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Straight Flight--The Details


Back in July I coined the phrase “straight flight.” Here it is in action.
NB: This link is to a piece that is rather long, but well worth reading. I
personally found it very moving, though a little bit scary. Many thanks to
the reader who sent me this.

Family Life: Bleg 1 of 2


Can anyone recommend a good piece of calendar software? Please? I mean, please?

When our children were smaller, our principal difficulty lay in keeping them in their diapers. (Little boys, for some reason, know no greater delight than to climb out of their diapers, then run around the house, cackling.) But now that they’re older, our problem has become much, much more complicated: Keeping track of the dates of each child’s athletic events, major tests, piano lessons, doctor’s appointments, and on and on.

What we need is a piece of software that is

a) Simple. My darling wife leads a life that is quite complicated enough as it is. (This is why Microsoft Outlook is out. Be honest. Have you ever met anyone who understood that software?)

b) Capable of being posted to the web, so that I can see the family’s schedule even when I’m at the office

c) PC-compatible

Yes, I know. Apple aficionados will tell me that what I’m looking for is a piece of software for PCs that’s half as good as iCal, the software that comes built in to every Apple. And you know what? They’re right.

One last thing: Please place “calendar” in your subject heading. And thank you.


What a Good Father Am I


I have this very instant ordered The National Review Treasury of Classic Children’s Literature and The National Review Treasury of Classic Bedtime Stories. Not that my children deserve such fine volumes.

In the car yesterday on the way to school:

ANDREW (age 7): Dad, I found this really, really old penny, and I’m taking it in for show-and-tell.

SELF (at the wheel): Really old? What’s the year?

ANDREW (reading the date with help from his two older brothers): Nineteen fifty-seven.

EDITA (age 12): Wow, that’s, like, antique!

SELF: Andrew, you can tell your classmates that your penny was minted in the same year in which your father was born.

EDITA (after all four children produce gasps of astonishment): You’re kidding.

The NR Classics under the tree. But in their stockings? Lumps of coal.

Web Briefing: February 1, 2015

The Un Sucks (Exhibit 9,034b)


The UN is chastising North Korea for being too free market:

“By dabbling with capitalism, North Korea is creating a new class of urban poor that is worsening its hunger problem, as once centrally controlled industries have to cut costs and jobs amid free-market pressures, a top U.N. official said Wednesday.”


The Gipper


Readers of this happy Corner one and all, be sure to go to the NRO homepage today to click on Deroy Murdock’s piece about Reagan and AIDS.

It has become an established “fact” on the left that Reagan did nothing about AIDS. Reviewing the HBO production of Angels in America in the Times a couple of weeks ago, for example, Frank Rich spent at least half his time assailing Ronald Reagan. (And when I was touring for my book on Reagan, I could count on someone’s asking me at nearly every stop why the Gipper merely stood by while HIV spread.) Yet as Deroy demonstrates in marvelous detail, the fact that Reagan did nothing about AIDS is no fact at all. An actual fact? That Reagan spent more than five billion on AIDS.

Re: The Simple Life


Dittoes, Jonah, and did you see catch
Shales’ remark about how “the rest of us” — versus Republican-loving
corporate fatcats — “just hope to cope”? The “rest of us”? Oh, please.
According to this, the
WaPo pays the Man of the People $200,000 a year for his services. That would
put him somewhere between the top one percent and the top five percent of
American earners. I say Po’ Tom belongs in Andrew Sullivan’s Poseur Alert

Tom Shales and The Rich


Were he paying a trifle more attention, Jonah, Tom Shales would also have noticed that for decades now the stock market has tended to rise more during Democratic than during Republican administrations. I suppose my view of all this may be distorted by living in Silicon Valley, where during the last election cycle there was a pretty good chance that on any evening you’d find the streets of Palo Alto or Atherton cut off because a fundraiser was being held for Al Gore or Joe Lieberman, but can anyone doubt that the rich were giddier under Clinton than they are under Bush?

Re The Simple Life


From a reader:


It just goes to show how split people who identify with the blue states and those who identify with the red states are. If Shales thinks the message of the Simple Life is that the rich are doing great in Republican administrations, he’s nuts.

