7.19.2002

I will not let this get me angry...I will not let this get me angry...I will not let this get me angry.

Didn't work. Am angry.

7.18.2002

Garsh...you write a whole lot. Impossible to read it all, but..
Judeo-Con?
Oh, and it turns out I have the same birthday as Betsey Johnson. That's right, of the dress company.
That's the New York Observer for you.
For once, I think Bob Herbert wrote a great column in today's Times. I don't agree with his conclusion -- in which he colors this especially as a problem of race -- but his idea is wonderful. It's about time Albany caught on.
Every time I want to think that the institution of the Catholic Church is above the pedophilia scandal, they do something like this which convinces me otherwise. Are we just to assume that they don't care about the havoc they have wrecked on these people's lives?
Think US' military buildup for Afghanistan was overblown machismo? Spain has sent warships, fighter jets, and special ops troops to recapture the tiny island of Perejil. The Independent doesn't even call it an island. It's an "islet".
When I read this in The Corner, I thought it was just K. Lo. playing around. But it wasn't.

What in the world is Colin Powell doing?
I thought that Becky and I were along is being Judeo-Conservatives (there's got to be a better term for that). But we're not.

For the first time in maybe a century, Jews are attitudinally capable of seeing that there is a reductio ad absurdum end point of every social program, that point in the advanced stage of social planning where the intended consequences become inverted and deliver exactly the opposite intended outcome.

Duh. Example #1: political correctness. See the lack of hate-crimes being committed against Jews. Not the lack of crimes, but the lack of hate crimes.
Written by Judea Pearl, this memorial to his son made me cry.
Textbook Anti-Americanism (oops, I mean Liberalism)

This article, which ran in The Nation, is a perfect example of how the American left has gone wrong. It's entitled "1776 and All That" and is, supposedly, a historical analysis of where America is now. It ran in The Nation; I assume you know where the article is heading.

It begins as such:

The country is riven and ailing, with a guns-plus-butter nuttiness in some of its governing echelons and the sort of lapsed logic implicit in the collapse of trust in money-center capitalism, which has been an undergirding theory of a good deal of the work that many people do. The tallest buildings, real profit centers, fall, as "wogs" and "ragheads" defy us, perhaps comparably to how the "gooks" in Vietnam did (from whose example Osama bin Laden may have learned that we could be defeated).

This opening paragraph gives gravitas to the theory that the last victory for the American left was America's defeat in Vietnam. Yes, let's all return to Walden Pond now...

The sad thing is that the article had potential. Rather than the author going off into a Chomsky-esque rant about how the religion-based conflicts between groups of early settlers encouraged a lasting ethos of greed and wanton abandon, he could have focused on more tangible -- and fixable -- aspects of American life. Perhaps the superiority of the dollar (though the Euro has recently surpassed us)? This author, Immanuel Wallerstein, managed to write an article with the same thesis -- America is too self-confident -- and yet keep the article sane and pertinent to reality.

The article from The Nation concludes with another liberal cliche: the US needs someone to slap it into wakefulness. And I quote:

Some vertigo or "near death" experience of global warming may be required to trip the necessary degree of alarm. The droughts and water wars, a polar meltdown and pelagic crisis--too much saltwater and insufficient fresh. In the meantime, dried-up high plains agriculture and Sunbelt golf greens in the Republicans' heartlands will help because African famines are never enough. We need a surge of altruism, artesian decency.

Ignore the odds that the farce of global warming will cause Republicans to burn up on the Texan golf green. What is the purpose of that article? Naught. Short of some fantical liberal pulling the sun closer to the Earth's orbit, the author gives no workable proposal for fixing what he sees as American's inherent greed and avarice.

How irresponsible and bad can the reporting in The Nation get? It seems as though they're trying to find out.
Scary article in the National Review. Does anyone reading that book seem to remember the fate that befell the author?

Bearing in mind Dowd's column yesterday, this is a topic to which I shall be returning. After class.
As if you weren't convinced that the news around HIV/AIDS can be full of hype and inconsistencies:

Andrew Sullivan links to this article, whereas Drudge links to this report. I suppose the two are not factually inconsistent with each other, but the angle each reporter took could not have been more different.

"At first I thought I would never want to come to America again, I was so scared," Ms. Verma said.

"But the police were very nice to us. They made sure we were comfortable and they treated us well. America is good country, and I understand people are afraid of people who look different."

Authorities detain Indian moviestar for fears that her family was planning to engage in terrorist activities. That was her real, unedited response.

7.17.2002

I wasn't asking you whether or not you WERE one, I did say "You're one of the granola-est people I know..." I was just asking you to comment on it. Like, do you think that they are a growing societal group or whatever.

The store is Whole Foods. And the name is Granola-Con.

7.16.2002

Me? A granola conservative?

Well, duh.

You'll recall where I spent last summer, and most of my summers before that. You'll recall that after Will's graduation party I went with Amalia to the organic food store in Edgewater...where I partook in a lovely peach Jamba Juice.

Yeah. Granola conservative. I like that name.
Sarah, can I ask your opinion on the recent "Granola Conservatives" phenomenon being discussed over at NRO ?
You're one of the granola-est people I know, so I was wondering what you had to say?

