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Thursday, January 31, 2008

Trust Fund Hippies

In other news, in the People's Republic of Vermont, the citizens of Brattleboro will vote on the following petition next March 4th:

Shall the Selectboard (sic) instruct the Town Attorney to draft indictments against President Bush and Vice President Cheney for crimes against our Constitution, and publish said indictments for consideration by other authorities and shall it be the law of the Town of Brattleboro that the Brattleboro Police, pursuant to the above-mentioned indictments, arrest and detain George Bush and Richard Cheney in Brattleboro if they are not duly impeached, and prosecute or extradite them to other authorities that may reasonably contend to prosecute them?

Alas, poor Vermont. Your Bloviator, back when he had more youth and money, and an avid skier, was a frequent visitor to the Vermont Republic (as it is legally known). It may astonish you to learn it wasn't that long ago Vermont was a solidly Republican state. What happened? The 'sixties and 'seventies: Vermont became a haven for the counter-culturalists who, owing to the laissez-faire, libertarian attitude of the natives, were tolerated and even welcomed because they brought, along with guitars and dope, much needed revenue to a relatively poor state. What the locals didn't reckon was the back-to-the-earthies, along with their money, came brimming with political activism and in surprisingly short order took over many of the town governments; New England-style town meetings with boards of selectmen (as they were called in those baleful pre-feminist days). Much to the locals' horror, the well-heeled socialists rammed through expensive entitlement programs, oppressive environmental regulation and the usual identity-based social pogroms programs. The result is a state still poor and with high taxes and layers and layers of regulations, it will remain poor because of the rotten business climate.

So when you behold adoring media accounts about those feisty, independent "Vermonters" who churn out whackadoodle legislation like the above, understand those moonbats are about as indigenous to Vermont as waiter-actors are to Manhattan. The townies in the Green Mountain State, fed up with the noisome intruders, have stopped attending town meetings and have worked out other ways to accomplish the nuts-and-bolts work of government, e.g. highways, public works and law enforcement. One can only imagine the pain they feel having their state hijacked by 'sixties left-overs and the fervency their prayers for cold winters and flue epidemics as the baby boomers get older and older.

What We Lost

Fred Thompson:

"If people really want in their president a super type-A personality," Thompson said at that Iowa town hall meeting, "someone who has gotten up every morning and gone to bed every night thinking for years about how they could achieve the presidency of the United States, someone who could look you straight in the eye and say they enjoy every minute of campaigning--I ain't that guy."

Nope, he sure wasn't, not by a long shot. Hillary Clinton is, so are the rest of them. God help us.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

One Less Fish in the Barrel

Citing the need to spend more time with his hair, John Edwards will announce today he is dropping out of the race for the presidency.

Poor Fellow, He Just Doesn't Get It

Obama cuts Rezko* ties
(Headline in the Chicago Sun Times)

Oh really? And you ran that by Mrs. Clinton?

*A Chicago political operator who got caught at it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

They'll Be Back

Outraged howls are heard from the liberal-left these days after their stunning divination Hillary and Bill Clinton are not very nice people. The carefully laid plan of Barack Obama (whose naiveté on this alone disqualifies him from the presidency) to run a campaign that transcended race has been upended by the Clintons and his supporters are furious. Bill's recent comparison of Obama's campaign with that of Jesse Jackson's twenty years ago completes a Clinton ploy, predicted a week ago by Dick Morris, of forcing Obama to be a black candidate after all, despite his and his dewy-eyed supporters' vehement desire he not be.

Critics expressing outrage are unmindful of two facts about Hillary: she is the most ruthless person since Lyndon Johnson to run for the presidency and she is smarter than they are. Add to that she's married to a man equally ruthless and smart. She has wanted to be president most of her adult life, probably even before she met Bill, and now her time has come: Bill had his turn, now it's hers and she and Bill will not be denied. Hillary and Bill don't care about Barack Obama except he is in Hillary's way and must be crushed. They don't care about blacks: their numbers are waning, they don't vote anyway and those few that do always vote Democratic. Hillary and Bill don't care about "unity" in the Democratic party, that will be attended to after Hillary claims the nomination so rightfully hers.

