Thursday, July 31, 2008
In follow up to the other day's post, I give you this NYTimes article on the new face of the Republican Party in Alaska.
Now if only the rest of the country can see the changes Alaska is.
While I normally adore the Chronicle Review (wannabe ivory tower academe** and all), their attempt to explain the "growing gap in wages" in this country leaves me with acute trichotillomania.
"There was enormous growth in educational attainment between 1900 and 1970," [Harvard econ prof Claudia] Goldin says in an interview. "But after 1970, the growth in attainment became much more sluggish. Putting those two parts together, you can explain a large amount of the story of wage inequality in the 20th century."But get this: they say that "the short-term barriers to college are steeper than they once were." Really? Really? When more of the population than ever before is going to college, when financial aid at top universities is at record highs, when there are thousands of unclaimed scholarships every year... when on earth have college admissions been more amenable to first generation or lower class college students? Did I blink and miss the utopia?
A more difficult answer, Katz says, has to do with the weaknesses of American public-school education. "There are a myriad of possible reasons for that," he says. "Some people say it's all about resources. Some people say we need to improve incentives for parents and teachers. Clearly, over the long run, early-childhood intervention programs may be very important. We need a continuum of investments. But per dollar, we're not doing so well in the K-12 system in the U.S. these days."No shit!
Spending per pupil in Washington, DC, is a whopping 50% higher than the national average, yet the city’s public schools are atrocious. If it were a state, its pupils’ test scores would rank dead last.Ahem.
While I hate to defame my brothers on the left, what I'm about to show you is a textbook example of statist logic; prepare yourselves:
"There has been much more growth of inequality among college graduates than among noncollege workers," Katz says. Only some people, he says, are coming out of college with the high-level abstract-reasoning skills that fully complement the new information technologies and command high salaries. Workers with "midlevel" skills, by contrast, are more likely to see their tasks simply replaced by computers.
Does that mean, then, that too many people are going to college, and that the rewards of a B.A. are overrated, as some commentators have recently suggested?
"That's absolutely wrong," Katz says. "The reason we know that is the following: It's true that there's growing inequality among college graduates. But there's shrinking inequality among noncollege workers. The market is very bad for people with only a high-school diploma — they're not doing much better than people who dropped out in the eighth grade. So the return [on investment] to college is still very high. Even if you wind up in the bottom half of the college group, you're still much better off than in the top half of the high-school group."
And why is the market very bad for people with only a high-school diploma?
Between 1915 and 1950, the national high-school-graduation rate rose from roughly 15 percent to roughly 60 percent, and college attend-ance also spiked. As their numbers ballooned, educated workers could no longer command so much more in wages. Between 1915 and 1950, the college wage premium (the amount by which college graduates outearn people who hold only a high-school diploma) and the high-school wage premium (the amount by which high-school graduates outearn high-school dropouts) both fell sharply.So flooding the market with tissue paper bachelor's degrees helps how? Oh, wait, it doesn't, but hey, if we make it easier for people to get those meaningless diplomas, it might help them out in the next year or three, and we'll deal with the underlying cause... when?
The more you meddle now, the more you'll have to meddle later. Cutting off my legs and giving me a wheelchair isn't a public service. When will they see?
*See Cassian the Unmerciful (that's a crap website, but it gets the gist across; those curious are encouraged to email me and give me an outlet for my nerdery)
**My actual department (Russian & East European Studies) is so obscure it doesn't have its own website; this is the next best thing.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
So, it turns out that Mr. Stevens finally got his comeuppance. As the NYTimes reports, my Senator was indited for seven counts of federal corruption. Hopefully this will mean that the crotchety old man will finally be out of a job next election cycle. Granted, it means yet another Democrat will be in the Senate (and I have no wishes to see a Democratically controlled Senate as well as executive branch) and Alaska will lose the man responsible for getting us way more money than we deserve, but the kind of deep-seated corruption that Stevens engaged in is the kind of thing that is best punished, damn the consequences. Now I can only hope that Mark Begich, who seems to be a pretty good mayor, will turn out to be a good Senator as well.
