I am ever glad I’m finished with college.
HANOVER, New Hampshire (AP) — Dartmouth College has been repeatedly roiled in recent weeks over the way some students are treating the very people the school was founded to help: American Indians.
More than 500 students, faculty and administrators rallied in support of the American Indian community on Wednesday, a day after The Dartmouth Review published on its front page a picture of an Indian warrior brandishing a scalp with the headline, “The Natives are Getting Restless!”
“Like an open wound, Dartmouth is hurting — we have all been insulted,” college president James Wright told the crowd gathered before Dartmouth Hall.
Some carried signs reading “Stop Hate Speech,” “Civil Discourse” and “Standing Against Racism.” A few carried umbrellas pasted with signs reading “Unity.”
The Dartmouth Review, an independent conservative student newspaper, is not affiliated with the Ivy League college and has had a sometimes adversarial relationship with minority students.
Students said the paper’s latest issue, ridiculing Native American students’ complaints about a string of incidents seen as racist, was the trigger for the demonstration, held on the last day of classes before exams.
Tom posted this at 8:19 PM CDT on Thursday, November 30th, 2006 as Edjamacation, Excruciatingly Correct Behavior
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Mark Steyn’s obituaries. Each month when The Atlantic arrives, I think, “Oh boy! Who died?” This month, about Orianna Fallaci, begins:
“You go fuck yourself,” said Oriana Fallaci to no one in particular, in a recent profile. “I say what I want.”
And she did. Latterly, she said what she wanted about Islam, on which subject most of us feel constrained to be more, ah, circumspect. And what she wanted to say to Islam boiled down pretty much to “Go fuck yourself.” She scorned Muslims for their habits of reproduction, of evacuation, of female genital mutilation. She developed obsessions both arcane—who really invented sherbet (the ancient Romans, not the “sons of Allah”)—and unhealthy, if not psychologically then certainly actuarially: What’s the deal with Muhammad’s nine-year-old wife? Who sodomized whom at Mehmet II’s big shindig to mark the fall of Constantinople in 1453? These are areas over which more discreet scholars prefer to draw a veil, if not the full burka. In The Rage and the Pride (2002), she dwelt upon the hitherto-neglected topic of micturition among Somali Muslims in Florence’s Cathedral Square, whom she accused of leaving “yellow streaks of urine that profaned the millenary marbles of the Baptistery: “Good Heavens! They really take long shots, these sons of Allah! How could they succeed in hitting so well that target protected by a balcony and more than two yards distant from their urinary apparatus?”
Rendered in what she called “the odd- ities of Fallaci’s English,” this is splendidly offensive and gloriously rude. But it is also, as my colleague Christopher Hitchens dismissed Signora Fallaci in these pages, “a sort of primer in how not to write about Islam.” One sees his point. Long before the first Muslim convenience store opened in a British city, the “gents” in every rural pub had a streaked wall over the urinals, boasting unfeasible high-tide marks crayoned on the plaster, at impressive distance from the “urinary apparatus.” A few years back, during a long bus trip for Major League Baseball owners, the driver was obliged to make a roadside stop for Gene Autry to relieve himself; as the old singing cowboy reboarded, George W. Bush congratulated him on his “great spray.” The “long shots” of the sons of Allah is thus not the firmest ground on which to defend Western civilization.
Enjoy the whole thing.
Hubbard posted this at 3:36 PM CDT on Thursday, November 30th, 2006 as Excruciatingly Correct Behavior
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I like Deroy Murdock’s piece today about Giulianni, in which he concludes: “With the polls showing him ahead and the conventional wisdom dismissing his prospects, Rudolph W. Giuliani has achieved the impossible: He’s a front-running underdog.”
