Adam Smith, the economist conservatives love, thought poetry important.
The role of language is an essential component of Smith’s moral philosophy because it is the fundamental connection between the individual and the community. In his Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres, Smith expounded on the virtue of both poetry and prose, which “provide the capacity for exchange and agreement” in different contexts of human relations. It is in the sections of Adam Smith’s Pluralism on the importance of language that Shaftesbury’s influence on Smith shines through the strongest, particularly with Shaftesbury’s stress on language as a vehicle for unifying “the good and the beautiful.”On a less serious note, the Minnesota Twins will open Spring Training in about six weeks. Pitchers and catchers report on February 16. Although I'm a bit skeptical, some experts like the Twins off season moves. Hope springs eternal.
Finally, Andrew Sullivan posts this video of Peanuts going Punk.