on Koranic Verses, Interpretations, and Traditions, Muslim Clerics State:
The Jews Are the Descendants of Apes, Pigs, And Other Animals
By Aluma Solnick at The Middle East Media Research Institute
Depicting Jews – and sometimes also Zionists – as the descendants
of apes and pigs is extremely widespread today in public discourse
in the Arab and Islamic worlds. For example, in a weekly sermon in April
2002, Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the highest-ranking cleric
in the Sunni Muslim world, called the Jews the enemies of Allah,
descendants of apes and pigs. In one of his sermons, Saudi sheikh
Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, imam and preacher at the Al-Haraam mosque –
the most important mosque in Mecca – beseeched Allah to annihilate the
Jews. He also urged the Arabs to give up peace initiatives with them because
they are the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the
violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and
the offspring of apes and pigs.
Jews & War: Fronts in the clash of civilizations. (11/01/02)
By Jonah Goldberg at The National Review Online
Jean Francois Revel wrote, Clearly, a civilization that feels
guilty for everything it is and does will lack the energy and conviction
to defend itself. Well, increasingly I cant help but think
that the liberals of Europe and the leftists of America (theres
still hope for our liberals) have lost the energy and the conviction to
defend themselves. They cannot grasp that our enemies — especially those
hailing from the Third World — cannot be reasoned with. It doesnt
matter if we wronged them in the past. It doesnt matter if their
historical grievances have weight. What matters, as a matter of pure survival
and morality, is what they believe today and what they do because of those
beliefs. Germany had any number of legitimate grievances about the Treaty
of Versailles and its treatment at the hands of the victors in World War
I. That doesnt justify Nazism.
Faith-Based Left: Getting behind the debate. (02/05/01) new
By Stanley Kurtz at National Review Online
Conservatives and liberals alike have bought into the notion that
we face a choice between value-free programs that ignore the individual
and simply dole out material goods, and faith-based programs that look
to transform character by instilling morality. Certainly there are food
banks and soup kitchens that fit the model of a strictly secular giveaway
that makes neither moral nor behavioral demands on its beneficiaries.
(Ironically, many of these effectively secular programs are run by churches.)
But the government already gives legal and financial support to a raft
of coercive and morally fraught leftist social programs that are religious
in all but name. These programs are designed to turn their beneficiaries
into gender warriors and militant multi-culturalists — whether they like
it or not.
Church of the Left: Finding meaning in liberalism. (05/31/01)
By Stanley Kurtz at National Review Online
Liberalism arose as a solution to the destructive religious wars
of Europes past, and succeeded because it allowed people of differing
religious perspectives to live peacefully and productively in the same
society. Designed to make the world safe for adherents of differing faiths,
liberalism itself was never supposed to be a faith. But that is exactly
what liberalism has become. And this transformation of liberalism into
a de facto religion explains a lot about what we call political
Secularist Democratic Party (Fall 2002) new
By Louis Bolce and Gerald De Maio in The Public
Anyone who has followed American politics over the past decade cannot
help but feel some concern about the supposed fundamentalist Christian
threat to democratic civility, pluralism, and tolerance. At the very least,
the attentive citizen would find it hard not to regard the cultural and
political positions of fundamentalists as outside the mainstream, given
the volume of media stories that have conveyed this point. At the same
time, the medias obsession with politicized fundamentalism distracts
public attention from the changing role of religion in political life
today. In particular, the media overlooks the remarkable erosion of denominational
boundaries that until a quarter century ago defined the religious dimension
of partisan conflict, with Catholics, Jews, and southern evangelicals
aligned with the Democratic party and nonsouthern white, mostly mainline
Protestants forming the religious base of the Republicans. Also, the media
mistakenly frames cultural conflict since the 1970s as entirely the result
of fundamentalist revanchism. In so doing, the media ignores the growing
influence of secularists in the Democratic party and obfuscates how their
worldview is just as powerful a determinant of social attitudes and voting
behavior as is a religiously traditionalist outlook.
astir over column: Student writer links black fashion, community, parents
to Youngs death (10/25/02) new
By Scott Williams in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The fatal mob beating of Charlie Young Jr. is stirring racial tensions
on a college campus here after a student newspaper column linked the Milwaukee
incident to lifestyles and struggles in the African-American community.
