Friday, April 01, 2005
UNDERSTANDING AL QAEDA...requires a clear comprehension of how it is positioned against (and thus oppsed by) the Sunni establishment. This crucial point is well-supported, elaborated and examined for its action import in this valuable study just published in Parameters.
BRAVO TO JOHN KASS...for saying what needed to be said about the Schiavo tragedy and for saying it so simply and wisely in this column from today's Chicago Tribune.
HOW ABOUT ENDING THE INCOME TAX...and replacing it with a national sales tax? George Will has persuaded himself that that's the way to go and he here identifies the congressman with the plan...and endorses that plan. This, we are convinced, deserves close and attentive consideration.
"ANTI-DEPRESSANT" MEDICATION AND HIGH SCHOOL MURDER: The lethal rampage at Red Lake High School is yet another instance in which psychotropic medication was being taken by the killer. Something is dreadfully wrong when 11 million such prescriptions are bestowed upon American adolescents each year. This opinion piece from the San Francisco Chronicle illuminates the extent of a problem that may be turning into a crisis.
THE CRAFT OF HISTORY...from Herodotus to Herder and beyond is addressed in a major work that appeared some six years ago and then received this closely considered (if inevitably a bit too quarrelsome) academic review.
THE DIVERSITY POLICE ARE TARGETING THE BLOGOSPHERE!! Why not target the editorial boards of major American publications...or the faculties of major universities? Heather MacDonald reports on (and correctly condemns) the new trend to seek "balance" in the blogosphere.
IF THEY LEANED ANY FARTHER LEFT...their brains might fall out. The important new study on the political/social orientation of America's academics is reviewed and evaluated here by Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post.
THE VIRTUES OF THE GRANDFATHER ARE REVEALED...to the distant grandson who never knew him. Yet another touching story from the "Hitlerzeit" featuring a "righteous (German) gentile." This account, as given by the grandson, is from the U.K. Guardian.
SOME MEN TAKE TO BOOKS...as better men take to drink: So said Houseman or Connelly...or was it Orwell? At any rate the woman featured in this article from yesterday's Wall Street Journal may well be drunk on reading (or reviewing) pop-lit and is an almost absolute delight.
AT A LOSS FOR CONVERSATIONAL GAMBITS? Serious, if bitterly ironic, advice is available from the dour Dean of the Dublin Anglican Cathedral, circa 1772; i.e. Jonathan Swift.
COULD HE HAVE BEEN A COUSIN? Who? That fine comic actor, Tony Randall. Not only was he Jewish--according to this voluminous compendium of Jewish actors and directors--but he was a Rosenberg!!
RON ROSENBAUM ON THE MOVIE-LINE: Anything by this fine reporter/essayist is a delight to read and often an illumination of whats wrong with "the way we live now." And this recent piece from the New York Observer is, indeed, classic Rosenbaum.
MORE LOUIS...and this time in front of an "orchestra." The music is somewhat more arranged but Armstrong's virtuosity is at its height in such numbers as: Ol'Man River, Darktown Strutter's Ball and Panama.
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
NOT ALL THE NEWS IS FROM FLORIDA: Consider, for example, the momentous events in Kyrgyzstan, the likes of which have not been seen since the toppling of Ceausescu in Bucharest. This account from the Christian Science Monitor provides a good summary and overview.
WHY IS THE AMERICAN PRESS VIRTUALLY IGNORING THE DARFUR GENOCIDE? Are they really? This article from the American Journalism Review makes the case definitively. Memories of Rwanda haunt this uncompromising account of a great journalistic failure and of the few brave reporters who won't let go of the horrifying story.
ISLAM IS CHANGING...FOR THE BETTER says Reza Aslan in a new book and in this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education. He makes an interesting case but not at all one that is beyond challenge--and challenged it will probably be when he appears on our radio program this coming Friday night.
POVERTY MAY BE (VERY SLOWLY) RECEDING! So thinks--and he offers some substantial supporting data and argument--Ronald Bailey, the science correspondent for Reason magazine. This pleasingly optimistic essay features some particularly relevant links.
WHAT DON'T WE KNOW ABOUT THE BIG BANG? Quite a good deal actually...as is revealed and reviewed in this wonderfully informative article from Scientific American. And, by the way, is our universe merely a single inflationary bubble of a much larger multiverse? Read on.
EINSTEIN WAS A SCIENTIST, FREUD WASN'T...is the obviously correct view of the author of a new book and of his reviewer writing in the U.K. New Statesman. Still, not having yet seen the book, we have the impression that it lets the great mythmaker (and falsifier?) off far too easily.
KILLING KIDS IN HOLLAND: One of the best columnar essayists in the country, John Kass of the Chicago Tribune, reflects on some shocking news from the Netherlands and examines the connection to our moral confusions over the Schiavo case.
THE PRIME MINISTER NO-0NE REMEMBERS...died a few days ago and is here memorialized by the former editor of the London Times. The curious thing about "Sunny Jim" Callaghan is that he failed at almost everything but was well regarded by all--until Margaret Thatcher commandered the press and he, in consequence, was virtually forgotten.
YOU CAN'T BEAT AULETTA ON COMBIZ: That's the communications business in all its shifting transmutations. This piece from the current New Yorker helps us to understand why advertising seems more and more designed for extra-terrestrials. Ms. Thaler, the central figure in this account, and the mother of the AFLAC duck, may or may not be the harbinger of the next big thing.
THE "SAMBO SLANDER" IN BLACK DETROIT: Rochelle Riley, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, reveals how a black entrepreneur gets savaged by some of his "brothers" for favoring a charter school. Ridiculous and--far worse--self defeating!
WHAT TO DO ABOUT UNIVERSITY FACULTY EXTREMISTS: Obviously the standards of "academic freedom" must, if with pain, be respected. That does not mean that administrators get off scot free; rather they should be shamed and then, at least, held responsible for wiser hiring in the future. But that still leaves Mona Charen without an answer to the scandal of the Middle Eastern Studies Program at Columbia.
EDWARD HOPPER: A FITTING APPRECIATION...graced the not-always-graceful New York section of the New York Times yesterday. Some of the sun-glowing paintings are here and are on view in a streaming commentary.
A WONDERFUL CHAMBER CONCERT FROM LUGANO: Of particular interest are: Two Songs for Mezzo-Soprano by Brahms and the Overture on Hebrew Themes by Prokofiev...not to mention the remarkable, two-piano performance of the latter's Classical Symphony.