Thursday, June 16, 2005
REALISM AND (A LITTLE) OPTIMISM FROM BEIRUT...are to be found in this informative and clear-headed report by David Ignatius of the Washington Post.
THE WORLD'S WORST GOVERNMENT...may well be North Korea, though Zimbabwe and many other claimants of the title crowd the field. This account of some on-the-ground horrors is from the current issue of American Enterprise Online and was supplied by a German physician who has spent much time there and tells it like it is.
THE DURBIN FLAP...is a serious matter that won't quickly fade. Here's a fairly detailed account of what he said in the Senate and of what has since hit the fan.
SOME MURDER STATISTICS FROM THE GULAG: As we said a few days ago, Senator Durbin might do well to check out the what they did in the Soviet Gulag (called "concentration camps" in the appended excerpt) as documented by Rudolph Rummel, the foremost scholarly authority on genocide and democide.
MARK STEYN'S REFLECTIONS ON THE COMING HILLARIAN CANDIDACY. Is the junior senator from New York running for the presidency? Of course--and here are some of the rich free-associations thus bestirred in the fertile mind of one of our best all-purpose political and cultural observers.
HITCHENS WATCHES AN IRAQI TV PROGRAM...and that leads him to some illuminating reflections on the nature of terrorism and the ways in which it must (despite certain voices presently protesting) be investigated and combated.
CHINESE INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT...threatens the American economy says Ted Fishman in this important op-ed from USA Today. He asserts that something must be done and can be done...and here's how!! Our recent discussion about the rise of China with Fishman and some other relevant guests can be heard here.
A (VERY OLD) DATE PALM GROWS IN ISRAEL: A 2000 year-old seed has been brought to bloom by a kibbutz scientist. The startling and delightful details are given in this story from the San Francisco Chronicle.
CREATIONISM REARS ITS DISGUISED HEAD...at Ohio State University and, thereby, raises some important questions about the use and misuse of the doctoral dissertation ritual. Of considerable interest here is the e-mail commentraies from readers of this informative article that appeared yesterday at Inside Higher Ed.
THE MESS IN AMERICA'S UNIVERSITIES...is serious, long-lasting and requires urgent attention. So say Donald Downs, in an important new book, and Peter Berkowitz in this excellent review/essay of that book.
THE JANEITES ARE AT IT AGAIN! The literary (and biographical) study of Jane Austen has long been a flourishing enterprise. A new batch of books about her, her work and her times has become manifest this year and those books are here reviewed in an enjoyable New York Review of Books essay by another novelist of manners and courtship.
HAD ENOUGH OF MICHAEL JACKSON...and of JLo, Katie, Tom, Nicole, Britney and the rest? Then you are not as saprophytic as many of our national newspapers, and cable channels whose preoccupations with the pathologies of entertainers lead Bob McHenry from disgust to reparative anger. This must-read piece is from today's Tech Central Station.
THE GLORY OF CALLAS! In this superb collection she performs arias from--and beyond--her regular repertoire. Was there ever a more thrilling soprano? Don't miss any of it--but, particularly, be sure to hear her "Costa Diva" from Norma.
Monday, June 13, 2005
THE COUNTRY OF THE KIMS...that is, North Korea, is by any measure pretty close to hell-on-earth. Rich detail with some effective explanation is provided in a new book reviewed here for the Asia Times. But the second Kim may be amusing himself with the the thought that he will ultimately be a "reformer."
GUANTANAMO AND THE SOVIET GULAG: Are they similar as Amnesty International recently pronounced? Well, ask Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post. She was their person in Moscow for many years and did a Pulitzer-winning book on the Gulag.
ON DEEP THROAT AND "NIXON'S LAST LIE:" As always, Ron Rosenbaum of the New York Observer has something truly interesting to say and--equally as usual--he says it very well.
THE NEURO-ANATOMICAL LOCALIZATION OF SARCASM: Sounds like a headline from The Onion? Actually, according to this release from the American Psychological Association, some Israeli researchers have come pretty close to mapping the cognitve sequence (and the brain structures entailed) in "getting it" when you comprehend the "true meaning" behind the "literal meaning."
MEMORIES OF OPPIE AND THE PLACE WHERE THEY MADE THE BOMB: A number of recent books treat of Robert Oppenheimer and the large scientific equipe he led at Los Alamos. Here, one of his associates from that time and that place reviews two of those books for American Scientist magazine.
IS BRITAIN ON THE ROAD TO SERFDOM? The invaluable Theodore Dalrymple reviews, for City Journal, the thought and predictions of F.A. von Hayek--and finds that his old book pre-figured what was going to happen to the U.K.
DOES THIS WOMAN UNDERSTAND LEO STRAUSS...and all the Staussians? Or is she, as this critical reviewer of her new book sees it, not only wrong but--even worse--unscholarly!!
THUCYDIDES AND HIS SUCCESSORS...down to the present time and present wars, are examined in this excellent essay from the New Criterion. The author is Keith Windschuttle, Australia's leading historiographer.
THE GRADE INFLATION FOLLIES...playing at American University (Washington) sounds pretty much like what passes for "evaluation" throughout most of the institutions of higher education these days. This troubling and yet bitterly hilarious personal narrative is from a recent issue of the Washington Post.
SO ARE JEWS REALLY SMARTER? Naaaaah...but, on the other hand, if they are, shouldn't they keep it secret? This amusing article from the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles was prompted by the recent study from the University of Utah.
WEALTH CRITIQUE AND WEALTH PORN....in the New York Times are discussed by a staffer at CBSNews.com in this nicely pointed and properly ironic mini-essay.
SOME GREAT TRADITIONAL JAZZ...or as these guys from Holland spell it JASS! Either way they do indeed catch the spirit with musicianly elegance. Don't miss their treatment of Wolverine Blues or, for that matter, of the other four numbers!