Many agree with what Mark Steyn and others have said before:  The culture is deeper than politics, and our politics are a result of our culture much more than the other way around.  Unfortunately, our culture has been degenerating in this direction for some time.

At the same time, conservatives ought to recognize that our deeper problems . . . are cultural, not political, and are therefore not susceptible of a political solution.

Edmund Burke questioned whether the state can even distribute alms without doing more harm than good. . . .

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John Derbyshire

February 8, 2012

This morning I had occasion to go back to an old John Derbyshire column.  I haven’t read him much lately, but I should; he’s insightful and funny, and as a bonus that column also includes some (surprisingly timely again) reflections about Rick Santorum.

Not Inevitable

July 14, 2011

In the July 4th issue of National Review (page 18), Kevin D. Williamson has a piece that’s informative and also pretty funny (perhaps he hopes to be the next Mark Steyn?), describing how Canada overindulged in deficit spending for decades, but then sobered up in response to fiscal crisis in the ’90s, and has kept deficit spending under control ever since.  Read the rest of this entry »

Today I read that under Governor Rick Perry, Texas has adopted a loser-pays system!

In America, if someone sues you, you pay for a lawyer.  Even if you ultimately win the lawsuit and aren’t held liable for any damages at all, you’ve still lost thousands of dollars in attorneys’ fees (not to mention the time taken out of your life, which you can never get back).  A lot of the theory behind tort law revolves around making people “whole” for the wrongs they’ve suffered.  Who will make you whole?  Read the rest of this entry »

Lights Out

May 30, 2011

Did you know that Congress has already banned incandescent light bulbs in the future?  Neither do most Americans.  The law was passed in 2007; the phase-out begins with the 100-watt bulb in 2012.  (You can also read more about it at a Web site created for the movement to repeal the ban.)

Practically speaking, like most overweening big-government schemes, this will have unintended consequences.  In this case, we already know what some of them will be: 

1 — Scientists find that the main alternative, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs), should be used sparingly and not left on for very long, because they are poisonous and may give you cancer:  Read the rest of this entry »

gas we canI was talking with a friend the other day about gas prices.  We agreed that when gas prices (or unemployment, or the economy generally) improve, that will tend to help any incumbent president’s chances of re-election—and that, by the same token, when they worsen that will tend to hurt his chances—regardless of whether they’re his fault or not.  The question, then, was whether it can fairly be said that the recent high gas prices are partly President Obama’s fault or not.

So I was interested to hear that the answer may be an emphatic Yes:  Read the rest of this entry »

Republican House speaker John Boehner and Democrat Senate majority leader Harry Reid appear to have reached a final deal on this year’s budget.

If you’re just joining us, the Democrats didn’t pass a budget last year for this fiscal year (October 2010 to September 2011), possibly because they could already see the rising tide of public sentiment against government spending and thought passing any kind of Democrat budget would only hurt them even further in last November’s elections.  Read the rest of this entry »