Folks familiar with Ross Douthat’s writing over at the New York Times should be well clued-on to his style, which produces bits of meandering sophistry that include a sentence or two toward the end giving away the game. In those sentences, Douthat reveals the tension of maintaining the appearance of a sophisticated intellectual conservative isContinue reading “Ross Douthat, Sophistry, and Getting Philip Larkin Wrong”
Category Archives: Politics
The Decline and Fall of Christopher Hitchens
I have no talents to speak of; all I can do is read and write. Thus, it would make eminent sense for me to admire those that read a great deal, and write really well. Christopher Hitchens evidently read a lot, and he wielded his pen and keyboard with great flair. He was also aContinue reading “The Decline and Fall of Christopher Hitchens”
Oscar Wilde on Kidney Markets
Reader Austin Donisan has a long comment worth reading in response to my post on why kidney markets might offend me. I’m not going to engage with every single point Donisan makes, because in doing so I would be repeating myself (please read the post which started this discussion). But let me make a fewContinue reading “Oscar Wilde on Kidney Markets”
Police Militarization – Contd.
Reader Dan Newberry, in the course of offering a thoughtful response to my recent post on the militarization of police says: [T]hese names [like “interceptor”] are made up by the people who make and market the items…It is no surprise to anyone that companies which market to police forces routinely do so with names thatContinue reading “Police Militarization – Contd.”
Traffic “Interceptors” and the Militarization of Police
Yesterday, as I strolled down my neighborhood’s main street, I noticed two rather portly New York City police checking parked cars for traffic violations. I deliberately use the word “portly” to describe their appearance because I never cease to be amazed by how patently unfit for their duties our local guardians of law and orderContinue reading “Traffic “Interceptors” and the Militarization of Police”
Why Kidney Markets Might Offend Me
Over at the Daily Dish, Andrew Sullivan notes my response to Alexander Berger’s NYT Op-Ed advocating the creation of organ markets, and provides a counter-response from Roger McShane: [D]onors…see only the slightest increase in their risk of dying from kidney disease…their altruism is likely to lead to more than a decade of improved and prolongedContinue reading “Why Kidney Markets Might Offend Me”
Should Selling Kidneys Be Legal?
In today’s New York Times, Alexander Berger, who will be donating a kidney on Thursday, argues that a market associated with kidney donation would lead to better outcomes than the current voluntary-unrecompensed donation model. Berger’s is an interesting argument; I’m going to respond to one small part of it here. In addressing the fear thatContinue reading “Should Selling Kidneys Be Legal?”
An “Intellectual Property” Lesson From A Busker
On Saturday morning, as I sat at 7th Avenue subway station in Brooklyn, waiting for a Q train to take me back home, I noticed a banjo player playing across the tracks from me on the Manhattan-bound platform. The station was noisy as usual, but still, somehow, his urgent strumming and foot stomping (on aContinue reading “An “Intellectual Property” Lesson From A Busker”
Can The Mere Presence Of Police Be An Escalation?
Yes. Here is a familiar scenario: students at an American university call a meeting or an assembly. They congregate, and as they do so, a large contingent of security guards or police, sometimes armed with deadly weapons, sometimes not, show up, and form impressive-looking rings of security, setting up cordons and enclosures. The escalation hasContinue reading “Can The Mere Presence Of Police Be An Escalation?”
Posner on Occupy Wall Street
Over at the Becker-Posner blog, Richard Posner (finally?) turns his attention to Occupy Wall Street. By and large, other than little quibbles about phrasing that accommodates Posner’s extreme market-friendliness, there is little to disagree with here: OWS was inspired by the Arab spring, depressions lead to demonstrations, social media makes organizing easier, the police tacticsContinue reading “Posner on Occupy Wall Street”