NoKo Strategery

On the new AmConMag blog Post-Right (which you should really read), Jack Ross writes: I’d like to offer a theory about Kim Jong Il’s behavior – that he’s clumsily trying to imitate the shrewd moves of Ahmadinejad…Kim, by imprisoning these two women and conducting new missile tests, is aping Ahmadinejad’s tactics at provoking the U.S.,…

the civilizational tango

I have described progressive and conservative politics as existing in a sort of necessary “civilizational tango.”   This is often the vantage point from which I’m operating when I consider such things as the importance of both political and economic decentralization as well as the very definite need to provide some form of universal health care,…

Respecting the Founders

The response to the “America is a Christian nation” meme is usually to argue that the Founders were deists, which results in an intractable debate about the Founders’ actual religion.  Transplanted Lawyer, however, takes a different approach: Their writings and speeches are all over the map and certainly do not conform to contemporary standards of…

great diavlog with Lindsey and Frum

Brink Lindsey and David Frum are a couple of guys who I disagree with a lot, and who would think little of me or my opinions if they were ever exposed to them. But they’re both very bright guys, and this diavlog is among the best that Bloggingheads has to offer. Great for a big…

Failed Binary Middle East Lenses: Lebanon and Iranian Elections Edition

I realize this is the editorial page of the neocon Washington Post, but I find this kind of commentary on the recent elections in Lebanon and the upcoming ones in Iran far too common. A hotly contested parliamentary election produced an unexpectedly decisive victory for the pro-Western coalition that has led the Lebanese government for…

thoughts on socialized medicine

I like Yglesias’s idea: I actually think there’s a very strong case on the merits for a limited form of socialized medicine. Which is to say that I think it would be smart for the government to directly provide a certain class of relatively cheap, not-very-interesting preventive services. You would have clinics in neighborhoods where…

Foreign Affairs Reporting Pet Peeve

This NyTimes article on a local Pakistani villager uprising against the Taliban in NorthWest Frontier Province refers to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas as “lawless tribal areas on the Afghan border.”  Could we stop with this lawless bit?  There are definitely laws out there.  They do not involve a nation-state with formal courts, juries, and…

Sometimes We’re Wrong

Ta-Nehisi Coates, writing on conservatism: But if you are the slave, that essentially conservative approach will always privilege your master over you. Conservatism, with its belief in institutions, traditions, and the past, will seemingly always privilege (perhaps inadvertently) the powerful over the powerless. Institutions, traditions and the past belong to those with power. Privileging them,…

Understanding Markets

E.D. thinks that market economics don’t apply to education.  Chris disagrees, but thinks that market economics ultimately are about controlling people and inevitably creates – specifically in the realm of education – a form of corporatism.  Chris also explains that this is why he is not a libertarian.  I.  FREE MARKET ECONOMICS ARE NOT ABOUT…

over at Obsidian Wings

von uses the graph (below) to illustrate how horrible Obama’s projected deficits are compared to Bush’s then tries to act (in the comments) as though the cost of the two wars (or military appropriations) and the 2008 bailout money are somehow negligible figures.   Am I missing something here?  Isn’t this years deficit owned by the…

reinventing the spiel

What can one say about Frank Gaffney’s recent Washington Times piece that is worthy of such a paranoid piece of propagandist drivel?  First, let me stress that I doubt very much Gaffney truly believes what he’s writing.  (Is it even possible?)  I often get the impression that many of the ostensibly smart movement conservative types…

Judging is Hard

A fairly banal observation, I know, but one worth revisiting in light of the the latest Supreme Court appointment. Here’s a telling paragraph from Jeffrey Toobin’s excellent profile of Chief Justice John Roberts: Roberts’s solicitude for the President and the military extends to lower-profile cases as well. In Winter v. National Resources Defense Council, the…

so…

…anybody got any job hookups in the Providence/anywhere in Rhode Island areas? Maybe in the writing/publishing/editing/anything fields?

Whelan Apologizes

Ed Whelan has issued an apology to Publius (here and here) for which I think he deserves some credit.  Obviously he can’t undo whatever harm was or was not already done, but his apologies are I think worth reading, as is Publius’ acceptance thereof.  One long note about the response to the apology – that a…

small government, or just low tax burden

I agree with John Schwenkler’s descriptive case in this post, while disagreeing with his prescriptions moving forward. One thing that I think needs to be pointed out as we consider the major divisions in American policy proposals, and their political consequences, is that those who have worked to reduce lower class and lower middle class…

Post-Economics

If you want to see two very acute minds (respectfully) duel with sharpened blades, then check out the comment thread to this post by ED as he and John Schwenkler (yet again) battle over the question of school vouchers. John asked (comment #20): Why in the world should the provision of education be an instance…

Monday Night Humor

With the gangbusters opening of Hangover and the colossal box office failure of Land of the Lost, I thought what better time to play my all time favorite clip from Old School (another Todd Philipps comedic gem). I don’t know why but I crack up every time I see this one:

the mac mini so far

So, now that I’m a parent and I spend most of my time either outside, with my family, at work, or blogging and have no time at all to play video games, I ditched the big custom-built, power-hungry, noisy PC that I put together a couple years ago and replaced it with a Mac Mini. …

Poulos Bait: Shakira Edition

From the NyTimes: Celebrity philanthropy, rock ’n’ roll philanthropy, is no longer a novelty, but what Shakira and ALAS were trying was indeed new. They were looking to use the power of pop to help the populations not of distant impoverished lands but of the Ibero-American world from which they come. They have a policy…

Sunday Poem Series

Self Knowledge by Kahlil Gibran And a man said, “Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.” And he answered, saying: Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge. You would know in words that which you have always know in thought.…

a poem for sunday

Anastasia & Sandman by Larry Levis The brow of a horse in that moment when The horse is drinking water so deeply from a trough It seems to inhale the water, is holy. I refuse to explain. When the horse had gone the water in the trough, All through the empty summer, Went on reflecting…