Dear Constant Reader, It was wholly a pleasure to get your letter noting some of the literary allusions in my columns.
“We’re not going to have another Watergate in our lifetime. I’m sure.” —Bob Woodward “History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” —Attributed to Mark Twain Check your calendar. Is this 2013 or 1973? Is the president of the United States named Barack Obama or Richard M. Nixon? Because the latest series of unfolding scandals in Washington looks, sounds—and smells—awfully familiar.
It was just a little sunspot that needed removing.
Kermit Gosnell. If you don’t recognize the name, that’s understandable. His trial in Philadelphia—on multiple counts of murder—has been covered extensively by the local papers.
What are Irish bulls—a new breed of Herefords? Nope, they’re grandiloquent flights of prose that, when read literally, make no sense. Politicians are a particularly rich source of such phrases.
Whatever happened to the once strong, vital, unique American language? It hasn’t been seen in some time. Maybe because it’s been completely covered by the thicket of “you knows” and “whatevers” and various other verbal tics that by now have overwhelmed the poor thing. The way kudzu, given sufficient time and neglect, will completely hide a great oak.
After great pain, a formal feeling comes. . .
Dear Scholar, It was wholly a pleasure to get your thoughts about the current debate over illegal immigrants and how to approach the nettlesome challenge they represent to us—and we to them.
The president of the United States, being a gentleman and a man, paid a compliment to California’s attorney general—Kamala Harris—when both of them appeared at a Democratic fundraiser in that state. Indeed, he paid her several compliments when he addressed the crowd.
“Little by little the look of the country changes because of the men we admire. You’re just going to have to make up your own mind one day about what’s right and wrong.’’ — The old man in the movie Hud to his grandson.