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Daily Blogs for 10/2007

by Christopher Chantrill

You've Got to be Kidding, Girls | 10/31/07
 A decade or so ago we all laughed about political correctness.  It was so stupid ...

Stuck on Stupid? Dems Want Carter Era Tax Rates(1) | 10/30/07
 The central idea of the Reagan revolution was that punitive tax rates, like the 70 ...

NYT Hoping Religious Right Will Go Away | 10/29/07
 It’s as regular as clockwork: the article in The New York Times reporting ...

"Limited Lives" of Media Professionals | 10/26/07
 How can we best understand the Scott Thomas mess?  Why did the editors at The ...

What is the Difference Between Kerry and Beauchamp? | 10/25/07
 What’s the difference between ...

Government Worsens Hard Times | 10/24/07
 Remember the story of the Great ...

The End of Socialized Medicine?(1) | 10/24/07
 Just as Hillary Clinton is about to get her hands on the nation’s health-care ...

Not By Age, But Life Expectancy | 10/23/07
 The government’s entitlements like Social Security are based on age ...

Will The Atheists' Plan Work? | 10/22/07
 What with Governor-elect Bobby Jindal’s ...

A Tale of the Times | 10/19/07
 As we battle on in the culture wars, trading barbs and op-eds back at headquarters, it ...

Civil Society in Iraq? | 10/18/07
 When the United States first invaded Iraq you could tell that the Iraqis only knew to ...

Understanding the Risks We Take | 10/17/07
 How do you know what risk you are taking?  That’s the subject of a book by ...

Coercion in the Liberal University | 10/16/07
 We all shake our heads at the absurdities of the movement ironically called political ...

Who's Phoney Now? | 10/15/07
 Ever since the invention of the steam-driven printing press wise heads have advised ...

"But Critics Say" | 10/15/07
 It was impressive to watch the network news on Friday as they marked the announcement ...

Damning Hillary with Faint Praise | 10/12/07
 Many conservatives must be mulling over the same thoughts as ...

Their Jihad and Ours | 10/11/07
 Ever since the seven century, we are all constantly reminded, jihad has been a one-way ...

Now We Are Six | 10/10/07
 Used to be there was childhood and adulthood.  Then there was old age.  ...

Check the "Back Story" of every Dem Sob Story | 10/09/07
 The right-wing blogosphere has been having a grand old time with the Democrats’ ...

Mendacity, the Mark of Decline | 10/08/07
 Remember the good old days when Tennessee Williams wrote about the mendacity of the ...

Democrats' Pretzel Patriotism | 10/05/07
 The fuss over Rush Limbaugh and the “phoney soldiers” (is it phoney or ...

Understanding the Left | 10/04/07
 It’s a week in which leading Democrats have determined to demonstrate that ...

Paying for Health Care -- and Education? | 10/03/07
 For a century we have lived with the idea that things like education and health care ...

Is Rush Limbaugh That Important? | 10/02/07
 What’s the point?  That’s the question I have.  Why would Sen. ...

Obama revises plan on tax cuts | 10/01/07
 All the Democratic presidential candidates started out firm in their determination to ...


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”

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©2007 Christopher Chantrill