Stop the welfare payments and youll end the madness,
wrote assistant editor Dan Hubert in the latest issue of the Observer,
University of Wisconsin-Waukeshas student newspaper. Since the column
rolled off the presses earlier this week, angry students have demanded
Huberts expulsion from school and called for the university to cut
off funding for the Observer.
columnist apologizes but defends stance at forum: UW-Waukesha crowd sounds
off about bigotry, rights (10/30/02) new
By Scott Williams in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Attracting more than 200 students and others to the University of
Wisconsin-Waukesha, the nearly two-hour forum was organized in response
to a student newspaper column that linked African-American culture to
a deadly mob attack in Milwaukee. The uproar that followed has turned
an uneasy spotlight on the Waukesha college, as students and administrators
struggle to balance freedom of the press with racially charged commentary
that some view as hate speech.
and zagging on the snipers trail (10/21/02)
By Mark Steyn in The National Post
When the expert commentators get so much of the easily verifiable
stuff wrong, its hard to see why their airier fancies should command
respect. Is the sniper linked to al-Qaeda? Most unlikely,
said Elliott Leyton, a St. Johns professor of anthropology, in The
Globe And Mail. Such groups (religious or political) generally find
their murderous pleasures in bombs, airplanes and gas, not rifles.
In fairness to the Islamofascists, when it comes to their murderous
pleasures variety is the spice of death. They disdain a consistent
M.O. Much of what they do is unprecedented: September 11th, the shoe bomber,
the Afghan resistance leader they assassinated by posing as interviewers
and killing him with a disguised camera. Before I rule out the Islamists,
Id want a better reason than Professor Leytons.
angry white males were right about the sniper (10/27/02)
By Mark Steyn in The London Telegraph
You get the picture: sure, Muslim fundamentalists can be pretty
extreme, but what about all our Christian fundamentalists? Unfortunately,
for the old moral equivalence to hold up, the Christians really need to
get off their fundamentalist butts and start killing more people. At the
moment, the brilliantly versatile Muslim fundamentalists are gunning down
Maryland schoolkids and bus drivers, hijacking Moscow theatres, self-detonating
in Israeli pizza parlours, blowing up French oil tankers in Yemen, and
slaughtering nightclubbers in Bali, while Christian fundamentalists are,
er, sounding extremely strident in their calls for the return of prayer
the sniper news (10/11/02)
By Michelle Malkin in Jewish World Review
The media immediately embraced the Angry White Male theory by sensationalizing
the cops questioning over the weekend of one Robert Gene Baker.
Newspaper reports described him as heavily tattooed and linked
to militia and white supremacist groups. The headlines screamed:
Supremacist Sought in Sniping Spree and Neo Nazi Named
as Sniper Murders Suspect. But in fact, Baker was never a suspect
and had no weapons on him at the time he was taken into custody for an
outstanding auto-theft warrant. The AWM theory remains a plausible one,
of course. But it isnt the only one. You wont hear Katie Couric
or Peter Jennings talking about it with their conventional-thinking experts,
but there is a significant possibility that the sniper and the snipers
support system could be non-white Muslim extremists with ties to Osama
bin Ladens al Qaeda network.
let Lee Malvo loose? (10/25/02)
By Michelle Malkin at TownHall
The mainstream media informed us this week that Lee Malvo, the reportedly
17-year-old youth charged as a material witness in the sniper
investigation along with John Mohammed, is a Jamaican national.
