September 30, 2002
It's the 1970s all over
It's the 1970s all over again. Back then, climate scientists feared a new ice age. In the 80s and 90s, the fear was global warming. They're now back to fearing an ice age.
Here's more on Congressmen McDermott
Here's more on Congressmen McDermott (D-Iraq), Bonior (D-Iraq), and Thompson (D-Iraq). While they're tooling around Iraq, they said they have total access to whatever they want to look at. "They have not kept us from doing anything we asked to do," said McDermott, who formerly represented Washington state. But Bonior, who formerly represented Michigan admitted "we're not looking as inspectors," so it doesn't matter where these men went. They wouldn't know a WMD even if they were staring straight at one.
To top it off, Bonior then blames the U.S. for increased leukemias and lymphomas in children because of all the uranium (depleated?) used on Iraq in the first Gulf War. He didn't put any blame on Saddam for being an egotistical, expansionistic thug who started this whole mess by invading Kuwait.
These three Congressmen should ease some of James Fallows' fears. Iraq's not even officially the fifty-first state and already they have three Democrats representing it in Congress.
"Democrats Blast U.S. Line on Iraq"
There are exceptions to everything,
There are exceptions to everything, including Minnesota Nice:
I then noticed this paragraph:
Did the shirt look anything like this?
Here's a close-up of my favorite t-shirt.
Someone should send Alec Baldwin one. Do you think he'd appreciate it?
"Actor Alec Baldwin raises money for Moe, Wellstone"
By way of Punditwatch, I
By way of Punditwatch, I found out Congressmen Jim McDermott (D-WA), and David Bonoir (D-MI) are hanging out in Baghdad! Please tell me they're on a secret mission scoping out targets for the air force. No, McDermott was blasting away at his own government while on the soil of his nation's enemy. It's one thing to oppose war with Iraq. It's quite another to go there and appear sympathetic before Saddam. In some circles that's considered treason.
Bonior didn't look any better when he regurgitated Iraq's position on weapons inspections. Iraq would allow "unrestricted, unfettered" access, but the U.N. must have "their sovereignty respected." That doesn't sound like "unrestricted, unfettered" access to me.
Sen. Don Nickles (R-OK) blasted the Democrats. "They both sound somewhat like spokespersons for the Iraqi government." Indeed.
George Will hit it right on the head when he said the Congressmen's yapping was "the most disgraceful appearance in my lifetime." I can't wait for a column on this incident.
"Division Over Iraq Despite Bush Hopes for Unity"
ScrappleFace already has the follow up to this story. If The Onion ever wants a weblogger, Scott Ott MUST be put at the top of the list.
"Rep. Bonior to Host ABC's 'Salute to Neville Chamberlain'"
UPDATE: John Hawkins gets angrier than me:
When Iraq is freed from
When Iraq is freed from Saddam's tyranny, what should happen to the country? David Pryce-Jones wouldn't mind a break-up into its ethnic parts. Iraq was just a state brought together by the British Empire.
"The End of the Pax Britannica"
When it comes to the
September 29, 2002
121 years ago, a man
121 years ago, a man was born who would turn out to be one of the most important social thinkers of the 20th Century. In 1881, Ludwig von Mises was born in Austria, went to college in Vienna, taught there as well as in Switzerland and the United States. His contributions to classical liberal thought stems from his devastating critique of socialism, his comprehensive exposition of economics, and his students who advanced Austrian economics into a refreshing challenge to orthodox economics.
Mises' most important book is Human Action. From a few basic premises about the way Man acts, Mises built a comprehensive intellectual edifice. It's magnificent in its logic and broad scope.
Mises' second most important work is Socialism. This is his argument against a socialist economy. Mises contends that since a socialist economy doesn't have market prices, such an economy will not be able to function as well as a capitalist economy. Prices contain valuable information that tell buyers and sellers what goods and services are relatively abundant or scarce. By not letting prices freely fluctuate, socialist economies do not allow information to move efficiently. (See this page on the Socialist Calculation Debate.)
In 1956, Mises' most famous student, Nobel Prize-winner, F. A. Hayek had these kind words to say about his teacher:
To become familiar with Mises' economics, Peter Boettke wrote a paper. In it, Boettke writes, "Mises developed a bold and enduring humanistic project for the study of man that invites our critical attention."
James Fallows has a "must
James Fallows has a "must read" article on what kind of situation a post-war Iraq could be. He delves into what an occupying American force would have to do from crumbling into anarchy. The possiblities aren't pleasant--having Iran as a "permanent enemy" doesn't sound appealing. Invasion could set back the rising democratic youth movement there. What Fallows' article does is force war advocates to look at the potential downsides to war. This allows for clearer and more nuanced thinking.
"The Fifty-first State?"
Trent Rezor is a sonic
Trent Rezor is a sonic genius who changed the way Rock music and machines interact. At his core, he knows it isn't how the music is made, but what the music is.
"Trent Reznor's Pretty Hate Machines"
September 28, 2002
11-year-olds will have access to
11-year-olds will have access to morning-after pills without parental consent. What do you expect? 11-year-olds having sex is just another "lifestyle choice." We don't want to impose our old-fashion notions of right and wrong on the young and impressionable. Instead, we'll drop any moral pretenses and hand out pills so they can kill their children.
This is the music video
This is the music video Plant/Page/Jones should release to get all the kids hooked on Zeppelin. Don't tick off these felines.
Nick Schulz takes the first
Nick Schulz takes the first shot at The American Conservative. He wonders how conservative Pat Buchanan is anymore since his positions parallel many non-conservatives:
"Standing Pat" [via InstaPundit]
September 27, 2002
Lynn's fed up with ABC
Lynn's fed up with ABC News. I haven't bothered with Peter Jennings and the gang for years.
Eugene Volokh's scenario is frightening,
Eugene Volokh's scenario is frightening, yet plausible. The reason to take out Saddam and liberate Iraq is that if Iraq builds a bomb, it will be used against the United States. Either Saddam would use it as in Eugene's speculative fiction, or terrorists will use it. What I fear most is waking up one day and watching on CNNMSNBCFOXNEWS that Seattle, Chicago, or Houston is now a smoking, radioactive crater. Millions of Americans would be dead and soon after millions of Iraqis would be dead too. At its core, invading Iraq is a war to save lives.
"Some Say Deterrence Is Enough?"
Jim's list of things to
Jim's list of things to do with his new house gives me a whole bunch of reasons never to buy one.
Webloggers and readers with an
Webloggers and readers with an itch to write, Frontiers of Freedom's OpinonEditorials.com can be your chance to start your new career as the next George Will, Thomas Friedman, or--dare I say it--Ann Coulter. Send them a 500-750 word article, and they just might print it. I see this as the minor leagues of opinion writing. Jennifer Roberts of Townhall.com even wrote, "Columns accepted by OpEds.com will be publicized by Townhall through our What's New section and email, and some lucky ones will make our homepage."
USA Today has a lengthy
USA Today has a lengthy story on possible war tactics against Iraq, but here's the kicker: the whole story might just be a diversion put out by the military. As Dave Moniz writes,
What you can guess is pretty accurate is that the war will be based on speed and accuracy. Bombers will use smart bombs like they did in Afghanistan with troops sweeping into Iraq from all parts of the world. If the guess of around 100,000 troops for this war is correct, it will an even greater accomplishment than Desert Storm.
"U.S. Aim in Iraq: 'Lightning' Action"
Stephen Silver didn't like The
Brad DeLong on basic statistics:
Brad DeLong on basic statistics:
I agree with him. Tossing around numbers the way the media does only confuses a public who is capable of understand concepts like confidence intervals and makes them more cynical toward statistics.
Jane Galt calls The West
Jane Galt calls The West Wing "Touched By An Angel for the political class." She's right. The liberal President and his staff are always right, and the opposition isn't just wrong, but stupid. I still like the show because it's about Washington, D.C. and the dialog is so zippy. A failing with the dialog is that any of the characters could say any of the lines, and it would fit. C.J. is just a female version of Sam, who is a male version of Donna, who is a female version of Josh. I'll still watch it because it's better than just about anything else in primetime, and I need something to pass the time until 24 begins its second season.
John Hawkins is tired of
John Hawkins is tired of the anti-war crowd's lack of an answer to the Islamist War:
Congress is putting together a resolution on the use of force against Iraq. Now is the time for the anti-war crowd to state their case. No longer can they cry out for a debate. The debate is now.
September 26, 2002
The agency in charge of
The agency in charge of rebuilding the WTC site has asked for ideas from six architecture teams. Since the state of modern architecture is abysmal, I worry about the resulting plans to be put together by November.
"Six Teams Chosen to Create New Designs for WTC Site"
Best British weblog, as determined
Best British weblog, as determined by the Guardian: Scaryduck.
"The Duck of the Draw"
Dawn writes, No one is
If no one is pro-abortion then how come so many people scream when even the slightest restriction on abortion is merely considered? How come NARAL hasn't supported any ban on gruesome partial-birth abortion? The only way abortion can perserve the integrity of life is if the mother's life is in danger. That's it. I'm a hardliner. Self-defense is the only moral justification for killing an unborn child.
The University of California at
The University of California at San Diego wants a student group, the Che Cafe Collective, to remove a link to Columbian narco-terrorist group FARC. The univeristy claims it's a violation of the USA Patriot Act. It's not since, according to the law, supporting terrorists includes "currency or other financial securities, financial services, lodging, training, safehouses, false documentation or identification, communications equipment, facilities, weapons, lethal substances, explosives, personnel, transportation, and other physical assets, except medicine or religious materials." No one should claim that a hyperlink is equal to "communications equipment."
"University Bans Controversial Links"
In an e-mail, Chris Mosier
In an e-mail, Chris Mosier points out an error in Jacob Levy's post on the 17th Amendment. Levy wrote that before the 17th Amendment "Senators were elected for a stable seven years." A Senator's term has always been six years. The 17th Amendment didn't change anything about the length.
The the inaugural issue of
The the inaugural issue of The American Conservative, the Paleo/Neo Conservative wars have moved beyond the Internet and unknown magazines.
AC editors Pat Buchanan and Taki Theodoracopulos might be taking the term "Old Right" too literally. There's no real content on the magazine's web site. If they want influence beyond the D.C.-New York media center they need to take after Lew Rockwell and the Mises Institute gang who publish daily.
Bill Kristol may claim to not care about AC (he said, "I don't intend to pay much attention to it"), but don't be surprised to see a feature article in the next few months in The Weekly Standard skewering AC's political philosophy.
"On a Right Wing and a Player"
Clayton Cramer asserts that the
PALEO WATCH: The latest item
PALEO WATCH: The latest item is indirect. Lawrence Auster covers Pat Buchanan's new magazine and wrote this paragraph about paleos in general:
"McConnell and Buchanan versus 'The War Party'" [via PunchtheBag]
Lynn Sislo found some links
Lynn Sislo found some links on John Cage's 4'33".
Christopher Hitchens is leaving The
Christopher Hitchens is leaving The Nation. He also offers a simple reason why attacking Iraq is part of the broader Islamist War:
Take that Brent Scowcroft.
Hitchens also goes after the "war for oil" argument:
"We Must Fight Iraq" [via Drudge]
Lynne Stewart, radical lawyer, charged
Lynne Stewart, radical lawyer, charged with helping a convicted terrorist release calls to violence shows her cold, inhuman attitude toward the victims of September 11 and civilian casualities in general:
"Terrorist Lawyer" [via David Horowitz]
September 25, 2002
Chris points out a John
Chris points out a John Dean (of Watergate fame) article on the Seventeenth Amendment. That's the one that allows direct election of Senators. Chris calls it one of the worst changes to the constitution. Dean argues that it allowed the federal government to trample over states' rights because Senators were no longer beholden to the corporate interests of the states. Instead, they were beholden to the impulses of the voters.
Todd Zywicki's research was mentioned in Dean's article and he adds a little more to the discussion.
Jacob Levy responds [via InstaPundit] to Zywicki. He briefly describes other countries' upper legislative houses. Then he argues that the 17th Amendment may have prevented the Senate from becoming a powerless body.
"The Seventeenth Amendment: Should it be Repealed?"
A Vermont federal judge ruled
A Vermont federal judge ruled the federal death penalty unconstitutional.
"Federal Death Penalty Again Ruled Unconstitutional"
September 24, 2002
Gerhard Schroeder wins, but the
Gerhard Schroeder wins, but the U.S. government isn't happy. President Bush hasn't called Schroeder to congratulate him and Donald Rumsfeld didn't meet with the German defense minister in Warsaw.
Is Schroeder's use of the U.S. as boogie-man the sign of a trend in Europe? Will other center-left parties, even extreme right ones, use the threat of the "hyperpower" United States to scare voters into voting for them? Pundits pumped out plenty of words over the political burps of right-wing pols Jean-Marie Le Pen and Pim Fortuyn. One only got a small percentage of the vote (17% in the first round of elections), while the other was murdered days before the national election. Will there be as much examination of the long-term consequences of Schroeder's winning tactic and a deteriorated U.S.-German relationship?
One important consequence to examine is the future of NATO. While already on life support due to its irrelevance (no Soviet army to fight), the lack of support in ending Saddam's reign of terror over Iraq is the military alliance's final exhale. Europe sees itself as more of a competitor than partner to the U.S. Ironically, the best friends the U.S. has in NATO are the new ex-communist countries Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. In all likelihood, the war with Iraq will involve only the U.S. and Great Britain. The rest of NATO will wag their fingers at such awful unilateralism. Then the coffin will be sealed. Eventually, the public will agree with Sen. Jesse Helms (R-NC) that U.S. troops need no longer be stationed in a country where its leaders compare the their President to Hitler.
"Schroeder Faces More US Anger"
A bunch of historians want
A bunch of historians want a debate over declaring war on Iraq. They don't want a debate over a Congressional resolution authorizing the use of force; they want one over a declaration of war. One problem: a Congressional resolution is equivalent to a formal declaration. Earlier this year, Eugene Volokh was kind enough to point me to a Q. & A. by Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE) where he said,
Could it be that these historians are not as concerned about upholding the constitution as much as preventing a war with Iraq? It's fine to be against a war, it's another to use intellectually dishonest means.
No one should construe that I oppose a Congressional debate over war with Iraq. I would actually like to see Congress have the guts to declare war. It hasn't been done since 1941. They didn't even declare war on al-Qaeda; they authorized the use of force. Declaring war has more moral force and seriousness behind it.
"American Historians Speak Out"
I'll add to Matt Welch's
I'll add to Matt Welch's comment on supposed U.S. anti-intellectualism by looking at the communications method he's using. Weblogging allows many to read and comment on what "Gore Chomskytag," hawks, doves, and anyone in between has to say. After reading many weblogs for a little bit, you can't help but notice that many of these people aren't mere cranks objecting to thinking. On the contrary, weblogging has given many people the opportunity to sharpen their thinking skills to better take part in the debate.
