Articles and Posts by Scott P. Richert:
Now He Knows the Rest of the Story(5)
“Hello, Americans. This is Paul Harvey. Stand by for . . . news!” His voice was arguably the most recognized in the history of radio. His broadcasting career lasted over three quarters of a century, from his days as a high-school intern at KVOO in his native Tulsa, Oklahoma, until 2009. Yet few of the scores of millions who listened to him for decades ever heard his real voice.
Everything In Its Place(26)
On December 9, 2008, as I read through the federal criminal complaint against the latest Illinois governor to be indicted for the merest portion of his crimes, I could not help but feel uneasy. Sure, it was great fun to imagine Governor Hot Rod sweating it out in his holding cell, awaiting arraignment later in the day. Even the most casual observer of Illinois politics knew that Milorad Blagojevich, our S.O.B., had to be corrupt. After all, you don’t get elected governor of Illinois as a reformer if you actually are one.
Meet Rod Blago(0)
As the former governor of Illinois crisscrossed the country on his farewell tour, I kept imagining him lying back in his seat, scalp being massaged by his personal hairstylist (it takes work to keep that Serbian gangster hairdo in pristine shape), while an old Mac Davis song played on an endless loop on his iPod:
O Lord, it’s hard to be humble
When you’re perfect in every way
I can’t wait to look in the mirror
’cause I get better looking each day
“Here, Bobby, hold that mirror up. I gotta work on my smile. Those gals on The View are gonna fall for my eyes.”
Is It 1982 or 1974?(69)
Much of the commentary on the current economic crisis has compared 2008 to 1982, the depth of the last major recession. But there are some important differences, chief among them that, despite losses in manufacturing in the early 80′s, the United States still emerged with significant manufacturing capacity. Whatever happens in 2008, that’s not going to be the case: Manufacturing is down to ten percent of the American economy—and still falling.
And that points to another difference: Despite his many failings, Ronald Reagan at least understood that, unless a country makes things, it has no economic independence. That’s why he was willing to act pragmatically, despite his own stated commitment to free-trade ideology.
Those who claim his mantle today, however, are not simply ideologues on free trade; they have become convinced that money can breed money—and, moreover, that it’s a good thing for it to do so.
Giving the Devil His Due(134)
Over at Takimag, Chronicles contributing editor Tom Piatak has a thought-provoking piece on the proposal to extend $25 to $50 billion in government-backed loans to the Big Three automakers. Among other points completely ignored by those who reflexively shout “Let them die!” whenever the American auto industry is mentioned are, as Tom notes, that as many as three million U.S. jobs may be lost; that the “tax loss from such a catastrophe would be over $150 billion over three years”; and that over 850,000 retirees receive pensions and health benefits from the Big Three–and taxpayers are on the hook for at least some of that cost through the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
In other words, the extension of $25 to $50 billion in loans may be the cheapest way out of this mess. Predictably, though, the same people who declared that we had to bail out Wall Street have drawn the line at Midwestern Main Streets.
Tom’s thoughtful, reasoned, and fact-filled post drew a response from Richard Spencer, modestly titled “A Modest Proposal.”
Editors’ Round Table on Sarah Palin: One Catholic’s View(126)
John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin to be his running mate was surprising, but the surprise pales in comparison to the reaction of conservative Christians, especially Catholics. In their race to endorse McCain-Palin, they have cast aside any questions about the complementarity of the sexes, or even the late John Paul II’s theology of the body.
Catholic laymen who have always voted Republican but were unhappy with McCain were, not surprisingly, the first to crumble at the sight of the moose-hunting, pistol-packing pro-life mother of five, but I have since seen orthodox priests say that they wish Mrs. Palin were at the top of the ticket. And one traditionalist Catholic is now implying that it might even be sinful to vote for a third-party candidate instead of McCain.
What’s Good for Rockford Acromatics(3)
Dean Olson, the chairman of Rockford Acromatic Products, an after-market auto-parts manufacturer, is a longtime supporter of Republican candidates. Still, he is not optimistic about the November election: “Even though the Democrats are in full rout, we’re not able to mount an effective challenge. I don’t see the leadership there.”
Church and Nation: A Credal Nation, Part 3(66)
At the heart of Barack Obama’s “Patriotism Tour” speech (discussed recently by Dr. Fleming and Dr. Trifkovic) lies the concept of credal nationhood. In the previous two installments of “Church and Nation,” I have mentioned that credal nationhood makes no sense whatsoever without reference to the state, because the promotion of credal nationhood has always been about increasing the power of the central state at the expense of any organic sense of American nationality.
Historically, that should be obvious, but we need to be cautious about the conclusions that we draw from this history.
If My Daddy Could See Me Now(3)
September 11, 2001, we are often told, “changed everything.” In Washington, D.C., and Baghdad, Iraq, that may have been true. President George W. Bush and a handful of his advisors, who had been itching for a fight with Iraq since before the inauguration, now saw their opening. It would take another year and a half to make the preparations and to go through the motions necessary to whip up public support for the war, but at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Time, when American Airlines Flight 11 plowed into the 94th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center, Saddam Hussein’s death warrant was signed. The rest of his life, he was living on borrowed time.
Church and Nation: A Credal Nation, Part 2(29)
At the end of my last installment, I noted that credal nationhood has always been more about the state than about the nation (properly understood). Indeed, the concept of a credal nation makes no sense whatsoever without reference to the state, which is the definer and the keeper of the creed.