David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, December 2, 2006
The Week's Excellent Readings
There's some serious writing about the war, here, along with a few short philosophical pieces, some analysis of the next Congress, accounts of mass media fraud about Iraq, interesting looks at the Pope's trip to Turkey, and a lot more. There's even a piece on parenting from a new grandparent, Orson Scott Card. Some of this week's readings are funny. Some are just sad.
I wanted to cheer when I read Walter Williams on why Americans love government (the fools!).
George Will looks back to shopping, food, childhood, and other things in the 1950s, with Bill Bryson's help.
Jonah Goldberg does as good a job as I have seen exposing the frivolity of comparing the Iraq campaign with World War II.
This excellent, long Michael Medved column discusses the economic and political implications of middle class insecurities.
Paul Jacob explains why the new congress will look a lot like old Congresses.
Here's a good paragraph from Janet Daley's insightful essay on what is really a war to the death between the West and radical Islam. The immediate context is Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Turkey.
Thomas Sowell introduces a new book by someone else on some of Sowell's own favorite themes.
Suddenly, I'm really liking the new pope's John Paul II impression. Here Maggie Gallagher writes of a mostly unsung purpose of the Pontiff's present junket.
Victor Davis Hanson argues that civilization itself -- the Enlightenment itself, we might say -- is under siege.
It would be fun, beneficial, and -- I admit -- unsettling if Utah Republicans absorbed Paul Greenberg's excellent thoughts on the dangers ideologues pose to a political party, but I won't hold my breath. Ideologues, as Greenberg aptly portrays them, are so in love with hearing their own opinions that they don't care to reflect on them critically, let alone to hear anyone else's opinions.
Charles Krauthammer injects a dose of real realism into the Iraq discussion which is now dominated by mind-numbing, jaw-dropping faux realism. Here's an excerpt:
Orson Scott Card offers a very interesting essay on raising good, happy children (or not).
Looks like the BMA have done it again: Reported false stories from unreliable or illegitimate sources, simply because they further a certain political goal. Once again, it's largely the blogosphere hurrying to the truth's defense. Michelle Malkin reports.
Austin Bay provides details of the latest media scam.
Jack Kelly says Iraq's neighbors are a much bigger problem now than Iraq itself.
Elie Wiesel doesn't really think the UN would expel Iran, but he argues convincingly that they should.
Steve Forbes says Iran is the biggest looming problem. Key word: nukes.
Debra J. Saunders writes of author Daveed Gartenstein-Ross, sometime convert to radical Islam, who now has written a thoughtful book about it.
Mark Steyn picks "a quartet of ladies" to show where we're headed as a civilization. (He's rather frank. If you are offended by mention of a promiscuous professor talking through her backside, don't read this.)
Rich Lowry wonders if the US still has a commander-in-chief.
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., discusses how and why we're slouching toward a "solution" in Iraq which looks a lot like throwing Iraq and Israel to the wolved.
Debra J. Saunders precisely captures my view of the unjustifiably vaunted Iraq Study Group.
Charles Rangel yields nothing to John Kerry in the matter of Democratic Senators bashing US troops. Jack Kelly comments.
Tony Blankley praises Pope Benedict XVI's efforts with respect to Islam.
Victor Davis Hanson explains the modern connection between blood and oil.
Why do they keep signing these things? Joel Mowbray reports yet another almost immediate violation of yet another cease-fire agreement between the Palestinians and Israel.
The Six-Imam Setup
Ben Shapiro has some sobering thoughts about all the hand-wringing for six imams who may not be terrorists, but who were certainly acting like terrorists. (At some point the question, "How stupid do they think we are?" yields to the question, "How stupid are we?")
Julia Gorin is a tad sarcastic here, but the subject deserves it. We've lost our minds.
On the same subject, Michael Graham is angry, but insightful
Phyllis Schlafly reminds us of the failed 1956 Hungarian revolution, US failures in connection with it, and its importance in advancing the ultimate downfall of the Soviet Union.
Rich Galen reports what he has learned lately about the newly-fashionable murder weapon, polonium.
Wes Pruden begins his article on the Litvinenko murder with these words:
Ed Feulner has an interesting idea for Russia, modeled on successes in Poland and elsewhere.
Michael Barone assesses the difficulties of the new congress making specific strides in the direction many Democrats want to go: toward a European-style welfare state.
Robert Novak profiles a triumphant Charles Schumer and the strategy that made him so.
