Ten Second News

Whigs!

I just finished reading Daniel Walker Howe’s What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of America 1815-1848. As best I can judge, it’s a fine book. I’m especially pleased with its treatment of religion in the antebellum republic. Also, it’s got an astonishing number of footnotes, which I will certainly make use of when pursuing further…

quote of the day

“I’d gladly pay $5a month to have the NYT delivered to me via the magic of the Internet.  If this were 1995.  Back then, the prospect of getting “the best newspaper in the world” delivered to my house and office in electronic format that I could easily save and share would have been exciting. Fast…

nota bene

Because conservatism is the ideological inclination much more inclined towards purges of the unfaithful message discipline, reformist conservatives, when given the opportunity, flog orthodox messages with a little extra zeal; thus, this broadside which is purportedly against me but is really a way to shore up a rightward flank. Not that I think Conor doesn’t…

on the other hand

John mines a few laughs and a salient point from a story about the attempt to regulate yoga. And, it’s true, that story’s pretty funny, and I think John is on the right track with his implied complaints. Let’s look at a less laugh-inducing example, though: personal trainers. There are no consistent and widely used…

Debating Sarah Palin

Yours truly (doing his best to represent The League) is debating the great Sarah Palin question at PublicSquare today through this weekend.  My opening argument is here.  My sparring partner is Morgen Richmond from Verum Serum.  I expect a good hard fought gentlemen’s duel of wits and intellect.

Friday Night Jukebox: Random Rules Edition

From the great American road trip album (apologies for the bizarre imagery in the video): Anyway, The Silver Jews are a pretty fantastic band. A few years ago, Neutral Milk Hotel’s “In the Aeroplane over the Sea” was the great, undiscovered indie rock gem of the 1990s. Since then, they’ve enjoyed something of a career…

Begetting Worse Politicians

Responding to Scott’s argument (with which I agree almost entirely) that Andrew Sullivan’s obsession with Sarah Palin is counterproductive to good politics, Jaybird commented: As someone who was temporarily under the impression that Sarah Palin was not “just another” and who has come to find that, no, she is “just another”, I find the opposition…

quote for the morning

“I would like to make a deal with Cafferty. Jack, you don’t tell people that a career in the performing arts disqualifies them from seeking elected office, and I won’t say publicly that your being convicted of leaving the scene of an accident in which you struck a cyclist and then ran two red lights…

be true to your school?

I was thinking about the loss of my home state’s only major league sports team, the Whalers, and it occurred to me how odd it is when people talk about a team’s fanbase or hometown “not supporting the team”. Whenever a team is threatening to move or looking for a new stadium (funded by taxpayer…

A House of Repeal?

Paging Conor Friedersdorf!  You want ideas?  Patrick at Popehat’s got a good one.  First, the problem to be solved: What’s more remarkable is that, while the House, Senate, and Presidency pass bills that none of them has read, the real laws that govern Americans’ lives aren’t even made by elected officials any longer.  Most federal…

Real Fantasy

I stumbled across this short essay from February by Richard Morgan whose book, The Steel Remains, I am currently reading.  (And it’s good so far, and very dark, and very adult.)  Anyways, Morgan takes on Tolkien and offers up some pretty strong criticism of his Rings books.  Discussing a scene of dialog between two orcs,…

no manning

Julian Sanchez, a libertarian, recently wrote a smart post about “weak manning,” a fallacious kind of reasoning where one responds only to the weakest argument of one’s opponent. There’s a worse fallacy, I think. Consider this post from Matt Welch, approvingly linked to by Conor Friedersdorf. In it Welch ascribes the lions share of California’s…

u(i)gh

 I saw a group protesting the Chinese masscare of Uighurs here in Vancouver this evening on my way home from work.  The cynic in me thinks that since they are Muslims and not smiley peacenik Tibetan Buddhists (no Uighur version of the Dali Lama), so I doubt they will get some the Hollywood foreign policy…

Book Bleg: The Evolution of God

Robert Wright, The Evolution of God — This is the first clip of a multi-clip interview between Bob Wright and Ross Douthat discussing Wright’s new book The Evolution of God.  You can click that clip to send you over to Youtube and find the rest from there. For anyone interested, the interview serves as a…

the deception of dignity

“But it’s not right to end on a note of cultural pessimism because there is the fact of President Obama. Whatever policy differences people may have with him, we can all agree that he exemplifies reticence, dispassion and the other traits associated with dignity. The cultural effects of his presidency are not yet clear, but…

His Heart Isn’t Big Enough

Andy McCarthy is angry: What does it say when the president of the United States is unable to acknowledge that the United States won the Cold War and broke the bonds of Soviet tyranny for nations of Eastern Europe? His latest outburst was prompted by this truly outrageous statement from President Obama: Now, make no…

Book Bleg: The First World War

The First World War has always been a subject that I’ve wanted to learn about in great depth.  The reasons for this primarily boil down to the fact that I think it’s impossible to understand the modern world without having a good understanding of it, combined with the fact that American history textbooks do a…