Sarah Palin as Cultural Metaphor

Quote of the day for Tuesday, December 7th, 2010: Timothy Dalrymple, posting at Patheos yesterday on the meaning and underlying cause of what he calls “Palin Enragement Syndrome”: [M]uch of the opposition to Palin is not political. It is deeply and thoroughly cultural. Sarah Palin is Miss Jesusland, the living emblem and foremost representative of an America that progressive elites had hoped had been swept into the dustbin of history. One definition of culture is “the attitudes and behavior characteristic of a particular social group.” Palin represents...

“We Want the Whole Thing Consigned to the Dustbin of History”

Perusing Fausta Wertz’ blog this afternoon after posting the Warren Buffett link, I came across a fabulous screed from the proceedings of the European Parliament. Honestly, I have no idea who this bloke is. Fausta identifies him as Nigel Farage, MEP. But, whoever this Brit is, may God bless him and his family forever! Our stodgy Congress could use a bit of this kind of seriousness. There may be no Emperor, but he still has no clothes:   http://www.youtube.com/v/Fyq7WRr_GPg?hl=en&hd=1<\/embed><\/object><\/div>";" alt="" ...

A Vicious Conception of the Whole Purpose of Education

Quote of the Day for Tuesday, Nov 23, 2010: An encore: J. Gresham Machen, this time writing in The Presbyterian, February 7, 1918, on the waning of Greek & Hebrew knowledge within the (protestant) ministry of his day (quoted from Dr. Rod Decker’s NT Resources Blog): “The real trouble with the modern exaltation of practical studies at the expense of the humanities is that it is based upon a vicious conception of the whole purpose of education. The modern conception of the purpose of education is that education is merely intended to enable a ma...

One of the Deadliest Enemies to Liberty that Has Ever Been Devised

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 nati...

Subjectivism’s Necessary Appeal to Juridical Power

Quote of the Day for Saturday, Nov 20, from Georgia Warnke, in Justice and Interpretation (MIT Press, 1994): MacIntyre insists that the "only rational way in which these disagreements could be resolved would be by means of philosophical enquiry aimed at deciding which out of the conflicting sets of premises, if any, is true."  But within the liberal tradition, not only can individual claims to what the good life is for human beings not be understood or appear as validity claims in the sphere of public discussion; the same restrictions app...

What Liberal Bias?

I saw something on TV last night that was just too funny to pass up. When I got home from teaching CCD, my wife had the TV on, watching a nice 60 Minutes character piece on an Afghan vet who is being awarded the Medal of Honor, and I milled around to watch it. Then Andy Rooney came on. Rooney started complaining about a recent Gallup poll showing pretty broad dissatisfaction with President Obama and his performance. Rooney contrarily said he had gone and asked nine of his friends what they thought, and they all thought Obama was doing a terrific job. W...

The Great Retreat of Pederasty

I picked up a link from Hot Air a few days ago to a disturbing but fascinating (English-language) article in Der Spiegel Online, The Sexual Revolution and Children: How the Left Took Things Too Far. The article explores the history of post-1968 views on human sexuality, specifically its role in the “liberation” politics of the left wing in the non-communist world, and how that was translated into pedagogy at the Kinderladen (nursery school) level in the more left-leaning communities in Germany. The results, it should come as no surprise, are chilling: D...

Slander as Political Fashion

Boy, am I growing weary of the political environment. What George W Bush did for for international relations with his “with us or against us” rhetoric, Barack Obama is doing to the political climate within the country with his treatment of political dissent. Of course, nations actually do operate in an environment of mutual belligerence, which is forever flaring up as actual warfare in some corner or another, whereas nations are supposed to operate, internally, with a civility stemming from civitas, but why split hairs? Perhaps it’s unfair to blame Obama...

McCain/Palin ’08? I Can Live With That

Sarah Palin? Even if I had known who she was, I don’t think I would have seen that coming. I had been hearing the whispers of Tom Ridge and Joe Lieberman as possibilities, and saw how McCain’s logic might have steered him toward them. He’s never really been conservative, and has always been ready to play the maverick, and I could see how he might consider the constituency-broadening appeal of a pro-choice running mate. I hate to say it, but I don’t think the prospect of a pro-choice VP would have concerned McCain. And it would hav...