Cliopatria: A Group Blog
Aaron Bady (∞); Chris Bray (∞); Brett Holman (∞); Jonathan Jarrett (∞); Robert KC Johnson (∞); Rachel Leow (∞); Ralph E. Luker (∞); Scott McLemee (∞); Claire B. Potter (∞); Jonathan T. Reynolds (∞)
The Conference is a movable feast. Last year it was in Fargo; before that Minneapolis. Next year it will be hosted by UW-Eau Claire, one of my campuses.
I am sure politics will be a big part of the lobby and bar talk, unless the Cardinals do us a favor and prolong the series. In any event, I get a day or two away from my home phone. That's good, because these days it is under constant assault from the forces of virtue, who are getting out the vote and panhandling for way more than a dime.
It's easy to forget how long people have been doing science. For example, we have decent sunspot data going back at least four hundred years:
Of course, people didn't really know what sunspots were until quite recently, and I don't think we're quite sure of their function/role in stellar development quite yet, but we do have a much better sense of what they are and what they do. And it matters: as the article points out, sunspots and other solar activity sends radiation and ionization through the whole solar system, affecting communications and, for those select few, travel.
The article isn't about history of science, except insofar as it's about the refinement of the 11-year sun cycle theory. But the chart caught my eye (particularly that late 17c lull).
Update: Tom Toles cartoon from the Washington Post.
The Early Modernists' Carnival, Carnivalesque, is coming to Houyhnhnm Land (pronounced"whinnim" or"hwinnimn"), my other weblog. The date will be November 5 (subject to change). If you have written a post in September or October (the first few days of November will be OK, too), or have in surfing the blogosphere come across a post, on the early modern period (broadly conceived - from about 1450 to 1850), send it my way. You can email me through the"Email" link at Houyhnhnm Land, or directly through the following address:
(With @ for [at] and . for [dot], of course.)
Since H.L. is devoted primarily to early modern philosophy, posts in that area, or in the general history of ideas in the early modern period, will be especially welcome; however, this is in no way a requirement. Also, if you have a post that's primarily on the late medieval period, or on the post-early-modern period, which would be of interest to early modernists in any way, we're interested in that, too.
Anyone who is not quite sure what a blog carnival is, please do visit the Carnivalesque page for some information and links to established carnivals.
Now, what about a History Carnival? I mean, look at all those history blogs over there in the blogroll...
The truth is that there is no real difference in the policies of either candidates with regards to Israel. Kerry panders as much as anyone else for the Jewish vote. On the other hand, at least one group, the media-savvy Muslims for Bush claim that Kerry has not pandered enough to the Muslim bloc and, hence, does not deserve their vote. In their view, it is Bush who has consistently supported Muslim Americans while Kerry never even met with any Muslim groups and is, also, weak on the Patriot Act [How is the guy who enacted Patriot Act better?]. A quick web search on the respective candidates' official websites disproves that. There is no page for Arab Americans or Muslim Americans on georgewbush.com. There is no statement on civil rights or the Patriot Act (the site's search kept crashing on account of having to search through so many internets, maybe). There is, at least, a page on John Kerry's website for Arab Americans, as well a statement on the beginning of Ramadan. There are also a bunch of links on Kerry's commitment to anti-profiling, fair adjudication etc. There is even a fact-sheet.
Back to the Muslim bloc. The party claiming to represent the Muslim American bloc is the American Muslim Taskforce. They are an umbrella organization over the American Muslim Alliance (AMA), Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA), Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and various smaller groups. Last week after much hemming and hawing, they finally unveiled their qualified endorsement for Kerry. The qualification was that Kerry has not done enough to protest the civil right abuses under the Bush administration:
Following careful consideration of overall U.S. interests, interaction with presidential campaign officials and extensive input from the Islamic community, the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections - Political Action Committee (AMT-PAC) is calling on Muslims nationwide to cast a protest vote for Sen. John Kerry. While the Kerry campaign has critiqued a number of Bush administration polices, it has so far failed to explicitly affirm support for due process, equal justice and other constitutional norms. We are also disappointed that his campaign has shied away from expressing unambiguous support for principles enshrined in the U.S. Constitution that prohibit use of ex post facto laws, secret proceedings and secret evidence.Seems like the AMT is hedging its bets and not wanting to seriously piss off the Bush administration. They say they got to this endorsement by doing town hall meetings in more than 70 mosques and community centers across America. Maybe they should have asked Zogby whose Sep. 22nd poll showed a 76% support for Kerry. Pretty unqualified in my opinion.
