- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Country love

“I like country music because it’s about the things in life that really matter. … It’s about love, family, friends, with a few beers, a cheap woman and a two-timing man thrown in for spice. …

“People in country music don’t forget the people who allow them to do what they do for a living. They sign autographs, and they take pictures with the fans. …

“Country music doesn’t have to be politically correct. We sing about God because we believe in Him. We’re not trying to offend anybody, but the evidence we have seen of Him in our small little lives trumps your opinion about whether or not He exists.

“We love country music because it touches us where we live. … Country music is about new love and it’s about old love. It’s about getting drunk, and it’s about getting sober. It’s about leaving, and it’s about coming home.

“It’s real music, sung by real people, for real people — the people that make up the backbone of this country. You can call us rednecks if you want — we’re not offended, ‘cause we know what we’re all about. We get up and go to work, we get up and go to church, and we get up and go to war, when necessary.”

— Jeff Foxworthy, hosting the CMT Music Awards April 16

Numbed down

“The suicide bomber is the most emotionally corrosive phenomenon since World War II. …

“[I]f you have followed the war in Iraq, you have had a remarkable encounter with the blood-drenched world of suicide bombers. The way the American people have absorbed these bombings in faraway Iraq is unique in the annals of war and in journalism.

“A very great number of the suicide bombings — there have been more than 700 since 2003, occurring weekly and often several times a week — have been reported in detail to the American people. The stories routinely include body counts and vivid details and color photography of shattered bodies and street scenes. …

“Almost any normal reader who consumed these accounts as often as the suicide bombers staged them would eventually pull back emotionally from the bombings, and from the war itself.

“This has had the expectable result of producing what one might call the numbing down of America. … [T]he muting of the emotional pathways of the American people is a neutral event, a normal defense against the killings of the suicide bombers, or the crude murders of Cho Seung-hui.”

— Daniel Henninger, writing on “The Numbing Down of America,” Thursday in the Wall

Street Journal

‘Edifice complex’

“Today’s Washington visitors are treated to many recent monuments, notably the strikingly austere Vietnam Veterans Wall and the more traditional World War II Memorial. The city also hosts a hundred-plus memorials, equestrian statues, Greek and Roman inspired political temples, and an assortment of other tributes to notable and not so notable Americans and foreigners. This hodgepodge is enough to give the unsuspecting visitor an edifice complex.

“In his recent book, ‘God and America: A Perspective on the Public Square,’ Newt Gingrich … focuses on the religious significance of the words and images carved on our greatest monuments, notably those dedicated to Washington, Lincoln and Jefferson.

“He notes that the Supreme Court building, completed in 1935, affirms America’s Judeo-Christian roots. Sculptures on the frieze picture Moses, Solon and Confucius who represent ‘three great civilizations to the East.’ ”

— Ernest W. Lefever, writing on “Kitsch on Capitol Hill,” in the March 30 issue of the Weekly Standard

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