The NY TImes reports from Iraq that "looters broke into and largely gutted Iraq's national museums."

Instapundit reports from Tennessee that they haven't.

Instapundit gets his facts from LA-based Ken Layne, who is in turn quoting "Col. Matthew F. Bogdanos, a Marine reservist."

Who is, of course, a completely neutral and unbaised source for information about the success of the war.

Look, the Times may be slanted. But for the love of God, don't tell me that a senior Marine Corp officer holding talking points from Don Rumsfeld is your best source for neutral information about whether the Army screwed up in Iraq. Jeebus.

That's like saying the Times is has a pro-Isreali bias because they contradicted facts you got from the PLO.
posted by ByWord 5/27/2003 10:45:00 PM



So I had some time to waste and decided to provoke myself.

Robert A. George:

I'm not sure that the hiring of Blair without a college degree is a sign of affirmative action. It's somewhat unclear whether the Times people knew that he hadn't graduated when they hired him full-time. Recall that he had worked as an intern the year before and then came back. It's not unusual that a former intern at a company would have a leg up on being hired. While not exactly smart, it's entirely possible that the Times folks saw this former intern, assumed that a year later he had graduated and they put him on full time. It's certainly fair to slap them for sloppy background-checking, but this is one area where the screw-up could be unconnected to racial preference.

As opposed to the other areas, where it is linked to racial preference. For instance, believing him when he said he was out of town. The NYT should have known better! I bet they ask their white reporters for proof that they aren't ingrate liars all the time!

Jonah Goldberg

Hong Kong is certainly free-market and hence non-lefty.

Free market isn't lefty? Yes, damn that Bill Clinton and his socialist ilk! NAFTA is obviously anti-market. And steel tarifs obviously are a strong sign of open markets.

Many cities become great because they aren't liberal and become liberal as the rent-seekers and second-generation professionals take over. As with the West generally, liberal lifestyles are luxuries which can be afforded only after great wealth is accumulated.

Now wealth is a sign of leftism? What?

Widespread literacy is also a luxury which can only be afforded after wealth has been accumulated. Although, I suppose it's not beyond the pale that erudition and liberalism are related. I'm just surprised to hear it from Jonah.

Please don't forget the hypocrisy and crypto-racism of many crunchy-liberal locales.

Please don't forget the hypocrisy and crypto-racism of the Republican Southern Strategy. While you're at it. Surely Jonah's not suggesting that racism is a primarily blue-state phenomenon? Maybe he'd like to visit Georgia.

Maybe these places are great because, well, they are great and, like many other things, liberals make them worse than they could be.

Like New York? Why does Jonah hate America?

Jonah again:

Since liberalism doesn't have good ideas anymore their writing often seems to be cranky defenses of the status quo or continuation of old discredited policies.

Like gay marriage?

(Or does Jonah believe that gay marriage is a bad idea because the state should have the right to tell me who I can and can't marry?)

Andrew Stuttaford:

The World Heath Organisation has now approved the first international treaty against smoking. According to Reuters "it requires countries to ban or set tough restrictions on tobacco advertising, sponsorship and promotion within five years." ... Meanwhile, WHO's Director-General, the reliably ludicrous Gro Harlem Brundtland, has claimed that, in approving this treaty, WHO is acting to save "billions" of lives. Billions?

I just put this one in here in case anyone accuses me of nitpicking.

John Derbyshire:

It must surely be the case that, ceteris paribus, a right-wing writer must produce better prose than a left-wing writer. After all, we have a better grip on reality than they do. You need to put so many qualifications on that statement, though, that it disappears under them. Philip Roth, for example, is a very good writer, in my opinion, though I doubt I have any point of political agreement with him at all. And then there are those Leftist writers from past decades who might or might not have been Left if they had lived in our time: Orwell, obviously, and Sinclair Lewis, as I argued once on this site.

Shorter John Derbyshire:

"I'm right, except for in this whole litany of cases where I'm wrong."

OK, that's enough. But it is fun, isn't it? Try it yourself. Just look at a given post more than 25 words and name all the stupid things about it. You could be there all day.
posted by ByWord 5/21/2003 07:39:00 PM

BUSH FLAILS AROUND HELPLESSLY FOR A FOREIGN POLICY - Bush pushes kinder, gentler foreign policy

Faced by a cadre of critics who see U.S. leadership in the world as arrogant and bellicose, President Bush used a commencement speech at the Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday to highlight the kinder, gentler side of U.S. foreign policy and challenge other nations to follow its lead

posted by ByWord 5/21/2003 06:17:00 PM



Eugene Volokh has a funny joke:
American to Frenchman: "Do you speak German?"

Frenchman: "No."

American: "You're welcome."

Hah. Hah. That's just so rich. See how the Americans are so heroic! Those ungrateful Frenchies.

Hey, here's another one:

Frenchman: Do you have a great-grandfather?

American: Sure I do.

Frenchman: I don't.

Russian: So do you have a living grandfather?

American: Sure I do.

Russian: I don't.

Both: Thanks for the help. We sure owe you one.

Or how about this:

Jew: Help! Help!

American: Umm... Hold on a sec.

Gee! Those ones were funny too, right?

So here's a thought. Before accusing the French of being wimpy, just hold on a sec and think about the tremendous suffering that they went through. Think further about how America was able to win the two World Wars in part because they were strong from having avoided the first several years of fighting. It was tremendous and heroic for the US to step in, don't get me wrong. But let's not get too excited about who is so tough and who is afraid of a fight.

America has a history of cowardice of which it should be ashamed, followed by heroism of which it should be proud. France has a history of heroism (The Somme) and cowardice (Vichy) alongside one another. But neither side is clean.
posted by ByWord 5/05/2003 10:57:00 PM



So the US threatened retaliation against Canada should Canada decrminalize it. The drug policy spokesman

said if marijuana becomes more widely used in Canada, it could penetrate more widely into the U.S.

So, he's crazy, right? Some psychotic lunatic snuck into the studio and pretended to be a policy rep, right?

Could marijuana conceivably penetrate any more widely in the US? Is there some obscure corner of Idaho where marijuana is not currently available, and decriminalization in Canada will take it there? Apparently it's penetrated the 'US drug policy spokesman' sector, since this bloke must be high as a kite.

No wonder the drug war is going poorly for these guys. When your intelligence in the war sucks so badly that you think marijuana is not widely available in the US, you're gonna lose.
posted by ByWord 5/03/2003 10:21:00 AM

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Wisdom praises herself, and tells of her glory... "Those who eat of me will hunger for more, and those who drink of me will thirst for more. Whoever obeys me will not be put to shame, and those who work with me will not sin." (Sirach 24:21-22)

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ByWord First Rule of Political Discourse
If the best reason you can come up with for why people disagree with you is that you're smarter or more moral than they are, you're probably wrong.

Corollary to The First Rule
If the best reason you can come up with for why people disagree with you is that they, unlike you, have been indoctrinated by an ideological media conspiracy, you're probably wrong.


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