Ours is a nation whose prosperity has many foundations.
We’re a capitalist democracy with universal, free public primary and secondary education. We have the best system of higher education in the world. We enjoy freedoms that most countries do not — of the press, of assembly, of worship, of speech and of association.
As a journalist, you live for “hot tips.” So imagine my delight when an anonymous informant passed along this incendiary news: Ed Anger is alive and well and living right here in Colorado Springs.
Anger, for those of you who are so deeply stuck in the morass of modern liberal thought that you’ve never heard about his bracing, common-sensical columns for the Weekly World News, is possibly America’s Most Decorated Columnist — the recipient of every major award that our profession can dole out.
<em>Jarndyce and Jarndyce drones on. This scarecrow of a suit has, in course of time, become so complicated that no man alive knows what it means.
— Charles Dickens, “Bleak House”
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,
Th’oppressor’s wrong, the proud man’s contumely,
The pangs of dispriz’d love, the law’s delay,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th’unworthy takes…
— Shakespeare, “Hamlet”</em>
American politics resembles its counterpart in Iraq in at least one respect — some regions win, and some regions lose.
In Iraq, The Shiite south and the Kurdish north were historically shortchanged (to put it very mildly) by the minority Sunnis, who made sure that their co-religionists were the chief beneficiaries of whatever prosperity the country’s oil wells could generate. Post-Saddam, the tables were turned — and now the Kurds keep their oil and the Shiites keep theirs, leaving the rest of the country to freeze (or bake, depending on the season) in the dark.
Dropped by the bank this morning, and picked up a little cash for the weekend. Since I’m planning a trip to Cripple Creek, I withdrew several hundred bucks, which will, I hope, not be too seriously diminished by the one-armed bandits.
There’s something about having a few crisp hundred-dollar bills in your wallet, isn’t there? It’s real, it’s tangible, it’s actual money. If I lose it, I’ll be acutely conscious of the loss; if I add a few more hundreds to my stash, I’ll be happy.
You’ve gotta hand it to the Democrats — they sure know how to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. And, conversely, you’ve gotta hand it to the Republicans — they’ve managed to nominate the one candidate who can reach out to independents and Democrats, and win in November.
For months to come, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will be locked in a real-time celebrity death match, a fight that will grow in passion and nastiness every week, until a winner finally emerges.
Colorado, as Ed Quillen noted recently, has two state songs, a state bird, a state fossil, a state butterfly, a state mineral and a state fish. And, despite Douglas Bruce’s callous and unreasoning opposition, we might soon have a state reptile, the Western Painted Turtle.
Now, all of those designations are fine, I suppose, but they share one characteristic: no one much cares.
In a mostly sensible column in the New York Times a few days ago, David Brooks talked about education:
“If there is one thing we have learned over the bitter experience of the past 30 years, it is that per-pupil expenditures and days in the classroom are not sufficient to produce superb information-economy workers. They emerge from intact families, quality neighborhoods and healthy moral cultures.”
The news is the news, right? Something as significant as, say, the earnings of one of the world’s largest industrial corporations, should be fairly uniformly reported in every credible news source, shouldn’t it?
Maybe so, but that wasn’t the case on Tuesday, as news organizations throughout the world sought to interpret General Motors Corp.’s quarterly and yearly results.
Tomorrow, Feb. 9, is the 152nd anniversary of the birth of George Ade, an American author, humorist and newspaperman. Journalists — and newspaper readers — everywhere ought to remember and honor him.
During 1890, Ade joined the staff of the Chicago Morning News. After a few years as a reporter, Ade began a column, “Stories of the Streets and of the Town.”