Ten Second News

Rules are rules

Well, here’s a horrific story. After defying a school district to send her kids to a better school, a single mother faces jail time for “defrauding” the county (via): ”The state would not move, would not budge, and offer Ms. Williams-Bolar to plead to a misdemeanor,” the judge said in an interview Wednesday. ”Of course,…

Little Republics & Little Platoons

‘Beyond the Wild Wood comes the Wide World,’ said the Rat. ‘And that’s something that doesn’t matter, either to you or me. I’ve never been there, and I’m never going, nor you either, if you’ve got any sense at all.’ – Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows Sam Smith has a post that speaks…

Homogenization and the State

“In some ways, the ‘night watchman’ state — the state that enables civil society to develop and function without distortions imposed by roving bandits, local notables, and its own functionaries, but that also is content to simply sit back and watch civil society — is the most powerful and unlikely state of all.” ~ J.…

Saul Alinsky, conservative?

There’s a lot of good stuff in Jesse Walker’s review of Radical: A Portrait of Saul Alinsky, but here’s my favorite bit: In the early ’60s, the book reveals, Barry Goldwater contacted Alinsky and the two men had a meeting. “The conversation,” von Hoffman reports, “was about Goldwater’s opposition to pending civil rights legislation. Saul…

Trial & Error

“There might be a compromise here.” ~ Jason, earlier today I think it depends on the ‘localist/artisanist/do-it-yourself’ individual, obviously, but I think many would certainly like Make magazine. I hadn’t heard of it before, but after spending a few minutes at the site, it certainly seems pretty cool to me. Plenty of localist types, as…

Why This and Not That?

A question for the localist/artisanist/do-it-yourself contingent: How do you feel about Make magazine? Do you know it? Love it? Proudly subscribe, as I do? Or do you mistrust it as inauthentic and non-traditional? I’m curious, because Make seems to have the entire, fully formed ethos you’re looking for, but it’s technophilic, as I’d insist on.…

Geography, Politics, and Arrogance

Last week, Erik and I had a fun discussion about the role of geography in shaping one’s political opinions, what this means for Erik’s arguments for competitive federalism and localism, and the way in which our national debates largely cast aside the actual problems faced by actual people in favor of scoring broader points, thereby…

An ‘antique liberal’ by any other name

David – I wonder if what Blond is trying to do is to bridge the divide between the modern liberal state and the sort of Aristotelian or anti-modern philosophy of MacIntyre or the radical orthodoxy of Blond’s mentor, John Milbank? Rather than presenting a sort of philosophical paradox, perhaps Blond is in fact attempting to…

Walmart is not the culprit, it is the symptom

Whatever else one thinks of how we live these days, it’s hard to not see it as temporary, historically anomalous, a peculiar blip in human experience. I’ve spent my whole life riding around in cars, never questioning whether the makings of tomorrow’s supper would be there waiting on the supermarket shelves, never doubting when I…

Liberaltarianism is dead

“I don’t want to say that liberaltarianism is dead. But is it endangered? Sure. It deserves to be.” ~ Jason Kuznicki I think the hopes placed in the Obama administration by libertarians have been fairly well dashed at this point.  On civil-liberties issues and on economic issues, the President has not gone nearly far enough…

community and exit

One fundamental flaw in the idealized concept of small town America is the lack of freedom to exit.  In small towns the freedom to exit is greatly reduced – especially in rural areas where towns are spread out.  Social choice and economic choice are both limited in these areas, and both are equally important.  The…

going to war with the army you have

“Rather than deep moral and spiritual renewal leading to civic health, what if it’s our national solipsism and susceptibility to suggestion that pull us together, and pull us through? What if, rather than being stuck with virtue, we discover that, after a few initially painful changes in lifestyle, we can buy spray-on virtue in a…

Friday Night Jukebox, DIY Edition

As a fellow part-time hipster, I found a lot to like in William Brafford’s meditation on DIY indie rock and localism: Here’s the application to politics. DIY never sought to replace the major labels; it just did without them whenever possible. It was in part technology that made DIY possible, especially cheaper home recording equipment,…

Indie rock, DIY, localism.

E.D. wrote, “The idealism of the paleoconservative cause is simply too burdened by the idealism of its vision.” To which I offer—not necessarily as a rebuttal—three letters: DIY. As punks and hardcore kids in the 80s demonstrated, sometimes the best thing to do in the face of a massive system you want no part of…

Working with what we’ve got….

I’m sure I’ve run this course long enough.  I’ve been in constant contemplation of the merits of the individual vs. the community.  I’ve written endlessly about the subject and read a good deal on Catholic social teaching, distributism, mutualism, anarchy, dignity of labor, new urbanism, choice, free trade, etc. etc. etc.  This will be my…

Sameness

“Our people made that choice, the choice to go to Sameness. Before my time, before the previous time, back and back and back. We relinquished color when we relinquished sunshine and did away with difference. We gained control of many things. But we had to let go of others.” – Lois Lowry, The Giver My…