If the reviewer can really
If the reviewer can really write, it doesn't matter how bad the movie is. Case in point, uber-critic, Roger Ebert on Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever:
I'm waiting for DVD for this movie, but I laughed out loud after reading the review.
Is this a joke? Cage's
Is this a joke?
Was the Reuters reporter just having fun? You can't call four and 1/2 minutes of silence a "piano piece" consisting or "silent notes." There aren't any notes, and the piece could have easily been played with a flute, trumpet, or kazoo. What makes four and 1/2 minutes of silence a "ground-breaking composition?" Cage didn't do anything to compose it. It's not like he invented the concept of silence.
"John Cage Silence Plagiarism Case Settled"
Charles Oliver makes a valid
Charles Oliver makes a valid point on states' rights:
I don't approve of doctor-assisted suicide, but I don't live (or plan to die) in Oregon. Since I think the nation would be better off if the Supreme Court hadn't dictated abortion law on every state when it ruled on Roe v. Wade, it would be a bit disengenuous (hypocritical?) on my part to back something similar.
September 23, 2002
Not only is Bob Greene
Not only is Bob Greene a dirty old man who can't have the decency to fulfill his marriage vow, but when his former teenage lover contacts him, he sics the FBI after her.
It's bad enough the Packers
It's bad enough the Packers almost lost to the lowly Detroit Lions--the Lions were only a finger-tip catch away from embarassing the Pack--what's worse is two starters on defense will be out for some time. The defense wasn't playing well even with a healthy Vonnie Holliday and Antaun Edwards. My 12-4 prediction? I'll be really happy with 10-6 and a wildcard birth.
"Holliday, Edwards Sidelined By Injuries"
Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) may
Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) may have lost her her seat in Congress, but she hasn't stopped telling everyone about the evil conspiracy behind the Bush administration. In her CounterPunch article (it appears to be taken from a Congressional committee speech), she claims that war with Iraq is all about oil:
The first thing that popped out to me was a glaring inaccuracy. James Woolsey, CIA Director? Isn't that George Tenet's job? McKinney sits on the International Relations and the Armed Services Committees and she doesn't know who currently runs the CIA? I know Tenet's been out of sight--no doubt because more people like me would be calling for his firing/resignation--but one would think that a Congressman who deals with foreign affairs as much as McKinney does would know this. While not as sexy a faux paus this public display of ignorance should be placed next to her claim that President Bush knew all about the September 11 attacks before they happened. (McKinney calls her accusation asking "pretty straightforward questions.")
But what really got to McKinney was plans to protect Iraq's oil fields in the event of war. She calls this sacrificing young men and women for the rich oil moguls. Instead of protecting Iraq's most valuable resource, something that could help immediately integrate Iraq's economy with the rest of the world, McKinney would rather have U.S. troops protect "the new parliament, or the schools or hospitals full of ravaged civilians." I'm pretty sure I'm standing on firm ground when I write this. Unless there was a serious military reason stopping them from acting, U.S. forces would not stand aside and watch civilians being slaughtered. In fact, they might be more inspired to intervene in such attacks because doing so would eradicate more of Saddam's forces--the primary reason for attacking.
"Another Oil War"
Dean Bartkiw offers this comment
Us "deep thinkers" will never find a candidate that perfectly fits our political vision. Dean opposes steel tariffs (as do I) while I oppose the death penalty. If we were to vote for the perfect candidate that fit all our policy positions both of us would have to write our own names in every time.
The goal of the GOP is to win elections. That means they must convince 50% + 1 of voters to pull the lever with the "R" by it. If the voting public moves away from backing GOP issues, then the party will move their position over to capture more votes. The name of the game is politics not political philosophy. It's the role of deep thinkers like Dean and I to constantly let the GOP know that conservative positions are political winners.
Now, let me re-address my point of 20+ years of national GOP leadership. When I wrote that the GOP hasn't really done anything wrong, I meant it in a general sense. During the time of GOP Presidents and a GOP Congress, the country has had continued economic growth (with a couple small recessions), a technological boom not seen since the early part of the 20th Century, and we won the Cold War. Historians will look at these past two decades and notice the peace and prosperity of the U.S.
That doesn't mean everything was hunky-dory. The culture continued to coarsen, and the Culture of Death permeates. But I think it would be a pretty easy case to make that 20 years of GOP leadership is better than 20 years of Democratic leadership. Young people who have lived through GOP leadership know instinctively that things went pretty well and are more comfortable with the Republicans.
Andrew Sullivan wonders about the
Andrew Sullivan wonders about the Democrats' young male gap. This poll shows men 18-44 support Republicans for Congress over Democrats 55% to 35%. Part of the popularity of the GOP among them is Social Security privatization. They don't believe it will be there for them, so they might as well invest their own money themselves. Another is the fact that those in this group have lived with Republicans in power for much of their lives. There were the Reagan/Bush Presidencies, then the Gingrich Revolution. During that time the country has been rolling. The economy grew by leaps and bounds, and the U.S. won the Cold War. I'll use Orrin Judd's words describing today's young:
The GOP hasn't done much wrong in the past 20+ years. Also, in a time of war, muscular talk and action are needed, and we don't find much of that from the Democrats.
An Enron auction starts on
An Enron auction starts on Wednesday. I'm looking for deals. I could use a cheap ThinkPad or a box of hacky sack balls. But Dovebid isn't eBay. To bid in real time they require you to download software AND have an open phone connection. It's kind of hard to be online and using the phone with dial-up.
"Enron Auction Begins this Week"
With a scribble, Gov. Gray
With a scribble, Gov. Gray Davis codified the Culture of Death into California's legal code.
"California Backs Embryonic Stem Cell Research"
HUMOR: Scientists discover the cause
HUMOR: Scientists discover the cause of evil: it's the United States. Damn, I hate it when the whiny French, Germans, and Canadians are right.
"Science Discovers Cause of Evil, Cure to Come Soon"
September 22, 2002
Who would have thunk? Arabs
Who would have thunk? Arabs against Saddam. Cato the Youngest adds some media criticism:
"Hundreds Show Up For Anti-Hussein Rally"
Israel will strike back if
Israel will strike back if attacked by Iraq. Bush, Rumsfeld, and the gang don't like that because it could enrage Arab countries. Unless, there's some really slick plan being developed to knock out Iraqi Scuds before they could be launched at Israel, expect Israeli retaliation to complicate matters.
If someone really likes me
If someone really likes me and TAM, my birthday's coming up, and I'd love a set of Adam Smith's works. It's the perfect gift for the econ geek in all of us.
Orrin Judd may have the
September 21, 2002
How about Patrick's great beginning
How about Patrick's great beginning to an interesting discussion:
He's trying to find an answer to which political party is more aggressive. My quick two cents is that Democrats/liberals are more stubborn. They may not win an election, but they don't stop the fight. They will continue to press their issues again and again until it becomes the conventional wisdom. Democrats are more inclined to take small victories while continuing on the long march to socialist nirvana, even if they don't realize it's the Road to Serfdom. Right now, Democrats are gung-ho over Medicare funding for prescription drugs. They cornered the issue so well everyone is for the feds paying for grandma's pills. But when it gets into law it won't stop Democrats from continuing to push for more government intervention into medicine. With their efforts they hope to claim the holy grail: "free," socialized health care.
