Archive for March 2015

The Lure of Unreason

It is a pedestrian fact of logic that one may not consistently argue to a correct conclusion from an incorrect premise. There are exceptions to this fact, as in the sayings “a blind squirrel can find a nut if he keeps looking,” and “even a ...

Missouri Loves Company

I’ve caught a lot of lucky breaks (or unmerited graces) in my life. For instance, I had two superb editors at Henry Holt, which in 2003 published Dispatches from the Muckdog Gazette, and both have gone on to write books that will endure. To...

Freedom and Four-Year Olds

Holland, MI In public policy, few things are ever entirely right or wrong. Like economics, we are often dealing with trade-offs. Ignoring the trade-offs blinds us to some of the consequences of policies, some of the reasons for the policies...

The Low Standards of Norman Rockwell’s Critics

All too many people are entirely settled in their opinion that Norman Rockwell’s art presents a “falsification” of reality: in short, he is charged with utopianism. This opinion is false, but nearly universal. Now, as it happens, the most c...

Was 1964 the Most Important Year — Ever?

Ask an American of even above-average intelligence what happened in 1964, and the predictable answer would be “Beatlemania” (although the politically sensitive conservative might cite the stirring defeat of Barry Goldwater in that year’s pr...

Localist Roundup: A New Localist Roundup

You may have noticed that Localist Roundup—FPR’s bi-weekly short post collecting articles of interest from across the internet—has vanished in recent weeks. This post is a continuation of that series, only instead of providing a handful of ...

The Letter to Iran and Bipartisan Hype

Sioux Center, Iowa.   Most Republican members of the U.S. Senate have signed a public letter to the Iranian government warning that any agreement with President Obama that is not approved by the Senate is likely to be transitory and counter...

Living Pleasantly from the Land

“In the first place, thanks to those who work it, the land bears not only the means for people to live, but also bears the means for them to live pleasantly.” Xenophon, The Estate Manager This past week I planted my spring greens. There is ...

Group Decisionmaking and Individual Responsibility

Part of the pushback against the notion that groups can make decisions comes from the fear that we already use groups to absolve ourselves of individual responsibility. James Buchanan made this the central plank in his argument for the inev...