Archive for April, 2002

April 28, 2002

KATIE ALLISON GRANJU is a freelance writer (a book on parenting for Simon & Schuster, and articles for everything from Salon to Hipmama to Cooking Light) and she now has a weblog, too. She’s also written a terrific essay on why she lets her kids play with guns. Excerpt:

They’re toys made of plastic, wood, and metal. Some shoot caps, some shoot clothespins, and one shoots ping pong balls. Of course, lots of them squirt water. But they still look like guns and are played with as weaponry by the boys who race around my yard making shooting noises and ducking behind trees.

There was a time, at the beginning of my parenting journey nine years ago, when I would have shuddered at the thought of this scene playing itself out at our house. While still pregnant with my now nine year old son, Henry, I announced to anyone who would listen that my child would never engage in violent play with toy weapons. With the perfect confidence born of never having actually parented a child myself, I lectured friends and relatives on the dangers to society of raising boys on a diet of toy guns, swords, and soldiers. My comeuppance began almost immediately.

Read the whole thing; it’s very good.

April 28, 2002


A great article today in the Opinion Journal by WSJ by Peter Worthington describing the current Canadian situation with regards to our military.

I am not surprised that you receive a lot of e-mail from frustrated Canadians living in a socialized utopia. I look at the current strife in Argentina and unfortunately see Canada’s future. The sad reality is that Canada, like the European sophisticates that we seem to follow on most issues, is a has been country heading nowhere fast.

The right of centre party, the Canadian Alliance, has a new leader, Stephen Harper, that gives me some hope for the future. Living under a corrupt quasi dictator like Jean Chretien and his governing liberals is enough to drive any reasonable person insane.

April 28, 2002

THE ISRAELIS have apparently foiled some WTC-type skyscraper bombing attacks. Had such an attack succeeded, the West Bank would look like Tokyo in 1945, writes the reader who sent this link.

Do the Palestinians know this? They must. Do they care? They must not.

April 28, 2002

THIS ONLINE POLL FROM NETSCAPE shows 71% of respondents doubting that gun controls can prevent mass shootings. Will they pull a CAIR and disappear it?

April 28, 2002

JIM BENNETT contrasts “Le Penism” with its counterpart “Euro-Le Penism.” Both turn out to be rather stupid, insular, and xenophobic. The latter variety is widely held among Euro-politicians:

But Patten was using a newer and different definition. His “European civilization” is a synthetic construct floated by the European Union and certain sets of Europhile intellectuals. What is absurd is the way in which this new “European civilization” is defined to fit geographical coincidence and political convenience. This new “European civilization” extends to those nations that are in the European Union, and those which the consensus of Europhile opinion thinks ought to be. . . .

In short, this definition of “European civilization” defies any logic of cultural or civilizational taxonomy. It is as absurd a category as the “Moldavian” language invented by Stalin’s linguists to justify stealing Bessarabia from Romania, and just as blatantly political a construct.

The political purpose of the synthetic concept of “European civilization” is obvious. It is a response to the failure of the Eurocratic elite to find any kind of socio-political glue to hold their creation together. . . .

Once the Euro-elites recognize they have a problem, it is likely they will search for stronger social glue to hold together their Union. They could, of course, resolve their structural problems and loosen their centralist grip, opening themselves to the world and balancing their Continental ties with the external ties many of their members have had to sacrifice for Europeanism. But that would contradict 50 years of centralizing ideology.

Rather, having have found the pull of economic rationalism insufficient, they will start looking for pushes. The most readily available push is fear of enemies, internal and external.

The greatest danger with Europe is not from the little Le Pens seeking to return to inward-looking national protectionism and hatred of foreigners. It is from Eurocrats seeking to construct a grand Euro-Lepenisme of inward-looking continental protectionism and contempt for non-“Europeans,” in the sense of the “European civilization” Patten and others seem to be trying to define.

In the search for enemies, it’s pretty obvious who will be Candidate Number One. America, already a favorite whipping boy economically, politically, and culturally, will be further elevated as Europe’s main rival. As for internal enemies, the European Union is defining a class of “xenophobes” whose xenophobia is evidently exhibited primarily by opposition to the European Union. Ironically, openly Zionist Jews may soon find themselves categorized as “xenophobes.”

I think that Bennett’s hit the nail on the head with this one. It’s why I’ve been worried for some time about where Europe is headed. Corrupt and intellectually bankrupt elites — which the EU has in spades — generally turn to hatred in an effort to maintain their power.

April 28, 2002

MATT WELCH has some observations about the L.A. Times that make me think his new newspaper is going to be damn good.

April 28, 2002

MICKEY KAUS asks if People for the American Way and the Children’s Defense Fund are financial flypaper, soaking up donations that might otherwise go to effective groups. No doubt the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy will have him silenced for revealing this clever plan.

April 28, 2002

HARVEY GOLDSTEIN writes about the idiocy of airport security. He’s right, of course. My big question is, given that the powers-that-be have screwed up airport security so obviously, how much faith can we have in their ability to handle the things that we can’t see?

April 28, 2002

THE HASHEMITE OPTION is endorsed in this Washington Post oped by Yossi Klein Halevi:

As a first step, the Palestinian Authority must go the way of the Taliban. Arafat should be placed on a plane to Baghdad and his terrorist “police” apparatus dismantled. Israel would then cede most of the territories to Jordan, concentrating the settlements in areas close to the 1967 borders. Until the situation stabilizes, Israel would remain in control of a united Jerusalem, though it would cede the Temple Mount to the Hashemites who, as descendants of the Prophet Muhammad’s family, have a compelling claim as custodians of the site. Finally, Israel would retain a military presence along the Jordan River.

