Saturday, June 25, 2011

Earlier this week New York Times reporter Jose Antonio Vargas revealed that he's an illegal alien. Jack Shafer, editor at large of Slate, responded to the news:
[R]eporter-editor relationships are based on trust. A news organization can’t function if editors must constantly cross-examine their reporters in search of deliberate lies. I’m more disturbed with Vargas for lying to the Washington Post Co. (which—disclosure alert!—employs me) than I am about him breaking immigration law. His lies to the Post violated the compact that makes journalism possible.
Mark Krikorian is rightly scornful:
So, apparently the employer-employee relationship is not “based on trust.” Or the police-citizen relationship. Apparently, journalism is special, a place where trust and truth are more important because journalism is more important. Shafer doesn’t mind if illegal aliens lie to the police, lie to their employers, lie to the DMV, lie to immigration authorities, lie to Social Security, lie to the Secret Service, lie to their schools, landlords, banks, etc., etc., etc. But lying to the Fourth Estate? The Guarantors of Democracy? The bulwark against greedy capitalists and fascistic police? Who does Vargas think he is?
David Pryce-Jones:
Russian foreign policy at the moment is every bit as misguided as it was in Soviet days, principally designed to recover its lost superpower status by playing the anti-American card. The power maniacs in the Kremlin are consistent spoilers. Building on Syria’s sovietised past, they have become the leading supporters of Bashar Assad, and make it plain that Russia will use its full influence to oppose any international measures against him. In other words, the Syrian people can go hang. And next week, a Russian minister will be in Iran attending the inauguration of the nuclear plant at Bushehr, the work of Russian engineers and a step in the ayatollahs’ nuclear ambitions that the West tried hard to prevent and Russia will one day regret. The ayatollahs’ missiles have Moscow in range.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Mark Steyn on the fake-lesbian-bloggers story:
A century ago, a British Army officer went to the Levant and reinvented himself as Lawrence of Arabia. Now a middle-aged American male college student goes to the Internet and reinvents himself as Florence of Arabia.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

An observation that caught my eye, from theater director Joshua Logan:
A musical is an incredibly complicated piece of machinery. You can have all the elements, the right songs, the right book, the right cast, the right director, the right costume designer—and the lighting man can screw it up.
(In Portrait of Johnny, a biography of songwriter Johnny Mercer, by Gene Lees.)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Kathryn Jean Lopez on the prospect (now the fact) of Anthony Weiner's resignation:
Our long national tweet is over.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The text of a commencement address by Terry Teachout.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Most people who mock Sarah Palin for apparent-but-not-actual errors hold the following unstated assumption: "I didn't know it, so she can't have known it." Have such people read this piece, from 2008? If they haven't, they should read it now. Here's the first paragraph:
It's difficult not to froth when one reads, as I did again and again this week, doubts about Sarah Palin's “intelligence,” coming especially from women such as PBS's Bonnie Erbe, who, as near as I recall, has not herself heretofore been burdened with the Susan Sontag of Journalism moniker. As Fred Barnes—God help me, I'm agreeing with Fred Barnes—suggests in the Weekly Standard, these high toned and authoritative dismissals come from people who have never met or spoken with Sarah Palin. Those who know her, love her or hate her, offer no such criticism. They know what I know, and I learned it from spending just a little time traveling on the cramped campaign plane this week: Sarah Palin is very smart.
Just as one may smile, and smile, and be a villain, so one may be intelligent without talking like an Ivy Leaguer.

(First link via Glenn Reynolds. Second link too, probably.)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Paul Ryan isn't a good choice for the GOP presidential nomination. Three reasons:

1) As Congressman he can devote himself entirely to the crucial work of taming the federal budget. A president can't be so single-minded.

2) He'd be a far-from-flawless candidate. As Ramesh Ponnuru wrote,
Right now, conservatives think of Congressman Ryan as a bold, free-market visionary. Within weeks of his entering the race, he would be redefined as the longtime Washington fixture who voted for TARP, the prescription-drug benefit, the auto bailout and other bills hated by Republican primary voters.
3) We don't need another commander-in-chief for whom national security is of less than primary importance. Here's the headline of a story from the NYT's front page on 9/11:
Urgent stuff at the time, and by the afternoon no one was thinking about it; the world had changed. Ryan's natural focus, like Obama's, appears to be overwhelmingly on domestic policy. That's not the kind of president we can afford anymore.

Ryan seems a very good man, and I'll vote for him if he's nominated, but we're better off if he stays where he is.
Bully for Texas, and federalism:
In a unanimous vote last week, the Texas senate adopted ‘loser pays’ tort-reform legislation, which says that a plaintiff must pay the winning party’s legal fees if their complaint is judged to be groundless. On Wednesday, the Texas house concurred. Governor Perry, who had championed the legislation from its inception, signed it Monday night.