Friday, November 16, 2012

Brooks to the non-rescue…again.

Poor David Brooks. He just can’t seem to let go of the past.

Here’s a link to his latest The New York Times mini-screed.  In it, Brooks bemoans the individualistic times in which we live and years for a return, as Republicans these days are wont to do, to the 1950s.

Brooks longs for a return to “…commitments to family, God, craft and country.” Hm. Well, three out of four “ain’t bad.”

Family, craft and country one could understand.  God? The anthropomorphic God of the “Book?” Really?

We should commit to the metaphors of people who lived hundreds and thousands of years ago? Who dealt with life-threatening natural conditions the likes of which we have come to understand and deal with them successfully? The metaphors which wouldn’t stand the scrutiny of a skeptical analyst? Ask the families who are survivors of religious sectarian killings; what would they say about commitment to God? (Other people keep getting in the way that commitment, and no one can rationally explain why.)

Change the metaphors; use metaphors which fit the intellectual evolution of the species.

Then talk about commitment.

Otherwise, Mr. B., deal with the status quo, not the status quo ante.

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Friday, August 31, 2012


A very simple indictment of the current Republican Party can be found in two elements, both provided by the Party establishment itself.

1). The “We Built It” logo

2). The absence of reference to Pres. George W. Bush

“We Built It” is in the past tense.  So, the question is What is the “it” the Republican Party has built?  Whatever it is, it must exist now, because they speak of its completion. They must be speaking of the legacy of past Republican administrations.

There is an odd leap, however, between today’s Republican claims and the previous administration most called-upon today. And that leap is from 1989 to 2010.

Missing from Tampa’s Republican history are the administrations of Bush père et fils, one of which raised taxes in order to have a legitimate, responsible history, the other…well, you know: he vastly enlarged the size of government, government spending, and presided over an illegitimate war which was the offspring of a matrix of lies.

WE BUILT IT  Indeed, you did. And you’re ashamed of it.

As well you ought.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Does Dave read his own work?

Poor David Brooks. He tries so hard, yet so often shoots himself in the foot during the effort.

Take this quote from his column today:

[Obama’s] economic advisers have generally touted the benefits of globalization even as they worked to help those who are hurt by its downsides.

All of Brooks’ argument in this column can be refuted by taking the final two clauses of the quote as a basis for your argument’s construction.

The difference between the visions of capitalism of Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney which we see in today’s political arena is exactly that Mr. Obama is working to help those who are hurt by various policies which might or might not be necessary in a capitalistic system.

As Brooks writes, “[Romney’s] an efficiency expert.” He does best what is best for the business plans under which he works. His vision with Bain had not been broadened to include helping those who might fall to the dictates of a theory.

We live in a society with a social contract which demands we all take responsibility for our actions. Sometimes it means giving a helping hand to a person we knocked down.

Brooks knows that, and, in that quote, he inadvertently gives the strongest possible negative take on Romney he could have given. The question remains, Why didn’t Dave realize that when he published?

Trust, but verify.

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Monday, June 04, 2012

To earn the right to give away

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Wouldn’t it be nice if P Diddy’s son, Justin Combs, were to be taken aside and given a quiet lesson on class?

Someone in the organization might take the boy aside and tell him that he did, indeed, earn the sport scholarship to UCLA; and that he is justifiably proud of his accomplishment.

To torture the adage, though, the conversation might also remind Combs that much is expected from those to whom much is given.  A gesture of humility at the time of his accomplishment is in order, and such a gesture could well consist of the young man donating an equal amount of money to another scholarship fund at UCLA—one which would benefit students of need, perhaps.

The Combs’ family fortune is, after all, derived from the pockets of many needy students and their families.

Such a gesture would go a long way to further enhancing the young man’s aura of success. And be a touch of class.

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

The Sins of the Father

A recent reading of The Sins of the Father by Jeffrey Archer indicates that it is time for Mr. Archer to take a break from writing for a while.

The story is not engaging. The plot is a soap opera. The denouement leaves this reader thinking, “Meh.”


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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Language and part of the problem

Watching an old episode of How I Met Your Mother last night and noticed this line said by aa teen boy to the woman who is Canadian:  Boy, "Am I going to get lucky tonight?"

Why is it that the male is going to "get lucky" and not the woman, or why not "Are we going to get lucky tonight?"

Has it ever been thus, women have no sexual appetites? Girls don't seek "luck?"

How long will it take for this type of sexual programming to disappear?

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Friday, February 24, 2012

Hey, Wayne!

Here's a question for you and your NRA cohorts:
What's to be done with that 9-year-old alleged shooter in Washington?
Only criminals with have handguns, right?
Nice job, guys.

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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Sly Puss

It’s too good to let pass.

In writing about Topic X, authors often manage to slip in a little elbow about Topic Y to the ribs of the body politic; and those little nuggets should be identified and celebrated.

To wit:  In you will find an article by Glenn Greenwald discussing Iran as the source of some discomfort, alright—evil—and you will also find this:  “while the Face of American Meritocracy, NBC News‘ Luke Russert…”

Think about it. Meritocracy, rising on the merits of one’s efforts; and Luke Russert, elevated to a job with a major news organization upon the death of his father, Tim.

Also think about using upper case: Face of American Meritocracy.

Then dedicate an appreciative chuckle to Greenwald.

You’re welcome.

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