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…

Sunday Poem

P The Creation of Sound by Wallace Stevens If the poetry of X was music, So that it came to him of its own, Without understanding, out of the wall Or in the ceiling, in sounds not chosen, Or chosen quickly, in a freedom That was their element, we should not know That X is…

Focus, People, Focus!

Cornell law professor Michael Dorf has a great take on the hilarious NYU student “takeover,” and its utterly pathetic ending that actually makes an interesting point about activism in general. Noting the rather bizarre disparate demands of the students, which included such items as “Annual scholarships for 13 Palestinians,” “NYU library access for the general…

mea culpa, and explanations

An emailer wrote me last night, in regards to the Bloggingheads clip, to say that I “owe it Mickey Kaus to apologize”. I thought I did! In case it isn’t clear, though, let me lay it out: to the specific question of whether or not Kaus deserves to be called a “real liberal” or not,…

Stress testing stressing me out…

Via Barry Ritholtz, I think I need to read David Reilly more.  I love his column on the possible trainwreck known as stress-testing for the banks: Maybe it should come as no surprise that President Joe Cool’s administration has a laid-back view of bank stress. Investors expected the government to be a bit more intense…

quote of the day

I’ve found that those who defend Bernanke as having inherited Greenspan’s mess are most likely to have first heard Bernanke’s name on the day Bush nominated him. But he’s played an important role in shaping monetary policy, the regulatory environment, and the financial system itself for many years. And as I’ve noted before, he voted…

Overlearning Lessons

I’m a big fan of Scott’s post the other day on neo-conservatism, which I take to be a terrific defense of the original insights provided by neo-conservatism even as it seeks to distance itself from the “overzealous and dangerous manner” in which those insights have been applied.  I was particularly smitten with this sentence: Ironically,…

Sad news

Very sad news out of the UK today: Ivan Cameron, the son of U.K. Conservative Party leader David Cameron, died at the age of six. “Ivan, who suffered from cerebral palsy and severe epilepsy, was taken ill overnight and died” early this morning, the opposition party said in a statement today. Ivan had been severely…

Brooks on Jindal

D. Brooks for me is hot/cold–when he’s on he’s on, when he’s off he’s off.  Here he is dead-on.  I’m sure the Limbaugh/Happy Meal Cons won’t love this, but they need to move from denial to some kind of reality.  Listening to what David has to say here would be a good start. Apparently John…

Derbyshire and the Happy Meal Conservatives

Much as their blind loyalty discredited the Right, perhaps the worst effect of Limbaugh et al. has been their draining away of political energy from what might have been a much more worthwhile project: the fostering of a middlebrow conservatism. There is nothing wrong with lowbrow conservatism. It’s energizing and fun. What’s wrong is the…