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Breaking NEws: Donna Hanover Is a Problem for Rudy


A Giuliani strategy memo winds up in the Daily News .


A Surge Forward


Web Briefing: December 26, 2014

Alien Nation, Pt. 2


Apparently the folks from Lake State were outvoted:

The Modern Language Association’s Delegate Assembly voted overwhelmingly Friday to endorse shifting the dates of the annual convention away from the traditional time slot in the week between Christmas and New Year’s, and passed a resolution calling for the replacement of the term “illegal aliens” with “undocumented workers” (and a guarantee of in-state tuition for those fitting under the label).


Alien Nation


Lake State Superior University, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, puts out of an annual list of words and phrases that ought to be banned, taking suggestions from people who write in. It’s always fun to read. The new list, which has just come out, includes:

UNDOCUMENTED ALIEN — “If they haven’t followed the law to get here, they are by definition ‘illegal.’ It’s like saying a drug dealer is an ‘undocumented pharmacist.’” — John Varga, Westfield, New Jersey.

Also: “LSSU accepts nominations for the banished-words list throughout the year. To submit your nomination for the 2008 list, go to”

Checking Out


Are public libraries supposed to repositories of the best that has been thought and said, or are they supposed to compete with bookstores for customers? In Fairfax County, Va., librarians are removing classics that haven’t been checked out recently so they can make more room for bestsellers and titles that Oprah likes. I’ve got some pretty strong libertarian tendencies, but I’ve always had a soft spot for public libraries. If they merely become government-run versions of what the private sector delivers so efficiently nowadays–the ability to purchase just about any book ever printed, and often at a very good price if you’re willing to buy from a secondhand seller–then maybe we don’t really need them anymore.

What Exactly Were They Drinking?




Imagine that Saddam had not been executed. Imagine that he had been sentenced to life in prison.

Now imagine that a group of pro-Saddam terrorists seizes an elementary school. They say they will kill all the students and teachers if Saddam is not released within 24 hours.

Should Saddam then be released? Or should several dozen innocent children and their teachers be killed?

Is it not better that we have guaranteed that it will never be necessary to make such a choice?



No, not in France, but in the UK. The latest folly from Tony Blair’s government is a proposal to ban certain foods from being advertised alongside TV programs that “the Children” like to watch (such as, um, “The Simpsons,” I note, Jonah). These include Camembert, raisins, sultanas, peanut butter,and olive oil.

The full list can be seen here.

And if any people still think that the “war against obesity” is to do with much more than the urge to boss other people around they are, I suspect, as delusional as those who truly believe that Camembert should be treated like a “junk” food.



The early days of a new year can, you know, be a little drab, so, for those wanting a laugh, here’s a list (in PDF format, I fear) of the British Conservative Party’s list of ‘Environmental Heroes and Zeros for 2006’. Amongst the heroes, Al Gore (yup), junk Nostradamus Sir Nicholas Stern, and the wastrel better known as Prince Charles. Amongst the zeros, Exxon Mobil, for daring to fund think-tanks that dissent from the orthodoxy over global warming, and Bayer AG for, among other ‘offenses,’ lobbying against the EU’s ignorant and potentially ruinous REACH directive.

Now, the Cameron strategy is said to be to put a smiley (in other words a sort-of-lefty) face on the Tories in order to take them to electoral victory (to be fair, they are ahead in the polls, although not as far ahead as they should be given the contempt in which the Blair government is generally held in the UK), and there’s some cynical logic to that, but much more of this sort of nonsense and I’ll start believing that they actually mean some of what they say, in which case any decision to vote for them becomes, let’s put it gently, highly problematic.

Read the whole thing and you’ll see what I’m getting at.

The Best and Worst Political Moments of 2006


NRO’s roundup, btw, is here.

The March of the Stormtroopers


AP on the Rose Bowl parade

One of the highlights was the three-piece “Star Wars Spectacular,” an entry that celebrates the 1977 release of “Star Wars,” the first film in the sci-fi saga. About 200 stormtroopers led by Darth Vader marched down Colorado Boulevard as Ewoks swung from trees and waterfalls cascaded down the side of the garden planet Naboo.

The parade’s Grand Marshal was “Star Wars” creator George Lucas who rode in a 1911 Pope-Hartford, Model Y.

“We’ve lived here all our lives and never been to the parade, but this year we just gotta see Mr. Lucas,” said 51-year-old Robin Romero of Hacienda Heights, who frequents “Star Wars” conventions across the country. “This is the 10th time I’ll see him (Lucas) in person. It’s going to be so cool to see the stormtroopers march.”