As of this writing (Oct. 24), the Immigration and Naturalization Service
refused to comment publicly on the exact nature of Malvos immigration
status. Here are the facts the INS doesnt want you to know: Lee
Malvo is an illegal alien from Jamaica who jumped ship in Miami in June
2001. He was apprehended by the Border Patrol in Bellingham, Wash., in
December 2001, but was then let go by the INS district in Seattle in clear
violation of federal law and contrary to what the arresting Border Patrol
officers intended, according to my law enforcement sources.
the Sniper, TV Profilers Missed Their Mark (10/25/02)
By Paul Farhi and Linton Weeks in The Washington Post
Almost everything the sniper profilers and pundits told
the media over the past three weeks turns out to have been off the mark,
considering the very real profiles of the two people arrested early yesterday.
The men and women who had been described on the air and in print as forensic
psychologists and former FBI investigators took many
swings at the who and why of the sniper case and mostly missed....
The important question is, was the orgy of speculation harmless
or was there a very dangerous undercurrent to it? By saturating the publics
consciousness with phantom images of thirtyish white men, did the media
profilers distract attention from a more general and possibly open-minded
search for the perpetrators?
A historians book makes the case for gun control. Other scholars
hotly dispute his claims. (04/05/01)
By Kimberley A. Strassel at OpinionJournal
Released by highbrow publisher Knopf last year, Arming America
was a historical and political bombshell, a rare piece of work that purported
not only to overturn long-held historical beliefs, but to alter modern
politics profoundly in the process. Few colonial Americans owned guns,
Mr. Bellesiles argues. He bases this on his study of probate and military
records, travel narratives and other primary sources.... Unsurprisingly,
left-leaning journalists, academics and politicians went weak at the knees....
But theres a problem. A growing number of respected scholars, from
across the political spectrum, are saying that Mr. Bellesiless research
and conclusions are wrong.
and Poses: Michael Bellesiless work is charming and disarming
but sloppy and maybe fraudulent. (02/22/02)
By Kimberley A. Strassel at OpinionJournal
Arming America came out in September 2000. About that time,
James Lindgren, a professor of law at Northwestern, wanted to reanalyze
Mr. Bellesiless probate information for his own research. He sent
Mr. Bellesiles a routine e-mail in August 2000 asking the Emory historian
for details about which records he had used and where to find them. Mr.
Bellesiles wrote back that hed read them on microfilm in the federal
archives in East Point, Ga. But when Mr. Lindgren and others made calls,
they were told the facility had no such records. Mr. Bellesiles then sent
an e-mail saying hed read them in some 30 different places across
the country. He also told Mr. Lindgren he couldnt immediately send
detailed information on which records hed used because his counts
— made on legal pads — had been damaged by a flood.
Accountability: An antigun scholar defends his shoddy work by calling
critics names. (06/06/02)
By Kimberley A. Strassel at OpinionJournal
Several weeks ago, in a bold and impressive move, the NEH became
the first institution to treat the accusations against Mr. Bellesiles
with the gravity they deserve. It came in response to a $30,000 NEH-funded
fellowship that the Newberry Library, a Chicago research institution,
awarded Mr. Bellesiles in February 2001. Last month NEH deputy chairman
Lynne Munson wrote to the library that in light of the serious question
concerning academic integrity, that have been raised about Mr. Bellesiles,
the NEH wanted its name removed from the fellowship. The Newberry Librarys
defense is that the criticism of Mr. Bellesiless book didnt
take on a scholarly character until after it had granted the
fellowship. But whatever the timing, the fact remains that Newberry never
did anything about revoking or suspending the fellowship even when
serious questions about Mr. Bellesiless academic integrity came
to the fore.
Bellesiles Resigns from Emory Faculty (10/25/02)
By Robert A. Paul in a Press Release from Emory
I have accepted the resignation of Michael Bellesiles from his position
as Professor of History at Emory University, effective December 31, 2002.