Republicans/conservatives get frustrated over defeats and seek other angles to achieve their goals. For instance, many conservatives have abandoned the moral black hole of many public schools and opted for private, religious education or home schooling. They got fed up with losing battles at school board meetings and at the ballot box. So, they voted with their feet.
How Republicans/conservatives communicate demonstrates their ability to flank the current state of affairs. Conservatives got fed up with the endless liberal blather in newspapers and television. Their response: they jumped all over talk radio and now are some of the loudest, most intelligent voices on the Internet.
To sum up my few observations: Democrats/liberals are stubborn institutionalists while Republicans/conservatives are fickle entrepreneurs.
Because many of the benefits
Because many of the benefits from our free economy are intangible, quality of life items, they're not counted in GDP. Michael Cox and Richard Alm write,
Throughout their article, the authors describe how well off Americans are. We're living longer, healthier, and in more safety. We have an abundance of goods, and we're working less. Cox and Alm write, "Americans may find themselves pressed for time, but it's not because we're working harder than we used to. We're busy having fun."
"Off the Books"
How about combining my last
How about combining my last two posts and creating a show called Apple's Board of Directors? Contestants from around the world would compete in contests like "Business Buzzword Scrabble," "Thinking Different," or "Diversify Your Workforce." The winner would not only get a seat on Apple's board but would get a lifetime supply of Steve Jobs-style black turtlenecks.
I'd jump at this chance
I'd jump at this chance at the Presidency, but, alas, I'm too young. Will I watch the show? You better believe it. Would the show's winner have a chance of winning the whole shabang? Nope.
September 20, 2002
Since Larry Ellison stepped down
Since Larry Ellison stepped down from Apple's board, I'm offering my services to represent Apple's stockholders. While I don't use any Apple products (but am willing to switch), I think the iPod is really cool, and I have no connection to Silicon Valley. I would show up for every meeting and would bring a very outside voice to Apple. Steve, I'll be waiting for your phone call.
"Ellison Resigns From Apple Board"
Milwaukee Police Chief Art Jones
Milwaukee Police Chief Art Jones tried to look tough with his little War on Drugs. On Wednesday, he sent dozens of police officers into three Latino businesses. Their crime: they were selling prescription antibiotics without prescriptions. Antibiotics aren't controlled substances and usually authorities don't send out the S.W.A.T. team to frighten people. Instead, they use get an injuction and ask the businesses to stop selling the drugs.
"Police Raid Outrages Community"
September 19, 2002
President Bush asked Congress for
President Bush asked Congress for a resolution allowing military force against Iraq. Congressional leaders told Bush that action on the resolution would happen in a few weeks. The sticking point is the wording of the resolution.
This doesn't have to be a slow process. Despite anti-war critics' assertions, there has been a lengthy public debate over the merits of invading Iraq. It started soon after Afghanistan was liberated. After that quick victory, pundits wondered where the next battle in the Islamist War would be. The most obvious answer was Iraq. Saddam has thumbed his nose at the world community for years and yearns to acquire weapons of mass destruction (WMD). You combine that with the Saddam-Bush history and that was enough for any columnist or policy wonk to run with.
In the Spring, President Bush inflamed the debate by calling for pre-emptive strikes against threatening nations. While never saying Iraq, that was the first nation to come to mind.
Then we've had the debate in op-ed pages, on yapping-head cable talk shows, and across the Internet. We've had a Democrat go hawk and people from the Bush I administration go dove. To say that all the words spoken and written for and against war with Iraq don't amount to a serious debate is to ignore the definition of debate.
Why not a Declaration of War? Why not a firm resolution declaring to the world that Saddam is such a threat that the U.S. is willing to pledge its lives, fortunes, and sacred honor?
Is it too politically correct to use such stern language? Would the U.N. and the Europeans consider a declaration of war to be too "unilateral"? Too harsh for the world's "hyperpower"?
In his West Point speech, President Bush said, "Some worry that it is somehow undiplomatic or impolite to speak the language of right and wrong. I disagree." He believes and isn't afraid to acknowledge moral absolutes. So why does he not ask for a declaration of war instead of a Congressional resolution that sounds like the weak-willed wording of a U.N. Security Council resolution?
Last September, after 3,000 people were murdered by Islamist terrorists, Congress didn't pass a declaration of war. Both Houses of Congress passed an "Authorization for Use of Military Force."
Sure, the resolution has the same legal meaning as a declaration of war, but it lacks the same rhetorical seriousness. It's bureaucratic. Congress didn't call for war, it "authorizes" the President to "use all necessary and appropriate force." This is a far cry from President Bush's calls for going after the "evildoers." Some can laugh as Bush's comic book language, but it's morally serious and straightforward.
Maybe I'm overreacting. I support the President and think the war is going well. Afghanistan has been liberated and Iraq will be next. While I'm not as optimistic as some as to the outcome of a new Iraq, great change is in store for the Middle East. It's just that words mean things. Words and the ideas behind them are important for shaping debate and pursuing Truth. What started on September 11, 2001 wasn't a crime spree, skirmish, or military action. Was began that day.
"Bush to Seek Approval for Action Against Iraq"
Leonard Pitts comments on the
Leonard Pitts comments on the recent claim that the Notorious B.I.G. paid to have Tupac Shakur killed:
The Culture of Death has firmly planted its claws in the Black community.
"Pop Culture's Ugly Side"
Here are some alt-press stories
Here are some alt-press stories Matt Palmquist is tired of reading:
and let's not forget
By the way, that oil pipeline supposedly going through Afghanistan. It's going through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.
Stratfor.com considers an Iraq-for-Georgia deal
Stratfor.com considers an Iraq-for-Georgia deal where Russia accepts a U.S. invasion of Iraq in exchange for a Russian operation in Georgia to root out Islamist terrorists.
If you have a PDA, you can read the whole report by subscribing for free to AvantGo.
"Possible Iraq-for-Georgia Deal Could Seal Baghdad's Fate"
Finding a Jeff Jacoby column
Finding a Jeff Jacoby column on the Boston Globe web site is a pleasant surprise, since I thought he got axed a few years ago. I was wrong about that. Jacoby only suffered a three-month suspension for failing to properly cite sources in a July 4th piece. Since the weblog world loves Mark Steyn, I would have figured there'd be lots of links to Jacoby. I didn't notice any and forgot about the guy.
"Repentance Comes First"
The Milwaukee Brewers must read
The Milwaukee Brewers must read this New Yorker article and get everything they can get about "sabermetrics." Billy Beane uses the approach to get quality players on the cheap. It's working for the Oakland A's, and the Brewers really don't have anything to lose.
September 18, 2002
The Minneapolis Fed interviewed Nobel
The Minneapolis Fed interviewed Nobel Prize winning economist Gary Becker. In the interview, Becker defines the term "social capital":
Becker along with Kevin Murphy develop this concept in their book Social Economics.
Also in the interview, Becker opposes bank bailouts for "moral hazard" reasons. Interestingly, he also opposed the Fed bailout of Long-Term Capital Management.
An odd point about fixing
An odd point about fixing intelligence methods to counter future terrorist attacks is that the public will never really know if it's been successful. If terrorist attacks are few and far between the average person or weblogging pundit will not be able to tell if it's because terrorists aren't trying elaborate attacks or intelligence agencies are stopping them.
