Busy. If you have questions about Socratic continence (Memorabilia I.2.1), now is not the time; been thinking about that way too much. Just some links concerning recent news:
- Megan McArdle, “Toyota’s Weekus Horribilus” – I don’t think the public humiliation of Toyota was some UAW/auto industry plot or something government officials wanted to do. I do think the conflict of interest the federal government has – as it owns large stakes in American auto manufacturing – is an enormous problem. There have been an inordinate number of articles discussing President Obama’s progressivism and post-partisan rhetoric, and how he doesn’t hold a vision that is compatible with republican governance. I’ve been dismissive of those articles, because they’ve dismissive in a certain way of the fact that his views have to operate within the scope of our modes and orders, and they do operate (or, as we see, fail to operate) within that scope. To me, the real issue re: progressivism is how the populace can’t see basic things like national security failures or thinks that extremist rhetoric is just a part of a political game. Our government won’t be better until we’re better, and I know political scientists would be wiser to spend their time on that set of issues instead of joining the pundit chorus. However, I am not so dismissive of the government having a vested interest in its property being more valuable than someone else’s private property. That’s a real sticking point, and an issue that does blame the “few” directly: property rights are the foundation of our order, even if we’re talking about a foreign corporation, and government should know better.
- David Weigel, “Campus Right Unbowed by O’Keefe Scandal” – I used to be admiring of these groups, and I still think they do thankless work in terms of journalism and even activism that goes unnoticed. But I now know that the Right’s emphasis on things like journalism, think-tanks, legal foundations, etc. is all a way of avoiding education and opening minds (heck, some might even say – and not entirely wrongly – that certain schools are a way of avoiding independent thought). It only sees the Left as an enemy, and to some degree, that is necessitated (is what is necessary also what is good?), and it is a grab for power or a grab to stop others from attaining power. Yeah, I’m being that severe: this problem is at crisis proportions. The issue is not whether there are capable, thoughtful professionals and a few nuts. The real issue is the state of the electorate, and who we are as Americans. I see things getting worse, not better, and I think given my not-so-successful labors it’s time to start placing blame.
- North Carolina Schools May Cut Chunk Out of U.S. History Lessons (foxnews, h/t Josh) – sounds like dumb liberals and even dumber neoconfederates have found common cause on the school board. The “new” history lessons will skip over the entirety of the Civil War.
- Soldier Deaths Draw Focus to U.S. in Pakistan (nytimes) & Soldiers find time for hockey in Afghanistan (msnbc) – both h/t Josh; self-explanatory.