- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Washington vs. Presidents Day

“People ask why a few of us presidential junkies would like to see Presidents Day changed back to Washington’s Birthday. The technical explanation has to do with a misguided law called HR 15951 that was passed in 1968 to make federal holidays less complicated. The real answer is simply this: George Washington is our greatest president, and too few American children know why.

“George Washington earned the respect even of his former enemy, King George III, by doing something exceedingly rare in history: When he had the chance to increase personal power, he decreased it — not once, not twice, but repeatedly.

“During the American Revolution, Washington put service before self. His personal example was his greatest gift to the nation. It has often been said that the ‘Father of our country’ was less eloquent than Jefferson; less educated than Madison; less experienced than Franklin; less talented than Hamilton. Yet all these leaders looked to Washington to lead them because they trusted him with power. He didn’t need power.”

Gleaves Whitney, writing on “It’s Washington’s Birthday, Not Presidents Day,” on National Review Online

Spiritual fog lifting?

“Culture-shaping is upstream of politics, and sociologists and historians are often humbled by their own meanderings as they opine on what forces shape the culture. …

“Recent decades have revealed a Darwinian individualism, a strain nowhere more pronounced than in politics. A ‘survival of the fittest’ mentality has been pushed by political handlers and operatives, and too often embraced, or at least accepted, by would-be leaders.

“Perhaps, just perhaps, we are seeing the emergence of a countervailing force. Perhaps, just reaching a tipping point, is a force that is saying, in the words of Howard Beale, the anchor in the movie ‘Network,’ ‘I’m as mad … and I’m not going to take this anymore!’ Maybe, just maybe, as product and political cycles have shortened and as consumers and voters have been treated ever less respectfully, an emerging force is beginning to push back — a force defined less by the material and more by the spiritual.”

Al Sikes, writing on “Perhaps, a Flicker of Light: Reflections on the 2008 U.S. Primaries,” at the Trinity Forum

Selling celibacy

“In her new autobiography, Kathleen Turner says she felt uncomfortable making ‘Body Heat’ because, ‘I was no great beauty.’ … That could be the most clueless statement from a blonde since Hillary’s last press conference, but here’s the best part: Ms. Turner goes on to say she’s not had sex in two years.

“And she has company in her solitude, for the hip-hop diva Pepa, of Salt-n-Pepa, says she has been celibate for the same period and Lenny Kravitz claims to have gone without for even longer. Has Kravitz, with his endless list of bold-face conquests in the gossip columns, become jaded, like a clerk in an expensive candy store? …

Alternatively, have he, Pepa and Turner learned that sex is not so important after all? Or perhaps that it is, so you’d better get it right? Whatever the reason, we hope their newfound emphasis on abstinence will set an example for others who might benefit from it — though we suspect that this product will prove somewhat harder to sell than soft drinks and IPods.”

From the Week, in the Feb. 25 National Review

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide