The Counterpoint

December 03, 2004

College bias

As a college student I spend a lot of time in the library. I am in there at least every other day, and occasionally more than that.

Anyway, as I leave I always check the "free" bins for any interesting books and magazines they may have. Usually these searches come up empty, and rarely are there any items newer than 2002 in the bins. But lately I have noticed that there have been current, brand new issues of National Review on top of the pile. I checked the magazine racks and found that NR is the only *real* conservative magazine the college subscribes too.

I don't especially love the magazine; I read it infrequently at best, although that may change if the school keeps throwing the new issues in their freebie pile. Still, I find it interesting that the school is giving away brand new issues of the only conservative magazine they have, while keeping the shelves stocked up on liberal magazines. We wouldn't want to poison the students' minds, would we?

Of course, there is at least an 80% chance I am reading too much into this. But it is interesting never-the-less.

Hamas policy shift?

Captain Ed carries this AP story that suggests a policy shift in the radical terrorist organization Hamas:

In an apparent change in long-standing policy, a top Hamas leader said Friday the militant group would accept the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as a long-term truce with Israel.

"Hamas has announced that it accepts a Palestinian independent state within the 1967 borders with a long-term truce," Sheik Hassan Yousef, the top Hamas leader in the West Bank, told The Associated Press, referring to lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.
I would agree with the general consensus that this is a big question-mark. I am likely not the only one reluctant to put a lot of faith in the claims of terrorists, but if they aren't conning us -- that is, if their intentions truly are what Yousef has stated -- then we may be closer to peace than we previously imagined (not that that says a whole lot).

Two things from the article that I found interesting:

"Yousef did not spell out the conditions for the renewable cease-fire nor did he say how long it would last."
Maybe it's just my cynicism, but I wonder if there is going to be some type of catch that he doesn't want to reveal yet. I don't believe a shift this monumental could happen just like that.

Yousef said Hamas, which said Wednesday it would boycott the January vote, was planning to participate in Palestinian politics. It had previously shunned any role in the Palestinian Authority because the governing body was created under interim peace accords with Israel that Hamas rejected.

"Hamas wants to join the Palestinian political leadership and there are meetings over this issue," he said. "Hamas being a part of the political equation means Hamas will deal with the other party (Israel)."
Could this just be a political ploy? I am not sure what the mass opinion of the region is regarding Hamas and other terrorist groups, but perhaps Hamas is just drifting towards the center to gain a real political foothold before reverting back to their longstanding policy of "die Israel, die!" (or some rough equivalent thereof)?

Anyway, go read Ed's entire post for much more analysis, including thoughts a second shift by Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

December 01, 2004

The race for Rather's seat

That's Scott Pelley, one of the men (along with John Roberts, who is considered to be the front-runner) in competition to take over as anchor of CBS Evening News when Dan Rather leaves in March.

Does anyone else think he looks like a cartoon? Or a caricature? Creepy...

What color is your state?

Patrick Ruffini wants to know what color state you are in. Go post in his comments and let him know.

Farewell, Mr. Brokaw

Tonight was Tom Brokaw's last night as anchor of NBC Nightly News. Granted that I am not fond of the liberal leanings of the three major television networks, but this is still a man that I grew up watching; hell, every one of the "big three" (Jennings, Rather, and Brokaw) have been in their respective chairs since the same year I was born (1983) or earlier. After March, Jennings will be the only one of those three left.

So, despite the fact that we certainly disagree on quite a few things, I am going to miss seeing Brokaw's ugly mug on television each night.

(Plus, his weird voice makes me crack up every time I hear it. That might be the thing I'll miss most about his departure.)

... I probably won't miss Rather quite as much...

Update: PunditGuy was impressed by Brokaw's good-bye:

My alliance with Jarvis notwithstanding, tonight's farewell by Tom Brokaw was excellent. No schmaltzy crap, just a genuine thoughtful goodbye. I hope Black Rock Dan watched and took notes.
Couldn't agree more. PunditGuy also has a video up for those of you that missed it; I suggest checking it out. (Hat tip: Wizbang)

November 30, 2004


This blog has added Blogrolling to its repertoire. Add me if you like using the "blogroll me" feature under the Rundown. Please keep in mind that I just added the system, so I am working on going through my reading lists and adding each one. Hopefully it will get a little bigger in the next couple of days.

Until then, check out the blogs already listed.

Randomness: Ken Jennings, Spongebob, and Norm v. Kofi

A few quick-hit notes and some suggested reading:

1. Ken Jennings' run as Jeopardy champ is over. He'll walk away as the highest grossing champion in television game show history. Not bad for a few months work.

2. Most people around Minnesota know this story already, but SpongeBob SquarePants was abducted from a Little Falls Burger King. But did you know that Minnesota isn't the only state involved in a SpongeBob crime wave? Watch out ... your state could be next.

3. Norm Coleman: "Kofi Annan Must Go." It's about time somebody more prolific than a few "pajama-journalists" takes a stand on this. The Wall Street Journal usually makes you pay for their online content, but this link is a freebie. I recommend reading it. (Hat tip to Power Line and Instapundit)

Update: The Belmont Club has more on Norm v. Kofi.

November 28, 2004

A bright idea in the NFL

This Yahoo!Sports article doesn't contain too much in the way of interesting information; mostly it serves as a vague primer for the Dolphins and 49ers game this weekend, and the lack of obvious talent in next year's draft.

Of course, if you read through the whole thing then you'll see this note at the bottom:

Sunday in Minnesota, the NFL begins a four-game trial study on the possibility of seating fans on the field during games. While it's just a test, the aim is to delve into the viability of introducing high-priced "field side" seats, somewhat like the high-profile spots along the court in basketball games.
Seriously, folks. We are less than two weeks removed from the ugliest fan-player battle in the history of sports (not the first of its kind, mind you). Does the NFL think it's product will be immune to the type of idiocy currently surrounding basketball? I submit that football fans will likely be worse off, if their drunkenness is any indication (not that it's a bad thing).

Aside from that (and I say this as a great fan of the sport), football is focused on violence. Controlled, specifically-targeted violence, but violence none-the-less. With all the alcohol, testosterone, and phyisicallity involved, to put fans directly on the field is just asking for trouble.

And yes, I do understand that this is all about the dollar signs.