Jordan is the only Arab country that has entered into a strategic relationship with the Jewish state. The Hashemites fear a PLO state no less than the Israelis do. Ironically, Ariel Sharon, who once advocated transforming Jordan into Palestine, has become one of the stalwarts of the Israeli-Jordanian relationship. Perhaps Sharon is the man to help transform Palestine back into Jordan.

Note the passing reference to the Hashemites’ “compelling claim” as custodians of Muslim holy places.

I’ll bet Prince Abdullah just loves hearing about that.

April 28, 2002

SOME THOUGHTS ON GERMAN GUNS: Germany has strict gun control. Most of the stories I’ve seen say there are about 10 million legally-owned guns in a country of 82 million. The estimates on illegal guns tend to be about double that, or 20 million guns. That means with strict gun control — far stricter than one could reasonably expect in the United States, where owning guns is a deeper-rooted tradition, and where obedience to authority is not — there are about 3/8 as many firearms as there are people. In the United States the ration of guns to people is approximately one to one.

It’s thus probably fair to take the 3/8 ratio as an upper bound for the effectiveness of gun control were it enacted in the United States. 3/8 of the U.S. population would be something over 90 million. So the most gun-controllers could hope for would be to reduce the number of guns in America to 90 million, which still sounds like a lot to me. And it could be accomplished only via a program that would be enormously polarizing politically, and sure to do immense damage to civil liberties — if it didn’t set off something like a civil war, which it very well might. All to produce a society that is not exactly disarmed, in which criminals (as in Germany) can still get guns easily.

Sounds like a dumb idea to me.

April 28, 2002

MEDPUNDIT has a post about antisemitism among European doctors and the threat to kick Israel out of the World Medical Association.

Are there any international organizations that aren’t full of antisemites, anti-americans, anti-capitalists, and the like?

April 28, 2002

NON-HATE MAIL: A reader writes:

…well this isn’t hate mail. I appreciate your reporting on gun-rights issues and lying historians. I’m one of those rare weird folk; a conservative gay “gun nut.” In fact I’m twice elected president of the local gun club, all by “red-neck” straight guys, mostly vets.

I find you much more up to date then the NRA website.

Thank God I live in Vermont where I can be both gay and a gun-nut.

I’ve always liked Vermont.

April 27, 2002

CHARLES JOHNSON is watching Saudi websurfers. And he’s caught one being naughty.

April 27, 2002

NICK DENTON has just discovered the wonder of CafePress. Basically, here’s how it works: You go to their website, set up an account, and then follow a menu and upload your graphics. Then you have a store, like this one where people can buy stuff. They order the stuff; it’s manufactured to order, usually that day, and CafePress handles credit cards, shipping, etc. You get the markup, which you choose, above their base price.

If you’re gonna sell a lot of stuff, it’s much less profitable than having it made in quantity. But if you’re not, it lets you get an online swag shop up and running with no initial investment, and very little effort. I love stuff like this.

April 27, 2002

BILL QUICK says that Arab Islam is an honor-shame culture that is unable to deal with its failure compared to the West; this has substantial policy consequences. Read the post.

April 27, 2002

BRINK LINDSEY has some interesting stuff on global attitudes toward free trade. Take that, Jose Bove.

April 27, 2002

I HOPE THAT THIS New York Times outline of our war plans for Iraq is disinformation. Because if it’s all true, well, there are a whole lot of problems. Starting (but not ending) with having our war plans in the New York Times.

April 27, 2002

GUNS: Funny, the posting that generated the most email was on SUVs, but I get the most hatemail on guns and Saudi Arabia. I guess this means that Saudi-supporters tend to be unarmed, which I take as a positive note; I rather doubt that this coincidence is logically related, but on the other hand the overlap between the sets of Saudi-supporters and gun-haters seems surprisingly high.

At any rate, varous people have asked me about mass shootings. I’m not deeply interested in the criminology of guns; my work is on the Second Amendment side, which is different. But you can read this paper by John Lott and William Landes on mass shootings and gun control if you’re interested.

UPDATE: Boy that was fast. A reader observes that there is a logical connection. Since, in the minds of America-haters, guns represent America, to hate America is to hate guns. (This connection of hating America with love for personal disarmament strikes me as a very clever meme for America to propagate. . . .) To support the Saudi regime in Arabia you don’t actually have to hate America, but it helps, so I suppose there’e explanation for the overlap.

April 27, 2002

MAX POWER has identified the dangers of the brutal Afghan springtime. Dang. And we just barely survived the dreaded “brutal Afghan winter.”

April 27, 2002

STEPHEN GREEN looks at the latest economic news and says I told you so.

April 27, 2002

ROBERT MUSIL demonstrates the perspicacity of the New York Times.

April 27, 2002

JONAH GOLDBERG comments on the French election in his own inimitable style:

The people attacking Jews for the last few months — or years — have for the most part been Arabs and North Africans who Le Pen hates and who hate Le Pen. The people making excuses for these attacks on Jews in France and, let’s face it, anywhere else in the world, inhabit the highest levels of the liberal-socialist French — and European — establishment. I would bet that if you compared the attitudes of first-time Le Pen voters — the folks who wanted to send a message about crime and immigration — to the folks who voted for the Marxist Mailman, you’d fine a lot more anti-Semitism among the followers of postal Communism than you would among the Le Penners.

I do not believe that being anti-Israel automatically means you’re an anti-Semite and I think many pro-Israel Jews make a mistake by using the concepts interchangeably. But it is becoming hard to dispute that Europe’s anti-Israel obsession has become so intense that it is making establishment Europe operationally anti-Semitic.


April 27, 2002

I’M BACK. We had a nice trip to Gatlinburg in the Smokies, visited the Ripley’s Aquarium (which to my surprise is astoundingly good — with its plexiglas tunnels through shark-and-ray-filled tanks, it’s as close to scuba diving as you’ll get on dry land). Then a drive home via Pigeon Forge, home of Dollywood, the Elvis Museum, and the NASCAR Speedpark. Now that’s America.

Naturally, there’s lots of email awaiting me, and if you’ve sent me anything important, well, it may be awhile until I get to it.

April 26, 2002

OFF TO THE MOUNTAINS FOR AN OVERNIGHT: Blogging will resume tomorrow.

April 26, 2002

“ECONOMIC REVIVAL POSES PROBLEM FOR BUSH” — That’s the New York Times headline, which I noticed via Mickey Kaus.

April 26, 2002

STILL MORE ON BROCK at the American Prospect’s website. You can listen to the audio if you’ve got RealPlayer, which I don’t have on this computer.

April 26, 2002

AN AMERICAN SERVICEMAN on Canadian soldiers:

My experience with Princess Pat’s Rifles showed them to be intelligent thoughtful sorts and at the time we were all quite impressed by their being paid significantly more than we were.

Anyone interested in the idea of an American Foreign Legion? Get paid squat, get sent to really bizarre places to perform objectionable acts, be subject to really draconian discipline and when all is said and done we’ll let you and your family become citizens.

jsa – who still thinks Heinlein had the right idea, even if the movie basically ignored the whole central theme of the work in favor of the special effects which didn’t meet up to the book either… (StarshipTrooper)

April 26, 2002

IT’S A BIG DAY FOR MEGAN MCARDLE: Not only is she called “shrewd” by Mark Steyn, but she’s quoted in Best of the Web today!

April 26, 2002


On Sunday, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the alleged extreme right-wing madman, managed to place second in the first round of the French Presidential election. Since then, many Europhile commentators in the English-speaking world have been attempting to reassure us that the significance of this event has been much overplayed — Le Pen only got a little more than he usually gets, pure fluke he came second, nothing to see here, move along. The best response to this line of thinking was by the shrewd Internet commentatrix Megan McArdle: “They’re completely missing the point, which is that it’s hilarious.”

Absolutely. You’d have to have a heart of stone not to be weeping with laughter at the scenes of France’s snot-nosed political elite huffily denouncing Sunday’s result as an insult to the honour of the Republic. I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago and I well remember the retired French diplomat who assured me that “a man like George W. Bush is simply not possible in our politics. For a creature of such crude, simplistic and extreme views to be one of the two principal candidates in a presidential election would be inconceivable here. Inconceivable!”

This Mark Steyn column, as usual, is far better than any excerpt can be. Read it.

April 26, 2002

THREE OXFORD STUDENTS now have a blog devoted to international relations.

April 26, 2002

MICHAEL BELLESILES UPDATE: Now he’s suggesting that his critics forged his emails. This has gone from disgraceful, to pathetic. Here’s what Boston University law professor Randy Barnett says:

Barnett said Lindgren was innocently trying to reconcile differences in his research with Bellesiles’ work when Lindgren first e-mailed Bellesiles. Lindgren had not yet read Arming America, but he was familiar with some of Bellesiles’ work from an online discussion site for academics. He also said Bellesiles had a demonstrated record of lying to cover-up a “scandal.”

“The fact Bellesiles now accuses a reputable scholar of fabricating an e-mail (at a time when the other scholar was merely requesting data he had no idea had been falsified) … is an admission of how significant his previous lies have been,” Barnett wrote in an e-mail to the Wheel. “Were these trivial matters, Bellesiles would not have to invent such desperate accusations. This latest incident should reveal much about Professor Bellesiles’ character to anyone who previously harbored any illusions.”

“This is not typical academic behavior and this not a matter of different people interpreting data in different ways,” Barnett added.

Yes, and I’d add that it’s disgraceful that Bellesiles’ publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, is still trying to maintain that this is all a question of interpretation, when it’s a question of fabrication.

April 26, 2002

MORE ON THE DAVID BROCK CONTROVERSY from Henry Hanks, if you’re interested.

April 26, 2002

MORE ON THE GERMAN SCHOOL SHOOTING: First, there’s some dispute as to whether it exceeds the toll at Dunblane; apparently some people are counting killers in their casualty totals, and others aren’t. Oh, well. It’s more than Columbine, for sure. Some other reader comments: From Craig Schamp:

I saw your appropriate comment about the shooting in Germany, questioning the value of gun control. Another thing just struck me: Germany has very strict laws against showing violence in video games. I think there are some video games that I’ve played which have a switch to disable “virtual blood” in the game. I’m pretty sure that in Germany, you can’t enable depictions of
blood in a game.

After the Columbine shooting, and at other times, plenty of people in the U.S. have tried to show a causality between shoot-em-up games and violent youth. Seems like an even more specious claim now.

And from another reader:

My fiance is a German national who is still living in Dresden (about an hour and a half from Erfurt). They have very, very strict gun control there. Basically no private ownership of anything but shotguns for hunting. Even the military and police can only carry on duty, and have to leave their firearms locked up at the station when they are not working. However, a delivery driver friend, who is a relatively trustworthy guy, said that even there, where the police are efficient, strict, and mean… he could get a Walther for a few hundred bucks by the next day, if he had to. So there you go… if you outlaw guns, then only criminals will have them.

Yeah, but unlike in many American mass-shootings (including, most recently, the Appalachian School of Law) there won’t be any citizens with guns to bring the event to an end. No doubt John Lott will have a column on this shortly.

April 26, 2002

TONY ADRAGNA says Krauthammer is right about European antisemitism.

April 26, 2002


I knew the government would put the screws to the Canadian Forces in regard to service in combat. The army has put the process of awarding the soldiers a bronze medal on hold because it “may want to award something as well”

BULLSHIT! You could save 16 burning babies, a nun and the Prince of Wales from floodwaters in the Forces and get nothing more than a court martial a few months later- I had friends who got charged for making a three layer jello tree and leaving it on an officer’s desk because he got tired of hearing the schmuck saying “hey you kids, keep out of the jell-o tree”. They can always get you on “conduct unbecoming” as a charge, if they cannot arrange some other charges just in case

When I was searching for a job a few years ago I was told to remove my experience with the forces from my resume by a career counsellor because it “looked bad having army experience”

I have a suggestion for the US Army: Want a few REALLY good soldiers? Buy out the Canadian Armed Forces!

Offer a signing bonus, American citizenship and the opportunity not to be right royally buggered by the incompetent idiots who supposedly are your bosses.

Well, in our armed forces, at the very worst you’ll at least be right democratically, as opposed to royally, buggered.

Boy I sure get a lot of email from Canadians whenever I mention Canada. Apparently, I have a lot of Canadian readers.

April 26, 2002

A READER SENDS this item from Stratfor on Saudi military goings-on. It suggests, as I suggested below, that the Saudi regime is much less stable than is generally realized.

April 26, 2002

A PRETTY GOOD SURVEY ARTICLE on technology and transhumanism in the Washington Post.

April 26, 2002


After Sept. 11, many observers predicted that the ugly side of the American character would soon reveal itself. Xenophobia and nativism would flourish. Ominous reports of widespread violence against Arab-Americans would surface. A few hysterical doomsayers worried that it was only a matter of time before Muslims would be placed in internment camps. Despite those fears, none of the Ugly American predictions came to pass. Instead, 9/11 cemented an altogether different phenomenon: Ugly Europeanism.
Fascism, as the old saying has it, is always descending on the United States, but somehow always lands in Europe.

April 26, 2002

THE NEW YORK SUN is reporting that Columbia University is coming under increasing pressure to reinstate its ROTC program. The Sun, unfortunately, isn’t available online yet — but the story is blogged at Ribstone Pippin.

April 26, 2002


As I understand it, when most Jews in Europe either fled or were gassed, their lands and property fell into the hands of Europeans. I wondered why the Jews haven’t pressed this issue except by private lawsuits. Perhaps Israel should demand that these properties, particularly land, be turned over to the Palestinians in exchange for peace in the Middle East.

Maybe this is what’s really behind the European Anti-semitism.

Where’s Jesse Jackson when you need him?

April 26, 2002

THE SAUDI PR OFFENSIVE isn’t working very well. Craig Schamp isn’t impressed, and an MSNBC story by Andrea Mitchell on the PR campaign stressed that 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, that the Saudis were still funding terror, and that the Saudi government was involved. The included denials by Prince Faisal al-Saud were particularly oily and unpersuasive, even for the unimpressive Saudi diplomatic corps.

Perhaps the “rope-a-dope” strategy is really aimed at building U.S. support for an invasion of Saudi-controlled Arabia — and at demonstrating to the world that Bush was serious about being for us or against us, by giving the Saudis enough rope to publicly hang themselves (metaphorically) before the United States does so literally.

April 26, 2002

SAUDI calls on Arabs to enslave Jewish women. Ha! In your dreams, guys.

UPDATE: Letter from Gotham has the Sheikh’s mobile phone number, in case any Jewish women — or others — want to give him a piece of their mind.

April 26, 2002

CHARLES OLIVER rips anti-American libertarians.

April 26, 2002

THE GERMAN SCHOOL SHOOTING is shocking some people — don’t they have gun control over there? — but in fact such massacres happen all over the world. And in fact, they seem to be on the upswing abroad more than in the United States.

UPDATE: The death toll in the German shooting appears to be the largest in any school shooting so far. Columbine was “only” 13 (CNN just said 12, but I think they’re forgetting the teacher).

April 26, 2002

KRAUTHAMMER RESPONSE — Reader Hamish Campbell writes:

That CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER is really overblown. The problem with the idiots over in Europe is they have swallowed the Palestinian propaganda, not some blather about ‘the armed Jew’. Here in Britain, rather than Europe, tales of anti-Semitism are ridiculous. In order to be anti-Semitic, people in Britain would have to actually give a damn about the Jews. We don’t. Most people feel Israel is just another screwed up place ‘over there’.

If anything, the few people who do think about Israel that I know probably agree with that cartoon on Samizdata that at least the Israelis are not hiding in ambulances and behind their children like the Palestinians are. But really, I suspect most people in Scotland at least care as much about Israel as Israelis care about Northern Ireland.

Well, I haven’t noticed Israeli politicians weighing in on the Northern Ireland situation, or threatening boycotts, or sending money to fund IRA “infrastructure.” Though the real problem, of course, is not so much the British as the French and the Norwegians.

If the Euros pick on Israel enough, of course, Israel might start returning the favor by funding and supporting various separatist groups in Europe. And if they do, I think the Europeans will be very unhappy with the results.

