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Monday, March 13, 2006
Some Great Readings I Left Off Saturday's List

Peggy Noonan and less familiar names John Silber (long a personal favorite), Leon de Winter, and Dennis Byrne lead the list.

Here are some good readings which were left off Saturday's list.


Peggy Noonan is in typically fine form on Hollywood, its charm, its woes, and maybe even why they don't make movies like they used to.

Leon de Winter wonders, in the context of Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, if there is anything for which European countries are willing to fight, except a welfare check -- and then he discusses how such European attitudes developed after World Wars I and II. On the way, he discusses the welfare state in crisis.

Dennis Byrne writes superbly of immigration, the rule of law, and civil rights.

John Silber was president of Boston University for 25 years and ran for governor in Massachusetts in the 1990s. I have long thought him one of the most intelligent and articulate analysts of events and institutions. Here he gives his view of the sacking of Harvard's Lawrence Summers. Besides its application to higher education, this piece is a good essay on leadership generally, especially at the executive level. In the following excerpt is a lesson for Republicans and diplomats in Washington whose first instinct and overriding instinct is to get along:

Summers is himself partially to blame for his loss of authority. In a futile effort to placate his critics, he met with faculty and apologized for the way he expressed himself. He was not so much arrogant as naive, for his critics were not seeking understanding, but power; they interpreted his repeated efforts at reconciliation as weakness and vulnerability. Summers made the mistake of apologizing again and again for being right.

(You'll have to do the free registration at Boston.com to read the whole article, but it's painless. By the way, kudos to RealClearPolitics.com; none of the other sites I read frequent picked up Silber's essay.)

Almost Favorites

John Podhoretz says congressional Republicans saved Bush's bacon (no offense to non-pork-eaters intended; it's an expression) in connection with the Dubai ports deal. An excerpt:

It is wrong to ascribe popular feeling against the deal to isolationism. The American people can't make sense out of which side Dubai is on, and they don't think it should be that hard a call. They believe in the fight, and their continued support for it is the best news the embattled Bush presidency could have.

Jack Kelly writes of prosecuting journalists for publishing classified information.

Dick Meyer discusses the deliberate inaction of both House and Senate in response to the hubbub favoring lobbying reform -- and ethics generally.

Michael Smerconish offers this interesting piece of history about the search for Osama bin Laden.

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