Like Camus’ Caligula, The Republican Party And Donald Trump Transform ‘Philosophy Into Corpses’

In ‘Can We Call Trump A Killer?‘ Charles Blow writes: It seems that in every possible way, Trump has willfully and arrogantly put more Americans at risk of getting sick and dying, and the results have been inevitable: More Americans got sick and died. There is no way to remove Trump’s culpability in this. IfContinue reading “Like Camus’ Caligula, The Republican Party And Donald Trump Transform ‘Philosophy Into Corpses’”

The Soldier And The Policeman’s Trained Attention And Its Pathologies

In the chapter ‘Focus’ in his book of essays,The Examined Life, Robert Nozick writes: The ability and opportunity to focus our attention, to choose what we will pay attention to, is an important component of our autonomy. [p.122] In a footnote appended to this sentence, Nozick continues: What we presently focus upon is affected byContinue reading “The Soldier And The Policeman’s Trained Attention And Its Pathologies”

On Becoming A Second-Class (Train) Citizen

I was nine years old when I became a second-class citizen. At least as far as train travel was concerned. Before then, before another day of infamy that lay in December, the date of my father’s retirement from the air force, my family and I had always traveled by first-class on our train travels. MyContinue reading “On Becoming A Second-Class (Train) Citizen”

A Constitution Should Help A Country Govern, Not Hobble It

My short essay ‘A Constitution Should Help A Country Govern, Not Hobble It‘ is up at Aeon Magazine. Comments welcome. (Many thanks to Sam Haselby, my editor at Aeon, for all his help.)

Leaving Neverland Is Not An Indictment; It Is a Plea For Safety

For almost three decades (if not more), millions of people watched Michael Jackson perform, on stage, in video. They also saw him alight from planes, from cars, and from there, walk into hotels and stadiums, living the life of a peripatetic, performing celebrity. On almost all of these occasions he was accompanied by his ‘sexualContinue reading “Leaving Neverland Is Not An Indictment; It Is a Plea For Safety”

T. S. Eliot’s ‘Is That All There Is?’

In The Idea Of A Christian Society, T. S. Eliot wrote: Was our society, which had always been assured of its superiority and rectitude, so confident of its unexamined premises, assembled round anything more permanent than a congeries of banks, insurance companies and industries, and had it any beliefs more essential than a belief in compoundContinue reading “T. S. Eliot’s ‘Is That All There Is?’”

On Seeking Deliverance By Special Investigation

The Republic turns its lonely eyes to its hero, Bob Mueller, again. Thanks to the latest developments in the Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen cases, a new rash of analytical thinkpieces is upon us, all informing us in breathless tones about how the Mueller investigation is now moving into high gear, of how much legalContinue reading “On Seeking Deliverance By Special Investigation”

Copyright Reformers Do Not Advocate Plagiarism

If you are one of those folks who responds to any debate in the domain of copyright reform with one of the following responses (or some variant thereof), please cease and desist. You are revealing yourself to be a functional illiterate. Oh, so according to you, anyone should be able to take something written byContinue reading “Copyright Reformers Do Not Advocate Plagiarism”

Neal Katyal And George Conway’s Incomplete Legal Advice

In an Op-Ed for the New York Times, Neal Katyal, the “acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama and…a lawyer at Hogan Lovells,” and George Conway III, “a litigator at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz,” argue that Donald Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as the the Acting Attorney General is unconstitutional. Roughly, according to the AppointmentsContinue reading “Neal Katyal And George Conway’s Incomplete Legal Advice”

Wittgenstein’s Lion And Solaris

Kris Kelvin, Snow, Gibrarian, and Sartorius are all puzzled and perplexed; as other educated and intelligent residents of Station Solaris–a sophisticated scientific laboratory–have been before them. They are stumped and bewildered by their interactions with the planet Solaris, with the ocean that covers its surface, the one that plays host to mimoids and symmetriads andContinue reading “Wittgenstein’s Lion And Solaris”