My Mini-Vacation

I took a mini-vacation this week to deal with a bit of burnout, which means there’s no food politics post this week. Prior to my break I was researching something I think you’ll enjoy reading about: the politics of beer. In my beer politics article, which will be up December 16, I’ll explain how Jimmy Carter, homebrewing, and tax subsidies made the craft beer revolution possible.

I don’t want to leave you with nothing new to read, so I’ve put together some … well, I was going to say ‘recommended reading’, but that doesn’t sound very enticing, so I’ll go with ‘interesting things I’ve found this week’.

(Which reminds me – if you’re interested in getting 3-5 article links like this every week, send me an email  ( to let me know. If there’s any sort of demand for it, I’ll make it a regular feature.)

Conservatism is dead.  Matthew Walther.
A smart and frequently funny look at what it used to mean to be a conservative and why the future prospects for ‘real’ conservatism are very dim.

The Closing of the American Mind.  Jacob Hamburger.
Alan Bloom’s The Closing of the American Mind was probably the most important book to me in my days as a young Burkean conservative. While I’m now a liberal, I still consider myself a Burkean, and I still view Bloom’s book as a revelation. This article does a great job of explaining what Bloom and the book were all about – the role of higher education, the meaning of true freedom, why democracy needs elites, and much more.

Net Neutrality: A Primer.  Daniel Lyons
I think this is essentially what Jay would have to say about net neutrality if he decided to write an article about it. You probably know that I’m a strong supporter of net neutrality, but I think it’s useful to understand the best arguments that opponents of it can bring to bear. (One thing you’ll notice that’s not in this article is any discussion of the lack of real broadband competition in nearly two-thirds of the country and the related issue of natural monopolies. That’s central to my support for net neutrality, as well as my call for a nationwide fiber-optic infrastructure project.)

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