Heard About This?
Glenn Reynolds notes that as many protested against Hugo Chavez yesterday in Miami as likely protested against war with Iraq in Washington, D.C. — but few news outlets took note.
Ask David Frum
AskFRUM@NATIONALREVIEW.COM is taking questions for David Frum, a selection of which he will respond to later this week, until Monday morning. Send them now, for Q&A on his New York Times bestselling book The Right Man and the inside scoop on the Bush White House.
Saudis Say Leave Iraq Alone
Saudi official denies Time piece this week that reporting Saudis were endorsing a coup option for Iraqi regime change.
Also from the London Spectator, an interesting article on how, by narrowing the definition of what is considered ‘legitimate’ opinion, the BBC is contributing to the erosion of free debate within the UK. The article is, naturally, focused on Britain, but some of it will sound a little, well, familiar to viewers of CBS, ABC and NBC news programming, such as this comment, for example:
“The BBC’s world view starts in the liberal centre and condemns alternative perspectives as mad. The BBC… treats the rigid new orthodoxy of the militant centre as an absolute, not an average. More peculiarly, it characterises it as moderate and fails to perceive that this, too, is a form of intolerant extremism, shorn of ideology but not of menace. “
On September 12 last year, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe was invited to New York City Hall by council member Charles Barron of Brooklyn (a Democrat). This piece from the London Spectator is a reminder of what Mugabe stands for.
The New York Observer notes that ‘urban shaman’ Donna Henes will be hosting a ‘drumming circle’ in honor of the full moon tonight. Ms. Henes is quoted in the paper as explaining that, “the ceremony is about drumming up energy and our spirit for inner healing. We’ll drum and, of course, there will be howling at the moon. It’s a very charging experience. People fly out of the door when it’s over.”
Hmmm, well, I saw the moon over Manhattan myself the other night, a great white globe suspended, it seemed, between skyscrapers. It was nice, but, no, I didn’t want to howl.
There’s growing unease that New York City may be in danger of returning to its bad old ways. This report from the London Independent notes that Nurse Bloomberg is saying that he is staking his reputation on school reform, an important enough goal, the writer agrees, but then goes on to make the point that matters:
“It seems [Bloomberg] also needs to pay more attention…to rising crime or – correction – the perception of rising crime. Keeping up the number of cops might be a first step.”
Indeed it is.
Time For An Apology?
In a recent speech Saddam Hussein has drawn comparisons between the US and the Mongol army that sacked Baghdad in 1258. Saddam is, of course, hoping for a different conclusion this time around, but he does us all a service in refreshing memories of the Mongol horde that once ravaged large portions of Eurasia. Western leaders are, these days, continually expected to apologize for the deeds of their country’s imperial pasts, so shouldn’t we expect the same from the heirs of the Horde?
End the shameful silence in Ulan Bator! The world needs an apology – or at least a few muttered words of remorse. Natsag Bagabandi, we’re waiting…
If there’s a political figure more irritating than a tobacco-banning clown from North Dakota, it’s a preachy left-wing windbag who has, it appears, been given delusions of grandeur by his role in a fading soap opera set in the White House.
The London Independent, needless to say, does not agree. In an oleaginous ’profile’ of Martin Sheen, writer Andrew Gumbel notes the supposed irony of the “continuing success” of the West Wing and its fictional President ‘Bartlett’ (one t, actually, but never mind) in a country allegedly in the grip of “war fever and right-wing resurgence”.
Gumbel tells us that Sheen, somebody who has always been predictably orthodox in his choice of liberal causes, is “a rebel, a non-conformist, a man who delights in challenging authority at the highest levels by standing four-square on his unshakeable moral sense.”
Speaking of bossy public officials, over at Reason’s blog Jacob Sullum has a post on one Michael Grosz. He’s the legislator from North Dakota responsible for introducing a bill that would criminalize the sale and possession of tobacco within the borders of that unfortunate state unless, it would seem, it is used for “religious purposes”.
Grosz is, distressingly, a Republican. He should be laughed out of office.
The Financial Times is reporting that a study by an ‘NGO’ (‘the International Baby Food Action Network’) has concluded that Nestle and Danone breached World Health Organization codes governing the promotion of their products in both Togo and Burkina Faso”. The FT notes claims in the NGO report that “the companies broke the rules by providing mothers with free samples of milk powder, contravening labeling standards, and distributing gifts such as pens, stethoscopes and notepads branded with company names.”
What arrogant and patronizing nonsense – and it’s not confined to Togo and Burkina Faso or powdered milk. WHO is, for example, also active in efforts to restrict tobacco advertising worldwide.
Message from international bureaucrats to the rest of humanity:
“You are all too stupid to think for yourselves”.
The Important Work of The United Nations
I just noticed this press release from the U.N. It actually seems very appropriate: exactly what I expect the U.N. to be doing. In fact, if they would stick to things like this, they’d do less harm.
TYPEFACE EXHIBITION UNVEILED AT UN HEADQUARTERS IN NEW YORK
New York, Jan 17 2003 6:00PM
The 100 best typeface designs used in global written communication over the past five years are on display at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, the winners of a global competition organized as part of the UN Year of Dialogue among Civilizations in 2001.
I Should Perhaps Note
one more thing: Iain Murray didn’t contact me about his story; I called him.
There seem to have been some communications problems here: Lichter says he has “no knowledge” of any permission ever having been given to Iain Murray to blog on company time. On his blog, Iain Murray is explaining that he was fired from his job without mentioning STATS, and has taken the identification of his former employer off his “about” page. He doesn’t want to generate blogger and e-mail abuse of the organization. He is, however, now considering a lawsuit. My own view is that mistakes were made on both sides, but that Lichter was much too hard on Iain Murray. I hope that he finds another job soon; and judging from the intelligence of those few articles and posts of his that I have read, I expect that he will. I also hope that STATS, which does a lot of good work, continues to flourish.
The Power of Instapundit
Lichter, by the way, says he came across Iain Murray’s blog by reading Instapundit. “I. . . saw he was such a such a frequent blogger that he was listed,” he says. “I was surprised, clicked on it and came across a very large blogging file going back 14 months in which entries were often date- and time- stamped,” proving them to have been posted during work hours. Lichter was also concerned that the blog included “STATS-type entries mixed in with a lot of personal and political opinions,” which threatened to give people the wrong idea about the organization. (It’s nonpartisan while Murray is right-leaning.)