What do Chinese prostitutes and Chinese Protestants have in common? Both are victims of China’s administrative justice system, which gives police virtually unchecked authority to accuse, judge and punish. The administrative justice system handles criminal acts considered too minor to be punished under the criminal code. And the decision about whether to prosecute an act [...]
SOKCHO, KOREA — Since the 1950s, Koreans have demonstrated amazing resilience and determination to overcome the aftermath of a devastating war and construct what has now become one of the largest economies in the world. Unfortunately, Korea’s competitive market plus the cultural pressures placed on students to succeed has created a toxic atmosphere for Korean [...]
Last Tuesday, Californians voted on Proposition 37 to determine whether or not food companies had to label their products as genetically engineered. Luckily, the ballot measure was defeated. Proponents of this legislation rallied under the banner that the consumer has “the right to know.” However, “the right to know” would have come at a cost—a [...]
How long should it take to get the government’s permission to open a small business? A few days? A few weeks? Try four years if you want to start a new cab company in Denver. That’s how long Mile High Cab has been struggling to get the state’s permission to start getting to work. A [...]
Rahm Emanuel famously admonished his party to never let a crisis go to waste. This advice should come in handy for conservatives, since according to Charles R. Kesler’s new book, liberalism is in crisis. By crisis, Kesler doesn’t mean a national emergency that enables the expansion of government. Instead, he means a turning point. In [...]
Editor’s Note: This is the third column in a Doublethink debate about marriage and government. In the second column, The Heritage Foundation’s Ryan Anderson argued that “Big Government Should Not Redefine Marriage.” Ryan Anderson has clearly studied the marriage debate. He has simply come to a conclusion at odds with the position I took. In [...]
Is there really “something highly contradictory,” as Kathryn Shelton argued here on Doublethink, about a position that “advocates the regulation of marriage, but rallies behind a platform for smaller government”? Or, on the contrary, is the promotion of marriage critical to limited government, as traditionalist conservatives—among others—regularly contend? Shelton’s argument has three main components. First, she claims that [...]
For the past year or so, I’ve read terrifying headlines shout dire warnings about the “college bubble” and “education bubble.” These articles warned readers to be cautious about their college choices, or else they could end up drowning in student loan debt, unable to get a job because they have a worthless degree. The articles [...]
It’s an all too common thing for people to wish for what they see as a simpler time in their life. I know I have been prone to do it at various junctures, comparing the seemingly chaotic nature of the present with that of an idealized past, in which the hardest decisions of the day [...]
This past summer I graduated from college, married the best girl in the world (she is so patient and will turn me into a human being eventually), and moved to Korea to teach English. I hardly feel qualified to write an article on Korean culture after such a short time. The thing is, though, I’ve [...]
The spread of literacy in the 16th century, amid a burgeoning production of paper, ushered in letter writing as a new form of communication. Over the following few centuries, countless letters of personal correspondence were written and left behind for future generations. The letters collectively construct a very important part of our history because they [...]
Beijing may be reluctantly warming up to Christianity, if its recent overtures toward religious charities are any indication. Late last month, China held its first-ever Week of Religious Charity as a way to encourage believers’ philanthropic activities. A government news release praised religious charities for “gradually transform[ing] from simply meeting the material needs of service [...]
In America, one in four citizens—the poor, disabled, and elderly among us—receives government-run health care. Universal health care is an admirable goal. But is it an achievable one? Only at a cost: government-run insurance, it turns out, is not quality insurance—and Americans know it. At the most obvious level, government-run and –funded health insurance is [...]
James Joseph argues in “Ayn Rand’s Paradox” that Rand’s “defense of individual freedom provides a self-defeating apologia for the American welfare state.” Mr. Joseph’s essay takes the communitarian view that, without the bulwark of “natural community” (including “shared duties” or “natural duties and obligations” or “claims from direct community”), the individual becomes increasingly reliant on [...]
When talking about democracy in the Middle East, Turkey is typically held up as the shining example of how it can be done. On the surface, Turkey is that model. It has had a few relatively free and fair elections and, in 2010, a national referendum was designed to bring its constitution up-to-date and in [...]
