A bad call, &c.


I was thinking about “diversity” in President Obama’s cabinet. I touched on this matter in a column last week. People are concerned about whether Obama’s cabinet is “diverse” enough (and when I say “people,” I mean the Left, of course). “Diversity” in our country never means diversity of thought or opinion or anything important. It means skin color and ethnicity. Sometimes sex, I guess.

Anyway, I was thinking, “Well, Hagel’s pro-life, isn’t he?” Isn’t he? That adds a speck of diversity, in a way — no matter what his cabinet position is. Then there’s his Republicanism . . .

Here is an article out of Thessaloniki, Greece — we used to call it Salonika. I still do, sometimes. The article is about the 70th anniversary of the roundup and deportation of the Jews there. You know where they were deported.

I thought of something Victor Davis Hanson told me. He lived in Greece for several years, being a classicist, and he visited the university in Salonika often. He also lectured there. And he found more than the usual amount of anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism.

As I recollect the story — and I think I have it right — VDH, after putting up with some guff, said, “Do you ever see ghosts? Do you ever hear strange noises?” The students and faculty were befuddled. Victor went on to teach them, or remind them of, their own history: Their university was built on the ashes of the Jewish cemetery — with Marshall Plan money.

But listen: Greece is an old, sad story, and I mean just since the 1940s.

I’ve been hearing a lot of Karl Rove-bashing lately. And I want to say this about Karl: He may have made some mistakes, as people do. Even I’ve made some mistakes from time to time, I think. But I think he is worth his weight in gold. He is an excellent articulator of conservative ideas. And he spends a great deal of time raising money for Republican candidates and getting Republican candidates elected. I think we need this, bad. I think the country and world depend on it. He is doing more than I am, more than you are, probably, and more than almost anyone. He is making good and even noble use of his time. I admire him, and I’m grateful for him.

A little music? I don’t have a review for you, or an essay, or a clip. But I noticed something in an obit. The obit is about Rafael Puyana, a harpsichordist. And it says, “He largely deplored the authentic-performance-practice movement that came to hold sway at midcentury and afterward, condemning . . . its ‘messianic pretensions of infallibility’ on questions of interpretation.”

Bravo, señor, and thank you.

This has not been a very fun column, I know. Can I make up for it a little here? Okay. A couple of columns ago, I wrote,

In the Fresno airport — charming, attractive, efficient place — I saw a group of Mormons, traveling. Missionaries, I believe. I’m sure that there are fat, slovenly Mormons. Frankly, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen any. I see instead the fit and sharp: Mitts and Mittesses.

A reader writes, “Jay, being a lifelong Mormon and a fat one, I can tell you that we have done our part in the obesity contagion. I think we’ve replaced alcohol with ice cream.”

With rum raisin, one can go hog-wild. Anyway, thank you, dear ones, and I’ll catch you soon.

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.