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Nuclear Power Could Save the Planet

by Christopher Chantrill

AS WE ALL KNOW, our American liberals see themselves as the “reality-based” community that believes in science rather than religious superstition and myths. If so, they will be interested in the emerging science of hormesis, the idea that small quantities of toxins, even those that kill at high concentrations, may actually be beneficial.

The principle was demonstrated by Dorothy L. Sayers in her Lord Peter Wimsey mystery, Strong Poison. The not-very-lovely mystery novelist Harriet Vane is accused of poisoning her  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 09/30/05 11:42 am ET


Liberal Guru Dies. Who Knew?

by Christopher Chantrill

M. SCOTT PECK, author of perennial bestseller The Road Less Traveled, died on September 25 of cancer. “Life is difficult,” he wrote. It is a series of problems and we gain the wisdom to overcome them by discipline (and also through love, growth, religion, and grace). Who, among the reading classes of a certain age, has not read his book, or known what it was about?

Appearing as it did in 1978, Peck’s book was well-timed to offer a way for the baby-boom generation to sober up after the binge of the Sixties  unfold 

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Ballroom Dancing? At College?

by Christopher Chantrill

HALF A CENTURY after rock-and-roll ate pairs dancing for lunch, it looks like ballroom dancing is making a comeback—at the university. Liz Lightfoot reports that Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England are getting serious about an annual ballroom dancing competition between the two schools.

It has become so serious that

Cambridge University has appointed its first permanent ballroom  unfold 

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The University: Sickness Unto Death

by Christopher Chantrill

IT’S UNIVERSITY week as various opinion media trot out their annual state of the academy pieces. In James Piereson’s The Left University we saw a picture of the university drawn using the German historical method, penciling out the progress of the academy from teacher of absolutes to liberal research institution to the current left university that amounts to an establishment of secular religion.

On the other hand,  unfold 

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After the Left University, What Then?

by Christopher Chantrill

IN AN IMPORTANT article in The Weekly Standard, James Piereson, longtime director of the James M. Olin Foundation, takes a look at The Left University and what to do about it.

American universities have gone through three stages, according to Piereson. The first stage was the British model: universities founded by Protestant denominations and designed

to transmit knowledge and right principles to the young in order to  unfold 

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"Nobody Screws With Me"

by Christopher Chantrill

EVERYBODY IS worrying about the decline of male participation in the university. At present “135 women are graduating from college for every 100 men.” Instapundit has a lot of links.

The big question is: Where are all the men? Vectorsphere has some interesting posts on this, inluding a post from a father whose son was earning $70k a year as an electrician. Many young men drop out of college because they cannot  unfold 

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Cherie Blair's Royal Progress

by Christopher Chantrill

THE PERSONAL is the political, they say. Whatever that may mean, we certainly like to imagine that celebrities actually live the characters they portray. And we like to imagine that the politicians of the other party are demonstrably not the kind, compassionate souls that other people’s money (actually, our money) makes them appear.

A recent biography of Britain’s First Couple, Tony and Cherie: A Special Relationship, by Paul Scott, gives us everything we want to believe about Cherie Blair, according to  unfold 

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China and Japan Confront Each Other

by Christopher Chantrill

THOSE OF US that expect a world ruled by China in 2050 often worry about a coming confrontation between the U.S. and China. Actually, it is more likely that the confrontation will be between Japan and China. In Ping Chong’s puppet show Cathay: 3 Tales of China the Americans are merely comic. But the Japanese are the murdering monsters that invaded China and killed innocent Chinese children and raped pure Chinese mothers. If you listen to the Chinese guides when you visit China, you certainly understand that they are not  unfold 

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Why Democrats are so Obstructionist

by Christopher Chantrill

CONGRESSIONAL Republicans are puzzled by the intransigent opposition and obstructionist tactics of the Democrats in Congress, according to Gary Andres. They recall the good old days when they were in the minority. They would always put up a “comprehensive alternative” to the legislation proposed by the Democrats, and suffer good naturedly as it went down to certain defeat.

