Interesting Items for 6/10/2009

  • For The Slavery/Civil War/Reconstruction Buff In You []

  • We have never grappled with this. We tend to think about America as a country, like all other countries of that era, where slavery was legal. This is a vast understatement, it would seem. More accurately, we were a country in which half the society, the antebellum South, was a slave society. …
  • Something To Consider []

  • I’ve been thinking a lot lately about why I’m not a conservative, mostly because I’ve been thinking so much about slavery and Reconstruction. It seems, to my mind, to be an authentic conservative in the 1850s is to perhaps recognize slavery as evil, but oppose doing anything about it that might upset the planters. It seems, to my mind, to be an authentic conservative in the 1960s would be to recognize that segregation was also evil, but resolve to nothing about it which might upset its supporters.
  • Sometimes We’re Wrong []

  • I think it’s quite possible to argue that there were no good conservative answers to slavery or Jim Crow. But I don’t think this invalidates every conservative insight into the nature of our politics and culture. If anything, it’s a simple acknowledgment that some problems really do transcend rote ideological responses, and that no interpretive framework can provide a universal set of predictive guidelines for dealing with every possible eventuality.

Interesting Items for 6/9/2009

  • Cocaine for the eyes of firemen []
  • Chicago Tribune, June 24, 1897. That is the single greatest headline in the history of journalism. I’m going to start writing poetry just so I can use that as a title for my first collection.
  • An Ivy-Covered Path to the Supreme Court []
  • On talking to conservatives []
  • Have you ever noticed that dogmatic conservatives always act like it must be the first time you’ve ever heard their ideas? It’s as though they believe that they’re so inherently convincing that the only reason anyone wouldn’t believe them is that they simply haven’t heard the good news yet.
  • Jay-Z “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune)” CDQ + Sample Source + Summer Jam Video THAT’S IT []
  • Is the Cajun Primary the Answer? []
  • The comments to my Anarchy in the UK post on Thursday spawned an interesting discussion surrounding the cause of polarized politics in the CA state legislature.  While I agree the damning variable that impedes compromise is the 2/3 rule for budgetary measures, I still maintain that closed primaries tend to produce candidates to the left or right of the party support writ large.…
  • What’s Wrong with “Dixie” []
  • One day back when I was living in Minneapolis, an ice-cream truck came trolling down our tree-lined street. Despite the dearth of children in the neighborhood, the squat beige van came not infrequently, usually tooting something innocuous like “Pop Goes the Weasel” to rally a small crowd. One blistering afternoon it started whistling a different song, no less bouncy but with a tad darker history. Without my wanting it to, the whose first verse played…
  • Caperton and The Supreme Court’s Boundary-Enforcing Role []
  • In a pathbreaking decision, the Supreme Court today ruled 5-4 that Due Process requires an elected judge to recuse himself when a party with a vested stake in a case spends so much campaign money to get that judge elected (apparently, either through contributions or expenditures) as to raise an objective probability that the judge will be too biased to serve. Momentous as the decision is for the future of judicial elections and disputes over…
  • Paid Parental Leave []
  • It’s standard for countries to offer a certain amount of mandatory paid parental leave as a recognition of the special role parents play in our society (in effect, this measure lowers everyone’s wages slightly and then provides a benefit only to parents, thus enacting a small transfer of resources from non-parents to parents). In the United States, everything must surrender beneath the all-powerful God of flexible labor markets, and “pro-family” conservatives seem fine with that.
  • History Through The Veil []
  • Post offices used to be awesome. []
  • Most postmasters were also storekeepers selling liquor by the drink on the premises. The federal government mandated that post offices open every day, and this overrode whatever state and local laws might require Sunday closings. The post office thus became a conspicuous exception to general Sabbath observance in small-town America. On Sundays many men would flock to the local post office after church to pick up their mail and have a drink.

Interesting Items for 6/7/2009

  • Complaint Box | The Big Switch: No Longer Free in a Digital World []

  • Here we were, my two television sets and I, happily growing older together. But then, with one act of Congress and one presidential signature, all three of us became obsolete. No election. No referendum. Not even a chance, as consumers, to decide whether we prefer digital to analog TV.
  • The NYT on the White & Case meltdown []

  • The NYT has a fairly mundane article on the Big Law meltdown, focusing on White & Case.

    So why are big law firms suddenly shrinking? Partly, the Times says, because “in the first quarter of 2009, demand for legal services in New York decreased by nearly 10 percent over 2008, according to the Hildebrandt International Peer Monitor Index.” Demand is down.  Duh.

Interesting Items for 6/6/2009

  • John Brown, Abortion, And The Limits Of Historical Analogy []

  • I don’t have my head totally wrapped around this yet, but it seems that political violence in 19th Century America was much more common than it is today. Perhaps, that’s the wrong way to put it. I’m not sure. But I just got done reading a section where Congressmen were coming to the House floor armed for a shoot-out. Why? Because of a book that slandered the South. A book. fool!
  • The Ocarina of Rhyme | Team Teamwork []

  • 1. Clipse – Virginia (Lost Woods)
    2. Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg – Still D.R.E. (Getting Treasure)

Interesting Items for 6/5/2009

  • a reading list for fantasy enthusiasts []

  • So in the comments to this post, I received a lot of reading suggestions for good fantasy.  They are listed below with updates to follow…

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