Scott Rubush is a recovering journalist living in West Chester, PA. He is a native of York, PA, and grew up in Cary, NC. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Scott has an extensive background in writing and politics. He is Publisher Emeritus of Carolina Review, and a former associate editor of the Los Angeles-based website FrontPageMagazine.com. He currently works as a grant-writer for an educational foundation in Wilmington, Del.
:: Wednesday, October 31, 2001 ::
New York, New York
As I update the Blog, the D-Backs have just taken a 3-1 lead in the top of the 8th--and Arizona may extend its lead in the series to that same margin.
For those of you still doubting whether it's okay to root for the Diamondbacks in this series, I refer you to this article by Philip Terzian in today's Jewish World Review. If you can get past Terzian's absurd claim that he is a "lifelong Arizona Diamondbacks fan" (the team is just four years old), you'll find this intersting point about New Yorkers:
"If Osama bin Laden had struck at, say, Philadelphia or Chicago, would the hearts of New Yorkers be swelling for White Sox or Phillies fans? Yeah, right -- as they might put it. They would be telling the unfortunates who reside outside the five boroughs to get a life, don't even think about it, drop dead, who are you kidding, fuggedaboutit, etc. And they would be right. A great city does not lick its wounds indefinitely.... New York does not need a Yankees victory -- however destined that may be -- to cheer itself up. It does not even need to be cheered. As the United States avenges the 11th of September, and wages war on terror, New York needs a healthy dose of fortitude, outrage, recalcitrance and cunning. That sounds more like the New York we know than the New York its chroniclers have chosen to depict."
So cheer for the Diamondbacks, dang it. Do it for New York, and do it for America.
Last week I used this space to engage in a bit of Paul Krugman bashing. Today, the good folks at the Wall Street Journal Editorial Page do the heavy lifting for me. In their Best of the Web feature, they take the Nutty Professor out to the woodshed:
"New York Times columnist Paul Krugman weighs in with this complaint about President Bush's economic stimulus proposal:
There are a number of medium-sized companies that . . . are in line for surprisingly big benefits. These companies include ChevronTexaco, Enron, Phillips Petroleum, IMC Global and CMS Energy.
What do they have in common? Well, they tend to be in the energy or mining businesses; and they tend to be based in or near Texas.
"What does that mean, "in or near Texas"? Granted, Enron is based in Houston. Phillips is based in Oklahoma, which borders Texas--but it's in Bartlesville, which, at about 20 miles from the Kansas line, is about as far as you can get from Texas without leaving the Sooner State.
"As for the other companies Krugman lists, ChevronTexaco is based in San Francisco (though it's moving to San Ramon, Calif., next year), IMC Global is based in Lake Forest, Ill., and CMS Energy is based in Dearborn, Mich. Krugman's claim that California, Illinois and Michigan are "in or near Texas" reminds us of that old Saul Steinberg drawing "New Yorker's View of the World," in which everything beyond the Hudson looks tiny and indistinct. But wait. Although Krugman writes for the Times, he's not a New Yorker. His biography says he's a professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Oh well, that's near New York, isn't it?"
"We are less than one month into a war without any real precedents. We may or may not be doing as well as we could be. But there is every indication that we are doing well enough, and things are going an awful lot better than they were one month after, say, the firing on Fort Sumter or the attack on Pearl Harbor. The beginnings of wars are often tentative and often disastrous. They are not conclusive; the ends of wars are conclusive. This war will end, and in a conclusive victory."
Tonight I made my weekly trip to the Ralph's grocery store over at 7th and Western, the site of a disturbing road rage incident last Tuesday night. I was pleased to notice a patriotic flavor at the store this week. They've been selling flags and t-shirts with prints of Old Glory for several weeks now, but this week they started bagging groceries in plastic bags that have American flags printed on them. But the biggest display of Patriotism came when I visited the store's restroom. The graffiti on the walls had a decidedly pro-American bent. Slogans included "Osama bin Laden Sucks D---," "USA #1," and, my favorite, "Osama Yo Mama."
What a great store...
Scott 10:55 PM [+] ::
God and Caesar at Christendom College
Here's a curious specimen from the New York Post, which readers can poke, examine, and hold with forceps. A Navy Vet at Christendom College defends America against a group of Catholic Monarchists--and finds himself expelled in the end.
