Best Reads of the Week(s) 7/14-7/31 2014



The SERIOUS Business of Brewing a Cup of Tea:

Leave it to the English.  My grandmother (who was english) gave me my love for tea.  My favorites:  Good Earth (Original, thanks to my Mom) and English Breakfast and P&G Tips (again thanks Mom).  But leave it to Christopher Hitchens to set us all straight on WHY we should care about getting a cup tea correct.  As usual, he’s brilliant (thanks for link Eric).  How To Make a Decent Cup of Tea ,  “It is already virtually impossible in the United States, unless you undertake the job yourself, to get a cup or pot of tea that tastes remotely as it ought to….



Perhaps Coffee Is More Your Cup Of Tea Though:

From The Atlantic, “I Drank a Cup of Hot Coffee That Was Overnighted Across the Country.  How a single PR stunt reveals the complicated, pervasive intersection of logistics and culture.”




VDH:   What If?

Perhaps the best weekly summary available… From PJmedia,  Victor Davis Hansen wrote,  “Why is the World Becoming Such a Nasty Place?”   He hits several home runs… here is a piece on the immigration issue,  “Try a thought experiment of extending the logic of the current border disorder. Imagine a growing disequilibrium between Chicago and Canada. (On the other hand, why imagine it since it already exists?) Thousands of the children from the most violent areas of the inner city of Chicago — where shootings are approaching levels in Central America — decide to flee the misery for the chance of something better elsewhere. They head north. Some are preteens; some are teenagers; most are innocents; some gang members; some come with their parents; most do not. Most are poor and without resources and capital. They begin walking or getting on trains to Canada and soon mass there at the border in the thousands, as refugees from horrific conditions of the inner city of Rahm Emanuel’s Chicago. Some gang members have charged them transit fees. Imagine further that U.S. officials, with a wink and a nod, had encouraged them to leave, given the endemic violence, and the social costs of addressing it. Their parents likewise hope that they are adopted by the Canadians, given citizenship and that they soon become anchors for their own emigration out of war-torn Chicago. And imagine what might be the reaction if the children were not welcomed en masse by Canada. Would we then blast and damn Canada as nativist, racist, and uncaring for not openly bringing our “children” into their homes? Would the influx be a moral act on the part of the United States or American parents who willingly facilitated the transit, and would it be a fair charge against Canada for not immediately taking the arrivals in as likely future citizens?




The QE2, Hit by a wave, Buckling its Steel Plates 18 Inches!

“When Good Waves Go Rogue” from the, is worth reading just for the opening story about the Queen Elizabeth 2 being hit by one!




Tour De Re-Instate?

Should Lance get his Tours back?  VeloNews asked former tour winners in, “Former Tour de France winners say give Armstrong his victories”  The two quotes that carry the most weight with me:

“They should never have erased Armstrong from the list. You can’t change results ten years later. Of course it’s not good what he did but you can’t re-write history,” 1980 winner Joop Zoetemelk said.

“Armstrong should stay on that list.” 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche added. “In the 100 year history of the race you can’t not have a winner for seven years. Doping has been part of sport, not only for cycling, for decades. Who tells me Jacques Anquetil won clean. Should we take his victories away? Or why does Richard Virenque gets to keep his polka dot jerseys?”




Is Chaos The New Order?

Think of how “smart” we have become.  Advances in the fields of science and technology are providing us with a new understanding of the world, universe, health, communication and productivity – all providing us with a new standard of living that most of history could not of dreamed of.  On the other hand we still haven’t figured out how to get along with others.   We carry the agreements that start in the sand box right on through the rest of our lives.  Our families, cultures and international affairs continue to be characterized by strife and dissension.  Two articles illustrate these realities well.  From the Los Angeles Times, “Is global chaos the new normal? and from The Atlantic, “Yes, It Could Happen Again” with the byline of: “Instability in Ukraine, chaos in Syria, conflict in the East China Sea—the trigger points for World War III are in place.”

Similarly, the The National Journal, chimed in with “WORLD OF HURT” , expounding on two seeming failed- BUT very different approaches to foreign policy pursued by our last two Presidents.  All excellent reads.




Chaos or Not it’s  New World for Parents:

Interesting story from The Washington Post of mother facing child neglect charges,  “after she allowed her son (7 years old) to go a half mile from home to a park alone. She says he’s old enough but Port St. Lucie Police disagree.” The author close with this observation, “we’re become increasingly paranoid just as violent crime, sex crimes and crimes against children are all in rapid decline and are now at historic lows.”  And the echoes what many of you could recount from your own youth, “I couldn’t even begin to count the number of times I ventured out by myself on my bike as a kid.”   Oh how much the world has changed.

