The pope knows, &c.

Pope Benedict XVI and Leon Panetta meet in Rome, January 16, 2013.


Very often, Democratic ideologues will rant about the “rich,” and how they are keeping the great ranks of humanity down. Those entrepreneurial, go-getting bastards who think of ideas, build better mousetraps, and make money — they’re not paying their “fair share.” They need to be brought to heel.

I sometimes think of a word, with a shudder: dekulakization.

For many years, the word that Democrats hurled at Republicans was “divisive.” (Their other great word was “mean-spirited.”) I can’t think of people — certainly of Americans — more divisive than the Obama Democrats.

You remember what Obama said during the campaign, right? He said it in a television ad: “Mitt Romney. Not one of us.” Can’t get any starker than that, really.

President Bush 41 got a chance to do what very few get to do: read his own obituary. Der Spiegel published an obit when he went into the hospital. It was titled “The Better Bush.”

We’re going to get a lot of that, when 41 passes. The media will treat it as another excuse to bash the hell out of W. Their praise for 41 won’t be sincere; it will be essentially anti-43.

I remember the first days of the 41 presidency. Barbara Bush, the new first lady, got a very, very good press. But it was always, “Bar is wonderful, unlike that b**** Nancy Reagan.” They could never praise Mrs. Bush on the merits; they could only contrast her to the hated Nancy.

I esteem both 41 and 43 a great deal — especially the latter. And I know what 41’s obits will be like. We have had a sneak preview.

Speaking of presidents: I have been reading a lot about Lance Armstrong lately, in order to write something for National Review. His lies, over that long period, were insistent, vicious, and hot. They were also filled with self-righteousness. He attacked all those who told the truth, and did everything he could to ruin them. When he was forced to come clean, he was still self-righteous, and self-justifying.

One word kept coming to me: Clintonian.

You may not like this, but hear me out. From the AP, I read, “OBESITY RATES AMONG CHINA’S YOUNG CLIMBING.” I was actually glad. For many years, those people were starving, owing to the lunatic, monstrous Mao and his comrades.

Allow me to excerpt a February 2011 piece I did on Thomas Sowell:

What about the rise of China? Sowell says that, from a “humanitarian” point of view, it’s a wonderful thing. In the past, millions of Chinese starved to death. “I grew up in an era when, if you didn’t eat your food, your mother would say, ‘There are children starving in China.’” Now it has been determined that “something like a fourth of Chinese adults are overweight, which was utterly unthinkable at one time. So, that’s really a great humanitarian story.” The rise of China militarily is something else. . . .

A little language? In 1989, they titled a movie “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” — not shrank, but shrunk. Some wondered whether this was a milestone. Was the language shifting?

The other day, a Telegraph blogger wrote about his experience seeing Les Misérables, in the film version. He didn’t like it. He had gone of his own free will, he said. “But half an hour in, the horror of my mistake sunk in.”

For as long as anyone can remember, it has been “shrink, shrank, shrunk,” “sink, sank, sunk,” “sing, sang, sung.”

English is maddening, of course, and illogical. Little kids, playing baseball, say, “I swang at it.” Why shouldn’t they? But there is no “swang” — just “swing” and “swung.” We lost our swang, somehow.

Ach, English.

End with a little music? A reader writes,

Jay, I suspect you get sent links all the time, but I was fascinated by this YouTube video. It shows a three-year-old girl who is listening to a pop song her mother has put on in the car. The girl is enrapt by the music. She closes her eyes and nods her head and sways. At one point, she holds up her hands the way some Christians do in worship.

I think any music lover understands this little girl’s reaction. What do you think?

Agree completely. Thanks, everyone, and see you.

To order Jay Nordlinger’s book Peace, They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World, go here. To order his collection Here, There & Everywhere, go here.