Although we would not normally release any of the materials connected
with a case involving the investigation of faculty misconduct in research,
in light of the intense scholarly interest in the matter I have decided,
with the assent of Professor Bellesiles as well as of the members of the
Investigative Committee, to make public the report of the Investigative
Committee appointed by me to evaluate the allegations made against Professor
Bellesiles (none of the supporting documents, however, are being made
in the Wilderness: Versus the age-old sirens of appeasement.
By Victor Davis Hanson at The National Review Online
Every day a Marine is killed, a French tanker blown up, Christians
butchered in Pakistan, tourists incinerated in Bali, terrorist cells broken
up from Oregon to New York — and our pundits demand proof that we are
at war. Why do the presidents critics press their attacks, the more
principled playing down the chances of future danger, the more disingenuous
engaging in character assassination and cheap psychoanalysis? In a word,
human nature. It is our way always to put aside distant threats of the
future to enjoy the tangible, but temporary, lull of the present.
Alarm: Why Liberals Should Support the War (10/10/02)
By Jonathan Chait at The New Republic Online
It is perhaps telling that the case for war with Iraq was most clearly
made not by Republican President George W. Bush but by Democratic President
Bill Clinton. Predators of the twenty-first century, Clinton
warned, speaking four and a half years ago, will be all the more
lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical, and biological
weapons and the missiles to deliver them.... There is no more clear example
of this threat than Saddam Husseins Iraq. And if the world
were to allow Saddam to continue to construct his terrible weapons? Well,
he will conclude that the international community has lost its will,
Clinton declared. He will then conclude that he can go right on
and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And some
day, some way, I guarantee you, hell use the arsenal.
War: How Saddam Manipulates the U.S. Media (10/17/02)
By Franklin Foer at The New Republic Online
Like their Soviet-bloc predecessors, the Iraqis have become masters
of the Orwellian pantomime the state-orchestrated anti-American
rally, the state-led tours of alleged chemical weapons sites that turn
out to be baby milk factories that promotes their distorted reality.
And the Iraqi regime has found an audience for these displays in an unlikely
place: the U.S. media. Its not because American reporters have an
ideological sympathy for Saddam Hussein; broadcasting his propaganda is
simply the only way they can continue to work in Iraq. Theres
a quid pro quo for being there, says Peter Arnett, who worked the
Iraq beat for CNN for a decade. You go in and they control what
you do.... So you have no option other than to report the opinion of the
government of Iraq. In other words, the Western medias presence
in the Ministry of Information describes more than just a physical reality.
No to War on Iraq (10/17/02)
By Josh Feit in The Stranger
Theres a much more logical and honest (and urgent) way to
proceed against terrorism. Lets promote democratic reforms in the
real linchpins of the region: Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia,
and Iran. And Im not talking about Radio Free Europe broadcasts
an imprecise, hit or miss Cold War tactic waged against our enemies.
Im talking about a direct American campaign for democracy (and womens
rights!) in the Middle East aimed at our suspect allies. In short, we
have more than radio waves to influence the likes of Cairo and Riyadh.
Weve got dollars, business investments, and political relationships.
Lets get tough, and demand changes from our friends; demands backed
with the threat of pulling our support.
Yes to War on Iraq (10/17/02)
By Dan Savage in The Stranger
You see, lefties, there are times when saying no to
war means saying yes to oppression. Dont believe me?
Go ask a Czech or a European Jew about the British and French saying no
to war with Germany in 1938. War may be bad for children and other living
things, but there are times when peace is worse for children and other
living things, and this is one of those times. Saying no to war in Iraq
means saying yes to the continued oppression of the Iraqi people. It amazes
me when I hear lefties argue that we should assassinate Saddam in order
to avoid war. If Saddam is assassinated, he will be replaced by another
Baathist dictator and what then for the people of Iraq? More peace
i.e., more oppression, more executions, more gassings, more terror,
want to kill us all (10/19/02)
By Mark Steyn in The Spectator
An appeaser, said Churchill, feeds the crocodile in the hope that
it will eat him last. But sometimes the croc eats him first anyway. For
months, the US, Britain and Canada had warned the Indonesian government
about terrorists operating within its borders. So had Singapore and Malaysia.
