Friday, July 09, 2004
Tonight on Extension 720, Milt opens up the phone lines to comments and questions from our listeners after the 7:10 p.m. Cubs game. You can listen to the show after the game here.
WHADDYA MEAN WMDS? WHAT ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING? The Blix Blight is, according to today's column by Krauthammer, still around and probably still infectious. Whether or not the CIA put forward mistaken intellligence about Iraq (see today's Senate Intelligence Committee report) 9/11 did happen. And the urgent issue is how do we prevent something of that order from happening again--or how do we respond when it does happen again.
BAD NEIGHBORS REQUIRE HIGH FENCES. In the light of the "anti-wall" judgement just issued by the International Court of Justice, the Economist provides one of its valuable backgrounders. As usual, the links are also of great value.
ON THE PROWL WITH CASSINI-HUYGENS. As qualified space-exploration buff, we have examined all the possible sites--and the best one is (Tarahh!) still NASA. Do check it out for the great photos and the many informative links.
SETTING THE STAGE FOR HITLER. The first of three projected volumes that will examine the origins, "achievements" and crimes of the Nazi state has just appeared. As we read this well-bethought review from Commentary we begin to comprehend that the views of Daniel Goldhagen are not totally inadmissable for Richard Evans.
WHAT IF HAMILTON HAD NOT BEEN KILLED BY BURR? That counter-factual question came to mind in our recent discussion with his new biographer, Ron Chernow. It is a fine book about a life of tremendous consequence and it is here reviewed by Walter Russell Mead for Foreign Affairs.
MCWHORTER IS RIGHT! AND HE SAID IT BEFORE COSBY DID! The issue is the worth (zero, in his opinion) of "hip-hop" as music or as social commentary. Check out his argument in this interview from the U.K. Guardian. For much more on his views of the challenges and burdens of present-day African-American life, listen to this conversation with him on Extension 720.
WHEN CHEVY CHASE EVALUATES COMPARATIVE IQs--as he seems to have done last night at the "show biz rally" for Kerry/Edwards--one wishes he might have gone on to estimate the cognitive-competence levels reflected in the reported comments of some of his fellow onstage "stars." They raised lotsadough we are told here (at $25,000 a seat for some!) even if they did not particularly raise the level of political discourse.
THE RACE IS TO THE (ARM)STRONG...one hopes. But whether he gets his sixth victory or not, the history of the Tour de France may well illuminate the history of France itself. This quick but informative romp from 1903 to the present is from the current issue of the New Criterion.
COUNTER-SPIN FROM DOWN UNDER. Just as does the water in the bowl below the equator, the film critic for the Sydney Morning Herald reverses the spin on, about and by MICHAEL MOORE! As good a review of the man's somewhat appalling career and oeuvre as we have seen.
THE PULITZER BOARD NOTES THE EXISTENCE OF JAZZ...which grumpily pleases Nat Hentoff. Though we sometimes disagree with him (when he is in his perfected ACLU mood) there is no one who writes about jazz with more accute perception and finely-tuned appreciation. The article is from today's Wall Street Journal.
AND SPEAKING OF ELLINGTON. Here "for your listening pleasure" is a great collection of some thirty(!!) of his recordings. Not to be missed: A Train, Mood Indigo, C Jam Blues, Caravan...and everything else.
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
THE REAL JOHN EDWARDS...will, says this senior editor at Reason magazine, shortly be revealed. The press that, until now, built him up has already and predictably begun to tear him down...and, in the view expressed here, there is much about him that is teardownable.
THE REAL SADDAM-OSAMA CONNECTION. Stephan Hayes of the Weekly Standard has done a valuable book on that aspect of "hidden reality" and here is a columnar version of his argument and a review of some of the pertinent facts.
SAFIRE SEEKS APPRAISAL OF EDWARDS FROM GRAHAM. That's Graham (R) of South Carolina, not Graham (D) of Florida. He's a Republican, to be sure, but his appraisal of the new vice presidential candidate does, we think, have the merit of hard-headed political realism.
PAUL VOLKER, ON THE CASE...of possible (we think, very likely) corruption and criminality at the U.N. In this op-ed from today's Wall Street Journal, the Chairman of the "Independent Inquiry Committee" promises that he and his colleagues will, indeed, be independent--and thorough--as they puruse the basic question of who pocketed the millions.
LA BAS LES FRANCAIS! Krauthammer is in justifiably high dudgeon in this op-ed from the current issue of Time--though we would add that, regarding anti-American obstruction, Chirac is as much symptom as cause.
FOR THE GUYS WHO BUILT THE TAJ MAHAL. Recognition at last! We are indebted to our friends at Arab News for this heartening item.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH VULGARITY AND STUPIDITY? Well, as this perceptive journalist argues, they are not good for your kids...or his. What can be done? Try to halt the further dumbing-down of public education, resist the NEA's attack upon charter schools and "nurture" the young ones.