In my opinion, the show is a gift-wrapped Christmas present to the RNC. Here we have a perfectly functional, hard-working farm family in a red state. Their house is covered in American flags. And then two completely ditsy heiresses drop in, fresh from a Page Six worthy party. Paris Hilton is the exact type of person that limousine liberals fawn over at Bill Clinton-hosted fundraisers at Lotus, along with Ian Klause, Nane Annan, and Laurie David. This show will only make the Red States hate NY and LA more.

More On Forcefields


A member from the US Military chimes in:


I realize that most of these discussions have taken place in the TOS time period but I can’t beleive that YOU of all people could forget about the ALMIGHTY Q.

The Q forcefield (as seen in many first-season TNG episodes, including Encounter at Farpoint) travelled at WARP SPEED (Above warp 9.9, if I remember correctly) and it was able to completely encircle the Enterprise-D. Obviously a much more sophisticated forcefield than any mentioned in Jim Kirk’s logs.

Prime Numbers


A reader in Omaha asks: “Hello – sorry to interrupt your day, but Paul
Harvey on the radio just said that the largest prime number has been
discovered. He gave a person’s name (which I forgot) and the number of
digits (6 million plus). You’re the only person in my e-mail who might know
something about this. Is it true? Thanks.”

Well, if Paul Harvey called it the largest prime number, he mis-spoke.
There is no largest prime number, a fact proved by Euclid around 2,300 years ago. This one is just the largest we have so far
identified. It’s (2 raised to the power of 20,996,011) minus 1. The number
of digits is 6,320,430. Here’s a story.

Star Trek Force Fields


Susan from Seattle makes a good case:


My vote for the strongest force field around the Enterprise is for the one put on the Enterprise by Sylvia in “Cat’s Paw,” shown as a the ship encased in Lucite (or something) on a chain. That lasted until her actual power source was destroyed, didn’t it?



My son Daniel Oliver (3rd grade) has brought home his song sheet for the
school’s “Winter Songfest.” There are three songs on it.

(1) A spoof on “The 12 Days of Christmas” (Heaven forbid anyone should take Christmas SERIOUSLY!) with gifts like messy drawers… burning ulcers…
bags of dirty clothes… and “viscous” [sic] colds.

(2) “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music, unaltered so far as I can tell.

(3) A song I am not familiar with named “Celebrate Kwanzaa.” In case I am not alone in being unfamiliar with this no doubt ancient and traditional
American carol, I have written it out below. Can anyone tell me the
provenance and meaning of “Habari Gani”?


Winter is here so Kwanzaa is near
Celebrating joy and love
As a happy family
Join us in our greeting
With seven days of holiday
Sharing all our gifts and love
In a happy gathering

Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Kwanzaa
Love and peace, from me to you
Habari Gani, spread the news
Of joy to you and ask what’s new

Peace be unto you
Good things come true
When you spread your joy and love
In a happy family
Self determination
Living as a nation too
Where all one relation and live in harmony [sic]

Happy Kwanzaa, etc.

What to Get That Republican For Christmas


Don’t scratch your head wondering what to give that rock-ribbed GOPer for Christmas — the perfect gift is We Will Prevail: President George W. Bush on War, Terrorism, and Freedom, an NR/Continuum book (with a smashing Foreword by Peggy Noonan and a superior Introduction by NR Managing Editor Jay Nordlinger) that collects over 90 of the most compelling and inspiring speeches given by President George W. Bush as he rallied the United States and other nations after the terrible and tragic attacks of September 11, 2001.

It’s a great book. We say so — and so does Steve Forbes:

“This extraordinary compendium is a stark, eloquent, timely reminder of the true stakes of our post-September 11th war against terrorism, a struggle that should transcend partisanship and whose outcome will fundamentally affect the future of freedom.”

And so does Bill Buckley:

“Insufficient attention has been paid to the great volume of speeches and addresses by President Bush in the heavily altered theater, national and worldwide, since the great assault on the Twin Towers. Here they are, and how welcome and valuable they are.”

