David Freeman reviews %%AMAZON=0060822120 The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit: My Family's Exodus from Old Cairo to the New World%%, by Lucette Lagnado; the story of a family forced to leave the old Cairo of cafes and English officers for the unfamiliar shores of Brooklyn.
Round One was John Derbyshire's review of Robert Spencer's %%AMAZON=1596985151 Religion of Peace?-Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't%%. Round Two was Robert Spencer's response. Today, John Derbyshire replies.
PJM Lima: C.J. Schexnayder reports on the reconstruction efforts after last week's earthquake in Pisco, Peru, and on the non-trivial ripple effects in the country's politics.
Is Castro dead (again)? Fausta Wertz, PJM's resident Caribbean expert, has been monitoring Cuban radio and writes: "This week has been abuzz with rumors regarding Fidel Castro. Over the past eight days dozens of people have told me that the announcement of Castro's death is imminent. Even the headline at Drudge Report today had "Castro Rumors Fill Miami", with a link to NBC6, South Florida's NBC affiliate, quoting the Cuban foreign minister, who insists that 'rumors about Fidel Castro's deteriorating health are untrue.' ... (art by Cox & Forkum)
Government-funded Voice of America Persia and Radio Farda are not broadcasting the Iranian regime's propaganda as Ali Ghaderi and Karim Abdian alleged in a PJM piece, writes Broadcasting Board of Governors' spokesman Joseph O'Connell.
Several readers have emailed a href=”http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118782905698506010.html”this article/a from the span style=”font-style:italic;”WSJ/span entitled “Are We Teaching Our Kids to be Fearful of Men?”br /br /blockquoteAre we teaching children that men are out to hurt them? The answer, on many fronts, is yes. Child advocate John Walsh advises parents to never hire a male babysitter. Airlines are placing unaccompanied minors with female passengers rather than male passengers. Soccer leagues are telling male coaches not to touch players.br /br /Child-welfare groups say these are necessary precautions, given that most predators are male. But fathers’ rights activists and educators now argue that an inflated predator panic is damaging men’s relationships with kids. Some men are opting not to get involved with children at all, which partly explains why many youth groups can’t find male leaders, and why just 9% of elementary-school teachers are male, down from 18% in 1981.br /br /People assume that all men “have the potential for violence and sexual aggressiveness,” says Peter Stearns, a George Mason University professor who studies fear and anxiety. Kids end up viewing every male stranger “as a potential evildoer,” he says, and as a byproduct, “there’s an overconfidence in female virtues.”/blockquotebr /br /Virginia’s Department of Health has a troubling ad showing a man holding a little child’s hand. The caption reads: “It doesn’t feel right when I see them together.” If you get a chance, a href=”http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118782905698506010.html”click on the article/a and take a look at it and see the negative statement it makes about men. br /br /The excuse given for the negative ad is:br /br /blockquoteVirginia’s campaign was designed to encourage people to trust their instincts about possible abuse, says Rebecca Odor, director of sexual and domestic violence prevention for the state health department. She stands by the ads, pointing out that 89% of child sex-abuse perpetrators in Virginia are male./blockquotebr /br /The psychological damage to children of not having men around to interact with because of these scare tactics is never mentioned but something that should be considered by the Virginia Department of Health when they develop such ads. Surely, they can come up with something creative that would help make people aware of sexual predators but would not demonize men in general, most of whom are innocent.
With both David Corn and Richard Miniter on vacation, this week it’s New York Sun‘s Eli Lake and The New Republic‘s Michelle Cottle who sit down and discuss the uproar from the netroots after Hillary Clinton’s somewhat positive comments on the Surge. But, does enthusiasm in the converted translate into electoral success? [MP3 audio-only version available HERE]
Politicians, country singers and 96-degree heat... PJ Media's Jane Whitson was at a Fred Thompson fundraiser at the posh Nashville home of Gary and Lou Ann Brown. Fred was there, in the company of 87-year old mother Ruth, and came within a whisker of finally declaring for the Presidency ... or did he?
PJM's Aaron Hanscom doesn't look his age. Some might even say he doesn't look half his age. But it's whether or not he acts his age that concerns Hanscom most. The most burning question: Why doesn't he feel even "remotely ready to have children?"