ON THE COMMERCIAL USE OF JEEVES. The Wodehousians (i.e. friends of Bertie Wooster and his meta-butler) were not amused when the "Ask Jeeves" search engine was taken up by the Ovitz bunch a few years ago. Their man inside Salon got off this remonstrance which still rings with authentic--if gentlemanly--outrage.
AND SPEAKING OF OUTRAGE. What happens when, "all passion spent," the leftie can no longer get righteously angry? The depletion of outrage may produce as paralysing a crisis as the famous New York blackout, Happily though, The Onion has spotted the problem...though it has not yet provided a solution. Perhaps this: say "nil nisi bonum" for a few days and the fires of rage might get stoked up once again.
A FEAST OF LATIN AMERICAN MUSIC. Mostly from the Andean nations--but also from Argentina, Mexico and Venezuela. Not to be missed: Taita Salasaca; Trova de Amor; Fulia Oriental.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
A recorded edition of Extension 720 will air after the 7:05 Cubs game. You can listen to the program after the game here.
THIS RIVALS THE CHICAGO TRIBUNE...when it pronounced that Dewey had defeated Truman. Still, the full story from the New York Post, as duplicated here, makes Gephardt seem the inevitable choice. Perhaps they should give Kerry a complimentary subscription.
HOW LONG HAS THE NRC HAD THIS READY-TO-GO? Not neccesarily the most disinterested source, the Republican National Committee has just issued this detailed rundown on the public career of John Edwards. We'd love to see the one they prepared for the General from Arkansas.
TWO CHEERS FOR ALAWI. The Economist weighs the prospects for the new Iraqi regime and finds--with appropriate uncertainty--that things are looking up, sort of. As usual in their coverage, the article and its sidebars convey much useful detail.
REGARDING THE FBI AND MUSLIM TERRORISM...one could ask, as Casey Stengel was wont to do, "Don't nobody here know how to play this game?" Dan Pipes is instructive and vigilant, as ever.
AN ARAB MODERATE FINDS EXTREMISM ENDEMIC...not only in the "Arab street" but also in the Arab press. This thoughtful and urgent essay appeared last Sunday in the Washington Post.
THE TRIB, THE COLLAPSE OF THE RYAN CANDIDACY...and the case of Kerry: John Leo has some strong opinions about the judgement (bad--he thinks) of some of our friends at the Chicago Tribune. And, as he sees and says it, this has direct bearing on the clamor for releasing the Kerry divorce records. We would welcome some reader commentary on this one.
THE RAIN ON TITAN FALLS MAINLY...on the Pole!! Or so the latest images seems to suggest. But with more information coming in from Cassini/Huygens, Titan--according to this account in the Christian Science Monitor--is beginning to look rather like "a deranged vision of earth."
PERHAPS NO MAN IS A MONSTER TO HIS SECRETARY. But how did Traudl Junge defend her dimness during all those years as the Dictator dictated to her. A curious book, reviwed here for the New Republic in a proper tut-tut mood.
A FINE NEW BOOK ON SHAKESPEARE! We have been reading Frank Kermode's latest and enjoying (and learning much from) it. This review, by Simon Callow in the Guardian, is accurate and appropriately appreciative and reminds us of the fine biography of Orson Welles that the reviewer did (and discussed with us) a few years ago.
WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO READ THIS SUMMER? A number of largely literary Brits answer the question here in a feature from last Sunday's Observer. Our usual answer would be: "Well, I will be REREADING Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and, of couse, The Yogi Aphorisms of Patanjali." So, whats on your list?
THE SELLING OF THE (EX) PRESIDENT'S BOOK. We are in pretty regular contact with PR people in the publishing industry (by virtue of our book-consuming radio program) but the all-out effort on the Clinton volume--as reported here in Slate--seems to us to have opened a new era or ended an old one.
THE VIEW FROM THE COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER'S PODIUM...was as crudely leftist as last year, and the year before that...und so weiter. But can't the faculty committees come up with something better than a bomber of the capitol and some TV comics?
A LIFE WITHOUT PASTA? The low-carb fad doesn't appeal to this Italian culinary instructor. We make him out to be the son of the redoubtable Marcella and Victor Hazan and thus this sensible New York Times commentary on the latest of many ill-conceived dietary regimens has behind it the authority of the great gastronomic tradition so well-served by his family.
GREAT CHAMBER MUSIC FROM LUGANO. Here is a fine concert performed at the Argerich Festival just a few days ago. Particularly noteworthy and worth close listening is the sensitive performance of the Dvorak quintet.