Aesthetics, morals, community.

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...includes political matter.

Real inconvenient truths By Camille Paglia

Real inconvenient truths
Our failed political dynasties, Pelosi's stylish appeal and George W. Bush as Queen Victoria. Plus: The hot air about global warming.

By Camille Paglia

Apr. 11, 2007 | Reviving the format of my original Salon column, Ask Camille, each third column will be devoted to my replies to reader letters, collected at this mailbox. I am very grateful to the hundreds of readers who wrote to welcome me back to Salon and who posed fascinating and thoughtful questions. This month's selection of letters follows.

Dear Camille,

What is your opinion concerning two people in one family running for office, as in the Bush and Clinton families? We already had a Clinton for eight years -- do we need another one for another eight years? Same thing with George and George. We didn't like the father enough to give him a second term, so how did we (America, not me personally) get stuck with the son? One per family unless we elect a king. That would help keep all the blowhards off TV -- maybe.

Reguardi,
Rosina

There may be an atavistic longing for quasi-divine kingship that surfaces in unsettled times. Especially after 9/11, with its diffuse sense of peril, we should beware of the seductive dream of the strong man or clan who will shield us from harm. Democracy is predicated on sometimes chaotic cross-talk, not on governance by fiat, the whims of a hereditary elite.

Political dynasties are mythic foster families whose princes rise and fall like flaming stars. Does it signify democracy's nostalgia for royalty? The irony is that authentic royalty, re-glamorized by Diana in the 1980s, has waned back into banality in England and everywhere else.

Fitzgerald's Cover-Up ~ Editorial

The Wall Street Journal

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

Fitzgerald's Cover-Up
April 4, 2007; Page A14

For a prosecutor who claims to be a truth-seeker, Patrick Fitzgerald sure can be secretive. Even now that the Scooter Libby trial is over and his "leak" investigation is all but closed, the unaccountable special counsel wants to keep his arguments for creating a Constitutional showdown over reporters and their sources under lock and key.

Threapist's Notes -- Patient: Coulter, Ann By Rob Long

THERAPIST'S NOTES — PATIENT: COULTER, ANN March 21, 2007, 5:29 PM

[FROM NATIONAL REVIEW, PRINT VERSION, REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF ROB LONG]

ROB LONG

THERAPIST’S NOTES

COURT-ORDERED REHABILITATION FOR HATE SPEECH

PATIENT: COULTER, ANN

Senator Feingold's Sin By Kimberley A. Strassel

The Wall Street Journal

Potomac Watch
Senator Feingold's Sin
By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL

February 2, 2007; Page A18

The Senate is teeming with courageous souls these days, most of them Republicans who have taken that brave step of following the opinion polls and abandoning their president in a time of war. Meanwhile, one of the few senators showing some backbone in the Iraq debate is being shunned as the skunk at the war critics' party.

Iran's Plans: Sticks & Carrots By Amir Taheri

New York Post

IRAN'S PLANS: STICKS & CARROTS

By AMIR TAHERI

January 24, 2007 -- CONFRONTATION or accommodation? As the U.N. Security Council's latest deadline for the Islamic Republic draws closer, that perennial question of Iranian politics is back at the center of debate in Tehran.

The confrontationists, led by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, believe that the Bush administration, in its sunset phase, won't dare launch any major military operation against Iran. The most Bush can do is to order air and missile attacks on Iran's nuclear installations.

That would damage the project, perhaps setting it back by a year or two. But it would also, in this view, enable the revolutionary faction within the Khomeinist regime to marginalize its conservative rivals and consolidate its hold on power.

Will Al Gore Melt? By Flemming Rose and Bjorn Lomborg

The Wall Street Journal

Will Al Gore Melt?
By FLEMMING ROSE and BJORN LOMBORG

January 18, 2007; Page A16

Al Gore is traveling around the world telling us how we must fundamentally change our civilization due to the threat of global warming. Today he is in Denmark to disseminate this message. But if we are to embark on the costliest political project ever, maybe we should make sure it rests on solid ground. It should be based on the best facts, not just the convenient ones. This was the background for the biggest Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, to set up an investigative interview with Mr. Gore. And for this, the paper thought it would be obvious to team up with Bjorn Lomborg, author of "The Skeptical Environmentalist," who has provided one of the clearest counterpoints to Mr. Gore's tune.

The interview had been scheduled for months. Mr. Gore's agent yesterday thought Gore-meets-Lomborg would be great. Yet an hour later, he came back to tell us that Bjorn Lomborg should be excluded from the interview because he's been very critical of Mr. Gore's message about global warming and has questioned Mr. Gore's evenhandedness. According to the agent, Mr. Gore only wanted to have questions about his book and documentary, and only asked by a reporter. These conditions were immediately accepted by Jyllands-Posten. Yet an hour later we received an email from the agent saying that the interview was now cancelled. What happened?

The Pfaffs Of the World By Hillel Halkin

The New York Sun

The Pfaffs Of the World
BY HILLEL HALKIN
January 17, 2007

URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/46845

Besides oppressing the Palestinians, turning the Arab world against the West, being responsible for Islamic terror, and getting America into Iraq, Israel and the Jewish lobby, according to veteran International Herald Tribune columnist William Pfaff, are now doing their best to instigate an American attack on Iran.

Never known for his friendliness to Israel, Mr. Pfaff says in a recent column that the Jewish state has been conducting a "propaganda campaign against Iran, accusing it of developing nuclear weapons … to convince the American public that the United States should go to war against Iran to eliminate its power to threaten Israel." Israel, Mr. Pfaff believes, is about to sucker America again. Already, he writes, American "fleet units have been ordered to the Gulf, together with troops not part of the Iraq reinforcement. An admiral has been named theater commander. The Israelis are ready to go."

Bush's Address to the Nation ~ January 10, 2007

Bush's Address to the Nation
January 10, 2007

Good evening. Tonight in Iraq, the Armed Forces of the United States are engaged in a struggle that will determine the direction of the global war on terror – and our safety here at home. The new strategy I outline tonight will change America's course in Iraq, and help us succeed in the fight against terror.

When I addressed you just over a year ago, nearly 12 million Iraqis had cast their ballots for a unified and democratic nation. The elections of 2005 were a stunning achievement. We thought that these elections would bring the Iraqis together – and that as we trained Iraqi security forces, we could accomplish our mission with fewer American troops.

A Heavier Iraq 'Footprint' ~ Editorial

The Wall Street Journal

REVIEW & OUTLOOK

A Heavier Iraq 'Footprint'

January 8, 2007; Page A16

President Bush is set to announce his new strategy for Iraq this week, and the early signs are that it will include both more American and Iraqi troops to improve security, especially in Baghdad. We think the American people will support the effort, as long as Mr. Bush treats this like the all-in proposition it deserves to be.

'Our Only Hope' By Bing West and Eliot Cohen

The Wall Street Journal

'Our Only Hope'
By BING WEST and ELIOT COHEN

January 8, 2007; Page A17

President Bush has appointed a new Iraq team, including one of our best counterinsurgency generals, David Petraeus, to take command in Iraq; he is also about to unveil a new Iraq strategy. The apparent problem is uncontrolled sectarian violence in Baghdad and the apparent solution is to send more American soldiers to restore order. The actual problem is a dysfunctional, sectarian Iraqi political system. Here at home, the imminent debate between the Congress and the administration about the number of American forces is a diversion. We may need more resources, but first we need a strategy.

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