April 27, 2002

CHARLES JOHNSON is watching Saudi

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

NICK DENTON has just discovered

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.

BILL QUICK says that Arab

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.

BRINK LINDSEY has some interesting

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


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.

GUNS: Funny, the posting that

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.

MAX POWER has identified the

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

STEPHEN GREEN looks at the

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

ROBERT MUSIL demonstrates the perspicacity

ROBERT MUSIL demonstrates the perspicacity of the New York Times.

JONAH GOLDBERG comments on the

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.


I'M BACK. We had a

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.


"ECONOMIC REVIVAL POSES PROBLEM FOR BUSH" -- That's the New York Times headline, which I noticed via Mickey Kaus.


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.


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)


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!



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.


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


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.


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


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.

TONY ADRAGNA says Krauthammer is

TONY ADRAGNA says Krauthammer is right about European antisemitism.



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.

A READER SENDS this item

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.


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



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.


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.



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?


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.

SAUDI calls on Arabs to

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.

CHARLES OLIVER rips anti-American libertarians.

CHARLES OLIVER rips anti-American libertarians.


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).


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.



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


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


INTERESTING STUFF going on in the Sudan.


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.

BAD NEWS for James Lileks.

BAD NEWS for James Lileks. And sometimes me.



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?


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."


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.


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?

STEPHEN GREEN disses Saudi Arabia.

STEPHEN GREEN disses Saudi Arabia. Tremble, Abdullah.


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.



LARRY TRIBE thinks chimpanzees should

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.


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


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.

ORCHID says she doesn't care

ORCHID says she doesn't care about Salon anymore.


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




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.


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.

BELLESILES UPDATE: Here's an Associated

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

UH-OH. Bad news from Gena

UH-OH. Bad news from Gena Lewis.


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


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!

TONY ADRAGNA takes on vile

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


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.

NORWEGIAN ULTIMATUM: "Compensate us, or

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


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.



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. . . .


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.

IAN BURUMA administers a thorough

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.

CHARLES JOHNSON has even more

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.

MICKEY KAUS says he's identified

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!

BELLESILES UPDATE: Melissa Seckora is

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.


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.

CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES: Chris Seamans explains why

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


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.


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.


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.

NIGHTLINE UPDATE: Iranian-American blogger Pejman

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


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



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.


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.


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

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.



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.


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.


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

NIGHTLINE UPDATE: Reader Jeff Goldstein

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.

MATT WELCH demonstrates one of

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!

CHRISTOPHER JOHNSON has merchandise with

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.



RON ROSENBAUM has another excellent

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


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.


NIGHTLINE UPDATE: I didn't see Nightline last night -- and the reason why nobody's talking about this may be that nobody watches Nightline anymore -- but I got this email from Aaron Schatz:

Perhaps it is due to the Blogspot problems today, but I am surprised nobody has mentioned last night's odd Nightline.

The entire show was dedicated to an interview with Bahman Farman Ara, an Iranian film director who lived in the US for a long time before returning to Iran a few years ago. Well, interview is the wrong word - there was no questioner and no question. Ara was allowed to speak for 30 minutes with no response. I can't imagine Nightline doing a similar show with an Israeli.

Ara is a quiet fellow who seems very thoughtful. His ideas were well-spoken rather than being angry rants. But he still seemed to blame September 11 on United States foreign policy and put forward the idea that if the Palestine problem was solved, nobody would hate the United States.

The most shocking part of the whole show was that Nightline presented this man's life as if he lived in an Iran that was just like Albany or Sacramento, except it was Muslim. They showed people working, going about their daily business, except that in their cities the billboards contain grotesque anti-semitic cartoons instead of exhortations to buy shoes or see Spider-Man.

They showed Ara sitting around his house with female relatives who were not wearing head scarves, which I believe is illegal in Iran. I was totally amazed. Nightline didn't even say anything about this.

Ara also had the temerity to say that he shutters whenever he hears the words of John Ashcroft. He believes that Ashcroft is seeking to bypass the constitution and do great damage to American civil liberties. These complaints from a man who lives in IRAN (!) went completely uncommented on by Koppel or anyone else.

All in all, it was one hell of a half hour of unedited, unabashed pro-Iran propaganda, broadcast by the same company that brings you Mickey Mouse, the Stanley Cup playoffs, and the Anaheim Angels. I was dumbfounded.

You really have to mention this.

Consider it mentioned. Did anyone else see this, or is Aaron the only Nightline viewer left in America?

BARRELFISHING: Ethan Brown disses Gore

BARRELFISHING: Ethan Brown disses Gore Vidal.

WOBBLY WATCH: Dick Morris says

WOBBLY WATCH: Dick Morris says Bush has gone wobbly.

L.A. TIMES WATCH: Reader Curt

L.A. TIMES WATCH: Reader Curt Wilson writes:

A couple interesting tidbits with respect to the LA Times:

Sunday, there was an Israeli Independence Day rally/celebration in LA. Police estimate 60,000 people showed up (amazing for LA). Both Gov. Gray Davis and his challenger Bill Simon show up to speak, as well as Mayor Hahn. The LA Times prints NOT ONE WORD about it.

This morning, on page 3, the Times shows a picture of a dead Palestinian "collaborator" being dragged through the streets of the West Bank. The second sentence of the caption states that "a lack of security has led to an increase in vigilantism". So, you see, these killings too are Israel's fault...
Yeah, what Los Angeles needs is a new, competing newspaper to inject some competition and honesty into that market!



First the Islamofascists came for Americans in the World Trade Center, and the Europeans didn't speak up, not as they ought to have done, because their capitals were not attacked. Then the Islamofascists came for the Jews, and the Europeans didn't speak up, because they were not Jewish, and besides, Israel is a sh**ty little country...." You know, reader, how the story ends.
Yeah, the story ends this way: we taught them that (in the horrified words of some Guardian type or other) "kill Americans, and you're dead meat."

At least, that's the only ending I want to see. The only problem is that the Europeans kind of expect this ending too, and so feel relieved of any responsibility to do anything themselves.

NOAH MILLMAN says that Ponnuru

NOAH MILLMAN says that Ponnuru is wrong and that Charles Krauthammer's argument against cloning is stronger than Ponnuru gives it credit. I'm not convinced, but you can read the post and see if you are.

LE PEN UPDATE: Reader Rajat

LE PEN UPDATE: Reader Rajat Datta writes:

Le Pen's second place standing in the polls probably means very little, as many commentators have pointed out. But one thing I haven't seen pointed out is that while there is so much outrage about him, there isn't a sliver of similar outrage in France and Europe over the escalating anti-semitic acts taking place in their countries.
Yes, I've noticed that. I think that Le Pen is a threat to the political orthodoxies of Europe. Anti-semitism, sadly is a political orthodoxy of Europe.


