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Declarations
by Peggy Noonan
The Wall Street Journal

Saturday/Sunday, June 2-3, 2007

...The beginning of my own sense of separation from the Bush administration came in January 2005, when the president declared that it is now the policy of the United States to eradicate tyranny in the world, and that the survival of American liberty is dependent on the liberty of every other nation. This was at once so utopian and so aggressive that it shocked me. For others the beginning of distance might have been Katrina and the incompetence it revealed, or the depth of the mishandling and misjudgments of Iraq.

What I came in time to believe is that the great shortcoming of this White House, the great thing it is missing, is simple wisdom. Just wisdom—a sense that they did not invent history, that this moment is not all there is, that man has lived a long time and there are things that are true of him, that maturity is not the same thing as cowardice, that personal loyalty is not a good enough reason to put anyone in charge of anything, that the way it works in politics is a friend becomes a loyalist becomes a hack, and actually at this point in history we don't need hacks....

bullshit


from:

On Bullshit
by Harry G. Frankfurt
Princeton University Press 2005

 

One of the most salient features of our culture is that there is so much bullshit. Everyone knows this. Each of us contributes his share. But we tend to take the situation for granted. Most people are rather confindent of their ability to recognize bullshit and to avoid being taken in by it. So the phenomenon has not aroused much deliberate concern, nor attracted much sustained inquiry.

In consequence, we have no clear understanding of what bullshit is, why there is so much of it, or what functions it serves. And we lack a conscientiously developed appreciation of what it means to us. In other words, we have no theory. I propose to begin the development of a theoretical understanding of bullshit, mainly by providing some tentative and exploratory philosophical analyis. I shall not consider the rhetorical uses and misuses of bullshsit. My aim is simply to give a rough account of what bullshit is and how it differs from what it is not—or (putting it somewhat differently) to articulate, more or less sketchily, the structure of its concept.

 

 

 

pp. 1-3

America ranks low in 'Peace Index'

from:

The Los Angeles Times
31 May 2007

The United States is among the least peaceful nations in the world, ranking 96th between Yemen and Iran, according to an index of 121 countries.

According to the Global Peace Index, created by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Norway is the most peaceful nation and Iraq is the least, just after Russia, Israel and Sudan.

The index was compiled based on 24 indicators. They included the number of wars in which a country was involved, arms sales, violent crimes and relations with neighboring countries....

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