Day By Day

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Progressive Pecksniffianism

George Will has a nice piece on the two most distressing aspects of progressivism -- their naive faith in "science", and their desperate determination to control every aspect of the lives of others [here]. He writes:
Progressivism is a faith-based program. The progressives’ agenda for improving everyone else varies but invariably involves the cult of expertise – an unflagging faith in the application of science to social reform. Progressivism’s itch to perfect people by perfecting the social environment can produce an interesting phenomenon – the Pecksniffian progressive. 
Will traces the impulse back to the 1950s congressional crusade against comic books and notes that since then we have been subjected by progressive legislators and bureaucrats to a staggering series of such scares, the response to which tended to increase governmental control over the lives of the citizenry. But the impulse goes much further back than that. Social control lies at the core of every major progressive reform in our nation's history. Think, for instance, of the nineteenth century antebellum temperance reform that moved rapidly from moral suasion to compulsion. It's goal was to "perfect" society by perfecting individuals and groups within it, an imperative that translated into a determined attempt to control the social behavior of specific groups within American society. Similarly, early efforts at educational reform aimed not so much at teaching students useful skills as socializing them to middle-class norms. In the Progressive Era a "purity crusade" aimed at eradicating a broad range of behaviors that the reformers felt were undesirable. And, let us not forget, Prohibition was a Progressive reform. Throughout our nation's history the urge to probe into and control the lives of others has been a prominent feature of our political culture.

What is relatively new is the "cult of expertise" and naive scientism invoked by pecksniffian reformers to justify their varied agendas, and that is really not so new after all. It emerged not in the mid-twentieth century but in the late nineteenth with the rise of the social sciences, and the invocation of scientific authority formed an essential aspect of reform efforts during the Progressive Era. The Progressive model for reform went broadly like this: muckraking journalists would expose problems; university trained experts would study the problem and issue recommendations for action; and progressive legislators would write those recommendations into law that would then be enforced by bureaucrats, commissions, and courts insulated from the democratic process.

So scientistic pecksniffianism was not new in the post-war era; it has been an important aspect of our political culture for more than a century. But Will is right to note that in recent decades it has become far more common and far more obnoxious than it once was. Belatedly we are beginning to have a serious debate over the relative benefits and costs of these reforms and the claims to scientific authority on which they are based. It's about time!

Travel Planning?


Next time you are planning a vacation, or if you just want to waste some time exploring the oddities of the world, check out the Atlas Obscura [here]. It's a website devoted to strange, mysterious, and sometimes unsettling places you might want to visit someday. The picture above is Ohio's "Great Serpent Mound". I have friends and relatives who travel a lot for their jobs. Something like this might come in handy as relief from the tedium of the endless road.

The Old Time Game

And while we are on the subject of photo archives, here's a link to the A.J. Spalding Baseball Collection of early baseball photographs in the New York Public Library. Lots of good stuff. Check it out!

The picture is of William "Buck" Ewing, whom many consider to be the greatest player of the nineteenth century. Bill James has argued that Ewing may have been the greatest player of all time -- at least that was the opinion of several baseball professionals who saw both him and Babe Ruth play.

Old Photos of Japan


Taken between 1860 and 1930. Some fascinating stuff here. Check it out. This photo is of an Ainu woman playing a traditional musical instrument similar to a Jews harp.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Don't Touch Me

A song to sing when the TSA approaches:

Here Puss Puss

Hilarious! An alternative view of vegetarians.



HT: Instapundit

Sarah Palin, Neanderthals, and Mass Extinction

Listen to this clip from the John Batchelor show. It's the most interesting talk show on radio, largely because he follows his interests into so many fascinating areas.

Pride of Baltimore 2

There she is, anchored at the Light Street Pavilion at the Inner Harbor. I took the picture from inside the National Aquarium.


Looking east toward the National Aquarium.


The ropes you are supposed to learn.



And of course, lots of hungry birds.



Federal Hill from the north side of the harbor.

Hoagy's Skylark

Here's Hoagy Carmichael's classic, "Skylark" as performed by a young Aretha Franklin.



And here's the same song done by Ella.



