Apropos good stuff from NRO today, Jonah Goldberg has a great piece on the aforementioned NYT Magazine campus conservatives piece. Commentary to follow post-plane ride.
Back! Kinda.

Well, I've got housing, but won't be moving in permanently until Sunday. In the meantime, I'll be back in Connecticut and well within the loving embrace of the household LAN for the weekend, so blogging is back on track.

A note in the interim: Andrew Stuttaford notes that Saturday is "World No Tobacco Day". We both heartily urge you to grab the largest cigar you can find and do irrevocable damage to your lungs. If you missed Buy a Gun for Michael Moore Day, here's your low(er) cost chance to make up for it!


Short-Term Outage

As my summer housing refugee status becomes larger and larger, I'm now moving again. Hence, no clue when the computer will be set up and available again for blogging. Hopefully I'll have a roof permanently over my head and a cable line to use by the end of the week. Seeya then!


Open Minds on the Left

This week's New York Times Magazine has a long article on campus conservatives, notably the Bucknell Conservatives Club. I haven't read the article yet, and I don't imagine it's anything earth-shattering; the now-legendary Time article on the Cal Patriot seemed to do things justice in the span of a page.

What's worthwhile to note is the discussion board that was set up along with the piece. The first entry, which is sadly relatively mild, is telling:

I feel sorry for the poor deluded children. Hopefully, college will help them become free-thinkers, and help them move away from the facist political beliefs they espouse.

The irony of referencing "free-thinkers" becomes pretty evident as posters launch a universal ad hominem Shock and Awe campaign. Nearly every post either refers to the BCC students as Nazis or Hitler Youth, or goes the "what a bunch of losers" route, or just decides that calling President Bush "TURDBOY" covers everything. Or, frequently, all three. Hell, there's everything to be found besides actually addressing an argument.

Now, who's doing the "crushing of dissent" again?
Shameless Panhandling for Reading Material

OK, I finally caved and made the obligatory Amazon wishlist, since it seems to be working nicely for Jared over at The Politiblog. I'll be posting a link on the sidebar; any and all generous souls are welcome to help keep my attempts at educational self-improvement properly funded. If you really like what you see here, you can help finance my budding career as a second-rate amateur photographer!

To those who might be considering it, I thank you profusely in advance. With broke college student budgets and schedules, it's not easy to find the time or money for pleasure reading. Now that I've at least got the time, I want to make the most of the chance. If you feel inclined to help, it's greatly, greatly appreciated.
Since I Didn't Mention It Before

Guess who got to see Dubya himself at The President's Dinner on Wednesday? Oh, yeah, and I've even got the cheap t-shirt to prove it!

Since it's late and I'm lazy, I'll be adding more about the evening when I get the pictures back from the group disposable camera we interns chipped in for. A synopsis: tons of people, all the free booze you could want, and a GREAT speech (I saw it! Live! hehehehehehhe). There's definitely something about watching it with your own eyes and hearing the voice echo off the walls. For those fifteen minutes, I was a Believer. Truth, Justice, The American Way, and a 5,000 dollar donation to the NRCC. Good thing I don't have the money to donate.
On the Death of the New York Times

That title is, of course, more than a little hyperbolic, but I think it's more accurate than either the Times or the Blue America set are willing to admit.

It seems relevant to note that this pains me to write. I have been known on occasion to refer to The Washington Post as "the poor man's New York Times" (three cheers for intellectual elitism). It took me a while to adjust to the former's (superior) Op-Ed page because, damnit, it didn't look like NYT. Of course, all the sentimentality in the world will not save the Times from what it may or may not deserve: a complete destruction of its role as a serious voice in news.

The Times is certainly guilty of more than letting Jayson Blair slide, as the rest of the Blogosphere has pointed out. This is just the nail in a coffin made of reflexive, sneering elitism [Aren't you an elitist? -- ed. I'm the good kind. So...you're elitist with elitists? -- ed. Oh, shut up.], a depressing corral of Op-Ed writers, and long-anemic sports coverage, among other things. But those, unlike the Blair fiasco, were correctable problems. More importantly, they were issues that didn't cancel out or overshadow its strengths, of which it still has many.

This brings us back to the destruction of serious voice point; the Times certainly deserves credibility for parts of its coverage, especially in foreign affairs. In that area, I and many others find it unmatched anywhere in the nation. But for the next few months or possibly years, it won't have even that limited respect, something that the debate over the scandal should make clear. All of sudden, whenever the Times says something you don't like, the instant tension-breaking, two-word response is "Jayson Blair". A knowing wink and an oblique, cutting aside have replaced serious argument as the method to discredit anything written by an NYT reporter. It's being done everywhere from blogs toNational Review to Congress; this post was prompted by a snotty Blair crack by some Congressman during the floor debate over the Healthy Forests Initiative.

When the average man on the street with a decent sarcastic sense of humor can take down the Newspaper of Record with a sentence, something has clearly gone wrong. It doesn't fully deserve it, but the Times as a whole now finds itself in that situation, and it will take a very long time to recover.


