Again, ‘moral equivalence,’ &c.

Laurie Anderson ( and Ai Weiwei


Furthermore, it’s no easy task to defend the United States: to defend people who are screaming at you to protect them and at the same time to safeguard their liberties. “Connect the dots!” “No, don’t connect the dots that way!”

All of us are screamers. It is our right — our duty, in a way. But, as we scream, we should spare a thought for those who are actually in positions of responsibility. Me, all I do is sit and type.

I found the Mukasey article learned, balanced, and wise. And his reverence for the Constitution is at least as great as his critics’ — his understanding of it too. Frankly, I’d trust him with my liberty over the Guardian and Mr. Edward Snowden.

I give the Guardian credit for this, though: It published an article by John Bolton. Headline: “Edward Snowden’s leaks are a grave threat to US national security.”

Nice goin’, John (as usual).

One more article, before I move on — an article by Norman Tebbit, blogging for the Telegraph. “As for Mr Edward Snowden,” he writes, “I find that the most revealing and powerful statement about his motivation was probably made by his choice of the place to which he fled to avoid justice.” Oh, yes: He fled to those great protectors of freedom, the Chinese Communist Party.

“For my part,” says Tebbit, “I prefer life here . . .” He is more disturbed by the implantation of “cookies” on his computer than he is by the work of our intelligence services. He talks about “the price of not being blown up by a terrorist bomb.”

And he concludes, “Perhaps I am a bit eccentric, or perhaps it is the scars which I bear that influence me.”

Lord Tebbit, recall, was in Brighton when those lovely IRA men set off their bomb, killing five and injuring more than 30 — one of whom was Tebbit. Another was his wife, who was left disabled.

For my money, Tebbit is the kind of man who knows what it takes to keep a country free.

Did you see this picture, of an Iranian voter last week? He is wearing an American-flag T-shirt. Kind of nervy, I thought.

I was thinking about Jeb Bush the other day — and the fickleness of the world. All his life, he has been told, “Your name is an advantage. No fair!” Now he is being told it’s a disadvantage.

Sometimes, the world won’t allow you to be an individual.

Shall we talk some sports? In 2002, Serena Williams won the French Open. She has just won it for a second time, in 2013. To win an event like that eleven years apart: very, very hard. Extraordinary.

A little language? I was reading an article about Erika Harold, a former Miss America who’s running for Congress in Illinois. (She’s a Republican, incidentally.) I almost fell off my chair when I read this comment by her: “I view this primary process as being very healthful to the party . . .”

I have long regretted the loss of an important distinction: that between “healthful” and “healthy.” Miss America may be bringing it back! (The distinction in a nutshell: “A healthful lifestyle will make you healthy.”) (I’m not endorsing that statement — I’m just illustrating a language distinction.)

A little music? For my “New York Chronicle” in the June New Criterion, go here. For an article in CityArts, go here. It’s about Conrad Tao, an 18-year-old pianist and composer.

Let’s close with a letter — from a reader who says,

Pulled into a quaint little seaside village in western Ireland today on my way to the Cliffs of Moher. First thing I saw was the familiar picture of Che Guevara, stenciled into the wall of a building downtown. I didn’t let it kill the buzz.

Not letting an error or evil kill the buzz — way to go!


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