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By Diogenes ( articles ) | May 21, 2007



Speaker Nancy Pelosi addressed the graduating class of the University of San Francisco's McLaren School of Business last weekend, acknowledging her host's pro quo and tipping him with a quid:

Father Privett, may I thank you publicly for the honor you extended to me by offering the invocation at my swearing in as Speaker of the House. We could not have been more inspired by his words. That day he challenged us to pursue the common good of all the people of this great nation of ours especially of those who need us the most.

All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt but fall down and worship me. A great send-off for B School grads, who we can be sure got the message they were intended to get. Though Pelosi's address is mostly standard commencement-exercise gravel, her pre-speech Google search for "peace -- violence -- philosopher" surfaced this imperfectly assimilated nugget:

The philosopher Hannah Arendt once observed that nations are driven by the endless flywheel of violence, believing that one last, one final violent gesture will bring peace. But each time they sow the seeds for more violence.

A pity that Pelosi didn't make the connection with abortion, nearly always contemplated as a regrettable act of violence that, indulged just this once, will put an end to the perpetrator's distress, and thus remove the occasion of conflicts in the future. Of course, taking moral imperatives seriously enough to reject the compromises conventionally in place among the prosperous is the last thing the university wants to communicate. Pelosi's presence on the dais is itself proof performative that, if you want your career to advance, you don't let your principles stand in the way of your conclusions.

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