Scanning a friday sphere

I understand all the major news broadcasts will be spending roughly the first ten minutes of their broadcasts gushing on Al Gore’s predictable anointing, er, winning of the Nobel Peace Prize, those trinkets which lately seem to be more about hating George W. Bush than about really honoring anyone else’s dubious and quite unsettled work. While it doesn’t like it’s going to happen, I rather hope Gore enters the presidential race because at least then it will be interesting. I assume Bill Clinton signed off on the granting of this prize, first, because I can’t think Gore would ever get one before him, otherwise. Or maybe Clinton is smart enough to realize that a prize shared by the likes of Yassir Arafat and James Earl Carter is not much of an award, anymore.

I personally like this woman’s response to her own Nobel Prize (H/T Lucianne:

Doris Lessing was out grocery shopping near her home in London yesterday when the Swedish Academy announced she had won the 2007 Nobel Prize in literature. She returned from the store to find a media circus, the wire services reported.

“Oh Christ!” she said, when told about the monumental honor. “I couldn’t care less.”

A good attitude! Contrast it to the sort of puffed up, barrel-chested pride we’re going to see coming from Mr. Gore. There are reason why some people live to ripe old ages, and I think one of them is simply having a good attitude and realizing how much of the world is – as I have said before – simple illusion and trend. I hope I live to be ripe, as well. Meanwhile, Gina Cobb has more thoughts on Gore. I don’t. I’ve written about him enough in the past year, and frankly expect all of his award-winning proclamations to end up rather like this. Pajamas Media has the definitive round-up.

No, I am not going to write any more about Ann Coulter because, as often happens when discussing the Great Big Illegal Immigration Imbroglio, the comments section has already reached the point where the talk is circular and repetitive, so screw it until someone can say something original – or at least more interesting.

Meanwhile, Kathy Shaidle has an interesting question for the Rudy-haters on the right. I don’t know if I think the answer posed by the question is true – I am very friendly with many Evangelicals who have moved beyond distrusting Catholics, and I know more than a few who have already declared they’ll vote for Rudy if he is the nominee – but it is still an interesting question, especially on a day when I have gotten some hate mail from fellow Christians who think I know nothing of scripture or theology because I’m “only a Catholic,” or who express some doubt as to whether I might be a Christian at all because of my Roman perspective. My favorite of those was the guy who sent me a link to this article and declared the Pope should read the bible and get acquainted with Christianity, which is odd, since the piece doesn’t quote His Holiness at all, but whatever.

Because I am weary of right-on-right bickering, I was very glad to read this piece by Lori Byrd in which she takes a look at how unproductive all the needling back-and-forth is, and how it weakens the right:

Many Republicans are battling over the reason for the 2006 losses and come down in different camps. Some think the cause was not enough Republicans running as strong conservatives — especially on the issues of spending and immigration. Others think the blame lies with those Republicans who preferred their side go down in defeat to punish those who did not take a strong enough stand on various issues. I think it was a little bit of both.
One big problem I see right now for the GOP is that some factions within the party are too busy trying to convince each other they are right about what went wrong in 2006 that they can’t come together to build a strategy that will win elections.

Lorie points out that there are thousands of ways to lose elections, and the right seems to be trying them all on for size.

It’s a theme hitting home with more than one writer. David Brooks suggests that the right has lost sight of the kitchen table and the middle class. Bruce Kesler says common sense usually wins and wonders where the GOP’s went. Bookworm suggests that getting a handle on what the right stands for, anymore could help.

James Taranto takes a look
at the very different tone Columbia University takes when discussing a noose and a swastika. One would think that the taunting use of either object would be equally offensive, but apparently not.

On the Clinton front: I’m sorry if it seems like I link to a lot of “Clinton” stories, but since it seems like there are two Clinton stories for any one story written about any other person, place or thing in the world, the overabundance of them means they are over-represented here, as well. In no particular order, here is a questions about Clinton investment advice, and who is giving Bill Clinton all that money to start with, which is a relevant question when one considers that a first spouse’s funders and backers could conceivably expect favors from his wife, the president. I know, I know, it’s unimaginable that such things could happen in a Clinton administration – what am I thinking – but still…it’s a pertinent question. Also, as much as I’d like to believe that Hillary Clinton means to give up powers once she ascends takes control of the WH, I must shrug and say, “who gives up power? Why should we believe this?” The press is still not asking Mrs. Clinton any questions about Norman Hsu, or his seemingly extensive and impressive catalogue of Clintonian memorabilia – although, actually, I don’t know what there is to say about it – and they are (typically incurious when it comes to Clintons) not at all offended that she is using images from 9/11, which are only offensive when Rudy or W uses them. For Hillary – A-OK!, and no we in the press don’t care if you’ve never been very clear about your actual 9/11 experience of the day. Or, you know, eavesdropping. Or, you know, the idea of a serious presidential candidate bringing Sandy Berger onto the team again, or bothering to remind anyone why that’s kind of a sleazy idea.

Oh, and Bill Clinton seems to have told one of his “charmingly exasperating” little fibs that he just can’t resist. I don’t find them charming, but a friend of mine does, hence the quotes. He is sad because he wants his official presidential papers released “even sooner” than the law requires…except, I guess those that Sandy Berger, that old goofyhead, stole, lost or destroyed.

Last on the Clintons (I told you, there is a LOT out there about them, the ration must be 2:1 on stories) – we know that many of the Clinton administration operatives have married into the press both figuratively and literally:

There are now Clintonistas set up in positions of power and authority in every media and informational venue, all over the world. They’ve either “become” journalists, like George Stephanopolis (and several others) in America and Sidney Blumenthal in England, or “married” journalists, women like Jennifer Loven and Christiane Amanpour, who can be counted on to do their jobs.

Now comes the revelation that they’ve even got the gossip pages covered by an insider.

Hey, if you own the press, you pretty much can do any damn thing you please. Sleeping well with that, are you?

Resumes still do count, when it comes to picking the right person for the right job, do they not?.

I’m a cemetery haunter/walker/picnick/stone-rubbings-taker myself so I would be up in arms about this myself, no matter who the graveyard was being dug up for. Leave cemeteries alone. They’re good places and we should preserve them.

Blood vessels grown from a patient’s own skin. And just because it occurs to me and is worth repeating: the total of useful EMBRYONIC stem cell therapies successfully tested, remains at zero.

You’ve probably seen this moving piece by Christopher Hitchens, which is simply a heartbreaking, uplifting, inspiring story, told by a master wordsmith who manages to give us all lessons in humility. I read this and wonder if I have inadvertently inspired any sort of behavior (for good or ill) in anyone, and then wonder if I should be writing at all. Very humbling, very thought-provoking and troubling piece, for me personally. And while I know some of my Christian readers don’t like it, my admiration for Hitchens remains.

About Elizabeth Scalia
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  • KIA

    I never cease to be amazed when our protestant friends question our “true” Christianity or knowledge of Scripture. Are they all living in a bubble? It’s not even a debate that the bible came OUT OF the Catholic Church. Even more so, it was written FOR THE MASS, which by the way, contains far more Scripture than any protestant service. Of most importance, we have the authority from Jesus for the correct interpretation. I don’t mean to be haughty, but after a while I have little patience for self induced ingorance. I suggest all who think Catholics aren’t Christians spend some time reading the church fathers and less time reading the ficton left behind Amercian made, newly created “rapture theory.” Britanica would be a good place to start for those who can’t bring themselves to read anything by a Catholic author.

    I hope we at least agree that God hates division. That said, we aren’t going to get to Christian unity by ignoring facts.

  • Hantchu

    I loved Doris Lessing’s response too. Remarkably sane. And in the meantime, she just keeps on writing. When she’s not, as the news item noted, out shopping for groceries. “Edifyingly humble”, as the sisters at Brede might put it.

  • newton

    I don’t know if you checked this one out, Anchoress, but I think this should be one of your links here: The Nobel Prize Curse.

