Thursday, June 17, 2004

Long Range Tasers 

New Scientist

Very cool. Although, once the solid-state designs come out that can fire at 100 meters, I don't see why the military couldn't just up the amount of electricity to a lethal level. Would be like a gun, except it would be almost instantaneous.

The dawn of Star Trek/Wars weapons is here.

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Saturday, June 12, 2004

In Defence of Reagononics 

In 1992 the NR printed an issue devoted to making the argument that Reagon's economic policies were good and historic; the arguments by those top economists are a compelling argument for the legacy of Ronald Reagan. I suggest taking the time to read them.

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Thursday, June 10, 2004

I guess Weasels have manners 

What do you want to bet that he wants something?

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Of Course Dogs are Smart 

My Way News

The stat that indicates a dog has an intelligence similar to that of a three year old is very interesting. That's pretty smart.

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Monday, June 07, 2004

Who, me? 

Blogging will be light today, since I have a final tomorrow and more pages to write by the end of the week than I care to think about.

I just thought I should point this little quote out from Alphapatriot on my Reagan explosion of this weekend:

Maroon Blog has a number of excellent entries from a Historian's point of view

I'm flattered; and I thought my coverage might come off as a bit skewed to the right...

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Sunday, June 06, 2004

Hostile Times 

As I mentioned earlier today, the NYTs had one article, an obituary, on Ronald Reagan in the paper today. I wrote that this indicated some sort of bias or negative attitude towards him at the Times, especially when one look at the many articles in the WaPo, and apparently I'm not the only one that saw this.

Matthew Continetti of The Weekly Standard writes that "the Times...shows...clear hostility...to Ronald Reagan" in a comparison of their coverage with the WaPo's. Read it and see what I said earlier. The Times failed today, as it does often, to be anything close to a quality newspaper.

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Schedule of Commemorations 

Drudge has the timeline for the ceremonies commemorating Mr. Reagan that will take place this week.

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A Wily Political Move by Kerry? 

LGF has the following take on Kerry canceling his campaigning for a week on the news of Governor Reagan's death:

At first I thought John F. Kerry was showing a rare bit of class: Kerry Suspends Campaign Events in Honor of Reagan.

TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) - Democratic White House hopeful John Kerry canceled all public campaign events for the week on Sunday in deference to former President Ronald Reagan, a “modern giant” he said helped end the Cold War.

Then I realized what it’s really about: denying Republicans a chance to “capitalize” politically on the rush of warm feelings following Reagan’s death. It’s a preemptive seizure of the moral high ground; now if President Bush evokes Reagan’s memory in any way, Kerry can point his finger and say “I cancelled my campaign for an entire week! And by the way, I served in Vietnam!”

Reagan, of course, would have almost certainly approved of using his passing to strengthen the GOP’s political standing.

It’s a classic Kerry move—a grand gesture, concealing a self-serving scheme.

I think this take is right. Why else would he stop campaigning for a week? He gets rest, and the moral high ground. Not a bad plan.

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Reagan Recognized the Power of Rhetoric 

As VodkaPundit mentions with an anecdote he includes on his blog (which you should click over and read), the speech of Mr. Reagan's in which he called the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire" was a very powerful moment in history.

Words are often more powerful than weapons, as many have said, and the policies of Mr. Reagan are a prime example of what a strong, wise leader may do with words alone. While wars are sometimes necessary, sometimes strong words backed with weapons may be enough.

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MaroonBlog = ReaganBlog? 

A bit of naval-gazing for a moment--it seems that Ronald Reagan has really taken my interest this last day.

I think the reasons are two-fold: first, he did a lot of great things that people should know about. Seond, since I love history, the whole play of ideas as the historical importance of Ronald Reagan is debated is very interesting to me. What an I say, I love historiography as much as history.

