David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, December 30, 2006
This Week's Excellent Readings
Gerald Ford, poverty, Christmas, dogs, one guy who says Iraq is a success, and much more.
Favorites: One Less Mass-Murdering Dictator in the World
Ralph Peters says the overthrow and ultimate execution of Saddam Hussein are excellent things.
Of course, some folks on the Left can't admit that anything is good news if a Republican is in the White House. John Nichols may be one of them.
Favorites: Other Topics
In a superb essay on poverty and the people who propose to cure it, Thomas Sowell writes:
Here Thomas Sowell explains why it just does not make economic sense that there should be, as some suppose, an objective "fair and just price" for a thing -- including for labor. It's a medieval notion.
Paul Greenberg's essay on Gerald Ford is one of the more thoughtful. It is not entirely a panegyric; it ends thusly:
Michael Barone has an important perspective on policies, the conduct of war, etc., in the real world: They're not perfect.
Jeff Jacoby suggests that climate-based fear is a political tool, among other things. Here are two excerpts:
If we take one expert's predictions about the imminent sharp decline of Iranian oil production more seriously that past predictions of global oil shortages have deserved to be taken, the scary scenario Jack Kelly outlines seems plausible.
Wanted: One governor to lead the way in education. Morton Kondracke describes the recommendations of an interesting new report on American education, by the New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce.
True to form, Mark Steyn is thinking about demographics and self-extinction even at Christmas -- even when he's thinking of Christmas.
Paul Greenberg's Christmas offering is the innkeeper's story, somewhat modernized.
I don't particularly love dogs, but you might, and Burt Prelutsky does, too. I happen to be fond of good writing, even about dogs. Excerpts:
So now that the Democrats are in a position to claim some of the credit, maybe we can finally fix Social Security? Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) explains his sensible solution.
How 'bout some John Kerry to round out the year? Here he mistakes Iraq for Vietnam -- again -- and says clever things like this:
Read why former New York City Mayor Ed Koch says President Bush is his hero.
I'm not sure Thomas Cahill's discussion of St. Francis of Assissi holds the immediate key to ending hostilities between the Western and Muslim worlds -- but it's worth thinking about, and it might help domestically in the Christmas wars.
Austin Bay explains the Egyptian origin of al-Qaida doctrine, explaining in the process how a recent speech by number two al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri fell flat among Palestinians and American Democrats. (Note Zawahiri's thoughts about the November US election and Bay's account of the role of American women in the influential world view of Sayid Qutb.)
Tony Blankley summarizes 2006, saying:
Ben Shapiro says that 2006 saw the retreat of Western civilization (that is, freedom). 2007 is a new year . . .
Rich Lowry says President Bush is misinterpreting the mistakes of Vietnam.
Dick Morris and Eileen McGann describe a way to hurt Iran that doesn't depend on the United Nations -- or the military, either, for that matter.
Victor Davis Hanson says one reason the US should not enter formal talks with Iran is that now is not the time to bolster President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's credibility in his own country.
National Politics: Former President Gerald R. Ford
Robert Novak writes of the "accidental president" who "tempered the practice of his trade's deceits with innate decency."
Michael Barone describes Gerald Ford, the Cold Warrior, and notes more generally:
George Will writes more fondly and calmly of Gerald Ford than he did after the Nixon pardon.
Matt Towery recalls what we know and don't know about Ford's influence on President Reagan's choice of George H. W. Bush as his running mate.
Debra J. Saunders says that President Ford's pardon of President Nixon was right, despite overwhelming political opinion to the contrary at the time.
Jonah Goldberg's looks at the lack of conservative vilification of Gerald Ford, the moderate Republican. I was even more interested in his account of shifting responses to other past presidents.
Mortuary Bob has, conveniently, been interviewing President Ford, writes Wesley Pruden.
