- The Washington Times - Friday, August 17, 2007

No uniform

“Last month’s spat over the state of [Sen. Hillary Rodham] Clinton’s decolletage saw wave after peristaltic wave of pious vapidity, followed by the occasional spasm of outright misogyny. … Almost no one saw fit to recognize the immense challenges Clinton faces as a woman dressing to project authority.

“Least of all her supporters. ‘Frankly, focusing on women’s bodies instead of their ideas is insulting,’ wrote campaign official Ann Lewis in a fundraising letter. … Appearances shouldn’t matter, so why acknowledge that they do?

“Forget the mountains of studies on cognition, perception, affective priming, the importance of signaling in social interactions and the disadvantages women are known to face due to implicit bias. The radical idea that clothes convey meaning is apparently something … concocted in the corner of the newsroom and sold to credulous readers. …

“There is simply no female uniform that effectively and consistently broadcasts authority; no equivalent to the male suit.”

Kerry Howley, writing on “The Pantsuit Paradox,” Tuesday at Reason.com

Bridge to panic

“Consider the collapse of the bridge in Minnesota. The tragedy attracted great media coverage at first, which quickly deteriorated into another white Bronco chase with people talking a lot but saying little.

“The Associated Press reported, ‘More than 70,000 bridges across the country are rated structurally deficient like the span that collapsed in Minneapolis, and engineers estimate repairing them all would take at least a generation and cost more than $188 billion.’

“Now for the reality check. … Out of 70,000 structurally deficient bridges, one collapsed. On my slide rule, that works out to 99.99857 percent of the structurally deficient bridges still standing.

“Aging bridges? Last time I checked, the Brooklyn Bridge was still there.

“Far from being overeducated fools, the civil engineers are doing better than doctors. They have designed 607,363 bridges in the nation. When the nation’s doctors perform 607,363 surgeries and lose only one patient, then we will talk.

“The American infrastructure is crumbling? Not hardly.”

Don Surber, writing on “Living in fear of death is not really living,” Aug. 9, in the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail

Blogging bile

“The liberal billionaires, such as George Soros and Peter Lewis, and the bloggers, such as ‘blogfather’ Jerome Armstrong … are passionate in their hostility to the Republican ‘dictatorship,’ the reviled George W. Bush and his war in Iraq; they despise the evangelical ‘lizardheads’; … they detest the Clintons as compromisers whose strategy of triangulation has turned the Democrats, as they see it, into me-too Republicans chasing after the middle-class vote; they loathe the centrist Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) and, as famed Hollywood liberal Norman Lear puts it, ‘Joe [Expletive] Lieberman’; and they are sure, insofar as they give it any thought, that the war on terror is largely a scam that has been sold to the ‘morons’ of middle America.”

Fred Siegel, writing on “The Againstocrats,” Aug. 10 in City Journal Online at www.city-journal.org

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