If anyone has any thoughts on the Gipper, my site, or any comments I've made, feel free to send 'em to me at broander@gmail.com =)

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More Thoughts on Reagan and the Future 

A few readers of Mr. Drezner's site sounded off on Mr. Reagan, and I think that the following few takes are very interesting:

One is an interesting interpretation of Reagan's economic policies:

Reagan's biggest achievement historically, IMO, is the dramatic liberalization of economic policy. Thatcher and Reagan shifted the West's economic viewpoint from Freidman to Hayek... in the US this seemed a bit odd at the time, but to the UK it was salvation from economic meltdown. There is a convincing argument that the US was rapidly approaching a similar meltdown, and Reagan's economic policy shift saved us from it.
IMO, his economic policies went too far, but in the right direction. That is not uncommon for such as fundamental shift.
Yes there is much more that can be said, good and bad (and some like Iran-Contra is terrible and probably should have gotten him impeached). But in a world that is beginning to understand economics enough to see its importance, I think history will have to recognize Reagan's role in creating the new economic liberalization that is so central to the age.

Another is an anecdote on some of the despicable behavior and thoughts that political partisans can be known for, as well as the way in which Reagan was right and many of the academic elites were wrong about the Soviet Union:

Reagan's biggest achievement historically, IMO, is the dramatic liberalization of economic policy. Thatcher and Reagan shifted the West's economic viewpoint from Freidman to Hayek... in the US this seemed a bit odd at the time, but to the UK it was salvation from economic meltdown. There is a convincing argument that the US was rapidly approaching a similar meltdown, and Reagan's economic policy shift saved us from it.
IMO, his economic policies went too far, but in the right direction. That is not uncommon for such as fundamental shift.
Yes there is much more that can be said, good and bad (and some like Iran-Contra is terrible and probably should have gotten him impeached). But in a world that is beginning to understand ecomonics enough to see its importance, I think history will have to recognize Reagan's role in creating the new economic liberalization that is so central to the age.

A third is on how Reagan was seen at the time to be dangerously destabilizing the Cold War balance, but in fact he was nudging the Cold War to a peaceful conclusion:

I wonder how many people still remembered the terror of the Cold War, the fear of nuclear war.
I recall there were quite a lot of people in the 1980s, who claimed Reagan was "rocking the boat" of the balance of power between the West and the Soviet Union -- who claimed, in essence, that Reagan would "provoke" World War III.
In hindsight, they were wrong. He started a process of real nuclear disarmament (Reykjavik, remember?). Funny, how hindsight makes all the things that were being said in the past seem loopy, treacherous or plain wrongheaded.
It makes me wonder about all that's been said in the past 10 years (1994-2004), and how much of it will appear loopy, treacherous or plain wrongheaded in 2014...
Note to self: When a President is called a "cowboy", it may later turn out to be a compliment.

I also find the conclusion to be quite interesting. Those that fundamentally change the system are often misunderstood at the time. Such seems to be the case with Reagan--his policies at the time were thought to be radical and dangerous, but now they are viewed as being quite good and generally sound and wise.

Perhaps the same will be the case for President George W. Bush and the moral initiatives against terror and despotism that he has launched; the rhetoric of good and evil that both Governor Reagan and President Bush have used are quite similar.

I think casting the battle against terrorists and dictatorships in a fundamentally moral light, as good versus evil and the righteous versus the cowardly, is the right way to go about things. Just as WWII was the battle between right and wrong, so too is a similar battle being waged today. Hopefully soon people may be mobilized as they were during WWII to see the significance of the current struggles.

That is the great task that President Bush must engage and succeed in.

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Reagan's Liberal Legacy 

Joshua Green wrote an article several months ago in the Washington Monthly on Governor Reagan. In it he discusses the differences between the hagiographic portrait of Mr. Reagan that is being touted by the Right, and his actual policies and actions in office.

Despite the fact that the whole article should be read by anyone interested in Mr. Reagan, here is an interesting excerpt from the end of the article:

Many of Reagan's actions that wound up furthering liberal ends were to some extent the result of the normal compromises of political office. The fact that his conservative biographers don't see fit to acknowledge these deviations is a clue that their aim is something besides an accurate depiction of the life and achievements of the 40th president. When conservatives mythologize the Reagan presidency as the golden era of conservatism, it's not Reagan that they're mythologizing, but conservatism.

