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Looks like the LSU Tigers and the University of Texas Longhorns will square off in the Cotton Bowl on New Year’s Day. I graduated LSU in ‘89, and my wife graduated from UT in ‘97. So we have a mixed marriage. Tragically, I discovered this evening that she has already taught our three-year-old son how to do the “Hook ‘em, Horns” sign. With Cholly Mac as my witness, that boy is gonna know by heart the Hot boudin chant by the third Sunday of Advent. Even more evidence, though, of my not taking my obligation toward the boy’s religious instruction seriously: he has a couple of Longhorns t-shirts, but no LSU vestments. Shame, shame.

Law’s Ceaucescu Moment?


Fox News now reporting that Cardinal Bernard Law is in Rome at this moment, making an unscheduled visit amid unprecedented anger and unrest among the priests and laity of the Boston Archdiocese. Developing…


Eastern Approaches?


Are the Eastern Europeans having doubts about the EU? There’s an interesting article on this topic in today’s London Observer by Czech journalist, Jana Ciglerova. She’s pro-EU herself, but read the piece for the real – and realistic – fears it reveals. It’s also fascinating to discover that the one country where anti-EU support is now ahead in the opinion polls is Estonia. Some of the reasons for this are historical and cultural, but Ciglerova doesn’t do enough justice to a third aspect of Estonian skepticism over the Brussels project. To make itself acceptable to the EU, Estonia (a country with a flat income tax and, I believe, no taxation of corporate profits) is actually having to deliberalize its economy.


Web Briefing: September 22, 2014

Churchill’s Win


As regular readers of the Corner will know, after a tough fight Winston Churchill survived the Diana challenge and was selected as the greatest Briton in a recent BBC poll. In an article on this vote in the November 30th London Spectator, Frank Johnson discusses Churchill’s tactics during his ‘finest hour’ (that’s the summer of 1940, by the way, not the BBC vote) and comes to this conclusion:

“We sense, however, that at the deepest level Churchill – unlike Chamberlain, Halifax and most of the others – knew in 1940 that Britain would be rescued by something turning up. Like a true Englishman, the strategist who inspired him was not Bonaparte or Clausewitz, but Micawber. That is why it is fitting that he should be the Greatest Briton. ”

Churchill as Micawber? Well, they certainly shared the same approach to money.




There’s a new exhibition dedicated to the art of the Aztecs at London’s Royal Academy. It is, by all accounts, a fascinating and powerful show, and I am looking forward to seeing it, but, as a recent review by Martin Gayford in the London Spectator (November 23rd – no link available to the review) makes clear, a number of the objects on display raise some disturbing issues:

“Much more disquieting are those pieces that reveal a sinister knowledge of the appearance of the inside of human bodies. The pleasantly bobbly garments of the Xipe Totec figures [a god honored by priests wearing the skins of their sacrificial victims]…turn out to be a chillingly accurate representation of flayed skin, with its subcutaneous fat attached. The same decorative surface is given to a box for the preservation of the skins, with a tightly fitting lid to keep in the stench.”

Mr. Gayford recalls running into the artist David Hockney at the show. Together they looked at images of Xipe Totec. “It took us,” Hockney reportedly observed, “over 300 years to see the beauty in this art”.

And yes, he’s right, Aztec art can be beautiful, sometimes astonishingly so. At the same time some of it, at least, also represents an aestheticization of evil. In appreciating it, are we, in essence, celebrating cruelty. Are three hundred years enough to wash away the blood that drenched these artifacts, at times quite literally so?

This raises another, troubling, question. How will future generations (in another 300 years, say) look at some of the art associated with the last century’s totalitarian regimes?

Helping The Saudis?


More evidence of ties between al-Qaeda and Saudi officials? According to this story from the New York Times German authorities investigating a Moroccan accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks are claiming that attempts to research this Saudi connection are being stymied by the Saudis (no surprise there) and, yes, the US.

Poor Reception


The post about ‘Take Your Daughter To Work Day’ produced this story from one reader. The ten year old daughter of a friend of his attended ‘the day’ a few years ago. Asked, after hours in the office observing all sorts of very important people, what she wanted to do when she grew up, she replied “I want to be a receptionist so I can talk on the phone”.

Oh dear.

Big Foot Booted


Rick, in a way I was sort of disappointed (although not surprised) that Big Foot has been booted. Will the other big shoe drop? This is bad, bad news for the Yeti.

Blix Fix


In a perverse move, Mr. Blix is proposing to limit US access to the Iraqi weapons disclosure statement. He should probably put the whole thing on the Web. If any document needs fisking this is probably it.

Today Is Evidently...


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Think Jan.


White and Rice


Rice University pioneers a way to uphold racism in admissions policies despite court order. Other universities sure to follow.

Alas For Suzie


Well, big win for the Dems tonight in Louisiana. There’s no way to spin this positively for the Republicans, though I’m sure tomorrow they’ll be saying how great it is that Suzie Terrell came from 27 pct of the vote in November to 49 pct today. Don’t believe it; the combined GOP vote in November exceeded Landrieu’s 46 pct. The pundits are saying a sugar issue, having to do with agribusiness, that Bush was on the wrong side of (from a Louisiana perspective) pulled it out for Landrieu in the final week of the campaign. We’ll see. First, I want to know what the black turnout was. Anyway, the Democrats have something to crow about, and the GOP, which sent all its heavy hitters, including the president, to Louisiana for Terrell, has a big black eye. Bush should have spent more time there.

Terrell Is Conceding


Call Off The War!


Saddam has apologized to Kuwait–and to God. Democratically elected, compliant to U.N. requests. What a guy.

Iranians Vs. Mullahs




We still have the majority, so let Mary be there and contrary.



…AP just called it for Landreiu.

Missing From The Corner


When is Andrew going to give us his take on the death of “Bigfoot”?


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