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No, not Art Bell, but a terrific story from Arizona, marred only by the reference to Gilbert O’Sullivan.

Via Reason’s blog.



Serial smoked salmon abuser, Josh Chafetz of Oxblog, is now openly admitting to have cooked, eaten and enjoyed a “brie, caramelized onions, and smoked salmon quesadilla”. No more need be said.


British Gun Control


Alarming comments from a senior British policeman warning about an “escalating gun culture.” How can this be? Doesn’t the UK have some of the toughest gun controls in the world?

Samizdata has more.

Web Briefing: September 18, 2014

Socialized Medicine Watch



The General


It’s way too soon to know what to make of Wesley Clark, but that’s not stopping Mark Steyn from having a go. Here’s an extract from a piece in today’s Sunday Telegraph:

“All his military background does is keep military matters at the forefront of the campaign.

He will be asked why he got fired from the Nato job, why his buddy Bill Clinton declined to save him, why neither his civilian nor uniformed bosses – Bill Cohen, the Defence Secretary, and General Shelton, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs – attended his retirement ceremony, a huge public snub for a four-star general.

It is hard to argue that Iraq was a disaster when, in the crappy little war you, General Clark, presided over, the most powerful military on the planet took 78 days of aerial bombardment to destroy just over a dozen tanks; hard to argue that our boys shouldn’t be getting picked off on the ground in Iraq when in your war they stayed up at 15,000 feet, nights only, bombing hospitals, commuter trains, refugee convoys, the Chinese embassy, etc; hard to argue that Iraq wasn’t worth it when, by most accounts, there’s more ethnic cleansing (Muslims against Christians) going on in “liberated” Kosovo than there was in Slobo’s day.

If General Clark’s the candidate, he’ll be the embodiment of ineffectual Clintonian warmongering.”

It’s possible to disagree with much of what Steyn has to say, but the underlying point is right. General Clark has gotten an entry ticket into this election on the basis of an impressive military career. That’s fair enough (and I wouldn’t be calling anyone with his record of wartime heroism ‘General Jello’), but that does not mean that that his record of command should not come under scrutiny.

Double Standards?


It’s important not to stretch too far when looking to draw wider meaning from the appalling number of heat-wave related deaths this summer in France. The French family is not about to fall apart, and France’s healthcare system is better than anything across the English Channel. That said, a death toll on the scale that occurred was more than a series of individual tragedies, and it deserves more of a response than it seems to have got.

Writing for Austria’s Format magazine, Christian Ortner has not been impressed:

“”European intellectuals went wild when the electricity failed in Baghdad. They note the 10,000 heat deaths in France with a shrug of the shoulders.”

This is an analogy that shouldn’t be pushed too far, but interesting nonetheless.

Via Bill Dawson blogging away from Vienna

Gareth Jones


I’m currently reading a book about the strange fate of Gareth Jones, the young Welsh journalist who did what Walter Duranty wouldn’t, and told the truth about the Ukrainian famine. A year or two later he traveled to Manchuria, where he came to a mysterious and tragic end in August 1935.

Here’s an extract from the letter he wrote to his family on July 14th the same year:

” …we came to a huge collection of mud houses, with some stone in the middle surrounded by hills. It was Kalgan, the outpost for trade between the Mongols and China. There, two magnificent cars were waiting for us. We were to be the guests of Mr. Purpis, a Latvian, the “King of Kalgan” who is the chief trader in Inner Mongolia and sells about 30,000 horses each year to the Chinese Army. Our chauffeur was the former chauffeur of the Panchen Lama, who with the Dala Lama is the chief lama of Tibet and Mongolia. He drove us through the dirty town to a kind of mud-wall fortress on the outskirts of the town. It was Wostwag, the company for trading with the Mongols, a German firm…”

Indiana Jones was, rather surprisingly, no relation.

A Hero of Our Time


Seattle has long been one of my favorite cities. Now there is yet another reason to like this fine town, the obviously splendid ‘5 Spot’ restaurant, home of a new dessert known as ‘the Bulge’. It’s a banana, battered, rolled in sugar, deep fried, served with ice cream, whipped cream, and macadamia nuts. Hungry now? There’s a catch. Before diners can tuck into this treat, they are required to sign a waiver form which reads as follows:

“I, ___________________, release 5 Spot from all liability of any weight gain that may result from ordering and devouring this sinfully fattening treat. I will not impose any sort of “Obesity-Related” lawsuit against 5 Spot or consider any similar type of frivolous legislation created by a hungry trial lawyer.

5 Spot will not be held liable in any way if the result of my eating this dessert leads to a “Spare Tire”, “Love Handles”, “Saddle Bags”, or “Junk in my Trunk”. If I have to go to “Fat Camp” at some time in my life, I will not mail my bill to 5 Spot.

I knowingly and willingly accept full and personal responsibility for my choices and actions.”

According to 5 Spot’s co-owner, Jeremy Hardy this waiver was created to “make a statement about frivolous lawsuits and accountability.”

It does.


Via the Fifty Minute Hour.

Chaplain Al Qaeda@Gitmo


This is remarkably disturbing.

Whatever Happened to Cheeta?


He’s still around – and flourishing. Sadly he has been stopped from drinking beer, a habit that reportedly reached ten pints a day, after killjoy Brigitte Bardot complained that it could damage his health. Despite that setback, Cheeta still ‘likes to go to the drive-through and get a hamburger and a Coke’.

Don’t tell the Center for ‘Science’ in the Public Interest.

