Best line of the day, from Scrappleface:
Seeing [Walter Mondale] campaign is like watching Nick at Nite.
Strutting and fretting in an insane world.
Best line of the day, from Scrappleface:
Mitt Romney is being attacked because he described his opponent's attacks on him "unbecoming." This is supposed to become a rallying point for feminists everywhere, despite the context. Why is it that people use sophistry like this, which no intelligent person would see any sense in? In any campaign, you need to energize your base to make sure they go vote, but the main object is to get the swing vote, and this kind of nonsense won't fool anyone but those true believers who want to be fooled.
From George Will's latest column:
An earnest American minority craves U.N. approval of U.S. military action against Iraq. This minority had no such craving when military action was against Serbia. Then NATO's approval was considered an adequate proxy for the United Nations'. Americans eager for U.N. approbation are really concerned not with all the 190 other U.N. members but with the European ones. And primarily those Western European nations that these earnest Americans visited using their Eurail passes when they were graduate students. Such as France.
Its great-power pretenses have been increasingly unconvincing since the Franco-Prussian war. Today it tries to use its anachronistic seat as a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council as a substitute for real geopolitical weight. But this is increasingly preposterous.
James Lileks has been blogging about other things than politics for the last few days. I had hoped to read his comments about the Democrats' behavior at Wellstone's memorial/rally/political ambush. But he kept mum.
Iraq is dangerous, but going it alone is dangerous, too.
Here he equates a nuke-armed Saddam with the consequences of deposing Saddam without a hall pass from France. They�re both
�Dangerous.� The first part, yes. That�s dangerous. The second part is �Dangerous� in the sense that Michael Jackson was �Bad.�
. . .
That's the belief that won Jimmy Carter the Nobel Peace Prize. That's the course that the first President Bush took in the gulf war. And that's where Paul Wellstone stood, and that's where I will stand in the United States Senate.
Meaning: �I�ll give France a veto over national security issues.� . . .
I get the picture. I get the idea. I read him loud and clear. He�ll fight for everything.
Except for actual fighting.
Hilarious! (The item headed: "Monday, October 28, 2002. List Me or Else.")
In Reasononline, Tim Cavanaugh covers the controversy over http://www.campus-watch.org/. My favorite line is "Like most debates, this one demonstrates the healthy futility of debate." He's right. I think Free Speech is way overrated when it only means continuous haranguing with the same thing everybody has already heard you say ad nauseum.
How about this for a conspiracy theory: Paul Wellstone sabotaged his own plane so that his death could be used to rally Dems everywhere to keep control of the Senate. It's no less stupid than the theory floating around that he was killed by the Bush administration or the Republicans.
I wonder if the behavior of the Democrats at Wellstone's memorial will prevent future showings of good will and tributes like this one. I hope that this farce will spur a backlash against the Dems, partly because, otherwise, it can only coarsen politics and campaigns and make the public more cynical about everything to do with government.
The focus on the U.N. resolution proposed by the Bush administration worries me. Do we really want to encourage this trend toward looking to the U.N. for permission for everything? Considering the U.N.'s record in dealing with brutality and genocide. Rwanda, Bosnia, etc., etc.
I really like this quote from John Rosenberg, linked by Instapundit, for its concise explication of the evil of postmodernism:
At the risk of oversimplification, on one side of the increasingly barbed cultural barricades are those who believe truth is whatever serves justice, i.e., women, minorities, critics of American foreign policy, gun control. Thus Wiener returns over and over to "[t]he political implications" of Bellesiles' book. "The Second Amendment," he says it suggests, "was not adopted to protect the widespread ownership or popularity of guns ... it undermines the NRA's picture of a citizen militia (rather than a national army) as the bulwark of American freedom" etc. And he closes his article with the following dark warning:
But the campaign against Bellesiles has demonstrated one indisputable fact: Historians whose work challenges powerful political interests like the NRA better make sure all their footnotes are correct before they go to press.
On the other side of the cultural divide are those still dedicated to an older "correspondence theory" of truth as reflecting, however imperfectly, some objective even if not completely knowable reality. They are indifferent to, or at least not transfixed by, the "political implications" of the work and more concerned with the book's basic honesty and whether the history profession relaxes its professed standards for politically correct interpretations.
Here's a glimpse inside the Moscow theater. It contains the following:
Mark Podlesny, an actor in the show, who had been on stage when the Chechens took over the theater, said the hostages had seen and heard some of the television and radio coverage of the siege, which he said wrongly reported that hostages were being beaten. "Considering the situation, we were treated relatively well," Podlesny said.
The two young women hostages said the same. Both also said that they had talked to the Chechen women who guarded them.
"They all said that the best religion in the world is Islam and that ours is wrong, that 'We have come here to die, we've nothing to lose," Salina said. "They told us about the war in Chechnya, that they've had somebody killed, a mother, a brother, a son, in front of their eyes and they were so tired of all that, that they are used to hunger and cold, to living without food and sleep.
"The most interesting is that we did not hate them, we felt sorry for them. I felt sorry for them. Maybe it is not normal."
James Taranto of Best of the Web writes, "This must be the goal of the war on terror: to tame Islam, to force it to make its peace with civilization," at the end of a post about a new moderate Islamic party in Turkey.
In the eight years that they have wrestled over control of Chechnya, the Russian government and Chechen rebels have descended ever deeper into a hellhole of brutish behavior. The two sides reached a new low over the weekend in their deadly showdown at a crowded Moscow theater . . .
Here in Utah . . .
As always, Lileks says it best: "The Wellstone legacy turns out to be no more than a seat marked D."
There is something viscerally repugnant about the use of gas as a weapon, nonlethal or otherwise. One thinks of gas in the context of World War I, the Holocaust, and the Kurds at Halabja. At base, gas is frightening.Why do we use tear gas and pepper spray? Because it avoids injuries both to the cops and to the rioters. The trick is finding one that instantly disables them, but doesn't kill. I assume that our researchers haven't found that yet.
Apparently Fritz Mondale will replace Paul Wellstone as candidate for Minnesota senator. So we'll have him and Frank Lautenberg, both in their 70's. After watching a profile of Strom Thurmond on 60 Minutes, I wondered if the Democrats had decided to imitate the Republicans by nominating candidates with one foot in the grave.