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…

…speaking of home

Apparently yesterday, in the town of my birth, there was a massive explosion that levelled three buildings downtown.  My parents are visiting there right now, actually, but were nowhere near the blast. Downtown will never be the same.  Apparently the whole thing may have been caused by a natural gas leak.  One woman is still…

Home

“Something that has long perplexed me is how Americans have persuaded themselves that an important part of their freedom is to be measured by the degree of non-interference of their neighbors in their lives and the distance–psychological and social–they have achieved from other people.  […]  Related to this measure of freedom is the desire for mobility and the hoped-for…

Redefining Prosperity

The modern conservative movement is built upon a paradox.  Indeed, both Parties in the United States system – and there are functionally only two – have long preached basically the same message.  Means are almost the only thing separating Democrats from Republicans; certainly their ends remain nearly indistinguishable from one another; that is, to build…

Regarding Rush

I suppose the reason I haven’t commented much on the resurgence of Rush Limbaugh into the national spotlight, is I have never, ever taken the Great Bloviator seriously.  He’s always been just another talk-radio windbag to me, representing not just an ideological demographic that I find unappealing, but also a tone and style that is…

re: PC and Mac

I hate to do this, but to all the emailers who told me, in response to this post, that nobody actually believes that there are meaningful sociological differences between PC and Mac users, well…. “She helpfully differentiates between geeks and nerds using the “PC v. Mac” debate. See, Mac users are cool geeks, who are…

pbs doc: inside the meltdown

Cheerful viewing.  This is the recent PBS Frontline Documentary on the financial implosion.  It’s got some heavy hitters, and I like it in some regards.  My main criticism of the piece however is the focus on the problem as one of illiquidity–i.e. the implosion or the problem in question is in the banking sector.  Rather…

quote of the day

“Conservatives seem to have spent the last year rapidly regressing from cheering on lame politicians who could at least intelligently recite their platitudes (Romney) to worshipping pseudo-populists who could not even do that (Palin) to elevating random guys who didn’t like taxes (the Plumber) to rallying around a radio host who makes Romney’s own brand…