Hillary and Bill needn't worry unduly about outraged attacks from left-wing blogs, the Nation, the New York Times and the lack of support from the likes of tired old Teddy Kennedy (the gin-soaked, criminally negligent philandering has-been's recent endorsement of Obama will hardly help that campaign any). Hillary and Bill know something about estranged critics from the left they don't know themselves: they will all come back. After having dispatched Obama and sewn up the nomination, Hillary and Bill will turn their attention to the the Republican nominee. By September, when the campaign of lies, smears, underhanded ploys and character assassinations gets going full-bore against those loathsome and cloddish Republicans and their candidate, the estranged left-wing critics of Hill and Bill will quickly forget the two's earlier unkind acts and return to the sidelines to laugh and cheer them on; to clap their hands and stomp their feet, just the way they did ten years ago during the Lewinsky scandal and its aftermath. All will be forgiven.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

"You’ll be able to see arms and stuff, but still just miniscule."

Recently the Yale Daily News posted, then quickly took down, a story about a 35th birthday celebration of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision declaring abortion a constitutional right. It is posted below, courtesy of, and it speaks for itself.

Abortion demonstration marks Roe anniversary

Students who walked into WLH 119 on Tuesday night were greeted with models of the female pelvis complete with fallopian tubes, cervixes, vaginas — and papayas on which to perform mock abortions.

In commemoration of the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, the 35th anniversary of which is this month, the Reproductive Rights Action League at Yale (RALY), in conjunction with Yale Medical Students for Choice, demonstrated different abortion methods and techniques, answered questions students had about the procedures and encouraged students to be active in abortion-rights groups during last night’s presentation. The presentation was part of a week-long celebration of the 35th anniversary of the landmark decision.

“I’m here to talk about what happens after you get past the picket lines,” Merritt Evans MED ’09, a member of Yale Medical Students for Choice, told the assembled crowd of about 15 students.

The presenters began by showing the students different surgical tools used during different stages of a pregnancy and ticking off statistics about the safety and number of abortions performed in the United States. Eighty-five percent of counties in America do not have any abortion providers, Evans said.

Evans and Rasha Khoury MED ’08, another member of Medical Students for Choice, who said she plans to become a gynecologist and expects to perform abortions, went on to describe one of the most common abortion procedures, manual vacuum aspiration, which “creates suction to evacuate pregnancy,” Evans said. The technique is a good option because the device involved is reusable and relatively cheap, she said.

“It’s not as scary as it seems. It’s just blood and mucus,” Khoury said, referring to the fetus remains in the device. She added, “You’ll be able to see arms and stuff, but still just miniscule.”

Evans and Khoury also explained the finer points of abortion-clinic etiquette, including some potentially sensitive terminology. Khoury said physicians performing abortions generally refer to the aborted fetus remains as “POC,” an acronym for “product of conception,” and refer to fetus’ hearts as “FH.”

The most complicated part of the procedure can be the emotional fallout some patients experience, she said.

“Often times, women are crying and cursing and saying they’re going to hell,” Khoury said. “It may be a quick and easy medical procedure, but it definitely is a very involved social-medical procedure.”

The presenters also urged the crowd to become involved in the abortion-rights movement by joining Reproductive Health Externships (sic), a campaign in which volunteers are taught how to conduct abortions.

“It’s fun because you meet people from all over the country who do them,” Khoury said. “It’s pretty inspiring.”

The ethical implications of abortion may be a topic of endless debate, but Elizabeth Kim ’11, who attended Tuesday night’s meeting, said she remains unsure of where she stands on the issue.

“I wanted to learn about the scientific and medical process before I can make any conclusions about the ethics,” she said. “It disturbed me how quick and clean the procedure is, because it is a big deal.”

The week’s events began with the showing of a documentary about abortion Monday and will end Saturday with a performance by the all-female comedy group the Sphincter Troupe.

As reported, the Yale Daily News yanked this one and it can no longer be found in the Google cache, either. Fortunately, other websites, including Fisheaters and Creative Minority Report, managed to catch it and have obligingly posted it. Your Bloviator thinks it would be a fine idea if all bloggers who read the above and found it abhorrent copied, pasted and posted it on their own blogs; even without commentary, it isn't needed. Since the editors of the Yale Daily News have lost sight the meaning of Lux et Veritas and the necessity of spreading it around--no doubt for fear of feminist wrath--it's up to the rest of us to do the job for them.

Friday, January 25, 2008

No One Left to Say No

Oh dear, another Episcopal Church posting, once again I cannot resist. As a friend of mine, a former Episcopalian who decamped for Rome 25 years ago put it: "It's like a horrible car crash, you just can't take your eyes off it." We were discussing Johnson's Third Law of Episcopal Thermodynamics (formulated by Christopher Johnson of the Midwest Conservative Journal), Every joke you make about the Episcopal Church eventually comes true, and its latest manifestation: the "Stations of the Millennium Development Goals," which are "designed to be used during Lent in lieu of the traditional Stations of the Cross service” (and really, is it necessary to go into any more detail?).

