I started to slip into something more comfortable, but Anne Zook thinks that I didn't miss my calling. Or, at least, she thinks that poetry is not my calling. Taking note of my effort here, she says"It's not good poetry, but I admire his nerve in posting it anyhow." She might have said that"It takes some nerve to post it anyhow." Foolhardy courage, Anne, takes responsibility. Then, there is my friend, Chun the Unavoidable, who said he wouldn't drop Cliopatria from his blogroll because it was "too annoying". You can imagine my sense of failure to annoy when I read "I Don't Often Agree with Ralph Luker". Turns out we agree that the fellows over at Oxblog need to watch their"arrogant dullards" index.
The Volokh Conspiracy's Randy Barnett notes that he and Liberty & Power's David Beito will be speaking in Boston next Saturday, the 27th, at the 1st Annual Liberty Conference, sponsored by the Boston University Libertarian Society. Barnett's post has all the links. While I'm slumming with the Libertarians, John Sample of the CATO Institute leads his weekly column at NROnline with"George W. Bush is the best Democratic president of my lifetime." Odd that Bush seems so unlikely to be renominated by the Democrats. Thanks to Richard Jensen's Conservativenet for the tip.
President Shelby Thames's promise to make the University of Southern Mississippi a world-renowned institution has become all too cruelly true. Robert Campbell at Liberty & Power has the latest update.
A google search leading to this Williams College site announces that"Derek Catsam, ‘93, has joined Cliopatria PIRGatory." Surely it's not that bad. Not that there's any connection, but we've missed Ophelia, the Cliomatriarch of Seattle, for a while. It's an excused absence. She's busy posting good stuff over at Butterflies and Wheels, including Christopher Orlet's"A Defense of Whig History". The note from Ophelia's parents says that she's been writing a book – two, in fact – with a collaborator. One of the books is an expanded version of B & W's "Fashionable Dictionary"."It's going to be very, very, very funny," she says."Eye-closingly funny, lung-emptyingly funny, furniture-breakingly funny." I don't doubt it. Move over Ambrose Bierce, Ophelia's got one of the keenest senses of humor on the net.
Finally, if you haven't seen them, I recommend Christopher Hitchens on Edmund Burke in The Atlantic; Scott McLemee's address about a little boy who wanted to publish book reviews when he grew up and later won the National Book Critics Award for book reviewing; a piece by Javier Marias,"Faulkner on Horseback", in The Three Penny Review; and Sean Wilentz, "American Historians Vs. American Founding Fathers: The Details of Greatness", in The New Republic. Wilentz does a frontal assault on Garry Wills, "Negro President": Jefferson and the Slave Power. I'm still processing it, but if Wills made as many errors as Wilentz charges him with, it's a serious embarrassment. My sense, however, is that Wilentz's essay is deeply wrong-headed: an attempt to renew Arthur Schlesinger's effort, beginning with The Age of Jackson, to trace all progress in American history to the Democratic Party. Just as TAJ simply petered out, rather than admit that Lincoln was never a Jacksonian, Wilentz asserts northern Jeffersonian roots to anti-slavery without ever demonstrating them. By using Timothy Pickering's term to call Jefferson the first"Negro President," of course, Wills means something other than John Kerry does when he says that he wants to follow Bill Clinton as the "second" one. But Sean Wilentz will write history as he votes, just as Schlesinger did. The notion that political anti-slavery is rooted either in Jeffersonian or Jacksonian democracy seems ludicrous to me. Thanks to Ed Cohn at Gnostical Turpitude for the tip.