Newberry's response fails to satisfy the NEH's concerns, officials there are prepared to take any "necessary and appropriate actions including but not limited to removing the NEH name from the Newberry Fellowship to Michael Bellesiles."
Posted 1:24 PM | [Link]
GAYS, BOY SCOUTS AND THE CHURCH: [Rod Dreher] In the wake of all we've learned about the Catholic scandal since January, the much-maligned Boy Scouts are looking better and better for their gay policy. Here's a story from Milwaukee today about the arrest of a Catholic religion teacher who was picked up in an Internet pederasty sting. he showed up thinking he was going to meet a 14-year-old boy for sex, and cops arrested him. Here's the kicker: this guy has not only been involved with the Scouts since 1968, he was, until yesterday, the Archdiocese of Milwaukee's liaison to the local Boy Scout troops!
Posted 1:19 PM | [Link]
BELLESILES'S BANCROFT PRIZE TO BE REVOKED? [Melissa Seckora]
Roger Lane, a winner of Columbia University's coveted Bancroft Prize tells Gun Owners of America, that those individuals who awarded Bellesiles the 2001 Bancroft Prize for his controversial book Arming America, are "thinking about revoking it." "And I suspect they will," he says. Lane, who wrote a favorable review for Arming AMerica in the Journal of American History also adds that he is "mad at that guy. He suckered me. It is entirely clear to me that he's made up a lot of these records. He's betrayed us. He's betrayed the cause."
Posted 1:15 PM | [Link]
MAKES YOU APPRECIATE THE WAY THINGS ARE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This wire story, which may be fixed soon, IDs Kofi Annan as "U.S. Secretary-General." Thank goodness for small favors.
Posted 1:11 PM | [Link]
FYI [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rod, you'll find a good synopsis of the Nativity situation on National Review Online today, by Ariel Cohen. There's little doubt or ambiguity anymore about what's going on inside these days, as would-be escapees are shot at by the thugs inside and the like.
Posted 12:48 PM | [Link]
"SANCTUARY"?: [Rod Dreher] As I reported weeks ago, quoting a Vatican source, the standoff at the Church of the Nativity is not, despite Vatican claims, a "sanctuary" situation at all, but a hostage crisis. This has now beenconfirmed by three Armenian monks rescued from the complex by the Israeli army, which was publicly thanked by one of the monks for their help. According to the monks, the Palestinian gunmen confiscated gold, crucifixes and other items, and had desecrated the church. One of the monks told reporters: "They stole everything, they opened the doors one by one and stole everything... they stole our prayer books and four crosses... they didn't leave anything." The monks reportedly said the Palestinian terrorists are beating clergymen.
Posted 12:34 PM | [Link]
BRANDISHING THE BOGEYMAN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Le Pen has no chance of winning the French election, but, predictably enough, that has not stopped Europe's leftists using the Le Pen 'threat' as a device to suppress legitimate debate. One of the first to try this nasty trick is Germany's socialist Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder. Much to his chagrin, Schroeder is facing a tough election this autumn. With the economy still stagnant, conservatives led by Edmund Stoiber are mounting a strong challenge. Immigration is likely to be another key campaign issue, and it is not one that favors the incumbent. In attempt to head this off, Schroeder is now issuing dire warnings about those who (supposedly) "want a campaign of fear". Such people (un-named, naturally) "had better seriously ponder what they are doing given European developments".
Posted 11:58 AM | [Link]
ANYTHING BUT ABSTINENCE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Glaring example of media bias in reports today on an HHS study on abstinence-education programs. The media reports say the exact opposite of what the report says. Sometimes the news doesn’t matter as much as the editorial board’s opinion—even in a straight news story.
Posted 11:57 AM | [Link]
FIRST SADDAM... [Dave Kopel]
The Strategy Page details the wonderful domino effect that an American overthrow of Saddam will have on other terrorist-sponsoring states, including Iran and the portion of Arabia currently ruled by the House of Saud.
Posted 11:54 AM | [Link]
THANKS…: [Rich Lowry]
…for all the help. Corner readers are truly extraordinary! The result, for what it’s worth, should be up on the site soon.
Posted 11:29 AM | [Link]
HENRY K SAFE—FOR NOW [Andrew Stuttaford]
It looks, happily, as if Henry Kissinger's trip to London will be free of courtroom problems after all (see The Corner yesterday). The UK authorities have sensibly rejected requests by French and Spanish judges to detain Kissinger for questioning about US involvement in Chile in the 1970s. Meanwhile, a number of London-based activists today held a mock trial of Dr. Kissinger for Vietnam-era “war crimes.” In an indication of the sort of fairness that U.S. citizens can expect from international tribunals, the group purporting to try the former Secretary of State is, apparently, known as “Get Kissinger.”
Posted 11:08 AM | [Link]
MADMAN WORKS FOR US? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Perhaps anti-cloning activists should put Italian “doctor” nutty Severino Antinori on their payrolls. Every time he pipes up—now the claim is that there are three women impregnanted with clones—it should be a mini commercial for the face of cloning and the brave new world we’ve made. For a country with so many stupid regulations and silly things—and harmful ones, too--amazing that there’s nothing keeping him from doing his work here.
Posted 11:05 AM | [Link]
IN APPRECIATION [Jonah Goldberg]
My homage to rescue dogs, from the magazine.
Posted 10:37 AM | [Link]
HONORING THE DOGS [Jonah Goldberg]
Sirius, the only dog to die in the search-and-rescue efforts at the World Trace Center site is being honored today.
