Monthly Archives: March 2005

The Best Education Money Can Buy

Considering the vast amounts of money that are spent on public education, especially in urban areas, stories like this one seem inexplicable: “NYC Recalls Math Guides Full of Errors”. City officials recalled preparation material for math tests that had been sent to teachers after discovering they were filled with math and spelling mistakes. Several answers in the guide were wrong. There were also sloppy diagrams and improper notation of exponents. »

A bi-partisan embarrassment

Something called American University’s Center for Democracy and Election Management has established “a bipartisan commission” to examine problems with the U.S. election system, the Washington Post reports. The commission will be headed by Jimmy Carter and James Baker. Tom Daschle will also particpate. I didn’t know that universities got to appoint bi-partisan commissions — I thought they just issued studies. I also thought that bi-partisan commissions consisted of Republicans and »

Fishy and fishier

At In the Agora Joshua Claybourn reports that four staffers of Senators Rick Santorum and Mel Martinez accused a renegade aide to Sen. Harry Reid of distributing the purported GOP talking points memo to the media and claiming Republican authorship. Michelle Malkin isn’t buying it (Michelle’s post is “Eyewitnesses?”): – ITA’s sources are apparently unwilling to identify themselves. Anonymous accusations must be viewed more skeptically than accusations made by someone »

Conduct unbecoming

In their Weekly Standard piece on “The politics of the Schiavo case,” Jeff Bell and Frank Cannon apprehend a dynamic that belies the poll results with which we’ve been inundated: It was a substantive policy victory for forces opposed to the right to life (it doesn’t seem accurate, in this instance, to describe these forces as “pro-choice”), but it may be a victory they come to regret. For one thing, »

Facts, ideology, and hatred

I’ve long been fascinated by the way people apply ideology to decide simple issues of fact. This phenomenon occurs, for example, in disputes about whether public figures engaged in misconduct. Thus, it is my understanding that most people made up their minds about whether Alger Hiss once belonged to a communist cell along ideological lines. And this certainly was true with respect to public sentiment about whether Clarence Thomas made »

Why We’re Winning In Iraq

Power Line reader Jean Palmer sent us this great photo of her brother, Brigadier General Pete Palmer, in an Iraqi hospital with a boy named Ahmed Hameed (click to enlarge): Here is what General Palmer wrote about the photo: Visited the hospital today (I try and swing by and say hello to soldiers that have been wounded and make sure they are doing as well as possible) and ran into »

A Sad Day

I can understand how people can view the Terri Schiavo case differently. To me, the right result seems clear, even though the facts are complicated and the legal history is tangled. But I can understand how others can see the case differently, and I can foresee that in other cases, involving people on ventilators and other life-support systems, whose medical condition is not in doubt, I may part company with »

Kurtz Swings, Misses

Michelle Malkin points out something that we missed: at the very end of his column in the Washington Post today, Howard Kurtz notes the controversy over the apparently fake “GOP talking points memo” that Democratic aides circulated last week. Kurtz’s commentary, however, is extraordinarily lame: Powerline, which played a role in exposing CBS’s National Guard memos, is wondering about the Republican strategy memo that, oddly enough, fails to list an »

Hey, nineteen

Today is the birthday of Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul. The metaphor of royal lineage has some application in Franklin’s case; her father, the Reverend C.L. Franklin, was the renowned Detroit preacher whose New Bethel Baptist Church provided the original venue for Aretha and her sisters, Erma and Caroline. She became a child star as a gospel singer and was signed at age eighteen to a recording contract at Columbia »

Debating a moot point

Radio Blogger has the transcripts of Hugh Hewitt’s debates with two law professors about the adequacy of the federal courts’ handling of the Terri Schiavo case. The first transcipt is of Hugh’s debate with Professor Jonathan Adler. The second is of Hugh’s discussion with Professor Orin Kerr and former prosecutor Andrew McCarthy. The latter agrees with Hugh that the courts failed to do what Congress intended that they would do. »

Conspiracy theory

Reader Mark Coffey pointed out that the Yemen Observer has a theory about who is responsible for the assassination of former Lebanon prime minister Rafik Hariri: According to high-level Lebanese intelligence sources »

The Weekly Standard on Terri Schiavo

The new issue of the Weekly Standard has come out a day early to consider the case of Terri Schiavo. It is full of important pieces. See, for example, Bill Kristol’s “Evolving standards of decency,” but don’t miss the rest of the issue either. »

Learning from Mr. Podhoretz

In the hurry to post a link to Norman Podhoretz’s most recent meditation on Israel and America (“Bush, Sharon, My Daughter and Me”), forthcoming in the April issue of Commentary, I neglected even to say a word about Podhoretz himself. Last year Podhoretz was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Bush in a White House ceremony that also honored Pope John Paul II, Robert Bartley, Vartan Gregorian, Estee Lauder, »

Churchill rules

In connection with our “Churchill investigation” post below, don’t miss Victor Davis Hanson’s NRO column of yesterday: “The seven faces of ‘Dr.’ Churchill.” VDH asks whether Churchill even exists and demosntrates that his “faces are made up out of whole cloth.” He is a fraud, a charlatan, a con man of the kind immortalized in Melville and Twain. VDH finds that Churchill is an academic everyman and deduces the laws »

Churchill Investigation to Continue

The University of Colorado released its report on Ward Churchill today; Chancellor Phil DiStefano gave a press conference. Michelle Malkin has lots of information. The review concluded that Churchill couldn’t be disciplined for his post-September 11 hate speech, on the ground that it is protected by the First Amendment. It concluded that further review is required with respect to other allegations against Churchill, including research misconduct, fraudulent representations in his »

Now For Some Good News

We haven’t paid enough attention to what has been happening in Iraq over the last few days. The news has been pretty uniformly good. Eighty-five terrorists were killed in a raid in central Iraq, conducted mostly by Iraqi forces and precipitated by information from Iraqis. Those killed were reported to include “Iraqis, Filipinos, Algerians, Moroccans, Afghans and Arabs from neighboring countries.” In Baghdad, terrorists who were shooting up the Doura »

Crack-up alert

The concept of a “conservative crack-up” holds the same article-of-faith status for many of today’s liberals that the “final crisis of capitalism” held for the Marxist left of my day. Both are fast-approaching, and virtually any bump in the road is greeted not just as evidence of the crack-up/final crisis, but as its beginning. And both deemed inevitable by virtue of “internal contradictions.” We probably will see a conservative crack-up, »