It's interesting to listen to the differing qualities these two great peformers bring to the song. I actually prefer Aretha's arrangement, but Ella has that marvelous instrument that nobody, not even Aretha, can hope to match.

And here is a wonderful version by Helen Forrest, the best of the big band singers, backed by Harry James and his orchestra. Forrest is wonderful, but the real treat here is the orchestral arrangement.



I think that this performance by Maxine Sullivan is my favorite. Unfortunately, embedding has been disabled, so you have to go here to listen to it.

And finally, a couple of instrumental versions This is by the amazing Lee Konitz.



Aaaaahhh! That's what an alto sax should sound like. Now for a final treat, this is how Art Blakey and the Jazz Messingers interpreted the old standard as an exercise in bop. Not bad for a kid from Pittsburgh.



UPDATE:

Oh my! I just came across this: "Skylark" done by Andre Previn.



Interesting. Verrrrrry interesting!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

C. S. Lewis on the Tyranny of Science

From God In the Dock:
[T]he new oligarchy must more and more base its claim to plan us on its claim of knowledge. . . . This means they must increasingly rely on the advice of scientists. . . . Now I dread specialists in power because they are specialists speaking outside their special subjects. Let scientists tell us about science. But government involves questions about the good of man, and justice, and what things are worth having at what price; and on these a scientific training gives a man's opinion no added value. . . . On just the same ground I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They 'cash in'. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science.
 Read more about Lewis and threats to freedom in the modern world here.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Return to the Dying Earth


If you were ever enchanted, as I was, by Jack Vance's "Dying Earth" stories, rejoice. George R. R. Martin and Gardener Dozois had put together a collection of new stories set in Vance's magical realm. Tor Books, the publisher has given us all a taste of what is in store for us. Read "The Green Bird" by Kage Baker here. Hint: it stars Cugel the Clever, my favorite Vance character.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Diplomatic Breakthrough

The Obama administration announced that the State Department has concluded successful negotiations with another "moderate" Taliban figure, Mullah Iowahak Muhammadavi al-Burjihad, whom officials described as the #2 man in the Taliban body & paint shop. Iowahawk has the details here.



Monday, November 22, 2010

Watching Russell Crowe

We went to see "The Next Three Days". Not many people in the theatre -- but "Harry Potter" next door was packed, mostly with families. "Days" attracted only old couples like us. Makes you wonder just what the marketing strategy for this film was.

There is a lot of talent on display in "Days", but to little effect. The narrative, copied from a 2008 French film, is a by the numbers heist flick with the difference that the treasure being liberated is Russell Crowe's wife. We have the setup, the planning, the usual complications, numerous cameos by established stars, and a nail-biting, coincidence laden, escape sequence. Nothing particularly interesting there. The direction, by Paul Haggis, is conventional and competent, no more, no less. Not very interesting either. So, why did I enjoy it so much?

Well, there was the setting. I grew up near Pittsburgh and it was fun to spot landmarks and recognize neighborhoods and to note what has changed over time. And there is a certain enjoyment in just sitting back and letting a conventional story wash over you. No matter how implausible the situations, coincidences and tension points, you know where you are going and pretty much how you will get there and there is some comfort in that. That's why so many people are willing to sit through genre flicks, being led through the same tropes time and again.

That brings us to the acting, and here we see a lot talent on display. Russell Crowe repeats his suffering everyman/unstoppable hero roles to good effect. Elizabeth Banks transitions from idealized housewife and mother to hardened, defeated, suicidal inmate, to action sidekick. Familiar stars Olivia Wilde, Brian Dennehy, Liam Neeson, and Daniel Stern, are all quite good in what are essentially cameo roles. The other secondary roles are all competently played. There really are no weak performances. But, with one exception, there are no standout ones either, and that is the fault of the writing and directing which do not allow the actors, other than Crowe, much scope to shine. I was most impressed by Liam Neeson's short bit as an expert on prison escapes. Watching him and Crowe together was a treat.

So, all in all, was it worth it? I would say "yes". Go see it if there is nothing better on tap. The trouble is, this week there is an awful lot of decent competition out there so the grosses are bound to be disappointing.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

All You Could Want to Know About Aztec Blood Rituals


Check it out here. Note, this is the first of two articles -- more to come.