"Probe: U.S. Knew of Jet Terror Plots"
Tunku Varadarajan reviewed some of
Tunku Varadarajan reviewed some of the many, many September 11 books. He recommends Michael Ledeen's The War Against the Terror Masters and Victor Davis Hanson's An Autumn of War. He also liked the haunting pictorial Here is New York: A Democracy of Photographs--a book selling well in my store. While not explicit September 11 books, I recommend Bernard Lewis' What Went Wrong. I'm also curious about Tom Friedman's new book Longitudes and Attitudes. He really delves into the psyche of the Islamic countries and is more right than wrong with his conclusions.
"Hard Times Between Hardcovers"
HUMOR: ScrappleFace reports Iraq's problems
HUMOR: ScrappleFace reports Iraq's problems with U.N. inspectors: "In Iraqi culture, shampooing is appropriate, but conditioning is taboo."
"Inspectors Allowed in Without Conditioner"
September 17, 2002
Wow, there's already a grassroots
Wow, there's already a grassroots movement to prepare for a Condi Rice Presidential run.
How about a new political
Bob Greene: great writer, but
Bob Greene: great writer, but dirty old man?
John Hawkins reminds us that
John Hawkins reminds us that allowing weapons inspectors back into Iraq is only one of the conditions President Bush set out last week.
"Iraq Is Allowing Inspections? Doesn't Change A Thing"
September 16, 2002
Patrick plays expensive polling guru.
Patrick plays expensive polling guru. My one sentence summary of The Ruffini Group's memo goes like this:
I learned from Samizdata's weblog
Daypop needs to invest in
Daypop needs to invest in hard drives, and it's still out of commission.
The Dreamhost moved must have
The Dreamhost moved must have worked out well. It looks like TAM was off-line until 5 a.m. I haven't noticed anything goofy with the site. If you find a page missing or some other problem. Just e-mail me or comment.
September 15, 2002
That Green Bay Packers' defense
That Green Bay Packers' defense I thought would be the strength of the team is non-existent after two games. My 12-4 prediction isn't looking good.
"New Orleans 35, Green Bay 20"
September 14, 2002
My web hosting company will
My web hosting company will be moving their servers tonight, so there will be an interruption of your TAM reading pleasure. Don't be scared. TAM should be back early Sunday morning.
HUMOR: Patience pays off. "Castro
HUMOR: Patience pays off.
"Castro Resigns! Kennedy's Cuba Policy Pays Off"
Because of movement of materials
Because of movement of materials and personel, analysts think the U.S. could attack Iraq in as little as three weeks. That could be as soon as 10.5. Colin Powell is working on a U.N. resolution and Congress has planned on recessing for the fall elections around 10.4. I won't be surprised if there's a real "October Surprise." I'm just not sure how this report squares with Bush officals saying in July that there wouldn't be an attack around the November elections.
"US Could Strike in 3 Weeks, Some Analysts Say"
September 13, 2002
How about this idea from
How about this idea from Rich Galen:
"Iraq and Roll"
The first big exhibit since
"Potent Exhibit of Art from Poland Sets New Standard for Future Offerings"
PALEO WATCH: Thomas DiLorenzo dubs
Robert Higgs just gets nasty over President Bush's book selection. First, Higgs is shocked Bush can read and declares, "I know what you're thinking, but the First Shrub swears that he has been reading more than just the funny papers lately." Then he wonders if Bush really did read Eliot Cohen's Supreme Command. Next there's Higgs' insult that Bush has a "childish imagination." (Higgs probably objects to Bush accurately calling terrorists "evildoers.") Higgs goes on to write that Bush "has a mind that never matured, if indeed it had the potential for such maturation in the first place."
It's one thing to oppose war with Iraq because Iraq is "a small, impoverished country halfway around the world that does not now pose a serious threat to the security of the American people." Higgs is wrong, but we can debate his points. It's not possible to have a serious discussion with a paleo who tosses insults and only has contempt for his opponents.
I am very disappointed with Higgs' article. He's a smart man who used to have important things to say. His Crisis and Leviathan is a monumental work of applied political economy. He doesn't need to stoop to the level of Molly Ivins
September 12, 2002
Applause must go to Fox
Applause must go to Fox News for showing pictures of the planes crashing into the World Trade Towers and the towers crashing down. I didn't watch hour upon hour of tv yesterday, so other networks may have shown those important pictures. What none of the networks did was show them enough.
David Wynn Miller calls himself
David Wynn Miller calls himself a "sovereign citizen" and says he can get out of court cases by employing a legal language where every sentence begins with "for" and should "contain at least 13 words, mostly nouns."
"'Paper Terrorism' Caining Adherents"
Bush's U.N. speech ("gambit" in
Bush's U.N. speech ("gambit" in Stephen Den Beste's words) hooked the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial page hook, line, and sinker. They laud that "Bush wisely promised to cooperate with other U.N. member-nations." They also agree with Bush that Iraq's flouting of past U.N. resolutions puts that body's credibility at serious risk. The newspaper calls for one more resolution ordering Iraq to allow weapons inspectors even though they know it's "wishful thinking to suppose Hussein will comply." If Saddam refuses to comply with one more resolution then military force would have to be used to prevent the U.N. from becoming "a forum for the conduct of meaningless debates."
But that begs the question. Hasn't the U.N. mostly been "a forum for the conduct of meaningless debates"? For years, they've opposed the only democracy in the Middle East (Israel) from defending itself while condoning Palestinian homicide bombers. The U.N. organized countless summits and international confabs where rich, prosperous, and free countries are blamed for exploiting the poor who are ruled by authoritarian thugs. Remember, this is an organization that has Libya as the head of its commission on human rights. Since the Gulf War, when has the U.N. actually done something to promote world peace?
"Bush Makes His Case on Iraq"
The case for an Iraqi
The case for an Iraqi War was made today by President Bush at the United Nations. Iraq ignores calls to account for missing people, allows its citizens to suffer just to build weapons, and thumbs its nose to weapons inspectors who are looking for weapons of mass destruction (WMD). By laying out all the resolutions Iraq has violated, he put the onus on the U.N. to hold Saddam accountable and put substance behind its resolutions. To those who see the U.N. as important to world peace and cooperation, Bush said,
Bush also took on Pollyanne-ish critics who don't see Iraq as a serious threat:
Now, here's the important part of the speech in regards to U.S. unilateral action:
Bush isn't saying the U.S. will be beholden to the U.N. The U.S. will "work" with the Security Council, but the U.S. will enforce resolutions already passed and broken by Iraq. As such "action will be unavoidable" and Saddam will "lose [his] power."
Then there's this paragraph:
The U.S. has a moral duty to fight Iraq and will do so. The U.N. can join up if it wants, but the U.S. will go it alone if it has to.
Stephen Den Beste calls President
Bill Gertz had this to
Bill Gertz had this to say about CIA chief George Tenet:
I still am surprised no one has been fired or resigned over last year's attacks. Why President Bush still has confidence in Tenet is beyond me. I've been wanting his head since last October.
Here are some of Thomas
Here are some of Thomas Sowell's latest "Random Thoughts":
John Leo looks at the
John Leo looks at the lack of public anger on the anniversary of September 11.
"Rage is not the Rage"
Francis Fukuyama and Nadav Samin
Francis Fukuyama and Nadav Samin argue that radical Islamism could eventually lead to a more modern Islamic world. The authors compare Islamism to 20th Century fascism and communism. Both ideological movements "cleared away some of the premodern underbrush that had obstructed the growth of liberal democracy." This is not to say that Islamic modernization is inevitable or that a strong U.S. military is needed, but the article does suggest that good may come out of the violent turnmoil of Islamdom.