This story caught my attention because, bizzare as it may sound, I actually had debates like this in college. Having a soft spot for Roman Catholicism, I can even relate to their nostalgia for the age of Catholic Monarchs--a time known more commonly as the Age of Chivalry. But for these guys let their allegiances to Rome stand in the way of their loyalty to Wartime America is really unfortunate--and un-Christian too. Our Lord commanded us, of course, to render both to God and to Caesar. One day Christ will come again and be our King--but till then (or at least till the next election) George Bush is our President.
Thy Kingdom Come, O Lord, and God Bless America.
Scott 10:36 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, October 29, 2001 ::
I've said before that it's not unpatriotic to hate the New York Yankees, and now even President Bush has agreed with me. Hidden at the bottom of this New York Post story is this quote from the commander-in-chief: "I'm for anyone but the Yankees."
God Bless this man, and God Bless America. And may God Bless the Arizona Diamondbacks!
I'd be remiss if I let the day pass without celebrating the end of Daylight Savings Time. As a conservative, I often dream of turning back the clock, but this is the one time each year when we can really do it! Now, we just need to work on turning it back a little more than one hour...
Scott 12:06 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, October 28, 2001 ::
It's official: My big road trip to Arizona has been approved! Next Friday, I'll load up the red pickup truck and drive off into the desert for three days. I'm really looking forward to it, too. Arizona's red mountains and desert landscapes make it one of the most enchanting states in the Union, and there's nothing quite like blazing past its rugged terrain on one of its long, empty highways. It's a feast for the eyes, and it's good for the soul, too.
Scott 11:52 PM [+] ::
Rough Sunday afternoon in the Weinkopf.com football pool. Only four of my picks have come through today, a tie for dead last. Monday night's game might help me save face, but it still looks like I'm going to lose my hard-won spot in fourth place overall for the season.
Scott 11:37 PM [+] ::
Redskins win, Yankees lose--twice. Life doesn't get much better than that, at least in late October.
Scott 11:33 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, October 26, 2001 ::
Big $teve Haye$--my only friend with his own professionally-sketched caricature--has a great piece in today's Weekly Standard Online. Steve takes the Society of Professional Journalists to task for their "diversity guidelines."
"Imagine the outcry if a newspaper editor permitted a Catholic priest to revise--before publication--a reporter's story about a pro-life rally. Or if a columnist called in a tobacco executive to edit an article about the hazards of smoking. Or if a publisher gave an advertiser the opportunity to rework a piece about his industry....The journalist would almost certainly be fired.
"But such a transgression occurred shortly after last month's terrorist attacks, and because it was done in the name of "diversity," the editor was celebrated by his colleagues. Richard Luna, managing editor of the Salem, Oregon, Statesman Journal, invited Salem-area Muslims to edit the pages of his newspaper for any offensive content. No one criticized Luna, but if anyone had, he could have pointed to guidelines issued by the Society of Professional Journalists in his defense." Click here to read more.
America's Hesiod publishes another masterpiece on today's National Review Online. Victor Davis Hanson--a grape farmer who teaches ancient Greek at Cal State-Fresno--registers his contempt for "The tenured, well educated, and relatively affluent among the faculty [who] are adamantly against the military response in Afghanistan."
"Our new smug aristocrats are convinced that the Taliban and bin Laden are akin to an angry news producer, a supercilious dean, or perhaps a high school vice-principal run amok — pushy types who can be reasoned with or flattered, or, barring that, paid off, out-argued, petitioned, or ignored. Theirs is the arrogance of the Enlightenment, fueled by the ease of American materialism, which alike suggest that their nation is too good, too sophisticated, too wealthy, and too modern ever to stoop to fight in the gutter with 13th-century terrorists over a mere 6,000 dead."
Why is it that America’s brightest people could be so indifferent to our country’s deadliest terror attacks? It simply amazes me that our nation’s smartest, wealthiest, and most pampered people could be such moral idiots. But Hanson gives me hope that what Edmund Burke called the “aristocracy of merit” will one day regain control of our culture.
