Friday, March 05, 2004
WHAT ARE WE UP TO IN HAITI? Still pursuing our own national interest says Brendan O'Neill in the British journal, Spiked. Though argued from a discernibly leftist standpoint, this article is, apparently, grounded in factual reality.
THE HUNTING OF BIN LADEN...should begin with his own family back in Saudi Arabia and with various other identifiable Saudis according to this article from Tech Central Station. The author, Steven Schwartz, is a much consulted "expert" on Islamic terrorism.
RESPONDING TO THE ONSLAUGHT ABOUT THE MISSING WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION...two of the leading neocon strategic advocates lay down a strong defense in this article published last week in the Weekly Standard. Both Kagan and Kristol have often been guests on Extension 720.
THE FAITH BEHIND THE STRUGGLE IN IRAQ...is Shia Islam. Comprising a population majority and coming out from the long repression imposed by Saddam, they are working to maximize their power in the emerging state. This brief--but reliable--summary of the distinctive features and history of the Shiites is drawn from Congessional Library sources.
THE COMING RUSSIAN ELECTIONS. Will they move the country closer to effective democracy or, rather, toward a regression to a merely politer form of Brezhnevism? This informative, on-the-scene report is from the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
A SOMEWHAT LESS-THAN-ENTHUSIASTIC PROFILE OF GEORGE SOROS. Indeed, this article by Joshua Muravchic--reprinted by the Wall Street Journal from Commentary magazine--is rousing much mixed reaction. We offer it as worthy of a close reading.
WE HAVE ENTERED THE THIRD PHASE OF GLOBALIZATION....according to Tom Friedman who made the discovery in Bangalore, India. Maybe, maybe not--but it is rather startling to learn that that's where your tax return is being prepared.
SURELY, YES SAYS KRAUTHAMMER...in this column from this morning's edition of the Washington Post. NOTE BENE: On our program this coming Tuesday we will be discussing "The Passion of the Christ" with a panel of three religious scholars.
THE ACADEMIC LOWER CLASS, CANADIAN DIVISION. This article from a fine Canadian blog reports a pattern of employment exploitation which is clearly opearative on both sides of the border--and makes one wonder how they order these things in Mexico.
WHAT WILL CHRISTIANITY HAVE BECOME BY 3000 A.D.? Or, for that matter by the end of this century? Philip Jenkins has attempted such a forecast and, in this essay from Policy Review, Ross Douthat responds.
A B.B. KING COLLECTION. Some classic recordings by the blues master...with considerable help from such friends as John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Etta James and Eric Clapton.
Thursday, March 04, 2004
DEMOGRAPHY MARCHES ON...toward the further legal and legislative legitimation of the mass movement across the southern border. This article from today's Washington Times reveals a good deal about how it is being finessed--though it does not get to the interesting question of the Mexican vote in the coming election.
HAITI AGAIN! For most--if not all--of the required information about that nation again in disorder and crisis, this summary (with its many valuable linked appendages) is as useful as any available. And quite readable, as well!
IS MARRIAGE WORTH A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT? That's the question that Maggie Gallagher addressed in her testimony yesterday before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. She is President of Institute for Marriage and Public Policy, has been a guest on our program and, we think, brings some calm clarity to the issue now dramatized by the rush toward innovation in Massachussetts, San Francisco and New Paltz.
GLOBALIZATION PROMISES A BETTER WORLD...but the Osamas of the present and the future are in raging opposition. This compelling attempt to decipher the deep meaning of modern history has just been published in Policy Review, the journal of the Hoover Institution.
THE HILLARY PROTOCOL? We have always enjoyed the hyper-ventillated, Menckenoid fulminations of Emmett Tyrrell--but have usually doused them with four to seven grains of salt. So, what about this one, released upon the world this morning, in which the "secret story" behind the search for a VP is revealed?
THE LAST WORD (ALMOST AND FOR NOW) ON MARTIAN WATER. Here's what they know and here's how they found out...and here's what still remains to be determined by the next Mars mission. This very informative report from Space.com is all the more so if you read the sidebars.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HUMANS AND APES? "Let us count the ways" says Helene Guldberg in this wonderful article from Spiked. And "Vive la difference" says the reader who has long been bugged by the "animalomorphism" pushed by too many evolutionary psychologists.
THE WHODUNIT ACROSS TIME AND SPACE. An Australian scholar has made a big try-- in a slim book--at summarizing (and analyzing the seperate types of) mystery fiction. Here, in The Age of Melbourne, another Australian evaluates the effort and shares his own views on the literary art of detection.
THE GREATEST DISTORTION IN RETELLING HISTORY...is what is left out. So says Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post in this reflection on three films: The Passion, Saving Private Ryan and Enigma.
