None the Wiser

"Truth gains more even by the errors of one who, with due study and preparation, thinks for himself, than by the true opinions of those who only hold them because they do not suffer themselves to think." --J.S. Mill

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Thursday, July 10, 2003
 
Say It Ain't So

One more reason to laugh out loud the next time someone mentions the sanctity of the ICC, and the principled nature of the people who promote it:

Stephen Den Beste has the goods on a very interesting day in the Hague. Our close friend and ally, Jaques Chirac, is said to have played a role critical role in hiding one Gen. Ratko Mladic from the U.N.'s prosecutors.

This doesn't surprise me, although the evidence is of a hearsay variety.

STB is betting the U.S. National Security Agency was responsible for the release of this new information, which is plausible, considering recent diplomatic circumstances in Europe. The Czechs' or Poles' Foreign Intelligence Services are an equally good bet, in spite of their meager "sigint" resources relative to that of the NSA.



 
Meanwhile, At Our Foreign Desk...

...John Hawkins directs us to this rather interesting article: Beijing Considers Its Korean Options. None of them are good.

I wonder whether Washington's rising interest in bringing NATO into the forefront of the Iraqi restructuring effort (a huge mistake) is related to the likelihood of serious trouble on the Korean front? In the event of a blockade, it could get extremely dangerous.


 
Get That Farging Kant Outta the Courthouse

I'm becoming something of a stalker over at Prestopundit, the official blog of the Hayek Center. If you're interested in keeping up with the California recall, Greg Ransom at Prestopundit is the man to check in with.

Since the recall is of only mild academic interest to me, I instead direct your attention to his latest post:

The framers gave us a liberty right out of the tradition of British constitutionalism. [Randy] Barnett and [Justice] Kennedy are inserting a rationalistic post-Millian and post-Kantian liberty right -- one that imagines that "morality is the product of our reason" -- which it isn't, and a view which the framers had no part in making a part of American jurisprudence. The fantasy of constructed morality -- and constructed rights -- is a modern conceit, which the framers cannot be said to have given us as the law of the land.

Yes, yes, yes, yes. Exactly, Greg. Though largely a libertarian myself, I recognize that it is totally delusional to believe that moral anarchy in all things except private property was a foundational assumption of our country's beginnings. The common libertarian response seems to be that if the philosophical underpinnings of Lawrence weren't envisioned by the Founders then they certainly should have been. Perhaps, but that's very different from divining a Constitutional principle on this basis, which it seems to me requires some consideration of original intent, doesn't it?

 
E.U. Acquires Symbols, Continent Shrugs

The charade of European unity continues apace. Check out this delightful post at Samizdata, and read the comments to find out what Yours Truly thinks about it (typos and all...yuck).

 
Arrrrrgghhhh

My modem got its halo yesterday, so I won't have much of a chance to blog over the weekend. I'll be able to find other sources of hardware, though, so I ought to be able to poke my head in here a bit during the week.

More later.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003
 
A Moment's Reflection

I need to take a second to pause, and consider where NTW stands now.

When I started this weblog, I really had no idea where I would be going with it. It has worked out to be something of a learning experience, a work in progress, and a humbling one at that. One thing I've picked up is that keeping a weblog is actually pretty hard, like every kind of writing.

Not that there's anything complicated about actually signing up for a blog, and typing your thoughts. What's difficult is coming up with something that isn't already being said someplace else over and over and over, and actually saying something worth reading. What I've dicovered is that you have a choice between shooting for a very wide readership, or settling for a small personal readership of friends and the occasional random web surfer. The second is where I've wound up, and I'm pretty pleased with that.

One observation I can't help making is that the blogosphere itself can be charitably described as self-referential. Another is that it is a form of communication decidedly lacking in civility, I think for some of the same reasons as the roadway. There is a thin membrane of anonymity between you and the people you're communicating with. Also, there's the ACPOTI syndrome--Anyone Can Post On The Internet. Any crank with a computer can log on and rant, and they do.

So, None the Wiser is just another rant in one big rant factory. That's the biggest weakness I can see, other than the low quality of the writing here. The other is the low volume of postings, which are a direct result of both my own laziness and lack of originality.

What's been positive has been the rather undeserved recognition I've gotten from fellow bloggers such as Tex and Dave. Also, it's given me a chance to sharpen my own sense of intellectual honesty. Until you've written an opinion that is available for billions of people to read and dissect, and subsequently to either accept or reject, you have no idea what kind of care it requires.

So what now? I'm pretty happy with NTW, but I think what it really needs is an injection of more casual topics that aren't being covered relentlessly by thousands of other blogs.

Secondly, I could use some promotion from more successful blogs such as Instapundit and Mean Mr. Mustard. This would increase the pressure on me to stay on top of my game, as well as provide an incentive for others to give me some feedback. So I'm presently hatching a plot to trick them into doing just that, but it's slow going. They're both very bright and have few obvious vices for me to exploit. All in good time, though.

In the meantime, look for a sprinkle of less-weighty commentary on NTW, as well as some more that personal "slice-of-life" garbage that has made Rachel Lucas such a blog starlet.

More later.

 
Tackling the Burning Questions, As Always

The Master of Trite himself, Jonah Goldberg, asks the question on everyone's mind lately:

Is Dr. Strange gay?

Tuesday, July 08, 2003
 
Like a Rotten Limb...

The right seems to be jettisoning its bemused tolerance of Ann Coulter's, um, lively invective. When you're too blinkered even for David Horowitz, you've just sailed to the extreme rightward longitude of American political thought.

Sadly (and I only think this is sad because of Coulter's conspicuous wit), Ann's latest book, Treason, is evidently a work of sloppy and self-serving historical revisionism of the lowest order. Fortunately for the rest of us, the respectable right is busily savaging it.

She seems determined, even in her attempt to bleach the man's reputation, to make the exact same errors as Joe McCarthy, and to discredit anti-Communism all over again. Frankly, I wish she and Michael Savage would just elope to Pyongyang or something.