"Can Any Good Come Of Radical Islam?"
Goof-ball Eurowienie artist, Damian Hirst
Goof-ball Eurowienie artist, Damian Hirst said the September 11th terrorists should be congratulated because their murderous plot was "visually stunning." We shouldn't be surprised with this disgusting comment since Hirst is obsessed with shock and death in his art. [Note the animals in the tanks of formaldehyde.] This is Karlheinz Stockhausen redeux.
Washington socialites may be upset
Washington socialites may be upset with the Bushs lack of partying. W's Susan Watters calls Washington's social scene "near death." Hot dogs, hamburgers, and informal gatherings instead of flashy, fancy, liberal-infested formal balls just drives people like Sally Quinn nuts. I find it refreshing to know the First Couple doesn't need to invite celebrities and power players to the White House to feel important. Also remember, a more subdued White House is in order, since we are at war.
September 11, 2002
I've watched a few hours
I've watched a few hours of the anniversary coverage and am dismayed. All that time there was little mention of what happened one year ago. I have yet to see the gripping, horrific footage of the two planes smashing into the World Trade Towers or both structures crumbling to the ground. Instead, there has been a constant stream of average people telling the cameras how they feel and of people crying. Such wallowing misses the entire point of remembering. Unless you knew someone who died during the attacks, this anniversary should be a renewed call to arms. One year ago, radical Islamist terrorists struck a deep and bloody blow in their war against the U.S. Their tactics were barbaric and approach nothing a civlized people would do. 3,000 people died because they happened to be Americans, and we remember them by showing vast amounts of sorrow?
President Bush got the closest to stating the current state of affairs:
Bush will not back down. He will not allow the U.S. to be blackmailed and subdued by enemies who terrorize us and seek weapons of mass destruction. A price must be paid for the 3,000 deaths on September 11.
Now, I know what troubles me about Bruce Springsteen's The Rising. It's not the songs, nor Springsteen's focus on empathy over anger. No, my problem with the album is it came out too soon. One year after isn't enough time to capture the emotions of that awful day. It especially isn't enough time when our country has to be dedicated to winning a war. While people cry across the country, troops are rooting out al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and military planners are plotting Saddam's destruction. Now is not the time for closure because we're no where near the end of this war; this is only the beginning.
For the N.Z. Bear, we can view today through the lens of "the cult of victimhood or the brave example of the heroes on Flight 93." If we do the former, we lose "what it is to be an American."
I'll finish with a quote from Samuel Adams. During the Revolutionary War, the public was much, much closer to the war. Instead of battles overseas, British troops were quartered in the cities and moved through the countryside. Nevertheless, Adams' words ring true because Human Nature is an unchanging thing:
We must move past shallow sentimentality to appreciate the important time we're in. Like those brave warriors on Flight 93, any and all of us are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. For we are Americans and that's what Americans do.
"No Time for the Mawkish"
Ronald Bailey writes, It is
Ronald Bailey writes,
Bailey is right that eventually the Islamic world will modernize, but how long will that be and how many Americans will die until they modernize? Iran is a country with a large demographic bulge of young people. They're tired of the stultifiying ways of the Shite clerics. Hopefully soon they will rise up and move Iran away from its theocracy and onto democratic capitalism. But that transition could be lengthy and the reaction of the clerics and their supporters could be violent. Many in the weblogging world call for an eventual toppling of the House of Saud, but that could lead to instability and a power base for extremeist Islamists. In both cases, Islamists could attack the the U.S. as part of their jihad and internal political strategy.
While it may be inevitable that Islamdom will modernize, I'm certain it will be messy. The U.S. must remind other groups and nations that any attack will be countered with overwhelming (even pre-emptive) force.
"Can the Terrorists Win?"
John Hawkins has a fine
John Hawkins has a fine article on truly honoring the victims of September 11:
"Memorials Won't Prevent Another 9/11"
The Eye, an avid TAM
The Eye, an avid TAM reader and commentor, offered these important words:
No more wallowing. The dead are dead, and we will never forget them. Let's remember why they died and who killed them. The Islamist War is only one year old with no forseeable end. Pray that our nation has the strength to do its duty and seek victory over our enemies.
Another site dedicated to Flight
Another site dedicated to Flight 93.
flight93.org honors the warriors on
flight93.org honors the warriors on the frontline of the first battle in the Islamist War.
The Washington Times has a
The Washington Times has a listing of those killed in the Pentagon attack.
Clear Channel has a bunch
For today, I was set
For today, I was set to pan Bruce Springsteen's The Rising. I've been listening to the album for weeks to see if the first pop culture artifact inspired by September 11 adequately conveyed virtuous feelings. For most of my listenings, I've been skeptical. The songs tell stories of the victims and friends and family left behind. What isn't there is the justified anger directed toward our enemies. Al-qaeda methodically planned and funded an attack that turned civilian airliners into human-guided cruise missiles. It was brilliant and horrific at the same time. The closest Springsteen gets is the line, "I want an eye for an eye." He has an entire song devoted to the view of a suicide bomber ("Paradise") but not even a line about a special ops soldier helping liberate Afghanistan. (I'm sure Springsteen has the talent to create some lyric around blazing a laser on a target for an on-coming B-52.)
But then there's "Into the Fire." Through that song, Springsteen honors all those heroes who ran into the fiery towers. One line reads, "Up the stairs, into the fire/I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher." Those people knew they had loved ones back home. They knew they were putting their lives on the line for others, but it was their duty to go in, so they did.
Then there's the title song. It's an anthem. Drums are beating loud. Guitars are strumming hard. Nils Lofgren is putting his all into the slide guitar. Background singers are singing to God as well as the listener. Energy crackles off that song. You want to pump your fist when everyone sings "Li, li, li, li, li, li, li, li, li."
"The Rising" is also a spiritual. Springsteen mentions laying hands; Mary's in the garden. The song is steeped in gospel music, and it uplifts.
Continuing on the theme of upliftment and hope is "My City of Ruins." While everything seems hopeless, Springsteen calls the listener to "Come on, rise up!" Even in the darkest of moments there's hope. Even though the towers fells, the Pentagon was scarred, and a field is all that remains of Flight 93, the American Idea survives.
I can't pan a work of art that honestly expressed hurt, sadness, sorrow, and hope. Do I want more artists to take on the myriad of emotions from September 11? Absolutely! We need someone to put America's anger and sense of justice to music, and it has to be more sophisticated than Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White, & Blue (The Angry American)." As well as proper physical memorials, we need musical pieces to live on long past all of us.
Here's some other reactions to this anniversary:
September 10, 2002
I don't feel bad about
I don't feel bad about my revulsion with the words "blog" and "blogging." Colby Cosh hates them too:
Matt Welch only used the word blog as a punchline. It's just an ugly, ugly word.
The "sinister cabal" that's Blogcritics
The Bear on American's way
The Bear on American's way of dealing with the horror of September 11:
He then takes an anything goes approach to the one-year anniversary:
It's "all part of the dialogue," but that doesn't make it virtuous. Remembering the terrorist attacks by some intellectually dishonest lesson plans uncritical of our enemies is no honor to the victims and heros of that awful day. Building a sterile, post-modern memorial like the monstrosity in Oklahoma City will allow the memory of those killed to fade away. There are good and bad responses to September 11. I'm a fan of dialogue. It's both entertaining and thought-provoking. Nevertheless, every voice shouldn't be considered equivalent.
