David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, August 5, 2006
This Week's Excellent Readings
A lot of good writing on Israel vs. Hezbollah/Iran joins by insights into such diverse themes as the philosophy of music, fantasy fishing, and electoral hanky-panky in Missouri.
In an enlightening essay, Michael Medved weighs the issues of gay marriage and gender difference against each other in an effort to re-orient the debate. (Sorry, silly choice of verb.)
Ranking as a favorite this Jonah Goldberg article on the foolishness and perversity of agricultural subsidies and other tinkering won't win me a lot of friends among the farmers I worked for as a teen, but they probably don't read my blog, so what's to lose?
Charles Krauthammer astutely observes, "Hezbollah's unprovoked attack on July 12 provided Israel the extraordinary opportunity to demonstrate its utility by making a major contribution to America's war on terror." Then he suggests that Israel's leadership isn't seeing this just now.
Victor Davis Hanson has a diagnosis: moral near-insanity. (We have met the patient, and they are us, so to speak.)
Kathleen Parker quite reasonably argues that the death of Lebanese children in Israeli attacks (if that's really when they died) is Hezbollah's fault, not Israel's.
Martin Olasky offers a few facts by way of inoculation against the Katrina anniversary specials which are looming. Here's his conclusion:
Paul Greenberg eloquently wonders, "Has any country ever been so ill-served by its leadership as Lebanon?" And, "Can it be that Lebanon's leaders thought their policies would cause the deaths only of Israeli innocents?"
Israel vs. Iran, Continued
See also Favorites above.
Paul Greenberg's notes on the war in the Middle East are worth a thought or two.
Jeff Jacoby reviews Hezbollah's resume as a serious enemy of the United States.
J. R. Dunn says (writing on Monday) that Hezbollah has now defeated Israel, and Israel has squandered a rare opportunity.
Jonah Goldberg explains Israel's lose-lose proposition. An excerpt:
Jack Kelly analyzes reality-based diplomacy and its popular alternative, specifically with respect to Israel and Hezbollah.
Leon Wieseltier offers an intelligent piece of reasoning about the moral implications of war -- a specific war, in this case.
Bill Murchison explains why it's nice to be Hezbollah.
Rich Lowry explains the depravity of several aspects of the world response to Israel's attacks on Hezbollah. It's far easier to destroy than to create, after all.
The Bankruptcy amd Utility of World Opinion
Read Dennis Prager's indictment of "world opinion" for two things: its list of the millions of victims to whose slaughter world opinion was indifferent last century, and the four reasons he offers for this abhorrent phenomenon.
Tony Blankley takes a more pragmatic -- but not sympathetic -- view of world opinion, with a great Marcus Aurelius quotation and thoughts like these:
National Politics (and Slightly Beyond)
William Rusher discussed what sort of ambassador we should send to the United Nations, in the context of the renewed effort to confirm John Bolton.
Thomas Sowell explains why reinstating the draft would be bad for the military.
Alan Reynolds analyzed the Medicare prescription drug benefit, which shows more evidence of politics at work than of sane thinking.
Kathleen Parker talks about Christianists, anti-Chritianists, and others you may or may not have heard of. Good grief, there are a lot of people thinking with something other than their brains . . . Fair warning: This essays uses the word <gasp> eschatological.
Debra J. Saunders has some thoughts on the Democrats' latest scheme to buy votes by promising to be our mommy -- and all at no cost to us, right?
Robert Novak explains some interesting developments on Capitol Hill, which cause folks to question what Republicans really believe, if anything, and remind me why it is said that people who like laws or sausages shouldn't watch them being made.
Paul Jacob describes electoral monkey business in Missouri.
Jeff Jacoby discusses the dumbing down of the voting process, mostly in the context of a bad idea in Arizona. Here's one particularly well-framed thought:
The Culture (and Its Periodic Collisions with Politics)
Paul Johnson asks, why have we no philosophy of music -- but this is more interesting than it sounds.
Kathleen Parker thinks I should see an Oliver Stone movie -- and I'm beginning to agree. How weird is that?
Lenore Skenazy is not Christie Brinkley, and she (Ms. Skenazy) thinks that's a fortunate thing.
Jonathan V. Last has an unhappy thought: We get the movies we deserve.
Jonathan Gurwitz has this and more to say about fantasy fishing (of all things!):
It sounds almost frivolous, but Niall Ferguson is serious: Superman's and America's roles in the world, and their respective attitudes toward them, are quite similar. Somewhere Tony Blair fits into this, too.
Meanwhile, Richard Cohen notes that the world is having a "Mel Gibson moment." Again.
Miscellany (and Genocide)
Victor Davis Hanson has some cautionary words about the fragility of the good life. Here's an excerpt:
Does anyone want to talk about Darfur? Besides Nat Hentoff, I mean.
American Fork and Environs
Caleb Warnock reports on the upcoming property tax increase and the looming water bond election in American Fork.
Closing the State Developmental Center in American Fork would put a bunch of people I know out of work, and numbers alone rarely tell the whole story, but someone's lobbing statistical grenades in the general direction of American Fork nonetheless, as reported in this Salt Lake Tribune article.
Laura Hancock's Deseret News story reports a shocking, heretical, decades-overdue development: Some folks are looking seriously at making it easier for public schools to encourage ineffective teachers to seek employment in other lines of work.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.