Sometimes I read a columnist and I’m unsure as to why he still has a job. The columns are uninteresting, don’t make sense, or are often just dumb. Then I see a picture or read a brief biography and see that he’s been writing for a very long time and is now “an institution.” So he could mail in columns in pig latin and he’d still have a job for life.
One of those people is the Post’s Courland Milloy. His recent stuff borders on unreadable. But to mark his 30 years with the paper, the Post is running some of his old pieces on its website. The first one I read is from 1987, an excellent story about riding with his father and revisiting the racism of the pre-civil rights south. It’s interesting, thoughtful, and doesn’t contain the “but things are still awful!” charade many black writers put on when discussing the topic.
“Don’t be bitter,” Dad tells me when I seem to sulk and frown. “Remember, if my father had not been killed, I would never have gone to St. Louis, and never gone to Tuskegee. That means I never would have met your mother and become your daddy.”
I’m always mesmerized by this topic. The slender threads of history that weave together to create our present connect us to a lot of unseemly things in the past. My own family fled to America to avoid religious persecution in England and the carnage of Revolutionary France. My wife is here only because of Communist oppression and mass murder. We are happy in our lives, but we are the products of misery unimaginable to us. There’s an absolutely amazing chain of events that has led up to each one of us being where we are right now.
It’s an interesting subject, especially in a country of refugees like America, a good deal of which was built on the slavery of millions. It’s nice to see that Milloy once wrote interesting things about it before becoming the racial finger-wagger that he is today.
Apollo posted this at 12:39 PM CDT on Friday, June 30th, 2006 as Journalism, The Past Is Never Dead--It Isn't Even Past
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Given that they’re in Germany, you can’t blame the British for enjoying the beer:
In Nuremberg, organisers revealed 70,000 England fans who flooded the city drank 1.2MILLION pints of beer – an average of 17 pints each.
Astonished bar keeper Herrmann Murr said: “Never have I seen so many drink so much in such little time.”
His bar at a fans’ tent in the city ran out after they drained all 32 of his 50-litre (11 gallon) barrels.
Herr Murr calculated Britons were shifting beer at a staggering rate of 200 pints per minute.
City official Peter Murrmann said: “The English proved themselves world champs. They practically drank us dry.”
On the one hand, it’s amusing. On the other, Theodore Dalrymple is probably cringing.
Hubbard posted this at 12:35 PM CDT on Friday, June 30th, 2006 as Europa Universalis
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Last night there was a man killed just a couple blocks from my office at a place where I often shop, and a cabbie was robbed and shot a few blocks from my apartment. The guy who shot the cabbie then fled into a park that Dorothy and I frequent.
Apollo posted this at 11:40 AM CDT on Friday, June 30th, 2006 as Ourselves
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Hugh Hewitt is rightly appalled at the L.A. Times and the New York Times. A suggestion for punishing the papers, since I think most thinking people have already cancelled their subscriptions and read the papers online for free. Since newspapers make their money from advertisements, boycott any company that advertises in the Times two.
Hubbard posted this at 9:21 AM CDT on Friday, June 30th, 2006 as Global War on Terror, Journalism
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It seems like all you need to do to become a talking head these days is be outrageous and make crude jokes. Sloppy reasoning, wildly inexact metaphors, cringe-inducing historical analogies—that seems to be the way to rake in the bucks. With that in mind, I’ve decided to try my hand at some off the cuff thoughts as Ann Coulter would do it. Think I’m cut out for talking headom?
- Liberals are the root of all evil. They’d rather kill small children (NARAL Pro-Choice Anti-America) than test life-saving drugs on rats (PETA). Of course they’re nostalgic for the 90′s: our commander-in-chief was a rapist. Given the choice between a president who liberates women from burqas and one who literally puts them on their knees, liberals will bust out the kneepads every time. In fact, liberals see everything through a Clintonian prism. They look at terrorists—Osama bin Laden, Zarqawi, Saddam Hussein, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad—and see another Bill Clinton to whom they can play Monica Lewinsky. Once the terrorist is done with them, then maybe liberals can get jobs at the U.N.
