by Christopher Chantrill
Sometimes you have to admit it. There is nothing new under the sun. Chicago politicians are still as venal and corrupt as they always were, and it is thoughtful of Gov. Blagojevich (D-IL) to remind us. It is also salutary to read that people had been tipping off the Securities and Exchange Commission for years about accused Ponzi schemer Bernie| more | 12/25/08
Our liberal friends are all agog at President-elect Obamas proposal for an infrastructure program to provide economic stimulus. These are the same liberals that have been opposing infrastructure spending for 30 years because it might harm the environment.
We could respond to liberal proposals with knee-jerk opposition. But| more | 12/17/08
For the next month our Democratic friends will be focusing on the inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States. Its a good opportunity for conservatives to have an off-site.
You all know what that is. You take off a day or two from work and go to a convention facility where, facilitated by an expensive| more | 12/11/08
Judging from reports it seems that the Indian authorities in Mumbai last week were more concerned with stamping out the terrorists than protecting innocent human life.
In the US and Europe, surely, authorities would have established a perimeter around the terrorists, stabilized the situation, and started to negotiate.
But in Mumbai the| more | 12/04/08
Back in the 19th century, we are told, Americans worked in sweatshops for long hours at low pay. There were no benefits, no weekends, no vacations. Every worker suffered under the most rigid industrial discipline and knew he could be fired on a whim.
So Americas thinkers and activists came up with a solution. Instead of the workers| more | 11/27/08
In the chaos of defeat Republicans and conservatives feel most ashamed about the profligate spending. How was it that the conservative President Bush and the Republican Congress of 2001-2006 could have so increased the weight of government on the backs of the American peopleincluding that most shameful spending of all, earmarks?
The| more | 11/21/08
Last weeks election really was the best possible result that conservatives could have hoped for. The Democrats got a solid presidential win (but not a landslide). They increased their Congressional majorities (but did not get a filibuster-proof Senate). And best of all, the American electorate showed the world that it could vote a black| more | 11/12/08
By the time you read this, Ill have voted for Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for president. Oh, I know, its a meaningless vote. Im voting in Washington State, where RealClearPolitics.com had Obama up by 13 points over the weekend. Of course, Ill have voted for Republican Dino Rossi for Governor, and that race was a lot closer| more | 11/07/08
The last time the United States experienced a meltdown like the one we are currently experiencing on President Bushs watch, our Democratic friends got to occupy the presidency for four consecutive terms and won congressional hegemony for half a century.
At the nadir of Republican fortunes after the 1936 election the US Senate was| more | 10/29/08
In a week when the Obama campaign started working on the transition and the important work of picking a cabinet, the Wall Street Journal helpfully warned us this week in | more | 10/22/08more | 10/15/08
Its pretty obvious by now, at least to conservatives, that the current financial maelstrom is a product of liberal government programs. The best analysis so far has to be Dennis Sewells Clinton| more | 10/08/08
Back in the good old days the US used to spend big money on secret defense projects. And no wonder, for in 1960 defense and the military industrial complex ate up 10 percent of GDP. It was easy to find money for the odd U-2 spy plane or the granddaddy of all black projects, the Mach 3 spy plane variously known as the A-12, YF-12,| more | 09/30/08
On Thursday September 18, the Dow Industrials staged a robust recovery, soaring 5.4 percent from an intraday low of 10459.77 on news that the Feds intended to create a new Resolution Trust Corporation. The new RTC, similar to the agency that cleaned up the assets of the| more | 09/26/08
Remember the Sixties? Back then our liberal friends were sneering at uptight conservative men in gray flannel suits and celebrating creative people in flowered shirts who did their own thing.
Now uptight feminists are sneering at creative conservative women who decide to do their own thing.
But things| more | 09/23/08
We know now that the Palin phenomenon is for real. We can tell because our lefty friends have come up with a new pejorative: Caribou Barbie. It joins neoconservative, invented in the 1960s to describe New York Jewish intellectuals who had been mugged by reality, and neo-con, invented in the 2000s to account| more | 09/10/08
After a week of watching the Democrats ponce around in the Denver Temple of O, Republicans couldnt believe it when John McCainwhos done his share of poncing around over the yearsdelivered up Governor Sarah Palin (R-AK) as his running mate. As| more | 09/06/08
The good friends of Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) at The New York Times Magazine have written a long thumb-sucker about Obamas proposed economic policy. What will Obamanomics look like, they wonder?
