Category Archives: Nature/Culture

And also natureculture

Earth Day, Dog Whistles, and Zero Sum Politics

The Supreme Court’s decision today in Schuette v. Bamn would seem to have little to do with Earth Day. The Court, in a fractured majority decision, upheld Michigan’s voter-enacted ban on race based affirmative action programs in state institutions, including … Continue reading

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Travels in America, Part One

I was on the Atlanta-Greensboro leg of a trip to Wake Forest University for a conference on Law and Violence.  The man seated next to me and I struck up a conversation, starting with the usual small talk. “What takes … Continue reading

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The Anthropocene: Everything and Nothing New

We have been kind of quiet here at brazenandtenured. Maybe it’s better that way. A friend of mine once disclosed that his goal as a professor was to write as little as possible as well as possible. Most of the … Continue reading

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The New Normal

So is this the New Normal?   The question gets asked about lots of things—Washington politics, the economy, terrorism, infrastructure, the financial markets.   And the question gets asked anxiously because as a normal—as a baseline—this new normal (whatever it may be) … Continue reading

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Facts (The)

These little items are trouble.   Let me state right off that I have not always been on entirely friendly terms with “the facts.”  We have had a long and, at times, uneasy relation.   Things took a bad turn early.  I … Continue reading

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Gun Culture, Part 2

The national spotlight is on Colorado, where Governor John Hickenlooper, a moderate democrat, has endorsed the idea of tightening gun control regulations. Hickenlooper and members of the democratically-controlled state legislature have indicated plans to introduce laws that would require universal … Continue reading

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Mayan End of the World Canceled (A Brazenandtenured Exclusive)

Apparently, through some rather incredible and oddly parallel set of mistakes, the ending of the world will not happen on December 21st.   Instead, it appears the world has already ended on November 10th.     The mistake is a moment of some … Continue reading

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The Great GOP Identity Search

In the wake of the great Republican defeat (and despite the distraction of the Petraeus Affair) pols and pundits continue to offer advice to the Republican Party as to how it might reform itself in order to…. well, do better … Continue reading

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Sustainability and Equity in a Climate Changed World

A small group of environmental law professors gathered recently for a two-day workshop on the concept and practice of sustainability.  I was asked to lead a discussion about the relationship between sustainability and equity.  The group decided to take the … Continue reading

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We Built It (Part II–Factors of Production)

“We built it.”  So runs the mantra of the GOP.   To which there is only one possible response: Well, actually no you didn’t.   And let me explain why since it’s not addressed in my last post on this subject. … Continue reading

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Lance Armstrong and Our Illusions

Lance Armstrong “gave up his fight against doping accusations.” This is how it is being reported, based on Armstrong’s bristly and defiant letter of concession. Presumably, Armstrong thinks that he maintains plausible deniability (and millions of dollars in sponsorships) this … Continue reading

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Gun Culture

Whatever the Second Amendment means, the problem for our society is that we have internalized the notion not only that we have the right to own guns, but we all should actually own one.  The NRA’s political and legal successes have … Continue reading

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Wild-ish: Self and Community on the Trail

A lot of wilderness narratives go like this.  A man walks alone into the woods/desert/mountains.  He confronts nature in all its glory and terror.  He barely escapes grave danger and returns to tell the tale or/He does not escape grave … Continue reading

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Waiting

I have been waiting.  In an airport.   For my flight.  Before that I was waiting in line.  For security.  For passport control.  For baggage drop-off.    I have been waiting all morning.  In line.  My passport and my boarding pass … Continue reading

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Too Much Information, Not Enough Knowledge

If you wanted to disappear, where would you go? A small town in southern Utah is a good bet, at least according to its reclusive inhabitants. Yet they know that their days of being off of the information grid are … Continue reading

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Santorum on Religion

On Sunday, Santorum gave what the NYtimes called a full-throated defense of religion in politics.   In particular, Santorum said that John F. Kennedy’s speech on separation of church of state made him want to “throw up.”  I quote: “To say … Continue reading

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Santorum Rising

No, not that Santorum. Come on people. Senator Rick Santorum, who is taking his turn as the Not-Romney republican candidate du jour. If Santorum wins in Michigan, he may be more than just the Not-Romney of today; he could be … Continue reading

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Gingrich Rising

Some days you just know it’s going to be a really good day:  The Sunday Times on the table.   Espresso frothing in the kitchen.  Sourdough pancakes on the griddle.   And Newt Gingrich winning in South Carolina… Could things … Continue reading

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Indians and Jews in Italy

Playing Indian in Rome Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s iconic public spaces, was dressed down for Christmas.  The Piazza’s three renaissance era fountains, two designed by the incomparable sculptor Bernini, were overwhelmed by street vendors selling candy, t-shirts, fried dough … Continue reading

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The Iraq War is Over

It’s over.  And yet no one is talking about it much publicly. Perhaps it’s because it was never our war.   We were supposed to go shopping.   Remember?  It was Bush’s war.  And it was (like virtually all his lifetime … Continue reading

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Blue Nights, Lockerbie and the Solstice

It is that time of year. The light is dying. The trees are skeletal. The sky is low and grey around the edges. Rather than seeming full of possibilities, the world narrows in scope.  Climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa … Continue reading

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Simula Life

My local bookstore is a pretty good one—as book stores go.  It regularly brings in authors (both renowned and good).  Its reader recommendations are generally excellent.  It purveys only a minimum of kitsch (greeting cards and such).  Its shelves are … Continue reading

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Is Neuroscience the Death of Free Will?

So reads the title of a recent opinion piece in the New York Times by Professor Eddy Nahmias.   It warrants a bit of attention if not for its substance, then at least for what it illustrates about the contemporary state of … Continue reading

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Cain, Cows, the Economy and the Environment

Herman Cain unleashed an advertisement in Iowa, claiming that the EPA’s plans to regulate methane from cows and dust from farms would be the death knell for Iowa farmers.  Truth, or even truthiness, as Steven Colbert would say, do not … Continue reading

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The Economy versus the Environment? Not! (Or Why to Be Tigger Instead of Eeyore this Halloween)

Jobs versus the Environment.  It’s an old rhetorical battle that has recently acquired new life.  Here are some examples of its past.  In the 1970s and 80s, when the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts were passed and initially enforced, … Continue reading

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