Monday, 12 January 2004

Riling up the Corner

Stephen Bainbridge has an eminently reasonable column on the pros and cons of Bush’s immigration proposal up at TechCentralStation; he also blogs the reaction from NRO’s Corner (a blog I generally find both too cacophonous and too conservative for my tastes). Speaking just for myself, any plan that has the potential to eventually eliminate the Soviet-style internal security checkpoints that have long been established in the southwest (and apparently have spread to northern border states as well) to combat illegal immigration and drug trafficking would meet with my approval.

Sabine Herold

It started with Glenn Reynolds linking an interview with libertarian activist Sabine Herold, the spokeswoman for the French organization named «Liberté j‘écris ton nom».

Now, Jeff Jarvis inquires in passing:

I was going to ask whether it was wrong of me to note that this French libertarian is a babe.

What I want to ask is: are we all that sure she’s French? Mlle Herold, if the photos are anything to judge by, apparently is familiar with the use of a razor.

This is my entry in today’s Beltway Traffic Jam.

Waltzing before a disinterested audience

Jeff Jarvis semi-fisks a Pew study that (a) shows Americans don’t know much about politics and (b) assumes this actually matters. Money quote from Jeff:

The net result, Pew complains, is that the electorate is poorly informed. I’d say that at this stage in the election, the electorate doesn’t want to be informed. Unless you live in Iowa or New Hampshire, there’s no point in paying attention to half the candidates running now, right?

On the night of February 3rd, the primary process, for all intents and purposes, will be over, without 90% of the population of America being consulted. The Democratic candidates aren’t really “waltzing before a blind audience,” to steal a phrase; instead, they’re waltzing before a few audiences who get to decide which one gets to go to the national finals in November—with the rest of us stuck watching in the meantime, because nothing could possibly be more important than seeing a bunch of Democrats suck up to Iowans for weeks on end. I think voters are being much smarter than Pew thinks they are.

The Reivers

Michael of Southern Appeal notes this WaPo piece by Jonathan Yardley on William Faulkner’s last novel, The Reivers—probably my favorite of Faulkner’s, even though it’s not quite written at the level of, say, Absalom, Absalom! or The Sound and the Fury. Yardley’s assessment is spot-on:

“The Reivers” is written in prose at once distinctly Faulknerian yet entirely accessible. It provides a way to accustom oneself to Faulkner’s language without becoming immediately lost in it, as can happen to someone who wanders all innocence into “Absalom, Absalom!” or “The Bear.” It gives you an introduction to the genealogy of Yoknapatawpha without overwhelming you in its intricacies. It sets forth many of Faulkner’s most important themes in clear, persuasive ways. No, it is not among his masterworks, but it is a lovely book, funny and touching and Faulkner to the core.

Read the whole thing—the book and the review.

More CSU poll fallout

Jeff Jardine of the Modesto Bee opines on the apparently-bogus Scott Peterson survey conducted by Professor Stephen Schoenthaler of Cal State-Stanislaus.

Sacagawea Me!

One of Signifying Nothing’s first posts was advocacy for the $1 coin. Now, I see (via Justene and Dean) that Boviosity! is leading a challenge among bloggers to get more dollar coins into circulation. Sounds like a plan to me.

Update: Matt of it could be a lot better… is feeling contrarian on this one.

Holding the center again

Christie Todd Whitman argues on the New York Times op-ed page that the GOP needs to spend more time reaching out to moderate voters. (Hat tip: Martin Devon of Patio Pundit.)

Update: James Joyner isn’t buying.