There once was a time long ago, upon hearing about nonsense like the above, I would been outraged. A few years later it would have been ROTFLMAO, as the kids might say. Later still, just an appreciative chuckle; now, merely a slight shake of the head and perhaps a slight frown. What is terribly sad about the whole business is that what formerly was the fringe element in the Episcopal Church is now the status quo. Even though the loopy ones have been calling the shots for quite a while, until recently there were always a few rational souls in leadership,who though mostly liberal, were liberals with sanity, as Ed Koch would put it. When particularly nutty ideas were proposed, the remaining, albeit diminishing, saner element could be counted upon on, at least on occasion, to stand up to their peers and say, "No, we cannot do that." Even former Presiding Bishop Frank Griswald, who rarely encountered a whacked-out notion he could not embrace, still had enough sense to keep the snarling, fang-baring consigliere Beers on his leash, knowing (even if only instinctively) that protracted litigation against dissident parishes and dioceses could only lead to the ruination of the church.

That rational element in Episcopal Church leadership, via retirement or departure for other provinces or Rome, is all but gone now, replaced by those who march in lockstep with the radicals. The church is no longer on the narrow path and can be likened to a train shunted to an abandoned spur: for a while, the track in reasonably good repair, she will chug along but eventually will veer off into a swamp, the track will sink under her weight and she will be consumed by the mire.

I suppose, despite intentions to the contrary, I will continue to write on poor old ECUSA but suspect not in length like above; rather, just tidbits for your amusement. Consider this screed my eulogy.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Final Solution® Now With Added Inclusivity!

There is a peculiar notion emerging lately from the left-green alliance to the effect ours is a miserable and unhappy species, causing environmental havoc beyond the capacity of this fragile planet; things would be far better if humanity were to simply disappear. The New Criterion has a short piece on a book by one of the leading proponents of this cheerful ideation, Prof. David Benatar of the University of Capetown, entitled Better Never to Have Been: The Harm of Coming into Existence, from Oxford University Press (which once enjoyed distinction as a publisher of scholars). The blurb for this assemblage of dead-tree product tells you all you need to know and contains a fine tautology as well:

Those who never exist cannot be deprived. However, by coming into existence one does suffer quite serious harms that could not have befallen one had one not come into existence.

Well, that's deep, ain't it? Only a college man could cook up a profundity like that. On the other hand, Prof. Benatar and his like-minded colleagues may feel they had no choice but to adopt this ludicrous stance. Most of the world, especially those from poorer countries, refuse to buy into Benatar & Company's purported unhappiness, yawn at their cries of global warming and cannot help notice those from the west who lecture on the evils of consumption, and its terrible cost to the environment, are strangely deaf to their own counsel. Even those leftie-greens who make a show of reducing their carbon footprint by flying in airplanes no more than once a year, say, and puttering around on bicycles, are still seen by those unenlightened and poor denizens of sub-Saharan Africa, for example, as living lives of unimaginable luxury. To the dismay of Benatar and his ilk, not only do they not shun luxury, they want a piece of it. What on earth can be done?

Simple: if the people of the world, especially those numerous poor, despite year after year of patient proselytizing, refuse to come around to the the views of their environmental prophets and betters, they will have to go. To save the planet, don't you know. For now, Prof. Benatar and others opt for the slow and voluntary extermination of our species via tube-tying, contraception and abortion. Much of Europe and Russia are obliging him but alas, not America and the rest of the world; the world's population is still going up, the environmental rape continues. Should these insufferable breeders refuse to acknowledge, once and for all, how unhappy they truly are as well as the damage they do to planet earth and start co-operating, a more drastic solution will surely have to be devised, probably similar to one dreamed up seventy years ago to deal with an earlier surplus population. In keeping with twenty-first century sensibilities, however, this solution will be far more inclusive, ensuring that everybody, regardless of race, color, creed, sex or sexual orientation will have the opportunity to be forced to make the ultimate sacrifice. To save the planet, don't you know.

(h/t to Justin Martyr)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Holding One's Nose

Fred Thompson just quit. Too bad, he was the first candidate in years I actually liked. Now, like so many times before, it's a matter of whom I dislike the least. Sigh.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Oops, She Did it Again

Deo volente, this coming Easter your Bloviator will be received into the Holy Catholic Church and to that end has been scaling back the rants on the Episcopal Church; it's not my church anymore and the people running it are such mediocrities it's a fairly easy matter paying them and their fallen church no mind...

