Friday, July 16, 2004
HOW ARE THINGS IN NEW IRAQ? Not yet quite as good as in Glocamora, but far better than the mainline press is likely to tell you. So asserts Karl Zinsmeister who has spent a good deaL of time there over the last year. He is interviewed here by Jamie Glazov of Front Page magazine.
THE THOUGHT POLICEMAN ON THE BLOCK: The more Russia changes, the more it seems to become the USSR again. Apparently and once again, a good career can be had in Moscow spying and reporting on your neighbors. This report from Transitions On Line suggests that Moscow has fallen into a backwards time warp.
SAME SEX MARRIAGE AND THE FIDELITY STANDARD: They probably don't go together say Robert George and David Tubbs in this article from the current City Journal. And this, they argue, may have dysfunctional consequences for the future of what has been, until now, "conventional" marriage.
KINKY FRIEDMAN FOR GOVERNOR OF TEXAS? Why not? How many of our present politicians have fronted for a brilliantly eccentric band (Kinky Friedman's Texas Jew Boys) and written a slew of great mystery novels? In this article from the Daily Forward the Kinkster, who has often graced our radio program, seems--almost--to be declaring his coming candidacy.
PERHAPS THE MLA DOESN'T REALLY EXIST.... but rather is a shared fiction sustained as a faux reality by a hundred or more brilliant satirists. This painfully funny description of their last convention was recently published in The Believer.
WILL RANDOM HOUSE PUBLISH SADDAM'S NOVELS? According to this article in the U.K. Prospect he is working on yet another as he awaits his trial. And the ones already published in Arabic sound as if they could easily rival some of the stuff on the book racks at Walgreens.
JOE WILSON AND THE NIGER YELLOWCAKE: According to the Senate Intelligence Committee's report he was WRONG when he asserted that Saddam never went seeking the stuff. And we now learn from Robert Novak (who identified Wilson's wife as a CIA employee) that she had a great deal of influence upon his being commissioned to go to Africa to check it all out! Hmmmmm.
COLLEGE EDUCATION HAS BECOME "POST-LITERATE." As a veteran academic, the proprietor has long known and shared that open secret with his more honest colleagues---all of whom also know that, as Suzanne Fields demonstrates in this column, their students hardly ever read much more than a TV caption or an e-mail. Where it will all end, knows God!
TAK, DET VER HUGLIE! But would Norway actually be the best place to live? Could one get an exemption from the ritually required lutefisk? If the U.N. rates Norway as the most livable of all countries, how about moving the headquarters out of Manhattan and into Oslo?
WHO INVENTED EAR MUFFS? WHAT'S THE POPULATION OF TERRA DEL FUEGO? Knowledge of true "trivia" may provide the comfortable illusion of cognitive competence. At any rate it appears, according to this story from the Christian Science Monitor, to have become a national preoccupation.
IT WAS LOVE AND LOVE ALONE/ THAT LOST KING EDWARD TO HIS THRONE! So goes the old calypso ballad sung by The Duke of Iron shortly after Edward VIII's abdication. But his seems to have been a less fulfilling affair than those of many other monarchs---according to this book review in the Washington Post.
DOING THE FULL MONTY.....in the sense of vacationing in Montenegro, is gently urged by the travel staff of the London Times. The closest we ever got was Croatian Dalmatia...and this sounds even better.
FROM THE FIFTIES.....some great popular music and equally outstanding performers. Don't miss: Johnnie Ray, Frankie Laine and, especially, the great Al Hibbler.
Thursday, July 15, 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.
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Tonight on Extension 720, Milt welcomes three magicians to dazzle our audience and the folks in the studio with their skills. Joining us live will be AL JAMES, JAMES KRZAK and JAY MARSHALL, all veteran prestidigitators, card sharks and masters of illusion. More information on 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.
SAFIRE READS THE SENATE 9/11 REPORT...and finds that when you put aside "groupthink" it clears the president and puts blame where it properly belongs: the poor performance of the CIA!
AND WHAT WOULD KERRY HAVE DONE WITH THE SAME INFO? So asks Tom Bevan, the co-proprietor of Real Clear Politics as he draws upon a crucial exchange on Russert's program last Sunday. As is so often the case, these guys do cut through the argumentative and factual haze and extract the neccesary conclusion.
EVERYTHING UP TO DATE ON OSAMA. This highly interactive CBS site conveys the current news about his "isolation" and has valuable backgrounder-links on the man, his associates, their likely plans for future assaults upon western nations.
COMBAT AIDS OR VILIFY THE US? Given that choice, says Jim Glassman, reporting from Bangkok, too many of the delegates at the AIDS conference (including, of course, some Hollywood notables) have chosen the latter indulgence. We like his conclusion: Next year, let's stay away so that we won't have to bother "fending off insults from ingrates and morons."
CHARLIE RANGEL GETS ARRESTED...in a good cause and, inevitably, evokes memories of the old civil rights campaigns. Here's his account in the New York Daily News of what happened, and why, when he joined a protest in front of the Sudanese embassy.
THE HUBBLE IS REPARABLE.....and it should be serviced by astronauts sent up to do the job. That's the conclusion reached by a National Academy of Sciences commission as reported in this BBC story. Let's do it! The great eye into the distant universe is far too valuable to be blinded when full vision can be restored.
INSTEAD OF SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST...how about "survival of the nicest?" That's the question raised by an anthropologist at Washington University. As was the case in a famous debate stirred up by Ed Wilson, the "father of sociobiology," the key phenomenon requiring explanation is "altruistic sacrifice." Here's the relevant article from the University's web site.
