Testosterone Level Of Various Professions
Fred writes: A friend of mine says that he read a magazine article purporting to list the testosterone levels of various professions. Lawyers ranked high on average levels of testosterone. Clergyman ranked dead last.
The problem is guilty (or opportunistic) white editors
Janita Poe writes Media News:
Jim Sleeper replies:
I ask Matt Welch for his views on Moxie and if he's ever communicated with a space alien.
Matt Welch writes:
Ken Layne writes:
Jayson Blair writes: "I will never forget Moxie. She helped me discover parts of my psyche I didn't know I had. She was the inspiration for all my writing at The New York Times."
Marc W. writes:
KHUNRUM writes: "Moxie the Blogger is a terrific photographer. My favorite pics are of Moxie. The ones she posts of herself with lot's of skin showing reposing with a pouting expression. I wrote to her and suggested more of those ahhhhhh! "cheesecake" shots..Maybe even some nudies. I believe she blocked me from further comments after I made those suggestions. She's not a bad writer either."
Cecile du Bois writes: "I like her a lot. She linked me once. But I never met her personally. I love her blog though. She's very creative and a talented photographer. I think she should write a book though."
Amy Alkon, the advice goddess, writes: "She's got a great eye and she seems to be aptly named. She snapped a classic photo of Carrot Top and me."
Imam Muhammet ibn Abu of the Westwood Mosque Speaks Out:
Moxie is a fine woman who would do well to rid herself of her cats and instead take care of a husband. She should bear and raise his human babies instead of caring for subhuman cats. This is what the Holy Q'uran teaches, and this is what she should do.
She also needs to get a real job of some sort until such time as a man claims her in the name of Allah. It is not good for a woman to spend her days alone with animals.
Our President Bush has declared an Orange Alert. I declare by Fatwa that all Believers who read LukeFord.net are obligated to work with the FBI in fighting terrorism, and that means all Muslims must inform on al Qeada. Only by showing America that we are true Americans can we defeat the designs of those who use their control over Hollywood to insult all monotheistic Belief.
Jews and Racism
Luke says: From a Jewish perspective, the more you interact with the profane, the more disciplined and controlled you have to be. The most passionate Jews, the Hasidim, rarely interact with goyim except to do business.
Dave Deutsch writes: Certainly some truth to this; you'll enjoy the fact that I feel that my kavannah [concentration] is always the best when I come home from a night at the bar and have to daven maariv. I know I'm tipsy, so I make a special effort to focus, whereas I would normally just zip through with the Ashkenaz mumble.
Luke asks: Why is it that the more religious the jew, the more likely he is to have beliefs and expressions and opinions popularly considered racist?
David answers: If your question is "Why do people consider the beliefs and opinions of Orthodox Jews to be racist?" I would say it's because they are often racist.
If you're asking "Why are they racist?" I would say that while Judaism is not, in and of itself, racist, it creates a certain predisposition, since you begin with an us/them relationship, in which all goyim are inferior to Jews. And, to borrow from Orwell, some are more inferior than others. Moreover, since the Orthodox world is so insular, Orthodox Jews are more likely to be able to express these opinions in an unchallenged atmosphere. Many white non-Jews know not to express their racist opinions, or more generously, having expressed them, were corrected. Due to the insularity of the Orthodox world, you are likely to find a reasonably warm reception if you start talking about the spics and schvartzers.
Professor Jim Sleeper Interview
A book review in the 6/30/96 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle by assistant book review editor Dean Wakefield plagiarized 12 paragraphs from Jim Sleeper's Washington Post 6/2/96 review of the same book - Marshall Frady's "Jesse: The Life and Pilgrimage of Jesse Jackson."
I speak by phone with Yale Political Science professor and former New York Daily News columnist Jim Sleeper 5/15/03 about Dean Wakefield.
Jim: "I believe his editor [politically correct elderly lady Patricia Holt] covered for him too energetically. That's why I brought this up in the case of Jayson Blair. Clearly we have something analogous at The New York Times. You have all these white people twisting themselves into pretzels and bending over backwards to protect a young black man, partly because its company policy to advance "diversity" that way.
