Objects Have Free Will; People Don’t
11 minutes ago
The spirit of Kemp stands for principle over power. The specter of Specter glorifies solely the principle of power."Solely?" I don't think Kemp would have agreed.
[A] scene in which an aged version of Spock (played by Leonard Nimoy) converses with his younger self (played by Zachary Quinto) becomes a platform for the regret that the grown-up children of the 1960s feel for letting down the youth of today, just as they might have felt they were let down by their leaders. “It’s kind of a baby boomer apology for where we are,” [movie co-writer Roberto] Orci said. “Not that I’m asking for the baby boomers to apologize.”Why in the world not?
And he came through the house, saw me and immediately put his hand up in the Vulcan gesture. He said, “They told me you were here.” We had a wonderful brief conversation and I said, “It would be logical if you would become president."If I may strike a bipartisan note, in 1991, I wrote RN a memo telling him breathlessly that his name had come up in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, when Spock (played, of course, by Nimoy) said, "There is an old Vulcan proverb: Only Nixon could go to China."
In the 1960 presidential election, Nixon had faced a nearly impossible challenge. Forget about the stubble, jowls, and sweaty upper-lip, or the reports of vote fraud in Chicago and Texas. Nixon's real obstacle was the Republican party's inability to capture the imagination and loyalty of mainstream America. Only three out of ten voters identified themselves as Republicans, while nearly five out of ten said they were Democrats. More than anyone else, Richard Nixon worked to alter this dynamic. By soliciting the support of the white working-class, people who had been loyal Democrats since the New Deal, Nixon spoke boldly of crafting a New American Majority. Come election day 1972, Nixon had secured a 61 percent landslide victory, with one exit poll suggesting that he had stripped away at least 36 percent of the Democrats' base of support. In eight short years, Nixon had taken a GOP sourly lecturing that "moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue" and had made it, on the national level at least, a place for Democratic moderates who felt deserted by their party.
Nixon's political groundwork made possible the renaissance conservatives enjoyed beginning in the 1980s. Historian James T. Patterson's description of the key elements of Reagan's winning coalition -- "white blue-collar workers, southern white foes of civil rights, Republicans who had opposed big government, and socially conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants" -- sounds like language that could have been cribbed from Nixon's 1972 campaign strategy memos.
Three years ago, well before the recent acknowledgement of growing guerrilla strength, journalist Sarah Chase provided a bleak evaluation of developments. A daring adventurer, she runs an agricultural cooperative in southern Afghanistan and has written a book about the country.
In seeking effective policies, useful lessons are provided by that durable duo of international relations, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. During the Nixon administration, Turkey was a principal source of world heroin production. Nixon and Kissinger creatively used product licensing to encourage Turkish farmers to sell crops to pharmaceutical companies for legal medicinal purposes.
Drug lords moved some production to Afghanistan, but the trade route from Turkey to Marseilles, France, and then the U.S. - dramatized in the film "The French Connection" - was disrupted, and our important ally Turkey was strengthened. We should apply this practical approach to Afghanistan.
I think that she was announcing, or rather acknowledging, the demotion of moral analysis, of high principle, in the articulation of foreign policy by the Obama administration. It appears to be the view of many Democrats that talk about evil is itself evil; that what got us into all our crises abroad was an inordinate infatuation with our values; that there is a correlation between idealism and incompetence.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||M - Th 11p / 10c|
|Nixon Has a Burrito|
It is a phrase loathed by justice Antonin Scalia - anyone, he said, who believes that is "an idiot." But would the constitution have survived for 222 years on the basis of only 27 amendments? Like it or not, judicial interpretation of our constitution is a fact, and it has been a vital component of our history.Still, it wouldn't be Stanley without a little Nixon-bashing. Who started the drive to find strict-constructionist judges that he finds so abominable? You guessed it.
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This argument [that Bush's decisions on torture should be understood in the light of post-Sept. 11 anxiety] would carry more weight if Republicans had changed their thinking on torture and could be expected to follow the law the next time they won the presidency. Alas, they show little sign of intellectual progress.As a matter of fact, the Bush administration's thinking changed enough that it decided to stop waterboarding in 2005. So if Chait is really saying that torture would have been understandable immediately after Sept. 11 if ultimately the U.S. learned that it probably shouldn't engage in such practices -- well, it did learn, because it stopped, and under Republicans. The pro-torture arguments Chait describes as being intellectually stunted are part of a political rather than a policy debate, since they're being made by those who are engaging in mortal combat over whether Bush officials should be prosecuted. No matter if their thinking has evolved or not, saying, "Now that you think about it, we really are war criminals" is probably not the best defensive move.
She can continue to advocate for causes, but I don’t think these causes are going to advocate for her.We'll see. As the Today Show knows full well, conservatives, sensing another MSM putsch against another of their icons, will probably rally around her all the more. It would have been more honest if NBC had reported, "We anticipate that her apparent hypocrisy on moral issues -- posing for racy photos while preaching against gay marriage -- will discredit her not among true-believing right-wingers but among open-minded people who may not necessarily agree with her views but thought that up until now, she'd been rudely treated." But that might make it look as though the Today Show had an agenda, huh?
