< link rel="DCTERMS.isreplacedby" href="http://miltsfile.com" > Milt's File: 12/05/2004 - 12/12/2004

Milt's File

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

Friday, December 10, 2004

Another year of movies has come and gone, and tonight we will examine the best and the worst movies of 2004, from highly anticipated movies that flopped to hidden gems that were unduly overlooked. Our regular panel of reviewers—GENE PHILLIPS, PENELOPE MESIC, and JOSH LARSEN—will weigh in on the year in film.

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 will return on Monday.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Godfather, Goodfellas and The Sopranos have all fictionalized and mythologized the organized crime of the Italian Mafia. It was, perhaps, the most powerful crime organization in the United States, but that is no longer the case. Tonight, we closely examine the state of organized crime as it exists in America today, with our panel of three crime experts are PATRICK HALPERIN, a former Federal Task Force Member and an expert on the Russian mafia, TOM KIRKPATRICK, president of the Chicago Crime Commission, and TED McNAMARA, an FBI agent who works on organized crime cases.
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.
THE MILITARIZATION OF SPACE...may be moving ahead--or so some worried senators seemed to think as they examined the "intelligence bill compromise" which they refused to approve. This intruiging set of hints came earlier today from CNN.
BIG MONEY COMES EASILY...for some after they resign their public office; and one of the most fortunate seems, according to this surprising story from MSNBC, to have been our new Secretary of Homeland Security!!
VOX POPULI, VOX DEI EST...is, once again, the political reality says Dick Morris in this curious rumination published today in The Hill.
NOTRE ENNEMI LE PLUS ANCIEN: That will be the title of the book reviewed here if it ever gets translated into French, which is possibly unlikely since our oldest enemy turns out to be La Belle France! The review is from today's issue of The Hill.
ISLAMIC CONVERTS IN EUROPEAN JAILS...are showing up as terorist recruits once they are sprung from incarceration. So argues--with documentation--this article from the New York Times now reprinted in the International Herald Tribune.
WAHHABISM COMES TO GREECE...in the form of a great new mosque funded by the Saudi government. Stephen Schwartz examines the disturbing background history and likely coming consequences in this piece published today at Tech Central Station.
OUR COUSINS, THE CHICKENS: Well, 60% of their genes are similar to ours. New information accumulated as we map the chicken genome does further verify that birds were once dinosaurs. The report is from Sci-Tech Today.
THE JUNK SCIENCE AWARDS FOR 2004 ARE ANNOUNCED! And, in the health and environmental studies section, virtually no respectable organization escapes deserved humiliation. Read on...
CRAZY LIKE A HORSE...was not really the meaning of the great Lakota warrior's name. Joseph Marshall, author of the new biography, was our guest recently on Extension 720 and here is a resonating review of his book from the San Francisco Chronicle.
DO MUSLIM WOMEN GET TO PARADISE? The question is raised at this British Islamic website...and the answer, as supplied by a leading cleric, is reassuring.
A THEOLOGICAL COUNTER TO THE "LEFT BEHIND" SERIES...has been provided by a serious biblical scholar who is interviewed here in an important article from the Boston Globe.
THE CHARLATAN BEHIND THE DAVINCI CODE...and the falsifications at Rennes-le-Chateau. In this article from The Skeptical Inquirer, a great debunker, Massimo Polidoro, unravels the con that led, ultimately, to the writing of the popular novel.
THE GREAT GERMAN REQUIEM: This moving performance of Brahms' greatest choral work was recorded live in 1999. Dohnanyi conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

