Ron Radosh on The American Conservative.

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Oct. 5 2002 1:20 AM

Thug Life

The Fray dissects The American Conservative.

Thug life: Kate Taylor noted the design similarities between "anti-war rags" The Nation and The American Conservative here. Sam Tanenhaus saw the potential for a new version of the "Old Right/New Left" alliance in Buchanan's anti-war stance here. But it was Ron Radosh in The Fray herewith the evidence of the meeting of the minds:

Actually, Buchanan did do his part to try and cement the left-right alliance. Two years ago, the two keynote speakers at the anti-war rally held in San Francisco by antiwar.com were Pat Buchanan and Alex Cockburn. And in his book on the Republic and empire, he cites Williams approvingly more than once. I argue that if he was alive, Williams would be a major Buchanan supporter. The last op ed Rothbard wrote right before he died (a week earlier) was a defense of Buchanan. It will be interesting to see if his mag is embraced by some Left-wing Nation type figures.

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The Stassen cutoff: Many readers thought the characterization of The American Conservative as "thuggish" was thuggish in its own right. Don't cry for Buchanan; he is probably used to being called a thug and a bully. But anthony really knows how to hurt a guy here: "He is more annoying than acne, as out of touch as a corpse and less important politically than the late Harold Stassen" … 10:20 p.m.

Add it update: Responding to Jordan Ellenberg's mathematical critique of grade inflation, Michael threw down the thought-experiment gauntlet here yesterday, and even offered a bet. Today, Ellenberg takes the bet here, sort of. The terms are complicated, and too long for the blog. I could quote the trash-talking (Michael: " Numb-nut's argument doesn't hold water … I can't imagine that any scientist worth his salt would feign indifference as to the precision of his instrument"; Ellenberg: "Michael and his sensitive testicles are correct.") but that wouldn't be fair to the, um, meat of the argument. … 9:10 a.m.

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Thursday, Oct. 3, 2002  

Everybody's talking at me update: The Table of Contents now indicates which Slatewriter is the author of the most recent entry in the "Should we go to war with Iraq?" Dialogue. David Plotz is up now. ...

Blind mice or stooges? Responding to Chris Suellentrop's limited defense of the three anti-war Democratic Representatives who went to Iraq, Caliban Weeps remained cynical here:

How long have these guys been in Washington? And they've been able to keep up the pretense of their naivete? Come on. If you work in a whorehouse for five years you have to know what is going on and it is not religious in nature.

Grubbing bubbles: Some excellent Fraying in following Jordan Ellenberg's critique of the perils of grade inflation. Michael offered a solid thought experiment hereas an example of a situation in which grade inflation obscures real distinctions between students. (Ellenberg has offered to reply; check back here for the update.) Professor Moriarty offered this refutation of Ellenberg's analysis:

It "snapshots" grade inflation at a given moment, instead of treating it as a dynamic phenomenonone which, like monetary inflation, feeds on itself and therefore becomes "runaway." Nowadays students … if they get a B+ ... I've already inflated grades as if they were the tires on an 18-wheeler, but it's never enough. Eventually A- will becomes the grade that students find unacceptable, then A, and at that point (Lord, I hope) the system's absurdity will become so obvious that even a college dean can grasp it.

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