Saturday, January 01, 2005

A column every environmentalist should read
And it's given to us by David Brooks.

Sarcastic Clap for the NYT
A good, old-fashioned debunking of the NYT shows that not only do they calculate things from an inaccurate basis, but also that they think Truman was elected in 1944 and TR was elected in 1900. Brilliant, guys, just brilliant.

2004 in Review
So, it's not quite midnight where I am, but it's two hours passed where it matters—yes, I'm talking about the East Coast. My apologies to all of you who are from other regions of the country, but I'll bet you watch The Ball drop in Times Square every year, and I promise you that East Coasters do not watch your local events, and that even the people further west than you don't see them. In other words, the new year begins when it does in New York.

Anyway, this is the first of what I hope will be a series of posts over the next few days, reviewing 2004. Eventually they may even become a column—we'll see about that one—in the meantime, however, they are most likely to be just some ramblings. I'll try to have a theme, but I'm likely to stray. Hopefully they'll at least make sense. Anyway, here's number 1:

In the past year, I've had a lot to say about bias at American universities, including things based on my own experience. It's been particularly hard, 2004 being an election year, to deal with the constant liberal surroundings that one finds at Yale. I've witnessed out-of-line professors and highly offensive behavior from my peers, but more than that, I've seen incredible failure to understand the motives behind conservatism.

The concept that seems to be held by an upsetting number of my liberal peers is that anyone who would dare to vote for President Bush must be a bible-thumping "fundie," so inbred that he can't actually see which box he's picking in the voting booth. This is the spawn point for the post-election screams about moving to Canada, and shame in the American electorate. When you think that the election of a certain candidate is the absolute worst-case scenario, it is easy to immediately conclude that anyone supporting that candidate is stupid, ignorant, or evil.

Now, before I go on, allow me to concede that there are stupid, ignorant, and evil people who voted for President Bush, I'm sure—the thing is, there are certainly some in each of those categories that voted for Senator Kerry, and probably even a few that chose Nader as well.

You see, many pundits have chosen to claim that the American electorate is more divided than ever before, along extremely strong ideological boundaries. I don't think that is true. I think the dissemination of information over the past few years, evident only in this most recent election, has completely changed thanks to modern technology.

How so? Well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow to find out. Happy New Year!

Friday, December 31, 2004

Year-in-Review 6
Jeff Jacoby offers a round up of the year's liberal hate speech: "Overwhelmingly, though, political hate speech today comes from the left. It has increasingly become a habit of leftist argumentation to simply dismiss conservative ideas as evil or noxious rather than rebut them with facts and evidence."

He points out some staggering quotes, and does a great round-up of the ever-fun Hitler comparisons. Check 'er out.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Made it
Well, I'm safe and sound in California. I'll be running around a bit today, so I probably won't have much time for posting, but I'll try to throw something up later tonight.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Take a breath
I know this may be a heartbreaking thought for you, but I'll be in transit all day today. Yes, that's right, I won't be blogging, as I'm on my way to California to visit the girlfriend.

If she lets me, maybe you'll see a post or two later tonight, but otherwise don't expect it. And blogging will be light (but it'll happen—I did promise you some year-end posts, after all) over the next week or so, as I'll probably be a bit busy. Sorry, but I promise blogging will resume its normal schedule in the new year.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Year-in-Review 5
Michael Barone says: "The left is left with nostalgia." What does he mean? That liberals, who used to be all about changing society, are now fighting to remain in the past, sounding identical to their predecessors.

And you'd think this one by Dante Chinni would be right up my alley. It is, after all, titled "New Year's resolutions for the red and blue," and relates the holiday experience of families to political parties. It's interesting, but doesn't offer any amazing insight.

Year-in-Review 4
David Brooks brings us the second installment of his "Hookie" awards. Read on.

Irwin Stelzer gives his take on the last 365 days.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Year-in-Review 3
The Year Of Blogging Dangerously is a great piece by Ed Driscoll, summarizing the top ten blog events of the year. Enjoy it.

Year-in-Review 2
Daniel Drezner's contribution is worthwhile, though a few weeks old.

Year-in-Review 1
(author's note: all posts pointing to external year-end columns will be titled "Year-in-Review" followed by a number for your viewing pleasure, instead of simply updating an older post. My year-end post(s) will be titled "2004 in Review" followed by a number.) Pete DuPont offers a good summary of international changes brought about over the last year. Take a look.

It's that time of year again
Which time? The inter-holiday season—those days between Christmas and New Years.

For many people, this is a time of relaxation, a time for a breath of air after the Christmas madness before students and teachers return to school. For others, today represents a return to the tedium of work before the few days off that come with New Year's. Of course, all of this varies a bit depending upon what day of the week the holidays fall on. For example, this year, New Year's Day is a weekend, and results in no additional days off.

My inter-holiday season, however, is a little different—it consists of reading all of the year end wrap-up columns by every columnist in the country. This is exhausting work. Often, contributions are useless and add nothing substantial to any national intellectual conversation, perhaps because, as Lileks pointed out on Christmas Eve, he had to write his first post-Christmas column almost a week before Christmas. Luckily, I haven't run into any of those as yet.

Many of these columns, however, turn into gems. So far, I've particularly liked two: those by David Brooks with his choices for the best political essays of the year and the hilarious Dave Barry year-in-review. I recommend you check them both out.

At some point, I will endeavor to do my own sum-up. If I find the time (I'll be in transit for a week starting on Wednesday, so that's iffy) I might even break it up into a few posts on different topics. At the very least, I'll try to key you into some of the better year closers.

In the meantime, I hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and find yourselves stuffed with holiday goodies.