The great success of Reagan's 1980 campaign was that it united the disparate strands of the conservative movement: supply-siders, libertarians, religious conservatives, foreign policy hawks, and big business. The fact that Reagan's presidency didn't accomplish anything approaching its seismic promise--the size of government grew, abortion remained legal, and entitlements still abounded--is one that his partisan biographers elide by focusing on what Reagan believed and said rather than on what he actually did. The imaginary Reagan who inhabits these books embodies the ideas on which all these groups can agree. His shining example helps maintain the coalition while putting pressure on current GOP politicians to hew to the hard-right ideal.

The real Reagan, on the other hand, would bring discord to the current conservative agenda. If you believe, as conservatives now do, that raising taxes is always wrong, then it's hard to admit that Reagan himself did so repeatedly. If you argue that the relative tax burden on low-income workers is too light, as the Bush administration does, then it does not pay to dwell on the fact that Reagan himself helped lighten that burden. If you insist, as many hardliners now do, that America is dangerously soft on communist China, then it is best to ignore Reagan's own softening toward the Soviet Union. As with other conservative media efforts--Rush Limbaugh, Fox News Channel, The Washington Times--the purpose of the Reagan legacy project is not to deliver accuracy, but enhance political leverage.

But, as Reagan himself liked to cite from John Adams, facts are stubborn things. And the fact is that Reagan, whether out of wisdom or because he was forced, made significant compromises with the left. Had he not saved Social Security, relented on his tax cut, and negotiated with the Soviets, he'd have been a less popular, and lesser, president. An honest portrait of Reagan's presidency would not diminish his memory, but enlarge it.

What strikes me about Mr. Reagan is that the 'compromises' with the Left, as Mr. Green calls them, are now considered part of what the Right is. Look at President Bush's attempts to advance democracy in the middle east--such hearkens back to the foreign policy of Mr. Reagan that talked tough against the Soviet Union, but at its heart had peace in mind (of course, terrorists are something of a fundamentally different nature than the government of the Soviet Union under Gorbechev).

Mr. Reagan helped to redefine the right in a way that gave it the potential to establish a coalition with which it could govern for a very long time, just as FDR did 50 years earlier.

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Ronald Reagan: In his own words 

The BBC has some great Reagan quotes up on their website. Here are a few I like:

-The other day someone told me the difference between a democracy and a people's democracy. It's the same difference between a jacket and a straitjacket.

-We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free
On the 40th anniversary of the Normandy landings, 6 June, 1984

-Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidise it.

-I've noticed that everybody who is for abortion has already been born.

-How do you tell a communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

-My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in five minutes.

I seem to have listed most of them. Check out the rest too, they're all good, either wise or funny or most of the time both.

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Time and Newsweek covers 

A very fine picture of the Governor will grace the covers of those magazines this week.

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World Leaders on Reagan 

Via Drudge, a roundup of current and former world leaders' opinions of Mr. Reagan.

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More on Reagan 

Two pieces from the WaPo, one on how he reshaped and revitalization the GOP, and another on how his shaping of the economic debate is still greatly felt today (this second article also takes a detailed look at Mr. Reagan's economic policies).

One passage struck me as being quite a good descriptor of the different ways that people can view Reagan:

Through the prism of the right, Ronald Reagan's economic policies in the 1980s were a rainbow, a vision that was largely responsible for the nation's remarkable economy in the 1990s. Through the prism of the left, Reaganomics was a storm that devastated the poor and left huge budget deficits in its wake.

That debate may only be settled by historians not yet born, but this much is clear: Economic policymaking today must still contend with the rhetorical markers laid down by Ronald Wilson Reagan when he took office more than two decades ago.

Smaller government. Lower taxes. Less regulation. Low inflation.

I don't know if historians alive today, at least those on the path to being historians (like me, perhaps), might not be able to take a critical look at Mr. Reagan. I have an opinion on how great he was, but I'd like to have the opportunity one day to take a critical look at the facts and come to a conclusion on Mr. Reagan that is based on history.

Slate also has a piece on Reagan, titled "Ronald Reagan, Party Animal: The man who taught Republicans to be irresponsible." This article seems to take a very biased look at the economics of the 1980s and government fiscal policies. Someone should fisk it.

UPDATE: Pejman has a lot of great links and commentary on Mr. Reagan and the reception of the news of his death. Check it out. Among his coverage is following:

Ken Summers answers an imbecile who decided to dance on a dead man's grave. Whatever your politics, I would think that we could agree that the Presidents of the United States that have served in our lifetimes were men of good faith. Even if you think they were wrong, they meant well. Crowing about the deaths of others should be reserved for the truly hateful (and I mean the Osama bin Laden/Saddam Hussein variety).

