Pundit Wire

The Washington Dread and Denial Association Dinner

whitehousedinner_539_332_c1“Don’t do it!”

Stories, whether torn from history or made from whole cloth, can make us want to shout that. Don’t open that door at the top of the stairs. Don’t get on that boat. Don’t believe that president, general, journalist, preacher, cop.

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Magic Fire

WalkureMusic critic Deems Taylor (1885-1966), who composed operas himself, once said of Richard Wagner that “There never lived a composer who was more ready with copious and articulate explanations of what he intended to do in his music—or more certain to do something quite different.”

For example: “He fulminated against the absurdity of the operatic aria, and wrote Siegmund’s Love Song; he excommunicated the operatic duet, and wrote the second act of Tristan and Isolde; he cursed the operatic ensemble number, root stock, and branch, and wrote the quintet from Die Meistersinger.”

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Gay Marriage: Who’s Sorry Now?

Rainbow_flag_breezeThe April 28 issue of the Wall Street Journal carried an editorial warning of grave consequences if the Supreme Court rules that there is a constitutional right to gay marriage.

“Discovering a fundamental right to same-sex marriage in the Constitution,” tut-tutted the Journal’s editors, “pre-empts the democratic process and assumes that the people aren’t capable of mediating their differences with decency and tolerance.”

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“Have you thought about resuscitation?”

KevorkianIn England recently, a man with a serious heart ailment returned home after getting some bad news from his doctor and immediately received a follow-up phone call from one of the nurses in the doctor’s office. “Hello,” she chirruped brightly, “we’re ringing all our patients with chronic conditions to see how you are and whether you have thought about resuscitation.”

The patient immediately dropped dead from shock.

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The Soldier

BrookePoet Rupert Brooke died a century ago on April 23. He died too soon for three reasons. First, he was only 28. Second, he was denied the opportunity to bring his rich poetical gifts to fruition. And third, he never saw for himself what war was really like.

The third was perhaps his greatest tragedy.

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Earth Day, Race Day, Gun Day, Money Day

mk_followmoney_41015_539_332_c1Is change even possible?

The national conversation about excessive use of police force that we’re supposed to have been conducting since Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner were killed didn’t save Walter Scott’s life.  The Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre of 26 children and staff that we hoped would be the tipping point on gun violence hasn’t slowed the NRA by a heartbeat.  Earth Day is April 22, but if the bad news about heat, drought, sea levels and dying oceans hasn’t loosened the fossil fuel industry’s death grip on Congress by now, it’s hard to imagine any millions of marchers in any number of cities making a difference.

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Also posted in Campaigns & Elections, Civil Rights, Environment, Politics, Race & Ethnicity, U.S. | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Who’s Greedy, and Why?

images-10You don’t need to go far these days to find angry exchanges about “greed”. The UK general election will see wild rhetoric about the Politics of Greed. But who in fact is greedy?

So take out the generalised human instincts about the greed of men/women/children, and it turns out that Greedy Workers are the clear winners, well ahead of another notable category, Greedy Owners.

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Who will bake my wedding cake?

gay wedding cakeI am a freelance speechwriter. I advertise on the Internet: www.ringingwords.com.

Suppose someone contacts me and asks me to write him a speech in favor of a proposition to which I am totally opposed. I decline as a matter of conscience. The other person says, “The heck with your conscience. You offer your services to the whole public on the Internet. You have no right to discriminate against any potential client because of your personal beliefs. If you don’t write my speech, I will take you to court and force you to do so.”

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Also posted in Civil Rights, General, Politics, Religion, U.S. | Tagged , , , | 23 Comments