But the minority Democrats of the twenty-first century don’t play by those  unfold 

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Simon Wiesenthal, RIP

by Christopher Chantrill

THE GREAT ACHIEVEMENTS of the life of Simon Wiesenthal are well known: how he set up a center for investigation of crimes against Jews during the years of the Second World War; how his sleuthing helped the Israeli Mossad track down and bring to justice Adolf Eichmann, the bureaucrat that efficiently organized the death camps in which so many millions died.

But it is the details of Wiesenthal’s life that are fresh and new, and cast a light upon Eastern Europe in the first half of the twentieth century. He was born, for instance,  unfold 

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"Don't Get Stuck on Stupid, Reporters"

by Christopher Chantrill

CONSERVATIVES are rolling in the aisles this morning chuckling about LtGen Honore’s advice to the media yesterday. “Don’t get stuck on stupid, reporters,” he advised. Honore and Mayor Nagin were trying to advertise information about buses for evacuation of New Orleans in advance of hurricane Rita. But reporters wanted to talk about why the preparation for this hurricane was different that the preparation for hurricane Katrina.

So LtGen Honore decided to treat the  unfold 

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They are Closing the Hospitals in Britain

by Christopher Chantrill

WHEN I READ James Bartholomew’s book The Welfare State We’re In I didn’t really believe his claim that the British National Health Service (NHS) hadn’t built a single hospital since it was formed in 1948, and that mainly it had been closing hospitals in its 50 years of monopoly health care provision. I resolved to keep an eye out for corroborating evidence.

And of course who can forget the Canadian hospital in The Barbarian Invasions that has a whole  unfold 

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China's Emerging Middle Class

by Christopher Chantrill

WHEN WE CAN take a moment from the delicious pleasure of bashing the other guys on the Iraq war, the evil Bush, hurricane Katrina, and right-wing ideologues on the U.S. Supreme Court, we often turn to thoughts of China. What will happen when China takes over the world in 2050?

Here’s a little look at the emerging Chinese middle class, the “xiao zi” or “little bourgeois” that is beginning to fill China’s bursting cities. Writes  unfold 

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One Small Step for Academic Freedom

by Christopher Chantrill

LAST WEEK OHIO state universities took a small step towards academic freedom for their students. As David Horowitz writes, “The Inter-University Council of Ohio has reached an agreement with Senate sponsors of the Ohio Academic Bill of Rights (Senate Bill 24) to implement key principles of academic freedom in all public and private colleges and universities in the state.”

It’s a pity though that the Ohio media doesn’t seem to agree.  unfold 

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Germans in a Funk

by Christopher Chantrill

THE GERMAN voters spoke clearly to their politicians in Sunday’s election. They are frightened. They are fed up with the status quo but they are afraid of change. They are fed up with 5 million unemployed but they don’t want to give their leaders a mandate to do anything about it.

That was clear from the reaction to the half-hearted trial balloon for a flat tax to replace Germany’s current complex system of income taxation. Chancellor candidate Angela  unfold 

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Blair Dumps Kyoto

by Christopher Chantrill

WHOSE SIDE is British Prime Minister Tony Blair on? For years he’s been toeing the line on global warming and providing verbal support for the European approach, the carbon emission limits of the Kyoto accord. Now, according to James Pinkerton, he’s changed his tune.

At the Clinton Summit in New York recently he said he would be “brutally honest.”

"My thinking has changed in the past three or four years." So what does he think now? "No  unfold 

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San Francisco Earthquake was Worse

by Christopher Chantrill

WAS HURRICANE Katrina the worst national disaster ever? According to Donald Luskin the San Francisco earthquake was worse.

It was worse in terms of total damage, worse in terms of looting, worse in terms of violence, and worse in terms of federal and local government miscues.