And, just one more reason to have Stevens out:
Monday, July 28, 2008
Oh, for the love of god.
In the study, the researchers note that lotteries set off a vicious cycle that not only exploits low-income individuals' desires to escape poverty but also directly prevents them from improving upon their financial situations. They recommend that state lottery administrators explore strategies that balance the economic burdens faced by low-income households with the need to maintain important funding streams for state governments.
"State lotteries are popular revenue sources that are unlikely to go away anytime soon," said George Loewenstein, a study co-author and Herbert A. Simon professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon. "However, it is possible to implement measures that can actually benefit low-income lottery players and lead to fairer outcomes." Loewenstein noted that one such potential method for addressing income inequality, which has shown promise in other countries, is tying lottery tickets to savings accounts.
There is nothing more pernicious to modern society than this back-asswards notion of "fairness". Forget liberalism- I'm spending the rest of my days warring against this mephitic memory foam pillow of a concept, and I'm pretty damned sure the rest of the pieces will fall into place once I see it burning on a pyre across the Long Island Sound.
Cato's Tom Palmer has noted some interesting developments in Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe's troubled central bank introduced $100 billion banknotes Saturday [July 19] in a desperate bid to ease the recurrent cash shortages plaguing the inflation-ravaged economy.In other news, the O'Bama campaign has snapped up Paul Volcker, and Robert Mugabe is still going to hell.
As high as they are, though, the bills still aren't enough to buy a loaf of bread. They can buy only four oranges.
The new bills are actually bearer checks and have an expiration date of December 31. Zimbabwe has not had formal currency since the introduction of bearer checks as a temporary measure in 2003.
Joe Nocera of the NYT business page once again illustrates what happens when the state starts taking responsibility for all of our compelling interests. Apparently, as a potential investor in Apple Inc., it is essential to my ancient and cherished freedoms that Steve Jobs live out the rest of his days on a 24-7 CSPAN feed.
When I spoke to Steve Dowling in Apple’s public relations department on Thursday, I got the same response. “Steve’s health is a private matter,” Mr. Dowling said. Then, just for good measure, he said it again. “Steve’s health is a private matter.”Yes! Yes it is!
But is it really?
A spokesman for the Securities and Exchange Commission said that the law defined materiality as information that “the reasonable investor needs to know in order to make an informed decision about his investment.”Plenty of people, huh? My, what curmudgeons they must be, with all their oldfangled notions of individual liberty and decency. How dare they impinge upon our five-year plan!
I’m not suggesting that the S.E.C. should go after Apple for keeping mum about Mr. Jobs’s health. Indeed, I found plenty of people who felt he had every right to keep the information to himself.
Can we pause for a moment and consider how many people have a material interest in knowing every single detail of our lives? As long as we insist on deducting healthcare from our salaries, employers have a material interest in everything from our diets to our sex lives. (Hell, they probably don't even need the healthcare bills to claim "materiality".) Anyone raising kids within a one mile radius of my house has a material interest having me psychologically evaluated. University recruitment offices would probably kill to get subpoena power over students' records. Materiality is obviously not enough to justify anointing these interests with legal authority.
Maybe, just maybe, Steve Jobs has a material interest in not telling the world when he develops cancer?* No, that would be inconvenient for my rights theory...
* Four out of five oncologists surveyed choose Linux.
Friday, July 25, 2008
The reason the Right has fallen on hard times is that it is in need of a strategic recalibration, not just newer and more conservative tactics.
The conservative movement needs to take stock of its principles in the 21st century and find ways to reach out to voters about the issues of our time. Fighting terrorism is vitally important, but it is far from the only issue facing America. It's time for the Right to step up to the plate and forcefully articulate an agenda that addresses not only foreign policy and other traditional Right-friendly topics, but also issues like the environment, education, high-technology and government reform - in a manner that adheres to conservative principles and exploits available technologies.
