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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

They can't seem to hit Breitbart's pitches. He's gotten inside their heads.

So there's this big story the last couple days about a woman named Shirley Sherrod, late an Assistant Deputy Something-or-other for the Department of Agriculture in Georgia.

Andrew Breitbart posted a video of her at Big Government that shows her telling a story to an NAACP audience that seems to imply she had (at one time at least) a less than open-minded racial view of whites. Within a short time of the video hitting the internet Miss Sherrod, apparently by order of the White House and at the request of the NAACP, was hitting the street as a new member of the unemployed.

But wait, there's more. It seems that a full version of the video (Breitbart only showed an edited version - he claims it was all he possessed) shows that Ms. Sherrod was actually telling a story about overcoming racial animosity. The NAACP and the White House now seem to want to take back - can you believe it? - her forced resignation.

A couple points:

1. How jittery and jumpy do the NAACP and the White House have to be to fire an Assistant Secretary of Something-or-other within a couple hours of an obviously incomplete Breitbart video coming on-line? When I personally saw the Breitbart video it seemed clear there was more to the story and that the rest of the video might show Sherrod was not advocating racism of any sort. Even Breitbart indicated the rest of the video had to be seen. The WH and the NAACP didn't bother to find out before they reacted even though it turns out the NAACP had access to the entire tape.

2. Breitbart is driving the Left crazy. He slaughtered them with a slow drip release of the underage-illegal-alien hooker videos at ACORN. They refused to act as the videos showed ever more blatant misbehavior. Now he flicks off a quick sidewinder outside the strike zone and they swing for the stands with everything they've got, ending up with nothing but air (except for the egg on their faces). They can't seem to hit Breitbart's pitches. He's gotten inside their heads.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Living "a really good life"

In the post below Max Weismann asked what the greatest impediment is to "a really good life" and I responded in the comments that the culprit is mankind's "radical depravity". This is a theological term that means, essentially, that man's sinfulness runs - sometimes like a thread and other times like a raging river in flood - through every single thing man does. (As an HR professional let me add I don't use the term "man" in a gender-specific way. All chicks are radically depraved as well.) We are all sinners.

Max came back with something interesting enough that I figure it's worth its own post. He wrote:
I ... restrict my discussions of the problems of the good life and the good society to the temporal life and to that life on its secular plane. Those who are religious persons and distinguish between the secular and the religious activities they engage in, as well as between their worldly and their religious aspirations, will be able to affix appropriate qualifications, additions, and even dissents to various things I will say "without regard to religion."
I have a problem with this. There are really only two types of answers to the question, "what is a good life"? One type of answer includes a moral component (the '"good life" includes doing the right things) and the other type of answer does not include a moral component (the "good life" is based strictly on stuff and/or feelings you get for yourself). The second type of answer is generally frowned upon by the philosopher crowd so there is almost always a moral component or "right" behavior required when philosopher types talk about a "good life". See, for instance, the comments thread where Max asked this same question at the Center for the Study of Great Ideas.

So, if living a "good life" involves moral behavior (and most philosophers agree it does) and most religious people get moral guidance from their religions (and they do) and most people are in fact to some extent religious (and they are) why do modern philosophers insist that discussion of morals must be so "secular" or "temporal" that such discussions must specifically exclude religion?

Rather than ask the religious to somehow "affix appropriate (religious)qualifications, additions, and even dissents" to discussions of morals, how about asking the non-religious to remove - if they can - the religious aspects of morality that they don't care for? If a "really good life" is defined as strictly material it would make sense to exclude religion in discussions about it. But since in reality discussions of the "good life" just about always include concepts such as morality, virtue, and "right behavior" this no-religion rule seems to me not just strange but a bizarrely self-inflicted handicap.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

What in your view . . .

Is the single greatest impediment, towards mankind and individuals from achieving a really good life?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Coulter on the Kagan hearings

It's Thursday so it must be time for Ann Coulter's column.

"(L)iberals see the Supreme Court as their backup legislature, giving them all the laws Democrats can't pass themselves because they'd be voted out of office if they did."