Posted 10:34 AM | [Link]
HELP…: [Rich Lowry]
…needed from Cold-War buffs. I want to refer to a Kennedy-Kruschev summit meeting in Vienna in a piece today but don’t have my copy of Donald Kagan’s On the Origins of War, which discusses it, in the office. Am I right in recalling that Kennedy got his a-- kicked by Kruschev at that meeting and Kruschev concluded Kennedy could be pushed around, roughly leading to the Cuban Missile Crisis?
Posted 9:47 AM | [Link]
A DIFFERENT SLICK WILLY [Jonah Goldberg]
The Washington Post today has one of those classically haughty Op-Eds from an academic seeking to put Washington in its place. Promising in his first sentence to provide a "reality check on energy policy," William Freudenburg explains that energy independence will be impossible because the United States produces an ever-shrinking share of world oil production. He’s right of course, the share of U.S. domestic oil has become a smaller part of the world pie since the end of the last century. But so what? The rest of the planet has been finding more oil outside the US, so of course our share of world oil supplies has shrunk relative to others. But relative supplies of oil are irrelevant. If the share of food produced by the US shrinks as other countries start growing their own food, does that mean we’re no longer "food independent"? Of course not. Food independence is achieved once America can feed all of its people. Maybe there’s a reason Freudenburg offers only one paragraph about America’s oil reserves in absolute terms? More to the point, energy independence or oil independence do not require that the United States produce enough oil to satisfy 100% of our demand. We only need produce enough so that it makes it prohibitively difficult for illegal cartels like OPEC to blackmail us.
Posted 9:19 AM | [Link]
DELECTABLE DIGEST [Stanley Kurtz]
Having just become a fellow at the Hoover Institution, I’ve discovered Hoover Digest, a publication previously unknown to me, but chock full of wonderful stuff. Check out the current issue, which features Clint Bolick on conservative judicial strategies, Diane Ravitch on education after September 11, and Stephen Thernstrom on the failure of race conscious policies, among many other pieces. There’s also a fascinating excerpt from Midge Decter’s memoir, An Old Wife’s Tale. It tells the inside story of how Decter and her fellow neoconservatives first broke with the Democrats and came to support Ronald Reagan. Decter’s book got a bit lost, having been published shortly after September 11, but it’s one of the best and most readable critiques of feminism available. I wrote a review essay on it for Policy Review.
Posted 8:46 AM | [Link]
FROM THE COCKPIT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You might want to check out this petition calling on Congress and the White House to consider allowing commercial airline pilots to be armed. It's sponsored by the Airline Pilots' Security Alliance.
Posted 7:48 AM | [Link]
"SOLIDARITY OF ABUSERS" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Speaking of the United Nations and human-rights stupidity: The U.N. Human Rights Commission just gave a pass to Iran for alleged human-rights abuses. This happens easily now that chrronic abusers like Cuba, China, Russia, the Sudan, the Saudis, and others, have a lock on the panel. (Click here for full membership.)
Posted 7:42 AM | [Link]
LOOKING FOR A DOSE OF ANTI-AMERICANISM? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Check out the Village Voice interview with outgoing U.N. "human rights" commissioner Mary Robinson. Among other things, remember the famous conference in Durban days before 9/11 where Zionism was equated with racism? Robinson says, "We need the Durban anti-discrimination agenda. The rest of the world views the racism conference as an extraordinarily positive achievement."
Posted 4:37 AM | [Link]
MORAL CLARITY IN BOSTON [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Bill Bennett uses canon law to back up his call for Cardinal Law's resignation in the Boston Globe today. A parish priest can be removed for being simply "ineffective." That's just the least of the many marks against the cardinal at this point, unfortunately.
Posted 4:24 AM | [Link]
A MAN OF THE LEFT? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Rod, I missed the New York Times piece, but (from your description) it seems that the paper of record may be providing a curiously selective definition of the "main points" of Le Pen's programme. There is one page on Le Pen's website that gives what is, presumably, the candidate's own list of his principal campaign themes. This selection includes many of the items quoted by you. In addition, however, there is also protectionism, support for the minimum wage, industrial and agricultural subsidy and, naturally, opposition to an American 'new world order'. Many of Le Pen's planned policies would not, in fact, look out of place on a leftist/anti-globalization wish list, something that may not fit very comfortably into the Gray Lady's view of the French election.
Posted 11:34 PM | [Link]
MONSIGNOR EUGENE CLARK: [Rod Dreher] Just back in town tonight, and I hear that Monsignor Eugene Clark, the rector of St. Patrick's Cathedral and a real hero to New York's orthodox Catholics, has caused quite a stir over the weekend with a fiery homily that made a point of discussing the homosexual aspect of the Church scandal. Imagine that, a Catholic priest teaching unpopular Catholic doctrine from the pulpit! Amazing. I wish Msgr. Clark had also taken out after clericalism, the other pillar of this scandal, but you can't have everything. I'm so grateful to the monsignor for having taken a brave stand in this tough city that I'm going to send last Sunday's tithe to him, along with a thank-you note for being that all-too-rare creature: a Catholic priest with faith and guts. If you agree, write to the Monsignor at St. Patrick's Cathedral Rectory, 460 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10022.
Posted 10:28 PM | [Link]
APRES LE PEN, WHITHER ALEC?: [Rod Dreher] Remember how Alec Baldwin was going to go to France if that noted right-wing extremist George W. Bush got elected president of the United States? After the Le Pen showing, I guess it's Sweden for the poor fellow.