PJM Sports Correspondent Rick Moran lays down his college football top ten for this year. Will Florida repeat? Is USC ready to take back the crown? Read on to find out who made his list, add yours in the comments, and vote in our 2008 BCS poll!
When Robert Spencer read John Derbyshire's "marvelously written and delightful to read" but "full of inconsistencies" review of his book, %%AMAZON=1596985151 Religion of Peace?-Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't%%, he promised PJ Media a response. He has delivered. RELATED: Andrew Breitbart takes on a caller on the Dennis Miller Show. Protein Wisdom has a question.
Richard Epstein – University of Chicago law prof and author of %%AMAZON=0300116640 Overdose: How Excessive Government Regulation Stifles Pharmaceutical Innovation%%, as well as %%AMAZON=0738201898 Mortal Peril: Our Inalienable Right to Health Care?%%. – speaks to G & H on the pharmaceutical industry and its critics.
“These are topics of particular interest to us, as Helen is kept alive by Tikosyn, a somewhat unusual anti-arrhythmic drug.”
Podcast brought to you by Volvo USA.
a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0300116640?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0300116640″img src=”http://instapundit.com/archives2/images/epsteinoverdosecov.jpg” align=right border=0 width=”105″ height=”160″ //aUniversity of Chicago Professor of Law Richard Epstein, author of a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0300116640?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=0300116640″emOverdose: How Excessive Government Regulation Stifles Pharmaceutical Innovation/em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=0300116640″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / talks with us about the impact of universal health care on drug research, why pharmaceutical companies are treated almost as badly as the tobacco industry and why there is no outcry for the thousands of people who are denied drugs by the FDA and die. It’s easy for politicians and pundits to make simplistic statements about “compassion,” universal healthcare and the evils of drug companies but much more difficult to understand and discuss in depth what impact government regulation would have on drug innovation, research and distribution. If you want to hear more than phony platitudes about the evils of drug companies put out by the media and other agenda-driven groups, take a listen. br /br /You can listen directly (no downloading needed) by a href=”http://politicscentral.com/2007/08/22/the_glenn_and_helen_show_richa.php”going here/a and clicking on the gray Flash player. You can download the file directly and listen at your leisure by a href=”http://richmedia.pjmedia.com/audio/politicscentral/glenn_helen_show/20070823-Epstein.mp3″clicking right here./a And you can get a lo-fi version suitable for dialup by going a href=”http://politicscentral.com/2007/08/22/the_glenn_and_helen_show_richa.php”here/a and selecting “lo-fi.” As always, you can get a a href=”http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=116559643s=143441″free subscription via iTunes/a and never miss another episode. You can’t beat free.br /br /This podcast is brought to you by a href=”http://volvocars.us”Volvo USA./a Music is by a href=”http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=110478926s=143441″Mobius Dick./a
PJM's Sibylla Nash says single parents are getting a bum rap. And she should know, she is one. Responding to Aaron Hanscom's Meet the Parents columns, Sibylla takes on the misconceptions and stereotypes surrounding single parenthood, and writes that, "Our kids are in your private schools, in your ballet classes and they even go off to Ivy League Universities! Imagine that!"
As their Sept. 15 date with teacher looms in the form General Petraeus, will the Democrats finally be willing to admit their mistakes about the war, give up their summer hopes of military failure, and come to grips with the fact that we are winning in Iraq? According to Jules Crittenden, "It has to be a bleak August, when the anti-war faction has to think about that 'What I did on My Summer Vacation' essay and realize it is a dreary list of failures and blanks."
PJM Baghdad Editor Omar Fadhil reports that over the last few weeks "the major political parties in Iraq have kept taking turns at damaging the political process and ultimately their own government."
