We came across some last-minute tickets to Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical at The Majestic Theatre last night. I misplaced my Playbill, but the actor who played the Grinch knocked my socks off.
There’s nothing quite like a night at the theatre followed by a self-indulgent Romeo y Julieta with Angel’s Envy on the Hotel Valencia balcony. Some of our fellow patrons thought I was a server, which amused me. A glass with a dab of bourbon in one hand and a half-smoked cigar in the other. If anyone can find a job where that behavior is acceptable or encouraged on the clock, let me know. Here are some links:
Rachel Held Evans examines why many biblical literalists tend to focus on homosexuality rather than other biblically-condemned acts:
Though it affects more of us than we tend to realize, statistically, homosexuality affects far fewer of us than gluttony, materialism, or divorce. And as Jesus pointed out so often in his ministry, we like to focus on the biblical violations (real or perceived) of the minority rather than our own.
Johns Hopkins professor David Lampton examines a shift in China’s governance in Foreign Affairs:
According to the German sociologist Max Weber, governments can derive their authority from three sources: tradition, the qualities and charisma of an individual leader, and constitutional and legal norms.
China…has gone from being ruled by strongmen with personal credibility to leaders who are constrained by collective decision-making, term limits and other norms, public opinion, and their own technocratic characters. As one senior Chinese diplomat put it…”Mao and Deng could decide; Jiang and the current leaders must consult.”
So I’m a huge fan of The Great Gatsby, The Wolf of Wall Street, and Leonard DiCaprio. Rachel Syme compares the two 2013 films in the New Yorker:
In Fitzgerald’s narrative, Gatsby dies for our sins, for the sins of the men and women floating about like moths through his blue gardens who can hit and run in cold blood and live to play polo another day. In Belfort’s, it is Belfort causing the car accidents (and the helicopter accidents, and the yacht accidents), and he walks away without so much as a scratch. Scorsese leaves it up to the audience to be Carraway, to recoil in horror at the debauched behavior of the rich and run away from the theatre with a nauseous feeling and a raging hangover. And, of course, this is where the whole thing runs into trouble.
University of Arizona professor Lane Kenworthy argues in Foreign Affairs that the political future of the United States is inevitably socially democratic:
There is surely a level beyond which public social spending hurts economic growth. But the evidence indicates that the United States has not yet reached that level. In fact, the country is still probably well below it.
[C]lear thinkers on the right will eventually realize that given Americans’ desire for economic security and fairness, the question is not whether the government should intervene but how it should do so. An expansion of social programs would not necessarily mean more government interference in markets and weaker competition.
George Mason economist Don Boudreaux worries about redistribution, but not because he is greedy:
Do you [proponents of ‘redistribution’] not worry that creating government power today to take from Smith and give to Jones — simply because Smith has more material wealth than Jones — might eventually be abused so that tomorrow, government takes from Jones and gives to Smith simply because Smith is more politically influential than Jones?
I once read a passage in my Constitutional Criminal Procedure seminar that satirized the Court’s interpretation of privacy and the Fourth Amendment. I can’t find it for the life of me. But Rebecca Rosen discusses the gist, albeit far more solemnly, in The Atlantic:
We daily convey our information to third parties — Google, our cell-service provider, Facebook. For most people in America today, eschewing disclosures of this kind would leave them unable to go about their daily business. Can it really be that participating in life, the economy, and society require a forking over of one’s claim to a ‘reasonable’ expectation of privacy?