I first encountered Hanson at an ISI conference in Williamsburg, VA in 1998. Since then, I have read dozens of his articles, as well as his fantastic book, Who Killed Homer? —and my respect for him has only continued to grow. Having drunk deeply from the fountain of classical learning, he sees the world with uncommon clarity. But he’s not content to sit in the ivory tower and spend the day gazing down on the “little people.” An advocate of teaching Greek and Latin to poor school children, Hanson is a tireless defender of the common man against the boutique nihilism of his academic colleagues. And now that the country is at war, his wisdom and heartfelt love of Western Civilization have provided a much-needed alternative to the moral confusion of our cultural elites in the media and the universities. I’d have a lot more hope for this country if it had a few more people like him.
"While fellow students wrestle with Shakespeare and Melville, 31 classmates in "The Language of Hip-Hop Culture" study the lyrics of rappers Sean "P. Diddy" Combs and Killarmy while the sounds of Mos Def play in low volume on a boom box in the corner."
This sort of thing would be funny if it weren't so pathetic. These kids have spent their lives being told that they're the "best and the brightest" and the "cream of the crop," and yet Stanford is teaching them to be little barbarians. And I don't use the word "barbarian" lightly. As Eckermann observed in 1831, "In what does barbarism consist, if not in the failure to appreciate what is excellent?"
I just wonder what will happen to our country once these barbarians start running it.
"I don't know about you, but I'm having a hard time with the "terrorists-will-have-won" stuff. You wake up to the sun each morning and hit the roadways. They wake up in a cave. You go to work, to restaurants, to movie theaters, to sports venues, to shopping malls. They visit with the mildew in their caves. You listen to music. They listen to the bombing. You have indoor plumbing. They have a serious problem there. If to the victors goes a split-foyer cave, no money down, they can have it."
...Princeton economist Paul Krugman! The nutty professor chimes in today with an article on the New York Times op-ed page against a proposal to issue War Bonds. (Link requires registration.) As odd as his position might seem right now, Krugman actually makes some fine points about consumer spending and about the power of government bonds to suck money out of circulation. Krugman's assertion that war bonds are a feel-good measure certainly raises an eyebrow as well. What's so annoying about his piece, though, is that as soon as Krugman identifies these issues, he charges right past them and heads straight for the terra firma of class warfare.
Krugman argues, essentially, that war bonds are a fashionable, patriotic way of financing Republican schemes to help their fat-cat friends in Corporate America. Huffs Krugman: "In short, [it] looks as if [the bill] was written by corporate lobbyists — and it probably was." Sounds like a vast right wing conspiracy, eh?
Krugman's beef is that the stimulus package now being debated in Congress actually contains--get this--stimulatory tax cuts. Those tax cuts would go to businesses like IBM and "other giant companies, many of them in the energy industry"--rather than government spending on things like unemployment insurance. The war bonds, according to Krugman, would finance those tax cuts.
How Krugman can worry about "financing" a tax cut while the rest of us worry about paying our own tax bills is beside the point. This Ivy League twit dodges the idea that maybe, just maybe, "giant companies" are more likely to stimulate the economy more that someone collecting unemployment insurance. After all, when was the last time you asked an unemployed person for a loan? Or a job? More to the point, when was the last time you paid someone to sit on the couch and not work? Krugman brushes these inconvenient little questions aside, and slaps Republican greed card onto the table: "If the House has its way, the government will give far more in tax breaks to corporations over the next year than it will spend fighting terrorism." Sure, Paul.
All in all, Krugman leaves the impression that there is a case to be made against war bonds, but that this blue-blood is too smug, and too lazy to make it.
I never imagined that I'd become such a fervent supporter of Israel, myself. Watching the evening news at my parents' feet as a young child, I absorbed the violent images from Beirut and the West Bank on an almost daily basis. Before I reached my teenage years, these grizzly scenes had lost their effect on me. "Oh, those stupid Arabs are shooting each other again," I remember thinking more than once. I saw no distinction between the warring factions. I just saw two crazed groups fighting over a few ancient artifacts in the middle of a barren desert.
Having watched the Oslo Peace Process fall apart during the past year, though, I've come to see things much differently.
Of course, everyone should have known Oslo was a sham right from the start. Seeing Bill Clinton grinning ear to ear as Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat shook hands on the White House lawn should have tipped us off. It was a colossal photo-op right from the beginning.
But it never should have gotten that far. It should have been plain as day that men who wear military garb and carry firearms to peace conferences, as Plaut points out, do not bargain in good faith. And yet our leaders persisted in trying to strike a deal with Yasser Arafat.
