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Starting to Become a Drag



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There was once — and still is — a man named Daniel Jonah Goldhagen. He wrote a book “Hitler’s Willing Executioners.” As most of you probably know, he is not me and I am not he. But because the name Jonah half the name Goldberg are in there, lots of people think I am the author of that book. Someone, somewhere, on the internet must have recently re-asserted this because I’m a big influx of new email from people about how I could write that book and this or that in my columns. Here’s the latest.

I read your latest column about killing “the baby,” and thought I would pass on a thought or two that perhaps hadn’t crossed your mind. While you are a good writer and an intellegent person, I find it ironic that you write about Vietnam vets being called “baby killers” with a certain amount of outrage when in fact, we all know that some were actually that – they killed babies, women, girls, old men, etc. etc. These are facts and have been documented with photos. The reason I find this odd is because in your book, “Hitler’s Willing Executioners,” you obviously were quite shocked and outraged, and rightly so, by the killing of Jewish babies by the Nazis.

My question to you is this: Why are you defensive about the American atrocities committed in Vietnam and why do you not show the same level of outrage for Vietnamese babies killed by Americans?

It’s funny how morality is always viewed differently when it’s our guys doing the killing, don’t you think?

Why Kyoto Still Matters



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The Bush Administration has repeatedly stated that it has no intention of implementing the Kyoto Protocol yet it has made no effort to remove the U.S. as a signatory to the international agreement. Why does this matter? Because, under international law, signatories are obliged to support such agreements even if they are not yet ratified. Moreover, the U.S. signature gives environmental activist groups an added hook in court. If Congress won’t adopt climate change legislation, green groups will seek to set policy through litigation, and the U.S. signature on Kyoto aids them in this cause.

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Post Imitates Parody



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The old joke has it that, when a nuclear bomb is dropped on Gotham, the headline in the New York Times will read: “Bomb Destroys City/Blacks, Hispanics Suffer Most.” Well, life imitates art at the Washington Post, which ran this headline on Sunday: “Shuttle Tragedy Felt Especially Keenly by Members of the Region’s Indian, Israeli, Black Communities.”

Web Briefing: September 15, 2014

Columbia & The Greens



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Could environmental regulations have contributed to the Columbia tragedy? That’s what NASA documents reported on by Brian Carnell (here and here) would suggest. Apparently NASA switched to a CFC-free spray on foam insulation for the external tank, and this foam led to greater flaking and tile damage. If true, it would be an interesting twist on the story.

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On Tv



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Ariana Huffington is talking on CNBC – ignorance with attitude….

Estrada On Deck



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The Senate is scheduled to take up the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit tomorrow at 2:15pm. Senator Schumer and some liberal groups have threatened a filibuster, to which Kay Daly of the Coalition for a Fair Judiciary responds, “bring it on.”

White History Month



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Here’s a remarkable quote from DeWayne Wickham’s column in today’s USA Today: “Just as filmmakers used their storytelling talents to make commercial successes of Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan— two movies rooted in historical events that are largely of importance to whites — they also should make films of importance to blacks.” Glad to hear that World War II and the Holocaust were such parochial matters. So much, in Mr. Wickham’s eyes, for the common humanity that I thought blacks and whites—and Asians and Latinos and everyone else—shared.

New Age Rage



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“The New Age presents itself as a false utopia in answer to the profound thirst for happiness in the human heart,” says a spokesman for the Vatican, which has just released a new document on “New Age” spirituality. “New Age is a misleading answer to the oldest hopes of man.” Here’s the Washington Times story.

England Expects



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Chirac’s attempts to promote France’s interests (as he sees them) may help French business win a contract or two in Iraq – and other unsavory spots – but it comes at a price.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that Tony Blair has blocked a decision to award a French company a £3 billion contract to build the Royal Navy’s two new aircraft carriers because of his annoyance over Chirac’s behavior over Iraq and Zimbabwe.

Somewhere, Admiral Nelson is smiling.


Strange and Sad



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Talking to Israeli reporters on Sunday, Rona Ramon, the widow of Ilan
Ramon, said that her husband was at his peak when he died, the newspaper Yediot Ahranot reported:

“He was a happy and an optimistic person. When he left for space, he
left us this wonderful feeling that we are also part of this amazing
thing. He had to write a will but at the end didn’t because he thought
it was unnecessary. He always had a smile and he wanted us to keep on
smiling. We are not falling apart. We are strong for Ilan’s sake. We
will keep his spiritual will alive and he would want us to be happy,
calm and smiling.”

“I knew that if the launching went well, there would be nothing to worry
about because usually the malfunctions are during the launch and not
during the landing. The only thing that tears me apart now is that
during the liftoff, when we were all in high spirits, my youngest
daughter, Noa, looked at the sky and said, ‘I lost my daddy.’ She felt
what we didn’t allow ourselves to think about, as if she knew this was
the last time.”

“We stood and waited at the end of runway for the landing. It was a
beautiful day and the clock was ticking. When it got down to 10 seconds,
we started a countdown, just like in the liftoff, to hear the sonic
booms. But they didn’t come. We started to worry, and then they took us
to the side and told us that they didn’t know what had happened, but we
already knew. I didn’t even have to tell the kids, they knew
immediately”.

On McConnell



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Please excuse me if this is an unduly grim post, but I hadn’t heard about Mitch McConnell’s heart problem. Kentucky’s governor–the man who would appoint a replacement if that were tragically necessary–is a Democrat. The Republicans currently hold a 51-49 majority. When Sen. Paul Coverdell, Republican of Georgia, died unexpectedly in 2000, the state’s Democratic governor replaced him with a Democrat. Zell Miller’s been a pleasant surprise, but he has also voted for Tom Daschle as majority leader. If Coverdell had not died, or Georgia’s governor had not replaced him with a Democrat, Jim Jeffords would not have been in a position to switch control of the chamber two years ago when he bolted the GOP. In the current situation, all eyes would turn to Lincoln Chafee, the nominal Republican of Rhode Island. (I should add that doctors expect McConnell to make a full recovery, which is good news no matter what the political implications.)

Blacks and Republicans



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Clinton, Unilateralist



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The Clinton administration wasn’t nearly unilateral enough for my taste, but it also was multilateral enough to satisfy current Democratic standards. Here’s a bit from my latest syndicated column:

“If a U.S. administration were to dictate war policy to its allies in a situation in which the allies’ troops were in danger; were to wield its veto at the United Nations in defiance of all other Security Council members; were to wage a war without U.N. approval to avoid a veto by another permanent Security Council member — what, then, would that administration be called? Unilateralist? Cowboyish? Dangerously prone to “going it alone”? Perhaps all those things, but the best label would simply be “the Clinton administration.” President Clinton did all the above in the 1990s. Liberals now demanding near international unanimity before Bush moves on Iraq should recall the stark lessons of the limits of “multilateralism” from an administration whose foreign policy they supported….”

Something Completely Different



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Had enough of the anti-war protests? Here’s encouraging news: some good guys out West are converging on the Colorado statehouse on February 16 to demonstrate in support of the president and regime change in Iraq.

Mitch McConnell Has Heart Bypass Surgery



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India Mourns Too



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A lot of attention has been paid to Col. Ilan Roman, the Israeli astronaut who died on Columbia, but Dr. Kalpana Chawla was a space pioneer beloved by people in her native country too. A reader of Indian heritage writes:

As an American I am saddened by the events of this weekend. I am heartbroken for Israel as well – that country has suffered so much and now this. I just wanted to add that this is also a tragedy for Indians. Although Dr. Chawla was a naturalized American citizen, she apparently kept in contact with her Indian roots and was an inspiration to little Indian boys and girls who now dream of space and conquest and adventure because of her courage.

Read this New York Times story to get an idea of what the reader is talking about.

Media Bias On War Protests and Suvs



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My new media analysis column for the Rocky Mountain News examines the media’s egregious failure to inform readers about the Stalinsts organizing the major anti-war protests. I also debunk New York Times claims that Bush is pushing a special tax break for SUVs.

Betcha Didn’t Know



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NR contributor John Hood is a poet.

Read Leo



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John Leo has an excellent piece out today on an important new study that could focus the debate over affirmative action and encourage the Court to overturn its practice. Affirmative action, it turns out, because it creates a mismatch between minority students and schools, may actually be preventing more minorities from becoming professors. Conservatives have made this kind of point for years, but now even erstwhile liberal advocates of affirmative action are beginning to see the truth about affirmative action’s harms to minorities. Affirmative action really has little to do with the best interests of minority students, and everything to do with assuaging the guilt of white liberals at prestigious universities.

The Real Diversity Story



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With all the talk about the “re-segregation” that will supposedly follow a Supreme Court ruling striking down the University of Michigan’s affirmative action programs, the media has missed the real story. Should the Court uphold diversity as a legitimate grounds for preference programs, we will face something much more frightening than a mere freezing in place of affirmative action’s status quo. That’s because the legal status of diversity right now is in doubt. If the Court grants diversity clear constitutional status, all sorts of new and pernicious proposals based on the diversity idea will eventually be floated, and placed before the Courts. Some of these proposals may directly threaten our constitutional system. I talk about the real consequences of a Supreme Court ruling, either for or against the University of Michigan, in the current issue of The Weekly Standard.

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