National Politics: The 2008 Presidential Race
Dick Morris and Eileen McGann describe the latest in Hillary-for-President strategy. Is she more electable as a mom? (That particular packaging didn't work terribly well when she was the candidate's wife.)
Michael Goodwin looks at a competitive Democratic presidential field -- still mostly hypothetical, of course: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards (not necessarily in that order).
William Rusher says Barack Obama, the (possible) presidential candidate, is a flash in the pan -- this time.
Rich Lowry explains the basic illogic of John Edward's poverty platform.
Larry Kudlow says Edwards' anti-poverty plans are exactly the opposite of what is needed, and won't get him elected, either.
National Politics: Other Topics
Phyllis Schlafly recounts some very interesting recent developments related to illegal immigration.
Robert Novak reports that there is cause for industry (and therefore everyone else) to be nervous about the green agenda among Democrats and some Republicans.
Walter Williams subjects Congressman Charles Rangel's bright idea of reinstating the military draft to some economic logic.
Paul Jacob reports on the abuse of one lady by a county government in Portland, and what she's done to them in return. The subject is government's obligation in that state to compensate property owners when regulations devalue their property.
Speaking of the now apparently manufactured Duke rape case, Kathleen Parker wonders, "How does one parody a parody?"
Mary Katherine Ham offers a fact-based account of the excellence of Duke lacrosse players. (Here's a thought: Does the president of that university owe the former coach he fired an apology, or perhaps more than that? Innocent until proven guilty, right? Well, no, not in PC America.)
Michelle Malkin reports bipartisan cronyism in large post-Katrina contracts, while also noting the natural disaster/bureaucratic disaster cycle.
Cal Thomas suggests a strategy and an example for the Right.
Fredric U. Dicker says good riddance to outgoing New York Governor George Pataki.
Donald Lambro says little will come of the first 100 hours of the new Congress.
Rebecca Hagelin looks at the roots of the modern conservative movement in American, in a year that also saw, notably, the birth of your humble blogger.
Greg Crosby remembers Guy Lombardo. (Do you?)
Jonah Goldberg decries the liberal opposition to certainty. Here are excerpts:
In a fine essay, Michael Ledeen defends, of all things, the character and professionalism of Bobby Knight.
Burt Prelutsky isn't as high on a certain movie as some folks.
Lenore Skenazy offers some New Year's resolutions for the food industry. Here's a free sample which "goes to motive," as they say in legal shows on television:
Sometimes the best solution is also the obvious one. Paul Greenberg writes of giving school tests in English -- and also of a teacher to applaud.
Thomas Sowell takes on the hand-wringing over high corporate salaries. Excerpts:
And here Thomas Sowell blasts the notion of "the world's wealth" and the folks who agonize over disparities in its distribution.
George Will discusses the future of Ford Motor Company. In the process, he notes a connection between Ford and cheeseburgers.
Lawrence H. Summers takes an interesting look at the divergence between the financial markets' optimism and the "commentariat's" pessimism. An excerpt:
Around the World
Steve Chapman reports that 2006 was not the best year ever for the worldwide progress of freedom and democracy.
Joel C. Rosenberg nominates Russia as the newest member of the Axis of Evil. He makes a compelling case.
Diana West chronicles 2006, a bad year for freedom of speech.
Linda Chavez has a wish list for 2007 that is likely to fail completely, but it's fun to read.
So is James Lileks' look back into the future.
There's nothing like a good, slanted poll to reinforce . . . well, whichever view you want to reinforce. In this case, it's Texans against energy independence. Commentary is by Bill Murchison.
Heidi Toth walks through a laundry list of issues likely to attract attention in the upcoming Utah Legislature session.
American Fork and Environs
Barbara Christiansen reports on a proposed change in American Fork's city logo.
Meanwhile, some folks want to change the air at the American Fork Recreation Center's pool, as Tanya Papanikolas reports in this KSL story.
Steve Gehrke reports on some unusual Christmas lights in Pleasant Grove and the neighbor response.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.