Author: Will


“What we can do in Libya”

Here’s a shockingly good editorial from National Review on why enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya is a bad idea. Tucked away in the middle of the piece is what sounds like a belated...


The malleability of political categories

Responding to my view that we should defer to experts in certain fields, co-blogger Rufus writes: I understand why you accept the logic in both cases [i.e. the view that global warming exists and...


Why don’t we treat free trade like global warming?

Belief in anthropogenic global warming is a sort of political signifier for American liberals – if you don’t think human activity is changing the Earth’s climate, they’re probably not going to take you very...


Quote of the Day

“In the spirit of full disclosure, I should say that I saw this movie after smoking three-quarters of a joint, but as soon as I saw the first psychotic, burning car chase – in...


Thucydides and Grand Strategy

Not to poach Rufus’s patch, but Walter Russell Mead has a pretty interesting post on Thucydides and American grand strategy (For those interested, our resident classicist’s “Blogging the Canon” series covered Thucydides here).


The Glorious Cause

Below, J. L. Wall suggests that Rooster Cogburn’s character arc in True Grit is basically redemptive. I’m interested in an alternative hypothesis: What if Cogburn’s heroism is entirely consistent with his history as a...


Prospects for Economic Liberalization in Russia

Sounds like a term paper, no? Well, all you need to know about this particular subject can be found in one article about the abject failure of “The Apprentice” on Russian television:


Do Democracies Fight?

Jason says that democratic peace theory is one of the better explanations for the decline of large-scale conflict around the globe. I remain unconvinced – here’s why: 1) This ain’t the Theory of Gravity...


Super Bowl Open Thread

I don’t have a real rooting interest, but I am anticipating a great game. My tentative pick: Steelers over Packers, 28-24. Feel free to throw out any predictions, gambling tips, or jokes at Ben...


Bachmann, Burr, and Patriotism

How about a break from arguing over the mandate? I’m in the middle of Burr, Gore Vidal’s fictional account of the life of America’s most reviled duelist. Why am I reading it? Well, the...


The Mandate Double-Bind

Several commenters, led by the indefatigable Boonton, continue to insist that the mandate is best understood as a penalty that can be paid to opt out the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance requirement. I...



Some people see this picture and say: Hey, look! Democracy is backsliding. We should do something. I see this picture and think: We’ve reached a stable equilibrium.  Europe, countries settled by Europeans, and countries...