Bibles in China have a history of intrigue. Under Mao, China attempted to extirpate religion altogether, and during the Cultural Revolution, hostile officials confiscated and destroyed Bibles—think Fahrenheit 451. Bible owners were thrown in prison camps or worse. And even after Mao’s death in 1976, Bibles remained scarce. Throughout the late 1970s and early ’80s, [...]
There has been much discussion in news outlets about proposals to use eminent domain to acquire “underwater mortgages”—mortgages where the owner owes more than the worth of the home. State laws and state constitutions prohibit this abuse of eminent domain. Nearly all states reformed their laws in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s [...]
With late-night talk show host (and greatest White House Correspondents Dinner emcee since Don Imus) Jimmy Kimmel finally bumping Nightline and moving up half an hour to ABC’s 11:35 pm timeslot opposite Jay Leno and David Letterman, the showbiz media is collectively asking the same question: will Kimmel succeed in the timeslot where Conan O’Brien [...]
Is hindsight really 20/20? Only if you can identify your original mistake. Based on the United States’ response to yesterday’s anti-American violence in the Middle East, it would seem that our foreign policy experts have forgotten that all-important qualification. The Arab Spring—it needs a new name—is about to enter its third year. The only difference [...]
Called “arguably the greatest American in the 20th century,” during his 95 years, Norman Borlaug probably saved more lives than any other person. He is one of just six people to win the Nobel Peace Prize, the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. And yet Borlaug, who died three years ago today, is scarcely [...]
BEIJING — Minister Tian, 34, has never had a boyfriend, though she’s gone on a smattering of dates. Pretty, bespectacled and well-spoken, she sits in her office in a prominent Beijing church, describing her romantic dilemma. “From the world’s [perspective], it is hard, because I am older,” she says. “My relatives are worried about it. [...]
Poetry, says Plato, has no good place in a well-ordered society. The power it exercises over people can be dangerous, he believes, and the crowd it attracts is often undesirable. It could corrupt the young. Modern Americans may sympathize with this position if they fail to examine their assumptions about poetry. They may dismiss poetry [...]
The days following the addition of Paul Ryan to the Republican presidential ticket have been difficult for anyone who admires, appreciates, or respects the ideas of philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand. Never before have mainstream political writers, reporters and commentators expelled so much energy to discuss Rand or her impact on the contemporary cultural climate. [...]
The Kim Il-Sung International Friendship Exhibition has a gift store. Walk up to a huge, windowless concrete complex in the middle of the woods. Put dingy surgical covers on your shoes. Leave all personal belongings at a security station. Walk through a single, structurally questionable metal detector manned by no fewer than six military personnel. [...]
Confronted by a generation of young people who have carelessly brought ruin to an industry they love and the people who comprise that industry, David Lowery is somewhat flummoxed: “Congratulations, your generation is the first generation in history to rebel by unsticking it to the man and instead sticking it to the weirdo freak [...]
I wear bow ties because it’s a hell of a lot harder to spill food on them than it is neckties. That’s not exactly why I wear them, but it’s a convenient excuse to give at cocktail parties and wedding receptions. And you’ll need an excuse if you’re going to wear bow ties these days, especially if you’re a twenty-something who doesn’t have the luxury of being pardoned as a cantankerous old fart who doesn’t know better than to dress like a Supreme Court justice.
The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults. –Peter De Vries Why don’t Americans know how to get and stay married? Whatever we think the word means we still value marriage very highly: The National Marriage Project and the Gallup poll organization have found that between 80 [...]
On the new feel-good frugality.
Our fascination with super-sized families.
Pickup artists and social conservatives hook up.
How “Glee” became a preachy after-school special.
To save feminism, get rid of the lady blogs.
Why women and fiction remain unsolved problems.
Why is the reality of being a conservative in a cultural field so disconnected from the rhetoric of right-wing pundits?
What conservatism can offer disability activism.
Easy to access, and satisfyingly potent, “sinful” products and pastimes represent a point of civilization that mankind has been pursuing for thousands of years. Abuseable substances and activities should be encouraged as a test of character for the next generation. If people are not forced recognize individual responsibility, civilization will crumble under the weight of all the helpless sheep expecting to be looked after.
