Monthly Archive: September 2010


Blogging Promiscuously

What’s the real problem with the culture wars? Some weirdo suggests it’s that “the stakes are so low“. (Posted on my other, much neglected, blog for fear it’s not “leaguey” enough.)


Aristotle: De Anima, On Souls and Soullessness

{Note: Aristotle’s ‘De Anima’ is a work that has, admittedly, got me tied up in knots, which I think will be evident in this post. I’m going to reread De Anima; but I figured...


Treason is a crime

Kevin Williamson speaks truth to power. Or to Andy McArthy. Either way, it’s awesome: Whatever kind of conservatism is arguing that we should invest the president with sole, secret, unreviewable authority to order the...


Glad that’s over

With the final payment of German reparations, World War One officially ends.


Homogenization and the State

“In some ways, the ‘night watchman’ state — the state that enables civil society to develop and function without distortions imposed by roving bandits, local notables, and its own functionaries, but that also is...


That’s me in the corner, choosing my religion

Jamelle Bouie’s take on the recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life poll is the best I’ve read (the Pew servers seem to be under some strain today, so you may not make...


From the Homeland

Instead of a Revolution Not long ago, and not for the first time, I noted that Barack Obama asserts powers far greater than those of George III. “And we all know what we did...


Revisiting Millman’s Taxonomy

Unlike Lisa, I’m hesitant to describe populism as a complete ideology. The characteristics of American populism she identifies – evangelism, a healthy skepticism towards meritocratic achievement, a reverence for the “ordinary” – are certainly...


The Future’s Verdict on Us

Kwame Anthony Appiah has a fascinating article in the Washington Post this morning: A look at the past suggests three signs that a particular practice is destined for future condemnation. First, people have already...


“Liberalism is elitism”

First, many thanks to Will for spotting this article and passing it along my way.  It’s one of the better articles I’ve read in some time. Hogeland’s main point – that liberalism has almost...


A Poem for Sunday

Here’s an evocative little poem by Ted Hughes. It’s not my favorite of his work (like a lot of people I find Hawk Roosting to be truly perfect), but it’s still, I think, a...


How Boys Learn to Read

Great op-ed from The Wall Street Journal: The appearance of the boy-girl literacy gap happens to coincide with the proliferation of video games and other electronic forms of entertainment over the last decade or...


State Secrets

The Obama administration urged a federal judge early Saturday to dismiss a lawsuit over its targeting of a U.S. citizen for killing overseas, saying that the case would reveal state secrets. The U.S.-born citizen,...


Roads, Serfdom

I’ve been meaning for quite a while to write about how The Road to Serfdom doesn’t say anything like what most people think it says. Because Conor Friedersdorf’s post about the book is getting...


Ask a Trained Parrot

Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers have long been among my favorite social scientists thanks to their meticulous, incisive work about economics and the family. Their paper “Bargaining in the Shadow of the Law: Divorce...


Is O’Donnell Crazy, or Just a Republican?

I know very little about Christine O’Donnell, and I suspect I would not like her politics very much if I were familiar with them, but if this New Republic article really lists the craziest things...


The Courage to Reconsider

Salon recently posted a fascinating interview with journalist Meredith Maram, who falsely accused her father of molesting her during the heyday of the 1980s “feminist-inspired… mass panic” about “repressed memory syndrome” and has now...


Political Leanings

A recent study suggests that leaning right might, well, make you lean right. I don’t see a copy of the study online, but here’s the abstract: A prominent metaphor in American politics associates left...