Saturday, June 21, 2003

We'll see if Howard Dean's son being arrested for robbery receives as much press as the Bush girls getting a beer.
Robert Novak has some interesting political notes. He writes that some Democrats in California are pressing Governor Davis to resign in favor of the Lt. Gov., a Democratic Hispanic. That would scuttle all the recall talk. He also says that Frist has appointed the conference committee for the the child tax credit bill in such a way to kill cash payments to low-income people who don't pay federal income taxes. He appointed Senators Grassley, Nickles and Lott to the conference committee. Grassley supports the bill, but Nickles and Lott do not. Also Novak reports that the Republican legislature in Florida may move the date of the Democratic primary for the Senate so that Senator Graham would have to decide if he wanted to continue in the contest for the presidency or run for reelection as senator. That is hardball in the Sunshine State.
A mail carrier claims that she was fired for delivering Harry Potter a day early. They made the recipient return the book, too. No way would I have returned it! Why would a private recipient be bound by an edict from the publisher.
The Washington Post has the story of how Bush has assured Jewish and Israeli leaders that his criticism of the assassination attempt on a Hamas leader was an aberration. As a fervent supporter of Israel, I'm happy about that. But, this article will make those who are suspicious of the influence of Jews on Bush's foreign party will have more evidence from this article.
Mark Steyn has a masterpiece today looking at the big blockbuster by J.K. Rodham.
It's hard to imagine now, but just a few years ago Rodham was financially dependent on the government, living in dreary public housing in an obscure part of Little Rock, and separated from her husband for a few hours while he was over at his brother's testing the new hot tub with a couple of cocktail waitresses. It was then that the soon to be world-famous author came up with her incredible plot: an adolescent with magical powers who saves the world from the dark forces.

The result was Billy Clinter and the Philosophers Stoned, in which young Billy attends a party at Oxford and discovers his amazing ability to smoke but not inhale. With that first fantastic adventure of the shy, misunderstood boy blessed - and burdened - with the awesome power to feel your pain with just one touch, young Billy Clinter became the world's most popular schoolboy.

Then came Billy Clinter and the Gusset of Fire, in which the vast Right-wing conspiracy led by the sinister Lord Newt and Doleful Bob plant a hogtail disguised as a house elf in his hotel room in Little Hangleton. The elf tricks Billy into revealing his pocket sneakoscope and she glimpses its remarkable distinguishing characteristics, the strange lightning bolt along the side that signals the tremendous potency of his Slytherin Beaubaton. After this narrow escape, the young wizard gets into yet more scrapes in Billy Clinter and the Prisoner of Azkansas, in which Rodham tells the story of how young Billy and his much brainier friend, Hillary Granger, finally escape Azkansas after being trapped there for far longer than Hillary had expected to be.

But in the fourth volume events take a grim turn, as the careless schoolboy becomes aware that Professor Starr has in his laboratory a magic dress that could destroy all his and Hillary's plans. In Billy Clinter and the Chamber of Semen, Billy realises that he spinched while he was apparating, which had never happened before. This is all the fault of Moaning Monica, the intern who haunts the anteroom at Housewhites and has the rare power of Parcelmouth, the ability to look into the eye of the Basilisk, the world's smallest snake, without being petrified. Is she a Niffler or a Death Eater? Billy cannot be sure. He looks to Housewhites' giant shambling groundskeeper Reno to protect him, but she's busy raining down fire on strange cults. As the book ends, their old friend Albus Bumblegore fails to become Headmaster of Housewhites after insufficient chads are found in his sorting hat.

With each new adventure, critics have predicted that the eternal schoolboy has run his course. But he keeps coming back. None the less, there were strange rumours this time that J K Rodham was preparing to kill off the most popular character. It's been known for a while that she sees the series' future depending more on the much brainier though somewhat unlikeable Hillary Granger and the four female ghosts who write all her words.

According to the prepublicity, the latest book - Living History: the Bulk Order of the Phoenix - would see Hillary rise from the ashes yet again, step out of Billy's shadow and prepare to take Housewhites back from the evil usurper Lord W Bush (as fans know, the W stands for Woldemort, but by tradition the name is never said). But instead it's mostly hundreds of pages about who Hillary sat by at the many school dinners she's attended, with a brief passage about when Billy told her about Moaning Monica.

