A Letter From the Boss Contradicts Foxs Creed (11/19/02) new
By Alessandra Stanley in The New York Times
The revelation that Roger Ailes, the chairman of Fox News, the self-proclaimed fair and balanced news channel, secretly gave advice to the White House after the Sept. 11 attacks was less shocking than it was liberating a little like the moment in 1985 when an ailing Rock Hudson finally explained that he had AIDS. Ever since Mr. Ailes changed jobs from Republican strategist to news executive, he has demanded to be treated as an unbiased journalist, not a conservative spokesman. But the cable channel he controls has an undisguised ideological agenda, which has made his protestations a bit puzzling.
Attack on Fox News reeks of hypocrisy (11/24/02) new
By Sterling Rome in The Boston Herald
That the Times, the bastion of political correctness and diversity, would choose to print an analogy like this is proof of both its hypocrisy and its thinly veiled contempt. Never mind that the Times is comparing a political ideology to a deadly disease; it is doing so at the expense of a homosexual man who died a tragic death. Such an analogy by anyone else (most especially anyone from the right) would normally result in a flurry of op-eds and demands for termination from the Times.
Empty victory for a hollow man: How Norm Coleman sold his soul for a Senate seat. (11/07/02) new
By Garrison Keillor at Salon via TCPUNK
It was a dreadful low moment for the Minnesota voters. To choose Coleman over Walter Mondale is one of those dumb low-rent mistakes, like going to a great steakhouse and ordering the tuna sandwich. But I dont envy someone whos sold his soul. Hes condemned to a life of small arrangements. There will be no passion, no joy, no heroism, for him. He is a hollow man. The next six years are not going to be kind to Norm.
Minnesotas shame: Republicans dont like my criticism? Too bad.... (11/13/02) new
By Garrison Keillor at Salon via Twin Cities Independent Media Center
The hoots and cackles of Republicans reacting to my screed against Norman Coleman, the ex-radical, former Democratic, now compassionate conservative senator-elect from Minnesota, was all to be expected, given the state of the Republican Party today. Its entire ideology, top to bottom, is We-are-not-Democrats, We-are-the-unClinton, and if it can elect an empty suit like Coleman, on a campaign as cheap and cynical and unpatriotic as what he waged right up to the moment Paul Wellstones plane hit the ground, then Republicans are perfectly content. They are Republicans first and Americans second.
Woebegone in Minnesota? (11/12/02) new
By Bruce C. Sanborn at The Claremont Institute
Garrison Keillor grew up in small-town Minnesota. In the column he wrote for Salon (the one in which he shot those insults at Coleman and Minnesotans) Keillor engaged in a small-town practice he professes to hate. Keillor treated gossip as political commentary: St. Paul is a small town and anybody who hangs around the St. Paul Grill knows about Norms habits. Everyone knows that his family situation is, shall we say, very interesting, but nobody bothered to ask about it, least of all the religious people in the Republican Party. They made their peace with hypocrisy long ago. In more than one way, Keillors gossip is hypocritical, and his behavior may well bother Minnesotans and fair-minded Democrats. Keillor also asserted Coleman won his Senate seat because he was well-financed and well-packaged. To be sure, in his debate with Mondale, Coleman had President Bushs arguments down pat. Against the backdrop of the Democrats jumbotron political frenzy at the memorial rally for Paul Wellstone, Coleman delivered those arguments impressively and respectfully, as Mondale presented the Democrats forcefully and a bit patronizingly.
