Saturday, July 08, 2006

He blogs!

I still can't blog from my own computer, so posts will be rarer and probably in concentrated bursts. Here's a batch.

Paul Stephens' Montana Green Bulletin, always an interesting read, carries an excerpt from a piece H.L. Mencken wrote for the Baltimore Evening Sun during the Scopes trial. Here's a bit from his description of William Jennings Bryan:

The old boy grows more and more pathetic. He has aged greatly during the past few years and begins to look elderly and enfeebled. All that remains of his old fire is now in his black eyes. They glitter like dark gems, and in their glitter there is immense and yet futile malignancy. That is all that is left of the Peerless Leader of thirty years ago. Once he had one leg in the White House and the nation trembled under his roars. Now he is a tinpot pope in the Coca-Cola belt and a brother to the forlorn pastors who belabor half-wits in galvanized iron tabernacles behind the railroad yards. His own speech was a grotesque performance and downright touching in its imbecility. ... The effect of the whole harangue was extremely depressing. It quickly ceased to be an argument addressed to the court -- Bryan, in fact, constantly said "My friends" instead of "Your Honor" -- and became a sermon at the camp-meeting. All the familiar contentions of the Dayton divines appeared in it -- that learning is dangerous, that nothing is true that is not in the Bible, that a yokel who goes to church regularly knows more than any scientist ever heard of. The thing went to fantastic lengths. It became a farrago of puerilities without coherence or sense.


Oh, how I long for the days when reporters were objective and didn't let their biases infect their stories!

Stephens also had this gem from U.S. Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., about a failed amendment that would have prohibited the federal government from undermining state medical marijuana laws:

"If I am terminally ill, it is not anybody's business on this floor how I handle the pain or the illness or the sickness associated with that illness. With all due respect to all of you, butt out. I did not enter this world with the permission of the Justice Department, and I am certainly not going to depart it by seeking their permission or that of any other authority. The Congress has no business telling people that they cannot manage their illness or their pain any way they need to. I would trust any doctor in the country before I trust some of the daffy ducks in this institution to decide what I am supposed to do if I am terminally ill ... . When is this Congress going to recognize that individuals in their private lives have a right to manage their problems as they see fit without the permission of the big guy in the White House or the big guy in the Justice Department or any of the Lilliputians on this Congressional floor? Wake up!"


Between this vote and the flag amendment, it looks like Democrats are all we have to rely upon to uphold principles of limited government and freedom. What a bizarre world.

2 comments:

Vince said...

"His own speech was a grotesque performance and downright touching in its imbecility."

Who'd have ever thought that this would become a prerequisite to holding high public office. Bryan was just ahead of his time.

Anonymous said...

Just want to let you know that one lurker misses you when you don't blog. bonnie