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photos by Lara Shipley

Entries from August 2009

Are You Too Good for a Crew Cut?

August 24th, 2009 · 8 Comments

From the annals of “catchy political slogans that seem kinda creepy when you think about them,” a radio ad for the progressive group Blue Century: We train our soldiers – never leave a team member behind. It’s a code of  honor. Why is that good enough for our troops, but not the rest of us? […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

Health Care as Distributional Right

August 24th, 2009 · 22 Comments

I’ve suggested before that the best version of progressivism—by which I mean, the most internally coherent version—would not include a distinct right to health care for competent adults as a moral or theoretical right, though it may in practice recommend that some degree of access to publicly provided or subsidized health care be afforded as […]

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Tags: Markets · Moral Philosophy · Nannyism

Is Freedom of the Press Redundant?

August 21st, 2009 · Comments Off on Is Freedom of the Press Redundant?

Jon Henke, via Twitter, expresses a view I used to hold but now think is pretty clearly erroneous: Thought: There should be no difference between freedom of speech and freedom of press. It is not “special speech”. It’s just speech. Since we now understand the phrase “freedom of speech” in the First Amendment to cover […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Law

Mechanical Courtesy and Consumer Activism

August 21st, 2009 · 17 Comments

Conveniently tying together two recent posts, Dworkin has an extended discussion of courtesy in Law’s Empire, which he uses to illustrate some points about the interpretation of social institutions, but which has some independent interests. On the familiar account of somewhat ritualized behavior like tipping your hat to people you encounter, or saying “Please” and […]

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Tags: Markets · Sociology

It’s, Like, Even Steven for Everyone

August 20th, 2009 · 10 Comments

I’m not sure I’d go so far as to say “net neutrality is crap,” but John Dvorak’s column sums up the substance if not quite the tone of my feelings on the issue—which is to say, it’s a  disconcertingly nebulous solution to a thus-far largely hypothetical problem. It’s certainly understandable that people think it’s important […]

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Tags: Tech and Tech Policy

Reading Ronald

August 20th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Like Conor Clarke, I can only assume that anesthesiologist Ronald Dworkin’s op-ed opposing the health care reform bill will come as an unpleasant surprise to the other Ronald Dworkin. Quite coincidentally, some whim impelled me to pluck (the more famous) Dworkin’s Law’s Empire off the shelf earlier this week, and I was immediately saddened that […]

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Tags: Law

I Want to Run Away and Join the Office

August 19th, 2009 · 8 Comments

Speaking of assessing people’s productivity in society, I suppose this is as good a time as any to announce publicly that at the end of the month I’ll be rejoining the ranks of the gainfully employed, with the delightfully vague title of Research Fellow at the Cato Institute.  My mandate will be fairly open-ended: Basically, […]

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Tags: Personal

I Want My Death Panels!

August 19th, 2009 · 17 Comments

I don’t have particularly strong views either way about health care reform, but it’s depressing that the one part of the Obama plan that seemed like an obviously, unambiguously good idea has become a casualty of the requirement that all political disagreement be cast as a war between good and evil. There are not a […]

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Tags: Markets · Moral Philosophy

Head Like a Whole

August 19th, 2009 · 20 Comments

I think Radley Balko has said almost everything I’d want to about the Whole Foods/John Mackey/Obamacare op-ed debacle—in two excellent posts here and here, so I’ll just add some scattered observations. What I find interesting is that the “boycott” doesn’t make a lot of sense in the traditional way: Usually the point is to pressure […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Sociology

The Great Wiki

August 19th, 2009 · 11 Comments

Apropos of these recent musings on cross-partisan perspective taking, I was recently talking to a friend about the rather open-ended recovery/12-step concept of placing yourself at the mercy of a “greater power.” As a lifelong atheist, this seems like it’s bound to present some problems if I ever develop a sufficiently bad habit, and so […]

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Tags: General Philosophy · Markets