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I Agree Totally With The Sentiments in This E-Mail...



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…which a friend shared. He sent it a while ago to a Red Sox fan friend:
“I’ll tell you what I told one of my neighbors at a bar last night as we
watched the Yankees defeat the Red Sox – - I with a huge smile on my face
and he dumbstruck and pouting.

`You guys gave as good as you got,’ I said to him as he seemed not to
breathe. `You tested us at every minute in a match-up that should make you
proud. You made us fight for this victory from beginning to end.
Congratulations.’ And then I shook his hand.

I meant it when I said it to him, and I mean it as I offer these sentiments
to you.

2004 is another year.”

Easterbrook’s Apology



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I’m almost sorry Easterbrook apologized the way he did. Or at least I’m sorry it got so much play (I saw mention of it on Fox News tonight) — because I have no doubt it was an innocent miscommunication. I criticized his comments about Jewish movie producers, but I never thought for a moment he meant anything truly sinister. Rather, I was just surprised that a guy who’s always come across as such a decent and, more relevant, clear writer seemed to get tongue-tied. I have no idea if the story has legs but, even though he has spoken ill of NRO (for which he shall be punished), I have no doubt that his apology is sincere and his biggest and only mistake was writing something that was uncharacteristically vague where clarity was required.

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Cool Stuff



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A loyal reader, Jeremy Yoder, designed this. Me likey. In fact, it gives me an idea. For the foreseeable future — or until I discover that for reasons I can’t see right now — I will post a link to all tasteful, cool and favorable to NRO-related logos, animations, videos etc. The reward is the link and the subsequent thousands of visitors plus our admiration, our discussion in the Corner and maybe just maybe some sort of symbolic prize. Maybe we will even end up using the best entry ourselves and the quasi legal status of this whole proposition will result in lawsuits all over the place.

Sound like fun?

So: all of you web folks out there who want to get noticed or who are just bored, let’s see what you can do. Put “cool stuff” in the header and send it to me or K-Lo (man, I hope Kathryn likes this idea).

Web Briefing: July 25, 2014

One More Thing



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The allegations against our troops are disturbing precisely because they are OUR troops and, as such, it is reasonable to expect the best of them. They are not Iraqi troops, or Mexican troops, or Russian troops, or anything else, and should be held to a higher standard. That troops or guerillas from some other land do worse things is no excuse. Our soldiers are Americans. As such we should hope they represent our principles and ideals, even in the toughest of situations. Our forces in Iraq are on an important and perilous mission — and we should all be grateful for their sacrifices. That does not mean we should excuse gross misconduct if (and I stress, if) it should occur.

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Readers On Troops Behaving Badly



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Lots of e-mail on the allegations that U.S. troops cut down Iraqi fruit trees as “collective punishment” for failing to provide intelligence on Baathist guerillas. First, many readers are suspicious of the source — the Independent — which is known for its anti-American slant. This is a fair point, and the reason I said the story was troubling “if” it was true.

Other readers accept the story, but suggest it omitted key details — something I am willing to believe. For instance, Joseph Frye comments

I have been in contact with an officer in the Thai army that has provided myself and others with some information regarding this practice (though perhaps not this particular instance) via Thai military operating with the Coalition in Iraq.

While the jist of the story is correct, important and relevant details are left out. It seems that Iraqi “resistance” fighters are using orchards and such as cover to launch attacks on Coalition forces traveling on roads passing near the trees. American commanders are reluctant to destroy private property, so they offer the orchard owners a choice. They may provide information on the attackers themselves and allow American forces to pursue and destroy them, clearly the desirable option, or have the orchards near the road destroyed, thus making it more difficult for the resistance to find cover from which to launch attacks.

If the owner is unable or unwilling to help, the Americans have little choice but to destroy the orchards. If the owners are unable to provide the information requested, this is certainly sad, but ultimately necessary. Mercian forces must be allowed to defend themselves and make their environment safer. Clearly some Iraqis may walk away from such experiences feeling that they have been blackmailed and subjected to collective punishment, but that’s not the whole -or real- story.

Frye’s source also claims that the Iraqis in question are “compensated generously” for the loss of their trees. Assuming this is all true, it changes the complexion of the story quite significantly.

Finally, it has been confirmed to me by two sources that collective punishment is a violation of international law and is punishible under the U.S. Code of Military Justice. The questions, then, are a) whether the alleged conduct occurred, and b) whether it constitutes “collective punishment.”

Amazon Comments On Legacy



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My favorite: “A PAGE TURNER! Lowry writes with intelligence, insight and humor.”

My least favorite (although it’s amusing): “It’s clear this guy just hates America. Why doesn’t he leave if he doesn’t like it here? Bill Clinton is the greatest president in our lifetime.”

I Owe My Heartiest Apologies...



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…to Aaron Boone. If that’s what all his lack of production was building up to, it was well worth it.

Stunning Npr Verdict: We Showed Bias



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NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin has come to an opinion on Terry Gross’s differing book-plugging NPR “Fresh Air” interviews of Bill O’Reilly and Al Franken, and the verdict is: “Unfortunately, the [O'Reilly] interview only served to confirm the belief, held by some, in NPR’s liberal media bias.”

He explained: “Although O’Reilly frequently resorts to bluster and bullying on his own show, he seemed unable to take her tough questions. He became angrier as the interview went along. But by coming across as a pro-Franken partisan rather than a neutral and curious journalist, Gross did almost nothing that might have allowed the interview to develop.

“By the time the interview was about halfway through, it felt as though Terry Gross was indeed ‘carrying Al Franken’s water,’ as some listeners say. It was not about O’Reilly’s ideas, or his attitudes or even about his book. It was about O’Reilly as political media phenomenon. That’s a legitimate subject for discussion, but in this case, it was an interview that was, in the end, unfair to O’Reilly.”