I also like Giulianni. I think he provides us a rare chance to have a truly great president, and I think he’s the only one in the field so far who does. Rick Brookhiser has pointed out that he is far and away the most accomplished candidate we will have in ’08 (Gingrich is accomplished certainly, but his great accomplishments were legislative; when it came down to his executivish functions, namely being a national spokesman, he proved not as accomplished). Having read about the turnaround Giulianni did in New York, a conservative cannot help but be impressed. From a previous Murdock piece:
Giuliani chopped overall crime 57 percent, slashed homicide 65 percent, graduated 649,895 New Yorkers (58.4 percent of relief recipients) from welfare to work, curbed or abolished 23 taxes, sliced the tax burden by $8 billion or 18.9 percent of personal income, halted racial and gender quotas in contracting, delivered 25,637 children from foster care to adoption, privatized some 23,000 apartments from bureaucratic control to individual and family ownership, and financed charter schools while fighting for vouchers. Some liberal.
That’s the sort of conservative reformer we need. His stance on gun control is not good, but the NRA has done such a magnificent job of taking that issue off of the table that I don’t think President James Brady could get the assault weapons ban passed again, much less more intrusive controls. Compare that to McCain’s animosity toward the first amendment and those damned citizens who want to air their political speech on television. There’s no first amendment equivalent to the NRA, and, as McCain-Feingold showed us, with proper demagaugery there’s a majority of Congress more than willing to vote away our first amendment freedoms. Moreover, Giulianni knows his stance on gun control is unpopular and will not run on it. With McCain, the day he beat up the first amendment was the proudest day of his political life, and he is constantly talking about going further with campaign finance “reform.”
Same-sex marriage/civil unions is not a presidential issue. Ditto abortion. On these issues, there is only one phrase I care about: “Judges in the mold of Scalia and Thomas.” He’s supposedly an open borders type, but so long as he says he’ll actually enforce present border laws, that’s all that matters for now. And he’d certainly be no worse than Sen. Amnesty or Jorge Arbusto.
I think a lot of the common wisdom that Giuliani will falter in the primary is based on the elite media notion that Republican primary voters are a bunch of hayseed hicks who can’t follow a politician’s position past the fourth syllable. That might be true, but, having known a few Republicans, I’ve serious doubts about it.
Apollo posted this at 3:24 PM CDT on Thursday, November 30th, 2006 as Politics
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Me on Jim Webb yesterday:
Here’s a story about Jim Webb, my new senator, being an ass. Anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to the election knew that he would behave like a perfect boor once he got to Washington.
George Will on Jim Webb today:
Webb certainly has conveyed what he is: a boor.
I say Webb’s an ass who behaves like a boor, Will just says he’s a boor. I’m willing to let the difference slide because the rest of the column is so incredibly in tune with my own thoughts that I should probably add a second layer of tin foil to my hat, because one layer’s not enough to keep George Will from reading my mind.
See, for example, this take down of Webb, and Will’s careful use of italics to make it a take down of the whole senate:
“But Jim Webb, Democratic senator-elect from Virginia, has become a pompous poseur and an abuser of the English language before actually becoming a senator.”
Then there’s Will’s snarky analysis of Webb’s writing in the WSJ, which is so good that I will only exerpt this portion: “Earth to Webb: Words have meanings that not even senators can alter.”
Read the whole thing. It’s a great column, and I only say that because, were it not for Will’s obviously superior writing, it reads like something I might have written.
Apollo posted this at 11:38 AM CDT on Thursday, November 30th, 2006 as Politics and the English Language
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Different dollar bill sizes for blind people:
A federal judge ruled yesterday that the Treasury Department must change currencies — potentially changing the size, shape or feel of each denomination — so blind people can use them.
U.S. District Judge James Robertson said that by making different denominations of bills the same size and shape, the government has violated the Rehabilitation Act and denied blind people a way to use money.
The judge did not provide a solution, but ordered Treasury to find one.
I’m not opposed to this change, but the judicial imperialism grates. I guess judges are the new legislators.
Hubbard posted this at 10:09 AM CDT on Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 as I, For One, Welcome Our Judicial Overlords!
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Here’s a story about Jim Webb, my new senator, being an ass. Anyone paying the slightest bit of attention to the election knew that he would behave like a perfect boor once he got to Washington. His campaign motto was “Born Fightin’,” but since he campaigned on abandoning Iraq, one could only surmise he meant that he was “Born Fightin’ Republicans.”