Instead, we have disgusting displays of schadenfreude over the death of a former President via one of the most tortuous and painful deaths imaginable. And there are--and will be, sad to say--more in the Blogosphere, either via posts or comments. I hope that there is a Hell so that the maggots who refuse to show any kind of human decency on a day like this burn in it. Otherwise, I trust they won't object if anyone dances a jig on their deaths.

Assuming anyone even bothers to take notice, that is.

Critique is a necessary part of the process of determining the place in history of a leader; however, it doesn't involve hateful joy over suffering and death.

Even if you felt he was wrong, one should still be able to honestly say "God Bless you, Mr. Reagan" and mean it from the heart. If not, then I feel sorry for you.

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Historic Times? 

The NYT's says that there are no similarities between now and WWII, that WWII was a clash of good and evil in which everyone sacrificed under a broad consensus.

Those were brave times. But it was a bravery of shared sacrifice, a willingness to rise to an occasion that everyone prayed would never need to come again. This is a day to respect the memory of 60 years ago and, perhaps, to wonder what we might rise to if only we asked it of ourselves.

If we ask it of ourselves, we can. But I think it must be said that while the NYTs is saying the past was full of bravery and the future may be as well, its certainly not trying to help America be brave. It is not trying to foster a national consensus on a war against terrorism or an initiative to bring democracy to more of the world.

Bravery requires hardening ones heart against fear and doubt. The message of the NYTs is more like the water that seeps into cracks and slowly erodes foundations until they crumble into dust.

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Editorializing (or not) Mr. Reagan 

I find that the presence of an editorial on Mr. Reagan by the WaPo (in fact that's the only editorial run on the website so far today) and the lack of any mention of Mr. Reagan on the NYTs editorial page to be indicative of something. What that is exactly (one would think that the editorials on drug companies and Enron, issues that have been in play for months and even years, could wait another day), I'm not sure--but I think it demonstrates some fundamental flaw at the NYTs when Maureen Dowd can get column space and the Gipper can't get a mention. Maybe the NYTs is trying to differentiate itself from other papers that will run space on Mr. Reagan, maybe it's trying to cater to an audience that almost certainly has a general dislike of the Governor, and perhaps it will run something on Mr. Reagan tomorrow. But waiting a day, or not running anything, says something about the NYTs, something that inclines me to have a dislike and fundamental distrust of what it has to say, more than I did before (and as another hypothesis, maybe the NYTs isn't saying anything because it doesn't have anything nice to say at all and is at least prudent enough to realize bashing Mr. Reagan right now is not a politically wise decision). If the NYTs wants to be at the forefront of news and the culture of ideas, then why its not trying to be one of the parties in the historical, and unfortunately political, battle over Reagan's achievements and legacy is baffling. Mr. Reagan's legacy will be decided by a very important historiographic debate that will continue for many years come.

Looking at the WaPo's editorial, I find it interesting for what it chooses to say about Mr. Reagan and what it doesn't mention or misinterprets. The decisions that the WaPo editorial board made about what to say about Mr. Reagan most certainly provide a window into the thinking of those that run that paper and perhaps indicate the biases or at least tendency to go a certain way on certain issues at that paper. I know the role of an editorial is to express opinions, but despite that opinions can sometimes be wrong. In this case I think many of the opinions of the WaPo on Mr. Reagan are wrong.

Specifically,it seems that their take on his economic policies is unfair. The tax cuts helped to give America economic prosperity. But one must remember that the democratic congresses of the day were very culpable in the increases in spending that occurred in the 1980s, even when inflation is factored in. There is a very strong argument to be made that the way that the economy turned around under Mr. Reagan, which may have been due in a great part to his economic policies and defense spending that jolted the economy alive, have given us the wave of prosperity that we ride to this day.

Unfortunately, this debate over economics and history is one that will take many pages and many years to sort out. Hopefully an historian will begin the task soon, so that we may have a clearer view of Mr. Reagan. I suspect that he will fair even better in under history's gaze most believe.