The performance of first responders in 1906 was as dubious as it was in 2005. Half the San Francisco policemen and firemen walked off the job, leaving whole districts  unfold 

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Hero of the Hurricane: Wal-Mart

by Christopher Chantrill

OUT OF THE miasma of blame and media bias in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, one American institution is emerging from the cloud of ruins like a firefighter emerging from the ruin of the World Trade Center: Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart was first with a monetary contribution to disaster aid. Wal-Mart had pre-positioned goods like generators and Pop-Tarts (!) at its distribution centers. Wal-Mart announced it would open mini-Wal-Marts in the disaster area to distribute vital food and supplies to disaster victims. And Wal-Mart already has nearly  unfold 

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Nursing Home Owners Overwhelmed

by Christopher Chantrill

THE AUGUST New York Times kindly forgave the state and local governments in Louisiana for failing to execute on their disaster recovery plans as hurricane Katrina bowled over their state. They headlined the government response thus: “Federal Authorities Hesitated — Local Officials Were Overwhelmed.” And rightly so. Everyone knows that when Democrats fail to execute, it is Republicans that are to blame.

But no such understanding is being extended to nursing home operators that ignored warnings to evacuate their  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 09/14/05 11:36 am ET


Leaving the Poor Behind

by Christopher Chantrill

CRITICS OF the president are shocked that in the evacuation of New Orleans before hurricane Katrina the poor were left behind. Said Senator Kennedy: “those people who had cars and money got out, and those people who were impoverished died.”

Well, Senator, and whose fault is that?

The ground theme of the conservative movement of the last half-century is that if you encourage helplessness, and sustain helpless people in their helplessness with programs and pensions, as the welfare state does, then you will increase the  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 09/13/05 11:21 am ET


More Liberal Brainwashing at the University

by Christopher Chantrill

THE STORIES keep trickling out. About the astonishing culture of liberal postmodernism in the university. About how it is enforced with the threat of shame and the power of employment. Here is the latest installment from a Resident Assistant at a Catholic university somewhere in America, “Athena Kerry.”

“Athena” tells of the hiring process she went through to become a Resident Assistant at a residence hall. The applicants were invited to  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 09/12/05 11:43 am ET


Can Blogs Challenge the MSM on Katrina?

by Christopher Chantrill

SUNDAY HEADLINE in The New York Times: “Federal Authorities Hesitated — Local Officials Were Overwhelmed.” Yes, the poor little local officials. The whole thing was just too big for them. And the newsweeklies are echoing the MSM line.

Can the conservative blogs change the story? That is, can they change the story from the current MSM groupthink that Bush failed and make the MSM’s shoddy reporting the story?

Blogger Jeff  unfold 

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The Meaning of New Orleans

by Christopher Chantrill

WHAT IS THE meaning of Hurricane Katrina? That is the big question as we move from the shock battle of the blame game to the aftermath. And there is nobody better equipped to provide guidance than the American philosopher Lee Harris, who writes for TechcentralStation.com. In three articles this week, Harris unpacks the hurricane aftermath with the practiced hands of a man who has studied philosophy and has also lived life. In doing so he penetrates to the heart of the problem that  unfold 

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Sticking up for Price Gougers

by Christopher Chantrill

THE FIRST THING that the media and camera-hungry politicians look for after a national disaster are price gougers. Woe betide the evil gas stations that put prices up when supplies tighten! The reporters and politicians are shocked by the greed of the price gougers. How could they do it?

Thanks for nothing, pal. When I went to my local Arco gas station, on Friday September 2, the price was nobly unchanged from before the unundation of New Orleans, but what use was that? A battalion of TV watchers had descended on the gas  unfold 

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Get Your Education Myths Here

by Christopher Chantrill

WE ALL KNOW a lot about schools. We know they are underfunded. We know that teachers are underpaid. And we know that Johnny can’t read.

Actually, write Jay P. Greene & Marcus A. Winters, we’re wrong.

Schools aren’t underfunded. Anything but.

