The Locker Room

September 11, 2006

You gotta Watch those Baptists...

Posted by Michael Moore at 9:37 PM

In Staff Meeting this morning, the analogy was drawn between Baptists and their approach to situations.  Well, I guess Jerry Clower says it best when it comes to Baptism. 

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Day of denial

Posted by Jon Ham at 4:18 PM

I've been busy on other things today so just got around to seeing what my favorite bloggers have done on 9/11. Lots of good stuff, butConfederate Yankee's post, Day of Denial, is really excellent:

They continue to mock the moment when our President found out that a sneak attack broader in scope and scale than Pearl Harbor was under way. They mock him for showing the same shock and dismay we all felt. They mock him for being moved near to tears as the realization set in that thousands of innocent Americans were dead or dying and that he, the most powerful single man on the planet, was powerless to stop it.

They belittle our pain as a nation, as if only those who had direct friends and family die had a right to grieve, feel pain, or remorse, or anger and resolve.

They lash out against those who do remember what happened under that bright blue September sky, and preemptively lash out against those who would remember future attacks before they've even come to pass.

They refer to memorial services as pornography, and seek to belittle every remembrance, every solemn moment, every tear, every voice raised in anger.

Read the comments if you want to see denial in human — well, sort of — form.

REMINDER: The Confederate Yankee, Bob Owens, is one of eight North Carolina bloggers who will be on panels at the John Locke Foundation's blogger conference on Oct. 7. For more information on Carolina FreedomNet 2006, go here. Scott Johnson of Powerline blog will also be there as keynote speaker for the luncheon on Saturday.

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To Think Is Not To Lobby

Posted by Jon Ham at 4:04 PM

There's a huge distinction between lobbying for one's cause and espousing one's ideals.

At least that's what the Cato Institute's president and founder, Edward H. Crane had to say about the importance (and differences) between think tanks and lobbyists in the most recent issue of SPN News.

Crane's short insight into the changing world of think tanks is right on. According to Crane, think tanks are far more valuable than the lobbying firm (or what's worse, the lobbying firm posing as a think tank). They are built on core beliefs that outlive the crests and falls of political seasons because they search to influence the mind at a point before a political decision is made. But in being "brainy", says Crane, sometimes we lose sight of the practical argument for a certain political decision -- an oversight that is costly for the think tank and may, overtime, be its downfall.

In taking the more expedient, and more practical, step towards lobbying, a think tank may think it's having a stronger impact on society and decision making, but this comes at the cost of some future influence they could be winning at the core of society. As a think tank devolves into a lobbying firm, their creditability in the minds of the public devolves into yet another party-line voice.

In the words of Crane,

Far too many think tanks, it seems to me, have drifted from being principled idea factories to become political 'players,' anxious to influence the most recent legislative mark-up or ingratiate themselves to this politician or to that. In fact, too many think tanks are taking openly partisan political stances that undermine their credibility and threaten [their] tax-exempt status ...

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Re: Where were you?

Posted by Geoff Lawrence at 2:28 PM

I was living in a mostly-Arab populated cite in the Parisian banlieu.  I was walking down the street with my roommate (who was also American) late in the afternoon (because of the time difference, it occurred at about 3:30 in Paris) when a middle-aged Arab man stopped us and tried to explain in broken English what had happenned.  We were baffled by his story because his English was so poor.  The whole conversation seemed puzzling to me because we began conversing very easily in French and then he switched to this broken English as he began to explain what had happenned.  The only things I really got out of what he said was "You...get off the street...plane...north tower is on the floor."


We were mystified by his story but could both sense that something serious had happenned.  It was another hour before we learned the entire gravity of the situation.  The cite played host to complete anarchy and violence that night as many people celebrated the attacks by throwing malatov cocktails and firing weapons in the street.  We stayed in our apartment and received phone calls from everyone we knew.  Our friends (Frenchmen, Africans, and Arabs alike) called to offer condolences and tell us not to go outside because we were American.  In fact, for two weeks we didn't go out in the cite due to the violence of the riots.  Fortunately, several of our friends were thoughtful enough to go to the store and bring us food and provisions, as well as newspapers so we could keep up with the events.


Its was certainly an experience that I'll never forget. 


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Gun Control: "It Means Hitting your Target!"

Posted by Michael Moore at 10:45 AM

This article from the Washington Times this morning is interesting because it says there has been an increase in "gun crimes with a decrease in the overall crime rate."  The only thing I have to say about that is, once you put one of these bumper stickers on your car you don't have to worry about criminals.

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Pay for performance in the public schools

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:30 AM

The idea is drawing interest in Florida and other states, according to this article in U.S. News.

The report cites North Carolina as one of the states that already offer teacher incentives, but I'm certain Terry Stoops could tell us why ABC bonuses are not the same as true "pay for performance" measures. 

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English-language Al Jazeera

Posted by Mitch Kokai at 10:20 AM

I'm shocked -- shocked! -- to learn that Al Jazeera is having trouble launching its English-language service.

It seems few in this country have an interest in granting a greater voice to the "Hate America First" crowd. On the other hand, some critics worry that Al Jazeera International will operate too close to the boundaries of sanity:

Ironically, in its quest to convince U.S. broadcast and advertising muckety-mucks that the new channel, led by a British-dominated management team, will be independent from its Arabic sister, al Jazeera has also managed to anger many in the Arab community.

"This is an Arab network from the Arab world-if people are going to watch a western point of view, they already have CNN, Fox, and the rest," says Mohammud el-Nawawy, a professor at Queens University of Charlotte (N.C.) and coauthor of
Al Jazeera: How the Free Arab News Network Scooped the World and Changed the Middle East.

