David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, July 22, 2006
The Week's Excellent Readings
This week's list has a lot of commentary on the Israeli/Hezbollah/Hamas conflict, but plenty of good stuff on other topics, too.
Tunku Varadarajan recounts an insightful, entertaining recent interview with economists Milton and Rose Friedman.
Dennis Prager explains the Arab-Israeli conflict very clearly and concisely. The article is longer than this excerpt and worth reading, but here is its essence:
Paul Greenberg recounts, among other things, how the current conflict came to be regarded not as terrorists vs. Israel, but as Lebanon (et al.) vs. Israel. Also, a thought from The West Wing comes to mind: Perhaps we ought to appreciate the merits of a disproportionate response.
Pardon the pun, but Wesley Pruden speaks very prudently on the matter of presidential vulgarity, its recent application, and the reassurance he takes from it. (Don't read this if you're offended by mention of State Department types "with too much lace in their panties" or various non-vulgar references to mammal excrement.)
Burt Prelutsky's profundity in this article is actually John Stuart Mill's. Here's the last major paragraph:
Happily, the camps my children attend in the summer don't resemble the one Tom Purcell conjures -- even if the public schools they attend during the rest of the year almost . . . do.
Gene Weingarten is in fine comic form in this installment (it's a series?) of "What If?"
Israel vs. Arabs
See also "Favorites" above.
Charles Krauthammer sees the present conflict as a "golden, unprecedented opportunity."
Jack Kelly explains why the current conflict needs to involve Israeli troops on the ground sometime soon.
Thomas Sowell looks at the conflict in terms of the words we use to describe it, such as "cycle of violence," which he finds misleading and inaccurate. Here is an excerpt:
Michael B. Oren explains in The New Republic why Israel should attack Syria, citing the 1967 Six Day War and its prelude as a comparable and instructive bit of history.
Jeff Jacoby points to Iran as the real culprit in the current Middle East conflict.
Rebecca Hagelin concurs -- "Hezbollah is a subcontractor of Iran" -- and analyzes Iran's motives. (Rockets are involved, to be sure, but it's not rocket science.) Her article also has links to a wealth of additional information.
According to Michelle Malkin, Hezbollah has sleeper cells in the United States. As if al-Qaeda weren't enough . . .
Of course, as Linda Chavez notes, the US and Hezbollah go 'way back, to a time before al-Qaeda.
What shall we call the war? James Lileks considers the possibilities, with a little help from Howard Dean, who is just being Howard Dean on this subject, too.
Mike Gallagher describes spoiled American brats who don't think the government is evacuating them from Beirut fast enough.
Paul Greenberg's commentary here is not fun to read, but is insightful.
Mona Charen marvels at calls for Middle East cease fire.
If you're feeling genuinely philosophical, you might enjoy Michael Walzer's attempt to measure the current Middle East conflict against "just war theory."
Writing in The New Republic, Jonathan Chait tries to revive with scattered anecdotes the never-quite-dead, tiresome argument that "President Bush is too dumb to be president." (Smart people are all liberals, right? Not!)
The left needs more Liebermans, not less -- or so I would gather from Jack Kelly's description of the stakes in a Connecticut senatorial primary. Long live "the sin of civility"!
Donald Lambro delivers the economic good news, of which this paragraph is a summary:
Jonah Goldberg writes of the liberals' unifying idea ("We hate Bush"), the dearth of big ideas on the left, the supposed sins of Joe Lieberman, and the supreme importance (to the left) of caring.
Okay, next strategy: Distort Reagan's presidency so we (as in they) can use it to bash Bush's. Fred Barnes explodes the new myths.
Herman Cain connects the dots between Social Security and illegal immigration.
Matt Towery has an interesting take on which Republicans are losing in primaries and why, and a suggest for Congress: Do something!
What does it mean when Senator Hillary Clinton starts agreeing with Mr. Newt? She's running for president, of course. Tom Bevan comments.
If you're watching Connecticut's Senate race, you'll want to read Jason Zengerle on Joe Lieberman.
Thomas Sowell's piece may not appear to be about education, but it is. It would be under "Favorites" above if that category were not already too crowded.
Morton Kondracke explains some optimism that reason may eventually prevail in the public schools.
Is it possible that Burt Prelutsky's commentary on conspiracy theorists is about education, too? (Perhaps, if one lacks real knowledge, one will invent or believe almost anything in its place?) Maybe it's a stretch, but that's where I'm putting it.
Men, women, college, slackers, fireballs, video games, lowered expectations . . . You figure it out. Maybe Betsy Hart can help.
See also "Favorites" above.
Is it "smart growth"? Thomas Sowell wonders.
No, we're not running out of oil. Walter Williams explains . . . again.
These Might Be About the Culture
Suzanne Fields tells of a fellow named Terry Lundgren, who wants to revive the downtown department store, and she remembers why that might be a desirable and attractive thing.
Greg Crosby mourns the mediocritization of the Ritz.
American Fork and Thereabouts
Barbara Christiansen writes about an upcoming tax increase in American Fork and related hearings.
It is pretty obvious, wasn't it, that American Fork isn't shrinking? Matt Canham reports briefly on a political battle over statistics.
Caleb Warnock reports on a long-overdue good idea that might finally be happening: a county-wide, or at least nort-county-wide library system.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.