"The first day coming out of the box [of the Jayson Blair affair], I and other people made the argument that this is the casualty of diversity policies carried too far. Yesterday [5/14/03] was the backlash. People were in furious denial. 'This couldn't really be diversity,' they said. 'It's because Raines plays favorites, he's arrogant.' But If Raines is arrogant, all the more reason he wouldn't suborn this kind of thing. This anti-diversity reaction ended when the Times mass meeting was reported and it turned out that Raines had confessed guilt on the diversity angle. He vindicated everything I ever said in chapters four and six of my book Liberal Racism."
Luke: "Did you write a 1971 book called The New Jews?"
Jim: "I was just out of college. It's an anthology of young leftist Jewish activists, of which I was one in those days, in the heyday of the counter culture. I contributed two essays."
Luke: "How do your peers at Yale react to you?"
Jim: "I've been attacked lately by some conservative students in the right-wing press, but they got the wrong guy, just because I criticized them for running to David Horowitz and Campus Watch and "reporting on" anti-war professors. It would be better for them, politically and pedagogically, if they rebutted them on campus. For the past ten years, ironically I've been getting lots of anger from the left. Originally I was liberal-left. During years as a New York journalist, I saw that a lot of the liberal policies that I had believed in were wrong. Like Orwell going to Catalonia [during the Spanish Civil War] and finding out that the left wasn't what he thought it was, I began writing like I saw it. The Closest of Strangers is the book where I first said to my fellow liberal leftists that we're blowing it by practicing a politics of racial grievance and then by settling for color-coded remedies. Neocons are going to agree with me up to a point but they're not going to find me totally on their side. And the Left is going to constantly want me to say what they want to hear about the glories of identity politics and racialism. I've been like that ever since. Like George Orwell, I'm hard to type politically. But after The Closest of Strangers, I was an enemy of the Left in the Left's own eyes. My book Liberal Racism was welcomed by the Right and it got good reviews in the Wall Street Journal and so on, but then some of them said, 'Wait a minute. This guy is not really on board with the right-wing agenda.' I'm not right-wing. I'm not a Thatcherite or a Reagenite on economics.
"At age 55, I'm a centrist. When it comes to free speech, I am a centrist liberal. I'm almost libertarian when it comes to freedom of speech, but I do appreciate some communitarian restraints on speech, especially the "speech" of entertainment conglomerates that are digitalizing our culture. It's a longer discussion.
"I supported the war in Iraq but I became dismayed at how some of the other supporters of the war were behaving. At Yale and on other campuses I heard about, there was some harassing and intimidating of antiwar people. I believed that many of the antiwar people were saying stupid things and they deserved to be heckled and rebutted and lampooned. Then I read that a couple of Yale freshmen were working with [Daniel Pipes] the organization Campus Watch, which exposes those professors saying things deemed unpatriotic and foolish. On a certain level that's fine. But these kids were beginning to behave like the young spies in Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. They wrote an article on David Horowitz's thing [www.frontpagemag.com] reporting their own professors as "lunatic conspiracy theorists" and "viciously vituperative."
"Yale is a campus where there are ways to protest and rebut. Running around reporting people to the national media reminded me of Stalinism. I didn't like the way these kids were compiling dossiers on professors. I wrote a column [4/14/03] in the Yale Daily News. [Letter to editor 4/17/03 with Jim's reply.]
"Almost immediately I got attacked on MSNBC on the Joe Scarborough Show [4/23/03 column, response]. The two freshmen went on the show and claimed that I had bullied and oppressed them. That's a stretch, because I hadn't even named them in the column, although one could look up the Frontpage article I referred to. The point is, I criticized what they'd done.
Jim: "Hugh Hewitt's columns were filled with lies. He claimed I never returned calls from the MSNBC show...
"Ironically, the moreso in light of the Jayson Blair affair at the New York Times, I published an article in the Weekly Standard in 1996 about Arthur Sulzberger and diversity at The New York Times.