Sing Goddess of the Wrath of Garrison: The Limits of Leftist Humor Get Narrow (11/21/02) new
By Bruce C. Sanborn at The Claremont Institute
Certainly, its possible Keillor wants to rally liberal Democrats after virtually nothing came up roses for them on election day. Keillor calculated that irony and humor would not rouse their passions the way a hot-blooded jeremiad would. Hed slam and damn Coleman and the Republicans, too, for backing him all the way. Hed say the Republicans got in a car named Unpatriotic, cynically left Main Street, drove right past Fiscal Responsibility Avenue, and then, foul to the core, drove over the hearts of all the people who cared about America and about the Americans who died on 9/11 and to their eternal shame, Minnesotans rewarded the Republicans with the election; thats what hed say; thats what he said.... That then may explain what Keillor was up to in writing Minnesotas shame, but of course if it does, what must Keillor think of his fellow Democrats I mean if he calculated that with them he should play the demagogue?
Was Paul Wellstone Murdered? (10/28/02) new
By Michael I. Niman at AlterNet
There is no indication today that Wellstones death was the result of foul play. What we do know, however, is that Wellstone emerged as the most visible obstacle standing in the way of a draconian political agenda by an unelected government. And now he is conveniently gone. For our government to maintain its credibility at this time, we need an open and accountable independent investigation involving international participation into the death of Paul Wellstone. Hopefully we will find out, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that this was indeed an untimely accident. For the sake of our country, we need to know this.
Hey, Roeper! I was right (11/24/02) new
By Mark Steyn in The Chicago Sun-Times
Calling for an international inquiry into his [Wellstones] death, Niman does not directly accuse the president [Bush] but the only guys he seems to think would have any motive for offing Wellstone are those for whom the idealistic senator had emerged as the most visible obstacle standing in the way of a draconian political agenda by an unelected government. And now he is conveniently gone. I dont know why Niman is suddenly so sheepish. If hes not implying that Wellstone was killed by forces linked to the unelected government, perhaps he could enlighten us as to what precise point his column was making. Heres the thing: Ted Rall, Barbra Streisand and Niman reckon theres something fishy about the Wellstone crash for no other reason than that a left-wing man is dead and a right-wing governments in power.
on Election 2002 (11/08/02)
By Bill Moyers at PBS
And for the first time in the memory of anyone alive, the entire
federal government the Congress, the Executive, the Judiciary is united
behind a right-wing agenda for which George W. Bush believes he now has
a mandate. That mandate includes the power of the state to force pregnant
women to give up control over their own lives. It includes using the taxing
power to transfer wealth from working people to the rich. It includes
giving corporations a free hand to eviscerate the environment and control
the regulatory agencies meant to hold them accountable. And it includes
secrecy on a scale you cannot imagine. Above all, it means judges with
a political agenda appointed for life. If you liked the Supreme Court
that put George W. Bush in the White House, you will swoon over whats
coming. And if you like God in government, get ready for the Rapture.
These folks dont even mind you referring to the GOP as the party
of God. Why else would the new House Majority Leader say that the Almighty
is using him to promote a Biblical worldview in American politics?
So it is a heady time in Washington a heady time for piety, profits,
and military power, all joined at the hip by ideology and money.
Day After (11/06/02)
By Matthew Rothschild in The Progressive
The landscape this November 6 is barren. The Democrats managed to
lose the Senate, and now the Republicans will have their way. They will
be able to clog the benches with rightwing judges, cement Bushs
retrograde tax cuts, and roll back environmental, labor, and a host of
other protections.... If the Democrats are to give themselves a fighting
chance to win, and if they are going to stand as the party of the people,
they had better start appealing to the poor, people of color, and the
majority of Americans who didnt show up at the polls November 5.
A huge majority of Americans want a raise in the minimum wage. A huge
majority of Americans believe that corporations have too much power. A
huge majority of Americans identify health care as one of their top concerns.
