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Elizabeth Gilbert’s Somewhat Successful Consideration of the Meaning of Marriage

I just finished Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage (which I first reference in a post that occasioned much controversy).

I don’t know if I’ll offer it a full-blown review, but will admit to have pretty much liked the book though, to be sure, she often balanced out her often enlightening anecdotes and observations with an infuriating condescension toward social conservatives, indeed, pretty much anyone of a faith not of the New Age.  And she just couldn’t hide her political or social prejudices — prejudices which contributed little if anything to her overall narrative, disjointed as it often was.

That said, in her brief consideration of gay marriage (pp.  71-76), she offers a better defense of the expanded definition of the institution than do most gay activists (but a defense which corresponds with the lives of many gay couples).

While she herself is not wise, she offers nuggets of wisdom throughout the book.  I say she is not wise because she spends the whole book fighting against her own prejudices, without really confronting them on an intellectual level (at least at times, she does seem to acknowledge them).  She can’t really stand outside herself or her own experiences — though, to be sure, at times she does try.  And sometimes her anecdotes work beautifully, other times they fall flat.

In one, however, she even echoes (perhaps unconsciously) the oldest story about matrimony, The Odyssey:  “This,” she writes on page 239, “is intimacy  the trading of stories in the dark.”  When the long-suffering Odysseus was finally united with his beloved wife Penelope who had remained faithful as she waited a full twenty years for her betrothed’s return, his patroness Athene delayed the dawn so that the married couple might both share their stories and, um, well, share the pleasures of, um, well, love-making.

Her anecdotes nonetheless become both the greatest strength of the book and its greatest weakness.  She is at her best (both stylistically and narratively), engaging and sometimes informative, when she tells her own stories.  But, while the book purports to offer a “historical study” of the institution, she offers only a cursory treatment of the topic, never footnoting her sources and breezily summarizing the two (or was it three or four?) books she read on the institution.  She doesn’t seem to have consulted anything that defends the social conservative understanding of the institution. (more…)

Harry the Hypocrite

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:54 pm - July 26, 2010.
Filed under: Congress (111th),Liberal Hypocrisy

Ol’ Harry is at it again, decrying as Senate Majority Leader tools he utilized — with great effect — as Minority Leader.  According to John Fund in today’s Political Diary (available by subscription):

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid once loved the Senate rule requiring 60 votes to end a filibuster, employing it frequently during the Bush years to stop conservative judicial appointments. Now he says the rule has become the Senate’s equivalent of the spitball, which eventually was banned by baseball because pitchers abused it.

“We’re looking at ways to change what has been an abuse,” he told Netroots Nation, a gathering of 2,000 left-wing bloggers and Internet activists in Las Vegas this past weekend. The Senate Majority Leader said he had “no plans yet” on how to proceed but indicated that Senate Rules Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer of New York has some ideas and action could come soon.

Tell you what, Harry, we’ll take seriously your moves on filibuster reform just as soon as you confirm every filibustered Bush judicial nominee who could have won a majority vote in previous Congresses to the federal bench.

Until you make that happen, your move is nothing more than political posturing to placate the far left.

Meanwhile, join me in donating to the woman angling to replace the outgoing majority leader.

Reagan Leads The Way… Again

Posted by Bruce Carroll at 6:31 pm - July 26, 2010.
Filed under: Great Americans,Great Men,Leadership,Ronald Reagan

PACIFIC OCEAN (July 24, 2010) The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) transits the Pacific Ocean with ships assigned to Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2010 combined task force as part of a photo exercise north of Hawaii. RIMPAC, the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise is a biennial event which allows participating nations to work together to build trust and enhance partnerships needed to improve maritime security. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Dylan McCord/Released)

Awesome photo!  I wonder if the USS Obama will be an oil skimming boat?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Ooops! MSNBC’s Matthews Calls The President… “O’Carter”

Here’s your guffaw moment of the day…. (via RealClearPolitics)

“Will the Democrats running for the House re-election, they’re all running for re-election under the Constitution and the Senate candidates, will they run away from President O’Carter? I mean, will they run away.”

I apologize, but I cannot find a way to embed the video.  It is worth watching for the full laugh.

UPDATE:  There’s even a T-Shirt!  (h/t – Instapundit)

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

The change Obama has been offering is not the change Americans have been hoping for

Way back in 2008, as the Dark Age in America was nearing its end, a certain Democrat from a place called with the mantra of Hope had also (unwittingly perhaps?) stumbled on the one word that struck a chord with many, if not most, Americans:  “Change.”

Americans wanted change.  They saw an inept federal government unable to with an Administration with, to paraphrase conservative publication, a competence problem. Its representatives had troubles defending itself, with the then-president himself only occasionally able to articulate its goals in terms that resonated with the American people.  They, in turn, saw budget deficits in the hundreds of billions of dollars with successive Congresses (of both political parties) unwilling to hold the line on federal spending.

And this Democrat picked up on the (then-apparently) free-spending ways of Washington Republicans (forgetting of course that it was his party, indeed a congressional majority of which he was part that increased the deficits which started declining in the middle of the dread W years).  In the campaign, the Democrat sensing that the change America wanted wasn’t the change he has pushing throughout his academic and political career, inveighed that we’d been “living beyond our means” and promised a “net spending cut”.  In his pre-election infomercial, he promised to “pay for his new spending plans with even bigger spending cuts.

Once n that agent of change became president, he did indeed change the way things were being done.  He accelerated the increases in federal spending (that had ticked up in the Bush Administration) and expanded the size and scope of the federal government.  At the same time, polls began showing (increasingly so as his days in office lengthened) that the popular mood more closely resembled the rhetoric of fiscal restraint he offered in the campaign than the legislative initiatives he championed once in office. (more…)

Those Who View All Through Prism of Race

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:37 pm - July 26, 2010.
Filed under: Blogging,Racism (Real / Reverse / or Faux)

Over the weekend, John Hawkins of Right Wing News posted an interesting observation on race on Facebook:

Irony: People who view everything through a prism of race are perpetually accusing people who don’t of being racist.