Friday, June 21, 2002
We fully endorse the prescription in the second of today's Sun
, the abolition of New York's blue laws forbidding the sale of wine and spirits between midnight and 8:00 a.m., on the Christian Sabbath
, and on that consummation of orgiastic consumerism, Christmas. Predictably, Seth and Ira support the repeal on tax revenue grounds and on their shared belief that business should be permitted to operate without any molestation whatsoever. Our reasons are wholly different, and likely inaccessible and incomprehensible to the untoothsome twosome. Restoration of round-the-clock access to booze would be a major blow struck in the name of civilization, a social formation with which Seth and Ira
In their first editorial, in which they provide abundant evidence that they have either successfully avoided contact with civilization or have fled it in disgust, the pair lionize jurisprudential dunce Big Tony Scalia for his brave dissent from a Court which this week declared the execution of the mentally retarded unconstitutional. The editorial has it that present America should be held to the regnant morality of the Founding Fathers
, as demonstrated in the "contemplation in the text of the Bill of Rights" of executions, then widely practiced. It would be enough to note that slaveholding was also practiced at the time, but we must note Seth and Ira's evident discomfort with the concept of human progress. That many people today resist the atavistic urge to dispatch criminals strikes us as heartening. That a court ratifies that resistance is all the better, and proof positive that we have made at least some forward progress. Seth and Ira can only conclude, with great palpable sorrow, our departure from Scripture
Thursday, June 20, 2002
Seth and Ira inspect "Sharansky's Weapon" this morning in a revolting piece that shows a certain ingenuity for victim-blaming that rivals even Cardinal Bernard Law's
. Natan Sharansky, we are told, is heading to an American Enterprise Institute confab
to urge the acceptance of what sounds to the Sun a laudable practice: "linking our relations to the condition of democracy abroad."
But even a cursory examination of this doctrine reveals its irreparable defects and deep immorality. What Sharansky is asking for is a refusal on America's part to dirty its hands through contact with states that have not made ample progress in becoming American, as if the average Palestinian could simply one day will himself an SUV and a wholesale disinterest in world affairs. The debauched "logic" advising Sharansky's proposal has it that the Palestinians acquiesce in their current wretched state, preferring Yasser Arafat and disenfranchisement to Israeli democracy [sic]. This of course ignores both Israel's earlier preference for Hamas over secular Palestinian movements
, as well as the legacy of America's Middle Eastern interventions
Sharansky is deemed worthy of an audience, Seth and Ira suggest, on account of his anti-communist credentials. Sharansky will argue "there is no more profit to be had from dealing with the Palestinian Authority than there was with the Soviet Kremlin," something Seth and Ira endorse. Here they run into further troubles. One wonders how appropriate it is to call present America, where the clear majority winner in an election is denied office
, a democracy as Seth and Ira do. Worse, the majority of Russians believed themselves better off under the former system, with large numbers affirming their preference for Sovietism over the current regime.
Maybe Seth Lipsky cannot be bothered to determine what can truly be considered a democracy, but he is unfailing in his employ of anachronistic anti-red discourse. He is C. Montgomery Burns, forever anticipating the appearance of the new model year Packards
in showrooms, and forever displaying his suitability for work in the Nixon administration by hyperventilating over the "Soviet communist dictatorship," that nefarious "red regime."
Wednesday, June 19, 2002
Another beaut from Seth Lipsky's sparring partner today. Amity Shlaes
supersedes all previous feats of reactionary intellectual heroism in her brave defense of that most maligned of populations, venture capitalists
, throwing a few Milton Friedman-informed barbs in the direction of federal regulators to boot. Wedged firmly in Shlaes's craw is the recognition that a regulatory regime which benefits everyone aggravates the risks speculative and investment capital is subjected to.
In demonstrating the fallacy of our commitment to collective good over a few extra dollars for wealthy financiers, Shlaes invokes Dick Cheney, recipient of a life-saving stent implant. In doing so, Shlaes goes horribly off the rails. Cheney's salvage, it seems to us, is far from a net benefit to society as a whole, and to the Afghan civilian population
specifically. But Shlaes presents herself as a champion of innovative capitalism, not as an admirer of Cheney, so in that manner she will be engaged.
