We are fond of our categories here at Federalist Paupers, but we do fight over them at times. The Hitch-Slapped! one, for example, was originally called When I grow up I want to be Christopher Hitchens. We made the name change for two reasons: first, that the new one was shorter and punnier; second, that of all the sins Hitchens is guilty of, growing up isn’t one of them.
Theodore Dalrymple wrote a dual review of Christopher and Peter Hitchens’s memoirs. It’s painfully accurate about Chris’s strengths and flaws:
For me, indeed, there hangs over his writing the air of a clever adolescent alarming the less clever grown-ups with pronouncements he knows they will find outrageous or annoying; and, taking to heart his mother’s dictum that the one unforgivable sin is to be boring, he has eschewed moderation because it is so rarely amusing. This air of the naughty boy is present even when (in my opinion) he is quite right; and, unlike religion, it spoils everything.
Tonight on FoxNews, Sean Hannity will tell McCarthy what a wonderful book he’s written and imply something even more inflammatory than what McCarthy wrote. McCarthy will not exactly endorse this, but he’ll smile and let it slide.
In a post on the Corner, McCarthy will thank Hannity for being such a great host — and a Great American! — and complain that the Establishment Media is ignoring him.
After the book begins selling, McCarthy will be invited on various talking heads shows, possibly The Daily Show.
When Jon Stewart confronts him about the book’s subtitle title, McCarthy will emphatically deny its plain meaning. In fact, he’ll be a little hurt that Jon would think that’s what he meant.
Fellow Cornerites will rush to his defense and complain that Stewart was unduly fixated on the title and ignored the book’s substance.
Moments later, Kathyrn Lopez will un-ironically link to Kieth Olberman’s latest screed as evidence of how liberals are coarsening our national discourse.
Jonah Goldberg, who is traveling, will make a quick post promising to weigh-in as soon as possible. A week later, he will write a 1,200 essay on the subject. Twenty-four of those words will concede McCarthy’s critics’ point (three of which will be “everybody knows this”); the remaining 1,176 will defend McCarthy from strawmen.
I love NRO and am a subscriber but, Jeez guys, this routine is getting old.
I wouldn’t ask that question to AFP’s Andrew Gully, who, evidently, never took a math class that explained division:
Palin, who quit the Alaska governorship after serving less than half of one term . . .
The governor of Alaska is elected to a four year term. Palin was governor from December 4, 2006 until July 26, 2009. Since I’ve already advised you not to ask Gully about math issues, I trust you to determine for yourself whether Palin, in fact, made it half-way through her term before resigning.
When I saw that the first four words of the story were “Right-wing darling Sarah Palin,” I expected neither fair nor balanced reporting in what followed. But I didn’t anticipate that Sarahpalin-hatred altered the results of basic arithmetic.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about Texas in the two and a half years I’ve lived here, it’s that this is one of the very few places in the country that everyone has an opinion about. And if there’s two things I’ve learned, the second is to never believe news stories about Texas from sources outside of the state. The second observation is more or less a direct result of the first.
For certainkinds of conservatives, shouting “Radical Islam!” or “Islamofascism!” is as necessary and commonplace as breathing. Though there was much to be said for this attitude in the years immediately after 9/11, I find it’s worn kind of thin lately.
To be sure, some attack is either attempted, foiled or occasionally committed a dozen times a year. But, with tremendous consistency they prove to be unimpressive, naive, or just plain stupid. Given the ease of acquiring weapons and bomb-materials in our country, it’s pretty telling that the worst attack we’ve suffered since 2001 was committed by one handgun-wielding fanatic. Clearly we have a problem with Muslim Radicals that needs diligent attention, but — as I’ve said before — if this is terrorism, I’m not very scared.
Addendum: I couldn’t help but notice that Rep. Smith said that the “all three of the terrorist attempts in the last year” were motivated by Radical Islam. Really? The Hutaree may have been losers to the core, but at least they’re alleged to have planned an attack along the lines of what one might expect from competent terrorists (for really interesting coverage about that case, specifically, about how investigators appear to have been tipped off by other militia groups, read this with this update). And if we’re counting a depressed loser/narcissist with tangential ties to some cleric in Pakistan, is it such a stretch to count Andrew Stack, the Austin Plane Attacker? For the record, I’m by no means saying that either of these were Tea Party-inspired, or any such nonsense.
Though I must say it’s remarkable that a former Dean of Harvard Law School has such a paltry paper trail. Souter was a nobody state court judge, so it’s understandable that no one knew what he really thought. Kagan, though, held perhaps the single most prestigious position in legal academia.