Donald Rumsfeld continues to punish the French, keeping them from joint activities. Felicitations, Monsieur Rumsfeld.
The Washington Post looks at how the Clintons have spread their control over the Democratic Party and sympathetic think tanks. Of course, it's not surprising that former members of the Clinton administration should have positions in Democratic politics. They're the ones with experience after all. Criticizing that would be like those who criticized how many Reagan and Bush '41 alumni there are in Bush '43's administration. Any party looks to its experienced members. However, the Dems have to be concerned if the Clintons continue to be the public face of the party and if the presidential candidates continue to be overshadowed.
Still, some Democrats want the Clintons to go away. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee recently did focus groups around the country with Democratic-leaning voters and found widespread resentment of both Clintons, according to a Democratic aide familiar with surveys conducted in several cities.

Many focus group participants called the former president "immoral, smooth, crooked" and dishonest, the aide said, while Hillary Clinton was seen as an "opportunist." "It gives us a brand we just don't need," the aide said.

David Brooks says that the Democrats are driving over a cliff. Conservatives should stop exulting and counting votes before they're cast.
This is crazy. A federal appeals court has upheld a school's right to discipline a kindergartner for pointing a finger at a classmate and threatening to shoot other kids. The child is being represented by the Rutherford Institute which plans to appeal to the Supreme Court. You may remember that the Rutherford Institute is the same organization that paid for Paula Jones' case against Bill Clinton.
I don't think we should be trumpeting that we have found possibly important documents until we have processed them. Note the report, buried at the end of this report, that we've found most of the uranium that had been reported missing from the Iraqi nuclear plant. That's a relief. Of course, we can all wonder why a country floating on oil like Iraq, or Iran, would need a nuclear plant.
Sorry not to blog yet today. I had a totally inexplicable and unplanned burst of energy and did some gardening that I had been putting off for months. My summer is not a waste now.

On another happy note, Harry Potter has arrived at our house. My 15 year old is now happily barricaded in her room reading away. What a marvelous combination of creativity (Rowling), private enterprise (Amazon and book stores), and, yes, even the government (US Postal Service) to get all these millions of copies of books into the hands of kids eager to read this long book, all on the promised day. Capitalism working once again.

Our family ate at Champps last night. That's one of those large chain restaurants that offers a wide variety of entrees, salads, and sandwiches. I was thinking that those people who hate the United States would find this the epitome of everything they despise about our country. There were the huge quantities of food, so much that most people have to take it home. There were TV screens all over the place with a plethora of TV stations from ESPN to CNN to FOX, all on mute. It was sensory overload. Then, there on the wall were the US and NC flags hanging proudly. The restaurant is adjacent to a huge mall that sells all the same things that your neighborhood malls sell. There we were surrounded by gluttony, mass media, consumerism, and patriotism. It was quite fun and a very pleasant evening. We decided that we love all the things about our country that others despise.

Friday, June 20, 2003

Despite spending more per pupil than almost any other school district in the country and having some of the highest teacher salaries, DC students rank at the very bottom on the NAEP reading test.
Remember when litmus tests for judicial nominees were a bad thing? Well, now the shoe is on the other foot. Kerry announces that he will filibuster any nominee who doesn't support abortion rights.
It might almost be worth it to have Kerry win the nomination so we can see more of Teresa Heinz Kerry (as she wants to be called now.) Page Six has this tidbit.
SEN. John Kerry's ketchup heiress wife, Teresa Heinz, is shaping up to be no help in his bid for the White House. The other day Heinz made a bizarre speech to the Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus in which she failed to mention Kerry even once. The Boston Herald described it as a "35-minute harangue about hormones and the big, bad pharmaceutical companies' conspiracy against women." One attendee described it as "endless, pointless and confusing" and "far, far too technical," noting people all but ran for the door.

