Just Think it Through

Here’s a cute little article by Shanny Luft called Why Atheists Should Fight for the Establishment of State Religion that’s a nice encapsulation of the primary way rationalist arguments can go wrong: lack of due diligence. The author means just what he says in the title: American atheists should support efforts to establish a state…

Gone Girl (Review)

Let’s get one thing straight: Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is overrated, but that doesn’t keep it from being excellent. What does that mean? Mostly it means that the book fails on a lot of the terms that people think it succeeds, but it still manages to succeed where it counts. Let’s explore. It’s only fair…

Pinochet’s Legacy

September 11th came and went, and right on cue, the New Repulic has an article out purporting to bust the “myth” that Pinochet was ever good for anything at all. They’re worked up because a lot of pundits on the right like to defend “the Pinochet model” as a way of dragging backward countries –…

Free Banking With or Without Scotland

With polls shockingly close ahead of next week’s referendum on Scottish independence, the Adam Smith Institute has an interesting piece up called How Scotland could flourish by unilaterally keeping the pound. Read it for yourself, of course, but the condensed argument is that it would do it by instituting a modern version of the free…

Dead of Winter (Review)

PJ Parrish’s Dead of Winter is one of those books where the pacing and plot are so good, and the characters at least good enough, that you don’t initially notice how trite it is. Louis Kincaid is a black cop recently out of work, having exposed some corruption at his last job in Mississippi. So…

The Return (Review)

Three things strike me on having finished Håkan Nesser’s The Return. The first is that I wonder how much Japanese crime fiction, if any, Nesser’s read. I wonder that because lots of Japanese crime fiction – especially Japanese police procedurals – use the basic pattern that’s employed here: A series of events gives an inspector…