Friday, July 02, 2004
YESTERDAY AT THE IRAQI SPECIAL TRIBUNAL. Here, in as detailed a story as we have seen, is the New York Times account of the appearance of Saddam and the Saddamites before the "anonymous young judge" in Baghdad yesterday.
YES, VIRGINIA...THERE WAS AN AL QAIDA-IRAQ CONNECTION! Stephan Hayes has done an important book that lays it all out and here he discusses the basic evidential material with Jamie Glazov of Front Page magazine.
THE VICE PRESIDENT'S EXPLICIT EXPLETIVE...is forgiven and, in fact, commended by Charles Krauthammer in this syndicated Washington Post column. We don't quite share his view but, then, he is speaking as a former psychiatrist who understands the need for occasional cathartic release when the enemy heaves in view.
THE MOONING OF SOME CONGRESSIONAL DUPES...has already been reported. An associated question persists: Are the folks at the Washington Times (owned by the Unification Church) at all in his thrall? This op-ed from today's Wall Street Journal by a former Times staffer is of much interest but doesn't fully reassure where reassurance is required. Yet another question: As Moon grows older will he be pushing his mad messianic claims more urgently--and how will the paper be able to resist pressure from the Moon organization?
AND SPEAKING OF MONTEFIORE'S "STALIN"...this U.K. Guardian review by Robert Service--himself a biographer of the mad master of the Kremlin--shares some of the rich detail to be found in the book.
HOW GOOD TO KNOW THAT UNCLE ACLU IS STILL PROTECTING US...in this case from those who might want to keep teenage co-ed public nudity at some distance! Can't the "guardians of our civil rights" comprehend the elementary meaning of civility?
THE PRESBYTERIAN'S LEFT TURN....on Middle East problems is noted--and forcefully rejected--in this essay by the former Research Director of the U.S. Army Strategic Studies Institute.
COSBY SAID IT AGAIN...yesterday at Jesse Jackson's Rainbow-Push convention. And again he is being lauded by some and condemned by many "black leaders." Here's what Laura Washington--a true opinion leader in the Chicago African-American community--had to say last time around.
THERE WERE GIANTS AT THE TABLE IN THOSE DAYS...and the festive meals were gigantic. A new book on "Grand Eating" is reviewed here by Ingrid D. Rowland in the New York Review of Books. The last line is a heartbreaker and 'tis true, 'tis true.
FROM TROY TO GLADIATOR...the vagaries and viscissitudes of getting the "classics" onto the Hollywood screen are, as Polonius might have said, "tragical-comical." This amusing and chilling and unsigned account appeared a few days ago in the London Review of Books.
MORE ON THE CINEMATIC USES OF HISTORY. Cecil DeMille, Joseph Schildkraut, Christianity, Judaism and the Crusades: all are encompassed in this possibly scholarly and certainly fascinating romp through DeMilles' religious epics.
ONCE MORE ON MOORE. Of the many commentaries we have seen, the most calmly and wisely dismissive is this by Melanie Phillips in yesterday's U.K. Daily Mail.
SOONER OR LATER WE HAD TO PLAY IT...So here is the beautiful "war horse" of classical music radio: Pachelbel's Canon!!
Thursday, July 01, 2004
OUT OF ALL OF TODAY'S SADDAM STORIES....this one seems quite serviceable. It reports the details of today's court appearance in Baghdad...and appends fifteen photos in which the mass murderer manages to convey the "Who Me?" reaction.
THE TIMES ON THE COMING SADDAM TRIAL....as usual, useful in the details provided and leaning toward cassandraistic prognostication.
THERE'S A GREAT UNIVERSE OUT THERE--LET'S GO! So said e.e. cummings and the Cassini pictures from its Saturn orbit do, indeed, reinforce the imperative invitation.
MORE AND MORE ON MOORE: When the liberaloid Newsweek zeros in on Fahrenheit almost the whole argument of the film falls apart. Here's the analysis just provided by the team of Isikoff and Hosenball.
BOB ZIMMERMAN, THE POET: As usual Christopher Hitchens goes somewhat against the received wisdom---this time as regards the poetic achievement of Bob Dylan, celebrated in a new hagiography.
PSSSST! DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE CANADIAN ELECTION? If not, here--in neat capsule form--are the facts and their meaning as reported and interpreted by the UK Economist.
THE MBA IS LOSING ITS CACHET....and its financial value (!!) according to a business school guru up at McGill University. His rather startling views are reported and more-or-less endorsed in this article from the Toronto Star.
WHAT'S IN A NAME.....a Sharzanala (we saw it on a department store clerk's nametag the other day) by any other name would smell as sweet. Megan Prelinger (nee Shaw) ponders the mystery of her pronounced identity in this confession published in Bad Subjects a while ago.
MILOSEVIC AT THE WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL: His defense will attempt to show that the western nations supported--or, at least, signed off on--his "ethnic cleansing" campaign in Bosnia. This important article is by one of the Dayton negotiators who later became Bosnia's first Foreign Minister and now represents his country at the United Nations.
TO CAMBODIA, BOSNIA, RWANDA---ADD DARFUR: True genocide is underway in Sudan says john Heffernan in this informed and informative article from The American Prospect....and, as usual, the diplomatic solution isn't working.
ON BEING A BIN LADIN WIFE IN SAUDI ARABIA: A book by a woman who was has recently been published. We have not yet seen it, but Janet Maslin's review in the NY Times provides a fascinating summary.