A huge majority of Americans want the environment protected, and a decent,
affordable education for their kids. The Democrats ought to be able to
say: Well give you a big raise, well give you free health
care, well give your kids a free college education, well curb
corporate power and take the money out of politics, and well clean
up the environment while were at it.
dark week for democracy (11/10/02)
By Will Hutton at Guardian Unlimited Observer
Nor do the Conservatives ambitions stop there. Following the
ideas of the high priest of ultra conservatism, Leo Strauss, they want
to construct a republic of moral, god-fearing citizens who
adhere to traditional virtues, rewarding the rich who can only have become
rich through the virtue of hard work and penalising the poor who are only
poor because of their own fecklessness. Above all, by now having the opportunity
to pack the judiciary with extreme right-wing judges, they intend to do
away with the famous Roe v Wade judgment that legalised abortion. This
is the most fiercely reactionary programme to have emerged in any Western
democracy since the war, and for which last Tuesdays vote, argue
Republicans, is an explicit mandate.... But the game isnt up. Americas
conservatives, blinded by their ideology and in control of every lever
of government, will overreach themselves and the reality of what they
plan will become evident to all, stirring the apathetic voter and reminding
the best of America what it stands for. Last week represented the highwater
mark of American conservatism and, although it looks bleak, the beginnings
of the long-awaited liberal revival. Not just the United States, but the
world, needs it badly. In the meantime, despite its flaws, give thanks
to the European Union for partial shelter from the conservative storm.
Boy More Fear And Gluttony: Darkness falls across the land, flowers
wilt, the GOP takes full, and frightening, control (11/08/02)
By Mark Morford at The San Francisco Gate
Feel that numbness? That strange slightly chilling shift deep in
the heart, like a cold wind across the blood, an ice pick straight to
the third eye, fingernails across the karmic chalkboard? Fear not
its just the dark storm clouds of sadness and savage spiritual pain
that just settled in over the collective soul of the country and indeed
much of the world recently, as the Republican Party snatched total control
of the American government and really honestly promised to further its
agenda of fear and war and intolerance and bad sex and more petroleum
products forevermore.... Let us not also forget anti-choice misogyny,
racism, gluttony, support for Big Agribiz and Big Tobacco and a general
antipathy toward anyone who makes less than six figures or who really
cares about the environment or enjoys true religious freedom or alternative
viewpoints or authentic orgasms or honest laughter.
sees rights eroding under GOP (11/14/02)
In The Washington Times by Steve Miller
American blacks face the end of civil rights under the new Republican-controlled
Congress, and need to force the Democratic Party further to the left as
a remedy, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and other liberal black leaders said
yesterday at a voter-participation forum. Last weeks results positions
us to see the end of the second Reconstruction, said Mr. Jackson
in a conference at the National Press Club. Next year, the right
wing is going to control the White House, the House, the Senate and the
courts virtually every civil rights remedy will be made illegal next year,
the two-time former Democratic presidential hopeful predicted.
Letter to the Editor by Russell Rimovsky in The Lincoln
The dictatorship begins as the diabolical Republican party rises
to power. We will see senior citizens shivering, begging for food, and
dying a tortuous death after George W. Bush shoves them into the streets.
Hospitals and care facilities will suffer neglect as the attention to
health care is diverted by the worship of war. Calamity inevitably abounds.
Terrorists will unleash horror as weve never seen before, because
the warmongering dictator, George W. Bush, will now have his way, and
the terrorists are really going to get mad at us now. Pollution will proliferate
and thousands will perish by poisoning through our food, water and air.
The delicate environment will deteriorate before our very eyes. Children,
especially black children, will starve in our schools. Schools? What am
I saying? There wont be any schools.
Letter to the Editor by Russell Rimovsky in The Lincoln
I received a vast amount of feedback regarding my Nov. 8 letter,
Dictatorship begins. With that letter, I made foes of my friends,
and friends of my foes, which was a risk I was willing to take in the
pursuit of displaying the absurdity of the Liberal Democrat agenda. The
summation of the column was, now that the Republicans have arisen to the
distinct power they will soon enjoy while leading the House, Senate and
White House, the nation will plummet into violent oblivion. The intent
of the letter was to reveal the absurdity of the liberal perspective,
by energetically portraying it. In other words, the letter was unapologetically
Hates America, Says Author (11/07/02)
By Michael L. Betsch at Cybercast News Service
The left talks a great deal about diversity, but the diversity
that exists on college campuses is a diversity where you have a faculty
that looks like the United Nations, but thinks like a San Francisco coffee
house, Flynn said. For example, he said the Left hates Christianitys
influence in American society because it is an intolerant
religion. But if you look at America, people of all faiths can practice
their religion here, Flynn said. Youre not going to
be able to practice your faith in a lot of places outside of western civilization.