Over the past twelve months, I've watched as this misguided venture has careened towards its predictably ill-fated end. I just never imagined the results would be so bloody.
Israel made every possible concession to the Palestinians, only to be turned down and confronted with fresh acts of violence and terrorism. The recent assassination of an Israeli cabinet minister, the bombing of women and children in a Sbaro's Pizza restaurant: these are not the acts of an oppressed people desiring peace and harmony. They are acts of war that must be met maximum force, so that the lives of other innocent people might be spared.
And yet our leaders persist in talking of "peace." They continue to accept the notion of a Palestinian state as a goal worth pursuing, even as we fight a war and recover from the deadliest acts of terrorism in our nation's history. Of course, the only thing preventing the Palestinians from becoming "State Sponsors" of terrorism is their lack of a state. Equipping these monsters with the power to tax and the power to declare war will only sharpen their talons.
It's past time to put an end to the madness of this "peace" process. It's time to strike these vipers in their nests. It's time to defend Israel and end the Palestinian terror.
Get a load of "Switzerland" on this CNN Graphic. Of course we all know "Switzerland" is really the Czech Republic, Scott's vacation destination last summer. Kudos to Ben Kepple for catching this first.
Scott 3:04 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, October 22, 2001 ::
Former Army officer John Hillen's article in today's New York Post is a refreshing read for those of us who spent the Clinton era lamenting our country's neglect of the martial virtues--strength, courage, sacrifice. It took 6,000 dead to remind us of their importance; let us hope our country never forgets them again.
Scott 3:17 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, October 21, 2001 ::
How's this for an a$$-beating? Mariners over the Yanks, 14-3!! Glad to see that Seattle finally realized they're playing for the pennant.
Like everyone else in the post-September 11 world, I have a soft spot in my heart for New York City. Yesterday at Barnes and Noble in Santa Monica, I even found myself getting choked up as I looked at a 2002 wall calender featuring majestic shots of the World Trade Center, lit up and dominating the nightime NYC skyline. Nonetheless, I still abhor the Yankees. Actually, "abhor" is too weak a word. Hate. Despise. Loathe. If I could, I would sow salt into the outfield of Yankee Stadium. The term "Damn Yankees" doesn't ring truer in any heart than mine.
Why do I hate the Yankees?
For starters, I grew up a Baltimore Orioles fan. Year in, year out, I had to watch the Birds dwell in the Cellar, while the team in blue pinstripes soared to the top of the standings. But the mere fact that the Yankees win the pennant every single year wasn't the only incitement to my extreme bitterness and hatred for this team. I can't stand the fact that, despite their perennial on-field success, the Yankees somehow are always portrayed as an underdog. When the Bronx Bombers won the Series a few years ago, they had to "overcome" the "adversity" that came from Darryl Strawberry's bout with cancer (and cocaine addiction). Last year, manager Joe Torre had health problems. When they won the series, again it was "triumph over adversity." Now this year, despite having thrashed every other team in the AL East, the Yankees now enjoy "underdog" status as a result of the WTC bombings. And good, God-fearing Americans are just supposed to wave the flag and cheer for the Yankees now.
Well, I ain't biting. God Bless America, and Go Mariners!
Scott 5:26 PM [+] ::
First, the good news: Finally, after weeks and weeks of "good tries" and "valiant efforts," my beloved Washington Redskins get their first win of the season! Now, the bad news: Scott picked the Panthers to beat the Skins, thus failing to move ahead in the Weinkopf.com football pool. That's what I get for letting my fan loyalty slip!
Scott 5:00 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, October 19, 2001 ::
Ok, now how disgraceful is this? The pro-gay Human Rights Campaign sees a photo of an airman painting the words, "Hijack this, Fags" on a bomb, then raise a big hue and cry about it. Then the Navy obligingly caves in and issues an apology. Nevermind the Taliban's anti-gay policies. Nevermind that our men and women in uniform are making San Fran, West Hollywood and Dupont Circle safe from terrorists. It's just one more shameful example of our government caving into the anti-American reflexes of the radical left.
Scott 8:50 PM [+] ::
Great piece today from Charles Krauthammer about the rush to build an international coalition to defeat terrorism. Krauthammer revisits the Gulf War alliance, and points out that it actually hindered our efforts to defeat Saddam Hussein--and contributed to the quagmire we currently find ourselves in now.
Scott 5:26 PM [+] ::