Politics

My Take

A little fantasy: Yes, indeed, Iran is lying her head off about her nuclear capability so far and actually has a couple of little bombs stashed away in the cupboard. So now she can pretend to accede to the demands (without making it sound too easy), get all the sanctions removed, and then proceed to behave like a reasonable country with an educated and prosperous citizenry, including women, and we'll just never know. Read more about My Take

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American Dreaming

Politicians and pundits throw the words American Dream around like a brand name, like it’s something akin to Nike or Amazon or Apple. Like it’s something people come here to “get.” And if the streets are no longer paved with gold, if there isn’t any more gold in them thar hills, maybe it’s somewhere on e-bay. Read more about American Dreaming

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PC ‘r’ Me

I have a problematic relationship with the concept of Political Correctness. Problematic because I rebel against the exclusion of certain words or ideas from the national conversation, and even more from literature and history, while at the same time recognizing that very often what we call something determines our relationship to that very thing. Read more about PC ‘r’ Me

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Rape: A Short History

Homer, The Iliad, Book I, ll 26-32.

Never let me find you again, old sir, near our hollow
Ships, neither lingering now nor coming again hereafter,
For fear your staff and the god’s ribbons help you no longer.
The girl I will not give back; sooner will old age come upon her
In my own house, in Argos, far from her own land, going
Up and down by the loom and being in my bed as my companion.

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Better Together

Well, it's been a hell of a week. Scotland very nearly decided to go it alone. I just learned today that a possible outcome of that might have been a decision by particular bits of Scotland to take a leaf from that book and apply to rejoin the U.K. under a flag of their own. No telling where that would have stopped. Next thing you know, the fever would spread to Wales, Northern Ireland (we need to revisit that?) - or even Cornwall, Northumberland, the South Downs. FREEDOM! Read more about Better Together

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Barbarians Inside the Gate

In How the Irish Saved Civilization: The Untold Story of Ireland's Heroic Role From the Fall of Rome to the Rise of Medieval Europe (The Hinges of History) , Thomas Cahill draws a thumbnail sketch of the end of the world as Roman civilization had known it. When I read it, a few years back, I couldn't help but think of our current conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the unrelenting pressure of the jihadist barbarians who are hammering at the gates of Western Civilization. Read more about Barbarians Inside the Gate

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10 Questions

An old friend of mine who currently espouses what I will call, in a temporary fit of generosity, libertarianism, posted this recently on Facebook. They are illustrative of what I call "extrapolated argument" - the kind of argument used most often by teenagers, e.g., when told they can't use the car tonight because it's snowing. "So what if you and Mom are sick and you need to be taken to the emergency room, does that mean I can't use the car to drive you there? What then, huh? Huh?" Read more about 10 Questions

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