UPDATE: Reader John Kluge sends this response to Hamish Campbell:

Hamish Campbell writes “In order to be anti-Semitic, people in Britain would have to actually give a damn about the Jews. We don’t. Most people feel Israel is just another screwed up place ‘over there’.” Yeah that pretty much sums up the attitude of Britain when they were closing their borders and shutting off Palestine to Jewish refugees to placate the Arabs while Hitler was building Auschwitz. Now that the Arabs are busing trying to build nuclear weapons to finish the job Hitler started, once again “Britain would have to actually give a damn about the Jews” to do anything. Well Mr. Campbell, just like Chamberlain found out in 1939, its not so easy to send the Jews to their deaths to placate homicidal lunatics. Those lunatics have a bad habit of turning on the rest of the world. Inadvertently, Mr. Campbell sums up why Europe has ceased to be a credible moral force in the world.

April 26, 2002


UPDATE: Some readers say that this was a flaw in the transcript, and that Brock didn’t actually say he was never on Fox.

April 26, 2002

WOBBLY WATCH: BERNARD LEWIS says that our kowtowing to “moderate” Arabs will embolden terrorists.

April 26, 2002

INTERESTING STUFF going on in the Sudan.

April 26, 2002

CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER takes on European anti-semitism:

What so offends Europeans is the armed Jew, the Jew who refuses to sustain seven suicide bombings in the seven days of Passover and strikes back. That Jew has been demonized in the European press as never before since, well . . . since the ’30s. The liberal Italian daily La Stampa ran a cartoon of the baby Jesus, besieged by Israeli tanks, saying, “Don’t tell me they want to kill me again.” . . .

Three people have been chosen by the United Nations to judge Israel’s actions in Jenin. Two are sons of Europe, and one of those is Cornelio Sommaruga. As former head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Sommaruga spent 12 years ensuring that the only nation on earth to be refused admission to the International Red Cross is Israel. The problem, he said, was its symbol: “If we’re going to have the Shield of David, why would we not have to accept the swastika?”

This man will sit in judgment of the Jews. Marx was wrong when he said that history repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second as farce. The second time is tragedy too.

Europe, except maybe Germany to some degree, is in the hands of a political class that is morally leprous, intellectually bankrupt, and financially corrupt. Antisemitism seems to come naturally to such people.

April 26, 2002

BAD NEWS for James Lileks. And sometimes me.

April 26, 2002


As a Canadian, I am not surprised that this young man should be punished for being a successful soldier.

Throughout Canada (except Quebec), a central feature of every city and town is a memorial listing names of locals who died in the Great Wars and Korea. At the end of WWII, Canada had the 2d largest navy in the world.

However, Canada almost broke up during each of the World Wars, because Quebec did not want to be a part of these wars (they were not Quebec’s “business”)

So, for the past generation, official Canada has ignored this martial past, and the the process twisted parts of our history, and lost other parts, in an attempt to “unite” our country and defeat Quebec “separatism.”

Those troublesome French. Even when they’re not French anymore.

April 25, 2002

MASSACRE IN ALGERIA — probably by the Armed Islamic Group. How about a nice peaceful sit-in by the “Unarmed Islamic Group?” Well?

April 25, 2002

A REASON TO READ SALON: Heather Havrilesky dissects the wedding-movie genre. Sample passage: “In the language of wedding porn, there’s an unspoken expectation that a man will squeeze comfortably into a preset role: handsome, sweet, neutered wage earner. He works hard so you don’t have to.”

April 25, 2002

CANADIAN HERO FACES COURT MARTIAL — “Culture of disdain” for armed forces blamed:

Cpl Perry has been sent back to Canada to face, instead of a hero’s welcome, a court martial on discipline charges, reported to be in connection with threatening remarks he is alleged to have made to the Canadian chaplain during a “stress debriefing”.

“Look at what they did to me,” he said. “This is how they show their appreciation to me, by sending me back to Canada.”

Military experts yesterday denounced what they called Canada’s culture of disdain for its armed services, despite their courageous record in two world wars, as well as in the Korean war and numerous peacekeeping operations.

The U.S. wants to give him a bronze star, though.

April 25, 2002

UNITED NATIONS SEX SCANDAL UPDATE: 15-year-old girls used for sex and women forced to dance naked on bars:

“The women who refused were locked in rooms and withheld food and outside contact for days or weeks. After this time they are told to dance naked on table tops and sit with clients.

“If the women still refuse to perform sex acts with the customers they are beaten and raped in the rooms by the bar owners and their associates. They are told if they go to the police they will be arrested for prostitution and being an illegal immigrant.”

The tribunal has heard that after sending the e-mail Mrs Bolkovac, who was investigating human trafficking and forced prostitution, was demoted and removed from front-line policing.

Where’s Mary Robinson on this one?

April 25, 2002

STEPHEN GREEN disses Saudi Arabia. Tremble, Abdullah.

April 25, 2002

DISAPPEARING INMATES? Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman has been moved, and even his lawyers can’t contact him. I know he’s a terrorist, and I know he’s been directing terrorist operations from within prison. But still. This doesn’t seem, er, kosher to me.

UPDATE: Reading between the lines on that story, it’s possible that he’s moved into the Witness Protection Program, which would mean he’s cooperating with the feds. Interesting possibility.

April 25, 2002


April 25, 2002

LARRY TRIBE thinks chimpanzees should have the same legal rights as humans. Ribstone Pippin thinks Larry Tribe is. . . well, just wrong.

Me, I think that you shouldn’t have standing to sue unless you also have the ability to sue for malpractice. Otherwise it’s just a full-employment-act for lawyers, with no penalty if they screw up.

April 25, 2002

OSAMA BIN LADEN’S new guest blogger is mad at Colin Powell for not rescuing him, but luckily you can blog from anywhere. . . .