In some fundamental ways, the American economy has stopped working, writes| more | 08/28/08
At a Greenwich, Conn. elementary school recently the principal was suspended for a little juggle-ology with the school student handbook. Seems that he told a parent that birthday cupcakes needed to be left at the office. See, he said a little later,| more | 08/23/08more | 08/19/08
Last week I participated in a voter roundtable on Social Safety Nets at KPLU, a local Puget Sound NPR affiliate. Reporter Paula Wissel played us some audio clips from presidential speeches on Social Security, Medicare, and welfare, and then we got to talk about our feelings.
As youd expect, there was an unspoken assumption that| more | 08/07/08
This last week conservatives spent a lot of time in the vomitorium. Everything that Candidate Barack Obama has done has seemed like an invitation to upchuck.
We are talking about the kumbaya speech at the Siegessäule in Berlin, the culmination of Baracks| more | 08/01/08
When singer Jo Stafford and the Pied Pipers in Los Angeles got a chance to audition for the Tommy Dorsey big band in New York, they piled into a car and drove across the nationin 1939. No doubt it was cheaper than taking the train.
When| more | 07/29/08
In politics the game always goes to the politician who can stick the blame on the other guy. Sometimes, like New York Senator Charles Schumer, you can even nudge a bank into receivership. Loose lips sink ships, Senator!
When things go wrong for the Ins the Outs make hay deploring the mistakes of the Ins. Then the Outs get in and| more | 07/17/08
Why would anyone be a global warming denier? Whats the point? You earn the scorn of Al Gore and maybe Dr. James Hansen, NASAs pre-eminent climate scientist will call for you to be put in jail. Of fossil fuel company CEOs Hansen recently testified to| more | 07/14/08
We talk a lot about choices in the United States, but what do we mean? Usually, we are talking about rights, as the the right to an abortion, or the right to choose a school for your child.
But real choice is about making hard choices; it is about recognizing that things cant go on the way they are any more. It| more | 07/08/08
Every now and again our learned scholars in the liberal university come up with a study, financed by taxpayers money, that concludes what every liberal already knows. Conservatives are rigid and not very intelligent. In fact, as one study by| more | 06/30/08
Last week, in a decision that everyone except conservatives agreed was a defeat for the Bush administration, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the inmates of Guantanamo Bay could sue in federal courts to challenge their imprisonment. For the| more | 06/23/08
Like Peggy Lee in Is That All There Is, conservatives keep wondering if they are missing something about the Democratic presumptive presidential nominee, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). Meanwhile, we hum to ourselves, in a rich contralto,| more | 06/12/08
The first boss I ever had, in 1968, was a Nixon-hater. A Democrat from upstate New York, he kept a coffee mug emblazoned with a Nixon $3 bill, and he could recite the litany of Nixons red-baiting campaigns. First there was Jerry Voorhees in 1946, then there was Alger Hiss and the pumpkin papers. Then there was Helen Gahagan Douglas in| more | 06/04/08
Unlike our British cousins we Americans honor the veterans of our armed forces twice a year. On Veterans Day we honor the service of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, and coast guard. But on Memorial Day we honor the Fallen.
In many parts of the nation communities still call it Decoration Day, the day to decorate the graves of those| more | 05/26/08
Most Americans cant write a decent college paper. Its not exactly news. Half a century ago Bernard Malamud, smart Jewish kid from Brooklyn, taught English out at Oregon State University. He found the experience so grueling that he wrote it up in A New Life. His| more | 05/24/08
For eleven long years the British Conservatives have wandered in the political wilderness. Political magician Tony Blair won three smashing elections with a re-branded New Labour Party in 1997, 2001, and 2005. The Tories were written off as the nasty party, and it looked like New Labour would rule forever.
Not to| more | 05/16/08
For those of you worried about the start of solar Cycle 24, good news. A small sunspot recently appeared in the suns southern hemisphere. So it looks like the next sunspot cycle has well and truly started.
Meanwhile scientist| more | 05/08/08
Liberals are right about the Right-wing Noise Machine. It really is a wonder to behold, and last week it was performing like a well-tuned NASCAR race car. They say that liberals are all prepared for the inevitable swift-boating of Barack Obama. Look behind you, liberals. It already happened and, like last time, it was an| more | 04/30/08
The mainstream media seem to think that the popes visit to the United States was all about the delicious priestly sex-abuse scandal and liberal agenda issues like abortion and women priests.
