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Christian Right Does Direct Democracy

by Christopher Chantrill

DID YOU know that abortion is the biggest item in “protest” activity? Yep. Wins by a mile.

In a review of a book on the Christian Right The Democratic Virtues of the Christian Right by Jon Wright, Richard John Neuhaus notes how it is the Christian Right that has taken up the challenge for direct democracy that the SDS made in their Port Huron Statement in the Sixties.

“[S]ome 45 percent of respondents in the Citizens Participation Survey who reported participating in a  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/31/08 12:04 am ET


Naomi Klein's Latest Lefty Screed

by Christopher Chantrill

NAOMI KLEIN is a lefty journalist and author, daughter of anti-war Sixties parents that went to Canada during the Vietnam War.

In her No Logo, she railed against the Nineties economy. As I wrote for Liberty:

She is shocked by the megabrands, the brand bombers, and the category killers of the modern consumer society. For in the blaring public space of the brands there is No Space for artists  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/29/08 11:49 pm ET


The Universe of Hope

by Christopher Chantrill

IF YOU WANT real Hope and Change, don’t expect it from a politician. You are committing a category error. Everyone agrees that soldiers and politicians are the fighters, businessmen and workers are the workers, and teachers, clerics, and writers are the prayers. It’s the job of the teachers and clerics in the moral/cultural sector to be in charge of the hoping.

So if you want to ponder the question of hope, the Christmas (or Hannukah, or Divali) festival is a good one to anchor your thoughts.

All these mid-winter  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/24/08 8:55 pm ET


NYT: Bush to Blame for Mortgage Meltdown!

by Christopher Chantrill

LET’S say it up front. President Bush was not early enough or firm enough in calling a halt to the housing boom/bubble. For some years, it is clear, Bush just kept on the policy of mortgage-at-any-cost (especially to minorities) which has been the policy of the US government for decades.

But you’d have to have your head in a liberal bell jar to write a news story about the housing crisis and not mention “Community Reinvestment Act.” You’d have to try really hard not to mention the word “Dodd.”  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/23/08 8:04 pm ET


The Corruption and the Temptation

by Christopher Chantrill

UP UNTIL the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt the Democratic Party was split between the “honest graft” wing and the squeaky clean liberal or progressive wing. (Let’s leave the Southern Democratic Party out of this.)

Liberals were embarrassed by the corrupt city machines, and the ward heelers were contemptuous of the egg-head liberals who were full of ideas but couldn’t get anyone to the polls.

Of course, both of these tendencies are bad, very bad. The routine corruption of city machines was a  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/22/08 10:36 pm ET


Music Really Is the Food of Love

by Christopher Chantrill

COUNT ORSINO in Twelfth Night was one of the most pompous lovers ever. What did the plucky Viola see in him?

But he knew the importance of music:

If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.

There you have the two themes of sex. Music and death.

Being holiday season and all, the London Economist has a long and learned  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/19/08 10:30 pm ET


The Kennedys Ain't What They Used To Be

by Christopher Chantrill

NOBODY COULD say that the Kennedy political machine didn’t practice nepotism. Old Joe Kennedy would probably have made Gov. Blagojevich (D-IL) look like a piker if we’d known about his shenanigans. (Why do you think we use that Irish word to communicate the notion of dodgy political footwork?)

But at least Jack Kennedy actually ran and won races for the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. And at least Ted Kennedy ran for the Senate in 1962.

But now we have the latest Kennedy scion, Caroline Kennedy Schossberg,  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/18/08 9:37 pm ET


Pushing on a String

by Christopher Chantrill

AT THIS stage of the business cycle pundits usually talk about the Fed pushing on a string. They mean that the Fed can’t actually make people start to borrow. All the Fed can do is print money and hope that economic activity starts to revive.

The usual response is that, of course, economic activity will revive; it always does. But until it does, who knows how long it will be before greed takes over from fear.

The worry is that the Fed is reaching the zone of “quantitative easing.” That was what the Bank  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/18/08 2:12 am ET


Were Talent-spotters Right on Obama?

by Christopher Chantrill

FEDERAL Appeal Court Judge and ├╝ber-liberal Abner Mikva was an early patron of President-elect Obama, according to Tom Hundley. He “was among the first to spot the potential of the skinny young law school graduate with the odd name.”

"I use a Yiddish expression, yiddishe neshuma, to describe him," explains Mikva. "It means a Jewish soul. It’s an expression my mother used. It means a sensitive,  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/16/08 10:46 pm ET


Brit Laborites Propose Welfare Reform

by Christopher Chantrill

THEY SAID it wouldn’t work. They said that millions of children would starve.

That’s what the experts and the advocates said when President Clinton signed the US welfare reform bill 12 years ago.

They were wrong. All that has happened in the United States is that the welfare rolls have gone down and poverty rates have decreased.