We Will Prevail: President George W. Bush on War, Terrorism, and Freedom is a must for every family library, and will surely be appreciated by any “W” fan who is lucky to receive it. Order here.

Another Violation of K-Lo’s Prime Directive


A reader follows-up on yesterday’s discussion of the Tholian web versus Apollo’s hand:


Mike from Crofton, Maryland may need a refresher course at Starfleet Academy.

The GGHOA was capable of crushing the Enterprise ‘like an eggshell’ at Apollo’s whim, as he convincingly demonstrated when angered by Kirk. The Tholian Web was effective only when fully woven, and this process was contingent on the Enterprise being unable to fire on the Tholian ships or move from its position (lest it disturb subspace and maroon Kirk forever in the alternate dimension).

Kerry’s Money


Because I don’t care very much about campaign finance and because I don’t care very much about John Kerry, I haven’t cared very much about John Kerry’s campaign finances. But apparently lots of folks think this is an interesting topic, including Slate’s Tim Noah.

The gist of the story is that Kerry’s wife — who’s also John Heinz’s rich widow — can’t give him lots of money because of their prenup and the current campaign finance laws. So he’s going to borrow money against his house instead. Maybe this has all been covered somewhere — again, I don’t really care — but let’s assume he lose his presidential bid. Not a crazy assumption, right? Couldn’t his wife just pay off his debts after the campaign? I mean it’s not like he’s going to have to sell his house. Couldn’t he just borrow like nuts on the assumption that his wife will make post-facto donations to his campaign by clearing his debts for him? And if so, doesn’t that just demonstrate how absurd these laws are? I mean what’s the difference between giving someone money and promising someone that their debts will be covered?

Or am I missing something?

Word On The (Wall) Street


CNS News reports that the New York Stock Exchange will, alas, again provide financial support for Jesse Jackson and his annual Wall Street Conference next month. The shakedown continues, the groveling goes on. The last paragraph of the story contains a nice Jackson touch, as he likens himself to Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, and, of course, Jesus Christ.

Why Rolling Stone?


In response to my article on Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s recent attack on the Bush Administration’s environmental record, a reader wonders why Kennedy chose Rolling Stone, over more prominent media outlets, for his article. I suspect Kennedy was motivated by two factors. First, readers of more high profile publications, such as the NYT Magazine, are likely to have read attacks on the Bush environmental record in the NYT, whereas Rolling Stone may reach more people who have not heard these attacks before. Second, younger voters tend to care more about the environment and, interestingly enough, are quite pro-Bush. Thus, if one seeks to defeat President Bush in 2004, it would make strategic sense to attack Bush’s environmental credentials in a publication primarily read by younger Americans.

Re: The Simple Life


I didn’t get around to posting this yesterday and I just assumed someone else would’ve by now. Did no one else catch this typically bitchy aside in Tom Shales review of “The Simple Life” yesterday:

“Maybe if the show encouraged more hatred of the rich, who are having so much fun right now (as they usually do during Republican administrations) while the rest of us just hope to cope, it might be worth watching and worth having been made.”
Um, Tom. If you spent a little less time maintaining that oh-so-natural blond look on your column photo and a bit more reading about the corporate scandals, you might have learned that most of them occurred during the last Democratic administration and have been prosecuted during a Republican one. But I understand how hard it is to keep up with the news when you’re so busy “coping” in these trying times.

(Nothing But) Flowers


The Talking Heads sing of environmentalist excesses, via Michael Rappaport on The Right Coast.

An Afterthought


Especially in the first few months following 9/11, there was a tendency among social liberals to equate social conservatives with the Islamists. All alike were theocrats, did not appreciate the value of religious freedom, did not share the liberal definition of the separation of church and state, opposed abortion, etc. Our enemy in the war on terrorism was “fundamentalism”; what we are fighting for was “tolerance,” “pluralism,” “modernity,” and “the open society”–and these terms were, with varying degrees of explicitness, to be understood as liberals understand them. What we are fighting for, in other words, is moral liberalism. I thought that this analysis was entirely wrong-headed and, at points, became a smear. One reason conservative Christians should not be working with radical Islamists is that it gives credence to that smear–although it’s not the most important reason.


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