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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press

Alarms and diversions for the thinking person

Saturday, March 18, 2017 05:01 am
The reading list “Who is a hypocrite? One answer is simple: the person who says one thing, does another. Such a hypocrite is most famously represented by Molière’s Tartuffe, a pious fraud who, in the play of the same name, tries to seduce his patron’s wife. He tells her that ‘no wickedness exists until it’s been exposed. ... And if you sin in silence, then it’s not a sin.’ This is the hypocrite you’ll discover should you look up the word in the dictionary.

“On the street, however, in conversation, opinion writing, or the casual diagnoses of strangers, you’ll encounter a breed of hypocrite whose hypocrisy is a little less clear-cut — people who betray, unwittingly, a mismatch between their stated or implied priorities and their true, darker ones. Such hypocrites also say one thing and do another, but their inconsistencies are only disclosed on closer scrutiny. After such scrutiny is applied, however, you can tell that these hypocrites reveal, through inconsistencies and silences, a host of devious motivations, a hollow core, a desire to signal virtuousness, a need to be thought a good person, a quality of being friend to all and friend to none. These hypocrites are not merely guilty of failing to live up to their self-presentation. They lack authentic goodness, even in the absence of any failure. Hypocrisy, in these cases, is more than a vice — it’s a failure of identity.”

— From “Hypocrite” at iasc-culture.org

A quiz

How many people have been on the moon?

Wisdom of the ages

“When eagles are silent, parrots begin to chatter.” — Winston S. Churchill

Current wisdom

“That sound you hear from Washington, D.C., this morning is the weeping and gnashing of teeth from bureaucrats and politicians who have built the federal government into an industry on the backs of taxpayers.”— David McIntosh, the president of the Club for Growth, a conservative free-market advocacy group, on President Trump’s first proposed budget.

Quiz answer

Only 12, Apollo mission astronauts from 1969 to 1972.

Snob words

luciferous (loo-SIF-er-uhs), adj. — bringing or providing light; providing insight or enlightenment, as in: “The politician called the essay deathly dull, but the editorial writer thought it was quite luciferous.”

Today in history

On this day in 1818, Congress approved the first pensions for government service; it’s been a plum job ever since. 

Now you know

Humans have more brain cells at the age of 2 than at any other time of their lives. 


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