The word “onanism” has its genesis in Genesis itself, from the story of Onan, a man killed by God for “spill[ing his seed] on the ground” rather than impregnating his widowed sister-in-law according to the laws of his tribe. Originally interpreted as a warning against the practice of coitus interruptus, the story’s cautions were repurposed [...]
Most people or things that are said to have been enormously famous or influential in their day but now forgotten, turn out either to net a Jesus- or Elvis-worthy tally of Google hits, or never to have been particularly famous or influential to begin with. If any book truly defies the strictures of that much-abused formula, it is surely David Riesman’s Lonely Crowd.
At about the same time that news of the Rod Blagojevich scandal broke in Illinois, a similar “scandal” of sorts was playing out in the rarified world of classical music. The case concerned Gilbert Kaplan, a successful American businessmen who translated an obsession with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”) into an unlikely second career as a Mahler scholar and amateur conductor. What does his ascent tell us about the future of classical music?
Of all the ways in which the mainstream media and liberal elite demonstrated a failure to understand the phenomenon of Alaska governor Sarah Palin, their reaction to the news of her teenage daughter Bristol’s pregnancy stands out.
The women who have penned some of the most sought-out advice columns are experts in a kind of social history. Not only have they memorized (and written) tomes on etiquette, social mores, and cultural behavior, they are able to sort out the logic behind the traditional method, what about it is important to retain even in modern society, and how best to apply it.
20 years after he left the Oval Office and nearly five years since hey died, two things seem clear: Ronald Reagan’s achievements were greater than seemed possible at the time of his scandal-filled presidency, and those achievements have been willfully misinterpreted by a Republican Party that often seems blind to the changes that have swept America since the Reagan years.
The fact that John Updike, who died January 27 at age 76, spent so much of his time reviewing books rather than writing more novels says something about how important he considered literary discussion and debate. We’re likely to see less of both with the announcement that the Washington Post is ceasing publication of its Sunday stand-alone book review section.
The recessionary release of Finnish writer/director Aki Kaurismäki’s Proletariat Trilogy through the Criterion Collection’s Eclipse Series—”a selection of lost, forgotten, or overshadowed classics in simple, affordable editions”—is a case of prescient timing. Worth viewing in any economic climate, this blue-collar suite carries particular resonance in our current era of toppling markets and tightening belts.
Danny Boyle has become famous for setting misery to an upbeat tempo. In his latest, Slumdog Millionaire, he sets torture, murder and a corrupt game show to a soundtrack that mixes Bollywood beats and Western pop music.
Barack Obama is thinking of the words of Abraham Lincoln. The President-Elect recently told ABC that “Every time you read that Second Inaugural, you start getting intimidated.” (Lincoln’s First Inaugural is much less intimidating. It’s the one where our first President from Illinois declared, “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the [...]
My animus against folks is of about a decade-and-a-half’s standing–roughly coinciding with the present extent of my adult life. I cannot recall a single occasion of my minority on which the f-word was used by anyone actually in my presence–whether my parents, my grandparents, my teachers, my principal, my schoolmates, my bus drivers, the school janitor, or, indeed, the homeless dude at the convenience store up the road. Yet today, there’s no escaping it.
An ambitious, talky play-turned-movie, Doubt is a fine film that will leave you with plenty of hesitations and uncertainties of your own.
Milk’s boldness and sheer exuberance make it remarkable both as a potent “message film” and as a striking shift from Van Sant’s previous work. Its Hollywood flourishes and heady drama, even as they skirt sentimentality, secure for Harvey Milk an indelible place in the epic story of the American civil rights movement.
There’s no doubt that Mad Men is well crafted: the writing is sharp, the ensemble cast well-chosen and skilled. Unfortunately—and this might have something to do with its struggle to gain market share—the show is also dull, poorly paced, and manifestly lacking a clear narrative. Identifying its failures points to a trend in television post-Sopranos, and the not unalloyed good impact David Chase’s mobster epic has had on the hourly serial format.
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Kathlyn Ehl
Source: AFF Doublethink Online | Jacob Hayutin