David L. Steinhardt

O, the Doctrines They Claim!

06.17.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | International Affairs | 4 Comments
Now, remember when Defense Sec. Rumsfeld drew a distinction between "torture" and "abuse," and initially shrugged and joked about the photo evidence from Abu Ghraib? That's also explicit Administration policy, because of our new Most Torture Isn't Torture Doctrine. Drawing on a mail-fraud statute for a definition of "good faith" and health-care legislation to define "severe pain," the Defense Department analysis concludes infliction of physical suffering isn't torture unless it's specifically intended to cause pain on the order of organ failure, amputation, or near-death. I have to conclude that stabbing or shooting a prisoner, in a manner not specifically intended to cause organ failure or the loss of any other critical bodily function, would be just dandy.

The Prince & the Citizen

06.10.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 1 Comment
Soon after these revelations, Prince Ahmed died of "natural causes" at the age of 43. An associate was killed in a one-car crash on the way to his funeral. According to Unger, about ten others have died in equally mysterious fashion. Can you say "murderous coverup"?

Will A Spoonful of Nader Help the Dems Go Down?

06.3.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 7 Comments
Rig an election? Those clever Florida Republicans! Take an honest message to the people? That megalomaniacal consumer advocate!

Weird Science in the Bush Administration

05.27.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 5 Comments
Dr. William Banner is an Oklahoma pediatrician who heads that state's poison control board, and who happens not to believe in modern epidemiology. According to him, science really doesn't know how to prove that anything harms anyone. He gets paid to testify under oath that amounts of lead confirmed to cause brain damage in children actually don't. Not that he's ever done any research on it.

Getting Off On Judith Owen

05.25.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | Music | 1 Comment
"I've always said happiness is a passing fancy, but misery is something you can really build a life on."

Is Powell Preparing an October Surprise?

05.19.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 6 Comments
The only remaining question is whether Secretary of State Colin Powell would accept an offer from Kerry, or whether his increasingly bold cooperation with journalists critical of the administration he presently serves is only to solidify his He-Told-Them-So asterisk within histories yet to be written.

It Ends In Fire

05.13.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | International Affairs | 2 Comments
Now that Bush has told Americans that we owe Don Rumsfeld our thanks, I want to thank him especially for bringing Schindler's List-style random shootings to our own prison camps. Not enough people give him credit for bringing recreational sniping to our possibly uniformed/possibly private-contractor prison guards.

Our Man Reluctantly Makes the Case for Restoring the Draft

05.6.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 8 Comments
To increase troop strength in Iraq even halfway adequately, we'd have to deplete forces in Korea and Europe to the point where we'd give openings to our adversaries and betray our allies. Yet we still need to increase troop strength in Iraq by at least a factor of three, preferably more.

The New American Way

04.29.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 7 Comments
Hiding a de facto double agent in the White House is something I would imagine Republicans might be opposed to, were it to happen within a Democratic administration. They might even consider it as severe a threat to the integrity of the Presidency as if a president were to be cagey under oath about with whom he had adulterous sex.

Our Man on Robbins' Embedded

04.22.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | Theater | 3 Comments
Maybe I simply got over my shock at Straussian thinking too long ago, when my darling schoolchum John Podhoretz muttered after dinner one night twenty years ago, "I don't really believe in open government."

Overheard at the White House Gym

04.15.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 2 Comments
"Look for our own weaknesses, Condi? What do they think we do here all day? Beat ourselves up and take our own lunch money too?"

The Coming Terror Threat Isn't What You Think

04.8.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 8 Comments
Not one of the 2,300 DOJ memos of the past three years has mentioned William Krar and Judith Bruey, the Noonday, Texas couple caught with enough weaponized cyanide to kill thousands, over a hundred bombs of different sorts, an arsenal of automatic weapons and a half-million rounds of ammunition.

The Fix Is Still In -- And the Next Terror Attack is Coming

04.1.2004 | David L. Steinhardt | National Affairs | 4 Comments
The fix was in New York City, where in the late Nineties terrorists plotted to blow up several of the subway lines at the Atlantic Avenue station, another terrorist shot up the observation deck at the Empire State Building, while yet another shot up a van full of Hasids on the Brooklyn Bridge. But Rudy Giuliani and Bill Clinton treated these as unrelated criminal offenses instead of as a declaration of war.

Massachusetts Gay Rights Activists Play Russian Roulette

One day, God willing, all gay couples can enjoy the benefits of the marriage penalty in taxation, the joy of divorce court when trying to separate from a partner, and the sheer delight of supervised non-custodial parental visits at police stations.

Hate Crimes and Hate Itself

The professor whose car was vandalized had earlier the same day spoken up at an event dedicated to distinguishing "free speech" from "hate speech." I wonder sometimes whether people who need to define the difference between the two might in fact be opposed to both. And now it appears that she slashed the tires and smashed the windows herself, painted the slurs and threats on her own car.

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