Friday, August 27, 2004
KERRY IN A 1971 TV INTERVIEW. C-Span has recently disinterred this interview in which Kerry says that the anti-communist policy of John Foster Dulles (!) got us into a war that should not have been fought and that many of his colleagues have returned as potential killers and actual drug addicts.
STATECRAFT AND STAGECRAFT...is the title of a fine book (by our friend Robert Schmuhl of Notre Dame) and it could well have been the headline for this story from today's New York Times.
THE POLLS AND THE POLS. The latter must be talking about the former today. Trend patterns are what's most important in the continuing political preference polls...and the trend that has just emerged seems to favor Bush! The coverage is by Ronald Brownstein and Kathleen Hennessey of the Los Angeles Times.
DR. KRAUTHAMMER'S DIAGNOSIS...is that the Bush haters have overshot the limits of reality. His explanation of the etiology of the disorder does, indeed, draw upon his earlier psychiatric training and is vividly conveyed in this column from today's Washington Post.
A MEDITATION ON THE KERRY CAMPAIGN'S USE OF VIETNAM...is featured in the current edition of the Weekly Standard. The source is Fred Barnes, the executive editor of the magazine.
THE GLACIERS ARE MELTING...in the Swiss Alps and, in gereral, global warming is visible and measurable throughout Europe. Some of the predictable consequences are examined in this scary report from BBC News.
WE SHALL NOT LOOK UPON HIS LIKE AGAIN. Edward Teller, the "father of the hydrogen bomb" and the most "hard-line" of the scientific nuclear warriors is memorialized here in a fascinating account given by two former colleagues, one of whom served as Secretary of Defense.
ONE FINE WRITER REMEMBERS AND APPRECIATES ANOTHER...who died far too young. Grace Paley's brief essay on Harvey Swados gets the nature of his excellence exactly right.
"DISTASTE FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS"...is de rigeur in novels submitted for the Booker Prize. That's one of the many revelations provided, in this article from the Telegraph, by one of the judges of the U.K.'s leading literary award.
WHEN SCIENTISTS ANALYZE ART...one of the surprising (and disturbing) hypotheses they put forward is that some of the old masters "cheated." If they did, how and why did they do so? Those and related questions are addressed in this fascinating article from the Chronicle of Higher Education.
WHO DOES WHAT AND WITH WHICH AND TO WHOM? The National Opinion Research Center has studied American sexual behavior very closely for many years. Here's the full report of their findings. Among the many interesting facts: Same-sex partnering by males remains at about 2% of the total referenced population--and at about 1% for females.
IGNORANCE, LAZINESS AND RHETORICAL INCOMPETENCE...are some of the qualities this English college professor finds in his students at a major American university. This review/essay in the Wall Street Journal fully accords with the prorietor's experience of recent years spent teaching undergraduates at another major American university.
A FEW PERFECTED MOMENTS WITH VIVALDI. This brief, but beautifully formed, concerto for various instruments is too slight to be labelled a "concerto grosso." But, in this instance, less is (as so often with Vivaldi) more.
Thursday, August 26, 2004
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
TWO VIEWS ON THE VIET NAM CAREER OF JOHN KERRY. This one is from conservative economist, Thomas Sowell, writing in today's installment of his syndicated column.
TWO VIEWS ON THE VIET NAM CAREER OF JOHN KERRY. This one, conveying a contrasting and exculpatory view is from sociologist Jerry Star writing in today's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
AN ANTIDOTE TO VIET FATIGUE...is recommnded by Claudia Rosett who, in this essay from today's Wall Street Journal, links to a number of documents relevant for the struggle to maintain freedom. All worth reading or re-reading; but of greatest immediate interest is the outstanding speech by Charles Krauthammer.
HOW DO YOU GET TO MARS AT LOWER COST? START FROM TEXAS! Or else, get these UT engineering students into operative responsibility at NASA. This story appeared today in The Daily Texan.
OK, SO HISTORY HASN'T ENDED AFTER ALL...says Francis Fukuyama in a new book reviewed here, for Commentary, by Max Boot. Both have been guests on our program in the past and--after reading this review--we are resolved to get them back here for a joint appearance.
LEGALIZING THE UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS...would be a high cost item (can you say: ten billion a year?) according to a study just released and reported today by the Los Angeles Times. If there is to be any controversy at the Republican convention, this might be it!
IS AMERICAN NATIONAL IDENTITY ENDANGERED? Sam Huntington said "indeed, it is," in his recent book (Who Are We?) and on our program discussing that book. Alan Wolfe disagrees and said so in an important review in Foreign Affairs. Now, Huntington responds and Wolfe counter-responds in this just-published, important exchange.
