Manchester – So Little to Answer For

Since there’s been another one of these attacks, some disconnected thoughts. As usual, the vigils and candles and outpourings of public grief and professions of solidarity with muslims are just embarassing. We know this kind of reaction changes nothing. If you really want these kinds of attacks to stop, or even lessen in frequency, you’re…

Neoliberals and Social Democrats

Arnold Kling has a post up in which he complains that the terms ‘neoliberal’ and ‘social democracy’ are both vague and perjorative. Neoliberalism "gets used as an undefined all-purpose boo-word." And "If neoliberalism is the ill-defined boo-word, then social democracy is the ill-defined yay-word." The post never really separates the two complaints, though, and so…

Pro Special Prosecutor

The shock firing of James Comey is today’s biggest news story. Nobody seems to know what to think about it. I don’t really know what to think about it either. I mean, I have some opinions, but it’s a complicated and hard-to-read issue, and like with every Trump-related headline-grabber, the commentariat seems incapable of finding…

First they Came for the Goreans

I’m not a member of the Drupal Community. I’ve made a couple of Drupal sites and written one or two private-use Drupal modules, but I’ve never contributed any code or attended any conferences. I have been following the big dustup with some interest, though – because I increasingly think this is the issue of the…

Bluff and Double Bluff Go to Washington

In Chapter 3, Book 1 of Institutes of the Christian Religion, John Calvin gives a version of the General Consensus argument for the existence of God that includes the following: It is most absurd, therefore, to maintain, as some do, that religion was devised by the cunning and craft of a few individuals, as a…

What Universities Were Never For

A notion currently as fashionable as it is pernicious is the idea that free speech protections should only ever be legal protections. As long as the government respects our free speech rights, we citizens can and should feel free to use whatever legitimate private means of silencing speech we disagree with are available to us.…

Arguing about the Immigration Ban

Scott Adams (yes, that Scott Adams) has a post up where he tries to show how irrational the debate on immigration has gotten. I think he succeeds for the most part, but he can’t help putting his finger on a scale a bit to tilt it into the anti-immigration column. I don’t actually mind that…

Immigration in the Aftermath of Berlin

The Mirror has an article up about the Berlin Christmas Market Terror attack sounding all the superficially right notes about how to react to it. I agree with the overall sentiment, but since immigration is rapidly becoming the Issue of the Year, broad outlines aren’t enough. This is an issue we need to start talking…

The Kindest, Bravest, Warmest Person I Know

I complain on this blog a lot about bad political analogies. Today let’s try a twist on that: bad political analogies that are criticized for the wrong reasons. Step one – find a bad political analogy. Welp, there’s Trump’s now-infamous "skittles tweet". If you click through to the link, you’ll see a picture of a…