Political Thought

Yes, a Little State Can Learn from a Big State

By Justin Katz | September 18, 2009 |

Wouldn’t it be refreshing if this sort of thing were written about our small Northeastern state? [Texas] Republicans did not take the bait [to raise taxes]. Governor [Rick] Perry told the legislature to not even bother sending him a bill with a tax increase, because he would not sign it. Instead, he submitted a budget…

Nebulous Rationality

By Justin Katz | September 17, 2009 |

Corruption of culture is a nebulous and subjective concept which has been used toward evil authoritarian ends for as we can remember. Sorry, unless there is a clear victim, legislation of such morality, or culture as you call it, is not a proper function of government, as you would certainly agree if the progressives took…

Government and Society

By Justin Katz | September 12, 2009 |

Robert George offers an important basis for emphasis here, but there’s an important inward extension to his description of the law: The law is a teacher. It will teach either that marriage is a reality in which people can choose to participate, but whose contours people cannot make and remake at will, or it will…

The Moment Change Happened

By Justin Katz | September 11, 2009 |

By coincidence, each of the past two days brought a question from somebody about my political beginnings. The answer to the when is 9/11. Practical philosophy had always been appealing to me, but it had previously followed a literary and cultural context, rather than a political one. That changed on a September morning. It wouldn’t…

The Size of the Incentive

By Justin Katz | September 11, 2009 |

A couple of things that I’ve read, recently, reinforce a healthy concern about the sheer size of the aggregated pool of power that a growing government creates and the incentives that it generates. The first example comes from an article by Kevin Williamson in National Review about Congressman Barney Frank (subscription required): Fannie Mae and…

Truth Amidst Error

By Justin Katz | September 7, 2009 |

The question of papal infallibility has probably been on the minds of conservative Roman Catholics since the publication of Caritas in Veritate. Not surprisingly, the encyclical’s controversial pararaph declaring an “urgent need of a true world political authority” has dominated coverage and conversation. Some on the right, perhaps having not had a chance to digest…

Toward Discourse or Direction?

By Justin Katz | September 6, 2009 |

Aesthetically, it’s hard to disagree with Arthur Blaustein’s argument for the value of literature to civic health: Novels offer genuine hope for learning how to handle our daily personal problems—and those political issues of our communities and our country—in a moral and humane way. They can help us to understand the relationship between our inner…

Govern or Be Governed

By Justin Katz | September 6, 2009 |

Returning home from the Johnston, a couple of weeks ago, I floated along in the fast lane of 195, my mind flitting through political thoughts, and it took me a moment to register the fact that traffic in both of the other lanes had come to a crawl. A sign explained the reason: “Left two…

The Appearance of Free Stuff

By Justin Katz | September 4, 2009 |

Could it all be as simple as getting folks to think through their arguments? That’s an encouraging thought, but probably overly optimistic. Consider (emphasis added): In Amsterdam, where I spend part of the year, every time I go the pharmacy and take out cash to pay for a prescription, the pharmacist and all the well-insured…

Wearing Out the Public

By Justin Katz | September 3, 2009 |

Matt Allen and I touched on the legislative process on last night’sMatt Allen Show and the way in which it wears the public out as legislation moves toward law. After all this heat and energy, we still have multiple versions in the Senate over which to argue, likely with various provisions, all of which have…