Obama, Cranky Professor

From First Thoughts

Since my computer is less than cooperative tonight I’m going to dispense with providing links and trust your techno-competence to track them down, if you like. We’ve had enough snow here in Rochester that I’ve been reduced to watching some of the Health Care Summit and I thought I . . . . Continue Reading »

Locke and Education

From First Thoughts

More me thinking about the state of education in America through the historical and theoretical sources of our present discontent: The central object of Lockean education, the rational control of nature, begins with the defective natural constitution that originally plagues all children, . . . . Continue Reading »

Jefferson and the University

From First Thoughts

I have an article on the modern university in the upcoming Fall 2009/Winter 2010 issue of The New Atlantis which also includes a piece by our own Peter Lawler. Below is a short excerpt:  This tension can also be seen in the description Jefferson gives of the natural “moral . . . . Continue Reading »

Happy (or Distracted) New Year!

From First Thoughts

Simon Winchester complains the typical New Year’s celebration has reduced to little more than an excuse for unrestrained drunkenness and revelry. He lays blame for this woeful development partly on the example of the Scottish who have long treated the occasion as an opportunity for drinking . . . . Continue Reading »

An American Christmas

From First Thoughts

Here is an excerpt from a short piece I wrote for the now defunct Culture 11 last December and that has been generously reprinted by our friends over at The New Atlantis . It’s impossible to ignore all the characteristic signposts of the Christmas season—wherever you go the familiar . . . . Continue Reading »

The Surge and the Power of the Purse

From First Thoughts

So my friend Carl Scott has this very interesting reaction to the report that some Democrats are seriously considering an organized opposition to funding the surge in Afghanistan: “My initial reaction to that report was repugnance, but having thought a bit more, and about how uneasy . . . . Continue Reading »

New Bioethics Commission

From First Thoughts

Adam Keiper over at The New Atlantis discusses the shape and mission of the new Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues. The revisions made by the Obama administration are more than cosmetic or the standard changing of the guard—the entire charge of the council has been . . . . Continue Reading »

Thanksgiving and Gratitude

From First Thoughts

Thanksgiving is a holiday almost entirely devoted in spirit to the virtue of gratitude and it is the most distinctively American of all our holiday traditions. Whether or not Thanksgiving is ultimately of Protestant or Catholic origins, it is certainly the case that it has become not only an annual . . . . Continue Reading »