Friday, November 07, 2003
DESPERATELY SEARCHING SADDAM...and Osama too. But haven't we been doing this all along? Apparently, not very effectively. The story is from today's New York Times.
REMEMBER TARIQ AZIZ? Here he is in an earlier incarnation when we wined and dined him. This fascinating article by one of the attendees at this 1995 dinner has just been reprinted by the Hoover Digest.
BUCKLEY ON THE KILLING OF THE SIXTEEN ON THE CHINOOK HELICOPTER. Today one must also add the six on the new Blackhawk downed. The founder of the National Review grapples with the qustion of how to think about this tragic turn in the Iraq saga.
WHO IS DOING WHAT TO WHOM IN MOSCOW? The arrest of Mikhail Khodorkovsky reveals a good deal about the competing powers in Russia--according to William Safire who deciphers it all in this column from the New York Times.
HITLER AT HOME: "HOMES AND GARDENS" VISITS BERCHTESGADEN. The original 1938 article is reproduced here together with commentary from the Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies. Gemutlichkeit and mass murder!
DETECTIVES AND PROFESSORS...and a program that could generate a near infinity of murder mystery plots. This utterly engrossing and delightful article by a Harvard professor was published a few days ago in the Boston Globe.
WE GOT WHAT WE DESERVED...say some (surely not all!) leftist academics trying to understand why 9/11 happened. Forgive them father...they know not how ignorant they are. The article is from the Accuracy in Academia website.
THE GERMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH AND THE JEWS DURING THE "NAZIZEIT." This article, just published in First Things, is by an Opus Dei priest on the faculty of the Pontifical University in Rome. Its revelations are dismaying and its contribution to the continuing controversy is of possible decisive value.
FILM, CELEBRITY AND STICKY TOFFEE PUDDING. Now here's the way to view the latest films if you can escape the New York Obersever's tounge-in-cheek reportage.
DYLAN THOMAS--FIFTY YEARS GONE. But his poetry still resonates with a Welsh "barbaric yawp." This feature from the UK Guardian covers the essential biography and provides some informative (or, at least, entertaining) links.
LATE ROMANTIC OR EARLY MODERN? That question about Gabriel Faure has been sometimes debated. But beyond debate is the beauty and perfection of his Requiem, here performed "live" at a concert in Hong Kong.
Thursday, November 06, 2003
BROOKS OPINES ON THE NATURE OF THE IRAQI ENEMY. This somber but gripping column by the New York Times' new conservative columnist appeared in the paper two days ago. Whatever else you think, the guy can write!
THE ATTEMPT TO DELEGITIMATE ISRAEL. When the intellectuals get into the act it is clear that the Palestinian propaganda offensive is paying off. This column from the Jerusalem Post clarifies some aspects of "the plan."
SO WHAT IS PUTIN REALLY LIKE? As it goes western in media style, the Russian press is now doing "psychological profiles" of its emminentos. What more appropriate target than their president? This ran yesterday in the English language edition of Pravda.
A MAN ALWAYS WORTH LISTENING TO. Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security Advisor recently did a "tour of the horizon" speech about foreign and military policy. It was, to say the least, thought-provoking...and here it is.
THE FIRST EARTH-FABRICATED OBJECT TO ESCAPE THE SOLAR SYSTEM. Voyager I has reached the outer boundary and the data coming in are exciting but confusing.
JUST WHO ARE WE TALKING TO? The development of "call centers" located all over the world (and especially in India) means that the person who is servicing you may have been trained to imitate your accent. A fascinating aspect of globalization is revealed in this story from the Canadian National Post.
THE PRIVATE LIFE OF A FOUNDING FATHER. That's Gouverneur Morris who--when he wasn't pondering the design of the constitution--gave hedonism a good try. The book reviewed here is by an old friend of ours, Richard Brookhiser, who earlier did a major study of George Washington.
DOES IOWA STATE HAVE A PRESIDENT? A DEAN? A RESPONSIBLE ADULT? Or anyone else who knows the meaning of "in loco parentis?" The story is from today's Des Moines Register.
THE FORMER PRESIDENT BOMBS IN SEATTLE. Add up the costs of getting him there and his appearance at a fund-raising event nets out in the negative. Apparently the draw is stonger in the northeast than in the northwest. Whyyyyy?
WHAT THE ANGELINOS THAT MATTER ARE EATING! By their commestibles shall ye know them...and tastes (for food!) are changing in Los Angeles according to David Shaw of the Los Angeles Times. There must be a deeper meaning in this seismic cuisine shift.
THE OLD COMEDY ORDER PASSETH AND GIVETH WAY TO THE NEW. Terry Teachout is an always readable observer of the arts scene. In this piece from today's Wall Street Journal he ruminates on the meaning of the decline of the Broadway show "The Producers," which he takes to have been the last of the traditional musicals.
SHOSTAKOVICH'S MOST "PROBLEMATIC" SYMPHONY...and, we think, one of his greatest works. Before you listen do click on the work notes and get the full story of the composer's troubles with the Soviet musical establishment.
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
WOLFOWITZ AND THE REASON FOR THE IRAQ WAR. David Ignatius illuminates the thought and aspirations of the crucially positioned Assistant Secretary of Defense. This quite instructive and slightly idealized article appeared in the Washington Post.
YESTERDAY'S ELECTIONS? Is a voter-shift becoming visible? Does it favor southern Republicans? The possibilites are examined in this informative story from today's Christian Science Monitor.
THEN WHY DOESN'T SHE KEEP HER HUSBAND AT HOME? But Mrs. Kerry is to be congratulated for calling a spade a spade...well, at any rate, a cynical circus a cynical circus.
