traction?

It seems the absurdity of Slate’s subheads and jumpheads that I’m always complaining about has caught the attention of Mickey Kaus, as well….

What consolation of philosphy?

“Critchley leafs through the pages of his register and concludes, as did Montaigne, that the consolation of philosophy is ‘the stillness of the soul’s dialogue with itself. … It is the achievment of a calm that accompanies existing in the present without forethought or regret. I know of no other immortality.’ … Nor do I.”…

Sunday Poem Series

from Poem 64 by Catullus, translated by Horace Gregory (Some people don’t like Gregory’s translation because of his somewhat freewheeling liberties with the text. But I find his work to be by far the most moving realization of Catullus’s verse. – Br. Freddie) Now when the gods, relaxed, took ease upon the Ivory-footed couches and…

Principles

…When a talk show host accuses someone who disagrees with them of hating their country or expresses hope that a political leader fails or that someone suffer a horrible act of violence, they are standing on principle.  When someone else who is nominally on that host’s “side” expresses a belief that a particular policy, unpopular…

Ricci, Impartiality, and Empathy

At the risk of beating a dead horse, Jack Balkin pens a magnificent piece on how criticism of the decision in the Ricci case, particularly to the extent that criticism claims it to be an example of “empathy” leading to judicial activism, simply misses the mark, particularly in its assumption that “empathy” was on the…

But What About the Real Economy?

Noah Millman writes: But if we get a true dollar crisis, that calculus no longer obtains. If the United States faces a situation at some point in the near future where we cannot finance our debts from abroad in our own currency, we would be forced into the kinds of austerity measures that created deep…

John Derbyshire and the Wise Latina

“Judge Sotomayor was raised in public housing? So was I. Her mother was a nurse working late shifts? So was mine. When did white working poor people disappear off the face of the earth? Where are the eager listeners to their “compelling stories”?” ~John Derbyshire John “Derb” Derbyshire pendulates between very sensible and very silly. …

In Defense of Figureheads

Using Geraldo Rivera as a barometer of Latino opinion is probably a bad idea, but there was something oddly touching about this (via): I have goosebumps,” says Rivera, 65, born to a Catholic, Puerto Rican father and Jewish mother. He defines himself as the former. … “It finally happened. Wow. Look how the Puerto Rican…

continuity and the culture of death

1 a: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body b: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings c: an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction ~the definition of Life, from the Merriam Webster dictionary…

a quote, taken out of context, for the morning

“If this evil monkey god wants to accompany me to the first committee meeting of the fall, he can feast on the dumbass who spent the whole meeting fighting to craft a proposal that’s guaranteed to be shot down at the higher levels.  That will be my ritual sacrifice to Glowing Monkey God 666.” ~Thoreau

Run Sestak Run

He says he’s in against Specter.  Good for him. Pennsylvania is going deep blue.  And the Penn Republicans are going hard-right base wackos.  Unless they do an about face and talk Tom Ridge into running, the GOP doesn’t have a chance.  If Sestak can pull a Ned Lamont in the Primary, the seat is his. …

Thoughts on the Champions League Final

After an unbearably over-hyped build-up, Barcelona’s 2-0 victory over Manchester United was pretty darn anti-climactic. Adding insult to injury, the match forced casual or otherwise unaffiliated fans to choose the lesser of two (great) evils. Barcelona has gradually become the Iberian equivalent of Steinbrenner’s Yankees, and not since the Vandals crossed the Pyrenees has a…

a quote for the end of the afternoon

“A series of cataclysmic events leads to the annihilation of a war-mongering elite. All that remains is a rogue group of working-class types who are motivated by racial resentment, obsessed with drilling, and led by a balding, blue-collar spokesman. Not only does this describe the 2008 GOP — the party of Joe the Plumber, “Drill,…

The Relevance of Experience

Commenter Mike Farmer expresses an objection to my and Mr. Larison’s defenses of Judge Sotomayor’s “wise Latina woman” comment that I suspect is pretty typical and has strong surface appeal: She might have a deeper understanding of some aspects of the world, but this is irrelevant, and it’s individually possessed, if so, not inherent in…

Larison on Sotomayor

Daniel Larison has put together some excellent thoughts on the current leading objections to Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination to the SCOTUS.  I have my differences with Larison’s preferred jurisprudence, but he does a far better job than most explaining why the current primary objections to Sotomayor make exceedingly little sense from a conservative standpoint.  Larison’s explanation…

Comment of the Day

“If you were defining “God” as “Jaybird”, allow me to back up and say that I absolutely believe in the existence of God.” –The Inimitable Jaybird. Comment #36 in our on-going comment marathon on Myth & Atheism.

when wars ended

I was watching The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with my wife this weekend (it always takes us two to three nights to watch a movie, sometimes longer) and I was struck by the celebration toward the beginning of the film.  The streets were filled with happy citizens celebrating the end of World War I. …

Yesterday

I was cold turkey on blogging all weekend for a much needed respite from the internet, and some good quality time with my family – we tried to light a fire when we went day camping yesterday, but it was raining and everything was wet, and the plume of smoke I conjured was not enough…

The Difficult Cloudy Middle of Abortion

By Dan Summers — I enjoyed Chris’s recent post about Obama’s commencement speech at Notre Dame.  With his indulgence, I will take his metaphor about side roads and interstates, and modify it for my own purposes.  Traveling through his post, I was distracted by the following exit sign, and from it I turned to the…

AQFTD

At a minimum, Obama seemed alive to the moral and legal ambiguities implied by the issue. Not so the former Vice-President, who chose to speak in a chilling code, in which methods of torture such as waterboarding became “enhanced interrogation,” in the way that death might be called “enhanced sleep.” –Jeffrey Toobin, in the New…