I'm on vacation right now and likely won't be updating the site much, if at all, in the next week and a half.
My latest American Enterprise Online column is a review of the new book South Park Conservatives:
CBS MarketWatch commentator Jon Friedman was mystified at George W. Bush's re-election in 2004: "To be honest I still don't quite understand how certified media junkies like me could have been so wrong. I read the New York Times and the New Yorker religiously. I watch CNN and the networks' evening news programs as well as the gabfests on Sunday mornings too. Go figure." Many in the mainstream media simply don't understand that the views of the East Coast elite are not those of most of America.
So it's no wonder that millions of people in this country were starved for news and opinion outlets that took their beliefs seriously...
"Love, in the true sense, is not always a matter of giving way, being soft, and just acting nice. In that sense, a sugar-coated Jesus or a God who agrees to everything and is never anything but nice and friendly is no more than a caricature of real love. Because God loves us, because he wants us to grow into truth, he must necessarily make demands on us and must also correct us."
—Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI
In my latest Brainwash column, I review a new film about America's biggest corporate scandal:
How was it possible for a small group of businessmen to deceive intelligent reporters, colleagues, and Wall Street analysts? If one believes Alex Gibney, writer and director of the new documentary, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, it was all personality...
The actor Steve McQueen once declared, "I would rather wake up in the middle of nowhere than in any city on earth." From its beginnings millennia ago, the city has always had its detractors...
"I'm lying there for hours in drifts of newspapers. It's almost as if I'm chief of staff with a head full of gunships and alliances. Then I realize that I'm just another punter buying a newspaper and my head is filled with other people's thoughts."
I know I should be against ridiculous sentences and all, particularly when so many violent offenders are serving much smaller ones than they should. But for some white-collar criminals, it's hard to feel sympathy:
A Loudoun County judge today sentenced the first person convicted of felony spam charges in the nation to nine years in prison but allowed him to remain free on bond during his appeal.
Jeremy Jaynes, 30, of North Carolina, was convicted in November of violating Virginia's anti-spam statute by illegally flooding America Online accounts with tens of thousands of bulk e-mail advertisements. The case was tried in Loudoun because the e-mails, which peddled products such as stock pickers and a computer program, ran through an AOL server in the county.
"I gave a lot of time to women and if I had my time again I don't think I would do it that way."
—Saul Bellow, RIP (via Maud Newton)
Julian Sanchez has a good post up on the stupidity of making great art politically correct, inspired by the Washington National Opera's production of The Magic Flute.
"Stop searching forever, happiness is just next to you."
—Chinese fortune cookie