THE EIGHTH SYMPHONY OF SHOSTAKOVICH. This second of his "war symphonies" was favored by Kousevitsky but disliked by Stalin! It has been characterized as having "epic seeep and tragic power." The performance is by the Kirov Orchestra conducted by Gergiev.
FROM THE HOUSE ON GOUGH SQUARE...where Dr. Samuel Johnson resided while compiling his great dictionary, comes this pleasing essay by the long-time manager of the establishment, Lord Harmsworth. With him, one can easily imagine Chesterfield, Garrick, Goldsmith and Mrs. Thrale coming to visit.
THE NEW YORKER AND THE NEW YORK TIMES. A delicious tale from the '60s is retold here in yesterday's Wall Street Journal.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
SUMMARIZING SUPER TUESDAY. Someone's got to do it and--as expected--the Washington Post does it well. Even better, are some of the informative and/or entertaing linked sidebars.
THE IRANIAN PLAN FOR IRAQ. The mullahs, having cosolidated their power in the rigged Iranian election, are playing a stronger hand than is commonly understood in the politics of post-Saddam Iraq. David Ignatius lays out what seems a reasonable analysis in this article from the Washington Post.
THE RECEIVED WISDOM ABOUT AFGHANISTAN IS WRONG...says this veteran reporter who is, apparently, an experienced old-hand in the region. The "warlords" aren't really quite that--and the Pakistani secret service is keeping the Taliban on "life support." We don't endorse or reject these views but this essay deserves serious consideration.
WHY IS THE SOPRANO HARDER TO UNDERSTAND THAN THE BARITONE? They have solved this eternal mystery at the University of New South Wales...and here is the full account as reported in Physics Today.
SOME OTHER SOURCES OF THE GIBSON FILM. This essay, by a blogging priest who works in Israel, examines some other likely influences upon Gibson--particularly the visions of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich which do go considerably beyond what is specified in the synoptic gospels.
PASSION PAYS! As usual when it comes to money, Forbes magazine has the information---in this instance the achieved and projected earnings from Mel Gibson's new film. Some of the linked sidebars are equally interesting.
HOW TO REMAIN A STALINIST DESPITE YOUR INTELLIGENCE. It was a fairly unusual feat but Eric Hobsbawm, the "great" British social-economic historian, managed to pull it off. This essay from the London Review of Books connects the twists of his mind with his personal history.
SAYING SOMETHING NEW ABOUT DON QUIXOTE. Can it be done? That is the question that Terry Castle starts with--and he answers it by providing this rich illumination of the author, his time and place and the great Knight of the Woeful Countenance.
A SPIN SISTER REPENTS. This, from yesterday's New York Times, has excited a lot of attention in the blogosphere. The long-time editor of the Ladies' Home Journal says that the many magazines run by her "spin sisters" were--and are--unrelentingly and reflexively leftist and that they have thereby ill served their readers.
SCHOENBERG, KANDINSKY AND THE CONFLATION OF ATONALITY AND ABSTRACTION. If our title doesn't put you off (at least not as much as Schoenberg's music) do read on. Terry Teachout has been doing wonderful writing on music for Commentary magazine and this is his latest piece, as engaging and amusing as it is instructive.
WHEN THEY WEREN'T FIGHTING...the Dorsey brothers fronted a great swing band. Here is a generous supply of some of their best from the late twenties and early thirties. Not to be missed: I'm Getting Sentimental, Blue Room and Dippermouth Blues.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
THE POSSIBLE FUTURE OF THE JOHN/JOHN DUO. After tonight's returns are in--and assuming (perhaps incorrectly?) a heavy win for Kerry--will a Kerry-Edwards ticket be inevitable, desirable, impossible? This story from today's New York Times provides a good backgrounding on their "relationship." On Extension 720 tonight we will analyze the primary fallout and examine the shape of the presidential race to come. You can listen to our program from 9 to 11 p.m. central time here.
MEANWHILE, BACK IN RAMALLAH. This Washington Post on-the-scene-report from the Palestinian heartland conveys an image of a regime at the end of its tether. If this is what the Intifada has wrought when will Aradat (or his long overdue successor) recognize that a true settlement is possible once the Palestinian Authority bites the bullet of "Israel's permanence?"
THE CLASH OF MEXICAN AND AMERICAN CULTURES. Sam Huntington of Harvard is the source of the "clash of civilizations" thesis. In this article from the current issue of Foreign Policy, he analyzes the accelerating Mexican cross-border migration and argues that the absence of strong assimilationist intentions promises big trouble to come. This link requires a short free registration.