MICHAEL BELLESILES UPDATE: Melissa Seckora is reporting that Bellesiles' Bancroft Prize in history may be revoked.

RAMESH PONNURU says that Charles

RAMESH PONNURU says that Charles Krauthammer's anticloning arguments are weak. (Here's Krauthammer's piece in The New Republic.)

I think that the only strong anti-cloning argument is Ponnuru's -- essentially a pro-life argument -- and that argument is only strong if you hold certain essentially religious beliefs that I don't share. Here's a good piece by Nick Schulz making that point.


LEWIS LAPHAM SAYS he's not unpatriotic, he's just telling the truth. And the truth, as he sees it, is that America, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Evil Big Corporations, is pretty much always wrong. So there.

I don't think the folks at SmarterHarpersIndex think he's all that truthful, though.

ANOTHER REASON to invade Iraq.

ANOTHER REASON to invade Iraq.


HERE'S A PETITION TO ARM AIRLINE PILOTS, which you can sign if you're interested.

NPR UPDATE: Reader Jack Shaw

NPR UPDATE: Reader Jack Shaw sends this:

I actually enjoy NPR, but yesterday the Chicago affiliate (on its program Worldview) broadcast a hilarious speech by Robert Fisk, which he gave at North Park University on April 7. There are too many rich moments to dissect in an email, but the most absurd came when he brought up Mark Steyn's response to his "they beat me" column and, to horrified gasps from the audience, revealed that Steyn's column was headlined "A multiculturist gets his due." The message to the teen audience was, of course, that the pro-American media "hates us", and would like to see us beaten bloody for speaking the truth. There was no acknowledgement that the line from the WSJ was ironic, intended to mock Fisk's own words to the effect that he deserved it.

At first I thought Fisk was being manipulative. But as I continued to listen I realized, no. He's really that stupid.

Here's the link if you want a listen.


THE COPYRIGHT CRUSADE: Reader Brian Carnell says that Jack Valenti gets his numbers from this strategy document. It's written from a "war" perspective, with "theaters of conflict" and "counterinsurgency" advice.

Yeah, and we know what the first casualty was in this war. . .



Just wanted you to know that I attended the Texas Rangers vs. Toronto Blue Jays baseball game last night. During the singing of the national anthems, the entire crowd stood for the Canadian National Anthem as well as for the Star Spangled Banner. A gentleman in my section was even singing the Canadian National Anthem with a Texas "twang".
Er, how else should it be sung?


FEDS QUIETLY TAKING OVER NANOTECHNOLOGY? I've heard rumors to that effect, and it's the subject of my TechCentralStation column today. I think it would be a bad idea.

DOC SEARLS says that Jack

DOC SEARLS says that Jack Valenti is out of touch with reality. He also notes that the movie industry's claims that 350,000+ movies are being illegally downloaded every day on the Internet would require near-impossible amounts of bandwidth.

Valenti, lying? Say it ain't so!


NORWEGIAN CENSORSHIP ALERT: They've jailed a guy for having antisemitic stuff on a website. I guess it's only okay to say that kind of stuff over there if you're a politician.

JOSH MARSHALL believes Karen Hughes

JOSH MARSHALL believes Karen Hughes about her reasons for leaving the White House.


YALE SLAVERY UPDATE: Sarah Maserati (and what a cool name that is) writes that reports alleging Yale's involvement in the slave trade (reported on InstaPundit back in August) have turned out to be bogus.

So far as I know, Michael Bellesiles had absolutely nothing to do with this research.


NPR HAS GONE TO THE DOGS -- or rather, to the corporate niche-marketers, according to James Bowman. That's fine, but they should drop the pretense that there's anything "public" about their network, except for a small portion of their funding. It's just Clear Channel for bobos now.


THE IRA / COLOMBIAN CONNECTION is the subject of hearings today in the House International Relations Committee. Gerry Adams has refused to talk about it, which strikes me as deeply suspicious. This doesn't seem to have gotten as much press coverage as it deserves.

I think we should show our appreciation for British support in the war on terror by bringing the hammer down on these guys. Let Ted Kennedy complain all he wants.

UPDATE: Here's a story on the IRA / Cuban connection.

SAUDI TROOPS -- that is,

SAUDI TROOPS -- that is, troops presently loyal to the House of Saud, which currently controls much of Arabia -- are massing on the border with Jordan. This is seen as an anti-Israel move, but is it really? It's 8 mechanized brigades of Saudi troops. That would probably be enough to take on the Israeli girl scouts.

Maybe it's an effort to block the pending Hashemite Restoration?


CATS AND DOGS, LIVING TOGETHER! Mickey Kaus is saying nice things about The American Prospect! No, really. He is. See for yourself. I'm not making this up!

PATRICK RUFFINI has climbed on

PATRICK RUFFINI has climbed on the war-profiteer bandwagon. And his store also includes Condi Rice 2008 campaign merchandise! Collectible! Valuable! Soon to be imitated!


CORNEL WEST UPDATE: He's already being "disrespected" by his once and future colleagues at Princeton, five of whom refer to his remarks about Larry Summers as "highly inappropriate, indeed repugnant and intolerable."

Sorry Cornel: it may be that people are going to expect you to act like an adult wherever you go. Bummer, that.



It gets uglier. In the past when relations between the "two solitudes" have been tense, as happens from time to time, there are periodic episodes of hockey fans in English cities booing the French verses of "O Canada." There was one game in particular a few years ago, in Calgary I think, where some Canadiens players refused to go back out on the ice after. So Canadians boo their own national anthem too, though I'm not sure that excuses the Detroit fans I've been to a fair number of U.S.-Canada sporting events (baseball and hockey, on both sides of the border) over the years and can't remember it ever having happened, but I suspect it isn't that uncommon. Given that Detroit has a closer intimacy with Canada than any other American city (well, Buffalo), I suspect that there aren't any real hard feelings though. Imagine if individual cities in the U.S. had their own "civic anthems" that played before games. I suspect there would be plenty of booing then and nobody would think twice about; would that really be any better than doing it to another country, though?
I was brought up to believe that booing was generally rude. Of course, we didn't go to many hockey games, either.

UPDATE: Reader Tom Milway writes:

I'm in Montreal right now, and I am a huge hockey fan. Last night at the Molson Centre more than a few idiots booed the Star Spangled Banner. The same thing happened Sunday night in Vancouver, the same night that the Pistons fans booed O Canada. Classless behaviour in cities that benefit extraordinarily from American patronage.
Hmm. You think that sports fans are just idiots? No, that would be too harsh.

April 23, 2002

KEN LAYNE takes on the

KEN LAYNE takes on the evil puppet people. You know, Bert is still at large.

BRILL'S CONTENT from beyond the

BRILL'S CONTENT from beyond the grave. Well, sort of. Reader Eric Vetter writes:

With some embarrassment I admit that I was a subscriber to Brill's Content [back before I figured out that the Blogs did what he pretended to do...] Anyway, I got a copy of Mother Jones today stating that "The balance of your Brill's Content subscription has been transferred to Mother Jones Magazine." Need I say more?
That's quite odd.


HATE MAIL OF THE WEEK, this from Barbara J. Vaught, legal secretary:

You are despicable. Instead of calling yourself an out and out "liberal", you hide behind the shirt tales of the so-called "libertarian" party. Since you proudly boast that you are based on grounds of toleration (meaning tolerating anything and everything that morally prohibits) -- what I am curious to know, what are your views on world trade, Mr. Liberal Thinker?
Yeah, liberals, libertarians, they both start with the letter L and pretty much agree on everything.

And I think world trade is just dandy. "A McDonald's in every village, and 'Baywatch' in every language" is my motto. But not that lame Hawaiian version. I have some standards.

UPDATE: Reader Glen Hoffing savages me some more:

So liberal and libertarian both start with the letter L?

It is typical of you to downplay the connection.

As any half-wit moron can see, the FIRST FIVE LETTERS are identical.
Yeah, I'm busted. But I'll be back, spreading more of my liberal poison across the minds of America's impressionable weblog-reading community. Buwhahaha!

THERE'S A NEW SmarterHarper'sIndex up

THERE'S A NEW SmarterHarper'sIndex up for this month. The first couple of times I tried to log on, I got a "Server too busy" error, so I guess it's getting popular. . . .



I recently went to a Blackhawks game and some jerk behind us was constantly yelling "DETROIT SUCKS!"

Except the other team was Pittsburgh.

Don't think a lot of thought goes into this ...

Reader Matt Bruce sends this ESPN column by Mark Kreidler that makes a similar point.


RON BAILEY SAYS THAT Bill Kristol is wrong, very wrong in his predictions that genetic technology will lead to a Brave New World scenario:

As a consequence of this growing federal role, the government would necessarily be involved with setting standards and protocols for any new genetic technologies, including most especially interventions aimed at genetic enhancements. According to Kristol, cloning, even just therapeutic cloning to create perfect transplants, is further down the slippery slope where, when we reach the bottom, we will find that the Brave New World of government-mandated eugenics is inevitable. . . .

No one else appeared to notice the irony of Kristol’s analysis. Here was the man who is often credited with single-handedly stopping Clinton from nationalizing health care now declaring that free market medicine is doomed. Of course, Kristol might declare it doomed because such a declaration conveniently suits his political needs of the moment -- that is, bolstering his campaign to ban both therapeutic and reproductive cloning. In any case, instead of trying to stop potentially beneficial biomedical research because he fears what the government may do with it one day, Kristol should instead be redoubling his already successful efforts to make the government less powerful and less intrusive in the private choices of citizens.

What he said.

STEVEN CHAPMAN has a novel

STEVEN CHAPMAN has a novel proposal for nuclear disarmament. Watch out, Steve -- you'll have those violent "peace activists" after you!


NEW DEVELOPMENTS ON THE "PEACE ACTIVIST" FRONT, reported by Bill Herbert. Frankly, I think the Marines should take some lessons from these guys.

EUGENE VOLOKH has some interesting

EUGENE VOLOKH has some interesting statistics on education spending and class size today, versus education spending and class size in the 1960s.

TRES PRODUCERS has the explanation

TRES PRODUCERS has the explanation for NPR's conflicted views on Judaism.


NICK DENTON ANNOUNCES his middle east peace plan.

UPDATE: Rishawn Biddle comments. And scroll down to read Paul Craig Roberts' assessment of Rishawn.


ROBERT MUSIL SAYS THAT Kaus and Sullivan are wrong to write off Krugman. According to Musil, he's actually getting more balanced.


PEOPLE UNCLEAR ON THE CONCEPT: Just heard the father of Daniel Pearl's accused kidnapper on NPR. He said that his son was innocent -- and, in a rather threatening tone, that more things like that would happen if "the people who are persecuting muslims" don't stop their persecution.

Oh, yeah, I'm convinced of his innocence now.

FREDRIK NORMAN has an item

FREDRIK NORMAN has an item on more anti-Israel nonsense from Norwegian politicians -- and an email address for communicating your sentiments.

SPAIN appears to have arrested

SPAIN appears to have arrested another Al Qaeda guy. My sense is that Spain is cooperating rather well in the law-enforcement / intelligence side of the war.


OKAY THIS STORY MAKES ME REALLY MAD. I just found out about it from visiting some Canadian blogs -- if it's been covered in American media much, it must have been on the sports pages, which I generally don't read:

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - A crowd of American basketball fans booed O Canada last night before the Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors played Game 1 of their first-round NBA playoff series.

When the Canadian anthem was played before the tipoff, it was met with a steady stream of boos from the sold-out crowd.

Among the crowd in this Detroit suburb were several thousand Toronto fans, who were decked out in Raptors gear and waving Canadian flags.

When Toronto, which trailed through almost the entire game, put together a run of points toward the end of the first half, the crowd began chanting: "U.S.A., U.S.A.!"

The anger at Canada might have been fuelled by dismay at the Detroit Red Wings losing the first two games of their NHL playoff series against the Vancouver Canucks.

The guys who did this are world-class assholes, and completely unAmerican in my opinion.

UPDATE: Reader Javier Gonzalez writes:

Don't overreact. This goes on all the time. I go to hockey games here in Washington against Canadian teams and in the middle of their anthem some guy screams, "Canada sucks!", and everybody cheers. It goes on all the time and its only a sport. One is not really booing Canada, just trying to psyche out their players. I was reading the Pearl Jam message boards and a Canadian there made the comment that in the Vancouver game against Detroit, Vancouver fans booed the Star-Spangled Banner. I am sure you've got some readers from Vancouver or from any of the other six Canadian cities that have NHL teams. Ask them if they heard booing of the Star Spangled Banner at any of their games, particularly during playoff time (four of their teams are in the playoffs).
Uh, if you say so. It sounds pretty rotten to me, though. Maybe I'm just more sensitive to such things nowadays.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Jason Yoder writes:

This sort of thing does happen fairly often, in Canada as well. The shameful thing about the booing is that those of us in Detroit should know better. Most of us watch the Red Wing playoff games on the CBC affiliate in Windsor, which has been consistently running stories and news briefs about the Canadian Forces killed by US friendly fire in Afghanistan. What would normally be considered borderline rivalry behavior is now an insult, and will be gleefully portrayed as that by many Canadian media outlets.


MICKEY KAUS AND ANDREW SULLIVAN both think Paul Krugman has lost it, based on today's Bush-bashing column.


HERE'S STREAMING AUDIO/VIDEO of a panel at Harvard Law School dealing with terrorism, security, face-recognition, etc. The panel includes Dave Kopel, Gil Garcetti, Marc Rotenberg, etc. (Requires RealPlayer).


THE UNITED STATES wants to give five Canadian snipers the Bronze Star for valor in Afghanistan. The Canadian government demurs. Canadian reader Michael Homburger, who sent this link, comments:

This story is about two different types of Canadians. The first you might call average "Joe's", but I'm pretty sure they are far from average, who instill one with pride. The other a bunch of politicians acting in their typically--typical for Canada--nauseating fashion. I think someone once wrote about a "country of giants being ruled by pygmies", well that would certainly apply here. Wankers!
I've gotten a lot of email like this from Canadians lately.

CLUELESS: Jim Romenesko's MediaNews points

CLUELESS: Jim Romenesko's MediaNews points to an amusing story. A 4-year-old found what a newspaper reported to be a "conjoined toad", with two heads, 8 legs, etc.

Er, except that it turns out it was really two toads gettin' it on rather than an "exotic two-headed mutant." Well, duh. I mean look at the picture! "It's just very obvious," says a biologist quoted in the correction story. Er, yes, it is.

This might fool a 4-year-old, but it shouldn't fool a newspaper. Perhaps (as with the anti-gun prejudice mentioned just below) we should take this as evidence that modern journalists are leading lives that are a bit too, um, sheltered.

JONATHAN LAST discovers that people

JONATHAN LAST discovers that people who own guns aren't crazed killers after all! He seems slightly surprised.

It's not a bad piece, but when you read something like this in a major conservative publication, you realize that the anti-gun folks' efforts to demonize guns and gunowners have borne some fruit. I suspect that they would have been less successful if journalists today didn't come from such a comparatively narrow band of the socioeconomic spectrum. Not many BoBos hunt.

THE NOTE (which I would

THE NOTE (which I would visit a lot more if it had hyperlinks to the stories it discusses -- come on guys, get into the 21st century, or at least the late 20th!) raises questions about Al Gore:

Given the venue of his widely covered speech, we wonder how Gore's Tennessee fence-mending is going, and whether anyone is paying a pollster these days to test such a thing. And what do Volunteer Staters say in focus groups these days about their former Senator? And what will happen to Gore in 2003 if public polls show him still losing the state to Bush?
I haven't seen any polls, but I also haven't heard anyone in Tennessee Democratic politics speak of Gore with anything but disdain.

On the other hand, I've also seen not one, but two bumperstickers reading "NOT LAMAR." I have yet to see a single pro-Lamar Alexander sticker.

Actually, I think that's probably not an "on the other hand" at all: I think that both Al and Lamar are seen around here as has-beens in national politics who aren't all that popular with the voters at home, either.

ASPARAGIRL isn't pleased with Germany's

ASPARAGIRL isn't pleased with Germany's new approach to anti-semitic attacks -- encouraging Jews to avoid anything that looks distinctive.

JEFF JARVIS OBSERVES:We'll be watching


We'll be watching Robert Blake on trial on TV when what we should be watching is Zacarias Moussaoui on the tube -- not because it would be entertaining to see this bozo defending himself but because it would project the perfect -- that is, perfectly accurate -- image of Muslim fanatics as dangerous and demented and just plain stupid. This is why we should have cameras in all courtrooms, to let us see the truth.
Something to that.

And for something completely different, scroll down from this post to read the entertaining story of Jarvis's hatemail from Bill Cosby. No, really.


READER GEITNER SIMMONS has some thoughts on the French elections:

The French got their jollies last fall poking fun at our Electoral College; a woefully antique bit of political architecture, they argued. Now, however, I'd say Le Pen's second-place finish demonstrates the questionable construction of France's party system.

The French system permitted such a gross fragmenting of the national vote that the candidate of the Socialist Party, the country's dominant political organization, couldn't even make the traditional presidential runoff. Sure, Jospin bears much of the blame (as he, to his credit, admitted up-front after the results starting coming in). But it's hard to see how one can avoid pointing a finger at the folly of France's out-of-control multi-party system.

"Yes, but a multi-democratic system is more democratic! It better reflects the spectrum of views," answer the American left-liberals advocating for proportional representation and "cumulative voting." (A particularly illustrative example of that mindset is Lani Guinier's call for proportional representation and the end of winner-take-all elections in the March 13, 2001, edition of The American Prospect).

But it seems a real stretch to claim that a presidential runoff pitting Jacques Chirac vs. Le Pen can be called a matchup truly reflective of French sentiment. I'm unconvinced that Le Pen's positions on law and order represent the desire of some French "silent majority" for a crackdown on Arabs living in France's ghettoes.
Yes, a runoff between two guys who -- between them -- didn't get 40% of the vote makes claims that the 2000 U.S. Presidential election was "undemocratic" seem, well, trivial.

DR. FRANK weighs in on

DR. FRANK weighs in on British vs. American views of Israel, and on British leftists' disclaimers that what they're saying is anti-semitic:

Americans, reading the Guardian, Independent, or New Statesman, tend to find the hostility towards Israel and Jews fairly shocking, if not always actually anti-Semitic. The British lefties think such shock is misplaced. They maintain that Americans are too dumb to see the difference between true anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of Israel and its policies. . . .

Well, of course criticism of Israel's policies isn't the same thing as anti-Semitism; I don't know of anyone who has ever maintained that it is. But there's something about the sheer intensity of this hostility and determined ill will that gives pause. I suppose their ideology (broadly speaking, '68-era Marxism) requires that international conflict be understood in terms of a "sophisticated" analysis of the "underlying structure," a dichotomy of Oppressor vs. Oppressed in which the only decent thing is to side with The Oppressed and excoriate The Oppressor. . . .

In a way, the British Leftists have the same difficulty: they find America's lack of hostility towards Israel and the Jews to be utterly unfathomable, and can't account for it without recourse to conspiracy theories about Jewish control of the media or secret Jewish enclaves in the government. Those who point out that such rhetoric echoes the rhetoric of classic anti-Semitism and thus sounds a bit, well, anti-Semitic, are themselves alleged to be part of the Jewish conspiracy to silence legitimate criticism, which is not necessarily the same as anti-Semitism, etc.

The weird thing is, writers for publications like the New Statesman don't seem to have any clue that positing Jewish conspiracies isn't the most convincing way of establishing your bona fides where anti-Semitism is concerned. It sounds, at minimum, a bit "off" to us; it sounds just fine to them. "Come, come, my dear fellow! I say! I was merely stating the simple fact that the Jew lurks in the highest echelons of power and has a stranglehold on the American media, crushing dissent with merciless claws. What's all the fuss about?"

And why do Americans think this kind of "criticism" sounds anti-Semitic? Real answer: because it kind of does.

The post is much more sophisticated than these excerpts indicate. Read it.

ERIC OLSEN contrasts NPR's reporting

ERIC OLSEN contrasts NPR's reporting on the middle east with its ongoing series on Yiddish culture and diagnoses a split personality.


BELLESILES UPDATE: The History News Network has an edited version of my op-ed on the reviewers of Michael Bellesiles' Arming America and their widespread failure to acknowledge their error. I should note that since this originally appeared the Christian Science Monitor -- while not retracting its review yet -- has run a story on the issue. There's also a discussion (pretty critical of The Monitor and Bellesiles) on the CSM's Monitor Talk discussion board.


THE UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION IS ON THE JOB: "The U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva on Friday voted 23-21, with nine abstentions, to invite Cuba to extend greater civil and political rights to its citizens. It also exhorted Cuba to allow a U.N. representative to visit the island -- an idea officials here have rejected." Reader Sean Fitzpatrick wants to know who the 21, and the 9, are.

Who can vote against a resolution for greater civil and political rights? Oh, I have some idea. . . .


NICK DENTON AND MICHAEL LEDEEN agree that the European Left is in trouble. And they even seem to agree to a surprising extent on why. Denton:

French and German establishment politicians are just terrified of their voters. Given the historical record, you can't blame them. They're afraid of populism, because they don't know where it might lead. So they take refuge in the bland and bureaucratic. No wonder 7% [I think he means 17%] of French voters plumped for the huntin' and fishin' candidate. Say what you want about American politics - and I intend to - but US politicians are wonderfully responsive to popular concerns.
I didn't know Le Pen fished. (Insert obligatory frog-gigging joke here.) Meanwhile, from Michael Ledeen:
The suicidal behavior of the French left bespeaks a more profound crisis in the European left and the growing strength of center-right and outright right-wing parties and candidates across the continent. The failure to rally around a single candidate, and the parallel failure to turn out their own voters, shows the extent to which the French Socialists have lost both a compelling political vision for the country and the discipline required to be a winning organization.
UPDATE: Reader Neel Krishnaswami says I misunderstood -- Denton's not talking about Le Pen here:
He's talking about Jean Saint-Josse, of the "Hunting, Fishing and Tradition Party", who actually got 4.3% of the votes, not 7%. No, that's not a joke.
Yep, he's right, and I should have realized that. I guess it was the 7 that fooled me.


JAMES LILEKS WRITES THE EPITAPH for the anti-globalization movement:

Many of the people at the rally are just kids, and they have no idea what they’re talking about. It’s fun to go to Washington and chant. It’s fun to burn a flag, and it shows what a serious person you are. Serious, and brave! . . . But when the standard, predictable rebellion of pampered college youths becomes compatible with a group that doesn’t just want American changed but wants America dead, then we have a problem.

Or rather, they have a problem. They preach an end to war, but include in their number people who wish to destroy, violently, a democratic nation. They agitate against racism, but include in their number people who wish to exterminate the Jews of Israel. They rage against globalism, but support the work of terrorists who operate in every hemisphere. They are the useful fools who end up on the wrong side of concertina wire a year after the revolution; besotted by their communal self-regard, enchanted by the allure of the flame, they have thrown in their lot with the enemies of civilization. And this will be the death of their cause.

CORSAIR shares some observations based

CORSAIR shares some observations based on his experience as a military interrogator.


SUMMARY EXECUTIONS ON THE WEST BANK: Where's the outcry from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, or Mary Robinson over events like this?

Hours later, three bound Palestinians, apparently suspected informers for Israel, were found dead at the same spot where the car was hit.

Palestinian gunmen shot the suspected collaborators in the head, raising concerns of lawlessness in Palestinian controlled areas as Israeli forces withdraw from the West Bank.

Perhaps Arafat should be held accountable.

Or, if executions by death squads don't arouse the ire of Mary Robinson, perhaps Israel should form some of its own? After all, it's been savagely criticized for simply arresting Palestinians suspected of terror, while these acts of undeniable savagery go almost completely uncriticized simply because they don't (quite) bear the open imprimatur of government sponsorship.

You have to live with the incentive structures you create.

RUTH WISSE writes that it's

RUTH WISSE writes that it's okay to be anti-semitic at the UN. And always has been.

EUROPE'S DIRTY SECRET: Widespread governmental

EUROPE'S DIRTY SECRET: Widespread governmental corruption at the highest levels, corruption that nobody's willing to do anything about:

Political corruption is the disease that dares not speak its name. It has become so much a part of public life, in fact, that politicians of every stripe agree not to speak about it. “There’s this incomprehensible, scandalous silence,” says Arnaud Montebourg, a lonely critic in the French Parliament. The cost to taxpayers is incalculable. Corruption steals money from social programs and services. (Bribes, kickbacks and inflated pricing add 5 percent to 30 percent to the cost of public projects, according to various estimates.) It erodes public confidence in government and undermines the legitimacy of political parties and their leaders. Once it was hoped that a new generation of young leaders would emerge to challenge the old way of doing things, and along the way clean up public life. But in fact the problem is only getting worse. Public anger seems to be brewing, especially in Germany and France, where an increasingly disaffected electorate is turning apathetic and showing signs of abandoning the system.
Corruption happens anywhere, of course, but there's reason to believe that the more the government does, and the more it strays from subjects that people have some ability to oversee (like road-building, police protection, etc.) the worse it gets.

DAN HANSON has this exclusive

DAN HANSON has this exclusive report on the anti-Le Pen protests. It's getting ugly.

