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{ Tag Archives } Barack Obama

The fishbowl effect and the highfalutin’ fool who flirted with it

[I wrote most of this a year and a half ago, I guess, and it was out of date then. But what the hell, everything else I post is untimely. Maybe I can give Peter Millican’s page an infinitesimal bump on google for the next time this particular wingnut delusion rotates back into favor.] One […]

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Clearing the Air about John Williams’ Simple Gift (part 2)

Picking up from part 1, which is mostly an analysis of “Air and Simple Gifts,” the composition John Williams wrote for Obama’s inauguration (it was all a single post until I saw how long it’d turned out)… The negative reactions that I’ve come across tend to work the premise that we should have gotten a […]

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Clearing the Air about John Williams’ Simple Gift (part 1)

I was looking forward as much as any average Bush-loathing voter to the Change that finally became official week before last, but I wasn’t going to let myself get glued to the TV for the inauguration. And then it snowed, and schools were closed, and what could I do? I heard the first part in […]

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Stupid conservative tricks: metaphor madness, schizo Springsteen, specious Sowell

I don’t want to make it a habit, or at least not a major preoccupation, to ridicule stupid people. In fact, I’ve been telling myself that in 2009 I’ll concentrate on smart people. But then I ran across this ridiculous thing written by a guy named Rich Galen. The name didn’t ring any bells, but […]

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KC Johnson vs. the commonplace campus radical–Mr. Obama’s neighborhood

Until a couple of weeks ago we were supposed to be stocking up on information for “Decision 2008” (a lot of the best stuff seemed to be on “Indecision 2008”, though). According to columnist William Kristol, Sarah Palin was doing her part, “helping the American people understand ‘who the real Barack Obama is’” by raising […]

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I’ve looked at change from both sides now

The first time I voted was 1980, when Reagan knocked Carter out of a second term. I don’t even remember how I got my news back then, but I do remember that everyone was very grim around Reed College, where the unofficial motto was “Communism - Atheism - Free Love” and the hard-core set walked […]

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Run-of-the-mill stupidity

A few months ago I posted about the reactions when a Duke philosophy professor, interviewed in the campus paper, invoked a John Stuart Mill quote about stupidity and conservatives in order to explain the relative lack of conservative academics. More and more surfers have been finding that post with searches like this: js mill conservatives […]

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The trouble with tribalism

The word of the day is “tribalism.” I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Kenya, where there’s no way to avoid the word—certainly not after the post-election violence at the beginning of this year. In a New York Times op-ed a few months ago, Roger Cohen takes the idea of tribalism on a whirlwind […]

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