Technology

"Jihadist Groups Fill a Palestinian Power Vacuum" says the headline in the New York Times over an extremely illuminating article by Steven Erlanger and Hassan M. Fatah. They write about Gaza and Lebanon, where the internecine battles among Palestinians have paradoxically left an opening for yet another set of terrorists to stake their claim among the population. The more of these types the sorrier, it would seem. But that's not how the Palestinians see it. One of the fascinating details of this dispatch is the fixation of the new brand of jihadists on the Internet.

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Four Friends

I've got four friends involved in this fight, and each of them has his own advantages ... and liabilities. Oh yes, what's the fight about? Who will be prime minister of Israel. And when. The Labor Party primaries earlier this week pitted two of these friends against each other. Ehud Barak--who had been prime minister and was sacrificed by the Clinton administration to its delusions about impending peace with the Palestinians if only Israel gave this and if only Israel gave that (all of which Barak gave ...

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Lower Education

I am not a big fan of those surveys ranking restaurants, doctors, lawyers, hairdressers, beers, and ice creams. I don't think much more of the surveys ranking universities and research institutions either. But when the faculties of three British universities initiate a boycott of all of the universities of one whole nation--in this case, you guessed it, of Israel-- I begin to think: What are those universities, anyway?

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Secret Plots

Over at Planet Gore, Henry Payne explains that "enviro-activists" are only talking up the dangers of carbon dioxide because other air pollution has been cleaned up over the years--no word on why that might be--and now the greens need a new boogeyman, since "their power relies on keeping the public spooked." (It's not always apparent, but "enviro-activists" are incredibly powerful people.) Fascinating.

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by Sanford Levinson Much has been written over the past decade about "10%plans" as an alternative to the use of self-conscious racial- and ethnic-preferences. The term largely derives from a Texas law, passed in the aftermath of the Hopwood decision by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals that struck down UT's affirmative action program.

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A Scientific Titan

Steven Weinberg, the Nobel prize-winning physicist and professor at the University of Texas, has changed his mind about participating in an Imperial College, London event honoring a fellow Nobel laureate, the Pakistani physicist Abdus Salam. This is according to the Guardian. Here is a titan. And against him are arrayed a tawdry band of other academics and also the National Union of Journalists who are all pledged to boycott Israeli products. Wow.

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Shrum On Dean

Last bit of the day--there's no greater meaning to this, it's just kind of colorful: But for [Howard] Dean, Wisconsin was the last primary. The state's famously liberal Democratic electorate had dismissed him as irrelevant. Shortly after he withdrew and went home to Vermont, I had another glimpse of the cruel coldness of politics. Kerry called Dean's cell phone, got no answer, and left a message. When Dean called back, he apologized. He didn't have staff anymore; he was taking a nap, his cell phone had fallen under his bed, and he couldn't get to it in time. --Michael Crowley

Greatest Generation

Republican Duncan Hunter makes a bid for the '50s-nostalgia vote by kicking off a South Carolina bus tour--the "Right Stuff Express"--with General Chuck Yeager, who broke the sound barrier in 1947 and who became the romantic ideal for swaggering pilots everywhere. On his website, read Yeager touting Hunter and his sweet new Caterpillar. --Eve Fairbanks

There are a lot of "Impeach Bush" bumper stickers around Cambridge where I live. There is a web-site (afterdowningstreet.org, in case you want its quarter hour reports) that has my e-mail address and gives me all the good news about city councils and state Democratic parties calling for impeachment. I posted something on the Spine sometime ago about the state legislature of Vermont petitioning the House of Representatives to begin impeachment proceedings, the only state legislature in the country to do so. Actually, the movement is not gaining much steam.

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The New York Sun is a feisty newspaper. And, aside from a few columnists, it is a reliable newspaper. Today's paper features an editorial, "The Wolfowitz Standard," showing how common were arrangements in the U.N. and other oh, so ethical international institutions that look like nepotism or much worse. And here's something that is much worse. It appears that the United Nations Development Program and the World Bank have been complicit in helping diamond companies violate the Kimberley Process.

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