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Review of The National Review's Blog.

By wiredog in Internet
Tue Jan 29, 2002 at 03:44:08 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

The conservative American (and damn proud to be both) magazine The National Review has started up a blog which they are calling The Corner. It is a collection of serial postings by the writers and editors of the magazine. Some are requests for submissions of information for columns the writers are working on. Some are commentary on current events, and the reporting of the New York Times, Boston Globe, and other news sources. And a bit of Shameless Self Promotion and MLP, thrown in for flavor. It's an interesting first attempt at a blog by people who are, for the most part, technologically clueless.


Scattered amongst references to "Cosmo the Wonderdog" and slams of the French you can find commentary by a conservative Catholic on the sexual misconduct by Catholic priests in Boston. Disparaging remarks about Kenneth Lay of Enron (and Enron itself), approving remarks about some liberals (as they define liberal), and debates on the issues of the day.

As a sample, here are excerpts from two posts that have generated debate on whether or not the Cuba detainees are POW's, and whether Hamas is a military or a terrorist organization.

Well, what's a terrorist but a war criminal out of uniform. A Hezbollah guy who attacks an Israeli military installation is no terrorist--he's a soldier. He gets killed, surely--and not a moment too soon -- but he dies like a man. A terrorist, if the term means anything, is someone who kills teenagers at a bar mitzvah or toddlers and their moms at a pizza parlor. There's a more accurate word for such a person--it's "war criminal." Preemptively classifying all terrorists as combatants means that if we capture them we can try them as war criminals and execute them. And if they're not war criminals, then they're regular POWs, whom we can detain until the war is over. In other words, every captured terrorist is either executed or detained indefinitely--it works for me.

Deeming the Taliban and al Qaeda captives as POWs doesn't help them, it helps us. We're not going to be doing to them the things prohibited the 1949 Geneva Conventions anyway--torture, chopping off their thumbs, etc. But by considering them POWs, we may hold those who aren't war criminals indefinitely without trial (since the war against radical Islam isn't going to be ending anytime soon; Afghanistan was one battle, not the whole war), and if they are war criminals, we may execute them, after all the judicial niceties are attended to (niceties we'd attend to regardless of the Geneva Conventions). Is there anyone who thinks we are going to be more likely to execute them if we call them "unlawful combatants" rather than "prisoners of war"?

As the above shows, it can be an interesting and thought provoking read. The various posts show that not all conservatives, even on the same website, share the same views on POW's, abortion, and other issues of interest. The posts, being written by magazine writers, tend to be well written, unlike many other blogs. If you consider yourself a conservative, or just want to know what the conservatives are thinking, it is a good resource, with some interesting content, and MLP.

It is, however, lacking in some items of interest to people who frequent Kuro5hin. The only way to respond is to send comments via e-mail. There is no threading of posts, it is one long page, archived weekly, which can make it difficult to follow an argument/discussion. And some of the posters haven't quite figured out how to do links properly.

It will be interesting to see where this goes, and also to see if other politically oriented magazines, such as The Nation and The New Republic, try out this idea.

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Review of The National Review's Blog. | 14 comments (8 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
sigh (4.50 / 2) (#7)
by rhyax on Tue Jan 29, 2002 at 01:49:10 PM EST

(a book "review")
"On the first day of school, the other kids laugh at Emily when she announces she has lots of mommies, until a playground emergency brings all four of her mothers to her assistance. An unusual account of a child living in a womyn's collective. (Ages 3-6)." Bwaaaaaaaah! That's it, dude, we're homeschooling.

yea, dude, different people suck.... what little i've read of this site makes me sad.

yeah .. (4.66 / 3) (#10)
by gregholmes on Tue Jan 29, 2002 at 07:59:04 PM EST

You'd never find a dislike of different opinions here ;)



[ Parent ]
Haven't Checked out NR in a While (3.00 / 2) (#8)
by TON on Tue Jan 29, 2002 at 03:29:34 PM EST

The Corner was not to my taste, but interesting to see in a "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" kind of way. The Nation seems to have a subject limited section called "Web Letters". Unfortunately their actual Letters section is print only.

I'll be very curious to see how this plays out. Right now it seems like a free-for-all letters page. If they get threading, it could become very interesting. Does NR really want to open up the discussion? I can't wait to see the resulting flamewar when softy liberal left-wing treehuggers take up arms and bring the fight to them. That should be a spectacular clash!