BILL COSBY, THE SPEAKER OF TRUTH TO THE NAACP...has taken his knocks and also received much appropriate commendation. Today in Slate, Debra Dickerson provides some of the biographical context. Though one might well ask whether it is needed. Since Cosby has been proclaiming some obvious (though unpalatable) truths, isn't the best explanation simply that the man has an abiding respect for honesty?
THE DARK SIDE OF GRADUATE SCHOOL LIFE...involves many lapses into dishonesty. But this one, as reported in a recent issue of the Chronicle of Higher Education, does set the hallmark for dissertational chutzpah.
KEEP YOUR RELIGION TO YOURSELF, PROFESSOR...or you may be punished for multicultural insensitivity and diversity deviation. Another such dismal violation of academic rights has been taken up by the invaluable Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Full disclosure: the proprietor is on their Board of Advisors.
AND SPEAKING OF POLITICAL CORRECTNESS, THE ACADEMY AND FIRE...this article from the current issue of Reason magazine will fill you on on the continuing crisis and the continuing need for active and law-based defense of free speech on America's campuses.
SIR MICHAEL'S STRANGEST DAUGHTER...is also a renowned actor who usually gets a pass on her "politics" because of her "performances." But, not from Don Feder writing in today's issue of Front Page. Once again it is demonstrated that acting skill (or dramaturgic hubris) is no predictor of cognitive competence.
ENTHUSIASTICALLY--NOT DOUBTFULLY--PRO-ADVERBIAL...is the author of this HEATEDLY positive treatise on the much-maligned adverb. The Age of Melbourne is the source.
ERIC CLAPTON...both plugged and unplugged! Among the many great performances available here, don't miss his version of the classic Bessie Smith blues, "Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out."
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
Tonight on Extension 720, Milt pays tribute to the many cultures and ethnicities that have flourished in Chicago. Our guests will be, DOMINIC CANDELORO, author of the book Chicago's Italians: Immigrants, Ethnics, Americans, as well as DOMINIC PACYGA, an expert on Polish Chicago, and ELLEN SKERRETT, who specializes in the Irish experience. More information about this and other programs is available at our monthly program guide. You can listen the program from 9 to 11 p.m. central time here.
Monday, July 12, 2004
AN AL QAEDA-IRAQ CONECTION? Yes, according to the 9/11 Commission! But, as Adam Sparks suggests here in the San Francisco Gate, the press has taken a ho-hum pass on this striking revelation. May one ask: "Why?"
YELLOWCAKE, YELLOWCAKE, WHO HAD THE YELLOWCAKE? Well, it now appears that Niger DID have it and SADDAM HUSSEIN really was trying to get it! Which leaves the interesting case of Joe Wilson and the loving reception he got from most of the press. Clifford May reviews and ponders the whole affair in this from today's National Review Online.
THE TWO ROCKEFELLERS. Working with the same information the president had, the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee came to the same--strongly pronounced--conclusions. Thus, asks Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard: What exactly is the logic of his present complaint?
THE LANGUAGE MAVEN CALLS IT "KOFIGATE." Bill Safire seems rather convinced that at the center of the UN scandal (who pocketed the ten billion dollars?) is the Secretary General of the U.N. We think he is absolutely right in urging the press to get on the case rather than leave it all to the Volker Commission.
TERRORISM AS "SHREWDNESS AND NONSENSE." A Camridge history professor offers some sharp insights into the continuity between past and present murderous monsters in this essay published a few days ago in The Scotsman.
IS PRINCE CHARLES A LUDDITE? Some nanotechnology enthusiasts will say so after his op-ed piece published yesterday and summarized here by BBC News. We suspect that he (or the scientists who got his ear) is (are) on to something that needs close attention before the technological imperative sweeps all before it.
THE DEATH OF A DISSIDENT CHAUVINIST. Why does the career of Father Dimitry Dudko bring to mind Alexsandr Solzhenitsyn? This obituary from the U.K. Economist reminds one that, in the Soviet Union as elsewhere, opposition to tyranny did not always flow from democratic convictions.
ON THE TWO-HUNDRETH ANNIVERSARY OF THE HAMILTON-BURR DUEL...Ron Chernow, who discussed his definitve biography of Hamilton with us recently on our radio program, retells the story in the New York Times and sets it in the context of the code duello that once prevailed in American political life.
SO, IS THERE A "LIBERAL BIAS" VISIBLE (AUDIBLE) IN AMERICAN MEDIA? Well, consider the difference, says this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, between Fox News and all the others. And then there's the way the Ashville Citizen-Times reported on Rumsfeld at West Point...
IN THE NAME OF MULTICULTURALISM...much nonsense and considerable inequity have been added to the burdens of contemporary social life. This anecdotal overview from Front Page magazine reminds us "how far we have come."
CA N'EST PAS LA BELLE FRANCE! Racism, anti-Semitism, Islamic terrorism and presidential pomposity: the mix in France does not make for a happy Bastille Day. The International Herald Tribune reviews the disheartening scene from Paris.
HAUTEUR WITH STYLE. Yesterday's New York Times interview with William Buckley--whatever you think of his views--has some delicious bon mots, as is usually the case whenever he gets a willing interviewer to play along with him.
ANOTHER CONFLUENCE OF ENTERPRISE AND NEED. A market sector previously ignored provides a great new merchandising opportunity. But, will there soon be an IPO? Will shares be available for the thousands of potential investors? The Onion should have told us.