Online Journalism Review looks at the most influential blogs on politics and the media. (link via Instapundit)
Mark Steyn repeats that things aren't that bad in Iraq.
CNN uses physics to determine who is stronger, the Hulk or the Terminator.
Mona Charen looks at the state of freedom of the press and speech around the world.
Jennifer Aniston tops Forbes Top 100 Celebrities list.
The Christian Science Monitor admits that the documents it used to accuse Labour MP of taking bribes from Saddam Hussein were, in fact, forged.
Charles Krauthammer has a clear plan how to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Increase production -- Alaskan oil and nuclear energy, for starters -- and decrease consumption by taxing imported oil.
Benjamin Netanyahu outlines the peace plan that Israelis could accept and explains why.
The Washington Post looks at the factors in the DC system that prevent the competition from the charter schools' success from forcing the public schools to improve.
Continuing the focus on race, the Washington Post says that most top Hill staffers are white.
Universities are giving into whte guilt and now offering courses in "white studies." I hate all these attempts to separate us and glory in what makes us different. If I were in charge I would scrap all Black, Hispanic, Women's, etc. studies courses.
Rich Lowry lays out some unpleasant truths about the idea of a prescription drug payment program for the elderly.
About three-quarters of seniors have private insurance that covers drugs, and the average senior pays about $900 a year for drugs, comparable to the amount the average senior spends on dining out in a year. There is a small segment of the elderly that genuinely needs help paying for its drugs -- a small, targeted subsidy would suffice.

Instead, Congress is creating a program for all, meaning a Medicare system that will already be straining to deal with the retirement of baby boomers will have roughly another $10 trillion added to its unfunded liability. And the new entitlement will inevitably be more expensive than advertised, as all entitlements are.

The benefit will entangle the drug industry in government regulations that it is unlikely ever to escape, moving the United States a step closer to a Canadian-style socialized system. Soaring costs will mean inevitable pressure for price controls. It is precisely the absence of price controls that has allowed an endlessly creative drug industry to thrive in the United States when it has been snuffed out elsewhere.

Math teachers are protesting that the New York Regents Exam in Math was too difficult.
While many math teachers hailed the new exam as appropriately rigorous when it was introduced in 1999, some of those same teachers say the version given this week was far too difficult, even for the brightest students.

Some said it was short on algebra, which is the primary focus of the Math A course, and heavy on difficult geometry questions. Some questions were unnecessarily wordy, they said, while others had more than one correct answer and used terms the students had not been taught. Perhaps their biggest criticism was that the test packed too many tasks into single questions.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Ronald Radosh looks at the Rosenbergs, who are still being defended as innocent.
James Taranto looks at John Kerry's accusation that Bush misled every one about WMD in Iraq.
Well, actually, "every one" overstates the case. The Senate vote in favor of authorizing force in Iraq was 77-23, with Kerry voting "yes." For the sake of argument, let's say Kerry is right and Bush perpetrated a sham. In a hypothetical general-election match-up, who would you rather choose to deal with hostile foreign leaders: a guy who's capable of pulling off such an elaborate deception, or the sucker who fell for it?

Interest in paganism is on the wise. Apparently, Sabrina, Buffy, and Harry are to blame.
Suzanne Fields takes on the Stepford Dowdies.
The Maureen Dowdies are 30 years behind the curve and they know it - and hate it. They're the childless chicks, robotically reacting to the women who enjoy family life more than their abandoned treadmills to the fast track
George Will describes the Democratic conundrum.
Democrats divide their time between deploring anything that benefits rich people and standing in front of rich people, like Oliver Twist with his porridge bowl, begging for more. In an article on McCain-Feingold ("The Democratic Party Suicide Bill") in the July/August issue of the Atlantic Monthly, Seth Gitell notes that in the 1996 election cycle, when Democrats raised $122 million in soft money, a fifth of it -- $25 million -- came from just 168 people.

Republicans have a large advantage in raising "hard" dollars, which are for specific candidates and are covered by annual limits. Democrats, deprived of soft money, will be forced to rely on paid issue advocacy by their "groups" -- environmentalists, gun control advocates, the pro-abortion lobby. Dependence on the groups will cost the party control of its message and pull the party to the left, away from swing voters.