WHAT A DISGUSTIN' DEVELOPMENT DIS IS...as Jimmy Durante used to say. Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post (a favorite guest on our program) is the best source for what is going wrong in American media life--and this report from Monday's paper may convey a harbinger of the ultimate decline of local TV news.
ARE THE MEDIA BEGINNING TO TILT TO THE RIGHT? Well, not exactly but, according to Brian Anderson of City Journal, traditionalist, libertarian and conservative views are showing up in media locations in which, until recently, they were notable by their absence. The link is to a Wall Street Journal repeat of the original article from City Journal.
WE FIND A NEW GALAXY! It's just next door and we (the Milky Way, that is) are beginning to consume it. This story from New Scientist should make it all clear. Be sure to check out the linked graphics.
WHAT DO AMERICANS NOT KNOW AND WHY DON'T THEY KNOW IT? Among other items that leave a majority fixed in blank stares is the challenge of naming a cabinet department...any cabinet department! Look upon this story, oh citizens, and despair.
A GERMAN TAKE ON THE AMERICAN SECULAR ILLUMINATI. Or, here's how this reporter from the Suddeutsche Zeitung understands Minsky, Dennet and the "New Humanists."
HE HEARD AMERICA SINGING...and he was an enthusiastic celebrant of American writing. But, according to this review/essay from Commentary magazine, Alfred Kazin never left the left--and that made his appreciative ear a little tinny.
MORE GREAT SWING. Miller, Lunceford, Barnet and Gray all specialized in tightly orchestrated and truly swinging performances. Gray's "No Name Jive" and Lunceford's "Blues in the Night" are outstanding.
Tuesday, November 04, 2003
SAFIRE FINDS THE PROPER NAME FOR IT! We are, indeed, now engaged in the third Iraq War. Safire's analysis seems, as usual, to be effectively realistic. And his call to have General Abazaid address the Iraqis in his fluent Arabic is a good idea whose time has surely come.
AFTER THE MESS WE MADE IN POST-WAR EUROPE...should we go on in post-war Iraq? That is the question, posed ironically, in this piece from master-blogger Glenn Reynolds. And the Saturday Evening Post cover (was it a Rockwell?) is great.
DAVID FRUM (WHO USED TO WORK FOR PRESIDENT BUSH)...takes on one of Bush's severest (and possibly funniest) critics, Al Franken. We think Frum wins on points and does useful service in directing readers to Mark Steyn.
AND HERE IS STEYN'S LATEST...from last Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times. In what sense are Dean, Kerry and Clark "metrosexuals?" Read on!
A MAJOR ESSAY ON ANTISEMITISM. Here is a particularly arresting interpretation of the history of this millenial pattern of vilification and destructiveness. It is by one of the most admired members of the Israeli government: Natan Sharansky who got to Israel only after years in the Soviet Gulag. The current issue of Commentary magazine is the source.
THE CONGRESSIONAL ABUSE OF JUDGE PICKERING. This piece is by the outstanding civil-libertarian (and, incidentally, great jazz critic) Nat Hentoff. It appeared in the Village Voice for which he writes regular column.
WHAT'S HAPPENING INSIDE AMERICAN CATHOLICISM? A basic internal struggle has been underway for some time and this excellent article from the Boston Globe describes the major players (and their grievances) on one side of the struggle.
IS COOK A SUCCESSOR TO H.G. WELLS? We have in mind the latter's attempts at "universal history." This Washington Post review of A Brief History of the Human Race is enticing, to say the least.
HOAGY CARMICHAEL WROTE MORE THAN "STARDUST"...and performed his music with his own (sort of) jazz band in the early 1930's. Here they are. Particularly noteworthy are: Georgia; Rockin' Chair; One Night in Havana.
Monday, November 03, 2003
FAREED ZAKARIA OPPOSES "IRAQIFICATION." Turning Iraq over to friendly Iraqis will not reduce--and is likely to increase--the guerrilla attacks. So says Fareed Zakaria, Managing Editor of the international edition of Newsweek and a sometime guest on Extension 720.
THE RISE (OR RETURN?) OF FASHIONABLE, LEFT-WING ANTI-SEMITISM. As usual, Victor Davis Hanson is right on target. And, also as usual, he gets down to the meanings veiled by the disingenuous rhetoric. The article is from the new issue of National Review.
BY THEIR VOICES YE SHALL NOT KNOW THEM! Voice identification has decided some criminal trials over the years, including that of the Lindbergh kidnapper. But recent research shows "voice recognition" to be, minimally, unreliable and, maximally, impossible. This article comes from the recent issue of Legal Affairs magazine.
OUR (THE CIA'S) MAN IN SOVIET AERONAUTICS. This great, true life spy story has just been revealed by the CIA. It could the outline of a Le Carre novel, but it all really happened.
WHERE ARE "YOU" LOCATED, NEUROLOGICALLY SPEAKING? The sense of self, of being "I" and "ME," does depend upon an intact brain. But that does not mean that we can "localize" the neural basis of the self. This trip around the brain in search of self is from a working neuropsychiatrist in England and was published over the weekend in the U.K. Telegraph.
ON THE MISEDUCATAION OF WOMEN. That was the concern of the recent book by James Tooley who appeared a few weeks ago on our program. Here is the review, too brief but appreciative, from Sunday's Washington Post.
AN APPRECIATION OF--AND ENCOUNTER WITH--GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ. This fine, personalized account of the father of Latin American "magical realism" appeared yesterday in the New York Times Magazine.
IF YOU OWN THE PORTRAIT OF DR. GACHET...someone would like to buy it for 60 or 70 million. This fascinating article about the ten most wanted paintings in the world (and a few others almost as desirable and expensive) is from yesterday's edition of Art News Online.