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Mr. Reagan's Own Words on his Presidency 

His final speech from the Oval office the day before the end of his term.

UPDATE: A revealing comment from a reader of The Corner on the effect of this speech of Mr. Reagan's:

Sitting and watching the President's final White House speech from January 1989, one gets the distinct impression that he is speaking and thanking YOU for helping him during his 8 years in office. He is not speaking down to you, not telling you of HIS glories, of his accomplishments. Instead, he tells of a job well done by US ALL-all American citizens. As you listen to him recount the 8 years of his presidency, he makes you feel proud that in some small way, we helped HIM!!

How did he do that??

I think the answer is clear. While there are obviously stylistic and rhetorical techniques used in that speech that one can study, an effort that I encourage since learning more about rhetorical techniques makes one a better citizen, the most important reason is this: Mr. Reagan honestly was thankful for the help the American people had given him, and proud of America and her people. He was no cynical actor, or wily fox ("We did a lot of good"--compare that speech of Mr. Clinton's to this one). He was simply a great, honest statesman.

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Saturday, June 05, 2004

Bush Eloquently Praises Reagan 

No doubt the White House has had time to choose the right words for this occasion, but I think the short remarks of President Bush perfectly and eloquently summarize Mr. Reagan and his achievements. Presidents speak on behalf of the nation, and on this occasion I am glad to have had such beautiful and wise words uttered on my behalf.

The President's
remarks follow:

This is a sad hour in the life of America. A great American life has come to an end. I have just spoken to Nancy Reagan. On behalf of our whole nation, Laura and I offered her and the Reagan family our prayers and our condolences.

Ronald Reagan won America's respect with his greatness, and won its love with his goodness. He had the confidence that comes with conviction, the strength that comes with character, the grace that comes with humility, and the humor that comes with wisdom. He leaves behind a nation he restored and a world he helped save.

During the years of President Reagan, America laid to rest an era of
division and self-doubt. And because of his leadership, the world laid to rest an era of fear and tyranny. Now, in laying our leader to rest, we say thank you.

He always told us that for America, the best was yet to come. We comfort ourselves in the knowledge that this is true for him, too. His work is done, and now a shining city awaits him. May God bless Ronald Reagan.

A shining city indeed; God bless you, Mr. Reagan.

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A Unique Peroration on Mr. Reagan 

I wouldn't normally think of an American president and a character from a fictional piece of fantasy literature in the same thought, but I suppose in Mr. Tolkien's very Christian universe of good and evil battling for dominance Mr. Reagan does seem to fit.

UPDATE: Another unique and creative take on Mr. Reagan from one of Mr. Drezner's readers:

Remember those old cartoons where Superman would grab a severed electrical power cable and save the day by letting the current run through his body to its destination? Reagan grabbed the high tension wire of the American Soul with one hand and our dispirited Carter-Era psyche's with the other, allowing us to connect with the heritage we all knew but were told not to trust. The result? A surging economic freight train that (with one brief pause) didn't slow until the late '90's and a storm surge of democracy that's washed away dozens of totalitarian dictatorships.

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I know that compared to the passing of Mr. Reagan and the coming battle over recognizing his great achievements, a mere horse race is a very small event.

But I have to say that I was rooting for Smarty Jones to win, and I'm sure that many millions of other people were as well. It would have been great if he had won--a really good story to help uplift sagging spirits, perhaps. Too bad he lost the Belmont Stakes.

I know I'm not the only one that's disappointed.

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Reagan saved the Presidency 

Peter Wallison on Ronald Reagan on National Review Online

Some other articles on Reagan have mentioned this idea, but this piece by Mr. Wallison is devoted to explaining the characteristics of Mr. Reagan that allowed him to reassert the power, prominence, and effectiveness of the Presidency. He saved it from the malaise of the previous decades and showed America that its leaders and itself may be good and honorable.

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More on Mr. Reagan 

Robert Tagorda has a lot of links to pieces on Mr. Reagan.

The Weekly Standard also has several articles on the President.

The FoxNews piece on Mr. Reagan seems somewhat short; I'm sure they'll have more out soon, though.

Oxblog has a take on Mr. Reagan, which includes some interesting words of W. F. Buckley on the Gipper.