- George Bush should take a leaf from Lyndon Johnson. During the 1964 presidential campaign, Lyndon Johnson had his Attorney General bug the campaign headquarters and campaign plane of Barry Goldwater; for good measure, his home phone and the home phones of aides were also bugged. Johnson saw Goldwater as a worthy adversary; today, the Democrats aren’t worth the trouble, but the treasonous New York Times is. Alberto Gonzales should train spy satellites on Manhattan, and see to it that the New York Post’s Page Six gets all the details about the affairs of Bill Keller, Frank Rich, et al. If the public has a right to know what the government’s doing, they have a right to know who the press is doing. Furthermore, the Justice Department should publish blueprints of the New York Times building so terrorists can bomb it more easily. That would be Justice; as a bonus, the Justice Department would be living up to its building’s namesake, LBJ Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
- We need a new round of McCarthyism, only this time we should do it right. The original version wasn’t all it was cracked up to be: there really were atheist, scumbag, treasonous commies in the state department, but they’re still there. This time around, we’ve got to follow through. We’ll start with everyone who reads the New York Times or the Washington Post—send ‘em straight to Club Gitmo. Anyone reading The Village Voice or The Nation will get a one-way ticket to Iran. Hopefully the mullahs will use them for firewood. But since you can’t trust Muslims to do anything right, liberals sent to Iran will probably survive doing what they do best: being brothel workers.
- What the hell are we doing letting all the Muslims worship as they please? When Pearl Harbor was bombed, that notorious conservative FDR locked up every Japanese person he could find in an internment camp until the war was safely won. We should be doing that to Muslims. We could put them in states nobody cares about, like Vermont.
- We Republicans need to stop apologizing for being Republicans. Trumpet the differences, and the right will win. Conservatives stand up for freedom, family, and faith. Liberals get on their knees for abortion, adultery, and appeasement.
Okay, I’m done now. It was pretty easy to do—although I felt a slight wrench in my soul—but if it rakes in the bucks, I think I can do it.
Hubbard posted this at 7:58 PM CDT on Thursday, June 29th, 2006 as Humor, Journalism
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There appears to be another travesty from Second Street today in the Hamdan case. If Congress strips the courts of jurisdiction but the courts just rule that they weren’t stripped of jurisdiction, then who’s in charge around here? Justice Scalia’s dissent regarding jurisdition stripping is devestating, and we should all be slack-jawed at this bit of judicial overreach. Of course, that would mean that we were surprised by the limitless power the Court believes it wields; and at this point, no one should be surprised by that.
Scalia is best, though, attacking the majority’s use of legislative history. This could apply to many, many cases:
The Court immediately goes on to discount numerous floor statements by the DTA’s sponsors that flatly contradict its view, because “those statements appear to have been inserted into the Congressional Record after the Senate debate.” Of course this observation, even if true, makes no difference unless one indulges the fantasy that Senate floor speeches are attended (like the Philippics of Demosthenes) by throngs of eager listeners, instead of being delivered (like Demosthenes’ practice sessions on the beach) alone into a vast emptiness. Whether the floor statements are spoken where no Senator hears, or written where no Senator reads, they represent at most the viewsof a single Senator.
My emphasis, because I really like that phrase. That’s how I see the Senate, with or without Senators present.
Regardless, I think there’s one thing and one thing only that should come from this case: Scalia + Thomas + Roberts + Alito = 4. Need. One. More.
Apollo posted this at 10:40 AM CDT on Thursday, June 29th, 2006 as I, For One, Welcome Our Judicial Overlords!
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Deborah Orin makes a shrewd observation:
Imagine the outrage, especially from the Left, if President Bush were to hire an Internet guru who had a past as a Web shill for a worthless dot-com stock.Nope, Bush hasn’t – but “un-Hillary” 2008 Democratic prospect Mark Warner did just that when he hired Jerome Armstrong and has no plans to fire him, despite new revelations about his past.
I once had some hopes that Warner would revive the Scoop Jackson-Joe Lieberman wing of the Democratic party. It’s looking like he’ll be Clintonism again: squishy and corrupt.
