David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, February 17, 2007
This Week's Excellent Readings
I subdivided the "Favorites" this week. Valentine's Day makes an appearance, along with a lot of other good stuff, and one February 14 thing that's kinda creepy.
Favorites: Valentine's Day (And V-Day, the Feminist Alternative)
Paul Greenberg offers this delightful Russian valentine. One excerpt:
If you're still basking in the glow of Paul Greenberg (above), come back to this one another time. Kathleen Parker's portrait of the growing feminist alternative, V-Day, is not delightful, but it may be a useful glimpse of contemporary American culture, especially on campus. (Some of the article is more graphic than this excerpt. You've been warned.)
(Now, if you need to get V-Day out of your system, reread Paul Greenberg.)
Favorites: Global Warming
Mark Steyn doesn't seem convinced by all the media types, plus Al Gore, who say that human-caused global warming is settled scientific fact, and that we have no choice but to destroy our economies and societies in a vain hope of saving the planet.
Favorites: The Presidential Race
Alan Reynolds looks at polls asking, Would you vote for a Catholic, Mormon, Muslim, African-American, woman, etc. He finds some problems and also suggests an alternate question:
Terry Michael is a reluctant fan of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. (Thanks to alert reader Jon Rodeback for the link.)
Stephen Stromberg says Mitt Romney's faith is not what voters should focus on.
Wesley Pruden writes of Rudy Giuliani's likely candidacy, his reception in California, and some bold positions taken without the aid of the latest opinion polls. (It's refreshing.)
Favorites: Everything Else
Australian Janet Albrechtsen dissects global anti-Americanism and finds it intellectually dishonest and irrational.
Gregory Koukl responds to arguments in favorite of same-sex marriage systematically and thoughtfully.
Jonathan Turley writes a superb essay on war and pacifism, inspired by a war-themed children's birthday party some parents didn't like.
Before we destroy the US health care system in a big-government frenzy, let's look at the British and Canadian systems which are supposedly so wonderful. Walter Williams offers a brief collection of grim reports from both countries. Here's one excerpt:
Paul M. Weyrich reports and explains the re-emergence of actual leadership among Senate Republicans.
Cliff May notes the power of ruthless minorities and observes:
If you still think Speaker Pelosi is trying to clean up corruption on Capitol Hill and want to keep thinking that, don't read Paul Weyrich about her lust for an Air Force 747 and some rules changes.
Charles Krauthammer writes of Vladimir Putin and his intentions.
Ralph Peters celebrates Muqtada al-Sadr's apparently fearful flight to Iran -- as in, he was fleeing, not flying. There's a lot of that going around.
Mark M. Alexander explains the difference between Sunni and Shiite.
Jonathan V. Last takes a look inside radical Islam in the United States and finds that the threat is not just terrorism.
Jack Kelly notes that our government's intel weenies (a technical term he doesn't actually us) don't quite agree on who is running the resistance in Iraq: ex-Baathists or al-Qaida. (Seems like a pretty fundamental thing not to know, doesn't it?)
Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., discusses inappropriate behavior by members of Congress with regard to the war. Don't miss the Abraham Lincoln quote at the beginning.
Austin Bay reports Pentagon claims that other US government agencies are pulling their share of the load in Iraq.
Victor Davis Hanson lists some things we can do about Iran without bombing -- yet.
Jack Kelly muses on the merits of being right versus achieving consensus in analyzing intelligence. Read to find out why and about whom he says:
Douglas J. Feith defends himself and his refusal to bow to the intelligence community's consensus without question.
Munich is Munich is Munich, writes Cliff May. Some things, it seems, never change.
William Rusher wonders why there has been no follow-up attack after 9/11 in the United States. He supposes this is a temporary condition.
Mona Charen analyzes what's good and not so good about Dinesh D'Souza's controversial new book. (Do they hate us for Britney Spears, or is it more fundamental than that?)
National Politics: 2008 Presidential Race
George Will profiles a dark horse conservative Republican presidential candidate, Duncan Hunter of San Diego.
Marvin Olasky profiles Republican candidate Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas. (No, seriously! He's a conservative.)
Debra J. Saunders favorably compares Rudy Giuliani to other candidates and to Congress, with its non-binding resolutions.
Dick Morris says Newt Gingrich has passed Mitt Romney and is challenging John McCain for second place.
Mike Gallagher extols the virtues of a Giuliani-McCain ticket in 2008.
Donald Lambro ponders the implications of an increasingly front-loaded primary calendar.
Robert Novak describes Hollywoods' and others' reluctance to support Hillary Clinton for president.
James P. Pinkerton says an outsider is the one to transform Washington -- and Mitt Romney might be that outsider.
Star Parker wonders, which is Barack Obama's intent: to be somebody or to do something? In the process she has some useful insights into the politics of school choice and social security reform.
John H. Fund recalls the unimpressive record of those who like to predict presidential elections early.
Dick Morris and Eileen McGann explain that Ralph Nader could be a problem for candidate Hillary Clinton.