Best line from the story, though, is Webb’s attempt to rival John Kerry in gratuitous dropping of the “Did you know that I served in Vietnam?” line:
Webb said he has “strong ideas,” but he also insisted that — as a former Marine in Vietnam — he knows how to work in a place such as the Senate, where being part of a team is important.
Next up in the series, no doubt, will be Jim Webb referring to the newly elected Democrat senators as his “band of brothers.”
Apollo posted this at 10:00 AM CDT on Wednesday, November 29th, 2006 as Politics
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It looks like she passed:
Representative Alcee Hastings, who lost his federal judgeship almost two decades ago after being impeached, said he wasn’t chosen to become chairman of the House intelligence committee.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi had considered Hastings, a seven-term lawmaker from Florida, to take over the post when Democrats gain control of Congress in January.
After Hastings met today with Pelosi, he issued a written statement saying he was told he wasn’t picked for the post and is “disappointed with this decision.” He said the next chairman will have his “full support.”
Committee members have access to classified intelligence and the chairman has a key platform to publicly critique or support the Bush administration’s policies in the fight against terrorism and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Pelosi said in a statement that while she “would select someone else,” Hastings “has served our country well, and I have full confidence that he will continue to do so.”
Pelosi is still considering other candidates for the chairman’s job, including Representative Silvestre Reyes of Texas, Norman Dicks of Washington, Rush Holt of New Jersey and Sanford Bishop of Georgia, according to a Democratic aide who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
I hadn’t been sure she’d do the right thing. The Bloomberg article continues:
Pelosi decided not to consider Representative Jane Harman, a California lawmaker who’s the intelligence panel’s senior Democrat, to head the committee, a Democratic aide said, making Hastings, who has second-most seniority, a top candidate.
Too bad, TNR.
Hubbard posted this at 10:33 PM CDT on Tuesday, November 28th, 2006 as Politics
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“Who was that?” I asked the receptionist as some strangers walked by.
She replied: “If I tried to keep up with all the lunatics around here, I’d never get anything done.”
Hubbard posted this at 5:04 PM CDT on Tuesday, November 28th, 2006 as Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Vignettes
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Quinnipiac released a poll showing the postive ratings of various politicians. Check out the list (the number in parentheses is the percentage of people who don’t know enough to have an opinion):
- Rudolph Giuliani – 64.2. (9)
- Sen. Barack Obama 58.8 (41)
- Sen. John McCain 57.7 (12)
- Condoleezza Rice – 56.1 (7)
- Bill Clinton – 55.8 (1)
- Sen. Joseph Lieberman – 52.7 (16)
- NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg – 51.1 (44)
- John Edwards – 49.9 (20)
- Sen. Hillary Clinton – 49 (1)
- N.M. Gov. Bill Richardson – 47.7 (65)
- Sen. Joseph Biden 47 (52)
- Nancy Pelosi 46.9 (34)
- Gov. Mitt Romney – 45.9 (64)
- Former VP Al Gore – 44.9 (3)
- President George Bush – 43.8 (1)
- Sen. Evan Bayh – 43.3 (75)
- Newt Gingrich – 42 (15)
- Sen. Bill Frist – 41.5 (53)
- Sen. Harry Reid – 41.2 (61)
- Sen. John Kerry – 39.6 (5)
Most people might see this and speculate on the ’08 race. I look at this, at a time when the president’s approval ratings are fairly low, when confidence in the war effort has crashed, when the opposition party has just won a pretty big election victory, and I see that, for all of the president’s problems and the rebuke of congresional Republicans, John Kerry is still less popular. The president has an excuse: He’s doing stuff that people don’t like. John Kerry’s not doing a damned thing, people just don’t like him.
Least. Likeable. Candidate. Ever.
Apollo posted this at 8:49 AM CDT on Tuesday, November 28th, 2006 as Politics
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Leo Strauss observed that as storm clouds gathered over Europe in the 1930′s, there was a complete failure of modern political science to descibe the nature of tyranny and to deal with a tyrant. He advocated a return to the ancients, whose wisdom we have yet to surpass. If anything, in the last fifty years political science has become more insular and useless in the face of real world threats. George Bush can enunciate that the problem we face is essentially one of combating tyranny, but has so far failed to take the sort of aggressive and bloody steps required to combat that tyranny, and no one in the respected academy is advocating that he now do so. Political scientists have again abandoned the field, in a distressing move that leaves journalists as the public intellectuals of our day.
