The Virtues of Conservatism

(Caveat Lector: I am not a conservative. However, recent reflections on institutional experimentation have reminded me of some of the virtues of the philosophical movement that goes under that name.) With the publication of The Reactionary Mind, Corey Robin has taken up Phil Agre’s old point that conservatism is the defense of aristocracy and privilege.… Continue reading The Virtues of Conservatism

Square Foot Gardening

Square Foot Gardening is a small-scale intensive agricultural method popularized in a book and PBS show starring Mel Bartholomew. It uses raised beds, crop rotation, and a special mix of compost, peat moss, and vermiculite to make urban gardening easier. In retirement, Mel has passed the square foot gardening torch to Patti Moreno, and Youtube has the… Continue reading Square Foot Gardening

Does Basic Income + VAT “Solve” Immigration?

One of my favorite liberal policies is the basic income proposal. The idea is that all citizens have a basic guaranteed income, below which no one may fall. As the argument goes, this supplies more flexibility than basic provision of essential services, and renders recipients much more autonomous than they currently are, since the government… Continue reading Does Basic Income + VAT “Solve” Immigration?

Unofficial Gag Rules on Immigration Reform

In the wake of Arizona’s attempt to localize immigration enforcement, I think it’s time for Congress and the Obama administration to return to immigration reform. If anything can justify American exceptionalism, it’s the waves of immigration that have repeatedly demonstrated that we can offer a better life to foreigners without losing our own identity. As we… Continue reading Unofficial Gag Rules on Immigration Reform