April 25, 2002

WHY THEY HATE US: Reader Peter Kavaler sends along this photo from last year’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Prince Abdullah should be forced to attend.

April 25, 2002

ORCHID says she doesn’t care about Salon anymore.

April 25, 2002

SPEAKING OF SPACE: Rand Simberg takes on people who think the human race isn’t fit to colonize the planets.

April 25, 2002


April 25, 2002

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE DEMOCRATS: I’m watching CNN’s “Crossfire,” where Lori Garver (who I knew when she was Executive Director of the National Space Society, where I was once a board member) is squaring off with James Carville and Robert Park about space tourism. Park, not to be blunt, looks virtually senile, repeating the sound-bite “high-tech bungee jumping” over and over. Carville just doesn’t seem to get the idea of opening new markets.

The rap against Democrats is that they don’t care about baking the pie, only slicing it. Carville is living down to that.

April 25, 2002

RICH LOWRY SAYS the Saudis are bluffing. That’s right. Prince Abdullah warned that we might send the region “over a cliff.” He failed to consider that we might think that’s where it belongs.

UPDATE: Den Beste agrees:

He’s looking at the end of the Saud dynasty no matter which way things go and he’s hoping for some way out.

I don’t think he’s going to find one, though; I think that the House of Saud will soon be a stateless monarchy, living in wealthy exile.

I actually think this is on the optimistic side, from the Saudis’ point of view. But I don’t think the Saudis have reconciled themselves, yet, to the fact that they’re in an endgame where the only question is whether they will lose comfortably, or lose very uncomfortably.

April 25, 2002

BELLESILES UPDATE: Here’s an Associated Press story on Bellesiles.

April 25, 2002

UH-OH. Bad news from Gena Lewis.

April 25, 2002

HENRY COPELAND SAYS blogging is bigger than journalism. So there.

April 25, 2002

CORNEL WEST UPDATE: Man, when a pretentious Harvard professor can’t even get sympathy from the New York Observer it’s gotten bad. But here’s what NYO has to say about West:

It’s lucky for Cornel West that the Ivy League apparently has no shortage of universities willing to abandon academic standards in return for the dubious advantage of employing a publicity-loving con man. The latest dupe: Princeton University, which has just hired the black studies “scholar” away from Harvard University. Princeton is crowing about its “coup”; Harvard does not seem particularly distressed.

And West thought that Larry Summers was disrespecting him? He doesn’t know what he’s unleashed.

Er, well, by now he probably does, actually. And check out the conclusion:

Lawrence Summers deserves praise for acting like a conscientious academic leader, who is clearly strengthening Harvard by creating the conditions for a hack professor to relocate to Princeton. As for Princeton’s academic leaders, they have simply provided a home for America’s most prominent academic charlatan to sell his wares.

Advantage: Summers!

April 25, 2002

TONY ADRAGNA takes on vile antisemitic remarks at the International Committee of the Red Cross.

April 25, 2002

DRAWING THE RIGHT LESSON: A woman in Seattle shot an armed intruder. The neighbors gathered to discuss the happening. What lesson did they draw? That she should have called 911? That it’s wrong to “take the law into youer own hands?” Nope. “It also illustrates that ‘if you didn’t have a gun they could have been killed,’ she said.”

There’s hope for this country, folks.

April 25, 2002

NORWEGIAN ULTIMATUM: “Compensate us, or we shall flood Israel with trout, mackerel and critical UN resolutions!”

April 25, 2002

IF YOU’RE A JOURNALIST covering weblogs, or just interested in the whole phenomenon, you should bookmark this latest installment in the series Eric Olsen’s been doing. And follow the links to the earlier installments.

April 25, 2002


Professor of History Michael Bellesiles may have lied to the Wheel on at least two occasions last week while responding to questions regarding the University’s investigation into his work on guns in early America.

Bellesiles denied that he received “offers of help” from James Lindgren, a professor of law at Northwestern University (Ill.), when Lindgren initially learned that Bellesiles’ book, Arming America: Origins of a National Gun Culture concluded gun ownership rates were so low they were “mathematically impossible.”

Yet the Wheel has obtained an e-mail confirming Lindgren wrote Bellesiles on Nov. 11, 2000, offering to assist the Emory professor.

Boy, if you can’t trust a historian. . . .

April 25, 2002

THOUGH ARUNDHATI ROY may be an idiot, most Indians are not. Pejman Yousefzadeh, writing in TechCentralStation, says we should ally more closely with India. I agree, and in fact was saying so even before September 11.

April 25, 2002

IAN BURUMA administers a thorough and painful Fisking to Arundhati Roy in The New Republic. Excerpt:

There is one verbal tic that keeps recurring in Roy’s writings that may help us to understand her feelings–for that is what they are, more than coherent thoughts. She refers a great deal to India’s “ancient civilization,” usually to show how humiliating it is for an ancient people to defer to a jumped-up, uncivilized place such as the United States. About President Clinton’s visit to India, she observes: “He was courted and fawned over by the genuflecting representatives of this ancient civilization with a fervour that can only be described as indecent.” This speaks of the same snobbery that informed Roy’s remark on American television about Mickey Mouse and the mullahs.

Rich, rampant America shows up the relative weakness and backwardness of India. This is hard to take for a member of the intellectual or artistic elite, educated by nationalist professors, whose thoughts were often molded by British Marxists from the London School of Economics. The genuine popularity of American pop culture among the urban masses in India makes the elite feel marginal in their own country, which sharpens their sense of pique. For India, you could also read France, Italy, Japan, or even China. Thus Roy’s voice is less representative of the Third World than of a global intelligentsia, floating from conference to conference, moaning about the effects of globalization.

