David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, April 15, 2006
The Week's Readings
Many interesting things are happening just now in the world at large and in various subdivisions of it, but this week's favorite is history: A fine piece on George Washington by Michael and Jana Novak.
This week, there are two ranks of favorites, and one piece stands alone in the first rank. To me, at least, it's well beyond the usual high quality of favorites here. Hence . . .
Michael and Jana Novak write on George Washington and, among other subjects, his faith. They have summarized my own view and understanding of Washington stunningly well.
Here's a long, insightful piece by Mark Steyn on Iran, nukes, and the future. It's not light reading or cheerful in any degree, but it would be nice if a quarter-billion or so Americans would read and understand it.
Before I recommend to you Garry Wills' article "Christ Among the Partisans," I should note that I don't think this excellent scholar reads scripture correctly on all points. But he makes several of his own points that need to be made, including these:
(We interrupt this list for a personal memo to the folks that want my vote, my campaign contributions, my support of any kind: You won't get it by claiming that Jesus is on your side. You may get it by living your life, publicly and privately, as if you're trying to be on his side. But your politics had better not try to impose upon me your version of what that means. I have my own version, and the political and religious principle I value most -- it is both political and religious -- is my right to practice my version, not yours.)
Here is George Will on the failing corporate welfare state, General Motors.
Tom Purcell talks taxes. 'Tis the season.
Bill Murchison discusses the Republican Party and the marketplace, and the former's evident indifference to the latter. Look out, November. Here is an excerpt -- a strong finish, to be more precise.
Here's one sentence from an excellent Thomas Sowell piece on immigration.
In his sequel, Thomas Sowell points out that the solution depends on which problem one is trying to solve: the nation's or the politicians'. I like this paragraph:
Tony Snow writes eloquently on Easter, resurrection, belief, and unbelief.
Iran, Iraq, and Militant Islam Generally
John Podhoretz is in excellent form in this piece on how President Bush should approach the Iranian situation.
Mark Helprin seems to make sense, too.
Michael Ledeen spends less and less time reading what he calls "the dead tree media," and more reading the blogs. Here's one reason why.
The Wall Street Journal editors analyze the Republican plan for defeat in November. (So far, it's going well.)
Here is an excellent John Fund piece on voter fraud in Pennsylvania and the people who care about it. Some want it stopped, some want it continued. The state's governor is among the latter. Guess which party he belongs to.
Clifford D. May has an interesting historical parallel to offer.
Jonathan Chait of the Los Angeles Times here reports on a new effort to move away from the Electoral College toward a popular vote for President of the United States. I don't share his position, but he does make the case well, illustrating in the process why, in crass terms of political power, the small states don't and won't support such a thing.
John H. Fund discusses the Republican Party's haplessness and its implications for November.
Jennifer Roback Morse reports on the use of federal legislation for extortion, in a scheme Jesse Jackson would be proud of.
George Will muses on Senator John McCain's presidential prospects.
Michael Barone is informed and articulate on the subject of our growing welfare state and its future.
I don't mention abortion much in these lists, but Kathleen Parker illustrates the complexity of the issue.
Steve Muscatello writes about an unusual field trip . . . Hey, some of that is my money!
Going National: Mitt Romney
Governor Romney explains his health care plan for Massachusetts.
Here Mitt Romney outlines his plan to reform education. It's not a great piece of writing, but I think he's mostly on the right track.
Sally C. Pipes offers some further discussion of the Romney health care plan.
The editors of The New Republic prefer a different kind of universal health care, but they're willing to stop and be Romney's cheerleaders for a few minutes.
Easter, Jesus Christ, Politicians, Etc.
Here is a good essay by Richard Wightman Fox on Lincoln and his contemparies' inclination to see him as a Christ-figure.
Martin Peretz of The New Republic comments on John Kerry and his (self-)reported links to Jesus Christ. Careful, there's some coarse language here. In case you want to avoid that, here's the best snippet:
Cal Thomas ponders the Big Media Acronymns' seasonal challenges to the Christian faith.
Jeff Jacoby thinks that if we really value families, our immigration policies should reflect that. (Revolutionary!)
Paul Greenberg describes how partisan politics undermined the Senate's near-compromise on immigration.
Charles Krauthammer analyzes the goals and tactics of the illegal immigrants.
Diana West observes that developments in the immigration debate and the related protests bear a striking similarity to . . . well, you'll see.
You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll want to hit something . . . It's Mark Steyn on the aggressive irrationality of our immigration policies and their enforcement.
Reading Mona Charen is nearly always worth the time. You can get the general sense of this piece from her three sentences (which follow), but read the whole thing for full effect.
Alan Reynolds writes on education: Check the facts, do the math, and if it's too bad to be true, it probably isn't true.
Another Congressional Medal of Honor winner has left us. His story, reported by Mark M. Alexander, is remarkable.
Leonard Pitts, Jr., tells of a wife, a birthday, and a car -- but there's a larger point.
Here is Wes Pruden on Al Gore, global warming, a movie, actual science, and so forth.
Jonah Goldberg comments on a different kind of Washington movie -- different from the sometimes delightful but absurd movies which we tend to see about the nation's capital. Along the way, there's some interesting commentary on the cultures of Washington and Hollywood.
This Amy Choate piece in The Deseret News about paramedics in American Fork is excellent news. Some might oppose it a paramedic system because it costs money -- but so do a lot of things a growing city needs.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.