of Nerve (November 2002)
By Roger Kimball in The New Criterion
Orwell noted that pacifism was objectively pro-Nazi
because it inculcated an attitude that aided Englands enemies. Just so,
anti-Americanism is objectively pro-terrorist. It was not surprising that
the Nazis did all they could to encourage pacifism among the English (just
as the Soviets actively aided the anti-War movement in America in the
1960s and 1970s). Similarly, anti-Americanism helps to create a climate
where terrorism is excused, rationalized, explained explained away.
We deserved it; we had it coming; arrogance; poverty; the environment;
root causes.... Pacifism was built around phrases that sounded pleasant
(peace, love, non-violence) but that were essentially deceptive because
they were unrealistic that is, untrue to the nature of reality, to the
way the world actually works (as distinct from the way we might wish that
it did). To abjure violence, Orwell noted, it is necessary
to have no experience of it.
into fantasy (November 2002)
By David Pryce-Jones in The New Criterion
In the superficial sense that they seized power and initiated regimes,
the nationalist leaders of the 1950s and 1960s succeeded. In some countries,
for example in Indonesia, Malaysia, and sub-Saharan Africa, they seemed
to have restored the rightful sense of dignity to their people. In the
Arab countries, however, independence has brought neither freedom nor
dignity but one-man rule secured by a single party and the military and
secret police apparatus. The archetypal Arab leader remains Gamal Abdul
Nasser, the undisputed leader of Egypt from 1953 till his death in 1970.
What he claimed to be building was Arab socialism. What in fact he built
was a second-hand totalitarian state with neither human rights, nor respect
for life and property. Other Arab countries, even those that were nominally
monarchies, imitated the model or deferred to it, also relying on the
military and secret police apparatus.
to be liked (November 2002)
By John Derbyshire in The New Criterion
Try to imagine that your own notion of life in the United States
was constructed entirely from American movies and TV programs. You would
perceive my country as being inhabited by a mix of gigantic, steroid-enhanced
basketball stars, exquisitely beautiful young people with perfect teeth
and musculature, gangsters, detectives, lawyers, and freakish pop singers.
We live in palatial apartments, do very little work, sleep around a lot,
and get our way mainly by murdering each other. It is not much of a secret,
I think, that a large proportion of American movies are made for export.
The people of the Third World watch them with fascination. Unfortunately,
fascination is not the same as admiration or fondness. It can coexist
very happily with, for example, disgust.
the Veil: A Muslim Woman Speaks Out (11/09/02)
In The New York Times by Marlise Simons
The theme of injustice toward women in Islamic countries has become
common in the West, but it has gained fresh currency through Ms. Hirsi
Alis European perspective, her study of Dutch immigrants and her
own life. Born in Mogadishu, she grew up a typical Muslim girl in Somalia.
When she was 5, she underwent the cruel ritual, as she called
it, of genital cutting. When her father, a Somali opposition politician,
had to flee the countrys political troubles, the family went to
Saudi Arabia, where, she said, she was kept veiled and, much of the time,
indoors. At 22, her father forced her to marry a distant cousin, a man
she had never seen. But a friend helped her to escape and she finally
obtained political asylum in the Netherlands. She was shocked when, as
a university student, she held a job as an interpreter for Dutch immigration
and social workers and discovered hidden suffering on a terrible
scale among Muslim women even in the Netherlands. She entered safe
houses for women and girls, most of them Turkish and Moroccan immigrants,
who had run away from domestic violence or forced marriages. Many had
Reform Islam Needs (Autumn 2002)
By James Q. Wilson in City Journal
Freedom of conscience has made the difference. In an old world where
knowledge came from libraries, and scientific experiments were rare, freedom
would not be so important. But in the new world, knowledge and all that
it can produce come from the sharp challenge of competing ideas tested
by standards of objective evidence. In Istanbul, Muslims printed no book
until 1729, and thereafter only occasionally. By contrast, the West became
a world in which books were published starting three centuries earlier
and where doubt and self-criticism were important. Of course, doubt and
self-criticism can become, as William Bennett has observed, a self-destructive
fetish, but short of that calamity, they are the source of human progress.
