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Saturday, May 6, 2006
The Week's Readings

Paul Greenberg, George Will, Suzanne Fields, Nathanael Blake, and Robert Novak lead this week's list, which also includes a cartoon and a piece of (deliberate) fiction.


A concert review, of all things? I'm not sure it actually is, technically. Whatever it is, Paul Greenberg wrote it. I wish I could write . . . whatever this is . . . like this.

John Kenneth Galbraith, arguably the 20th century's most influential economist, recently passed away. I've been watching for a really good retrospective on his ideas. George Will kindly wrote this one.

Here's delightful piece by Suzanne Fields on political humor and its serious place in the world.

Nathanael Blake on . . . the sexual revolution. And morality. He says, "People who are busily abolishing taboos for themselves are not likely to enforce related taboos." Also:

Even the living of a chaste life is a silent condemnation of those who are not, for it announces a belief in a standard of sexual conduct. Thus our culture is determined to imprecate what was formerly considered virtue, for any adherence to a moral standard is offensive to those in violation of it.

When is an ordinary, predictable, non-emergency situation an emergency? When Congress wants to spend more money, that's when. George Will rants a little. Watch for the "emergency" money going to Hawaii to help clean up the Katrina mess 4000 miles away.

Robert Novak chronicles recent victories for fiscal sanity in Washington.

The Price of Gasoline and Economics Generally

Here's a good piece by Jack Kelly on oil prices, alternative sources, etc.

Walter Williams explains the meaning of "job loss" statistics about various industries.

Jonah Goldberg discusses gas prices and our cartilaginous Congress. Here's a scathing paragraph with which I can't bring myself to disagree:

It is the congressional GOP that should be booed and shamed from the public square for the harlot it has become. Before the pyre of pandering even ended, the Republicans launched their fire sale, offering to sell off their remaindered principles at bargain basement prices. It was almost like they were paying voters to take their intellectual integrity off their hands. ("We're practically giving it away!")

Things at Home . . .

Peggy Noonan analyzes the latest non-death sentence.

Caitlin Flanagan's views definitely fit the Democratic Party, but she feels unwelcome there. "It's the Contempt, Stupid."

Clarence Page discusses Tony Snow and his (Snow's) new job at the White House.

Alvino-Mario Fantini celebrates the quarter-century anniversary of the flagship of conservative campus newspapers, The Dartmouth Review.

Speaking of the Ivy League, I spent most of a decade there, so I appreciated this recent Doonesbury.

Jonah Goldberg astutely compares Presidents George W. Bush and Richard Nixon -- but not in the way you probably suspect.

If I have a favorite Supreme Court justice -- and understanding that two potentially impressive ones are too new to qualify as favorites -- it's not Justice Scalia, brilliant though he is. It's Clarence Thomas. Here Thomas Sowell explains why. Here he continues.

. . . And Abroad

I often disagree with Alexander Solzhenitsyn, but I like to know what he's thinking. William Pfaff obliges.

Jeff Jacoby chatted with Lech Walesa, who seems uncertain how to view the world at present. But read this piece for the history, especially for Pope John Paul II.

Jeff Jacoby also chronicles a weird development he calls "communist chic" and describes why it's in extraordinarily bad taste.

Larry Elder discusses Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, and revising history for fun and (political) profit.


Debra Saunders doubtless speaks for a lot of people in articulating her distaste for the spoiled brat tactics of the illegal alien demonstrators. Oh, and there's that little, quintessential American issue of the rule of law, too.

Paul Greenberg on flags and national anthems. And taste.

Michelle Malkin has long been a fairly shrewd observer of immigration issues. Here she offers a different view of Monday's protests. It's not more comforting, just different.

John Podhoretz talks about immigration rallies that backfire in a big way.

Things (at Least Slightly) Philosophical

This one's relatively tough plowing but worth the effort. Lee Harris explains why socialism isn't dead. The short answer:

It may well be that socialism isn't dead because socialism cannot die. As Sorel argued, the revolutionary myth may, like religion, continue to thrive in "the profounder regions of our mental life," in those realms unreachable by mere reason and argument, where even a hundred proofs of failure are insufficient to wean us from those primordial illusions that we so badly wish to be true. Who doesn't want to see the wicked and the arrogant put in their place? Who among the downtrodden and the dispossessed can fail to be stirred by the promise of a world in which all men are equal, and each has what he needs?

What's in a fake Thomas Jefferson quote? Mark Steyn will tell you. I like a genuine Mark Steyn quote here: "It's truer to say that these days patriotism is the highest form of dissent."


Gene Weingarten has had another telephone conversation. The subject: PR.

Here's a Paul Wolff story -- fiction or allegory, I'm not sure -- which might merit and reward a good reading and some thought.

Paul Greenberg muses about newspapers, their past, present, and future.

Lenore Skenazy amuses on the subject of "brain age." (I don't know mine.)

I always enjoy Thomas Sowell's "Random Thoughts."

Local Interest

Here's Barbara Christiansen piece on that American Fork tax hike we knew was coming -- and knew would not be small.

Here's an Alan Choate piece from the Provo Daily Herald on the county Republican convention.

Barbara Christiansen reports on the likely solution to American Fork's growth-induced water issues.

In this Daily Herald article Anna Chang-Yen reports on the demand for new charter schools, which far exceeds the supply, because of some strict state quotes.

One might feel a little pity for public school officials if they hadn't already resisted competition in every possible way. Laura Hancock of The Deseret Morning News reports on the latest case of officials who don't think public schools should have to compete.

Caleb Warnock has the latest on a proposed YMCA in north Utah County.

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