Stick in the mud

Shirley roadway

“North Adams to Boston, station no. 203, Shirley,” from the archives of the Commission to Improve the Highways of the Commonwealth, available online at State Library of Massachusetts.

Arguing against the facts, and other affronts to fashionable opinion

On Sunday, Thomas Frank—who’s long been one of my favorite incorruptibles of the Old Left—unleashed a torrent of abuse on the class of Washington journalists who make up what he derisively terms the “data brigade.” It is roughly the same … Continue reading

Localism and the grassroots versus democracy

My old LTIL colleague Boyce Upholt flagged up an interesting article by Jonathan Chait about the “myth of localism:” that is, the misguided belief that local, decentralized governments are by their nature closer to the people than consolidated, centralized bureaucracies. … Continue reading

Is St. Louis segregated? Depends what you mean by “St. Louis”

The tragic shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and the subsequent unrest between protestors and police, have put urban race relations at the center of national debate. Many commentators have pointed out that the incident is just one extraordinary example … Continue reading

What we have not yet tasted

The landscape’s infinite variety continually proved to us that we had not yet tasted all the forms of happiness, meditation or melancholy that it possibly contained. I know that on certain days of my childhood, when I was still subject … Continue reading