STAY OUT THE U.N. [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Steve Hayes over at the Standard says there's good reason to not ask the U.N. to vote on an Iraq attack.
Posted 5:26 PM | [Link]
RE TRASHING HISTORY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Andrew, I thought we were the mean-spirited ones? Oh well. Wonder if Mr. Newberry has read the Fordham Foundation (Chester Finn's group) teaching guide, just out this week? You'd be hardpressed to find bigotry in it.
Posted 5:20 PM | [Link]
TRASHING HISTORY [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's a piece in today's New York Times on the controversy over those suggestions from the NEA as to how to mark 9/11 in the country's schools. It's well worth reading, not least for comments from Jerald Newberry, the director of the NEA's 'Health Information Network', the unit responsible for the lesson plans. According to the report Newberry claims to believe that criticism of what the Times describes as the NEA's "lessons on tolerance" is "thinly veiled bigotry".
Well, for bigotry, look no further than Mr. Newberry. His remarks are either profoundly dim or profoundly malicious. Read what he is quoted as saying - and take your choice.
"If you boil down the concerns of the opposition, what I would call the far right, ultimately it boils down to is: 'I am not comfortable with my child being in school with someone who's different. I want to keep my child surrounded by people who are identical to me. The world is getting too diverse, and I'm scared.'"
So there you have it: anyone who is opposed to the NEA's sanctimonious poison is on the 'far right', a poor, prejudiced sap pathetically obsessed with the maintenance of a homogenous classroom.
Well, as propaganda goes, that's good. I think I can hear faint cheering from wherever it is in Hell that Goebbels is to be found these days.
Let's go through it one more time, Mr. Newberry. The objection to the NEA website was provoked by the dishonest, slanted and insulting way in which the union was recommending handling the first anniversary of one of the most important - and tragic - days in US history.
Teachers are meant to teach, not mislead. For some, it seems, that's impossible to understand.
Posted 5:07 PM | [Link]
FOLD THE FLAG [Andrew Stuttaford]
Rod, over to you. Thanks to the Group Captain for the link.
Posted 3:53 PM | [Link]
EUnron [Andrew Stuttaford]
When a whistleblower appeared out of Enron, she was invited to address hearings on Capitol Hill. Here's how the EU treats its whistleblowers.
Posted 3:45 PM | [Link]
IT'S WITCHCRAFT [Andrew Stuttaford]
I'm watching an excellent movie, Bell, Book and Candle, on TCM this afternoon. It's an enchanting movie - in every sense. It's also the product of a more sensible time (1958). Shown a draft manuscript about witchcraft, a publisher (played by Jimmy Stewart) suggests, mockingly, that it should be called something like "What Every Young Witch Ought to Know." Even in a film about witches, the idea of such a book was obviously laughable.
Skip forward around forty years, and such books really exist. There's even one on my shelves (Pagan, moi? No, a past NR project is to blame): Teen Witch - Wicca For A New Generation. "From vital background information on the Craft to spells for homework and dating, this book contains everything you need to become a pentacle-wearing, spell-casting, completely authentic Witch."
The authoress, one Silver Ravenwolf, is described as having "attained Wiccan Priesthood and is the Tradition Head of the Black Forest Clan, covering eight states, and an Elder of Family of Serphant Stone. She is the Director of the International Wiccan/Pagan Press Alliance...and the mother of four young witches."
Samantha Stephens would not approve.
Posted 3:34 PM | [Link]
THE JONAH FAN CLUB [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A reader points out that that Jonah petition has over 500 signatures. Of course, some are very suspicious, especially # 507: "William F. Buckley Jr. Alright Rich, go ahead and give him one."
Posted 3:27 PM | [Link]
BUT MISSED THIS... [Andrew Stuttaford]
On the other hand, if I'd been flying to Scandinavia in July, the in-flight entertainment would have included a Danish film called Polle Fiction.
SAS' in-flight entertainment guide gives the details:
"This is a comedy about a geeky guy called Polle who lives in a little village far out in the countryside where he works for the local roto-rooter. One day he's about to clean the sewers for the very first time. Unfortunately, Polle can't control the roto-rooter and is badly hurt. He ends up at the hospital with a deformed head, but is promised a huge compensation."
Posted 3:14 PM | [Link]
STEYN ON DIANA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
This by the way, is Mark Steyn's piece from our Sept. 11, 1997 issue of NR on the Aug. 31 death of the princess.
Posted 3:06 PM | [Link]
PICKING PETER PARKER [Andrew Stuttaford]
Finally got the chance to see Spiderman yesterday (it was the in-flight entertainment back from Sweden). I know I'm late to this (discoveries of the Canterbury Tales, the Iliad and a young writer called Charles Dickens to follow), but what a great film: the best comic book movie since the first Christopher Reeves' Superman. In it's own way, it's also an elegy to Manhattan's skyline, haunting and poignant as September approaches.
Posted 3:03 PM | [Link]
RE DIANA'S DAY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rick, excellent point (I hadn't even realized it was the anniversary until you posted that). Now, if we could resist the temptation to Dianafy Sept. 11....
Posted 2:49 PM | [Link]
DIANA’S DAY [Richard Brookhiser]
Today is the fifth anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. I remember feeling saddened the moment I heard of it--as I would at the untimely and senseless death of any youngish person I did not know. But it isn't it interesting how, with another anniversary impending, the great wah-wah over her demise has shrunk to its proper proportion?
Posted 2:45 PM | [Link]
CORRECTION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
For some careless reason I IDed Rep. Heather Wilson as from Arizona instead of from New Mexico in my abaya piece yesterday. Sorry about that.
Posted 2:43 PM | [Link]
THE NON-STRIKE [Robert A. George]
Good article here that explains why the owners are both the "winners" and real wieners in the baseball deal. As Larry Kudlow pointed out on NRO earlier this week, this is one case where conservatives should NOT be supporting management! The deal is socialism-via-capitalism. George Steinbrenner and the Yankees AND the Arizona Diamondbacks mind you, and other well run, but high-salary clubs now get to subsidize the Kansas City Royals, the Philadelphia Phillies (one of the Top Five markets in the country!!) and others. There is no guarantee that the wealth transfer will go to pay for player salaries in the so-called small market clubs! Just like in real life, when the rich are taxed and the money is redistributed to the poor, unless there are incentives put in place to get the poor to improve their situation, the overall system will continue to suffer. The owners are claiming victory right now, but check back in four years at the end of the current contract. See how much has changed. I say this, by the way, as a Yankee fan who believes that their string of post-season success (meaning, at least making it to the World Series) comes to an end this year at the hands (arms?) of the Oakland A's.
Posted 2:40 PM | [Link]
RESPONDING TO YOUR E-MAILS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Sorry we've been silent since last night. Still taking in Jonah's trip. Definately read the G-File if you have not and need a Goldberg fix.
Posted 2:38 PM | [Link]
TO SUM UP [Jonah Goldberg]
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on this. But, first of all, I never actually said I was profiled. Second, I never said the cop was wrong for pulling me over – for speeding or anything else. Third, I’ve never said that profiling is wrong. In fact, I’ve written a half-dozen columns saying that profiling is often just fine. Fourth, I think the Corn Palace sucks and Dairy Queens are gross, but you have to be high or illiterate to think that I repeatedly laud New York and Washington culture while bad-mouthing the "red states"….Ninth, [I’m skipping ahead because so much of this is idiotic], my attitude was exactly the right one: I maintained my sense of humor and didn’t take any great offense to being interrogated. I immediately copped to the speeding and I treated the officer with respect. I’m in favor of the drug war which means that I should tolerate a little inconvenience. If cops are only allowed to pull over guilty people they’ll never pull over anybody (indeed, I suspect that an awful lot of black folks make too big a deal over such incidents when the cops are only doing their jobs). So yeah, I guess I am a shmuck for feeling more secure ….And, 27th – and this is the most apt response -- lighten up Francis.
Posted 7:00 PM | [Link]
JONAH & THE MAN MAILBAG III [Jonah Goldberg]
Only a fascist imbecile like you would actually be "feeling secure" after being detained and having your "papers" checked on the open highway for no apparent reason.
Posted 6:58 PM | [Link]
JONAH & THE MAN MAILBAG II [Jonah Goldberg]
Or, rather than being profiled, perhaps the officer, whom you rudely refer to as "Johnny Law", recognized your effete Northeasterner's face from the pictures you always plaster on your website. Spiro Agnew was only half right, it is not only the liberals in the Northeast that are effete. Perhaps the officer remembered how disrespectful of his state you were during your last trip across the country.
Posted 6:57 PM | [Link]
JONAH & THE MAN MAILBAG I [Jonah Goldberg]
Dear Mr. Goldberg,
Posted 6:56 PM | [Link]
JONAH AND THE MAN REVISITED [Jonah Goldberg]
Okay, so: while I was on the road I dashed off a fun little item about my run-in with a cop in South Dakota. I think – and certainly hope -- roughly 95% of the readers understood that it was tongue in cheek, satire, light-hearted fare, whatever.
But an astounding number of people had intensely passionate and negative reactions to it. I cannot remember the last time I’ve been raked over the coals so much for what readers imagined they were reading rather than for what I actually wrote. Following are three examples of the most extreme reactions. Afterwards, I’ll offer a few comments. Fair enough?
Posted 6:54 PM | [Link]
LEFT=BOR-ING: [Rod Dreher] The L.A. Weekly's John Powers bitch-slaps The Nation, and by comparing it to The Weekly Standard, explains why right-wing journalism these days is so much more compelling, readable, relevant, and altogether enjoyable.
Posted 5:29 PM | [Link]
LOVING AND HATING THE SOUTH: [Rod Dreher] A Southerner named David Kreitman has some really thoughtful comments about The Real Beverly Hillbillies (scroll down a bit on the blog), and the rest of America's love/hate relationship with the South. He's more optimistic about the project than I am, by the way. Also, a couple of people have written in to say "Get off the victimization bandwagon." I see their point, and I have no problem joking about the eccentricities of Southern people and culture. But there's a fine line between good-humored laughing at people's foibles, and flat-out degradation, and I find that the elite bicoastal culture crosses it constantly. Personally, I think we're all too sensitive about not stepping on each other's racial toes, but I don't see why poor and working-class white people have to endure meanspirited mockery based on their culture while people from other ethnic groups get a pass. The double standard is worth pointing out, and resisting. And it's worth discussing why the people who preside over our media and entertainment culture rarely if ever consider the double standard. Why is it that a proposal to make a Real Beverly Hillbillies with a poor rural black or Hispanic family wouldn't last one half-second at the networks, but a poor rural family from the Ozarks or Appalachia -- regions CBS has said its particularly interested in, which is to say, poor white people -- is fair game for this kind of program?
