David Rodeback's Blog

Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Wednesday, January 11, 2006
Selected Readings (Catching Up, Part II)

More catching up, including items of local interest, comic relief, and much more.

I'll start with items of local interest. Please note: the Comic Relief section is further down.

Local Interest (some news items, some commentary)


  • Mark Steyn has some interesting insights into diplomatic language in this piece on Iran.
  • Thomas Sowell wonders if we're serious or suicidal.
  • Jonah Goldberg profiles Iran's head kook and has some commentary on the use of language in politics.

(By now you probably need the comic relief, but it's at the end.)


  • Walter Williams weighs some other things against freedom, and they come up short.
  • I mentioned this one a couple of days ago on my Best of the Best list, but I'm mentioning it again. Joshua Muravchik says 2005 was a good year for freedom. (This is about as scientific as "political science" gets.)

History (Matters)


  • Michael Barone compares the Wal-Mart model to the GM model.
  • There's some good economics in this piece by Edward Wasserman on who pays for the World Wide Web, but I don't particularly care for his conclusion.
  • Walter Williams offers a chapter from what would be a good little primer on the economics of politics.


Miscellaneous Political Issues

  • Here's George Will on drilling ANWR and what's behind a lot of environmentalism. I love the last sentence.
  • Want to see where some pro-choice logic leads if you follow it far enough and broadly enough? To men having choice. I don't necessary advocate this, and I'm not sure the writer, Meghan Daum, does, but it's an interesting.
  • Morton Kondracke offers some sensible talk about immigration and current proposals in Washington.
  • Rich Lowry's piece is almost more about the language of politics than it is about immigration. Apparently, in DemSpeak, in equals out. Move over, George Orwell!
  • Jeff Jacoby talks about the US Conference of Bishops' nearly unanimous opposition to the death penalty. (If life is so valuable, why is death not an appropriate penalty for some who take others'.)
  • Remember federalism? Remember the states? Michael Barone suggests them as a sane approach to educational reform.
  • "Earmarks" are not the latest trend in tattooing, but a time-honored means by which Congress spends even more of our money. Rich Lowry is the writer.
  • Jonah Goldberg wonders if there is hope for conservatism.
  • Cal Thomas draws some interesting conclusions about schools from a recent ruling on "intelligent design." (I come to similar conclusions, but for different reasons. I'm not that uptight about "intelligent design," and I'm not crazy about prayer in schools. But I do think we need schools which are actually capable of teaching math, English, science, government, etc.)
  • Mona Charen has myths, reporting, and the Big Easy on her mind.
  • Jonah Goldberg defends partisanship (within reason). I especially like the final paragraph.
  • Thomas Sowell makes a convincing case for paying some of our elected officials a million dollars per year. I wonder: Does the same logic relate in any degree to American Fork City?

Comic Relief (Finally!)  

  • Here is Kurt Wilson on charitable contributions and the people who solicit them. (Careful, I am one.)
  • Gene Weingarten takes up teenagers and the generation gap.
  • James Lileks looks back at the year ahead. It sounds a lot like 2005, only dumber.
  • (Reprise) Dave Barry's annual Year in Review (first-rate comic relief). Read it aloud to someone you love.  The man has a prodigious gift.

This catches you up a month of my best reading on topics which interest me at this blog. After this, and very soon, we're back to the once- or twice-weekly, much shorter lists. For what it's worth, some readers tell me this is their favorite part of my blog.

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