1710) The Progressive's goal is not to strengthen government for government's sake, but to use government where possible to strengthen the institutions of civil society.
E.J. Dionne, Jr. They Only Look Dead: Why Progressives Will Dominate the Next Political Era (1996) quoted by Michael Lind in his review "The Return of the Liberal" in the New York Times Book Review (2/18/1996)
1711) Why is the middle anxious? Mr. Dionne identifies four crises confronting the United States: "the economic crisis itself, a political crisis, a moral crisis and a crisis over how Americans view their country's role in the world." The first crisis is the cost of globalization and automation, enriching the few while endangering the living standards of the majority and increasing inequality. The second involves the abandonment, particularly by the left, of grandiose ideologies like socialism, creating a vacuum filled particularist movements of "race, gender and culture" or "nationalism, religious fundamentalism and xenophobia." The third pits social conservatives against those who favor "new roles for women" and a "somewhat looser and more tolerant attitude towards sexuality." These economic, political and moral crises are joined by discord on foreign policy, with the division between nationalists and internationalists cutting across both parties.
The response of the political class to these four crises has been evasion and worse, Mr. Dionne write; increasingly, politicians avoid substantive debate altogether in favor of vicious attack politics.
Michael Lind "The Return of the Liberal" in New York Times Book Review (2/18/1996) quoting E.J. Dionne Jr. in They Only Look Dead (1996)
1712) Mistakes were made.
Ronald Reagan commenting on the Iran-Contra scandal (1986) quoted by A.R. Gurney in Overtime (play, 1996)
1713) History is full of falsehoods widely believed and taught. Sometimes these falsehoods have made those who believe them feel proud [...]
Glen Bowersock "Rescuing the Greeks" in New York Times Book Review (2/25/1996) [review of Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History (1996) by Mary Lefkowitz and Black Athena Revisited (1996), edited by Mark Lefkowitz and Guy Maclean Rogers]
1714) Outsiders are in. A good deal of current scholarship examines the rise of nationalism or national identities in terms of everything they are against. The Nation defines itself in relation to the Other. England provides an especially rich example. At various times the national identity has seemed to depend on its opposition to Rome and its Church, to Spain, to France, to Germany, or to all the far-flung lesser colonized breeds who set off by contrast the civilized imperial self. Yet the excluded also lie nearer to home. Despite the political unions intended to transform the English into the British, Great Britain and Britons remain an artificial construct for many in Wales and Scotland, let alone Ireland.
Just who is this "we"? The English know who they are, or say that they do, and English literature has seldom found room for writings in Welsh or Manx or Irish or Scots. Nor is English indivisible in itself. The hyphen in Anglo-Saxon exposes a prior series of invasions and alliances, when two alien peoples gradually chanced to go native together. And the founding myth of 1066 and all that - the assimilation of the Normans by Saxons, after the Conquest, in a union of race as well as of language - might equally show an irremediable split at the root of English identity. [...] In truth, the English language and people consist of many unreconciled strains. The deeper one looks, the more the nation seems a multicultural, patchwork quilt, as if the self were already an other.
Whoever "we" may be, however, Jews are somebody else. That has made them especially useful for defining a nation. Whatever they are - a people, a race, a religion, or even a wandering, rival nation - the Jews by strict definition cannot be English. Morever they never have been. A link between ancient and modern times, they offer a stable counterpoint to everything the nation could have been in the past or will be in the future. Nor can this ever change. Once Jews cease being Jews, once all of them covert to Christianity and its Messiah, according to the standard evangelical reading of Scripture, history will end with the Second Coming and nations will be no more. No other people have such power or make a better foil. Hence Christian nations measure themselves by their ideas of Jews. Whether or not it is true that each nation gets the Jews it deserves, it does seem to be true that nations create the Jews they imagined.
Lawrence Lipking "The English Question" in The New Republic (2/26/1996) [review of Shakespeare and the Jews by James Shapiro, Anti-Semitic Stereotypes by Frank Felsenstein and Figures of Conversion by Michael Ragussis]
1715) Ah, the neighbors. Always a mixed blessing. A blessing without a doubt, but mixed. They helped and they meddled. The would without hesitation grab a child poised treacherously on the edge of an irrigation ditch; but they also condemned hair styles, clothing that "showed too much," poor housekeeping and loose ways in general. They rallied and they ostracized. That is what real neighbors do. You can't have it both ways. If they care enough to help, they also have the power - indeed, they would say, the responsibility - to chasten, to correct, to chastise.
