Ten Second News

a quote for the morning

“Conveniently, if not coincidentally, ‘sense of’ speak is also a great way to evade responsibility. We share in a strategically therapeutic conspiracy of vagueness. In a world where there are only senses of things, it’s impossible to be specific both about the events in our life and our responsibility for approaching, understanding, and judging those…

Reihan responds

If you read my post from earlier today, please read this one by Reihan over at the Scene, where he (with characteristic good humor) responds to some criticism from Matt Frost, Daniel Larison and me.

Eating Crow

It seems only a few days ago that Mark and I were taking shots at the U.S. national team’s playmaking ability (or lack thereof). But following a 2-0 beatdown of a Spanish national squad that looked downright impervious just a few days ago, you have to feel a lot better about the future of the…

quote for the day II

“To me, and I suspect no one else on earth, there is something wonderful about listening to country music playing in the cab, air conditioner running, the hum of a huge diesel engine in the back ground, the tranquillity that comes with being in a virtual wilderness of trees and marsh, the day breaking and…

quote for the day

“The anti-gay-marriage forces are stuck making a slippery-slope argument when, in fact, we’re already at the bottom of the slippery slope. Here’s a guy, Sanford, who has not just not a moral and religious incentive to keep his marriage vows, but also a political-survival incentive. Yet the public sense of the sacredness of marriage has…

bleg

Digsby, the IM client I use, has added a Twitter feed, so I’ve created a dummy Twitter account just so I can follow people. But I’ve tried to follow people– clicked the follow button, and it says “you are now following XXX,” and yet it still says “following 0” on my home page. Any thoughts?…

Sanford’s folly

I have to say, this whole Sanford affair is really depressing.  Sanford on the Appalachian for naked hiking day is one thing.  Sanford in Beunos Aires for a rendezvous with his lover over father’s day weekend is quite another.  Then again, I guess I’m old school.  I guess I expect politicians and maybe, unfairly, conservative…

good intentions

Erik pronounces Reihan’s latest column a disappointment. I’m not sure why. Oh, the column is very wrong-headed, but it isn’t disappointing, because disappointment suggests that you’d be expecting something different. I don’t know how he’s managed to elude this characterization, but for as long as I have read him Reihan has been a particularly uninspired…

a quote for the morning

“The peculiar truth is that Barack Obama, for all his realist convictions, is at his best when he embraces his inner neocon.” ~ Reihan Salam, in a particularly disappointing column. Matt Frost counters Salam.  Larison weighs in.

the big tent

So one thing I’ve been thinking about lately is how dissident conservatives – of either the reformist or the paleo stripe (or those reformopaleo hybrid types) – dialogue with movement conservatives and with each other, and how, in the long run, it’s going to be a truce – not a victory for either group –…

Overturning Proverbs

So a homeless dude comes into the church today (which is a regular occurrence) and asks for a big garbage bag for his stuff (that’s rather irregular).   Ok, so I go get him the only kind of big garbage bags we keep in the church: see-through biodegradable green ones. Then he gets pretty frustrated and…

Maher Follow-up

Since I was pretty hard on Bill Maher last week for criticizing Obama without criticizing the Democrats (and Congress more generally), it’s only the (ordinary) gentlemenly thing to do to post this video of his most recent show and nod my bowler hat in his direction.  The relevant section begins at minute 2. Even though…

breaking news: people often feel racial panic

This story is making the rounds. I think it has a lot of troubling race-baiting going on in it. Check it out. Now, setting aside the fact that there is almost nothing more annoying than someone who is self-aggrandizing while pretending to self-deprecate, there’s the very troubling aspect of race in this story. The guy…

holbo v douthat

John Holbo takes on Ross Douthat’s review of Digital Barbarism: Douthat is laboring to give readers the impression that Helprin is in any sense holding the non-monkey higher ground, a proposition subject to grave doubt. What is worse: readers will come away with the vague sense that the Lessigs of the world owe us, for…

Symmetrical Idiocy

I was going to take Michael Goldfarb to task for suggesting that Iran policy ought to be dictated by some anonymous student demonstrator, but then The Guardian published an entire op-ed inspired by little more than a picture of some anonymous demonstrator’s placard. One unfortunate result of the crisis in Iran has been a renewed…

a quote for a sunny summer day

“Do you think it’s an accident that when the neocons were in charge Hezbollah led the Lebanese elections but when we ditched the neocons, the Lebanese ditched Hezbollah? Do you think it’s an accident that when we ditched our far-right extremist government here in favor of a realist liberal that the liberals in Iran advanced…

Poverty and Human Rights

Will Wilkinson has a fascinating post on whether some basic level of material well-being should be considered a human right. My gut response is that while we have some  moral obligation to alleviate poverty, this obligation is too conditional (welfare programs are dependent on outside factors like cumulative wealth) to be considered on with par…

to say something or not to

…the stones Who, though they cannot answer my distress, Yet in some sort they are better than the tribunes, For that they will not intercept my tale: When I do weep, they humbly at my feet Receive my tears and seem to weep with me; And, were they but attired in grave weeds, Rome could…

Sunday Poem Series

Do Not Go Gentle Into that Good Night by Dylan Thomas Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Though wise men at their end know dark is right, Because their words had forked no lightning they…