I thought of this while reading this discussion of people labeling the violence in Iraq a “civil war.” The discussion links to the writings of one professor (from a college near Boston, no less), who lists six criteria of civil war. She argues that the criteria show that Iraq has been in a state of civil war for a few years now; I think the criteria show the sort of tedious list-making and test-writing that unfortunately dominates much of political science, and ultimately shows the futility of arguing about whether this is or isn’t a “civil war.”
- Q. Is the focus of the war control over which group governs the political unit?
- Q. Are there at least two groups of organized combatants?
- Q. Is the state one of the combatants?
- Q. Are there at least 1,000 battle deaths per year on average?
- Q. Is the ratio of total deaths at least 95 percent to 5 percent? In other words, has the stronger side suffered at least 5 percent of the casualties?
- Q. Is the war occurring within the boundaries of an internationally recognized state or entity?
She says that the sixth one is the criteria that rules out wars between sovereign states. But how effective is it? From 1941-1944, the Germans fought the Soviets entirely within the boundaraies of the Soviet Union. The Germans were certainly (1) fighting over who controlled the state, (2) one of two very well organized combatants, (3) fighting against the existing state, (4) killing well over 1,000 people per year, and (5) suffering more than 1 out of every 20 total casualties. The fighting only moved into Germany during the final year of the war, but had the Germans not suffered a few setbacks and instead rolled straight through Moscow, that certainly would have met the sixth requirement. In the West, the German invasion of France took place entirely inside France,and ended in in France remaining a sovereign nation with a different faction in power (Petain in Vichy). Certainly this meets her criteria of civil war.
Yet no one in their right mind would consider these civil wars. Moreover, the nature of 6 is inherently arbitrary. Would the American civil war have ceased being a civil war the minute Great Britain recognized the South? Both North and South Vietnam were internationally recognized nations, and there was fighting in both, yet I think most people would agree the Vietnamese war was a civil war, and indeed this professor lists it as an exmple of a civil war. Interestingly, she lists the Red Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 as well.
Political science cannot give an accurate definition of civil war because there’s no scientifically sound definition of “civil war” the way there’s a scientifically sound definition of “housefly” or “yam.” What good, in terms of decision-making, is a definition of civil war that includes Korea, Vietnam, Rwanda, the Romanian Revolution, the invasion of Tibet, and Iraq? What can we learn from the invasion of Tibet that will help us understand Iraq? Yet still, even with a definition so broad as to make it useless, she can’t make a definition that’s airtight in describing what we consider civil war. Whether we call it a civil war changes the situation not one iota; reality does not very much care what we think or how we label it. As a professor of mine liked to point out, an act is not courageous because we label it courageous, rather there is something about the act that compels us to so label it. A civil war is a war caused by the collapse of a political community; we know it when we see it.
But let’s look at Vietnam and Korea, where Americans were deeply involved in alleged civil wars. In Korea, we slogged it out to a stalemate rather than provoke a larger war or abandon the peninsula to the Communists. in Vietnam, we abandoned the pensinsula to the Communists because we did not have the stomach to slog it out. In the latter, there were a million people killed by the Communist government after we abandoned the South Vietnamese, and millions more threw themselves to the mercy of the sea rather than live in “peace.” In the former, there’s been an uneasy truce that has allowed us to nurture one of the freest, most prosperous nations on earth. If anyone says this definition of “civil war” argues for us abandoning the Iraqis, that person is a coward, a fool, or a villain, but at any rate is wrong.
In civil war, the most important word is not civil, but war. Every war in the history of mankind has ended only when one sided believed that it no longer benefited from fighting. Sometimes it takes an awful lot to convince a people to quit fighting (Caesar in Gaul); other times, it takes not quite so much (Hitler in Gaul). But whether the war is civil or international, only when people sufficiently believe they are made worse by continued fighting does a war end. The answer to quelling a civil war was once summed up in two sentences:
Cesare Borgia was held to be cruel; nonetheless his cruelty restored the Romagna, united it, and reduced it to peace and to faith. If one considers this well, one will see that he was much more merciful than the Florentine people, who so as to escape a name for cruelty, allowed Pistoia to be destroyed [by civil strife].
