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Eu Referendum


French prime minister Raffarin gets it.


Our Inept Cia


Web Briefing: October 23, 2014

Profiles in Buffoonery


If you missed the debate, here are the highlights: HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE and HERE.


The Debate - Fashion Notes


Yes, what was that with the uniformly shirtsleeved look? Faux folksiness (a disease from which the Bush family is not, ahem, exactly immune) is a curse of our time and who’s fooled by it?

Re: Name-Dropper of The Day Award


Well, I did not get to have dinner with Tom Wolfe after all, for reasons too
complicated to go into (but not to anyone’s discredit). I did have a nice
chat with him, though, about… stock car racing.

Time For An Upgrade


It’s time that Swampy and Swimmy are sluiced into the sewers, Rod. I don’t know about wimpy, Dr Pepper-sipping Dallas, but here in New York no apartment is complete without an alligator and a tiger. Our pets view your pets as small, and far from satisfactory, snacks.

I Confess


I have not been watching the debate. But readers are reacting: “The debate tonite is so pathetic that I feel that the draft Hillary movement just got a huge tailwind.” and “‘I can out-populist you!’ Notice all the rolled-up sleeves in the debate.”

Beer Warning


One of the NRO-niks who says he’s coming to the
conservative beer-a-palooza I’m putting together for Dallas sends this vital
to all and sundry. Be
afraid. Be very, very afraid.

Very Cool


I just saw a letter to the editor cross my eyes about an article in the Oct. 27 issue of NRODT–the issue we just put to bed not 48 hours ago. So exciting. If you subcribed to Digital (or Dead Tree) you can read that issue RIGHT now. So, why leave yourself out of the cool crowd? GET DIGITAL!

Arafat’s Stomach Cancer


Sorry for the slow reax, but in the name of sheer pity, won’t someone operate on Chairman Arafat and put that poor cancer into a cleaner environment?

Nice Turtle Parents



That is so much nicer than my dad telling my mom he buried Myrtle in Central Park when he had actually pitched my turtle down our apartment building’s incinerator.

I’ve recounted this childhood trauma in detail in my forthcoming book, Why Animals Sleep So Close to the Road and other lies I tell my children.

You and your wife obviously fall into the wonderful category of Parents Who Lie. God bless you both.

Re: Dreher’s Turtles


Well, there’s a story there. We have a
little boy who wanted a pet. We can’t have cats because wife is allergic.
She and Boy are also allergic to dogs. Wife brings home little green turtle
one day to make boy happy. Boy names him Swimmy, is happy. Two weeks later,
Boy and I come home from mass in a separate car from Wife. Wife has left
I distract Boy. Wife comes home from pet store hiding emergency back-up
Swimmy in bag. Wife makes handoff to me, and I slip into Boy’s bedroom to
replace defunct turtle in aquarium. Moments later, I summon Wife to witness
miraculous resurrection of Swimmy, who had just been sleeping. We invite Boy
in to greet Swimmy’s new pal. Boy names him Swampy, is happy.

Good Point


From a reader:

Doesn’t her response prove your point since, I believe, the earlier posting referenced a picture of the Magazine staff having only white people in it. All white photo, but not all white Mag. All white photo, but not all white school. She corrected your reaction to the Mag photo and then went on to assert an interpretation of the school photo.

[Name withheld]

I Dig Space


Andrew — Derb thinks there’s no point to space. I’m totally down with the whole program. Cathedrals in space, elevators to the moon, terraforming, etc. I will be bummed if I depart this mortal coil before hearing a presidential candidate contend that we have to extend Mars’ tax-free status.

“Play Rosie!!!”


From Kevin Cherry:
“Hey Rich, I was at the final show of the Shea tour. It was very non-political, especially compared to what I heard happened the other nights (e.g., bringing up Al Franken as a truth-teller . . .). The last show had Dylan guesting, which was a nice surprise, although it really disrupted teh flow of the concert. But it barely comes in among the five best Bruce shows I’ve ever seen (Philly 8-11-03 was easily the best). If I had been there when he brought up Franken, I would have gone ballistic. My favorite part of the Shea show was the drunk guy behind me screaming “Play Rosie!” during every song. Including Rosalita.”

Chinese Translation Exercise


Here is another wee quiz, which I have taken (after being alerted by Mike
Zorn) from Mark Miyaki’s blog . Mark is
a former professor of East Asian languages & linguistics.

The following are literal translations of the Chinese names of fast
food chains. Can you guess their English names?

a. ‘Chinese Fortress King’

b. ‘Agree Virtue Chicken’

c. ‘Warm Base of a Fruit’

Re: Name Dropper of The Day Award


Personally, I think Tom Wolfe should get it… but hey.

I Was Wrong But...


I shouldn’t have said that the American Prospect was all-white. I assumed that from some of the earlier blog posts about the magazine’s racial make up. Sorry about that.

The fact that it is not all white was brought to my attention by Melanie Alston-Akers. She writes:

“….Well, I’m not white and neither are others on our staff. If Goldberg’s going to fling absolutes around, he should get them right.

And as far as the ad goes, it does have an only-certain-people-are-wanted-at-this-school flavor. I saw it immediately. Goldberg probably did not because many white people, of all political persuasions, are blind to the racial implications of things around them.

When I looked at the ad, I saw a school where I didn’t think my family would be wanted. Reading the small text was not on my agenda after I saw the photo and the accompanying caption. “Good old days” is a loaded phrase and has been, particularly for blacks, for a long time in this country. That’s not the fault of black people. But that’s not something that many white people are going to see or recognize or care about.

Hillsdale may have fabulous racial diversity, but you can’t tell that from the ad. The ad shows white, I saw white, and I assumed white. Not because I’m a liberal, but because I’m not white. And I’m certain that there are plenty of other blacks and other people of color — regardless of their political views — who would feel the same.

My responseSorry, I really don’t buy it. One person’s feelings — or many people’s feelings — do not have an alchemic effect on the motives of others. If the ad makes a black person feel unwelcome — or if it makes them feel like a giant frilly duck for that matter — that doesn’t speak to the intent of the person(s) who designed the ad. If you think the effect of the ad was racially insensitive why assume the intent was racially insensitive? I know liberals are fond of pointing at things like disparate impact and then backfilling racist intent to explain why the impact is disparate. But I think such arguments are often ludicrous.

Plus, while I’m not familiar with Melanie Alston-Akers, I’m skeptical of her claim that such inferences have nothing to do with her being a liberal and everything to do with her being black. I’m sure it’s possible that other blacks of different political persuasions, including conservatives, would draw the same conclusion as her about the ad. I am also sure that many blacks would not (I know this because I heard from some). I do not think those blacks are any less authentically black. In other words, what explains Ms. Alston-Akers inference is not her skin color but the ideological, political and culture views she brings to the table. Simply because she instantly felt unwelcome might be good proof Hillsdale shoud rethink its ad campaigns, but it counts for exactly zero toward Richard Just’s still-outrageous assertion that Hillsdale is cynically racist in its appeals.

Moreover, if Ms. Alston-Akers can’t bother squeazing into her “agenda” the time it takes to actually read the words in the ad before reading the minds of those behind them, maybe she should get into a business that doesn’t require relying on words for a living.

Wow, Dallas Rocks


The e-mails are rolling in from Dallas-area
NRO-niks who want to get together to raise a pint. Subscribers who want in
– digital, dead tree, whatever — keep writing, and I’ll send out a big
e-mail to you all tomorrow so we can figure out a time and place.


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