Beantown Jerks



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I understand people get passionate about
sports, but some folks need a punch in the nose. I refer to the guy here in
Dallas who drove past me last weekend as I was taking my kid to soccer
practice, and leaned out of the passenger side of his pal’s truck to scream,
“YANKEES SU-U-U-CK!” He was wearing a shirt that said the same thing.
Apparently the Yanks sticker on my car bothered him. “Daddy, what did he
say?” said my four-year-old son. I didn’t explain. Well, today, my wife and
kid stopped in a local Starbucks, and there sat a guy in a Red Sox cap
working on his laptop. Guy looks up as
they go in, and sees my kid wearing his Yanks cap. My kid smiles at the Sox
guy — and the guy gives a four-year-old kid a dirty look. On the way out,
my kid smiles at him again. Guy just glares.

I mean, really, I know you hate that your team lost, but why be nasty to a
four-year-old boy?

Arab News



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reports Mr. “Jews Rule the World” remarks uncritically.

Anagrams



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From an NRO reader:

You might point out that “Rich Lowry’s LEGACY” has some great
anagrams
, like

A SLY, WRY CIRCLE HOG

WHO’S A GIRLY CYCLER?

A WRY, CHIC, GORY SELL

A COY CLERGY WHIRLS

CHEWS A LYRIC GLORY

WHY CLOG A SLY CRIER?

SHOWY CRY? RIG A CELL!

A SCREW? CRY, “GO HILLY!”

SO GREW A CHILLY CRY

LEG WHILRS, A COY CRY

and several featuring CIGAR.


I really could have done without that last bit of information.

Russ Loves Paul



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Check out Russell Baker’s paean to Paul Krugman in the current (11/6/03)
New York Review of Elite Lefties
(not yet up in
digital form). Russ twice goes into a swoon at Paul’s “courage” in
writing anti-Bush stuff right after 9/11. Paul is, says Russ, “as
mainstream as it gets.” (For a translation of “mainstream,” see my recent
“Devil’s Dictionary
.” )

Paul is, Russ wants us to know, brilliant, perceptive, fearless… George
W. Bush is, of course, either a blundering moron being used as a front man
by sinister “corporate interests,” or an evil Mephistophelian genius
ruthlessly carrying out a “right-wing revolution,” depending on which
paragraph you are reading. This is a little pure crystal of contemporary
liberal hysteria. Warning: if you plan on reading the whole thing, have a
barf bag close at hand.

Flaws=Conservatism



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CBS Castigates the Pope: “His Legacy is Not Without Flaws
The flawed Pope. CBS’s Allen Pizzey on Thursday night marked the Pope’s 25th anniversary by listing some of his successes, but then Pizzey declared as fact that “his legacy is not without flaws” with policies which “have alienated many.” Not that his legacy is not without detractors or that some think his views are flawed, but that his legacy does include areas in which he has definitively been “flawed.” Pizzey, naturally, cited topics on which the Pope’s stands upset liberals — “his staunch refusal to ordain women as priests and rigorous rejection of birth control, abortion and homosexuality, have alienated many.”

The Right Thinking



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A reader:


Cubs – OUT

Red Sox – OUT

Must find something to do in evenings now.

……I know, read an autographed copy of Legacy. Problem solved. I’m ordering now.

The Rule of 14



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Jonathan Rauch: “Only four candidates have a shot next year. They are President Bush, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, and Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina. The rest are history. Sorry, Dick. Sorry, John. Sorry, Dennis, Joe, Carol, and Al. Turn off the lights behind you. . . .

“With only one exception since the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, no one has been elected president who took more than 14 years to climb from his first major elective office to election as either president or vice president.

“George W. Bush took six years. Bill Clinton, 14. George H.W. Bush, 14 (to the vice presidency). Ronald Reagan, 14. Jimmy Carter, six. Richard Nixon, six (to vice president). John Kennedy, 14. Dwight Eisenhower, zero. Harry Truman, 10 (to vice president). Franklin Roosevelt, four. Herbert Hoover, zero. Calvin Coolidge, four. Warren Harding, six. Woodrow Wilson, two. William Howard Taft, zero. Theodore Roosevelt, two (to vice president). The one exception: Lyndon Johnson’s 23 years from his first House victory to the vice presidency.”

The whole thing is worth reading.

News: The Pennsylvania Skinny: Go Pat Go!



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Keystone State political insiders report to NRO that the third quarter of 2003 was Rep. Pat Toomey’s “best-ever” fundraising quarter ($780,000 raised)—putting more in their pot than any other Senate challenger (either party) this year. During the same timeframe, Arlen Specter had his worst fundraising quarter this year ($1,300,000).

Boxcutters



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And in Boston...



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I was in Boston last night having dinner with longtime NRODT contributor David Brudnoy. David, who has survived nine years with AIDS, is now receiving radiation and chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer. (The prognosis seems hopeful.) David bears it with his accustomed gallantry. How nice it would be not to need gallantry, says the Sancho Panza in us all, but life does not allow it.

Speaking of the need for gallantry…I heard, in the early morning hours, roisterers outside my window. The men were shouting F***! F***! F***! I couldn’t tell whether the F’s were triumphal or angry. It seems to have been the latter.

Ignore Me



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I was totally wrong about Shattered Glass. The movie is NOT based on Glass’s book, The Fabulist. (Details here.) Please forgive me. Friday and I can’t keep anything straight that is not in LEGACY.

Speaking of Tnr



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Easterbrook has apologized for his Kill Bill Jew remark.

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