"I find myself calling out the lies on both sides of the political spectrum. I do enjoy seeing fatuous leftists have their balloons punctured by people who are sharp. But when tactics cross the line and it is like you are reporting people to the Comintern--the old Stalinist Communist International, with its Party-run media and commissars. I called the students' conservative media network the 'Con-intern,' and all hell broke loose."
Luke: "Are you active in Jewish life at all?"
Jim: "Not really. My sister is a cantor in a reformed synagogue, and I'm going to a reunion of people who attended a Hebrew-speaking summer camp I went to, as a camper and counselor, for eight years. But I'm not religiously observant."
Luke: "What was your reaction to the Yale Five [five orthodox Jews who didn't want to be forced to live in Yale's pagan dorms]?"
Jim: "I thought they were pushing it. What was your reaction?"
Luke: "I had mixed feelings."
Jim: Jim: "If these people felt this strongly about living a certain way, why did they choose to go to Yale in the first place? Why not Yeshiva University? You see, Yale has this wonderful residential college system. You are part of a community. Each college is much more than a dorm, it has its own dining hall, extracurricular activities, its own library. It gives you a sense of being a part of something that stays with you all of your life. It's not like going to a big state university where people are anonymous to each other. If you decide to go to Yale, it should be because you decided that that is what you want. A college like Yale's is not like a shopping mall or an apartment complex. It has the right to establish its own character.
"Some of the journalism on the Orthodox Five was atrocious. It said that Yale was like one big whorehouse with promiscuity and awful things going on. That is just not true.
"I hated Norman Podhoretz's book My Love Affair With America. I gave it a negative review in the July 2, 2000 Los Angeles Times."
Luke: "I've read a lot that Podhoretz has written and I haven't enjoyed any of it. I just read his book on the prophets and it was a waste of time. He contributes nothing. He's the most overrated Jewish intellectual."
Jim: "I honor honorable conservatives. But the Jewish neo-cons in New York were all on the Left once and they carry over from the Left to the Right habits of mind I find unattractive. He's a perfect example. They become polemical. They become blowhards. They spend the rest of their lives flailing at the ghosts of their youth. Everybody's got to stand up and salute. I really went after him.
"I credited him for doing some great things as young editor. My main quarrel with the conservative movement is that they refuse to criticize big corporations. It isn't the Left that puts the Jenny Jones Show on TV every morning or is pumping pornography into millions of hotel rooms. It's metastasized beyond the point where Bob Dole can get up and blame everything on Hollywood. George Will has acknowledged this.
"They're not reaching out to the people in the center, the way any good movement should. They just believe in bashing their old enemies.
"I don't think conservatives are being honest about why our society is eroding. It's not because of a bunch of left-wing professors. It's because of things that multi-billion dollar corporations are pumping into the bloodstream of this country."
Luke: "Dennis Prager often says that he has the views on big business of a communist. You sound in many ways like Mickey Kaus."
Jim: "I am like Mickey Kaus on this important matter of respecting , or at least understanding, as he does, the difference between economic and civic equality. I gave a favorable review to his book The End of Equality. He has a good sense of civic liberalism. I got into fights with some of his liberal friends like Nicholas Lemann. When I reviewed Bill McGowan's book, I recycled McGowan's story about that affirmative action black doctor [who was shut down eventually for performing shoddy medicine but Lemann never retracted his glowing NYTs profile of the man as an exemplar of affirmative action.]. Nick grew up in segregated New Orleans and he has the penitential Southern liberal guilt of a Howell Raines.
"I never say race doesn't matter. I try to say it shouldn't. The younger kids these days, the easy intimacy among 15 and 16 year olds... I see a casualness and completeness of acceptance that would've been unimaginable when I was 15."
Luke: "But remember these things change when people move over 30. Remember that Atlantic article about how everyone segregates himself. When I was a teenager, there was easy intimacy between races. But as you age, you prefer to hang with your own."
Jim: "I'd like to hope that race can decline to the level of importance of hair and eye color among whites. There are residual and aesthetic preferences, but they're not dispositive enough to matter much in one's life chances.