"Strength in Chaos"
In The National Interest is
In The National Interest is a new online weekly published by The National Interest and the Nixon Center. Like the quarterly, the online journal will "provide insight and analysis of American foreign policy and world events from a realist perspective."
Adam Garkinkle looks at the debate between neocons and realists, the old Reaganites and the Bush 41 gang.
"From the Raspberry Patch"
Then Richard Perle has this to say on France and Iraq:
"Saddam and the World: Time is Not On Our Side: A Conversation with Richard Perle"
September 09, 2002
Jonah Goldberg's suggestion to President
Jonah Goldberg's suggestion to President Bush would certainly freak out the UN General Assembly.
The UPI headline may say
The UPI headline may say "Bush: Post-Saddam Iraq not US job" but that's not accurate. In the story, President Bush said it "was up to the international community to help set up what follows" in a post-Saddam Iraq. The headline makes it sound like Bush wants to topple Saddam and let the rest of the world pick up the pieces. I'm sure such a thought resonates with anti-U.S. Europeans who despise the U.S.'s courage to act militarily with or without international approval. What the statement is is Bush reaching out to the international community. It's his way of including others in having a part in the final outcome in the Middle East. He's engaging other nations--something his critics have complained he wasn't doing. If he feels it's necessary, Bush will attack Saddam alone, but trying to give other countries a stake is his way of building a coalition against Saddam.
[UPDATE: Robert Prather at The Neolibertarian News Portal has a much different take on the story. He takes the story literally and has "serious reservations about the President's judgement."]
Jeremy Reynalds delves into the
Jeremy Reynalds delves into the NEA September 11 lesson plan controversy.
"The NEA's at it again!"
Sorry for my weblogging tardiness.
Sorry for my weblogging tardiness. I took a nap, ok?
Steven Martinovich review's Bill Gertz's Breakdown calling it "a step in fixing the intelligence community's problems and restoring their luster."
I have a day-time shift
I have a day-time shift today. Look for posts late in the afternoon or evening.
Powell has gone back to
Powell has gone back to being President Bush's good soldier. When talking about pre-emptive strikes, Powell said, "It is always an option for the United States, and for that matter, it's an option for the United Nations. I think it has risen in the hierarchy of thinking these days because it's a different world after 9/11."
"U.S. Cites New Evidence Saddam Seeking Nuclear Bomb"
September 08, 2002
T-minus nine days until 24
T-minus nine days until 24 comes out on DVD. A bonus feature is the alternate ending where Jack Bauer's (Kiefer Sutherland) wife lives.
"Slain 24 Character Gets New Life"
This goes in the Unintended
This goes in the Unintended Consequences File: some parents are complaining about a Harry Potter toy from Mattel. The Nimbus 2000 has "magical swooping and whooshing sounds," but it also has "vibrating effects." Parents are concerned that their daughters have grown to love it a little too much.
"Potter Broom Rattles Parents"
For the record, the John
For the record, the John Birch Society doesn't think we're at war with Islamic extremists. We're at war with Communists using Islamic fundamentalism as their cover. Occam's Razor pretty much slices up this argument.
"Terrorism's True Roots"
To any conspiratorial paleos or
To any conspiratorial paleos or card-carrying members of the John Birch Society, the Trilateral Commission's website (they're so secretive and cunning to be publically available to anyone on the Net with a simple Google search) has a FAQ page. Here a a couple Q and As:
September 07, 2002
PunchtheBag has inspired me to
PunchtheBag has inspired me to start a new feature on TAM: Paleo Watch. I will occasionally point out a strange comment from the paleo-libertarian/anarchist crowd. The inaugural PW features Burt Blumert, president of the Center for Libertarian Studies. While promoting an upcoming gold conference, he wrote, "When we planned the conference, we never thought about the insanity of Iraq, this craziness, this hurtling train of destruction" (emphasis mine). To Blumert, there's no possible reasonable basis to support attacking Iraq to preserve the U.S. and the West. People like Glenn Reynolds, Andrew Sullivan, Brink Lindsey (a scholar for the libertarian Cato Institute), Stephen Den Beste, and myself are irrational loons or neoconservatives desiring warfare to increase government and somehow grant us power over other people. (Paleos like to follow in the footsteps of their patron saint, Murray Rothbard, who near the end of his life worried excessively about the Trilateral Commission and anything related to David Rockefeller.)
A rational case for invading Iraq can and has been made my many writers. My reasoning is based on liberating Iraq now because it's inevitable and the total loss of life would be minimized because the U.S. wouldn't be going to war after a nuclear attack. Now, it's perfectly valid for war opponents to go after my assumptions and reasoning, but I'm pretty confident a reasonable person would declare my argument to be rational. No reasonable person would call me insane.
"Gold, Liberty, and War"
September 06, 2002
In Andrew Marr's analysis of
In Andrew Marr's analysis of Tony Blair's political trouble with an Iraqi war, he ends with
Does this mean Blair may be abandoned by the Labour Party or is war imminent?
"Blair's New Iraq Strategy"
A coalition against Iraq is
A coalition against Iraq is starting to form. Kuwait doesn't consider the Gulf War I to be over and will support the U.S. Then Tony Blair is willing to pay a "blood price" in the special relationship between the U.S. and U.K.
"Britain Will Pay 'Blood Price' - Blair"
While covering a little too
While covering a little too much inside baseball stuff in D.C., this story on Hollywood vs. Silicon Valley over digital copying is well worth the read.
A banner reading "Guns save
A banner reading "Guns save lives" will fly over tomorrow's Wisconsin/West Virginia football game.
"Mountaineer May Carry His Black Powder Rifle"
Daypop has been down for
PunchtheBag (scroll down to September
Punch combines humor and seriousness into a potent concoction.
Admitted libertarian Ralph Reiland spanks
Admitted libertarian Ralph Reiland spanks Anarchy Lew on Gulf War II:
"A War of Words" [via PunchtheBag]
Thomas Sowell notes that years
Thomas Sowell notes that years of affirmative action has actually cost people their lives. Poorly educated black doctors allowed to graduate from medical school because of racial preference lead to patient's deaths. Lowing standards doesn't have to be done. In Sowell's experience "black students would meet higher standards if you refused to lower the standards for them." In the words of Frederick Douglas, "Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us!" Guilty white (not necessarily Southern boy) liberals have already done enough.
"'Friends' of Blacks"
September 05, 2002
Patricia Owen got Borked by
Patricia Owen got Borked by Senate Democrats. Orrin Judd now declares the party of the donkey (I know, I'm being nice) the "Party of Death."
Funny stuff from ScrappleFace: CBS
Funny stuff from ScrappleFace:
"CBS Hijacks Jetliner to Prove Security Flaws"
The Senate voted to let
The Senate voted to let pilots bring guns on planes after the White House dropped their opposition. However, officials want to implement a training program that would cost $900 million to start and $250 million per year afterward. Unfortunately, they also say the money for training isn't available. Why would it cost $900 million to train pilots? Many pilots have military backgrounds and have experience with guns. This bogus number sounds like a way for the Transportation Department to not oppose armed pilots but prevent them from actually being armed.
"Senate Approves Plan to Arm Commercial Pilots"
Tonight the NFL season starts.
Tonight the NFL season starts. So, it's time for my NFL predictions. First the Packers: they came off an outstanding season, surprising many (including me). While going 12-4, they didn't win enough to claim home field advantage. That turned out to be key because the Pack had to play the NFC championship game against the Rams in St. Louis.
