Category Archives: Politics

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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Coase and “The Problem of Social Cost” (Again)

I don’t know if other academics experience this, but I find that, in scholarship, I am drawn to certain texts or problems over and over again for reasons that remain elusive.   And so here I am again, writing yet … Continue reading

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David Segal’s Paper Chase and Some Musings on Legal Education

Legal education has changed a lot since its depiction in The Paper Chase, in which the imposing Professor Kingsfield grilled James T. Hart into “thinking like a lawyer.” But you could be forgiven for thinking that all law professors stalk around … 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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Theoretical Unspecifiables (Theory Moves)

Theoretical Unspecifiable: [thee-uh-ret-i-kuhl un-spes-uh-fahy-uh-buhl] Noun Phrase In a theory or a mode of thought, an unspecified (and unspecifiable) term used to resolve gaps, contradictions, incommensurabilities and paradoxes.  A theoretical unspecifiable is conceptually nearly vacant (and inaccessible to theorization) but at the same … Continue reading

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Jobs, Death, Philanthropy and Taxes

As a former user of pc’s and various other non-Apple tech products, I still have the fervor of the newly converted. I love my MacBook Pro, my iPhone and iPad, and think everything Apple is faster, more intuitive, less buggy, … Continue reading

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Remembering Derrick Bell

Derrick Bell died last week at the age of 80.  Though his passing was overshadowed by the death of Steve Jobs, Bell’s achievements were recounted in the New York Times and elsewhere:  First African American law professor to be tenured … Continue reading

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Middleness, Moderation, Compromise, and Other Inflexible Positions

Some Democratic politicians and commentators are wistfully wondering whether Occupy Wall Street and its national counterparts might not be a progressive equivalent of the right’s Tea Party Movement. A bit late–dontcha think?   And ironic as well.  Because it signifies a … Continue reading

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America—The Young? (Full-On Decadence)

It is a commonplace that America is a young country.   The idea rests on an implicit frame of comparison (Europe) as well as the ascription of an origin in 1776 or 1789 or some such date.  The idea also rests on … Continue reading

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Religion, Sex and Politics

Aren’t those the three things not to discuss with friends and relatives? Yet all three were on my mind one winter afternoon in the Uffizi Museum in Florence, Italy as I wandered lazily through rooms stuffed with iconic renaissance art.  … Continue reading

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David Brooks v. Belgium

David Brooks has a column this morning, “The Lost Decade,” in which he describes our bad economy as an “emergent condition”—one where the condition (viewed as a whole) is worse than the sum  of its parts.  He then suggests that … Continue reading

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An Optimistic Hypothesis About Climate Skepticism

Governor Rick Perry thinks climate scientists have concocted the story of climate change in order to rake in gobs of money from government research grants.  Representative Michele Bachmann thinks global warming is a hoax.  While polls continue to show that a … Continue reading

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Will Environmental Justice Mean an Equally Lousy Environment for All?

The environmental justice movement, sparked by activism in low-income communities of color, brought national attention to the problem of disparate siting of pollution and hazardous waste. The EJ movement grew to take on broader issues of inequality with respect to … Continue reading

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