Thursday, March 28, 2013

What would Alexis de Tocqueville think?

Manhattan Institute fellow Steve Malanga writing in the Institute's City Journal: The genius of America in the early nineteenth century, Tocqueville thought, was that it pursued "productive industry" without a descent into lethal materialism. Behind America's balancing act, the pioneering French social thinker noted, lay a common set of civic virtues that celebrated not merely hard work but also thrift, integrity, self-reliance, and modesty—virtues that grew out of the pervasiveness of religion, which Tocqueville called "the first of [America's] political institutions, . . . imparting morality" to American democracy and free markets. Some 75 years later, sociologist Max Weber dubbed the qualities that Tocqueville observed the "Protestant ethic" and considered them the cornerstone of successful capitalism. Like Tocqueville, Weber saw that ethic most fully realized in America, where it pervaded the society. Preached by luminaries like Benjamin Franklin, taught in public schools, embodied in popular novels, repeated in self-improvement books, and transmitted to immigrants, that ethic undergirded and promoted America's economic success. What would Tocqueville or Weber think of America today? Read more HERE.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

David Mamet on Theater and the Free Market

The theatre is a magnificent example of the workings of that particular bulwark of democracy, the free-market economy. It is the most democratic of arts, for if the play does not appeal in its immediate presentation to the imagination or understanding of a sufficient constituency, it is replaced. ... It is the province not of ideologues (whether in the pay of the state and called commissars, or tax subsidized through the university system and called intellectuals) but of show folk trying to make a living.

- from Theater, just published by Faber & Faber, and a hat-tip to Terry Teachout for his excellent review that called my attention to this quote.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Newsweek Reports the Zombies Attack

It was just a matter of time.

Bon soir and bon chance, and read the whole thing HERE.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Suicide Cult Meets Death Cult?

My latest article on Breitbart Media's Big Journalism...

"In Britain, Media Frets As Suicide Cult Greets Death Cult"

Judging by the exceptions he recently proposed for altering the Miranda warnings, even Attorney General Eric Holder believes that “the Constitution is not a suicide pact,” a truth first stated in 1949 by Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson, and made new again in our time.  Meanwhile over in Britain, this week they have a new Prime Minister. They also have a Queen. They have Big Ben. The have, in Chelsea, a world-class soccer club owned by a Russian oligarch. They have an honorable tradition of tolerance, free speech and fair play. But they do not have a constitution. Recently, though, a British judge, John Mitting, signed a suicide pact between his nation and violent Islamic extremists when he ruled that two Pakistani men, one a known al-Qaeda operative, could not be deported due to the possibility of their being harmed if they were sent home....

Read the whole thing HERE.  The comments are certainly lively!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Climategate, Following the Money

My new piece, "Climategate UK, Following the Money, All Three Trillion Euros of It," is now up at Big Journalism, the latest edition to the Breitbart media empire.  As I say:

There’s a question oft-posed by the proponents of global warming… or of “climate change,” as the new term of art has it, thus allowing warmists to claim both the snowstorm now blanketing America’s East Coast, as well as the melting of that snow, as evidence for their theory.

“To what end?” the warmists ask the skeptics.  Or, in the lingua franca of conspiracy theorists everywhere: “Cui bono, my friend, cui bono?”

Well, lots of people are benefiting from the practical implications of this theory....

Read the whole think HERE.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

"A Warren Beatty Drive-By"

Patrick Goldstein's "Big Picture" column asks "How many women did Warren Beatty sleep with?"

Goldstein ventures the following:

Biskind estimates the bedded-by-Beatty women figure at '12,775, give or take, a figure that does not include daytime quickies, drive-bys, casual gropings, stolen kisses and so on.' (If anyone can offer a good definition of what might constitute a Warren Beatty "drive-by," we'd love to hear it.)

A "Warren Beatty drive-by"? That's easy. 

A "Warren Beatty Drive-by" is akin to what was known in the early 1990s as a "Little Rock Jog-by," following the practice of a certain one-time Arkansas governor who would push off for an early morning run, cruise by the ranch home of his "Floral" mistress for a quickie, continue some thirty minutes later to the local McDonalds franchise, then return home for shower. Time spent: 50 minutes, distance covered .60 miles.

It is the distant cousin of the "Third Avenue Crafty," wherein an Upper East Side, NY, husband and father, surrounded by his family, slips away from a restaurant table, on the pre-text of an important work call to grab a quick cigarette on the sidewalk, two doorways down.

See also "Union Station Foot-tap," "VIP Hostess Courtesy Call," "The Governor's appointment in the Capitol"...

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Climate Deal from Copenhagen? Don't Hold Your CO2

Majken Friss Jorgensen, managing director of Copenhagen's biggest limousine company, on the climate change conference:

Jorgensen reckons that between her and her rivals the total number of limos in Copenhagen next week has already broken the 1,200 barrier. The French alone rang up on Thursday and ordered another 42. "We haven't got enough limos in the country to fulfill the demand," she says. "We're having to drive them in hundreds of miles from Germany and Sweden."

And the total number of electric cars or hybrids among that number? "Five," says Ms Jorgensen.

-via the London Telegraph (Dec. 5)