Current Wisdom

Article excerpt

The Great Books Series

Part-time anthropologist Bill Clinton records a typical African greeting prefatory to the customary outbreak of small arms fire:

In Africa, where the first humans stood up on the savannah 150,000 years ago, some tribes have a remarkable way of greeting each other. When one person says hello, the response is "I see you." Think how much better the world would be if we actually saw each other.

[From Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World, by Bill Clinton, Alfred A. Knopf, 240 pages, $24.95]

Philadelphia Daily News

Attention-getting thoughts of a leading Philadelphia scribe, StuBykoßky, writingfromhistreehousehighabove Philly's Rittenhouse Square:

One month from The Anniversary, I'm thinking another 9/11 would help America.

What kind of a sick bastard would write such a thing?

A bastard so sick of how splintered we are politically-thanks mainly to our ineptitude in Iraq-that we have forgotten who the enemy is.

It is not Bush and it is not Hillary and it is not Daily Kos or Bill O'Reilly or Giuliani or Barack. It is global terrorists who use Islam to justify their hideous sins, including blowing up women and children.

Iraq has fractured the U.S. into jigsaw pieces of competing interests that encourage our enemies. We are deeply divided and division is weakness.

(August 9, 2007)

Bill Movers Journal

(PBS)

The sempiternal sound of pious Bill Moyers patting himself on the back:

...those of us in public television have an obligation to make sure viewers like you stay in the loop.... When we broadcast teach-ins on the Vietnam War, and the Watergate hearings during the trial of Richard Nixon, it was a real public service-the reason PBS was created. We should keep Iraq in primetime every week-the fighting and dying, the suffering, the debate, the politics, the extraordinary costs. If s months until September. The war is killing us now, body and soul.

(July 13, 2007)

Countdown With Keith Olbermann

(PMSNBC)

More gastrointestinal wordplay from the noisome Mr. Olbermann, vulgarian:

Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff reveals this "gut feeling" about an increased risk of terrorist activity here this summer. His "gut feeling."

How about my gut feeling that Mr. Chertoff said this so that the lead story on the newscast on ABC would not be Iraq or Alberto Gonzales or that: USA Today poll, but that it would be this, you know, "gut feeling" of his, plus a vague sky-is-falling story about an al Qaeda cell?... The "gut feeling" has been described as breaking news.

Actually, "gut feeling" would be closer to breaking wind.

(July 19, 2007)

Washington Post

Jim Hoagland, the esteemed Post's increasingly desperate columnist, resorts to desperate rhetoric and descends into inscrutability nuanced by typical mainstream journalistic fuss budgetery:

Desperate presidents resort to desperate rhetoric-which then calls new attention to their desperation. President Bush joined the club this week by citing the U.S. failure in Vietnam to justify staying on in Iraq.

Bush's comparison of the two conflicts rivals Richard Nixon's "I am not a crook" utterance during Watergate and Bill Clinton's "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky," in producing unintended consequences of a most damaging kind for a sitting president.

It is not just that Bush's speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention on Wednesday drew on a shaky grasp of history, spotlighted once again his own decision to sit out the Vietnam conflict and played straight into his critics' most emotive arguments against him and the Republican Party.

(August 24, 2007)

Marie Claire

Fashion from the bottom up as reported in a leading ladies' monthly:

Apparently, plenty of women want to go past the now-ordinary breast enhancement and pubic electrolysis to a place few have heretofore dared to go in the name of beauty. …