A READING LIST FOR GENERALS...has recently been issued by the Army Chief of Staff. And here's Sam Huntington again--this time with his Clash of Civilizations. What else is required reading for our general officers? The Boston Globe compares the current list to the one issued four years ago.
BIRTH RATES, DEATH RATES, PROSPERITY AND MODERNITY. They are tied together, but in what sorts of relationships and auguring what sort of future? These matters are argued here in an important set of articles just published in Foreign Affairs.
THE CRUCIAL CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE "LITTLE MAGS." The editor of one of the newer ones contends (correctly!) that we can't do without such journals as The Paris Review, The Evergreen Review and The Antioch Review--all the more so since the demise of The Partisan Review (right again!).
A PRINCE OF NEWFIE LITERATURE...is proclaimed in this recent review from the Toronto Globe and Mail. "Newfie" means Newfoundland which place is the butt of many Canadian jokes...and one of the best is to be found in the third paragraph of this review.
IT IS HEARTENING TO KNOW...that the Chinese care whether the Leaning Tower of Pisa will or won't fall down. Here's the latest (scientific!) judgement as reported in Xinhua, their national news service.
GERSHWIN AT BIRDLAND. Some fine (and sometimes "boppy") jazzmen do a five part session at Birdland--and the fifth is a great weaving-together of the themes from Porgy and Bess.
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
A recorded edition of Extension 720 will air after the 7:05 Cubs game. You can listen to the program at around 10 p.m. central time here.
Monday, August 23, 2004
After the 7:05 Cubs game, Milt takes calls from listeners on a variety of current events, including the Swift Boat Veterans controversy. You can listen to the program around 10 p.m. central time here.
DESPERATELY SEEKING OSAMA...IN SOUTH WAZIRISTAN. If the Pakistanis don't flush him out in this renewed campaign they are, at least, giving some further proof to their western "friends" that they "mean business."
AN ANTI-TERRORISM STRATEGY BORROWED FROM GEORGE KENNAN. What the father of containment theory laid out in the "MR. X" article of 1947 provides a way out of our present dilemma. So says the Chairman of the National Intelligence Council in this possibly wise speech given a few months ago.
SEEKING PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST...is what Dennis Ross did over many years for the Clinton administration. Not quite totally disabused, but rather pessimistic, he explains what needs to be done before the opportunity is completely destroyed. His new book is reviewed here by Samuel Lewis for Foreign Affairs magazine.
HUTUS AND TUTSIS: THE CONTINUING PROSPECT OF GENOCIDE. The U.K. Economist, with its usual clarity and insight, examines the situation in Central Africa and finds the potential for more organized ethnic murder to be looming and omnipresent.
THE BLAME-ISRAEL REFLEX AND ARAB INSIGHTLESSNESS...might well have been the title of this analysis of the Sudanese government's attempt to explain the sources of the Darfur "problem." Leon de Winter is a fellow at the Hudson Institute in whose journal this sharp essay was published a few days ago.
WHERE THE BIG MONEY (FOR DEMOCRATS) COMES FROM. Eric Alterman, a favored journalist on the left, ought to know. He reveals (almost) all in this article from the current issue of The Atlantic.
CAN THE HOLOCAUST AT LAST BE "UNDERSTOOD?" Five decades of scholarship and debate have preceeded the master-work by the leading U.S. historian of that ultimate (so far) catastrophe. Here, then, a review of Christopher Browning's recent book, The Origins of the Final Solution.
DROPPING IN ON JOHN THE BAPTIST. This new discovery in biblical archeology is in now in the "enthusiasm" phase. By next month the controversy will begin. The article is from the current issue of Newsweek.
IS BELIEVED AND PRACTICED RELIGION A NECCESSARY CONDITION...for the maintenance of "social responsibility?" The author of this essay from the current issue of New Criterion says "yes" and offers the history of modern England in evidence.
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION (IF ANY) BETWEEN INDIAN HISTORY AND INDIAN GAMBLING CASINOS? If that question can be approached through the story of one tribal group, this may be the one. This fascinating article from Common-Place magazine comes in four parts. Be sure to read through for the "socko finish."
THE STRANGE AND RATHER WONDERFUL LIFE OF GLENN GOULD...is told, apparently quite entertainingly, in a new biography reviewed here by Kevin Bazzana for the Times Literary Supplement.
BE CAREFUL HOW YOU KID AROUND. Even smart people are capable of invincible and enthusiastic ignorance. This wonderful--and instructive--article is from the new journal, Check Please!
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT: TUNISIAN MUSIC! We don't know anything about it but it does--like most Arabic music--grab at you with hypnotically intense rhythm and repetitive, non-harmonic incantations. This is from the Tunisian national broadcast service. Dont miss Latifa Arfaoui in Ahimou bi Tounis.