Shlaes's fraudulent implication is that risk-taking
bankers are responsible for innovations in the field of biomedics. This is simply not true. Guidant, the manufacturer of the stent that continues Dick Cheney's degraded life (and, by extension, The War Against Terror), owes its innovativeness to federal subsidy, research grants, and partnerships with the academic world, itself the recipient of massive subsidies and grants. It's our money - administered via the federal government - that drove and continues to drive innovation.
What about those bogeymen in the FDA that stifle innovation with their onerous scrutiny and regulatory enforcement? Again using Cheney's stent as an example, it was selfishness on the part of a biomedical cartel and their brigades of intellectual property lawyers that proved truly stifling. Prior to 1997 stents were manufactured by a stingy cartel that enforced their patents without mercy, preventing further development by outside parties. The FDA was a non-factor. This is emblematic of the system which prevails: public research is appropriated by solely self-interested businessmen, to great public expense and detriment.
Tuesday, June 18, 2002
Should anybody have ever expected the Sun
to have been anything other than what it is? Would a newsroom Quixote, affecting a fedora and exaggerating his saltines, be expected to publish anything other than a reactionary sheet that pines for the genteel days when Palestinian Arabs suffered indignity in silence, and which subheads its opinion pieces with "In Which..."? Seth Lipsky
is a newspaper editor as imagined by a high school theatre director. It is striking that someone who so studiously presents their persona is so oblivious to the poverty and sublime ridiculousness of their execution. The man is hopeless. Was it any wonder that the hypocritical ass Wallace Matthews would be marshaled into service on the Sun
's behalf, turning in pieces like today's cogitation on 'Baseball as It Oughta Be,' a hymn to a minor league Brooklyn outfit
that condemns the "mercenary" ball played up in the Bronx? Matthews's fondness for less-than-prodigious talent on the ball field matches the fondness the Sun
's readership has for an even less talented roster deployed on the paper's pages, though it must be noted that the ballplayers are still early in their careers and do not benefit from 20 million of Michael Steinhardt and Bruce Kovner's dollars, thereby excusing their artlessness.
Alicia Colon's artlessness, however, cannot be excused. It actually cannot be fathomed either. Rereading her bizarre, wholly incoherent and fabulously extended rant, we had to conclude that the editors were either out sick yesterday or were trying to fill the space formerly occupied by Virgin
ads in better times. Colon appropriates
nearly half a page and applies it to the compilation of what reads like a catalog of boogeymen that frighten her, establishing a new low water mark for Sun
coherence in the process. If and when Colon publishes the piece to her Website
, we will reproduce it in full for the benefit of our customers outside of metropolitan New York.
Continuing on the theme of artlessness, Rachel Donadio
profiles the cousin of one of the Sun
's backers, and Rachel Kovner
's absence continues. Must be in consultation with the Manhattan Institute, readying a school choice bomb to explode over the heads of leftist plods like us born to less plutocratic parents.
Monday, June 17, 2002
Another day, another Sun
editorial. Seth and Ira
, amazingly, pause long enough from their homicidal fury to meditate on the ‘War Aims in Iraq.’ Unfortunately – for the Iraqis – it isn’t the sober and thoughtful contemplation turned out by thoughtful scholars such as Noam Chomsky. Actually, we abandoned all hopes of encountering sobriety and thoughtfulness after catching the repugnant editorialist invoking Dick Armey
for an expression of the wisdom and prudence of the impending action against Saddam Hussein (as always, read: Iraqi people).
The true hypocrisy is to be found without and within today’s editorial section. Reference is made to this weekend’s Face the Nation
, on which Joseph Biden, Democrat, said of Bush’s “new” new Iraq strategy, “if the covert action doesn't work, we better be prepared to move forward with another action, an overt action.” Biden and Lipsky and Stoll display their superfluity of gall in saying such things, as if a regime change were not America’s fervent wish for Iraq since the close of the Gulf War. And you can ask Brett Scowcroft, Massoud Barzani, or Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi Roger Hertog
, about our willingness to use intrigue to effect it.
10+ years of futile sanctions and covert actions with nothing to show for it except for the massive immiseration of the Iraqi people and the sanctification of Saddam Hussein in the third-world as a hero immovable by American imperialism. The continued failure of this program, as well as the bombing
that will succeed that failure, is a certainty. Why not just begin the bombing straight away?