"I wrote for the New York Daily News, which had nearly 250,000 black readers. Some of them would send my columns back to me underlined with comments on the margins. I was close to a lot of black people. I was so immersed in [black neighborhood life in Brooklyn] that during my trips into Manhattan, the density of white faces would be disorienting."
In 1997, he published the acclaimed Liberal Racism, a kind of sequel to his 1991 book Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York.
In 1989, Sleeper published In Search of New York.
Dean Wakefield - The Jayson Blair of LA Times, SF Chronicle?
In the 6/30/96 edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, assistant book review editor Dean Wakefield plagiarized 12 paragraphs from Jim Sleeper's Washington Post 6/2/96 review of the same book - Marshall Frady's "Jesse: The Life and Pilgrimage of Jesse Jackson."
Sleeper writes 5/13/03: "Luke, I wish I knew where [Dean] Wakefield is now. I do feel a little sorry for him, and since no one ever conclusively proved plagiarism, I didn't use his name in the Courant column. The problem there, as at the NYT, was definitely his [elderly politically correct] editor, Patricia Holt, who ran the books section. It was she who really spared no effort to cover for him by blaming herself for having mixed and matched parts of my review with parts of a draft of his, all while he was on vacation. It's not beyond the realm of possibility, but even if so, it speaks to a lot of dereliction and incompetence on all sides. And that, too, they protected. Thanks for raising the question of what happened to him. If you find out, would you let me know?"
Luke says: I did a search on the Wall Street Journal Publications Library and found Dean Wakefield's review in the San Francisco Chronicle. At the beginning of Wakefield's plagiarized article is this note:
"Because of an editing error, the Book Review's June 30 review of "Jesse: The Life and Pilgrimage of Jesse Jackson" by Marshall Frady carried some paragraphs from the review of the same book that appeared in the Washington Post. The problem occurred when a wire-service version of the Post review was placed in the wrong computer file and inadvertently spliced into The Chronicle review. Our apologies to the Washington Post and its reviewer, Jim Sleeper."
Jim Sleeper writes 5/13/03: "Luke, that's quite a compendium. Thanks. But I have news for you and your readers, which should be checked out immediately: The review by Dean Wakefield which you've linked, and which I assume is the one in their online archive, is not the one that actually ran. The one that actually ran was much longer and had twelve paragraphs from my original Washington Post review. I would hate to think that someone has doctored the review that actually ran, but if they did, they are in big trouble, and you have stumbled upon another cover-up. I have, in my possession, on paper only, of course, a fax of the actual SF Chronicle that ran, exactly as it appeared in the printed edition which everyone read, graphics and all. It is nothing like the review you have linked."
Here is Jim Sleeper's 6/2/96 review of the Marshall Frady book:
"I AM -- somebody!", people the world over have shouted with Jesse Jackson, making him somebody, indeed. But who is he, really? That so enigmatic a man became heir by default to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s foundering movement makes it important to know more about him. But it also raises questions about a strain of romantic moralism in our politics that periodically inflames, then depletes, black and liberal movements as well as fundamentalist ones. Marshall Frady has written this hagiography as a romantic moralist: "Absent the great moral dramaturgy of King's day," he writes, "Jackson was left to struggle in the vague spiritual flats of a more prosaic and middling season to find his apotheosis, his mountaintop." On every page, you can feel both subject and author yearning for that mountaintop.
Frady grew up near Jackson's native Greenville, S.C., and attended the white Furman College near Jackson's house in the late 1950s. He didn't meet Jackson until the late 1960s, as a Newsweek reporter, and only later still did he learn that Jackson had watched Furman football games from a black seating area that Frady and classmates had called the "crow's section." Not surprisingly, this Baptist minister's son and biographer of George Wallace brings to Jackson's story a Southern liberal's peculiar moral urgency and strained intimacy; he appreciates much but perhaps atones for too much. At times, the book seems as much Frady's pilgrimage as Jackson's, muddling our reckoning with the man and his "Rainbow."
