Friday, 12 January 2007

Lincoln Allison on Private Ownership

It is conservative to insist on the importance and relevance of the case for private ownership. But it is also conservative (as opposed to liberal, socialist, or communist) to avoid dogmatic and overarching theories and to see, also, the other cases. Conservatism is uniquely subtle and flexible in this respect; it acknowledges that the question of which of these models is relevant to a particular policy, and to what degree, is one of judgement, the very stuff of good politics.

(Lincoln Allison, Right Principles: A Conservative Philosophy of Politics [Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1984], 113)


Here is Peggy Noonan’s latest column. Here is Peg Kaplan’s latest post.

Too Much Information?

Kay Hymowitz tries to make sense of female exhibitionism. I’m not the least bit puzzled by it. Just as men are hard-wired to compete with one another for status, which attracts women, women are hard-wired to compete with one another for male attention—and resources. It’s biology, as filtered through culture.

Best of the Web Today



Society does not tolerate individuals who spread infectious diseases. It quarantines them. Will society eventually do the same to individuals who, through negligence or recklessness, spread computer viruses? Should it? See here for a New York Times editorial opinion on the topic.

From Today’s New York Times

To the Editor:

I am so disgusted, appalled and frustrated, I don’t even know where to begin. Are we totally helpless against this man who seems more like an arrogant, power-hungry dictator than a president?

President Bush’s statement “Where mistakes have been made, the responsibility lies with me” is meaningless because there are no consequences for him. Our troops, the Iraqis and the American people are paying the price of his mistakes.

This president has so clearly demonstrated his ignorance in foreign policy matters that I have no faith in his ability to judge the consequences of failure in Iraq or to make decisions about how to end this war.

America is well aware that Mr. Bush’s strategy for war in Iraq was fundamentally flawed from Day 1. This new plan is no exception.

The newly elected Congress and Senate must find a way to stop him.

Misty Haskett
Houston, Jan. 11, 2007

Note from KBJ: All 13 of today’s letters to the editor are about Iraq. Ten of the 13 express opposition to the war, or at least to the so-called escalation of the war. Several of the letter writers make personal attacks on the president. He is said to be “incompetent,” an “arrogant, power-hungry dictator,” “ignorant,” “a dictator,” “a self-absorbed, limited politician,” and “out of touch with reality.” How did this get personal? Are people unable to distinguish between persons and policies?  We philosophers teach our students that persons are not arguments. Arguments are to be evaluated on their merits, not on the basis of who makes them. The same is true of decisions and policies.  I suppose I can understand why people who lack philosophical training confuse persons with policies, but some philosophers do this, too. It’s disgraceful.

Lewis and Clark

The Newberry Library in Chicago has a website devoted to Lewis and Clark.  (Thanks to Noel Anderson of the UTA Library for the link.)

A Year Ago