Whether or not I have the wish I wish tonight, I don’t think liberals are going to be happy with this in the long-term. With Sotomayor, they got someone who has never shown signs of being able to duel with the best legal thinkers. With Kagan, they got someone who has never shown inclinations to dueling, period. Someone who can’t beat Scalia, and someone who won’t (and perhaps can’t).
I can look at W.’s SCOTUS picks and be happy. John Roberts is an extraordinary judge; thinking back over the justices I’m familiar with, I can’t name a better writer since John Marshall himself. The clarity and simplicity of the Chief’s opinions is a thing of beauty. Sam Alito suffers from being in Roberts’s shadow, but he’s an above average justice who is consistently right and who has the courage of his convictions.
I have serious doubts that in five years Obama supporters will look at Sotomayor and Kagan with the same contentment.
This story about Danny Glover getting booed during a commencement address highlights a growing problem in the American academy.
For Morgan Jackson, who came to watch her cousin Sidney Allen graduate, the constant booing a few rows behind her was “irritating.”
“You would think you could let this be about the people who were graduating today,” she said of the hecklers, who “probably didn’t know anyone graduating and only came to cause a scene.”
She wanted the hecklers to “let this be about the people who were graduating,” but what did Glover ramble on about?
The celebrity’s speech, which highlighted many advances for minorities in the past 63 years since Glover’s birth, was inspirational, said Allen, who is black.
Glover, who has been criticized for his friendship with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, told the class of 2010 that global warming is real and that climate change is a human-rights issue, as well as an environmental issue.
A UNICEF good-will ambassador, Glover talked about the dangers of Arizona’s proposed immigration Senate Bill 1070 and about his efforts to fight work-force discrimination and poverty in places such as Haiti.
So, basically, Glover talked about everything under the sun except for “the people who were graduating.” Why the hecklers should be restrained by the situation when the speaker isn’t is beyond me.
But at a more fundamental level, why was Glover even there? He has no connection to the college, no connection to the students, has pursued a career that it would be stupid to encourage others to emulate, and, to be gentle, is not a particularly wise man. Yet here a state university is using tens of thousands of dollars to pay him to come to campus and ramble about stuff that he’s done.
Every year around this time I grumble that my own college paid Bill Bradley $50,000 to speak at my graduation. His speech, to the minimal extent I remember it, was mostly about how old he was (e.g. today’s graduating class has never used an 8-track — crap like that). His life – a Rhodes scholar going into the NBA and then becoming a seantor – is significantly more praise-worthy than Glover’s, but because he had no connection to the college or the students, the speech was garbage. $50,000 garbage.
My wife’s commencement speaker the next year was Christine Whitman. Despite the fact that our college is consistently ranked among the most politically active in the nation, she spent much of her speech telling the students to register to vote. The rest of the speech was sour grapes about how extremist the Republican party had gotten, and promotion for her then-current book. I have no reason to believe that the college paid her less than Bradley (equal pay for equal non-work!), but whatever they paid her was completely wasted.
Colleges ought to cut this crap out. It’s expensive, subsidizes the egos of ego maniacal jerks like Glover and Whitman, and wastes everyone’s time at the graduation ceremony (which should be about those who are graduating, right?). If you need a speech, let a professor who is close to the students do it. It’ll mean an lot more to the students, and it won’t cost $50,000.
I’ve complained that the “debate” about the new Arizona illegal immigration law has mostly revolved around hyperventilating idiots who are willfully ignorant about the definition of “reasonable suspicion.” From what I hear on the radio news and see on tv news, that’s still broadly true.
For a break from the ignorance, I recommend this Ilya Somin post. The post itself is fairly weak. Mainly, Somin complains that using state and local police to enforce federal immigration laws increases the chance of enforcement. Honestly, that’s his main complaint.
At present, if state law enforcement stops you and has reasonable suspicion that you are committing a federal crime, they’ll detain you to find out more. For instance, if I’m driving and get stopped and there are sheets of uncut $100 bills in my backseat and I’ve got green ink on my fingers, the fact that counterfeiting is a federal crime, not a state crime, won’t prevent the cop from doing additional investigation. Nor should it. Or if he sees a ski mask and what appears to be a bank bag in my back seat, and he’s recently received an APB for someone in the area who has robbed a bank, the fact that bank robbery is a federal crime will not stop the cop from investigating further. Nor should it.
All sorts of federal laws are enforced, by and large, by state and local police. The argument that immigration laws should not be enforced by state and local police because it will force legal immigrants to obey a federal law they currently ignore because of lax enforcement is, frankly, bizarre. That’s an argument against the underlying federal immigration laws. It is in no way an argument against the Arizona enforcement laws.
