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North Korean Leaders: Bad People, Part 72,534


Funny how ANSWER doesn’t talk about these

Hearts and Minds


An abortionist writes on Slate today:

Earlier this year, I began an abortion on a young woman who was 17 weeks pregnant. Because of the two days of prior treatment, the amniotic membranes were visible and bulging. I ruptured the membranes and released the fluid to reduce the risk of amniotic fluid embolism. Then I inserted my forceps into the uterus and applied them to the head of the fetus, which was still alive, since fetal injection is not done at that stage of pregnancy. I closed the forceps, crushing the skull of the fetus, and withdrew the forceps. The fetus, now dead, slid out more or less intact. With the next pass of the forceps, I grasped the placenta, and it came out in one piece. Within a few seconds, I had completed my routine exploration of the uterus and sharp curettage. The blood loss would just fill a tablespoon. The patient, who was awake, hardly felt the operation. She was relieved, grateful, and safe. She wants to have children in the future.

Hope she doesn’t read your piece. Relieved and grateful probably won’t be her reactions.


Decisive Third Parties


With a reservation about 1992, I agree with John’s correspondent’s list. In 1844 the Liberty Party (die-hard anti-slavery) kept Henry Clay out of the White House by siphoning enough votes from him in New York to tip the state and the election to James K. Polk. In 1848 the Free Soil Party (also anti-slavery) eviscerated Lewis Cass in New York, tipping state and election to Zachary Taylor. In 1844 the Liberty Party was arguably counterproductive, since Polk was affirmatively pro-slavery while Clay was a hedger. But in 1848 the Free Soil Party arguably served its own goals since Taylor turned out to be more anti-slavery than Cass would have been.

I say arguably because third parties often operate on the psychology of the worse, the better.

Web Briefing: November 22, 2014

More Roadside Religion


On a church board in upstate New York: WHAT IS MISSING FROM CH CH?


Rerun Leaves Us


I would’ve expected Jonah or someone to have mentioned by now.

Anti-Nr Hysterics


My friend Martin Morse Wooster should work in that agency from “3 Days of the Condor” becuase he literally reads everything. Every now and then, he’s kind enough to send me items I wouldn’t otherwise see. Anyway, a few times a year, for the last few years, I get an envelope from Martin with a little note saying “Check out page this or that” to find an article in Liberty magazine denouncing me. The articles are usually pretty funny in their self-importance and earnestness (New readers may not know that there are legions of hardboiled libertarians of a certain stripe who think I’m the devil).

Anyway, I just got a new one. It’s an article buried in the back (Liberty is arguably the worst laid-out magazine outside of a junior high school) by some guy named Clark Stooksbury. He says “In the age of Bush, the label ‘conservatism’ means little more than bloated deficits, perpetual war and boot-licking obeisance to the president. For a good hard look at the modern conservative movement check out its flagship, National Review, in either the online version, or the print magazine, cloyingly called ‘on dead tree.’”

Then there’s more about me owing my career to Monica Lewinsky, how I quote the Simpsons a lot, how Limbaugh and Coulter are even more immature than me (a low blow!) blah, blah, blah. He finally gets around to mentioning that he’s actually supposed to be writing a review of a re-released book by the late, great, Robert Nisbet. Nisbet is “conservatism for grown-ups” he writes, because Nisbet criticized the Reagan adminsitration. “While the Goldberg crowd equates all criticism of Bush II with treason.” There are a few more whines and snarks and then it ends.

Now, I don’t bring this up to defend myself. I’ve long stopped caring what folks like this guy and Liberty magazine think of me. Indeed, it’s particularly easy when they just make stuff up. Which gets me to the real point, all across the web — and in other three dimensional backwaters — there are people who call themselves conservatives who’ve convinced themselves they are rebels for challenging what they perceive to be National Review’s style conservatism. That’s fine. Indeed, it was probably ever thus. But they almost never actually use facts. They just say things like the above without even bothering to demonstrate it (much like all of the NR endorses gay marriage nonsense). For example, both in print and online, the magazine has criticized president Bush many times — just not that much on the war on terror, because we think he’s doing pretty good there. But on steel protectionism, the farm bill and big government conservatism generally, we’ve hit him hard and often. If we’ve ever used the word “treason” about a critic of Bush’s, I’d like to know about it. And as for Robert Nisbet, he’s among my favorite authors — something I must have said a zillion times. Indeed, type “Robert Nisbet” into NRO’s search engine and see what you’ll find.

I don’t mind criticism, even from the fever swamps. What I do object to is mindless and fact-less assertion without evidence. These people always get their dresses over their heads whenever I say I don’t take them seriously. Well, I will when they start acting serious.

Re: The Uglification of D.C.


The Washington Monument will not get an underground visitors center and the huge white slabs around it will be replaced with a stone fence.