In powerful chapters on Jackson's early life, Frady shows that his birth to a teenaged mother, after "a feverish liaison with a married man in his mid-thirties," took place in a black community that was otherwise still so deeply churched that its strong moral censure was inseparable from the strong social bonds that help a village to raise a child. With Jackson's shame ("You ain't nothin' but a nobody," children taunted) came a hunger to prove himself to watchful teachers and preachers who gave his talents the moral traction of a clear path toward redemption, a path from which he strays but to which, in Frady's view, he always returns.
It is too easy for Jackson's critics to condemn his foibles and discount his invocations of soul power to free hostages; to "preach the riot out of a crowd" bent on destruction, as he did during the collapse of Resurrection City in 1968 and, 20 years later, to angry blacks ready to invade the Democrats' Atlanta convention; to preach self-discipline and "conservative" social values compellingly to youths even more lost than he was; and to unite white and black voters as none of the other insurgent presidential candidates since Robert Kennedy has done, setting black electoral precedents that, ironically, strengthened Colin Powell's presidential plausibility.
But it's also too easy to swoon over Frady's misty-eyed, mediagenic accounts of Jackson as pilgrim and prophet. Wives of struggling white farmers weep in his arms. Armenian earthquake survivors embrace the man CNN has made a herald of their freedom (and of America's moral greatness). Tribal "kings," tin-pot dictators and Soviet apparatchiks squirm, sometimes melt, at his importunings. But they all become props on Jackson's noisy stage, and Frady's accounts of such encounters implausibly give Jackson the last word before the scenery changes. He omits too many occasions -- like the slaying of a black teenager by a white cop in New Jersey and a California Board of Regents' meeting on affirmative action -- when Jackson dropped in and held forth without knowing what he was talking about.
It's telling that Frady omits Harold Washington's strenuous effort, while grinning through gritted teeth on the night of his victory as mayor of Chicago, to keep Jackson from lifting both their arms high, like a boxing promoter heralding "his" fighter. Gary Rivlin's nuanced Fire on the Prairie describes this and others of Jackson's failures to sustain movement-building "on the ground" in Chicago, including his bunglings of the Breadbasket, Black Expo, and PUSH programs; Frady dashes through all this but dotes on symbolic trips like one to Angola that reappears several times in the book.
Frady does argue that Jackson's strong showings in the 1984 and 1988 presidential primaries "startled all the given political wisdoms" with "an assertive black political force that could no longer be presumed to be a Democratic property free of any real expense." But he doesn't reckon fully with the reality that Bill Clinton became the first Democrat to win the presidency, with overwhelming black support, after repudiating Jackson and his vague agendas. His claim that "Jackson undertook to fashion ... a true, omnibus, populist mass coalition" misses or fudges the difference between televised rallies and real movement-building, between winning primaries and assembling a governing majority or plurality in a general election.
Does Frady ever show Jackson sinning? Sure, as John Bunyan shows Christian in The Pilgrim's Progress, that Ur-text of moral heroes eager to recount their seductions by Mr. Worldly-Wiseman and Vanity Fair. Jackson's egotism, obdurate resentments and financial finaglings appear amid ritual sighing and "spin doctoring" by Richard Hatcher, Herbert Daughtry, Andrew Young, Roger Wilkins, Robert Borosage, and Jackson's wife, Jackie, whose folksy, stagey apologetics Frady swallows whole. He even concludes the famous story of how Jackson smeared his shirt with King's blood and claimed he'd held the dying martyr, by observing that "at least the symbolism of Jackson's story -- a transfer of the commission, signified by a kind of anointing with King's very blood -- would turn out to be largely the reality."
What is reality? In a politics of moral posturing, getting real is less important than being heard: "If you're a human being and weren't affected by what you just heard, you may be beyond redemption," Frady reports Florida Gov. Bob Graham saying after Jackson's magnificent address at the 1984 Democratic convention, which "some commentators" thought "the greatest oration delivered at a presidential nominating convention since William Jennings Bryan's in 1896." But, as Mario Cuomo's eloquence at the same 1984 convention might have taught us, oratory isn't action; a pilgrimage isn't a politics.
