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Saturday, March 18, 2006
A Week's Readings

Mona Charen, Daniel Henninger, Thomas Sowell, and Gene Weingarten lead this week's list of readings.


Mona Charen offers this account of political courage from the Arab world.

Here is a great piece by Daniel Henninger on . . . well, I'll just tell you the title: "There's More to Morality than the Politics of Sex."

Thomas Sowell on the French student riots and what the spoiled brats are rioting about.

Gene Weingarten is nearly always funny, but sometimes he's funnier than usual. This is one of those times.

Culture Wars at Home

There's a lot of talk about the recent decision of Catholic Charities of Boston to get out of the adoption business, because of a Massachusetts law which forbids an adoption agency from excluding gay couples from consideration.  Jeff Jacoby reports.

Kathleen Parker writes a good piece on Massachusetts, gay adoption, and religious freedom.

Jennifer Roback Morse follows attitudes to their consequences -- typically a useful exercise -- in this piece on adoption and foster care.

Charles Krauthammer describes how gay marriage could lead to polygamy.

Domestic Politics

Morton Kondracke analyzes Senator Feingold's call to censure the President, with its broader political context and implications.

Rich Lowry writes on the race to be the Republican non-McCain. George Allen and Mitt Romney look like frontrunners.

Jay Cost takes a long, detailed look at predictors of the 2006 elections.

George Will analyzes the line-item veto, which in his view is not as simple or congenial as it seems.

Niall Ferguson talks about a lame duck president who may bite back. (Do ducks bite?) Stay tuned for the excellent last sentence.

Dick Morris tells which Republican could win both primary and general elections in 2008, and which others couldn't.

Jeff Jacoby  discusses how women vote and the alleged gender gap.

Michael Barone analyzes the much-expressed hope (in some quarters) that 2006 will be another 1994, in which control of the US House of Representatives changes hands. And here is part two, which also is pretty good stuff, if technical.

Republicans on the Hill: Isn't It Time Someone Invented the Strap-On PortaSpine?

Robert Novak talks about conservative judges whose nominations are languishing in the US Senate -- because Republican leadership won't move.

The critical piece of this Robert Novak article is:

Sen. Judd Gregg, the conservative and conscientious Budget Committee chairman, announced that there were not enough Senate Republican votes to pass a budget. Therefore, there would be no budget.

Sen. John Thune, just elected in 2004, questioned that decision. He noted that in unseating then Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle in South Dakota, he mercilessly assailed his opponent's failure to pass a budget during the two years that Democrats were in the Senate majority. Gregg replied that there simply are not enough Republicans willing to make the hard fiscal decisions.

Education and Its Abuses

Martha Zoller talks sense about the public schools. Brace yourself.

Laura Hirschfield Hollis has some thoughts about parents who don't parent, and how that affects public schools. (Hmm. If the public schools had to be competitive, wouldn't they be forced to confront this more effectively?)

Oak Norton's e-mail list provides this excellent article on the "math wars" by Stanford University mathematician Keith Devlin. Also, note that cartoons have now been brought to bear; here's Norton's cartoon archive.

Orson Scott Card reviews books that name names. He is particularly interesting on the subject of idealism, with its uninterest in facts or logic.

Paul Jacob talks common sense about public universities in the Beaver State.

Here's Thomas Sowell on free speech on campus -- and why don't teachers teach what they're paid to teach?

Walter Williams offers some follow-up on a Colorado case of intellectual abuse (my term) of high school students by a rabidly politicized geography teacher, Jay Bennish. The official response was inadequate, at best. And here's his last paragraph.

Preaching instead of teaching might go a long way toward explaining why in civics, math, reading, writing and geography, nearly a quarter of all students leave high school with academic skills that are "Below Basic," the category the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) uses for students unable to display even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at their grade level. In science, 47 percent leave high school with skills Below Basic, and in American history, it's 57 percent. I'd like for Jay Bennish's supporters to explain how his indoctrination will help that.

The War on Terror and Other Foreign Affairs

Clifford D. May has three reasons we should currently be in Iraq. I hadn't thought of the third.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice explains why the recent nuclear agreement with India is a good thing.

Victor David Hanson writes a good piece on the ports flap.

Here is Orson Scott Card on President Bush.:

Mark Steyn recounts ideological terrorism perpetrated by a Muslim in the US . . . a rose by any other name

Suzanne Fields marvels at American feminists' indifference to horrors in the Muslim world.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., has his eyes on a developing Islamofascist coup in Turkey.

Terrence Jeffrey explains some of the precedents for tapping al Qaida phone calls to parties in the US (what the Big Media Acronyms call "domestic spying").

Economics and the Welfare State

Jonah Goldberg on why the best French university students are rioting at the Sorbonne. It's scary if you think about it. The French far excel Americans in their ability to defy and deny basic economic realities.

Michael Kinsley is found in the leftward regions and can be quite aggressive about it. But at least he takes here a much more reasonable position on health care than letting the government do everything.

Here's Tony Snow on the welfare state. (Why is everyone afraid to state the obvious?)

Larry Kudlow describes a growing economy in detailed, technical terms.

Paul Johnson tells us why we're morons to admire anything remotely economic in Europe. 

Local Interest

The Deseret News lists local candidates who have filed so far.

The American Fork Police Chief is asking for a bigger budget -- which is long overdue.


Paul Greenberg is lighthearted and seems inclined to tangents in this piece, but I enjoyed it. Besides, he's the one with the Pulitzer Prize. As far as I can tell, he's mostly talking about language, but had a good thought or two about the US Constitution, and is delightful unabashed about being from Arkansas.

I gather from Kathleen Parker that there are folks who don't put out a press release when they do something good -- even in and around Washington. Imagine that!

Star Parker reports on some interesting research into who values choice and how much. With one striking exception, it seems, the more educated you are, the more you value choice.

Tom Purcell writes on humor and being Irish

Rich Lowry takes some claims of opponents to immigration reform and -- gasp! -- does the math.

Here's a good Cal Thomas piece on peace activists.

If you're watching the issue of abortion and its fate in the Supreme Court, read Paul Greenberg. If you were about to eat lunch or some other meal, don't.

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