Posted 9:39 PM | [Link]
WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?: [Rod Dreher] OK, any politician who denies or maliciously minimizes the Holocaust is beyond the moral pale. I wanted to make that clear, because here's a list, from today's NYTimes (which got it from the Jean-Marie Le Pen website) of the main things Le Pen wants to do if elected. 1) Outlaw abortion and end official recognition of same-sex unions; 2) Develop programs to increase the birth rate and pay benefits to women who stay at home with their children; 3) End legal immigration; 4) Deport illegal immigrants and eliminate dual nationality; 5) Give French citizens priority for all jobs and public housing; create a separate medical benefits system for foreigners working in France, so that French tax money would not be used for foreigners' care; 6) Allow only French citizens to teach in French schools; 7) Reinstitute morality classes; require student participation in patriotic events and holidays; 8) Outlaw the wearing of yarmulkes and Muslim headscarves in schools; 9) Create 200,000 new prison beds; 10) Expand and give new rights to the police force. Now, that's too xenophobic for me (the anti-yarmulke/anti-headscarf business is just pointlessly cruel), and I wouldn't vote for him. But given France's chronic problems with low birth rate, high immigration, unemployment and crime (especially from its Arab youth), Le Pen's proposals don't strike me as crazy. At least they are worth debating, not going into raving hysterics over. Don't you think?
Posted 9:36 PM | [Link]
KISSINGER'S CRIMES [Andrew Stuttaford]
Henry Kissinger is due to visit the UK tomorrow. Absurdly, he may face legal problems while he is there. Rupert Cornwell's piece in the London Independent reveals both the background to the story and ( in the vitriol of its language) the contempt for America that lies behind it. Most bizarre of all, perhaps, is the writer's mockery of that badge of a former refugee, Kissinger's "ridiculous" (German) accent. That's not quite the sort of comment that one expects to find in such a self-consciously 'progressive' newspaper.
Posted 3:57 PM | [Link]
More Than 100 Area Airport Workers Arrested: [Rich Lowry]
Authorities Say Workers Failed to Disclose Prior Felonies, Immigration Status
By Allan Lengel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, April 23, 2002; 2:33 PM
More than 100 employees at the three major airports in the Washington area were arrested today on charges that they failed to disclose felony convictions, lied about their immigration status or submitted fake Social Security numbers or names on their applications to work in secure areas.
Posted 2:29 PM | [Link]
I AM A FOOL.... [Jonah Goldberg]
Not because I didn't know that the guy who sent me the advice that all cities are feminine in Latin might be wrong. But because I publicly displayed my ignorance of Latin -- something I should have learned was foolish from past episodes best not recollected here. I am being deluged with Latin tutorials, bon mots, insults, and puns. No more, please.
Posted 2:12 PM | [Link]
PLAYING FOR THE OTHER TEAM [Andrew Stuttaford]
French radio is reporting that Chirac will refuse to debate Le Pen. That's a peculiar way of defending democratic values. It is also stupid. Le Pen gains much of his support from the perception that France is run by an arrogant elite that has no interest in listening to what people have to say. Has Chirac just proved that this is true?
Posted 2:10 PM | [Link]
DOUBLE STANDARDS, AGAIN [Andrew Stuttaford]
There is an interesting choice of words by Paul Krugman in his op-ed piece in today's New York Times. Le Pen is, understandably enough, described as "rabid". The candidates of the hard left, however, are given a far gentler adjective. They are merely "silly".
Posted 1:41 PM | [Link]
ROBERTS' ROLES [Jonathan Adler]
Yesterday Peter Berkowitz detailied the scurrilous campaign against John Roberts' nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Liberal activist groups are making hay of Roberts' advocacy for conservative positions when he worked for the Justice Department. Yet they completely ignore Roberts work on behalf of unconservative causes, such as his representation of the state governments in the Microsoft litigation and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in opposition to compensation for regulatory takings. Roberts work in the latter case helped yield a 6-3 victory for land-use regulation.
Posted 12:37 PM | [Link]
PROPERTY LOSS [Jonathan Adler]
Today the Supreme Court ruled against landowners seeking compensation for temporary takings in Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Justice John Paul Stevens wrote for the six justice majority. Justice Thomas and the Chief each authored dissents which Justice Scalia joined. The decision is a potentially significnat setback for private property rights.
Posted 12:34 PM | [Link]
SCRIBENDI CACOETHES [John Derbyshire]
"All cities are feminine in Latin"? Then why does "Londinium" have a neuter
Posted 12:09 PM | [Link]
THAT WAS EASY [Jonah Goldberg]
It turns out that all cities are feminine in Latin. Never mind.
Posted 11:52 AM | [Link]
Palestinian fighter describes 'hard fight' in Jenin. Says he didn't see large numbers killed: [Rich Lowry]
JERUSALEM (CNN) -- A senior member of Islamic Jihad who surrendered to Israeli forces in Jenin described the battle as "a very hard fight" in which both sides took on casualties, but he said he didn't see "tens of people" killed by the Israeli army.
Tabaat Mardawi spoke Monday to CNN from the Israeli prison where he was taken after his surrender. His comments were some of the first from a Palestinian fighter from the battle at the Jenin refugee camp, which was the scene of Israel's most fierce offensive during Operation Defensive Shield.
