Monthly Archives: April 2010

A Burning Question, Answered

The blog will be dark today as I tend to family stuff. Meantime, watch Christopher Hitchens and Robert Service debate the question that is on all the kids’ minds these days: Was Trotsky a good guy or a bad guy?

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Initial Thoughts on the Arizona Immigration Law

There’s been plenty of excellent commentary on the new Arizona anti-immigration statute. (And one can be excused for thinking that the epithet “Draconian” was an actual, formal part the law’s name). I have a deep, abiding hostility to the law … Continue reading

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On Wall Street, Casinos, and the Fine Distinction Between Being a Dick and a Fraud

I’ve been reading a lot about the Goldman Sachs SEC controversy, and I watched some of the Senate hearings yesterday, in an attempt to discern what the hell is going on, and specifically if there was impropriety or not. I’m … Continue reading

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By The Way…

…the blog just passed the 100 post mark. Thanks everyone for checking in…

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Nudging Us Toward a Better World

In this excellent TED talk, behavioral economist Dan Ariely talks about how we are not nearly as in command of our own decisions as we think we are. We like to flatter ourselves by thinking that all of the decisions … Continue reading

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When Resistance Groups Stop Resisting

Via Yglesias: This piece in the LA Times is about how Hamas’s more moderate behavior of late is playing on the streets of Gaza: Hamas, the Palestinian faction viewed by many in the West as a nest of terrorists and … Continue reading

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Toward a Fairer, More Chicken-Based Economy For All

Sue Lowden is a Republican candidate for Senate in Nevada, and she’s currently beating Harry Reid in the polls by a pretty large margin. This video has made the intertube rounds the last few days, and it’s too awesome not … Continue reading

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Third Party Fever in Britain

A few weeks ago I wrote a bit about Britain’s upcoming national election. My natural American cynicism about the viability of third parties led me to poke some fun at Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg. But even before Clegg’s breakout … Continue reading

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Online Ideological Segregation and Epistemic Closure

In his column today, David Brooks analyzes a new study which looks at whether the internet is fostering more or less ideological segregation among online news consumers. Since it’s so easy to self-filter information, are we becoming increasingly isolated in … Continue reading

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The Volcano

Just want to pass along these absolutely amazing photographs of the volcano in Iceland, from the Boston Globe’s Big Picture: Part 1, and Part 2. After looking at the photos I couldn’t help thinking once again of the absurdity of … Continue reading

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On Books, Non-Books, and Writerly Compulsion

I love learning about the literary habits of famous writers, and so I was delighted to see this story in the Times about Mark Twain’s personal library. It’s just been opened to fans in honor of the centennial of Twain’s … Continue reading

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Tyranny of the Dead, Ctd.

The other day I wrote about what I called the "tyranny of the dead" in its domestic context, as it relates to things like judicial interpretation, Founder worship, and Confederate revisionism. It’s "the way in which we summon and resurrect … Continue reading

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Why I Hate Political Parties, and Love Dodgeball

Yesterday I talked about the dangers of ideological purity when interpreting the law, and how it can lead to the forced cohesion of seemingly irreconcilable legal preferences. That same forced cohesion is also seen in the dynamics of modern political … Continue reading

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On Judges, and the Tyranny of the Dead

I was talking with a friend last night about the Supreme Court vacancy, and as we started discussing the case history and the ideological leanings of the various short-listers, we soon realized we were getting all jumbled up trying to … Continue reading

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Political Spin: Home Edition

One good sign that you are following way too much political news is that you find yourself in the habit of practicing political spin just for kicks. Like when I read a damaging headline or an indefensible quote from a … Continue reading

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