May 25, 2007
I'm a Huge Dork
It's the 30th anniversary of the original release of Star Wars, and my AmSpec column today celebrates the libertarian economic agenda of the Rebel Alliance that's revealed in deleted scenes.
May 19, 2007
Paulistas: He Didn't Say 3, He Said 2+1
I've written two columns this week dealing with Ron Paul, so naturally I've heard from a lot of his fans. The common theme: Ron Paul did not say that America invited 9/11, and he was right, because America invited 9/11. Consider paleocon blogger Daniel Larison:
Note that the whole language of “inviting” was Goler’s. Paul ignored the drift of the tendentious, leading question and tried to provide a substantive answer about the negative consequences of policy instead.Larison seems to think that saying that American policies invited 9/11 is somehow different from saying that America invited 9/11. How does that work? Elected officials of the American government, representing the American people, do things that invite a terrorist attack. If that isn't America inviting 9/11, what would be? Paul's non-response when asked if he's objecting to "bad American policies" suggests that he has no real answer.
In a sense, of course, almost anyone who has thought about it thinks that American invited 9/11 through bad policy. The difference is that most people see it as more or less a passive invitation: Our intelligence protocols were inadequate to the task of counterterrorism, or we bred anti-Americanism by aquiescing to an illiberal status quo in the Middle East. Non-interventionists think we actively invited 9/11 by having any involvement at all in the Middle East. There are many reasons why this is wrongheaded, all of them worth arguing about. But it's hard to have an argument in good faith with people who deny that their own words mean what they quite plainly do mean.
UPDATE: In the comments, Greg proposes a distinction between America and the American government. It's not a bad answer (though it would be silly to assume that this distinction is obvious without an explicit definition of terms), but it doesn't account for the breadth of what some of Paul's defenders are claiming -- note Larison's reference to "the American people or the country as a whole or even the government."
May 18, 2007
Congressman, Porn Star, Alderman...
...Put that way, my Brainwash column sounds like a game of "One of These Things Doesn't Belong Here," doesn't it?
May 16, 2007
In today's AmSpec column, I call last night's debate a victory for the much-improved Rudy Giuliani.
May 04, 2007
Of Debates and Dissents
A cable-news blowhard, a French Socialist, and a Supreme Court Justice are duly mocked in my new Brainwash column.
UPDATE: I know, it's Segolene Royal, not "Sergolene." Don't blame me, I emailed my editor almost as soon as the piece went up...
(UPDATE 2: Now it's fixed.)