2012’s Top Five Posts (Here, Not Elsewhere)

2012, the year that was (or still is, for a few more hours), turned out to be a busy one for blogging at this site. I wrote three hundred and twenty-four new posts, bringing the total for this blog to three hundred and fifty-five. The blog finally crossed fifty thousand views. (A humbling figure, ifContinue reading “2012’s Top Five Posts (Here, Not Elsewhere)”

No Country (or World) for Women, Old or Otherwise

While my wife was pregnant with our now-seven-day-old daughter, I was often asked, ‘Do know if it’s a boy or a girl?’ On hearing my confession of ignorance and confirmation of wanting to keep things that way i.e., declining a glance at the prenatal sonogram’s report, I was then asked, “Do you want a boyContinue reading “No Country (or World) for Women, Old or Otherwise”

Newsflash: Fatherhood Impedes Blogging

I became a father–for the first time–on Sunday, which has made blogging a little difficult. I hope to resume ‘normal service’ (well, an attenuated version thereof) sometime soon. Two nights in a maternity ward, four sleepless nights in total, a beautiful baby, an exhausted mother; it all adds up, if you catch my drift. OnContinue reading “Newsflash: Fatherhood Impedes Blogging”

Once More Into the Fray: Stepping Back From Suicide

In one of the opening scenes of Joe Carnahan‘s The Grey Ottway (Liam Neeson) considers committing suicide, sticks a  gun barrel in his mouth, and then decides against it. Later, in the movie’s final scene, after a harrowing journey through the Alaskan wilderness necessitated by an aircraft crash that has seen his band of fellow survivorsContinue reading “Once More Into the Fray: Stepping Back From Suicide”

Ode to a Beloved Clunker

MPA 4634 and DIA 8499. Those strings of alphanumeric characters, as might be surmised, are licence plate identifiers. More precisely, they were the licence plates for the same car, a Fiat 1100D that was our family car for over twenty years. Over those years, I graduated from the back of the car to the front, toContinue reading “Ode to a Beloved Clunker”

Liberal Democracies and Armed Insurrections: Never the Twain Shall Meet?

Jeff McMahan has an interesting article–Why Gun Control Is Not Enough–over at The Stone today (New York Times, 20 December 2012). I agree with him that gun ownership does not have the salutary political effects that its most fervent, Second Amendment-quoting advocates claim it does, even though I don’t agree with McMahan’s conclusion that ‘the UnitedContinue reading “Liberal Democracies and Armed Insurrections: Never the Twain Shall Meet?”

Pistol-Packin’ Professor: A Day in the Life

In honor of those–like libertarian law professors, the last defenders of the faith–who have attempted to point out the silliness of keeping faculty unarmed in our school’s classrooms, I offer these recollections of a day in the life: The alarm went off at 6. I sat up, swung my legs off the bed, and reachedContinue reading “Pistol-Packin’ Professor: A Day in the Life”

Semester’s End: A Teaching Self-Evaluation

As this semester winds down to its inevitable, slow, painful end, it’s time to reflect just a little on what went right and what went wrong with my teaching. I taught three classes: Philosophical Issues in Literature, Core Philosophy (Honors), and Political Philosophy. These three constituted three ‘new’ preparations for me: I last taught CoreContinue reading “Semester’s End: A Teaching Self-Evaluation”

The Bushmaster Male (Man Card in Tow)

Chandra Kumar recently wrote on my Facebook page: One other thing not mentioned in the media: all these gun-happy killers seem to be male. Lots of women have ‘mental health’ problems too but I don’t hear about them going out on mass killing sprees. Surely this fact, in a civilized society, would be cause forContinue reading “The Bushmaster Male (Man Card in Tow)”

Growing up with Guns

I grew up with guns. Two of them: a 12-bore shotgun and a .25 automatic. I do not remember the make of the former but the latter, I’m pretty sure, was a Browning (a ‘Baby’; again, if I remember correctly). They belonged to my father (and thus, our family): he had purchased them overseas afterContinue reading “Growing up with Guns”