Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Messianic politics

Obama has given a soaring speech in South Carolina. Great rethoric, but what is his proposal precisely? Essentially the content he is proposing is the purity of his own person as a honest and truthful agent of "change" (whatever that means). His appeal can be summed up in the claim that his purity and truthfulness are the embodiment of the purity and truthfulness of the American dream, which has been betrayed by the "old" politicians. If you think about it, it is somewhat scary, because we all know that we are neither pure nor truthful.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Culture matters II

Stanley Kurtz has it exactly right:

Societies built around nuclear families, and around religious and cultural traditions that stress the freedom, equality, and sacredness of individual human beings, have the basic ingredients out of which rule of law, civic associations, political freedoms, and the modern state develop. Societies in which individual freedom is subordinated to the honor and advantage of the kin-group (and where non-Western religious and cultural traditions reinforce these values) are far less likely to develop genuine liberal democracy, or even a vibrant modern economy and state.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Go Murdoch

We will not cry for the New York Times.


At least Levin & Ponnuru understand that the Republicans need some fresh thinking on economic issues, beyond their standard pro-growth ideology.


Now for an Israeli perspective on some of the candidates for the US presidential elections.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


It is interesting how the two Republican frontrunners in South Carolina are summing up their motivations:


I am running for president of the United States of America because I believe the transcendent challenge of the 21st century is the struggle against radical Islamic extremism, which takes many forms, is the greatest force of evil we’ve ever faced, and is bent on our destruction and our extinction.


The Huckabee campaign, by contrast, worked to drill into the conservative heart of his base, running just one ad which proclaims him a “Christian Leader” exclusively since Wednesday. It begins, “Faith doesn’t just influence me; it defines me.”

Friday, January 18, 2008

Good readings

Sandro Magister has the complete collection in English of the materials relevant to the Pope-Sapienza incident.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pretty conventional

Leon Wieseltier ponders Barack Obama. It's amazing somebody like him would rather vote for McCain.

Oppression by bureaucracy

David Warren comments on the intolerance of "human rights."

Back to reality

A good article on the state of American education. It makes the case that market-style competition is not enough to overcome the devastation of the quality of teaching wrought by the ideologues who rule the schools of education.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


You may have heard already of this shameful story.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Sad story

Civilizational angst in the Arab world. Another storm may be gathering.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Princess Diana?

Obviously Melanie Phillips is not excited about Barak Obama.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Culture matters

Peggy Noonan summarizes the Iowa caucuses. Mark Steyn agrees with her diagnosis. On Friday David Brooks had a similar intuition. One can only hope that all of this indicates some kind of cultural shift, at least on the conservative side.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008


The New Republic wanted to write a story about Ron Paul volunteers, but ended up writing a story about being young.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Rousseauian wishful thinking

In one form or another, most of us have been educated to believe in the myth of the noble savage.


David Brooks says as it is about Romney.


Kenia provides another refutation to the idea that democracy is a matter of having a costitutional structure, elections, a free press etc. Not that these things are not good; the problem is that good structures reflect the life of a people united by common ideals. If the people do not share common ideals (which can only be fostered by education), "tribal" interests will always make democracy an empty word.