Monday, May 30, 2005

And now even the Italians have Euro-doubts!


Italians may never become "Euroskeptics" like many of their neighbors to the north, but their famous enthusiasm for the EU is being tested by a recession that some politicians
want to blame on Brussels.

Read the whole thing.

Beyond Brattle Street joy! Chris Lydon is back!

The Conversation continues! Chris Lydon is back with Open Source his latest riff and he sounds great.

A spectre of a Polish Plumber is haunting Europe -- or at least France!

There's much I can say about Sunday's monumental rejection by the French of the proposed European Constitution. It has all of Europe in a tailspin. Moreover, the overwhelming "non!" vote exposed the distance between the elites and the populace both reactionary in their misplaced anger at American influence (the former) and globalization (the latter) . I suspect the snickering will be hard to repress on Pennsylvania avenue.

There are many great links with post-referendum commentary. A good start is at Dan Drezner's blog

I suspect this lets Tony Blair off the hook and it gives a great lift to the Euroskeptics on both sides of the pond. I am among them. The EU is a fantasy notwithstanding the economic arguments for integration. I am awaiting how the American mainstream media plays up this debacle particularly since the "social market" model is a great meme.

One irony about the French sentiment: I was particularly struck by the idea that the French thought the monstrous 400 page EU constititution was too favorable to the British. Generally that's a poor excuse. Chirac didn't make the case to a nation that obviously has rejected the 21s century.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

More on Scalia and Thomas's intellectual curiousity

Eugene Volokh follows up on a reply from Professor Michael Kelly who according to Volokh brazenly stated that "Justice Thomas doesn't cite foreign law because he lacks intellectual curiosity, and that Justice Scalia refuses to do so because he is afraid that citing foreign law will make it hard for him to defend originalism."

Even more on Fallaci; the letter of the law in Italy

Dagger in Hand spells out the parts of the Italian penal code that Oriana Fallaci supposedly transgressed.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Make way for international law which they say is superior to the U.S. Constititution

Eugene Volokh has a great post defending Scalia and Thomas on their "judicial isolationism." It appears to some liberals, though not all, that judicial interpretations borrowing liberally from international law, whatever that is, would greatly improve American jurisprudence. I say this is a fantasy. The liberals say Thomas is not intellectually curious enough to accept the infinite wisdom of b.s. coming out of the Hague. I'm with Thomas who is a bigger thinker than most SC justices.

So let me get this straight. Justice Scalia won't cite international law because he is afraid of defending his views of originalism? Given that Justice Scalia has been touring around the country giving lectures defending his philosophy and engaging in extensive Q-and-A sessions, often before before quite hostile audiences, that seems a rather strange suggestion. The claim that Justice Thomas "has no intellectual curiosity" is just lame, offered (of course) with no evidence or explanation. Any one who has ever had a conversation with Justice Thomas would recognize the suggestion as absurd. You can agree or disagree with Thomas's deeply-held views, of course, but to interpret profound disagreement as lack of curiosity seems a bit out-of-bounds.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Pete DuPont takes on the sugar lobby;

Cafta is in trouble but Pete Dupont exposes the sugar lobby's deadly hand.

More on Fallaci

Protein Wisdom sees a velvet insurgency. When will the Left ever learn. The following comment from a visitor named TallDave to PW sees some humor in Italian political correctness.

I see the following conversation taking place in Italia:

1st Italian: Islam is sometimes evil and oppressive.
2nd Italian: You can’t say that! POLICE!! Arrest this man! He defamed Islam!
1st Italian: But in some Islamic countries, you cn be put to death for preaching Christianity, Hinduism or Judaism.
2nd Italian: Well, we don’t allow that kind of hate. That’s why we’re better than them.
3rd Italian: “Better� than “them�?! You can’t say that! POLICE!! Arrest this man! He defamed Islam!

An on it goes. What will the New York Times say on its editorial page?

But we already knew that about Krugman, the teller of tall tales

Greg Mankiw fires back at the increasingly hysterical Paul Krugman and his fantasies.
Q: How do you explain what you describe as this change in Krugman?

A: I guess if you're a columnist, you want to be widely talked about and be the most e-mailed. It's the same thing that drives talk show hosts to become Jerry Springer. You end up overstating the case because it makes good reading. The problem is that economists by their nature—with a lot of "on the one hand" and "on the other hand" in their prose—can make boring reading.

Beyond politically correct, Europe has very little regard for free speech

The travails of Orian Fallaci. Dragged to court for exercising her free speech thinking the European liberalism (or what's left of it) might protect her. The words may indeed be offensive but should she be fined? What is it about the Islamic mind that cannot brook criticism in a free society. Maybe the Eurocrats would feel better if she wound up like Theo Van Gogh.

ROME (Reuters) - A judge has ordered best-selling writer and journalist Oriana Fallaci to stand trial in her native Italy on charges she defamed Islam in a recent book.

The decision angered Italy's justice minister but delighted Muslim activists, who accused Fallaci of inciting religious hatred in her 2004 work "La Forza della Ragione" (The Force of Reason).

Fallaci lives in New York and has regularly provoked the wrath of Muslims with her outspoken criticism of Islam following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. cities.

In "La Forza della Ragione," Fallaci wrote that terrorists had killed 6,000 people over the past 20 years in the name of the Koran and said the Islamic faith "sows hatred in the place of love and slavery in the place of freedom."

State prosecutors originally dismissed accusations of defamation from an Italian Muslim organization, and said Fallaci should not stand trial because she was merely exercising her right to freedom of speech.

But a preliminary judge in the northern Italian city of Bergamo, Armando Grasso, rejected the prosecutors advice at a hearing on Tuesday and said Fallaci should be indicted.

Grasso's ruling homed in on 18 sentences in the book, saying some of Fallaci's words were "without doubt offensive to Islam and to those who practice that religious faith."

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Clicking in the classroom

I need to think long and hard about this new intrusion into the classroom.