Scientists and historians are using DNA evidence to figure out how far various groups such as the Vikings, Normans, Anglo-Saxons, and the Celts penetrated in Britain.
Here's some very interesting news on Alzheimer's. Apparently, doing mental activities such as crosswords puzzles or playing board games can lower the risk of developing Alzheimer's. Maybe, blogging would have the same effect.
The Washington Post has a good look at DC charter schools. The conclusion is that some are good and some are bad. Studies on student progress compared to public schools seem flawed since most of the charter schools draw from at risk and low performing students. We need a study that compares the kids who get into a charter with those that applied and didn't get in and thus stayed in the public school. That would be comparing apples to apples. Whatever the statistics show, the kids and parents are happier with the charters. That should count for something. As a teacher at a charter school, I am very sold on the value of charters. I just wish that North Carolina wasn't so stingy in giving out licenses for charters. We're only allowed to have 100 statewide.
Michael Barone, the smartest pundit in politics, looks at Hillary's chances in 2008.
The Telegraph points out after we captured the Ace of Diamonds we then raided a farmhouse and came up with 5.3 million dollars that was being used, we think, to pay bounties on killing Americans. Perhaps, there was a connection. (link via Andrew Sullivan)
A Democratic poll shows that most Hispanics don't care or don't know about the filibuster over the Estrada nomination. ONe thing the Dems have to worry about is voter confusion.
Mr. Bendixen's poll found that 28 percent of Hispanics support the nomination, while 11 percent opposed it and 61 percent weren't aware of the nomination or didn't have an opinion.

He said that, based on listening to some of the poll interviews, it was clear many of those who supported Mr. Estrada were also confusing him with actor Erik Estrada, who was on the 1977-1983 television police drama "CHiPS" and is now a popular Spanish-language soap-opera star.

"Many of them think President Bush nominated Erik Estrada — I'd say a good third think that way," Mr. Bendixen said, adding that he heard one person say Mr. Estrada should be confirmed because he did such a good job playing a policeman on "CHiPS."

Is it really a good thing that about 30% of Americans don't pay any income taxes? Then they can be in a position to push for more government programs without worrying at all about how we will pay for those programs. When our country was young, most states required that voters owned property because the Founders believed that only property holders would think carefully about how the government worked. It wasn't until the 1820s and 30s that states removed property qualifications for voting. That was also the era when political campaigns began and politicians all tried to portray themselves as common man of the people. The biggest insult that could be targeted at a politician, such as Martin Van Buren, was that he was effete. William Henry Harrison hid that he was born on a plantation in Virginia and allowed himself to be portrayed as a frontier yahoo who lived in a log cabin and chugged hard cider all day.
You gotta love Silvio Berlusconi of Italy. When France criticized him for not meeting with Yasser Arafat in a recent trip to the Middle East he let them know what he thought of their interference,
Similarly, France is attempting to thaw the political deep-freeze imposed on PLO leader Yasser Arafat by Israel and the US. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin said this week that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's recent visit to Israel, during which he met only with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and boycotted Arafat, had "not satisfied the European position". Yesterday, Berlusconi responded by saying that French leaders "missed a good opportunity to shut up." Berlusconi's statement echoed that directed by Chirac at eastern European leaders for their staunch support of the US prior to the war in Iraq.

Albert Eisele is pessimistic about the Democratic chances in 2004. They need to pray for a disaster in Iraq.
Page Six reports that Bill Clinton's newest girl pal is a blonde Canadian billionaire heiress.
The Prowler has some interesting tidbits. Howard Dean is lying about his contacts with gay and lesbian groups. Also, the Prowler reports that Hillary is saying she won't appear at Democratic fundraisers unless they buy her book in bulk or have it there for sale to donors. Look for bulk purchases by Democrats for redistribution to supporters as a way to keep her number high.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

A new study shows that charter high schools in California posted higher gains than public schools. Booyah for charter schools. (link via Joanne Jacobs)
The Lone Dissenter has a wonderful tribute to her father.
Lileks looks why we hate the French.
France's opposition to the Iraq war isn't the reason Americans are turning away from the glories of Gaul. No, it was the manner in which France conducted its opposition -- high-handed, cheerfully duplicitous, brazenly self-serving, with a generous ladle of contempt for this boorish nation of unsophisticated cowboys.

One got the impression they were peeved that America did not realize what it meant to be graced by a stream of French spittle. Why, it was an honor. Most nations France ignores. To be spit on by France is a mark of some distinction. Here is a cloth. Wipe it off. Not with that hand! What are you, a Pole? The other hand! Left to right! Now fold the napkin into the shape of a dying swan!