Now the British Labour Party, champion of welfare and social programs, has announcd a welfare reform plan for Britain. It comes not before time, as Brits have been regaled  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/16/08 12:00 am ET


Double Whammy Morning

by Christopher Chantrill

FACED WITH the failure of the auto bailout in the United States Senate and the collapse of a $50 billion Ponzi scheme markets plumm... well, they seem to have shrugged. At noon, 12/12/2008, the Dow was down 95.02 points and the Nasdaq was up 5 points.

So that just shows you. It’s not the end of the world. Yet.

Most likely, as long as the financial system holds  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/12/08 8:09 pm ET


What About a Stimulus That Works!

by Christopher Chantrill

EVERYONE agrees that what the world needs now is Stimulus.

But what kind of stimulus should it be? Should it be a tax rate cut, as Republicans and conservatives would recommend? Or should it be spending on stuff like infrastructure, as Democrats and liberals would recommend, and as President-elect Obama seems to prefer?

Harvard economics prof Greg Mankiw has some ideas on this. And like a true economist, he grades the different approaches  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/12/08 12:06 am ET


Politics and Programs and Corruption

by Christopher Chantrill

EVERYONE is chuckling about the criminal allegations made against Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D). His blatant determination to “sell” the vacated US Senate seat of President-elect Barack Obama for value received is so over the top that you can’t help but laugh. Even the Wall Street Journal was able to crack a grin.

Of course, the president-elect had nothing to do with this. Nothing.

But liberals, isn’t it time to look in  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/10/08 8:24 pm ET


Our Liberal Dominator Hierarchy

by Christopher Chantrill

IS THE BAD old days of the feudal era and the patriarchy, if you can remember back that far, the world was ruled by Dominator Hierarchies.

But the progressive educated elite offered itself in the nineteenth century to end all that. No, in the future we would all be gently led into a new era of equality and end the marginalization of groups oppressed by the dominators and the marginalizers.

That’s what they told us. Now let’s think reality.

Was there ever a Dominator Hierarchy like our modern progressive  unfold 

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Wal-Mart's FEMA Actually Delivers

by Christopher Chantrill

LIBERALS hate Wal-Mart. Well, they do. They hate Wal-Mart because it puts Main Street businesses out of business. They hate Wal-Mart because it’s non-union and it doesn’t offer first-dollar health insurance.

But Wal-Mart delivers Always Low Prices, Always. And that helps all people on low incomes. Funnily enough, Wal-Mart is doing fine in the current recession while Whole Foods is tanking.

And Wal-Mart is a good corporate citizen where it counts. Like in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as the  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/09/08 12:48 am ET


Rebuilding the Conservative Story Part III: Elevator Story

by Christopher Chantrill

WE’VE spent the last couple of days talking about the conservative story. What is our Vision? What is our Mission? Now it’s time to define our elevator story.

Every enterprise needs an Elevator Story. It’s the spiel you give to someone in 30 seconds or less when they say:  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/05/08 8:37 pm ET


Rebuilding the Conservative Story Part II: Mission Statement

by Christopher Chantrill

YESTERDAY we triumphantly designed a Vision Statement to guide conservatives during our rebuilding process. Today, as promised, we are releasing a Mission Statement to the world.

As everyone knows, in the subculture of off-site team-building meetings, the Vision Statement is a gauzy, uplifting, inspirational definition of the goal of an organization. The Mission Statement is more down to earth. It answers the  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/04/08 9:57 pm ET


Rebuilding the Conservative Story Part I: Vision Statement

by Christopher Chantrill

BEFORE WE get to the specifics and the personalities of the glorious conservative future—will it be Sarah Palin or Bobby Jindal—let’s do the due diligence. Let’s start with a Vision Statement.

Yes, I know, all that off-site team-building stuff is awfully trite, but it has a point. It forces you to think about: Who we are, and what do we want, and why?

So let’s start with a Vision Statement. Here it is:

We believe in an America that lives and works together, with limited government,  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/03/08 7:34 pm ET


Anthro Knickers in a Twist

by Christopher Chantrill

I’D never heard of Montogmery McFate. Well I do now. She’s the social scientist that inspired the Pentagon’s Human Terrain System in Iraq. Says Wired:

Today she is the senior social science adviser for the Human Terrain System, a $130 million Army program that embeds political science, anthropology and economics specialists with combat units in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Oh no! Social scientists assisting  unfold 

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After Mumbai

by Christopher Chantrill

THE BIG question about “islamic extremism” is whether to consider it a global mass movement of militant conquest or whether to think of it as a Ghost Shirt movement.

We’ve seen a number of global mass movements over the past century or so: commmunism, socialism, fascism. There were certainly moments when it looked like those movements, at once modern and reactionary, looked like they might take over the world. Does islamic terrorism fit into that template?

Or is it like the late 19th century  unfold 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/01/08 9:43 pm ET


Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990

Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures

German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


[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


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh

Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital

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