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The two finalists for the building(s) to replace the World Trade Center have been announced. They would be among the tallest buildings in the world. I know I’m in a minority here at NR when I say this, but I think this is a mistake. Yes, it’s satisfying to defy the S.O.B.’s who destroyed the WTC by building something taller than before, but it can’t be denied that doing so would present irresistible targets to future terrorists. Everybody knows that, so who is going to want to work in those buildings, especially in the upper floors? Some would, but many wouldn’t. And who is going to want to insure them? Has anybody estimated the costs of insurance? Furthermore, does it really make economic sense to concentrate offices in skyscrapers in the Internet age (e.g., telecommuting)?



A reader writes: “Here’s my comment on the search for Christa MacAuliffe’s heritage: Who cares? She was an American.”


Christa Update


We still don’t have a definitive answer to the burning question of the day: “Was Christa MacAuliffe an Arab-American?” A number of readers have pointed out that her maiden name was Corrigan, which is Irish. Other readers draw attention to the fact that her mother’s maiden name was George, which could easily be an Americanization of a Lebanese or Syrian name. There were lots of Lebanese immigrants to the area where this woman grew up, and some of them either Americanized their names, or had it done for them by Ellis Island guards. The search for an answer continues.

Web Briefing: December 27, 2015

Golden Arches Never Win


McDonalds’ litigation hell continues. First the burger chain is sued because its products are too easy to eat, now it is being sued because they are too difficult to chew.





BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) _ U.N. inspectors report finding another
empty chemical warhead.

Understatement of The Year


A convicted Pennsylvania child rapist is going to be set free this week, on his 21st birthday. He’s threatened to rape again (he fantasizes about raping 4-to-6-year-old girls) and his therapists say he has homicidal tendencies. There is nothing that can legally be done in his state to stop him. He can’t even be tracked, nor will his new neighbors be notified about his past. “The law needs to be changed,” says a law enforcement officer in this story. Yeah, ya think?! Pennsylvania needs a law like other states have that keep sex offenders in jail past their sentencing, as long as psychiatrists believe they are a danger for re-offending.

The child rapist’s name is Brian Calabrese. Just so you know.

Bush Arts Budget


Good Work Jon


It figures the TAPPED story didn’t scan. My apologies for not digging deeper. Usually when I find a barrel of manure I look at the top of the barrel and say, “Hey look: manure.” It only makes sense that if you dig deeper it turns out there’s more manure beneath the surface.

Even More Tapped Out


Jonah, not only is the TAPped entry attacking Paul Gigot “lame” and “hysterical,” it’s not even accurate. TAPped ascribes several actions to Paul Gigot — soliciting the article from European leaders, getting the news portion of the WSJ to cover it — that TAPped’s admitted source (this LA Times story) attributes to people in the Journal’s European offices. In addition, as the LA Times story makes clear, there is nothing unusual about op-ed pages soliciting articles from prominent figures, nor is it particularly unusual that such articles occasionally generate news. (It happened in the Times just last week!) The next time TAPped accuses someone of being a journalist “in name only,” it may want to get its own story straight.

I Need a New Globe, Again


BELGRADE, Yugoslavia (AP) _ Parliament approves historic accord dissolving Yugoslavia and renaming the country Serbia and Montenegro.

Watching Mosques


Newsweek reports that the FBI is counting mosques in America as part of its anti-terrorism strategy. This makes sense, given that terrorists are a) Muslim, b) religious fanatics, and c) have a record of operating out of mosques and religious centers in the United States and Europe. Daniel Pipes wants to know why the government won’t knock off the ameliorative “religion of peace” blather about Islam, and be honest with us about the threat and what it’s doing to counter it. The official story is a obviously a lie, and everybody knows it.

Nightmare Scenario


Check out this nightmare scenario re: North Korea. Sounds terrifyingly plausible to me.

Urban Legend?


Several readers have written in to say that despite numerous websites claiming Arabic heritage for Christa MacAuliffe (nee Corrigan), she appears to be Irish. Anybody have any idea what her mother’s maiden name was? Arabic, perhaps? Let me know; I don’t want to be propagating an urban legend (or if so, then I want it to be a really outlandish and fun one).

Stakes Are High For Powell


Interesting poll numbers from Gallup.

Tapped Out


Blogging is not a science and it is not a professional guild. Anyone can do it — which is the best and worst thing about blogs after all. For an example of really poor blogging we have this installment from TAPPED:

VERDICT: NOT GUILTY. The Wall Street Journal’s op-ed-page editor, Paul Gigot, recently went out to solicit a letter of support for the Bush administration from eight European leaders, which was then published on the op-ed page. He then apparently got the Journal to cover the letter as a news story. Pressed as to whether or not this was crossing the line between opinioneering and William Randolph Hearst-ish, you-furnish-the-pictures-and-I’ll-furnish-the-war politicking, Gigot replied: “We’ve committed news and I plead guilty to practicing journalism.”

If so, journalism is in worse shape today than Tapped thought. We’re not sure exactly how to define “journalist,” but we do know one when we see one. Gigot is a journalist like Zell Miller is a Democrat: in name only. He is, more accurately, a hack, an apologist and a purveyor of propaganda.
Posted at

The reason this is so lame, as if you couldn’t tell, is not that they call Gigot “a hack, an apologist and a purveyor of propanda.” Though that is transparently stupid (I thought Gigot’s old “Potomac Watch” was one of the best reported columns in America). What’s so lame is that they provide no evidence and no argument. They simply bang their spoons on their high-chairs without giving the reader any reason to join them in their conclusions. Maybe what Gigot did was wrong — frankly I don’t see it at all. That letter was, in fact, news. Right? When Tom Friedman of the New York Times got the Saudis to offer their “peace plan” through his column, the Times covered it as news. Was the Times spreading propaganda? Maybe TAPPED thinks so (though I doubt it). But if they do, they should mention that. In other words, make an argument fellas, because you sound hysterical, shabby, and more than a little arrogant when you assume smart people will share your conclusions when you give them no reason to.

Starting to Become a Drag


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


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.

Post Imitates Parody


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.”

Columbia & The Greens


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.

On Tv


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


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