Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
February 13, 2005
BLOG: Quick Links 2/13/05
*Jane Galt notes that outrage over Brit Hume's characterization of FDR's long-term plan for something like private accounts has been overblown by the Left. Personally, I didn't get the big deal of the Hume quotation, maybe because I'd read the full quote first from the WSJ and got the basic point, which was not that FDR wanted total privatization of the system but that he foresaw some role private accounts by 1965 or so. Either way, too many Democrats are tied to leaving things just as they were in 1935 . . . well, except for the numerous times the system has been amended since then, mostly to raise the available benefits in 1950 and 1977.
*Steven Schwartz has an in-depth look at "On the Waterfront," including a comparison with a play by Arthur Miller. (via Powerline) I'm sure when Schwartz wrote this he didn't think Miller would die just as it was running on the web, since this is very harsh on Miller. Schwartz explores the parallels between the film and the experiences of director Elia Kazan and writer Budd Schulberg with Communism in Hollywood. As it happens, I (somewhat accidentally) attended a talk by Schulberg about a year or two ago on this movie, and he gave a great deal of detail on how the story arose from the real-life activities of a crusading priest fighting gangsters who controlled the longshoremen's union. The other issue Schulberg talked about, which isn't really a novel point of view but isn't mentioned in Schwartz's account, is the biblical imagery in the film, especially Brando's final scene.
*Samizdata has an interesting review of Bernard Lewis' latest book, which is mostly a collection of essays over the past 5 decades. I believe Lewis is now close to or past 90, but you still see him writing, and the September 11 attacks have made the past few years the most prominent of his career; it's amazing to see public intellectuals still contributing to debate at that age (Milton Friedman is a prominent example of an over-90 intellectual who's still going, and I read an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal recently that quoted 95-year-old management expert Peter Drucker).
*Just when you think you understand women . . . Gil Grissom, Sex Symbol?
*This Reuters report skips over the part in al-Zawahri's latest diatribe where he complains of America's "freedom of AIDS, or the industry of prostitution and same sex marriages."