Here are some worthwhile links for your browsing pleasure:
– The American Spectator has an interesting piece on Jim Baen editor and founder of the U.S. science-fiction publisher Baen Books:
His role as a cultural warrior was a proud one. He contributed very significantly, below the radar of sociological and cultural commentators, to the strengthening of Western culture.
He also did something not many cultural warriors, and not many publishers, can claim: he may have contributed directly and significantly to the West winning the Cold War.
Not bad for an ex-hippie who left home at 17, lived on the streets for several months and finally enlisted in the U.S. Army to avoid starving.
BC: As someone who knows Prime Minister Thatcher, what is her personality like? Did she deserve the nickname “Iron Lady” or was that just Soviet agitprop?
O’Sullivan: Lady Thatcher is a warm, lively and combative personality. She likes a good argument and so she likes people who argue with her. She certainly deserved the title “The Iron Lady” because she was firm and authoritative in the face of attack. She also had the administrative stamina to push through her labor and economic reforms not only against union opposition but also against the usual bureaucratic obstructionism in government. Because Blair lacks this stamina, his achievements will fall far short of hers on the day he leaves office. As a boss she was kind, thoughtful and considerate, especially to those lower down the pecking order. But she was also demanding and tough towards ministers and senior civil servants. Sometimes she took this too far — it’s generally agreed that she treated Geoffrey Howe badly because she misread his mild good-natured personality as a sign of weakness. She paid heavily for that error. In general, though, she is a very kind woman. She also has a strong domestic side. She used to cook supper for aides working late with her on speeches. I think of her as a combination of towering world-historical figure and ordinary British housewife — and equally good in both capacities.
Islam is quintessentially tolerant. Its adherents are hospitable to liberty, equality, and pluralism, the rudiments of modern democracy. Those committing terror in its name are heretics â€” a fringe which has â€œhijackedâ€ a â€œreligion of peace.â€
This conventional wisdom brims over the mainstream mediaâ€™s daily servings. It is, moreover, the not-to-be-questioned premise of U.S. policy on a host of paramount issues: everything from how the war on terror is conceptualized and prosecuted, to the wisdom of negotiations with Iran, a sovereign state for Palestinians, agitation for freedom and popular self-determination throughout the Middle East, and the assumption that our own growing Muslim population will seamlessly assimilate.
But is it true?
Emphatically, the answer is â€œno.â€ So argues best-selling author and Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer in The Truth about Muhammad â€” Founder of the Worldâ€™s Most Intolerant Religion (Regnery, 256 pages, $27.95). And he does not expect you to take his word for it.
– I have enjoyed Dinesh D’Souza’s work before, (see here for example) and am no fan of Timothy Noah, but it seem that he raises some legitimate concerns about D’Souza’s most recent book in this article at Slate. Read the article to see if Noah convinces you, but here is his conclusion:
As a strategy, forging a values-based alliance with foreigners against your fellow countrymen strikes me as a tad, well, unpatriotic. But making culture war a weapon in the war against Islamist terror would serve to elevate conservative crochets and prejudices to the higher theoretical plane of national security. I wonder whether that opportunity will persuade other right-wingers to risk ridicule by joining D’Souza’s loopy jihad.