In which a group of graying eternal amateurs discuss their passions, interests and obsessions, among them: movies, art, politics, evolutionary biology, taxes, writing, computers, these kids these days, and lousy educations.

E-Mail Donald
Demographer, recovering sociologist, and arts buff

E-Mail Fenster
College administrator and arts buff

E-Mail Francis
Architectural historian and arts buff

E-Mail Friedrich
Entrepreneur and arts buff
E-Mail Michael
Media flunky and arts buff

We assume it's OK to quote emailers by name.

Try Advanced Search

  1. Seattle Squeeze: New Urban Living
  2. Checking In
  3. Ben Aronson's Representational Abstractions
  4. Rock is ... Forever?
  5. We Need the Arts: A Sob Story
  6. Form Following (Commercial) Function
  7. Two Humorous Items from the Financial Crisis
  8. Ken Auster of the Kute Kaptions
  9. What Might Representational Painters Paint?
  10. In The Times ...

Sasha Castel
AC Douglas
Out of Lascaux
The Ambler
Modern Art Notes
Cranky Professor
Mike Snider on Poetry
Silliman on Poetry
Felix Salmon
Polly Frost
Polly and Ray's Forum
Stumbling Tongue
Brian's Culture Blog
Banana Oil
Scourge of Modernism
Visible Darkness
Thomas Hobbs
Blog Lodge
Leibman Theory
Goliard Dream
Third Level Digression
Here Inside
My Stupid Dog
W.J. Duquette

Politics, Education, and Economics Blogs
Andrew Sullivan
The Corner at National Review
Steve Sailer
Joanne Jacobs
Natalie Solent
A Libertarian Parent in the Countryside
Rational Parenting
Colby Cosh
View from the Right
Pejman Pundit
God of the Machine
One Good Turn
Liberty Log
Daily Pundit
Catallaxy Files
Greatest Jeneration
Glenn Frazier
Jane Galt
Jim Miller
Limbic Nutrition
Innocents Abroad
Chicago Boyz
James Lileks
Cybrarian at Large
Hello Bloggy!
Setting the World to Rights
Travelling Shoes

Redwood Dragon
The Invisible Hand
Daze Reader
Lynn Sislo
The Fat Guy
Jon Walz


Our Last 50 Referrers

« DVD Journal: "Come Early Morning" | Main | Video Comments »

April 24, 2008

Rightie Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Daniel McCarthy doesn't think the neocons are going away anytime soon.

* Ultra-rightie Lew Rockwell considers John McCain, and bemoans what has become of the right.

* "Environmentalism is the quintessential conservative cause," argues Roger Scruton.

* Jim Kalb teases out the difference between the cool cat and the gentleman. (Link thanks to visitor William.)

* Inflation is back again, of course. But is it always such a bad thing? The Independent Institute's Robert Higgs points out that even activist government-lover J.M. Keynes considered inflation to be a disaster. Nice passage from Keynes:

By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some.

* Rick Darby riffles through some of California's daffier government agencies. Which reminds me: What I really want to hear from candidates is a list of things they'll refuse to do, of laws and regulations that they'll toss or fix, and of government agencies and functions that they'll close down. I'm soooo tired of dynamic and exciting new government initiatives ... Don't the words "already" and "overextended" mean anything to these people?

* Dennis Mangan does a good job with the Absolut vodka ad that handed the western U.S. over to Mexico.

* Simon Heffer celebrates Enoch Powell.

* Steve Sailer tries to puzzle out the economics of polygamy.

* Rod Dreher wonders when it's OK for a crunchy-localism fan to go to Starbucks.



posted by Michael at April 24, 2008


"What I really want to hear from candidates is a list of things they'll refuse to do, of laws and regulations that they'll toss or fix, and of government agencies and functions that they'll close down."

That's good! I second that emotion!

One of the things I enjoyed most about Myrna was that she was half Chinese and Buddhist. (The other half was Filipino and Christian.) The Chinese Buddhist side was completely fatalist. I had never really encountered this. In the West, we certainly have "losers" who "give up," but we don't really seem to have this fatalism.

The bonehead refusal of the liberal to admit that many things about human existence cannot (and should not) be changed... even if they seem disagreeable... well, I learned a lot from Myrna about that.