And semi-related: Yes, Star Trek Day on NRO is coming and will be worth the wait. 



… John Nichols posts his MVPs for the 2006 political season. The column is a good insight into the far left’s view of themselves, their allies, and the political landscape. It also has some truly outrageous stuff, such as this nauseating bit on Jimmy Carter:

Thomas Jefferson said when left the presidency that he was retiring to a higher position: that of citizen. And it is as a citizen that another former president, Jimmy Carter, continues to make profound contributions to the nation. Increasingly frustrated by the failure of both the Bush administration and Democrats in Congress to take seriously the duty of U.S. officials to operate as honest brokers in the festering dispute between Israel and Palestine, Carter penned the most important book ever written by an ex-president: Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid (Simon & Schuster). Carter’s frank assessment of the history and current character of the Middle East peace process has earned him vilification from those who would maintain an untenable status quo. Old friends and allies have abandoned him because of his willingness to echo the sentiments of Israeli peace activists by declaring that: “Palestinians must live in peace and dignity, and permanent Israeli settlements on their land are a major obstacle to this goal.” Carter has been let down by a U.S. media that is supposed to encourage open debate and discourse. And, yet, he has persevered in explaining to true friends of Israel and Palestine the need to recognize that a lasting peace, while possible, will not be achieved until the United States and other powerful nations get serious aboutpromoting sincere negotiations. “An overwhelming majority of citizens of Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, and Palestine want peace, with justice for all who live in the Holy Land,” argues Carter. “It will be a shame if the world community fails to help them reach this goal.” As a citizen who happens to have a Nobel Prize for Peace on his mantle, Carter is doing his part to avert that shame.

ME: How silly. “Old friends and allies” have abandoned Carter because he makes stuff up in order to make our enemies look good. Nobody disagrees that Palestinians “must live inpeace and dignity” and many supporters of Israel would even support the Palestinians’ grievances over land if murdering Jewish children (and each other) wasn’t so popular among them. I fully agree that serious negotiations are the key to resolving the conflict. This is why the absence among the Palestinians of any person or group that can speak for them and bind them all to an enforceable settlement is the single most importatn obstacle to peace. There is no point in talking to Abbas if Abbas speaks only for himself and there is nothing that Israel can do about it. But there is something Jimmy Carter could do: Explain Thomas Jefferson and the responsibilities of democraticcitizenship to the Palestinians, rather than pontificating endlessly about how aweful America and Israel are.

On Wednesday


Saad al-Bazzaz on Saddam


Saad al-Bazzaz, once a confidant of Saddam and his sons, long edited the Saddam’s newspaper.  He broke with the Iraqi President in 1992.  Today, al-Bazzaz edits az-Zaman, the most popular newspaper in Iraq and also founded ash-Sharqiya, the most popular television station.  This interview, from 1995, illuminates a bit about his foreign policy and, in retrospect, quite accurate.

Talk vs. Action


This is a side-by-side worth considering:

On This Week yesterday, John Edwards said: “But the genocide, global poverty, the spread of HIV/AIDS, the atrocities that are occurring in northern Uganda, there are a whole range of places that America would have basically universal support if we showed some leadership.”

The Washington Post reports: “The president has tripled direct humanitarian and development aid to the world’s most impoverished continent since taking office and recently vowed to double that increased amount by 2010 — to nearly $9 billion.” — (Bush Has Quietly Tripled Aid to Africa, by Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post, December 31, 2006 )

Consider this a New year’s wish


MOBILE — U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) released the statement below following the execution of Saddam Hussein:

“Saddam Hussein was justly executed after a long, public and fair trial. It was more than he gave to those who did not agree with his every whim. Even so the conviction was based on only a few of his terrible crimes. We may hope his death will help the Iraqi people put this painful period in their nation’s history behind them. There are no easy or quick solutions to the violence that persists against the democratically elected government of Iraq. There are only steps towards stability, progress and peace. Saddam Hussein’s execution is one such important step.”

Some Reading Around the Web


Here’s Something Some Muslim Women Might Care to Take Issue With


From the Scotsman :

AL-QAEDA’S deputy leader said yesterday that any Muslim woman who wears the veil in Western countries is a supporter in what he described as a fight between Islam and “Zionist Crusaders”.

Ayman al-Zawahri issued what amounted to an al-Qaeda New Year message to the world in an audio tape posted on the internet , calling on militant groups in Iraq to unite and urging Palestinians not to co-operate with the Palestinian Authority….

In Other News



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