Palestinian officials claim hundreds died in what they are calling a massacre at the camp during Israel's military offensive. Israel vehemently denies the charge, saying deaths-including 23 of their own soldiers-came during fierce fighting. The United Nations has formed a fact-finding team to investigate the events at the Jenin camp.
Mardawi said he and other Palestinian fighters had expected Israel to attack with planes and tanks. He spoke enthusiastically about Israel's decision to send in infantry.
"It was like hunting ... like being given a prize. I couldn't believe it when I saw the soldiers," he said. "The Israelis knew that any soldier who went into the camp like that was going to get killed." He added: "I've been waiting for a moment like that for years."
Israel Defense Forces spokesmen have said that the decision to use infantry to spearhead the attack - rather than using air power and artillery - stemmed from a desire to limit civilian casualties, even at the risk of higher IDF casualties.
The decision to take the crowded refugee camp - with its narrow streets and alleyways - block by block did prove costly to the Israeli forces. In the worst single incident, Palestinian gunmen ambushed an Israeli unit on April 9 and killed 13 reservists and troops sent to rescue them.
Mardawi drew a map of the camp and talked about the course of the battle. Their weapons were guns and crudely made bombs and booby traps-"big ones" for tanks and "others the size of a water bottle." He estimated 1,000 to 2,000 bombs and booby traps were spread through the camp.
"It was a very hard fight. We fought at close quarters," he said, "sometimes just a matter of a few meters between us, sometimes even in the same house."
He said there were about 100 Palestinians in the battle -- 60 to 70 fighters from the camp and 20-30 members of the Palestinian security forces.
That figure is not so different from what Israel has said. The Israel Defense Forces has said as many as 200 fighters were in the camp but that about 100 surrendered during the fighting….
Posted 11:40 AM | [Link]
OUCH! [Rich Lowry]
From Newsweek: "the agency played a critical role in the massive raid staged last month against Qaeda operatives hiding out in Pakistan, including Abu Zubaydah, Osama bin Laden's key deputy charged with running terror operations on the ground. Zubaydah was shot in the groin trying to flee. 'If he's singing,' said a CIA official, 'it will be in a higher pitch.'"
Posted 11:38 AM | [Link]
MORE BEINART [Jonah Goldberg]
Ramesh, another problem, it seems to me, with Beinart’s analysis is the moral equivalence he asserts between Republican arguments and Democratic ones. When Republicans accuse the Democrats of holding up Estrada’s hearings because he’s Hispanic, it’s not a conventional accusation of racism. Rather, the charge is usually that Democrats are afraid of a conservative Hispanic because their party is so hung up on identity politics they’d have a hard time opposing him at a public hearing. The fear is that if Estrada is confirmed this time around he will be an unstoppable candidate for the Supreme Court down the road because Democrats cannot be seen discriminating against a Latino. Meanwhile, when Democrats accuse Republicans of racism it’s always of the old Jim Crow variety. Republicans, according to various Democratic radio ads in recent years, are in favor of disenfranchisement of blacks, Church bombings and lynching. Republicans, charged Bill Richardson, were racist for being concerned about Chinese espionage. Republicans were racist for advocating welfare reform. Etc, etc. I don’t absolve Republicans for occasionally playing idiotic identity politics games from time to time, but generally the Republicans never approach the bad faith of the Democrats on this sort of thing.
Posted 11:16 AM | [Link]
THE PACKAGE HAS BEEN DELIVERED [Jonah Goldberg]
Kathryn Lopez is in possession of the Goldberg File. I apologize for the tardiness. Unfortunately, while my hangover from the weekend’s bacchanalian excess was gone by Monday, a knuckle-locking case of writer’s block stayed with me throughout the day yesterday. When this happens it scares the dickens out of me because I’m obliged to write five columns a week and Rich Lowry – as befits a cat lover – is a cruel taskmaster. Anyway, Kathryn has it now and, as a means of punishing all of the people who harangued me about missing my deadline, it’s ungodly long. Indeed it may be the longest G-File ever. It’s longer than the wedding scene in the Deer Hunter. It’s even longer than a short flight sitting between Michael Moore and Alec Baldwin. Whether it’s any good is for you to decide.
ABSOLUTELY NO COMMENT [Jonah Goldberg]
But women’s golf just got a bit more interesting.
IS THIS A JOB FOR DERBYSHIRE? [Jonah Goldberg]
Last week I entitled a column Baghdad Delenda Est (the sequel is up today). This, of course, was a reference to "Cathargo Delenda Est" or, alternatively, "Delenda est Cathargo" – which colloquially translated means "that which stands in the way of our greatness must be removed at all costs." More literally it means "Carthage must be destroyed." This is how Cato the Elder ended every speech in the year 157 B.C. (it was also a repeated refrain of many overheated Goldberg Files during the last presidential campaign, referring to the fact that Al Gore hails from Carthage Tennessee). I’ve received numerous emails from people inquiring why I assume the gender of Baghdad is feminine – hence the "delenda." Some say Baghdad should be neuter which would make it "Baghdadum delendum est." Frankly, I have no idea how to find out what the gender of Baghdad is.
Posted 11:01 AM | [Link]
BEINART’S RACE CARD: [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Peter Beinart, the editor of the New Republic, is disgusted with Republicans for suggesting that Democrats are opposing Miguel Estrada, one of Bush’s judicial nominees, because he’s Hispanic. Where could Republicans have gotten the idea that liberal opposition to Estrada has a racial component? Maybe from Peter Beinart.
