Sunday, 8 July 2007

Foreign Policy

I leave you this fine evening with an essay about American foreign policy.


Tom updated his post. Where did I say that the New York Yankees “cannot” overtake the Boston Red Sox? Listen up, Tom. It’s possible that the Yankees will win the East Division title this year. It’s also possible that you’re a robot. Neither is probable. Indeed, both are highly improbable. Tell you what. I have $1,000 that says Boston wins the East Division title this year. Do you have $1,000 that says New York wins? Put your money where your mouth is. By the way, I find it ironic in the extreme that a Yankee fan is calling me hubristic. When you look up “hubris” in the dictionary, you see a picture of a goon in a Yankee hat.

All Fred, All the Time

David Bossie supports Fred Thompson. Key paragraph:

I have worked in the conservative vineyards for more than two decades. I have seen sham conservatives and ambitious hucksters come and go. I know how to tell the real thing. Fred Thompson is the real thing: a leader, a conservative, a man of honor and—of utmost importance in facing the combination of Mrs. Clinton and a leftist media—a communicator and, absolutely, a winner.

Let’s hope.


Here is a scene from today’s stage of the Tour de France, won by Robbie McEwen. The Australian rider averaged 27.12 miles per hour on the 126.1-mile course. Here is the story. Here is the New York Times report. Here is tomorrow’s stage. How many of you are watching the Tour? I watch each stage live on Versus (formerly known as Outdoor Life Network, or OLN).


Bob Hessen sent a link to this review, by Louis Menand, of a new book about voting. Thanks, Bob!


Here is a fascinating New York Times story about the creation of a new job: technology untangler. I’m no dummy, but there are aspects of computer technology that I don’t understand. It’s not that I want to understand the technology but can’t; I don’t want to understand it. I want to use it. My attitude toward computers is roughly the same as my attitude toward the telephone. I haven’t the foggiest idea how it works and don’t care. I just want it to work. Whenever I upgrade the software for this blog, I get trash characters in my posts. By snooping around on the support forum, I learned that two lines of code needed to be removed from one of my files. I still don’t know where that file is or how to get to it. I asked a BlueHost technician to remove the lines of code. It solved the problem. I’ve had to do this twice now. I’ll probably have to do it again. Wouldn’t it be simpler to learn how to do it myself? Not necessarily. First, it might take lots of time, which is my most precious commodity. Second, I might mess it up. I’d rather trust a technician to do it. Anyway, I like the trend toward usability professionals. I think philosophy majors might find it a rewarding (and remunerative) career.

Peter Berkowitz on Guantánamo Bay Detainees

For some reason, however, Dworkin never bothers to consider the principal argument that the Bush administration actually does make in support of its decision not to accord Guantánamo Bay detainees the legal rights of domestic criminal process. That argument is also the strongest one: The detainees are not criminals subject to the criminal law but enemy combatants subject to the laws of war.

(Peter Berkowitz, “Illiberal Liberalism,” review of Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate, by Ronald Dworkin, First Things [April 2007]: 50-4, at 53)


According to Michelle Malkin, a move is afoot to impeach President Bush. I might go along with it, after his attempt to hand the nation over to illegal immigrants. What a disgraceful, despicable proposal that was. The only thing that might keep me from supporting impeachment is the prospect of a Supreme Court vacancy. President Bush has given us two superb justices.


I agree with the editorial board of The New York Times. Let’s get out of Iraq. We toppled the Iraqi tyrant. It’s up to the Iraqi people to take it from there.

Addendum: Here is Jules Crittenden’s critique of the editorial opinion. Maybe the Times believes, as I do, that it’s not the responsibility of the United States to prevent people from killing each other. Yes, there may well be killing on a mass scale when we leave Iraq. There was killing on a mass scale during the American Civil War. For all we know, there would have been killing on a mass scale even if we had not invaded Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein from power. It’s time for the Iraqi people to take control of their destiny.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

For several months, I have been challenging former Vice President Al Gore to a televised debate on whether climate change is a crisis. I wrote to him and have published advertisements about the challenge in newspapers, but I have not had a reply.

A televised debate would do what Mr. Gore wants: it would raise the profile of the climate change issue by attracting a worldwide audience. Is he running scared?

Mr. Gore has demanded that the developed countries reduce their carbon emissions by 90 percent. Yet even if the alarmists were right, our sacrifice would not affect the climate: emissions growth in China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia and other fast-emerging economies would quickly replace all of the developed countries’ emissions.

The correct policy is to do nothing. For the real threat is not of planetary overheating, but of energy shortage. Security of energy supply is what the serious politicians and analysts are addressing. For us, the “global warming” scare is passé.

Christopher Monckton
Carie, Scotland, July 2, 2007
The writer was a policy adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain.

A Year Ago


From the Mailbag

Current jazzed up interpretations of our National Anthem are a disgrace. I swing back and forth muttering until—finally—they hit the right note. Or come close.


Note from KBJ: Here is my favorite rendition. Here is my second favorite. Here is my third favorite.

Epstein on Language

Here. (Notice the misspelled name—“Esptein”—in the byline. Does the New York Times have editors?)