The central question is not why freedom of conscience failed to come to
much of Islam but why it came at all to the West. Though Westerners will
conventionally assign great weight to the arguments made by the defenders
of freedom, I do not think that the ideas of Milton, Locke, Erasmus, and
Spinoza though important were decisive. What made religious toleration
and later freedom of conscience possible in England was not theoretical
argument but political necessity. It was necessary, first in England and
later in America and much of Europe, because rulers trying to govern nations
could not do so without granting freedom to people of different faiths.
Is Serious: Dominance for Republicans. Vindication for the president.
And a good showing from the American people. (11/06/02)
By David Brooks in The Weekly Standard
The Republicans should not read a radical ideological mandate into
the results tonight. But there is a trend here. The American people are
fundamentally serious. They know that the most important problem facing
the country right now is terrorism and security. They know that George
W. Bush is basically right on how to approach this problem. They know
it is important to send people to Washington to support the president.
In key states, they are doing that.... Dont underestimate the importance
of the Wellstone memorial service/rally. The polls shifted in the last
few days. One big event was that rally. People saw liberal self-righteousness
and they remembered that they don't like it. People saw the future of
the Democratic party and its name was Walter Mondale.
from a Memorial: Did the memorial service for Paul Wellstone cost Democrats
the election? (11/18/02)
In Time by Matthew Cooper
A backlash against the politically charged service almost certainly
helped Norm Coleman beat Walter Mondale for Wellstones Minnesota
Senate seat. And a private poll by Bill Clintons former pollster,
Mark Penn, suggests the service backfired on Democrats nationally as well.
Penn found that 68% of voters knew about the service a high awareness
of an event broadcast live nationally only on C-SPAN. Whats more,
49% of voters said the service made them less likely to vote for a Democrat
and 67% of independents said they felt that way.
Gerrymander Scandal: Why bother voting for Congress? Redistricting has
already determined the outcome. (11/10/01)
By the Editors of The Wall Street Journal
Americans will go to the polls a year from now in the quaint belief that
they will be electing a new Congress. But the real story is that nearly
all of those races have already been decided by politicians in
backrooms and long before anyone even votes. The reason is the bipartisan
scandal known as redistricting, or more colorfully as the "gerrymander."
That is the process by which state politicians sit down every 10 years
to carve up Congressional districts. This time theyre doing it with
an even more blatant mix than usual of partisanship and incumbent protection.
The result is that perhaps only 30 of 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives
will even be competitive next year.
Gerrymandered Democrats: Incumbency protection isnt good for the
minority party or democracy. (11/05/02)
By the Editors of The Wall Street Journal
Gerrymanders are hardly new, but it used to be that politicians
had to guess how to draw district lines every 10 years. Nowadays they
use computer databases that can account for voter tendencies down to the
city block. Nowadays, too, politicians tend to be careerists who prize
incumbency above even partisanship. So rather than go for broke every
decade by creating many competitive seats, their first priority is to
protect themselves. This is the box canyon Democrats have walked into
this year. In California, Texas, New York and Illinois, accounting for
nearly one-third of all House seats, they conspired with GOP incumbents
to freeze the status quo. The result is that in Americas largest
state of California, which is increasingly Democratic, only one of 53
House races is even competitive, and that one only because Gary Condit
became famous. Republicans in the state still cant believe their
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.