A Letter to My Teen Daughters, Concerning Racism

It can be difficult for me to get a handle on what I want to say about something, especially on-the-spot. But I wanted to follow up on tonight’s brief post-dinner discussion of something I consider profoundly important in the world today, which is the role the idea of racism plays in the on-going cultural drama of the propagation of modern society’s religious dogmas. I hope you will all find the time to do me the courtesy of reading this through. I have tried to be brief, but that’s a challenge, too… Some information gleaned from reputable-looking sites ...

…it was the halting and reversing of a socio-cultural revolution

The lights have been out at this blog for about a year and a half, but I’ve been targeting to get back to it, and even made a few tweaks and updates over the past week in preparation. And I could hardly find a finer way of turning the lights back on than by sharing this illuminating article at TheWeek.com by Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, who punctures the absurd conceits of the Progressive movement concerning the “inevitability” of social change, by revisiting the origins of the concept of racialism (race & racism) in early modern and – especially – Enlight...

Not so much a cultural revolution, as it is a mop-up job

Thanks to a link provided by Operation Rescue Boston’s Bill Cotter in a recent newsletter email, I recently came across an article by John Jalsevac at LifeSiteNews.com, which I consider the most insightful piece of short literature I have read on the cultural phenomenon of gay marriage, recognizing not only the problem the concept presents, but also acknowledging the very thin grounds modern (i.e. liberalized) “conservatives” have to stand on in resisting the expansion of the modern notion of marriage to include gays: But an honest look at the cultural ...

A Belated Clarification

Circumstances compel me to issue a clarification to a notion rendered in my last entry, from late December, lamenting the re-election of Barack Obama. My expressing a similar idea in a conversation prompted a sharp rebuttal that I was (wrongly and uncharitably) entertaining a conceit that everyone who voted to re-elect Obama did so either for trivial reasons, or out of naked self-interest. It is not true that I believe that, but I can understand how someone could come to that conclusion, given the cynical tone of my harangue. I made two offending comment...

In Case You Need to Know How to Vote on Tuesday…

The coveted MaybeToday.org Election 2012 endorsements and voting guidelines are here at last. Readers will certainly want to use these statements to inform their own decision-making prior to the upcoming election. For example, any of my neighbors in Precinct 8 of lovely Natick Massachusetts could print out this post and take it with them to the Morse Room in the Morse Institute Library next Tuesday, for use as instructions on precisely how to cast one’s votes (I think that would be legal, but I have to admit I’m not sure – please check with the voting of...

“The family is at the center of Santorum’s economic vision”

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, January 4th, 2012: James Pethokoukis writing earlier today at the American Enterprise Institute’s Enterprise Blog, in an article called: Santorum vs. Romney is a conflict of conservative visions: I don’t think Santorum believes tax reform is unimportant. True, throughout his Iowa campaign, Santorum has, in the words of David Brooks, been “picking fights” with supply-siders. Yet Santorum wants to sharply cut tax rates on labor income, capital income, and corporate profits. Nor does Santorum think cutting the size of governm...

It is hard to imagine zero-tolerance bullying prevention without schools becoming mini-bureaucratic-police states

Quote of the Day for Wednesday, September 14th, 2011: Mary Rose Somarriba, writing yesterday at Public Discourse, on the recent anti-bullying legislation recently enacted in New Jersey (hewing closely to Obama administration policies), in an article called “A Bully-Free World?”: Why, one might ask, would the president lead a conference on preventing something like bullying, which is ultimately impossible to prevent? It could be, perhaps, because bullying is something that everyone agrees is wrong, and it is something that everyone can relate to, because...

The tragedy is that they’re dead

Quote of the Day for June 27th, 2011: The New York Times’ Ross Douthat’s take on the Mara Hvistendahl book I posted on last Wednesday: This places many Western liberals, Hvistendahl included, in a distinctly uncomfortable position. Their own premises insist that the unborn aren’t human beings yet, and that the right to an abortion is nearly absolute. A self-proclaimed agnostic about when life begins, Hvistendahl insists that she hasn’t written “a book about death and killing.” But this leaves her struggling to define a victim for the crime th...

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...

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...

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...

Frum’s Dismissal of Libertarian Genealogy

Every now and then, the political blogosphere gets itself excited over the precise parameters of the relationship between contemporary Libertarianism and the worldview of the American founding fathers. David Frum has recently contributed a perspective on the question that I think is generally quite good in its analysis, through which he essentially concludes that the question is silly.  It is. It’s not that I agree entirely with Frum throughout his argument – I don’t – but the article is worth reading for the sake of considering a corrective to the...