It appears that the best place to be for cancer care is the US — you know, the country with the a href=”http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20228552/”42nd lowest life expectancy./a All the media does is tout universal healthcare like that in the UK as something for the US to aspire to–but given the lower rates of cancer survival there, maybe that is not such wise advice. Take a look at a href=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/08/21/ncancer121.xml”this study/a on the poor cancer survival rates in the UK and the high ones in the US (Hat tip: a href=”http://timworstall.typepad.com/timworstall/2007/08/cancer-survival.html”Tim Worstall/a via a href=”http://maggiesfarm.anotherdotcom.com/archives/6068-Weds.-Morning-Links.html”Maggie’s Farm/a):br /br /blockquoteCancer survival rates in Britain are among the lowest in Europe, according to the most comprehensive analysis of the issue yet produced….br /br /England is on a par with Poland despite the NHS spending three times more on health care.br /br /Survival rates are based on the number of patients who are alive five years after diagnosis and researchers found that, for women, England was the fifth worst in a league of 22 countries. Scotland came bottom. Cancer experts blamed late diagnosis and long waiting lists./blockquotebr /br /The US is tops in cancer survival; I would think this analysis would be big news but I have yet to see a positive headline in a US newspaper. Am I missing something?
No Child Left Behind has been a measurable failure at closing the achievement gap and significantly improving math and reading scores. The federal government's response has been, of course, to throw more money at the problem. The Cato Institute's Andrew J. Coulson investigates the newly signed America COMPETES act and how it fits in to our national habit of throwing money at a problem that could be fixed with some real competition.
Max Sawicky doesn't think that Roger L. Simon's position on gay marriage as it relates to the War on Terror really originates with a fight for Enlightenment values. Where does he think it comes from? Two words that don't appear in Roger's column, "the Jews." Sawicky says, "I can relate because my relatives feel exactly the same as Roger: ideologically speaking, ready to shoot first and ask questions later." But beyond relating, they certainly can't agree.
Austin Bay‘s guest for this week is Rebecca Christie of the Wall Street Journal and the Dow Jones Newswires. The topic: the Pentagon’s weapons procurement process, including the Air Force’s new F-35 fighter (at $300 billion, “the most expensive military development project ever undertaken”, Rebecca notes in the podcast), and the Navy’s new Littoral Combat Ships, designed for close-to-shore operations.
The 86th Carnival of Homeschooling a href=”http://homeschoolbuzz.com/2007/08/magical-carnival-of-homeschooling.html”is up at Homeschool Buzz./a If you a href=”http://homeschoolbuzz.com/2007/08/magical-carnival-of-homeschooling.html”take a look on the blog,/a you will notice some advertisements for magic tricks and other items such as joy buzzers that you may remember as a kid from comic books or other places. Seeing the pictures reminded me of the dumb stuff I was always ordering as a kid, first the a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00062RTL0?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=B00062RTL0″Sea Monkeys/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=B00062RTL0″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” /–they died immediately–the magic rocks–they were kind of cool, the a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NMAMEY?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=B000NMAMEY”Joy Buzzers/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=B000NMAMEY” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / that provided hours of fun and finally, a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0006L3ECO?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=B0006L3ECO”X-ray glasses/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=B0006L3ECO” width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” / that promised to let me see through clothing and spy on people. Yeah, sure. Most of the items I got through the mail were just a bunch of junk but the best part was imagining all the neat stuff I could do with them.