It's quite fashionable in liberal circles to talk about the eternal balance of yin and yang. But, I notice that those liberals (and, often conservatives) don't really accept this. The crusading nature of liberalism long ago really started to offend me.

I automatically suspect people who claim to have solutions to problems that have vexed humans for thousands of years. Perhaps those problems aren't really problems. Maybe we would all be better off if the problem solvers took a long vacation.

And, I've got to agree with Dreher. Starbucks coffee is burned. I don't care about the small versus large business argument. I patronize a business solely on the basis of whether it serves my needs at the best price. Sometimes that means going to Costco, sometimes it means going to the local hardware store.

Posted by: Shouting Thomas on April 24, 2008 4:16 PM

You know, it is funny that Lew Rockwell is described here as an "Ultra-rightie". I wonder if the average Lefty would think that of him...especially nowadays.

And, Starbucks is always an interesting topic. According to a Wall Street Journal article I read a few years ago, when Starbucks moves in the local mom-and-pops DO BETTER.

Basically, Starbucks open the eyes to the basic concept of the (hip) coffee bar.

Posted by: Ian Lewis on April 24, 2008 4:29 PM

We'd all still be drinking Sanka if it wasn't for Starbucks, no question.

Posted by: JV on April 24, 2008 6:25 PM

Let me state what a conservative is, at least for me. It may be possible for the leading figures in corporations to have conservative values, but anyone who gets rich by spending other people's money, and can be made richer by failure and dismissal than by success and persistence is, well, a little suspect. I won't say that the modern corporation is Mother Russia revisited, and I do wish it well,'s hardly a conservative haven.

For me, a conservative is a happy guy - this is essential! - who believes that happiness is not too far away for others. The test of a true conservative? He looks at a modern shopping-mall with its obese over-consumers waddling from counter to counter...and blesses the first age in history where the masses are too fat and can spend the day spending needlessly. The conservative appreciates: can't get over the idea that he snaps a switch and a light comes on or a room is filled with the voice of Kathleen Ferrier. The conservative is a serial appreciator.

The conservative sees life as flux, change and cycles, the difficulties of which are best mitigated by the actions of free people freely going about their business.

Because the conservative knows that the best ideas make the worst dogmas - his own included - he can live obediently with a measure of government and regulation. However, he looks on these things as akin to a trip to the toilet: sometimes necessary, but...WHEW!

My take on a conservative. Wish I could live up to it.

Posted by: Robert Townshend on April 24, 2008 9:05 PM

Thank God for Peet's Coffee. Go online and order some. After you've gone through a bag, pop over to your local Starbucks and see how bad THEIR coffee now tastes. THEN ponder what we were thinking in the pre-Starbucks days when we used to percolate canned coffee.

Shouting Thomas, there is a streak of nihilism in Protestantism that seems to want to walk the straight and narrow...even when it's a plank on on a pirate ship. A friend of mine does "acts of kindness" in third world countries...digging wells and such. I pointed out to him that this merely increases the population in those areas and that he will next have to deal with hunger, habitation, utilities, etc. It never fazes him. Do-Gooders are like robots. And if you try reason, they dig in their heels. Sometimes, I think it's best to let lemmings be lemmings, know what I mean?

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on April 24, 2008 9:19 PM

Lew Rockwell an ultra-rightie? He's more of an anti-state monomaniac. I enjoy reading some regulars on his web site.

Such as Fred Reed, whose longing for the America we've thrown into the toilet is thinly masked by his drunken nihilism . Love his stuff.

Bill Bonner was great even as far back as 2003 in auguring the disastrous end of the housing bubble.

But most of the regular stuff at Lew Rockwell's site is crankery.

Anyway, the basic distinction between a Rightie and a Leftie is the particularism / universalism divide. And by that definition, the best, purest, most consistently principled rightie (and in retrospect, the wisest) is Pat Buchanan.

