home  |  book  |  blogs  |   RSS  |  contact  |


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 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/10/08 1:56 am ET


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 

Sphere: Related Content | perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 12/03/08 12:50 am ET


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


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.

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

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

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

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

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

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008

Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006

Never Trust Experts

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, “Letter to Lord Lytton”

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

Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”

mysql close


©2007 Christopher Chantrill