Posted 10:19 AM | [Link]
BUSY MORNING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Karen Hughes resigns. Ari Fleischer announces engagement. The Pope issues strong words to American cardinals.
Posted 9:24 AM | [Link]
GLASS HOUSES [Andrew Stuttaford]
Do you remember Tom Paulin? He is the Oxford don who recently became notorious for urging that American Jewish settlers be shot. The Daily Telegraph is now reporting that the judge in an (unrelated) court case has criticized the appalling Paulin for making apparenty unfounded allegations of (you guessed it) "racism" against a fellow academic.
Posted 8:41 AM | [Link]
STRUCTURAL DAMAGE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Chris Patten, the failed Tory politician who is now the EU's External Affairs Commissioner (fans of the fatuous will remember his criticism of the U.S. war against terrorism) has attacked Israel for "the organized ruin of buildings" within Palestinian territory. No word on what he has to say about the suicide bombers' organized ruin of people.
Posted 8:24 AM | [Link]
AU REVOIR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Michael Ledeen says farewell to the European left in the WSJ today.
Posted 5:48 AM | [Link]
AWARDING BILL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
NARAL hailed Bill Clinton on Monday as a "pro-choice champion.” According to a spokesman for NARAL, “Former President Clinton was the nation's most aggressive advocate for a woman's right to choose since the Roe decision.” Yep, that’s more like his legacy.
Posted 5:01 AM | [Link]
AID AND COMFORT [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Osama in Pakistan? Since December, Arnaud de Borchgrave reports, from a tribal-leader informant.
Posted 4:36 AM | [Link]
UNPATRIOTIC GORE: [John J. Miller]
Al Gore came pretty close yesterday to suggesting President Bush doesn't have the authority to govern because he didn't win the "popular" vote: "'Refresh my memory a little bit,' Gore responded, saying he had not intended to bring up the election. 'Did a majority of the American people endorse his policies in the election? He won the election and he is our president, but he ought to be a little bit more careful about claiming that a majority of the voters endorsed his policy payoffs to polluters who pressured him to break his promises to the public.'" That "refresh my memory" line sounds like the condescending Al Gore we know and don't love, and the throwaway comment "he won the election and is our president" serves to inoculate him against the charge that he's saying something rather different. It's like saying, "I'd never criticize Al Gore, but he's a smelly loser."
Posted 4:28 AM | [Link]
SHOCKED, SHOCKED [Andrew Stuttaford]
The post-electoral hysterics in France continue. There have been yet more demonstrations in the streets and numerous prominent Frenchmen are proclaiming how terribly, terribly embarrassed they are by Le Pen's success. All these gestures are, doubtless, meant to be tremendously moving, but they would be a lot more convincing if the French had shown anything like as much emotion in response to the series of anti-Semitic attacks that have recently disgraced their country. These horrors, of course, were greeted with strangely muted criticism at best or disgusting indifference at worst. I wonder why that might be.
Posted 11:40 PM | [Link]
TEARS OF A CLOWN [Andrew Stuttaford]
Subscribers logging on to AOL on Monday ('Earth Day') evening will have been greeted by the lugubrious face of the tearful 'Iron Eyes Cody' , the iconic 'Crying Indian' who was such an important symbol of the 'Keep America Beautiful' campaign and the early days of the environmentalist movement. AOL helpfully link Cody's photograph to his CNN obituary from 1999. From this we learn that he was born in Oklahoma.There is talk of his 'Cherokee Indian' father. It is a splendid story, but like so many environmentalist claims, it is quite bogus. 'Iron Eyes' was, in fact, the child of two Italian immigrants, Antonio and Francesca DeCorti. He was as Indian as Garibaldi. This has been well known for a number of years now, so it is strange that AOL chose to repeat the old myth. Or perhaps it isn't. Future profiles planned by AOL include the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus.
Posted 11:26 PM | [Link]
LE PEN PROTESTS CONTINUE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Massive anti-Le Pen demonstrations have continued today in France. Among the slogans reported by French TV is the unimaginative "Le Pen Out," an effectively simple rallying cry that has one obvious drawback: Le Pen is not actually 'in'. What's more, he stands no chance of winning the run-off in May. This, however, will not stop the Left trying to co-opt him as a useful bogeyman in their relentless effort to brand all dissent as beyond the pale, an effort that has played no small part in creating the Le Pen phenomenon in the first place.
Posted 3:01 PM | [Link]
MOSQUE-SEE TV [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Posted 1:41 PM | [Link]
SAUDI SENSE [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that "negotiations between Saudi Arabia and major Western oil companies to develop $25 billion in natural gas, electricity and water products are stalled." If true, this is good news. Investment in a country that is so deeply implicated (whether directly or indirectly) in the support, financing and inspiration of the current terrorist Jihad would be a deeply troubling move on the part of any American company. Such a decision would also be bad business. "Saudi" Arabia is now on the edge of upheaval. Investing there makes about as much sense as buying railway bonds in the Russia of 1916.
Posted 12:47 PM | [Link]
RICO REDUX [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Supreme Court, unfortunately has already ruled that it is okay for pro-life protesters to be sued under RICO racketeering laws, but the 9 have now agreed to take a portion of the issue up again, this time deciding if the law has been applied correctly.
For the record, one of the cases being looked at, NOW v. Scheidler, has been in the courts for some 15 years.
Posted 12:33 PM | [Link]
NO SURPRISES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The United Nations school in Manhattan has two flagpoles outside it, but no flags. Not even a U.N. flag. And certainly not an American flag.