Posted by: PA on April 25, 2008 8:34 AM

I don't know who irritates me more--Obamaniacs or Peets Coffee cohorts. Can't you just leave me and my cup of Joe alone? My cousin from San Francisco was in town with his new wife, and I took them around Boston to show them some sites of interest. In Harvard Square, home to everything oh-so-tween, they offered hosannas that they were able to get their Peets, and seemed taken aback when I wasn't transported by my first sip. Can't the weak coffee (Dunkin's) lovers get used to the fact that some like their coffee hairy, and can't the Starbucks mavens accept that some prefer something a bit less powerful? Can't we all just get along?

I go to the local Starbucks on weekends. The coffee is cheaper than the local Dunkin's and way cheaper than the local private coffeehouse. I eat my scone, purchased at the bakery across the street, without any fear of censure (try that at the local coffeehouse). Other than the blabbering hausfraus and their screaming spawn, it's a good start to the morning, made even better on occasion when I can browbeat the local lefties that make up most of my town.

Ian, the coffeehouse has been with us for centuries. Starbucks simply commodified it; they did not make it "hip", they made it luxe. The mommies and the $6-coffee drink quaffers who work at the CVS across the are NOT hip, they're wannabe snobs trying to make a statement with their coffee choice. Most of the women I see with a Starbucks cup in one hand and a Coach bag in the other are $25K admins at the local insurance office!

The best story I have to describe the Starbucks patron's worldview happened a few months ago. A group of mommies were at the bar waiting for their grande half-caf, extra hot, non-fat, no foam, double cup lattes, and their collective rugrats were running wild, throwing the shredded corrugated from a display around. Some of this landed on a woman trying to read her paper, and she had some sharp words for the kids. One of them went screaming to mommy. Mommy came running over to the woman like some demented avenging angel, demanding to know why her little darling was upset and promising dire consequences. The woman lowered her glasses and responded, sweet vitrol dripping from every syllable, "Why don't you go to Dunkin' Donuts where you belong?"

Posted by: Brutus on April 25, 2008 4:10 PM

LOL, Brutus! If only others would be as bold as that good lady.

Posted by: Will S. on April 26, 2008 10:35 AM

Oh Rod Dreher and the crunch con stuff!

I think it is okay to go to your local Starbucks, er, when and because it's your local! I used to go to this Starbucks in the lobby of a hospital I worked at (the good old Longwood Medical Industrial Complex back in Boston). I knew all the baristas, they knew all the docs, groups in white coats would come down, chatting (not about patients, can't do that!) between rounds. I liked it.

Posted by: MD on April 26, 2008 12:28 PM

Oh, please, Brutus! Buy superior beans, then grind them to your own needs and make the brew as weak as you please. Peet's even has Vienna Roast for people who like see-through coffee. The point is, I've never been disappointed in their product. With Starbucks, quality seems to vary. At any rate, there's no excuse for not getting what you want anymore. Viva la internet!!

Posted by: Charlton Griffin on April 26, 2008 11:19 PM

I'm a "Buy Local" guy. I have my favorite (Coffee by Design) among the dozen or so independent coffee shops in the greater Portland (Maine) area. Like most around here they offer a good array of blends from light roast (higher caffeine) to very dark French and Italian espresso roasts. Many are Fair Trade oriented which I like (go on ST, insult my commie ways). CBD has three locations, one of which is their roastery, where you can sit and enjoy your beverage of choice. They are served at many restaurants in town. They also sell beans by the pound, will grind to order and have bags retailed at a number of grocery stores in the area.

I like the way their various venues attract everyone from the Chief of Police to clients of various social service agencies, everyone is welcome and treated well. Plenty of folks run through and get a cup to go, others linger for hours and read or chat or work on laptops. There are toys and even a tiny table and chairs for the kids. "House" newspapers are hit or miss, but usually there's a couple of copies of the local daily, and often the Boston Globe or NYT. If I don't see one, I often but the Globe, read as much as i want to there and leave it behind for others. In short, their customer service is excellent.

On the road if I can't find a local coffee place (very rare) I will go to Starbucks now that I drink tea rather than coffee. I don't much like the taste of their brews. I'm convinced they roast with an eye more toward use in mocha-frappa-latte mixed drinks rather than for those of us who like it hot and black, no cream no sugar. When I did drink coffee and a local shop did not appear I preferred DD.

Posted by: Chris White on April 27, 2008 4:44 PM

Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember your info?