Except for just one of those people, the Grand Inquisitrix herself, Ms. Katharine Jefferts Schori. I must hasten to add, among her peers at 815 Second Avenue Ms. Schori is second to no one in mediocrity, especially in theology (unlike her Dostoevskyan counterpart) where the depths of her shallowness forces even the Episcopal college chaplain to stand up and salute. But there is one precious gift Ms. Schori possesses, one special trait, one outstanding characteristic so uniquely Ms. Schori's own, making her nonpareil among the apparatchiks, it is simply impossible for this poor blogger to not take note; to stand back and gaze with wonder and awe at such a truly thrilling phenomenon: Ms. Schori's uncanny ability to commit spectacular gaffes while seated in the interviewer's chair.

Michael Kinsley once famously observed, "A gaffe is when a politician tells the truth." That adage surely applies to a Presiding Bishop so without further ado, here is the latest instance of truth, given to a reporter of when Ms. Schori discussed the Episcopal Church's actions against those parishes and dioceses leaving for Anglican provinces that still practice Christianity.

It would be easier to let U.S. conservatives secede to join another Anglican province without a fight, said Jefferts Schori, "but I don't think that's a faithful thing to do."

Episcopal leaders are stewards of church property and assets, protecting past generations' legacies and passing them on to future Episcopalians, according to the presiding bishop. Allowing congregations to walk away with church property condones "bad behavior," she said.

"In a sense it's related to the old ecclesiastical behavior toward child abuse," when priests essentially looked the other way, she said.

"Bad behavior must be confronted."

Oh my. Oh my my my my my, I do believe our PeeBee has outdone herself this time, bless her li'l heart.

(h/t MCJ)

Friday, January 18, 2008

And I Bet He Never Cheated at Golf

Bill Clinton, at last, is becoming a liability to the Mrs. and her presidential campaign. According to the New York Times, Hillary’s crew is looking for ways to “rein him in” lest he cause permanent damage owing to his ill temper, something he has been displaying a lot lately. The latest dust up occurred when a TV news reporter quizzed Bill sharply over a blatantly contrived lawsuit filed by the Nevada teachers union, no doubt at Hillary’s behest, to stop Las Vegas Casino workers, whose union had just endorsed Barack Obama, from holding separate caucuses at their workplaces this Saturday, a work day for most of them. The teachers union lawsuit claims, disingenuously, this accommodation was “unfair to other voters” and if you think the use above of “blatantly contrived” is overstating it, ask yourself the last time you saw a teacher reporting to work on a Saturday. It seems Bill, as is his wont, went ballistic when the reporter challenged him on his wife’s latest stunt, turning red, sputtering angrily and causing great concern among Hillary's campaign staff which once again had to go into damage control on account of loose-cannon Bill.

The latest farrago of the First Husband-to-be in the most disagreeable political marriage since Herod Antipas and Herodias, causes one to remember fondly the alliance between another powerful woman politician, one far greater in stature than Hillary Clinton, and her spouse: Margaret Thatcher and her late husband, Denis, who died two-and-a-half years ago. After a long and successful business career Denis Thatcher was content, preferred actually, to be in his wife’s shadow but freely offered advice to her when they were in private, advice she frequently sought and took. He strove for invisibility but was ever quick to seize and act upon any opportunity to aid and further his wife’s career, so long as he could do it behind the scenes. He loved his wife dearly; she loved him dearly in return. Denis Thatcher had another great love in his life, drinks, lots of them, usually made with gin. He insisted to his wife one morning, over her mild protests, "My dear, it is never too early for a gin and tonic." Quite so. He was the perfect executive spouse, who despite, or indeed because of, his unassuming nature and abhorrence of publicity, towers over both those small but noisome Clintons and their detestable enormities.

(h/t Riehl World View)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Und You Vill Laaf

Matthew at Holy Whapping presents us with "the best random sentence I have ever read while browsing Wikipedia: 'It is considered the father of Iranian TV comedy.'

"Just savor it," he suggests.

I do and it is delicious indeed. It brings to mind the time some years ago I ran the classical department in a large NYC record store. One day, pawing through some recent arrivals, I made a wonderful discovery and held it up triumphantly to my staffers and customers. Loudly proclaiming it "the shortest CD ever made," its title was "The Lighter Side of Herbert von Karajan."

