A New Can Of Worms
14 May 2003
Good News

David Brooks discusses the retro-pig and the rise of Maxim and other ironic observations...

13 May 2003
'Wolfowitz's War': Not Over Yet

David Ignatius' column in today's Washington Post offers a realistic assessment of Iraq. The point to be taken from this is that we are merely at the end of the beginning in Iraq.
The Libertarian-Conservative Rift

"The Conservative-Libertarian clash: Values and the free society" gets to the core of the rift. An excellent piece to forward to your conservative or libertarian friend to say, "See, that's where you guys are all wet."
Barbara Amiel on Margarate Drabble's Knee jerk Anti-Americansism

Anti-Americans are really against liberal democracy is Barbara Amiel's reponse to novelist Margaret Drabble's anti-American screed I posted on the 9th. That screed has received a lot attention in blogdom in recent days. I think part of the attentions comes from Ms. Drabble's eloquent prose combined with unrivaled ignorance and bigotry.

Here's my favorite passage from the Amiel's letter to the editor:

"Castro's executions get a frown from her, but "as far as Cuba's Castro is concerned, his stay in power has been very much facilitated by certain policies... from outside". The last refuge of the totally blinkered Left-liberal is, when faced with the undeniable evidence of a monstrous regime, to say it is all the fault of America."
12 May 2003
Islam and democracy

Here is a brief review of Noah Feldman's "After Jihad America and the Struggle for Islamic Democracy." Feldman argues that democracy and Islam are two flexible concepts that would seem to augur well for some form of democracy in the Middle East.

He also addresses the critics of the region and their belief that democracy and Islam are incompatible. Muslims are too submissive they argue. Rubbish. The cynics also claimed that Latin America and Spain wouldn't be democratic because they were Catholic. Oops. Critics contended the Confucian culture would not support democracy. Oops. Taiwan is flourshing as a democracy and it continues to grow throughout Asia. You would think people would learn.
Leo Strauss

The late philosopher was featured in this Sunday's Boston Globe. The piece gets some of it right, some wrong. I think critics of Strauss can only see the world as a dichotomy of good and evil; democracy and dictatorship... As stated in the piece Straussians see moderation as the key. Too much democracy is mob rule, too much authoritarianism is tyranny. What makes the US the best is because combines rule of the best with democracy -- aka a democratic-republic with an authoritative executive branch, yet checked by two co-equal branches.

You don't have to be pre-disposed or cynically inclined to understand this, contrary to the reporting here...

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