Monthly Archives: September 2003

Today’s Bleat

We love James Lileks. But, of course, that distinguishes us from almost no one. I’ve met the man precisely once, at a Hugh Hewitt function in St. Paul. I met James about three minutes before Hugh did, and had the pleasure of introducing them. James is different from most of us bloggers because 1) he isn’t exactly a blogger, inasmuch as he almost never links to anything, 2) he’s been »

If I were an optimist

This commenatary by Real Clear Politics argues, correctly I think, that “the Democrats have now officially decided that Iraq isn’t worth doing, and probably never was.” Of course, the Democrats never wanted to do Iraq. However, they were constrained from making that their “official” position first by uncertainty about how things would go and then by the fact that things appeared to have gone well. It was inevitable that, as »

No wonder the sport is in trouble

An article of about women’s soccer in The “Style” section of the Washington Post contains this statement: “To be a fan of women’s soccer, it helps to be more than a fan. It helps to be an amateur sociologist, a gender theorist, an economist, an expert in law and education legislation. It helps to think about the ways in which the success or failure of women’s sports leagues could affect »

Happy birthday, Brother Ray

Tomorrow Ray Charles turns 73. He has been a living classic for so long that it is exceedingly difficult to pay him the kind of tribute he truly deserves. As a relatively young man, he virtually invented soul music — the secularized gospel music that exploded into the mainstream of American popular music within a decade of Charles’s initial efforts. When Atlantic got around to issuing a three-disc boxed set »

Campaigns of the ACLU

Dorothy Rabinowitz has an astute column on the assault on John Ashcroft and the USA PATRIOT Act in today’s Wall Street Journal: “A demon for our times.” Rabinowitz highlights the role of the ACLU in demonizing Ashcroft as part of its extremely profitable campaign against the PATRIOT Act. I would add that the ACLU is the leading actor in three campaigns that seek to undermine pillars of the United States: »

Rolling out the Schick Quattro

Today is the day that Schick’s new four-blade razor hits the shelves in the United States. The Telegraph story on the battle between Schick versus Gillette works in more puns than I would have thought humanly possible, but it leaves no doubt regarding the drama in this important story: “Gillette and Schick at each other’s throat.” »

Creating Yasser Arafat

Ion Mihai Pacepa, the former head of intelligence for Communist Romania, knows first-hand how Yasser Arafat was created by the Soviet Union with the special attention of the KGB and its sister services. Pacepa played a key role in selling the KGB’s Arafat to Washington. He tells the story in this morning’s Wall Street Journal. Here’s the heart of the story. “‘I invented the hijackings [of passenger planes],’ Arafat bragged »

Twenty Years Later, Still Clueless

A book of letters by Ronald Reagan, written while he was President, is about to be published, with Nancy Reagan’s cooperation. A sampling of the letters are reproduced in this week’s Time magazine. The letters are said to be newly discovered, but I haven’t yet seen a coherent explanation of how this could be, or where they were found. In any event, the book’s publication is the occasion for another »

Optimism About Blair

This morning’s Wall Street Journal carries an optimistic assessment of Tony Blair’s standing and re-election chances: “To read most press accounts, Tony Blair is so battered from the beating he’s taken at home over Iraq that he left a trail of blood all the way to Berlin as he traveled to a summit meeting with his French and German counterparts this weekend. Mr. Blair has had nothing but misery for »

The Latest From California

The Washington Post reports on the latest poll data from California, out today. They show the support for recalling Gray Davis slipping a bit but still commanding a majority of 53% to 42%. The problem for Davis is that there are very few voters left who haven’t made up their minds; only 5% are undecided. The poll (by the Public Policy Institute of California) says Bustamante and Schwarzenegger are in »

Begging to differ

Even though Rocket Man did not get to the latest Bush poll results until late last night, our readers have lost no time in expressing their disagreement with his pessimism about the 2004 election. Reader David Henry writes: “So Hind, With Bush still leading all of the Democratic candidates by decent numbers, you still think he will lose? Even though he has not hit the campaign trail to aggressively counter »

Pageant Coverage–Our Duty

We try to be a full service news site, so we feel obliged to cover events like the Miss America pageant. Say what you will, it is still one of the most-watched television programs of the year, mostly by women and girls. Miss Florida won this year, and I am sure she has wonderful intellectual attainments, but those are hard to portray visually. So here are a few photos of »

Bush Poll Results Grim

The latest Newsweek poll results are very bad for President Bush. Approval rating down to 51%; 46% approval of his handling of the Iraq situation; 56% disapproval of his economic policies; Democratic contenders polling much closer. I haven’t seen the original data, but these numbers, as reported, are consistent with the idea that the pounding Bush has taken over the summer is only now sinking into the consciousness of most »

Simultaneous Tooth-Brushing Record Shattered

More than 10,000 Chinese students gathered in Shenzhen earlier today to smash the world record for simultaneous tooth-brushing. The event was held to celebrate “Dental Care Day.” Multiculturalists are always talking about how different cultures are, but they don’t really believe it. Imagine trying to get 10,000 American students to assemble in uniform, in rows stretching on for blocks, to brush their teeth together. Not as a joke, but as »

Galileo’s Voyage Ends

The Galileo unmanned spacecraft is about to conclude a 14-year voyage of exploration to Jupiter and its moons. The photo below, taken by Galileo, shows Io, one of Jupiter’s moons and the most volcanically active body in the solar system. Galileo has been one of NASA’s most successful ventures, but it is destined to come to an end tomorrow with what has been called a “suicide plunge” into the atmosphere »

Triumph of the (rugged individualist) will

The women’s World Cup of soccer kicks off tomorrow here in Washington, D.C. The U.S. is the defending champion. Today, the Washington Post has a feature on the veteran core of the team, that has been together since the 1991 World Cup. The Post also provides a roster of this year’s team. It turns out that seven of the twenty members are age-30 or older, and five played on the »

Sore loser?

Howard Bashman reports that Judge Pregerson, one of the three liberals who ordered that the California recall election be postponed, has predicted to the L.A. Times that the en banc court will overturn the original decision and permit the election to proceed. Pregerson apparently told a Times reporter, “You know who’s on the panel, right? Do you think it’s going to have much of a chance of surviving? I wouldn’t »