Friday, January 11, 2008

The Patron Saint of Anglican Converts?

From the Telegraph:

Cardinal John Henry Newman, the most famous British convert to Catholicism, could be beatified this year, the Vatican has said, setting him on a path to become the first British saint for 40 years.

"Cardinal Newman was a relevant intellectual, an emblematic figure of conversion from Anglicanism to Catholicism and personally I wish his beatification to happen very soon," said Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Cause of the Saints.
Asked to clarify, the cardinal told The Daily Telegraph he hoped the beatification would happen this year.

This is wonderful news. My title for this posting is only partly facetious: I doubt there are many Anglican Tiber swimmers extant who did not have a look at the writings of Newman before jumping into the water. He is our inspiration and our comfort as well for I also doubt there are many Anglican converts who, while joyfully embracing the full faith of the Holy Catholic Church, do not also feel great sorrow, as did Newman, when turning their backs on the Anglican Church.

I have only known a few converts to Catholicism who came from protestant backgrounds other than the Episcopal Church but among them, none seem to have experienced much sense of loss upon leaving Presbyterianism, Congregationalism, Methodism, etc., other than that of leaving friends behind (the experience may be different for Lutherans, I just don't know). Not so with former Anglicans. Read here, for example, a loving tribute to the most excellent St. Clement's Church in Philadelphia, the gold standard, along with the Church of the Resurrection in New York, of Anglo-Catholic worship, written by a young former Anglican, Nathaniel Peters, in First Things. An excerpt (but you should read it all):

I worshipped there for three years in college before converting to Catholicism, and the magnificence of their choir kept me from swimming the Tiber for a few months. I will never forget the clouds of incense, the rich brocade of the vestments, the deep reverence of Holy Week services, the slew of processions, and the way that the opening chords of Victoria’s “Asperges” could send the soul to repentant heights at the beginning of the mass. St. Clement’s is not perfect; no church is. But it stands in my mind as a clear proof of the old Christian principle that beauty elevates the soul to the contemplation of God.

Amen, sir, I had a similar experience at the Church of the Resurrection, whose magnificent worship prevented me from swimming for far longer than a few months. I am thrilled come Easter I will be entering the Roman Catholic Church but to the day I die, there will always be a bit of the Anglican in me.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Vote for Me, I Don't Want This Job

One of your Bloviator's favorite passages in literature belongs to the under-appreciated novelist John P. Marquand (best known, if at all, for "The Late George Appley," a splendid satire on protestant, nineteenth-century cold-roast Boston), and found in his novel "Wickford Point."

Tranquil, soul-satisfying apathy settled over the dining room. The sound of droning insects came through the window like the soft breach of sleep; an oriole sang a few throaty, liquid notes and stopped exhausted; the leafy shadows of elm branches scarcely moved upon the lawn. A house fly buzzed and beat its head against the window screen. The collision made a metallic sound which was followed by silence. The fly rubbed its wings with its hind legs, but did not try again. As Cousin Clothilde gazed at the smoke from her cigarette I noticed a lack of customary sound. The tall clock in the corner had stopped.

The quoted passage has come to mind frequently these past months for I am reminded of it everytime I read about the presidential campaign of Fred Thompson. Thompson long ago won your Bloviator's heart for the very reason he has been excoriated by critics in recent months: lacking "fire in the belly," not giving the impression his overwhelming desire is to be president of the United States. Good for him. Neither did my favorite presidents of the past century, Coolidge, Ike and Reagan, and going back further, Washington. All of them dispatched their duties with quiet competency and then quickly disappeared back into their private lives. Thompson strikes me as one who would do same. Not being a liberal, hence not being a megalomaniac who measures his success by how many vast and expensive taxpayer-funded government programs he can get past Congress, Thompson would (I hope) view his charge if elected as forestalling, as much as his office might permit, our country's inexorable slide into socialism. Perhaps by the end of his term (or terms), the citizenry's propensities for entitlements will have lessened. If so, bully for him. If not, bully for him also, at least he will have, like Mrs. Thatcher, postponed our nation's date with collectivist hell.

The reason for this posting is candidate Thompson seems to have done quite well tonight in the debates in South Carolina with some saying he just might stand a chance. Let us hope.

Going Gentle into the Good Night

The excellent Irish Blogger Infelix Ego has posted some distressing statistics concerning the Jesuits and their declining numbers.

World-wide: Before Vatican II, 36,200. Today 18,711.

Brothers: Before Vatican II, 5,204. Today 1,306.