France is a beautiful country. The food's good. The pre-World War II artistic legacy of the country is worth a pilgrimage for anyone who wants to understand the promise of Enlightenment and the perils of Revolution.

If France pulls through, it'll be important again. And if it doesn't, which seems increasingly likely, it will tear itself apart with strikes. Its economy will be consumed by the rapacious demands of its welfare state. Its restive, unassimilated Muslim population might demand a parallel legal system based on Sharia law. These possibilities should please no one.

We wish the French the best. But their days as the moral avatar, the champion of humanity, are long gone. That reputation -- unearned for decades -- will die in the Congo, where French troops are behaving as effectively as, well, French troops. The painful fact is that no one expects much of them anymore beyond good food, bribery and honeyed hypocrisy.

One liberated Iraqi summed up the American promise like this: "Democracy, whiskey, sexy!" One could say that beats Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite.

One might suggest that it already has.

Jonah Goldberg explains why statistics about income inequality in America don't tell us much.
For example, according to Robert Rector, an economist with the Heritage Foundation who uses the government's numbers, the typical person in the poorest fifth of U.S. households today spends as much as the person of average wealth in the early 1970s (adjusted for inflation).

The typical "poor" American, according to census data, has a car, air conditioning, a refrigerator, a stove, a VCR and a color TV. It should go without saying -but usually doesn't -that in, say, 1960, someone who had a color TV, a refrigerator, air conditioning and a car would not be considered poor.

More telling: Child hunger has largely been wiped out as a major social problem in America. While deplorable instances of hungry children still occur (usually attributable to bad parenting), the real nutritional problem we face today is fat kids.

Not only is poverty relative, it has less to do with money than most people think. Technological innovation makes life less expensive. Fifty years ago, a refrigerator was a big investment, even for the middle class. But it was worth it because it made it possible to buy food in bulk.

Today, refrigerators may not be supercheap, but they're affordable. And the cheapest fridge today is far more advanced than a fridge from two decades ago. Ten years ago, a cell phone was a luxury. Today, they're ubiquitous -even in the poorest neighborhoods.

Here's how relative our understanding of poverty is: The average poor person in America is richer than many entire villages in Africa or Asia, where they still have no phones, refrigerators, and very little food.

Polipundit says that conservatives says that conservatives should contribute to Howard Dean's campaign.
Here's another case of plagiarism, this time by an Australian.
Thomas Fleming, the historian and novelist, traces the history of our relations with France since the Revolution. It hasn't been all escargots and chardonnay.
Norma McCorvey, the Roe of Roe v. Wade, wants the Supreme Court to reverse its decision.
Michael Ledeen is optimistic about the demonstrations in Iran. He also seems to have some information that our own government may lack.
The American Prowler thinks Norm Coleman is a rising star in the GOP. It helps that he is Jewish.
Eugene Volokh has an article in NRO about how correlation does not imply causation when looking at gun statistics.
Only ten decisions remain in this year's term. They may be released this upcoming week on Monday and Thursday. Linda Greenhouse, the Supreme courtologist at the New York Times to read the tea leaves to figure out which justice is writing which majority opinion of some of the remainging cases.
Some of our nation's lawbreakers are not exactly thrilled about the student protests in Iran. I can't understand their attitude. Are they so wedded to the status quo that they can't support students who are protesting for freedom of speech and religion and who voice admiration for the U.S.?

Update: errr, I guess that should be lawmakers, not lawbreakers. A freudian mistake, that.

