Statutory Interpretation, the “Nietzsche Rule”, and Stevens and Scalia in Zuni

From Chapter 8, (‘Doctrines of Statutory Interpretation’), Section 1, A. ‘Textual Canons’, 2 ‘Grammar Canons’, (f) ‘The Golden Rule (Against Absurdity) – and the Nietzsche Rule.  of William N. Eskridge, Jr., Philip Fricket, and Elizabeth Garrett, Cases and Materials on Legislation: Statutes and the Creation of Public Policy, Thomson West, American Casebook Series, Saint Paul,Continue reading “Statutory Interpretation, the “Nietzsche Rule”, and Stevens and Scalia in Zuni”

Skream’s Where You Should Be, Eight Hours in Brooklyn, and Summer

I’ve written before, on this blog, about the “fine-grained, specific recall” of memories that listening to a song can bring about. I’m inclined to think that any time I pen a note of appreciation here about a particular piece of music, I will do so by also noting and paying attention to its associations; itContinue reading “Skream’s Where You Should Be, Eight Hours in Brooklyn, and Summer”

Pat Robertson Thinks its High Time Marijuana was Legalized

Cliches about broken clocks being right twice a day might need to be dragged out for this one. Pat Robertson wants pot to be made legal. He is on the straight-and-420 for this one. Robertson isn’t indulging in just idle, pass-the-bong, give-me-a-hit, don’t-bogart-that-joint talk. This is a serious policy recommendation, which gives off the aromaContinue reading “Pat Robertson Thinks its High Time Marijuana was Legalized”

The NYPD as Domestic Intelligence Force: Kelly and Browne Need To Go

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has a vexed relationship with civil liberties. The department’s long and troubled history with minority populations is perhaps the best indicator of a kind of systematic confusion in its training institutions, its rank-and-file, its leadership, and thus, in its deeply-ingrained institutional culture, about the very notion: “Civil liberties?Continue reading “The NYPD as Domestic Intelligence Force: Kelly and Browne Need To Go”

Why Write and All That – I: Bargains Struck

Two recent articles about writing, writers, and writing as a job–Tim Parks in the New York Review of Books blog and Seth Godin’s interview at Digital Book World–prompt me to take on the insufferably self-indulgent business of being self-referential. The issues covered in the pieces linked above should be familiar: Why write? Is writing aContinue reading “Why Write and All That – I: Bargains Struck”

Nietzsche on Olympia Snowe’s Departure From the Senate

Olympia Snowe’s announcement that she would not seek reelection in November 2012 and would instead retire when her third term ends in January 2013 has, understandably, been the cause of much gnashing of teeth among those ostensibly committed to a more tolerant politics and to ‘pragmatism’ in legislation. Snowe herself wrote an Op-Ed in theContinue reading “Nietzsche on Olympia Snowe’s Departure From the Senate”

Black Money, Parallel Economies, Marxism, Corruption, and All That

Corey Robin heard of the term “black money“–untaxed income from under-the-table transactions–for the first time yesterday. (Unsurprisingly, he heard about it from an Indian friend, because if there is one place in the world where there is a lot of it, it’s India.) He was sufficiently intrigued to write a very interesting post, which, inContinue reading “Black Money, Parallel Economies, Marxism, Corruption, and All That”

Ann Althouse on Rush Limbaugh: ‘Smart People’ Offer Weak Tea

Some nineteen years ago, I was working at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey, surrounded by a host of seemingly very intelligent men and women. Name the best technical schools in the country and the chances were you would find a graduate from most of them in any average corridor in the five-storied building of theContinue reading “Ann Althouse on Rush Limbaugh: ‘Smart People’ Offer Weak Tea”

Allison Arieff on Architecture and Jargon, and Why Ethical Theory Should Listen

Allison Arieff’s article, “Why Don’t We Read About Architecture” (New York Times, March 2nd, 2012), concludes, roughly, that the use of jargon in descriptions of architecture interferes with our appreciation of, and engagement with, the sciences and arts of the ‘built environment’. Arieff’s complaint is a familiar one in bemoaning jargon in fields of writingContinue reading “Allison Arieff on Architecture and Jargon, and Why Ethical Theory Should Listen”

Kraftwerk Makes Us Tell The Truth: We Are The Robots?

Kraftwerk’s The Robots has been an electro-pop classic ever since its release–on Kraftwerk’s classic seventh album, The Man-Machine—in 1978. My brother and I discovered Kraftwerk at roughly the same time, and, like many other schoolboys, quickly became entranced by its revolutionary blend of synthesizers, vocoders, and electronic percussion.  Some thirty years on, I still get aContinue reading “Kraftwerk Makes Us Tell The Truth: We Are The Robots?”