The Corner


Norms and Abnorms

Elizabeth Ann, a black-footed ferret, and the first-ever cloned member of a U.S. endangered species (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service / Reuters)

Two days ago, Trump blasted Biden, at CPAC. Thus was another presidential “norm” — or ex-presidential one — shattered. Is that a good thing? At any rate, this is the opening topic of my Impromptus today.

CPAC, as I note, was once a place where Mitch Daniels could speak — introduced by George Will! His topic (Daniels’s)? The danger of national debt. In 2012, CPAC gave David French a “Ronald Reagan Award.”

As I say in my column, this was less than ten years ago, but, at the same time, in a galaxy long ago and far away.

A reader writes, “I attended CPAC a few times in the early 2000s when I was in college. It was definitely more National Review than OANN back then. I wish it were still that way.”

Also in today’s Impromptus, I discuss Russia, guns, unions, and a ferret named Elizabeth Ann. She is the product of cloning. As I asked above, in another context, is that a good thing?

Elizabeth Ann, I should also say, belongs to an endangered species. She is a ferret of the black-footed variety.

A while back, I had an essay called “Golf in a Time of Pandemic.” A friend and reader writes, “I found this article on special rules during World War II at a course in Surrey, England. Thought you’d enjoy it.”

For sure. Sample rule: “Shrapnel and/or bomb splinters on the Fairway or in Bunkers within a club’s length of a ball may be moved without penalty and no penalty shall be incurred if a ball is thereby caused to move accidentally.”

One more sample rule: “A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may replay another ball from the same place. Penalty, one stroke.”

Huh. Strict!

Finally, I want to say I have a new episode of Music for a While, my music podcast. You may enjoy it. It begins with a toast from a Puccini opera and ends with a prayer: “The Lord’s Prayer” (Malotte) sung by a great soprano on . . . The Ed Sullivan Show (in 1961). In between are Claude Bolling, Sviatoslav Richter, Pat Metheny, and others.

Have a good one.


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