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He Charged The Columbine Moms?


Letter to the editor, Rocky Mountain News:

Recently, a co-worker asked me if I had seen the movie Bowling for Columbine yet, I told her absolutely not! My answer surprised her, given the fact my son, Matthew, was one of the 13 murdered during the deadliest school shooting in our country’s history. I explained to her that prior to the public release of the movie the families of the injured and dead were invited by Michael Moore to attend a preview screening. How thoughtful.

Our family and others considered attending because we were genuinely interested in his message to the public regarding gun control and school violence.

However, once we discovered he was going to charge us admission we refrained from doing so.

It’s laughable that Moore attempts to portray himself as an anti-establishment liberal who is the voice of the common folk, when in fact he is no better than the greedy capitalists he shuns. Maybe now that he has made millions of dollars off the blood of our children he could toss a DVD or two our way to view.

Ann M. Kechter


George Washington, Distiller


George Washington’s achievements as a distiller are at last getting some recognition. That’s nice, but this little detail from the story makes for a grim little coda:

“Mount Vernon Associate Director Dennis Pogue said officials would not distill liquor at the site but would explain to visitors how Washington did it back in the late 1700s. As school children ran around on a class trip, Pogue talked about the careful “balancing act” of explaining Washington’s life to visitors without promoting alcohol. ”

“without promoting alcohol?” a “balancing act?”

Give me a break.


Walk/Don’t Walk


In another small step towards idiocy, banality and mindless homogenization, New York City decided some time ago (no, this was not Nurse Bloomberg’s idea, although he could have stopped it) to spend $30 million or so on replacing the quintessentially Big Apple “walk/don’t walk” traffic signs with little illuminated men (one walking, the other, you guessed it, not) who comply with some federal standard or other. These helpful fellows are presumably designed to ensure that the streets will not crossed at inappropriate moments by dyslectics, foreigners who quite literally cannot manage two words of English and, I suppose, the profoundly stupid. The New Yorker is, quite properly, outraged – well, a little irritated anyway.

Web Briefing: November 28, 2014

Eu Thoughts


Could we get Andrew to back the EU if The Iceman were put in charge?


Our Tchotchkes


Diamond solitaire necklaces indeed! Typical of Conde Nast arrivistes. The fashion at NR should be to emulate the last independent Sikh ruler of the Punjab, who, according to the Oxford History of India, dressed simply and with dignity, with the Koh-I-Noor diamond strapped around his right arm.

The Terrorism Nancy Pelosi Worries About


Arresting illegal immigrants at Wal-Mart. (Though she is, of course, right that the employer should be held accountable too.)

Re: Concorde


We really should have gotten you on its last flight, Andrew!

Save Concorde!


The Daily Telegraph has more.

You Know Who You Are


NR email is down. (Sorry I sound like a broken record. Again.) If you’ve sent anything since noon or so, resend to [email protected] Otherwise, there REALLY is a good reason I have not responded.

Just Obeying Orders


German chancellor Schroeder is a liar. He is also, it seems, a thug. Distressed by the fact that Germans are crossing over into Holland to take advantage of that country’s half-civilized drug laws he wants Holland to change the rules. Like a freshly whipped dog, the Dutch government is coming to heel.

Interestingly, however, the solution it proposes (restricting admission to their coffee shops) is almost certainly illegal under EU law (it’s generally forbidden for an EU member state to discriminate against the citizens of other EU countries).

The famously pro-EU Germany may, it seems, be hoist by its own petard.

Ha ha ha.



I’m glad to see that NR is not necessarily against Boykin. So far as I can see, the best argument for removing him (and one made by a number of people who e-mailed me) is that his comments (however unfairly interpreted) have made it impossible to get the sort of co-operation that his job implies from the leadership of the Muslim nations from whom we will be looking for co-operation in the war against terror. Realpolitik is an ugly business, but if that is to be the reason for firing a patriot who has served his country with honor it should be explicit.

Boykin’s remarks (as so far released) were tactless, but their substance gives no other reason for his dismissal (and I write as someone with beliefs that the good general would undoubtedly think would doom me to the Devil’s fiery pit). A recent New York Times editorial calling for his dismissal gives an example of the muddled thinking displayed by those who would remove him. Here are some extracts:

“Not only did a high-ranking government official make remarks that espoused a single religious view…”

Since when has that been a disqualification from office?

“…and denigrated others…”

But he didn’t. Yes, he made clear that he was not a follower of Islam (to put it mildly), but his ‘denigration’ was reserved for the terrorists.

“President Bush and all other top officials have said often, and rightly, that the United States is not engaged in a religious war. General Boykin…should not be undermining that policy…”

To repeat, Boykin did not say that he was engaged in a war against Islam, but a war against terrorists, terrorists he considers to be the agents of Satan. Now that’s not my explanation as to bin Laden’s motive, but, given the nature of his crimes, it should be no surprise that someone who is religious sees the evil of the man in those terms. And, as for the US not being engaged in a religious war, that’s only partly true. Of course, America should not declare war on Islam. That would be madness. The US should be looking for allies in the Muslim world, a large proportion of which wants to have nothing to do with Wahhabism’s vicious delusion. At the same time, there’s no denying that the war against the US is religiously inspired. The failure to understand the implications of that is one of the major failures of the current administration. America may not be fighting a religious war, but someone is fighting a religious war against America – and the US should respond appropriately.

Sorting out the US Army’s chaplaincy problem might be a start.

Schwarzenegger’s a Rapist?


That seems to be what Doonesbury’s saying. Thanks for the heads-up from J.P. Carter.

Virtual Monkeys Banging On Virtual Typewriters


If Cosmo Were Human....


To Parents


Scary Thought


Imagine what a Jonah Goldberg or John Derbyshire doll might be programmed to spit out.

Talking Presidents Doll


I’ve gotta say: I’ve seen the Bill Clinton doll and it is hysterical. Not to take a toy too seriously, but when the laughter dies down, it seems sobering and fitting. This is his LEGACY, boiled down to a novelty doll, talking about “that woman.” And yes, it would be perfect on your coffee table next to a book called LEGACY.

Forget Book Review Copies


Where’s my diamond necklace?! Toby Young in WSJ:

Those lucky enough to work in the fashion departments of such magazines are deluged with freebies every day, some of them worth a great deal of money. At Vanity Fair, where I worked for 2 1/2 years, I once stumbled across a screwed-up ball of paper outside the office of Elizabeth Saltzman, the magazine’s fashion director. “Dear Elizabeth,” it began, “a while back, the Diamond Information Center presented you with a diamond solitaire necklace.” Others plainly keep the stuff. Earlier this year, the fashion director of another glossy magazine had her wrist slapped when she was caught trying to sell on eBay a couture coat she’d been sent by Chanel. The floor bid was $150,000.

At Christmastime, glossy magazines have to take on extra staffers to deal with the huge volume of free stuff flowing into their offices. In 1996, the CEO of Condé Nast, Steve Florio, received so much booty that he had to hire three Lincoln Town Cars to transport it back to his house. We’re talking handmade suits, cases of wine, sets of golf clubs–not your usual tchotchkes. The Lincolns sailed off down Madison Avenue like Spanish galleons packed with treasure. A spokesperson for Condé Nast says that this story, which I had from a closely placed source, is “absolutely untrue.”

Scaife Vs. Soros


Byron York notes that George Soros is becoming quite the Democratic Party moneybag. Will he be as demonized as “rabid” Richard Scaife? (AP called him “vehement” in its write-up of Scalia’s ISI speech.) Here’s a peek at the imbalance of the coverage of these men from the old MRC Media Watch archive:

The April 21 issue of Time magazine featured its list of the “25 Most Influential” people of 1997. According to Time, if you’re a millionaire and you help conservatives, you’re contributing to the breakdown of society. If you’re a billionaire who gives solely to liberal causes, you’re seen as a savior.

On one page Time profiled Richard Scaife, whom the magazine labeled a “Conservative Agitator.” His bio began: “If conservative thinkers like Bill Bennett and Paul Weyrich are the brainpower behind the resurgent American right, the horsepower comes from Richard Mellon Scaife. For close to four decades, the 64-year-old Pennsylvanian has used his millions to back anti-liberal ideas and their proponents.” Later, Time added: “He controls the Sarah Scaife Foundation, which helps subsidize rabidly anti-Clinton magazines as well as conservative social-policy projects.” If Scaife is considered a “conservative agitator,” it would follow that George Soros would be tagged a “liberal agitator,” but Time’s subhead labeled him a “philanthropist.” Soros’ bio read: “And he has been stirring controversy by directing his dollars to an array of hot-button political causes tied to his personal ideal of an ‘open society’ and by writing an iconoclastic critique of free-market capitalism.” Among the projects promoted by this “philanthropist,” Time noted: “$1 million to help pass initiatives in California and Arizona last year that legalized medicinal use of marijuana,” and “$50 million for a fund to help legal immigrants” overcome welfare reform.

Complaining Dwarves


Dems don’t want to waste their time on debates–especially if Al, Carol, and Dennis keep showing.


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