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Saturday, June 3, 2006
The Week's Excellent Readings

More on Memorial Day and a lot of other good stuff.

Favorites: Memorial Day

Always thoughtful, Christopher Hitchens waxes eloquent on Memorial Day.

William Bennett sometimes frustrates me, but the thoughts he puts to paper are nearly alway spot-on. Here he, too, writes of Memorial Day and larger themes.

William Bennett writes of the period from the Battle of Gettysburg to the Gettysburg Address.

"But there are other deaths too," writes Carol Taber. ". . . It isn't authentic to remember only those who died as John Wayne would have died; we must remember them all."

Other Favorites

Suzanne Fields writes on history, national amnesia, pending legislation with strange bipartisan befellows, and a new book by William Bennett.

It's vision vs. facts again, as Thomas Sowell takes up liberal self-congratulation for "saving" the country in the 1960s. And then he takes up the liberals' obsession with negative economic news and shows how it helps preserve their vision. And then, in Part III, he discusses why the Big Media Acronyms call predicted increases in government revenues after tax cuts "unanticipated."

Jonah Goldberg explains how in some cases moderation and compromise lead to the worst results, not the best.

I almost stopped reading Ben Stein's article, "Keeping the Faith," because he leads with some very smug declarations, based on hindsight, about undermanned US military activity in Iraq. I haven't heard anything new in that vein in so long that I've mostly stopped reading the same old same-old. But if you can get past the first three or four paragraphs, he puts the Iraq blunder (his view), including whatever happened in Haditha, in historical context in a way I've been wishing more would. It's excellent reading.

Mike S. Adams gets a place on my favorites list not for mentioning the Book of Mormon (though that's funny, in a this-rings-very-true sort of way), but for skewering conspiracy theorists. The latter are "hoist by [their] own [loony] petard," if you'll pardon my Shakespeare.


Michelle Malkin describes the allegations and ongoing investigations of an alleged US massacre of Iraqis in Haditha. The investigations are ongoing, which is why the Left is talking about it now, while convenient anti-Bush, anti-military versions of the story can be unrestrained by actual facts. Whatever happened, truth is not the point. Political advantage is the point.

Jack Kelly's view of Haditha includes, significantly, no cover-up and no cold-blooded murder.

Mona Charen predicts that Haditha -- whatever happened there -- will soon dominate the news worldwide.


Jack Kelly discusses current unrest in Iran and what we should do about it, and says, "We should be helping the people, not their oppressors."

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., suggests an approach to Iran's nuclear aspirations: divest.


Diana West pulls no punches where the Senate's immigration bill is concerned.

Wesley Pruden talks about the new immigration project on Capitol Hill: reconciling the irreconcilable, that is, House and Senate immigration bills.

George Will catalogs the several rocks and hard places among which Congressional Republicans find themselves, but notes that in this case the system is working as designed.

The Economics of Politics, or Vice Versa

Mark Steyn has some pointed thoughts about elected officials who think they're above the law, and some related thoughts about immigration legislation and Sarbanes-Oxley. Here's a taste:

What does the Republican base's despair with Congress boil down to? That the Gingrich revolutionaries have turned into the pampered potentates of pre-1994 Washington, a remote insulated arrogant elite interested only in protecting the privileges of the permanent governing class. But how best to confirm it? Hmm. What about if we send the Republican speaker out to argue that congressmen are beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. law-enforcement agencies?

The Wall Street Journal also took up this topic on Saturday.

Walter Williams explains how what looks like price gouging to a politician is really responsible pricing by a business which has to replace its inventory once it's sold. (If you want to ask, "Why yet another article on the basic economic functions of prices?" I want to answer: "Because politicians are still trying to make hay with public ignorance of basic economics." That will probably happen as long as there are politicians.)

Paul Greenberg measures the political appeal of demagoguery against basic economics -- and the subject is still the price of gasoline.

According to Larry Elder, Senator Barbara Boxer wants the FTC to keep investigating gas prices until they find what she wants them to find (which they haven't), and if they don't, they want to investigate the FTC itself.

In California, they're trying to increase the price of gasoline for all of us. Robert Novak reports.

Bruce Bartlett says Lloyd Bentsen's economic legacy is noteworthy, especially for a Democrat.

And the Straight-Bashing Goes On

Maggie Gallagher reports the consequences a volunteer fireman experienced after signing a petition opposing gay marriage.

Money and Politics

Like it or not, Paul Jacob has some philosophically sound thoughts about how to take money out of politics -- well, at least some of the money.

George Will pulls John McCain and even default answers in tax software interviews into his piece on the cynicism of publicly-financed campaigns.

Burt Prelutsky is a little funnier and a little more cynical.


Jeff Jacoby discussed the latest ACLU bout of hysteria -- but unlike the ACLU, he adds context.

And now the ACLU is trying to stifle its own officers' speech? John Leo writes.

Capitol Capers

According to Jack Kelly, the bipartisan protest against the FBI raiding the office of a Member of Congress shows us that it's time for all sorts of folks to go. I can't bring myself to disagree.

Robert Novak analyzes an interesting race for one of Maryland's US Senate seats. 

For anyone who's not yet persuaded that the US Senate (beginning with Republicans) is completely insane, S. 147 might tip the balance. If they pass it, they're officially nuts -- which is actually me talking about the subject of Tim Chapman's commentary.

This Week, Niall Ferguson Gets His Own Headline

Here's a portrait in The Guardian of (not by) Niall Ferguson, who frequents these weekly reading lists.

Niall Ferguson draws some interesting comparisons between US and British universities.


Meghan Daum speaks of happiness and having a nice day.

Hurricane season begins on Thursday. Eugene Robinson offers some more post-Katrina housekeeping.

Patrick Hynes tells in detail why Christian evangelicals really aren't swing voters, despite recent rumors.

Burt Prelutsky says neither greed nor war is necessarily bad.

Victor Davis Hanson describes the unintended consequences in Europe, where paradise was supposed to be.

Paul Greenberg extols the merits of failure.

Diana West wonders the meaning of President Bush's recent apologies. She uses words like "unwise, weak and, therefore, quite dangerous."

Peggy Noonan discusses the increasingly fertile ground in America for a third party with candidates who have a clue -- if only some can be found.

Local Interest

John Fund speaks of national consequences attending the upcoming primary choice between Chris Cannon and John Jacob in Utah's Third Congressional District.

Here's a KSL story about Alpine School District providing more math options -- but whether this helps depends on which second option the District chooses. For more on the same topic, see Oak Norton's site.

Barbara Christiansen reports on an evolving proposed ordinance to allow irrigation water to be used in above-ground landscape features.

Artesian well, anyone? Barbara Christiansen reports on a revived American Fork attraction.

Amy Choate tries a little hard with the Winnie-the-Pooh thing in this article about a developing condition in southern American Fork, but otherwise the article is informative enough. In fact, here is Amy Choate making another pass at the same topic.

Despite rampant arrogance and ineffective math instruction, the Alpine School District has considerable virtues, including the limited level of school that is available within the District. This Deseret News piece reports on national recognition of that.

Here's the latest on two historic log cabins in American Fork. Mark Eddington reports.

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