In recognition of the 400th anniversary of the birth of John Milton, National Reviewwriter John Derbyshire looks into the English writer’s Paradise Lost and draws comparisons between the epic poem and our own political environment.
“For conservatives, paradise is well and truly lost. You could in fact, if you had a few months to spare, rewrite Milton’s epic with George W. Bush as Adam, the GOP as Eve, Reagan as Moses, Bill Buckley as the Muse, and so on. Who is Satan, though? I’m not sure, though I think I know where the bastard lives.
“It’s all very unfair. Conservatism is being cursed all around by association with George W. Bush, who has not been at all conservative where it matters: fiscal oversight, government spending, national sovereignty, war.”
It remains to be seen if there will be a Paradise Regained for conservatives.
“… any reform aimed primarily at raising SAT scores is misguided,” Thomas writes. “And we must not ignore that time spent focusing on increasing a test score is time lost engaged in real and valuable learning experiences.”
Amen. Latin is a wonderful, challenging language. But to study it simply to improve SAT scores is akin to erradicating fire ants with a ball-peen hammer: it’s possible, but often laborious and painful.
In an analysis that should shock no one, CNSNews.com reports that while U.S. combat casualties in Iraq were at an all-time low in November 2008 – five reported combat deaths – coverage of the war was sparse in The New York Times and The Washington Post compared with previous election cycles.
Some U.S. officials have suggested the media have consciously turned their attention away from the war now that President Bush’s surge strategy has met with success, CNSNews.com said.
What? Media bias that could have hurt Republican efforts at retaining the White House? No way! What’s next, deifying the president-elect?
A good bit of advertising targeting men tends to be either overly simplistic or downright stupid. This ad for J. C. Penney, though, is both funny and effective. You’d be hard pressed to find a guy over the age of 18 who hasn’t spent time in the “doghouse.”
Of course, this is the type of stuff that can leave one grinding one’s teeth. If an agency can create something this good for a mid-range American department store chain, why is so much other advertising so bad?
What kind of a thug desecrates graves? And not just any graves, but those of war heroes? The Associated Press reports that vandals despoiled at least 500 tombs of Muslim World War I soldiers in northern France on Monday.
The desecration near the town of Arras appeared timed with the start of Eid al-Adha, the most important holiday in the Muslim calendar. It marked the third time in two years the Muslim section of the cemetery has been vandalized, according to the AP.
If one cannot respect the dead, it seems unlikely they’ll be able to respect the living. Here’s hoping the culprits can be caught, made to remedy the damage, then punished severely – perhaps by having the crimes treated as Hudud offenses.
The Battle of Arras comprised a series of bloody battles in the spring of 1917, including Vimy Ridge, in which Canadian troops dislodged Germans forces. Today, Vimy Ridge has great meaning in Canada, where the battle is seen as the crucible under which the country was formally joined.
Both the Allied and Central Powers featured large numbers of Muslim soldiers. Besides the Ottoman Empire, the Central Powers drew Islamic troops from Bulgaria and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, while the Allies were bolstered by Muslims from British and French territories.
It’s estimated that the Battle of Arras claimed more than 300,000 casualties.
After reading Eric Gibson’s piece in the Wall Street Journal about college costs it’s now a little clearer why the price of higher education has gone through the roof in recent years. Gibson recently toured several universities and was dumbstruck at the opulence today’s students enjoy, courtesy of their schools.
Take this paragraph:
“Then there’s the cost of college life itself. I’ve been wide-eyed on some of my visits, struck by the extent to which being a student today resembles living at Versailles, where Louis XIV’s every whim was so thoroughly accommodated that there was even a Superintendent of the King’s Furniture. One college tour guide proudly informed us that upon arrival every freshman is issued a brand-new laptop. Even if the students already have one? Why, yes, the guide replied.”
Perhaps if schools were more focused on educating students instead of spending every single penny that entered their coffers, students and parents wouldn’t be faced with ever-rising costs and spiraling debt.
Gibson says the culprit is the of lack of checks and balances in higher ed expenditures:
“Colleges have something close to a monopoly; they can charge what they like because they have a captive audience. As Robert J. Massa, vice president for enrollment and student life at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania, told the New York Times earlier this month in an article on colleges’ current financial strain: ‘What we’ve done in higher education is let our dreams and aspirations dictate our cost structure.’ “
Dreams and aspirations unchecked by reality, apparently. That’s a great way to prepare students for life after college, isn’t it?