War is forever evolving, from the meeting of great armies during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars, the massive slaughter of both World Wars, to the guerilla tactics of Vietnam and the Gulf Wars. But is war as we have known it for thousands of years over? Tonight, we examine that very question with JOHN MUELLER, national security expert and professor of political science at Ohio State University. Mueller’s latest book is The Remnants of War, and he will be joined by JOHN MEARSHEIMER, professor of political science at the University of Chicago, to discuss whether nations are beginning to transcend the “regression into murder.”
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.
WONDERFUL, IF TRUE...but, somehow we suspect that peace (or even truce) between Israel and the Palestinian Authority won't be had so easily. Which leads us to ask of the Egyptians quoted in this story from Ha'Aretz, the standard psychriatric question: "what do they really mean by that?"
IT'S TIME TO TAKE ON THE SUNNIS...says Krauthammer in this straight-talking op-ed that appeared in the U.K. Guardian yesterday. This seems to us as good an instance of useful "strategic realism" as anything we have read recently about the bloody impasse in Iraq.
SO NOW WE HAVE INTELLIGENCE REFORM...of a sort. Is anyone really satisfied, gratified or a little less anxious? Brendan Miniter of the Wall Street Journal has a good fix on the "inside story" of how and why the compromise was reached.
BEINART TO THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: COME HOME...and dump your anti-American "friends." When the editor of the New Republic offers a hit list of people and positions that should be abandoned we may safely conclude that there is a growing division within the recently much-defeated "second party."
WHAT DID THE SOVIET NKVD DO DURING THE GREAT PATRIOTIC WAR? The once opened--and now, again, partially shut--Soviet Archives continue to reveal the horrors of a murderous regime. Here, a new book based upon recently uncovered archival secrets is reviewed by a member of the CIA history staff.
THE "AIR-ATTACK" UPON IRAN...is carried out by expatriate amateur broadcasters who manage on a technologically advanced shoestring. This account from the Columbia Journalism Review reveals that they are really "getting through."
EXPLAINING STRING THEORY...to non-physicists is not quite the easiest assignment; but this fellow at the New York Times has made a valiant effort and manages to create, for us, the illusion of comprehension--but then, we had Nobel Laureate Leon Lederman doing the same for us on the program last week.
THE RIGHT TO CRITICIZE ANYONE'S RELIGION...is, at least in the U.K., now being defended by comics. And why not? Other persons strong belief-systems are the second most common target of wit. The first is either their appearance or their stupidity. This account from the Telegraph is, however, no laughing matter.
ARE AMERICA'S UNIVERSITIES LEFTIST? Of course they are, if judged by their humanities and social science faculty. How has this come to be? Would a concerted effort to recruit (and actually hire) conservative professors be a prime desideratum? Read on...in this sharp essay from The Economist.
AND SPEAKING OF THE LEFT-TILT IN FACULTY HIRING...have you heard about "Professor" Rosenberg? That's not the present proprietor but another who does not particularly grace the name she bears. All is reported here by our friend and frequent program guest, Roger Kimball, writing in the Wall Street Journal.
FAULKNER AS POSTMAN, PROFESSOR AND RESEARCH TOPIC: The "Ole Miss" connection was complicated and long-lasting and is here illuminated in a fine article by W.F.'s most recent biographer.
THE KING OF THE GYPSIES...is a title claimed by many. Here is the one who "rules" in Transylvania but claims to be monarch "of the Roma everywhere." This is one in a fine series of articles about Romania that appeared in Slate last week.
MORE DJANGO! Last week we did a memorable program on the life, times and music of "the greatest jazz guitarist, ever," namely Django Reinhardt. Here he is with the Quintette of the Hot Club of France in some of their best known--and much beloved--recordings, mostly from the '30s.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Tonight on Extension 720: “Hats divide generally into three classes: offense hats, defensive hats, and shrapnel,” or so observed British journalist Katherine Whitehorn. There once was a time what the hat made the man, but the days of the fedora are gone, mostly thanks to a sartorially conscious president named John Fitzgerald Kennedy. Tonight, we will explore the evolution of men’s fashion with NEIL STEINBERG, a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and author of the new book Hatless Jack: The President, the Fedora, and the History of American Style.

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 will return tomorrow.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Tonight on Extension 720: Web logs, better known as “blogs,” have become a familiar and invaluable presence on the Internet and in the world of journalism. For the first time, bloggers were given press credentials at the presidential conventions, and blogs are now often the best source for breaking news or stories that are not being covered in the mainstream press. Tonight, we delve into the blogosphere with three local political bloggers: CHRIS KANIS of The Spoons Experience, PEJMAN YOUSEFZADEH of Pejmanesque, and STEPHEN ANTLER of Econopundit.