BILL HERBERT writes about Ted

BILL HERBERT writes about Ted Rall's figures on Afghan civilian casualties, which make Marc Herold look conservative, and his experience when he asked Rall for documentation. Hmm. Have you noticed you never see Ted Rall and Michael Bellesiles photographed together?


STEALTH LEGISLATION ALERT: About a year ago, Dave Kopel and I wrote about a dumb and unconstitutional effort by New Orleans' (then) U.S. Attorney and the Drug Enforcement Agency to shut down raves and other musical events by applying the federal "Crackhouse law." That was declared unconstitutional by the federal district court in New Orleans. But now there's a new bill in Congress, H. 3782, that's supposedly aimed at methamphetamine labs. Only it's really something else:

"Whoever knowingly promotes any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where a promoter knows or reasonably should know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed in violation of federal law or the law of the place where the event is held, shall be fined under Title 18, United States Code, or imprisoned for not more than nine years, or both."
This is dumb and unconstitutional, too, but that doesn't mean it won't cause a lot of trouble. It's being opposed by the Electronic Music Defense and Education Fund and by DanceSafe.

And, once again, it's legislation under false pretenses. Hey, here's an idea: let's hold members of Congress to the same kinds standards of disclosure about legislation, that they want to hold Enron to with regard to accounting! Book 'em Danno.

April 22, 2002

LE PEN UPDATE: Sasha Volokh

LE PEN UPDATE: Sasha Volokh says that the Le Pen election result doesn't really mean all that much.

Well, at the very least Jospin, who was rather nasty to the United States last fall, is out of the running, and I plan to milk that for whatever enjoyment it can provide.


CORNEL WEST UPDATE: The New Republic says good riddance:

What's lost on this career track of posturing and self-aggrandizement, of course, is any learned and original and rigorous contribution to human knowledge or human thought. In West's case, the omission is particularly tragic. The fragile discipline of African American Studies badly needs high standards and serious scholarship. Instead, one of its preeminent practitioners offers tossed-off books, rap CDs, and shallow public disputes over the respect due to him. Congratulations, Princeton. You have your public intellectual.


THE AMERICAN PROSPECT refers to my mention of the Jenin aerial photos and says that small areas of destruction don't prove the absence of a massacre: "For example, check out this aerial photo of Ground Zero. Gee, look at the rather small area actually destroyed. But of course, that misses the point entirely. A mass grave can be very small indeed." Well, yeah -- though that would be more persuasive if there had been, you know, skyscrapers standing there in Jenin beforehand. . . .

But I wasn't linking to the photos to disprove a massacre. (The fact that the Guardian/Observer is backpedaling should be far stronger evidence of that). Rather -- as I thought the post made clear -- I was pointing out that news and TV reports make it look as if all of Jenin was levelled, rather than a couple-of-blocks-square area in the refugee camp that is itself only part of the town. I mean, scroll down and read the post for yourself. Speaking of "missing the point."

Anyway, if you want Ground Zero analogies -- though those hardly seem appropriate for a lot of reasons that should be pretty damned obvious -- it's as if the media gave the impression that all of Manhattan, and perhaps the Outer Boroughs, had been completely wiped out on September 11.

UPDATE: Several readers write to note that it's not just the TV news folks, pointing out Jimmy Carter's misleading reference to "the recent destruction of Jenin and other villages," in his rather fatuous New York Times column from Sunday. The photos certainly disprove that claim, don't they? But Carter -- who seems to have gotten all his information from CNN -- certainly seems to have been deceived by the very phenomenon I describe above.


HERE'S AN ARTICLE on the new L.A. Newspaper that Matt Welch and Ken Layne are starting up. Sounds pretty cool to me.


THE INHABITANTS OF the part of Arabia currently ruled by the Saud family are calling for a boycott of American products. Big deal. The entire Arab world is a trivial market, because it's economically undeveloped and ruled by kleptocrats.



BOB BARTLEY says we need

BOB BARTLEY says we need to take European diplomats more seriously. He's right, I suppose, but they make it so hard!


INVESTING IN SAUDI ARABIA? Andrew Stuttaford says it's a bad idea:

Such a decision would also be bad business. "Saudi" Arabia is now on the edge of upheaval. Investing there makes about as much sense as buying railway bonds in the Russia of 1916.


ANTIGLOBALIST WILLIAM HAWKINS writes that antiglobalists are abandoning the antiglobalization movement because it has morphed into old-fashioned anti-Americanism:

Hundreds demonstrated outside the hotel where AIPAC was meeting, chanting '"Stop the killing, stop the crime, Israel out of Palestine" while holding up signs lauding the suicide bombers as "the poor man's F-16." The "peace" movement remains a misnomer. It's not "anti-war," it's just on the other side.

It is clear that the demonstrators were not really "anti-globalists" at all. There were calls for the "international community," the U.N., and even the ICC to curtail the actions of the United States and Israel. This is the old liberal-Left desire for the disarmament of Western nations and the empowerment of "world" institutions to reign over them in the name of the downtrodden elsewhere.

The shift from anti-globalism to anti-Americanism has cost the demonstrators more than just the sympathy of the USBIC. The AFL-CIO — which provided most of the clout in Seattle, has also distanced itself.

Yes, it's just the way certain folks split the Left back in the 1960s.

STILL WAITING: I still haven't

STILL WAITING: I still haven't seen Noam Chomsky or anyone else call Saddam Hussein a baby-killer for completely stopping the export of Iraqi oil, even though the United States has repeatedly been accused of murdering Iraqi children merely for limiting the amount of oil Iraq can export.

Have I missed it?


D.C.'S ANTIGLOBALIZATION PROTESTS: Exterminating the homeless? Decide for yourself.


TONGUE IN CHEEK? Hell, it's coming out of his ear!


THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY: You start something in the Blogosphere and it spreads quickly. Stephen Green set up his store last week. Now the Sarge has coffee mugs that reflect his own inimitable style.


EVERYBODY'S EMAILING ME this link to aerial photos of Jenin, showing the rather small area actually destroyed.

You can put this down to bias, but I also remember when some friends from New Orleans told me that a hurricane had knocked down exactly one (1) decent-sized tree in the whole city, but that that tree had appeared on every network news show that night as emblematic of the destruction.

See, they may not be biased at all. They may just always misrepresent the facts. . . .

DAVID CARR weighs in on

DAVID CARR weighs in on the Le Pen victory, and endorses the Mickey Kaus welfare-state/terrorism connection, adding:

But it isn't just the Napoleonic welfare-state which is to blame. The post-war political class was shot through with post-colonial guilt and haunted by the horrors of Nazi Germany to the extent where they saw 'European culture' as something which had to be curbed, repressed and, preferably, phased out. Europeans were required to open-ended 'tolerance' while immigrant communities were required to do quite the opposite. It was an appallingly misconceived and damaging bit of social engineering that may yet have terrible repercussions.
I suspect that Le Pen is getting some protest votes from people who don't like this.


