"Monsters and Angels" - Voice of the Beehive
- Maureen Dowd had a column the other day suggesting that the Jerry Sandusky scandal is indicative of an era in which we no longer recognize right and wrong with any clarity. In this case, she focused on Penn State assistant coach Mike McQueary who stood by passively while Sandusky molested a small boy in the shower. I am not going to excuse McQueary's passivity, but would simply note in defense of our times that Sandusky is actually being brought to justice and held to account now for activities in which he has been apparently engaging for decades. The notion that we are living in "dystopian" times in terms of our collective moral sense is absurd -- especially when one considers the degree to which these kinds of crimes against children (not to mention things like domestic violence) were routinely covered up or ignored by those who knew or should have known. And someone should tell Dowd that Thomas More, whom she invokes as the anti-McQueary, was so certain of right and wrong that he was comfortable having people burned to death for reading the gospels in English. I'll take passivity any day over that particular example of moral rectitude.
- Strangely, I actually agree with Ross Douthat and his Euroskepticism. Calls for the presevation of the Euro and for greater continental cooperation in matters of fiscal and currency policy are essentially calls for rule by "expert." Such ideas are at their heart anti-democratic, depriving elected national leaders of control over the most fundamental aspect of economic policy. (Additionally, the experts have shown themselves to be not particularly skilled.) I think those of us who believe in a meaningful electoral politics should find the calls for greater European integration along these lines to be troubling.
- A number of really good pieces have been written about the recent coup against the president of the University of Virgnia -- I particularly liked this one by Jamelle Bouie. What is going on at U VA is really quite astonishing. One of the country's most prestigious state universities is being turned upside down by a few business types who sit on its Board of Visitors (regents to most of us) and somehow fancy themselves as experts in these matters. Kieran Healey brilliantly captures the cretinous quality of these business titans and their pretense to have a vision for the university of the future. Evidently it will not have a classics or a German department. Thomas Jefferson would be so proud.
- And yesterday was the 65th anniversary of the Taft-Hartley Act, one of the most insidious and effective pieces of right wing legislating in the nation's history.
Must run off to a meeting while you have your say.