No, he doesn't really distinguish between strategy and tactics, in case you were wondering (I was). But the really funny part's right here:
Superior technology never saved a bad candidate, as Presidents Howard Dean and Ron Paul can attest. Observing their losses, however, many on the right have drawn the wrong conclusion, thinking that the failure of either candidate to acquire the traction they needed was because engaging the Internet is not useful (beyond raising money) or that it only appeals to young people who don't vote.
That last point is one particular myth that just won't die.
Contrary to popular misconception, people who read political blogs tend to be middle-aged. This ought to be self-evident, given that younger people generally are not interested in politics, and older people are less likely to be on the Web. It's long past time we put the myth of the youthful blog reader to rest.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
"[My family] taught me that people are called to serve, not to wage war on the government." - Rick SantorumIt's much more depressing in full, I promise. The overall tone is that of a middle schooler writing a practice Regents exam essay, which always includes at least one of the following: "my [relative]
"Ronald Reagan often closed his speeches with the words 'God bless you, and God bless America.' God answered that prayer- for America and the world- by giving us the gift of Ronald Reagan." - J.C. Watts, Jr
"...the idea of free men and women governing themselves in justice and living civilly amid plurality. That is what conservatives are defending in the new world war in which we're engaged." - Henry J. Hyde
"What we protect in America is deserved by all the people on the planet. Except maybe the French." - Grover Norquist
"You can get bogged down for days debating the meaning of 'conservative'. I always skirt this debate by saying, 'I'm a Reaganite.' In fact, that's about the best thing Ronald Reagan ever did for me." - Jay Nordlinger
"Why am I a conservative? Because I know that God is wiser than me [sic]." - Marvin Olasky
"Government should be used to help those who cannot help themselves." - Chuck Hagel
"Until now, I never spent much time thinking about a label for my political beliefs. But one thing I know for sure, I always was- and always will be- a Reagan Republican." - Michael K. Deaver
"Choosing to start at the individual for the basis of society, I am- by definition- a conservative." - Pete Sessions
Anyway, there were one or two worth reading, and one in particular that was worth blogging about. Ladies and gentlemen, Peter Brimelow:
Conservatism understands that it is futile to debate the feelings of the mother for her child- or such human instincts as the bonds of tribe, nation, or even race. Of course, all are painfully vulnerable to deconstruction by rationalistic intellectuals- but not, ultimately, to destruction. These commitments are Jungian rather than Freudian, not irrational but arational- beyond the reach of reason.Maybe Mr. Brimelow is more optimistic than I am, but they seem pretty fucking vulnerable to destruction to me- which is why postmodernism is so damned pernicious. Thoughts?
The Daily Telegraph strikes semiblows for both traditional family roles and top earners, all in one article. To me, the author (Jessica Fellowes) must either be a super smug, self-satisfied wife of a rich man who takes pride in her low expectations and slavish devotion to the finer things in life, someone who wishes she were such a person, or an over-the-top parodist. It's pretty hard to tell. Some of the comments are worth reading, as well.
One highlight: "We have four homes that require maintenance, a vast range of utility and service payments, security, staff, insurances and half a dozen vehicles. Then there are domestic budgets, family travel logistics, school fees and so forth."
Out of fairness, the executive who spoke those words believed that he had struck a balance with his wife, but still I am with several commenters in thinking of the complainers in the article, "Aw, gee, it must be so hard having to deal with such burdens." Not out of jealousy, or because I begrudge them their luxury, but because such luxuries are a choice, and if they turn out not to be worth it, scrape 'em off, Claire. And as for the advice for ladies offered by Fellowes, the sentiment behind it seems to be one of cold-hearted economic thinking and valuation of spousal love and devotion below what thick-cut, applewood-smoked, pepper-crusted bacon the man can bring home. This article on family values and proper husbandry was brought to you by the letters M, E, and $. Or maybe £.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Heavy-metal Capuchin monk Br. Cesare Bonizzi has just released Misteri, his second album. The article speaks for itself, but I thought I would add a bit of context.