MICHAEL BELLESILES UPDATE: Here is an article from Friday's Emory Wheel that says that Bellesiles' investigation has either moved to a second stage, or has cleared him, since nothing has been heard since the previously announced deadline has passed.

It's hard for me to see why they'd be staying mum, which they are, if Bellesiles had been cleared.

In the pot-and-kettle department, meanwhile, we have this passage from a recent book review written by Bellesiles:

As many scholars have recently noted, none so ably as Laura Kalman, legal historians have been stuck for too long in "law-office history," the process, in Reid's words, of "rummaging through history and picking out bits and pieces to sustain an argument about current law."
Of course, at least the "bits and pieces" that they cite are generally real, rather than fabricated.

DAVE KOPEL REPORTS that "Americans

DAVE KOPEL REPORTS that "Americans for Gun Safety" is still making the claim that terrorists are getting their guns from gun shows.

And, presumably, their box-cutters from boxcutter shows. Kopel has a monograph on the subject here. You see a piece of mine on this campaign here. Note that the Violence Policy Center has -- months after making the charge about Barrett Rifles -- finally provided some evidence, though it comes almost exclusively from anonymous sources, making its credibility rather dubious.


NOMINATIONS FOR THE BLOG BOOK have been posted. I think you'll see more diversity in the selections than some coder-types claim. I don't quite understand why they want to include the FoxNews item of mine that they've got there, though.


MATT WELCH SEES THE UPSIDE of the French elections.


IMMIGRATION AUCTIONS AND SOCIALIST SPORTS: All sorts of interesting stuff on the new weblog from Steve Kuhn.


IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT that you want to hear more from me than you already have, there's an interview with me here. It's not as funny as the Tim Blair interview, but then I'm not as funny as Tim Blair.

MICKEY KAUS is posting more

MICKEY KAUS is posting more often, and predictably enough it's driven his traffic up. He's now a threat to the Oxygen Network!


MY FOXNEWS COLUMN TODAY calls Bush a Fair-Weather Federalist for his stance against cloning:

Bush ran as a federalist, a respecter of the principles of limited government and enumerated powers that the Framers of our Constitution believed in. But in supporting federal legislation to ban cloning — even therapeutic cloning — Bush is revealing himself as a fair-weather federalist. Coupled with his recent decision to sign campaign finance "reform" legislation despite earlier statements that he regarded it as unconstitutional, this action is endangering Bush's trustworthiness on the very constitutional principles that got him elected. . . .

As President Bush himself said when he declared Constitution Week on last Sept. 17: "Our Republic would surely founder but for the faith and confidence that we collectively place in our Constitution. And it could not prosper without our diligent commitment to upholding the Constitution's original words and implementing its founding principles."

Among those principles, he acknowledged, was "the important and enduring constitutional principle of enumerated powers."

The principle of enumerated powers, which is a bedrock of federalism, recognizes that the federal government is not empowered to pass laws on every subject that may interest politicians. . . .

When the next election comes, people will be asking Bush, and other Republican office holders, whether they've been true to their principles, or whether they're just fair-weather federalists. At the moment, things aren't looking very good.

I'm guessing that Ramesh Ponnuru isn't going to like this.

HOWARD KURTZ has a story

HOWARD KURTZ has a story on weblogs in the Washington Post today. The ever-popular Asparagirl is quoted, along with Susanna Cornett and quite a few of the newest generation of bloggers.

April 21, 2002

I WISH that I had

I WISH that I had the money and leisure to travel around the country attending Blogger Bashes. Here's Asparagirl's description of last night's in New York, with links to lots of other people's posts.

HMM. This scenario, in which

HMM. This scenario, in which Jordan (good cop) winds up taking over the West Bank after Israel (bad cop) devastates the terrorist infrastructure that might be used to resist Jordan, continues to look plausible. Jordan's security services were quite capable of shutting down the Abu Nidal organization, but might have trouble with the large military structure that exists, er, existed, in the West Bank. The way is now pretty much clear -- and the United States and Israel could make sure (over likely, but impotent, objections from the EU) that all aid money directed to the West Bank must go through Jordan, not Arafat. Stay tuned. And keep an eye on what King Abdullah is doing, and who he's talking to.

ATLEE PARKS says that I'm

ATLEE PARKS says that I'm wrong about Le Pen. She says that (1) he's much worse than Pat Buchanan; and (2) he has a better chance of winning than I suggest below.


TO MARK THE DEMONSTRATIONS IN WASHINGTON, I've gotten breakfast from McDonald's two days in a row.


THE U.N. COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS won't be investigating Zimbabwe. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

UPDATE: Dan Hanson has gotten word of a major shakeup at the UNHRC that will let it live up to its full potential.

ANDREW STUTTAFORD blames the European

ANDREW STUTTAFORD blames the European Commission for the strong Le Pen showing. Meanwhile reader Thomas Lynn writes:

Mightn't the votes for Le Pen--a law and order and anti(Muslim)immigration candidate--be seen as a repudiation of the recent events there? I know the French right has strong antiSemitic and antiAmerican tendencies, but isn't it possible that in this case, that's not what we're seeing? I mean, if I were French, I might consider a vote for a law-and-order anti(Muslim)immigration candidate after the events of the last few weeks.
Hard to say. While Le Pen has something of a record of a holocaust-denier, he is more prominently anti-Arab (especially anti-Algerian) and anti-Muslim, so it may be driving that. His strong showing may also be a repudiation of Jospin's rather, er, accomodationist rhetoric regarding the Arabs. Or it may just be the result of Chirac having aimed most of his attacks at Jospin, rather than Le Pen.

UPDATE: Reader Don McGregor offers this comment:

The situation in France should be a lesson about what happens when certain ideas are shouted out of the public arena. France has a problem with unassimilated Arabs living in industrialized public housing on welfare (hi Mickey Kaus). The "polite" parties and the chattering classes forbid a realistic discussion of the problem, substituting instead a lot of happy talk. But the rest of the polity noticed that there was indeed a real problem, despite the happy talk; lacking any good political alternatives, they opted for the only alternatives that were offered them, which happened to be bad.
Well, I think it's certainly gotten some attention.