I often laugh when I read things written by liberal bloggers who try to interpret something that I have written. Granted, it doesn’t happen often since this blog, hopefully, stays below the radar of most of the extreme lefty bloggers as it is small and targeted to people who tend towards being independent or libertarian types who believe in small government, something many on the left have no interest in (I acknowledge that the right also has problems with small government but that is another post!). That said, I have to point out the absurdity of some of the comments made by those of the far left persuasion to a href=”http://pjmedia.com/2007/08/ask_dr_helen_3.php”my recent PJM column /athat addressed a question by a male who said he had assertiveness problems and felt guilty even taking up space on the sidewalk. One of the several suggestions I made was the following:br /br /blockquoteI have seen this fear of manliness in many modern husbands and fathers. Some men today are afraid of appearing like their own fathers, whom they thought of as unfair, controlling or condescending to women—the son swears he will not act the same way. Unfortunately, he often goes to the opposite extreme of letting his wife or others run all over him. These men are often doing dishes, watching the kids and earning much of the money all the while feeling guilty if anyone is unhappy with them. /blockquotebr /br /The problem here is not the man doing the dishes and watching kids (most modern men do nowadays, thank goodness!) but that some men act against their fathers and allow themselves to be doormats without saying a word to anyone. It is the guilt and harshness with themselves and the subsequent negative feelings that are the problem. Sticking up for themselves by setting boundaries and limits with others is reasonable. I would give the same advice to a woman who was supporting the family fully, caring for the children, cooking dinner and all the while feeling guilty that she was not doing enough. br /br /Apparently, the above ideas are too complex for some liberals. For example, a href=”http://pjmedia.com/2007/08/ask_dr_helen_3.php#c061807″several of the comments /aat PJM that followed after Firedoglake linked there saw my response only in black and white:br /br /Sundown asks:br /br /blockquoteWhy do you think that men who do dishes aren’t masculine? I say that’s a very outrageous idea. /blockquotebr /br /and Courtney says:br /br /blockquoteOh, the HORROR of men washing dishes and spending time with their own children. Why is it that when women do the dishes, they’re doing their wifely duty, but when men do the dishes, they’re graciously “helping out” and “emasculating” themselves?? GROW UP. If a sink is full of YOUR dirty dishes, YOU WASH THEM. Same goes for YOUR OWN CHILDREN./blockquotebr /br /One of the commenters refers to me as a href=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllis_Schlafly”Phyllis Schlafly/a in order to make it look as if I think women should be stuck in the kitchen while men go to work. If that is not black and white thinking, I don’t know what is.br /br /Another liberal, David Niewert talks about being a stay-at-home dad and a href=”http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=9627″states the following: /abr /br /blockquoteAnd there were moments — whispered comments, offhand remarks — where I was reminded that a lot of people, both men and women, privately viewed stay-at-home daddies as wimps or out-of-work losers. Sort of like Dr. Helen./blockquotebr /br /Niewert takes my statements out of context and projects his own liberal agenda onto them–look, he says, “she thinks stay-at-home dads are wimps!” I have never said that, nor have I ever thought that. If Niewert were not such a simplistic thinker, he would have done more than glance over Jane Hamsher’s post on the PJM column and would have actually analyzed my post himself to see that I was responding to a man who was having assertiveness problems–and the man’s problem was possibly a response of guilt to his own father being controlling and condescending towards women.br /br /Some men are so guilty in that manner that they will not stand up for themselves in psychological ways with women or others. Apparently, this complexity of thought is more than Niewert or his cohorts can be expected to manage. My column had nothing to do with thinking that stay-at-home dads were wimps–and everything to do with men feeling that they are not allowed to express their feelings, something I thought liberal men were into. Apparently not. Men, in their book, are supposed to be the strong silent types that do dishes, watch kids, work all day, and never ever mention how they feel about anything. So much for escaping rigid gender roles.br /br /For more on the supposed “cognitive complexity” of liberals, a href=”http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2003/07/22_politics.shtml”see this study /aon the traits of conservative vs. liberals here. My favorite line from one of the researchers is the following:br /br /blockquoteConservatives don’t feel the need to jump through complex, intellectual hoops in order to understand or justify some of their positions, he said. “They are more comfortable seeing and stating things in black and white in ways that would make liberals squirm,” Glaser said. /blockquotebr /Apparently, Glaser doesn’t read liberal blogs.
Is Robert Spencer's new book %%AMAZON=1596985151 Religion of Peace?-Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn't%% just another addition to the "burgeoning literature of Islamophobia"? That's the opinion of John Derbyshire, who contends that Spencer's own Christianity is to blame for the book being "a bit infantile." Asks Derbyshire: "If Christianity is a religion of peace, while Islam is irredeemably militant, what on earth does Spencer think is likely to be the outcome of a conflict between the two?" (Robert Spencer has notified PJM that he will write a response to Derbyshire's review.)
What's the big deal about a national ID card? PJM CEO Roger L. Simon argues that until we have a way of "knowing who is who," the serious problems posed by illegal immigration will never be resolved. In response to the "slippery slope to Big Brother" argument, Simon reminds critics that the government isn't using personal knowledge against them now, even though "they already have plenty."