Managing Violence

Human destructiveness is not a problem to be solved; it is a problem to be managed. . . . The recent run of violence inside the hot zone of militia-occupied Seattle — a teenager has been shot dead, another man suffered life-threatening gunshot wounds, etc. — is the least surprising development of the episode. Of … Read more Managing Violence

Managing Violence

Human destructiveness is not a problem to be solved; it is a problem to be managed. . . . The recent run of violence inside the hot zone of militia-occupied Seattle — a teenager has been shot dead, another man suffered life-threatening gunshot wounds, etc. — is the least surprising development of the episode. Of … Read more Managing Violence

The Confederate-Monument Controversy Is a Democrat-vs-Democrat Question

How should we think about those Confederate statues and those Confederate names on U.S. military bases? If I were a Republican, I might be very strongly tempted to just sit this one out: If some Democrats want to pull down statues of other Democrats, then that’s a mess in the Democrats’ house. The Republicans might … Read more The Confederate-Monument Controversy Is a Democrat-vs-Democrat Question

Comforting Abstractions

We have real people to hold accountable, and we know their names. Who is responsible for the mess in Minneapolis? The answer to that question is not unknowable — but it is, in many political quarters, unspeakable. Minneapolis’s municipal government, its institutions, and its police department are what they are not because of the abstract … Read more Comforting Abstractions

The Answer Isn’t a Free Lunch

If progressives know what’s good for cities such as Minneapolis, why have they done such a poor job governing them? What if they don’t want anything? An NBC producer posted a piece of video early Tuesday morning that documented some of the looting in Manhattan, with the looters piling their loot into a Rolls-Royce Cullinan … Read more The Answer Isn’t a Free Lunch

Tired of ‘Winning’ Yet?

Republicans should stop making excuses for the president’s lies, threats, and abuses — or stop wrapping themselves in the mantle of patriotism. . . . Steyn was leaning on a classic political trope, in effect: “The other side is a bunch of rat bastards, and therefore it not only is morally acceptable for us to … Read more Tired of ‘Winning’ Yet?

Venezuela, for a Season

There are many things that can disrupt the production and distribution of goods. A hurricane might do that for a while, as it did in parts of Texas and the rest of the country when Harvey drenched Houston and put an important gasoline pipeline out of commission. Not having easy access to retail gasoline for … Read more Venezuela, for a Season

Welfare States in Miniature

“Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket,” advises the proverb. Why not? Anyone who ever has spoken with an investment adviser has heard the sermon about diversification of risk. And most people understand that in the context of an investment portfolio. But in other contexts, we respond to risk with the opposite of … Read more Welfare States in Miniature

Harvard Law Takes Aim at Homeschooling

Professor Elizabeth Bartholet of Harvard Law recently caused a stir with her ignorant and nakedly authoritarian Arizona Law Review essay calling for a ban on homeschooling. On its own, the article is bad. In context, it is worse. Professor Bartholet is hardly the first progressive academic to call for a ban on homeschooling. She is … Read more Harvard Law Takes Aim at Homeschooling

A Federal Bailout Won’t Fix States’ Finances

Bailing out the Illinois state pension system is the worst idea from a week in which we were discussing the health benefits of mainlining Lysol. (Please do not mainline Lysol. It will kill you.) Irresponsible state and local governments are attempting to exploit the fear and disruption of the coronavirus epidemic to push off the … Read more A Federal Bailout Won’t Fix States’ Finances

The War on Homeschooling

The conception of the public schools as a coercive and homogenizing moral force is fundamental to the mandatory-education project — our very first public-education law (known by the wonderfully evocative title “Old Deluder Satan Act”) was explicitly anti-Catholic in its intent, as were many of the public-education laws (Blaine amendments, etc.). Like our Puritan forebears, … Read more The War on Homeschooling

The Age of Hog and Hominy

Edna Ferber, author of Giant, had a great ear for one of the subtlest American dialects: High Texan Bulls***, the mother tongue of almost every politician to make it from the Lone Star State to the national stage, from Lyndon Johnson to Ross Perot to George W. Bush to Rick Perry. “It was part of … Read more The Age of Hog and Hominy