President Megawati’s administration responded by calling Washington anti-Muslim.
The American ambassador was publicly denounced by her vice-president.
Hassan Wirayuda, the foreign minister, said in February that the outside
world’s fears of Islamic terrorism in Indonesia were overblown and that
in Jakarta ‘we laugh at it’. Ha-ha. From government contacts to police
indifference, the administration’s strategy was to deny the crocodile
existed and then quietly slip him the à la carte menu. Now, Indonesian
stocks are down, the rupiah’s in the toilet, the national carrier’s flying
empty, and the official tourism websites have switched to continuously
updated info on dead tourists, safe in the knowledge that they’re unlikely
to be getting any new bookings from live ones.
blame the west (10/16/02)
By Clive James in The Guardian
But let us allow, for the moment, that the mass outcry against American
hegemony is the voice of the true, the eternal and the compassionate left.
Allowing that, we can put the best possible construction on its pervasiveness.
Not just the majority of the intellectuals, academics and schoolteachers,
but most of the face-workers in the media, share the view that international
terrorism is to be explained by the vices of the liberal democracies.
Or, at any rate, they shared it until a few days ago. It will be interesting,
in the shattering light of an explosive event, to see if that easy view
continues now to be quite so widespread, and how much room is made for
the more awkward view that the true instigation for terrorism might not
be the vices of the liberal democracies, but their virtues.
Long, Fellow Travelers: Is That All Thats Left? (10/20/02)
By Christopher Hitchens in The Washington Post
As someone who has done a good deal of marching and public speaking
about Vietnam, Chile, South Africa, Palestine and East Timor in his time
(and would do it all again), I can only hint at how much I despise a Left
that thinks of Osama bin Laden as a slightly misguided anti-imperialist.
(He actually says he wants to restore the old imperial caliphate and has
condemned the Australian-led international rescue of East Timor as a Christian
plot against Muslim Indonesia). Or a Left that can think of Milosevic
and Saddam as victims.
U.S. President Jimmy Carter wins Nobel Peace Prize (10/11/02)
In The San Francisco Chronicle by Doug Mellgren of
The Associated Press
Former President Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for
his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international
conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights. .... It
should be interpreted as a criticism of the line that the current administration
has taken, Gunnar Berge, chairman of the Nobel committee, said.
Its a kick in the leg to all that follow the same line as
the United States.
He Goes Again: Jimmy Carter, our model ex-president.
By Jay Nordlinger in The National Review
Carter is immensely proud of his rendezvous with Middle East history,
and he trades on it constantly. No one should assume, however, that hes
an honest broker — at least anymore. For the past many years, he has been
passionately anti-Israel, more or less embracing the PLO line. He has
repeatedly been at the service of Yasser Arafat. After the Gulf War, the
PLO chief was on the outs with Saudi Arabia, because he had backed Saddam
Hussein. So he asked Carter to fly to Riyadh to smooth things over and
restore Saudi funding to him — which he did. Arabs are also robust funders
of the Carter Center, the ex-presidents redoubt and vehicle in Atlanta.
Jimmy Carter, our model ex-president. (10/11/02)
By Jay Nordlinger in The National Review
The ex-president is known as Joe Human Rights, but he’s mighty selective
about whose human rights to champion. If you live in Marcos’s Philippines,
Pinochet’s Chile, or apartheid South Africa, he’s liable to care about
you. If you live in Communist China, Communist Cuba, Communist Ethiopia,
Communist Nicaragua, Communist North Korea, Communist...: screw you.
Belafonte Slams Colin Powell as Race Sellout (10/08/02)
At The Drudge Report by Matt Drudge
Singer Harry Belafonte took to the AM radiowaves on Tuesday morning
to slam Secretary of State Colin Powell as a sellout to the black race!