I recently returned from Rome, where the Crypt of the Capuchin monks in Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini (warning: both links have sound embedded) is one of the less familiar and more surreal stops on the Grand Tour. The existence of such a place, where death is not either fetishized or hidden away under the mattress with the dirty magazines, but celebrated and used as a medium for art, pleasantly surprises me, and endears the Roman Catholic church to the already sympathetic cockles of my heart. Amid the clangor of the doom-sayers, a big room full of scapulae can be a peaceful retreat.
Monday, July 14, 2008
The gentleman who called works at a volunteer/combination fire department in Stamford, CT, and the mayor up there (Danniel Malloy) is trying to take over all the volunteer fire dept's. Apparently he's been neglecting to properly distribute the tax funds for years now, and as a result the fire dep't is in financial difficulty. In an attempt to fund themselves, they set up a phone/radio tower thing years back (don't ask me about technicalities) and they have contracts with lots of major phone service providers (Nextel, etc)- despite the fact that that brings in about $100,000 annually, they still can't afford to get the necessary repairs for trucks, proper equipment, etc.
So now the mayor's trying to take the tower from them under eminent domain, or some such (which is why the guy was calling about legal advice), which would, quite obviously, break both legs of the fire department.
I felt like I was talking to Dan Conway. Christ a'mighty.
As we say in my house, fuck the state.
The YFP blog has an RSS feed. It is here:
PS It is also on the sidebar.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Also cross-posted at my other blog.
The Dallas Morning News brings us news of a black city official who, no really, was offended by the use of the term "black hole":
Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who is white, said it seemed that central collections "has become a black hole" because paperwork reportedly has become lost in the office.
Commissioner John Wiley Price, who is black, interrupted him with a loud "Excuse me!" He then corrected his colleague, saying the office has become a "white hole."
That prompted Judge Thomas Jones, who is black, to demand an apology from Mayfield for his racially insensitive analogy.
I can't get as offended by this as I would if they were using black hole in the scientific context, but the term they were using descends very clearly from the scientific one so I'm allowed. There are two things to be gleaned from this:
1) Some people are way, way too sensitive about race. I don't think this can be just chalked up to an abysmal knowledge of elementary science, so the confusion can't be cleared by an elementary science lesson. This is just a shining example of a broader trend. We get it, racism sucks, but crying foul whenever the word "black" (or other term used for races) makes it into anything with a negative connotation, you're going to end up doing something abominably stupid - like this - and shooting your whole cause in the foot. This Reverend Al-style approach is essentially playing the boy who cried racism. (This is the obvious one)
2) Besides the sheer immaturity of saying "actually, I think it's become a white hole", and then presumably sticking his tongue out and blowing a raspberry, this "correction" is indicative of the trend we see over and over again to say that perceived racial terms and other forms of "discrimination", whether intended or just imaginary, are absolutely fine as long as it's aimed at the race which has perpetrated rather than gone through mass racism in our history. The problem is that while it's an understandable position, we're at the point now where there's as much racism in America flying around between race X and Y as between Y and X and between A and Z, ad infinitum, and there's less and less justification for only condemning certain forms of it. There's now a very strong case to be made for that idealistic cause of "color-blindness" (which I've long bought into), at least when it comes to what we'll tolerate and what we won't. We're at the point in race relations in this country where saying that it's okay to use "white hole" but not "black hole" (let's assume for two seconds that there's something wrong with "black hole") only hurts the cause, not helps it.
