Midweek Open Thread!

Here's a place for those thoughts, demands, complaints, and generally small scale stuff that just won't fit anywhere else.

I'll start.

Her career was short. Her flame burned brightly. But retirement seems the best possible thing. See her latest and last work here:

Bye, Partisanship!

David Broder cracks me up. He, and his fellows in the cozy world of inside-the-Beltway "journalism", have the most quaint and amusing ideas about politics. Broder seems to have formed his political views by conducting brief interviews with a broad range of American citizens (presumably tourists at the Washington Monument), asking them questions like "Don't you think Congress should just quit their partisan bickering and get things done?", and faithfully recording the answers in his little notebook. He then writes sanctimonious WaPo columns about how badly the nation is hungering for "post-partisan" leadership, and wags his ink-stained finger in the faces of politicians, the media, and (especially!) bloggers who are bent on polarizing America for cheap political gain.

On Intuition, Morality and Dead Cats

Bernard Guerrero's picture

[Disclaimer: This is a repost from the old Tacitus site. If you are suddenly thinking, "Boy, that Bernard sure is in love with himself to be serving these warmed-up leftovers", well, you're right. My ego knows no bounds. But I was just invited to argue about descriptive and normative ethics, and this is my basic starting point. So nyah! If you've had enough BG with the abortion post, move along, nothing to see here.]


Over at _Marginal Revolution_, Alex Tabarrok opines on the interaction of ethics and our instincts. In summary, ”A sound mind and a sound body both require that we abandon our gut instincts.“ This in reply to a previous post by Tyler Cowen to the effect that he wants animal welfare to carry some weight, but that he would not “kill a good friend to save the lives of a million cats”.


Bernard Guerrero's picture

Every man alone is sincere. At the entrance of a second person, hypocrisy begins. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Friendship," Essays, 1841

Many of us believe that wrongs aren't wrong if it's done by nice people like ourselves. ~Author Unknown

[Warning: You’re probably going to find the following discussion unpleasant at some level no matter where you fall on the political spectrum. I just think it needs to be said.]

A controversy seems to have erupted over comments by Senator Sam Brownback to the effect that even fetuses conceived via a rape should not be aborted, along with efforts by one of his staffers to defend said statements. There’s been hemming and hawing over as dKos and, apparently, an influx of offended women over at Redstate.

Tariq Ramadan in the Guardian

Pity to read this article by Ramadan, who has sounded fairly progressive and shown some facility for engaging Muslims + non-Muslim Europeans in dialogue. He's known to many as a moderate Muslim who's denounced suicide bombings, terrorism, and violence generally, while encouraging an expanded role for women in religious life + civil society.

Ramadan recently earned an unfavorable article authored by Paul Berman of Terror and Liberalism fame. i didn't think Berman's article had much going for it, but Ramadan here provides grounds for Berman's conclusions, even if Berman never found 'em.

And the Great Forvm War II continues ...

(No, no, this isn't a diary about catchy's attempted coup d'etat - I wish!)

For the sake of our participants, and those who want to snipe from the sidelines, I bring you our latest map:

Poor Austria hangs on (with a little Italian help), confusion still reigns in the west - surely somebody can make sense of the French and British situations, but it ain't me! - while Germany & Italy square off with Russia and Turkey. The comparison between the two sets of allies - one keeping to their respective spheres of influence, the other interpenetrating seemingly without regard to separate interests - should prove instructive.

All Hail the new Moderators!

HankP's picture

Congratulations to the new mods! The final results are in, and they are:

Harley - 34
tomsyl - 33
Traveller - 29

Open Thread - Changing of the Guard edition 6/15/07

HankP's picture

For all you kids who say I link to too much old stuff - Green Day!


This is my last open thread diary, so I've tried to include excessive linkiness for everyone.

So much for Kentucky being a red state.

Herding Rabid Cats

At the moment the main goal of the U.S. is to extricate itself from Iraq and leave behind a state. It's a bit far from the original goal of pluralism, religious freedom, and liberal democracy, but an Iraq that manages to not become a Salafi state and not fall to a reinvigorated Ba'ath party may yet count as a non-loss as far as things are concerned.

But even this modest goal may be a bit difficult.

After all, the latest Iraq sitrep is that:

Summer History Reading for Boys

Its that time of year again, where every decent Middle School and High School posts its summer reading lists, some optional, some required. Typically these lists are full of worthwhile literature, that is going to go entirely unappreciated by any but a tiny minority. My problem with them is that they usually seem entirely tone-deaf to the interests and nature of boys. You will not sneakily convert a boy into a life-long self-educating reader if you hand them something by Toni Morrison.

And then there is the matter of history - the schools, as far as I can see, do a positively dreadful job of teaching history, and the only way out of that is self-education.

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