quote of the day

“Talk about misplaced anger. Wall Street built a wooden house, stuffed it with flammable material, set it on fire, and then poured gasoline on the blaze. And now it’s blaming the inferno on the arson inspector, who wasn’t appointed until after the fire had reached three-alarm status?” ~Daniel Grossman

Growth vs/equal to Prosperity?

Will Wilkinson reprints the response of John Cochrane to the Brad DeLong-Luigi Zingales debate at the Economist.  [The whole debate is very much worth the read]. Cochrane begins: Nobody is Keynesian now, really. Keynes distrusted investment and did not think about growth. Now, we all understand that growth, fueled by higher productivity, is the key…

less (legal and moral) light re: abortion

Kyle over at Vogue Republic has a thought-provoking two parter set (Part I and Part II) of reflections responding to Freddie’s post the other day on liberal induction and abortion rights.  Kyle covers a whole lot of ground on a number of various points (legal consistency, all rights having restrictions in our society, the lack…

because not all poems should fall on Sundays

After Work ~by Gary Snyder The shack and a few trees float in the blowing fog I pull out your blouse, warm my cold hands on your breasts. you laugh and shudder peeling garlic by the hot iron stove. bring in the axe, the rake, the wood we’ll lean on the wall against each other…

us lacking political capacity

Clive Crook writing in The Financial Times: Political capacity is the real key, and here is where I would question the administration’s judgment. The prospects for Mr Obama’s agenda depend on his ability to marshal political capital and spend it wisely. In the simplest terms, he needs to stay as popular as he can for…

Remarking on the Unremarkable and Making it Remarkable

Earlier tonight, I expressed surprise that the idea that AIPAC is more powerful and active than any other foreign policy interest group is deemed at all controversial.  I went on to point out some indisputable facts and figures about AIPAC’s lobbying activities, combined with some personal anecdotes and an explanation of the important role lobbyists…

The Un-American Conservative

Noah Pollock is in rare form in this Commentary Post – utilizing all the tired, typical old strawmen and red herrings against “paleos” and the unabashedly critical conservative voices at the American Conservative magazine who dare to come out against the boiler plate pro-Israel inanities of the Commentary crowd.   Writes Pollack: In my opinion, a…

Clay Shirky responds

Just wanted to turn your attention to Clay Shirky’s response to my post from the comments, which I’ve quoted in its entirely below. “That’s a big part of my anger: people act as though the web is just going to jump up and provide this quality reporting. Not going to happen.” This is exactly right,…

Not Knowing the Meaning of Words: Special Diplomacy Edition

Christian Brose writing at the Shadow Gov’t on the ForeignPolicy blogroll: Is negotiating akin to appeasement? No, not inherently, but as with everything, the devil’s in the details. Diplomacy is not just a synonym for talking. It is the balancing of incentives and disincentives to elicit changes in another party’s behavior. So the question should never be, are…

another dime in the jukebox baby…

So since Scott’s Friday Night Jukebox was less ambitious than he intended, and since the video he included has had embedding “disabled by request” I present you with an encore.  Now, during my late high-school and throughout my college years one of the bands I listened to a great deal – probably too much –…

plotting plotz on the bible

From an interview by The Daily Beast with David Plotz on his new book Good Book (which grew out of his original blogging the Bible series). I’m definitely not a better person by the standards of any rabbi. I never went to synagogue much but I certainly haven’t increased my attendance. But I think I’m…

A Community of Individuals

“Whoso would be a man, must be a nonconformist.  He who would gather immortal palms must not be hindered by the name of goodness, but must explore if it be goodness. Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind” – Ralph Waldo Emerson Perhaps no sentence captures the spirit of individualism…

It’s a generation thing…

So, a few thoughts on this video (via Andrew): First of all, this is awesome.  The Westboro Baptist “Church” is a blight on this nation and on this planet.  (They’re going to boycott the funeral of Paul Harvey???)   I’ve heard of other groups who try to oppose them as well – namely the Patriot…

the anti-Semitic accusation as throw-away

Here’s a little passage from Jeff Goldberg that I’m afraid is remarkable only for how typical it is: It is widely believed on the blogosphere that the campaign against Freeman was coordinated by AIPAC or by Steve Rosen, the former AIPAC official no charged with espionage. I’ve been away, so maybe I’ve missed a couple…

Ross Douthat’s “Vertical Moment”

It appears Ross Douthat is filling the void left by Bill Kristol at the New York Times.  I was hoping this would be the case, when initial speculation over Kristol’s replacement began to be tossed around.  I know David Frum’s name was floated – by whom I can’t recall – but I think Ross is…

Gunslingers

“The United States should follow the British example. It should initiate diplomatic contacts with the political wing of Hezbollah. The Obama administration should also look carefully at how to reach moderate Hamas elements and engineer a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation.” ~Roger Cohen I’ve said before – somewhere – that it makes very little sense to embark on…

The End of Christianity in America

Michael Spencer predicts an evangelical collapse in the United States and Cathy Lynn Grossman of USA Today reports that virtually all Christian sects have lost followers since 1990.  The only group to gain in numbers, according to the American Religious Identification Survey, has been non-believers, or as Amy Wellborn terms them, “Non-Joiners.”  Wellborn breaks down…

affinity and expectations

Andrew writes, of Gaza and the American political reaction: this assault on top of a blockade, carried out with an “iron fist” as the US was in transition from one president to another was backed by a resolution carried by unanimous consent in the Senate, and with only 5 votes against in the House. American…

Thieves

“Thieves respect property. They merely wish the property to become their property that they may more perfectly respect it.” ~G.K. Chesterton The process of determining who is to blame for our current economic crisis is daunting.  This is because for each villain one discovers, one must then discern the villain’s motivations; what historical conditions facilitated…

Watchmen

Saw the movie version of Watchmen tonight. There’s no particular reason to dislike the movie more than the comic book. There’s just every reason to dislike both. Watchmen, the graphic novel,  is lauded for its literary devices, and for its supposedly mature obsessions with violence, and moral decay, and humanity’s ugliness, and the limits of…