Belafonte, appearing on San Diegos 760 KFMB, told host Ted Leitner
that Powell was like a plantation slave who moves into the slave owners
house and only says what his master wants him to say.
Belafontes Havana Farewell (07/18/00)
By Ronald Radosh at FrontPage Magazine
Most American admirers of Harry Belafonte probably dont realize
that the popular singer and actor is an unreconstructed Stalinist....
In an interview he gave in 1995, Belafonte claimed that racism has
sucked up my entire life, and that as a result, he decided never
to accept an indignity where I might find one. Some might
view genuflecting before Castro in the year 2000 as an ultimate indignity
but to Harry Belafonte, the illusion dies hard. What will be left,
I wonder, when the Cuban people finally are free of the longest surviving
dictator in the world and his grotesque socialist prison? The banana boat
is coming, Harry, and it wont be long.
Letter to Senate on Baghdads Intentions (10/07/02)
In The New York Times
¶Since Operation Enduring Freedom, we have solid evidence of the
presence in Iraq of Al Qaeda members, including some that have been in
Baghdad. ¶We have credible reporting that Al Qaeda leaders sought contacts
in Iraq who could help them acquire W.M.D. capabilities. The reporting
also stated that Iraq has provided training to Al Qaeda members in the
areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs. ¶Iraqs
increasing support to extremist Palestinians coupled with growing indications
of relationship with Al Qaeda. suggest that Baghdads links to terrorists
will increase, even absent U.S. military action.
killing the children of Iraq? (10/08/02)
By Margaret Wente in The Globe and Mail
Of all the reasons to oppose a war against Iraq, one of the most
compelling is the image of innocent civilian victims. Children will die
if only because Saddam Hussein wont hesitate to build orphanages
atop his weapons labs. And of all the accusations hurled against the West
in its treatment of Iraq, the most damning is the human cost of sanctions.
According to many peace groups, humanitarian organizations and politicians,
sanctions have killed 500,000 Iraqi children. The total death toll from
sanctions amounts to a million and a half innocent people. Are these figures
credible? Only if you believe Saddam Hussein.
Iraq Resolution (10/10/02)
In The Washington Times by The Associated Press
The President is authorized to use the Armed Forces of the United
States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate in order to –
(1) defend the national security of the United States against the continuing
threat posed by Iraq; and (2) enforce all relevant United Nations Security
Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
just war? (10/06/02)
By Jean Bethke Elshtain in The Boston Globe
Several weeks ago, 100 teachers of Christian ethics, both pacifists
and those working within the just war tradition, signed a petition declaring,
in its entirety: As Christian ethicists, we share a common moral
presumption against a pre-emptive war on Iraq by the United States.
Although I am an ethicist and a Christian, I was not among the signatories,
for two reasons. First, the statement is vague and, therefore, evasive.
Within the just war tradition, there is a common moral presumption for
justice as well as a recognition that all war is terrible. But there are
times when justice demands the use of force as a response to violence,
hatred, and injustice.
Occasionally, some links are moved
from this section into the Featured
Role of Government in Education (1955)
By Milton Friedman in Economics and the Public Interest
This re-examination of the role of government in education suggests
that the growth of governmental responsibility in this area has been unbalanced.
Government has appropriately financed general education for citizenship,
but in the process it has been led also to administer most of the schools
that provide such education. Yet, as we have seen, the administration
of schools is neither required by the financing of education, nor justifiable
in its own right in a predominantly free enterprise society. Government
has appropriately been concerned with widening the opportunity of young
men and women to get professional and technical training, but it has sought
to further this objective by the inappropriate means of subsidizing such
education, largely in the form of making it available free or at a low
price at governmentally operated schools. The lack of balance in governmental
activity reflects primarily the failure to separate sharply the question
what activities it is appropriate for government to finance from
the question what activities it is appropriate for government to administer
a distinction that is important in other areas of government activity
as well. Because the financing of general education by government is widely
accepted, the provision of general education directly by govern mental
bodies has also been accepted. But institutions that provide general education
are especially well suited also to provide some kinds of vocational and
professional education, so the acceptance of direct government provision
of general education has led to the direct provision of vocational education.