Posted 12:25 PM | [Link]
BLOGGER NOTES [Jonah Goldberg]
In case you didn't already see, Howard Kurtz finally does his take on the Blogger phenomenon. He leads by mentioning our very own Ramesh Ponnuru.
Posted 11:04 AM | [Link]
DELUSIONS OF GRANDEUR [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jacques Chirac may have woken up this morning, but he is not yet smelling the cafe. He is, apparently, now calling for the French to vote for him in the "name of the great European adventure that we have supported and willed." By "we," presumably, the French president means the Eurocratic elite. It has been years since anyone else in Europe showed much enthusiasm (even on the rare occasions that they have actually been asked) for this supposedly "great" project. The fact that Chirac can still refer to it in these terms is yet another reminder as to why Le Pen did so well.
Posted 11:01 AM | [Link]
JENIN B.S. [Jonah Goldberg]
Here’s an interesting aerial picture of Jenin Scroll down to the second photo. It’s hardly the "moonscape" described in the papers, is it? Of course this is from the IDF website. So, if you think it's so much Zionist propaganda you can see the AP's less dramatic, but still revealing aerial photo of Jenin
JENIN B.S. II [Jonah Goldberg]
More interesting is this article from the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram (hardly known as an Israeli mouthpiece). In an interview with a bomb-maker from Jenin, we learn that it was the Palestinians who basically were responsible for blowing up most of the buildings and for destroying the primary water-main. "We cut off lengths of mains water pipes and packed them with explosives and nails," he explains. "Then we placed them about four metres apart throughout the houses -- in cupboards, under sinks, in sofas." He continues, "We had more than 50 houses booby-trapped around the camp. We chose old and empty buildings and the houses of men who were wanted by Israel because we knew the soldiers would search for them," he said. The ambush of the 13 Israeli soldiers was achieved by sending women out to surrender and say that the men were out of ammunition.
MEANWHILE [Jonah Goldberg]
Remember all the hand-wringing about how the Israelis were stopping ambulances in Palestinian areas? How outrageous, thundered the Europeans as they warmed their hands over burning synagogues, that the wounded weren’t being evacuated. Humanitarian need trumps politics they said. Fair enough. I therefor await similar outrage over Palestinians in Ramallah trying to block ambulances intended for alleged collaborators. Arafat’s Al-Aqsa Martyr’s brigade shot the men in the legs, without trial of course.
Posted 10:05 AM | [Link]
CAN CONGRESS BAN CLONING? [Jonathan Adler]
Law Professor Glenn Reynolds thinks not. The host of www.Instapundit.com argues that Congress can cut off support to cloning research and institutions that support it. But a federal ban on cloning--however well justified--is simply beyond the federal government's reach.
Posted 9:40 AM | [Link]
THE POST JOINS THE JUDICIAL FIGHT? [Jonathan Adler]
Well, kinda. The Post ran an editorial today calling upon Sen. Leahy to hold hearings on Bush's judicial nominees. Of note, the Post makes a special mention of John Roberts and Miguel Estrada, both of whom were nominated last May to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit--a court which sits one-third vacant. The Post goes out of its way to defend Leahy against charges of partisanship, but notes that: "So far, anyway, nobody has made a serious case against Mr. Roberts or Mr. Estrada." Estrada and Roberts are not the only nominees who deserve hearings (see the scorecard here), but they would be a good place for Leahy to start.
Posted 9:39 AM | [Link]
YET MORE ON FRANCE [Andrew Stuttaford]
As Europe continues to reflect on the latest swing of Le Pendulum, Swedish prime minister Goran Persson has called on "all democratic forces" to unite against "right-wing extremist politics and xenophobia." He is sounding off now, but some forms of extremism are evidently more troubling to Persson than others. A few months ago, the successors to East Germany's Communist Party were admitted as significant participants in the coalition that runs Berlin's city government. That's a genuine taste of power for a party that has been strangely hesitant to apologize for the Communist past. Persson's response? Silence.
Posted 9:27 AM | [Link]
CROISSANT REPUBLIC [John Derbyshire]
The book I am currently engaged in writing contains the following comment on 19th-century French politics:
"Politically speaking, France did not have a good 19th century. If Napoleon ’s 'hundred days' are included (and if you will excuse a small rounding error), the constitutional arrangements of that ancient nation from 1800 to 1899 went as follows:
First Republic (4½ years)
First Empire (10 years)
Kingdom restored (1 year)
Empire restored (3 months)
Kingdom re-restored (33 years)
Second Republic (5 years)
Second Empire (18 years)
Third Republic (29 years)
...and even that 33 years of monarchy was interrupted half-way through by a revolution and change of dynasty."
The 20th century has shown a slight improvement--only 2 constitutions (though I am not sure what constitutional arrangements the Vichy regime operated under). Still, when you consider that the U.S.A. has got through this entire period with her constitution and system of government intact--in spite of a major challenge from the Confederate States--it is clear that les Anglo-Saxones perfides have something to teach the French about political stability.
Posted 9:23 AM | [Link]
RENOUNCE AND ABJURE [John Derbyshire]
The language of the naturalization oath does not strike me as any more preposterous than that of the average mortgage contract. I speak, however, as an extreme linguistic conservative still fuming at what was done to the Anglican liturgy 30 years ago. At any rate, the main thing to be noted about the oath is that it is a legal nullity, since the U.S. government now accepts the concept of dual nationality. Should I choose, at some future date, to affirm my "allegiance and fidelity" to some foreign prince, potentate etc. by, say, voting in a foreign election, standing for office in another country, or even (probably--there have been no cases tested to the SCOTUS level) taking up arms in a foreign army, neither the State Department nor the Justice Department will take any action to revoke my citizenship. On the evidence of numerous cases since the 1960s, any such action would almost certainly be ruled a violation of the 14th Amendment if tested in the courts. My Tuesday NRO column will touch on this subject.
