Government serves best when it protects and safeguards—rather than crowds out—the poverty-fighting institutions of civil society

Quote of the Day for Thursday, May 5th, 2011: Ryan Messmore, writing at the Heritage Foundation website, on the ruse that a social and political order disciplined by a commitment to limited government is to be equated with an antipathy for the poor: The goal of overcoming poverty is not simply to eliminate need, but to enable people to thrive—that is, to empower them to live meaningful lives and contribute to society. Thriving is much more than a full stomach and a place to sleep. People tend to flourish in the context of healthy relationships with thei...

And besides, who would we rob the next year?

Pajama TV’s (and Declaration Entertainment’s) Bill Whittle, working with material from the always readable Iowahawk, doing a little ‘splainin’ about why the schemes of Michael Moore (and others on the left) to confiscate the wealth of the wealthy to solve the nation’s funding problems are simply useless, irrational – and dangerous – harangues. Note that this presentation doesn’t even touch on the debt problem, but solely on annual spending – nor does it really address the moral issues around the confiscatory “solutions,” but one thing at a time, I suppos...

No Child Left Unbooted in Natick

Natick, MA Superintendent of Schools Dr. Peter Sanchioni, putting a whole lot of clever lipstick earlier this month on a “looky what I found!” decision to raid a high school construction project’s (borrowed) contingency fund to underwrite – with tax dollars – a newly discovered necessity for educating teenagers: personal laptops for everyone: "What we feel, and the case we’re going to make to the MSBA, is that they’ve totally underestimated what a technology budget should be in a 21st century school," Sanchioni said. "We don&#...

In each case the body count was in the millions

Quote of the day for Sunday, March 6th, 2011: Newsweek is one of the last places I’d expect to find sober political commentary (maybe being sold for $1 has stunned the company out of its indulgent stupor!), but this on-line article last week from Niall Ferguson, entitled Un-American Revolutions, is one of the sanest opinions I’ve read on the tumult shaking the Muslim world: Time and again, Americans have hailed revolutions, only to fall strangely silent as those same revolutions proceeded to devour not only their own children but many other people’s too...

“Libyans don’t want anyone but Gadhafi. He gave us loans.”

Quote of the Day for Saturday, February 26th, 2011: From an AP story by Maggie Michael and Ben Hubbard, as posted on boston.com this afternoon: Supporters in about 50 cars covered with Gadhafi posters drove slowly around the square, waving green flags from the windows and honking horns. A camera crew filmed the procession. A taxi driver, Nasser Mohammed, 25, was among those who had put a picture of Gadhafi and a green flag on his car. "Have you heard the speech last night?" he asked. "It was great. Libyans don’t want anyone but Gadh...

We can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house

Quote of the Day for Tuesday, February 1st, 2011: I’m not sure quite how to attribute this… I’m quoting Joe Carter over at the First Thoughts blog today, who is quoting Judge Roger Vinson’s ruling published Monday striking down the ObamaCare law on account of the individual mandate, which is quoting then-candidate Barack Obama from 2008, essentially mocking the notion of a mandate… You can figure it out: On this point, it should be emphasized that while the individual mandate was clearly “necessary and essential” to the Act as drafted, it is...

An attack on the poor, who have been most helped by capitalism

Quote of the Day for Thursday, January 27th, 2011: Robert T. Miller, in February’s First Things, criticizing the continuing latent Marxism in the political economy of Alasdair MacIntyre’s thought, in an article entitled Waiting for St. Vladimir: Capitalism efficiently delivers goods and services, but it is not a perfect system—far from it. To be sure, capitalism has costs of various kinds. It is a key insight of modern economics, however, that all solutions to a given problem have costs, and we delude ourselves if we think we can find a perfect (in the ...

Of the increasingly common bad habit of local politicians to resort to cosmic sermonizing…

Quote of the Day for Friday, January 21st, 2011: Victor David Hanson, writing yesterday for National Review Online, on when sermonizing on real or imagined global issues trumps the exercise of competence for local officials – or camouflages its absence: Dupnik is a good example of the increasingly common bad habit of local politicians to resort to cosmic sermonizing when more mundane challenges go unaddressed. In Dupnik’s case, it is hard to monitor all the nuts like Loughner in the sheriff’s department files to ensure they don’t get guns and bullets an...

The western world is an end state: the comfy couch at the end of history

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 19th, 2011: Walter Russell Mead, writing at The American Interest on the on-going decline – and largely unconsidered future – of the structures underpinning modern life in the West: The word ‘developed’ contains an important assumption: that a historical process known as development (closely related to modernization — another problematic word) not only exists throughout the world, it culminates in a known end which has already been reached.  This word implies that countries like France, Canada and our o...

That sometimes frustrating, sometimes contentious, but always necessary and never-ending process to form a more perfect union

Quote of the Day for Thursday, January 13th, 2011: President Barack Obama, from his address yesterday at the memorial service for those killed in the Tucson shooting: In George and Dot, in Dorwan and Mavy, we sense the abiding love we have for our own husbands, our own wives, our own life partners. Phyllis – she’s our mom or grandma; Gabe our brother or son. In Judge Roll, we recognize not only a man who prized his family and doing his job well, but also a man who embodied America’s fidelity to the law. In Gabby, we see a reflection of our public spirite...

Vicious charges made by people who claimed to be criticizing viciousness

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 12th, 2011: New York Times columnist David Brooks, in a too-rare moment of lucidity, commenting Monday on the despicable liberal media spin on the Giffords shooting: Keith Olbermann demanded a Palin repudiation and the founder of the Daily Kos wrote on Twitter: “Mission Accomplished, Sarah Palin.” Others argued that the killing was fostered by a political climate of hate. These accusations — that political actors contributed to the murder of 6 people, including a 9-year-old girl — are extremely grave. … The...

Free Speech and the Peaceful Public Order

I arrived home from my sister Mary’s funeral Saturday evening, and saw that Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several other people had been shot during some kind of meet-and-greet in her congressional district. I’d never heard of Giffords, but was discouraged that such a thing would happen – it’s hard enough just given our political process to get good people to run for public office, and it was of course a terrible tragedy for the people involved. It seemed to me that it had been a long time since something like that had happened. As I read t...