Tue. Jun 03, 2003
Open Letter from an Arab-American Student – It’s not what you probably think, but it is an eye opener.
“Our radical professors tell us that the war on Iraq is racist, while the radicals on campus Show their contempt for this proud Arab people and its liberation. In our history classes We are told to despise our founding fathers and traditional American principles; in our political Science classes we are taught to to fear our president and our own armed forces.”
Mon. Mar 17, 2003
Democracies and Deities – Near the end of some interesting comments based on his five years in this country, Zack says: “Talking of religion, I was extremely surprised to find out that people in the US were religious. This was not something I knew before coming here. My idea of the US was the sort of post-Christian society that most of western Europe is nowadays. In this respect, the US is more like Africa and Asia (excluding northeast Asia) than like western Europe.”
Sun. Feb 09, 2003
The Wifely Duty – (via Dangerousmeta) This entertaining article claims to be about marital sex, and contains the wonderful line, “once you get the canoe out in the water, everybody starts happily paddling,” but it offers more marital insight than just that: “Pearson told an interviewer, ’Until they program men to notice you’re out of toilet paper, a happy domestic life will always be up to women’ – a sentiment almost unanimously held by the working mothers I know. What we’ve learned during this thirty-year grand experiment is that men can be cajoled into doing all sorts of household tasks, but they will not do them the way a woman would. They will bathe the children, but they will not straighten the bath mat and wring out the washcloths; they will drop a toddler off at nursery school, but they won’t spend ten minutes chatting with the teacher and collecting the art projects. They will, in other words, do what men have always done: reduce a job to its simplest essentials and utterly ignore the fillips and niceties that women tend to regard as equally essential. And a lot of women feel cheated and angry and even – bless their hearts – surprised about this.”
Tue. Jan 28, 2003
Transatlantic Chill? Blame Europe’s Power Failure – Gianni Riotta looks in the mirror: “Bolstered by its economic growth, Europe wants to be the new superpower, but Washington will share power only when the European economic giant becomes a military and diplomatic giant, too. Right now, Europe doesn’t fit that description. When Europe had to settle a minor issue between Spain and Morocco over possession of the barren island of Perejil, it took a phone call from Secretary of State Colin Powell to cool heads. And when Slobodan Milosevic was running wild, Europeans did not intervene. Europe is aware that failing to rein in the Serbian czar when he was wreaking havoc in the Balkans was not only a geopolitical failure but also a symptom of a weak moral spine.”
Fri. Jan 17, 2003
Naked Women, Feminists, and Iraq – Yes, those three things are indeed related, in some perverse way. Kay S. Hymowitz takes on one third of it in, “Why Feminism Is AWOL on Islam”: As you look at this inventory of brutality, the question bears repeating: Where are the demonstrations, the articles, the petitions, the resolutions, the vindications of the rights of Islamic women by American feminists? The weird fact is that, even after the excesses of the Taliban did more to forge an American consensus about women’s rights than 30 years of speeches by Gloria Steinem, feminists refused to touch this subject. They have averted their eyes from the harsh, blatant oppression of millions of women, even while they have continued to stare into the Western patriarchal abyss, indignant over female executives who cannot join an exclusive golf club and college women who do not have their own lacrosse teams.
Tue. Jan 14, 2003
Lawless in London – (via The Limey Brit) We sometimes hear that America is perceived overseas as a violent and somewhat lawless society, where crime runs rampant. Well, we certainly have some violence and crime (what society doesn’t?), and a very small percentage who act in a “lawless manner” (some of them are even elected), but good golly, at least we make an honest effort to curb it. In the London metropolitan area, “Police have been ordered not to bother investigating crimes such as burglary, vandalism and assaults unless evidence pointing to the culprits is easily available, The Telegraph can reveal.”
Tue. Jan 14, 2003
America, The Rallying Point of the Left – Michael Gove, in the Times Online: “Knocking America off its superpower pedestal has long supplanted taking control of the commanding heights of the economy as the idea which holds the Left together. Forget Clause Four. That was a dead red letter. It’s opposition to Uncle Sam which is the glue in the Left coalition, the brew which puts fire into bien-pensant bellies, the opium of radical intellectuals. And the crack in Osama bin Laden’s pipe.”
Fri. Dec 27, 2002
“The Worst Holiday Shopping Season In 30 Years” – That phrase has been a common one in the media over the past few days. Given the tone of the phrase, it’s nearly a complete lie.
Have you seen any figures to back up such a Depressionist reading? Here’s the backing quote from the Washington Post: “In a weekly report on Tuesday, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishiand UBS Warburg forecast holiday sales in November and December would be up an anemic 1.5 percent over last year, the smallest gain since the banks began tracking weekly sales in 1970.”