Posted 5:06 PM | [Link]
OKAY, OKAY... [Jonah Goldberg]
I need to revise and extend my remarks on the aborignal clearing of the prairie from today's G-File. Much of the Western prairie is naturally treeless because it used to be a seabed. The Midwestern prairie, however, was in part kept clear of trees by Indians. But I will dig up my sources etc. and get back to ya.
Posted 4:39 PM | [Link]
I WAS ALL SET TO ROLL MY EYES AT THE PETITION DRIVE... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...but then I saw this: "And give K-Lo one too!"
I can deal with that.
Posted 1:05 PM | [Link]
FORGETTING PIM[Andrew Stuttaford]
As befits its status as the house journal of the EU's elite, the Financial Times tends to be shifty, condescending and relentlessly biased towards the Left. In a story today on Dutch immigration policy, the newspaper reports that Hilbrand Nawijn, Holland's new immigration minister, is pledging to reject 80 percent of asylum applications. Amongst other crimes against civilization, it is also reported that even immigrants from the EU may be compelled to learn Dutch.
Mr Nawijn told the FT that, "we have been too liberal. We have forgotten that we are one nation and if immigrants come here, they must behave like Dutch people."
The FT notes that Nawijn's "outspoken remarks have fuelled fears of a wholesale shift to the right in the Netherlands".
Was there something about Holland's recent elections that the FT did not understand?
Posted 1:03 PM | [Link]
MY FAVORITE PETITION COMMENT [Jonah Goldberg]
From this outrageous and unofficial (and unscientific) effort to get me a raise:
"I may be naked and reeking with panda love, but I have my dignity."
Posted 12:59 PM | [Link]
NOTE TO CBS: [Rod Dreher] Jon Clegg writes to say The Real Beverly Hillbillies is a disgraceful idea, but if CBS is going to go through with it, perhaps they would be so good as to bring to the mansion the working-class victims of a certain Southern slumlord.
Posted 12:53 PM | [Link]
HARVARD HATES WHITE PEOPLE: [Rod Dreher] Here's another example of anti-white bigotry passed off as legitimate scholarship. If a white Harvard Law professor were saying these things about black people, he would be run off of campus (as he ought to be). But the other way around? That's not how things work in Blue America.
Posted 10:32 AM | [Link]
BEST HATE-CBS LETTER SO FAR: [Rod Dreher] From Bob Moran: "I spent a part of my childhood in a small town in Kentucky (Maysville) and my father sold machinery to coal mines and light industry along the Ohio River and the eastern part of the state. The people I remember and the kids I played with don't ask anything from America. They don't bitch and whine about it being unfair. They don't ask for handouts. They just go to work. What we get in return for this is ridicule -- especially from the elite who apparently find concepts like independence, faith and family quaint and unsophisticated. The sheer snobbery of the left and the Hollywood that funds them is the main reason I became a Republican as a young man. As a Republican pollster, I have to laugh when Democrats ask why they have a hard time winning white men in rural areas like Kentucky or southeastern Ohio. Could it be more apparent? Their party hates us."
Posted 10:30 AM | [Link]
THE REAL GREEN ACRES: [Rod Dreher] Everybody's writing in on The Real Beverly Hillbillies idea, trashing Hollywood and saying they'd like to see a rich California family moved to the rural South. Guess what, people? Hollywood is already there. This might be funny because we know at the end of it, whatever hardship and deprivation the rich people have to face, they can always return to their life of luxury and ease. They've just gone slumming, and will have merely been good sports; in the reverse situation, the poor Appalachian family will have been suckers.
Posted 10:24 AM | [Link]
JFK AND HATS [Jonah Goldberg]
A bunch of folks have sent me this Snopes debunking of the Kennedy-killed-the-hats "myth." I've heard the debunking before, though not this detailed, which is one reason why I wrote "has been credited." Still, the Snopes stuff is pretty interesting.
Posted 9:57 AM | [Link]
MYSTERY MILK [Andrew Stuttaford]
On offer at my hotel in Stockholm this morning: "Ecological Milk". What could this be? Is Rod Dreher beginning to influence Swedish menus? Throwing caution to the wind, I tried some. It tasted like, well, milk.
Posted 9:50 AM | [Link]
I SWEAR... [Jonah Goldberg]
I had nothing to do with this, but how can I do anything but endorse it?
Posted 9:46 AM | [Link]
RURITANIA? [Andrew Stuttaford]
Well, Kathryn, I can't make out the details on the screen I'm using, but, if nothing else, it's clear that Ms. Spears needs to send her stylist to the Lubianka. Even more worrying, did you notice that she appears to be standing next to a mutant version of the prisoner of Zenda?
Posted 9:43 AM | [Link]
THE EVIL LOOK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
While we wait for Andrew to check in from today's European station with his professional opinion on Britney, check out this piece he wrote earlier this year on Commie fashions.
Posted 9:05 AM | [Link]
BRITNEY'S GONE RED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I wasn't by a TV last night, but a reader just advised me to check out Britney Spears duds at the MTV music awards. She's got her usual prostitute look, sure. But there's more: Commie chic. Andrew, this one's for you.
Posted 9:01 AM | [Link]
CLASSIC [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
At a winner's press conference, Jennifer Capriati disappoints her sisters and says: "I have no idea what Title IX is, sorry." (Why should she? It was her father/coach who pushed her to succeed--and she did the work--not some law.) The NY Times works to remedy that, of course.
Posted 8:17 AM | [Link]
???? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Can't beat those news homepages: Here is the NY Times site this morning: “In a moment of triumph for a church that has faced accusations of abuse by its priests, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels will be dedicated in Los Angeles on Monday.” No, the opening of an ugly cathedral in a terribly liberal diocese does not a triumph make. Triumphs happen everyday at Catholic hospitals and schools and parish soup kitchens and the like. The L.A. cathedral doesn’t actually make that cut.
Posted 8:16 AM | [Link]
GOOD TASTE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
There is always a few somethings worth reading in the Wall Street Journal's weekend section. This week's no exception. Naomi Schaefer on moral-business teaching. Amy Finnerty on her working vacation. British actors and their beef with American counterparts....and more...
Posted 6:04 AM | [Link]
I LOVE FOX AS MUCH AS THE NEXT GUY... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
..but why does their website have to have the words "President Wraps Up Vacation" for this story. As is clear from the content, it wasn't actually a vacation in the tradtional sense of the word. Seems like it just feeds into every bogus criticism.
Posted 11:34 PM | [Link]
SAM ADAMS [Richard Brookhiser]
Re: sex in St. Patrick's, an amusing contrast is my current subject, Gouverneur Morris (draftsman of the Constitution). Morris was a die-hard ladies' man--he preferred unhappy wives, and he had them in his house, their houses, hallways, and carriages. He also thought Catholicism was superstitious nonsense. When he saw people making assignations in a Viennese cathedral at Christmas Eve mass, however, he became all censorious. Such behavior in an ediface dedicated to divine worship, he wrote in his diary, "does not comport with my ideas."
Posted 10:36 PM | [Link]
NO 9/11 FLIGHT BAN, AFTERALL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted 9:47 PM | [Link]
SNIPPY BRITS[Andrew Stuttaford]
Just heard on BBC World TV news - a reference to 'warmongers' in the Bush administration. And no, it wasn't meant to be an opinion piece.
Here's a better view from yesterday's London Times.
Posted 6:37 PM | [Link]
DON'T GO THERE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I can out-snippy you anyday, Jonah. And you know that. Now Al Gore is another story entirely.
Posted 5:56 PM | [Link]
NOW I'M SNIPPY [Jonah Goldberg]
The trailer didn't work for me and the Progressive has made its case against a war with Iraq.
Posted 5:53 PM | [Link]
GET OVER IT [Jonathan Adler]
Jonah, just because you were away when we discussed the temporary web trailer for X-2, there's no need to get snippy.
Posted 5:30 PM | [Link]
A PETITION FOR JONAH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Jonah, one for you?
Posted 5:28 PM | [Link]
THEY ARE EVERYWHERE!!!! [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
On CNN today, I debated Blanquita Cullum--yes, the conservative talk-show host. She was on defending the Saudis against the meanspirited attacks of us Corner types. Adel al-Jubeir, apologist extraordinaire, went on and on before the gal segment about how Osama planned this crime to drive a wedge between us dear friends, the U.S. and Saudis. Evidently he made Saudis go over to al Qaeda training camps and learn to kill us infidels, too. And, he made the British ambassadar from the Kingdom praise suicide bombers in his poetry, and he planted the money-transfer recepits from the House of Saud to families of suicide bombers in Yasser Arafat's headquarters, and...and...still, it's gonna take a lot of commercials and gift horses to cover up all those "and" factors.
Posted 5:12 PM | [Link]
MORE FACIAL HAIR [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader observes:
Maybe baseball's role regarding facial hair needs to be examined. In the late 1960s, Charlie O. Finley became one of the first owners to lift a ban on facial hair. He even went so far as to reward mustached and bearded players with bonuses because he thought it made them look intimidating.
Posted 3:36 PM | [Link]
NOTE BENE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
One of those user-fee posts had been incorrectly labelled as written by me, when the Adler-man deserved all the credit. I have not now or ever written about user fees. I have other boring issues to cover. Sorry...back to Cosmo (no, not that one, Jonah) for my next NRO piece.
Posted 1:59 PM | [Link]
TAKE THE MULLET, PLEASE [Jonah Goldberg]
A better example is the New Jersey neck warmer, AKA the mullet. And, as far as I know, there hasn't been a mulletted sex symbol since the 19th century, a handful of second-rate rockers notwithstanding. And yet, you can find the ape drape on men -- and more than a few women -- in every state of the Union, rat tails too. I guess it just shows you how enduring culture can be.
Oh, one last thing: Please, nobody send me links to MulletJunky, MulletsGalore or any of the other mullet-cult sites. I've seen them all. Thanks. Now, back to user fees.