In fact, public K-12 spending is approaching $10,000 per pupil — double what it was three decades ago, adjusting for inflation. And total school spending is approaching $500  unfold 

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Guardian Leftie Bails on Schroeder

by Christopher Chantrill

YOU’D think that the chaps at Britain’s lefty Guardian would love German Chancellor Schröder. He’s as solid a Social Democrat as you could imagine. He’s defending the European “social model” from the evil forces of Anglo-American globalization. He’s earned standing “O”s for his strident (and convenient) anti-Americanism. So why is Martin Kettle bailing out on the Unions-Kanzler?

Well, it’s because  unfold 

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Parents Saving Their Children

by Christopher Chantrill

AS EVERYONE continues with the delicious pleasure of the blame game, it is well to remind ourselves what the Katrina aftermath is really all about.

It is about children getting separated from their parents.

In this story reported by the Los Angeles Times we learn of seven children found wandering around an evacuation center under the supervision of a seven-year-old.

How could that happen? How could parents so neglect their children as to allow them to become separated from them in such a crisis? The answer is salutary.  unfold 

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The Welfare State in Action

by Christopher Chantrill

WHAT HAPPENED in New Orleans after hurricane Katrina was not a natural disaster, writes Robert Tracinski. It was man-made. Man-made over the last 40 years of the welfare state.

What kind of people would not club together after a disaster to help each other?

What explains bands of thugs using a natural disaster as an excuse for an orgy of looting, armed robbery, and rape? What causes unruly mobs to storm the very buses that have arrived to  unfold 

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Allan Bloom Was On Our Side, Claims Liberal

by Christopher Chantrill

WHO WOULD HAVE thought that the man that liberals sneered at for his best-selling The Closing of the American Mind would some day come to be celebrated at the back of The New York Times Book Review as a writer who would probably be on the side of liberals today?

You see, even while they were publicly excoriating Allan Bloom for his reactionary views, some liberals actually appreciated what he was doing. According to Jim Sleeper:  unfold 

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The Battle of New Orleans

by Christopher Chantrill

UPDATED FROM the war of 1812 to the present era. (After lyrics by Jimmy Driftwood, sung by Lonnie Donegan, see here, here and here.)

In August ’05 we took a little trip
Volunteers and Guardsmen down the mighty  unfold 

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The 2008 Fix is In

by Christopher Chantrill

WHAT FOOLS we were to think that George W. Bush was an imbecile. It is all so clear now. How he arranged 9/11 just as the Arab nation suspects—but not as an excuse to invade the Land of the Two Holy Places, oh no. It was part of a fiendish plan hatched by Karl Rove to boost Mayor Rudolph Guiliani and to scotch the presidential plans of Hillary Clinton. Then Bush set up the war in Afghanistan and Iraq to distract the anti-war left. And, of course, he crossed up the Democratic mayors and governors of the Gulf Coast so that they  unfold 

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Children of Nature in the Midst of Civilization

by Christopher Chantrill

HOW IS IT POSSIBLE? After 160 years of public education, fifty years of social service agencies, a vast infrastructure of government programs and interventions, how is it possible for a great American city to descend into lawlessness in a couple of days?

The answer is developed by Nicole Gelinas in City Journal. New Orleans really doesn’t have a government worthy of the name.

New Orleans has no real competent government or civil  unfold 

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The Blame Game Begins

by Christopher Chantrill

AS THE DEMOCRATS crank up the blame game, citing a planned “cut” in the budget of the New Orleans District Corps of Engineers budget here and here as a reason to blame President Bush for the devastation, conservative Michael Ledeen waxes lyrical about the insouciance of cities that live under constant threat of annihilation.

For  unfold 

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What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District

Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization

Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph

Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self

Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion

Government Expenditure

The Union publishes an exact return of the amount of its taxes; I can get copies of the budgets of the four and twenty component states; but who can tell me what the citizens spend in the administration of county and township?
Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill