Updates Elsewhere

I have a review of Alexander Waugh’s Fathers and Sons in the new issue of The American Conservative, which should be showing up in bookstores and subscribers’ mailboxes within the next week or so.

My instant reactions to the Tavis Smiley-hosted Republican presidential debate on PBS are up at the Wash U for Ron Paul blog. There’s some new material up at Exit Strategies as well, including my take on Leslie Gelb’s review of the Mearsheimer and Walt book.


Pro-life or pro-GOP?

St. Louis University historian James Hitchcock takes antiwar Catholic conservatives to task in the Human Life Review (.pdf) — by opposing Bush and the GOP, he argues, they’re hurting the antiabortion cause. Scott Richert takes a look at Hitchcock’s claims and finds them wanting, to say the least.


ISI’s big push at the moment is for the Civic Literacy project, which has been garnering quite a bit of coverage, including this piece in USA Today. The project involved testing students (freshmen and seniors) at fifty colleges and universities on their knowledge of elementary U.S. history, civics, foreign policy, and economics. Take the quiz yourself here. My score was 58 out of 60 (96.67%). A little poor, considering it is elementary stuff.

Meanwhile, Daniel Larison links to the Rome quiz, which will tell you which character from HBO’s stupendously historically inaccurate television show you are. The other Daniel was Vorenus, which is good. I’m Caesar, which comes as a bit of a surprise. I wonder if Cicero is one of the possibilities? I would assume so, but evidently I am not he.


You are both powerful and merciful, you respect all the systems around you and make it a point to educate yourself. You are a cautious person who knows all the angles, your drive for success is unparalled, your goals of success can be achieved.

Gaius Julius Caesar

Taft Club Video, In Exciting Greenish Hues

The first part of the video from the last Taft Club meeting (“The Right and the GOP: Can This Marriage Be Saved?”) is posted below. Other parts are available here. A few more parts should be put up soon.

The next Taft Club meeting, scheduled for early October, will feature someone “really perfect,” but I can’t say who just yet. Details when the time is ripe. (No, it’s not the ghost of Robert Taft.)

p.s. Despite my crack about the video quality in the subject line, I’m actually very excited that we have footage, and grateful to R.C. for the filming.

The Right and the GOP — Robert Taft Club (part 1)

Missed the Taft Club meeting in August? Here’s the video, featuring Paul Gottfried, Richard Viguerie,Terence Jeffrey, and W. James Antle III discussing the Right and the GOP — Can This Marriage Be Saved?

The Semi-Libertarian West

Jesse Walker on two Western politicians in the news lately, Larry Craig and Bill Richardson, and their semi-libertarian qualities. Craig actually was good on 2nd amendment rights and tried to mitigate the worst of the PATRIOT Act, which ain’t much but is more than the typical Republican senator is good for. If only he’d kept his hands in his own stall.

Walker and some of the commenters responding to his article are certainly right to say that the West is not strictly philosophically libertarian, but it does have its own regional character–at least, until the Californians finish filling up the cities–and that regional character is pronouncedly more libertarian than what elsewhere (though New Hampshire is pretty good, too).  My own native region, the Midwest, isn’t quite as individualistic, but on a good day I like to make the case that people in Missouri have very little use for the ideologies of the Left or Right, despite the obvious split between a “red state” countryside and “blue state” cities. But on a bad day I have to admit I’m just fooling myself.

No Thanks, Mr. Nabokov

Interesting article in the NY Times on Alfred A. Knopf’s archived rejection files, which includes letters turning down Lolita, The Diary of Anne Frank, and quite a few other titles that went on to perform well for their publishers. Well, everybody makes mistakes. I tend to believe David Oshinsky when he writes, “Put simply, a rejected manuscript usually appeared to deserve its fate.” The dross in publishing outweighs the wheat by a nigh-unimaginable magnitude.