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More Just


Lots of email from readers who think I was too soft on Just. For example:


You let Mr. Just off the hook too easily.

The crux of his defense is the phrase: “in an age where the conventions of educational advertising, like them or hate them, mean that most schools use such photos as a chance to show off their diversity.”

In other words, Just feels that being racial bean-counters is REQUIRED in order to avoid the charge of racism. That’s the essential difference between his liberal/racist position, and yours.

Globetrotter Words


“I have dollars.”


Legacy by Rich Lowry


FYI: I just got my copy yesterday. After leafing through it last night, I must say it looks great. Cosmo’s got it now and I’ll try to really get through it in a bit. But congratulations, Rich. My envy cannot be contained in time or space (a finished book!).

Web Briefing: October 21, 2014

New Jobless Claims


Lowest in 8 months. I guess it’s time for the Dems to switch back to weapons of mass destruction again.


Reading Just


Okay, I’m off the radio. Let’s take a look at Richard Just’s defense. He starts by recounting all sorts of negative things from Hillsdale’s past in an effort to show that my own accounts of Hillsdale’s past are a bit rosey. Sounds fair. Except, the problem is that my observations (and Aaron Bailey’s) were on point. They spoke directly to the fact that Hillsdale’s own “good old days” were decidedly un-racist. In fact, Hillsdale’s record of inclusiveness shames Princeton’s (Just’s alma mater). Meanwhile, Just’s clips are mostly irrelevant chatter applicable to almost any college campus (what school hasn’t been called “Stalinist” by someone?).

Moving on, Just gets to the meat of his defense, which is worth reprinting here. He writes:

What do they mean by the phrase “the good old days”? It’s impossible to know for sure, of course, but Goldberg doesn’t offer any possibilities to counter my suggestion. By itself, that phrase could mean anything. Taken together with an all-white picture (in an age where the conventions of educational advertising, like them or hate them, mean that most schools use such photos as a chance to show off their diversity) and the ad’s rather glib denunciation of “politically correct” revisionism, it’s enough to make you wonder whether there is a racial subtext at play here.

Obviously there were a lot of things that were different about schools in “the good old days.” But segregation — both de jure and de facto — looms pretty large in that history. In the context of an ad that raises race implicitly by discussing “politically correct” revisionism, how can Goldberg find it so outrageous to wonder if “the good old days” doesn’t carry racial implications? And I’m not talking about the days of southern governors standing in schoolhouse doors and education being rigidly segregated by state law. I’m talking about that not-so-distant past, when parents of privilege in all parts of the country just didn’t have to worry about their kids going to school with blacks or Jews or poor kids because those kinds of kids didn’t go to the schools where they sent their children. If Goldberg doesn’t believe that such a time existed, he’s the one who’s engaged in a little revisionism. If he doesn’t think that nostalgia for such a time can be conjured — and perhaps intended — by an ad that invokes “the good old days” and refers implicitly to race, then he’s not living in the real world with the rest of us.

How lame. Just not only ignores what I wrote he — again — ignores the words actually in the ad. As I noted before, there’s a 7-point checklist on the ad which gives a good indication of what Hillsdale means by the “good old days” — as does the rest of the text. Not one of these points includes such phrases as “keeping the blacks out” or “preserve white privilege.” It’s full of stuff like “teaching moral character” and “appropriate and effective self-discipline.” Richard: that is the evidence you’re looking for.

I know it comes as a shock to the brand of (all-white) liberals who staff the ramparts at the American Prospect, but most conservative parents don’t think of Jim Crow when they hear about the “good old days” in education. If Just thinks white conservatives can never speak of the “good old days” without providing a cast that looks like America, he should just say so and defend his position.

Also, Just is now back-peddaling. Initially he said the racist implication of the ad was essentially obvious and “not too thinly veiled.” Now he’s merely saying it’s not absurd to hold out the possibility that such was the intent. Sure, sure it’s possible. But it is neither probable nor aparrent. And when things are not obvious they must be argued, not asserted. This is especially the case when more plausible and less slanderous explanations are available. For example, it seems to me that a far more likely explanation is that Hillsdale had no idea such an interpretation was possible since its conscience is clear and its own record on the issue is so exemplary. Reagrdless, if we could just get liberals like Mr. Just to employ Occam’s Razor when it comes to issues of race this country would be a lot healthier.

Indeed, the fact that Mr. Just’s first instinct is to assume racism on the part of others — rather than, say, read the text — reveals he’s the one fixated on race, not Hillsdale.



propos Thomas Hibbs’ piece on Luther this morning, here’s a quiz
question. Which creepy character in which classic horror novel/movie was a
stage actor who got his start in a play named Luther?

Another Kind of Conservatism


Andrew: Yes, political parties are coalitions… but built around a core of
common values. A political party is rather like a human personality–always
lots of idiosyncracies and contradictions, probably some skeletons in the
closet, capable of surprising us now and then, but presenting an overall
gestalt to the world that will attract some, repel others, and be
acceptable or unacceptable to yet others depending on their inclinations and
circumstances, and the temper of the times. On the matter of third parties,
though: remember that Labour was once a third party….



