On Houseguests, Holidays, And Homosexual Rights


My house guests have left for a precious week. At long last some respite. So far The Occupation has lasted six weeks. Another three to go. The first order of the day was to scrub down the house. Olfactory restoration was followed by auditory revival: music is the best antidote to the aftereffects of non-stop carping. And who better than Brahms—the maestro’s Sextets, in particular. So on went the Sextets, and out gushed the tears. Perfection makes me cry, and String Sextet No. 1 in B Flat op 18 is achingly sublime. I’m now almost as good as new, ready with a few updates:
First up: the presenters of Connected Coast to Coast have a message for overworked Americans battling to keep their professional edge in the age of inflation, taxation, never-ending government deficits and wars, and the threat of outsourcing: Don’t Worry, Be Happy. Befitting the season, the convivial—and deeply connected—pundits urged Americans to follow the Commander-in-Chief’s lead and go on holiday—lots of them. Contra the CIC, Americans on average take only 12 vacation days, admonished our TV personalities. Don’t you know that it takes a toll on your health?
One of Connected’s hosts is Ronald Reagan’s son, no less. A liberal, Ron Reagan’s sense of the working world is as sound as his grasp of free market economics. The other presenter is a woman who has always worshipped at the GOP altar, devotion which tends to be very well-rewarded. The commentariat, of course, is a mirror image of the political class, reflecting and reinforcing the opinions—and the reality—of the elites. More often than not, the chattering classes are as privileged—and protected—as their masters.
No wonder, then, that the hosts of Connected Coast to Coast can jest about what compulsive workers Americans are. For your information Monica and Ron, most corporations give their workers ten working days off a year! Americans take so few days off because they get so few days off. If they took more, they’d probably be fired. The market place is competitive. While conformity (“team player” is the private-sector synonym) is as prized, say, in high-tech companies as it is among the punditocracy, ultimately, staying ahead of the game boils down to being capable of producing the goods. Politicians, however, create their own employment conditions, from job description down to the exorbitant pay they extract from taxpayers. The media talking heads are props to the politicos. As long as they play to the “Demopublican Monopolists,” and sustain the respective parties’ constituencies, media “mavens” will retain their perches, their pensions, and their sizable salaries. Connected? Disconnected is more like it.
Next: Did Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr help the “gay-rights” movement win its most important legal victory? The case was “Romer vs. Evans,” and it “struck down a voter-approved 1992 Colorado initiative that would have allowed employers and landlords to exclude gays from jobs and housing.” That’s The Los Angles Times’ take on a state law that denied special rights and protections to homosexuals. To be fair, Roberts was, at the time, in private practice. He’d have had a hard time refusing his employers. Yes, he offered his services pro bono, but the firm, Hogan & Hartson, expected “partners to volunteer time in community service.” Gay activists consider the decision Roberts helped them win the “single most important positive ruling in the history of the gay rights movement.” Libertarians should consider it in the tradition of 14th-Amendment jurisprudence—a violation of private property and freedom of association and of Coloradans and their constitution. I suspect Roberts would dissent.

Many thanks to Dr. Daniel Pipes. He has posted More Fatwa Fibs on his exceedingly popular and highly regarded website, DanielPipes.org