David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, December 23, 2006
This Week's Excellent Readings
Some of this stuff is so good I want to read it again. Unfortunately, as Time's Person of the Year for 2006, I'll be busy with other things.
Favorites: Christmas . . . and the Christmas Wars
The essence of Christmas or just an interruption? Paul Greenberg says it was the former.
Maggie Gallagher found herself on the front lines of the Christmas wars. Her insight that the phenomenon is partly due simply to bureaucracy is . . . well, insightful, but that's not her only contribution to the discussion.
Burt Prelutsky responds to responses to his recent column about the Jewish face of anti-Christian activity in the US.
Mark Steyn opines on people who oppose Christmas for the rest of us. Here are some scattered excerpts:
Do we call it the Christmas Wars now? In any case, Bill Murchison articulates clearly how unevenly matched the opponents are.
Favorites: I Am Person of the Year
I was feeling pretty good about myself for being named Time's Person of the Year until I read Ben Shapiro. Thanks a lot, Ben.
Jonah Goldberg has an award for the folks at Time who sold out in naming me Person of the Year.
George Will says, among other things, the following. (I love the Brian Williams quotation.)
Jeff Emanuel's effort includes a list of most or all of Time's people of the year.
Favorites: Everything Else
I don't think Orson Scott Card will be having a very merry Christmas. Be sure to read this long essay all the way to the end, where he describes his nightmare . . . but maybe you should do it after Christmas. He's talking about the War on Terror, so called, and America's place in the world, and the end of empires . . .
Daniel Henninger's essay, "Religion in the Modern Age," is well worth reading. It's not a big, thick history book, just a relatively brief essay (or a long column). Note that he identifies more than one species of modern secularism to compete for supremacy, if religion were removed from American life.
You gotta read Charles Krauthammer on Oswald. (No, not Lee Harvey Oswald.) Here's one morsel:
Tony Blankley superbly describes one of the major challenges facing candidates and voters in our info-saturated age.
Jeff Jacoby's words could apply to other things, but here he speaks of the Massachusetts legislature's refusal to have a vote when their state constitution requires it -- on the subject of an amendment banning same-sex marriage, that is. (A quoted excerpt from A Man for All Seasons elsewhere in the article is positively delicious.)
Michelle Malkin reviews the Year of Perpetual Outrage.
Cal Thomas says politics has become the new American religion. (It's actually not new, but otherwise he makes a significant point, and makes it well.)
Joel Mowbray describes a dark-horse candidate he'd like to see run for the White House, conservative South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.
Jack Kelly reports on some other folks who make more sense than the CESM.
W. Thomas Smith, Jr., tells the story of a famous and pivotal SpecOp led by George Washington in December 1776.
Rich Lowry offers a more recent piece of military history, from December 1944.
Victor Davis Hanson writes an excellent article explaining why radical Islam has arisen in so many places at this particular time.
Amir Taheri discusses the potential for upcoming pilgrimages to disrupted by Iran for political (revolutionary) purposes.
And here Amir Taheri describes a political defeat for Iran's leader, in case you're interested in internal Iranian politics.
Frank J. Gaffney says a surge in troop deployments to Iraq is not by itself a solution.
Jeff Jacoby (among others) wonders why Iranian tyrant Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not on trial for inciting genocide, like a certain Rwandan songwriter.
I've read several rants about Jimmy Carter lately and would love to write my own, but life's too short. Let's settle for Burt Prelutsky's, shall we?
Diana West wonders what victory in Iraq would look like.
Jack Kelly says we need a bigger and better military.
National Politics: The 2008 Presidential Race
Jonah Goldberg makes the best case I've read for Rudy Giuliani as a presidential candidate. Here's one excerpt -- but it doesn't do justice to Goldberg's whole argument.
George Will describes challenges John McCain and Mitt Romney face as presidential candidates.
In a too-lightly proofread but otherwise interesting article, Kevin McCullough adds to his previous list of reasons why Barack Obama will be elected president in 2008.
Scott Helman writes for The Boston Globe on Mitt Romney's evolution from moderate to conservative. Have his beliefs changed, or is he simply running for president? (Are politicians allowed to change their minds?)
Michael Barone writes:
On the other hand, John H. Fund thinks it likely that Obama will not run in 2008.