My anecdotal reading is that the Muslim American community is largely culturally conservative and would tend to go Republican BUT Ashcroft has scared them off at least this administration (on a side note, I will be Ashcroft this Halloween!). I do not think that the Democrats will hold this bloc that easily. They will need solid civil liberties re-assurance as well as some movement on the Immigration reforms.
Will the Muslim Vote, like the NASCAR Fathers, the Security Moms be the demographic du jour for the next few days? Let's see. One thing is for sure, it will play a role in Michigan and Ohio.
Having mis-spent my youth in grad school studying late medieval and early modern European intellectual history, I can now -- 20 years after leaving academia -- shed some valuable light for you and your readers (as well as for the BBC News).I'm obliged to tell you that I've got a decent seminary education. I've read a number of Luther biographies, but I'm no expert on the subject. If some of our medieval or early modern European historians or church historians could convincingly show us what is"s***" and what is"S******", I'd appreciate it.
When Luther said he made his discovery 'in cloaca' (literally translated 'on the toilet'), he was using one of a long list of late medieval theological-scatological phrases that meant 'in deepest humility' or in a state of profound 'worthlessness' (i.e., like shit).
So when Luther described arriving at his big theological conclusion 'in cloaca', he (like hundreds of other theologians of the time) was not making a literal reference to his bathroom routine. If this sounds strange ... today, it shouldn't. The English language still uses lots of scat lingo (e.g., 'up shit creek without a paddle') to express extreme emotions or for emphasis. ('No shit!', you might say).
So once again, on major matters of import, the BBC News doesn't know 'shit from Shinola' or its 'ass from a hole in the ground.'"
Meanwhile, one of the smartest people east of Singapore, the Cliopatriarch of Wales, is still giggling about our"twiddle diddles." I'm thinking of bringing her up on charges of having impure and uncliopatriarchal thoughts.
Do not even consider the possibility that the Red Sox could take a 3-0 lead in the World Series and then lose it in seven. Just thinking about the histrionic thrashing and moaning over at Rebunk is more than I can bear.
More seriously, Eugene Volokh is absolutely clear-headed about free speech rights. Your free speech rights include the right to say whatever vile, disgusting, and idiotic thing you choose to say; and my free speech rights include the right to say that it is vile, disgusting, and idiotic. Free speech rights are protections from restraint by governing authority. They do not exempt you or me from criticism for what we have said.
My friend, Richard Morgan, objected to my fellow Methodists charging our denominational kinsmen, George Bush and Dick Cheney, with" crime, immorality, disobedience" to the order and discipline of the church here. I assume that he will have similar objection to Andrew Sullivan's charge of" criminal negligence" here.
Ed Cohn at Gnostical Turpitude, Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, and the HNN mainpage call our attention to Matthew Price's"Hollow History," a review of Peter Hoffer's Past Imperfect: Facts, Fictions, Fraud -- American History from Bancroft and Parkman to Ambrose, Bellesiles, Ellis, and Goodwin for the Boston Globe. I'll have more to say about both it and Ron Robin's Scandals & Scoundrels: Seven Cases That Shook the Academy in a review essay for Christian Century and HNN. In the meantime, of course, there is evidence that some of us are still"scandalizing our name." It looks like the academic zoo needs a sign that says:"Do not feed the ditto heads!"
Finally, I recommend Scott McLemee's NYT review of Gertrude Himmelfarb's The Roads To Modernity: The British, French, and American Enlightenments and an interesting discussion of it at Crooked Timber. McLemee's been"woo hooing" about getting removed to the"Lumber Room" at Crooked Timber. That's apparently not the same as getting taken to the wood shed.
Meanwhile, lest he be bested by Tom Coburn, Alan Keyes returned to his usual peculiar ways in a debate late last week with Barack Obama. Among Keyes' better lines:"the persecution of our Christian citizens,""social self-destruction,""the use of the body in this way is ... an abomination,""no one has the information necessary to avoid incest," and"gun-control mentality is ruth-less-ly absurd." He also compared women who seek abortions to slaveholders. (In Oklahoma, James Dobson is doing what he can to ensure that the Coburn campaign continues to lead the way in bizarre commentary. At a rally for Coburn, Dobson claimed that gay marriage"will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth"; of Vermont senator Patrick Leahy, he remarked,"I don't know if he hates God, but he hates God's people.")
