David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, November 25, 2006
This Week's Excellent Readings
Thanksgiving, the war, the election, and a lot more.
The best Thanksgiving essay I read this week was George Will's . . .
. . . Until I read Allen Guelzo's. The latter has merits far beyond Thanksgiving, to be sure.
Favorites: Everything Else
Mark Steyn discusses the great divide among Republicans and the need for someone to come along and reconcile "the War Party" with "the Small Government Party" so Republicans can win again.
Paul Greenberg (of Arkansas) tells of snobbish hand-wringing in New York and Philadelphia, as some great art leaves for . . . Arkansas.
Victor Davis Hanson's penetrating analysis of the Middle East and the War on Terror generally could have used a bit more editing, but he captures both the difficulties and the ironies of the current conflict.
Michael Barone discusses past policy successes and the need for new Republican ideas for 2008. Along the way, see if you agree with his idea of "the only realistic conservatism."
Senator John McCain gave a good speech the other day. Could the man who, with his "gang of fourteen," probably cost the Republicans the Senate be serious about being a conservative, all of a sudden? Miracles happen, I suppose, but I remain skeptical about this one.
Betsy Hart describes "helicopter parents" who won't let their children grow up.
Bill Murchison says that liberty isn't everything. It needs one more thing to survive.
Linda Chavez offers some personal memories of Milton Friedman.
Walter Williams analyzes the economic lessons to be learned from Europe.
Thomas Sowell's thoughts on attracting honorable people to politics deserve some serious thought.
Christopher Hitchens wonders why we should listen to James Baker, anyway.
Here are excerpts from Tony Blankley's excellent essay on withdrawing from Iraq:
James Q. Wilson ponders the demise of the "patriot reporter" in this long essay, which looks at the history of the matter, debunks some proposed explanations, and offers others in their place.
Niall Ferguson sketches the complexity of the Middle East and comments on the nature of civil wars.
Suzanne Fields discusses a Holocaust analogy that works. Along the way, she takes this nice shot at the BMA:
Caroline B. Glick says that British Prime Minister Tony Blair's body has lately been possessed by cheese-eating surrender monkeys. Actually, she didn't put it that way, but the idea is the same.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., reports that Democratic political strategist Pat Cadell is angry at Republicans . . . for losing. It has everything to do with the war against Islamic fascism.
Michael Novak writes the lessons Islamists have learned from the war.
Mona Charen argues, "The proper question is not whether it is discrimination but whether it is justified." The context is the war against Islamic fasicm, but the point has broader implications.
Max Boot suggests that some of difficulties in Iraq are really rooted in our own historical mistakes.
Around the Globe
Artemy Troitsky writes a very personal essay, in which he says democracy in Russia is in retreat.
Michelle Malkin's list of thinks the BMA should be thankful for mentions dangers to media in several nations, including some in Western Europe. Then she adds this sarcastic note:
Peter Brookes offers a detailed look at the fate of Ukraine's "Orange Revolution," two years later. It's not all good, but it's definitely not all bad.
National Politics: The Earmark of the Beast
Paul Weyrich reports on the continuing battle against congressional earmarks and one of the fight's leaders, Senator Thomas Coburn (R-OK).
Robert Novak reports on a few US Senators' latest efforts to close down the "favor factory."
National Politics: The Election and Aftermath
Froma Harrop mulls the possibility of a Senate Democrat changing parties.
Joel Mowbray looks at Ohio, one of the few places where Republicans did well in close races.
Jack Kelly talks about Republicans losing centrist voters, noting in the process:
Jessica Holzer profiles the new congressional leadership -- mostly the Democrats, of course. One excerpt:
Michael Barone draws conclusions from South Dakota voters' defeat of an abortion ban, including this one:
Robert Novak discusses the way President Bush fired Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Bruce Schneier wonders if our votes got counted. He's too paranoid for me, overestimates the dangers of electronic voting, underestimates the security of paper ballots, and could probably be mostly satisfied by electronic voting machines which create a recountable paper trail -- why would anyone buy or sell any other kind? -- but argues his stance more articulately than most.
National Politics: Everything Else
George Will's piece on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision not to run for president has some interesting insights into the region, presidential politics, and leadership generally.
When Ruben Navarrette, Jr., says that municipal ordinances banning housing rentals to illegal aliens are "dishonest, misdirected, and destined to fail," I give him two out of three (the first and last). He makes an interesting argument.
According to Robert Robb, John McCain isn't yet offering the right solutions to difficult problems. Here's a well-worded excerpt:
Kathryn Jean Lopez says we are truly blessed and have much to be grateful for in the political world, even if the words "Speaker" and "Pelosi" now seem to fit together.
Ben Shapiro catalogs Barack Obama's liberal credentials, just in case you thought the latter was something else.
Niall Ferguson writes that Milton Friedman's monetarism died a decade before Friedman himself.
In an open letter to Senator-elect Jim Webb Virginia, Rich Tucker, a constituent, debunks some of the falsehoods Webb recently spouted to The Wall Street Journal, straight from the Democratic catechism.
Kathryn Jean Lopez discusses marriage as an issue in the 2008 election, highlighting Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney's statements.
Jonah Goldberg explains the perils of rejecting everything inherited from the past.
What's in a little black book? Gene Weingarten tries the Sherlock Holmes thing.
James J. Kilpatrick makes the case that, in writing, sometimes less is just less.
Kathleen Parker says we should be grateful for Christian evangelicals -- and she has the history to prove it.
James Lileks offers no pretense of political correctness in an essay that features John Edwards, Wal-Mart, class struggle, and other exciting adventures.
Lefties are running amok in San Francisco, according to Jeff Jacoby -- not that that's a real surprise. (Who cares about readin', writin', and arithmetic? Our public schools' purpose is the fostering of correct political attitudes.)
John H. Fund discusses the Michigan initiative banning racial preferences -- including affirmative action.
Cal Thomas's thoughts on the late Milton Friedman focus on school choice.
This KSL report on teacher salaries interested me in a way it might not interest you: I'd love to be able to afford to be a teacher.
Education: The Math Wars
The Salt Lake Tribune editors think the Math Wars should be a lesson to educators.
Nicole Stricker recounts recent Utah battles in the Math Wars. Notice how hard the Alpine School District representative spins fuzzy math. It's important that every child be successful -- not necessarily that every child learn to do math.
I was a freak. I was good at math and I enjoyed it. Peter E. Trapa reports on research that shows that the math skills and the enjoyment typically don't go together.
The Delta Center in Salt Lake City is now EnergySolutions Arena, according to the KSL report? I'm actually not part of the knee-jerk anti-nuclear-waste crowd, but this is at best . . . infelicitous. As in, ick. But money talks, or so I've heard. (They'd have to pay me to get me to call it by its new name, I think.)
A Deborah Bulkeley article describes legislative attention to a program designed to detect and track racial profiling in law enforcement.
Lisa Riley Roche discusses redistricting proposals.
American Fork and Environs
Tad Walch reports that the voting machines themselves were not guilty in the case of the 112 Utah County polling locations that were dysfunctional for a while on Election Day morning.
Jazz is alive and well in American Fork -- or at least from American Fork. Rebecca C. Howard reports. (Does the Crescent Super Band ever play in American Fork?)
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.