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.
YES, FAREED, BUT IS IT WORTH SAVING? The U.N. could go under, says Zakaria in the current issue of Newsweek, unless the U.S. exerts some strong effort to save it. The analysis is, as usual with F.Z., sharp and well-focused--except for the question of whether a stronger and more respected and less corrupt U.N. might be more injurious to American (and western!!) interests.
SOME THINGS WE DIDN'T KNOW ABOUT BERNARD KERIK...are detailed in this short and to-the-point column by Zev Chafets of the New York Daily News. The new head of the Department of Homeland Security is, obviously, going to make "good copy" whether he does or doesn't make good policy.
WHY HASN'T THE NEXT TERRORIST ATTACK HAPPENED? No question is more important and more elusive. But here we have a cool-headed and apparently well researched set of answers provided in the current issue of New York magazine.
COLIN POWELL GETS A B- (OR IS IT A C+?) FROM HITCHENS...in this evaluation just published in Foreign Policy. As always, Hitch's iconoclasm and bravura prose make for engaging reading. Could he, as well, be right about the possibly over-appreciated outgoing Secretary of State?
WILL EUROPE BE ISLAMICIZED--OR WILL ISLAM BE EUROPEANISED? The great demographic shift in western Europe and recent evidence of Islamic militancy in all of the host countries force the question...and it is strongly addressed in this fine essay by David Pryce-Jones that has just appeared in Commentary magazine.
THE NEW DUTCH AWARENESS OF MILITANT ISLAMISM...is reflected in this interview with a Dutch journalist, just published in The American Prospect. When the semi-official general magazine of the Democratic Party conveys a concern about European Islamicization, one knows that an important shift is underway.
AUSTRALIA...WIE ES EIGENTLICH GEWESEN WAR! Getting the leftist distortions out of the national history is the task that Keith Winschuttle has set for himself and--if the proper measure is how many historians you anger--he seems to be succeeding. The coverage is supplied by the Sydney Morning Herald.
AN EGYPTIAN EGYPTOLOGIST AT CHAMPOLLION'S DESK: This charming note about a visit to the home of the man who deciphered the Rosetta Stone and thus found the key to heiroglyphic writing is from the culture section of Al Ahram of Cairo.
GRAIL, GRAIL...WHO'S GOT THE HOLY GRAIL? No one, says this responsible and wonderfully informative article from the BBC. Why not? Because it never existed! It was all dreamed up by Chretien de Troyes (not Dan Brown!) a very long time ago.
IS THIS HOW ONE CAN DETECT A WARHOL FORGERY? Or did he himself forge his "paintings"? Such questions probably fall beyond the interest of the forgery-detectives whose new technique is revealed here in the current issue of The Economist.
THOMSON ON SCORSESE ON HOWARD HUGHES: The film bio is out and our greatest commentator on American film (The English David Thomson) has seen it; and, in consequence, we now have this splendid review/essay which appeared yesterday in the New York Observer.
A NEW APRECIATION OF THE FATHER OF SCIENCE FICTION...That's H. G. Wells, of course, whose classic, The Invisible Man, was re-read and is here commended by Bryan Appleyard in a recent column from The New Statesman.
POLLSTER DISINGENUOUSNESS ON A RAMPAGE! The folks who did this poll for Newsweek really know that it overestimates by far the number of people who "literally believe" the Christmas narrative. What the magazine doesn't tell you is that respondents usually try to give the interviewer what they think he wants or expects to hear. To say this in socio-psychologese, the processes of "interviewer expectancy,"demand characteristics" and "evaluation apprehension" are all operative--especially in an interview about religious beliefs conducted as Christmas approaches!
A BRITISH SEX SCANDAL THAT DOESN'T QUITE MATCH PROFUMO...but still gets lots of press attention, has one distinctive feature according to this article in Sunday's Scotsmen: the scandalee, a cabinet minister, is the one who sought all the press coverage. Why in the world? Read on...
A GREAT SONG CYCLE: Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde (in the Schoenberg arrangement) ends with a remarkable rendering of Der Abschied (the farewell) by Stephen Roberts. The Mainly Mozart Orchestra is conducted by David Atherton.