Factory Farming – CAFO

  Joel Salatin: Breaking Free From Factory Farms   Contrary to common belief, Senator Cory Booker’s best idea wasn’t dropping out of the 2020 presidential race. That was his second-best idea. His best idea was introducing the Farm System Reform Bill of 2019 to the U.S. Senate. This legislation would curtail concentrated animal-feeding operations (CAFOs), … Read more Factory Farming – CAFO

Coronavirus map and checklist and some thoughts about uncertainty

Global Map: Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Projections map from “a team of data scientists, engineers, and designers in partnership with epidemiologists, public health officials, and political leaders to help understand how the COVID-19 pandemic will affect their region.” In the matter … Read more Coronavirus map and checklist and some thoughts about uncertainty

Fewer Abortions? Here Come ‘The Dark Ages’

In Kansas, the opponents of abortion have gone through the democratic process to pursue their goals and continue to rely on that process; their opponents, in contrast, have consulted the esoteric scrolls and from them decocted a mandate, previously invisible to all readers of the 19th-century document, that just happens to align with their preferences. … Read more Fewer Abortions? Here Come ‘The Dark Ages’

De Blasio’s Domino’s outrage sums up why businesses are fleeing NYC

  Price Panic: NYC Mayor De Blasio puts Domino’s on blast for NYE pizza cost   Mayor de Blasio’s batty attention has for the moment lighted upon Domino’s Pizza, which sold pies to New Year’s Eve revelers in Times Square for $30 each, roughly double its usual excellent price of about $15 for a large … Read more De Blasio’s Domino’s outrage sums up why businesses are fleeing NYC

This Will Be Our Year – “This time with freedom!”

Peace and brotherly love are underrated. You want to look at Leonardo’s pictures, but you don’t want to love under the Borgias — any civilized man would much prefer the Swiss and their ridiculous cuckoo clocks. They have museums and galleries in Switzerland, and plenty of paintings, too. But no Michelangelo, just Vacheron Constantin. And … Read more This Will Be Our Year – “This time with freedom!”

The Watchmen and Consequentialist Christianity

The consequentialist view of Christianity, which is common among non-Christian conservatives (and also among some Christian conservatives) is that what matters is not the truth or falsehood of Christianity but the consequences of Christian belief — i.e. that it will make people happier, make them better citizens, make them more likely to lead moral lives, … Read more The Watchmen and Consequentialist Christianity

Do Celebrities Really Buy the Climate-Change Story?

I love Emma Thompson’s acting. I wish somebody would tell her about Skype. The great English actress is a climate-change activist, “activist” here meaning “a celebrity who cares about popular causes in public.” When she recently was accused of hypocrisy for jumping on a jet to attend a climate-change rally — international air travel is … Read more Do Celebrities Really Buy the Climate-Change Story?

‘A People Prepared’

A people prepared — for what? Gold for a king, frankincense for a priest, myrrh for a dead man. Nails, in time. The cross. Thomas Harris, the culinary-minded horror novelist, once described the Uffizi museum in Florence as a “great meathouse of hanging Christs.” We derive “incarnation” from the Latin caro, meaning “flesh,” as in … Read more ‘A People Prepared’

How to Deal with the Counterfeit Goods Problem

The effort to control counterfeit goods is a lot like the effort to control the use of firearms in violent crime: Government is willing to try almost anything short of doing its job. . . . It’s a funny old world: Federal agents will birth bovines if you try to bring a Diet Coke through … Read more How to Deal with the Counterfeit Goods Problem

You Didn’t Build That

“Detroit did not need a Thomas Jefferson or a Mohandas Gandhi or another great political philosopher with a world-changing idea — it needed someone to fix the potholes, balance the books, keep order on the streets, see to the schools, and keep the city agencies orderly and honest and effective. Without that, all of Detroit’s … Read more You Didn’t Build That

Politicians and Hubris

A nation as rich as ours can afford a great deal of stupidity, but hubris is expensive. You Didn’t Build That, by Kevin Williamson Related PostsAdam Schiff’s Attack on the Free Press This has become a neo-Maoist war on the past Why Politicians Focus on Trivia in the Midst of Disaster The fallen state of … Read more Politicians and Hubris

“Put not your faith in princes”

Paul is in that passage echoing Exodus: “I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God. And they shall know that I am the Lord their God, that brought them forth out of the land of Egypt.” Why did God bring the Israelites out of Egypt? The Israelites were comfortable in … Read more “Put not your faith in princes”