David Rodeback's Blog

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Life Among the Mormons, and Other Stuff

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Sunday, February 12, 2006
Last Week's Excellent Readings

Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, Tony Snow, and some research on math pedagogy lead this, er, last week's list.

Here are last week's readings, more nearly on time than the previous batch. LBB is rather relentless, of late. (That's Life Beyond the Blog.)


I'm tempted to call Walter Williams' discussion of what rights are "an important piece." I'm actually not sure the article itself is important, but the concept is critical.

Oak Norton's e-mail this week includes a link to this excellent list of the myths behind the Emperor's New Math (and other flavors of fuzzy, "new" math), with links to research which refutes them. While we're on the topic, here are related articles in the Los Angeles Times and the Dartmouth Review, also courtesy of Mr. Norton.

The furor over intel weenies (a term I learned from Tom Clancy novels, I think) listening in when suspected terrorists call numbers in the US is obviously partisan, manipulative, and deceptive.  Thomas Sowell adds "grotesque," makes his case, and also wonders if there isn't a point of no return. See if you agree that this is a good time to recall Bill Murray's declaration in Groundhog Day: "People are morons," he said -- or, rather, his character did.

Tony Snow explains why American Muslims aren't behaving badly -- and in the process notes how much time and effort go into putting on "spontaneous" riots.

Good News and the Reporting Thereof

Thomas Sowell explains why up is down and better is worse, or vice versa.

Larry Kudlow points to good economic news and wonders why the White House wasn't immediately trumpeting it.

Here's Part II of  W. Thomas Smith's interview with US Brigadier General Bolger in Iraq.

Michael Barone calls last week (now two weeks ago) a good week for Conservatives.

Local Interest

The Salt Lake Tribune  ran this Mark Eddington piece on people who leave other nearby cities and come to American Fork to live (or just to eat).

See also the math stuff under "Favorites" above.

Religious Freedoms and a Cartoon World

Chuck Colson discusses a book with an interesting approach to religious freedom.

Wes Pruden suggests that mockery might not be the best approach to intolerant, humorless religionists. (But it certainly is tempting.)

Charles Krauthammer isn't convinced that the folks labeled as moderates in the present cartoon flap are legitimate moderates.

Kathleen Parker notes how the present furor is amplified by propaganda and by Western media cowardice.

Jonah Goldberg explains that it's really not about cartoons, anyway -- as I think we suspected all along.

Earmarks and Aftermath

Robert Novak credits Rep. Shadegg with favorite Rep. Blunt's defeat in the race for House Majority Leader.

Dick Morris describes "the Lieberman Pledge" not to cavort with lobbyists. Outside the Beltway, frankly, this one's a little more obvious: If it's wrong, just don't do it, whether the rules allow it or not. (Wow, actual moral behavior!)

If Someone From al Qaeda Calls Me, I Expect the Feds to be Listening!

Paul Greenberg writes a great piece on the phone call surveillance.

Rich Lowry poses the question, Isn't there a place for secrecy?


George Will describes an interesting gubernatorial race in Michigan, a state with some serious economic issues. He quotes a Democratic Party official there as saying that free trade has devastated the state's economy. My own view is that protectionism and the major auto makers' corporate welfare state mentality are more likely villains.

Dick Morris describes the emergence of a number of excellent African-American Republican candidates for major offices. In my mind, this is an excellent thing, partly for political reasons and partly because I am quite seduced by Martin Luther King, Jr.'s, ideal of a society where we care about the content of one's character, not one's skin -- even if that ideal is very much out of fashion with liberals these days.

Defense Department budgets generally sound boring, at least to me, but Max Boot raised some interesting issues connected with next year's.

Michael Barone is toying with the idea that the private sector, not government, leads the way in scientific and technological research.

Paul Greenberg muses on prejudices (the good kind, not the bad), architecture, Chicago, Arkansas, etc.

Matt Towery laments the politicizing of the Coretta Scott King funeral by Democrats who should know better. On this occasion, at least, it's pretty clear that one side had class, and the other didn't. (It's rather like the cartoon thing, where it's clear that one side is far less civilized than the other.)

Debra Saunders has a tale eminent domain, in the aftermath of Kelo v. New London. This one's in Yolo County, California. Don't look now, but is there a casino behind this?

Tom Purcell writes on medical care (his own).

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