A new progressive politics should grasp an irony Frady softpedals: Jackson's big vote in some heavily white areas shows a country less racist than it has been; he has gotten a lot of mileage out of whites' own guilt and goodwill, with this book a case in point. Racism remains, but Jackson's ascent was thwarted less by color than by more intimate hurts and flaws; Harold Washington, Colin Powell and other leaders were born black and poor, too, but not hungry. Their moral journey is the one Jackson's own teachers and preachers envisioned for him, and the one Frady's romanticism obscures. Jim Sleeper, author of "The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York," is writing a new book about race.
Here is Dean Wakefield's original review in the 6/30/96 San Francisco Chronicle Book Review:
Born with every possible disadvantage that the son of a poor single mother in the angry last years of segregated South could have, Jesse Jackson declared himself a leader and became one.
Jackson is about as close as 20th cnetury life gets to Horatio Alger. He has been in the national spotlight for three decades. During the Ronald Reagen years, no one was more important in shaping the opposition. He came closer to becoming president than any black person in American history, on a platform of empowerment and morality so old-fashioned it's almost quaint.
The problem with telling Jackson's story, then, lies less in finding material than in sorting it out. What part is calculation, what part is conviction? What part is belief, what part is hustle? Was his "Hymietown" remark, referring to heavily Jewish New York City, a minor slip or a window to his soul?
Now a fellow Southerner, Marshall Frady, has written an authorized biography of the civil rights leader. What is different about "Jesse: The Life and Pilgrimage of Jesse Jackson," is that both the author, a white writer who was formerly on th staff of Newsweek, and his black subject grew up around the same time not far from each other in small rural towns in South Carolina.
Frady was raised near Jackson's native Greenville, S.C., and attended the white Furman College near Jackson's house in the late 1950s. He didn't meet Jackson until the late 1960s, as a Newsweek reporter, and only later still did he learn that Jackson had watched Furman football games from a black seating area that Frady and classmates had called the crow's section.
At times, then, the subject of the book seems as much Frady's pilgrimage as Jackson's, muddling our reckoning with the man and his "Rainbow Coalition."
Nevertheless, in powerful chapters on Jackson's early life, Frady shows that Jackson's birth to a teenage mother, following "a feverish liaison with a maried man in his mid-30s," took place in a black community so deeply churched that its strong moral censure was inseparable from the strong social bonds that help a village to raise a child.
With Jackson's shame ("You ain't nothin' but a nobody," other children taunted him) came a hunger to prove himself. From then on, Jackson worked hard for teachers and preachers who offered him the moral traction of a clear path toward redemption. It's a path from which he strays in Frady's view, yet one to which he always returns.
Frady believes the first indication of Jackson's talent for oratoryemerged during his days at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College, a mostly black institution in Greensboro, when 400 students were arrested and thrown into a building meant for 125 in scorching heat. When Jackson arrived, they begged him to get them out before they suffocated.
Frady quotes those who were there to hear his response. "It was a tremendous speech. It wasn't a tirade about te harshness of being in prison without soap and toothpaste and all that. He was talking about the suffering of those inside in the larger context of justice, and what this movement meant in terms of turning point in the history of the nation. It flowed without forethought. It was poetic. Those of us who were listening, we said, 'My God, this is comparable to Martin Luther King's letter from the Birmingham jail.'"
It is too easy, Frady believes, for Jackson's critics to condemn his foibles and discount his strengths and accomplishments.
Among them, he writes, are Jackson's invocations of soul power; his grandstanding yet stunning feat of persuading Saddam Hussein to free hostages in the Middle East; the way he can "preach the riot out of a crowd" bent on destruction, as he did during the collapse of Resurrection City (a tent city in front of the White House) in 1968 and, 20 years later, at the Democrats' Atlanta convention, which angry blacks were preparing to disrupt; his compelling promotion of self-discipline and "conservative" social values to youths eve more lost than he has been; and his gift for uniting white and black voters as no other presidential candidate since Robert Kennedy has done, setting black electoral precedents that, ironicially, strengthened Collin Powell's presidential plausibility.
Frady argues that Jackson's strong showings in the 1984 and 1988 presidential primaies "startled all the given political wisdoms" with "an assertive black political force that could no longer be presumed to be a Democratic property free of any real expense."
But he doesn't reckon fully with the reality that Bill Clinton became the first Democrat to win the presidency, with overwhelming black support, after repudiating Jackson and his vague agendas.
Does Frady ever show Jackson sinning? Jackson's egotism, obdurate resentments and financial finaglings are the subject of ritual sighing and "spin-doctoring" by friends and political allies such as Richard Hatcher, Herbert Daughtry, Andrew Young, Roger Wilkins, Robert Borosage and Jackson's wife, Jackie, whose apologetics Frady swallows whole.
"Of course I know what happens out there," she says of the rumos of infidelity that have surrounded Jackson for years. "I'm no dummy. I understand other women being attracted to him. But I don't believe in examining the sheets. My portion of him is mine, nobody comes into my house or my bedroom, and I can't spend too much time worrying about other women."
And after recounting the famous story of how Jackson smeared his shirt with King's blood and claimed he'd held the dying martyr, Frady observes: "At least the symbolism of Jackson's story - a transfer of the commission, signified by a kind of anointing with King's very blood - would turn out to be largely the reality."
Still, a new progressive politics should grasp an irony Frady soft-pedals: Jackson's big vote in some heavily white areas shows a country less racist than it has been. He has gotten a lot of mileage out of whites' own guilt and goodwill, and this book is a case in point. racism persists, but Jackson's ascent was thwarted less by color than by more individuals hurts and flaws. Harold Washington, Colin Powell and other leaders were born black and poor, too, but not hungry. Their moral journey is the one Jackson's own teachers and preachers envisioned for him, and the one Frady's romanticism obscures.
From Washington Post 8/12/96, Howard Kurtz writes:
Luke Gets Mail
Michael writes: So you are part of a religious tradition that is very thorough in its treatment of behavior, which I suppose is grounding at a very fundamental level (it would have to be, to allow you to circumscribe certain requirements without actually following them completely) and which defines a practical response to these challenges. I am part of a less detailed religious tradition (Augustinian-style Christianity) that prefers to set out some basic rules and let you work out what you're supposed to do (though without a doubt many people are willing to offer suggestions).
I'm convinced that despite the differences in our religious traditions, the fact that we are at some level beholden to the requirements of organized religion and committed to observing religious traditions puts us in a better position to make moral decisions and exercise moral judgement. I'm also a little suspicious of those who aren't part of such a tradition, just because I have no way of knowing how or if they have built a moral foundation.
But the curious thing to me is that, for the most part, while we constantly gauge the conflict between sacred and profane in our own lives, there are others who are completely unaware of it, yet we can interact successfully with them even in such a public sphere as the internet, because somewhere in there we share some common principles and even, perhaps, morals. Those outside religious traditions still have some of the benefits, I guess, without any of the requirements, and my interest lies in figuring out how those religious traditions get out there as common virtue or common morals, whether at a fundamental level (killing certain people is bad) or at an obscure level (we should be concise in our speech because God never said more than He needed to communicate His message, aka Economy of Divine Expression).
I also wonder if it's less necessary to distinguish between sacred and profane as we interact with others through the public internet, or more necessary since it's a distinction that others will not make. Maybe I just need more practice.
Luke replies: Rabbi Yitz Greenburg says that Israel should be more moral than other nations... We should aim to be 10% more more moral. If we were 50% more moral, Israel would be dead. Similar approach works for our interactions with the secular in our daily lives. If we were 50% more moral, we'd be dead, or at least dead broke or exhausted.
The differences are more dramatic when you see a society that has been without organized Western religion in generations - like Eastern Europe and Russia. These are frequently horrid places.
From a Jewish perspective, the more you interact with the profane, the more disciplined and controlled you have to be. The most passionate Jews, the Hasidim, rarely interact with goyim except to do business.
Cecile du Bois Says She's Not A Dyke
Luke says to Cecile: If you worry about being overweight, go to an Orthodox day school. You will be the slimmest one there.