Monthly Archives: June 2004

The arrogance of impotence

Jacques Chirac has reacted badly to President Bush’s statement that the EU should admit Turkey. For Chirac it is always about “turf.” Thus, he frets that, by opining on the subject, Bush “went into territory that isn’t his.” But Chirac’s a fretful guy. He once fretted that Tony Blair was “very rude.” Later, he fretted that certain Eastern European countries had missed a good opportunity to shut up, after they »

His master’s voice?

The old Latin adage holds that “vox populorum est vox dei” — the voice of the people is the voice of God (or the god). Vox Popoli, however, is the voice of Vox Day, the WorldNetDaily and Universal Press Syndicate commentator, apparently intended to be confused with “vox dei.” Vox bills himself as a novelist and Christian libertarian, advertising Glenn Reynolds’ speculation that he is “the love child of William »

Terrorists get last laugh

The Supreme Court has issued rulings in three cases dealing with the rights of detained terror suspects and combatants. The Court rejected several of the Bush administration’s key positions. Here is the report from Fox News (“Mixed Rulings on Terror Detention Policies”). Here’s the Washington Post’s take (“Supreme Court Backs Civil Liberties in Terror Cases”). In the Hamdi case, involving a U.S. citizen, a four judge plurality concluded that the »

What hath the Supreme Court wrought?

I have printed out the three lengthy opinions issued by the Supreme Court in the detention cases today and will be studying them over the next few days to prepare for an appearance as guest host on the Minnesota public television program Face to Face this coming Sunday with University of Minnesota Law School Professors Jim Chen and Guy Charles. I hesitate to say anything about the opinions until I »

Michael Moore Hates America…

is the title of the forthcoming film by Twin Cities filmmaker Michael Wilson. Michael Moore Hates is Wilson’s site. Reader Matthew Salzwedel writes: With the debut of Farenheit Lies and Half-truths this weekend, I thought that you and your readers might be interested in a young filmmaker directing a documentary exposing Moore for who he is: a left-wing, America- hating propagandist. There are two trailers on the website that »

It’s the stupid economy

Today is election day in Canada. David Frum says that the polls show a dead heat between the ruling Liberal party and the Conseratives, who not that long ago lost nearly all of their seats in parliament. Frum thinks the reason for the Conservative’s comeback is that, although “Canada prospered in the 1990s, individual Canadians did not.” And, in part, that was because “the lion »

Free Saddam!

Now that the Iraqis are in charge, they intend to lose no time in bringing Saddam Hussein to trial. An Iraqi spokesman announced today that Saddam will be charged before an Iraqi judge within the next few days. Meanwhile, Saddam’s defense team has been busy, making various appeals for his release. Here is what astounded me: Saddam’s team now consists of no fewer than 1,500 lawyers! Many are from Arab »

Power Line 9/11

This past Saturday morning Rocket Man and I were interviewed by Chuck Olsen and his lovely assistant Lori Erickson. By day Chuck is the Web master for the local Twin Cities public television station; by night he is a filmmaker whose present project is a documentary on the development and growth of the blogosphere. Rocket Man noted the invitation from Chuck to be interviewed for the film in “Coming soon »

Sovereignty Handed Over Early

The U.S. jumped the gun and transferred sovereignty to Iraqis two days ahead of schedule. The speeded-up transfer was apparently prompted by security concerns. The ceremony was attended by only a handful of people. I don’t suppose it makes any difference, but the hurried-up transfer certainly doesn’t inspire much confidence. Meanwhile, Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun has apparently been abducted and is now threatened with murder. The story of Hassoun’s »

Orwellian Maryland

In Maryland, food stamp recipients don’t actually get “stamps” anymore. They get a card, similar to a bank debit card, for use at grocery stores, etc. The name of this card? The “Independence Card.” As my friend Craig Harrision says, this is beyond euphemism. In Maryland, dependence now means independence. »

Bi-partisan point-missing

Mark Steyn on how the 9/11 commission “blew it.” As Steyn observes, “they were appointed to take a cool, dispassionate look at the government’s response to an act of war, but they were unable to rise above the most pointless partisan point-scoring.” But Steyn makes a more fundamental and less obvious second point: “The underlying assumption behind all the whiny point-scoring is false, and deeply dangerous.” Why? Because “most of »

We Told You So

We have long believed that it is almost certainly true that Iraq tried to buy uranium from Niger. We explained why here. Briefly, Iraq sent one of its biggest advocates of nuclear weaponry on a trade mission to Niger. Niger exports virtually nothing except uranium; its second biggest export is animal hides. But the ridiculous Joseph Wilson and his wife Valerie Plame have obscured what seems to be a rather »

Merle Haggard in profile

Like Elvis Presley and Ray Charles, Merle Haggard is a singer in whose voice one can hear all the strands of American popular music. Last Sunday’s Los Angeles Times published a terrific profile of Haggard by Times music critic Robert Hilburn. Hilburn’s profile focuses on Haggard’s songwriting. The profile is not accessible on the Times site, but it appears in today’s St. Paul Pioneer Press and is available on the »

Second-guessing second-guessed

Michael Rubin argues, convincingly I think, that the “Fallujah experiment” has failed and should be put to an end. As Rubin explains: “Former Iraqi army officers have failed in their promise to apprehend those guilty of the mutilation of four American civilian contractors on March 31. Rather than expel foreign fighters, the Fallujah Brigade protects them. The Brigade has also not affected the surrender of heavy weapons. Meanwhile, free from »

The Usual Suspects

Press coverage of President Bush’s visit to Turkey has focused on the thousands of demonstrators who have turned out to protest. They are generally described as “anti-Bush” protesters; occasionally as anti-NATO. The press coverage universally suggests that President Bush is somehow blameworthy for incurring the ire of these demonstrators. As the photo below shows, however, the Turkish demonstrators, like others around the world, have a broader agenda than the Iraq »

Al Qaeda in Boston

I can’t find a follow-up story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on the indictment of Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi in Minneapolis on Friday. For the follow-up we go to this morning’s Boston Globe: “FBI probes sleeper cell possibility.” The Globe reports: The Boston office of the FBI is investigating whether a former local cabdriver indicted Friday on charges of lying about ties to a suspected terrorist may have been part of »

Thin air and heavy breathing

On Friday the Wall Street Journal ran Mark Steyn’s review of Bill Clinton’s memoirs and the Journal has made it available online this morning: “The wrong way to Mount Rushmore.” Steyn points out a fact I have seen observed nowhere else; perhaps other reviewers such as Larry McMurtry didn’t get quite as far in the book as Steyn did: Is there anything interesting in “My Life” by Bill Clinton? Oh, »