Posted 1:36 PM | [Link]
NOW THAT'S INTERESTING! [Jonah Goldberg]
I'm debating whether or not to shave my road trip beard. But that's not important right now. In fact, none of this post is important, right now or ever.
While pondering that question, I've returned to one of the issues that has vexed me for quite a while: facial hair fashion. In America, millions of people have mustaches. Fortunately, most of them are men. But isn't it interesting that there hasn't been a mustachioed male Hollywood sex symbol since Tom Selleck's Magnum PI days? And the last time there were more than a few was the 1970s. And it's been nearly a century since a president had a mustache. JFK has been credited with single-handedly destroying the men's hat business in America when he refused to wear one. And yet, we've had clean shaven Commanders-in-Chief for decades but the mustache lives on. Oh sure, I know that Nascar and Country Music have their fair share of lipwarmers. But I thought Hollywood had so much power to set fashion trends.
Posted 1:29 PM | [Link]
USER FEES BORING…LOSING CONSCIOUNESS…. [Jonah Goldberg]
Posted 1:13 PM | [Link]
GENUINE USER FEES BETTER THAN TAXES [Jonathan Adler]
Andrew, we agree. I was not trying to defend what Winona is doing, as I doubt whether they are implementing a genuine user fee system. I was trying to point out that, in many cases, it is better to rely upon user fees and the like to fund projects than to rely upon tax revenues. Some communities do pay for waste disposal service largely, if not completely, from disposal fees, and that is the sort of model we should support. (In a related footnote, perhaps the least conservative aspect of Brett Schundler's gubernatorial campaign was seeking to eliminate tolls on the New Jersey turnpike and fund highway construction and maintenance from general tax revenues.)
Posted 1:09 PM | [Link]
"WHERE'S THE ANGER?": [Rod Dreher] I said it last week,, and now the New York Post's Eric Fettman is saying it again. It cannot be said often enough.
Posted 1:01 PM | [Link]
WHAT LIBERTARIANISM IS (AND ISN'T) [Jonathan Adler]
Eugene Volokh points out there is nothing "anti-libertarian" about criticizing the bigotry of Jackie Mason (or anyone else) and, in the process, makes an important point about the nature of libertarianism (that many conservatives and liberals often forget): "libertarianism is generally and primarily a view about people's liberty to do certain things free of government regulation, and not free of private censure. In fact, the absence of government regulation often makes private censure an even more important force. Many things, from unkindness to rudeness, are well within a person's legal rights -- and well within our rights, and sometimes our moral obligations, to condemn."
Posted 12:55 PM | [Link]
SAMUEL ADAMS AND POPERY: [Rod Dreher] I'm about blogged out on l'affaire Sam Adams, in which the Boston brewer participated in the idiotic stunt that desecrated St. Patrick's Cathedral. But I just have to link to this clever find by blogger Mark Sullivan. Among the wit and wisdom of the historical Samuel Adams: "Much more is to be dreaded from the growth of Popery in America than from the Stamp Act."
Posted 12:55 PM | [Link]
THANKSGIVING DESSERT? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
In case you missed the Drudge link: Iraq attack rumors.
Posted 12:52 PM | [Link]
SAUDI MATH CONT'D [Jonah Goldberg]
A reader sent me this:
version given to me by a dissident:
Posted 12:46 PM | [Link]
WHY CRAWFORD WAS WRONG [Andrew Stuttaford]
While realpolitik makes it essential to talk with the Saudis, unedifying spectacles like the recent schmoozefest in Crawford send absolutely the wrong message, not least because, in terms of domestic politics, it makes it all too easy to make a mockery of the case for an attack on Iraq.
Here's Maureen Dowd (I know, I know) from yesterday's New York Times having a pretty good mock.
Posted 12:28 PM | [Link]
MORE FROM MUGABE [Andrew Stuttaford]
Corner readers will be well aware of the horrors now going on in Zimbabwe, but here's a twist of which I, at least, was unaware (from the August 17th edition of the Economist: some long flights mean that I'm catching up on some reading).
"Private pension funds are obliged to "invest" 45% of their assets in treasury bills that pay 25% a year. Since inflation is 114%, this amounts to confiscation.
To recap: an illegitimate government is stealing its people's life savings to keep itself in power, so that it can continue implementing its ruinous policies. It is as if someone took out a mortgage on your house and used the cash to pay thugs to burn it down. Unless most of Mr. Mugabe's policies are reversed, Zimbabwe will be left with no savings, and a dramatically reduced income. If the intention is to revert to a feudal society, where peasants scratch a mean subsistence and can be thrown off their land at the whim of their political overlords, Mr. Mugabe is doing well."
I wonder if this will be discussed at the 'Earth Summit'.
Posted 11:53 AM | [Link]
PC SNACK [Andrew Stuttaford]
The current issue of the SAS in-flight magazine (I'm in Stockholm today) gives details of a beer festival in Tromso (northern Norway). Amongst the attractions: a beer garden, "troubadours" and "beer dishes such as whale pizza"....
Well, it may have another meaning, but the Norwegians do still have a whaling industry....
Posted 11:31 AM | [Link]
TAKING WHAT DOESN'T BELONG TO THEM ?[Andrew Stuttaford]
Well, Jonathan, just take a look at the town's name.
More seriously, dressing up new taxes in green clothing is becoming a familiar dodge. I'm all for 'user pays' if the general level of taxation is reduced. It almost never is. In Europe there are frequent calls to charge people for the amount of trash they put out for collection. I have yet to see a suggestion that this be at least partly offset by a corresponding reduction in that component of municipal taxes accounted for by the dustbinmen.
Posted 11:15 AM | [Link]
(NOT) A DEFENSE OF TAXING RAINWATER [Jonathan Adler]
Despite my generally strong anti-tax sympathies (and suspicion of environmental taxes of any sort), I am not (quite) as disturbed by Winona's rain tax as K-Lo. While the story portrays the levy as a tax on rainwater, it is probably intended as a tax on runoff or, more properly, a user fee for city-provided stormwater drainage, sewers, etc. Given that runoff is a major contributor to nonpoint source pollution -- the primary sort of water pollution worth worrying about these days -- and the growth of federal rules in this area, the city might have a point. In principle, such a user fee is a better way to fund such services than are general taxes. After all, the service should be paid for by those who actually use it. If Winona is actually implementing such a system, they would need to make it possible for landowners to avoid the levy by reducing the amount of runoff from their land, whether by collecting rainwater, landscaping, or something else. Of course, this is how such a system should be implemented, and I am willing to believe the Winona City Council will fail in this regard. One big red flag for me is they're imposing the fee before they even know how they will spend the money -- a clear sign they're more interested in the revenue than addressing the actual environmental concern.
Posted 11:04 AM | [Link]
VDH SAID IT FIRST.... [Jonah Goldberg]
But there's some interesting stuff in this article about why Arab armies lose wars.
Posted 10:55 AM | [Link]
FRANCE, SHUT UP [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I'm just reading my earlier post on France: Did you catch this line in the IHT story?: It's from a French "senior official: "We're driving the Pentagon crazy by keeping silent."
Sorry, folks, on the Pentagon radar screen, I don't think you rate high enough to warrant driving anyone crazy.
Posted 10:26 AM | [Link]
FREEDOM FOR BUCKEYES [Jonathan Adler]
The Ohio Supreme Court upholds a modicum of freedom for Ohio citizens.
Posted 10:21 AM | [Link]
GOVERNMENT TAXES RAINWATER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I prefer when these things come from the Onion. Alas, this one isn't: Winona, Minnesota, will be charging its residents for any rainwater that flows from their property into city drains. The city blames federal regs for the need for the tax. This is just begging for over-taxed outrage.
Posted 10:19 AM | [Link]
USING THE FORCE [Jonah Goldberg]
Well, I guess it's better than marking "unitarian."
Posted 10:16 AM | [Link]
RE: 270 [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Wow, Jonah. If just saying things made them so, we could have changed the face of the globe long ago here in The Corner. Instead, we're dealing with the eternal Kingdom of the House of Saud.
Rod, no hot tub, wet bar, etc. required. Just some monthly generous checks..and we'd consider reading the Arab News a little less often.
Posted 10:02 AM | [Link]
ILLEGITIMATE MATH [Jonah Goldberg]
While driving in to DC from points West, I caught the NPR coverage of the Saudi Ambassador's lunch with Bush in Crawford. Adel al-Jubeir, Crown Prince Abdullah's foreign policy advisor, appeared on "All Things Considered" (and every other media outlet, I would later learn) to poo-poo an attack on Iraq. Al-Jubeir has done the rounds before. He's very good compared to most Arab mouthpieces. And while he sometimes makes disingenuous arguments, I've never heard him flatly lie before. But there's always a first:
ROBERT SIEGEL: One of the arguments made by advocates of a pre-emptive strike against Iraq is that Saudi Arabia, Egypt for that matter, are very wary of this because an attack against Saddam Hussein's regime would lead to the liberation of Iraq and that countries in the region are not democratic and do not welcome the idea of liberation.
Speaking of ridiculous arguments: 270 years? "Saudi" Arabia was founded in 1932. I listened to al-Jubeir's interview twice. He did not misspeak. Is this some sort of revisionist history? Is their some cult which claims the House of Saud has ruled for two centuries longer than it has? Inquiring minds want to know.
Posted 9:57 AM | [Link]
RE: THE SPIN IS IN: [Rod Dreher] Did you see, Kathryn, the detail from that story that has the Saudis considering making a gift of the Kentucky Derby winner War Emblem (oh, the irony!) to the victims of 9/11? Two words, and they're French: bifteck cheval. Now, when Prince Bandar calls offering to put in a hot tub and a wet bar in NRO World Headquarters in exchange for us being nicer, I don't want anybody around here to fall for it. Unless, of course, he throws in belly dancers. Then we'll talk.
Posted 9:53 AM | [Link]
SHAKEN BY SCANDALS: [Rod Dreher] There's an inexpensive new paperback out called Shaken By Scandals, a collection of essays on the Church sex-abuse mess, written by orthodox Catholics like Phil Lawler, Mark Shea, and NRO contributor Michael Novak, whose April 23 NRO piece is here. The book also includes something from the magazine by me on why the homosexual aspect of this scandal cannot be ignored. The book is worth buying if only to have a version of Fr. Joseph Wilson's letter sent round the world, explaining why internal corruption, not MTV, is the Church's biggest contemporary enemy.