Making Sense of the World

In recent decades three books, purporting to explain the state of affairs in the world have been published. All have been widely read by elite policy makers; all have been extremely influential; and all three have inspired vigorous debate. They are:

The End of History and the Last Man, by Francis Fukuyama,

The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, by Samuel Huntington,

and The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, by John Mearsheimer.

I would urge everyone to read all three; each gives you a useful, but limited, prism through which to view the endless debate over foreign policy. But to get a general sense of the books' arguments you can simply peruse "Conflict or Consensus: Three Visions Revisited" by Richard K. Betts, published in Foreign Affairs. [here] Check it out, then read the books. You will find that the interminable arguments on international affairs in the press and in government circles will make a lot more sense. At least, that has been my experience.

Megyn Kelly in GQ

Here she is!


Read about it here.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Penn and the TSA

Magician/comedian/libertarian Penn of Penn and Teller fame had his first experience with the new TSA procedures and has decided to sue.

Here's how it went down:
Last Thursday I was flying to LA on the Midnight flight. I went through security my usual sour stuff. I beeped, of course, and was shuttled to the "toss-em" line. A security guy came over. I assumed the position. I had a button up shirt on that was untucked. He reached around while he was behind me and grabbed around my front pocket. I guess he was going for my flashlight, but the area could have loosely been called "crotch." I said, "You have to ask me before you touch me or it's assault."

He said, "Once you cross that line, I can do whatever I want."
I said that wasn't true. I say that I have the option of saying no and not flying. He said, "Are you going to let me search you, or do I just throw you out?"
I said, "Finish up, and then call the police please." 
Read the whole thing here.

This is going to be fun. 

Krauthammer's Take on the TSA

Charles Krauthammer puts a positive spin on the TSA groping kerfluffle. He writes:

Don’t touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm-election voter. Don’t touch my junk, Obamacare — get out of my doctor’s examining room; I’m wearing a paper-thin gown slit down the back. Don’t touch my junk, Google — Street View is cool, but get off my street. Don’t touch my junk, you airport-security goon — my package belongs to no one but me, and do you really think I’m a Nigerian nut job preparing for my 72-virgin orgy by blowing my johnson to kingdom come?
He thinks that the outrage the TSA has inspired will be a turning point:

The junk man’s revolt marks the point at which a docile public declares that it will tolerate only so much idiocy.
I certainly hope he's right, but the forces of PC seem to be implacable.

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rome Reborn


Check it out here.

Here's Another One I'm Going to Have to See

S. E. Cupp Explains

Why some people get so upset over Sarah:

The reason Palin has become such a lightening rod, a kingmaker and a punching bag, a celebrity and a power player, is simple. It's because she's so gosh darn happy.

For her fans... she's refreshingly upbeat and resilient, the bubbly friend from childhood who was always great at cheering you up and cheerleading you on.

But for her detractors, nothing raises the ire of cynical liberals more than a happy-go-lucky, totally unburdened, freethinking and self-assured conservative woman who has everything she wants and then some. And without anyone's help.
She's right. For those who have embraced victimology Sarah shouldn't exist, and the fact of her existence is a repudiation not only of their belief system, but of their sense of who they are and what they can be.

Read it here.

The Continung Collapse of Scientific Authority

Patrick Coffee has a new book out on the history of modern chemistry. Its full title is Cathedrals of Science: The Personalities and Rivalries That Made Modern Chemistry. It's the "Personalities and Rivalries" part that attracted my notice because it is a recognition that "Science" is not an objective enterprise, far from it. As a review states:

Most scientific biographies put their subjects on pedestals. But times are changing, and Coffey's book is representative of a new candor. Weaving together the lives of the leaders of modern chemistry, Coffey shows how fights over priority, backstabbing, cronyism, and grudges shaped the history of chemistry just as much as the actual discoveries. It is an effective antidote to the bromide that science is the work of selfless, Spock-like automatons.
Indeed! "Science" is a fundamentally human undertaking and as such is liable to all the quirks and foibles of humanity. The myth of objective scientific authority is pernicious and has poisoned our public policy debates for decades. It is good to see historians of science finally recognizing the fact that it is quite simply a myth.

Read the review here.

