Not bad except for the horror show in Philadelphia. Happily, there was Mr. Ostrander.
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Of course, we want all our men in public life to respect women. Of course we want all our men generally to respect women. But a charge is not the same as a truth. And a trial lawyer is not the most unquestionable of sources. And let’s admit that politics is everywhere.
We all want women to be protected. We do not want the laws protecting women to be used for political smears and for extortion. When I was at Yale Law School, the women’s group used to put a sign on certain ads they deemed objectionable. The poster said simply, “This insults women.” To take laws designed to protect women and use them for political and financial extortion insults women, says my wife, and I agree.
Anyway, I am home now. Someone just walked by on the street outside our house smoking super strong marijuana and I feel light headed so I guess I will lie down with my Julie.
The Steins were not always sufficiently important and (falsely) thought to be rich enough to attract the attention of the publicity hound/trial lawyers of this world.
My paternal grandfather was an assembly line worker, then a skilled tool and die maker, at Ford Motor, then at GE. He was unemployed for most of the Great Depression. My father entered the best small college in America, Williams College, in the fall of 1931 pretty much without a dime. Talk about tough times.
But my father was greatly helped at Williams by a slightly older Williams man named Taylor Ostrander. Mr. Ostrander, also an economist, helped my father get little jobs and enter essay contests where he won small but meaningful prizes.
When my father graduated, in 1935 (at age 19), Mr. Ostrander helped him get a fellowship and a part-time job at the graduate school of economics at the University of Chicago, where Mr. Ostrander was pursuing his distinguished Ph.D. Years ago, I found the letter that Mr. Ostrander had written to the authorities at Chicago about my Pop. It was filled with glowing testimony to his intelligence, diligence, and integrity. It was the respectful letter of a great friend.
When Pop left the University of Chicago in 1937 or 1938 to find work in Washington, D.C. to support my mother and himself, Taylor Ostrander had already gone there and gotten a good job at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. He got my father a job there, too, in extremely tough times. These were blessings indeed.
I really do not know what the trajectory of my father’s life would have been without Taylor Ostrander. I am sure he would have accomplished plenty. But Mr. Ostrander’s help to my father and mother in times of unique stringency was life saving.
My parents stayed in touch with Mr. Ostrander for the rest of their lives, and never mentioned his name without tearing up.
For his part, Taylor Ostrander had a distinguished career in public and private service, in the military, and in international organizations. For many years he was a high official of American Metal Climax (now called AMAX).
Then Mr. Ostrander retired to his beloved Williamstown, Mass. I had the great pleasure (honor, really) of meeting him many times there. The last time was when I spoke at Williams about eight years ago. Even though he was in his 90s, he was there in the audience, as lively as a cat, smiling and laughing. When a group of students serenaded me afterwards with my father’s favorite Williams hymn (“The mountains, the mountains, we greet them with a song…”) Mr. Ostrander joined in lustily.
Now comes word through the e-mail that this great man, and great, great friend, has died of pneumonia at 101. God bless his soul. We Steins will never forget you. They don’t make them like Taylor Ostrander any more. There is nothing at all more precious than a friend.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?