Roy’s Rock


Update on the “Roy’s Rock” controversy down in Mungumruh. This is the
fallout from Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s installation of a monument
bearing the Ten Commandments in the Supreme Court building lobby. The whole
thing has now developed into a Thai-boxing match between Moore (currently
suspended for defying a U.S. court order) and state Attorney General Bill
Pryor, who agrees with you, me, and Roy that this separation of church and
state business has gone far beyond what the Framers intended, but who does
not think that high officers of state courts should defy orders from the
federal courts. Well, there was much excitement in Montgomery yesterday
when Moore’s motion to disqualify Pryor was denied by the “Court of the
Judiciary,” which will hear
the misconduct case against Moore. Moore’s lawyers followed up by filing
recusal motions against several members of the “Court of the Judiciary.”
Afterwards, Bill Pryor released a very pointed condemnation of the motion.
For full details and relevant links, see here.

Roadside Salvation


Here’s one you won’t find in the book. A reader claims to have lobbied his
pastor to display it on the church marquee board, but without success:

Third Parties Swinging U.S. History


VERY interesting e-mail from a reader who knows: “Hello, I enjoyed your
National Review article about minor party presidential candidates who tipped
outcome. I publish Ballot Access News and have
studied election data my whole life. I believe minor party and independent
presidential candidates changed the outcome of 7 presidential elections in
US history: 1844, 1848, 1884, 1912, 1926, 1992 and 2000. I don’t believe
George Wallace changed the 1968 outcome; I think Nixon would have won if
Wallace had not run. I agree with you about 1992.

“The Prohibition Party clearly cost the Republicans the presidency in 1884
and 1916. Both times, the Prohibition Party presidential candidate was a
Republican Governor. In 1884 it was St. John of Kansas; in 1916 it was
Hanly of Indiana. James Bryce, among others, observed that people who voted
Prohibition, would have voted Republican if the Prohibition Party hadn’t
been running. In 1884 the Prohibitionist got 25,000 votes in New York and
Democrats carried New York by only 1,100; in 1916 the Prohibitionist got
32,000 votes in California and the Democrats carried California by 3,000
votes. If New York in 1884, or California in 1916, had gone Republican,
Republicans would have won the presidency (Blaine and Hughes).”

Delusions of Grandeur


This is a 1901 usage, from a reader.

Sissification of U.S. History


A reader: “Sissification of American history is definitely prevalent in our
public high schools. Even the 2003 Advanced Placement test for US History
(a test made by the College Board to give high school students college
credit for mastery of the material) did not have a single, direct question
relating to any battle or war. The AP course is supposed to be based on the
entire history of the United States–not just political or social movements.
Judging by the content of the test, the College Board believes that feminism
in the 1950’s is far more important than those rather inconsequential events
in our history whose titles may contain ‘war’ or ‘battle.’”

A Strong Line On Gay Marriage


A priest has been sacked, his church bulldozed and the wreckage burnt after
he allowed the building to be used for a gay marriage last month.”

No More “Holy Wars”


Am I the only one who is thoroughly sick of the hackneyed use of “Holy War” on any political story with religious overtones? Howard Fineman’s latest Newsweek Web exclusive uses this tired formulation (and “culture war,” too, which is hackneyed, but more neutral). Fineman concludes by making the Bushes sound like Romanist panderers:

“As a family, the Bushes are making a political and moral statement: We are for the sanctity of life, as the Catholic Church defines it, and against legal powers that would extinguish it. (Except in the case of the death penalty, which the church also opposes.)”

No Comment


Following my vicious attack on the Bessemer, Alabama Master’s Inn in today’s
column, a reader has accused me of Master’s baiting. I have absolutely no
further comment on this. None at all.



I notice on the homepage:

Adam Daifallah: State Dept. devotes itself
to Powell legacy project.
10/22 9:06 a.m.

Hmm, interesting choice of words there: Given how much hawking of Rich’s
book on the site and in the Corner in recent days, should we really be
criticizing someone ELSE’s “legacy project”?

Just asking!

That Iq Test


A reader writes: “[T]he test is capped. The maximum possible score is 144.
Furthermore, the test does not appear to take elapsed time into account. …
Having scored 140 (out of the maximum 144) you will have made two errors.
… If you are a sucker for punishment, [another test] which takes
elapsed time into account can be found here.”

Tort Hell in Alabama


If, as my reader claimed, Alabama is Tort Hell, it is also the center of
some spirited resistance to lawsuit abuse. See this fine piece, by an
Alabama law professor.

Re: Ending The Cold War


From a reader:

One could imagine a trend here:

“Napolean Bonaparte, the man who ended the Waterloo conflict…”

“Henri Pétain, the man who ended France’s military confrontation with Nazi Germany…”

“Gen. George A. Custer, the man who ended hostilities at Little Big Horn…”

(notice two of the examples are French . . .)

Statehood’s Not Good Enough


Fifty-nine percent of Palestinians support continued armed struggle post-statehood.


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