In the sixties there was a sexual revolution. Now there’s this nonstop sexual carnival.
— Tom Wolfe, ultimate reporter and great novelist too
TOM WOLFE: GREAT WRITER & A GENUNINE MAVERICK WHO'S BEEN TWEAKING LIBRULS & CONSERVATIVES ALIKE FOR THE PAST HUNNERD YEARS
[Church] creeds and traditions are not meant to straight-jacket people. They are meant to help cultivate and deepen our grasp of the Christian pilgrimage by drawing on the wisdom, reflection, and experience of generations. It gives spirituality traction in our lives, a vocabulary that helps us discuss our experience of God with one another, and communicate it to another generation.
“A free range Christian may be free, but he or she is also alone with a creed and community of one.”
— Frederick Schmidt, one of my favorite bloggers, theology/spirituality div.
In 1982, who passed the largest peacetime tax increase in U.S. history? That would be Ronald Reagan.
“Who called for comprehensive health reform legislation during in a State of the Union address in 1974, a program that was well to the left of what either Bill Clinton or Barack Obama ultimately proposed? That would be Richard Nixon. Eisenhower and Reagan and Nixon–they were not the liberals of their day. They were the conservatives of their own time. But the whole of American politics has shifted so far to the right in the last 50 years that what used to be thought of as conservative, what used to be thought of as a conservative position, is now considered to be off-the-charts lefty.”
— Rachel Maddow, the smartest and most formidable librul around
I think that we’re at a real crossroads, as it relates to the grassroots of our sport, because if I had a 10-year-old boy, I don’t know that I’d be real inclined to encourage him to go play football, in light of what we are learning from head injury. And so what is the sport gonna look like 20 years from now.
“The only way you’re gonna eliminate helmet to helmet contact is to take the helmets off. Go back to leather helmets. I mean, I think– a defensive player would be much less inclined to lead with his head, if he had no protection. As the equipment has gotten better, and it’s gotten better in an attempt to try to protect the player more, then the equipment becomes used more as a weapon.”
— Dallas Cowboys great Troy Aikman, who is the King of Dallas, TX,
(except during baseball season, when Nolan Ryan ascends)
in interview with Bryant Gumbel on HBO Sports Talk
So this is where civility comes from — from a sense of personal modesty and from the ensuing gratitude for the political process. Civility is the natural state for people who know how limited their own individual powers are and know, too, that they need the conversation. They are useless without the conversation.
“The problem is that over the past 40 years or so we have gone from a culture that reminds people of their own limitations to a culture that encourages people to think highly of themselves. The nation’s founders had a modest but realistic opinion of themselves and of the voters. They erected all sorts of institutional and social restraints to protect Americans from themselves. They admired George Washington because of the way he kept himself in check.
“But over the past few decades, people have lost a sense of their own sinfulness. Children are raised amid a chorus of applause. Politics has become less about institutional restraint and more about giving voters whatever they want at that second. Joe DiMaggio didn’t ostentatiously admire his own home runs, but now athletes routinely celebrate themselves as part of the self-branding process.
“So, of course, you get narcissists who believe they or members of their party possess direct access to the truth. Of course you get people who prefer monologue to dialogue. Of course you get people who detest politics because it frustrates their ability to get 100 percent of what they want. Of course you get people who gravitate toward the like-minded and loathe their political opponents. They feel no need for balance and correction.
“Beneath all the other things that have contributed to polarization and the loss of civility, the most important is this: The roots of modesty have been carved away.”
— David Brooks, conservative columnist for the NY Times, on President Obama’s SOTU speech
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