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  • P J O’Rourke Visits an Aircraft Carrier

    Posted by David Foster on April 20th, 2008 (All posts by )

    …and is inspired to some thoughts about conservatism and John McCain.

    I’m surprised that neither O’Rourke nor the highly literate editors of the Weekly Standard thought of including this 1851 quote from John Ruskin:

    For one thing this century will in after ages be considered to have done in a superb manner and one thing I think only. . . it will always be said of us, with unabated reverence, “They built ships of the line” . . . the ship of the line is [man’s] first work. Into that he has put as much of his human patience, common sense, forethought, experimental philosophy, self control, habits of order and obedience, thoroughly wrought handwork, defiance of brute elements, careless courage, careful patriotism, and calm expectation of the judgement of God, as can well be put into a space of 300 feet long by 80 broad. And I am thankful to have lived in an age when I could see this thing so done.