Beyond the Stimulus?

David Leonhardt writing in the NyTimes: But while Washington has been preoccupied with stimulus and bailouts, another, equally important issue has received far less attention — and the resolution of it is far more uncertain. What will happen once the paddles have been applied and the economy’s heart starts beating again? How should the new…

Painting in broad strikes

Helen Rittlemeyer thinks I’m talking trash about her kind of conservatism.  In a previous post, I wrote: Often cultural conservatives are also religious, and consider religion to be an integral part of their civilization, but do not necessarily frame their political worldview on a vision of religious infallibility, recognizing along with the gradual changes in…

Of Maus and Men

Last night, which happened to be International Holocaust Remembrance Day, I attended a lecture by Pulitzer prize winning comic book artist (or graphic novelist) Art Spiegelman.  It was supposed to be a talk on tolerance and art, but he self-deprecatingly waved away these weighty subjects.  “Everything I know I learned from comic books,” he said. …

pragmatics first

Hey, why would someone like me be more invested in building a legal defense of gay marriage specifically and a larger lattice of rights to defend gay people generally? Why, maybe because of things like girls getting kicked out of their private high schools because the administration of said high school believes them to be…

A Public-Private Partnership?

To Chris’ comments  about the banks and the knowledge of the debt that they hold, this is generally my view of things although I suspect that it is not as much that banks do not know what they are holding (they most certainly know what is in their portfolios) as it is that they have yet…

atheism and monsters

Reading over the various responses to Ross Douthat’s piece on celestial teapots and the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it occurs to me once again that there is a very obvious difference between a Flying Spaghetti Monster and god (of whatever denomination): the Flying Spaghetti Monster is a construct designed specifically to ridicule, and god is not.…

Tough Love

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, it is the settlements more than anything else that prevent a two-state solution from being realized.  Whereas the Palestinians have no true guiding authority to end, once and for all, the terrorist attacks on Israel, the Israelis do have a legal framework to end the settlements in the West…

human beings, human limits

(The video above in part inspired me to write this post. I’m including it for context. This isn’t intended as an indictment of either Wilkinson or Yudkowsky, although I do think that Yudkowsky, it’s safe to say, is a proponent of the faith in reason that I’m reacting to.) A question that often occurs to…

knowing when to get out of the way

It’s gratifying to be away from the Internet for a day, and come back to find a couple of thoughtful responses to what you’ve written. (Actually, it’s gratifying, sometimes, to be away from the Internet for a day, full stop.) So I’m happy to read Scott and Erik’s responses to some of my thoughts on…

Western Civilization and Same Sex Marriage

An important thing to note when discussing various forms of conservatism is the difference, often-overlooked, between social and cultural conservatism; or perhaps better phrased, religious or fundamentalist conservatism, vs Civilization Conservativism (and in this context, Western Civilization).  This is especially important a distinction when examining social changes, as well as legal changes that have cultural…

Don’t Feed the Talking Heads

In an earlier post in this series, E.D. wrote that “the talking-head class–the hyper-partisan commentariat–first of all has no desire to attain even a semblance of compromise, and second of all is so absorbed with their talking points and so convinced of their own ideological infallibility, that it is unreasonable to expect anything less than…

a little more on party and perspective

To extend the question of partisan positioning leading to inconsistencies just a bit further (and I promise that I’m done after that), consider James Poulos, echoing Peter Suderman, “If movies aren’t always, or even just aren’t, for moralizing, they’re certainly not for anti-moralizing. Neither are directors.” What’s interesting about this is that one thing many…

The Talking Heads will Feed Themselves

Kyle asks: What motivates the Limbaughs and the Hannities and the Malkins to take up the standard of hyper-partisan contrarian now?  Surely one would say to provide a voice of balance against the rampant liberalism that is sure to gush forth from DC now that the Democrats are in charge. But even this fails in…

Twisting the Knight Away

First of all, I have to admit, I enjoyed The Dark Knight.  I didn’t leave the theatre thinking I’d seen Oscar material–though, to be fair, I’m not particularly sold on the value of the Academy Award to begin with.  I didn’t leave the theatre pondering the outrageous nature of the plot, either, though.  Mainly, I…

I got the mic, I rock it how I please

Max Socol wrote a post that I think is an example of rhetorical bad faith. To put it simply, those who say “let’s talk policy, not morality” are always, in fact, talking morality, they’re just privileging their own vision of what’s morally significant and pretending that they aren’t. All politics is moral; some people just…

Neo-Traditionalism, Community, and the Post-Postmodern Gentleman

Scott coins an interesting term: post-postmodern.  The essence of the post-postmodern man, it seems, is a sort of meshing of Reason and Tradition that eschews both the ignorance and outdatedness of many old practices and traditions, as well as the arrogance and certitude of the modern man of reason. While it has generally been conservatives…

Civilization is a responsibility.

Reflecting on Israel, ED Kain writes Note when Foukara mentions that the only country Al-Jazeera has never been shut-down in is Israel.  Perhaps this is another reason we hold them in our esteem–they reflect some of our shared values. Quite so. This is in fact one of my hobbyhorses when it comes to Israel. When…