Somin makes a minor point that gets picked up in the comments that is much more persuasive. Under this law, many citizens will be faced with the option of either carrying around papers proving citizenship, or being detained for however long it take the cops to see that you’re here legally. The comments on that thread, or at least the first hundred or so I made it through, are worth reading on this point; Volokh has the most thoughtful, civil, and substantive commenters of any site I know.
There’s no free way out of this immigration problem, but at the end of the day I think the onus the Arizona law puts on citizens is acceptable. First, let’s divide people into three groups: illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, and citizens. I’m completely unconcerned about putting requirements on illegal immigrants. That laws will be enforced is a feature, not a bug. With legal immigrants, it’s already a federal requirement that they carry documents showing legal presence. Again, enforcement is a feature, not a bug.
As for citizens, 46 states require proof of legal presence in the U.S. in order to get a driver’s license. Anyone who can produce an Arizona driver’s license is not going to be investigated further. Moreover, virtually all out-of-staters in Arizona, whether arriving by car or plane, will have to have ID anyhow; if it’s from one of those 45 other states, no problemo.
The only people who will have problems are: 1. Arizonans who a.) have no state issued IDs and b.) give off signs of being illegal immigrants; 2. People from 45 other states who a.) have somehow gotten to Arizona without state-issued ID or any other form of American identification (difficult to do in the 21st Century, but not impossible, I guess), and b.) give off signs of being illegal immigrants; and 3. People from the other 4 states (which, admittedly, include two of the four states that border Arizona) who a.) don’t have another form of ID (Passport, Social Security Card matching their driver’s license name, birth certificate?) that demonstrates legal presence, and b.) give off signs of being illegal immigrants. Those are the only three groups of people who will be burdened by this law for whom we should have sympathy.
Illegal immigration places costs (crime, expenses on services, social upheaval, depressing wages) on all Arizonans. Considering that the actual onus of this law will fall on a very small group of people, that onus is not particularly heavy (being detained by police, just like if you were suspected of any other federal crime, until they figure out you’re legal), and considering that this onus can be avoided (after my second or third time being detained, I’d get a passport or something similar, as will most people), I think this is a good law. After decades of unforgivably lax enforcement of immigration laws by the feds, there’s no easy way out. But the Arizona law is a start.
1. I find it amazing that well over a year after the Tea Parties started, even journalists who do stories about Tea Partiers have absolutely no clue what the Tea Party is about. Here, the journalists just keep rambling about whether Bennett is “conservative,” as ranked by a bunch of groups that the Tea Party doesn’t care about. The founder of the Utah Tea Party tries to set the journalists straight:
I don’t think it’s a question of conservative, I think it’s a question of responsible. He was not responsible when he voted for bailouts. It was not a responsible vote to save companies that had literally destroyed themselves.
By God. The primary issue with our government – its preposterous deficit spending, its crony capitalism, its inability to run a competent security apparatus, its gross overpayment of government workers, its refusal to secure the border and enforce immigration laws – is irresponsibility. For too long, no one has been responsible for anything. Now it’s time to hold them all responsible for everything.
2. Bennett summarizes the Tea Party’s attitude – “They just want everybody in Washington out. Throw them all out, and we’ll start afresh” – like it’s a bad thing. I find it difficult to believe that 535 randomly selected citizens would be more corrupt, more irresponsible, less responsive to the public, or less competent than the current Congress. For God’s sake, they spend their time passing laws with thousands of pages in them, containing clauses that no one understands until after the law is passed. Right now, Bennett’s best defense is that he’s got experience; this is the defense of the incompetent government employee who’s held a job for too long. Yes, he’s got experience, but his experience involves being part of a failed organization.
I’ll say this of the throw-them-all-out attitude: We couldn’t elect a worse Congress if we tried. I’m increasingly becoming a fan of the old Athenian system of choosing our officials by lottery. We couldn’t do worse than what we have now.
3. Notice after the interview with the Utah Tea Party Founder – who makes custom sports cars; how awesome is that? – the journalists go right back to the old, tired conservative/liberal talk, completely ignoring what the guy said. The clueless journalists seem to think Tea Partiers ar POed at Bennett for voting with Democrats.
If one journalist anywhere spent three hours on a Saturday afternoon reading about the Tea Parties, that journalist would know more than all of the rest of media combined. And that journalist would know that Tea Partiers don’t give a crap about party, they give a crap about responsibility. Note: They’re complaining about the bailouts that were passed under W., a Republican. When Bennett voted for that, he was voting for a Republican initiative. Yet it’s the number one thing the Tea Partiers list about Bennett. The journalists seem completely ignorant of this flamingly obvious fact. They think the Tea Partiers are just a bunch of partisan Republicans who are grumpy because Bennett’s too bipartisan. CNN should replace these people with yipping dogs, who would be less annoying and at least wouldn’t pass along their willful ignorance to others.
