Good start! Especially for The Tool. He'll pass on the talking points and think tank "research" as good as anybody in my neck of the woods yet the above is something I long for him to really admit. Now I'm not getting all post-modern I hope yet reality has to be something sought and it can be a tricky search these days. For Jim to take this major step gave me a little hope. And of course he quickly let me down. Mr. Wooten took exception to portions of what NYT Publisher Arthur Sulzberger said in his commencement address at NYU - New Paltz (rock climbing country!) yet I'll give you a portion Jim Wooten didn't address:
... a confession. I'm in a business that's too jaded living in an era that's too cynical. Two events of the past week evoke that feeling.
And it is just that. A feeling. Admittedly, one reinforced by the day's readings
John F. Kennedy allegedly said something like, "There is an old saying that the course of civilization is a race between catastrophe and education. In a democracy such as ours, we must make sure that education wins the race." I think Mr. Sulzberger is simply reminding us that learning is a lifetime commitment and that we are all in this together. Jim Wooten takes the commencement, and it was hardly a poor one I'd suggest, and offers this, with my emphasis supplied:
... my plea is: engage. Our world needs you. It needs your energy and your caring; it needs your commitment and your values. If we don’t get them our society – all of us – will continue to aimlessly drift, failing to make our country and our world a place that makes us proud.
Engage. Help make decisions. Vote. Read a newspaper (what, you thought the publisher of The New York Times wouldn’t get there?) Knowing what’s happening in your world, your country, your neighborhood is the critical precursor to being a citizen of a democracy. Each one of you who forsakes your role in keeping our democracy alive by either inaction or, perhaps worse, by action based on ignorance, threatens all the rest of us. So, read a newspaper and build a community. ...
I'll get back to the above soon but let me first show how Jim Wooten takes the memorial for a "Greatest Generation" man that does seem to have been one that lived a damn fine life and uses, in a manner that seems a touch tacky, Jim Gillette's legacy as grist for his mill. Jim closes off yet another ad hominem column with
Idealism laced with cynicism. It's a toxic brew, but one that has become the latté of the coffeehouse intelligentsia, at least in the era since Sulzberger graduated from college.
The America most often described by the left's politicians and commentators, the one for which the publisher apologizes, is a reprehensible corruption that hardly inspires idealism. It's a venal place where immigrants and the weak are exploited, the greedy unchecked, the environment despoiled, where business and politics are corrupt and where soldiers' lives are pennies tossed as wishes into a fountain. How utterly wrong that view is.
There was nothing cynical about the America John Gillette saw. We were not a nation that, as Sulzberger cast it, fights misbegotten wars, withholds fundamental human rights or counts oil as basis for American policy.Mr. Wooten knew the man and his family and perhaps they'd approve, or at least accept, how Jim reflects on General Gillette's life of service and sacrifice. I'll also offer that I'm a touch uncomfortable about even working around Jim's standard attacks on the left even if he did this by "comparing" Gillette's character and attitudes, and that whole Greatest Generation in part, with what Sulzberger told those young people in New York. So I'll leave Gillette and his family, and all those men and women that have served this nation in and out of the military, to focus on the legacy they left us.
That this column began with "business all too jaded" is odd since Jim seems hardly jaded and perfectly Pollyannish with yet another hit piece on the loony left. Jim Wooten can hardly deny the corruption of the GOP's K-Street Project, best represented by Jack Abramoff. There's plenty more to not like about how government is increasingly for sale to the highest bidder, with the overwhelming majority of the scandals being with the Republican Party in that they have all the power it seems. Businesses are never corrupt. Just ask Bu$h's Kenny Boy Lay of Enron and he'll tell you how honest free market capitalism works in Wooten's World. Exploitation doesn't exist? Women aren't paid less than men and corporate interests in the US would never seek cheap labor that had limited or no ability to resist poor treatment. And "greed" is merely a fantasy of the left. How silly to ponder on the increasing income gap between haves and have nots. In Wooten's World he can claim that just thinking of the massive tax breaks handed to the Big Mules by the GOP has been proven to cause cancer. This fact might be provided by some disengenously endowed organization's policy whore that Jim can tap into when he needs authority. Gitmo and Abu Ghraid and Haditha and ... simply did not occur I suppose in Wooten's World? Move along. Nothing to see here. All is well and nothing to fret over. Sort of like the environmental concerns huh Jim? Climate change and pollution and species loss and deforestation and ... has just been made up by those godless liberals if you live in the world of Wooten. Oil has nary a thing to do with Iraq! And apparently the WMD didn't either as the neo-con wet dream turned nightmare is going swimmingly. Freedom is on the march and we've turned yet another corner. Last throes! Soldiers and civilians and families and treasure lost or damaged by this war of choice is not even subject to doubt. Human life has been squandered in Iraq by men who did not serve when duty called. Certainly today's Chickenhawks wrap themselves in the flag and use "support the troops" to deflect questions over the lack of leadership provided by Rummy, Dick, .... Your work is just the first time I've seen anyone with the audacity to use the memories of even the old warriors to brush back reservations over the decisions of Our Leader, and your beloved conservatism, in foreign and domestic policies. Sychronized shilling once again.
Welcome to Wooten's World. Bolstered by such fine people as Ann Coulter, The Tool is carrying out his role for the Right. I just don't understand folks like Jim and those who accept his writing as even close to the standards of what Sulzberger asked those kids to strive toward. I'm hardly in the coffeehouse these days yet I'll claim at least a seat at the intelligentsia table every so often. Folks like Jim are not interested in discourse and debate it seems as they dismiss concerns of I'd argue nearly every American. It's time for Jim to put some facts and reason behind Wooten's World. Until then I'll proudly remain "utterly wrong". Peace ... or War!