Side note: when science and mass culture clash, bad things can happen, but when science (which necessarily has significant roots in the past) conflicts with the latest anti-traditional academic fad, bad things also happen. This issue can, perhaps, get very close to that kind of politically correct condemnation of scientific terms that smacks of, say, feminist critiques of fluid dynamics. If anyone is crazy enough to take this issue further, we may find ourselves back at this interesting - and oh-so-unfortunate - issue. And then I'll have to ruminate further.
Hat tip to Marcus Epstein at Taki's.
Cross-posted at my blog.
The rogue intelligence analysts at Stratfor are unnervingly enthusiastic about the prospects for an Israeli-Syrian peace agreement and its broader implications:
As students of geopolitics, we at Stratfor tend not to get overexcited when this or that plan for regional peace is tabled. ... No peace deals are easy, but in the Middle East they require agreement not just from local powers, but also from those grand players beyond the region. The result is, well, the Middle East we all know.
All the more notable, then, that a peace deal — and a locally crafted one at that — has moved from the realm of the improbable to not merely the possible, but perhaps even the imminent.
Israel and Syria are looking to bury the hatchet, somewhere in the Golan Heights most likely, and they are doing so for their own reasons. Israel has secured deals with Egypt and Jordan already, and the Palestinians — by splitting internally — have defeated themselves as a strategic threat. A deal with Syria would make Israel the most secure it has been in millennia. ...
While the deal is not yet a fait accompli, the pieces are falling into place quite rapidly. Normally we would not be so optimistic, but the hard decisions — on Israel surrendering the Golan Heights and Syria laying preparations for cutting Hezbollah down to size — have already been made. On July 11 the leaders of Israel and Syria will be attending the same event in Paris, and if the French know anything about flair, a handshake may well be on the agenda.
It isn’t exactly pretty — and certainly isn’t tidy — but peace really does appear to be breaking out in the Middle East. ...
For those of us at Stratfor who have become rather inured to the agonies of the Middle East, such a sustained stream of constructive, positive news is somewhat unnerving. One gets the feeling that if the progress could hold up for just a touch longer, not only would there be an Israeli-Syrian deal and a U.S.-Iranian understanding, the world itself would change. Those of us here who are old enough to remember haven’t sensed such a fateful moment since the weeks before the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1989. And — odd though it may sound — we have been waiting for just such a moment for some time. Certainly since before 9/11. ...
Terrorism may be very much alive, but al Qaeda as a strategic threat is very much not. Even the Iraq war is winding to a conclusion. Put simply, the Cold War interregnum is coming to a close and a new era is dawning.
It's an excellent read and (before it becomes subscription-only) I highly recommend you check it out, instead of relying on my awfully insufficient highlights reel. They've been talking about Israel and Syria making a deal for a few months now, and even Israelis know that giving up Golan is inevitable, and soon (and will hopefully strike a much-needed blow to settler culture). Syria was never ideologically bound to Hezbollah, Iran, Hamas, and Israel's other major enemies - what Bashar al-Assad wants more than anything else is legitimacy, regional power, and international recognition and standing, and when push comes to shove, rhetoric against Israel can fly out the window to make room for that. There may be complications still, but Israel and its sometime enemies have gotten over worse. The best thing going for the Americans and Israelis in the Middle East right now is that the most worrying people are Shi'ites who are surrounded by equally hostile Sunnis.
Where I'm not sure I share their enthusiasm is on the broader implications of this deal, particularly pertaining to a U.S. agreement with Iran. Sure, an Israeli-Syrian peace will isolate Iran that much more, but Iran doesn't need Syria when push comes to shove. What will happen will happen regardless (and electioneering aside, I don't think Obama and McCain will be legitimately different on Iran. War with Iran is extremely unlikely unless the mullahs in charge there or the Republicans in charge here are a lot dumber than we'd expect). Ultimately, I'm more skeptical about the implications of Israel's deal with Syria than I am about the deal happening in the first place (which is inevitable, barring a catastrophe, even if it's not tomorrow as they predict). We'll have to wait and see.