Bill Whittle

New one. Go.
Pot Calling the Kettle Black

I'd like to do that, but according to the ever-hypocritical Bob Herbert, that would just be one more shred of evidence of America's unhealthy fixation on race. I didn't read the Op-Ed in question (I try not to read Herbert where possible), but Jonah Goldberg has outstanding comments at The Corner:

BLAIR & HERBERT [Jonah Goldberg]

Bob Herbert laments the fixation Jayson Blair's race. He writes: "Now this would be a juicy story under any circumstances. But Mr. Blair is black, so there is the additional spice of race, to which so many Americans are terminally addicted."

I'm sorry. This is simply not a charge Bob Herbert gets to make. He writes about race whenever it suits his purposes. He cannot say that anyone else who takes an interest in race has an unhealthy addiction. If that were the case, Herbert's addiction would have killed him a hundred times over already. Indeed, if race-talk is a drug, he's a dealer.

I think that does it nicely.


People Who Shame My Blogging Skills, Cont'd.

Today's surf of Instapundit brought me to this outstanding blog, which is something like an amusing series of intelligence reports from an enemy re-education camp. San Francisco schools, I think, fit that description aptly. Anyway, go check this blog out; it's well-written and hilarious.



Tacitus seems to think that he's losing stature among the blogosphere right, to which I have to say to those bashing him: if you can't deal with depatures from the "party line" [you mean the party that Tacitus isn't really a member of? -- ed.], then why are you blogging in the first place? This is the medium, after all, for the discussion of divergent opinion. That, plus Tactius is another one of those conservatarian hybird types; his value is in his intelligence and writing skills, not being a strict follower of ideology.

Note: I have no clue where that editor came from. He will be killed off at the earliest possible convenience.


Funniest. Song. Ever.

Oh, somebody loves me. I was really starting to miss Mohammed Said al-Sahaf, when all of a sudden...

Record producers now hope to exploit the ex-minister's fame by releasing a dance track sampling some of his more colorful phrases such as his reference to U.S. troops: "God will roast their stomachs in hell at the hands of Iraqis."

The song, called "I can't believe what I'm hearing," was written by songwriter Alton Bryan and will be released in shops and clubs in two weeks.

There's a clip available along with the story, and it's goddamned hilarious. The song, to be honest, doesn't sound great, but the dub-overs are a work of art. This is such a blessing; I was really afraid MSS was going to go the way of Chief Moose, but thankfully we've got more sense than that.

While I'm Busy Not Talking About Politics

I keep coming back to this blog and I don't know why. AND IT'S REALLY STARTING TO IRK ME; I am not a personal blog reading kind of person.

I think it may be a) I ran across this one when I first starting blogging and was struck by a very similar moment that we both blogged on, so there's some sort of blog nostalgia connection ("Hey, I wonder what Maggie's been up to") or b) she reminds me very much of a good friend from my Germany summer that I haven't heard from in quite some time.

Ending On a Middle Note

I am the f@#&ing man if you want to know anything about Descartes, Kant, Nietzsche, or Hume. On the other hand, please do not ask me questions about theology. That's a pretty good approximation of how my Liberal Arts final just went; I did pretty well on the philosophy half, and then proceeded to flop miserably on theology. You always know it's bad when your semi-testing self-deprecating comment as you're walking out the door is met only with a chuckle that just says "Yeah, you done f*%#ed it up, son."

Whatever. This year, and more specifically Liberal Arts Seminar, is over at last!
I Could've Sworn I Said Something About This

Me, May 2nd:

It's not I would really object to seeing Castro toppled; I wouldn't. But it's coming soon enough, and it requires absolutely zero military effort on our part. So someone ice these guys down quickly before someone starts to think this idea makes sense.

OpinionJournal, May 5th:

You Heard It Here First

"Why not at least consider having a little Iraq-style war to liberate Cuba?"--Best of the Web Today, May 2

"Why wouldn't we think about liberating the people of Cuba the way we liberated the people of Iraq?"--Tim Russert to Colin Powell, "Meet the Press," May 4

Well, f@#$.

Betcha Weren't Expecting THAT, Were You???

Yeah, things have changed a bit around here. This is just an interim shuffle-up while I hatch plans for the *fanfare, chorus of angels* all-new design MT blog. That, and this design turned out to more of a hassle than I thought to set up and uglier than it looked to boot. But anyway, it is what it is. On the other hand, I saved the old code, so drop me a comment and tell me what you'd prefer so I can generally ignore the suggestions and feel self-important. No, seriously, let me know.

On another note, the picture in the corner that needs a resizing is from the London vacation: that's the London Eye and County Hall as seen from the top of the Westminster tube stop (note my flawless handling of touristy London jargon?). It's Photoshopped with a nifty little Lomo effect, too.


