Heinrich von Kleist’s famous story “The Earthquake in Chile” is set in Santiago in 1647. A young Carmelite nun named Josephe, condemned to death for becoming pregnant out of wedlock, is about to be beheaded. Across town, her lover, Jeronimo Rugera, is preparing to hang himself in the prison where he has been incarcerated. Just as the bells announcing Josephe’s imminent execution begin to toll, a gigantic earthquake strikes: We now know that it measured around 8.5 on the Richter scale, just a little less than the recent 8.8 quake.
“LET’S PUT IDEOLOGY aside; that’s so yesterday.” Those memorable words were uttered by Hillary Clinton in Santo Domingo, on her way to the Summit of the Americas. I wish to parse them. They may be read charitably and uncharitably. I will begin with charity, since in this case it goes against my grain. There are two ways in which the abdication of ideology by the Secretary of State seems understandable.
After leaving Pennsylvania, the next stop is Illinois! The searchlight of investigation is now to be turned on expenditures in the recent Senatorial primary in that state. The Senatorial committee which has been looking into the Pennsylvania orgy decided some time ago that as soon as Congress adjourns it will move to Chicago and continue its activities there. Since then Senator Caraway has made charges on the floor of the Senate which if confirmed will make the stigma attached to Illinois politicians quite as serious as that now clings to the Pennsylvanians.