- On naming cats or something.
- Julia Roberts eats pasta.
- The silver lining of the Arab dictator cloud.
- The rigged system doesn’t like being called “rigged.”
- Love ya, idiot!
- Mormon Mitt and American Exceptionalism.
- Paradigm shifting.
- Wisdom from St. Wendell of Port Royal.
Nearly 30 years ago, as we settled in after law school, my wife wanted to get a cat. I, no cat fan, said “okay,” but I wanted to name it.
She brought home two, one male, one female. I named them Abercrombie (Abby) & Fitch. I would never do that again, even to a cat.
As long as it’s stylish, Lauren Noble, 7, of Hainesport, NJ, doesn’t have a problem with showing less skin.
Last Spring, Abercrombie Kids, the juvenile label of Abercrombie & Fitch, was crushed with a tsunami of complaints from outraged parents after the retailer introduced a push-up bikini top for girls as young as 7.
(Cherry Hills, NJ, Courier-Post, reprinted in 10/10/11 Lafayette Journal & Courier)
Watching [Julia] Roberts eat pasta [in Eat, Pray, Love] is the wet T-Shirt of chick flicks.
(Kathleen Parker, digressing from her column on Sarah Palin’s decision not to run for President) For some reason, this reminds me of someone who watched Brokeback Mountain and called it a gay Bridges of Madison County. It’s probably not worth figuring out why.
Life is messy, support of the “Arab Spring” fraught with peril. When did God die and leave the U.S. in charge of picking winners and losers?
The vast majority of Egyptian Christians belong to the Coptic Orthodox Church, which largely escaped violence under the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.
In the early days of the uprising, Coptic leaders sided openly with the embattled regime, expressing support for a president many Christians saw as a bulwark against the Muslim radicals who bore the brunt of Mr. Mubarak’s political repression.
Egypt’s postrevolutionary political ferment has ushered in a powerful contingent of Muslims who adhere to the fundamentalist Salafi school of Islamic thought widely practiced in Saudi Arabia. The Salafis were largely absent from prerevolutionary political life, and their rapid ascent to the political mainstream—and widely suspected role in past incidents of sectarian violence— has alarmed liberal Egyptians and religious minorities.
It remains to be seen whether the Occupy Wall Street protests will change America’s direction. Yet the protests have already elicited a remarkably hysterical reaction from Wall Street, the super-rich in general, and politicians and pundits …
The way to understand all of this is to realize that it’s part of a broader syndrome, in which wealthy Americans who benefit hugely from a system rigged in their favor react with hysteria to anyone who points out just how rigged the system is.
… Wall Street’s Masters of the Universe realize, deep down, how morally indefensible their position is. They’re not John Galt; they’re not even Steve Jobs. They’re people who got rich by peddling complex financial schemes that, far from delivering clear benefits to the American people, helped push us into a crisis whose aftereffects continue to blight the lives of tens of millions of their fellow citizens.
Yet they have paid no price. Their institutions were bailed out by taxpayers, with few strings attached. They continue to benefit from explicit and implicit federal guarantees — basically, they’re still in a game of heads they win, tails taxpayers lose ….
(Paul Krugman, who occasionally gets something right) James Taranto at the Wall Street Journal will presumably react with hysteria later today in his Best of the Web. After I wrote the foregoing, but before posting, Rod Dreher weighed in along the same lines, including some of the same quotes.
Will is a shrewd man and a careful student of political philosophy. I am a fan of his for many reasons, but more on that in a moment. In this case, he demonstrates his debating skills by first accusing Warren of being “a pyromaniac in a field of straw men,” and then by conceding the one and only point that Warren actually made.
“Everyone,” he writes, “knows that all striving occurs in a social context, so all attainments are conditioned by their context.” Indeed. He gives us here a rigorous and concise summary of what she said …
My colleague has brought out his full rhetorical arsenal to beat back a statement that he grants upfront is so obviously true that it cannot be gainsaid. Will knows danger when he sees it.
Rod Dreher trenchantly weighs in on Mitt Romney’s religion:
The only thing about Mormonism itself that would give me pause in considering a Mormon presidential candidate is the theological role American exceptionalism plays within Mormon thinking. But in truth, the way American politics and culture goes, American exceptionalism may as well be a theological principle for all US Christians. It is an article of faith for most Americans that God has a Very Special Plan for the United States of America, and that we are, in some respects, a Chosen People. I don’t believe this, at least not in the way most people do (if America is exceptional, it’s in a “to whom much is given, much is expected” way, not a triumphalist-nationalist way), but it is quite common. I’m certain that on this point, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Romney and any Republican candidate.
A major source of my growing alienation from American politics is this very point. For at least 30 years, and I can recall traces back 40+ years, I have not believed in American Exceptionalism in the sense Rod describes (though I don’t think that term was in common currency, or that Republicans demagogued Democrats for insufficiency of Exceptionalism). Indeed, it bothered me then, and it bothers me more now, that professing Christians were and are among the most fervent proponents of this idolatrous conceit.
I think Rod’s wrong about “not a dime’s worth of difference between Romney and any Republican candidate,” though. If he hasn’t repudiated American Exceptionalism outright, Ron Paul has nevertheless consistently spoken as if America has no right to throw its weight around.
The Orthodox Tradition, which is often described by many as “mystical,” is not “mystical” in any sense of “esoteric” or “strange.” Such adjectives for the faith are simply a reaching for words to describe a reality that is richer than any merely rational scheme or metaphysical explanation. It is the largeness of a Kingdom that cannot be described or circumscribed, and yet is found in the very heart of the believer. What words do we use to describe something which dwarfs the universe and yet dwells within us?
Wendell Berry once wrote that corporations are “are organized expressly for the evasion of responsibility.” Clark Stooksbury at the American Conservative.
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If it’s “too big to fail,” break it up into harmless little pieces.
“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
(To save time on preparing this blog, which some days consumes way too much time, I’ve asked some guy named @RogerWmBennett to Tweet a lot of links about which I have little or nothing to add. Check the “Latest Tweets” in the upper right pane or follow him on Twitter.)