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As I passed through the kitchen a few minutes ago my wife, who was watching President Obama’s address at Arlington Cemetery, snarled “I, I, I”, referring to the Commander-in-Chief’s favorite pronoun.  I paused long enough to hear him begin a description of the tough military decisions he has to make, then headed to the keyboard […]

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World’s Greatest Violinist, or Why I Should Check My Mom’s Facebook Page More Often

 

I don’t usually check my mom’s Facebook page, because all she usually posts are articles I’ve written (and I know what they say) and cute videos of my adorable nephew Leo (which I get directly from my brother, and by the way, did you know he can now speak English, Italian, and Haitian creole? Enough to express his serious trilingual interest in trucks, doggies, and Barney, anyway). But a random mom-missing impulse prompted me to check it a few minutes ago, and look what I wouldn’t have seen if I hadn’t! 

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I’m starting to wonder if history won’t ending up showing that Katie Couric did more than anyone else to bring about a Palin Presidency. Up until that infamous interview, Sarah Palin–like virtually all Republican politicians and consultants–must have thought that while mainstream media reporters wouldn’t be exactly friendly, they would be objective and professional enough […]

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We Are All Heather Mac Donald Now!

 

As a contributing editor to City Journal, I would like to declare myself officially irritated to the point of irascibility by the fact that the rest of the journalistic world has now discovered what my CJ colleague Heather Mac Donald has been reporting for years – that poverty doesn’t cause crime – and isn’t giving Heather any credit for the discovery.  In a stupid article with the wonderfully stupid headline “Steady Decline in Major Crime Baffles Experts,” the stupid New York Times “reported” last week,

“The number of violent crimes in the United States dropped significantly last year, to what appeared to be the lowest rate in nearly 40 years, a development that was considered puzzling partly because it ran counter to the prevailing expectation that crime would increase during a recession.”

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Forgive me if someone has beaten me to the punch here; I’m just getting around to reading David Mamet’s remarkable interview in the May 27 New York Times. The author, Andrew Goldman, starts by saying, “…My God, in crucifying liberals, this guy is going to infuriate a huge chunk of the people who pay money […]

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Democrats said they wanted to leave it off the table while Vice President Biden leads a bipartisan group of senators to come up with a new budget that would include cuts in spending that would satisfy lawmakers who don’t want to increase the nation’s borrowing limit without reducing government’s size. “The one thing we can’t […]

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There is nothing less presidential than constantly whining about the “mess” you “inherited” from your predecessor. Has there been any precedent for such rhetoric in the “old days” (which for this purpose I shall define as mid-20th century and earlier)? Are there any students of presidential politics out there who can point to any examples? […]

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Making Sense of the Eleventh Amendment in the Modern Welfare State

 

In a recent editorial, the New York Times takes it upon itself to fulminate against the conservative excesses of Justices Roberts and Alito for their apparent willingness to cut back the ability of the federal courts to enforce federal rights against state officials.  The current controversy comes out of an internal dispute between two branches of the Virginia state government over the question of whether one set of Virginia officials have respected the federal rights of individuals who suffer from developmental disabilities or mental illnesses.  One Virginia agency refused to turn over papers to another to see whether these federal rights were violated.  The upshot was that the Virginia Agency for Protection & Advocacy ended up suing the Virginia Commissioner for Behavioral Health and Developmental Services in federal court to get the documents. The case is Virginia Office of Protection and Advocacy v. Stewart.

The question was therefore whether an intramural dispute between two state agencies could end up in federal court under, as it were, the heading of Virginia v. Virginia.  The issue involved thus invoked the storied Eleventh Amendment. As drafted, the Eleventh Amendment provides:

Are Turks Multiplying like Rabbits?

 

I pointed this out yesterday, but I am worried that the people who need to be paying attention to this–that is to say, the people who were caught completely unawares by the Arab climate change–just won’t notice this story or its significance. The Turkish columnist Yusuf Kanlı has helpfully written about it today in English, so anyone who tells you after the election here on June 12 that he or she had no way of knowing that this might be a problem is simply, flat-out incompetent and needs immediate firing.

The sudden, massive increase in registered voters here is something that anyone concerned about Turkey or the region needs to be looking at with grave concern:

Calculators: From Treasures to Junk in One Generation

 

After studying all weekend, our number two son announced at 11:00 last night, just before going to bed–or, rather, just before he intended to go to bed–I was already there–that to take his exam this morning he absolutely had to have a non-graphing calculator.  The calculator had to be–just had to be–sophisticated enough to handle sines, cosines, and logs (which, to be honest, I only dimly remembered from my own high school days), and yet, for some unknown reason, the teacher in the course had forbidden graphing calculators (this was new to me:  sometime in the last decade, apparently, somebody figured out how to make hand-held calculators display not only numerals but charts and graphs).  

The entire family then began ransacking drawers throughout the house, coming up, in not much more than five minutes, with the trove pictured here.  And this trove doesn’t even count the calculator number three son admitted that he lost earlier this term, the two calculators I suddenly remembered I had in my junk drawer in the office, the built-in calculators every member of the family has on his cell phone, or the built in calculators every member of the family has on his computer.

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Very nice explanation by Stephanie Kelton, Prof. of Economics at University of Missouri- Kansas City, as to why there is no difference economically speaking between the Federal government raising taxes and cutting spending. Here’s a bit: “Because the economy’s financial flows are a closed system – every payment must come from somewhere and end up somewhere […]

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Where’s my podcasts? If everyone’s taking a break I want notice before hand so I’m not frantically checking my Droid every five minutes from Thursday to Friday evening.  If I’m not going to receive premium entertainment at bargain basement prices, I need to know before so I can concentrate on other things like:  Parenting Preview […]

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I just noted the list of 10 urban “riot/war zone/melees” links at the top of the Drudge page. That these occur over the Memorial Day weekend is sad. That the events illustrate the declining general respect for the law and for those who enforce the law is a growing national tragedy. Preview Open

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Newsweek‘s three subscribers will see this magazine cover this week. Yes, it’s unbelievably irresponsible and totally ridiculous. So was Newsweek‘s claim last March that the magazine had Harold Camping-like prognostication abilities — and that the biggest earthquake ever was about to hit California. Donald Boudreaux writes in the Wall Street Journal against “global-warming chicken little-ism”: […]

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This aspect of President Obama’s character concerns me more than his political ideology (although the two are not entirely disconnected.)  Such behavior tends to fuel the speculation over the president’s apparent un-American nature.  In other words, President Obama does not have those inherent sensibilities that would have checked any other president from playing golf on […]

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Well this is horrible news. Syed Saleem Shahzad was the Pakistan bureau chief of Asia Times Online. Last week he authorized publication of a story alleging links between the Pakistan Navy and al Qaeda. Today, he was found dead and his body showed signs of torture. He had been missing from Islamabad since Sunday evening. […]

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