Posted 9:37 AM | [Link]
FRANCE SHUTS UP? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The French will not longer be criticizing the U.S. on the war on terror, the NY Times and Int'l Herald Tribune report this morning.
Posted 9:28 AM | [Link]
SENDING SIGNALS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
“Saddam Hussein says that Arafat can consider Iraq's capabilities to be Palestine's capabilities.” Another telling translation from MEMRI—including details on an Iraqi money handout to families of Palestinian suicide bombers.
Posted 8:45 AM | [Link]
9/11/02 FLIGHT BANS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Financial Times reports that foreign-owned aircraft will likely be prohibited from NY, DC, and Somerset, Pa. airspace on the Sept. 11 attack anniversary. So far, I have not heard about any exemptions for, say, Saudi or Axis jets. And, I have not seen a story about Norman Mineta speaking to security personnel about extra-vigilant tolerance--ZERO tolerance for profiling--on the anniversary, on domestic flights. Will keep you posted.
Posted 8:35 AM | [Link]
GET VDH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You can buy An Autumn of War here.
Posted 8:24 AM | [Link]
"HE IS RIGHT" [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Jonathan Yardley reviews Victor Davis Hanson's An Autumn of War in today's Washington Post.
Posted 8:23 AM | [Link]
WANTED: ONE EYEWITNESS TO HISTORY [Deroy Murdock]
Have you seen this man?
I'd like your help in identifying and locating the short-haired young man whose face the Associated Press beamed worldwide last September 11 (the photo on the top of the news story here). In an award-winning picture, AP photographer Suzanne Plunkett captured this gentleman running as Tower Two of the World Trade Center collapsed. Clad in a white shirt and dark tie with his backpack's straps over his shoulders, he races east on Lower Manhattan's Fulton Street with a look of sheer horror on his face as a menacing, white debris cloud erupts up Church Street, one block to the west.
I have wondered since I saw that world-famous image who this guy is, where he was that awful day, what he saw and how he has recovered from that trauma (if he has). Unfortunately, Ms. Plunkett knows neither his name nor whereabouts, nor has either of us ever seen him interviewed.
If you have any information on this man, would you please pass it along? You may e-mail me at email@example.com. Please put "Mystery Man in 9-11 Photo" as your subject line. Feel free to share my request with anyone else who can help. Many thanks. I will report back.
Posted 8:16 AM | [Link]
THE SPIN IS IN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Another report on Saudi image-improving efforts (pr campaigns).
Posted 5:42 AM | [Link]
AMERICANS FOR AL QAEDA [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Former Seattle resident indicted for aiding terrorists.
Posted 8:27 PM | [Link]
PRINCE SAUD CLAIMS SAUDIS SLOWED THE AL QAEDA MONEY FLOW [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
You know I like to take the officials of the Kingdom at their word, but a few issues. 1) What about that the-Kingdom-paid-off-Osama-to-leave-them-alone story from last weekend? 2) What about the money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers? The spin's nice, but even if this story is true about a little al Qaeda-funds cracking down, what about the rest? An ally--a true "eternal friend"--would fess up and renounce all ties to terror.
Posted 8:12 PM | [Link]
RIGHT SITE [Robert A. George]
This is, without a doubt, one of the best weblogs around, particularly if you're like one Rich Lowry and Robert A. George, i.e. conservative sports nuts! Eric McErlain runs it. Most of his postings are on sports stuff, but he also throws in interesting asides on the debate between the anti-war military types and the pro-war non-serving civilians. Good stuff.
Posted 7:56 PM | [Link]
OFF THE HOOK? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Robert, does this mean I'm cool comparatively?
Wait...DO NOT answer that.
Posted 7:55 PM | [Link]
MY NAME IS ROBERT AND I AM A GEEK [Robert A. George]
While we're all connecting with our inner geekdom, I thought I would confess my own. I share sports geekdom with Mr. Lowry and comic book geekdom with Jonah Goldberg (though he's more Marvel, while I'm more DC). Sorry, Rod, but I'm not a religion or foodie geek. To the extent that I have a unique area of geekdom, it would have to be pop music (especially late '70s punk/New Wave and nearly all of the '80s). Oh, yeah, something of a TV geek too... Stuttaford? Derbyshire? Alder? Ponnuru? You guys are up next.
Posted 7:54 PM | [Link]
ON "BLACK LEADERS" [Robert A. George]
Interesting article, in today's Washington Post, on the generational trend of African American politicians distancing themselves from the phrase, "black leader," and the various implications that go with it. The Rhyming Rev. Jackson is quoted as saying, " 'Black' is used not to describe us, but to define us, and therefore confine us." Of course, he doesn't cop to the fact that he is largely responsible for the cliche 'black leader'. Observations by younger pols such as Rep. Harold Ford and Dem TX Senate candidate Ron Kirk seem a lot more honest.
Posted 5:36 PM | [Link]
I DON'T KNOW HEBREW...: [Rich Lowry]
...but a couple of people have e-mailed this:
"'Eephus ain't nuthin'.' It could be a coincidence, but the Hebrew word for zero (sometimes used for 'nothing') is 'efess.'"
Posted 4:41 PM | [Link]
CONGRATS TO SEAN HANNITY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Looks like he's debuting on the New York Times bestseller list this week at #3 (Drudge has the scoop). For my review of his Let Freedom Ring, click here.
Posted 4:39 PM | [Link]
I'M WITH RICH [Rod Dreher] I'm not a sports geek, but I seem to be the religion geek and the foodie geek on the site. But I ain't a sci-fi/Star Trek geek. Send me your "Red Heifer Alerts" and your thoughts about steam-sauteeing vegetables, but if you send me any Star Trek mail, I'll punch you in the nose (thereby breaking your finger). (Ha ha! It's a joke! Laugh, people. Truth to tell, I have utmost respect for those who collect Mr. Spock commemorative plates from the Franklin Mint. I shall make a donation to the charity of Leonard Nimoy's choice to make up for my shocking insensitivity to the Trek-American community. We shall overcome. Nanoo-nanoo...)
Posted 4:38 PM | [Link]
NOTE TO READERS: [Rich Lowry]
I can't believe how many sci-fi/Star Trek e-mails I received just for posting an e-mail yesterday that mentioned the Federation in passing. Just so everyone is clear on this: I'm the sports geek on this blog. I don't really know much about sports compared to real sports geeks, but I stand out in The Corner because it is otherwise filled with sci-fi/comic book/marmite geeks. So, please don't send me anymore sci-fi e-mails. I don't like sci-fi. I read Ray Bradbury as a kid, saw the early Star Trek movies and maybe even read one or two of those numbered Star Trek books. That's it (oh yeah-I did read and enjoy Starship Troopers recently, and I liked the movie.) So, it literally ruins my day when I get snowed under with e-mails with subject headers like "Captain Kirk & Beer" and "Two words: Romulan Ale" (apparently "a blue and very strong concoction"). It's even worse to have to learn that in "the fourth movie," Kirk was in a restaurant in the twentieth century and "the comely lady doctor ordered him a Michelob, he took a swig, and registered outright distaste." Jonah's back-hit him with this stuff.
Posted 4:38 PM | [Link]
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PRODUCT? [Rod Dreher] We've just heard from a Corner reader who is so devoted to Yuengling Beer that he drives across state lines to load his trunk up with it, inasmuch as the stuff isn't available in his state. He suggests that we do a story about particular hard-to-find products to which folks are so devoted they'll go to great lengths to get them. I've beat the drum in these parts for Abita Beer and Zapp's Potato Chips, both fine Louisiana products, and I have been meditating on a homily I must deliver about the manifold glories of sriracha sauce, a cheap but can't-do-without hot sauce available in Asian markets. How about you? I'm interested mostly in foods, but I don't want to limit the survey to that. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me which out-of-the-mainstream stuff you're devoted to, why you must have it, how you get it, and how it makes your life worth living. You can even be evangelical about it, and explain why all conservatives should share your passion. Unless you specify otherwise, all letters on this topic will be considered on the record.
Posted 3:36 PM | [Link]
HOORAY FOR BOSTON BARKEEPS!: [Rod Dreher] Corner regular Pat Tyler sends a great story about how Boston bartenders are refusing to serve Samuel Adams products until CEO Jim Koch makes an appropriate act of contrition for his part in the disgusting desecration of St. Patrick's Cathedral two weeks ago.
Posted 3:26 PM | [Link]
BUT I DOUBT…: [Rich Lowry]
…we’d go to war with any other country over inspections. This is the odd part of Fareed’s piece. He acknowledges that Saddam has to be removed, and the inspections are just a pretense. He makes the anti-Saddam case this way: “Saddam Hussein is building nuclear weapons. In fact he wants them so badly that he has, over the past decade, forgone $160 billion in oil revenues so that he could keep his labs free of inspections. He has attacked his neighbors three times and used chemical weapons on his own people. Most important, all other methods of handling him have been exhausted. The sanctions against Iraq have crumbled. Three years ago Saddam had access to $200 million to $300 million. Today smuggling and sanctions-busting gets him about $3 billion.
This problem is not going to go away. Unless Saddam is stopped, in a few years the world will almost certainly face a nuclear-armed megalomaniac.”
Sounds pretty convincing to me. If Fareed is (understandably) eager to have the U.S. engage in more diplomacy with the Europeans--he knocks the administration for seeming “scared witless at the prospect of negotiating with a few French bureaucrats!”—why don’t we go to them with this case, so succinctly stated in Fareed’s column, rather than with a scheme for another inspections game? That would be more straightforward and honest. It would also cut to the chase. When Saddam rejects inspectors (if he does), the argument over Iraq will come down to how much of a threat he poses anyway—in other words, come down to whether the Europeans agree with the above quoted two paragraphs in Fareed’s column or not. That’s what the argument should be over now, rather than a new inspections regime that, besides its possibility for complications and delay, is only a warm-up to the inevitable debate and decision.
Posted 3:25 PM | [Link]
I RESPECT…: [Rich Lowry]
…Fareed Zakaria very much, but I’m not convinced by his current Newsweek column. Fareed thinks we need a bona fide casus belli against Saddam. He says outright: “If the administration stays on its current path, there will be no conflict with Iraq.” The provocation Fareed suggests is getting Saddam to reject a UN inspections regime. Am I missing something? Saddam already has rejected a UN inspections regime. If rejecting inspections is such a grave offense, Saddam has already committed it.
