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”

The NYPD Tells Us What They Think Of Brooklyn College Students

This is most decidedly a storm in a tea-cup, but it is a most revealing one. The New York City Police and their friends at the New York Post do not like the concern expressed by some Brooklyn College students about the presence of police on their campus: Brooklyn College is kowtowing to cop-hating studentsContinue reading “The NYPD Tells Us What They Think Of Brooklyn College Students”

The Defenses Of United Airlines’ Behavior Reveal Some Uncomfortable Truths

There are, roughly, two kinds of defenses offered of United Airlines’ behavior–in DraggingGate–that have been offered thus far. First, the ‘abide by the terms of the contract’ defense. Second, the ‘just shut up and obey orders, and everything will be allright’ defense. On closer inspection, of course, these two turn out to be instantiations ofContinue reading “The Defenses Of United Airlines’ Behavior Reveal Some Uncomfortable Truths”

American Exceptionalism And Political Violence

Adam Shatz offers some interesting thoughts on dreaming of political violence in the Age of Trump-Bannon: It’s notable how easily violent thoughts have come to those of us who have known only a single, and much contested, month of the Trump-Bannon era. American exceptionalism may be dead, but it lives on as a habit ofContinue reading “American Exceptionalism And Political Violence”

On Surviving A Police Stop (Unlike Terence Crutcher)

One morning in the winter of 1989, after finishing up a short trip to Binghamton, NY with a pair of friends, I was driving back to my home in New Jersey. Rather, I was dozing in the front passenger seat after having performed my share of driving duties. I was jolted out of my slumbersContinue reading “On Surviving A Police Stop (Unlike Terence Crutcher)”

Paramilitary Organization Endorses Fascist; Nation Worries

Friday brought us the most frightening news of this terrible election season: The National Fraternal Order of Police, a 330,000-member union of law enforcement officers, has endorsed Donald Trump for president. “Our members believe he will make America safe again,” FOP President Chuck Canterbury said in a statement. Trump “seriously looked at the issues facingContinue reading “Paramilitary Organization Endorses Fascist; Nation Worries”

Colin Kaepernick Will Not ‘Behave’ And That’s A Damn Good Thing

Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers will not stand during the playing of the national anthem at NFL games. As he put it, after refusing to stand during the 49ers against the Packers this past weekend: I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country thatContinue reading “Colin Kaepernick Will Not ‘Behave’ And That’s A Damn Good Thing”

The NRA On The Dallas Shooting

The National Rifle Association has issued the following statement in response to the shootings in Dallas: Today is a great day for the Second Amendment, that everlasting guarantee of our right to bear arms and take them up against a tyrannical government. For months and years now, we at the National Rifle Association have watchedContinue reading “The NRA On The Dallas Shooting”

Men Writing As Women, And Vice-Versa

A few days ago, I excerpted a passage from James Baldwin‘s If Beale Street Could Talk (Bantam, New York, 1974)  in which the central character, a young woman named Tish, describes her–and her boyfriend, Fonny’s–perceptions of Bell, the policeman who has sent Fonny to jail. Tish: But I was beginning to learn something about theContinue reading “Men Writing As Women, And Vice-Versa”

James Baldwin On A White Policeman’s Eyes

In James Baldwin‘s If Beale Street Could Talk (Bantam, New York, 1974) Fonny, a young black man, is in jail for rape–his supposed victim’s eyewitness identification is probably mistaken; ‘outside,’ his pregnant girlfriend, Tish, wonders about the policeman, Bell, who arrested Fonny. Bell had wanted to arrest Fonny for assault ever since he had violentlyContinue reading “James Baldwin On A White Policeman’s Eyes”