In November 1964, the historian Richard Hofstadter published, in Harper's magazine, what would become a famous essay on some disturbing tendencies in American political life. "The Paranoid Style in American Politics" traced the history of what Hofstadter described as "the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy" that, at different points in America's past, has characterized panics over the Illuminati, Masons, Jesuits, Catholic immigrants, and communist subversives.Read More
I am sorry to burden you, but this is fair notice that I will be sending out morality/patriotism questionnaires to all my friends. I do not want to be blindsided in the future and accused of guilt by association, which is the trendy thing this presidential campaign season.
It used to be that an American could make friends based on his (or her) assessment of someone's character without regard to what other people, including the government, thought about it. Not any more.Read More
Hate doesn't just happen.
Not in life -- as lyricist Oscar Hammerstein reminded us in "South Pacific," in a message so memorable that it became culturally and politically controversial when first sung on Broadway in 1949: "You've got to be taught/To hate and fear,/You've got to be taught/From year to year.../You've got to be carefully taught."Read More
Be honest. What have you learned from the first two presidential debates? Do you expect to be any more enlightened by Wednesday night's third and final showdown between Barack Obama and John McCain?
If you're like my friends and associates outside the newsroom, you're setting the bar pretty low. If these "debates" have proven anything, they confirm our two-party choice is dumb and dumber (you pick).Read More
The Alaska state Personnel Board investigation of Gov. Sarah Palin's firing of Walt Monegan has broadened to include other ethics complaints against the governor and examination of actions by other state employees, according to the independent counsel handling the case.
The investigator, Tim Petumenos, did not say who else is under scrutiny. But in two recent letters describing his inquiry, he cited the consolidation of complaints and the involvement of other officials as a reason for not going along with Palin's request to make the examination of her activities more public.Read More