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Aug 052010
Did Your Founding Father Go to Church?

another repost from a few months ago… Don’t think mine did… I’m guess­ing that it’s a sad day in the Gra­ham house­hold this morn­ing, what with being dis-invited from speak­ing at the Pen­tagons’ National Day of Prayer Prayer-a-palooza.  Maybe some­thing like “…oh shoot, Dad never got dis-invited, …double-shoot!”  I sup­pose the use of such lan­guage is tol­er­a­ble if your dad was Billy Gra­ham (for­mer Amer­i­can pope) and the Pen­ta­gon just gave you the ole…let’s just be friends, line.  Franklin Gra­ham can at least be com­forted in the knowl­edge that Sis­ter Sarah Palin is spring­ing to his defense. I’ve never been all that com­fort­able with the whole National Prayer Day any­way, par­tic­u­larly with it being at the pen­ta­gon — a lit­tle too much God & Guns for […click to read the rest]

Aug 052010
Edward Hopper – Visual Melancholy

Melan­choly.  I feel bad for great words that get attached to ter­ri­ble feel­ings; I think melan­choly is one of those words.  Webster’s has its def­i­n­i­tions, but I have my own as well.  Melan­choly is so awful because it is one of those in between feel­ings; not full sor­row, but very far removed from joy.  It may be more akin to mood than feel­ing, a feel­ing has an object, some­thing that we can iden­tify and deal with.  But a mood is just a vague sense that some­thing is amiss, and if we can’t iden­tify it, we can’t fix it. The word floated into my head the other day when my Art His­tory class was look­ing at the work of Edward Hop­per. I usu­ally cover Hop­per when we […click to read the rest]

Nov 202012

Hun­dreds of years ago I was a young Marine enjoy­ing brief vis­its to var­i­ous ter­ri­to­ries through­out the Mid­dle East at the behest of the State Depart­ment.  My polit­i­cal expo­sure to that region in the wan­ing years of the Cold War left many indeli­ble impres­sions, but recent events have led me to real­ize that new par­a­digms are called for. The con­flict unfold­ing in the Gaza Strip takes place against a starkly dif­fer­ent regional back­drop than the last round of fight­ing in late 2008 and early 2009. The old regional order that existed then has been swept away, replaced with a new order which is uncer­tain and, until now, untested. This emerg­ing cri­sis will be the first such test, and will reveal much about how the recent […click to read the rest]

 Posted by at 7:52 am  Tagged with:
Aug 312012
Paul Ryan & his "Anglo-Pod"

I’m a lit­tle more wor­ried about Paul Ryan after his accep­tance speech at the RNC — I assumed the big flam­ing media would pick-up on my new con­cern; but not a peep.  Guess it’s up to me…again. Dur­ing a sec­tion of his speech when he seemed to be tar­get­ing the hip­ster demo­graphic (not a nat­ural demo for the Mittster…)  he made a Sesame Street “one of these things is not like the other” com­par­i­son between him­self and the Mitt con­cern­ing their ipod music col­lec­tions.  He com­pared Mitt’s to ele­va­tor music… omg, just so, so really funny! Any­who; in this he tossed him­self the ulti­mate non-breaking fat-one right over his own plate.  All he had to do was decide which demo­graphic to pan­der to and then […click to read the rest]

May 072012

The Break­down of the Clas­si­cal Lib­eral Par­a­digm in the Age of Glob­al­iza­tion …nice title eh? Back in the 1950s and 60s, it was com­monly said that “what was good for Gen­eral Motors was good for Amer­ica”. The claim was rel­a­tively sim­ple to grasp: When Gen­eral Motors did well, it employed hun­dreds of thou­sands of work­ers and cre­ated prod­ucts that ben­e­fited the aver­age Amer­i­can. The slo­gan of course referred to the dynam­ics of Amer­i­can cap­i­tal­ism, and behind it lies a basic assump­tion about human nature, that indi­vid­u­als are for the most part moti­vated by eco­nomic self-interest. To an extent not gen­er­ally appre­ci­ated, the suc­cess of the Amer­i­can sys­tem can be attrib­uted to the founders’ incor­po­ra­tion of this insight into the Con­sti­tu­tion. The result was a political-economy that […click to read the rest]

 Posted by at 5:10 am
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