Meanwhile, the year's potentially biggest House upset might occur in Illinois, where longtime GOP representative (and 1980 presidential candidate) Phil Crane appears to be in trouble, despite representing a strongly Republican district. Last week, the normally reliably Republican Chicago Tribune endorsed Crane's Democratic challenger, Melissa Bean, a few days before it issued a truly glowing endorsement of Obama, which was far more enthusiastic than its recommendation of Bush's re-election.
Finally, Oregon has a long tradition of being a bit too goody-goody in the electoral process. Among the first states to adopt the initiative and referendum, most recently it made news when it became the first state to go to all-mail ballots. Secretary of State Bill Bradbury dismissed concerns of fraud--and thus far has not been forced to eat his words.
In the name of providing voters with the maximum amount of information, Bradbury's office also recently instituted a policy of allowing prominent policymakers and organizations to include position statements for or against referenda questions. The"pro" side on the anti-gay marriage referendum makes for interesting reading, since a satirist created a variety of anti-gay marriage organizations and then submitted statements that somehow got by the secretary of state's office and were included in the voters' guide as real positions. I'm not sure, however, that there's anything here with which Alan Keyes would disagree.
While most of us breath a sigh of relief at the defeat of the Major Leagues Hegemonic Power (I have family reasons to favor the Cardinals in the World Series; a Red Sox win, would however, end four score and six years of Bostonian groaning over structural deficits compounded by a statistical aberration, and that would be a great boon to all of us), let me offer a sobering thought: We are the Yankees. Americans, I mean. Still not getting it? Our pleasure at seeing the consistently dominant and very annoying Yankees defeated is a near-perfect parallel to the satisfaction so many in the world get when the United States is set back, hurt, humiliated.
We live in the biggest economy in the world, we suck talent and resources away from the rest of the world, and in head-to-head competition we beat everyone the vast majority of the time; worse, we do so with great pride, mocking their fallen and faulting our own only when we lose. We win, which makes us interesting, noteworthy, but not terribly attractive except as a teaching tool and testing bench. Our leaders strut and tinker, with great power but little moral authority, block reforms that would make the game more interesting because that would mean a dilution of our power.
Now, we've come on strong, delivered a series of devastating defeats to our enemies.... but the series isn't over yet and our power may not be a match for their endurance, their will, the accumulated humiliation and rage. This isn't a game; this isn't a fantastic analogy, either; but if we think the world loves us because they pay attention when we're on the field, then we are not paying attention to whom they are actually rooting for.
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Why do secular people tend, almost inevitably, to dismiss all of us who take religious belief seriously as"fundamentalists," even when we clearly are not? What pleasure do they find in the spectacle of the children of G_d killing and maiming other children of G_d, in whatever cause? So long as the killing goes on, Norm, there is no"last word." It is not ours to pronounce. Of all the parties in our current discussions, David, I should think that Christian liberals might be the last to deserve to be called"damn intolerant." The belief that absolute certainty is hidden in the inscrutable mind of G_d is a powerful restraint on all claims to pronouncing the"last word." When and if it is given, the joke may be on you.
The blankness of Bush, his emptyness, the absence of distinctive qualities... these are not to be thought of in contradiction to his status as 'leader'. On the contrary, they are essential components. Bush is nobody and everyone, a template that any American might fill. He can act as a cypher, a mouthpiece for other's voices (and this is of course given an uncannily literal twist).
On the more irreverent Fafblog, Medium Lobster concludes that Bush makes powerful use of ideas that transcend the limits of reality:
Any leader could have made the war on terror into a tedious, ongoing struggle to unearth and uproot a multi-tentacled terrorist organization while attempting to heal the rifts between the Muslim world and the West. But George Bush didn't just see the task: he saw the grand idea behind the task, and better still, the vague abstractions behind the grand idea. And he was willing to fight those vague abstractions. Terror, weapons of mass destruction - they may not have been really in Iraq, but the idea of them most certainly was. And that was an idea the world's only superpower had to confront with real troops...
Indeed, in time it may become possible that the distance between President Bush's ideas and his reality becomes so vast that he achieves pure abstraction - so that he himself is an idea, leading America not from the White House but from the Platonic Realm of Forms, where with but a thought he can eradicate the concept of Terror altogether. And that, my friends, is an idea worth standing for the concept of fighting for.
Nicholas Kristof’s column in this morning’s Times reminded me of Schilling’s comment. As Kristof observes, the Bible can be a flexible document, able to provide a rationalization for almost any political position, and he faults supporters of gay marriage for not engaging in the religious aspect of the battle. It would be hard, indeed, to argue that the Bible’s condemnations of homosexuality appear more often than calls to help the poor, for example.