I for one, am pleased with the idea that one can partake in activities usually thought of as "leftist" while still having their own, conservative opinions. When I first noticed that I was getting sick of Lefty BS, one of my first questions of self-doubt was "Will I have to get rid of my Birkenstocks?". I'm pretty active in my views against PETA and that sort of Organization, but I have NO problem with superbly comfortable sandals. However, aside from that, I don't think I have much personal stake in the granola con movement, as I can't even stand to hang out in my backyard if there are bugs. Excuse me, but it's time for me to work out. Then, I'm going to take a nice, long, water-wasting shower.
Are you kidding me? What Tillman did was entirely noble, and if there were more people like him, maybe we could change the terminology.
HOWEVER, when there are "Americans" like Cynthia McKinney, John Walker Lindh, and the guy who said it was OK for Steve Irwin to make a movie, maybe we should say a "Proud American." Or a guilt-free American, or a non-self hating American, or a PATRIOTIC American.

7.15.2002

Becky...I'm not sure where your post went. I think Blogger might be acting up; it deleted my African post twice before it published it.

I did reapply the template to get rid of the publishing error...that might have to do with it.
I have a slight problem with what Andrew Sullivan wrote about Pat Tillman, the 25 year old who opted to enlist in the Army rather than play for the Arizona Cardinals. Sullivan says:

In an age when we read of CEO's robbing their own shareholders for obscene pay-offs, when the last president of the United States declared as ethical only what you could get away with, and when large swathes of the intelligentsia can find reasons to undermine a war to protect a free people from weapons of mass destruction, Tillman is a hero. And a man.

I don't want to turn rabid feminist here -- I agree completely with Sullivan in that Tillman showed outstanding moral fiber -- but why do we have to call him a "man"? Can't we just call him an American?
Where did all my posts go?

7.14.2002

Stefan Kanfar has written this great condemnation of Noam Chomsky, whom he calls the "Pied Piper of anti-Americanism".

I really must agree with Kanfar. Chomsky, while being a brilliant linguist, is one of the most ridiculous political commentators I've ever read (at least Howard Zinn puts some thought into his attacks on the US). His ideology is extremely simplisitic: it's the US' fault. Much to our misfortune, he does, as Kanfar points out, seems to have become the high fashion in certain circles (such as those that revolve around Eugene, Oregon).

Chomsky is living proof for Michael Walzer's thesis about the American Left.

(link via James Morrow )

The Jewish media control of our government which puts Israel first and Americans in danger is wrong. All Americans have a vested interest in opposing the Jewish media. They are the root of all our problems. They control everything we read, see and hear. They are better organized and financed than the common people of America but they are ultimately a tiny minority and can be defeated if a champion can rise up with the backing of the masses in America.


Really? We're in control of the media? Does this mean I'm promised a job when I'm finished with J-school?

Actually, this is quite scary. It's from the campaign page of a Mississippian running for Congress on a platform that consists of, among other things, a promise to cut the "$10 million a day that the U.S. gives to the Zionist state of Israel to slaughter Palestinians."

(via Daimnation!)


The biggest problem in the UN is its bureaucracy-overload. Not just that this drains funds and personnel from more important tasks -- such as checking wells for poison -- but it fosters an attitude that places too much importance on committee names and mission statements, and not enough importance on the true potential that any committee has.

Case in point: the Organization for African Unity (OAU). It was dissolved last week to make room for the African Union. The AU, in addition to being a wannabe EU, is the OAU with a "new and improved" sticker on the wrapping.

The bureaucracy inherent in the UN has been a nifty scapegoat. "The O.A.U. has been silent and powerless," said the Congo's information minister, Kikaya bin Karubi. No, I'm sorry, the OAU wasn't, the members were. A committee is not some mythical being; its potential is the sum of its members potential. And the AU has the same membership list that the OAU had. The difference? The AU "requires members to commit to democratic principles and to respect human rights. It will have the power to intervene in member states in cases of genocide, war crimes or gross violations of human rights. Its members promise to hold free elections and to allow opposition parties to campaign freely and to disseminate their message in the state-controlled media."

The AU is Africa's attempt to make progress without doing much of anything. On the AU/OAU's web page, they cite they say: "As we hail the achievements of the OAU, we rededicate ourselves more resolutely to its principles and objectives and to the ideals of freedom, unity and development which the founding leaders sought to achieve in establishing the Organization thirty-nine years ago."

This new organization is a marketing move, an effort to clean the slate and begin again, an effort to sweep under the rug the fact that the OAU did not accomplish much in its 39 years. The newspaper have been filled of stories of AIDS, hunger, corruption and the like. Success stories of the OAU -- with civil wars tearing up the country and despots still in power -- are few and far between, though not non-existant.

Let up hope that the AU -- which supposedly has more true power than the OAU -- is successful in its mission. It's the only thing that will make this display of bureaucracy forgivable.

The Times has Socialist leanings!

Actually, the Times itself doesn't, but Op-Ed contributor Kate Jennings apparently does. Her column analyzes the hypocrisy of bureaucratic corporations on Wall Street, so cleverly pointing out that:

The fall of the Berlin Wall, followed by the tech boom, had "turbo-charged" — to use a favorite piece of business jargon — their sense of superiority and rightness in all things, not just economic. Of course, free markets were allowed to be free only when it suited bankers

Raines must love this woman. It gets better.

It was not until the events of the last months, however, that many shareholders became aware of the extent to which they, too, are but pawns in management's game...There has long been one dead giveaway of corporate disdain for shareholders: All over the United States, when the season arrives for annual shareholder meetings, corporations convene them in out-of-the-way places to dissuade shareholders from attending and asking pesky questions.

And then, a classroom example of the Times attitude towards fair reporting, she concludes the column with three quotations dealing with the moral ethics of business. In what I can only conclude is an effort to provide viewpoints from both sides of the debate, she quotes Rockefeller, who calls wealth "A gift from Heaven," Morgan, who thinks of wealthy as "the reward of toil and virtue, and, lastly, one former presidential candidate who thinks of riches as "the savings of many in the hands of one." This candidate?

Eugene Debs.