Thursday, May 05, 2005
THE HIJACKERS OF 9/11: WHO AND WHAT WERE THEY? The answers are, in some ways, both surprising and confounding. A new book that gathers and interprets the evidence is informatively reviewed here by Jonathan Yardley of the Washington Post.
THE PRO-ISLAMISM OF THE FRENCH...can be readily traced to DeGaulle's resentment of the "Anglo-Saxons" says David Pryce-Jones in this probing historical review just published in Commentary. The consequences for Israel and for France itself have, he asserts (and, to our satisfaction, demonstrates) have been ruinous.
HOME GROWN FASCISTS IN CANADA...will persist--and possibly flourish--after the death of their leader, one Wolfgang Droeg. In this article, from the Canadian magazine Walrus, the government mole who helped bring down Droeg's organization tells the tale and warns of the renewal of white supremacist violence both in Canada and the U.S.
THE POLITICALLY CORRECT "SCIENCE" TEXTBOOKS...are miseducating many kids in many states. The extent to which facts of history and science are twisted to suit favored mythologies is suggested by this disturbing--but too brief--article from the Weekly Standard.
BLACK KIDS AND LOW EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT: As she regularly does, Kay Hymowitz tells it like it is in this important article from the current issue of City Journal.
PROPHECY, PROFIT AND THE PUNDITOCRACY: Why and how do Sabato, Ornstein, Hess and Pike get quoted so often? This article from the American Journalism Review could serve as a primer for aspiring assistant professors who crave press attention and some monetary confirmation of their having attained pundit status.
AND SPEAKING OF "EXPERTS"...here's how one network found their "knowledge resource" for the nuclear energy question. Well, actually...uh, almost. The source of the article is not totally irrelevant.
THE NARRATIVES OF WORLD WAR II...vary considerably from country to country and over elapsing time. A Polish author, writing in a new German magazine, examines what he takes to be the persisting "myths." The article is of compelling interest and, as well, provides some fascinating links.
DIE PROTESTANTISCHE ETHIK UND DER GEIST DES KAPITALISMUS...is evaluated here, by Michael Novak writing in First Things, one hundred years after the original publication of the book that made a grand try at explaining why and how capitalism and protestantism arose at, more or less, the same time and inthe same place.
THE FRENCH, JEWISH, GYPSY, AMERICAN LIFE...of a fine writer, who has guested on Extension 720 more than once, is examined in a new autobiography that trots out some quite complicated parents and odd turns of fate and is reviewed here, for the New York Observer, by the former editor of the New Yorker.
THE GYPSIES OF EUROPE...are the subject of a group of excellent articles in the recently established magazine, Cafe Babel. Of particular interest is the linked article on the many identities of the Roma.
ALMOST COMPLETELY USELESS INVENTIONS...represent, and contribute to, a new (or ancient?) art form that flourishes in Japan and has now reached Massachusetts. Your confusion will be instantly dispelled--and some increments of bemused amusement obtained--by directly consulting this article from the Boston Globe.
NOBODY DOESN'T LIKE JOSEPH HAYDN...and among his many concertos this second one for cello has always been a source of particular delight. The solo performance by Ronald Thomas is assertive yet, where required, lyrically gentle.
Monday, May 02, 2005
THE FIRST WAHABIST...was, of course, Muhammad Ibn Abd al-Wahab, whose life and thought (and early influence) are detailed here in an article from (neither a joke nor an oxymoron!) the Liberal Islam Network.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT THE FLOOD OF ILLEGALS FROM MEXICO...is a pressing problem on which the Bush regime has been varying between confusion, lethargy and incompetence. This article fom an Arizonan living close to the border was in yesterday's Washington Post and should be required reading in the West Wing.
THE REAL PAUL WOLFOWITZ...according to Stephen Hayes writing in the current issue of the Weekly Standard and, to say it straight, we find this portrait and interpretation high on verisimilitude.
THE LAST ISSUE OF PUBLIC INTEREST...contains a number of interesting funereal reminiscences. This one by Nathan Glaser sheds considerable light on the real nature and rise of "neo-conservatism."
ARE THE BIG MEDIA IN DECLINE...or merely going through a "life-passage" that will invigorate them? Terry Eastland, writing in the Wilson Quarterly, isn't sure whether it is the one or the other--but he does well document that they are approaching some sort of crisis moment.
MALE AND FEMALE CREATED HE (SHE, IT?) THEIR BRAINS: This valuably informative article about structural and functional sex-correlated differences has just appeared in Scientific American. Will Larry Summers dare to quote it to the Harvard faculy-indignants who are still trying to get him dumped?
AND SPEAKING OF HAAHHVAHD...this graduate of Haverford, writing in the Wall Street Journal, compares it to some other "elite" universities (including the one in which the proprietor has long labored) and finds that it comes up somewhat short.
THE FIRE BRIGADE HANGS N THERE...because violations of "individual rights in education" we shall, apparently, always have with us. Here is the roster of their current and recent cases with links to all the pertinent documentation.
A NEW BIOGRAPHY OF STALIN...is reviewed here for the Moscow Times by an American "Russianist." Is she or is the author, Robert Service, responsible for the remarkable slighting of the fact that Stalin holds the universal historical record for slaughtering millions as a matter of "state policy?"
THE IRRESPONSIBLE RADICALIZATION OF AMERICAN UNIVERSITIES...is well illustrated by the Ward Churchill affair and by the plethora of special "studies" programs says Roger Kimball in this essential article from the current issue of the New Criterion. The author of the book that first reported on the undermining of liberal education (Tenured Radicals, 1991) Kimball here notes that blind tolerance for the intolerable may now have reached its limit and "turning point."
HOW THE MEDIUMS "CONTACT" THE DEARLY DEPARTED: You suspected possible trickery and fraud? How cynical! You would probably even believe this screed from a magician's newsletter.
A GREAT BLUES COLLECTION...except for the inclusion of Odetta who sang folk music rather than the blues. Not to be missed: Big Bill Broonzy, Magic Sam, Lowell Fulson, Jelly Roll Morton and the great performance of Penitentiary Blues by Lightnin' Hopkins.