Links, 11/24/09

A few articles that are important, not just of interest:

  • Jeffrey Herf, “Hate Radio: Nazi Propaganda in the Arab World” (h/t Josh) – from the article: In his essay from the early 1950s, “Our Struggle With the Jews,” which became central in the canon of radical Islamist texts—the essay was republished in 1970 and distributed throughout the world by the monarchy in Saudi Arabia—Qutb argued that Jews are implacable enemies of Islam. As such, Qutb wrote, Jews merited “the worst kind of punishment.” Qutb claimed that Allah had sent Hitler to earth to “punish” the Jews for their evil deeds. In so doing, Qutb justified, rather than denied, the Holocaust. This paranoid analysis, in turn, influenced the authors of the charter of Hamas, which blends Islamist fundamentalism with the Nazi ideology of mid-20th century Europe. The Hamas Charter holds Jews responsible for the French and the Russian Revolutions, World War I and World War II, as well as the founding of the United Nations—all of which were, Hamas argues, orchestrated for the purpose of furthering Jewish world domination.
  • Megan McArdle, “We’re Going Broke Anyway, So Why Not Spend Like Drunken Sailors?” & “Risk, Cost and Obligations:” the arguments being used to justify spending on a massive scale are simply delusional; the pundit class would be well-served to engage in some self-reflection. Again, for those you inclined to blame Bush for everything, it isn’t hard to show that President Obama and the Democratic party are playing a very dangerous game with finances right now.
  • Jay Cost, “The Michael Steele Vanity Project:” I request that Mr. Steele resign from his post as RNC chair, independent of this “latest wrinkle.” The criteria for a chairman are very straightforward, as Mr. Cost indicates: The requirements for the RNC chairman are pretty straightforward: raise the cash, spout the party line on cue, don’t cause trouble.
  • Soldier Blocks Ambush, Earns Silver Star (h/t David Sullivan) – from the article: Fire erupted from all around. The insurgents were dug in for a well-planned ambush, and Church’s Humvee was the only vehicle in position to respond with accurate fire.
  • Thomas Bartlett, “The Puzzle of Boys” (h/t aldaily.com) – from the article: Boys outperform girls by more than 30 points on the mathematics section of the SAT and a scant four points on the verbal sections (girls best boys by 13 points on the recently added writing section). But many more girls actually take the test. And while it’s a fact that boys and girls are both more likely to attend college than they were a generation ago, girls now make up well over half of the student body, and a projection by the Department of Education indicates that the gap will widen considerably over the next decade. College isn’t the only relevant benchmark. Boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed with attention-deficit disorder, but girls are more likely to be diagnosed with depression. Girls are more likely to report suicide attempts, but boys are more likely to actually kill themselves (according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 83 percent of suicides between the ages of 10 and 24 are male). Ask a representative of the AAUW about a pitfall that appears to disproportionately affect boys, like attention-deficit disorder, and the representative will counter that the disparity is overplayed or that girls deal with equally troubling issues.

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