Sunday, September 09, 2007

McCain De Senctute, Part II

The noble and elderly Cato - centuries before Roma Wade began hawking Healthy Trinity - Before Geritol - Before Doc Chapman's Elixer of Political Youth - argued to young men of sense the value of age. Age and experience trump Youth. Remember - the young can often be timid -timorous, as well as audacious pains in the ass.

Steve Chapman in Sunday Chicago Tribune's Op-Ed piece calls down John McCain's chrolological age as too limiting to candidacy for Prseident. Steve read some Cicero - De Senctute - Of Old Age - Also called Catonis. Chapman even tries to make the 'little jerk' question posed by the dufus in New Hampshire appear genuine.,0,3688.column

More goofy is this non sequitur from Chapman:

In any case, he's endured more wear and tear than the normal AARP member. As a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War, he broke both arms and a leg in a crash after his plane was shot down. He spent 5 1/2 years being tortured, beaten and half-starved as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam. He's had surgery twice for melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. All of those misfortunes exact a toll that may offset his hardy genes.

In other lines of work, has decided to raise to 65. Law firms often put partners out to pasture once they reach the golden years.everyone accepts that there is such a thing as too old. Some major corporations force chief executives and directors to step down at age 65 or so. Airline pilots have a mandatory limit of 60, which the Federal Aviation Administration (emphasis my own - due to WTF factor)

In those jobs, a fixed age limit makes less sense than it does for the one McCain wants. If a lawyer can no longer handle the work, after all, the firm can promptly cashier him or her. But the voters may never know if a president is growing befuddled by routine tasks -- or if a president, wearied by age, has simply lost the energy needed to perform well. And even if such facts became known, the public may not be able to force his removal.
( again the WTF -factor)

Steve Chapman 'EVERYONE ACCEPTS' ???????? The AARP - Age Discrimination Lawsuit Folks? Pack a big lunch, Bubba!

Mr. Chapman - 'befuddled' - you familiar with let's say . . . hmmm. Governor Blago? or Dennis Kucinich - lest I appear anti- Balkan - How about our Youthful President George Bush - Check out his act in Australia this week, Steve?

Mr. Chapman and other age conscious " Anybody but Mccain" Operatives(ABBMc) AbMiks - how's that? - read this nice passage from Cicero where Cato sets the boys right:

( switch the Youthful McCain for Cato ) and engage in willful suspension of disbelief, or prejudice. Literature is ageless - Noam Chomsky notwithstanding.

But I was going to observe that I am now in my eighty-fourth year, and I wish I had reason to boast with Cyrus that I feel no sensible decay of strength. But although I do not possess it in the same degree as when I made my first campaign in the Carthaginian war, in the course of which I was advanced to the rank of questor; or when, during my consulship, I commanded the army in Spain; or when four years afterwards I was military tribune at the battle of Thermopylae; yet I can with truth, you see, affirm that old age has not totally relaxed my nerves and subdued my native vigour. My strength has not yet been found to fail me, either in the Senate or the assemblies of the people, when my country or my friends, my clients or my hosts, have had occasion to require my service. The truth is I have never governed myself by the cautious maxim of that ancient proverb so frequently quoted, which says, "You must be old soon if you would be old long;" on the contrary, I would rather abate some years from that season of my life than prematurely anticipate its arrival. In consequence of this principle I have hitherto been always open to access whenever any person desired to be introduced to me for my advice or assistance in his affairs.

But you will tell me, perhaps, that my strength is much inferior to yours. Undoubtedly it is, and so is yours to that of Pontius the athletic centurion, but is he therefore a more valuable man? A moderate degree of force is sufficient for all the rational purposes of life, and whoever will not attempt to exert his particular portion farther than he is well able, will assuredly have no great cause to regret that he is not endued with a more considerable share. Milo is said to have walked the full length of the course at the Olympic games bearing the whole enormous weight of an ox upon his shoulders. Now tell me which would you choose to possess- this man's extraordinary powers of body or the sublime genius of Pythagoras? In a word, my friends, make a good use of your youthful vigour so long as it remains, but never let it cost you a sigh when age shall have withdrawn it from you; as reasonably, indeed, might youth regret the loss of infancy or manhood the extinction of youth. Nature conducts us, by a regular and insensible progression, through the different seasons of human life, to each of which she has annexed its proper and distinguishing characteristic. As imbecility is the attribute of infancy, ardour of youth, and gravity of manhood, so declining age has its essential properties, which gradually disclose themselves as years increase.

I am persuaded, Scipio,( Steve, or Rudy, or Mitt, or Barack or whomever) I need not tell you what extraordinary things that ancient host of your ancestors, Massinissa, is still capable of performing. You have heard, no doubt, that although he is at this time ninety years of age, he takes long journeys, sometimes on foot and sometimes on horseback, without once relieving himself throughout the whole way by alternately changing from the one mode of travelling to the other; that he is so exceedingly hardy, that no severity of weather, when he is abroad, can induce him to cover his head; and that having preserved by these means a thin and active habit of body, he still retains sufficient strength and spirits for discharging in person the several functions of his royal station. I particularise these circumstances as a proof, that by temperance and exercise a man may secure to his old age no inconsiderable degree of his former spirit and activity.

If it must be acknowledged that time will inevitably undermine the strength of man, it must equally be acknowledged that old age is a season of life in which great vigour is by no means required. Accordingly, by the laws and institutions of our country, we who are advanced to a certain age are excused from those offices which demand robust powers to discharge. Far from being compelled to undertake what is beyond our force, we are not called upon to exert our strength even to its full extent. If it be alleged that there are numberless old men so totally worn out and decayed, as to be incapable of every kind of civil or social duty, it must be confessed there are; but may not this debility have arisen from an original weakness of constitution? a misfortune by no means peculiar to old age, but common to every period of human life. How great a valetudinarian was that son of Scipio Africanus, who adopted you for his heir; so great indeed, that he scarcely ever enjoyed a day of uninterrupted health. Had he been formed with a less delicate constitution he would have shone forth a second luminary of the Commonwealth, for with all the spirit and magnanimity of his illustrious father he possessed a more improved and cultivated understanding. What wonder then if age is sometimes oppressed with those infirmities from which youth, we see, is by no means secure!

It's on everyone! Even 'little jerks.'

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