Hubbard posted this at 10:11 AM CDT on Thursday, June 29th, 2006 as Politics
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John Fund’s column from Monday mentioned this bit about John “You’re a chickenhawk if I say so” Murtha:
If Jack Murtha, a backroom operator who is blunder-prone when speaking publicly, is Democrats’ idea of fresh leadership, the party is in real trouble. Far from advancing the Democratic argument that Republicans have bred a “culture of corruption” while in power, Mr. Murtha’s leadership bid would open a Pandora’s box of questions about his own record.
In 1980, prosecutors named Mr. Murtha an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the Abscam scandal. The FBI captured him on tape saying he wasn’t interested in taking a $50,000 payment from agents posing as Arab sheiks “at this point,” but he was open to further discussions. The House Ethics Committee cleared him, but E. Barrett Prettyman, the committee’s special counsel for the Abscam probe, questioned the panel’s competence, likening it to “a misdemeanor court faced with a multiple murder.” Mr. Prettyman abruptly resigned his post the same afternoon the committee voted to clear Mr. Murtha. While Mr. Prettyman continues to refuse to discuss the case, he told Roll Call newspaper in 1990 that it would be “a logical conclusion” that he resigned over the committee’s exoneration of Mr. Murtha.
I was intrigued, but the 2006 Almanac of American Politics didn’t have any juicy details. Undeterred, I dug up my 1982 edition of the Almanac. From Murtha’s profile:
Murtha is best known to the general public as the one congressman who was named, by unidentified sources, as involved in the Abscam scandal, but who was never indicted. Why government officials leaked Murtha’s name is unclear, since even they admitted that there was never anything more than a “flimsy” case against him; their problem was that Murtha never took or agreed to take any money. He had in fact struck his colleagues as an honorable man and, until the scandal broke, had served on the House ethics committee.
I wonder if his previous service on the House ethics committee helped him out any? John Fund’s version seems very different from Barone’s; perhaps Fund has more details today than Barone did then. When Barone discusses the Pennsylvania delegation in general, we get this gem:
The Pennsylvania House delegation has not usually been an especially distinguished one. Not to put too fine a point upon it, it has often been considered, despite the presence of some talented men, as a collection of political hacks. To some extent that image simply reflects the nuts-and-bolts character of Pennsylvania politics. Constituents do not want philosopher kings, but representatives who can bring home the bacon. Nonetheless, there is a striking contrast with even a delegation like that of Illinois, whose politics are no less practical. Abscam resulted in the criminal convictions of two former Pennsylvania congressmen; both men, Michael Myers and Raymond Lederer, may be considered Frank Rizzo’s contribution to Congress, since the former Philadelphia law-and-order mayor more or less personally selected them both to run in 1976.
(The House delegation from Illinois then included future Senator Paul Simon, House Minority leader Bob Michel, future cabinet secretary Lynn Martin, Ways and Means chair Dan Rostenkowski, future Judiciary and International Relations chair Henry Hyde. A talented and colorful bunch.)
Hubbard posted this at 7:41 PM CDT on Wednesday, June 28th, 2006 as Politics, The Past Is Never Dead--It Isn't Even Past
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I haven’t paid much attention to the Virginia Senate race, since I will vote for Allen, but were I undecided, the Webb campaign’s use of the chickenhawk meme is so thoroughly disgusting that I will now be particularly happy to see him lose. Webb hadn’t taken a position on the flag-burning amendment (which seems awfully cautious for someone who’s campaign slogan is “Born Fighting”). Allen’s campaign called him on it, and when Webb said he opposed the amendment the Allen aparatchik compared Webb to John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, and Chuck Schumer. I consider that an insult, Webb’s campaign is pretending it’s the equivalent of calling him unpatriotic. Allen’s campaign might have said something more scurilous, but I missed it (and it doesn’t appear on The Hotline or the Allen website). This bit from the Webb press release, though, is infuriating:
Jarding continued, “The following is why George Felix Allen Jr. has not earned the right to challenge Jim Webb in his support of our Constitution and its free speech provisions:
–Jim Webb was first in this class of 243 at the Marine Corps Officer’s Basic School in Quantico, Virginia.
–Jim Webb served with the Fifth Marine Regiment in Vietnam, where as a rifle platoon and company commander in the infamous An Hoa Basin west of Danang.