It's nice to know that students in one of our state's fine private universities are exposed to such enlightened thought.

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Re: What Would the Founders Do?

Posted by Dr. Troy Kickler at 10:19 AM

I haven't read Brookhiser's book, yet I agree (maybe for different reasons) that the Whiskey Rebellion was extremely important.

 Did Brookhiser mention that real issue was about the nature of federal taxation and government involvement in monetary policy and markets? I ask because Hamilton was never genuinely concerned with the drinking habits of Americans.  His attack against alcohol was just an excuse for him to persuade others to implement his centralistic interpretation of the Constitution, an interpretation that worried fellow Federalists and even "the Father of the Constiution," James Madison. 

William Hogeland, author of The Whiskey Rebellion (2006), writes that Hamilton's tax was planned to "shift economic opportunity away from small-scale, generalist operators. . . " to "large, government-connected, specialized operators."  And putting down this farmer's rebellion necessitated Hamilton's plea for a standing army (something most Americans then opposed, for they thought it fostered a war-like mentality which they believed sacrificed the erosion of individual liberties for the sake of military victory).  It definitely was a flexing of governmental muscle.

 Of particular note, after the Battle of Alamance (1771), North Carolina's Herman Husband--the primary leader of the North Carolina Regulation against the corruption of the province's royal government--fled to western Pennsylvania and later played a key role in the Whiskey Rebellion.   Wherever he went, Husband regulated the government.  My how that word has changed meaning in the past two hundred years!

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Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:08 AM

Virginia Postrel says that superheroes are perfect for movies because they are glamorous.

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Re: Where were you?

Posted by Jon Sanders at 09:45 AM

I was here, and I had just been sent a link to the CNN homepage showing the smoking hole in the World Trade Center and marveling with Roy Cordato at the tragedy of the airliner hitting it, when I heard of the second plane. I looked at Roy in shock and said, "We're at war."

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The End of Libertarian Politics?

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 09:42 AM

Michael Lind says, "The libertarian moment has passed." Jonah Goldberg ridiculed the Lind schtick against conservatives five years ago and many of the same arguments apply to this post mortem.

The demise of both socialism and libertarianism pretty much limits the field to moderate social democracy and big-government conservatism. The limitation of options on the horizontal left-right spectrum is accompanied, however, by a growing vertical, top-bottom divide between an elite committed to globalisation and mass immigration and a populist, nationalist majority.

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Re: Where Were You?

Posted by Shannon Blosser at 09:10 AM

I was at West Virginia University taking an 8:30 a.m., psychology exam - that I failed by the way. I walked out of the test at about the same time that the first plane struck the World Trade Center. I got my first words of the attack listening to Peter Jennings on WVAQ in Morgantown, W.Va., on my way back to my apartment. I stayed at my apartment for a few moments - maybe an hour or so - watching everything unfold and then headed to work at the Times West Virginian in Fairmont, W.Va. My assignment was to put out the sports section and get it off the floor by 6 p.m., and also to help the news desk as much as possible. I remember we sent a reporter up to the Pennsylvania site. A friend of mine from another newspaper, I believe, also went up.

It was such a tramatic day and one I'll never forget.

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What Would the Founders Do?

Posted by John Hood at 08:54 AM

That's the title of Richard Brookhiser's latest book. It's a fun, breezy, and thought-provoking read. I marked a few passages as blog-worthy while I was reading it, and plan to slip a few posts in The Locker Room over the next few days. Here's the first one:

The 1795 Whiskey Rebellion, Brookhiser argues, was "the most serious domestic violence between the Revolution and the Civil War.” Alexander Hamilton defended his controversial proposal for a whiskey exaction by arguing that it was a good tax in part because it would hit frontier drinkers particularly hard. This “would certainly not be a reason ... to repeal or lessen a tax, which, by rendering the article dearer, might tend to restrain too free an indulgence of such habits.” Taxes should, in other words, be used to shape behavior, not just to raise revenue.

Brookhiser is not persuaded that Hamilton’s position, “the maximum drug war position of his generation” from "the founder with the most expansive view of the powers of the federal government,” was typical of his peers.

“The founders would not have fought a war on drugs,” Brookhiser concludes.

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One Tall Order

Posted by Dr. Terry Stoops at 08:25 AM

In a recent interview, Wake County school board member Carol Parker said, “I am hopeful that parents can step above those issues that affect them personally and look at what’s in this bond and why we need it.”

No longer able to convince parents to vote for the bond out of self-interest, the school board is apparently asking parents to abandon self-interest altogether. That's called desperation. Where is Brad Crone when you need him?

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Finally a Large Corporation "gets it"

Posted by Dr. Michael Sanera at 07:52 AM

You must take a look at this.  Dow Chemical has produced an ad campaign that is pure Julian Simon.  The most important element is not on the periodic table:  "The human element." 

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9/11: Where were you?

Posted by Jon Ham at 07:11 AM

Watching the morning coverage of the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks brings back memories of that incredible day. I was sitting in my car in the driveway listening to the Don Imus Show when he said something about a plane hitting the World Trade Center.

I immediately called The Herald-Sun newsroom (I was Digital Publishing Director there at the time) and told our city editor about it. I said it didn't sound like a big deal but asked him to get one of our photographers to take a picture of the CNN coverage on television and put it on our Web site. We had a photo up as soon as CNN had cameras on the building.

I think we beat most every Web site in the country with a Web picture of the burning first tower. The rest of the day was a blur of incredible events, images and revelations. I'll certainly never forget it.

UPDATE: James Lileks has put together a haunting video of that morning. The juxtaposition at the beginning of normal homelife while in the background the television covers the horrors of that morning are especially striking.

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