Sometimes We’re Wrong

Ta-Nehisi Coates, writing on conservatism: But if you are the slave, that essentially conservative approach will always privilege your master over you. Conservatism, with its belief in institutions, traditions, and the past, will seemingly always privilege (perhaps inadvertently) the powerful over the powerless. Institutions, traditions and the past belong to those with power. Privileging them,…

Understanding Markets

E.D. thinks that market economics don’t apply to education.  Chris disagrees, but thinks that market economics ultimately are about controlling people and inevitably creates – specifically in the realm of education – a form of corporatism.  Chris also explains that this is why he is not a libertarian.  I.  FREE MARKET ECONOMICS ARE NOT ABOUT…

over at Obsidian Wings

von uses the graph (below) to illustrate how horrible Obama’s projected deficits are compared to Bush’s then tries to act (in the comments) as though the cost of the two wars (or military appropriations) and the 2008 bailout money are somehow negligible figures.   Am I missing something here?  Isn’t this years deficit owned by the…

Judging is Hard

A fairly banal observation, I know, but one worth revisiting in light of the the latest Supreme Court appointment. Here’s a telling paragraph from Jeffrey Toobin’s excellent profile of Chief Justice John Roberts: Roberts’s solicitude for the President and the military extends to lower-profile cases as well. In Winter v. National Resources Defense Council, the…

so…

…anybody got any job hookups in the Providence/anywhere in Rhode Island areas? Maybe in the writing/publishing/editing/anything fields?

Whelan Apologizes

Ed Whelan has issued an apology to Publius (here and here) for which I think he deserves some credit.  Obviously he can’t undo whatever harm was or was not already done, but his apologies are I think worth reading, as is Publius’ acceptance thereof.  One long note about the response to the apology – that a…

small government, or just low tax burden

I agree with John Schwenkler’s descriptive case in this post, while disagreeing with his prescriptions moving forward. One thing that I think needs to be pointed out as we consider the major divisions in American policy proposals, and their political consequences, is that those who have worked to reduce lower class and lower middle class…

Post-Economics

If you want to see two very acute minds (respectfully) duel with sharpened blades, then check out the comment thread to this post by ED as he and John Schwenkler (yet again) battle over the question of school vouchers. John asked (comment #20): Why in the world should the provision of education be an instance…

Monday Night Humor

With the gangbusters opening of Hangover and the colossal box office failure of Land of the Lost, I thought what better time to play my all time favorite clip from Old School (another Todd Philipps comedic gem). I don’t know why but I crack up every time I see this one:

the mac mini so far

So, now that I’m a parent and I spend most of my time either outside, with my family, at work, or blogging and have no time at all to play video games, I ditched the big custom-built, power-hungry, noisy PC that I put together a couple years ago and replaced it with a Mac Mini. …

Poulos Bait: Shakira Edition

From the NyTimes: Celebrity philanthropy, rock ’n’ roll philanthropy, is no longer a novelty, but what Shakira and ALAS were trying was indeed new. They were looking to use the power of pop to help the populations not of distant impoverished lands but of the Ibero-American world from which they come. They have a policy…

Sunday Poem Series

Self Knowledge by Kahlil Gibran And a man said, “Speak to us of Self-Knowledge.” And he answered, saying: Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights. But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart’s knowledge. You would know in words that which you have always know in thought.…

a poem for sunday

Anastasia & Sandman by Larry Levis The brow of a horse in that moment when The horse is drinking water so deeply from a trough It seems to inhale the water, is holy. I refuse to explain. When the horse had gone the water in the trough, All through the empty summer, Went on reflecting…

Anonymity

Speaking as someone who doesn’t blog under his full name to avoid professional and personal complications, I think James Joyner has the best take on l’affaire publius (background here). And speaking of Internet anonymity, H.C. Johns has recently been on the case, riffing off of this entertaining Craigslist article. He was also kind enough to…

making things up, public education edition

One frustrating aspect of the education debate in this culture, for those who defend public school like I do, is that the vigor and frequency with which conservatives have pointed to failing public schools have created an atmosphere where people casually assume a majority or even all public schools are just inherently failing. That’s not…

Interns Galore!

As a long-ago DC summer intern and a six-plus year DC commuter, this site is pure  genius.  I’ve got a lot of favorite posts, but for anyone at all familiar with the Capitol Building, this is absurd/funny on about 10 different levels (ok, at least 3): Recently, an intern with a tour group decided to…

comments

I think a good blog should have easy to use, attractive, intuitive comments.  This is one of the great failures of blogs like The Plank, which are fine blogs with terrible comments sections.  Yglesias has consistently dozens of comments on his blog, but they’re not terribly fun. 

Nationalism as Prerequisite for Pluralism

Freddie’s argument that the premise of founding a state with an explicit ethnic nationalism basis leads to intolerance and hatred of groups outside that ethnicity strikes me, on the one hand, as basically correct.  Certainly, it would seem to inevitably promote a certain degree of jingoism, and definitely will create distrust of those of a different…

Diplomacy

I have my own issues with Obama’s recent appearance in Cairo, but one criticism I find rather baffling is that his speech implied moral equivalence between the United States’ actions and the policies of Middle Eastern dictators. Here’s Legal Insurrection: [OBAMA] “The attacks of September 11th, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to…

ethnic nationalism inevitably breeds hate

Via Gawker. As Gawker is quick to point out, you shouldn’t take the lame drunken ramblings of some small slice of any population as dispositive of anything at all. All we know from watching stuff like this is that this sentiment exists; it doesn’t say anything at all about what percentage of the people in…

a reading list for fantasy enthusiasts (II)

My initial reaction to E.D.’s latest post was something along the lines of “oh dear, I’m not sure we need a comprehensive rundown of our favorite erotic fiction.” Fortunately, he’s talking about the other fantasy genre, so I’m happy to chime in with my recommendations. My (short) list is proudly traditional and leans rather heavily…