Doing a good job -- actually a superb job -- is not enough, if your name is John Bolton and it's a Democratic Senate that gets to decide if you continue. Among Suzanne Fields' thoughts are these:
Burt Prelutsky reminisces on themes such as his conversion to conservatism, hereditary insanity, and the alleged greatness of former president Jimmy Carter.
John H. Fund discusses the fact that 9 of 11 federal spending bills for the fiscal year which began October 1 have not been passed by Congress and are not likely to be passed until the new congress. (In other words, as I read it, Republicans are so addicted to earmarks that they're willing to let the Democrats trash the budget next year rather than giving up their earmarks this year. Morons. They still don't get that the voters get that they don't get it.)
Not a big surprise, is it, that in Florida they still can't figure out how to vote? Lisa Lerer reports.
Joan Vennochi's current contribution to the major East Coast media campaign to destroy Mitt Romney as a presidential candidate includes essentially this argument: His record is moderate, but now he's impersonating a conservative . . . and it's all irrelevant anyway, because everyone knows the November 7 election means people only care about the war. (Note yet again how Republicans' past words can be resurrected -- at best, or sometimes even twisted or invented -- to discredit them later, which may be the chief difference between them and Democrats.)
On the other hand, Time's Mike Allen writes of Mormons and Mitt and presidential politics fairly evenhandedly.
John Dickerson has a good piece on Mitt Romney and his Mormonism.
Bruce Bartlett contemplates the possibility of good news emerging despite the Democratic takeover of Congress. He notes that the world hasn't actually ended yet.
Bill Murchison wonders what happened to those Christians who supposedly were going to take over our government and impose right-wing Republicanism on us all.
Michael Barone looks in Robert Gates' 1996 memoir for clues to what sort of SecDef he will be. Here's the final paragraph of a long analysis:
Jacob Sullum writes an excellent essay on symbolic laws that actually impede the causes the purport to advance.
Jonah Goldberg defends his own cynicism -- and mine with it, to be sure.
David Hill has some detailed I hadn't heard before about the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, also known (among the wags) as the Incumbent Protection Act.
George Will is not impressed so far by Senator-elect Jim Webb.
Michael Barone analyzes close Senate races and unforced errors over the last several years state by state.
Lynn Sweet thinks Barack Obama will run for president, and she suggests some items from his to-do list.
William Perry Pendley recounts a modern western water battle with an irrational, belated ending.
Robert Novak notes an interesting Harry Reid strategy which may avoid recess appointments by President Bush -- if Reid can keep Democratic senators in town.
Betsy Hart has some provocative thoughts about women leaving the workforce to raise children, and women working at home, and women who need to get out of the house sometimes.
Star Parker, who is black, has a very clear explanation for racism's continued survival in our society. In addition to the following, she also says, "Blacks who want a better world ought to get out of the gutter."
Tom Purcell interviews himself on the subject of happiness and its ties to marriage, politics, education, etc.
"All things considered, [Kathleen Parker would] rather be embarrassed in America."
James J. Kilpatrick says we should listen to what we write. (So do I, but that's another story.)
Robert Novak talks of Bella, an unlikely movie with an unlikely stance on a familiar topic. (Hint: It didn't come from Hollywood.)
James Lileks has some pungent thoughts about evolving copyright law -- or is that devolving copyright law?
Burt Prelutsky samples topics we're all sick of from this year and makes a rather fun column out of them.
Kathleen Parker describes a movie about animal fetuses which probably wasn't intended as pro-life propaganda, but could have been.
Mona Charen wonders if we really want to live nearly forever.
Paul Greenberg's tribute to Milton Friedman is well worth reading.
Dan Frommer writes of Internet bandwidth and where the bottlenecks are.
Steve H. Hanke writes of the Fed's legacy of overreaction in his discussion of price indexes, the money supply, and related topics.
Suzanne Fields invites us to behold the power of mirth -- specifically, satire.
Terence Jeffrey illustrates the philosophical bankruptcy of modern public schools with a parable about apples.
Is it possible that religion will again be welcome at Harvard University? Chuck Colson thinks so.
Henry Edmondson says commas are making a comeback. (Will the Grammar Wars follow the Math Wars?)
Paul Greenberg mixes a bit of history, a bit of autobiography, some human insight, and even a thought or two about economics into this essay on his father, the shoemaker.
Heidi Toth reports on developing plans for a fourth congressional district in Utah.
. . . As do Bob Bernick, Jr., and Suzanne Struglinski.
American Fork and Environs
Alison Snyder reports on American Fork's consideration of resort development on Utah Lake.
Amy Choate-Nielsen reports on a looming Utah Lake commission, which will involve municipalities and other entities.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.