William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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SHORT TAKES ON THE DRIFTING WRECKAGE – AT 8:39 P.M. ET:

NORTH KOREAN LAUNCH – We have first reports, from Japan and South Korea, that North Korea, in defiance of international demands, has launched a large rocket.  The North Koreans have said that the rocket would put a satellite in orbit, but most observers believe that the rocket is also designed as an ICBM.  North Korea already has a nuclear bomb.  If wedded to an ICBM, the Northerners would vastly increase their military reach, threatening the United States.  Stand by for more on this.

NOAH MAY HAVE GOTTEN IT RIGHT, AFTER ALL – Robert Ballad, the undersea explorer famous for finding the Titanic, says that his research shows there was indeed a sudden, huge flood in the Black Sea region, consistent with the Biblical legend of a flood in Noah's time.  Ballard does not believe he will ever find Noah's ark, but believes he'll find evidence of villages washed away.  I suspect New York's nanny mayor, Mike Bloomberg, will announce that this is further proof of global warming.  And Al Gore might build his own ark, with widescreen TV.

SANTA NAILED – A new poll by the Democratic polling firm, PPP, reveals that most Americans believe Santa Claus is a Democrat.  Some 44% say Santa is a Dem, whereas only 28% believe he's GOP.  An equal number, 28%, responded that they weren't sure.  No poll was taken of the political affiliation of the reindeer, but I'm sure many Americans would have an opinion on that, too.  Rudolph, after all, has a red nose.

WE'RE NOT THE ONLY DUMBED-DOWN NATION – Many of our educators have done a fine job in dumbing down the teaching of American history.  But America is not alone.  A study in Britain showed that half of 18-24-year-olds do not know that Lord Nelson led the British to victory at Trafalgar.  As John Hinderaker wrote at Powerline, "An England in which Lord Nelson has been forgotten is no longer England."  The same study argued that British schools should drop trendy courses in favor of teaching standard British history.  I agree, and think the same lesson should be taught to America's educational establishment. 

December 11,  2012