–Jim Webb was awarded the Navy Cross, the Silver Star Medal, two Bronze Star Medals and two Purple Hearts while fighting in Vietnam.
–Jim Webb served as a platoon commander and as an instructor in tactics and weapons at Marine Corps Officer Candidates School.
–Jim Webb served in the US Congress as counsel to the House Committee on Veterans Affairs from 1977 to 1981, becoming the first Vietnam veteran to serve as a full committee counsel in the Congress.
–In 1982, Jim Webb first proposed, then led the fight for including an African American soldier in the memorial statue that now graces the Vietnam Veterans memorial on the National Mall.
–In 1984, Jim Webb was appointed the inaugural Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs, where he traveled extensively in, and worked closely with, our NATO allies. As Assistant Secretary, Webb directed considerable research and analysis of the U.S. military’s mobilization capabilities.
–In 1987, Jim Webb was appointed Secretary of the Navy becoming the first Naval Academy graduate in history to serve in the military and be appointed Secretary of the Navy.
–In addition to his wartime medals, Jim Webb has been awarded the following medals and citations:
-The Department of Defense distinguished Public Service Medal
-The Medal of Honor Society’s Patriot Award
-The American Legion National Commander’s Public Service Award
-The VFW’s Media Service Award
-The Marine Corps League’s Military Order of the Iron Mike Award
-The John Russell Leadership Award
-The Robert L. Denig Distinguished Service Award.
Allen “has not earned the right to challenge Jim Webb“! I wonder if I’ve earned the right to vote against him! Never have I seen such an anti-American sentiment expressed by a major party candidate. Even John Kerry, who’s still trying to pound it into our heads that he served in Vietnam, was subtle enough not to state anything this brazenly militarist. It’s so weird that it’s the leftist party of American politics that is pursuing this route to power, and it’s a demonstration of how week and flailing they are that they embrace a principle that could destroy the republic, but is more likely to destroy their own party. How it came to pass that the anti-war party in America came to openly advocate the notion that we should all prostrate ourselves before anyone who’s ever been in the military will be one of the more interesting histories of our time.
In the here and now, while I admit it’s interesting, a sentiment more appropriate than curiousity is revulsion. Jim Webb can bend over and I’ll shove those medals where they evidently belong.
Apollo posted this at 8:58 AM CDT on Wednesday, June 28th, 2006 as Amer-I-Can!, Politics
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Jay Nordlinger of NRO, Scott Johnson of Powerline, and Pamela from Atlas Shrugs interviewed John Bolton. The last link also has an audio file. Sounds like Bolton would be a good Secretary of State in the Giuliani administration.
Hubbard posted this at 8:49 AM CDT on Wednesday, June 28th, 2006 as Amer-I-Can!
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William Mattox brings odd news from way up north:
Finland, you see, will play host this weekend to the 11th annual World Championship of Wife-Carrying, a bizarre sports festival held in a country that loves peculiar competitions. (The Finns also hold annual contests in mosquito-killing, sand-skiing, beer-barrel rolling, and “air guitar” playing.)
In the wife-carrying competition, men physically transport their spouses over a grueling 831-foot obstacle course that includes log hurdles, hairpin curves, changing terrain, and a four-foot-deep pool of cold water. Husbands can haul their brides any way they wish–piggyback, fireman’s carry, over-the-transom style–but they are severely penalized if they drop their wives at any point.
After everyone has finished the course, the husband with the fastest time wins an array of prizes, including–get this–the equivalent of his wife’s weight in beer!
Is it marrying for the wrong reasons if you do it just to win that prize?
Hubbard posted this at 8:42 AM CDT on Wednesday, June 28th, 2006 as Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Humor, Random Bloggish Things
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In the Post’s coverage of the Israelis attacking Gaza, there’s a slideshow of images that is worth looking at. Pictures are sometimes worth a thousand words, but I think this slideshow, if you include the captions, really tells a lot of this story.
Of particular interest is picture 5 (I can’t link individual images). It shows a bunch of 12 year-olds piling sand bags, with the caption, “Palestinians prepare for an Israeli attack by piling sand near the Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday.” The image is worth looking at because it offers you a glimpse of a Palestinian “refugee camp.”