Lies of the Left (continued): "Profiles in Courage"

In 1957 JFK was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Biography for his book "Profiles In Courage". Almost at once allegations rose that Theodore Sorenson, not Kennedy, was the author, something that both men strenuously denied. We now know that they were lying but for decades now most journalists and historians uncritically swallowed the lie. Now that both men are dead and the Democrats have wrung every last possible benefit out of the Camelot myth, the truth is being revealed told. "Profiles in Courage" was written by a committee. Sorenson and Jules David wrote a first draft which was then edited and revised by other scholars, most of whom were told that the draft had been written by Kennedy. We now know that Kennedy's involvement in the entire affair was marginal, that Sorenson indeed was the primary author of the work, and that Kennedy's reputation as an intellectual was at least in part based on lies.

As has so often been the case the lies of the Left long served a powerful political purpose and, once finally exposed, were simply dropped. Few people today care whether or not Kennedy and his acolytes lied.

Sigh!

Read about it here.

Ferguson on the Future

Niall Ferguson writes on fiscal policy and imperial decline here.

He notes that swelling interest payments on our enormous national debt will consume more of the nation's GNP in future decades and as they do discretionary spending will be squeezed. The most obvious candidate for cuts will be the American military and as it declines so too will American influence. What makes things worse is that much of the debt payment is in the form of revenue transfers to China, our major military rival. He further notes that imperial collapse can come rapidly and that we are hurrying down the same path toward insolvency as other earlier imperial powers that experienced rapid decline.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We Lost the Election

P.J. O'Rourke argues that the people lost the election to professional politicians. A couple of his observations: 
politics is like vivisection—disturbing as a career, alarming as a hobby.

In a free country government is a dull and onerous responsibility. It is a parent-teacher conference. The teacher is a pompous twit. Our child is a lazy pain in the ass. We undertake this social obligation with weary reluctance. And we only do it at all because the teacher (political authority) deserves cold stares, hard questions, and maybe firing, and the pupil (that portion of society which, alas, needs governing) deserves to be grounded without TV and have its Internet access screened and its allowance docked.
 Read the whole thing here.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Iowahawk Strikes Again -- "Proctology Is Such A Lovely Trade"

Now he's writing song lyrics -- "Comply With Me"

Comply with me, before you fly away
Remove those shoes and take a cruise
Through my peekaboo X-ray
Comply with me, I'm your friendly TSA

Comply with me, you domestic coach class bums
If you opt out I'll just give a shout
To my icy-handed chums
Comply with me, bend over here it comes

Check out the whole thing here.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Conversation with Jacques Barzun

One of my intellectual heroes, Jacques Barzun, still active at the age of 103 years. His body is failing, but his mind is still strong.


A Conversation with Jacques Barzun (2010) from Leo Wong on Vimeo.

It's About Time!

Good news from Iraq, reported in the Newser:


(Newser) – Eight months after the country went to the polls, Iraqi politicians have reached a tentative deal to form a government. The Sunni-backed Iraqiya alliance has agreed to support a unity government headed by Nouri al-Maliki, who will return for a second term as prime minister, the New York Times reports. Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani will remain as president under the pact, although the role of Iraqiya leader and former prime minister Ayad Allawi in the new government has yet to be determined.

Members of Iraq's parliament are expected to meet Thursday, for only the second time since the election, to confirm the new pact.

Read the whole thing here.

Yes it took a long time, and the governing coalition is unwieldy and unlikely to govern very effectively but it is a step forward, if only a small one. Slowly, slowly but surely a democratic state is emerging in the region. It just takes some patience on everybody's part.

Senator Tom Coburn on Earmarks

He's against them. Read it here.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Mirror Mirror....

For your viewing pleasure

My wife has some dried up plant doohickeys sitting in a vase on my desk. The other night I was fooling around with my camera and took some low-light pictures of them. Here's how they came out:




Lies of the Left (continued)

Lefties like to assert that the United States has a higher infant mortality rate than developed countries with national health care systems. That is a lie. The United States ranks lower than other countries because we calculate infant mortality differently than they do. Dr. Walt explains here.