Even some conservatives wonder about Benedict XVI. Last week Catholic convert David Allen Tate worried to host Hugh Hewitt about Benedicts| more | 04/24/08
I was talking with a liberal friend recently over some convivial post-theater refreshment and the question of privacy came up.
What do you mean, I asked? What privacy? I just sent in my Federal Income Tax return for 2007 and I reckon that the government already knows everything about me. For 2007 Uncle Fed knows how much I earned in wages,| more | 04/18/08
What do you think? Is the mortgage meltdown over?
Predicting the future is like trying to look round the corner. If only you could take a quick look without getting your head blown off. If only.
Lets take a look at the faces of the pedestrians on the other side of the street. What can they see that we cant see?
First of| more | 04/09/08
The Bush administration launched another plan Monday to do something about the mortgage mess.more | 04/04/08
For months and months the suspense has been palpable. Here was Barack Obama, the first African American candidate for President of the United States who wasnt Jesse Jackson, promising to heal an angry and fractured nation with nothing less than Hope and Unity.
But what did he mean? Was he promising to close up Americas racial| more | 03/27/08
I suppose that most folks around the integral world think that conservatism and AQAL are mutually exclusive. After all, we all know that conservatives are blue/amber or business orange, or even red power types. And they really have little understanding of any other levels/stages/spirals.
In the spirit of How the Irish Invented Civilization I| more | 03/25/08
You can be a principled conservative and a loyal Republican and still be as angry as a Bush-derangement-syndrome Democrat over the mess in the financial markets.
You thought that the Republican Party was the safe-hands party, the party that you could rely on to manage the nations economic affairs in a competent and businesslike| more | 03/20/08
Now we know what Change-You-Can-Believe-In means. Its a code-word for the loose change that Tony Resko dealt out to the young Barack Obama when the young state senator was looking for a house in a ritzy part of Chicago.
That sort of change is completely different from the chump change that you or I put up when we buy a house in some| more | 03/14/08
Its a pity that great conservatives have to die for us to find out how remarkable they were. We learn, now that he is dead at age 82, that William F. Buckley, Jr. was the best friend in the world.
He was a man of astonishing work habits, productively busy every waking hour. Yet he was a man who would sit down with you and be genuinely| more | 03/07/08
Let us suppose that the mortgage meltdown has about finished melting and that some sort of recovery will shortly begin. The Federal Reserve Board has aggressively reduced interest rates from the 5.25 to 3.0 percent. And the seized-up interbank loan market appears to have eased, with the LIBOR 3-month interbank rate now close to the fed funds| more | 03/02/08
Last week several conservative columnists, with one voice, declared presidential candidate Barack Obama an empty suit. At least, they reckoned that his speechifying demonstrated an astonishing lack of content.more | 02/19/08
OK, conservatives, now that the race for the presidential nomination of the Republican Party is all over bar shouting, as my grandfather used to say, lets get back to more serious topics.
Lets talk about the federal budget.
Whats that? You have to go get your wife a present for Valentines Dayright| more | 02/16/08
After Super Tuesday the picture has changed. The Democratic race is all tied up and Mitt Romney has made a graceful exit.
But what about the issues? The war! The judges! The Bush tax cuts!
The fact is that the American people arent listening. They just want change. They are worried about all the excitement that Republicans| more | 02/08/08
At the end of the Bush administration conservatives need to clear their heads and think about the future. Its time to do some serious political philosophy.
Jonah Goldberg believes that the way to start is to understand how ubiquitous fascist ideas have become in our present age.
A project like that runs immediately into the| more | 02/01/08
Conservatives have long understood that socialism and fascism are two sides of the same coin. They are both reactionary movements attempting to roll back the modern era to a simpler, less corrupt age driven by something higher than money, money, money.
As Marx put it in The Communist Manifesto: The bourgeoisie... has left| more | 01/25/08
When the first woman to be a major party candidate for president wins her first presidential primary by playing the gender card it tells you something. The Romantics were right and the rationalists were wrong. Life really is all about feelings and not about reason.
That was a week ago. Now the first woman candidate for president is trading| more | 01/16/08
Its all Bushs fault, said the young man, echoing his betters at the establishment media and the angry academy.
Things were going so well in the 1990s until Bush and his neocon theocrats came along and ruined it with their global war on terror. Whens it gonna end?
But what can you expect from a president who| more | 01/03/08
When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of agesthey 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
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
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
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
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.
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison
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
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