Whether the war in Iraq is a “civil” war or no, I do not care. It is exactly like every other war ever fought: we will not win unless we use overwhelming violence. Perhaps if political scientists would return to a study of human nature rather than spending their time creating 6-criteria tests of semantical fineries, this truth would be more widely recognized.
Apollo posted this at 7:56 PM CDT on Monday, November 27th, 2006 as Iraq, Philosophy
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Watching the History channel, and I see this guy:
I hope that if I’m ever interviewed for a documentary, I remember to buy a pack of smokes before the filming starts. And grow a fu man chu.
Apollo posted this at 11:45 PM CDT on Sunday, November 26th, 2006 as Uncategorized
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Since Thanksgiving, I’ve seen several ads here advertising Virginia Lottery tickets for presents.
I’m not going to go so far as to call scratchers tickets the absolute worst Christmas present ever, but it’s hard to come up with a worse sentiment than, “I could have given you money but decided to use the government as a middle man; if you’re lucky, you’ll get 60% of the value I paid for that paper.”
Honestly, I’d get more enjoyment from watching someone burn money.
Apollo posted this at 11:05 PM CDT on Sunday, November 26th, 2006 as Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!
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A scrooge asks:
I’d still like to know how much this cost the taxpayers, and what, exactly, anyone hoped to get out of it.
It seems odd to pardon a turkey. The turkey is neither cute like an Easter lamb, nor intelligent like the Christmas ham. Turkeys manage a double play of being ugly and stupid, so dumb they don’t have the brains to sit down when they lay eggs (a special carpet had to be developed to spare the eggs that domesticated turkeys fire away). Yet we have a tradition of pardoning the turkey, this undeserving bird. Why?
Perhaps we pardon them because they are undeserving. Pardoning animals at every holiday might be an ironic overkill, but one pardon a year prevents diminishing marginal utility. That literal turkeys are pardoned means that perhaps there’ll be mercy for all of us metaphorical turkeys. Perhaps, like the original Scrooge, the Thanksgiving scrooge will find out what he’s been missing.
Hubbard posted this at 6:33 PM CDT on Sunday, November 26th, 2006 as I don't know--but it's a Tradition, Random Bloggish Things
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Jeffrey Hart has a blistering critique of President Bush over at The American Conservative (H/T). Money quote:
Is Bush a conservative? Of course not. When all the evidence is in, I think historians will agree with Princeton’s Sean Wilentz, who wrote a carefully argued article judging Bush to have been the worst president in American history. The problem is that he is generally called a conservative, perhaps because he obviously is not a liberal. It may be that Bush, in the magnitude of his failure, defies conventional categories. But the word “conservative” deserves to be rescued. Against the misconception that Bush is a conservative, and appealing to Burke, all of our analytical energies must be brought to bear. I hope I have made a beginning here.
I think it’s too early to declare Bush a failure, but Hart is right that Bush isn’t a conservative in foreign policy. A right-wing utopian, perhaps?
Hubbard posted this at 11:45 PM CDT on Saturday, November 25th, 2006 as Conservatism, George Bush Sucks!
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“God made sun and moon to distinguish the season, and day and night, and we cannot have the fruits of the earth but in their seasons; but God hath made no decree to distinguish the seasons of his mercies; in paradise the fruits were ripe the first minute . . .
In heaven it is always autumn, God’s mercies are ever at their maturity.
God never says, you should have come yesterday; he never says, you must come again tomorrow. But today, if you will hear God’s voice, today, God will hear you.
God brought light out of darkness, not out of lesser light; He can bring thy summer out of winter, though thou have no spring. All occasions invite God’s mercies, and all times are God’s seasons. Amen.”
Hubbard posted this at 11:19 PM CDT on Thursday, November 23rd, 2006 as Grace
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