Posted 3:09 PM | [Link]
KATHRYN...: [Rich Lowry]
...your e-mailer forgot eephus pitch. And now that I've mentioned it, here's the explanation of the name, which an e-mailer copied and pasted from BaseballLibrary.com:
"According to Paul Dickson's The Baseball Dictionary, the "eephus pitch" was first used by Pittsburgh Pirates starter Rip Sewell. In an exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers in 1942, Pirates catcher Al Lopez called for a changeup on a 3-2 count to Dick Wakefield. Sewell threw a high, arching lob to the plate, and when the pitch finally arrived, Wakefield swung and missed. After the game, manager Frankie Frisch asked Sewell what he called the pitch, and Pirates outfielder Maurice Van Robays replied "that's an eephus pitch." When Sewell asked him what an eephus was, Van Robays said, "Eephus ain't nuthin'." From then on, Sewell called it the eephus pitch. Sewell said he created the pitch after a war injury forced him to alter his wind-up. Unable to pivot on his right foot, he had to adopt an overhand delivery which led to the development of his new pitch."
Posted 2:42 PM | [Link]
BY THE WAY... [Jonah Goldberg]
For all the readers who complained -- and there were a lot of them -- that I wasn't working hard enough on my vacation, I'd like to point out that I filed my syndicated column regularly while on the road.
Posted 1:08 PM | [Link]
UMMM.... [Jonag Goldberg]
"Sproing"? Is that a sound effect like in the cartoons? Or is it a verb, as in "to Spro"? I paid extra to be sproed thoroughly? Etc. Please clarify.
Posted 1:02 PM | [Link]
SAINTHOOD FOR JOHN PAUL ONE? [Mike Potemra]
It's being discussed.
And it's an idea that should be taken seriously. He was pope for only 33 days, so he doesn't make for an impressive chapter in the history books. But he made a deep impression on many people with his humility and gentleness. I was 14 at the time of his brief pontificate, and remember how his cheerfulness and simplicity seemed to embody the very best part of religion. Looking back, I find a certain sports analogy irresistible: As a player on the world stage, it was John Paul II who was destined to be the Yankees; John Paul I-who had a somewhat less glorious record of accomplishment, but was thoroughly lovable-was the Mets.
Posted 12:37 PM | [Link]
JONAH'S RETURN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A reader writes:
Wait'll Jonah sees all the topics discussed in his absence: Star Trek, beer, Title IX, Starship Troopers, skateboards, Sproing! He'll get a complex: "They only have rules when I'm around..."
Posted 12:14 PM | [Link]
ARGH [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
I thought the passwords had been changed....
Posted 11:22 AM | [Link]
I'MMMM BAAAAAACK [Jonah Goldberg]
Hey guys, I'm back from the cross-continent thing. I hope I'm still allowed in the Corner. I kind of feel like Flounder when he goes up to the football players at the party and says "you guys playing cards?"
Posted 11:21 AM | [Link]
CALIFORNIA CONFUSION [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
David Limbaugh has an alarming column on new foster-care rules just passed in California regarding gender identity, sexual preferences, and little things like AIDS. Worth reading.
Posted 11:14 AM | [Link]
THE ASIMOV-AL QAEDA CONNECTION [Dave Kopel]
Was bin Laden influenced by Isaac Asimov's science-fiction trilogy Foundation? The Guardian plausibly suggests he may have been.
Posted 10:43 AM | [Link]
TOBY KEITH, CON’T [Stanley Kurtz]
Thanks for all the mail on yesterday’s Bruce Springsteen vs. Toby Keith piece. That was definitely one of the bigger responses I’ve gotten. I take my Toby from CMT, but CD buyers have informed me that Toby’s father didn’t lose his eye in WWII, but in a training accident between the Korean and Vietnam wars. For the latest bit of Toby-bashing (and America-bashing) from the loony British Left have a look at this.
Posted 10:12 AM | [Link]
CONVICTS VERSUS COLLEGIANS [Roger Clegg]
The New York Times today reports a study prepared by the Justice Policy Institute—“a Washington-based research and advocacy group that supports alternatives to incarceration”—that finds that the number of black men in jail or prison has quintupled in the last 20 years, and that there are now more blacks behind bars than in college.
If you read further, however, you will learn (1) that this factoid is misleading since prisoners generally encompass a broader age range than students, (2) that although the rise in black prisoners is frequently blamed on the “War on Drugs,” Justice Department figures indicate that “50 percent of the growth in inmate populations at state prisons was for violent crimes, and that only 20 percent was for drug crimes,” and (3) that during this same 20-year period the number of Americans of all races in jail or prison quadrupled, which helps put the black quintupling into perspective.
In all events, the NAACP’s comment on the study was predictable, and obtuse: “It is indeed a sad statement about our nation that it appears to be easier for governments to invest precious public dollars into the incarceration of African-American men than it is for them to invest in higher education.” Huh? The American government is to blame for decisions by some of its citizens to commit crimes? It hurts the black community to put criminals in jail—even though blacks are disproportionately the victims of crime? If the government gave more money to colleges then crime rates would go down? There is a tension between law enforcement and education? No, the fact is that relatively high crime rates and relatively poor academic performance among blacks are both traceable to social pathologies (7 in 10 blacks are born out of wedlock) and attitudes (studying hard is acting white) that must be addressed by African Americans themselves--but the NAACP doesn’t like to talk about that.
Posted 9:37 AM | [Link]
THAT DARNED ELECTRICITY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A classic green moment.
Posted 9:36 AM | [Link]
WHAT THE ARAB LEAGUE THINKS OF THE HOLOCAUST [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A "lies and deceptions" symposium being held for members this week.
Posted 9:31 AM | [Link]
DOES ANYONE OUT THERE KNOW… [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
…if the breast-milk-incident airport-security screener was fired?
Posted 8:21 AM | [Link]
YEMEN HAS AL QAEDA, TOO... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...and they are not cooperating.
But they are members of the U.N. human-rights commission, chaired by M. Kaddafi.
Posted 7:59 AM | [Link]
WAY OVERBOARD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
We have an "eternal friendship" with the Kingdom?
Posted 6:23 AM | [Link]
THIS IS SADDAM GIVING US THE FINGER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted 6:14 AM | [Link]
WE WILL SURVIVE... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...and live long and prosper (!) without this kind of Oxygen. (If you care to, read about one of my Oxygen experiences here.)
Posted 6:09 AM | [Link]
AL QAEDA IN IRAN? [KJL]
Posted 6:07 AM | [Link]
GULF WAR I: [Ramesh Ponnuru]
In the midst of some research I was doing, I came across the first editorial NR ran after Iraq invaded Kuwait 12 years ago. Among other things, it said: "The immediate American goals are the restoration of Kuwait and the defense of Saudi Arabia; but our eventual objectives must be deeper: the overthrow of Saddam and the permanent reduction of Iraqi military power. . . . Better a crushing blow now than any peaceful solution that leaves Saddam free in five years’ time to renew his bid for supreme power in the Arab world, armed with nuclear weapons and a prestige born of outwitting the United States” (emphasis in original). You can't say we haven't been consistent. . .
Posted 7:49 PM | [Link]
BUT ROD: [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Governments make all kinds of mistakes that might cost innocent people their lives--imposing the wrong regulations, fighting the wrong wars the wrong ways, failing to deter crime. We just try to minimize error in those cases. Unless the death penalty is per se immoral, I don't see how the possibility of a tiny number of mistakes makes it a bad idea. Let's not forget, as well, that nobody has been able to come up with a single example of a mistaken execution in the modern era.
Posted 7:46 PM | [Link]
PAPAL HARBINGER? [Mike Potemra]
The Pope isn't going to the Philippines in January, after all--according to the invaluable EWTN website.
Incidentally, yesterday was the anniversary of the election, 24 years ago, of Pope John Paul I--the humble, smiling holy man from Venice who was John Paul the Great's immediate predecessor.
Posted 7:44 PM | [Link]
WHY I'M AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY: [Rod Dreher] After 17 years in jail for a murder to which he confessed, a Michigan man was released after DNA evidence proved he couldn't have been the killer. The man signed his confession while he was in a mental hospital undergoing evaluation, which makes the confession problematic, to say the least. If Michigan had had the death penalty, he might have been dead by now. This is why I am against capital punishment. I am not convinced of the intrinsic immorality of the death penalty; I simply fear that given human fallibility, we can't risk executing the innocent if there exists other effective ways to protect society from convicted killers. Does this mean men who deserve to die will be spared the ultimate punishment so that we can protect the innocent? Yes. I'm willing to live with that. The alternative -- executing the innocent -- is worse.
Posted 6:35 PM | [Link]
POOR PHIL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted 6:14 PM | [Link]
NOT CRICKET [Andrew Stuttaford]
No Rich, that game is nothing like cricket. The difference? Well, lets just say that, if I tried to explain, Kathryn would be calling out for a few exciting Star Trek posts.
Posted 6:09 PM | [Link]
IN CASE YOU MISSED [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Ledeen and Hanson book plugs in The Corner.
Posted 6:08 PM | [Link]
LEDEEN TV: TURN ON YOUR TV [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Just in my in box (from his PR help): Michael Ledeen, author of The War Against the Terror Masters, just published by St. Martin Press, will be discussing his book on Fox News Channel's Special Report with Brit Hume, between 6 and 7 PM EST. And on MSNBC's The News with Brian Williams, he will be interviewed between 7 and 8 PM EST.
Posted 6:05 PM | [Link]
GOOD EEPHUS LINK : [Rich Lowry]
Posted 5:33 PM | [Link]
TRUTH IS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
When I am running behind in the workload department, you guys can get away with a lot. That and I figure I have to give a little since I brought up Star Trek yesterday.
Posted 5:30 PM | [Link]
E-MAIL: [Rich Lowry]
“Did Captain Kirk, a man's man, drink beer? Ooopppsss...forbidden subject. Why does K-Lo allow the banality of beer but suppress the follies of the Federation?”
Good question—I think we’re probably pushing it, though.
