I leave you this fine evening with a column by Shelby Steele.
Tuesday, 18 March 2008
It’s a couple of days old, but here, in case you missed it, is Mark Steyn‘s take on Jeremiah Wright. Somebody explain to me why anti-Americanism is fashionable. Here’s my theory. Most Americans love their country, just as they love their families, their fellow parishioners, their neighbors, and their friends. Those who don’t love their country react to this expression of love by going to the opposite extreme. “You love this country?! Why, I hate it!” It’s childish, I know, and it makes progressives’ description of conservatives as “reactionary” ironic, but it may well be true.
[I]t is hardly plain that it would be desirable for people of religion to keep their convictions divorced from their politics even if that were possible for them. Martin Luther King Jr. was a man of faith, and he invoked his religion to condemn prejudice with great effect; Catholic priests speaking as priests have been vanguard fighters for social justice in Latin America and elsewhere. In any case, however, liberals will not succeed if they ask people of faith to set aside their religious convictions when they take up the role of citizens. That role demands sincerity and authenticity, which is impossible for such people unless they keep their religion very much in mind. The schism over religion in America shows the limitations of Rawls’s project of political liberalism, his strategy of insulating political convictions from deeper moral, ethical, and religious conviction.
(Ronald Dworkin, Is Democracy Possible Here? Principles for a New Political Debate [Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2006], 65)
Note from KBJ: You have to give Dworkin—an unreconstructed liberal—credit. He realizes that logic precludes him from allowing only progressives to mix religion and politics. Either everybody gets to do it or nobody gets to do it.
Here is your entertainment for this Tuesday evening. I searched for this song on YouTube several times during the past year or so. Two days ago, I found it. This shows that people are still busily uploading songs. I expect every song ever made to be available on YouTube in a few years, some with videos and some without. What a world!
At long last, I received my “Economic Stimulus Payment Notice.” I look forward to receiving $600 of the money I was forced to give to the federal government. What will you do with your money? Better yet, what will the following individuals do with their money?
To the Editor:
You enabled the Iraq war with your cheerleading reportage, and you continue to provide a forum for its blinkered defenders, Richard Perle, Frederick Kagan, Danielle Pletka, Kenneth M. Pollack and L. Paul Bremer III.
They were wrong at the beginning, and continue to be wrong. They hide their defective judgment behind excuses that someone stabbed them in the back, or that they were in good company in their disproven beliefs, and argue that we should forget about their history of failure and take their advice now.
They are an insult to public discourse, but you continue to enable them.
Edwin M. Walker
Nashville, Tenn., March 16, 2008
Note from KBJ: The letter writer is afraid of ideas. He needs to read John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty (1859).
The editorial board of the New York Times thinks a law that (1) prohibits the private ownership of handguns and (2) requires that long guns be disassembled or locked is a reasonable limitation of the right conferred by the Second Amendment. I await the board’s defense of laws that (1) prohibit certain types of speech (such as offensive speech) and (2) require that certain types of speech be approved in advance by the government. Why the asymmetry? Why the cramped reading of the Second Amendment alongside an expansive reading of the First Amendment?
I filled out my NCAA bracket this afternoon. For some people, filling out a bracket is an art. For me, it’s a science. Here are the highlights:
1. First-round upsets include:
Arkansas (9) over Indiana (8)
Kent State (9) over UNLV (8)
Villanova (12) over Clemson (5)
Temple (12) over Michigan State (5)
Texas A&M (9) over BYU (8)
Arizona (10) over West Virginia (7)
2. The Final Four: Tennessee (2), Georgetown (2), Memphis (1), and UCLA (1).
3. UCLA defeats Tennessee for the title, on my birthday.
4. Here are my picks for the friendly competition I announced the other day:
5. Notre Dame
8. Mississippi State
9. Kent State
15. Austin Peay
Make your picks as a comment to this post.
Let the games begin!