Kristof’s column provides a reminder of what remains a potential hidden factor in this year’s election: the gay marriage debate. Anti-gay marriage amendments are on the ballot in two critical states for Kerry: Oregon and Michigan. Perhaps it’s a coincidence, but polls from both states show Bush staying surprisingly close. Huge Christian turnouts in either or both states could be enough to tip the margin to Bush. When added with a stunning poll in this morning’s Honolulu Advertiser showing Bush ahead of Kerry in Hawaii, the first state to outlaw gay marriage through a state constitutional amendment, the Kerry camp has ground for pause. (A poll at a comparable time in 2000 showed Gore ahead of Bush by 20 points in the Aloha State.)
The state constitutional amendment strategy, in reality, has an audience of one: Anthony Kennedy, since Kennedy would have to provide the fifth vote for any Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage. Anti-gay marriage activists clearly hope to pressure Kennedy into preserving the status quo by showing him that a decision allowing gay marriage would invalidate a host of state constitutional provisions. In this respect, the anti-gay marriage movement is even more aggressive than the opponents of civil rights from the 1950s and 1960s, who by and large refrained from going the state constitutional amendment route. The few states that did take this approach are still dealing with the consequences: a 2002 referendum to remove from Alabama’s state constitution the prohibition on interracial marriage (a ban illegal since 1967) passed with only 60 percent of the vote. This year, the state has a similar vote on removing references in the Alabama constitution to segregation by race.
Perhaps it’s God’s mandate for the United States to deal with the gay marriage issue for a prolonged period of time.
When Eszter Hargittai posted at Crooked Timber about Duke's release of time to degree and rates of completion information in its doctoral programs, my colleague, Jonathan Dresner, took up the discussion at Cliopatria. At Positive Liberty, Johns Hopkins' graduate student, Jason Kuzniki, looked at the average of nine years it took Duke students to complete a doctorate in history and the graduate school's 64% completion rate and declared:"This, my friends, is obscene." His concluding point:
The academy is the last economic sector still based essentially on the rules of medieval guilds, where masters get labor out of journeymen, and journeymen get the promise of one day becoming a master. And the academy suffers precisely the same problems that its economic ancestor did: oversupply of labor, conventionalism, inflexibility with regard to market demand, and just plain insularity (Honestly, how many people read academic history books anyway?). One way or another, ending the guild system would end all of these problems.The whole self-confidant rant is worth reading, but it gets even more interesting when David Bell, the director of Kuzniki's doctoral program, comments on the post. Unsurprisingly, they agree that arrangements for graduate students in history at Johns Hopkins are not so bad, after all, but that graduate students at a place like Ohio State"do indeed become indentured servants of the worst kind." Is anyone at Ohio State paying attention to this? The whole discussion reminded me of many discussions we used to have at Invisible Adjunct and that the Ohio States are much more characteristic of American higher education than the Johns Hopkins are.
Finally, I have to take note of this particular bit of idiocy cited over on the HNN mainpage. Some hapless reporter at the University of Alberta begins her breathless story:"The long-held belief that we are living in the 21st century is under fire, as new research suggests that traditional dates may be off by about 1000 years." Natalie, dear, we do not have universal concurrence in a calendar that calls this the 21st century. It's an arbitrary construct based on Christian, indeed Western Christian, assumptions, which are off by a matter of five or six years, but no millenium. Whatever conclusions the Russian scientists may reach, they won't modify those assumptions. It surprises me when someone is so unknowingly captive of such a view of history and thinks it is being challenged in ways that don't really challenge it at all.
the alternative to a single superpower is not a multilateral utopia but the anarchic nightmare of a new Dark Age. … We tend to assume that power, like nature, abhors a vacuum. In the history of world politics, it seems, someone is always the hegemon or bidding to become it …
Anyone who dislikes U.S. hegemony should bear in mind that, rather than a multipolar world of competing great powers, a world with no hegemon at all may be the real alternative to U.S. primacy. Apolarity could turn out to mean an anarchic new Dark Age—an era of waning empires and religious fanaticism; of endemic plunder and pillage in the world’s forgotten regions; of economic stagnation and civilization’s retreat into a few fortified enclaves.