The Democrats are trying to act undemocratically. They want to keep Dennis Kucinich, Al Sharpton, and Carol Mosely Braun out of upcoming debates among the candidates for the presidency. Forget about letting the people vote for the candidates they prefer. They want to pre-select the candidates. Doesn't sound like a good move in terms of PR.
Naples police in Florida nab a major lawbreaker: a six year old girl dangerously operating a lemonade stand without a permit.
James Taranto looks at Wesley Clark and his stupidity regarding progressive taxation.
Al Gore is interested in starting up a cable TV channel that would be focused on kids. Gee, so many kids love Al Gore and would want to hang with him. He's so in touch with the youthful zeitgeist.
Some Florida DJ's got through to Fidel Castro. He wasn't amused. This is cute, however, if you got through to Castro while on the air in Miami, couldn't you think of something better to say to him.
The BBC has some more stories from the protests in Iran. These man/woman on the street interviews are very powerful.
There's a bipartisan attempt to end secret holds in the Senate. It would be a great boon if they got rid a lot of these silly Senate rules. What I like is this quote from Robert Byrd.
At times, "I don't even realize I have a hold on something," Sen. Robert C. Byrd, West Virginia Democrat, told colleagues yesterday.
Awwww. Ted Turner's foundation is running out of money and won't be able to give all that it has promised to left-wing groups and the U.N. Ted is so broken up that he burst into tears.
Rachel Lucas points out a real bonehead comment by General Wesley Clark on Meet The Press. This is why all the candidates need a remedial course in American history.
Bill Clinton had to get a fee and hi-tech equipment to appear at a lunch for a charity function sponsored by Magic Johnson, Joe Torre, Boomer Esiason, and Arnold Palmer. Rudy Guiliani is going to be at the same lunch, but his only fee is the promise that he wouldn't be photographed with Clinton (whom he endorsed in 1996.)
Elianna Johnson, a student at Yale University, has uncovered the story of a Yale professor who sent around an e-mail listing Jewish students at Yale who might be supportive of the war in Iraq and also, surprise of surprises, supportive of Israel. Just imagine if a professor was targeting black or hispanic students in an e-mail on the Yale Internet service? (link via Jay Nordlinger)
Jay Nordlinger comments on the moral relativism in coverage of terrorism in the Middle East.
I guess I shouldn't feel so bad. The average N.Y. teacher spends $426 of his or her own personal money on supplies for school. I would guess that I'm right in that ball park but that isn't for daily supplies like pencils and paper. But it would include things to decorate my classrooms, books and magazine subscriptions for me to learn more about my subjects (American history and government), food for kids, videos, and teaching materials. But, that is not the real expense. The real expense is all my extra time spent out of the classroom. As Master Card would say, "Supplies for the classroom...$426, the value of my time out of the classroom....priceless."
No wonder New York schools are in trouble. Apparently, the administration at some schools can't count. They can't figure out how many people they invited to a 5th grade graduation. Too many came and they were shut out from the auditorium and they started a mini-riot and the CUNY guard sprayed them with pepper spray. Not a good starter to graduation.

At least they didn't insult the kids like the principal in this story that Number Two Pencil links to. Check out the pictures of the kids. They look like they're going to a wedding with the girls wearing long white gowns and the boy in a nice powder blue suit. The principal told the boy that he couldn't walk across the stage because he looked like "a pimp." The principal has since apologized for her unfortunate language. Having taught in middle school for many years and seen many 8th grade graduations, these kids seem dressed like many of the kids at my school for graduation. Sure, their clothes seem a trifle overdressed and more appropriate for a prom or a wedding, but it's their graduation; their families are there and proud and ready to see their kid get their little certificate. It is so nice to see the kids dressed up instead of in their usual slobbola fashion. I can't understand what would be in that principal's mind. Don't they get sensitivity training so they know that you don't tell a 14 year old black boy that he looks like a pimp? However, I don't buy the mother's story that her little precious doesn't know what a pimp is. Eighth grade kids know quite a lot these days.

This principal can go into the penalty box for stupidity with that vice-principal a few years ago who had a rule against thongs at the prom and made girls hike up their dresses to show they weren't wearing thongs. Apparently, we're not getting the best and the brightest to be administrators these days.

The Democrats now are criticizing Bush's nominees' choices for their family vacations.
Tucker Carlson may be demanding a recount of Hillary's book sales.

