Entries from July 2008

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom

One of the handful of points of pride that Thomas Jefferson specified as his epitaph was that he was the author of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Famously in Query 17 of the only book he published in his lifetime, Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson wrote: The legitimate powers of government extend […]

Sunday, July 27th, 2008

On Golden Page: Old Poop, New “Readers”

“Don’t be such an old poop!” Ethel Thayer to Norman Thayer in Mark Rydell’s film, On Golden Pond, based on Ernest Thompson’s play (screenplay by Ernest Thompson). Well I have become an old poop, perhaps, but the loons are not very welcoming. It is the prerogative of people in mid-life to lament the declension of […]

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

What Do Faculty Want?

A friend of mine, who has recently accepted the presidency of a college, writes me asking, What do faculty want in a president? What faculty want in a president is . . . –Someone who sees, acknowledges, embraces, and celebrates the best within the culture and history of the college, and who is willing to […]

Friday, July 18th, 2008

Don’t Ask, Mary Agnes, or We’ll Tell

There may not be “out” gays in the military, but there appear to be Queer Eyes among Air Force officers. An article by R. Jeffrey Smith in The Washington Postreveals that top brass among Fly Boys have lobbied Congress to spend counter-terrorism funds for “comfort capsules” (and we’re not talking about Qualudes, girl friend), modular […]

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

“Neuro,” the New “Nano”?

Is “neuro” the new “nano”? Until recently “nano-” whatever (and before that, “geno-” whatever) was all the rage. In a nation as scientifically illiterate as it is historically illiterate and culturally illiterate as ours, perhaps at first blush it might seem contradictory that we would entertain one mania after another, like Toad of Toad Hall, […]

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

sham fui

I have long been a student of the art of sham fui, the ancient art of conning gullible Westerners who have more money than sense. Recently, I conversed with a woman who told me that she had been an adjunct instructor in the School of Education at a local university; when I asked her what […]