"not In My Class"
April 18, 2007

Mike Nizza has an interesting update from Virginia Poly on the New York Times web-site. It relates to the point I made last night about the isolation and insularity of troubled people on a campus. No one takes responsibility for anyone. Except that the poet Nikki Giovanni, who teaches at the university, tried.

Obama Hits Bottom
April 18, 2007

If you are one of those people who thinks Barack Obama is the most electable Democrat out there, and if you think he is capable of being a powerful and moving speaker, you still have to face up to the fact that his speeches can be really, really grating. Here's Ben Smith from The Politico's website: But while Obama mourns the slain students, he takes the massacre more as a theme than as a point of discussion."Maybe nothing could have been done to prevent it," he says toward the end.So he moves quickly to the abstract: Violence, and the general place of violence in American life."There's also a

He Feels Pretty, And Witty, And ...
April 17, 2007

John Edwards released some good news with his weekend Quarter 1 expenditures disclosure -- he didn't spend a cent on pollsters; his campaign manager is working for free -- but then this cringe-worthy story had to go and show up on CNN's home page: Looking pretty is costing John Edwards' presidential campaign a lot of pennies.

Small Pleasures
April 16, 2007

by Christine Stansell How bad can it get? Really bad. Ever since the U.S. attorney scandal started to heat up, it's been a pleasure to read the morning news. Last year this time, the initial suspicions and revelations would have flared up and died down in a couple of news cycles, one more blip on the outrage radar. It's not that the press is so much brighter--although they do seem to be waking up and shaking off the torpor (remember back when the White House press corps got a kick out of Bush's good-old-boy nicknames?). It's that the Democrats have the power to hold committee hearings.

The Anxiety Of Influence, In Reverse
April 16, 2007

by Linda Hirshman My email box is full. Everyone I know has emailed me to ask me why they see a book advising women not to quit their jobs to stay home with their children just eleven months after I published my book advising women not to quit their jobs to stay home with their children, worse, the latter being reviewed as if I had never written a word. I take a deep breath. Anyone who has been in academic life knows how it feels to see ideas a lot like yours, the very currency of your citizenship in the community of scholars and writers, coming from somewhere else.

Imus' Other Enemies
April 15, 2007

The vigilantes are coming. No, actually, the vigilantes have already been there. And "there" means Gaza. Early on Sunday, a Bible Society bookshop and two internet cafes were bombed by Islamic fanatics in their war against Christianity and other infidel beliefs and life-styles. This is reported in an AP dispatch on Ha'aretz on-line. No one has yet claimed responsibility for these attacks. But some outfit named Swords of Islam has bombed, over the last few months, some three dozen other internet establishments and also shops that sell popular music.

Jihad Jollies
April 15, 2007

As I pointed out a few days ago, President Abbas had consoled the director-general of the BBC that he had "credible evidence" that the abducted English Gaza correspondent, Alex Johnston, was alive and well. Forgive me. But I suggested that there was no such evidence at all. Now comes a statement from an organization called The Brigades of Tawheed and Jihad announcing that it had killed the reporter "to support," as the AP characterized it, "demands for the release of Palestinians prisoners held by Israel." Forget about the logic.

Mixed Message On Children
April 14, 2007

by Sonya Michel Was anyone else struck by the ironic juxtaposition of these two headlines on the front page of the March 26 New York Times: "Poor Behavior Is Linked to Time in Day Care" and "Failing Schools See a Solution in Longer Day"? What's a woman--and, more to the point--what is American society to do?

Iraq's Carnage
April 14, 2007

The slaughter in Iraq--yes, the slaughter that the U.S. and the U.K. are there honorably trying to end--continues. The fact is that the Sunnis and Shi'a harbor genocidal intentions against each other. So please stop the debate as to whether this is a civil war or not. It is worse, much worse. Worse numerically certainly than Darfur, which you know how terrible I think that is.

Even More Killing
April 14, 2007

And in the ten minutes I was posting my last Spine on Iraq, two Reuters dispatches were put on the Times web-site, one about a Muslim bomb attack killing three including a child, on a base in Tolo in the Phillipines, the other about a suicide attack, presumably by the Taliban, killing at least eight. Tell me again this largely is a religion of peace.