To complete the circle, the provision of vocational education has, in
turn, meant that it too was financed by government, since financing has
been predominantly of educational institutions not of particular kinds
of educational services.
to Graduates About Advice (06/06/1971)
By Edward C. Banfield at Claremont McKenna College
Figures of speech, especially metaphors, are peculiarly serviceable
to people who give advice about social problems. The use of them tends
to create an emotional response in the listener that enhances the urgency
of the problem thus raising the value of the putative solution
that the advice-giver offers. I sometimes wonder if we could have an urban
crisis without a good supply of metaphors. Suppose that a writer
could not speak of decaying neighborhoods but instead had
to say what he meant straight out say that the well-off have moved
away from aging unfashionable neighborhoods, that this has given the less
well-off opportunities to move into housing better than they formerly
had, and that they, for obvious reasons, are in most instances disposed
to spend less on the repair and maintenance of houses than the former
occupiers were. Or suppose that a United States Senator instead of saying,
as one recently did, that the cities are mortally sick and getting
sicker and that the states are in a state of chronic crisis
had to speak plainly in this instance, perhaps, to say that although
in the last decade the cities and states have increased their revenues
by a factor of three, there are nevertheless many voters who would like
to have more spent, provided of course that the taxes are paid mainly
End of History? (Summer 1989)
By Francis Fukuyama in The National Interest
The triumph of the West, of the Western idea, is evident first of
all in the total exhaustion of viable systematic alternatives to Western
liberalism. In the past decade, there have been unmistakable changes in
the intellectual climate of the worlds two largest communist countries,
and the beginnings of significant reform movements in both. But this phenomenon
extends beyond high politics and it can be seen also in the ineluctable
spread of consumerist Western culture in such diverse contexts as the
peasants markets and color television sets now omnipresent throughout
China, the cooperative restaurants and clothing stores opened in the past
year in Moscow, the Beethoven piped into Japanese department stores, and
the rock music enjoyed alike in Prague, Rangoon, and Tehran. What we may
be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a
particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such:
that is, the end point of mankinds ideological evolution and the
universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human
government. This is not to say that there will no longer be events to
fill the pages of Foreign Affairss yearly summaries
of international relations, for the victory of liberalism has occurred
primarily in the realm of ideas or consciousness and is as yet incomplete
in the real or material world. But there are powerful reasons for believing
that it is the ideal that will govern the material world in the long run.
Explosion of Green (Apr. 1995)
By Bill McKibben in The Atlantic
In the early nineteenth century the cleric Timothy Dwight reported
that the 240-mile journey from Boston to New York City passed through
no more than twenty miles of forest. Surveying the changes wrought by
farmers and loggers in New Hampshire, he wrote, The forests are
not only cut down, but there appears little reason to hope that they will
ever grow again. Less than two centuries later, despite great increases
in the states population, 90 percent of New Hampshire is covered
by forest. Vermont was 35 percent woods in 1850 and is 80 percent today,
and even Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have seen woodlands
rebound to the point where they cover nearly three fifths of southern
New England. This process, which began as farmers abandoned the cold and
rocky pastures of the East for the fertile fields of the Midwest, has
not yet run its course.... This unintentional and mostly unnoticed renewal
of the rural and mountainous East not the spotted owl, not the
salvation of Alaskas pristine ranges represents the great
environmental story of the United States, and in some ways of the whole
world. Here, where suburb and megalopolis were
added to the worlds vocabulary, an explosion of green is under way,
one that could offer hope to much of the rest of the planet.
