David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, July 29, 2006
The Week's Excellent Readings
Paul Greenberg, Charles Krauthammer, William Bennett, Orson Scott Card, Tony Blankley, and Greg Crosby lead the list, which has a lot about the Israeli/Hezbollah conflict, but many other good things besides that.
Orson Scott Card makes so many essential points in this analysis of the Middle East that, well, you'll just have to read it yourself. But here's what he comes to after discussing Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and Iran. The italics are mine:
Paul Greenberg explains how the current Middle East conflict is not -- at least not yet -- an Arab/Israeli conflict.
The same Paul Greenberg here relays reports from friends in Israel.
Charles Krauthammer analyzes the morally bankrupt world response to the war.
One of the most telling things about George Washington's character is what he did, which other victorious generals in history had not done. This is another excerpt from William Bennett's latest book.
William Bennett wonders what is disproportionate in a Middle East filled with people who think other nations should be extirminated. His description of Hezbollah in Lebanon -- actually, he's quoting Amir Taheri from the London Times -- is nearly that of a nation unto itself:
Tony Blankley makes a compelling point:
Greg Crosby has some noteworthy quotations, and I guarantee you won't like some of them -- it's up to you which.
Israel vs. Iran's Puppets (and Modern Warfare Generally)
See also "Favorites" above.
Michael Barone says this time may be different: No one's buying land-for-peace now.
It seems a little odd that we'd still feel the need to defend the USA's or Israel's right to exist, but some question one or the other, and Michael Medved defends both, articulating in the process some thoughts about what makes a nation.
Suzanne Fields pens this reminder of the impropriety of restraint and proportion at present and of what it has meant historically to be a Jew.
Thomas Sowell wonders how World War II would have ended if Americans and others then had implemented the same attitudes and strategies many embrace now.
There's a lot to be said for missile defense, and Frank J. Gaffney says much of it here.
Maggie Gallagher notes the difference between standing for something and accomplishing something; in the process she makes me marvel yet again at Democratic narcissism.
David Warren explodes some common, "beneath the elementary" sorts of myths about the current conflict. Note that even some Arab countries are overtly taking sides opposite the Big Media Acronyms now, in addition to the usual players, the US, Israel, and reality generally. A sad day for the BMA.
Dan Senor explains the Iraqi prime minister's jarring position on this conflict. The essential sentence:
Star Parker has some interesting specific details about public and private schools, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), and so forth, but her general point deserves mention, too:
Linda Chavez discusses the testing of teachers and some trouble certain states are about to have with NCLB on that subject.
Charles Murray explains some deception in NCLB's statistical tests. This one belongs in some sort of "how to lie with statistics" hall of fame.
Economics, Taxes, Etc.
Should we have to pay every time we recent some sort of benefit from someone or something? Paul Jacob thinks not.
Alan Reynolds uses Hong Kong as the setting for a pretty good discussion of various forms of taxation and the recent history of one of them.
Rich Karlgaard writes, "It's the spending, stupid!" Amen.
How big a deal is trade on the world stage? Michael Barone will give you an idea.
Rich Lowry analyzes recent major court decisions in favor of traditional marriage.
Tom Purcell is nostalgic for the summers of decades past.
Terrence Jeffrey reports on a bill I could get behind, which, for the purpose of protecting the traditional definition of marriage, exploits a little-known clause of the US Constitution allowing Congress to regulate and limit the appellate jurisdiction of federal courts. The mechanism is somewhat technical, but the approach is interesting and innovative.
Lenore Skenazy has a list of grievances against air conditioning, and, as far as I can tell, the only seriously questionable one is global warming. She takes a stab at "all the ways air conditioning has made us a lonelier, chubbier, less-fulfilled country."
Paul Greenberg has some interesting points to make about embryonic stem cell research -- more light than heat, I think, which is better than we usually get on this issue.
If you're willing to overlook Lee Siegel's ritualistic invocation of President Bush's "criminal incompetence" and a few predictable slams at conservatives and Republicans -- a conservative has to do that when reading The New Republic -- he has some very interesting things to say about the political blogosphere.
Betsy Hart thinks wives expect too much of husbands, and I leave that without further comment.
Debra J. Saunders identifies Senator Joe Lieberman as the Democrats' version of John McCain.
Doug Wilson discusses the origins of the current overwhelming political incivility in the US and has a suggestion or two for combatting it.
Bruce Bartlett has some useful insights into the political uses of the veto.
Gambling . . . morally wrong, or at least unwise. Federal prohibition of online gambling . . . worse, says Walter Williams. (It's nice to hear someone mention the Tenth Amendment once in a while.)
Will New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg run for president an independent? Apparently, he's contemplating it. (True, he's registered as a Republican, but that was a last-minute marriage of convenience, and everybody knows it.) Paul Weyrich reports.
Jeff Jacoby rants a little about Democrats, Republicans, and race.
Robert Novak paints an unsatisfying picture of federal judicial nominations, in the wake of a few unheralded recent confirmations.
William F. Buckley tells a great story from several decades ago about the federal budget, then discusses more recent spending.
Let's just make a bad situation worse, shall we? Jonah Goldberg reports on a very bad idea in Arizona.
Evgeny Morozov analyzes Russian foreign policy, Russia's developing proxies, and some things the US could do in the region.
Paul Greenberg eulogizes Arkansas' recently departed lieutenant governor, Win Rockefeller.
American Fork and Environs
Susan Whitney of The Deseret News writes about American Fork's City Hall, old buildings that talk, and the people who listen.
Jordan Gunderson rants about Hollywood and CleanFlicks, and makes an important point along the way. It has to do with Hollywood not wanting to give customers what they want. He refers to another blogger's similar thoughts.
Things are exploding in American Fork, according to this brief Deseret News story. Well, one thing did, at least.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.