"First, I am born. Then, the trouble begins." -- Schizopolis

Ted


Writers' blogs (4.75 / 4) (#9)
by jep on Tue Jan 29, 2002 at 07:51:31 PM EST

... It's an interesting first attempt at a blog by people who are, for the most part, technologically clueless.

This is a bit off-topic, but I've been thinking about something which you struck upon when you said that. I'm basically technologically clueless myself, and there's one thing which keeps me from really submerging myself in most online communities or diving into the whole weblog phenomenon: They're all peopled and run by techies. Well, of course they are, you say.

You're right. And I think that has some consequences. I present to you the idea that the content of many weblogs and online communities have specific worldviews because they're inhabited by people who are into tech stuff. A very broad generalization, but you get the idea.

K5 also has that tendency. It's hard to describe, but I feel like I am talking to a certain kind of people here. Maybe the only right way to describe them is to say that they (we) are people who, for one reason or another, feel inclined to take part in long-distance discussion.

What long-distance discussion does to people I don't know, but I wish it wouldn't do it. I wish we could have discussions that were less pretentious, where more original ideas were presented on the fly, and where stereotypical issues were stopped at the doorway so as to only let interesting and intriguing stuff through.

I also wish there would be more playing around with genres, with language and with the writer/reader relationship in general. I guess it's about the user re-inventing his / her approach to whichever medium is in use. Take some chances and all that.

For some reason, it seems that real writers and real journalists are the best at doing that. Another broad generalization, I realize, but there is a difference.
"Wow this is my first diary entry! This diary thing should be cool! I'll update every once in a while!" (See comment #4).
This is true but it's changing (none / 0) (#12)
by clark9000 on Wed Jan 30, 2002 at 10:38:07 AM EST

I agree. Because the internet is a new communication medium, it's clear that at first, its primary users are going to be people who are its experts: geeks. The success of slashdot is a prime example of this--if it hadn't been News For Nerds, but instead was say, news for jazz afficionados, it would never have taken off the way it did. I've never used ham radio, but I would bet you much of the conversation that goes on is about ham radio hacking, news about the ham radio world, etc.

However, as the 'net evolves, it becomes easier to use and more integrated into everyone's life. The fact that K5 is also about stuff other than technology to me signifies a new step in this evelution. But eventually, even the National Review will understand how to (and that they should) run Scoop, because Scoop (or your favorite feature-rich community site software) will be ubiquitous. Everyone owns a telephone, and most telephone conversations are not telephone experts talking about telephone technology.

So maybe I am overly optimistic, but I think all of the things on your wishlist will happen eventually.
_____
Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.

-- E. Dickinson
[ Parent ]
Self-fulfilling prophecy (none / 0) (#13)
by clark9000 on Wed Jan 30, 2002 at 11:08:44 AM EST

I'm basically technologically clueless myself, and there's one thing which keeps me from really submerging myself in most online communities or diving into the whole weblog phenomenon: They're all peopled and run by techies.

Understandable, but if folks like you won't dive into techie communities, they will forever remain techie communities. Some brave pioneer has to take the first step.

So jep, welcome to K5!
_____
Much madness is divinest sense
To a discerning eye;
Much sense the starkest madness.

-- E. Dickinson
[ Parent ]
style and matter (none / 0) (#14)
by jep on Thu Jan 31, 2002 at 12:01:31 PM EST

... So jep, welcome to K5!

Well, thanks. Guess now it's up to me to change what needs to be changed. Set an example. Yeah, maybe I will. What I'll do in between writing creative submissions for K5 is voting down all those boring submissions.

Boring, yeah, not because they're about tech stuff or things not worth discussing at all, but because they lack style.

Discussion is equally about style and matter. A good writer can convince his audience that almost anything is true, you know. If only all those good writers out there had the time to post to K5.
"Wow this is my first diary entry! This diary thing should be cool! I'll update every once in a while!" (See comment #4).
[ Parent ]
Their review of SOTU (3.00 / 1) (#11)
by imrdkl on Wed Jan 30, 2002 at 04:58:57 AM EST

They seem to be delighting in their analysis of last night's speech, with some typical remarks regarding SOTU's in general, as well as historical (Clinton) "thumb-suckers". One guy is dominating the conversation, and I have to wonder how this board could ever mature into something resembling a discussion. But it's fun to lurk.

Review of The National Review's Blog. | 14 comments (8 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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