Doomslayer (Feb. 1997)
By Ed Regis in Wired
The world is getting progressively poorer, and its all because
of population, or more precisely, overpopulation. Theres
a finite store of resources on our pale blue dot, spaceship Earth, our
small and fragile tiny planet, and were fast approaching its ultimate
carrying capacity. The limits to growth are finally upon us, and were
living on borrowed time. The laws of population growth are inexorable.
Unless we act decisively, the final result is written in stone: mass poverty,
famine, starvation, and death. Time is short, and we have to act now.
Thats the standard and canonical litany.... Theres just one
problem with The Litany, just one slight little wee imperfection: every
item in that dim and dreary recitation, each and every last claim, is
false.... Thus saith The Doomslayer, one Julian
L. Simon, a neither shy nor retiring nor particularly mild-mannered
professor of business administration at a middling eastern-seaboard state
university. Simon paints a somewhat different picture of the human condition
circa 1997. Our species is better off in just about every measurable
material way, he says. Just about every important long-run
measure of human material welfare shows improvement over the decades and
centuries, in the United States and the rest of the world. Raw materials
all of them have become less scarce rather than more. The
air in the US and in other rich countries is irrefutably safer to breathe.
Water cleanliness has improved. The environment is increasingly healthy,
with every prospect that this trend will continue.
A brilliant parody:
the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity
By Alan Sokal in Social Text
There are many natural scientists, and especially physicists, who
continue to reject the notion that the disciplines concerned with social
and cultural criticism can have anything to contribute, except perhaps
peripherally, to their research. Still less are they receptive to the
idea that the very foundations of their worldview must be revised or rebuilt
in the light of such criticism. Rather, they cling to the dogma imposed
by the long post-Enlightenment hegemony over the Western intellectual
outlook, which can be summarized briefly as follows: that there exists
an external world, whose properties are independent of any individual
human being and indeed of humanity as a whole; that these properties are
encoded in eternal physical laws; and that human beings can
obtain reliable, albeit imperfect and tentative, knowledge of these laws
by hewing to the objective procedures and epistemological
strictures prescribed by the (so-called) scientific method.
... and, in explanation, ...
Physicist Experiments with Cultural Studies (May/June 1996)
By Alan Sokal in Lingua Franca
For some years Ive been troubled by an apparent decline in
the standards of rigor in certain precincts of the academic humanities.
But Im a mere physicist: If I find myself unable to make heads or
tails of jouissance and differance, perhaps that just reflects
my own inadequacy. So, to test the prevailing intellectual standards,
I decided to try a modest (though admittedly uncontrolled) experiment:
Would a leading North American journal of cultural studies whose
editorial collective includes such luminaries as Fredric Jameson and Andrew
Ross publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it
sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors ideological preconceptions?
The answer, unfortunately, is yes.... Whats going on here? Could
the editors really not have realized that my article was written as a
Need a Reality Check: A firsthand account of liberal bias at CBS News.
By Bernard Goldbert in The Wall Street Journal
There are lots of reasons fewer people are watching network news,
and one of them, Im more convinced than ever, is that our viewers
simply dont trust us. And for good reason. The old argument that
the networks and other media elites have a liberal bias is
so blatantly true that its hardly worth discussing anymore. No,
we dont sit around in dark corners and plan strategies on how were
going to slant the news. We dont have to. It comes naturally to
is No Time, There Will Be Time (11/18/1998)
By Peggy Noonan in Forbes ASAP
When you consider who is gifted and crazed with rage... when you
think of the terrorist places and the terrorist countries... who do they
hate most? The Great Satan, the United States. What is its most important
place? Some would say Washington. I would say the great city of the United
States is the great city of the world, the dense 10-mile-long island called
Manhattan, where the economic and media power of the nation resides, the
city that is the psychological center of our modernity, our hedonism,
our creativity, our hard-shouldered hipness, our unthinking arrogance.