Yes, Conferenceville is a place. But not a very nice place, and an odd one from which to denounce globalization, though it appears to be a very popular address for those who wish to see the world more rooted.

April 25, 2002

CHARLES JOHNSON has even more good stuff than usual on his page. Rather than linking to any one item, I’ll just say: go there, and read.

April 25, 2002

MICKEY KAUS says he’s identified a huge loophole in McCain-Feingold. Hmm. Maybe InstaPundit.Com, LLC, will be a big political force on ’04!

April 25, 2002

BELLESILES UPDATE: Melissa Seckora is reporting that the Emory University investigation of historian Michael Bellesiles for fraud is progressing to a second stage, an investigation by prominent scholars from outside Emory.

This sounds to me like they’re looking at firing him.

UPDATE: On the other hand, a couple of readers speculate that they’re turning the case over to the American Historical Association, which might produce a whitewash. But while that’s possible, I don’t think so: this guy has been such an embarrassment, and so many people have pointed out so many obvious misrepresentations and fabrications, that I think a whitewash would send what little credibility the historical profession has left (sorry guys, but it’s been a bad year for historians) down the drain.

April 25, 2002

SPINSANITY IS TAKING AL GORE TO TASK for misrepresentations in his Earth Day speech. They note that Gore pretty much got a pass on his misleading statements from the mainstream media.

April 25, 2002

CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Chris Seamans explains why the old certainties of political thought have dissolved.

April 25, 2002

THE KASS COUNCIL is now officially a disaster. Leon Kass’s Presidential Council on Bioethics was supposed to advise the President on issues like cloning. But the President came out against cloning without waiting for the Council to come up with any recommendations. Now a member is complaining. And he’s right. I tried to give Kass and his council the benefit of the doubt in a column I wrote back in January. I shouldn’t have bothered.

April 25, 2002

HERE’S SOME GOOD NEWS, reported by Richard Willing in USA Today:

Arabic speakers, including hundreds of Arab-Americans, have flooded the FBI with applications for jobs as translators since Sept. 11, according to officials who say that some of those hired already are playing key roles in terrorism probes. . . . About 2,000 of the 11,000 people who applied to be agents in January and February said they spoke a foreign language, the bureau says. A bureau source says that many applicants appear to be foreign-born or first-generation Arab-Americans.

This is the traditional response of immigrants in wartime, of course, but for some reason it’s the disloyal behavior of groups like CAIR that gets all the attention.

April 25, 2002

SENATOR FRITZ “CASH & CARRY” HOLLINGS (D-DISNEY) has an oped in today’s New York Times arguing against free trade. Matthew Hoy administers a thorough Fisking.

April 25, 2002

NIGHTLINE UPDATE: Iranian-American blogger Pejman Yousefzadeh weighs in with his opinion on Nightline’s Iran program.

April 25, 2002

ARAFAT TO GAZA? This is Sharon’s suggestion. It would certainly facilitate a Jordanian takeover of the West Bank. . . .

April 25, 2002


Glenn, I raise a minor quibble with the term “peace movement”, for it implies the existence of a “war movement”, which is equally an empty phrase. To state that someone is for “peace” is to state exactly nothing, or worse, to state that the person is an idiot, mindlessly subscribing to “peace” regardless of the prevalent conditions. I wonder if there was an intelligent peace movement in the Warsaw Ghetto.

Well, actually, there was a peace movement in the Warsaw Ghetto. And most of them were sincere and well-meaning. But they weren’t “intelligent” and they weren’t heroes. They were part of the problem.

Of course, sometimes a peace movement can be right. But the thing is, I don’t think that most people in today’s “peace movement” are there because they want peace. If that were the case, they’d object to war in general. Most, however, only seem to mind war on behalf of civilization.

April 25, 2002

VANESSA LEGGETT UPDATE: I’ve got a column on the curious Vanessa Leggett case in today’s (Thursday’s) Wall Street Journal.

UPDATE: I should have mentioned when I posted the above last night — but I was too tired — that for reasons of length the WSJ cut a point that I think is worth making. In the Leggett case, the DOJ and FBI have acted like thugs, and incompetent thugs at that. This is always bad, but it’s especially bad when you’re fighting terrorists and the DOJ and FBI are the frontline troops in doing so domestically. They need to be trusted, and inspire confidence. Instead, they’ve shot themselves in the foot.

April 25, 2002

KAUS JOINS MARSHALL in believing Karen Hughes’ story about why she’s leaving the White House. But Kaus has the dirt on who wants the job.

April 24, 2002

PRINCE ABDULLAH is making desperate threats. I suspect this is a sign that the internal situation in Saudi-controlled Arabia may be much worse than is immediately apparent. We may be seeing regime change there in the near term, with or without U.S. assistance, rather than the medium term.

UPDATE: Zach Barbera writes

All that we have asked of them is to denounce, in no uncertain terms, suicide bombing and terror. In turn we get slapped in the face and threatened with an oil embargo and embrace of our enemies. Bush should say good riddance. And make very clear that his new friend Saddam will be hanging from a lamp post in Baghdad very soon.

April 24, 2002


Keep up the great work on Instapundit. Did you know, you are hated with a passion by a lot of academic leftists and their disciples in my town, looks like these folks are aghast that the conventional wisdom, as they see it, is being questioned by the whole Blogging movement. They are upset that folks like Chomsky and Fisk are analysed and exposed for the anti-American, pro Islamo-fascist, pro-terrorist idiots they are.