TRADITIONALIST CATHOLICISM AND GIBSON'S PASSION. Of the many articles we have examined, this one from a University-based Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, provides the best overview of the relation of the film to its director's religious committment.
SO WHERE ARE THE LITTLE GREEN BACTERIA? The word is now in from NASA: the rover Opportunity has found strong evidence that Mars was once wet enough for life!! Here's the story just in from AP.
DOES CLAUSEWITZ BELONG AT WEST POINT, SANDHURST AND ST. CTR? His masterwork, On War, was published a century and a half ago but still has place of honor at the military academies of the West. Here, from Parameters, the journal of the U.S. Army War College, is a rather searching estimation of what works and what doesn't when the Clausewitzian "kriegsanschauung" is used to comprehend modern war.
KHRUSHCHEV REMEMBERED, AGAIN. William Taubman's biography of Nikita Sergeevich was one of the best works on Soviet politics in many years. One of the best British foreign correspondents was and is Neal Ascherson. Here is an excellent review/essay by the latter of the former.
DON'T BLAME THE INADEQUACY OF AMERICAN EDUCATION ON EMERSON...says Michael Knox Beran in this important article from the City Journal. If the Sage were read correctly we would be practicing a very different sort of pedagogy in contemporary American schools.
THE MYSTERY OF AUTISTIC CHILDREN. Theories of etiology and modes of treatment rise and fall--but the nature of the "great isolation" remains obscure. Now, as reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education, a bold--but not yet strongly evidenced--explanation has been put forward.
DAVE BARRY CHALLENGES WILLIAM SAFIRE...as language maven, that is. This recent column of his needs no further interdiction.
HAYDN'S SECOND CELLO CONCERTO. The Master of Esterhazy at his delicately poised best. Ronald Thomas gives an outstanding performance as soloist.
Monday, March 01, 2004
CONSERVATISM WITH A DIFFERENCE...is what we are getting from George W. says Daniel Casse in this fresh, non-hostile, case study recently published in Commentary magazine.
THE DEAN DEBACLE OF DIVISIVENESS...as reported yesterday by Howie Kurtz in the Washington Post. These fascinating revelations prompt the question: how did the press miss all of this until the very last days of the collapsing campaign?
SEXUAL ABUSE BY CATHOLIC PRIESTS AND DEACONS. Here is the full report released last Friday by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Each section is seperately available; thus, for summary results on how many abusers have been identified, link to section 2.2.
THE RULE AGAINST ENFORCING IMMIGRATION LAW...is now standard for most big-city police departments. The consequences are horrific as felonious crime by illegal aliens continues to rise. As usual, Heather MacDonald, a frequent guest on Extension 720, is on the case. The article is from the current issue of City Journal.
IN WHAT WAY ARE EQYPT AND CHICAGO ALIKE? This article from Al-Ahram, often called the "semi-official newspaper of the Egyptian government," provides the interesting answer. El-Ghazali Harb is a high ranking editor and house intellectual.
ETRE JUIF EN FRANCE...To be a Jew in France is as hard now as it was during the Dreyfus controversy. In this article from yesterday's New York Times Magazine, Fernanda Eberstadt details one of the most dysfunctional consequences of the shifting tide of immigration.
NERVE CELLS ARE MERE TISSUE; HOW, THEN, DO THEY PRODUCE "CONSCIOUSNESS?" That may strike you as a silly question or as a deep and impenetrable mystery. At any rate it gets a lot of attention these days and Michael Shermer has been reading three books on the subject. Here is his recent review/essay from the Scientific American.
THE NEW REPUBLIC EDITOR WHO HAD BEEN A SOVIET SPY. We talked to Michael Straight about his unusual career when he appeared on our program quite a few years ago. This obituary from The Economist fills in the basic facts about his distinctive history.
KIM JONG-IL AS VIEWED BY TWO RECENT AUTHORS. According to Anthony Daniels writing in the UK Telegraph, Breen paints the monster as he is, while the Korea expert from the University of Chicago is a "useful idiot."
LIFE AT THE NY TIMES WAS ALWAYS RATHER COMPLICATED...and sometimes so tense and fratricidal that Machiavelli might have been called in as a consultant. Some recent books by veteran Timesmen are pondered here in a fine piece from the Columbia Journalism Review.
HOW ABOUT LESS (MUCH LESS) CELEBRITY NEWS? Particulalarly when it comes to drawn out investigations and trials? The question is legitimately raised in Aspen, Colorado and elsewhere and examined here by the Assistant Managing Editor of the American Journalism Review.
A CONCERT OF RUSSSIAN ART SONG. Natalia Erasova is a mezzo-soprano who sings with dramatic force, darkly-colored timbre and with what sounds like perfect technique. Here she performs songs by Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninoff.