October 7, 2003

Imagine this, at a noon press conference: COLEMAN: Thank you for coming. I'll try to be short. (uncomfortable pause) That was a joke. I've called you here today to say this: Don't vote for me. I entered this race as a joke. I'm an actor — what do I know about being governor? What does an actor know about funding our public schools, or balancing the budgets? My campaign has been a joke, but if you vote for me –… Read more

October 7, 2003

Calpundit continues to be vital reading for keeping up with Leak-gate. (It probably helps to keep Kevin's mind off of his state's downward spiral.) The simple fact is that two high-level officials in the White House have betrayed their country and broken the law. Apologists for this treason, inside and outside the Bush administration, have adopted the strategy of the (failed) defenders of Baghdad. They have lit thousands of small oil fires, trying to fill the air with black smoke… Read more

October 6, 2003

Tim Dunlop of Road to Surfdom provides some helpful clarity about the issues of consequence (and of no consequence) in the CIA leak-gate investigation. He frames the issue more clearly in 13 short lines than I have heard done from a whole afternoon of cable news chatter. One odd aspect of today's news coverage was the continual updating of the number of administration staff who have turned over either their documents relevant to the investigation, or an affidavit affirming that… Read more

October 6, 2003

"Some are guilty. All are responsible." Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Didn't post much this weekend, my dad was in town. Here's a story I learned from my dad. Dad used to practice law in New Jersey. Years ago, he was researching a title deed in North Plainfield and found that the buyers back in the 1920s had signed a "restrictive covenant." Such clauses were common in America for much of the 20th century. They were not strictly legally binding, but… Read more

October 4, 2003

For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Matthew 7:2) Candidate George W. Bush, 1999, discussing the state of the U.S. military: "Resources are over-stretched. Frustration is up, as families are separated and strained. Morale is down. This administration wants things both ways: To command great forces, without supporting them. To launch today's new causes, with little thought of tomorrow's consequences." You probably didn't… Read more

October 4, 2003

Oct. 4 is the birthday, and feast day, of St. Francis of Assisi, who was born in 1182. I don't know anyone who does not like St. Francis. What's there not to like? He loved everyone and everything and sought to live at peace with all of creation. That all sounds wonderful now, of course, now that Francis has been dead for nearly eight centuries. At the time, of course, it got him in an enormous amount of trouble. During… Read more

October 3, 2003

Right now, MSNBC is broadcasting — LIVE COVERAGE — "Maria Shriver addresses CA Women's Leadership Event." It's a campaign speech. She's going on about 10 thing she wants everyone in California to know about her husband. It's been on for 5-10 minutes so far. Uninterrupted. The election is in four days and a supposed "news" network is giving a candidate free air time for an uncontested, unchallenged (and over-the-top) stump speech. Will they do the same for Gray Davis, Cruz… Read more

October 3, 2003

During the Oct. 1 White House press briefing, Scott McClellan was asked about the possibility of a "polygraph examination" as part of the Justice Department's investigation into possible treason at the White House. Both CNN and MSNBC have repeatedly referred to this as the possible use of "lie detectors." "Lie detectors"? There is no such thing as a "lie detector." A polygraph merely measures stress. Or, rather, it measures responses which — in some people, in some circumstances — may… Read more

October 3, 2003

Missed these yesterday: Groucho Marx and Graham Greene share Gandhi's birthday, October 2. Ron suggested in comments back on Eliot's birthday that Graham Greene is another excellent candidate for "Torment the Mustard Seed." An excellent suggestion. The Power and the Glory, Greene's tale of a "whiskey priest" and the broken faith of a broken man, is one of the great Christian novels of the 20th century. Yet, sadly, I'm sure they've never heard of it at your local "Christian Book… Read more

October 2, 2003

J.M. Coetzee has been awarded the Nobel prize for literature. I'm afraid I've only ever read one book by Coetzee, and it was a short one — the novella Waiting for the Barbarians. My one encounter with Coetzee, however, was a case of the right book at the right time. If his other works have had a similar impact on his other readers, then Coetzee's Nobel honors are well deserved. Barbarians is an extended parable about guilt and responsibility, knowledge… Read more

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