Hated? Me? How can you hate someone for a weblog? But then, hatred doesn’t come as easily to me as it does to so many who see themselves as part of the Forces of Good. Oh well. I’m tempted to say let them hate me, so long as they fear me. And there are more bloggers where I come from. . . . But really, it’s just plain sad if people are getting their panties in a wad over InstaPundit. It’s an admission that they don’t have much to bring to the debate besides tired old ideas that were mostly stupid when I first heard them (and they, or their parents, first uttered them) back in 1968. I was just a kid then. But even — or perhaps especially — to a kid, that stuff was obviously self-indulgent twaddle. And it hasn’t improved with age.

It’s too bad, too. An intelligent peace movement would be useful. But we don’t have one of those.

April 24, 2002

AMERICAN JEWS ARE THE PROBLEM says French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine. Ah, the sophisticated diplomacy of the smooth, suave French!

American Jews respond: “You’re a loser! Your boss lost to Le Pen! Loser! L-o-o-o-o-ser! Did we mention you’re a loser?” Uh, I’m just guessing about that part, actually. Er, excuse me: a la Alterman, I’m being “prophetic” about their views.

UPDATE: Read Jonah Goldberg’s take on this.

April 24, 2002

HARRY AND LOUISE will be starring in ads against the anti-cloning bill. No, really.

April 24, 2002

NIGHTLINE UPDATE: Reader Jeff Goldstein of Protein Wisdom sends these thoughts:

I caught a few minutes of that, uh, footage of Bahman Farman Ara on last evening’s “Nightline.” It was shot almost as if it were an art house film — with odd cross-cuts and a mist filter, and with pregnant pauses between edits used to punctuate what the producers must’ve thought were Ara’s most trenchant “observations.”

Instead, it came across as a kind of Iranian-flavored This Is Spinal Tap. Honestly. I thought ABC New was kidding.

Reader Mazdak Atighi saw it this way:

I didn’t see the show, but read a transcript and I have to respond to Aaron Schatz’s interpretation. First of all, the point of the show, as Koppel’s intro makes clear, is to give an airing to a point of view we may not be hearing. That explains, I think, the lack of comments from Koppel while Farmanara speaks. As for what Farmanara has to say, he never blames 9/11 on U.S. foreign policy. He does say “We have to discuss, we have to communicate, you have to understand the hatred that is all over.” Particularly coming from an Iranian, who has a legitimate case to make against the U.S. for the CIA-led coup there in 1953, this strikes me as eminently reasonable. . . .I know several Iranians who grew up here (from early childhood, in large, cosmopolitan cities) who have gone to Iran and live there and love it. They don’t love the mullahs and just about all Iranians resent the stranglehold religious authorities have over the political/judicial apparatus of the state, but it’s not nearly as intrusive as Mr. Schatz may believe (and it’s not illegal for women’s heads to be uncovered in their own homes). In short, a little sanity, please.

Well, this BBC story about the popularity of mint-flavored condoms in Iran certainly suggests that Mr. Atighi has a point about, er, certain aspects of Iranian society at least. Meanwhile, reader Doug Allen writes:

I completely agree with what Aaron Schatz wrote to you. I missed the introduction but watched the final 20 minutes or so. I was appalled that Nightline, a show I used to regard highly, chose to present this man’s views in such a manner. I will be interested to see if an individual from a similar strata of Israeli society is given the same folksy platform to air her feelings about the Islamic world. I won’t be holding my breath.

The show reminded me of the days when Vladimir Posner used to be a guest, and they would discuss issues with the pretense/assumption that the Soviet Union was just like us. Ten years later we know what a pile of crap that turned out to be.

Yeah, whatever happened to Vlad, anyway? He had a talkshow for a while, but that cratered.

UPDATE: Reader Brian Miller writes:

I just read the comment written by Mazdak Atighi that you posted about last night’s Nightline program. He says:

He does say “We have to discuss, we have to communicate, you have to understand the hatred that is all over.” Particularly coming from an Iranian, who has a legitimate case to make against the U.S. for the CIA-led coup there in 1953, this strikes me as eminently reasonable. . . .I know several Iranians who grew up here (from early childhood, in large, cosmopolitan cities) who have gone to Iran and live there and love it.

While I don’t have a problem with the vast majority of what he says, this quote in particular belies (in my opinion at least) a serious bias that all to often goes unchallenged. I am so very tired of hearing that something the US did half a century ago needs to be taken into account when a person or a group needs cover for actions they are *currently* taking. If that is the best cover someone can come up with, it’s nothing more than a smoke screen. But now as I think about it, if this can reasonably held up as “the cause” of a nations current actions, why don’t we just back the hands of time up a decade further and use the actions of various Arab nations during WWII as justification for just about anything we damn well please with respect to the middle east today. Hmmmm… I’m guessing the apologists for the Arab tyrannies of the current middle east might just take exception to that.

Yeah, they got off pretty much scot-free for their support of the Nazis. That may have set a bad precedent.

April 24, 2002

MATT WELCH demonstrates one of the great virtues of having a blog: you can despin slanted interviews before they see the light of day! Tremble Old Media: we’re inside your decision loop. Buwhahaha!

April 24, 2002

CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON has merchandise with the new Saudi flag on it. Perhaps President Bush can present Prince Abdullah with one of these when he visits.

April 24, 2002


April 24, 2002

RON ROSENBAUM has another excellent column on European anti-semitism.

April 24, 2002

WOBBLY WATCH UPDATE: Jim Dunnigan’s StrategyPage doesn’t think Bush is wobbly at all. And, I have to say, I trust Dunnigan more than Dick Morris on these matters.