Loyola To A Fault

by Belle Waring on November 12, 2006

Mario Loyola is quickly emerging as a hack to be reckoned with at The Corner. Here’s something that I find so wrong that I fear I must have completely misunderstood him:

I asked one of Michael’s guests at the AEI event whether anyone in Lebanon talks about the crimes Hezbollah committed against the laws of Lebanon. His response (this was a Lebanese moderate) really brought home for me the vast gulf in political consciousness between the Islamic World and the West. He said, in essence, that if we resolve the issue of the Sebbah Farms, then Hezbollah will not have an excuse to continue armed resistance, because of course everyone has a fundamental right to resist the occupation of their land.

This response seemed to me so strange. Imagine that the Canadians went berserk and occupied Minnesota. Then imagine that a militia formed to “resist the occupation” but the Federal Government ordered it to disband. Would any American say that the right of resistance trumped obedience for the rule of law? No, of course not. Nothing trumps obedience for the rule of law in this country, not even religion.

What now? Seriously, what? Is Loyola one of these cut-rate Canadian or British pundits we keep getting saddled with? Because I am quite certain that every single damn person in America disagrees with him. A foreign country invades a US state and the quisling Feds tell the local militia to stand down? And Loyola thinks people would say, ‘oh well, rule of law and all that. Let’s go turn in our guns at the occupation depot’? This may be the single most wrong-headed thing I have ever read about politics on the internet, and I think we all know that’s saying a lot. Live free or die, baby. Live free or die.


by Eszter Hargittai on November 12, 2006

Are you a teacher?
What subject?
I am a sociologist.
Then you must be good at making friends.

Things Change

by John Holbo on November 12, 2006

On my stack of yet-unread 2006 politics books – Thomas Edsall’s Building Red America [amazon]. I cannot help but think events have somewhat overtaken it, though I still plan to read it. (I took particular satisfaction in that NY Times graphic – with the blue and the babyblue and the pink and the red. Red for anywhere that got painted red. And, of course, there was no need to open that can of paint. So it sat there, lonely in the legend.) What politics books do you say will survive the season, in terms of relevance?

I have a semi-scholarly interest in this question because I’m trying – I’ve been trying – to write about the relationship between liberalism, as it gets discussed in political philosophy; and liberalism, in the Democratic party sense. Obviously it is anything but a simple relationship, and I just indicated it in the most approximate fashion, but who has discussed it well? Who has written well about the point where the rubber of liberal political theory meets the road of liberal politics (if indeed there is such a point.) One problem with political philosophy is, of course, the perennial suspicion that its abstractions make it be … well, not about anything. (I don’t really mean it. You know what I mean.) On the other hand, the books about partisan politics – typically journalistic – don’t have a long shelf-life. What books do a good job of splitting the difference in a happy way? Relevant, and they stay that way.

Our own Looking For A Fight – Is There A Republican War On Science? [amazon] is a prime example. Will it still matter in a year? Well, I’ll take this opportunity to report that we have so far sold a grand total of, like, 16 copies. And there were about 110 downloads of the free book. That’s sort of an interesting result. Not wonderful, not terrible. It’s a good sign that paper sales are more than 10% of total distribution, even with free PDF. It means people do value the paper. (More titles coming soon!) One rather curious thing that making the book has caused me to notice: on the Amazon page there are presently 14 new and used copies for sale from third party sellers, including some marked up to $26.79 (from someplace called Best Dictionaries). Amazon is selling it for $11. I’m used to sort of seeing that stuff down the page on any given Amazon page, but in this case I am reasonably certain those copies don’t actually exist. A few could be author copies or sold copies that were promptly resold. But presumably for the most part these sellers have just generated these offers in some automated fashion and marked up the price more than %100. If someone orders it, then they’ll buy a copy from Parlor and simply resell it. It’s like the old Calvin & Hobbes strip where Calvin is sitting at his lemonade stand, suspended between grim and glum. The sign says: lemonade $20. And there are little unsold cups, waiting. “I’ve just got to sell one.” An interesting business model. Of course, in a sense it’s perfectly rational. Find the idiot who doesn’t comparison shop. (Is there a person who always buys from Best Dictionaries?)