Posted 5:28 PM | [Link]
Bud vs. Yuengling: [Rich Lowry]
An e-mail: "I have to agree with your e-mailer. Yuengling is GREAT AMERICAN beer. I lugged 5 cases back from my PA summer vacation this year. You and Jonah should stick to manly wheat and barley beers like Miller and or Yuengling. It's too kind to call Bud piss-water. And please don't tell me you like the frogs. That would be devastating." It's not the frogs.
Posted 5:17 PM | [Link]
HMM, SOUNDS A LITTLE LIKE CRICKET TO ME [Rich Lowry]
An e-mail: “If I can put in a shameless plug, all Corner readers (and baseball fans) should take the opportunity presented by the strike to go see a vintage base ball game. Or as we like to say, "the game as it was meant to be played."
Vintage base ball is usually played according to the interpreted written rules of 1860. These rules include; no balls or strikes being called and balls caught on one bounce are outs. According to the customs of the times, players will not wear gloves. As most clubs wish to emulate the mannerly behavior of the first true club, the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York, sliding and bad behavior by players is frowned upon. Players will wear uniforms similar to what was worn at the time.
For Corner readers in Ohio, 24 vintage base ball teams are descending on Columbus for the 11th Annual Ohio Cup. 24 teams from 6 states will play over 50 games on Saturday and Sunday. Our games are very gentlemanly and provide an excellent antidote to what one sees during major league (and even little league) games.
Posted 5:09 PM | [Link]
SOME 9/11 PRAYERS ANSWERED, 11 MONTHS LATER [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A New Jersey man, suffering from amnesia, missing since 9/11 is reunited with his family.
Posted 5:07 PM | [Link]
THE RIGHT BEER [Andrew Stuttaford]
A good beer? Try Saku Originaal from Estonia: post-communist, free market
and rather refreshing.
Posted 5:01 PM | [Link]
SOMEONE SHLD HAVE TOLD EL DUQUE: [Rich Lowry]
An e-mail: "Rule #1: Never, ever, ever throw the eephus pitch twice to the same batter. Back when Bill `Spaceman' Lee was pitching for the Red Sox he called his version the `folly floater'" This is what I wonder: why is it called the eephus (now that, thanks to yesterday, I know why an "ollie" is called an "ollie")?
Posted 4:54 PM | [Link]
OH MY [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A "prayer" for the earth summit.
Posted 4:53 PM | [Link]
RED SOX FANS RILED...: [Rich Lowry]
..including Dan Lewis at his blog. "Rich Lowry, over at the Corner, jokes that the Red Sox are trying to buy the pennant. I mean, at least I hope he's joking. I'm no Red Sox fan (or Yankee fan), but I'm a bit surprised that he'd buy Gammons' rather poor economics. The Red Sox aren't eating $18 million of dead salaries -- they already did. It's a sunk cost, pure and simple. By adding Howry, Embree, and Floyd, they simply add the remaining portions of their salaries, or about $400k, $200k, and $2.1 million, respectively -- about $2.7m."
Posted 4:51 PM | [Link]
E-MAIL: [Rich Lowry]
“Not only does it taste good (unlike Bud -- sorry, Jonah), but for all you history buffs out there, it's America's Oldest Brewery -- reason enough for a good conservative to drink it!”
Posted 4:47 PM | [Link]
Yuengling then, Yuengling now, Yuengling forever: [Rich Lowry]
An e-mail: "Made in conservative Pottsville, PA by folks who own pickups, chew tobacco, hunt, fish and staunchly support the second amendment. Yuengling was making good conservative beer when the liberal yuppies who run Sam Adams were still attending Berkeley and Harvard."
Posted 4:35 PM | [Link]
DOWN AT THE RANCH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Rich, I don't think that there can be much objection to Bush having talks with the 'prince'. In fact it's only common sense. The problem is with the venue. By meeting Bandar at Crawford, Bush is giving out the signal (even if it's an insincere one) that the US is so weak that it is prepared to maintain a close 'friendship' with a country deeply implicated in ideological and, quite possibly actual, warfare against it.
More dangerous still is the way that this gesture must surely play with those in the 'Kingdom' who are disgusted with the existing regime. If bin Laden wants to attract fresh Saudi volunteers he has no better recruiting posters than photographs of the handshakes in Crawford.
Posted 4:20 PM | [Link]
THIS BUD'S FOR YOU [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Since Jonah is narrowly avoiding incarceration in some flyover state, I link to his Budweiser piece in his absence.
Posted 4:13 PM | [Link]
THE KING OF BEERS: [Rich Lowry]
Kathryn, Rod—one word: Budweiser.
Posted 4:07 PM | [Link]
FIRST THE EU... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...then the world!!! Making the globe safe for terrorists: visa-free travel.
Posted 3:53 PM | [Link]
IF JESSE JACKSON RAN THE CATHOLIC LEAGUE: [Rod Dreher] The Sam Adams people would have by now made their expected contribution to the organization, agreed to hire a certain number of Catholics, agreed to host diversity-training workshops using consultants recommended by the Catholic League, and pledged a certain amount to the Wall Street Project.
Posted 3:46 PM | [Link]
HEY, ROD [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Maybe I have a thing against things "wicked," but shouldn't we be touting a "conservative" beer like Coors?
Posted 3:43 PM | [Link]
ROASTING JIM KOCH: [Rod Dreher] Corner readers aren't buying Sam Adams CEO Jim Koch's "apology" for being party to the desecration of St. Patrick's Cathedral. You guys are of the opinion that Koch is only sorry he got caught in a stunt that made people mad at him and his brewery. Some of you Boston-area Catholics are also switching to Pete's Wicked Ale, and writing Koch to tell him why.
Posted 3:21 PM | [Link]
MEANWHILE, DOWN ON THE RANCH: [Rich Lowry]
I’ve been getting outraged—outraged!—calls from friends about President Bush hosting Prince Bandar in Crawford. Relax, guys. If we can get the Saudis to pump up production if there’s a disruption during an invasion, or if we can get them to relent and actually use our base there (unlikely), I’m all for it. Our relationship with the Saudis needs to change over the long-term. First things, first. Toppling Saddam is a necessary first step to begin to pressure the Saudis in a serious way. If a little sweet-talking (my Bandar, what big mansions you have!) will get the Saudis to actually do something to help us take that first step, so much the better.
Posted 2:47 PM | [Link]
EEPHUS!: [Rich Lowry]
Oh yeah—one last reason not to strike: the eephus pitch.
Posted 2:43 PM | [Link]
BY THE WAY…: [Rich Lowry]
…has anyone noticed that the RED SOX ARE TRYING TO BUY THE PENNANT!?!?! At least that is what they would say about the Yankees if they had done what the Red Sox did recently. Over to Peter Gammons: “One major factor in the race may well turn out to be that the Red Sox could afford to acquire Cliff Floyd, Alan Embree and Bob Howry and eat $18 million worth of dead contracts (Jose Offerman, Darren Oliver and Rich Garces).”
Posted 2:40 PM | [Link]
A DAMN SHAME: [Rich Lowry]
If baseball doesn’t have the decency to avoid a strike for the sake of the fans, at least they should come to an agreement for the good of the AL West. The AL West used to be notable only for its mediocrity—back when the California Angles would win the division with something like a .510 winning percentage. But this year it has the three best teams in the American League not called the Yankees, and this race is something to behold. Yet another fantastic late-season surge by the A’s could mean that the Mariners, amazingly enough, might not even make the playoffs! Don’t strike, please don’t strike…
Posted 2:39 PM | [Link]
RED HEIFER ALERT: [Rod Dreher] A Corner reader sends a link to a Washington Post story reporting that a key wall around the Al-Aqsa mosque compound on Jerusalem's Temple Mount is in danger of imminent collapse (this is not, by the way, the Wailing Wall). Israeli authorities say it's just a matter of time, that it's beyond repair. Islamic authorities overseeing the compound say that's nonsense, and the Israelis are only saying that to grab more control over the area. So what happens when the wall falls, in the current political climate? Hal Lindsey, keep your TV tie at hand.
Posted 1:49 PM | [Link]
OLD DOMINION SHAME [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Dave Shiflett, as a Virginian, is angered by what his state mates did in St. Patrick's.
Posted 12:36 PM | [Link]
IF YOU CAN’T STOP IT, PRETEND [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Remember those infant and toddler suicide-bomber photos? They may be no more. The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, the Palestinian Authority's journalists union has "absolutely forbidden'' its photo-journalists from taking pictures of Arab children carrying weapons or taking part in play-military activities, as of yesterday, according to the Associated Press. The union has also called for Palestinians to stop using their kids in military activities, AP reports.
Posted 12:31 PM | [Link]
GOD TALK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Rich comments from Condoleezza Rice about faith.
Posted 11:40 AM | [Link]
WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT IT? [Andrew Stuttaford]
This astonishing post from Norwegian Blogger speaks for itself. Thanks to Instapundit for pointing it out.
Posted 11:33 AM | [Link]
THE REAL WAR [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Nick Schulz, editor of techcentralstation, is in South Africa for the eat-the-earth summit. He just emailed me: "I just watched a woman blast the US and in particular the Bush administration for "launching a global attack on women's sexual and reproductive rights." Now I know why the US hasn't attacked Iraq--apparently we're too busy with other attacks."
Posted 11:32 AM | [Link]
P.O.D. [Jonathan Adler]
If we can have granola conservatives, then I guess it's okay to have Christian rockers on MTV, at least a Volokh thinks so.
Posted 11:03 AM | [Link]
AN UNWORTHY THOUGHT [Andrew Stuttaford]
The Daily Telegraph is reporting that a (relatively) impoverished Ted Turner is cutting back on his donations to the UN. Now, I know that much of this 'UN' money is, in fact, spent on good causes, but there's a tiny unworthy thought in my mind that keeps going, "twofer, twofer"....