Guys, methinks you’re making readers jealous.

Morning Has Broken


Oh, we’re trading morning-ritual stories? Here’s mine.

6:00 Rise.

6:05 When breakfast under way (see next), walk down driveway to retrieve
newspaper (New York Post).

6:10 Sit down to breakfast–Quaker Oats, with a sprinkling of raisins, a
sliced-up banana and a splash of milk, plus a glass of orange juice. Read
newspaper while eating breakfast.

6:25 Walkies with Boris.

7:15 (approx.) S, s, and s.

7:30 (approx) Sit at desk. Power up computer. Read stuff I wrote
yesterday. (Note to aspiring writers: Always sleep on your work, if
possible. It’s amazing how different a piece can look in the morning.)
Make necessary adjustments. Send to editor.

8:00 Start internet browse of day’s news & opinion.

8:20 Family rise. Greet family.

8:30 Kids have first fight of the day. Pour oil on troubled waters.

8:45 Supervise kids’ teeth-brushing, hair-combing, bag-finding, etc.

8:55 See kids off to school bus.

9:00 Resume internet browsing.

Ponder This Sentence


From the L.A. Times home page: “Loyalists to the outgoing governor ponder the prospect of job hunting in an iffy economy.”

Re: Hitchens


John, I read that article too – with a lot of interest. You were right that it was brilliant, but it was also quite wrong. All parties are in essence coalitions, as the California result reminds us, and unless the right is happy to retreat into sectarian obscurity they will need to continue to be so. More seriously, as you know, the nature of Britain’s ‘first past the post’ voting system makes it very difficult for any third, let alone fourth party to do well. For all the faults of the Tories, their structure (tottering, rotten and entirely laughable though it may be) and the residual loyalty that it continues to enjoy still make it the best base for a right of center party. That said, I’d agree that the party does need to change its approach (although not always in ways that Hitchens might approve). To start with, it needs to understand one thing. Being in opposition means more than recommending what Labour does, only less so.

Another King Among Men


Meet Michael Young, Bloomington Jefferson High School’s homecoming king.

Richard Just Responds


I just saw that Richard Just at TAP has a very long post responding to my sundry (and, in fairness, sometimes equally long) assaults on him yesterday. I’ll respond in a few but I’m about to talk to the guys at KSFO in San Francisco (at 10:05 California time). My short response is: I am underwhelmed.

Muslims Invite a Neo-Nazi


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: (?!) Wait a Second


Dude, I was totally not scolding you. Ok, I lie. But WHOA what a guilty conscience! And rightfully so–besides, if you are checking Da Corner, you also see that dandy NRO Today bar that picks up all the latest-posted pieces (see, handy, for the workingman and woman!). And, on Fridays, your schedule should totally include reading NR Digital, thank you very much. That’s NR Digital; tomorrow morning, NR Digital subscribers can read the latest issue (just to bed yesterday). If you subscriber to NRODT, you can get a headstart on your reading while waiting for the postman. It’s a hard life, Jonah, but what rewards!



Apparently all of the words “every globetrotter should know” are in French.

Re: Re: Re: Wait a Second


Kathryn – Here’s how most mornings work for me. I get up. Deal with baby as needed (needs dictated by fair Jessica). Brush teeth etc. Check email, Corner, National Review homepage. Take Cosmo to park and ponder what I should say in Corner upon my return (usually while listening to NPR or C-Span on walkman). Then I come home. Clean off Cosmo’s paws. Give Cosmo a pill. Compliment lil Lucy on her outfit. Drink coffee, if available. Surf web, look at papers, Post to Corner.

I suppose I should insert “re-check homepage” after “drink coffee, if available.” Then again, I should also insert “do 200 push-ups,” write “10 pages for my book” and “clean up my office.”

Poco Carton, a King Among Men


Down Syndrome has come up a few times in here the last few days. (Be sure and read Rich’s review of that wonderful-sounding movie, Shorty, if you haven’t.) Today there is an AP story about a blessing who could have easily been just another statistic, another person never allowed to see the world. All of this is anecdotal, I realize, but consider this: In the abstract of a study published in 1998, at one Boston hospital, 86 percent of parents aware that their unborn children were likely to be born with Down Syndrome had abortions (between the years 1972 and 1994). I’m not pretending raising a child with a disability is easy, but think of the Shortys and Poco Cartons we’ve lost.

Another Kind of Conservatism


I spend a lot of time trying to explain the difference between British and American conservatism. For a brilliant essay on the former, see Peter Hitchens’s article in the current Spectator.



After the heavy-breathing liberal bias of last week, it’s refreshing to see the morning news shows go back today to Kobe Bryant, Siegried and Roy, and the deadly bear attacks.


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