< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://miltsfile.com" > Milt's File: 06/06/2004 - 06/13/2004

Milt's File

A file of links relating to Extension 720 with Milt Rosenberg, a talk show on Chicago's WGN Radio.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Extension 720 is pre-empted tonight by a 9:05 p.m. Cubs game.
Milt's File now enables comments from all visitors. We welcome--indeed, we urge--that you chime in with your commentary whenever one or more of our items stirs some responsive thought or mere spasm of emotion.
REMEMBERING REAGAN. On this national day of mourning, USA Today's special section dedicated to our 40th president covers all aspects of his presidency and state funeral.
FRIEDMAN'S ROAD TO SUCCESS IN IRAQ. In this column from yesterday's New York Times, Thomas Friedman highlights the good news in Iraq and details the hard work that still needs to be done by the United States.
HOWEVER, PUBLIC SUPPORT OF THE WAR IS DECLINING...according to the latest poll from the Los Angeles Times, detailed here. Though most Americans now appear to think the war was a mistake, they also do not believe that U.S. troops should be withdrawn anytime soon. Is that contradictory or just pragmatic?
EVEN WITHOUT OSAMA, AL QAEDA WILL LIVE ON...or so says this article from Foreign Policy. Jason Burke makes the persuasive argument that the ideology is more important than the man, and that the "Qaedist" philosophy has become more endemic than we care to understand.
HUBBLE IN TROUBLE. This article from the BBC details the robotic rescue of the Hubble telescope. Be sure to explore all the fascinating links.
PERHAPS WE SHOULD GIVE FIDO MORE CREDIT. According to this article from today's Washington Post, researchers are reconsidering the long-held belief that dogs are simply not very smart. If they can grasp our language, how long before they understand sarcasm?
THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC CONTINUES...and the latest news is that the average American's diet is now 30% junk food, while essential fruits and vegetables now account for a mere ten. Read on and weep for the future.
WHAT WILL THE FRENCH THINK OF NEXT?? A song without music? But for now, they've settled for a novel without verbs. Amazing. And what's even more amazing is that this article, in the Chronicle of Higher Education, pulls off the same feat with tongue firmly in cheek.
THE ULTIMATE IN SCHADENFREUDE. All writers agonize over a bad review and often wish only ill on those who write them. In this article from the UK Guardian, John Sutherland relates the ecstasy of seeing the critic become the criticized.
TO WORK OR NOT TO WORK? A full generation after the second wave of feminism, women still agonize over whether to abandon their careers for their children. This excellent article from Reason summarzies the recent controversy that has been raging in the pages of the magazines and newspapers everywhere and the statistics behind it.
AND SPEAKING OF FEMINISM...Ira Levin's book The Stepford Wives and the 1975 film that it inspired provided a horrific vision of an extreme reaction to the feminist movement. Frank Oz (yes -- the voice of Miss Piggy!) has seen fit to remake it as an over-the-top farce, and here is David Edelstein's review from Slate.
SAYING FAREWELL TO A MUSICAL LEGEND. Ray Charles' soulful and bluesy piano influenced generations of musicians. Here is an excellent obituary from the New York Times that pays special attention to an interview with Charles from earlier this year.
SOME OF RAY'S BEST. This excellent collection of songs from the sixties contains several of Ray Charles' greatest hits, including "Hit the Road, Jack."

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Tonight on Extension 720, Milt discusses the best vacation travel ideas with two expert guests. More information on this and other shows is available at our monthly program guide. You can listen to the show from 9 to 11 p.m. central time here.
Milt's File is taking the day off, but will return tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Tonight on Extension 720, Milt discusses the latest developments in the presidential campaign with a panel of experts. More information on this and other programs is available at our monthly program guide. You can listen to the show from 9 to 11 p.m. central time here.
Milt's File now enables comments from all visitors. We welcome--indeed, we urge--that you chime in with your commentary whenever one or more of our items stirs some responsive thought or mere spasm of emotion.

