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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So it appears Judd Gregg has withdrawn his nomination for Commerce Secretary, signaling yet another blow to bi-partisanship in an increasingly partisan Washington.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…

Mushroom Kingdom weirdness

I’m pretty curious, naturally, and I have some friends who (like myself) enjoy inflicting psychic distress on each other to generate a few laughs and demonstrate affection. So I’ve had a lot of links sent my way that are very disturbing: Rotten.com fare, videos of bones breaking, distressing Japanese porn, pictures from auto accidents, etc.…

Winning the War Fought in the Wrong Location (While Still Losing the Peace)

Freddie thinks that those (like Reihan) who are nervous about new so-called modest (or lowered) expectations should be.  Br. F-reddie also raises an question of feasibility of non-lowered expectations given Afghan history.  (Also check out ED’s important comment regarding the volatility of democracy in societies without rule of law, culture of transparency, less black market…

Never Go In Against A Libertarian When Phallacy Is On The Line

This is a Public Service Announcement: if you are really intent on exposing political enemies as liars, do not UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES go after someone who has made a career doing exactly that.  Hilarity will ensue, embarrassing, embarassing hilarity.  One might even call the result “Humiliations galore!” with a Spanish accent. Also a bad idea:…

Economic Interventionism

Mark raises an interesting point: Finally, I’d put an end to the concept of economic or diplomatic sanctions as a meaningful manner of achieving most diplomatic ends (the exception being targeted sanctions solely intended to prevent hostile regimes from obtaining specific materials capable of being used for aggressive purposes). Often left out of the discussion of…

I, troll

Alan Jacobs has some thoughts on the virtues and vices of blogging, vis a vis the seemingly endless “is religious belief rational” merry-go-round. He says As everyone knows, the less complex and nuanced the positions on a blog are, the more comments it gets. This is an Iron-Clad Law of the Internet. Blog posts are…

Getting Our Priorities in Order

Responding to E.D.’s post last week, Roque Nuevo wrote: “the world generally” agrees that national sovereignty, pluralism, respect for individual rights are also “good for the world generally.” This is absolutely a fair point, though I think this list should also include internal security and stability (and I suspect Roque would agree).  But this is…

Snow in Arizona

I think we’re at eight inches so far, with another foot expected today, and Lord knows how much more after that.  I remember when we first planned to move to Arizona, everyone I spoke with talked about the vast deserts, the Grand Canyon, and so forth.  Nobody mentioned the weeks long snow storms and feet…

A poem for Sunday

The Fall of Rome by W.H. Auden The piers are pummelled by the waves; In a lonely field the rain Lashes an abandoned train; Outlaws fill the mountain caves. Fantastic grow the evening gowns; Agents of the Fisc pursue Absconding tax-defaulters through The sewers of provincial towns. Private rites of magic send The temple prostitutes…

calling bullshit on bullshit

Andrew links approvingly to another frivolous experiment that seeks to show that bootstrapping rhetoric isn’t dead, and that if you are hard-working and smart, you can rise up and overcome, etc. etc., into the Toyota and flat screen television of your choice. The journalist talks about this dude, who has ridden a similar stunt to…

“All I want… to kno-ow! All I want!”

lyrics feature adult language The Misfits, to me, are genius, and I don’t know why they don’t get more credit as essential pop-punk forefathers. So many great, two-minute punk rock songs, major-key and ecstatic. And they had what I find an often essential and hard to come by element in music, a refusal to take…

the grad trap

John Schwenkler has some wise words about the college debt trap. As I said in the comments at his blog, I think that there are some pieces missing from that version of the story, but he’s absolutely correct that the college equation is by no means always or even usually a good one for the…

the inevitability dodge

In the comments to ED’s post, Roland Dodds writes “First of all, the ‘meddling’ the United States engages in is the very thing any unipolar (or hegemonic) power would pursue”. Well, you might say that this meddling– the kind of military adventurism, aggressive expansion of the “sphere of influence”, and destructive, anti-democratic destabilization of foreign…

A Happy BAD Day

I interrupt the League’s normal conversational blogging to participate in a grand, two year old tradition of the blogosphere: Blogroll Amnesty Day.   The story of the tradition is best told by others, most notably Jon Swift and skippy the bush kangaroo.  But the bottom line is that today is a day to celebrate all the…