Posted 11:02 AM | [Link]
REAL CAMPUS NUMBERS [Stanley Kurtz]
Don’t miss the latest issue (September) of The American Enterprise. The magazine is filled with interesting articles about America’s campus culture war, but most interesting of all is the extended statistical study of party affiliation on America’s college campuses (“The One Party Campus”). TAE sent out student volunteers to painstakingly check voter registration rolls for the party affiliations of faculty members in a number of humanities and social science departments at campuses across the country. The results were exactly as you’d expect, although having the proof is of tremendous importance. Stanford University departments sampled, for example, had 151 faculty members belonging to the Democrats (or other parties of the Left) and only 17 to the Republicans (or other parties of the Right). The departments surveyed at Harvard had 50 Democrats and only two Republicans; U.C. San Diego was 99 Democrat and 6 Republican; University of Texas at Austin had 94 Democrats and 15 Republicans; and so on at all the other colleges surveyed. (Again, I’m lumping some miscellaneous parties of the Right and Left in with my Democrat and Republican reports.) The departmental breakdowns are also interesting. As you might expect, most Women’s Studies departments had no Republicans at all. But there were lone Republican Women’s Studies professors at a few places. Women’s Studies at University of Texas, Austin, for example, had 27 Democrats and 1 Republican. These sorts of disparities shows that America’s college campuses are actually far less diverse most other places in the country. We already knew that, of course, but having the numbers helps.
Posted 10:58 AM | [Link]
SAM ADAMS IS SORRY: [Rod Dreher] Jim Koch, president of the Boston Brewing Company, maker of Sam Adams, apologizes for being part of the sex-in-St.-Patrick's stunt. "[I]t was never our intention to be part of a radio station promotion that crossed the line," Koch says in a statement. I'm sure he didn't foresee that the "Sex for Sam" contest would end up desecrating a church during mass, but the point of this charming little competition, which the brewery has sponsored in the past, is for listeners to have sex in public places. Some "line" this guy has.
Posted 10:30 AM | [Link]
MOUNT OF TROUBLES [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The southern wall of the Temple Mount evidently has shifted and is in danger of collapsing.
Posted 10:01 AM | [Link]
SEND IN THE METHANOGENS [Andrew Stuttaford]
They may be less macho than Starship Troopers, but could methanogens be our advance guard on Mars?
Posted 9:57 AM | [Link]
CHANGES AT HARVARD [Stanley Kurtz]
The Chronicle of Higher Education reports today that Harvard Law School has been forced to open its Office of Career Services to military recruiters for the first time in 20 years. The change was effected when the U.S. Air Force changed its interpretation of the Solomon Amendment, a 1996 statute that denies federal funds to any educational institution that “prohibits or in effect prevents” military recruiting. By declaring Harvard Law School in violation of the Solomon Amendment, the Air Force in effect put $328 million in government grants (about 16 percent of Harvard’s annual budget) at risk. Officials and students at Harvard Law are reportedly furious at being forced by the government to lay aside their ban on military recruiting, which is supposedly based upon the military’s “discriminatory” policy against gays. But it may have been a green light from Harvard’s new president, Lawrence Summers that prompted the Air Force to act. The folks at Harvard clearly still don’t get it. Their disagreement’s with the military’s policy toward gays can be fought out through pressure on our political representatives. But whatever the national policy on gays in the military, banning our armed forces from campus is simply unacceptable. Yet Harvard students vow to subvert the decision by flooding recruiters with students who will not inquire about enlistment, but will simply argue the military’s policy on gays. This sort of activity brings shame upon Harvard. It’s high time that the government started honestly enforcing the Soloman amendment on all of America’s campuses, including especially, a declaration that all campuses banning ROTC (Harvard included) are in violation of the amendment. This change at Harvard is a most welcome, and very important, step toward that goal.
Posted 9:55 AM | [Link]
MEET PRINCE HASSAN [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
If you've been following David Pryce-Jones's case for restoring the Hasemites to Iraq and the debate surrounding it--if you have not start here, then go here, then here--you might want to meet Prince Hassan, who P-J suggests as the next leader of Iraq, here on his website, which includes a page of speeches from Hassan, among other things.
Posted 9:47 AM | [Link]
AND FOR THIS WE ARE GRATEFUL [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
People who surf the web--NRO, in particular--during work hours.
Posted 9:25 AM | [Link]
A VIEW FROM THE TROUGH [Andrew Stuttaford]
Here's another reason that George Bush didn't go to the UN's poverty summit - he likes to watch his weight.
Posted 8:33 AM | [Link]
LISTEN UP, SAUDIS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
The Wall Street Journal says: "President Bush should demand that Prince Bandar free Ajmad Radwan."
Posted 6:29 AM | [Link]
CHENEY ON THE CRITICS: [Ramesh Ponnuru]
"I am familiar with the arguments against taking action in the case of Saddam Hussein. Some concede that Saddam is evil, power-hungry, and a menace -- but that, until he crosses the threshold of actually possessing nuclear weapons, we should rule out any preemptive action. That logic seems to me to be deeply flawed. The argument comes down to this: yes, Saddam is as dangerous as we say he is, we just need to let him get stronger before we do anything about it.
"Yet if we did wait until that moment, Saddam would simply be emboldened, and it would become even harder for us to gather friends and allies to oppose him. As one of those who worked to assemble the Gulf War coalition, I can tell you that our job then would have been infinitely more difficult in the face of a nuclear-armed Saddam Hussein. And many of those who now argue that we should act only if he gets a nuclear weapon, would then turn around and say that we cannot act because he has a nuclear weapon. At bottom, that argument counsels a course of inaction that itself could have devastating consequences for many countries, including our own.
"Another argument holds that opposing Saddam Hussein would cause even greater troubles in that part of the world, and interfere with the larger war against terror. I believe the opposite is true. Regime change in Iraq would bring about a number of benefits to the region. When the gravest of threats are eliminated, the freedom-loving peoples of the region will have a chance to promote the values that can bring lasting peace. As for the reaction of the Arab 'street,' the Middle East expert Professor Fouad Ajami predicts that after liberation, the streets in Basra and Baghdad are 'sure to erupt in joy in the same way the throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans.' Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of Jihad. Moderates throughout the region would take heart. And our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced, just as it was following the liberation of Kuwait in 1991.
"The reality is that these times bring not only dangers but also opportunities. In the Middle East, where so many have known only poverty and oppression, terror and tyranny, we look to the day when people can live in freedom and dignity and the young can grow up free of the conditions that breed despair, hatred, and violence."
Posted 11:03 PM | [Link]
CHENEY ON THE STAKES: [Ramesh Ponnuru]
He continues, "Should all his ambitions be realized, the implications would be enormous for the Middle East, for the United States, and for the peace of the world. The whole range of weapons of mass destruction then would rest in the hands of a dictator who has already shown his willingness to use such weapons, and has done so, both in his war with Iran and against his own people. Armed with an arsenal of these weapons of terror, and seated atop ten percent of the world's oil reserves, Saddam Hussein could then be expected to seek domination of the entire Middle East, take control of a great portion of the world's energy supplies, directly threaten America's friends throughout the region, and subject the United States or any other nation to nuclear blackmail."
Posted 11:00 PM | [Link]
CHENEY ON INSPECTIONS: [Ramesh Ponnuru]
Cheney poured cold water on the idea that a robust inspections regime would obviate the need for action: "[O]ne must keep in mind the history of U.N. inspection teams in Iraq. Even as they were conducting the most intrusive system of arms control in history, the inspectors missed a great deal. Before being barred from the country, the inspectors found and destroyed thousands of chemical weapons, and hundreds of tons of mustard gas and other nerve agents.
"Yet Saddam Hussein had sought to frustrate and deceive them at every turn, and was often successful in doing so. I'll cite one instance. During the spring of 1995, the inspectors were actually on the verge of declaring that Saddam's programs to develop chemical weapons and longer-range ballistic missiles had been fully accounted for and shut down. Then Saddam's son-in-law suddenly defected and began sharing information. Within days the inspectors were led to an Iraqi chicken farm. Hidden there were boxes of documents and lots of evidence regarding Iraq's most secret weapons programs. That should serve as a reminder to all that we often learned more as the result of defections than we learned from the inspection regime itself.
"To the dismay of the inspectors, they in time discovered that Saddam had kept them largely in the dark about the extent of his program to mass produce VX, one of the deadliest chemicals known to man. And far from having shut down Iraq's prohibited missile programs, the inspectors found that Saddam had continued to test such missiles, almost literally under the noses of the U.N. inspectors.
"Against that background, a person would be right to question any suggestion that we should just get inspectors back into Iraq, and then our worries will be over. Saddam has perfected the game of cheat and retreat, and is very skilled in the art of denial and deception. A return of inspectors would provide no assurance whatsoever of his compliance with U.N. resolutions. On the contrary, there is a great danger that it would provide false comfort that Saddam was somehow 'back in his box.'
"Meanwhile, he would continue to plot. Nothing in the last dozen years has stopped him -- not his agreements; not the discoveries of the inspectors; not the revelations by defectors; not criticism or ostracism by the international community; and not four days of bombings by the U.S. in 1998. What he wants is time and more time to husband his resources, to invest in his ongoing chemical and biological weapons programs, and to gain possession of nuclear arms."
Posted 10:59 PM | [Link]
CHENEY'S CASE: [Ramesh Ponnuru]
The people who have been clamoring for the administration to "make the case" for American action to bring about regime change in Iraq will now, no doubt, be satisfied: Vice President Dick Cheney gave a speech today that made the case about as well as it can be made. I'll post some of the money quotes.
"The case of Saddam Hussein, a sworn enemy of our country, requires a candid appraisal of the facts. After his defeat in the Gulf War in 1991, Saddam agreed under to U.N. Security Council Resolution 687 to cease all development of weapons of mass destruction. He agreed to end his nuclear weapons program. He agreed to destroy his chemical and his biological weapons. He further agreed to admit U.N. inspection teams into his country to ensure that he was in fact complying with these terms.
"In the past decade, Saddam has systematically broken each of these agreements. The Iraqi regime has in fact been very busy enhancing its capabilities in the field of chemical and biological agents. And they continue to pursue the nuclear program they began so many years ago. . . . Among other sources, we've gotten this from the firsthand testimony of defectors -- including Saddam's own son-in-law, who was subsequently murdered at Saddam's direction. Many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon.
"Just how soon, we cannot really gauge. Intelligence is an uncertain business, even in the best of circumstances. This is especially the case when you are dealing with a totalitarian regime that has made a science out of deceiving the international community. Let me give you just one example of what I mean. Prior to the Gulf War, America's top intelligence analysts would come to my office in the Defense Department and tell me that Saddam Hussein was at least five or perhaps even 10 years away from having a nuclear weapon. After the war we learned that he had been much closer than that, perhaps within a year of acquiring such a weapon."
