Monthly Archive: September 2010

Happy Eleventy-First, and Many More

Amy Sturgis reminds us that today is the birthday of Bilbo and Frodo Baggins, and she gives us this delightful passage about Frodo’s friend Sam Gamgee, who departed the Shire today: Wild fantasies arose...

Sophocles: Ajax & Divine Madness

Did the Hebrews have a concept of madness? This strange question comes to mind as I read the Bible and tragedies at the same time. I sympathize greatly with Kierkegaard’s feeling that modern man...

Finland is the New Sweden

It’s fairly common to hear praise for low birthrates. We associate low fertility with high prosperity, more choices for women, and fewer obligations for men. Jason makes the point in a comment on a...

Class/Cultural reactions to the tea party

I’ve been out of the loop a bit these past couple weeks, helping out peripherally on a local primary race, and afterward just needing a few days to kind of process some thoughts without...

In Defense of Chesterton

I read with some dismay the calumny of G.K. Chesterton recently posted on this blog. It seems to me that Austin and the criticisms he quotes have completely missed what Chesterton was up to. One...

Our awesome culture.

The entertainment industry, apparently not satisfied with turning Dante’s Inferno into an Xbox game, has set its sights on Milton’s Paradise Lost: “The project tells the story of the epic war in heaven between archangels...

A Poem for Sunday

I’ve been thinking of reviving the Sunday poems here for some time now. This W.H. Auden poem struck a chord with me and I thought some of you might like it. O WHAT IS...

Friday Night Jukebox

True confession: While everyone else seems to love them, I just don’t get The National. They sound like R.E.M., but mopier. Does R.E.M. really need to be mopier? But then, they’re not really my...

The Scapegoat Principle

I’d like to expand on a comment I made below, which is likely to get lost as such comments often do. Will floats a precautionary argument against same-sex marriage. If we grant same-sex marriage,...

The Precautionary Marriage Principle

My views on marriage are pretty unformed, but – given the recent Sullivan-Douthat exchange – I thought I’d try my hand at explaining the type of secular, prudential argument against gay marriage that makes...

Compassion & Knowledge

Good grief, but this is some extraordinary writing from Ta-Nehisi Coates: For an African-American like me, the upshot of all this gorgeous writing is bracing–one is forced to behold beauty in those who saw...

Douthat Responds to Sullivan on Gay Marriage

Pretty powerful stuff, even if you don’t agree with his conclusion, and by far the most persuasive prudential case against gay marriage I’ve encountered. Read the whole thing.

The League Road Show

Starting a week from today (9/24), I’ll be hitting the road with a friend for a baseball and bourbon trip. With that in mind, I was wondering if the peanut gallery might have any...

The Old Testament: Numbers and Deuteronomy

Numbers and Deuteronomy complete the Pentateuch/Torah- the books of Moses depicting the creation of the world, the delivery of the Jews out of Egypt, the establishment of the tribes of Israel and their laws....

Virtually crime free

I was discussing Kevin Drum’s post on falling crime rates in America and the old Freakonomics argument came up – that the only possible explanation for this phenomenon is the after-effects of Roe v....

Neoliberalism & Culture

Will is absolutely correct to note that the success of the Anglophone and Northern European governance models (and their Asian counterparts who have emulated and innovated with these models successfully) rest a great deal...

How to govern well

What do Singapore, the United States, Canada, Denmark, and England all have in common? At first glance, not much. One is an oligarchic city state, two are parliamentary democracies, another is a Scandinavian social...

Best anti-penny rant of all time?

This is quite brilliant (via): Besides, for the people who do inexplicably love pennies, think how much more their penny collections will be worth in a world that no longer mints them?

Miranda as a Rule of Evidence

One common misunderstanding of Miranda – which Scott’s comment displays despite this having been repeatedly pointed out to him in the past – is that it found a constitutional right to be read your...