David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, February 25, 2006
The Week's Readings
Essays on George Washington and Winston Churchill -- and, of course, their modern relevance -- lead the field. Education, seaports, podcasting, nation-building, and other themes are also included.
Here's an excellent essay by Paul Greenberg on George Washington and his focus on a republic that would endure.
Rich Tucker looks back at Sir Winston Churchill, an honorary American citizen, and suggests that Churchill's thinking is quite relevant today.
Legal scholar Alan Dershowitz is not a source from which conservatives expect sound principles -- but according to Tony Blankley, his new book deserves a look.
William Thomas Smith, Jr., interviews Iraqi National Assemblywoman Tanya Gilly-Khailany.
Victor Davis Hanson just returned from Iraq, where he saw some things one tends not to see on television..
Economics, Economic Policy, and the Economics of Policy
Michael Barone holds forth on Health Savings Accounts and the difference between defined benefits and defined contributions generally. The distinction may seem minor, but I'll bet General Motors would be delighted to trade the former for the latter.
Here is Alan Reynolds on anti-Wal-Mart legislation. If your understanding of economics tells you that these laws will hurt the people they're intended to help -- Wal-Mart employees -- you're wrong. Of course they'll hurt the employees; the thing you're wrong about is whom the laws are intended to help. It's not the employees; it's the competitors, especially highly unionized grocery chains in the east -- and they will get the intended benefits. (So your economic sense was right on, but, politically, you just weren't cynical enough!)
Free Speech and the Cartoon Jihad
Here is Suzanne Fields on free speech in Europe.
Professor Mike Adams' piece on free speech and tolerance at Penn State University might offend you, particularly in its mention of some blasphemous poems. ("Blasphemous" here is a generic, almost technical, term, not a value judgment mandating that someone be stoned -- in the old fashioned way, that is, with real rocks.) So in case you don't care to be offended, here's a good, relatively inoffensive paragraph, and you can let it go at that:
Clinton W. Taylor dicusses the implications of Arab states' official threats over those cartoons . . . and what it means that violence happened anyway.
Six Ports in a Storm
Jeff Jacoby reports on news organizations that are cowed by Islamofascist threats -- and one in Boston that is willing to explain, with unusual candor, why it won't publish those infamous Danish cartoons.
Charles Krauthammer talks sense, as usual.
Tony Snow explains why the port management deal isn't such a bad idea.
Jonah Goldberg calls it "a political -- but not a policy -- blunder" and tries to inject some facts.
Kathleen Parker thinks the Bush Administration has a political death wish of classical Greek proportions.
Michelle Malkin notes some inconsistencies in the Democratic response to the port deal.
Higher and Lower Education
Thomas Sowell discusses imposing some modest standards of knowledge to graduate high school -- and whether that's fair, and whether such fairness matters.
Thomas Sowell also ponders Harvard University's sacked president and the episode's implications for edcuation in general.
Marianne M. Jennings also discusses the ouster of the Harvard President. She describes an academic world that sounds suspiciously like the one I remember from most of a decade in graduate school.
Walter Williams describes teachers who indoctrinate rather than teach. (If you think no classes at American Fork High School or American Fork Junior High are highly and inappropriately politicized, you need to get your head out of . . . the sand.)
Here's Rebecca Hagelin on school choice.
Building Democracies? (Iraq and Elsewhere)
See also "Favorites" above.
Cal Thomas reports Iraqi gratitude for US activity.
According to Clifford D. May, there are democracies, and then there are democracies. (Guess which describes the new Palestinian government.)
Terence P. Jeffrey thinks there might be some alternative to the extremes of "democracy everywhere, all the time," "let's destroy President Bush at all costs" isolationism, and spooky, amoral Scowcroft realism.
Here's more on WMDs, from Jack Kelly.
Parties, Elections, and Lobbying
Here's some electoral calculus from George Will, about Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell.
Robert Novak gives us a quick look inside the world of Washington on lobbying. It won't please you, but it won't surprise you, either.
George Will discusses a recent study of happiness among liberals and conservatives.
He's b-a-a-a-a-ck -- Al Gore, that is -- according to Dick Morris.
Matt Towery argues that the Bush-led Republican Party is crumbling before our eyes and suggests an interesting first step.
Burt Prelutsky offers this light-hearted but substantive piece on being a dad.
Less cheerfully, Prelutsky rants a bit, wondering, Who needs the UN?
Marvin Olasky discusses welfare reform and, more broadly, the uses of belief in discovering political and social truth.
Max Boot suggests reforming the State Department to suit the 21st Century (or even the 20th).
Michael Fumento takes aim at major science periodicals, which have gone political. (This is not news to me; I often read Scientific American.)
Phyllis Schlafly discusses judges running amok in Arizona, coddling illegal immigrants, etc.
Clarence Page describes the evolution of "Uncle Tom" from a real hero to a name-caller's term for racial traitor.
Jonah Goldberg has some pointed thoughts about the notion of a living constitution in the context of current events
Paul Johnson explains "the rhino principle."
Last but not least, are you (a) conservative and (b) thinking of becoming one of the pod people? Jennifer Biddison will get you started. She'll tell you what podcasting is and give you a few dozen starting points.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.