MATTHEW HOY doesn't much like

MATTHEW HOY doesn't much like Jimmy Carter's oped in the New York Times. He doesn't like Al Gore's much, either. His refutations, it appears, may be longer than the pieces he's attacking!

BELLESILES UPDATE: Linda Gorman writes

BELLESILES UPDATE: Linda Gorman writes in the Denver Post that books like Bellesiles' Arming America pose problems for librarians. Should they be labelled as untrue so as to avoid deceiving readers?


READER ANDREW THOMAS wonders what will happen if Le Pen is elected:

What I wonder is, will the EU-nuchs sanction France for its voters' temerity the way they did the Austrians for electing Joerg Haider some years ago? Le Pen is at least as objectionable to the EU-nuchs' delicate sensibilities.

Furthermore, does this event also portend other rightist victories in upcoming elections in Europe? Will Anzar, Berlusconi, and Orban finally get some company?

I think it's rather unlikely that Le Pen will be elected. But this is an excellent point -- I think it's hard to imagine the EU trying to erect a cordon sanitaire around France as it did with Austria. I do expect that European elections will shift to the right. What worries me -- as Howard Anglin puts it -- is "the ease with which many Frenchmen (not all, mind you) seem to swing from near-communism to near-nazism." But the Left's willingness to adhere to the enemies of the West is bound to cost it.


BRITISH SOLICITOR MARTIN PRATT sends these comments on what is happening in France:

I am living next door to a society in crisis. We have our problems in Britain, but these now seem to be paling into insignificance compared to what is going on over the Channel.


Another link.

The problem is not political in isolation, it is societal and cultural too. Synagogue burnings are not a European problem, they are a French problem. We in the UK have a large militant Muslim population, but only France seems to be suffering these attacks. While Britain is turning out frothy comedies like "Bridget Jones' Diary" and "About a Boy" the biggest French films of the moment are the charmingly titled "Fuck Me" and "The Pornographer". The best selling hardcover book in the UK last week was Last Man Down by New York firefighter Richard Picciotto, in France it was that idiotic Pentagon conspiracy theory. Where is the British Le Pen, the German Le Pen, the Spanish Le Pen? Only France seems hell for leather sprinting towards the right while prostituting its rich cultural life.

Sure racial tensions certainly do exist in Britain and in Germany, there were race riots in the Oldham and Burnley last summer, but such things happen many countries, including the US. But despite our (the UK's) large Muslim population and well documented radical mosques, Anti-Semitic attacks, if they have increased (and I have heard of no increase either statistically or anecdotally) are nowhere near France's league. Nor has there been a lurch by Germany to the far right, even in the deprived eastern Lander of Saxony.


In the meantime refugees are queuing up to get out of France and into Britain.


France is the sick man of Europe, there are no two ways about it. Having created the deeply structurally flawed EU in their image, they have the worst record in the Community for adherence to EU legislation. I agree with you Glenn that Europe does have a problem on its hands, but I don't think that problem is the EU, it is in fact France.

I hope this is true. One interesting question is whether the rest of Europe will follow France's lead, as they did with the EU for so long. I'm hoping not, but. . . .



LE PEN beats Jospin, nudges

LE PEN beats Jospin, nudges Chirac. I think it's easy to make too much of this, but imagine if, say, David Duke -- or maybe Pat Buchanan is a better analogy -- were polling this well in the United States.



which "monty python and the holy grail" character are you?

this quiz was made by colleen


YOU MAY HAVE NOTICED that I've been kinda busy this weekend, or at least you may have inferred that from my posting less than usual. My wife is out of town at a conference, so I've been single-parenting it the last few days. But you can go read TV Punditwatch for all your punditry needs this afternoon.

MICKEY KAUS, who has been

MICKEY KAUS, who has been on something of a roll lately, says that the Robert Blake case ties in surprisingly with the Gary Condit case. Interesting.

MATT WELCH gets mentioned in

MATT WELCH gets mentioned in this Omaha World-Herald editorial.


CORNEL WEST UPDATE: John McWhorter examines Cornel West's behavior and concludes that it reflects badly on black academics.

Prof. West is known for his lucrative career as a public speaker, and has recently recorded a rap CD and supported Al Sharpton's bid for the U.S. presidency. His decision to decamp to Princeton betrays tragic assumptions, of the sort that lead too many African-American leaders and thinkers to reinforce the very stereotypes they seek to exterminate. . . .

The simple fact is that serious academics are expected to produce a steady stream of academic work. Of course, Prof. West proudly identifies with the class of "activist scholars." As such, he likely sees it as morally urgent that he communicate with the general public. And there is not a thing wrong with this. But he attempts to maintain a foothold in the academic realm.

As McWhorter says, it's a "delicate balance." And it is. That's why I see Cornel West as a cautionary example for a lot of us.

To some degree, public opining is part of an academic's job. My Dean thinks I'm doing something worthwhile when I speak to the Maryville, Tennessee Kiwanis Club about constitutional law, or go talk about the Patriot Act before a bunch of alumni, because "public service" and "public education" are supposed to be part of our jobs. And to me, weblogs and op-eds are just the same thing writ large.

But of course, while doing that sort of thing is part of my job, it's not my whole job. I still teach my classes (without the aid of teaching assistants, which we don't use much in the law world) grade my exams (ditto on the absence of teaching assistants, and as Eugene Volokh says, that part sucks) and do actual scholarship. Producing one law-review article a year is considered quite productive in my field; I'll have two this year plus a short "Essay" piece that I wouldn't count as a full-scale publication, though some people do. I also put out the occasional CD (techno, not rap) but although I list it in the "other creative activity" section of my annual "Faculty Activities Report," I don't kid myself that it carries (or ought to carry) much weight in assessing what kind of a year I've had in terms of scholarship. And if I felt otherwise, I imagine that someone would point out the error to me.

The problem is that when you're a University Professor at Harvard, there's apparently nobody to do that pointing-out except the President of the University. And when Larry Summers did point out that West wasn't carrying his weight, West responded that he had been "disrespected," -- though, really, telling someone that they're capable of better and more substantive work than they're doing, and trying to halt their descent into self-parody, is respect, not disrespect.

GEOFFREY NUNBERG responds to critics

GEOFFREY NUNBERG responds to critics of his media bias survey from The American Prospect. Edward Boyd responds to the response and adds: "I don't want to make too much out of this, but I think that this incident is proof that blogging is having some impact on the debate. Nunberg specifically mentions four people in his response and two of us are bloggers. It's interesting that Nunberg devotes much more space responding to my blog than he does to Bernard Goldberg's columnn in the Miami Herald or Brent Bozell's Media Research Center."