For your weekend reading pleasure:
♦ On Edmund Burke, the French Revolution, and our current culture war: Conservatism and the Culture Wars:
Therefore, establishing an empire of desire requires more than political triumph, more than legal protection. Like all progressive ideals, it requires the destruction of the sentiments and pieties that lead people to think otherwise. This ideological project takes on the familiar distortions of all modern propaganda. “Words take on new meanings”, James Kalb writes in The Tyranny of Liberalism, “hatred comes to include opposition to liberal initiatives, while inclusiveness requires non-liberals to abandon their principles and even their identity. Tolerance treats objections to liberalism as attacks on neutrality that are oppressive simply by being made.”
♦ Paul Cella: The Crisis of Anomie
It is a particularly distressing feature of our age that even thoughtful men do not perceive the crisis into which they have been thrown. They profess ignorance of its depredations; and they even grow annoyed when pressed with its evidences. Say to them, â€œIt is an extraordinary fact that for some decades now high culture in this country has nurtured an open detestation of the social order which gave it life and resourcesâ€; or â€œIt is a marvel that American artists and men of letters concern themselves most passionately with disparagement and falsification of their inherited traditionâ€ â€” and your tale will return void. Its accuracy will not be overtly denied, but it will be somehow disregarded. Or inquire of such men whether they think it noteworthy that though we are among the richest of all societies, we are very far from being the happiest: the puzzle will induce a blank stare or a blanker shrug. To resist or avoid reflection upon this bespeaks of a psychological numbness of some depth.
It is very easy, I think, to underestimate the strangeness of this state of things, this languor combined with bafflement. Even its prominent specimens no longer shock. It is certainly arresting to observe a society afflicted by, for instance, increasingly frequent, demonic acts of murder-suicide perpetrated by and against schoolchildren, or by disgruntled ex-employees against their former co-workers. What shall we call those whom it fails to disturb beyond the fleeting moment?
♦ He will have to change his name, once he stops moaning: Woman gives naked intruder a painful squeeze
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office says an 88-year-old woman fended off a naked intruder by grabbing the man’s crotch and squeezing.
Deputy Paul McRedmond says the man got into the house Tuesday through a sliding door. He backed the woman into her living room and pushed her face down onto a chair.
That’s when the woman reached behind and squeezed. The man tore free and fled…
Troutdale police arrested 46-year-old Michael G. Dick of Gresham.
Just another case of robbing Peter to repay gall.
♦ Everything you ever wanted to know about screwing: When a Phillips is not a Phillips!
♦ And while we’re on the topic…: No, not that kind (well, kinda sorta) — but how the media can screw up reporting a study in order to, you know, make it fit their narrative: Like a Virgin: The Press Take On Teenage Sex
♦ Crime doesn’t pay – but sometimes it can be damned clever: The Seven Best Capers of 2008
♦ “How much do you have to hate someone to not proselytize?” Penn Jillete (of Penn & Teller fame), an avowed atheist, meets the Real Deal, and is deeply touched:
Somehow I’ve got a feeling that he has a very interesting future ahead…
That’s all for now — God bless, back soon.