That's what real villages are about.
Jean Bethke Elshtain "Suffer the Little Children" in The New Republic (3/4/1996) [review of It Takes A Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Guide My Feet by Marian Wright Edelman]
1716) [S]uccesful businessmen who want to be President are marching across our great nation with their curious blend of good sense and total oblivousness. I can't pretend to have gained any clear insight into their ability to govern. I have, however, compiled a short list of the qualities that seem to set them apart from other politicians. To wit:
A Genuine Sense of Superiority. This in infectious, especially when a rich businessman is lording it directly over a Republican politician. [...]
Core Convictions. Put the most phlegmatic businessman in America on the stump and he will appear, at least at first, to be a man of unwavering principle and conviction. He does not have the record of compromise and concilliation because he does not have a record. What is more, he can plausibly claim that he wouldn't be running for office if he didn't have some urgent principle to advance. Why would he? After all, he could be out making money.
Financial Freedom. [...] [T]here is no getting around it: a lot of Americans believe that the absence of financial need is a sign of moral worth. [...]
A Belief That Our Problems Are Simple. [T]he belief that our problems are simple is a habit of mind developed over a lifetime of pursuing a single, simple goal (money). Anyone who has had to court public approval to pass new laws knows that life can be very complicated indeed. But the businessman is persuaded that the Government is merely a business that is badly run. When viewed through his eyes, all those social problems we don't much like to see or hear about suddenly vanish.
Regular-Guy-Ness. Even businessmen who lack this quality can fake it. [...] [T]he businessman, unlike the politician, has spent most of his life wanting what most regular guys want. That's right, money.
Note: "3089/898" is the designation I've given to the project of posting all my collected quotes, excerpts and ideas (3089 of them) in the remaining days of the Bush administration (of which there were 898 left when I began). As of today, there are 450 days remaining in the administration of the worst American President ever.
hostile to science
lacking in empathy
lacking in public spirit
out of control
Thanks to: Breeze, Chuck, Ivan Raikov, Kaiju, Kathy, Roger, Shirley, S.M. Dixon
i've got a little list...
Steven Abrams (Kansas BofE)
Howard Fieldstead Ahmanson
Roger Ailes (FNC)
Alan Bonsell (Dover BofE)
Bill Buckingham (Dover BofE)
George W. Bush
Bruce Chapman (DI)
The Coors Family
William A. Dembski
Leonard Downie (WaPo)
John Gibson (FNC)
Fred Hiatt (WaPo)
James F. Inhofe
Philip E. Johnson
by Joel Pelletier
(click on image for more info)
Stephen C. Meyer (DI)
Judith Miller (ex-NYT)
Sun Myung Moon
Elspeth Reeve (TNR)
Martin Peretz (TNR)
Richard Mellon Scaife
Susan Schmidt (WaPo)
John Solomon (WaPo)
Richard Thompson (TMLC)
Bob Woodward (WaPo)
All the fine sites I've
Be sure to visit them all!!
Arthur C. Clarke
Daniel C. Dennett
Philip K. Dick
Stephen Jay Gould
"The Harder They Come"
Ursula K. LeGuin
The Marx Brothers
Michael C. Penta
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
"The Red Shoes"
"Singin' in the Rain"
Talking Heads/David Byrne
Hunter S. Thompson
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
If you read unfutz at least once a week, without fail, your teeth will be whiter and your love life more satisfying.
If you read it daily, I will come to your house, kiss you on the forehead, bathe your feet, and cook pancakes for you, with yummy syrup and everything.
(You might want to keep a watch on me, though, just to avoid the syrup ending up on your feet and the pancakes on your forehead.)
Finally, on a more mundane level, since I don't believe that anyone actually reads this stuff, I make this offer: I'll give five bucks to the first person who contacts me and asks for it -- and, believe me, right now five bucks might as well be five hundred, so this is no trivial offer.