And as for the assertion that life expectancy in the United States is lower than in other developed countries there is a good explanation for that, too -- one that has nothing to do with the nature of our health care system. If we factor out violent deaths due to automobile crashes and homicides Americans actually have longer life expectancy than other developed countries, and immigrants from other parts of the world [Japan for instance] often have longer life expectancies than they do in their home countries. Jonah explains here.

More On the Good President

Julian E. Zelizer, Princeton professor of history, writes in the WaPo about "Five Myths" Bush's critics, left and right, have promulgated about the good president. To wit:

1. The idea that Bush was "an uninformed Texas cowboy",
2. The charge that "compassionate conservatism" was just a campaign slogan,
3. The charge that Bush committed the United States to "nation building" in Iraq and Afghanistan,
4. That Dick Cheney ran the Bush White House, and
5. That Bush left conservatism in ruins.

Read it here.

The first draft of history, the journalistic accounts, were uniformly anti-Bush, but the second draft that is beginning to emerge is far more balanced. The rehabilitation of his reputation is already underway.

The Death of Socialism

The late Twentieth Century saw the collapse of the totalitarian version of socialism. Now in the early Twenty First Century we are seeing the disintegration of its democratic form. Janet Daley writes that in Europe:
there is now a broad understanding that the social democratic project itself is unsustainable: that it has grown wildly beyond the principles of its inception and that the consequences of this are not only unaffordable, but positively damaging to national life and character. The US, bizarrely, is running at least 10 years behind in this process, having elected a government which chose to embark on the social democratic experiment at precisely the moment when its Western European inventors were despairing of it, and desperately trying to find politically palatable ways of winding it down. 
 She points out that the transition away from the disease of socialism will not be easy and may well be very disruptive, but that dismantling the welfare state has become, outside the ruling elite, a moral imperative.

Interesting piece, read it here.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Jonah Goldberg on American Exceptionalism

Jonah takes on the lefties who are currently assaulting the idea that the United States is fundamentally different from other countries here. It's a good short read and true, so true.

The Boy Who Runs Like a Duck

That's how Barry Obama was known when he lived in Indonesia. Interesting article here.

The Good President Talks With Matt Lauer



I think he did well on this one. It will be interesting to see how different venues handle their time with him.

Most of the MSM interviews focus on the war and Katrina. The WSJ interviews him on his economic and fiscal policies here.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Alyssia Finley Has Had It With California

From the WSJ:
Listen up, California. The other 48 states—your cousin New York excluded—are sick of your bratty arrogance. You're the Lindsay Lohan of states: a prima donna who once showed some talent but is now too wasted to do anything with it.


After enjoying ephemeral highs and spending binges, you suffer crashes that culminate in brief, unsuccessful stints in rehab. This cycle repeats itself every five to 10 years, as the rest of the country looks on with a mixture of horror and amusement. We'd feel sorry for you if you didn't constantly flip us the bird.

Instead, we're making bets on how long it will be before your next meltdown. Oh, wait—you're already melting down.
 Read the whole thing here.

In the Sixties and Seventies a large part of the allure of California was its youthful orientation, its party atmosphere, its golden timelessness. It was never-never land where we could cavort on the beach forever. Today most people find that whole "scene" repulsive and silly. Could it be that the nation is growing up and repudiating their youthful enthusiasms? Let's hope so.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

The Boys Explain the Significance of the Republican Blowout

Neo's Dance Class

Neo-neocon, a former dancer, has a really nice post about the qualities of tap dancing back in its heyday and as it is currently performed. The technique, if anything, has advanced, but the quality of the performance has declined. Check out her illustrated comments here. Her main complaint is one I have often made -- the current emphasis on technique as an end in itself rather than a necessary means to a greater end, the elevation of virtuosity over musicality.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Lets Not Forget

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Fort Hood Massacre. Here is a list of the victims.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Post-Mortems

Elizabeth Scalia, the Anchoress, has a nice roundup of day-after punditry [here]. I particularly like her comment regarding those figures, including the president, who are touting the Democrats' significant legislative achievements.
“Legislative success” should have some relation to the actual representation of you know, the desires of the constituency. Otherwise it is not “legislative success.” It is arrogance and tyranny.
 Exactly!