4 of a Kind:  Israel, Gaza, Hamas & the Palestinians.

Washington Post:  Israel Must Be Permitted To Crush Hamas

The Washington Examiner: Five Reasons Why Comparing Israeli and Palestinian Death Totals is a Misleading Way to Judge the Conflict

From the Atlantic: Why Is Israel Losing A War Its Winning?

Town Hall’s article titled, “Son Of Hamas Founder: My Father’s Movement ‘Doesn’t Care About The Lives Of Palestinians”  or watch his comments:




Holy e-Bible?

I don’t know if it’s nessicarly sacrilegious but a sign of the times for sure.  My kids won’t know what it’s like to not have cell phones around, and I assume they will end up reading more on electronic devices than actual paper pages but I stills seems stange to read, “It was called the wave of the future – the recently tapped U.S. ambassador to Switzerland was sworn in last month with her hand not on a paper Bible but on top of a Kindle.”  But is the e-Bible any less “holy” thant a paper one?  I suppose not.  Read “Is A Digital Bible Less Holy?”  (thanks to Rafael for the article).




Dennis Changes His Mind???

As you know I’m a fan of Dennis Prager.  He seems to have a change of mind about Russia and it’s past and present state of consciousness.  In, “Is There a Russian Conscience? A European?” Dennis begins with, “When I was a graduate student at Columbia University’s Russian Institute, there was a great debate: Was the communist Soviet Union an organic Russian development or was it largely a cancer imposed on it?…”




24 Things You Need Identification For (hint: Voting is NOT one of them):

Common sense tells me that voting (a privilege for citizens?) shouldn’t be made difficult.  For example we ought to have plenty of poling place that are open as long as necessary for everyone to vote.  But history is full with examples of voting fraud. Among the lowest bars we can set to ensure that the privilege and integrity of voting are maintained are simple I.D. laws.  For those that say that it is an impediment to people voting, consider this list from the Washington Examiner of things that require a ID that people don’t seem fuss over…




Room for (not more) Less?

Two advocates of a minimalist lifestyle discuss what it means to them and how it has changed them as people.  The Atlantic delivers up, “Living With Less“.




As The Cookie (Carbon Tax) Crumbles:

Two from the WSJ, on Australia repealing its Carbon Taxes.   #1  After almost a decade of intense political debate, Australia became the world’s first developed nation to repeal carbon laws that put a price on greenhouse-gas emissions….    #2  The Senate repealed Australia’s carbon tax, fulfilling the Prime Minister’s most prominent promise from last year’s election. The global intelligentsia is now making Mr. Abbott public climate enemy number one…






Author: noah

1 thought on “Best Reads of the Week(s) 7/14-7/31 2014

  1. Victor Davis Hanson is one of our greatest living historians and geo-political analysts, but I’m wondering what kind of timeline he’s looking at with Putin eyeballing the Baltics. I’m guessing he’ll make political attacks on the integrity of former Soviet states before Obama leaves, but doubt he’ll do anything like Ukraine in the near future. Unlike the Nazi’s of Hamas, Putin doesn’t have the entire Western press in his pocket. He has to be more politically astute.

    Speaking of Hamas, I loved VDH’s line, “when Arabs on the offense kill lots of Arabs it is normal, but when Jews in defense kill far fewer Arabs it is reprehensible.” It’s the international version of George W’s great line about how “black leaders” promote disparate impact affirmative action:

    Some say it is unfair to hold disadvantaged children to rigorous standards. I say it is discrimination to require anything less, the soft bigotry of low expectations. – George W. Bush, campaign speech before the NAACP (2000).

    As for Prager’s article on the Russian Conscience, I’m not sure how far back he’s making the implication, “I now incline toward the dark view of the Russian conscience.” Something undoubtedly changed within the Russian conscience, but I see the Soviet Revolution as the source of that change, not an inherent deficiency within the Russian mind. Case in point: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. Those minds had depth, produced beauty, and/or were influenced by noble ideals. Since Communism, Russia has produced no such minds. Those who might remotely come close to such a pre-Revolution Russian standard, Andrei Sakharov, Solzhenitsyn, and Whitaker Chambers, rebelled against the absurdity of Soviet ideals.

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