Ignorance Is Lethal


R.J. Reynolds announced last week that it will reduce its workforce by 40 percent as it tries to deal with the competitive threat posed by a significant increase in demand for low-cost brands. Demand for cheap smokes has been boosted by tax hikes, and their makers’ ability to keep prices (relatively) low is helped by the fact that they are often not burdened by the tobacco ’settlement’ costs that burden more established manufacturers.

So what’s the big deal? Well, no cigarette is safe, but generics generally have far, far more of the bad stuff than the brand names. You’d think that is something that the health watchdogs would want publicized, but they don’t, lest it detract from their misleading – and dangerous – mantra that all cigarettes are equally lethal. They are not. And the cigarette companies should be allowed to say so.

Bosnia/Al Qaeda


There’s an interesting piece from the same issue of the Spectator on the role that the Bosnian conflict may have played in the development of Al Qaeda. Here’s an extract:

“According to a report in the Los Angeles Times in October 2001, from 1992 as many as 4,000 volunteers from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, ‘known as the mujahedin’, arrived in Bosnia to fight with the Muslims. Richard Holbrooke, America’s former chief Balkans peace negotiator, has said that the Bosnian Muslims ‘wouldn’t have survived’ without the help of the mujahedin, though he later admitted that the arrival of the mujahedin was a ‘pact with the devil’ from which Bosnia is still recovering.

By the end of the 1990s State Department officials were increasingly worried about the consequences of this pact. Under the terms of the 1995 Dayton peace accord, the foreign mujahedin units were required to disband and leave the Balkans. Yet in 2000, the State Department raised concerns about the ‘hundreds of foreign Islamic extremists’ who became Bosnian citizens after fighting against the Serbs, and who pose a potential terror threat to Europe and the United States. US officials claimed that one of bin Laden’s top lieutenants had sent operatives to Bosnia, and that during the 1990s Bosnia had served as a ’staging area and safe haven’ for al-Qa’eda and others. The Clinton administration had discovered that it is one thing to permit the movement of Islamic groups across territories; it is quite another to rein them back in again.

Indeed, for all the Clinton officials’ concern about Islamic extremists in the Balkans, they continued to allow the growth and movement of mujahedin forces in Europe through the 1990s. In the late 1990s, in the run-up to Clinton’s and Blair’s Kosovo war of 1999, the USA
backed the Kosovo Liberation Army against Serbia. According to a report in the Jerusalem Post in 1998, KLA members, like the Bosnian Muslims before them, had been ‘provided with financial and military support from Islamic countries’, and had been ‘bolstered by hundreds of Iranian fighters or mujahedin …[some of whom] were trained in Osama bin Laden’s terrorist camps in Afghanistan’. It seems that, for all its handwringing, the USA just couldn’t break the pact with the devil.”


Happy Thoughts


There’s something about the prose of the great Theodore Dalrymple that is, well, bracing. Here he is in the September 13th edition of the London Spectator (article not available on the web):

Why the British want to reproduce themselves is a question which is as puzzling in its own way as that of the origin of life. Their existence is so wretched, so utterly lacking in anything reasonably resembling a purpose, so devoid of those things that make human life worthwhile (I am merely paraphrasing what thousands have told me) that it is a marvel that they should go in for children. I suppose the nearest I can come to an explanation is that they hope a child will supply the want that they feel: the triumph of hope over experience, for they soon discover that a British child merely adds chores to emptiness.”


More Salmon Madness


Distressing developments over at Stephen Pollard’s usually reliable blog, now featuring ridiculous comments about the best way to eat smoked salmon. Rye bread sandwiches make no sense at all: that’s too much bread, and, mixed with salmon, any rye flavor is too much rye flavor. One bit of advice from Stephen that’s worth noting. He’s recommending ‘pickled cucumber on the side’. Well, whatever. Just make sure that the, ugh, pickled cucumber remains safely on the side….

En Banc Set?


Howard Bashman reports on the judges who will serve on the en banc panel reviewing the California recall decision. Of note, none of the judges from the original three-judge panel are slated to hear the case en banc. If Howard’s “reliable source” is correct, it seems quite likely Californians will get to vote for a new governor next month.

For Shame


I just spent a few minutes on Nexis reviewing coverage of the recent Oath of Allegiance controversy, drummed up in part by NRO. In an Associated Press story (sorry, no link–Nexis ain’t free), Tim Edgar of the ACLU had this to say: “I think some are confused about this new oath, maybe trying to invent controversy for the purpose of casting doubt on the loyalty of new Americans and on the dedication of the immigration service, and I think that’s a shame.” What a despicable comment–a gross ad hominem attack on people like Lamar Alexander, who have expressed a sincere concern about a bureaucratic revision to an important statement. The shame is all yours, Mr. Edgar.

More Offers Congress 10 Commandments


Drinks With Gray Davis @ Mos Eisley Cantina



LOS ANGELES Gov. Gray Davis has officially validated the view in parts of the USA that the Golden State is far-out.

Meeting Sacramento voters late Wednesday, Davis praised California’s diversity: “We have people from every planet on Earth in this state. We have the sons and daughters of every of people from every planet of every country on Earth.”

The San Francisco Chronicle called this a “stumbling” remark, but it reflects Davis’ background. He started in state government in 1975 as chief of staff to Jerry Brown, whose proposal for a state-owned satellite earned him the title “Gov. Moonbeam.”

By Martin Kasindorf



John J. has so overdosed on the Digital Kool Aid. The Millers can have water!! Let there be water!! Of course, how long they have water is up to you. SUBSCRIBE to NR Digital today.

One Day, One Thing...


So, what do you believe, Gen. Clark?


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