Friday, July 01, 2005
LO, HOW THE LOATHSOME ARE RISEN! There's this guy, see, who was just elected president of Iran. And there are some people who knew him in a different incarnation back in Teheran in 1979. And...well, read the rest here.
WE HAVE A FEW FRIENDS OUT THERE...says Anne Applebaum of the Washington Post. In this article from Foreign Policy, she reviews polling data that reveals who is pro rather than anti-American.
WHICH TEN COMMANDMENTS...has the Supreme Court barred from interior courthouse display? The answer is considerably more complicated than one might think as this release from Belief Net makes abundantly clear.
THE COMET CREATURES: Our first contact with extraterrestrial beings may be at hand--under the distant ice of Tempel-1. Here's the latest news.
STILL AMBIVALENT AFTER ALL THESE YEARS...should have been the title of this article by a German journalist about German attitudes about their nation's guilt and defeat--sixty years ago!!
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE RED ARMY? The Economist sheds some light on the continuing shame, scandal and farce presented by the still most deserving (but ignored) institution requiring an Amnesty International investigation.
THE JEWS OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE...once constituted over sixty percent of the world's Jewish population. The history of their dispersion and persecution during the twentieth century is addressed in an important new book. This review, from the New York Review of Books, is a compelling essay in itself.
FRANCE HAD ONE MORE THAN ENGLAND! Of what? Jewish prime ministers of course. That's Disraeli on one side of the channel and Leon Blum and Pierre Mendes-France on the other. Here's the Jewish Brit who didn't quite make it--so far, that is.
YOU EXIST IN MANY SOCIAL NETWORKS! You knew that, of course. But have you been aware of the development of a sub-field in sociology devoted to mapping and analyzing such networks. Here's how it began and what has come of it.
POLITICALLY CORRECT MATHEMATICS...may suit some ideologues in the teaching profession but it does not serve students in Chicago as well as the students in Paris or Nairobi are served by non-political math instruction. Diane Ravitch speaks truth to pedagogical power in this op-ed from the Wall Street Journal.
HOW TO BE A PSYCHIC...in one easy lesson: this sharp bit of unembellished debunkery comes from Think, a journal published by the British Royal Institute of Philosophy.
A BLUEGRASS GROUP WITH SINCERITY...if not with the perfection of the Stanley Brothers. We have enjoyed the spirited performances available at this site. Just click on the highlighted titles and be sure not to miss "I Am a Pilgrim."
Monday, June 27, 2005
TWO CHEERS FOR GUANTANAMO...are sounded by Ruell Marc Gerecht, a former CIA analyst, in this article from the current issue of Weekly Standard. To our judgment, this comes as close as possible to being a truly balanced evaluation of the opportunities and costs of strenuous interrogation undertaken in service of our national survival.
THE RISING CHINESE MILITARY THREAT...has long been a main theme pushed (and quite often effectively and factually demonstrated) by Bill Gertz of the Washington Times. This latest survey of "acquisition and deployment" of war-waging weapons is based on U.S. military intelligence and suggests that an invasion of Taiwan (which we are pledged to counter with armed resistance!!) may be only a few years away.
WHO ARE THE BLUEST OF THE BLUE...in the blue states and in the blue enclaves within red states? According to Steven Malanga, a sharp analyst who writes for the City Journal, they are the "tax-eaters" who work for governments and profit from being the bureaucrats who administer "social programs." How outfits like AFSCME have leagued with--and led--other sectors of the American left is the burden of this important article.
THE NEW POPE'S MAIN MAN IN AMERICA...is profiled here by Britain's leading conservative Catholic publication who are, obviously, enthusiastic for what they take to be a rarity, i.e. an equally conservative Jesuit! Their prediction that they have located the next Archbishop of San Franciso may err on the wishful side--or maybe not.
THE "SECRET SOURCE" BUSINESS AFTER DEEP THROAT...has suffered a bit of a decline or, at least, a kind of devolution. Valuable evidence to that effect is supplied in this account, by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post, of his last meeting with The Hummer in the dark recesses of an underground parking garage.
A HUNDRED ANGLES ON WORLD WAR II...as seen--and brilliantly, interactively organized--by Deutsche Welle, the broadcasting service of the German government. The interview with Sir Ian Kershaw is of particular interest and for still more detail on this great historian's account of Nazism and the war it made, here is our extended discussion with him on Extension 720.
ABLE WAS HE ERE HE SAW ELBA: The story of Napoleon in his first exile is recounted by David Pyrce-Jones with an eye toward the future of Saddam Hussein and with some sharp references to Stalin, Ceaucescu and other assorted tyrants.
THE FREEDOM TOWER FOLLY...is the term Ron Rosenbaum applies to the continuing hoopla over what and how to build where the World Trade Center once stood. With his always acute reportorial eye he sees the situation not as the officials represent it but as it actually is--which is considerably less than properly commemorative of the murdered three thousand. The article is from the latest issue of the New York Observer.
THE VANISHING ARCHITECTURE OF THE SOVIET UNION...is commemorated here by Nicolai Ouroussoff in yesterday's New York Times. It wasn't all Stalinesque birthday-cake towers, but some of the better Constructavist buildings are in decay and Ouroussoff is in mourning. The accompanying slide-show with audio commentary is worth more than the price of admission (a mere click).
"THERAPISM" AND THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CULTURE: The first may be a cause of the second says this reviewer of a book which argues, minimally, that psychiatry produces...uhhh, shall we say, dysfunctional habituation.
CAVEAT EMPTOR...if you are thinking of buying into marriage with a "great novelist." That seems to be the lesson to be derived from a new book that examines the marriages the Lawrences, Hemingways, Fitzgeralds, Conrads and the Tolstoys.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN BRITISH AND AMERICAN OBITUARISTS? The answer is available in this engaging account of a recent conference of the profilers of the recently deceased. Some great obituary quotes (more from the cynical Brits than from the celebratory Americans) are the plums in this pudding.
FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY IN HIGH PLACES: The place this time is Buckingham Palace and the economiser is Her Majesty. For further detail do consult this bulletin from Dead Brain, one of Britain's most-read humor magazines.