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Killing Frankenstein’s Monster

Downblog, Chris puts together a fantastic post that quite well explains the ways in which modern liberalism and classical liberalism (ie, libertarianism) have a tremendous amount in common at the fundamental “first principles” level, at least if you accept the definition of modern liberalism contained within Chris’ post.  As I note in the comments, arguably…

Self-Identification, pluralism, and all that…

Okay.  So, after writing this and unintentionally sparking a number of reactions including a pretty good number of dissenting comments (good natured cries of “ignorance” and “ignoramous!”), a follow-up post, a few other responses including some that agree and some that don’t, I sat down and talked the whole thing over with my wife. Basically…

tongue-twisterisms

Is it just me or has there been a lot phrases bandied about lately that come, for lack of a better phrase, trippingly off the tongue?  For instance “liberal liberalism” vs “illiberal liberalism” (or posts that begin with “a” then move on to “liberal” which reads almost as “a-liberal” which then sounds like “illiberal”) or…

from my ink-stained hands

I found this post to be a good rundown of why the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is such a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad law. As someone who has been madly in love with books in general and old books in particular since as long as I can remember, a law declaring that…

The Tone-Deafness of the “Statism” Charge

Jonah Goldberg argues that a left-libertarian fusionism is not only doomed to failure but is in fact likely to lead to a less libertarian, more “statist” society: As for it being undesirable, I am consistently amazed when liberals and libertarians (and even some conservatives) want the right to abandon its dogmatic aversion to statism in…

Not quite there yet…

Maybe one day I’ll write about something other than the markets, but today is not that day.  Anyway… A response to E.D.’s last post in this conversation: I recoginze that bank nationalization as an option is on the table and is more viable than it has been.  The markets are so dislocated (for many reasons) that if…

Christianism and the Gay Marriage Debate

Regarding Andrew’s post about the full-page anti-gay-marriage ad run in the Salt Lake Tribune, I find I am once again conflicted over the use of the term “Christianist.”  While I do think it rightly applies to many in the politically active fundamentalist, evangelical movement, and certain factions within the Catholic Church, can it really be…

25 Best Blogs

Time has a story out today on the 25 best blogs (and 5 most over-rated blogs).  No huge surprise, Andrew Sullivan makes the cut.  Looks like some good stuff all around – something for everybody – maybe a blog or two you haven’t read yet…probably a lot you have (like TPM, and HuffPo etc.) Here’s…

the invisible heart

Yglesias highlights an interesting interview with Jeb Bush on Sweden’s education system, which in short utilizes all sorts of neat ideas like credit-based learning a la four year colleges, and voucher systems that allow for public and private cooperation.  Says Bush, “The idea that somehow Sweden would be the land of innovation, where private involvement…

climate partisanship

George Will isn’t the only conservative partisan using global warming as a wedge issue.  Both sides of the debate, to some degree, have used climate change theory to their political advantage.  Al Gore has made a fortune and a great deal more fame off the subject–plenty of cash to pay for his carbon-emitting 10,000 square…

more on Kaus

Conor Friedersdorf and Erik are joing Daniel Larison in pushing back strongly against me in the comments of my previous post. Like I said in the update, I must concede to them that Kaus should be capable of calling himself whatever he chooses. (You might actually want to read something I wrote here.) I remain…

Phony in-house Conservative Battles

My former political editor at the late-great Culture11, James Poulos makes an excellent contribution to a roundtable discussing Sam Tanenhaus’ piece declaring the death of movement conservativism.  Tanenhaus’ original article is here.  The roundtable discussion is here–Br. James’ contribution is fittingly the final one. What I like in some ways most about James’ response is…

goodnight, Sunday, and Monday tomorrow

So I had a long post all written out, and I don’t know, maybe I will rework it someday. It has been an emotionally wrenching day today and I am spent in the good way, where everything just seeps out of you and you feel the stillness inside. As my favorie poet and the loveliest…

A letter to Avigdor Lieberman

I wanted to give a quick shout-out to blogger Max Socol who has a really interesting op-ed up at the Jerusalem Post.  His take on the rise of Avigdor Lieberman and the Yisrael Beitenu party is quite a lot different than mine, and where I saw only reason for skepticism, Max manages to draw some…

Liberaltarianism in a Liberal Age

Robert Stacy McCain has a scathing post that seeks to permanently douse the concept of a left-libertarian coalition ever being a real possibility, which includes this little bit: As a political impulse, the sort of libertarianism that scoffs at creationism and traditional marriage wields limited influence, because it appeals chiefly to a dissenting sect of…

…speaking of socialism…

There is a point at which the pursuit of the American Dream can be wholly boiled down to a capitalist pursuit, which is always tragic; taken a step further, that capitalist pursuit can be defined as merely opportunistic; and finally, when opportunism has truly run its course, it evlolves into just one thing: kitsch. God…

politics and poetry

“And just as I often fret that my hopes for a right-of-center majority lie somewhere back in the wreckage of the Bush years, I think the liberaltarians ought to worry, just a little, that their moment actually arrived in the Clinton years, and that it’s already behind them – somewhere back in the vast obscurity…

The Risk Problem…

Being a finance geek, I can’t help myself from making a few comments… E.D. Kain writes… Here we see another rather conservative approach to Government involvement in home ownership.  Rather than subsidize home owners, the Canadian Government is approaching home ownership as a responsibility that the individual needs to bear, rather than the state.  And,…

Two words, Benjamin: Economic Oblivion

I’m not normally a declinist, gloom and doom-ism being the kissing cousin of the absurd optimistic teleology that has also been, strangely, permanently en vogue. But one place where I’m afraid I’m almost entirely pessimistic is the survival of media and art in the digital age. I come to talk to you about this by way of Peter’s post…

The Failed Obama Administration

So it appears Judd Gregg has withdrawn his nomination for Commerce Secretary, signaling yet another blow to bi-partisanship in an increasingly partisan Washington.  Business, it would seem, shall proceed as usual.  Two things about this are really funny to me. First, it’s really funny to me that the media is clinging to every one of…

M. van Buren: 25 Random Things about Me

25 Random Things About Me by Martin Van Buren, CITIZEN of the REPUBLIC 1)      Whilst campaigning for Gen. Jackson’s reelection in our nation’s Capitol in 1832, I became embroiled in a heated argument with one Sen. Henry Clay, the Kentuckey WHIG, over the fate of the Second Bank of the United States. 2)      Some regrettable…

Israel, Alone

There is something remarkable and frightening about the fact that Avigdor Lieberman’s Party, Yisrael Beiteinu, came in third in Israel’s recent parliamentary elections, gaining 15 seats in the Knesset, only 13 fewer than Tipi Livni’s moderate Kadima Party and only 12 fewer than the Conservative Likud Party.  Yisrael Beiteinu, which translates to Israel is Our…