 One reaction to which she does not link, but is well worth checking out is Glenn Beck's morning after gloat [here]. He may be crazy, but he sure is funny.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

The Best Comment of the Night

Came from Eliot Spitzer who observed on CNN that Democrats have had essential control of the government -- President and both houses of Congress -- two times now, in 1992 and 2008 and both times they tried to enact a progressive agenda. Both times they paid a terrible price because the American people do not want progressiveism.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Hating Capitalists, Old Men, and other Cliches

"She Who Must Not Be Named" wanted to see "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest" yesterday, so off we went to see it. I have now sat through nearly eight hours of the Lizzy Salamander trilogy. Thank God it is over.

The premise of the films, and the novels on which they are based, is standard leftist claptrap. Women [particularly lesbians] are victims, exploited and brutally abused by evil men. Corporate executives are particularly evil. But most evil of all are elderly men of the generation that fought the Cold War and committed terrible acts in their country's service.

The State is good, but its functionaries are often clueless and ineffective, and within it can be found rogue elements, especially in the intelligence services, consisting of evil men who hide desperate secrets and are willing to commit unspeakable crimes to keep their past sins hidden. Fortunately, however, there is a new generation of enlightened, socially conscious men and women -- investigative journalists, honest police, and brave female attorneys -- willing and able to investigate, prosecute, and punish the criminals.

The main character suffers terribly at the hands of evil men, but has plenty of opportunities to wreak vengeance on those who have wronged her utilizing whatever comes to hand, fire, an axe, a conveniently placed nail gun. The films are pretty gruesome, but women in the audience -- including "She" -- seem to enjoy them.

I understand that there are plans for an American remake of these Swedish horrors and that the wonderfully named Rooney Mara is going to play the lead. I don't see the need for them. The originals display many of the most offensive features of recent Hollywood disasters. In terms of plot, characters, and themes, there's nothing you haven't seen time and time again. But the violence is very explicit and women of a certain age will find some degree of satisfaction in seeing bad men dispatched by our heroine in various gruesome ways. So I guess there is money to be made in a remake. Too bad.

Iowahawk Strikes Again

You Have 24 Unanswered Messages

*BEEP*
Hello, this is Congressman Chuck Harbinson calling to remind you to vote tomorrow, Tuesday November 2nd. As your representative from the 3rd District, I have worked hard to bring positive change through my support for the Health Care Reform Act, as well as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which created the new Turnip ethanol plant and nearly a dozen new high-paying jobs right here in the Quint Cities. I am proud to have earned the endorsement of the Claxon-Ledger, the United Turnip Workers Union, and President Obama. So when you cast that vote tomorrow, Tuesday November 2nd, won't you please pull the lever for me, Congressmen Chuck Harbinson? Thanks, and have a great evening.
*BEEP*
Hello, this is Congressman Chuck Harbinson again. Look, I just wanted to make sure you didn't get the wrong impression from that last robocall. I think I mentioned something about an endorsement from President Obama. Okay, yeah, he endorsed me, technically, but really, don't read too much into that. It's really more of a formality kinda thing. Candidly, I'm considered a pretty big independent here in DC, reaching across the aisle and all that. So pull that lever tomorrow for me, Congressman Chuck "The Maverick" Harbinson.
*BEEP*
What exactly do we know about Mike Pflugenboom? Sure, Mike Pflugenboom says he is a small businessman. But who is pulling Mike Pflugenboom's strings? The Claxon-Ledger reports that Mike Pflugenboom has taken nearly $5000 in secret donations from Big Turnip and their foreign friends. Mike Pflugenboom -- too extreme for the 3rd District, too extreme for America. I'm Chuck Harbinson and I approve this message.
*BEEP*

Read the whole thing here.

Monday, November 01, 2010

The Myth of Disinterested Science Redux

Two historians of science discuss the relationship between political ideology and evolutionary theory and in the process invoke one of my favorite themes -- the fact that there is no such thing as a disinterested authority and that includes scientific authority. Scientists, no less than other people, see in nature what they want to see there. It's an interesting discussion. Check it out.

Is Obama a Keynesian?

And these people, in their impenetrable ignorance and self-regard, consider themselves to be the informed, sane, reasonable segment of the American public.



Idiots!

Liberals

An argument between two liberals -- one sane, the other a PC bigot. You guess which is which.