It Takes a Nation of Millions to Pass a Law

One thing that’s been circulating in the wake of yesterday’s shooting at a Congressional baseball game is Mo Brooks‘ excellent response to a reporter question about whether being shot at had changed his views on gun control. Not with respect to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that…

The Defenestration of Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan has been "fired" (technically: not rehired) by CNN over a tweet calling President Trump a "piece of shit" for politicizing the recent islamist terror attacks in London before expressing sympathy for the victims. This piece of shit is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment…

Lord Edgeware Dies (Review)

Lots about Lord Edgeware Dies feels like a do-over for Peril at End House (reviewed here). While it’s not unusual for Christie to recycle ideas between books, the fact that these two are separated in publication by only a year and a half means the similarities must’ve been striking even to contemporary readers. Poirot and…

Equal Rights Means Everyone

Eugene Volokh, writing in the Wasington Post, makes most of the right points about the recent decision by the Charlotte Pride Parade to exclude a "Gays for Trump" float. He quotes the organizing committee noting that everyone who applies signs an acknowledgement that final say about whom to include rests with the committee and is…

Boring the Audience into a Frenzy

Whenever I watch a (political) lecture or read a (political) book by Noam Chomsky, I’m always struck by how out of place his rhetorical style seems. Normally you think of charismatic figures as having a really forceful speaking style; Chomsky’s is rambling and dull. The question is begged: do people respond to him because of…

STTNG – Violations (Review)

Whatever Violations was trying to achieve, it failed at it. I mean, I guess, since it’s sort of hard to know what the point was. But that doesn’t keep it from being interesting. Keiko O’Brien, in her only ever episode without Miles, is having her memory probed by some aliens on board who do that.…

Hell is Other People

"Hell is other people" – the most famous thing Jean-Paul Sartre "never said." That’s in shock quotes because one of his characters says it, and that character just happens to be most probably a bit of self-satire on Sartre’s part. So, did Sartre really never say it? I think what’s fair to say is that…

Two Minimalist Bones

Norbert Hornstein gives a very good overview of the perceived successes of the Minimalist Program here. (WARNING: this post won’t make a whole lot of sense unless you have a background in Generative Syntax.) One of the complaints you hear a lot about Minimalism – especially, for some reason, from the people who lament the…

Blowback

Matt Palumbo makes an important point about "blowback" as it relates to Islamic terrorism, but in, I think, the wrong way. The thesis: The "blowback" explanation for Islamist terrorism is masochistic nonsense. And the argument: Why is it that no other group of people "Western imperialism" has harmed has responded in the way that jihadists…

Witness for the Prosecution

Another two weeks go by, another islamist attack in Europe. This time, too, nothing changed. There are lots of vigils, lots of expressions of solidarity, and of course lots of reminders that not all muslims are violent extremists. Theresa May did break rank a bit and call out radical Islamism as an ideology, but this…