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Entries from March 2012

Political Metastasis

March 30th, 2012 · 43 Comments

Browsing a conservative news site the other day, I was struck by the sheer oddness of that familiar genre of political commentary that treats  liberals and conservatives, not just as groups of people with systematic disagreements on policy questions, but as something like distinct subspecies of humanity. The piece that triggered this was something along […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media · Language and Literature

Aren’t There Photos of George Zimmerman’s Supposed Injuries?

March 29th, 2012 · 33 Comments

The latest development in the Trayvon Martin case is the leak of police surveillance footage showing a not-conspicuously-injured George Zimmerman being ushered into the Sanford police station on the night of the shooting, calling into question the account that puts Zimmerman on the receiving end of a brutal pummeling that made him fear for his […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

Trayvon Martin and the Moral Clarity Hypothesis

March 27th, 2012 · 19 Comments

Sanford police are pushing back in the face of public criticism, saying that witnesses have corroborated George Zimmerman’s account of his fatal encounter with Trayvon Martin. Given how many salient facts about the case seem to have been missed in the initial investigation—Zimmerman’s history of arrests for violence, the failure to test the admitted shooter […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Law · Sociology

And May the Demographic Odds Be Ever in Your Favor. Or Not.

March 26th, 2012 · 17 Comments

The weekend, a depressing number of supposed Hunger Games fans expressed attitudes ranging from surprise to undisguised racist hostility at the discovery that black actors had been cast to play the characters Rue and Thresh in the movie. As more attentive fans were quick to point out, these reactions were not only ugly but obtuse: […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Sociology

Undercover Atheists?

March 26th, 2012 · 18 Comments

Writing at The American Prospect a few weeks back, Patrick Caldwell expressed puzzlement at the view, seemingly widespread on the right, that the hegemonic forces of secularism are somehow forcing believers out of the public square: When I first read Santorum’s comments though, I was mostly struck by how off base his statement is from […]

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Tags: Religion · Sociology

Mouse Psychodrama

March 26th, 2012 · 6 Comments

For a while, I’d just hoped that keeping the kitchen clean and food tightly sealed away would encourage the mouse to move on, but this stratagem backfired: It grew increasingly bold, even venturing tentatively toward the living room occasionally. Finally we broke down and got a trap and… the mouse vanished. Trap unsprung, bait untaken, […]

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Tags: Personal · Washington, DC

Tragic Scenarios

March 22nd, 2012 · 118 Comments

I think it’s fairly clear, at this point, that the initial police investigation into the killing of Trayvon Martin was shamefully slipshod, and that George Zimmerman’s shaky story needs to be heard and evaluated by a jury, not accepted on faith by sympathetic law enforcement. But I’ve also been mulling the facts that have been […]

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Tags: Law

Fearing for Your Life

March 21st, 2012 · 142 Comments

Most of the commentary on the Trayvon Martin case has focused on the growing mountain of evidence suggesting that shooter George Zimmerman, far from acting in “self defense,” was the instigator of the confrontation between the two late last month. But I keep coming back to a slightly different question: Are we really supposed to […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Law · Personal

Vacation Response Roundup

March 19th, 2012 · 6 Comments

Just back from a much-needed vacation, a quick pass at some stuff around the web relevant to the last few posts from before I left. First, my post on the Cato/Koch fight stressed my substantive concerns about how it appears, on the basis of what I regard as pretty compelling circumstantial evidence, the Kochs intend […]

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Tags: Libertarian Theory · Washington, DC

Like Rain on Your Wedding Day

March 6th, 2012 · 49 Comments

I’m a strong believer in free speech: With a few narrow and well-defined exceptions, I think people have a moral and legal right to voice their opinions, however misguided their views and however offensive their mode of expression. I also think (to pick an example from the headlines) that it’s grotesque, sexist, and idiotic to […]

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Tags: Libertarian Theory · Washington, DC