I disagree with Michelle Malkin. Barack Obama is articulate -- it's just that his views are pretty far left.
Jonah Goldberg called Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani "canaries in the coal mine."
Jonah Goldberg dissects a chilling thought: "Maybe a Democrat should win."
National Politics: Everything Else
Robert Novak recounts a Senate Republican surrender on an omnibus appropriations bill.
George Will suggests that Ronald Reagan's conservatism was of a curious sort, that big-government conservatism is a logical consequence, and that Republicans need to stop expending so much energy being nostalgic about Reagan and get some good ideas of their own. (The political theorist in me is intrigued but not yet persuaded by this reading of Reagan.
Kirsten Powers reviews Senator Chuck Schumer's new book -- or, rather, his plan for victory in 2008. (Actually, the plan sounds a lot like what Josh Lyman and Toby Zeigler came up with on The West Wing to help President Bartlet win re-election.)
Here are excerpts from Mary Eberstadt's column on current Democratic piety and the Christian-bashing liberal pundits and bloggers indulged before the Democrats regained power. Two excerpts:
Michael Barone extols the virtues of President Bush's health care proposal and notes that its support on Capitol Hill is at least greater than zero.
Clarence Page writes of Gardasil, HPV, and politics.
Jeff Jacoby bemoans the long lines at the Massachusetts RMV (DMV to others) and explains the solution.
Arnold Kling has some interesting, detailed thoughts about health care and related policy.
Jon Sanders lists Americans whose free speech government entities really are suppressing, and the Dixie Chicks are not among them.
Michael Medved suggests a different measure than we usually use to judge the success of our presidents.
John H. Fund praises a new history of libertarianism's considerable legacy in the United States.
Gary J. Andrus thinks the time is right for a federalist revival.
John Hawkins overstates his case. There are thoughtful liberals. But others are very much as he describes them.
According to Diana West, the NFL now considers the US border (or the Border Patrol -- is there a difference?) "controversial."
Around the World
Suzanne Fields explains how abusing the language attacks free speech, while discussing more specifically the tendency of the global warming crowd to insist than anyone who disagrees is in denial.
Tom Purcell, too, is unpersuaded that human-caused global warming is hard science.
Lyndsay Moss writes of a remarkable discovery involving carrots in Scotland.
John Podhoretz says North Korea's leader is running "one of the most successful extortion rackets in the history of the world." And he has struck again.
Donald Lambro explains that manufacturing is not dead or dying in America, contrary to the talking points of certain people with political agenda. (He seems to think the purpose of manufacturing is to make things, while those others think it is to provide jobs.)
David Strom used to think that liberal politicians were misguided but well-meaning. Now he thinks otherwise. On the way to a good little lesson in the economics of taxation, he observes:
Jerry Flint presents a case study in competition. If you're, say, Detroit, and you want to compete with Japanese cars, is it better to imitate Japan or be different?
The Culture, Broadly Defined
Burt Prelutsky writes of his love for, nay, his addiction to chocolate.
Bruce Schneier's reasons to "just say no" to Windows Vista are political, economic, and technical.
All too often, bad things happen when good books go to Hollywood. Megan Bashan seems to think this may not be one of those times.
Brent Bozell III's focus is a bit broader, on a film company that wants to use movies to get children to read. A superb line:
Mark E. Babej and Tim Pollak have the odd idea that even Super Bowl commercials should have the objective of selling your product. They have some tips for next time, too.
Lenore Skenazy discusses a proposed law in New York City (which is enough to make me think fondly of Darwin).
Suzanne Fields uses the appointment of a new president of Harvard University, a woman, as a jumping-off point to discuss feminism, femininity, and masculinity. Near the end one encounters the "alpha-pansy."
Burt Prelutsky documents journalistic hubris, and it's not just about politics.
Janice Shaw Crouse writes "in praise of virginity."
Nat Hentoff recommends a recent PBS series on the US Supreme Court to remedy the average American's ignorance of the Court's role in our government and history. He notes,
Things have come full-circle in Arkansas, writes Paul Greenberg.
Tiffany Erickson describes what may be a rough road for school vouchers, even after the Utah Legislature approved (created) them, and after Governor Huntsman presumably will sign them. (It's the typical liberal strategy: If you can't get your way with the elected officials, use judges.)
According to this Nicole Stricker article, cooler heads prevailed in the Utah Legislature, and a bill to require the public election of school district superintendents died in committee.
Glen Warhol offers this brief report on a bill to open the Utah State School for the Deaf to students with other handicaps.
American Fork and Environs
Barbara Davis describes the Crescent Super Band's recent adventures in New York City.
Stacy Johnson reports on the continuing organization of the Utah Lake Commission.
Laura Hancock's article suggests that Alpine School District officials actually believe their own propaganda about what many (not a few) parents want in the math curriculum. (The straw man has a long and storied history in political and other debates.)
So does Brooke Barker's.
Oak Norton cites a number of newspaper articles about the Alpine School District math curriculum and provides a dissenting view to some.
Copyright 2007 by David Rodeback.