David Rodeback's Blog

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Saturday, August 12, 2006
The Week's Excellent Readings

Bennett, Barone, Sowell, and other luminaries lead the list.


William Bennett tells the story of slavery's role in the US Constitution. This book excerpt is a subtle, thorough, and concise analysis of a complex topic some folks like to misinterpret for their own political gain.

Perhaps more significantly, William Bennett calls a spade a spade, with respect to the war on terror.

Michael Barone talks sense on immigration and more.

If you think zoning is a boring topic, it's because you haven't read John Leo on the subject. Admittedly, this is not precisely the zoning the local planning commission is accustomed to considering. Feel free to laugh, as long as you're in a zone that permits it.

George Will writes mostly of Israel and Hezbollah.

Austin Bay catalogs July's bloody events and suggests they may bode well, not ill.

Thomas Sowell is in fine, sensible form here, and it begins with "Studies prove . . ."

And here's Part II of Thomas Sowell's, "Studies prove . . . ."

Part III of Thomas Sowell's discussion illustrates from his own experience a couple of reasons for doubting things on which all experts supposedly agree.

Michael Zak of the exploits and the character of one of the original Republicans, Thaddeus Stevens


Wanted: Experienced stage managers to win the war for Hezbollah. Who knew that theater major could be put to use on the front lines? Jack Kelly writes about the propaganda war and its limitations.

Also needed: PhotoShop experts to aid Hezbollah in producing horrific images for the international BMA. Thomas Lifson writes. The bloggers caught one fraud; Reuters will need to replace him.

Jack Kelly comments on the same fraud, noting:

This is a major scandal. Reuters has been transmitting Hezbollah propaganda. We need to know how much, whether photo editors were complicit, and what Reuters intends to do to keep this from happening again.

Kathleen Parker makes an important point:

The blogosphere has been buzzing the past several days about doctored photographs, faked footage and even the possibility that Qana was manipulated, if not orchestrated, by Hezbollah.

True or false? That seems increasingly to be a question for news consumers, who have to be detectives as they digest the day's headlines and cutlines.

Islamamok and Beyond

Michael Behe writes from within Lebanon of his hope that Israel will not terminate its campaign until Hezbollah's hold on his country is broken.

Suzanne Fields asks, Where is Churchill when we need him, or the English language for that matter? By the way, Churchill foresaw some difficulties with radical Islam.

Paul Greenberg has an excellent suggestion of a name for the current war in the Middle East :"Hezbollah's War." He has some other worthwhile insights, too.

I read this cogent piece by Jeff Jacoby and am inclined to observe, "The BMA are insane." Maybe you'll think otherwise.

Speaking of crazy, Mark Steyn has some strong words about the lunacy of the world's fondness for the proportionate response.

Rich Lowry writes of the "one percent world" we live in.

Melanie Phillips writes,

The west is under threat from an enemy which has shrewdly observed the decadence and disarray in Europe where western civilisation first began. And the greatest disarray of all is in Britain, the very cradle of western liberty and democracy, but whose cultural confusion is now plain for all to see in Londonistan. The Islamists chose well. Britain is not what it once was. Whether it will finally pull itself together and stop sleepwalking into cultural oblivion is a question on which the future of the West may now depend.

See if you think two rude punks in Wal-Mart are an enlightening analog to Hezbollah. Mike Adams does.

Jonathan V. Last notes that democracy sometimes goes badly wrong.

This interesting Michael Portillo article about Tony Blair includes this felicitous phrase: "Blair refused to be neutral between the fire and the fire brigade."

Joel Mowbray wonders why we don't wonder how the terrorist of Seattle came to do what he did. (A thought: Mel Gibson, who can't drive drunk, resist arrest, or be an anti-Semitic jerk without dominating headlines for weeks, could probably get off scot-free from the media for murdering multiple Jews in cold blood in a major American city -- as long as he converted to Islam first.)

Mike Gallagher says the the Left has no answer to this week's thwarted terrorist attacks. Watch for a particularly chilling invocation of the words, "I'm a schoolteacher."

Cal Thomas has some excellent questions with some wholly inadequate answers about our prosecution of the war on Islamic fascists.

National Politics I: Lieberman

Paul Greenberg muses on the plight of Senator "Lonely Joe" Lieberman and his Party.

Peggy Noonan writes intelligently of the Lieberman defeat and its implications.

Dick Morris analyzes the next election with Joe Lieberman on the ballot.

Joshua Micah Martin has a different theory about the Lieberman defeat and its meaning.

Charles Krauthammer recounts the history which he thinks is repeating itself in the Democratic party. Hint: Think back to McGovern.

Jonah Goldberg add some insights into the Democratic Party's electoral purge of Joe Lieberman.

Writing for The New Republic, Thomas B. Edsall says the Lieberman defeat is a symptom of a serious deficit of electability in the Democratic Party.

Michael Barone ponders a possible McCain-Lieberman 2008 presidential ticket.