Sat. Dec 07, 2002
America Upside Down – Victor Davis Hanson has written a real coffee-spewer, subtitled, “Imagine a world in which we were more like them.”
“President Bush raised a firestorm today when he talked grandly of ’An American Way.’ The United States, Mr. Bush asserted, as a ’modern’ nation would ’no longer click its heels to anyone.’ Adding to this newfound sense of American pride, Secretary Rumsfeld scoffed that German Prime Minister Schrder reminded him of ’a Hitler’ in his fiery rhetoric at mass rallies.”
Wed. Nov 20, 2002
Lost with a Map – A National Geographic survey “found that only about one in seven—13 percent—of Americans between the age of 18 and 24, the prime age for military warriors, could find Iraq [on a world map]. The score was the same for Iran, an Iraqi neighbor. Although the majority, 58 percent, of the young Americans surveyed knew that the Taliban and al Qaeda were based in Afghanistan, only 17 percent could find that country on a world map.”
Thu. Sep 26, 2002
The ’Dude is In, And Out of Touch – My sister and I have just returned from a few days helping my parents prepare for their Big Downsizing (a very worthy oxymoron if there ever was one), and a move into a very nice brand new, if smaller, home. It was a lot of work, but good work. I brought back a pretty incredible box of memories I may be sharing over the next couple of weeks.
Fri. Aug 30, 2002
A Southern Man Don’t Need Him Around, Anyhow – Rod Dreher gets hot and stands up for the Southern Man. Skynyrd would be proud: "What if a major television network sent out teams to search the Bronx, Compton, and the south side of Chicago looking for a large ”multi-generational family” of poor black folks, who would move into a Beverly Hills mansion for a year? Cameras would follow the Negroes around, capturing their fish-out-of-water hijinks for the entertainment of millions of viewers, who will be invited to laugh as the urban rustics squirm and gawk in front of their social betters [...] In fact, this is a true story, but the hapless rubes CBS is searching out are not African Americans, but poor southern whites, the only ethnic group in the country that it is permissible to mock in polite company."
Mon. Jul 29, 2002
Misjudging Americans – This article in the Sydney Morning Herald headlined ”Foundations are in place for martial law in the US” says "Recent pronouncements from the Bush Administration and national security initiatives put in place in the Reagan era could see internment camps and martial law in the United States."
Fri. Jul 26, 2002
Protecting the Future – As we hear the sad news of another missing child, this time in Missouri, one just has to calmly pause and ask … what the #@%! is wrong with people? This has been the Summer of Kidnappping, with the emphasis on kid. Should we just shake our heads and sigh?
Sat. Jul 13, 2002
Thu. Jul 04, 2002
Breakfast at the Melting Pot – There’s a diner nearby that Susan and I often visit on the weekend to treat ourselves to breakfast (or more truly, brunch), the Atlanta Diner. We’ve been ”regulars” in that manner for five years or so, watching their staff turnover in that time. But the constants are the family that owns and runs the place.
Thu. Jul 04, 2002
Happy 226th Birthday, America – It’s been a trying year, one that’s moved people to rethink the most basic things. Rather than add to it myself right now, I’ll give you a couple of statements that stood out to me in the past 24 hours.
Eugene Volokh: "I am mostly a libertarian, and it’s tempting for me to pooh-pooh statist proposals, which are often both illiberal and ineffective. But July 4 celebrates an event that was not made through pure individual liberty, that could not have been made through pure individual liberty, and that could not have been sustained through pure individual liberty. It was a revolution against government power, made possible and successful by the power of other governments; and those governments have remained relatively free and relatively peaceful only because they created a stronger government, which has often had to use its power to defend liberty (though unfortunately has also often used it to suppress liberty)."
Thu. Jun 27, 2002
Sun. Jun 16, 2002
Only In America – It’s a bit of a cliche, one I used today at the grocery store. While Susan visited the little girls room, I lolleygagged in the ice cream aisle. I’m usually a guerilla shopper, making a targeted run down the aisle snatching the familiar packaging of brand choices made long ago. Today, as if I’d never seen it before, I became agog at the choice of ice cream. I stood there in front of a 90 foot long run of freezers taller than me, filled to the gills with 30 yards of a stupendous variety of frozen dairy products.
Tue. May 21, 2002
Morbid Curiousity? – The past couple of mornings, I’ve been first amazed, and then thoroughly disgusted at the number of search requests I get looking for the online video of Daniel Pearl’s decapitation. Dozens of them, and somewhat sickeningly to me, 90% of the requests appear to come from right here in the US.
I find it sick.