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Kerry on Reagan... 

The Corner has lots on Mr. Reagan, including Kerry's press release on the death of this great man. (It also has Bush's take on the death--a longer speech will be given tomorrow by the President).

Read and draw your own conclusions.

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The Coming Media Storm... 

...should be quite interesting, since they've had ten years to prepare pieces on Mr. Reagan.

I'm sure coverage'll be both good and bad; I'm interested in seeing if any bias creeps in, and if they recognize the great achievements of Mr. Reagan (such as helping to give us the economic prosperity of today and defeating the soviets).

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More on Reagan's Contribution to Winning the Cold War 

Pejman has more on the success of Mr. Reagan in realizing that the Soviets should be eliminated and not just contained from Pejman (read the stuff from NRO I linked to below as well for much more on this).

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Extremely Incorrect Take on Reagan 

One of the comments posted from Drezner's blog on Reagan that seems to be to be a representative of an extreme, partisan leftist take on Mr. Reagan that is almost entirely incorrect, except from say the defecits (although one should remember that most of the defecit came from spending increases, not tax cuts, and that the tax cuts gave the American economy a wave of prosperity that it rides, with a few small bumps, to this day):

Reagan's administration was a failure on many levels. The main problems he bequeathed to us are:

1. The "free ride" philosophy of government. Deficits don't matter, you can get whatever you want without paying for it. This is tied to the Laffer curve idiocy and "growing out" of deficits. We still haven't grown out of the deficits he left us with.

2. The "genial idiot" philosophy of government. The President can be a figurehead, as long as he hires good people. We are reaping the results of that idea as we speak.

3. The explicit support for terrorists in Central America and Afghanistan. Little bit of blowback on that one.

4. The cult of personality, shown by the current effort to name government buildings, airports , etc. after Reagan. Reminiscent of Kim Jong Il in North Korea.

5. The idea that what government does is not as important as how people in the media report it. Refined by Clinton and perfected by Bush II.

6. Allowing religious fanatics increasing sway in government policy, and blatant entanglement of religion with government. Remember "Freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion?"

7. Implicit racism, from his statement about supporting states' rights in Philadelphia, MS to his visit to Bitburg cemetery in Germany. Oh yeah, and the line about welfare queens in their Cadillacs.

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NYT and WaPo on Reagan 

The NYT and WaPo articles deserve some fisking, which I'll try to do when I get the time later tonight or tomorrow.

In the meantime, read them for yourself and see that there are some innacuracies in their take on his presidency.

UPDATE: Another obituary by Lou Cannon from the WaPo.

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Reagan had a great sense of humour 

I'll comment on what I think of the media's opinion of his presidency later, but I thought that this consideration of his sense of humour was quite entertaining. Mr. Reagan was a funny man.

Ronald Reagan Dies at Age 93 (washingtonpost.com): "Mr. Reagan was nearly 78 when he completed his second term, eight years older than the next-oldest president, Dwight D. Eisenhower, was when he left office in 1961. But until he was stricken by Alzheimer's, Mr. Reagan's trim, athletic build made him appear younger than his years, and his amiability and self-deprecating humor softened the hard edge of his ideological advocacies. Mr. Reagan poked fun at his age, his work habits and his supposed simple-mindedness. He once said that he knew that hard work never killed anyone, 'but I figure, why take the chance?' Much of his humor was spontaneous. Asked while visiting astronauts in Houston before the successful launch of the space shuttle Discovery in 1988 whether he would like to go into space, Mr. Reagan quipped, 'I've been in space for several years.'"

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Reagan: A Great President 

Lee Edwards on Ronald Reagan and Leadership on National Review Online

"Ronald Reagan is already being judged as one of the great American presidents. I predict that even as the first half of the 20th century is usually described as the Age of Roosevelt, the last half of the 20th century will be called the Age of Reagan.

Just as FDR led America out a great economic depression, Reagan lifted a traumatized country out of a great psychological depression, induced by the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. and sustained by the Vietnam War, Watergate, and the Carter malaise.

Reagan used the same political instruments as Roosevelt — the major address to Congress and the fireside chat with the people — and the same optimistic, uplifting rhetoric. But although Roosevelt and Reagan both appealed to the best in America, there was a major philosophical difference between the two presidents: Roosevelt turned to government to solve problems, while Reagan turned to the people.