Kathleen Parker discusses the fact that Senator Hillary Clinton now is against the war that she was for before she was against it.
Meanwhile, writes Robert Novak, John Edwards is courting labor's support.
Jonathan Darman's Newsweek article about Mitt Romney's presidential prospects is reasonably fair to his Mormon beliefs.
I think Lawrence Kudlow is a little giddy when he describes John McCain as "Senator Backbone." Maybe you'll disagree.
Kathryn Jean Lopez says that Mitt Romney's example in handling his religion should be George Washington, not JFK.
National Politics: Aftermath of the November 2006 Election
Debra Saunders observes that the facts about the Mark Foley flap, as they have emerged, have painted a fairly clear picture of the situation, which has now almost fallen out of the news: There was no Republican cover-up, and Democrats had the incriminating e-mails for about a year before timing their release to sabotage the election. (Is anyone surprised?)
Dick Morris discusses some things President Bush could do without the cooperation of Congress.
Paul Weyrich probes Senator Tim Johnson's incapacity as it relates to Senate rules and historical precedents -- and a very tenuous Democratic majority.
National Politics: Other Topics
Thomas Sowell pulls no punches in reviewing the evidence of a prosecutor who cared for his re-election but not for the truth or for justice.
Rich Galen offers a recent Tim Russert interview of Newt Gingrich as an advanced lesson (by Gingrich) in giving a great interview.
Steve Chapman writes of a California scheme to extort massive quantities of money from US and Japanese automakers.
Matt Towery explains than the dollar is not healthy and could get a lot worse.
Alan Reynolds explains in detail how the numbers Senator-elect James Webb is using to speak of increasing gaps between rich and poor are wildly inaccurate.
And here Alan Reynolds exposes some bad -- almost doctored -- statistics The New York Times is touting about income and consumption.
Louis Hau profiles Craigslist, a business which seems to buck the conventional wisdom that profits are everything.
Bruce Schneier takes a mostly economic look at e-mail spam.
Jack Trout has an interesting argument that Wal-Mart should not try to be something else.
Around the World
Jack Kelly is not sorry to see the end of Kofi Annan's term as UN Secretary-General. He explains why.
Paul Greenberg has some thoughts on the death of a dictator.
Meghan Basham compares the ACLU's anti-Christian follies at home with the persecution of Christians abroad -- a much-needed perspective. (Hint: It's a lot worse in India.)
Ben Stein wants to be wrong about Russia, and for Europe's sake we'll hope he is . . .
Rebecca Hagelin describes sociological research on the benefits of religious activity. They are not small.
Paul Greenberg contemplates the prospect of religion at Harvard. Vocabulary words include profanation and instrumentalism. (Don't worry; he'll explain.)
Wesley Pruden writes of whole, prominent congregations leaving the Episcopal Church; their grievance is a familiar one.
I may have to see the "radically conservative" Will Smith movie Mary Katherine Ham praises. (The quoted phrase is not hers.)
At whom should one be angry when experiencing racial profiling? Walter Williams' answer is not the popular one.
Larry Elder tells of a happy recent meeting with a childhood hero, Sandy Koufax.
Here's a rerun of a good, old Ross Mackenzie essay on Christmas.
Mark Davis writes well of risk and safety and related things, in the context of dead mountaineers.
Mona Charen describes the life of a child -- her child -- with Type I diabetes, and looks at the promise of medical technology.
Just for the (slightly naughty) fun of it, stick to this Gene Weingarten column on misdirected e-mails until another, more famous comic writer appears at the end.
Ed Feulner wants school choice to be a critical issue in the 2008 campaign.
Oak Norton's weekly update includes an excellent article by Dan Olsen, which puts fuzzy math and drilling in the proper perspective.
Thomas Sowell recommends some books.
Matt Canham describes electronic voting machine costs and other issues in considerable detail, as they relate to city and county elections in Utah.
Megan C. Wallgren reports that the American Fork Planning Commission has approved the creation of a marina zone, which, if approved by the City Council, will be a significant step toward allowing the creation of a resort on Utah Lake.
David Rodeback comments (12/30/06):
In re-reading this post today, I found about ten typos. I have fixed them, but I am duly mortified.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.