On offense, Brett Favre comes off a 32 TD, 3921 yard 2001 season. Fine numbers, but the story was the emergence of Ahman Green as a dominant running back. Green almost had 2000 combined rushing and receiving yards along with 11 TDs. The biggest question on offense is the wide receivers. Terry Glenn is suppose to be the saviour and Favre's favorite target, but he only played one pre-season game due to injury. Antonio Freeman is now with Philadelphia because of salary cap reasons, and Corey Bradford and Bill Schroeder left in free agency. In there stead are first-round pick Javon Walker, who has shown glimpses of big-play talent, Donald Driver, who must be more consistent, and Robert Ferguson, who is big but has impressed little.
The surprise in this year's team may be their defense. During the pre-season, the first-team defense gave up 20 points. While they lost safety LeRoy Butler to retirement, Darrin Sharper--arguably the best safety in football--comes back with pass rushing phenom Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila. Hardy Nickerson brings veteran leadership.
So, how will the Packers do? They were 12-4 last year, and they're better this year. I predict 12-4 with home field advantage throughout the playoffs. As for the Super Bowl, the Packers will meet and beat--drum roll please--Miami.
Now, are you ready for some football?!?
"Rams are the Best, but Packers will be Super"
Is it a coincidence that
Is it a coincidence that someone broke into the Deseret Chemical Depot and someone tried to kill Afghan president Karzai on the same day?
"Intruder Warning Sounds at Utah Munitions Compound"
"Karzai Survives Attempt on Life"
I saw the conversation between
I saw the conversation between Phil Donahue and MSNBC editor-in-chief Jerry Nachman where Phil wondered about how long his show would last given the abysmal ratings. I was astounded that such insider shop talk was being aired. The candor was refreshing.
What piqued my curiosity is Nachman wanting to give Donahue's show up to two years. "You don't think we get two years? Do we get a year?" Nachman's the editor-in-chief of the network, yet it doesn't sound like he has much say in the survival of a show. Is Nachman only in charge of news production? What's the extent of his role at MSNBC besides his interesting talk show? And if his role is limited, what's with the title "editor-in-chief?"
September 04, 2002
Rob Dreher went on an
Rob Dreher went on an ugly-church rampage. Many of the ones he posted took the theme of flying saucer/silo/cylinder. There's St. Patrick in Armonk, NY; St. Hilary's in Fort Myers, FL; and St. Mary's in Rockledge, FL. These churches harken back to Frank Lloyd Wright's famous (infamous?) Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Wauwatosa, WI. Compared to the others, Wright's is most distinctive. The blue dome, stained glass, and hut-like edge set it apart from being just a circular mold of concrete.
It seems to me that the popularity of the circular church rests in a rejection of hierarchy and an embracing of egalitarianism. In your standard church, the minister presides at the altar before the congregation. At the front of the church is the cross. There's an order there: God, then the minister, then the congregation. With a church in the round, such layers are flattened. The altar is in the center surrounded by the congregation. The minister moves in and out performing the service yet keeping his place among the people. While not radical in its design, the renovated St. John the Evangelist Cathedral in Milwaukee, WI incorporates the circular, egalitarian theme by moving the altar and bishop's chair into the congregation. (Here's a picture of the cathedral in 1942 in its traditional arrangement. Also, note the ornateness of the cathedral before a 1935 fire.)
Last year, the controversial cathedral's renovation was questioned by the Vatican who wrote to the then Archbishop Rembert Weakland, "[The design] fails to respect the hierarchical structure of the Church of God that the Cathedral by its scheme is to reflect."
[On an aside: Despite its gaudiness, the copper covered St. Boniface in Mequon, WI still retains the traditional church seating arrangement.]
Circular churches are perfect for those denominations where self-improvement and self-esteem replace rigorous theology. For churches that try to maintain a more traditional (dare say conservative?) theology, round, egalitarian worship spaces are an anathema.
As for me, my preference in a church can be summed up as "height and light." I love grand structures that are larger than life. Their bigness shows a seriousness to worship. After one brief look at Notre Dame in Paris you know it's an important building devoted to the transcendent. Churches also need to use light to express the beauty of God. Gorgeous stained glass can not only tell a biblical story, but it can awe you in the magnificent way it was done. Santiago Calatrava's Cathedral of Christ the Light has the potential to use light in such a way as to bring church-goers closer to God (the auditorium-style interior leaves much to be desired). Ultimately, that's the purpose of churches. They're houses of God. Missions like community center and concert hall should be secondary.
Ladies and gentleman, your 2002
The West Virginia football team
The West Virginia football team is coming to Madison this weekend to face the Wisconsin Badgers. Madison was welcoming of the players, coaches, trainers, equipment, and fans. They were welcoming of anyone and everything connected to Mountineer football except the musket of West Virginia's mascot. UW associate athletic director Jamie Pollard tried to justify the decision when he told a reporter, "They asked if they could bring in a musket and shoot it off in the stadium. And there is a UW System policy that prohibits weapons on the campus."
Wisconsin is the first school to ban the musket from a sporting event in the 65-year history of the WV mascot.
Common sense prevailed this afternoon. UW athletic director, Pat Richter got a reversal of the decision from the chancellor
So, even before kick-off, West Virginia has already scored over Wisconsin.
"Mascot Can Shoot Musket at Wis. Game"
"UW Takes Issue with Mountaineer's Musket"
September 02, 2002
The post-Cold War U.S. thought
The post-Cold War U.S. thought so little of air attacks that the Northeast Air Defense Sector only had four armed fighters available on Sep. 11.
"U.S. Mulled Ramming Jets In 9/11 Huddle"
Last night, Joe Queenan was
Last night, Joe Queenan was on Book TV (He'll be on again at 4:30 am EDT. Set your Tivos.), and I don't remember ever laughing that hard at something on C-SPAN. He made a valiant effort reading passages from his book Balsamic Dreams and answering questions, but he always ended up going off on some hilarious tangent. His endless thumping of Jimmy Carter was priceless. According to Queenan, Carter was the third worst President ever, but he couldn't think of the two in front of him. After watching him, Queenan may have vaulted above P. J. O'Rourke and Chris Buckley as the funniest writers in America.
September 01, 2002
Rudy Gulliani on what to
Rudy Gulliani on what to do with Ground Zero:
A "soaring structure" "visible for miles" demonstrating the soaring spirit of the American Ideal is crucial to make any memorial transcend the memories of those who were living at the time. But making the entire 16 acre area off limits to anything but a memorial may be too much. Pearl Harbor is also a site of American calamity. Thousands died there in a brutal sneak attack, yet the entire base and bay isn't reserved as a memorial. Battleship Row wasn't shut down to memorialize the sailors who died in those waters. The area was kept active in its mission to win World War II. Space for commerce, living, learning, and entertainment wouldn't necessarily devalue the memory of September 11. One could argue that returning a portion of Ground Zero to its previous state would honor the lives of those who lived and worked there.
Another reason to ignore the
Another reason to ignore the Johannesburg: you don't have to bother with goofs hating flush toilets; and you don't have to put up with ignorant fools calling capitalism "sinister."
Ex-Greenpeace member, Patrick Moore nailed it on the head when he told CNSNews.com, "The environmentalists try to inject guilt into people for consuming, as if consuming by itself causes destruction to the environment. There is no truth to that. You have the wealthiest countries on earth with the best-looked-after environment." And the wealthiest countries have flush toilets.
"Introduction of the Flush Toilet Deplored at Earth Summit"
"Capitalism's Allure called 'Sinister' By Environmentalist"