Is there a more radioactive word in American politics today than elitist?
Admit it – you saw the word and had an instinctive negative reaction, didn’t you? If not, then count yourself among the rarest minority in our culture, the fraction of a percent that has not yet had its consciousness colonized by the “evil elitist” meme. If not, you’re one of a handful of people not yet victimized by a cynical public relations frame that poses perhaps the greatest danger to the health of our republic in American history.
Pretty dire language there, huh? Perhaps we’ve ventured a little too deeply into the land of hyperbole? It might seem so at a glance, but in truth the success of any society is largely a function of the things it believes and how those beliefs shape its actions and policies. Read more
First of all, I recall to your attention the extraordinary fact with which I began. To wit, that the human being, like the immortals, naturally places sexual intercourse far and away above all other joys — yet he has left it out of his heaven! The very thought of it excites him; opportunity sets him wild; in this state he will risk life, reputation, everything — even his queer heaven itself — to make good that opportunity and ride it to the overwhelming climax. From youth to middle age all men and all women prize copulation above all other pleasures combined, yet it is actually as I have said: it is not in their heaven; prayer takes its place. – Mark Twain, Letters from the EarthRead more
I missed last night’s “debate” between Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. From what I can tell this morning, that was the smartest thing I did all day. I’ve read a good bit about it and seen some video and it looks like what transpired in Philadelphia may have been a new low-water mark in American journalism.
Next let’s check in at the ABC “News” Web site, where the network’s viewers are still engaging in one of the bloodiest nard-stompings I’ve ever seen. Nearly 16,000 comments as I write, and the consensus is not a happy one. Read more
The pattern usually repeats itself every four years:
Obscure candidate announces, and is at first an after-thought, unknown to most of nation. Candidate perseveres. Candidate portrays self as feisty underdog. Candidate highlights positive aspects of personal record. Candidate attracts support and funding. Candidate surges in polls early in process. Opponents begin opposition research. Reporters begin digging. Read more
I have now received three (3) student papers that discuss Iraq’s attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11. All three papers mention it as an aside to another point. I’ve had two papers on the virtue of forgiveness that argue that if we had just forgiven Iraq for the 9/11 attacks, we wouldn’t be at war right now. I just read a paper on the problem of evil which asked why God allowed “the Iraq’s” to attack us on 9/11.
The thing that upsets me most here is that the the students don’t just believe that that Iraq was behind 9/11. This is a big fact in their minds, that leaps out at them, whenever they think about the state of the world. Read more
Tim Russert: Would it be appropriate for a president to provide Secret Service protection for his mistress?
Rudy Giuliani: It would not be appropriate to do it for that reason, Tim … The reason it’s done is because somebody threatens to do harm and the people who assess it come to the conclusion that it is necessary to do this. The reality is that it all came about because of my public position, because of the fact that when people are public or celebrities these kinds of threats take place.
Well, that clears things up considerably. Read more
[UPDATE: Won’t you please help save Sen. Vitter’s winky?]
A bit of context is in order.
Vitter is a no-compromises god-n-country anti-hanky-panky conservative who in 1998 said that Louisiana Rep. Bob Livingston’s resignation over marital infidelity “makes a very powerful argument that [President Bill] Clinton should resign as well.” [Atlanta Journal Constitution, 12/20/98. Pg. 04D] Read more