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Dick Morris tells the story of how the New York Times fed Clinton the questions ahead of time for a fawning profile. The Times even implied that it would pull its punches on Arkansas scandal stories. Morris is such a fount of dirt on Clinton. Since he was kicked off the Clinton campaign in 1996 for his rendezvous with a prostitute, he has spouted forth anti-Clinton anecdotes at a regular pace. This is even after writing a book of his experiences. (Perhaps these anecdotes were in his book; I did not read it.) You'd think the well would have run dry by now. But, no. Apparently, close association with the Clintons as they plotted politics has left Morris with a rich storehouse of dirty stories.
Should Berkeley allow professors to have freedom of speech?
A new Joan of Arc argues against of the power of the unions in France.
Clint Bolick argues that freedom of association should be the determining Constitutional principle in the Texas sodomy case.
Steve Chapman argues for repealing the 22nd Amendment.
John O. McGinniss looks at Hillary's corrosive bitternes against the Chief Justice.
Read this frightening report from an Iranian student about what is happening to the student protestors.
Each night we set to the streets only to be swept away the next dawn by agents of the regime. Two nights ago, on Amirabad Street, we wrote "Down with Khomeini" on the ground. Before long, the mullah's vigilantes attacked us on their motorcycles. They struck a female student before my eyes so harshly that she was no longer able to walk. As she fell to the ground, four members of Ansaar-e-Hezbollah surrounded her, kicking her. When I and two other students threw stones at them so that they would leave her alone, they threatened us. We escaped into a lane and hid in a house whose owner, an old lady, had left the door open for us. A few minutes later, we saw the young lady being carried away by riot police, her feet dragging on the ground, her shattered teeth hanging out of her still-bleeding mouth.

Deroy Murdock summarizes what we have found in Iraq.
The DNC has launched a cartoon to depict Bush assembling a Supreme Court nominee like a Frankenstein monster. Here's the link to the flash cartoon. Apparently, all liberties will end if Bush gets his nominee through.
Eugene Volokh warns against reading books.
Speaking of buzz, check out the buzzwordometer. My site has a score of 210. I'm not a total geek.
Here's a handy cheat sheet from Stuart Taylor in the National Journal on how the nine justices stand on various issues. He also provides a list of the strengths and weaknesses of potential Supreme Court nominees.
Howard Dean is gambling by being the first out of the gate to have campaign commercials in Iowa. I guess he's hoping to generate enough buzz by a two-week buy that he'll shoot up in the polls and get more campaign contributions. He can't be hoping that it would have a direct effect on the Iowa caucuses next year. He just wants to generate buzz.
Find out the liberal answer to any political question. While you're there, be sure to try the hate mail generator. (link via The Corner)
Now they're pulling Harry heists.
Daniel Pipes says that Bush is throwing out the rule book in his dealings on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Howard Kurtz reports on a New Republic piece on the same theme as the Hill piece, how ticked off the Dems are that no one is paying attention to them. They're mad at the press for not covering all their futile huffing and puffing. Hey, guys! That's the way the House works. The majority has all the power. BTW, doesn't it strike you that Kurtz has one of the easiest jobs in the media? He just has to report on what other media outlets are reporting. Sort of like a blogger.
The Hill reports that Democrats are resolved to try to delay work on the House floor in order to protest the Republicans not deferring to the minority in ways that the Democrats never deferred to Republicans when the Dems were in the majority.
The French have just proven that they support terrorists who kill Israeli citizens and American Jews who may be visiting in Israel. The vile de Villepin wants to preserve ties to Hamas so has to have an "interlocutor" in discussions on the Middle East. Apparently, France wants to preserve a connection with a group that has determined to kill all Israelis. I guess that is just fine with them. Could the French reveal their disdain of Israel any more clearly?
Awwww, Senator Daschle wants the President to be bipartisan if he gets to nominates a Supreme Court justice. Daschle wouldn't recognize true bipartisanship if it came and bit him on his very "concerned" nose.
Sorry for the break from blogging. Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I was in Washington, D.C. to receiveTime Warner's National Teacher award. But, now I'm back and ready to catch up on blogging.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Den Beste looks at how France has not done a magnifique job of healing relations with the U.S. (link via Andrew Sullivan)
Stuart Rothenberg thinks the Republicans could pick up 1 -3 Senate seats in 2004.
With 70% of the population under 30, the mullahs in Iran have to really worry about all these students demanding freedoms.
While some Iranians still believe in their theocracy, the majority want a sweeping transformation. They do not want to be told what to think, what to wear, what to read, what to watch and how to behave, and they are frustrated at the glacial pace of change.

Still, the demonstrations do not really pose a serious challenge to the mullahs, because opponents of the system lack a unifying figure or organization that can translate their demands into public pressure.

