The act has resonated with Americans the way Johnny Paycheck's song "Take This Job & Shove It" resonated. It appeals because 99% of us lack fiscal independence, and so the specter of someone without that financial independence leaving his job in such a way as to seemingly preclude future employment in that industry, well, shall we say, that's pretty bold. Of course he'll probably land a reality show and make more in a week than he did in a year at Jet Blue. Such is life in these United States.
Like with Christopher Hitchens, who writes so well it's hard to stay mad at him, it's hard to get too outraged with a flight attendant who leaves his employ by grabbing two beers to go: Now that's what I call making an exit.
I'm hyp-mo-tized by Congressman Charlie Rangel's take-no-prisoners approach to his approaching unemployment. His defiance rings of the San Patricios, albeit the latter had a much more just cause. If the stalwart 19th century captain goes down with his ship even if the ship goes down through no fault his own, Rangel chooses not to go down with a ship he wrecked. But that's human nature in action. It's a cautionary tale that testifies to the effect of power and authority and its corrupting influence, especially when propped up by an adoring press. Adoring until quite recently, although the beltway media takes not the sublime joy they would've had Rangel been a conservative. Still, I cringe at the thought of having less of the Fourth estate available to keep an eye on things.
John Zmirak has an interesting column about religious liberty:
It is not the job of the state to repress religious error, defend the integrity of the gospel, or protect its "helpless" citizens from injurious ideas. In teaching this, the Church abandoned the intellectual protectionism Catholics had welcomed since the late writings of St. Augustine – when he called for Christian emperors to forcibly crush the Donatists. We went back to the writings of the early Augustine, when all he sought for the Church was liberty, a free market of ideas.I'm always hypmo-tized when those intellectually brilliant AND holy, such as the great St. Augustine, get it wrong, assuming he did get it wrong. But whenever I feel that way I recall that that is a major difference between God and man. Even the holiest human doesn't bat 1.000.
The theological continuum must be a very expansive thing. That's my hunch after once reading Fr. Neuhaus's minor criticism of the theology of William F. Buckley. And in another recent read, I think it was Rutler's book, I learn that Neuhaus wasn't a theologian and that was meant, presumably, as slightly pejorative (else why point it out?). I find it interesting because both Buckley and Neuhaus have surely forgotten more theology than I know.
Presidential press secretaries are paid to be likeable. They are the lion tamers of the press corps, the snake charmers, the soothing voices that lie like rugs. But occasionally moments of truth emerge, gaffes as they are colloquially called, and so I rather enjoyed Robert Gibbs's comment on the "professional left".
My favorite press secretaries include Gibbs, Dee Dee Myers (hey she's cute), Dana Perino (hey she's cute), Marlin Fitzwater.