On gratitude

From First Thoughts

On thanksgiving, just a few hours before black friday, i invite you to read a (longish) essay on gratitude, just published in the Policy Review. It has a section on the holiday of thanksgiving, and it previews, without exactly predicting, President Obama’s omission (according to news reports) . . . . Continue Reading »

On Mitt

From First Thoughts

i put this in the standard, and some have already been calling 911. It is analysis, not advocacy . . . . If, as most pundits now believe, Mitt Romney has the inside track for the Republican nomination, he is the first GOP candidate in more than a generation not to be syntactically challenged. Just . . . . Continue Reading »

APSA’S Regime

From First Thoughts

While Carl was dipping into the subtleties of Bowie and Peter was off somewhere blogging, I was doing my duty as a citizen of the association, attending its meeting. And here is my comment, also found in this week’s Standard. While most Americans spend their Labor Day weekend savoring the . . . . Continue Reading »

Where did the Master Orator Go?

From First Thoughts

Where Did the Master Orator Go? Jim Ceaser (also on commentary contention site) 07.26.2011 - 12:23 PM Can an American president call for a speech on prime time television to talk about the weather? We came fairly close to a test of this proposition last night. Americans, who have been hearing . . . . Continue Reading »

Race and Politics

From First Thoughts

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas has made a name for herself over the years by expressing some very controversial views, like advocating arms sales to Hugo Chavez’s regime in Venezuela. For many, she has richly earned the right to be dismissed. But her widely reported speech last . . . . Continue Reading »

Blaming it all on the Tea Party

From First Thoughts

I am reemerging from the depths and am posting a blog done last night for Commentary (with John York). Blaming It All On the Tea Party James W. Ceaser and John York 07.15.2011 - 5:30 PM With the breakdown of negotiations on a so-called grand bargain on the debt limit demanded by President Obama, . . . . Continue Reading »

2010 postdiction

From First Thoughts

unlike peter, i never predict an election. but i do postdict. here is an account of the election that will shortly appear in the crb Facts speak for themselves. The Democratic Party under Barack Hussein Obama in 2010 suffered the greatest defeat for a newly elected president in a midterm since the . . . . Continue Reading »

Scrutonize This

From First Thoughts

There’s nothing more embarrassing than someone from an older generation commenting on the present one. Think of the aging hippie professor, clad in jeans and t-shirt, trying to prove his bona fides by showing he is hip to his students’ latest taste in music. It never fails but to . . . . Continue Reading »

The Death of Modesty

From First Thoughts

I was shocked and amazed to read Charlotte Allen’s long cover story for the February 15 edition of the Weekly Standard , entitled “The New Dating Game.” It is an exploration of the sexual mores of contemporary American society, either as they actually exist or as they are being . . . . Continue Reading »

Form and Substance

From First Thoughts

“Incline thy ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call!” Psalm 102 Forms—let’s call them for the moment manners, little rules of protocol, the observance of ceremonies—are the heart and soul of civilized life. And that is why the conservative, pre- or . . . . Continue Reading »