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Elizabeth Scalia wonders why there is no more great oratory :

There are no more grand orators in America, and nothing could illustrate that better than the sometimes incoherent, woefully delivered remarks made in the days before and after King’s holiday. Attempting to analyze Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s recent address to the United Nations, writer Russell Shaw quotes a not-untypical muddled passage–one that reads like the first half of the “Barney” song, as explained to lobotomized apes—and writes, “With all due respect, what on earth does [it] mean? The strikingly confused venture into reasoning in this passage would provide rich material for a logician’s intellectual scalpel.”

Also today, Carson Holloway defends ambition in his response to Anthony Esolen’s October 2011 First Things essay:

No doubt ambition is a dangerous thing, but Esolen’s remark here is an error. This excessive condemnation is inconsistent with common sense, with the classical and biblical tradition on which Esolen draws in his criticisms of Greenblatt, and even, I think, with Shakespeare as well. It is, moreover, a practically harmful mistake, one that undermines the classical and biblical tradition’s power to inform and improve our present culture.



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