National Politics II: Miscellany

John H. Fund analyzes Senator Harry Reid's obstructionism and looks at some historical parallels.

Barbara Kellerman says today's political leaders aren't as effective as those in the past, suggests a reason why, and offers a solution which will see counter-intuitive to some.

Byron York reports on Democrat John Conyers, who hopes he is a few months from chairing the House Judiciary Committee, whence he can continue his ongoing project to impeach President Bush for crimes dreamed up by left-wing bloggers and their fellow travelers.

In a contest between Senator Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, my money's on Rumsfeld. Robert Novak reports on last week's clash.

Matt Towery recounts what he knows of the weird immediate aftermath of Cynthia McKinney's defeat in Georgia.

Robert Novak offers news of several campaigns of national interest.

The Culture (Broadly Defined, as Usual)

Coach Nick Saban declined an invitation to dine with the President, not for political reasons. Paul Jacob thinks that's excellent, and I'm not going to say he's wrong.

James J. Kilpatrick muses delightfully on the subjunctive.

Jennifer Roback Morse has identified a second third rail of US politics (Social Security being the first). She makes an excellent point, and the policy implications are quite interesting. She says inflammatory things like this:

The most needed reform is that benefits should be based on both kinds of contributions, not just financial contributions. . . . [L]ink a couple's benefits not only to the income of the primary earn[er], but to the number of children they raise. . . .

Well, I am one woman who is ready to say that raising children is a good and socially constructive thing to do. Having more than one or two children can be a lot of fun. And it is for certain that raising a large family to productive adulthood will use all the gifts of even the most gifted woman. Having a family is a worthy life endeavor, deserving the educated woman's most serious consideration.

The Social Security system should recognize this fact, and link benefits to child-rearing. When Secretary of Treasury Hank Paulson gets specific about Social Security reform, I encourage him to consider fertility "on the table."

I’ll stick up for him when the screaming starts.

Coming soon to a reality near you: designer babies. Or not. Debra J. Saunders writes.

You didn't think the conservative praise for an Oliver Stone film could be unanimous, did you? Brian M. Carney praises the film for doing well what it attempts, but wishes it said something about why the towers fell on 9/11: terrorist attack.

"World Trade Center" tells a powerful story about the basic goodness so many people felt and acted on in the wake of a heinous act. But to the extent that it omits any direct reference to the crimes that made those good deeds necessary, its version of the truth is incomplete.

Rebecca Hagelin says actual parenting is the key to keep kids safe in a filthy world. Who knew? Quoth she:

When you ignore or pretend you don’t see unhealthy, immoral or just plain tacky/cheap messages, your child interprets your silence as an endorsement of the material. When you mindlessly plunk down 60 bucks for the latest video game, or give your 10-year-old the cash to buy clothes that make her look like a street-walker, you’re part of the problem.

Jonathan Garthwaite lists seven long-term effects of teenage exposure to pornography in this discussion of the dangers readily available to children and youth on the Internet. You could easily substitute "Utah" -- or any other geographical location -- for "Kansas" here.

When Maggie Gallagher worries that something is wrong with men, it's not the same old feminist dogma. And she's not kidding.

Marvin Olasky has some amazing stories of natural disasters which humans have made a lot worse. He asks,

Is a disaster "natural" when people die because of houses built below sea level or along a hurricane-hit shore?

"Nice Doggerel: Hounding the Poet Laureate" sounds like a Burt Prelutsky line -- and it is. Versified comedy awaits you.

Clarence Page discusses Bill Cosby's message and frustrations.

Heather MacDonald profiles the "skeptical conservative."


James Lileks has some fun with Cuba's ailing dictator. (What? They had a spare Castro?)

Debra Saunders profiles a really bad idea in California. Stay tuned for her closing question.

John McCaslin offers his own miscellany of curious items, one of which contains a quotation no dad would ever want to hear from his daughter.

Economics (and Politics)

I'm not an auto industry expert, but Jerry Flint seems to make good sense on why GM and Ford are barking up the wrong turnaround tree.

Thomas Sowell sees a glimmer of hope in the response to Chicago's new $10 per hour minimum wage.

Worried about oil prices? Ronald Bailey says:

Oil markets and prices will settle down as soon as: peace comes to Iraq; Iran's ayatollahs halt uranium enrichment; the demands of Nigerian separatists are satisfied; and Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and Russia's Vladimir Putin boost investment in production. In other words, it may be a while.

Walter Williams is talking about the minimum wage, but he's also posing the question, how can two groups with the same motive come to completely opposite conclusions?

Lawrence Kudlow explains that supply-side tax incentives do all sorts of nice things -- an almost untold story.

American Fork and Environs

Amy Choate-Nielsen reports on the American Fork property tax increase for the Deseret News.

Caleb Warnock does the same in the Daily Herald.

. . . As does Tyler Peterson in the Salt Lake Tribune.

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