David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, October 14, 2006
This Week's Excellent Readings
It was a good week -- or maybe it was bad, or just interesting. In any case, this week's list of excellent things to read is longer than usual and possibly even better.
Walter Williams offers and excellent explanation of just processes and unequal results. Democrats would certainly prefer that you not read this in an election year.
Paul Weyrich writes, and promises to write more soon, on what the new conservatism needs to look like, and why we need it.
Paul Greenberg stands accused of committing inadvertent poetry -- and seems rather giddy about it, if truth be told. (He also scores a point or two for Tocqueville, who is tops in my book, too. Not my book of poets, of course.)
Jack Kelly writes an insightful piece on North Korea, nukes, US foreign policy, China's interests . . . and even the possibility that the first device North Korea exploded was a dud.
Jonah Goldberg, the quintessential well-read conservative commentator, profiles intellectual and popular liberal paranoia about the things people like me allegedly would do if we were in power.
Tony Blankley speaks candidly and convincingly of elephants and jackasses.
Dennis Prager writes of what is almost a grim historical constant -- except that it is increasing.
Forgiving those who hurt you is one thing. Is forgiving those who hurt -- or rape or murder -- someone else a different thing? Jeff Jacoby thinks so.
Paul Greenberg writes of the opportunity costs when "the appeal to reason goes unmade" in our politics.
It's good that at least someone is writing about Christopher Columbus this week. At least, I guess it's good. "Someone" in this case is Tom Purcell.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., writes on what has changed and what hasn't, in the aftermath of a North Korean nuclear test, and has some good ideas for (finally) addressing the problem.
Thomas Sowell Is a Favorite
Thomas Sowell writes this week of frivolity in politics. So far, it's four-part effort.
Here's the first paragraph of Part I.
Here are two separate excerpts from Part II:
In Part III, Sowell offers some thoughts about how Republicans might attract some black voters, and says,
In Part IV, he takes on frivolous voters and a largely frivolous Congress.
Education: Murder at School, Play Beats Homework, the Math Wars, and More
James Carroll considers the recent school slayings. An excerpt:
Lenore Skenazy puts its briefly -- the virtue of play over homework, that is.
Mona Charen's look at Columbia University's Teachers College won't surprise or reassure you.
North Korean Nukes
See also "Favorites" above.
Peter Wehner explains why bilateral talks with North Korea are a bad idea. (Folks, if you don't happen to know already, it's time to learn what the word risible means. It's just about the nicest adjective one can use for the Democratic leadership's idea of what to do with North Korea, and Wehner uses it. Are they fools -- the Dems, I mean -- or are they convinced that we are fools, who can't tell the difference between the security of our country and the ascendancy of their party?)
I'm not necessarily an expert, but Jed Babbin's plan sounds really good to me. I also like the tangential insight in this excerpt:
Debra J. Saunders spoke with Secretary of State Rice.
James Lileks is on point and somewhat tongue-in-cheek in the bargain. "Poor dears, under such beastly stress."
Charles Krauthammer offers some analysis of the theory, practice, and limits of deterrence. Note his last comments on how deterrence might work until there are two rogue nuclear states.
Foley's Follies and the Aftershocks
Burt Prelutsky is shaking his head at former Congressman Foley's refuge in alcoholism; here's an excerpt. Later he notes one of the meetings of the word congress, which I knew but hadn't thought of. (I wish I had.)
Robert D. Novak analyzes the impact of House Speaker Hastert not resigning, and looks into the minds of Republicans who decided not to force the issue.
Paul M. Weyrich, who earlier called for Speaker Hastert to resign, has cooled off and changed his mind.
Kathryn Jean Lopez says we don't need congressional pages, anyway.
Terence Jeffrey sorts out the Sunnis and Shiites as clearly and comprehensively as anyone.
Michael Goodwin has James Baker trying to find a middle ground between Republicans and Democrats on Iraq.
Victor Davis Hanson explains some important thoughts on the difference between history and gossip. Note particularly his discussion of using anonymous sources.
Jerry Newberry has a brief report from among US troops in Afghanistan.
