In the Year of the Dragon: Ross Douthat Writes About Guns

so I don't have to. He makes his point in his characteristically careful, suggestive style, so I will add value by being incautious and blunt: Crime hysteria leads to expansions of state surveillance and punishment that target poor and minority communities. Gun control isn't different just because you personally are a progressive. Progressives are advocating for tools that others will wield. That is still true--in some ways more true, because the fear runs deeper--when the crime is real and … [Read more...]

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Prepare for Life in Post-Christian America: Play “After Virtue”–The Game!

or, my review of Winners and Losers: “Winners and Losers,” created by Marcus Youssef and James Long and playing at Washington’s Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company through November 22, is a tense and springy 100 minutes of aggression hidden under friendship–and vice versa. Youssef and Long act out their own longstanding, competitive friendship, getting rawer and more accusatory as the night wears on. I’m going to use “Marcus” for the guy I saw onstage, “Youssef” for the off-stage creator, but the two … [Read more...]

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“Seven Reasons We Hate Free-Range Parenting”: Megan McArdle

writes: ...Why has America gone lunatic on the subject of unattended children? Parents hover over their kids as if every step might be their last. If they don't hover, strangers do, calling the police to report any parent who leaves their child to run into the store for a few minutes. What's truly strange is that the parents who are doing this were themselves left to their own devices in cars, allowed to ride their bikes and walk to the store unsupervised, and otherwise given the (limited) … [Read more...]

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“Sociology as Class War”: I’m at AmCon

asking why progressives keep greasing the camel: I just finished Andrew Cherlin’s new book, Labor’s Love Lost: The Rise and Fall of the Working-Class Family in America. It’s a solid piece of historically-informed synthesis.But it’s also full of examples of my least-favorite feature of contemporary sociology of the family. Because almost all writing that gets labeled “sociology” is done by members of the overeducated elite, the values common among that elite are taken for granted and treated … [Read more...]

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The Carceral State: Dept of Things That Aren’t Solutions

Three links. Happy New Year!Not a solution: police body cameras: ...Despite the push for body cameras by policymakers and politicians, many organizers (both in New York and around the country) are not entirely convinced that body cameras are a meaningful reform—especially after Daniel Pantaleo was not indicted for killing Eric Garner on camera.Andrew Padilla is disturbed “that all this energy towards accountability…can be flipped into increased surveillance in communities of color and in … [Read more...]

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Does Working-Class Marriage Need More Progressivism?

Ross Douthat lays out the question:Many optimistic liberals believe not only that such imitation is possible, but that what needs to be imitated most are the most socially progressive elements of the new upper class’s way of life: delayed marriage preceded by romantic experimentation, more-interchangeable roles for men and women in breadwinning and child rearing, a more emotionally open and egalitarian approach to marriage and parenting. The core idea here is that working-class men, in p … [Read more...]

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“The Prize of the Defeated”: Matthew Walther on Don Colacho

click: Nicolás Gómez-Dávila’s name is not one to conjure with on these shores or, probably, any others. His work, almost exclusively collections of short—indeed one- or two-sentence—compositions, was long available only in limited editions from small presses in his native Colombia, and even then only because his family and friends urged him to publish. Translations, especially into German, have made him a cult figure in Europe, but in the United States, where he has never appeared in any publish … [Read more...]

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