As poorly as the Detroit Tigers have played this season (they’re 4-10), they’re only 4½ games out of first place.
Tuesday, 15 April 2008
Ordinarily, the loser of even a hard-fought nomination battle pledges support for the winner. Is that likely to happen this year in the Democrat Party? If Barack Obama prevails, as appears likely, will Hillary Clinton support him? What about her supporters? The campaign has been quite nasty by any reasonable standard. You read the essay by Rebecca Traister in which she all but claims that anyone (or at least any male) who supports Obama is sexist. Now suppose Clinton prevails. I can’t believe that Keith Olbermann and his ilk would support her. They have been trashing her for weeks—as though she were the Republican nominee. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe things will come together beautifully for the Democrats once a candidate is selected and they begin to focus on John McCain. What do you think?
To the Editor:
There is one glaring omission from the list of things that President Bush could do “to give his successor a better shot at containing the chaos” in Iraq. He could apologize for deceiving the American people into supporting a completely unnecessary war.
Through these five years of senseless loss, I have yearned for a thorough analysis and recounting of the deceit and manipulation that brought us here. A complete reckoning by Congress might force us all, even President Bush, to accept responsibility.
In 2003, a deceitful administration with its own unspoken agenda manipulated a nation still shaken by the attacks of 9/11. When we finally understand how this happened, an exit strategy may also become clear.
Pound Ridge, N.Y., April 13, 2008
Note from KBJ: The letter writer says (three times!) that President Bush deceived the American people. Unfortunately, he provides no support for this scurrilous claim. Wouldn’t it be easy to support it, if it were true?
My friend Kevin in California sent a link to this. I have no idea what to make of it. Has the elephant been trained to make particular lines on the canvas? Is the elephant creating?
In a society with a low tolerance for conflict, not only personal comments but all controversial subjects, such as politics, money, or religion, will be taboo in social conversation, necessitating the development of a form of conversational wit that doesn’t depend on the exchange of opinions. In our present subculture, however, there is considerable latitude for the airing of disagreements and controversy of a general kind, which can be pursued at length, and the most important area of nonacknowledgment is the personal—people’s feelings about themselves and about others. It is impolite to draw attention to one’s achievements or to express personal insecurity, envy, or the fear of death, or strong feelings about those present, except in a context of intimacy where these subjects can be taken up and pursued. Embarrassing silence is the usual sign that these rules have been broken.
(Thomas Nagel, “Concealment and Exposure,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 27 [winter 1998]: 3-30, at 13)