Reagan led Americans to believe in themselves and the future again. He led them to accept that they did not need the welfare state to solve all of their economic and social problems. And he looked the Soviets in the eye and saw they were not ten feet tall."

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Some words of Reagan 

Lee Edwards on Ronald Reagan and Leadership on National Review Online: "When Nancy first saw her wounded husband in the trauma room at George Washington University Hospital, he greeted her by saying, 'Honey, I forgot to duck.' As his bed was wheeled into the operating room, the president caught sight of his distraught aides Ed Meese, Jim Baker, and Mike Deaver, and asked with a wink, 'Who's minding the store?' As he was being prepared for surgery, Reagan looked up at the assembled surgeons and quipped, 'I hope you're all Republicans.' 'Today,' responded one doctor, 'everyone's a Republican.'"

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Reagan: A man of 'Lichnost' and 'Kalibr' 

The Corner on National Review Online

"From Dutch by Edmund Morris:

“Many years later, I asked Gorbachev the question that tantalized me that morning: what he saw when he looked up into Ronald Reagan’s eyes.

“Sunshine and clear sky. We shook hands like friends. He said something, I don’t know what. But at once I felt him to be a very authentic human being.”

“Authentic? What word is that in Russian?” I asked the interpreter. He was startled to be addressed directly, and shot Gorbachev a nervous look.

“Lichnost. It is a very difficult word to translate because it means ‘personality’ in English. Or ‘figure,’ but in the dignified Italian sense, figura. But in Russian its meaning is much bigger than in these languages: a lichnost man is someone of great strength of character who rings true, all the way through to his body and soul. He is authentic, he has…”

“Kalibr,” said Gorbachev, who had been listening intently. He is so intuitive that he can follow dialogue without vocabulary.

“I know what kalibr is, Mr. President, “ I said. “We have the same word in our language.”


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Reagan made Conservatism Potent 

Steven F. Hayward on Ronald Reagan on National Review Online

I guess we can hope that a fourth Reagan landslide may occur this November, letting the American elite and the world know that terrorism and totalitarianism is not acceptable any more.

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Ronald Reagan: The Great Hedgehog 

Mackubin Thomas Owens on Ronald Reagan on National Review Online

The man is greater than I knew; read the article and see what I mean. And maybe GWB is a lot like him in his single-minded devotion to a fundamental belief in the strength and goodness of America and the cause of combating the dangers of the world.

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Partisanship and Political Parties in America 

Read what Hugh Hewitt links to, and then his take. Very interesting.

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Friday, June 04, 2004

The Volokh Conspiracy - Archives 2004-06-01 - 2004-06-07 

The Volokh Conspiracy - Archives 2004-06-01 - 2004-06-07: "Moreover, insofar as the children of successful parents do score more highly, the test is measuring something real and not something that will disappear if the SAT is abolished. Such students, on the whole, don't just tend to get better scores, they tend to do better in college too. Ignoring SAT scores just because the children of high-achievers tend to do well would be like ignoring height in basketball players just because the children of tall people tend to be tall."

It may measure something, but is it measuring something useful? Is it measuring a true difference in talent that matters, or in the cases of a few hundred points (say 1300-1500 or 1400-1600) is it simply measuring the aptitude of the student to take a standardized test?

If IQ scores are generally discredited as being a good measure of intelligence, than why is the SAT used as a measurement of intelligence or talent?

Subject tests would be a better idea. They would measure actual knowledge instead of artificial creations such as hastily graded essays or useless analogies.

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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Some Common Sense 

(I bet you thought I was going to type cents, huh?)

We should abolish the penny.

However, I think Mr. Safire, in making his point, misleads a bit. He says that the US is one of the last industrialized nations to still have such a low denomination coin. He says that the French and English are laughing all the way to the bank about our penny. However, he fails to point out that there are one and two cent Euro coins. While these coins are technically not the currency of one nation, they are part of the currency that France uses (aside--I kind of find the 2 cent Euro to be quite cool. Why can't we bring the 2 dollar bill back?)

So, while we should abolish the penny, we should also avoid making exaggerations and misleading omissions when making the argument.

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