BY THEIR LETTERS SHALL YE KNOW THEM. A far more complex--and more canny and energetic--Ronald Reagan emerges from his vast correspondence. Only recently, a few months before his death, was a collection of trhese letters published. This thoughtful and appreciative review/essay appeared in the Claremont Review last month.
REAGAN AS FOXY GRANDPA....with the right values and the right plans. Of the many commentaries in the last few days this one, by John O'Sullivan in the Chicago Sun-Times, seems to us particularly perceptive and on target.
THE NEW ABOLITIONISTS ARE BASED IN BOSTON AND FOCUSED ON SUDAN. This website will introduce the American Anti-Slavery Group who are concerned not only with slavery and genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan but with many other persisting barbarities. Their links are of great value; their exhortative message is of crucial import.
WAS TROTSKY REALLY BETTER THAN STALIN? Christopher Hitchens (and Isaac Deutscher whom he reviews here for the Atlantic) thinks he was. Both forget the slaughter at Kronstadt done under the "old man's" orders. The three-volume Deutscher work has just been reissued and, of course, deserves close reading and critical evaluation.
THE SOVIET UNION THAT TROTSKY LEFT BEHIND HIM...when he was exiled (and ultimately murdered) by Stalin. Simon Montefiore's biography of Stalin is here reviewed for the Atlantic by Robert Conquest, the leading historian of the wreckage and moral barbarism inflicted upon the Soviets by the Georgian "monster-with-a-pipe."
BURUMA FINDS TWO BERNARD LEWISES! We have read him and talked with him and find only one. But a rich and complex observer will seem to some to be self-contradictory when he is merely "nuanced." Read this article from the New Yorker and listen to our recent conversation with Lewis--then judge for yourself and share your judgement on our "comments" feature.
COSBY RESPONDS TO TIME'S COMPLAINT ABOUT HIS NAACP SPEECH. No punning or allusive headline on this one. What Bill Cosby said--and what he says here in response to a critic who urges "not in front of the white folks"--bears repeating again and again...until black kids stop wrecking themselves and ravaging their communities.
IN REACTION TO COSBY...another black (but non-establishment) voice is heard. Star Parker of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education, affirms and welcomes his analysis.
THE MOST UNDESERVEDLY OVER-REWARDED AMERICAN ACADEMIC...gets a letter from another professor who has a few important questions. We would love to read Cornell West's answer to this letter from Mike Adams--now made public in Front Page magazine. But, we are not holding our breath!
WHEN WAS THE CIVIL WAR? When the proprietor has asked this of his college students only one in ten has been able to locate it in the right decade. Three or four guess that it happened "in the early nineteen hundreds!!" Thus, this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education is as welcome as it is devastatingly too, too true.
L'AFFAIRE MICHELIN. Do their restaurant inspectors really inspect? Are some of the three-star resaurants of France "untouchable?" Can the loss of a star drive a chef to suicide? These--rather than Iraq, uncontrolled Muslim immigration and the deterioration of "les grandes ecoles"--are the questions that really preoccupy the French aujourdui. The story is from the International Herald Tribune.
AND SPEAKING OF FRENCH RESAURANTS...here are the ten best located outside of France. This great site with links to reviews and other articles can occupy you for days. To begin with, try the rundown on Chez Daniel in New York. We have been there and, in fact, it is rather good.
A TRUMPET, A PIANO AND VARIOUS STRINGS...et voila, the Saint-Saens Septet in E-Flat major which delights in every bar. Try it. You'll like it!

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

A recorded edition of Extension 720 will play after the 7:05 Cubs game.
Milt's File now enables comments from all visitors. We welcome--indeed, we urge--that you chime in with your commentary whenever one or more of our items stirs some responsive thought or mere spasm of emotion.
WILL ANYONE SAY SOMETHING GOOD ABOUT AHMAD CHALABI? How about the great countertextual, Christopher Hitchens? Here he is, doing just that in Slate a few days ago.
CAN ISLAM BE TAKEN BACK FROM THE FANATICS? Some Muslims in Phoenix think it can be done and have launched a not-yet-impressive effort which is described in this recent article from National Review.
THE WAY WE ELECT NOW. Opposition research is the name of the game in this--as in other recent--presidential elections. Joshua Green reveals all in this sharp article from Atlantic magazine.
WHAT DOES GEORGE SOROS REALLY WANT...apart from the crushing defeat of George W? This article from the "paleo-conservative" journal, Chronicles, discovers him to be something close to the Anti-Christ--but with very big bucks. Can anyone here put forward a better explantion of the rampaging funder from Budapest--and was there ever a ruder pest?
RADIOLOGICAL SMUGGLING HAS INCREASED ALMOST EXPONENTIALLY IN THE LAST FIVE YEARS!! And that's the stuff that would be used to fabricate "dirty bombs." Now there's something to really worry about--and that is just what they are doing, according to this article from New Scientist, at the International Atomic Energy Agency.
WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW...is proper allocation of resources to the needy nations. That depends on finding what problems should have priority. The Copenhagen Consensus Project--as led, more or less, by Bjorn Lomborg--has come up with a plan worthy of close examination. Here is a first overview as supplied by the Economist magazine.
THE ABOMINABLE DEAN-MAN. As strange academic job titles continue to proliferate, the bearer of one of them has come up with an explanation of what's really happening on the disordered American campuses. (Could you actually force yourself to say "campi" or "campae?") This article appeared the other day in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
THE "ARDUOUS FOOLISHNESS" OF W.B. YEATS. A great new biography of the Irish master poet has now been completed. We have been reading it with fascination and fully agree with Brian Phillips who argues in this review that it is a masterwork almost in spite of itself. This review/essay is, in itself, a fine elaboration of the ambivalence that Yeats properly arouses.
ON THE DEATHS OF ROMAN EMPERORS...British Prime Mnisters and mere press lords: This curious memento mori was published yesterday in the London Review of Books. The point does seem to be that "ya gotta know when to fold 'em."
STALIN AT THE MOVIES. Having watched and enjoyed a number of John Wayne movies, the "Drojd" decided to have him killed. Joe Djugashvili really seems to have got caught up in some of the movies he had shown at the Kremlin--and Simon Montefiore has dug up the dismaying (but risable) facts. Our interview with him about his recent biography of Stalin can be heard here.
WELL, SATIRE OFTEN ANTICIPATES REALITY. So we had better not assume that the Lady in New York Harbor has come to stay. This thought-provoking article comes from the e-journal called The Spoof. Who are they kidding? We do remember that David Copperfield (the magus not Dickens' schlemiel) made it disappear years ago.
GREAT GOSPEL. A very generous collection. Of particular worth: Patsy Cline-Just a Closer Walk With Thee; Judy Collins-Amazing Grace; Roy Acuff-The Great Speckled Bird.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Tonight on Extension 720, we play some recorded programs following a 7:05 p.m. Cubs game. More information on this and other programs is available at our monthly program guide. You can listen to the show from about 10:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. central time here.
Milt's File now enables comments from all visitors. We welcome--indeed, we urge--that you chime in with your commentary whenever one or more of our items stirs some responsive thought or mere spasm of emotion.
OF THE MANY COMMENTARIES ON REAGAN....this one from today's Newsweek--and by our old friend and frequent program guest Michael Beschloss--comes closest to being something more than mere adulatory throat-clearing.
AND ONE MORE ON REAGAN....this time by Bill Buckley and delivered over five years ago but of great value today as we search for a realistically appreciative (rather than inflated-for-the-occasion) panegyric for the recently deceased.
TWENTY YEARS AGO, YESTERDAY AT POINTE DU HOC: President Reagan gave these remarks on that occasion. They do still ring with the man's deep feeling and do still evoke the thrill of the right simple words spoken at the right time and place.
THE GRAND ALLIANCE SIXTY YEARS AFTER D-DAY.....is a little frayed but, as well voiced by the Economist, must be restored. And here, in their view, is how to do it.
WHAT THEY ARE NOT TELLING US ABOUT IRAQ: Mort Kondrake, in today's Roll Call, notes just how silent most of the press remains on the good news (of which there apparently is plenty) from Iraq and from its new government in waiting.
THE GREAT HISTORICAL MONSTERS....and their biographers: Simon Montefiore was on our program recently discussing his biography of Stalin. (Click here to listen to an excerpt from the program.) In this article from the Houston Chronicle he argues for the necessity to "see whole" the Masters of Political Murder.
A MAN AND HIS PUBLISHER....and musings by the former after the death of the latter. We met the latter--Roger Strauss of Farrar, Strauss and Giroux--once but would probably be as fascinated by this article if we had never encountered him. A vivid portrait, to say the least!
THE THREAT OF MEXICAN IMMIGRATION....is great says Sam Huntington in his new book which we discussed with him on the program last week. Francis Fukayama sees it otherwise and gave this critique of the Huntington thesis recently in Slate.
THE WORST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD....except for all the others! That seems to be the burden of this expatriate American's musings about his native land after a long European sojourn. The article is from the new issue of the Hudson Review.
DO YOU KNOW HOW "HOOKER" BECAME A SYNONYM FOR PROSTITUTE? It has to do with Civil War General Hooker, right? Well, actually, NO! Etymological tale tales are set right in a new book by an English author. Here, from the Guardian, is a sampling of great--but totally false--stories of derivation.
WHO SAYS ONE MAN CAN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE? This one guy virtually destroyed a whole town with a bulldozer! The strange tale from Granby, Colorado is here given in full detail (with many linked stories) in the Denver Post.
WHO'S ON THE MONTANA AWARDS SHORT LIST? And what, exactly, are the Montana Awards? Read on--and improve your literary sophistication, sub-category, New Zealand.
THE SHAME OF NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO....may not be its unrelenting "liberalism" but rather its abandonment and rejection of classical music. Andrew Ferguson tells the dismaying story in this article from the current Weekly Standard.
BEETHOVEN, MOZART, DVORAK AND BARTOK: This superb chamber music concert was performed at the Argerich Festival in June, 2002.