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Entries from June 2009

Just Reassure Me…

June 24th, 2009 · 23 Comments

…that this is self-evidently stupid enough that I don’t need to waste time commenting on it. I’d assume it was, but it’s getting linked enough that someone must have read it and not found it embarassing.

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Tags: War

He Said He’d Never, Never Do It Again

June 24th, 2009 · 1 Comment

There are, obviously, a number of infuriating things about the news that Chicago cop Anthony Abbate has been sentenced to probation after being caught on video beating up a (much smaller) bartender who had refused to serve him. But this really twists the knife: Judge John Fleming said he decided against jail because he did […]

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Tags: Law

We Never Make Mistakes

June 23rd, 2009 · 7 Comments

Is learning unpatriotic? The question itself might seem vaguely offensive, but one has to wonder given the howls about Obama “apologizing for America” anytime he publicly intimates that any past foreign policy of the United States might have been mistaken—or, heaven forfend,  even be the source of some degree of international animus against us. Bracket […]

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Tags: Sociology · War

The Velvet Underground Revolution & Nico

June 23rd, 2009 · 9 Comments

So, Nico Pitney has been doing fantastic work reporting on the situation in Iran, and the question he asked Barack Obama at today’s presser was certainly a far cry from a Jeff Gannon-style softball. Even so, it was clear at the time—and Pitney has apparently confirmed—that it was coordinated in a broad sense: The White […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

DoJ Talks to Muslims! NoOooOoo!

June 23rd, 2009 · 2 Comments

The Weekly Standard breathlessly touts an “exclusive story” over at Pajamas Media about the Justice Department doing outreach at the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention. This is supposed to be outrageous because ISNA was named as an “unindicted conspirator” in the U.S. prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, several founders of which were […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · War

Make Him Make It Up

June 19th, 2009 · 3 Comments

ZP Heller at HuffPo wonders: The contrary argument, of course, is that if Obama or Congress speak out more aggressively, it will endanger the reformists in Iran and give ammunition to Khamenei and his allies. Khamenei’s speech today pushed me to reexamine this line of thinking. He didn’t need an incendiary line from Obama to […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Obedience and Insubordination

Pop Philosophy Watch

June 19th, 2009 · 5 Comments

Quick Quiz: Can you determine what, precisely, is meant by “free will” in this dispatch from a panel at the World Science Festival featuring a psychologist, a neuroscientist, and a philosopher? Reading between the lines, it sounds like all three are compatibilists of some stripe,  report later seems to take for granted the traditional dichotomy, […]

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Tags: General Philosophy

The Logic of All Sex Laws

June 19th, 2009 · 6 Comments

The federal government’s first Chief Information Officer, Vivek Kundra, used to be the District of Columbia’s top geek. He caught the Obama administration’s eye by, among other things, finding innovative ways to put public data online, and especially to make it more easily accessible through the use of third-party apps. A prime illustration of the […]

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Tags: Law · Sexual Politics · Sociology · Washington, DC

Faux Passing?

June 19th, 2009 · 15 Comments

Here’s one you’ve probably heard—and groaned at—before: You know how you can tell Parisians are the most worldly, sophisticated people in the world? Even the children there speak French! It’s a dumb joke, but I think it also goes a ways toward explaining why Dana Goldstein thinks the essay prompts on France’s college entrance exams […]

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Tags: Academia

The Timing of Lost Recovery

June 18th, 2009 · 12 Comments

Ezra on financial regulation: Word is that Congress won’t really begin considering these reforms until the end of summer or the beginning of fall. That means they’re not likely to come to the floor until the end of the year or quite near it. That means banks and other affected companies will have months to […]

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Tags: Economics