Superiority complex: Liberal and conservative bloggers are taking issue with Jonathan Chait’s claim in The New Republic that “[l]iberalism’s aversion to dogma makes it superior [to conservatism] as a practical governing philosophy.” Republican-leaning John Ray can’t believe his eyes. “Aversion to dogma?! There could be few things more dogmatic than the many dictates of Leftist political correctness!” Libertarian Megan McArdle says the self-congratulatory characterization of “liberals as pragmatic empiricists just looking out for the common good, while conservatives are self-deluding ideologues” makes her cringe. At the usually liberal-sympathetic Left2Right, Gerald Dworkin contends that Chait oversimplifies what liberalism means: “Liberals may also view government regulation as restrictive of freedom, and value freedom intrinsically.” The Washington Monthly’s Kevin Drum says the fact that the Bush administration spends $100 million on international abstinence programs proves Chait’s point. “There’s nothing wrong with ideology per se, but if preventing actual illness isn’t a good test of whether pragmatism has even a sliver of support in the modern Republican party, I don’t know what is. Wouldn’t that $100 million be better spend [sic] on something more effective?”
Read more about Chait’s article here.
Terrorism 101: Ward Churchill, the infamous college professor who penned a post-9/11 essay comparing 9/11 victims who worked in the Twin Towers to “little Eichmanns,” continues to raise hackles. Denver disc jockeys Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman have unearthed audio of a 2003 speech in which the professor “explicitly instructs followers on how to commit terrorist acts.” According to a transcript that many bloggers are linking to, Churchill encouraged white men in particular to commit atrocities. “You don’t send the Black Liberation Army into Wall Street to conduct an action,” he said. “Who do you send? You. Your beard shaved, your hair cut close, and wearing a banker’s suit.”
The Cut-Up Kids: On Wednesday, syndicated columnist/conservative blogger Michelle Malkin wrote about a “new youth craze”: teenagers who cut themselves. “There is even a new genre of music—’emo’—associated with promoting the cutting culture,” Malkin announces. Mike P.A. Ward *, who says he usually agrees with Malkin, doesn’t understand why she thinks either cutting or emo are new, or why she thinks emo and cutting have anything to do with each other. “This sort of mischaracterization I would find understandable from an old-time Conservative like say, Bill Buckley or Fred Barnes,” he explains. “Man, we had no idea emo music promoted cutting,” adds Gawker. “[A]ll this time we thought it promoted guys who are sissies.”
Read more about Malkin on emo here.
Bloggerati: The liberal blog world’s answer to the Oscars, the Koufax Awards, rewarded Democratic stalwarts like Josh Marshall and Markos Moulitsas. Koufax runners up included economics-focused Angry Bear, law blog Ignatz, and the generally liberal Decembrist. … On Tuesday, world-famous blogger Jason Kottke announced that he has quit his job and is now soliciting donations so he can write at kottke.org full time. Steven Johnson writes that smart bloggers/advertisers should send Kottke a few dollars in exchange for a free link. The blog Crooked Timber worries that bloggers will start selling out: “Links would become an indicator of how much money a blogger has; not whether she has anything interesting to say.” … Everyone links to the newly formed Committee to Protect Bloggers. The committee’s first project: win the freedom of two Iranian bloggers who are now being detained.
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