Hat tip to WAW.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I--and presumably everyone else who has ever made the mistake of giving Delta Airlines their email address--received a plea for help this morning:
For airlines, ultra-expensive fuel means thousands of lost jobs and severe reductions in air service to both large and small communities. To the broader economy, oil prices mean slower activity and widespread economic pain. This pain can be alleviated, and that is why we are taking the extraordinary step of writing this joint letter to our customers.
Since high oil prices are partly a response to normal market forces, the nation needs to focus on increased energy supplies and conservation. However, there is another side to this story because normal market forces are being dangerously amplified by poorly regulated market speculation.
Over seventy years ago, Congress established regulations to control excessive, largely unchecked market speculation and manipulation. However, over the past two decades, these regulatory limits have been weakened or removed. We believe that restoring and enforcing these limits, along with several other modest measures, will provide more disclosure, transparency and sound market oversight. Together, these reforms will help cool the over-heated oil market and permit the economy to prosper.
The nation needs to pull together to reform the oil markets and solve this growing problem.
We need your help. Get more information and contact Congress by visiting www.StopOilSpeculationNow.com.
At the bottom of this looters' screed was the signature of the CEO of every major airline in the United States. I do not lightly admit the fact that I have read Atlas Shrugged, but the "Anti-dog-eat-dog" debate is actually being waged in my inbox.
Never mind that price signals are the only way to get a country off of oil. Never mind that we've tried this before. No, they need our help.
I'm not sure what bothers me more, that the tip-top of American elite are willing to stoop to "we need your help," or that that garbage is their meticulously planned, focus-group-tested best shot at actually getting it.
"I'm so happy that I'm speechless," said test pilot Alexander Yablontsev [right]. "I've finally done something masculine after all these years." (via Russian Life)In other news, Russia's really playing up her refound status as a sports superpower (see: Australian Open, UEFA Cup, World Hockey Championships, Fed Cup, French Open...) and talking an awfully big game about Beijing ("If we speak entirely objectively, then our Russian team is the most well rounded... We aspire to medals in almost every event. And, with a certain measure of success, we could take first place in 30." - Vitaly Smirnov, Honorary President of the Russian National Olympic Committee).
Other tidbits I can't leave out:
"The President of Russia, Vladi- Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev."
-the announcer at the St Petersburg Economic Forum, actually mis-introducing poor Mitya
"Russia should become a country that people want to live in... The intention to keep up with the West and even to outdo it is a fixation of the Russian economy, which dooms us to unsuccessful copying and to inevitable lagging behind..."
- First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov
"Whether Russia will use the euro or the euro zone will use the ruble - the chances are 50/50... It is even more likely that we will both be using the yuan."
- German Gref, President of Sberbank
California is asking its citizens to conserve power, lest heat-wave-induced demand for electricity cause blackouts across the state. Lew Rockwell commented on the absurdity of this problem two years ago (link). As a personal exercise, we can think to ourselves how many industries have ever asked that consumers use less of their products (electricity, flu vaccines, organ transplants, internet bandwidth*) and how many of those are characterized by tight government control of their supply.
* How long will it be before routine health services make it into that list?
Monday, July 07, 2008
Sunday, July 06, 2008
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
As the resident hipster here at the YFP, Tristyn's post about style and conservatism struck a chord with me. "Why," I asked myself, striking a pose that would have made a great myspace photo, "is it that hip conservative slogans cannot be found upon t-shirts for the general consumption? Are we not a market, and do we not believe in the free market?" Taking a sip of my beer, I tried to think of reasons. "It could be the lack young conservatives with high-brow, witty humour," I muse. It is true that the majority of "conservative" humour is rather low-brow and must un-witty (see Jeff Foxworthy), but this isn't necessarily a reflection of what the young conservatives want, is it?