Posted 8:50 AM | [Link]
MORE MCKINNEY [Jonah Goldberg]
Salim Muwakkil, an editor of "In These Times," has a piece in the Chicago Tribune today defending Cynthia McKinney. Muwakkil quotes me unfavorably for noting that McKinney is "dumber than rock salt and more repugnant than Yasser Arafat's 3-week-old underwear." I’d link to that piece, but the Trib’s registration is a real pain. Also, Chris Suellentrop has a great piece on McKinney over at Slate, which also mentions me. I bring all this up because the result has been a new wave of Pro-McKinney mail. Apparently Corner readers like this stuff, but if you get sick of it, please let me know.
McKINNEY LETTER I [Jonah Goldberg]
"This woman revealed the smoking gun to a large audience of people. Run, run for your little rightist behind. Watch as truth takes precedence and the citizens of America wake to the truth. I sit in a classroom of people of my same generation today, and I wonder if shits like you will continue to cloud their vision, delude them, and tempt them with what worldy [sic] filth you may produce. Burn, burn in fire and brimstone everlasting, you are filth."
McKINNEY LETTER II [Jonah Goldberg]
This one is really long so I have truncated it substantially. I’ve withheld the author’s name but she claims to be the organizer and moderator of a black women’s group (I’ve withheld that name too).
"Dear Mr. Jonah Goldberg:
I would like to first thank you for what you believe is an honest opinion. America has always had a track record of conveying a message that there is an atmosphere for "freedom of speech". And America has always been a country that has tried to advocate, at least for Whites, that one can hold its government accountable for any grievance. That being said, I would like to plainly state to you, that Representative McKinney is stating what the polls have indicated ….Yet you did not choose to beat up the American public sir, you chose to beat up an African American that had a voice or the nerve to speak out against the government.
Your article oozed with indication [sic] that you would like Black Women in particular to not be able to question anything. The former slaves are not allowed to have the audacity to speak out against what we feel is a compromised position for the American people, and our community. Your article laced with bitterness and white supremacy, shows that not only is it improper for Black Women to question the government, it is improper for Black Women to hold a representative seat in the government. ….
Perhaps you have a personal vendetta against the truth, perhaps you would like to Black folk to just pretend death and be quiet. [sic] This is a new day sir, we will speak out against any grievance. And I conducted the same poll with the general public and 75% of those polled Questioned the governments compromised security. I would like to make it plain to you and those that have a desire to attack representative McKinney we are watching you. We are observing your need to control the Black voice, and we are telling you that you will not hinder or slant our view of her.
[Our Organization] has supporters in the United States, Europe, and Africa and we are growing. We are united with grass roots organizations all of the planet earth.
We are rallying support for her, and it would behoove you to take your sharp savage bite out of the heart of that Sister.
ONE LAST NOTE [Jonah Goldberg]
I think it speaks volumes that this women felt it necessary to note that her group is working with groups on "the planet earth."
Posted 8:50 AM | [Link]
ANOTHER KIND OF TESTING [Stanley Kurtz]
An article on the SAT controversy in The American Prospect has a liberal journalist confirming what conservatives have been saying for some time–that UC Berkeley President Richard Atkinson’s attack on the SAT is, despite his denials, an effort to circumvent the latest legal barriers to affirmative action. At Boundless, David Orland has a very interesting exchange with readers who objected to his earlier piece defending the SAT’s against Atkinson’s assault.
Posted 8:09 AM | [Link]
GUN-SHOW TERRORISM? [Dave Kopel]
Americans for Gun Safety is running television ads in Oregon warning about "terrorists buying weapons at gun shows." As usual, AGS's claims are somewhat overwrought, as detailed in my recent Independence Institute monograph on gun shows.
Posted 8:00 AM | [Link]
SIMON'S CHANCES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Op-ed in the LA Times by occassional NRO contributor Bill Whalen.
Posted 7:43 AM | [Link]
MARY KAY’S ARMY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In case you missed it, the New York Times had a profile of Anya Vanina, Russian human-rights activist, who was trained for her most recent mission by Mary Kay Cosmetics.
Posted 7:38 AM | [Link]
MORE ON FRANCE [Andrew Stuttaford]
In an entirely predictable response to the French elections, Belgian foreign minister (and EU potentate) Louis Michel has said that he is "saddened that a non-democrat made it into the second round of the elections." Interestingly, M. Michel has not always been so keen on democracy. This is the man who once commented (after a referendum in which the Irish rejected a further extension of the EU's powers), "It is very dangerous to organize referendums when you are not sure to win them." The bossy Belgian then went on to "ask aloud" whether a country even had the right "to prevent the progress of Europe."
Posted 6:54 AM | [Link]
AN OBSERVATION [Andrew Stuttaford]
There were some sporadically violent demonstrations in France last night as the Left protested against Le Pen's electoral triumph. Mmmm, violence directed against the results of a peaceful, fair, and entirely democratic election? Isn't that what fascists are meant to do?