This article will take some time to digest. Initially, I am not convinced by Ferguson’s argument. He offers the world the choice between fragmentation and American hard power—the Bush doctrine is better than the alternative (perhaps I am overinterpreting). However, he (of all people) should realize that every hegemonic power must establish itself within its milieu, adjusting to new technologies, socio-political configurations and geo-political networks. The best empires use hard power sparingly.
---47% of Bush supporters still believe that Iraq had WMD, while 25% more believe that Iraq had a major program for developing the weapons;
---57% believe that the Duelfer Report concluded Iraq had a major WMD program;
---56% think that most experts argued that Iraq had WMD;
---55% think that the 9/11 Commission concluded that Iraq was providing substantial support to al Qaeda.
Kerry supporters have the overwhelmingly opposite viewpoints on each of these questions.
What’s going on here? To a considerable extent, such numbers are one effect of the changing nature of the media—what could be called the “Fox News” effect, or, in reverse, the “NPR effect”—in which voters can now receive news that fits their ideological inclinations. Such seems to be the case with Kentucky senator Jim Bunning, who admitted yesterday that he had not heard about the U.S. reservists who had refused an order to go on a dangerous patrol in Iraq. According to the senator, “I don't watch the national news, and I don't read the paper. I haven't done that for the last six weeks. I watch Fox News to get my information.”
This type of political climate—extreme partisan polarization, partisan news sources—is not unprecedented in American history, making it worth going back to one of the finest books in political history, Michael McGerr’s The Decline of Popular Politics. McGerr set out to explain the decline in voting participation between 1868 and 1924, contending that as an independent media and issue-oriented politics replaced a more emotional, party-oriented political culture, a substantial bloc of voters was marginalized. As signs point to an increased turnout this November—perhaps a vastly increased one—I wonder whether we’re currently experiencing a reverse of the phenomenon that McGerr described. Ironically, despite the healthy voter turnout rates, we don't usually consider the Gilded Age to be a high point in American politics. I wonder whether those who have lamented the poor voter turnout in the past will start recalling the 1970s and 1980s as the good old days in light of the contemporary political climate.
Thanks to Steve Jervis for the PIPA reference.
David Bernstein has been soliciting opinions on why American Jews tend to be not only Democrats, but fiercely anti-Republican. There's lots of decent, or at least half-decent reasons, but a lot of them are more presentist explanations than historical ones. So I'd like to offer not an ideological explanation, but a geographic one.
The cities in which most Jews initially settled were heavily Democratic (as most cities seemed to be in early 20c America), and part of the assimilative process would have been integrating with and absorbing the views of local politics. Once those biases were in place, they were sustained by mid-20c Republican positions targeting urban decadence, internationalism, civil rights movements, secularism, leftist politics (not to mention a rhetorical tendency to identify Jews with these positions), which would tend to confirm Jews' impressions of Republicans as hostile to Jewish identity and interests.
That the Jewish-Democratic bond is breaking down is no surprise. Bernstein correctly identifies some issues on which some or even many Jews might now (and most of these positions are pretty recent) prefer a Republican position to a Democratic one. But political affiliation, like Jewishness, is still more inherited than chosen for most people, and it's only recently that heavily Jewish communities have shifted toward balanced or majority Republican positions and Republicans have shifted their positions to be friendlier to Jewish interests.
I realize that it sounds a bit like Jews are chameleons and assimilators: that's not true. Rather, that's not more true for Jews than for any other immigrant group or strongly coherent religious or ethnic identity group. Politics, particularly political identity, is not an entirely rational process; the more we study it, the less rational it seems, in fact. It is tied up with culture, family, community, competing value systems, media and education. In a way, it's remarkable that we're as rational about it as we are....
On my recent trip to Baghdad, I was confronted with a number of paradoxes. On one level, I daily heard bomb explosions at night, and people often began the day asking each other where the latest violence had occurred. On another level, there was an air of low-key normality that affected everyone I talked to, whether they were janitors, Directors of Museums or shopkeepers. If you didn’t bring up the question of the violent attacks inflicted on parts of Iraq both by the Coalition and the insurgents, you’d rarely hear it mentioned by people on the street or in offices. I think this is a result of two reasons. First, many of my meetings were with professional educators, librarians and Museum directors; I asked specific questions and received specific replies (except where a highly garrulous administrator would wend and weave about the inadequacies of the higher education sector in Iraq). Second, and quite unlike my first trip to Baghdad immediately after the war in June 2003 when strangers were accosting our delegation with their ideas on the past, present and future of Iraq, most people did not confide in strangers as easily, even if they were Iraqis who lived outside of the country. From my family members, I heard horrific stories of near misses on Ministry buses taking employees to work, kidnappings of university deans and the stratospheric increase in corruption on all levels. But on the formal level of Ministries and Research departments, the conversation was all about funding the future, and whether the world community really cared enough to invest in Iraq the billions promised last winter at the Donor’s conference.