It’s not about party, it’s not about liberal, it’s not about conservative, it’s about being responsible by not spending money we don’t have, and not using taxpayer dollars to save companies that are going bankrupt because of their own irresponsibility. That no one at CNN can see this is at least part of why their ratings are in the gutter.
Crap like this from Democrats would be a lot more persuasive if the president from their party didn’t spend decades being buddy-buddy with an actual domestic terrorist.
Anytime a Democrat accuses Tea Partiers of terrorism, any reporter worth his salt should ask the following: “In light of your concerns about domestic anti-government terrorism, would you now criticize Barrack Obama for maintaining a lengthy relationship with admitted domestic anti-government terrorist Bill Ayers?” Or perhas simply, “What, other than competence, was the difference between the president’s friend Bill Ayers and executed terrorist Tim McVeigh?”
Perhaps as a follow-up, “I can cite to three proven instances of violence by Democrat activists against Tea Partiers; can you cite me three proven instances of violence by Tea Partiers against their political enemies?” “I can cite a proven instance where Democrat activists went to a Tea Party and beat up a black guy while shouting racial epithets at him; can you cite a proven instance where Tea Partiers have done the same?”
Unfortunately, reporters would rather keep being stenographers for politicians who say stupid crap rather than asking questions about the stupid crap politicians say.
I believe, pretty firmly, that people shouldn’t be polled in detail about religious matters. This poll reinforces my belief.
80% of Americans believe that prayer is effective, no matter what a person believes. I don’t like to get into theology, here or anywhere, but that’s preposterous. If I believe that my cat is some sort of two-faced god who can see both the past and future, and that she will give me her vision if I offer up wine as a sacrifice and then drink it during my prayers, I’m not sure of any Christian denomination that believes my prayers will be effective. My knowledge of other religions is broad and shallow, but I certainly don’t think that the main non-Christian religions in America (Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam) would believe that me drinking wine in honor of my cat would allow me to pick tomorrow’s lottery numbers.
I will be charitable and reword the pollster’s question so that it resembles what the pollees heard: “If someone prays to your god in the manner you are accustomed to, do you believe that that person’s prayer will be answered in accord with how you believe prayers are answered, regardless of what that person believes?” I’d be among the 80% of people who answer yes to that, regardless of what my cat does when I drink wine.
Apollo posted this at 1:43 AM CDT on Thursday, May 6th, 2010 as Amer-I-Can!, Faith
I put “police” in quotation marks, because this is not the action of policemen. These men are nothing more than thugs acting under color of the law and, unfortunately, armed to the teeth by local taxpayers.
You think “thugs” is a little strong? There are exactly six seconds (one one thousand, two one thousand, three one thousand, four one thousand, five one thousand, six one thousand) between the first knock at the door, and forcing the door open in order to shoot the dogs. I can’t bring myself to watch the footage all the way through – it’s too disturbing for me.
What I’m waiting on – if it hasn’t happened yet, it’s a matter of time – is this: for twenty dollars, you can get a SWAT t-shirt; for $12 more, you can get something that looks, when a gun is pointed in your face, an awful lot like a police badge; $333 gets you a bad-ass SWAT-style shotgun; find a couple of friends with a little more money to plop down for AR-15s; perhaps splurge a little on some bulky looking body armor, or not – and suddenly you’re the head of a SWAT team. Then you can kick down some rich guy’s door, fire a couple of shots at the first thing that moves, and keep shouting “Police” until everything that’s still alive is laying face down with its hands on the back of its head. If you’re a gentle soul, you can wear ski masks, tie everyone up, and let them live. If you’re not – well, you’ll have the guns and they’ll be afraid to defend themselves. After all, you shouted “Police!”
This is why police are obliged to show their badges when serving warrants and making arrests. It demonstrates to all around that the guy with the gun really is a police officer, so obeying and respecting him is part of your duty as a law-abiding citizen. Uniforms help with this as well. If some thug in a black shirt bursts through your door and shoots your dog, I’m quite uncertain why he’s entitled to be obeyed, regardless of whether he’s screaming “Police,” “Jesus Saves,” or “Roll Tide Roll!”
I don’t advocate violence against the police – they’ve got a difficult and dangerous job to do. But that job wouldn’t be nearly so difficult and dangerous if they didn’t kick down people’s doors at night and run in with guns blazing. If someone breaks into my house and starts shooting, whatever he shouts will have no influence on my reaction.