"Could it be that conservatives don't hire good graphic designers?" I further suggest to myself, and find that I may have hit upon something. There are times when the conservative love for tradition becomes a hatred of all things new. While there is something to be said for eschewing certain fads, to be a movement of Luddites will help no one. Look, for instance, at the presidential elections. The Obama campaign, from an early point, understood the importance of branding. Their logo is perfect; it makes a statement stronger than Nike's, Apple's or Google's, while being as memorable. It is also colour and context neutral. Which was the last political campaign that had such a logo? This, I believe, reflects a larger problem with conservatives: branding. We've had such a hard time with our current brand (that being "George W for war Bush") that, even at a lower level, we've yet to pull out of it and come up with something flashy and fun.
Looking at the shirts that my dear Miss Bloom posted, it is obvious how badly in need of a good typographer the conservative movement finds itself. "While Jesus can beat up Allah," I say to myself while taking another sip and bobbing to my Twee Rock, "that doesn't forgive the use of a fuzzy typeface in which all A's are subscript." I guess that is supposed to make Him (or perhaps him, the naive designer of the shirt) look hard-core? I can only hope that Jesus, in His infinite compassion, will cause this typeface not to exist. And, while He is at it, if I can be so imposing, could He please ask MetroSpy not to used double-bordered italic script on their elephant shirt? Thanks, Jesus. (And while I'm at it, sorry for laughing at Dogma. Their rebranding of you was awful.)
More seriously, of the shirts that Tristyn linked to, only two were both clever and well-designed: that for the libertines and that for the fearless. In fact, the latter, which features the word "conservative" written in a clean, crisp typeface, is the only which I could actually see myself wearing. It is bold but not intrusive; poignant but not vulgar. It invites the sort of reasoned debate that even "We're going to
So, having hit on my reason for the lack of cool, cool conservative shirts, and having finished my beer and thus being too lazy to think of more, I will leave with this advice: it is not the fault of the buyers, in this case, but a fault of the producers. Since few hip conservative shirts or slogans of any kind are being produced for the masses, few are being bought. I only hope that someone can come along and begin producing shirts such as this (clever!), this (ok, so I like tradition), or this, and selling them for a decent price.
(Being the work of a hipster, it is unclear how ironic the above paragraph is. That said, the author may be scheming plans to do what he preaches, but has to go rearrange his vinyl collection so can't talk any more about it.)
He noted that the conservative movement hasn't yet found the proper balance between philosophy and activism- most of the students here at LI err far on the side of activism, but we at Yale are definitely guilty of detached intellectualism. One thing I have gleaned from my time here is that we need to be more of a presence on our campus- "protests" we've hosted have been laughably bad, speak ill of our ability and intelligence, and leave much of the student body in the dark about the vibrant conservatism thriving in New Haven.
It is our duty as some of the smartest young conservatives in the country to reach out to those who don't know we exist- it's been surreal, here, feeling out who the true conservatives are- a snide comment about neocons here, a muttered critique of the Reagan coalition there, allusions to Kirk and Bastiat, eye-rolls at the 9-11 conspiracy theorists, the troglodyte leftist bashers, the unthinking McCain supporters... we're out there. *Someone* once wrote an article about "coming out as a conservative"- we need people to know that there's someone to come out to, that there's a community waiting for them, that there's a movement of which they can be a part.
Dan McCarthy confronted these people with their ignorance of the conservative cannon, and in fact cited this ignorance as the reason why many young right-wing bloggers won't go far. Knowing Helen as I do, I had to laugh- but I'm sure there are actual bloggers out there who haven't read Burke, Kirk, or Nisbet.
We also had Bay Buchanan- choice quotes:
"Don't say you don't know what's happening in Washington. You know what's happening in Washington- they're failures."Perhaps unsurprisingly, I've always appreciated women with balls, and say what you will, this woman's got a pair.
"They all need to be run out of this town."
"The two party system would work... if we had it."
"We need to wipe out as many Republicans as possible."
"There's got to be a philosophy behind foreign policy."