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Before we start hurling emotionally-charged accusations at Bruce Riedel — apparently he’s either an ignoramus or a propagandist for the Islamists — perhaps we should muster a bit of humility and read his bio. Then, of course, read the article that earned him such wrath on Ricochet. What I see is a seasoned intelligence officer […]

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The King’s Real Speech

 

One of the perks of working in Hollywood is that, come awards season, you get a lot of screeners. (“Screeners” is industry jargon for DVD copies of movies currently in release, or up for some kind of an award.)

Somewhere, in the giant pile, I have one for The King’s Speech, which is slowly building popular momentum — big awards at the Golden Globes, the SAG awards, BAFTA, etc. — and will probably do quite well at the Oscars.

Al-Jazeera’s Role

 

This is an important article by Tuvia Tenenbom on the role played by Al-Jazeera in fomenting these uprisings. 

Al-Jazeera understands the power of pictures. It was a marvel to watch how it used this power after Ben Ali fled Tunisia. Al-Jazeera got its hands on a couple of soldiers who kissed demonstrators, plus two policemen who were seen crying — or almost crying — during the same demonstration. This video was shown again and again and again and again, creating the feeling that the “Army and Police are with you. Keep on going, Tunisians!” Once Al-Jazeera decided a situation was so, it could be made a reality. No one could argue: it was Democracy in the Making!

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I found this report on STRATFOR a little while ago and wonder whether Judith or Claire can corroborate or refute it and what are their opinions about its significance, if any.   If it is accurate and the regime hangs on, what response ought the US to make then and how has what already has been said […]

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What Will Happen Next in the Middle East

 

With the situation in Egypt so fluid, I think it’s important to concentrate on what we can predict with absolute certainty.  If the situation goes pear-shaped with screaming scimitar-wielding Muslim Brothers taking over the reins of power and demanding the immediate cessation of all human progress and the arrest of anyone caught carrying a vagina, there will be lengthy panel discussions on all American news networks about how the root causes of the catastrophe lie in the Bush Freedom Agenda.  If, conversely, all is well,  and democracy triumphs with rainbows criss-crossing the sky as the Nile turns to chocolate, the idea that Bush’s policies had anything to do with it will be deemed by the media to be absurd.

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There are some things experts say you should never put on a credit card if you can’t pay the bill right away — either because they’re frivolous, or they can land you deep in debt or, in some cases, because there’s a better alternative. If you have plenty of money in your bank account, it can make sense […]

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Time to Reconsider Birthright Citizenship

 

Senators David Vitter and Rand Paul have introduced a resolution declaring that a person born in the United States to illegal aliens should not automatically gain citizenship unless at least one parent is a legal citizen, legal immigrant, active member of the Armed Forces or a naturalized legal citizen. The more I look into this issue, the more inclined I am to support the resolution.  What say you?

Of course, the usual suspects are greeting this as proof that the GOP is full of neanderthals who haven’t read the Constitution.  But have the critics read the relevant passage of the 14th Amendment?  It goes:

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It has long been true that California on its own would rank as one of the biggest economies of the world. These days, it would rank eighth, falling between Italy and Brazil on a nominal exchange-rate basis. But how do other American states compare with other countries? Taking the nearest equivalent country from 2009 data […]

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Neil Steinberg writes for the Chicago Sun Times.  He is left of center, but not far left.  The last paragraph of his column today could be straight from the Tea Party, although I think he would be appalled to learn this. First, the freedoms we so casually jingle around in our pockets like so much […]

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My son came across something that sends him, every day, a way to annoy liberals.  So every day he posts something on his Facebook status to annoy liberals.  Yesterday it was: Instead of using the term “liberal,” why not try “libtard”? It’s apt (liberal + retard = libtard), it’s highly offensive, and quite deliciously un-PC. […]

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I found this editorial on WSJ intereting.  The best paragraph is below: Now Republicans have another chance to reform government, and a limited window of opportunity in which to do it. The temptation will be to allow their first principles to be as elastic as many voters suspect they are, especially as Mr. Obama appropriates […]

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Conservatives and Tea Party types aren’t exactly on color-coded red alert that Rudy Giuliani may run for the Republican nomination in 2012.  I personally think his campaign would fizzle out pretty quickly, but I still want to explore what is behind his and others’ delusions considering the prevailing political winds. ABC News reported: Preview Open

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Who to Trust on Egypt

 

This article is dated September 30, 2010. It seems to me the people who were shouting their heads off about what was about to happen before it happened are the ones who have the most credibility now. 

“The bottom line is that we are moving into a period of guaranteed instability in Egypt,” said Robert Kagan, a foreign policy scholar with the Brookings Institution who co-founded the Egypt Working Group with Michele Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “So the idea [that] we can keep puttering on as if nothing is going to change is a mistake. … ”

By the Way, Thank You

 

Judith and I both really appreciated all your kind comments about our podcast and our Arab uprising updates. We know you had your choice of pundits this week, and speaking for the entire Ricochet Flight Crew, we want to thank you for flying with us.

If I may be so immodest as to say so, I think you made the right choice, because never in my life have I heard so many pundits talk so much smack as I have these past weeks. At least Judith and I are willing to admit what we don’t know.