Robert D. Novak provides ample evidence of this assertion:
Michael Barone calmly foretells what a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives will look like -- if it happens.
Geoffrey R. Stone lists ten things modern American liberals tend to believe. Nine of them more or less describe me. I am a conservative. I don't think it's a very good or useful list.
Phyllis Schlafly explains, among other things, why the scheme to add one more seat for Utah in the US House of Representatives, in exchange for one for Washington, DC, is on thin constitutional ice.
George Will says the Governator got it right when he vetoed an end run around the Electoral College. In the process, Will offers an excellent, brief defense of that institution.
Robert Novak's lengthy piece adds some details to the Valerie Plame scandal, in which he was a participant, and in the process illustrates the desperate lengths some will go to in perpetuating what everyone already knows is a lie.
Damon Linker writes:
Mike Gallagher doesn't use the word risible like that other guy I mentioned. He goes straight for "fall-off-the-chair-roaring-with-laughter-and-rolling-around-on-the-floor . . . funny" in this commentary on the notion that the Democrats have the moral high ground this month.
Leonard Pitts, Jr., mourns the death of a good man and the segment of society he aimed to save.
Alan Sears writes -- tell me this does not describe contemporary America familiar --
Suzanne Fields catalogs recent interesting developments in the scientific understanding of -- perish the thought! -- male-female differences.
Is the human response to music an argument against evolution (meaning the theory that humans evolved from lower life forms, not the obvious fact that species evolve)? Chuck Colson says so.
Dan Neil's "Huckleberry TV" begs to be read on the strength of the title alone. His destination is RFD-TV, described in the following excerpt, but he gets there via a reference to having breakfast with 100,000 lesbians. He ends up thinking he might buy and train a mule.
Marvin Olasky explains that the Nazis were not Christians, and that most Christians are not extremists. Would that others would explain this too . . .
For any Mormon with a sense of humor, here's a song someone sent me. (Mormons without a sense of humor should read some other blog. You will not be happy here. Then again, maybe you don't want to be.)
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
See Dennis Prager's article under "Favorites" above.
Bill Murchison notes a parallel on his way to this final sentence:
Bill Bennett writes of a diplomatic crisis in 1861 which somehow sounds more modern. Note that crises rarely have the good manners to line up in single file.
Dennis Prager writes of a grim historical constant.
Mark Steyn weighs in on the congressional page flap. Beware of coarse language. Here are three excerpts (of the weighing in, not the coarse language):
In this case, that thing is "extreme mentoring," a sport President Clinton popularized from the Oval Office. But John H. Fund also writes of an important, constant force on Capitol Hill: congressional staff, who exert tremendous influence on government, largely without accountability.
Uh-oh, is Bob Woodward getting caught with his facts down -- again? Jack Kelly says so.
Are we fighting terrorists and tyrants or not? Caroline Glick may make you wonder.
Ross Kaminsky identifies something ugly at Columbia University that is constant through generations.
See Walter Williams' offering under "Favorites."
Paul Johnson has some intriguing thoughts about the relative virtues of borrowing and lending.
Alan Reynolds offers an excellent essay on "technological provincialism," and offers evidence in the process that at least three of ten Americans need some remedial help in government, economics, or logic. (Note: Conspiracy theories tend to be both intellectually lazy and untrue.)
Frankly, Larry Elder won't increase your faith in the average American intellect, but he's worth reading anyway.
Jay Sekulow reports that the European Court of Human Rights made the right decision in a recent case of interest, and they did it unanimously.
Max Boot reports that Americans have been idealists and interventionists in foreign policy for as long as there have been Americans. The opposite stance is more European.
Caroline B. Glick profiles the anti-Israel lobby in the US and their influence, including some signs of influence on the Bush Administration.
Local Interest (Maybe)
Yawn. Fergie visited American Fork this week. Yawn. At least it wasn't a state visit.
Caleb Warnock describes the American Fork broadband deal.
Amy Choate-Nielsen reports on the current American Fork/Pleasant Grove boundary and development negotiations.
I liked the Cabo Grill, too, and I'm glad it's back. Rodger Hardy reports.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.