Posted 6:24 AM | [Link]
THE NATURALIZER: [John J. Miller]
Congratulations John Derbyshire! Today is your first workday as an American, so I thought I'd pose a question. The oath of citizenship begins this way: "I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen." There's sentiment among some people to simplify this language, getting rid of words such as "abjure" and "potentate" but not changing the meaning of the oath itself. (Correction: There is some sentiment to change the meaning of the oath, but that's another subject.) What do you think? Would you change any of the oath's words? I'm personally agnostic on the matter, though "renounce and abjure" strikes me as redundant and I'm not sure I've ever heard the word "potentate" spoken except at a swearing-in ceremony. Anyway, what thinks one of America's newest Americans?
Posted 4:41 AM | [Link]
ALIENATED NATION [Andrew Stuttaford]
There's more data coming through on the extent of the alienation in France. Le Figaro has the comparative voting numbers from the first round of the last presidential elections (in 1995). That time round, 21.6% percent of the French did not bother to vote. This year the abstention rate is estimated at 28.5%. A low turn-out can sometimes be the sign of a broadly contented society, but that is not the case in France this year.
Posted 9:35 PM | [Link]
SURE, ANDREW, YOU CAN HAVE MY MARMITE... [John Derbyshire]
...When you've prised it from my cold, dead fingers.
Posted 7:30 PM | [Link]
IS THE EU TO BLAME? [Andrew Stuttaford]
There will no, doubt, be hand-wringing in Brussels over today's election result in France. The ugly truth, however, is that the EU bureaucracy is at least partly responsible. Extremist parties benefit from a sense of powerlessness among the electorate. Some moderate voters are turned off altogether (low turn-outs always help the extremes), while others are pushed into supporting more radical political forces. If any one body is responsible for creating this sense of helplessness among European electors, it is the EU Commission. The Commission has used its extensive powers in ways that are intrusive, abusive and just plain dumb. It is a directorate almost entirely lacking in any democratic controls. The suggestion that this can be remedied by expanding the powers of the EU 'parliament' is dishonest nonsense, and the bureaucrats know it. Such a parliament will still be irrevocably balkanized along the national boundaries for which the EU's elites have so much contempt. Weak and divided, it will be hopelessly vulnerable to the sort of bureaucratic manipulation that has already brought the EU into so much disrepute. Far from creating a sense of unity it will, if anything, increase the sense of alienation already so visible among European voters. The answer, of course, is to return power to where it belongs: that cohesive, organic, democratic institution known as the nation state.
Posted 6:01 PM | [Link]
DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT [Andrew Stuttaford]
There will, over the next two weeks of the French presidential election campaign, doubtless be plenty of discussion over Le Pen's commitment to democracy. Fair enough, but it is worth remembering that Jospin (the defeated Socialist candidate in the French elections) was a Trotskyite for many years. Leon Trotsky, of course, was a man better known for his dedication to mass murder than to the ballot box, and although Jospin eventually switched to the moderate Left he has always been curiously evasive over when this somewhat belated conversion occurred.
Posted 4:37 PM | [Link]
FRENCH SURPRISE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Exit polls are suggesting a remarkable result in the first round of the French presidential elections. While the incumbent, Jacques Chirac, has come in first, his principal rival (the Socialist Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin) has been edged out by Jean-Marie Le Pen, the leader of France's far right. If these results are confirmed, the run-off will be between Chirac and Le Pen. Chirac will comfortably win the second round, so France will probably see little change in the underlying way that it is run, and that, ironically, might be the problem. Le Pen is a controversial, bombastic and somewhat repellent character. Nevertheless, he has benefited from concern over the top-down way in which France is run (both from Paris and, increasingly, Brussels) by an elite that is as out-of-touch as it is arrogant. It was a discontent that manifested itself both in the votes cast for Le Pen and, just as importantly, in those votes that were not cast at all (a low turn-out amongst centrist voters was part of the explanation for Le Pen's apparent success). A second-term Chirac should learn the lesson of today's vote, but if the past is any lesson, he won't. It is also worth remembering that Le Pen is best known for too frequent, and disturbing, displays of bigotry (including some appalling remarks about the Holocaust) .That his often xenophobic views have contributed to his success is a measure of the frustration felt over the inadequacy of the French establishment's attempts to integrate an increasingly large and restive Muslim population.
Posted 4:19 PM | [Link]
ARE YOU READY YET, DEAR? [Andrew Stuttaford]
I'm often suspicious of the methodology behind the supposedly scientific 'research' published in the press, but a new survey published in today's London Observer rings true. Its conclusion (and I quote the words of the female journalist who wrote the story, "Women do spend inordinate amounts of time getting ready to go out, whether to the office, the nightclub or even the shops." What the research has shown (based on a survey of 2,000 women) is that it is impossible for a woman to take less than 21 minutes to leave the house, regardless of where she is going.
I'd like to discuss this some more, except that I have to remind Mrs Stuttaford that we are due at a Christening in just over an hour.
Posted 8:53 AM | [Link]
NYT UNPLUGGED: [John J. Miller]
A headline in today's New York Times: "Bush Policies Have Been Good to Energy Industry." This is supposed to be controversial. What would the editors prefer, Bush policies that have been bad to the energy industry?
Posted 4:59 AM | [Link]
CRUSADE FOR MOORISH DIGNITY!: [Rod Dreher] Blogger Anne Wilson is apparently a "Confederacy of Dunces" fan. She's discovered a latter-day Crusade for Moorish Dignity (scroll down for details).
Posted 1:13 AM | [Link]