September 17, 2021

InItDeep

True Conservative Viewpoints

Distraction and Detraction

Andrew and Kerry Kennedy Cuomo arriving at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles, August 15, 2000 (Reuters)

Who is that hotshot couple, above? That’s Andrew Cuomo and Kerry Kennedy, arriving at the Democratic convention in 2000. (They were married at the time.) Andrew was HUD secretary. I had written about him earlier in the year: “Son of Mario: A Democratic prince.”

In my Impromptus today, I revisit that piece, and see the consistency in Andrew Cuomo: What I said more than 20 years ago, reporters and others are saying today, as the governor is embroiled in a scandal or three. Interesting figure on the political scene, to say the least.

Other topics in Impromptus include Harry and Meghan; Biden and the GOP; and classic Hollywood cartoons (the music in). In all probability, there is something for everyone to like, and to dislike. Give it a whirl.

A few days ago, when writing elsewhere about Harry and Meghan, I recalled an Indian proverb: “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his moccasins.” My friend Dave Taggart lets me know,

When I taught middle school, I would tell the kids, “Don’t judge someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. Then, when you judge them, you’ve got a mile head start and left them barefoot.

Ha, that’s Dave.

In an Impromptus a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about guns. Some consider them tools, basically: capable of doing great harm and doing great good (as when they protect the innocent from aggressors). Other people fetishize guns, I have found. They have almost a paganistic relationship to them, and, sometimes, almost a carnal one.

A reader writes, “Mr. Nordlinger, may I introduce you to the term ‘ammosexual’?” Glad to make its acquaintance.

Earlier this week, Bill Kristol circulated a piece of mine, saying,

Come for the lovely tribute to two wonderful teachers — Professor Barbara J. Fields and Professor Maria Rosaria Vitti-Alexander — and stay for the reminder to re-read Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, a book that “has magic within it.”

A reader replied,

Wonderful book. Read it in order to impress an Italian comparative-literature student with whom I was completely smitten.

The book’s magic stayed with me a lot longer than she did . . .

I loved that. (Incidentally, the replier, on Twitter, styles himself “Indiana Jay.” I’m wondering whether I can swing “Michigan Jay.”)

Finally, a bit of language. In an Impromptus last week, I spoke of the terms “baseless smear,” “false smear,” etc., and the redundancy in them. A reader writes,

Dear Jay,

Your comments on “baseless smears” and all reminded me of a fine point in Catholic teaching: The distinction between harming one’s neighbor with lies (“slander” or “libel”) and harming one’s neighbor with truth (“detraction”) is merely legal; each is an uncharitable and sinful act. It’s one thing to tell the truth when it’s necessary, another to tell the truth for the purpose of harming another.

Good stuff. Thanks to all. Again, today’s column is here.

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