Posted: Friday, September 9, 2011 (11:29 pm), by John W Gillis
Quote of the Day for Friday, September 9th, 2011:
Anand Giridharadas, writing in the NY Times on Sarah Palin’s speech at a TEA Party event in Iowa last week:
Let us begin by confessing that, if Sarah Palin surfaced to say something intelligent and wise and fresh about the present American condition, many of us would fail to hear it.
That is not how we’re primed to see Ms. Palin. A pugnacious Tea Partyer? Sure. A woman of the people? Yup. A Mama Grizzly? You betcha.
But something curious happened when Ms. Palin strode onto the stage last weekend at a Tea Party event in Indianola, Iowa. Along with her familiar and predictable swipes at President Barack Obama and the “far left,” she delivered a devastating indictment of the entire U.S. political establishment — left, right and center — and pointed toward a way of transcending the presently unbridgeable political divide.
She made three interlocking points. First, that the United States is now governed by a “permanent political class,” drawn from both parties, that is increasingly cut off from the concerns of regular people. Second, that these Republicans and Democrats have allied with big business to mutual advantage to create what she called “corporate crony capitalism.” Third, that the real political divide in the United States may no longer be between friends and foes of Big Government, but between friends and foes of vast, remote, unaccountable institutions (both public and private).
I don’t know whether to be encouraged that someone publishing through one of the publishing heavyweights of the limousine liberal establishment finally looked past the left’s cartoonish caricature of Palin to actually listen to her ideas for a few minutes, or to be outraged at how the paper has played the mock-the-bimbo game all this time, only to turn around now and say “she did just get more interesting”, when in fact this speech in no way represented a departure from what she has been saying all along – at least since the end of the McCain campaign. Give me a break, pal. I’m not as stupid as you’d like to think.
Posted: Monday, November 22, 2010 (4:30 pm), by John W Gillis
Quote of the Day for Monday, Nov. 22nd, 2010:
A double-quote day.
First, in honor of John F. Kennedy on the 47th anniversary of his assassination:
A nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
Second, J. Gresham Machen (1881-1937) testifying before the joint Senate Committee on Education and Labor, and House Committee on Education, February 25, 1926, on the proposed establishment of a Department of Education, specifically here addressing the alleged benefits of national educational standardization that would result from such an establishment:
I believe that in the sphere of the mind we should have absolutely unlimited competition. There are certain spheres where competition may have to be checked, but not when it comes to the sphere of the mind; and it seems to me that we ought to have this state of affairs: That every State should be faced by the unlimited competition in this sphere of other States; that each one should try to provide the best for its children that it possibly can; and, above all, that all public education should be kept healthy at every moment by the absolutely free competition of private schools and church schools. A public education that is faced by such competition is a beneficent result of modern life; but a public education that is not faced by such competition of private schools is one of the deadliest enemies to liberty that has ever been devised.
As I say, I think that when it comes to the training of human beings, you have to be a great deal more careful than you do in other spheres about preservation of the right of individual liberty and the principle of individual responsibility; and I think we ought to be plain about this — that unless we preserve the principles of liberty in this department there is no use in trying to preserve them anywhere else. If you give the bureaucrats the children, you might as well give them everything else as well.
Given the mock horror and contemptuous sneers with which the political & media establishment greeted Sharon Angle’s suggestion during the latest election cycle to dismantle the Department of Education, what do you suppose they would have made of this guy? Of course, he was a New Testament scholar, which probably would have disqualified him from addressing the Congress under 1st Amendment principles in our day. The whole (fairly brief) testimony is worthwhile reading; I’m not sure how stable the link will turn out to be…