In case you think straw polls 17 months ahead of the election matter, Howard Dean won the Wisconsin Straw Poll.
Fox News reports on what Alan Keyes is up to now trying to help more black conservatives.
How the debate over the location of WMD's is similar to the fall of Constantinople. Not a comparison that springs readily to most minds, but interesting still.
Donald Lambro reports on the gathering of the liberals last week.
Alan Simpson warns the Republican Party not to let itself be divided by anti-abortion zealots.
Brazil is starting to use affirmative action in its colleges.
Pottermania is starting up. There will even more toys and merchandise sold with the book.
Here's a measure of how sad our society is. Women are flooding Scott Peterson with love letters.
Why more and more high schools have given up on having a valedictorian. I can understand the reasoning - that ambitious students will avoid taking arts classes since they don't get honors points for those. But, most colleges want to know a student's rank. So, we indulge in this funny situation at my school. Students aren't ranked except on their transcripts submitted to colleges. So, schools know a student's rank, but the kids are not supposed to know.
Robert Novak says that Hillary is inoculating herself now with all her interviews so she won't have to answer questions when she runs for president. She'll just say that all that unpleasantness about Travelgate or Monica, or cattle futures is in the past and she's already answered questions about all that and could we just focus on the nation's future.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Don't believe the myths about how noble the Black Panthers were. The truth is something quite different.
BBC has e-mails from some of the student protestors in Iran. They are so brave! We can only hope that we are seeing history acting out before our eyes. Some of the stories sound like the early days of other revolutions.
Newsweek has a somewhat sympathetic story on Blair Hornstine, the valedictorian who has sued to keep her solitary honor, but who was recently shown to have plagiarized from Bill Clinton and William Brennan in articles that she wrote for a local newspaper. Having the bad taste to sue to keep from sharing her valedictory position was tasteless. Plagiarizing presidents and Supreme Court justices is plain stupid. (Link via How Appealing, which has a sharp new look.)
Time Magazine has a sweet story about J. K. Rowlings, author of Harry Potter, and how she has helped one fan.
Robert Reich warns Democrats to sop the infighting among themselves and to focus on defeating Bush.
The New York Times has an excerpt from a book by David Brinkley's forthcoming memoir. He shows that he realizes that news anchors have a totally undeserved fame and influence. I hope Tom, Dan, and Peter are listening.
Jonah Goldberg takes on Eric Alterman's ludicrous argument that the media slants conservative.
Stuart Taylor appraises the chances of various potential nominees to the Supreme Court and the politics behind each. It seems like Bush's best political choice would for no one to retire before the 2004 election.
Jay Ambrose hails bloggers like Andrew Sullivan and credits them with bringing down Howell Raines.
David Wise looks at the history of lying by presidents.
MIchael Barone has for a while been touting the importance of the HIspanic vote. Here he posits that the Republicans will gain more of the HIspanic vote in 2004.
Here is George Will on the University of Miami. He points up one of the secrets of affirmative action: it chooses certain minorities as favored and punishes others such as Asian Americans.
Patrick Welsh describes the tests that Virginia students have to pass in order to graduate. He criticizes them for being too easy for the kids to pass. It sounds a lot like the End of Course tests that North Carolina students have to pass. In N.C. the tests must count as 25% of a students' final grades. I know that my students breathe a deep sigh of relief when they realize that my classes (American history and American government) are EOC classes. I have even had students calculate the minimum they can have as an average for the work I give them and still get an A since they know that getting an A on the EOC's is quite easy for a bright kid.
Patrick Welch describes the tests that Virginia students have to pass in order to graduate. He criticizes them for being too easy for the kids to pass. It sounds a lot like the End of Course tests that North Carolina students have to pass. In N.C. the tests must count as 25% of a students' final grades. I know that my students breathe a deep sigh of relief when they realize that my classes (American history and American government) are EOC classes. I have even had students calculate the minimum they can have as an average for the work I give them and still get an A since they know that getting an A on the EOC's is quite easy for a bright kid.
Stephen Moore commemorates the 25th anniversary of Proposition 13.
Mark Steyn is his wonderful self in reviewing Hillary's book. (Warning: any review of a Clinton by Steyn is rated PG-13)