Compounded to this sense of unreality was the geographic scale of Baghdad, and the vast problems affecting the transport of state bureaucrats and employees to their daily work. Baghdad is a very large city, and its transport infrastructure is at death’s door. Although many of the traffic lights were working this time, and policemen were everywhere directing traffic, the amount of cars imported over the past year only added to the decrepit vehicles still chugging along the roads and belching black smoke; predictably, they caused massive traffic jams. Being confined to a car on a heavily packed road in the city is not conducive to the usual daydreaming; in Baghdad, where suicide bombers have been known to plow into National Guards’ headquarters on crowded streets, this can be an enervating experience. But my Baghdad-based friends claim that cabs are the most reliable form of transport in Baghdad because, while your misfortune may have you passing by when an explosion has ripped through a police post, suicide bombers would not target a cab deliberately. This is the logic of Baghdad natives who have lived, and are still living, through very violent times, and I am forced to respect it.
So, too, is the emphasis on not leaving the house till after nine o’clock in the morning, or returning before five. Baghdadi residents have timed the explosions; they usually occur at seven or eight o’clock in the morning, and a further reprise may take place at six or seven o’clock in the evening. Even though nothing can be taken for granted, its better to be at home during those hours. In fact, I am told that precisely because of the heavy traffic jams and the timing of explosions, few administrators are lecturing their employees about punctuality.
Finally, it must be recalled that, throughout the past five months, two large city quarters have been pounded almost daily by American guns. Sadr city (consistently referred to by Iraq’s interim government as Revolution city or madinat al-thawra, its older name) is a huge slum that borders some very important real estate (the UN headquarters that was leveled last August 29 was situated close by). Haifa street, meanwhile, has been under attack almost daily by American troops; it too neighbors high-value districts, the Iraqi Museum neighborhood being only one of them. Through it all, Baghdadi residents are grimly going to work, shopping for food, visiting relatives in hospitals and sending their children to school. If you can imagine Brooklyn up in flames while the rest of New York daily goes about its business, you will understand the scale of the daily horror that is being visited on Baghdad.
Although those are my quick impressions of a city in perpetual turmoil, they are but that, impressions. I am lucky not to have seen the violence up close. But for all those Iraqis that were less fortunate than I, whose lives have been wrecked by misdirected bombings, hidden mines, nighttime raids and vindictive revenge killings, I have nothing but the utmost admiration. They are carrying on with a courage that is all that much finer and nobler because their travails are a daily occurrence, and not a rare foray into a danger zone.
Speaking of my Republicanism, this letter by former United States Senator Marlow W. Cook of Kentucky brought back memories. At 16, I was a Republican activist, already a precinct captain and 1st Vice President of the Young Republican Club of Louisville and Jefferson County. Alas, I was also very naive and didn't protect my flanks, so I was defeated in a bid for re-election by an ambitious young attorney, Marlow Cook. Subsequently, he became the chief executive of Jefferson County and served in the United States Senate from 1968 to 1975. We were both raised in the moderate Republican tradition of former Kentucky Senators John Sherman Cooper and Thruston Morton, so Marlow's letter comes as no great surprise to me."I am not enamored with John Kerry," he says,"but I am frightened to death of George Bush." It is a very powerful conservative argument against the Bush administration. Read the whole thing. Hat tip to Andrew Sullivan.
For a good laugh, don't miss Ted Barlow's"To Blog a Mockingbird" at Crooked Timber. If Mickey Kaus had a reputation, it won't soon recover.
But, of course, race relations in the South are more tragic than comic. I mentioned earlier that both Liberty & Power's David Beito and I have been working with the FBI's inquiry into what more can be known about the 1954 murder of Emmett Till. Sunday evening, CBS's"Sixty Minutes" will focus on the renewed inquiry. At Liberty & Power, Beito, whose research turned up a key surviving witness to the 50 year old murder, has more on the story.
Finally, regarding our discussion of the Wikkipedia, Tim Lambert has an amusing post up about it. Apparently, Mary Rosh (remember him?) has apparently repeated tried to" correct" its record about John Lott (remember her?)."Jonathan" asks the relevant question at Deltoid: What does one have to do to get fired at the American Enterprise Institute?