Seminarians (USA only): Before Vatican II, 5,500. Today 140.

USA Jesuit priests: Before Vatican II, 8,000. Today 2,640.

Jesuits (Italy): Before Vatican II, 4,000+. Today 640.

Jesuits (France): Before Vatican II, 3,500+. Today less than 500.

Jesuits (Canada): Before Vatican II, 1,500+. Today less than 250.

Jesuits (Ireland and the United Kingdom): Before Vatican II, 1,740+. Today less than 300.

The Jesuits seem to be racing the Episcopalians to oblivion. While the Pope recently read them the riot act, with little reaction on their part, I wonder, assuming the numbers above are anywhere near accurate, if the Jesuits (like the Episcopalians) are stuck in an irreversible downward spiral. Having devolved over the years into into a hard-left organization (a search on their website for the term "social justice" yields 44 hits), it isn't surprising their numbers are falling precipitously. Today's leftists have little need of Holy Mother Church and her notions of salvation and eternal life, enamored as they are of creating heaven on earth--even if it kills us. Vocations among the left are increasingly rare (how many left-wing priests do you know who are under fifty?) and more and more of the laity who identify with the left stay home on Sunday mornings, reading their New York Times instead. As a movement within the Church the left is becoming increasingly marginalized and so, too, are the Jesuits.

With the Pope's acceptance of the resignation, i.e. his firing, of the Jesuits' Superior General, the Rev'd Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, and a search on for his replacement, you have to wonder if the Church would be better off if his Holiness simply left that office vacant and appointed an administrator to shut the order down in an orderly fashion. Many of the useful functions of the Jesuits seem to be better handled by Opus Dei, a conservative lay organization of men and women that has no trouble attracting members and, wonder of wonders, young ones to boot (they are also feared and loathed by the left which, of course, is their Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval). Despite their mounting woes the Jesuits are showing little concern for the future. Maybe it is better for the Church to share their lack of concern and allow that once grand and powerful order to slowly vanish into peaceful senectitude.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Guess I Made the Right Decision...

Or better put, perhaps, the right decision was revealed to me.

What's your theological worldview?
created with
You scored as Roman Catholic

You are Roman Catholic. Church tradition and ecclesial authority are hugely important, and the most important part of worship for you is mass. As the Mother of God, Mary is important in your theology, and as the communion of saints includes the living and the dead, you can also ask the saints to intercede for you.

Roman Catholic


Evangelical Holiness/Wesleyan


Neo orthodox


Classical Liberal


Reformed Evangelical


Modern Liberal








(h/t Billy Ockham)

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Dissolving the Partnership

The tide may finally be turning for Hillary Clinton, they're booing her in New Hampshire.

Should she lose her bid for the presidency Hillary and Bill will announce shortly later their impending divorce, there being no further purpose to the partnership.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Burying the Blatherskite

A joyous Epiphany and a Happy New Year.

In the Weekly Standard P. J. O'Rourke eviscerates a sacred cow of the liberal intelligentsia, the late Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., in the form of a review of his memoirs, recently published. The opening sentence of O'Rourke's review is one most book reviewers (as your Bloviator once was) can only dream of writing: "This is a bad, vain, dull, repulsive book. Don't read it. I didn't." Fortunately, O'Rourke managed to slog through of enough of Schlesinger's name-dropping natterings to amply demonstrate what a truly empty suit he was.

O'Rourke quotes a particularly revealing passage regarding Schlesinger and the speech writing duties for his darling of darlings, John F. Kennedy.

The next morning the president called to ask about the paragraph. I brought it to his bedroom about 9:30. He was eating his breakfast in bed. He had only his pajama pants on.

It doesn't seem likely (to say the least) Schlesinger is engaging in homo-eroticism so the point of this mildly sordid detail must be the thrill at being privileged enough to have had a private audience with a dishabille Sir John of Camelot as he tucked into his corn flakes. Schlesinger doesn't consider the possibility Kennedy's attitude towards him was probably on a par with Lyndon Johnson's toward junior staffers, reporters and other lower forms of life as he received them while seated on the toilet. So pleased he is with himself, Schlesinger never wonders whether the sainted Jack would have conferred with the likes of McGeorge Bundy or Dean Acheson while in bed half naked rather than in a more suitable venue, appropriately dressed. President Kennedy, by baring his burly hairy chest to Schlesinger while lounging in his boudoir, could only have been expressing his contempt for this toadie amanuensis to the quality, in a manner even a gifted orator like himself could not do in words.