    Reminds me of this one Chicago economist who won the Nobel a few years ago. Somehow, as part of his divorce settlement some years before, one of the stipulations was “Ex-wife gets half of a Nobel Prize.” She got the half of the million bucks: he paid the other half in taxes. Go figure.

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  • rcareaga

    Back from vacation–Taos, Santa Fe, Durango–well-rested and out of touch with the news (coincidence? I think not), and it my be that my irony meter hasn’t yet recalibrated to life at sea-level, so I ask this question: Surely “I assume Bill Clinton signed off on the granting of this prize, first, because I can’t think Gore would ever get one before him, otherwise” was typed with tongue firmly in cheek, yes? I mean, we’re not really suggesting that the Committee in Oslo takes its marching orders from the former president?

    For the rest, I would not myself be anxious to see Gore enter the race, given that, as even he now acknowledges, he’s not a gifted campaigner; nor would I wish on him the noxious task of cleaning the stables that the next incumbent must needs undertake. Now I think on it, this might be one reason to reconcile myself to the nomination of Mrs. Clinton, toward whom my feelings are barely tepid on a good day, should this melancholy prospect come to pass.


  • TheAnchoress

    Of COURSE it was tongue-in-cheek. But we all know Clinton wanted one of those prizes in the worst way…and will still likely get one before he dies.

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  • dellbabe68

    I’m a big Hitchens fan (and even Catholic!) and that piece was about one of the best he’s ever written. I cried a number of times reading it. I hadn’t seen it so thanks for posting it.

    Wow, Anchoress… you like cemeteries, too?! It’s a ghoulish passion of mine and I always tell people gingerly. Ever been to NYC? If you ever go (I’m actually not sure where you’re from), go to Green-wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. You can spend a day there and learn quite a bit of history. I have a book from there and when I dig it out I will leave the title here. It’s one of the first cemeteries where people began to really memorialize their loved ones here in the States. Lots of artwork. The big time artists made their bread and butter doing memorials and offered better rates for public projects.

  • davod

    What better way to hide where Hsu’s money was coming from than accusing him of running a Ponzi scheme.

  • davod

    I cannot think of a better symbol of Islamic domination. Not only do they want to build a huge mosque (for 70,000) in London, close to the sight of the Olympic Games, they will even banish the infidel dead from the outskirts of London. Clearing the way for the return of the 12th Iman?

  • Peggy McGilligan


    AP – Al Gore has for a long time been full of hot air. He has a vivid imagination about the world. His mistrust of the seasons seems to stem from an episode of the Twilight Zone, in which the Earth gets too close to the Sun. Al is probably the single individual who has done most to create greater worldwide understanding of the measures needed to create a more effective global antiperspirant.

    If college roommate Tommy Lee Jones, could save the City of Los Angeles from errant magma (Volcano), and the world entire from a giant cockroach (Men In Black), then Al Gore deserves a prize for his initiative to combat global wetness. The same trusted formula that kept our leaders dry during the Cold War. Clinton tested: guaranteed to leave no trace.

    The committee that awarded Al Gore the Nobel Peace Prize included a university president, a theologian, and a consultant. Moe, Larry, and Curly could not be reached for comment. And, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with whom Gore shares the prize, does not carry out research, nor does it monitor climate or related phenomena. Given the newfound legitimacy for Global Warming, a “private group” out of Monterey, California, vies to seed the North Atlantic with iron oxide to help plankton absorb carbon dioxide (greenhouse gasses). Strategy: “cleanup the planet and make a buck on the side.”

    So, to whom did Al Gore donate the $1.8 million dollar Nobel purse? Who is the Alliance for Climate Protection? Perhaps not coincidentally, Al Gore is the founder and chairman of the § 501(c)(3) alliance. Three guesses who the IPCC are. But why shouldn’t grasping politicians preempt science? Aren’t they doing it for the collective? Aren’t their distortions justified, because they are “good”? Isn’t this the psychology of the left? Why should the facts matter; after all, when it came to pirating the “Peace Dividend” to create that new cultural paradigm, the venture paid off:

    Ps. From the “college” essay contest: “I also wondered things like where the hell are all the pirates?” -My sentiments exactly.