Thomas, Chesterton — McLuhan?

From First Thoughts

At The University Bookman , Joseph P. Duggan offers an interesting read of Marshall McLuhan as a ‘postmodern grammarian.’ There’s too much at issue for me to cut into it adequately at the moment, but all manner of intriguing and controversial questions are raised in a pretty short . . . . Continue Reading »

Elephantitis, Part I

From First Thoughts

A debate is shaping up between two visions of the way forward for the GOP. You could describe the battle as Nerds vs. Heroes. Unlike the world of comics, where heroes to nerds dominate, there is not much prospect for a synthesis between Republican Nerds and would-be Republican Heroes, although many . . . . Continue Reading »

Elephantitis, Part II

From First Thoughts

I remember not long ago walking out of one of those beltway morning movement pressers with a fellow ingrate. I was lamenting the hidebound, blinkered establishmentarian attitude that, it appeared, was intended to serve the Republican party indefinitely. But in 2006 it was already clear that . . . . Continue Reading »

Empathy Uber Alles

From First Thoughts

I can’t believe I’m having this conversation: I’m actually 100 percent positive that were Oprah on the Supreme Court she would do a good job. In a lot of ways, it’s just not that difficult a job. You need a reasonably intelligent, public-spirited individual who’s aware of . . . . Continue Reading »

Stop This Man

From First Thoughts

Matt Frost tips me to Terry McAuliffe’s latest bit of campaign publicity — hamming it up with will.i.am, that musical posterdude of the campaign (Obama’s) which the Macker, not so long ago, was staying up nights trying to discredit into oblivion. Terry failed; but then again, he . . . . Continue Reading »

Love’s Limits Lost?

From First Thoughts

One thing that’s always unfashionable is pessimism about the Power of Love. I touched a bit on love yesterday, and I see today that Daniel did the same a few days before that — in the context of another go against our love-projecting cosmopolitans. Where the cosmops would seek, . . . . Continue Reading »

You Bet Your Life

From First Thoughts

There’s something sublimely deranged about paying for otherwise unaffordable government outlays with the losses incurred at government-sponsored gambling tables , isn’t there? Long-term planning: now made possible by exacerbating the worst follies of short-term thinking! . . . . Continue Reading »

Keep Digging

From First Thoughts

It’s always nice to see smart young academics move up in the world, and one of them, my friend John Schwenkler, has had his fine blog Upturned Earth taken aboard at AmCon . A win/win, I’d say. . . . . Continue Reading »

Love, Money, Science, Self

From First Thoughts

“There is a complexity to human affairs,” David Brooks has announced, “before which science and analysis simply stands mute.” This is correct, but in comes in the context of a column that seems to cut in a strange way against it. It is as if we all contain a multitude of . . . . Continue Reading »