A SWINGING COLLECTION: Apart from classic "hits" by Dorsey, Goodman, Peggy Lee and Bing Crosby, this site also offers some wonderful recordings by "Major Glenn Miller's" wartime band.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Tonight, Extension 720 welcomes Steven Rhoads, author of Taking Sex Differences Seriously, for a discussion of how the sexes differ and why those differences are important in this modern age of feminism and equality. More information about this and other programs is available at our monthly program guide. You can listen to the show from 9 to 11 p.m. central time here.
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
A recorded edition of Extension 720 will air tonight after the 7:05 Cubs game. You can listen to the program after the game here.
THE TRANSFER OF POWER IN IRAQ...came two days early. Here is Fareed Zakaria's advice for the new government in today's Washington Post.
MORE ON THE IRAQI TRANSFER. Fred Kaplan, writing in Slate, makes a compelling case that scheduling the handover two days early is a step in the right direction for the Bush administration in Iraq. Perhaps after the past few months' mishaps, things will now get back on track.
AND NOW THEY HAVE HUSSEIN. Along with having sovereignty, the new Iraqi government will also take control of the imprisoned Saddam Hussein. Here is the complete story from today's New York Times, along with some useful links about the ongoing situation in Iraq.
AND SPEAKING OF SADDAM...his various romance novels are fodder for comedy writers everywhere. This article from Prospect asserts that his books are not only laughable, but the first entries in a new genre: dictator-lit!
WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT...of dictators and their idiosyncracies, this article from the Los Angeles Times details how Kim Jong Il satisfies his discerning palate while the rest of his country starves.
THE WISDOM OF THE MASSES. In this fascinating article (from the latest issue of the New Republic), Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago reviews a book that examines the intelligence of mass behavior and reflects on what the majority can and cannot teach us.
THE ACADEMIC AS CELEBRITY. As university culture is increasingly driven by money and celebrity, more and more professors find themselves driven to television and radio appearances by their own deans. This article, in the Christian Science Monitor, outlines the life of the new academic celebrity, and includes quotes from Loyola University Chicago's Jay Williams, a frequent guest on Extension 720.
ANOTHER GREAT CONCERT FROM LUGANO. This performance from the Argerich festival 2004 features works by Mozart, Frank, Gluck and includes the hauntingly beautiful Meditation from Thais and some robust Hungarian Dances by Brahms.
Monday, June 28, 2004
MAKING THE "BEST CASE" ON IRAQ. No one we regularly read does better than Victor Davis Hanson (a sometime guest on our radio program--see here) at extracting encouraging developments out of the often discouraging stream of news from and about Iraq. This column from the National Review should be closely considered.
THE INVALUABLE MARK STEYN ON THE POSSIBLY EXPENDABLE 9/11 COMMISSION. While most journalists and opinionists have misinterprteted the 9/11 report, Steyn has read it and, in this column from yesterday's Chicago Sun-Times, pulls some tasty plums out of the pudding.
COUNTER-SPIN FROM PITTSBURGH. Jack Kelly, writing in the Post-Gazette, puts in a few basic corrections on the "news" conveyed in some recent anti-war, anti-Bush stories.
FURTHER RYAN REVERBERATIONS. The resignation from candidacy of our Illinois Republican aspirant does raise the question of why some candidates can get away with scandal while others can't. This thoughtful analysis by Amanda Paulson is from this morning's Christian Science Monitor.
KERRY SLIPS! ACCORDING TO JOHN McINTYRE...who reads and interprets ALL the polls more wisely than anyone we know in the punditry business. From Real Clear Politics, the great site that he and his partner maintain came this deft analysis last Friday.
REMEMEBER WHAT WE LET (HELPED) HAPPEN IN RWANDA! Our complicity--through inaction--may well facilitate an equal genocidal disaster in this most ill-ruled state in Africa. The Washington Post provides this disturbing up-date.
WHAT PEGGY SAW AT THE FUNERAL...when the off-course airplane caused an emergency evacuatiuon of the Capitol. Yes, she is a sentimentalist, but an authentic one with heart, style and a sense of history. And all of these are on view in this wonderful column from last Thursday's Wall Street Journal.
WHAT HATH THE MASSACHUSSETTS SUPREME COURT WROUGHT? Past and present governors of the state are getting into the act--but where it will all end knows Maggie Gallegher writing, here, in this week's National Review.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A "NEW-AGEIST" ENCOUNTERS THE SKEPTICS? This one, writing in the Skeptical Inquirer, has been shaken out from under her aura and now doubts (but in pain) the precepts on which her "culture" has long sustained itself. A curious and, inevitably, fascinating article.
NAPOLEON AS A NON-FREAK. David Bell takes an interesting tack in this essay/review of a new political biography of Le Petit Caporal. Apparently, the conqueror and wrecker of virtually all Europe was just like us "except more so."
A REVIEW THAT MAKES YOU DECIDE TO GET THE BOOK. That is a fairly rare category for us--since we get an over-abundance of books sent by publishers who have our radio program in mind. But, every so often a review makes us eager to get the volume in our hands. This one from yesterday's New York Times is certainly in that category--just as Berlin has, for us, long been one of the most interesting of contemporary essayists and memoirists.
IS IT MORE THAN MERE SCHADENFREUDE...that accounts for the pleasure one gets from devastating book reviews? Yes, says the author of this article from the Canadian magazine, Walrus. There are times when it is essential, he says, to tell the absolute truth so as to protect literature from those who, by intention or inadvertance, would despoil it.