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The deal has fallen apart that would have ended a lawsuit by two condo owners on land SMU wants to use to build the George Bush Presidential Library. Story.

G.W. should have gone with Baylor.
American Exceptionalism and European Exceptionalism and White Exceptionalism are all alive and kicking.

"American Exceptionalism" refers to the belief that America is unique, chosen above all other nations by God for a special purpose in God's plan, a nation different from other nations. Historically, it is an attitude we inherited from Britain, which believed the same of itself. Allied with American Exceptionalism has been European Exceptionalism and White Exceptionalism.

We are tempted to believe that belief in the uniqueness of America and its special role in history is dead.

Not so.

Many people emphasize American Exceptionalism, European Exceptionalism, and White Exceptionalism. Just not in a postitive sense. Instead, whites seems exceptionally evil, Europeans exceptionally ruthless and imperial, and America exceptionally nasty.

From a Christian, and historical, perspective, both exceptionalisms seem the product of adolescent either/or thinking. Either a nation is wonderfully virtuous, or terrifyingly evil.

Whites do have a history of racism and cruelty: but so do other races. Europeans have been ruthless and imperial: but so were the Aztec, the Han of China, and Genghas Khan to name but a few. And American history has its nasty side, look at slavery, treaty-breaking, and treatment of Chinese, to name a few. But, every nation has its nasty side.

The strength, and historically demonstrable exceptionalism, is that in our system we can and have changed some things over time. And we have offered more people more liberty overall than any other empire I know.

St. Augustine said it best: all nations arise out of violence, but by God's providence can become restrainers of violence and protectors of peace.
Camille Paglia, my favorite lesbian-feminist-Democrat commenator, absolutely tears the Democrats in power.


Having said that, I must confess my dismay bordering on horror at the amateurism of the White House apparatus for domestic policy. When will heads start to roll? I was glad to see the White House counsel booted, as well as Michelle Obama's chief of staff, and hope it's a harbinger of things to come. Except for that wily fox, David Axelrod, who could charm gold threads out of moonbeams, Obama seems to be surrounded by juvenile tinhorns, bumbling mediocrities and crass bully boys.

Case in point: the administration's grotesque mishandling of healthcare reform, one of the most vital issues facing the nation. Ever since Hillary Clinton's megalomaniacal annihilation of our last best chance at reform in 1993 (all of which was suppressed by the mainstream media when she was running for president), Democrats have been longing for that happy day when this issue would once again be front and center.

But who would have thought that the sober, deliberative Barack Obama would have nothing to propose but vague and slippery promises -- or that he would so easily cede the leadership clout of the executive branch to a chaotic, rapacious, solipsistic Congress? House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, whom I used to admire for her smooth aplomb under pressure, has clearly gone off the deep end with her bizarre rants about legitimate town-hall protests by American citizens. She is doing grievous damage to the party and should immediately step down.

And she's just getting started.

What I don't get is her cognative disconnect: in her last few columns she has lambasted the Dems, including the Administration, but continues to believe Obama himself is the sober, deliberative Barack Obama.

In another sign that the tide may be turning irrevocably against Obamacare: from last night's Conan O'Brian

President Obama says he will not support a healthcare plan where the government gets to decide to “pull the plug on grandma.” Apparently Obama’s plan calls for the much quicker “pillow option.”
Here in Oklahoma we have had the tolls raised on our toll roads. To us it's a big deal because for a state our size we have a lot of toll roads.

The rates are going up because toll revenues are down. People have been driving less on the toll roads. Less overall, or less on the toll roads? I haven't seen that question addressed. As someone who lives on a highway that can be used as an alternative to a nearby toll stretch of I-44, I suspect that some folks are choosing to bypass the pay-for-use roads.

A private business, faced with declining purchases from customers, would try to upgrade service, perhaps even cutting prices. Not so government. Whatever the revenue source, and whatever the justification--think taxes on tobacco--once government develops an income it will not give it up voluntarily.

The outcome, I am guessing, may be more traffic on my highway, because even government cannot escape the laws of economics completely.
In a recent post I noted a new book that I found disturbing and interesting: an inside account of those protected by the Secret Service resulting from interviews with (not so) Secret Service members. Disturbing because it could cause future protectees to separate themselves from their detail, interesting because, well, who doesn't like to read about the lives of celebrities--in my case political figures.

Newsmax has been doing summaries of the book's content as teasers, and today's material mostly is on Reagan. And also some on Gary Hart who was even more of a tomcat than we knew.

According to the Secret Service, Reagan was the same affable, courteous man in private that he was in public. He treated those around him like he appreciated their work. Nancy? Well, let's say the Secret Service members were not her fans.
There is a book coming out supposedly based on interviews with Secret Service agents that reveals the "behind closed doors" character of the people being guarded.

Disturbing: those being protected, such as presidents, need to be able to trust that they never will be talked about by the Secret Service. Otherwise the trust is lost, and the temptation to ditch the protection increases. I would, however, make an exception to the secrecy for felonies.

Interesting: if the material is to be believed: Nixon and LBJ may have been even weirder than I knew, and I already thought they were odd; Carter was not likable; and the Obamas are OK so far, though Barak is lying about not smoking.