- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2007

End of an era

“ ’The Sopranos’ wasn’t only a great show or even a classic. It was a masterpiece, and its end … is an epochal event. With it goes an era, a time. …

“It was a family drama that was a mob drama, but in some hard-to-put-your-finger-on way it was the great post-9/11 drama of our time. …

“It was real, Old Jersey real (Satriale’s butcher shop, not the mall) and primal. It was about big things, as all great drama is — the human hunger for dominance, for safety, for love; the desire to rise in the world; the need to belong to something, to be a Jet or a Shark, a Crip or a Blood, and have mates, homies, esteemed colleagues or paisans; how we process the hypocrisy all around us, in our families and among our friends, as we grow up; how we process hypocrisy in ourselves.

“Because it was primal, its dialogue was pared to the bone and entered the language. You disrespecting the Bing? You wanna get whacked? And other famous phrases, many of them obscene.”

Peggy Noonan, writing on “Old Jersey Real,” Friday at OpinionJournal.com

‘No mas,’ No more

George Bush’s political strategists have long promoted amnesty for illegal aliens as a device for increasing the Republican vote among Hispanics. They also warn that denying rights to illegal aliens will hurt the GOP. …

“The 1986 amnesty signed by President Reagan did not trigger a Latino surge into the Republican Party. …

“ ’But Hispanics are Republicans waiting to emerge,’ counter the Bush strategists. Socially conservative on homosexuality and abortion, Hispanics just need to be invited into the party by an amnesty and not scared off by immigration enforcement. This ‘social values’ argument has been around since the early 1980s, and it’s still awaiting confirmation. The majority of Hispanics vote their perceived economic interests, rather than their social values. … Blacks are equally conservative on gay rights and other favorite liberal crusades, and that doesn’t affect their allegiance to the Democratic Party. …

“Republicans should craft their immigration policy based on principle, not on politics. But if they insist on deciding the future direction of American sovereignty based on political expediency, they should at least get their politics right.”

Heather MacDonald, writing on “The Republicans’ Hispanic Delusion,” Wednesday at www.City-Journal.org

Unreasonable

“I was initially looking forward to reading Al Gore’s new book, ‘The Assault on Reason.’ … I thought ‘Assault on Reason’ was going to be something of a philosophical treatise. … Instead, it turns out that Gore’s book is little more than an as-told-to-tale of the left-wing [bloggers]. Fox News is evil. Bush is a liar. Everything every Democrat ever said supporting the Iraq war is irrelevant. Because Bush is a liar. And, most important, anyone who disagrees or remembers things differently is part of the assault on reason. …

“Critics of postmodernism have argued that [philosopher Martin] Heidegger’s heirs misconstrued his writings to come up with personally defined truths and relativistic ideologies that make little more than will-to-power. Judging from Al Gore’s updated definition of ‘reason’ as ‘whatever I say,’ it sounds like those critics are right.”

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