[H]e spoke of a scare earlier this year in which a man was arrested while driving with a sawed-off shotgun, a map to his home, and photographs of the bishop and his partner taken from the Internet.
In his first 100 days in office, President Obama has sought a bold new role for faith in the White House, which aides say is aimed largely at dialing down the decades-old culture wars. Without changing his party's liberal stances on social issues like abortion, for example, Obama is nonetheless attempting to reach out to religious conservatives by pledging to work toward reducing demand for abortion. And while acknowledging his party's own secular base—he went out of his way to mention nonbelievers in his inaugural address—Obama has sought to showcase religion's expanded role in his White House, opening his rallies with public prayer.Hat tip to Cory Trenda
[T]he fact that religion and theology cannot provide a technology for explaining how the material world works should not be held against them, either, for that is not what they do. When Christopher Hitchens declares that given the emergence of “the telescope and the microscope” religion “no longer offers an explanation of anything important,” Eagleton replies, “But Christianity was never meant to be an explanation of anything in the first place. It’s rather like saying that thanks to the electric toaster we can forget about Chekhov.”Hat tip to Jim Lusby
It's critical, it seems to me, that the marriage movement in no way seem hostile to religious freedom and conscience. We support religious liberty just as we support heterosexual marriage. And the fact is: this change unsettles some people. I understand that, and we need to be more cognizant of it, and sensitive to it, instead of engaging, as some sadly have, in ad feminem abuse. (Yes, I'm talking about Miss California, who may not be terribly smart but whose position is not inherently bigoted and whose qualms can be accommodated without obloquy).
Unlike tiny mobile phones and devices like the Kindle that are made to display text from books, these new gadgets, with screens roughly the size of a standard sheet of paper, could present much of the editorial and advertising content of traditional periodicals in generally the same format as they appear in print. And they might be a way to get readers to pay for those periodicals — something they have been reluctant to do on the Web.
But was that the issue on the most beautiful people or the most influential people? I'm not sure. If it's the most beautiful, I understand. We're not real cute.
Former students and colleagues describe Mr. Obama as a minimalist (skeptical of court-led efforts at social change) and a structuralist (interested in how the law metes out power in society). And more than anything else, he is a pragmatist who urged those around him to be more keenly attuned to the real-life impact of decisions. This may be his distinguishing quality as a legal thinker: an unwillingness to deal in abstraction, a constant desire to know how court decisions affect people’s lives.
Souter's current position on the left wing of the court owes much more to movement by the court and the country than to any lurch on his part. The current court, after all, has seven Republican appointees and has been on a steady rightward drift since the Reagan years. The Republican Party has, too. I think Souter is indeed in many ways a Republican; it's just that his sort of Republican no longer really exists.
Is it in society's interest to jettison the historic heterosexual model for marriage and embrace a new paradigm that includes homosexual unions (and, inevitably, other kinds of unions that are fashioned by other kinds of sexual impulses)? What are the implications for children of such unions? Are moms and dads merely superfluous, or do men and women both provide important role models for children? Will children suffer from gender confusion without heterosexual role models? Will gender have meaning in the future? Is gender identification important in preparing children to take their proper place in society? How will society be reproduced? Will we do it the old fashioned way or will we resort to brave new world technology? How will we regulate such technology? Will increased demand for such technology lead to designer children? Will fathers play a role in the lives of their children or will men be reduced to the status of mere inseminators? Will mothers become an anachronism? Will we embrace a definition of marriage which makes it a simple contractual relationship between two independent adults who are "in love?" If so, can the contract be amended? Will the definition of marriage be further amended?
The problem with this romantic conception of ourselves as islands of self-determination is that it isn't true. We are all technologically enhanced. In a way, we are all cyborg-like monsters. Perhaps you wear contact lenses, consume vitamins and antidepressants, or enjoy the benefits of fancy dental work. But what are these technologies other than tools for enhancing performance in daily life? Even the food we eat is the result of thousands of years of agricultural engineering. The more recent advent of genetically modified crops amplifies this ancient and enduring fact.
Kemp graduated from Fairfax High School in 1953. His classmates included musician Herb Alpert and Larry Sherry, who became a star pitcher with the Dodgers. The school's population was largely Jewish at the time and informed Kemp's views on Israel in his political career.
At the time, Richard Nixon defined the concept of the big, bad Republican to me, being evil and all. This was my first mistake -- my family's very rightful rage about Watergate masking any understanding of Nixon's fascinating complexities and intelligence. Ronald Reagan was the opposite in a way -- the man's charmingly genial personality and communication skills hiding in some ways for me the darker side of his political point of view....President Nixon and Jack Kemp struck up a hearty friendship in the 1980s, regularly meeting and corresponding. Though no supply-sider, RN admired Kemp's energy and certitude. His football bona fides didn't hurt, either.
Jack Kemp was always considered another "Good Republican" in my house - and of course it didn't hurt his standing with me that he had been a pretty fine quarterback first. We certainly didn't agree with him on every subject, but Kemp struck me then and now as a very decent man who in his own tax-loathing way truly cared even about people who were never going to vote for him, and for whom being a "Compassionate Conservative" was not just some empty campaign promise and horrible historic punch line.