David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, September 23, 2006
The Week's Excellent Readings
The Pope and angry Muslims play a large but not overwhelming role in this week's list of goodies for your brain.
Kathleen Parker's account of what the Pope actually said about the West and the Muslim world is excellent, and it includes a few delicious barbs such as these:
Paul Jacob has an update and some pithy thoughts about school choice.
Thomas Sowell subjects some terrorist-related court decisions and legislative positions to some cold, hard reason.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., addresses the same subject, using words like sanctimony and poppycock. Aren't we already treating our prisoners too well? An excerpt:
Wesley Pruden discusses the recent offense some Muslims have taken at the Pope, in the context of Western response to the jihad mentality. He includes this delicious tale from down under:
Walter Williams offers an insightful definition and explanation of prejudice.
Islamamok: Kill the Pope, Etc.
Michael Medved offers an intelligent analysis of what he calls "the Pope's mistake."
Jonah Goldberg begins with this observation:
In the Pope's and Henry Kissinger's recent remarks, Tony Blankley sees the welcome emergence of moral clarity in our view of the current world war.
Suzanne Fields discusses the Pope's controversial words and offers some thoughts on religious tolerance generally.
I get the sense that if we asked James Lileks the difference between Islamic fascists and an particularly poorly-adjusted two year old, he'd say that we don't let the latter play with guns and bombs, especially in anger.
Charles Krauthammer notes that religious fanatics have no sense of humor, and at least some of them lack any sense of irony.
Cliff May explains what you'd think might be obvious:
Jeff Jacoby ponders religious intolerance in its latest, angry-Muslim incarnation.
Islamamok: Non-Papal Topics
Iraq's deputy prime minister Barham Salih writes of things which must be done, politically and otherwise.
Bret Stephens' essay on the Left's unwillingness to "face up to the threat of radical Islam" is more subtle than the noting of similarities between the two might suggest, but this excerpt is otherwise representative of a very thoughtful piece of commentary.
Mark Steyn's much different piece somehow manages to be about the same subject, more or less. He juxtaposes very plain language with purple phrases such as "self-regarding pseudo-sophistication"; "limpidly fey, tastefully mopey"; "tasteful passivity"; and "a parodic masterpiece of note-perfect generically effete huggy-weepy blather." And then there's what he says about rebuilding . . . something . . . in place of the twin towers, and a telling point featuring two kins of unmanned drones.
As usual, Jack Kelly pulls no punches. His point:
Michael Rubin analyzes the current impasse between the West and Iran, regarding the latter's nuclear weapons program. There's a lot of good detail here, but his first paragraph gives you the general tenor of the article. Note also the absolute European impotence suggested here:
Rusty Shackleford makes an important point: Applying the Geneva Conventions to terrorists who defy them actually undermines the Conventions.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has come to America. I am inclined to agree with George Will that this is an excellent thing.
Mona Charen suggests some questions students and faculty at Columbia University might ask Iran's chief kook when he comes.
Jonah Goldberg notes that power isn't all it's cracked up to be, and that conservatives aren't particularly thrilled with six years of Republican control in Washington.
Niall Ferguson expects the Republicans to hang on in November.
George Will is insightful in this look at one prominent liberal who just doesn't understand conservatives.
Bill Lauderback writes of some Texas politicians' efforts to undermine reasonable attempts to provide enough electricity in their state.
John H. Fund writes of pork, belated efforts to control it, and notes that some of the pork provisions Congress creates are not legally binding and could be ignored by the White House if it so chose.
If you think government corruption is a victimless crime, Marvin Olasky has an anecdote to the contrary.
Victor Davis Hanson chronicles the slow improvement of Republican fortunes as the election approaches.
Jay Sekulow introduces a House bill called the Houses of Worship Free Speech Restoration Act and asks (in advocating it) such questions as these:
Rich Lowry notes that in the matter of immigration generally and the controversial border fence specifically, "the political marketplace worked."
So Chicago will get Wal-Mart, and vice versa. Tom Van Riper writes for Forbes.
Rich Lowry writes of Michigan's one-state economic recession, concluding with this observation:
Thomas Lifson reports on a rough ride for Airbus, with all sorts of larger implications.
More television -- just what kids need, right? Lenore Skenazy doesn't think so.
Some of us have the luxury of worrying about the books our children read, not worrying that our children don't read books. For this happy crowd, Rebecca Hagelin suggests a new Web site.
The linguistic snob in me delights in Gene Weingarten.
"What I miss most is the courtesy," laments Greg Crosby.
Betsy Hart discusses disciplining others' children.
This long James Wolcott piece from The New Republic is actually a review of four books, but in the best tradition of book reviews, it is also commentary. I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but there are some thick, juicy thoughts and delightful phrases to be had, including this one (chosen almost at random):
Abroad (or Nearly So)
Robert Novak describes the political machinations over the proposed confirmation of UN Ambassdor John Bolton.
Jonah Goldberg writes of "Boltophobia," which of course means that there must be "Boltophobes." (Too obscure? How about this: This is an article about conflicting American visions of the United Nations and urging the Senate confirmation of John Bolton.) You might think that these first lines are insufficiently serious for making a serious point, but I think he's also suggesting that some folks defy all attempts to take them seriously.
Rich Tucker writes of the Nonaligned Movement, which he calls "a dictator's club," and also of larger things.
Paul Greenberg writes of Cuba -- past, present, and future.
Matt Towery is seriously suggesting it's time for a new organization to replace the UN. Here's an excerpt:
Timothy Lee recounts some developing consumer backlash against European government attempts to pillage Microsoft.
Peggy Noonan suggests and explains a particular response to Hugo Chavez.
American Fork and Environs
This Daily Herald story explains a proposed new ordinance in American Fork imposing fines for excessive false alarms requiring police response.
Barbara Christiansen explains a settlement in a lawsuit against American Fork by solicitors (not the British kind).
The State of Utah tests a lot of gasoline pumps every year. Lee Davidson reports for the Deseret Morning News.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.