Monthly Archives: December 2005

A song for you

One of the musical highlights of 2004 for me was seeing Leon Russell perform at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in Minneapolis. I wrote about the show in “Stranger in a strange land.” Included in Leon’s set was his beautiful love song “A song for you.” Ray Charles performed a magnificent cover of the song on 1993’s “My World.” One of the musical highlights of 2005 for me has »

Forever young

Vietnam and Watergate are seminal events for almost all liberals my age. Vietnam taught them to distrust the use of force by our military, and to despise leaders who aggressively use military force in the name of the national interest. Watergate confirmed that a leader who projects military force overseas for that purpose can be expected to usurp power at home. These “lessons” were rejected by most baby-boomers even at »

Remind me why we’re funding these bastards

This won’t surprise anyone who has been paying attention, but it may surprise the State Department — according to a new poll (see table 2.22(2)), 65 percent of Palestinians support al Qaeda terror attacks on the United States and European countries. Well-to-do Palestinians supported such attacks to nearly the same extent. The poll was conducted by FAFO – a Norwegian-based NGO not known for sympathy toward Israel or antipathy toward »

The most important economic news of the early 21st century

Most serious economists believe that “productivity” — measured by output per hour for the nonfarm business sector — is the best single measure of what leads to differences in economic performance over time. In fact, Paul Krugman believed this when he was a serious economist (and he may still believe it, for all I know). Arnold Kling reports that the average productivity growth from 2000-2005 is 50 percent higher than »

Lost in Africa

Recognition for the headline of the day goes to the New York Sun for its editorial on Kofi Annan, James Bone, Kojo Annan and the magic disappearing sporty green Benz that has gone missing in Africa: “Follow that car.” (Courtesy of RealClearPolitics.) »

Hunter’s “Munich”

We’re late coming to the film criticism of Washington Post movie critic Stephen Hunter. Earlier this year reader Judith Sears brought Hunter to our attention in connection with his excellent, beautifully written review of “The Great Raid.” Last Friday Hunter reviewed “Munich” for the Post. His take on the film is the first that has made me laugh: The film arrives at, politically, today’s classic liberal cri de coeur against »

He survived Libya

Michael J. Totten writes from Beirut: My first person account of hanging out in the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya – the most oppressive country in the world after North Korea -– has been published by the LA Weekly: “In the Land of the Brother Leader.” I don’t know if this is the best thing I’ve ever written, but it’s certainly my favorite. Can you please direct your readers »

A word from Major E.

Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal carried an article by Yochi Dreazen and John McKinnon about Move America Forward, “a media-savvy outside advocacy group that has become one of the loudest — and most controversial — voices in the Iraq debate”: “Some conservatives return to old argument.” (Click here for a synidicated version of the article that appeared in the Portsmouth Herald yesterday.) The article profiles the organization from an unfriendly perspective, »

The L.A. Times Embarrasses Itself Again

The second thing I saw tonight, courtesy of Hugh Hewitt, was this astonishing story of misreporting at the Los Angeles Times: A quote in a fake news release that was intended as an April Fool’s joke ended up in a front-page story in the Los Angeles Times. The story in Tuesday’s editions of the Times noted how successful the reintroduction of wolves had been 10 years ago, but said the »

Exploding Cigar?

I’m traveling on business today, and the first thing I saw when I arrived at my hotel, courtesy of most of the bloggers who have RSS feeds on Power Line News, was this, from Rasmussen Reports: Sixty-four percent (64%) of Americans believe the National Security Agency (NSA) should be allowed to intercept telephone conversations between terrorism suspects in other countries and people living in the United States. A Rasmussen Reports »

A window that is closing fast

One of the major stories of 2006 will be Iran’s continued development of nuclear weapons, and this likely will constitute the biggest story of the year as far as Israel is concerned. Israel appears to believe that the imposition of sanctions by the U.N. would be sufficient to ease the danger since, according to testimony by Mossad Chief Meir Dagan, “forty percent of Iran’s fuel needs are imported.” However, the »

Hillary’s revenge, and the MSM’s complicity

In 2003, President Bush nominated Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The Democrats have blocked consideration of that nomination, and Kavanaugh was not part of the group of nominees who saw the light of day after the gang of 14 deal. To add insult to injury, the Senate now has agreed, by unanimous consent, to hold over all nominations from this session except »

Centrist Democrats Fret About National Security

Donald Lambro reports on concerns among “centrist Democrats” that the party’s attack on the Patriot Act and on the administration’s legal surveillance programs will hurt it at the polls in 2006: These Democrats say attacks on anti-terrorist intelligence programs will deepen mistrust of their ability to protect the nation’s security, a weakness that led in part to the defeat of Sen. John Kerry, the Democratic presidential nominee, last year. “The »

Eyeless in Gaza

The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center has just published an extremely interesting study of suicide bombings in Israel: “Suicide bombing terrorism during the current Israeli-Palestinian confrontation” (in PDF). The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center is part of the Center for Special Studies, a non-governmental organization operating in memory of the fallen of the Israeli Intelligence Community and headed by Dr. Reuven Erlich, a retired IDF lieutenant colonel. The study covers »

Legal (and good for you)

Yesterday we failed to get around to the excellent New York Times op-ed column by David Rivkin and Lee Casey on the law applicable to the NSA terrorist eavesdropping program: “Unwarranted complaints.” Here is the point made as concisely as possible, consistent with John’s longer analysis here last week: The president has the constitutional authority to acquire foreign intelligence without a warrant or any other type of judicial blessing. The »

The year of revenge

Remember how, during Hurricane Katrina, FEMA chief Mike Brown was ridiculed for not knowing about the plight of those gathered at the New Orleans Convention Center until he belatedly heard about it from the MSM? This column by Mona Charen suggests that FEMA might have done better had it never tuned the MSM in. Charen notes that FEMA eventually showed up at the Convention Center with a refrigerated 18-wheeler and »

The Last Word on Spielberg’s “Munich”…

…goes to the Palestinian terrorist who organized the 1972 massacre, via Reuters: The Palestinian mastermind of the Munich Olympics attack in which 11 Israeli athletes died said on Tuesday he had no regrets and that Steven Spielberg’s new film about the incident would not deliver reconciliation. Mohammed Daoud planned the Munich attack on behalf of PLO splinter group Black September, but did not take part and does not feature in »