David Rodeback's Blog
Local Politics and Culture, National Politics,
Saturday, May 13, 2006
The Week's Readings
George Will, Stephen Moore, Victor Davis Hanson, Thomas Sowell, William Bennett, Peggy Noonan, and Orson Scott Card lead the list.
George Will writes of a remarkable movie, United 93. But his subject is larger than that. Note what he says about Hollywood, the superb Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., quotation near the end, and the final paragraph about "a citizen's general responsibilities in a free society." Note also that George Will can flat-out write.
Stephen Moore introduces Charles Koch to those of us who never noticed him before. It's also pretty good lesson in economics: why private companies have a competitive advantage over public companies, these days; and how perverse incentives unsurprisingly yield perverse results. (Why is this not universally obvious? Politics?) And perhaps there's a useful insight or two here about management, too.
Victor Davis Hanson offers a laundry list of historical precedents for things we suppose have gone uniquely wrong in the current war.
Thomas Sowell wonders if thinking is finally obsolete, where politics and economics intersect. The immediate subject is gasoline prices. The analysis is not new -- but if you're looking for good sense rather than novelty, here it is.
William Bennett offers an informative account of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
Peggy Noonan explains why the base may stay home in November. (Note that this may explain why local Rep. Chris Cannon shows signs of being in trouble, too. With luck, so is Jim Matheson.)
Orson Scott Card writes, "American Soldiers and How We Use Them." You should read it, because no one in Hollywood or the Democratic National Committee will. The soldiers I know fit Card's descriptive praise.
What's In a Movie?
Best of all, see the George Will article under Favorites above.
Andrew Klavan's piece is a close second. Here's a long excerpt:
Mona Charen says United 93 doesn't deserve its R rating, is an important movie, and surpassed her expectations. She took the kids.
Religious Freedom and the Culture
Maggie Gallagher on the developing conflict between gay marriage and religious freedom. It's a lengthy analysis; here's a short excerpt:
Don't underestimate the impact of a church losing its tax-exempt status -- the church having to pay property taxes and its members being unable to deduct contributions to it from their taxable income. The prognosis is ominous.
Massachusetts is the test case . . .
Homeland Security, Terror, Immigration, Etc.
In telling the tale of one company's work, Jonathan Rauch chronicles the ineptitude of the Homeland Security bureaucracy.
Diana West thinks there might be hope for immigration reform at the state level, while Washington reads the polls and wrings its hands.
Niall Ferguson explains why the next Cold War may not be cold at all -- and might be plural, too.
Joel Mowbray catalogs revelation revelations of Saddam Hussein's terror ties and activities, and the Big Media Acronyms' indifference to the story.
Thomas Sowell wonders if reading the polls on illegal immigration will give Republican Senators a spine.
Jack Kelly explains the meaning of changes in al-Qaida's Iraq strategy.
Max Boot talks about supporting despots, and in the process notes what happens in the world when a weakened American president is believed unable to oppose tyranny as he once did.
Boys and Girls
It seems very old-fashioned of Betsy Hart to suggest that girls should wait for boys to call them. Find out why she does it anyway, and discover the new "List Men." (Okay, okay. What does this have to do with politics? That's almost a non sequitur, since we're all about culture here, too, and the local culture includes a lot of boy/girl stuff. Then again, marriage is the ultimate politics.)
Tom Purcell's mother wants him married. Soon.
Don't look know, but federal tax receipts are up in the wake of tax rate cuts. R. Emmett Tyrrell notes that this fact is nearly unthinkable in Washington.
Mike S. Adams lists his top ten recent conspiracy theories. They're pretty wacky, but don't laugh too quickly. I'll bet at least one of your neighbors believes at least one of them.
Walter Williams asks and answers, "What human motivation leads to the best most wonderful things getting done?" It's basic economics again, but there's a good line here from George Orwell on why we should rehash the basics.
Thomas Bray takes us on a nightmarish little foray into the future, if Congress ends up in Democratic hands after the November election.
George Will probes Senator John McCain's philosophical opposition to freedom of speech. Will describes the essential contradiction in the presidential candidate's position:
Debra Saunders tells about a California judge who is undermining that state's high school exit exam.
Cal Thomas has a man's book for us to read.
Ryan Krueger and Mike Catalano offer a sensible but rather ho-hum piece on preparing for college costs for children when they're still very young, but the last paragraph is quite insightful. After all the discussion of investments and tax shelters and such . . .
David Yepsen writes from Iowa about Mitt Romney answering the religious question there. It's an interesting piece with a real howler at the end: Someone asked if Romney's membership in a church that teaches abstinence from (drinking) alcohol means that he's opposed to ethanol. I think my IQ took a momentary ten-point hit as I contemplated such a . . . dizzying . . . intellect.
Copyright 2006 by David Rodeback.