Over the weekend NPR played an interview between NPR’s Arun Rath and novelist Douglas Coupland (pronounced “Copeland”).  Coupland’s latest novel doesn’t exactly sound healthy for human consumption:

RATH: . . . I don’t quite know how I feel about this book—

COUPLAND: (Laughs)

RATH: —Meaning that it’s hilarious but it’s—it’s three hundred pages of vulgarity, almost without lapse.

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Christopher DeMuth has a good line in the current issue of National Review:

I am in the camp of the deficit hawks such as Feldstein and Kotlikoff, but I do not think the reason we are failing to address the problem is that some other smart and influential people are deficit doves.  Rather, I think that our political institutions and political leaders have accommodated themselves to deficit spending and growing debt and acquired a stake in their continuance.  Disagreements over the consequences and immediacy of the problem are always resolved in favor of borrowing more to address the problems of the moment and deferring “debt consolidation” (through some combination of higher taxes, lower spending, and higher economic growth) to a later time.  The American body politic has acquired deficit-attention disorder.

(Full article is available here.  If you don’t subscribe, you should, but if not, you can read NR articles à la carte on demand for 25¢ each.)

Liberty Island gorilla

You’ll have heard conservatives observe that the dominant culture in America is liberal.  Mark Steyn talks about the left’s “long march through the institutions” (the schools, the churches, the movies), and suggests that it’s ultimately futile for conservatives to fight on the political battleground if we give up on the fight for the deeper culture, which our politics flow out of.

Publisher Adam Bellow wants to bring the fight to the culture.  Toward that end, earlier this year he launched Liberty Island, a Web site or online literary magazine of fiction by and/or for the conservative counterculture.

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Apparently a restaurant owner in France has successfully sued a blogger/critic for hurting his business.

I would have thought that blogging under one’s own name and from a site with a reputation to maintain, non-anonymously, would guard against some of the worst tendencies of the Internet, but in this case the blogger’s choice to use her real name and make it possible to find her is in effect being punished.  Not for the first time, I wonder whether tort law inadvertently creates some pretty perverse incentives.

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Dear {Governor Kasich},

I have been horrified to read about the heartless way our society treats some children, enabled and facilitated by new technologies.  Especially saddening is the recent case of Sherri Shepherd, who ordered the creation of a child that she now says she wants nothing to do with.  (See, e.g., http://acculturated.com/the-brave-new-world-of-ivf/ )

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Last week morning NPR reported this story, apparently unironically.  Excerpts:

IKEA recently announced that starting next year, the lowest paid workers in its U.S. stores will make a bit more. . . .

NPR asked an IKEA executive,

Was it a PR move? No, he said.

Oh, OK.

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I thought this was interesting:  You’ve heard people (not to say gleeful liberals) say that white people are on their way to being a minority of the population in the U. S., and that that is likely to correlate with increasing electoral difficulty for Republicans.  In the course of responding to this narrative, Josh Kraushaar also happens to note,

By the time Texas has enough registered Hispanic voters to make a political difference, it’s possible that many second-generation Latinos will be assimilated and less reliably Democratic than their parents. Already, researchers are finding that a sizable number of Hispanics later self-identify as white, dampening the trajectory of steady Hispanic growth into the future.

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