E.J. Dionne’s Piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education

It’s called the Liberal Moment

It’s worth a read, suggesting we may be on the cusp of a new progressive movement in America.

I wrote a post about the intellectually immature, somewhat anti-rational progressive Matt Stoller.  If this is progressivism…then I’m not so sure that progressivism is ready for the mainstream.

I think one story in the next election will be how disorganized and anti-intellectual some parts of the left have become, and just how much the Democratic nominee will have to appeal to the roots to win, while still finding a center.   

If this is the new progressivism, and progressivism has a golden opportunity, then I’m not that impressed.   

Though, as Dionne points out, it may be nothing new in American politics.  

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Thanks, Osama

Osama Bin Laden is back, apparently.  Here is a link to Althouse.

After Ahmadinejad’s letter, I don’t know what to say…it’s all so sudden.  As an American citizen, I’m flattered.

In his address, Bin Laden implores us to stop the invasion in Iraq.  Opportunistically, he’s again aiming all the angry, dispossesed, and idealogically driven zealots directly at us.  After our obvious failures in Iraq, it’s getting easier for him to do.  

There may be some important things we can learn from Bin Laden.  The most important might be how to reflect after the kind of grievous, morally appalling attack such as the one we experienced on 9/11.  Bin Laden is despicable, but well versed in such games, by him and against him.  That has been his life.

Can we justify violence and righteous hatred?  Do we find destructive, but soothing reasons for our actions?  Do we lash out blindly?

I think it’s time to have this discussion.  Each day is a day we may become more like him, and give him more strength. 

How do we engage the arab world, anyways?

Addition:  Why grant Bin Laden any status at all by use of such an analogy?  

Well…why keep using so many resources to pursue him? 

Which costs more? 

I know I’m on shaky ground with this argument, but it seems worth pointing out.

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Men and Women? Women Are Clearly Superior

There’s not much to say about this article, really.   There seems to be good statistical evidence suggesting the higher occurence of both genius and retarded males.  Larry Summers, however tactless, might have gotten fired in part for telling the choir what it didn’t want to hear.

You can wrap many lifetime’s worth of experience into observations about the sexes, and really, you can end up revealing more about yourself than anyone else.

My opinion (I suppose my revelation) is that much feminism based on the assumption of equality between the sexes is doomed to failure.

It actually focuses less attention on the similarities between men and women, because it does not allow for the differences.

It’s bad thinking and I’m currently waiting to see what will take it’s place in the limelight.   

Hopefully something not too dark and reactionary…

Addition: A quick summary of some of the address’s main points:

1.  Women value intimate relationships more so than men, and many women will make such choices in their personal and professional lives.

2.  Men likely have a deeper evolutionary reason to take risks:  it leads men to possible reproduction.  Baumeister suggests that only %40 percent of men have had this opportunity.  Most (biology and nature as the reasons) cultures see men as more expendable, and thus men try to prove themselves in a world of limited resources.

3.  Men form a larger network of shallower relationships.  This is a key component to culture.

Interesting, right?  Someone’s standing up to the idealogues and sloppy thinkers? 

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Saturday Quote: Culture Over Nature?

“Thus any spectator who beholds massive mountains climbing skyward, deep gorges with raging streams in them, wastelands lying in deep shadow and inviting melancholy meditation and so on, is seized by amazement bordering on terror, by horror and a sacred thrill.  But since he knows he is safe, this is not actual fear:  it is merely our attempt to incur it with our imagination, in order that we may feel that very power’s might and connect the mental agitation this arouses with the mind’s state of rest.  In this way we feel our superiority to Nature within ourselves, and hence also to Nature outside us insofar as it can influence our feeling of well-being.”

Immanuel Kant

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