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Friday
Oct092009

Proof that, at least in politics, evolutionary progression is a myth

On the 17th of April 1910, a Sunday, the New YorkTimes ran the following headline:

CONGRESS BOASTS A GOODLY NUMBER OF SCHOLARS

The article began:

The politician who gets to the top of the ladder is very often a man not only of more than ordinary ability but also a cultivated scholar. This fact can be easily authenticated by a study of the Congress of the United States. Not every man in the House of Representatives or in the Senate will measure up to this high standard, but the fact remains that in no similar body, numerically speaking, in the country can such a goodly number of real scholars be found.There are many men in both houses who have written books which are admitted authorities in the realms of history, biography, finance, and sociology.

The article went on to praise a handful of congressmen for their learned habits, abilities in Latin and Greek, and vast libraries of information they could recall from memory on the House and Senate floors.

How far we’ve come.

Wednesday
Sep162009

ACORN is losing its ability to mau mau

Does the ACORN fiasco remind anyone else of Tom Wolfe's Radical Chic?  Here's an excerpt:

...So the poverty professionals were always on the lookout for the bad-acting dudes who were the "real leaders," the "natural leaders," the "charasmatic figures" in the ghetto jungle.  These were the kind of people the social-welfare professionals in the Kennedy Administration had in mind when they planned the poverty program in the first place.  It was truly adventurous and experimental approach they had.  Instead of handing out alms, which never seemed to change anything, they would encourage the people in the ghettos to organize...

To sell the poverty program, its backers had to give it the protective coloration of "jobs"...

Glenn Beck would be proud.

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