The Bureaucrat-Driven Life

A review of Cass Sunstein’s Simpler

Is Ayn Rand Bad for the Market?

Published in the Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2009 Say what you will about Ayn Rand, but one thing is certain: She had no use for common niceties. A grimly precocious, friendless Rand declared her atheism at age 13. “Atlas Shrugged,” Rand’s secular sermon-as-novel, boils with revulsion toward the “looters” and “moochers” who consume public […]

How China Helps America’s Poor

September 12, 2008—In an election year, there’s never a shortage of economic bogeymen. With the 2008 campaign in full swing—and with the U.S. economy reeling from sky-high oil prices, the housing crisis, and the credit crunch—politicians are busy railing against a number of convenient villains, including China, Wal-Mart, and “globalization.” Meanwhile, candidates of all stripes […]

Grand New Party

June 27, 2008 —Fans of the movie Caddyshack will remember the scene: Danny Noonan, an earnest, working-class caddy at a snooty country club, is doing his best to butter up Judge Smails, one of the club’s more reprehensible members. Petty, shallow, and bigoted, the wealthy judge holds the key, it seems, to Danny’s future: the […]

Save The Males

June 25, 2008 —Gender politics can be complicated.  I got my first hint of this in fourth grade, on “American History Day,” when students were encouraged to dress up like their favorite figure from days of yore.The choice, in my mind, was obvious:  Abraham Lincoln!  Best president ever!  But as I entered the classroom that […]

Save The Males Q&A

What inspired you to write “Save the Males?” Boys. Men. Specifically, mine. My father raised me after my mother died when I was three. I then had a baby boy and helped raise two stepsons. So my experience of the male of our species has been all about the good things. I discovered early that […]

John Adams, HBO Style

June 9, 2008 —My, how times have changed. Just three months ago, HBO Films was gaining accolades for its newly released John Adams, a seven-part miniseries on America’s second president and his history-making role in a world-changing political revolution. Three months later, HBO’s newest entry, Recount–focused on the much smaller, modern melodrama surrounding Florida’s battle over thousands […]

The Return of History & the End of Dreams

May 27, 2008 —Here’s a fact: The human mind, despite its outward protestations, tends to like things in black and white. Yes, it’s trendy to claim allegiance to many shades of postmodern, multicultural gray, but don’t be fooled: the human psyche, fine-tuned through years of experience, is a sorting machine. It likes, no, it loves, […]

The Incredible Shrinking Evangelical

May 11, 2008 —Ah, spring. Fresh flowers, fresh leaves, fresh leases on life…and, in step with a tradition dating back to around 2004–the year when Christian “values voters” reportedly seized our fragile nation’s helm–there’s also a fresh crop of new books unabashedly bashing evangelicals. Leading the pack is “The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the […]

Quarrelsome Nation: The Thirteen American Arguments

April 16, 2008 —Silence, the old saying goes, is golden. In twenty-first century America, however, silence is a rare commodity–so much so that it makes many of us twitchy and uncomfortable. Modern Americans are literally surrounded by chatter: public argument, campaign spin, unrelenting soundtracks, piped-in media, and the ever-present blue glow of television and computer […]