Author: Matthew Schmitz

3

The Principle of Laudatory Criticism

I’m told that the original expression is “critique élogieuse”: People say we can no longer write about our colleagues. Obviously it becomes difficult having a coffee with someone if that afternoon you have to...

18

The Irrelevance of Damon Linker

Damon Linker is a relative irrelevance. Any attempt by a significant figure to refute his glaring errors only serves to validate the bête noire role he has chosen for himself. Happily, I can point...

2

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...

30

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...

16

Great Silence

Question: Was Albert Einstein really the first person to say, “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”? Did he say it at all? We expect every great man to be a veritable squirrel stash...

80

Russell Moore on Glenn Beck

One of the best responses to Glenn Beck’s bizarre rally last week was an eloquent warning from Southern Baptist Russell Moore about the proper place of politics in the lives of Christians: Satan did...

7

Erotic Capital

Tell you what, refraining from blogging is a lot easier than abstaining from beer. I haven’t been around these parts much, but I have had a rich and varied summer: Discussions of aesthetics with...

22

The Insignificance of Gavin Newsom’s Soda Ban

So San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom has banned soft drinks on city property. Even on libertarian grounds, I don’t think this is at all objectionable. Newsom has not banned soda. He is not taxing...

6

Preliminary notes on girl groups and the Sleigh Bells

There’s a breathless fragility in ’60s girl groups like the Shirelles, Crystals, and Ronettes that I find far more captivating than the polish of the Beatles or the swagger of the Rolling Stones. And...

28

Does Europe Need US Defense Spending?

E.D. has a fine piece in NRO today that lays out the conservative case for cutting defense spending. One thing that actually weakens his case is the claim that Europe depends on US defense...

13

Christopher Hitchens, Bitter Brit

Centuries have passed since British kings claimed a divine right, but British subjects still seem unable to accept the fact that their nominal rulers are human. Such, at least, seems to be the case...

8

Architecture & Innovation

I thought some of the more future-oriented and techno-optimistic of the League’s readers would be interested in this argument: A durable and beautiful built environment provides the best physical and spatial context for human...

27

Remembering The Pill

James Matthew Wilson takes a critical look at the anniversary of The Pill: [T]he only alternative to those technocratic solutions that, by definition, try to put decision outside the range of moral action and...

10

Learning from Poverty

Jason has helpfully reminded us why we should not romanticize locally grown, organic peasant food. But Design Observer has an excellent post on Indian craft that reminds us that we may have something to...

20

The Parable of the Banana Leaf

Mark asks a question: Take, for instance, the concept of “peasant food.” Such food is indubitably the outcome of tradition, and there is certainly something special about making it and eating it as a...

9

Counterfeit Communities

Jason’s piece has already inspired a number of responses, but one element I wanted to point out was Jason’s rather unexpected agreement with Patrick Deneen. Here’s the quotation from Deneen’s Cato Unbound piece that...

3

re: Liberaltarianism as a Disposition

On first glance, I see much less basic sympathy between liberals and libertarians than Jason does. American liberals — of the type embodied by Lyndon Johnson and Barack Obama — tend to be more...

3

Doubts about Ed Phelps’ Cowboy Capitalism

Jay Richards at the AEI blog is doing a series of posts about Ed Phelps’ old First Things essay about the morality of capitalism. I’m broadly supportive of Phelps’ project, but I think Richards’...

1

Henry Adams’ Washington

Via Ross, Adam Irish argues for a vibrant and messy Washington DC. If only he had seen it in Henry Adams’ time: The want of barriers, of pavements, of forms; the looseness, the laziness;...

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