Procrastination, Continued

A very nice e-mail just floated into the Inbox:

hi - I have visited your blog a few times and I must say I enjoy reading it tremendously.
I would like to know if I could link your blog to mine? you can take a peek at: http://themassivewhingher.blogspot.com.

looking forwad to hearing from you soon,

Well, the answer is yes, and it's because this is the most charmingly British website I've ever run across. Libertarian Samizdata is great, but it's far too intellectual to be quirky, at least in a cultural sense. This one, however..."gobs"..."chuffing"..."whinge"...I'm in post-London-vacation heaven!

There is, however, a rather unfortunate post about ManU winning the Premiership, which is trying its best not to be a gloat but doing poorly at it. I personally can't stand ManU. Given, I know extremely little about soccer other than it sucks unless you're watching the non-American variety. But it doesn't matter. The whole matter is this simple: if you despise the Yankees (as I do), you must despise ManU; it's the Unrendable Garment theory of sports. Renowned, high-payroll, perenially-good teams that random people flock to suck (NOTE: this theory is contingent on success, and thus my beloved Rangers are notably exempt). End of story.

Nevertheless, go check it out.
Oh, Yeah

I think I should mention that change is in the wind. For one, this template has turned a tad stale for my liking. There's also a name change in the works; the original idea behind "The World's Most Confused Jew" was a little self-deprecating dig indicating that I'm not your usual Member of the Tribe in a political sense. Unfortunately, I not only found a disturbing number of conservative Jews out here in the real world, but people kind of blew off the joke and started saying stuff like "Hey he doesn't seem so confused to us" when they linked to me, which of course defeated the whole purpose of the joke and made me sound like an idiot with a bad sense of humor (which I well may be)... Anyway, rant over; the name sucks, and it's going away very soon.

If all goes to plan, things should be moving over to an MT blog with my very own server space and a redesign and yada yada yada. Here's hoping.
Mid-Study Thoughts

So generally everyone (or at least the thirteen people that were paying attention) agrees the Democratic debate was more or less a wash: nothing really lost, nothing really gained. And, of course, that's the way it should be eighteen months out.

But some people, who I also happen to agree with, are saying that the debate pointed to at least one important thing: divisions. No surprise that the Dems' pack is in-fighting, but it seems like they've got problems in the way that they're doing it. On domestic policy -- i.e. the economy -- everyone can get up and blame Bush; the squabbling is limited to method. But no one's really listening to them in that regard. Whether or not the Dems like it, this is going to be a foreign policy election, and that poses problems. The only field in which The Nine find themselves doing more than unanimously blasting Bush and nitpicking over minor difference is in foreign policy, so all of a sudden they've been automatically handicapped. The war supporters, who won't get smacked around by the average voter/average Dem, are fine; the anti-war crowd is thoroughly screwed.

Then again, that doesn't really do much. If it's the staunch anti-war candidates that are getting the pillory, then who's out? Two non-starters (Moseley-Braun and Sharpton), a fringe vote (Kucinich), and one kinda-sorta-might've-been-serious-but-not-anymore (Dean). And this tells us nothing we didn't already know, but has encouraging signs for the Bush campaign. If this group is really doomed from the start, as it appears, but keep fighting anyway (as at least Dean is certain to), it's nothing but a win for Republicans. I'm looking forward to the next debate.


Dem Debate

I'm going to be blogging the Democratic candidate's debate over at BushBlog2004, yet another group endeavour I've gotten involved in. All are cordially invited to give it a look.
Don't Confuse Me With the Facts

This is a particularly telling post on judicial nominees from the Angry Clam.


Amusing Jewish Moment of the Day

The nine Democratic candidates plan their first debate, tomorrow night in Columbia, S.C. It doesn't start until 9 p.m. Eastern Time, in deference to Sen. Joe Lieberman, an Orthodox Jew who keeps the Sabbath.

I love it.
Signs Things are Getting Out of Hand...

Speaking of neocon foreign policy, someone seriously needs to give the guys over at OpinionJournal a cold shower:

The death toll from a war to liberate Cuba would be far less than that of Castro's regime itself, especially if you include all the Cubans who've perished in the Florida Straits trying to swim for freedom. Postwar reconstruction would be a far easier task in Cuba than in Iraq, since there are millions of well-educated Cuban exiles and Cuban-Americans living within an hour's flight of Havana. And President Bush ought to be able to win support for such a move across the political aisle. A free Cuba would mean fewer Cuban immigrants and thus fewer Republican voters in Florida. What Democrat would oppose that?

Uhhhhh...anyone else afraid? I can't think of a country I'm less concerned about and least willing to entertain invading than Cuba at this point. And I'm not just saying this because I'm one of those neocons that thinks "because it's the right thing to do" is bad justification for applying American force globally (though, for the record, I am one of those neocons). This is just a bad idea. First of all, contact is what allows dissident intellectuals to gain support and average Cubans to come into close proximity with what Cuba doesn't have to offer. Second of all, Cuba? What the f@#$? Don't we have better things to be worrying about?

It's not I would really object to seeing Castro toppled; I wouldn't. But it's coming soon enough, and it requires absolutely zero military effort on our part. So someone ice these guys down quickly before someone starts to think this idea makes sense.

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