Facing facts, &c.

Franklin Gun Shop in Athens, Ga.



Have a look at this snippet, from this article, and be sickened:

[John] Kerry praised Republicans and Democrats, highlighting President George H.W. Bush’s willingness to raise taxes in a budget deal and his recognition that it might make him a one-term president.

“He did what he thought was right. That’s courage,” Kerry said.

Why should you be sickened? Well, I was: because the Democrats beat the hell out of Bush 41 for the budget deal he made with them. Movement conservatives were disappointed in Bush, but the Democrats beat the hell out of him, making heaps and heaps of political hay. They did not say it was “courage” then.

I have some proof that Communists are nicer than they used to be, at least in Vietnam. Check this out:

Faced with a group of farmers refusing to give up their land for a housing project, the Communist Party officials negotiating the deal devised a solution: They went to a bank, opened accounts in the names of the holdouts and deposited what they decided was fair compensation. Then they took the land.

The farmers, angry at the sum . . .

(Full article here.) What the Vietnamese Communists did may not have met a Jeffersonian ideal, but think of what they used to do . . .

And what would Marx and Engels say? What would Lenin and Stalin say? Mao and Pol Pot?  Going to a bank and opening accounts in people’s names? Holy Moses!

Let’s have a little language: I was in a store the other day and heard a famous song — “Love Will Keep Us Together.” There’s a lyric: “Look in my heart and let love keep us together — whatever.”

In olden days, “whatever,” certainly in that context, meant “come what may” — “no matter what,” “whatever transpires.”

Now, of course, “whatever” has been transmogrified (and I’m one of the biggest users of it in the country, I’m afraid). (Even to the point of “whatevsky,” even to the point of “the Alexander Whatevsky Suite.”) (This last comes from the Alexander Nevsky Suite, by Prokofiev.)

The above item will serve as both my language item and my music item. How about my booty item? In this article, we read, “. . . Bloomberg gestured toward a woman in a very tight floor-length gown standing nearby and said, ‘Look at the ass on her.’” The Bloomberg in question is New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.

My thought immediately flew to the great George Shultz, and this article. At the 1987 White House Correspondents’ Association dinner,

[Jay] Leno soon found himself chatting with Reagan himself. A bald, jovial man sidled up beside them. Huddling conspiratorially, Secretary of State George Shultz urged that they take a gander across the room.

“Did you see the ass on Fawn Hall when she walked in here?” Shultz asked (at least, in Leno’s telling; Shultz did not return a call), purring over the dazzling blonde secretary who had recently vaulted into the headlines as Oliver North’s document-shredding assistant in the Iran-Contra scandal.

I was very confused by a headline: “Ex-49er charged in former boyfriend’s beating.” I scratched my head: Would that be the NFL team, the San Francisco 49ers? Have they ever had a female player? Or maybe an ex-49er had beaten the former boyfriend of a current girlfriend?

The article began,

Former San Francisco 49er Kwame Harris has been charged with felony domestic violence and assault charges from an August beating involving a former boyfriend, a prosecutor and defense lawyer said.

Clearly I need to get with it. Give me a speck more time. As for the headline — “Ex-49er charged in former boyfriend’s beating” — that is one of the most modern I have ever read.

Max Kampelman was one of the people I most admired. He was a pacifist and a liberal Democrat who became something else: a Reagan diplomat, and a sterling one. For many years, he was with Freedom House, the chairman of the board. About a month ago, someone said I ought to go interview Kampelman — he was sharp as a tack and liked to talk. I eventually made a request with his secretary. Two days later, he died (age 92).

Earlier in my life, I had an exchange of letters with him. I probably have his letter somewhere — don’t know how to get my hands on it. I had just a brush with him, personally, but I’m grateful for that brush, and grateful for what he did in a mighty cause: broadly speaking, freedom.

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.