Saturday, March 25, 2006

In praise of a great man

Let us now praise a great man. Jason Riley profiles Thomas Sowell, one of America's best public intellectuals.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

This is certainly music to my ears

Slate takes a swipe a the Democratic troika unable to capitalize on Republican misfortune.

Nancy Pelosi epitomizes this problem. To understand her politics, think Huffington Post without the flashes of wit. Here is a typical Bush-bashing, cliché-ridden quote of hers: "The emperor has no clothes. When are people going to face the reality? Pull
this curtain back!" Pelosi dismisses people who disagree as hoodwinked or stupid. She's not exactly Hillary Clinton herself, though. A five-minute interview is usually sufficient to exhaust her knowledge on any subject. And she can flop around like a fish. When Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., proposed a pullout, or "redeployment," of U.S. troops from Iraq in November, Pelosi's first reaction was to isolate him. "Mr. Murtha speaks for himself," she said. But after taking a drubbing from left-wing bloggers and her anti-war constituents, she announced that she supported Murtha after all. This shored up her image as Washington's answer to Barbra Streisand, and set up Dick Cheney to paint the Democrats as defeatist and unsupportive of our troops in Iraq.

The Democrats have no message, none that's appealing. Like they'll really cut down on pork spending and earmarks? I don't think so.

You have to hand it to Jacob Weisberg, he can turn a phrase.
In 1994, Gingrich had the Contract With America. In 2006, Democrats will have another glass of merlot.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Get this book for Bono

Amid some harsh criticism, the%20full%20review'>Amartya Sen has a few good words for William Easterly, the anti-Jeffrey Sachs. We wonder if Bono will pick up the book.

Paglia rips the Harvard mob

Camille Paglia dissects the Summers imbroglio as only CP can.

But whatever his good intentions, Mr. Summers often inspired more heat than light. His stellar early career as an economics professor did not prepare him for dealing with an ingrown humanities faculty that has been sunk in political correctness for decades. As president, he had a duty to research the tribal creeds and customs of those he wished to convert. Foolishly thinking plain speech and common sense would suffice, he flunked Academic Anthropology 101.

While many issues are rumored to have played a role in Mr. Summers's resignation (including charges of favoritism in a messy legal case involving foreign investments), the controversy that will inevitably symbolize his presidency was the manufactured outcry early last year over his glancing reference at a conference to possible innate differences between the sexes in aptitude for science and math. The feminist pressure groups rose en masse from their lavishly feathered nests and set up a furious cackle that led to a 218-to-185 vote of no confidence by the Faculty of Arts and Sciences last March.

Instead of welcoming this golden opportunity to introduce the forbidden subject of biology to academic gender studies (where a rigid dogma of social constructionism reigns), Mr. Summers collapsed like a rag doll. A few months later, after issuing one abject apology after another, he threw $50 million at a jerrybuilt program to expand the comfort zone of female scientists and others on campus. That one desperate act of profligate appeasement tells volumes about the climate of persecution and extortion around gender issues at too many American universities.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The gospel of the politically correct. Listen children you can only invoke God if you are against the Iraqi War

Tony Blair feels the heat for invoking God' s judgement on whether he made the right decision to support the Iraqi war.

Meanwhile one member of Parliament believes that august body ought to be impeaching Blair. God isn't good enough to judge.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Long over due, I say, for the Tuskegee Airmen

File under shamefully late than never.

400-0. That was the vote in the House of Representatives Tuesday night in favor of Rep. Charles Rangel's bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Tuskegee Airmen. In a body known for its partisanship, it was a remarkable expression of national unity and consensus. As Mr. Rangel notes, Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld - who Mr. Rangel has urged be impeached - released a letter urging members of Congress to support the initiative. "I don't agree with Secretary Rumsfeld on too many things. But when it comes to the Tuskegee Airmen we stand shoulder to shoulder," Mr. Rangel, a Democrat who represents Harlem, said in a press release.>

Here's a bibliography about the Tuskegee Airmen

The sorry state of our public education system

What have they done with all the money? The New Editor lays out the litany of public school failure. Make that gummit schools. And there's plenty of blame to go around.

Don't look for answers from Jonathan Kozol by the way. He's part of the problem.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

A manifesto for our times

The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten was brave enough to start the cartoon wars. It's gone one better by publishing a manifesto for our times from some very courageous individuals.

After having overcome fascism, Nazism, and Stalinism, the world now faces a new totalitarian global threat: Islamism.

We, writers, journalists, intellectuals, call for resistance to religious totalitarianism and for the promotion of freedom, equal opportunity and secular values for all.

The recent events, which occurred after the publication of drawings of Muhammed in European newspapers, have revealed the necessity of the struggle for these universal values. This struggle will not be won by arms, but in the ideological field. It is not a clash of civilisations nor an antagonism of West and East that we are witnessing, but a global struggle that confronts democrats and theocrats.

Like all totalitarianisms, Islamism is nurtured by fears and frustrations. The hate preachers bet on these feelings in order to form battalions destined to impose a liberticidal and unegalitarian world. But we clearly and firmly state: nothing, not even despair, justifies the choice of obscurantism, totalitarianism and hatred.

Islamism is a reactionary ideology which kills equality, freedom and secularism wherever it is present. Its success can only lead to a world of domination: man's domination of woman, the Islamists' domination of all the others. To counter this, we must assure universal rights to oppressed or discriminated people.

We reject"cultural relativism", which consists in accepting that men and women of Muslim culture should be deprived of the right to equality, freedom and secular values in the name of respect for cultures and traditions. We refuse to renounce our critical spirit out of fear of being accused of "Islamophobia", an unfortunate concept which confuses criticism of Islam as a religion with stigmatisation of its believers.

We plead for the universality of freedom of expression, so that a critical spirit may be exercised on all continents, against all abuses and all dogmas.

We appeal to democrats and free spirits of all countries that our century should be one of Enlightenment, not of obscurantism.

12 signatures
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Chahla Chafiq
Caroline Fourest
Bernard-Henri Lévy
Irshad Manji
Mehdi Mozaffari
Maryam Namazie
Taslima Nasreen
Salman Rushdie
Antoine Sfeir
Philippe Val
Ibn Warraq