There are light poles, with powerlines. The buildings are of a permanent nature, all several stories high. There are billboards on the light pole, and off in the distance a building that looks like an upscale apartment building. I would not want to live in this place, but I’ve seen worse places in America. There is no reasonable person who would call this a “refugee camp.” Compare it to actual refugee camps, which were home to people who were actually running for their lives. The Palestinian “refugee camp” is more like the low-rent side of an American city.
For years I’ve been irked by the fact that Palestinians have been living in refugee camps instead of building cities in the half century since Israel was founded, that they’d rather whine than build lives for themselves. I now understand what the reality is, though. The reality is that they have built cities for themselves, but that the media still plays along in their little victimhood charade and refers to what are plainly permanent settlements as “refugee camps.”
Apollo posted this at 7:15 AM CDT on Wednesday, June 28th, 2006 as Arafatistan, Journalism
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For the anniversary of Stonewall, Joe Jervis dug up an old newpaper article regarding the Stonewall riots. It manages to be both funny and infuriating:
She sat there with her legs crossed, the lashes of her mascara-coated eyes beating like the wings of a hummingbird. She was angry. She was so upset she hadn’t bothered to shave. A day old stubble was beginning to push through the pancake makeup. She was a he. A queen of Christopher Street.
Last weekend the queens had turned commandos and stood bra strap to bra strap against an invasion of the helmeted Tactical Patrol Force. The elite police squad had shut down one of their private gay clubs, the Stonewall Inn at 57 Christopher St., in the heart of a three-block homosexual community in Greenwich Village. Queen Power reared its bleached blonde head in revolt. New York City experienced its first homosexual riot. “We may have lost the battle, sweets, but the war is far from over,” lisped an unofficial lady-in-waiting from the court of the Queens.
I suspect the author, Jerry Lisker, was a frustrated English major; who else would compare drag queens to madwomen of Chaillot?
Hubbard posted this at 10:14 AM CDT on Tuesday, June 27th, 2006 as Journalism, The Past Is Never Dead--It Isn't Even Past
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I hereby certify the rain in Washington to be Grade A Ridiculous. The parking garage in my office flooded (why it flooded last night instead of Sunday night when the rain was much, much worse is a mystery) and the water destroyed some part of the electrical grid, so now I’m working from home. It may be like this until Thursday or Friday.
Upside: This now means I’m working from a window office. Downside: The only thing I can see through my window is more rain.
Apollo posted this at 9:05 AM CDT on Tuesday, June 27th, 2006 as Ourselves
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Mona Charen is now blogging at NRO (which makes 10 blogs going there right now, I think). She explains why she’s conservative here:
Brian Lamb asked me in a recent interview how I came to be a conservative. As one sometimes does in these situations, I rambled on about my adolescent interest in the Holocaust, explaining that my immersion in the history of that period cured me of any romantic notions about people being basically good.
That was okay as far as it went (as a realistic appraisal of human nature — neither overly pessimistic nor unduly rosy is part of the wisdom of conservatism), but I should have added that reading and studying history impressed upon me how fragile civilization is. Civilizations do rise and fall. And I fear that our civilization — by far the most humane, just, and inspiring in the history of the world — can be undermined by those who fail to appreciate and guard it. That’s the essence of my conservatism: wanting to conserve our precious liberty, comfort, efficiency, and essential justice. I don’t believe, as I think most liberals do, that you can batter away at the roots of a society and expect the trunk and branches to continue bearing fruit.
I love Stan Evans’s bon mot about this: He has reminisced about moving to Washington in the 1960s. Paraphrase: “I was a young, brash Barry Goldwater conservative. But in the intervening years, I’ve matured and grown and moved steadily to the right.” I too have “grown” since coming to Washington. I’ve gotten more right wing dammit.
I’m looking forward to hearing more from her. She’s got a memory as long as Rhadamanthus when it comes to left-wing folly.
Hubbard posted this at 3:36 PM CDT on Monday, June 26th, 2006 as Conservatism, Philosophy, The Past Is Never Dead--It Isn't Even Past, Uncategorized
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