Posted 10:55 PM | [Link]
DOES THE PARTY KNOW? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Re the "ANDREW TO THE DECK" post: Kate Mulgrew is pro-life.
Posted 5:48 PM | [Link]
ALIEN CAMPAIGNER [Andrew Stuttaford]
Interesting news, Kathryn. I note that Shatner is Canadian and, thus, an alien.
Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Posted 5:46 PM | [Link]
OK, OK, A CORRECTION: [Rod Dreher] Stop e-mailing! I was wrong! The poor beheaded nun was 71 years old; her religious order was 98 years old. Mea maxima culpa.
Posted 5:41 PM | [Link]
"SAM ADAMS. BREWER. PATRIOT. PIMP": [Rod Dreher] James Lileks suggests that should be the new motto for the beer company that sponsored the contest that resulted in a couple of yahoos having sex in St. Patrick's during mass. And he puts the definitive smackdown on Opie & Dopey and all their pomps and works. This one's a keeper.
Posted 5:28 PM | [Link]
ANDREW TO THE DECK [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
However did you miss this one? Trek meets electoral politics.
Posted 5:19 PM | [Link]
NEWS FROM CHRISTIAN MARTYRDOM: [Rod Dreher] Someone in Baghdad has decapitated a 98-year-old nun. Islam being a religion of peace, I'm sure the authorities there are on the case.
Posted 5:18 PM | [Link]
IF I WERE MUSLIM... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...I probably would avoid becoming a fashion designer. In some countries, anything non-black, non-head-to-toe, would not fit in with the religious police. Then this designer goes and messes with Allah. Fatwah city.
Posted 5:17 PM | [Link]
THE GOLDBERGS REALLY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MAGIC A CASINO HOLDS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Posted 5:14 PM | [Link]
I’M TOLD…: [Rich Lowry]
..that this link provides a better account of the physics of the “ollie” than the “sproing” e-mail.
Posted 4:58 PM | [Link]
SPROING!: [Rich Lowry]
An e-mail: "Call it the "Sproing!" Effect. When the skater unbends his knees, the increased force flexes the middle of the board downward. When the rider starts to lift off the ground, he relives the stress on the board. The board then straightens itself out, pushing down on the ground with its wheels and springing into the air. You can do the same thing with a ruler. Lift its ends off your desk with a couple of books of like-thickness. Push down on the middle of the ruler and then let go. Sproing!"
Posted 3:25 PM | [Link]
I PROMISE…: [Rich Lowry]
…these skateboard posts will end soon, but I was wondering about this myself. An e-mail: “Past your skateboard deadline, but this is not law but physics. Consider the wheelie. The skateboarder is standing on the board, He bends his knees, and jumps upwards. The board is beneath his feet, and unattached. It goes up with him. What's going on here? A physical explanation on the internet suggests that the back end of the board hits the ground and bounces. My son says this is definitely not so.”
Posted 2:52 PM | [Link]
EVEN HOMER NODS [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Got a few of these this weekend, Andrew. "Thirteen hours with no blogs, and counting . . . . Suffering withdrawal symptoms." Guess you can't always post.
Posted 1:53 PM | [Link]
JONAH SIGHTING [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
Wonder where he spent his first wedding anniversary? See his travel blog.
Posted 1:04 PM | [Link]
MEANWHILE... [Rich Lowry]
... here is a very rough start to my column on the subject. I have to run into a meeting until around 11:30 a.m. If you have any thoughts/suggestions before then, please let me know. But please don't e-mail me about skateboarding after 11:30 a.m. Here it is:
Skateboarders, used to getting shooed away by shopkeepers, policemen, and other representatives of the forces of that part of civilization not yet on wheels, are partial to the declarative bumper-sticker: “Skateboarding is not a crime.”
Now, they might add a new proviso to that rallying cry: “It's not a huge liability risk either.”
Thanks to creative law-making and the lobbying of otherwise determinedly un-organized skaters, skateboarding has achieved that rarest of victories in contemporary America: it has beaten back the trial lawyers and carved a little niche for heedless, risk-taking freedom.
It wasn't long ago that skate-parks, the concrete wonderlands created for skateboarders, seemed headed for the dust-bin of history. Popular in the mid-70s (Fortune magazine endorsed them in 1976 as a great investment), by the end of the decade up to 80 percent of skate parks had shuttered their doors for liability reasons.
According to a 1998 New York Times report, of 200 skate parks built in 1976 only two remained. "Most," reported the Times, "closed due to the threat of injury lawsuits."...
Posted 10:36 AM | [Link]
THANKS FOR ALL…: [Rich Lowry]
…the skate-board e-mails. The depth of knowledge of Corner readers never fails to astound. Here is one e-mail explaining part of what happened:
"In 1997 though a landmark bill was passed in California, (AB1296) which for the first time listed skateboarding as a "Hazardous Recreational Activity". The bill essentially listed skateboarding as an activity with the likes of climbing a tree, another "Hazardous Recreational Activity". By listing it as such municipalities could no longer be sued for accidents/deaths which occurred as a result of skateboarding on public property. The bill delighted skateboarders and their trusted ally, the IASC (International Association of Skateboard Companies), as it cleared the way for skatepark operators to build as well as municipalities to build designated skateparks for skateboarders. The general public generally was pleased to hear that their parks and public areas would return to them, though pockets cared little for their tax dollars potentially going to the creation of a skatepark vs. other initiatives. The municipalities gained a relief from lawsuits and the complaints of the public. The only clear losers were the trial lawyers led by the California Trial Lawyers Association, because they stood to be out more business.”
Posted 10:35 AM | [Link]
PRESS RELEASE FROM SAUDI INFORMATION AGENCY: [Rich Lowry]
“Anti-Semitic Books Distributed by Saudi Embassy in Washington will be Displayed"
(WASHINGTON DC) August 26, 2002...The Saudi Institute said it will hold a press conference this week to display books distributed by Saudi diplomats in Washington that encourages religious hatred and violence against Jews, Christians, Ashaari and Shia Muslims.
The conference will also detail the name of these diplomats and dates of the accusations of the books that bear the names of Saudi government agencies in Washington that distributed them. The Institute said the books were obtained recently from the Saudi embassy’s office of Islamic Affairs, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth in Falls Church, and the Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America, all are government agencies staffed by diplomats.
WAMY which was named in the lawsuit filed by 9/11 victims who blamed it of supporting Al-Qaeda. A spokesman of the organization in Riyadh told AP the suit is “an American Zionist attempt to blackmail Saudi Arabia”
WAMY employs Shaikh Saad Al-Buraik as a religious advisor. Al-Buraik last year called for enslaving Jewish women and killing their children. Following that call he was appointed as host of the television program (Religion and Life) on Middleeast Broadcasting Company owned by brother-in-law of King Fahd, Waleed Al-Ibrahim. WAMY also employs Shaikh Abdullah Ben Jabreen who called for the killing of all Saudi Shia’s, and issued a fatwa in support of Taliban’s war against the northern alliance forces December 2000.
The largest source of these books is the Washington area branch of Imam Mohamed Ben Saud University in Riyadh, the main religious university in the country. The Institute of Islamic and Arabic Sciences in America headed by Dr. Ahmed Turkistani, a Saudi diplomat, and staffed by Saudi diplomats. The Institute practices gender segregation against its women students who are confined to a small part of the building and have a back entrance. The Institute teaches over 400 students Wahhabi understanding of Islam tuition free.
The university, which limits its teachings to the Wahhabi understanding of Islam, has six branches outside Saudi Arabia that annually coast the country $100 million, and teaches 7000 foreign students in Tokyo, Djibouti, Indonesia, Mauritania and United Arab Emirates….”
Posted 10:26 AM | [Link]
TSE IN NYT [Jonathan Adler]
I bet seeing this in the New York Times really ruined Al Gore's day.
Posted 8:34 AM | [Link]
KUDOS TO INSTAPUNDIT... [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
...for listening to, liking, and hyping Dave Shiflett's CD.
Posted 8:33 AM | [Link]
KINGS [Andrew Stuttaford]
Well, Kathryn, they say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I wouldn't take that approach in a joust,
Posted 8:16 AM | [Link]
THESE ARE THE GUYS LIBERALS HATE [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A portrait of the Boy scouts in action.
Posted 5:40 AM | [Link]
WHERE WAS NORMAN? [Kathryn Jean Lopez]
A woman boards a plane in Atlanta with a handgun. Perhaps security staff was too busy checking breast milk or veterans WWII medals.
Posted 5:28 AM | [Link]
ONE THING [KJL]
Andrew, is it cooler to be a warrior king or a philosopher king? Just wondering.
Posted 5:26 AM | [Link]
Andrew was by himself in The Corner most of the weekend, I really cannot say much about the Starship Troopers topic.
Posted 5:25 AM | [Link]
STARSHIP SCRIBBLERS (3) [Andrew Stuttaford]
A reader wants to know how he can become a warrior king.
Find stone. Extract sword.
Posted 2:44 PM | [Link]
STARSHIP SCRIBBLERS (2) [Andrew Stuttaford]
Almost no-one has come to the defense of the leftist scribblers, but the Heinlein hordes have not been so quiet. Numerous readers have written in to say that in Starship Troopers (which I had last read about 25 years ago) it is made clear that full citizenship does not depend on having volunteered for military service (which is, by the way, what the Starship Troopers movie implied), but for federal service. Apparently, the deal was that the volunteer had to sign over his or her life to the government for two years. The government would then decide whether to put you into the military or elsewhere. None of the options seem to have been very pleasant, to say the least, so I think that the notion that the current liberal debating ploy sounds like something out of Starship Troopers remains in very good shape.
In the book (yes, I've been to Barnes and Noble this morning) a recruiting sergeant explains:
"For those who insist on serving their term - but haven't got what we want and must have - we've had to think up a whole list of dirty, nasty, dangerous jobs that will either run 'em home with their tails between their legs and their terms uncompleted...or at least make them remember for the rest of their lives that their citizenship is valuable to them because they've paid a high price for it...a term of service isn't a kiddie camp; it's either real military service, rough and dangerous even in peacetime...or a most unreasonable facsimile thereof."
Careers on offer include "digging tunnels on Luna or playing human guinea pig for new diseases."
AmeriCorps, it wasn't.
Posted 2:34 PM | [Link]