Saturday, March 02, 2002
Friday, March 01, 2002
Sullivan, if you haven't noticed, is real strong at social and cultural commentary. But he's pathetically weak on economics. I've never seen anything past a set of platitudes from Sullivan when he's discussing something fundamentally economic, and I can't remember a single instance of rigorous, numerical analysis.I tend to agree with this, especially when one considers that though Sullivan's cultural thought points right at times of war such as we have right now, it tends to point left during peace, so his much-vaunted conservatism comes largely from his (basically dogmatic) views on economic policy.
But without his status as a gay conservative, Sullivan, hard-working and clever though he is, is basically just another somewhat misogynistic gay male writer.
I've noted recently from his discussions of Robert Kaplan that Sullivan doesn't have a particularly firm grasp on foreign policy either. He's not nearly as bad of course as a Anglo-leftist, or Euro-weenie, but he vacillates wildly between giving realist and idealist rationales for his beliefs and violently condemns anyone who disagrees with his foreign policy of the day.
Thursday, February 28, 2002
Israel's pre-1967 borders are militarily indefensible. It is possible not to care about this particular fact (Israel's detractors in the Arab world seem not to) but it is not possible to deny it. No country that has been invaded three times in 50 years should -- or will -- accept indefensible borders. At the same time, most Israelis understand that their country must -- for reasons moral as well as practical -- allow the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. Most Israelis know that, broadly speaking, this means an approximate return to pre-1967 borders.
Wednesday, February 27, 2002
According to one review, it's
A look at the gap between rich and poor in America outlines a plan that includes mandatory national service for youth, public financing of elections, guaranteed jobs and day care for welfare recipients, and more.A non-admiring reader asks
Want even more extreme policies from the radically egalitarian vermin than we've seen evolve within the US over the past century? Follow the ideas of this turkey and you'll get them! You can have freedom or you can have this kind of enforced utopian egalitiarianism--you can't have both. I'll choose freedom any time.I'm gonna go buy the book.
The plan calls, essentially, for Israel to surrender on all of the outstanding issues where such a surrender would not eo ipso mean the destruction of the Jewish state in exchange for a promise of real, total, lasting peace not just in Palestine but throughout the Arab world.
It's not a terrible proposal, but it seems to cling to the Arab myth that Israel just seized the West Bank for no reason and so really ought to just give it back. In fact, of course, the Palestinians never had the West Bank, Jordan did, and Jordan used it is a platform from which to invade Israel unprovoked.
Should the Palestinians live under occupation forever to atone for the Arab world's sins? Of course not. But, on the other hand you'll see why Israel may feel entitled to some of the land (the now Jewish-occupied bits) that it "conquered" in a defensive war.
Tuesday, February 26, 2002
According to the 2001 Durex Global Survey, Americans are having the most sex per year—124 times, on average—of the 28 countries surveyed. The Japanese are having the least, at 36. Greece is catching up, though, with 117. Come on, folks. Show a little national spirit. If we aren't having more sex than the Greeks, then the terrorists have already won.
"North Korea cannot kill the heavyweight champion, the U.S.," Mr. Kim says. "But it can maim one of his limbs, and so the heavyweight champion will not want to fight. That is the North Korean logic."Adopting the Kristoff strategy and showing the North Koreans that they're right and we won't fight as long as we might get a limb maimed will just encourage North Korean brinkmanship.
I certainly hope we can avoid war with North Korea too, but given what this says about their state of mind, the only way to accomplish that will be to make it clear that we're willing and ready to fight.
Moreover, as one would expect, the tilt is at its minimum in the science departments and one might even consider the economics department to be right-leaning. Virtually all of our professors have liberal views on social issues like abortion and gay rights, but I would suspect that they share that in common with well-educated people outside of academia.
The really striking political bias is the left-wing economic thought coming out of the humanities and non-economics social sciences. Virtually no one teaching here is actually a Marxist, but it's taken for granted that his ideas should be studied and taken very seriously in much the same way that one still reads a Hobbes or Plato even though no one would propose adopting the precise political solutions that they advocated.
Condemnations of the war in Afghanistan have, of course, been forthcoming from many professors, and a very large proportion of the faculty was highly supportive of last year's sit-in aimed at securing a "living wage" for Harvard employees.
Students who are politically active here also tend toward the left, and the fairly far left at that, but I would say that the overwhelming majority of students are thoroughly apolitical.
The most important result of faculty bias, it seems to me, is not on students' political or the course of the real world, but rather that it produces shoddy historical, literary, sociological and other research. If anything, the cause of the actual Democratic Party -- hence the hope of getting more leftist policies implemented -- is actually impaired by these academic leftists who tend to undermine the credibility of the center-left both through ceaseless hostility and by presenting an easy target for people who like to take the most absurd manifestations of left-wing extremism and use them to taint all liberals.
Monday, February 25, 2002
Sunday, February 24, 2002
Hlatky blames Governor Davis, but the real culprit is Dubya's EPA which has been denying waivers from the requirement to use MTBE or ethanol in gasoline left and right even though there's no actual reason to require them except as a giveaway to big agribusiness concerns.
I think that this is more of an illusion than anything else. It's true that the anti-war far left has been much more prominent than any anti-war elements on the far right, but the mainstream of American progressivism broke with those elements long ago.
It was Bill Clinton, after all, who waged the Kosovo War over the loud objections of Tom DeLay, and American conservatives haven't abandoned their quest to theocrafy America with restrictions on abortion and gay rights, they've just been (temporarily) drowned out by other things.
The New Republic is still a liberal magazine and still, I think, the best statement of progressivism to be found anywhere, the Weekly Standard's admirable hawkishness aside.
We believe that Mr. Pickering bears no animus toward blacks and that charges of racism have no place in this debate. But based on the serious questions raised about his record as a judgeI couldn't agree more. Whatever your opinion on the Pickering nomination, and whatever your ideology, I think that anyone interested in honesty in the political process should support Chuck Schumer's effort to legitimize open and honest discussion of judicial ideology, as a way to minimize the hunt for bogus skeletons in the closet.
This doesn't sound like a good idea to me at all. Dubya's popularity couldn't save Brett Schundler from being too conservative for New Jersey -- the whole reason Pataki's been so successful is that he's distanced himself from the national Republican party.
'Trust me, she is out there somewhere, holed up with some kind of pimp,' he says conspiratorially. 'And some day that guy is going to hit on Gary Condit for a whole lot of money.'
An official source at the Sacrificial Meat Utilization Project has disclosed that some 15 bogus companies have been found to be selling fake coupons for animal sacrifice to the pilgrims.Of course, I'm sure it's really a very serious thing if you're a religious believer, so the government will no doubt execute everyone involved.
I fucking hate the space program. Always have. Always will. Oh well.