Two by Walter Russell Mead

The Forgotten Look of Prosperity“.

This is what economic growth looks like.:  It is sudden, disruptive, often inconvenient.:  It messes with the status quo.:  New stuff gets built and not all of it looks like the Cloisters.:  All kinds of rough and hungry men flock to it; they sometimes misbehave.:  They spit on the ground, say unpleasant things about women, and generally fail to meet the behavioral standards of the Upper West Side.

Decline is so much more: decorous.:  Prairie towns slowly wither on the vine; the young people quietly leave, the stores gradually empty and close.:  Reporters from the: Times: write haunting and moving stories about the gentle, drifting sadness of it all. Novelists in creative writing programs can write delicate tales of rural decline; filmmakers can make understated little films about the lost hope and vanished promise of the American dream.

Guns Better Investment Than Gold?” (Via Instapundit.)

. . . when poets buy guns, tourist season is over.:  They are buying them now in Damascus; something wicked this way comes.

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