Tasty Tidbits 10/28/11

  1. Kudos to the Cards.
  2. Social Injustice ≠ Civil Rights Violation
  3. The glue that binds.
  4. Tenured radical.


Full day of work followed by a long rehearsal for a production of the opera Carmen. I had many items queued up that in the light of morning looked unworthy. Blogging likely to be light tomorrow, too.

1

I have no skin in this game, but kudos to the Cardinals for a thriller.

2

Today, Americans think of almost every social injustice as a civil rights issue. The result has been an explosion of new claims; for instance, the number of lawsuits alleging employment discrimination almost tripled between 1991 and 2000. As civil rights have been reshaped in the attempt to serve so many diverse ends, they have become almost infinitely plastic. Consequently, today civil rights are as likely to undermine equality as they are to further it.

(Richard Thompson Ford in a New York Times Op-Ed) I’m not endorsing “comprehensive solutions” for social injustice, but recommending the editorial for critical reading.

3

Since “what’s the glue that binds us” is one of my longstanding questions, I really must share Peggy Noonan’s introductory thoughts on the topic, though I don’t like them (not to say I disagree with them). Noonan seems to think it was a kind of American Exceptionalism vision that formerly united us. She’s okay with that, where I’m very uncomfortable with it.

Moving on, of Occupy Wall Street:

[T]he rich are bad, down with the elites. It’s all ad hoc, more poetry slam than platform. Too bad it’s not serious in its substance.

[T]hey seem as incapable of seeing government as part of the problem as Republicans seem of seeing business as part of the problem.

Of the collapse, as told in Reckless Endangerment:

It began in the early 1990s, in the Clinton administration, and continued under the Bush administration, with the help of an entrenched Congress that wanted only two things: to receive campaign contributions and to be re-elected.

She and Rod Dreher like Paul Ryan’s Heritage Foundation speech this week – with it’s attacks on corporate welfare and crony capitalism – as having potential to unite us, or so I interpret her column’s arc; Dreher’s pal at The American Conservative, Daniel Larison, wishes Ryan would walk the walk, with more than a bit of “stinkin’ hypocrite” undertones.

Noonan’s conclusion, with Rep. Ryan front and center, is oddly unsatisfying. Having diagnosed some of what ails us, her prescription is vague or off point (sort of, “the GOP would be doing better and Obama worse if move Republicans were like Ryan” — yeah, but what about the country?) still leaves me grasping for a new glue, more durable and less idolatrous that American Exceptionalism redux.

I’m not finding it, and that’s why I write about things like the country “going down the drain.” But I also write of love of place (i.e., local, real space, not big alienating space), and rootedness, and in a sense, I wouldn’t care if a lot of these dadburned modern nation-states would just go away.

4

Some obsessive prof from George Washington Law School seemingly will persecute Catholic University of America over anything, even if he has no client. I first was tipped off here (and took it cum grano salis), but then got confirmation here (yes, I consider CV more reliable than Fox).

I especially like the part where the clientless barrister complains that the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception “looms over the entire campus.” Presumably, he lacks an adequate remedy at law and will ask the DC Human Rights Commission to order the Basilica’s removal.

* * * * *

Bon appetit!

Having become tedious even to myself, I’m Tweeting more, blogging less. View this in a browser instead of an RSS feeder to see Tweets at upper right.

I also have some succinct standing advice on recurring themes. Maybe if I link to it, I’ll blog less obsessively about it.