Commentary Magazine


Contentions

Short Takes

Back during the cold war, there was a joke about the New York Times that I believe antedated the coining of the term “political correctness.” A U.S.-Soviet exchange of nuclear missiles occurs and the next morning’s Times headline reads:

“Third World War Breaks Out: Minorities and Women to Suffer Most.”

As if determined not to allow parody to outdo self-parody, the Times on Sunday (April 1, appropriately) ran this headline: “Poorest Nations Will Bear Brunt as World Warms.” For my part, I would settle for being able to rely on the accuracy of the paper’s version of yesterday’s events, never mind tomorrow’s.

* * *

Besides, isn’t warmth good for poor people whose utility bills are often onerous and who, in less developed countries, burn a lot of stuff for heat, producing smoke that creates, ah, global warming? Apparently, I have this all wrong, because on Monday, the Washington Post ran this headline: “Russia Sees Ill Effects of ‘General Winter’s’ Retreat.” That’s right. Russia will be worse off if it gets warmer. After all, if Napoleon tries to occupy the country again, there will be nothing to stop him (except that French troops seem to have lost some of their fearsomeness since his day). Plus, there will be no more excuse for vodka with breakfast (except, perhaps, that your president is Putin).

* * *

I am in receipt of an invitation from the president of the famous Oxford Union, asking if I would come to that apex of British scholarship to debate the motion: “This house regrets the founding of the United States of America.” Well, duh! We won that war. You lost. Of course you regret it.

* * *

Also in Monday’s Washington Post Robert Novak touts the presidential candidacy of Fred Thompson. Novak writes: “Sophisticated social conservative activists tell me . . . their appreciation of him stems not from his eight years as a U.S. senator from Tennessee but from his role as Manhattan district attorney on the TV series ‘Law and Order.’” Who are the unsophisticated activists supporting—Barney?



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.