Archive

  • Where's My Liberal Conspiracy?

    I'm not one to buy into the smug pronouncements Jonah Goldberg hands down venerating the deep philosophical roots of conservatism and the Vulcan mind-meld each young Republican performs with Burke and Kristol, but, if nothing else, it's certainly true that the conservative ideology is treated as a topic more worthy of study than its liberal counterpart. While browsing Amazon last night, I stumbled upon a whole galaxy of books detailing the movement's intellectual evolution: The Conservative Intellectual Movement in America , The Right Nation, The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot , A Time for Choosing , and so forth. Believe me, that's barely a partial list. Meanwhile, nothing similar seems to exist for the liberal side of the divide, with the closest analogue I could find being James Weinstein's lonely exegesis of American socialism, The Long Detour . So what's going on here? Rawls, Dewey, Niehbur, Schlesinger, Locke...there's a plenty long development to track, but nobody seems...
  • Are Magazines Obsolete?

    Over at the new Huffington Blog, which is working well as a salon although could stand to be a bit less self conscious, Cable Neuhaus , former editor of Entertainment Weekly, has a post lamenting the inevitable and irreversible death of magazines. Can't we have both -- a vibrant Internet and a rosy-cheeked magazine community? Very possibly not. Someone's gonna feel the hurt, and we already know who that is. The balance of power and influence is tipping, perceptibly, to the Web. This is true for both consumer magazines (the glossies) and trade titles. ... [T]here are few things magazines do that the Web can't do better or faster. Sure, you can't role up a Web page and tuck it into your pocket on the way to the beach, as you might with a mag article, but you can print the piece from a Web site and take it with you. You can probably interact with its writer. You can enlarge the art and examine it more closely. You can call up related video clips. You can instantly link to additional info...
  • God Bless This Mess

    I have to say the thing that leaps out at me most about this report is that Geena Davis is, in fact, still acting. It's like finding out Coolio is releasing a new album. Drudge (and the Drudgekateers ) are declaring that this is "attempting to get us ready for Hilary in '08", although as is usual, the power of Hollywood's social conditioning is vastly overrated. After all, West Wing got the Democratic Party...it got the Democratic Party...it got Peggy Noonan a paycheck. Dammit. You do, however, have to love the unironic link to the Newsmax summary of the Joe Klein article in which Klein points out that it might be a bad idea for Hillary to run because publications like Newsmax will go batshit crazy. What power has she, this Clinton ? I believe it to be...REAL ULTIMATE POWER. And godless Hollywood lesbianism, which is much the same thing.
  • Clintons Flip Out And Kill People

    I have to say the thing that leaps out at me most about this report is that Geena Davis is, in fact, still acting. It's like finding out Coolio is releasing a new album. Drudge (and the Drudgekateers ) are declaring that this is "attempting to get us ready for Hilary in '08", although as is usual, the power of Hollywood's social conditioning is vastly overrated. After all, West Wing got the Democratic Party...it got the Democratic Party...it got Peggy Noonan a paycheck. Dammit. You do, however, have to love the unironic link to the Newsmax summary of the Joe Klein article in which Klein points out that it might be a bad idea for Hillary to run because publications like Newsmax will go batshit crazy. What power has she, this Clinton ? I believe it to be...REAL ULTIMATE POWER. And godless Hollywood lesbianism, which is much the same thing. - Jesse Taylor (X-posted from Pandagon.)
  • Site Stuff

    Quick question: is the site working better for folks? I've been hearing from people that it's been fixing itself this weekend. My girlfriend can finally get it looking right on Safari. Have the magical internet elves done their html rain dance and made things round here pretty again? It'd be a helluva birthday present... (and yes, I know the banner isn't showing on the archives page, I need to fix that).
  • 21!

    Happy birthday to me! Bars beware. By the way -- any candidate proposing legislation outlawing two or more consecutive finals on one's birthday has my vote. This Monday,Tuesday, Wednesday schedule is just absurd. Ezra
  • The Dyslexic War on Terror

    As you all probably know by now, our new catch, al-Qaeda's #3 , may simply have had a similar name to their #3. We wanted Anas al-Liby, we caught Abu Faraj al-Libbi. But hey, this is the story of the War on Terror. We wanted to invade a rogue state with an advanced nuclear weapons program and a history of aiding terrorism, but instead, we hit its orthographical (and geographical) neighbor, Iraq. So Anas al-Liby, Iran -- you two sleep easy tonight. America was close enough. Update : From the article: No European or American intelligence expert contacted last week had heard of al-Libbi until a Pakistani intelligence report last year claimed he had taken over as head of operations after Khalid Shaikh Mohammad’s arrest. A former close associate of Bin Laden now living in London laughed: “What I remember of him is he used to make the coffee and do the photocopying.” Not to betray some sort of ignorance about terrorist operations or anything, but is there really a lot of photocopying and...
  • Sections of History That I Can't Take Seriously

    The Mugwumps: One need not reject out of hand these traditional accounts of the Mugwumps to take issue with some of their specific conclusions. For example, in Building a New American State , Stephen Skowronek offers a more complicated twist on these nineteenth-century reforms, and in doing so, has produced a more nuanced account of Mugwump regulatory thought. Skowronkek distinguishes between "political Mugwumps" and "economic Mugwumps." Like the Mugwumps depicted in Sproat and Fine, political Mugwumps" tended to cling dogmatically to laissez-faire doctrines." But economic Mugwumps, Skowronek observes, "would use the state in a positive way to compensate for the market's most manifest deficiencies." The juxtaposition of serious historical analysis of regulatory thought and the word Mugwump, which sounds like a spin-off from Fraggle Rock, is just impossible to read without sniggers. Which may explain why my coffee-shop neighbors think I'm weird. -Ezra
  • Vaccinate This

    Rich Tucker writes about the link between vaccines and autism in children, and subsequently recommends that we slow down the rate of vaccination for young children. Not being that well versed in the vaccine/autism link, I thought I might have misremembered, but I didn't - the area of conflict is over the use of thimerosal , a mercury-based vaccine preservative. It has little to do with how rapidly the vaccines are administered, but instead whether or not they include a dangerous preservative. If cars get in crashes (to borrow his analogy), you don't ban cars - you make driving safer. Vaccines (presumably) existed without mercury preservatives, and (presumably) can exist without them again - just as the potential to crash your car doesn't require you to ram it into something. - Jesse Taylor
  • The Indefatigable Defatigability Of...Dammit!

    That's what you get when you try to be clever and your body can't decide if it's lunchtime or breakfastime. Adam Cohen writes a piece on bloggers' ethics today, and I'm a bit torn about it. It's a lot hard to differentiate blog-to-blog than it is "regular" media source to "regular" media source. Take, for instance, the Dayton Daily News versus the L.A. Times. The L.A. Times is a quasi-national newspaper; not truly national, but with influence outsize to its distribution. The DDN is a local newspaper that reaches into a geographical area dominated by small suburbs and rural communities, surrounded by newspapers with larger distribution areas (Cincinnati and Columbus). No matter how good the paper is, its best work will simply be picked up and spread around the chain - but the DDN will not become a national paper. Blogs, on the other hand, are accessible universally to anyone with the technology. Boobahmafoo Blog can be gotten to with only the additional effort of typing in the extra...

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