The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth by Jonathan Rauch

Originally this post was going to be a book review page--one of the many I use as references in Chicago Fog's essays and other posts. But as I read Jonathan Rauch's The Constitution of Knowledge I realized I had a lot of thoughts on the book, and most of those thoughts were critical. So I wrote this very… Continue reading The Constitution of Knowledge: A Defense of Truth by Jonathan Rauch

Inflation, Citizen Musk, Dobbs, & Russo-Ukraine War

My plan to post a short reflection every week failed almost immediately. The dual demands of a full-time job and part-time academia meant little time for part-time writing. Nevertheless, I'll try again.  Inflation, Elon Musk buying Twitter, and the leaked first draft opinion for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization eclipsed the Russo-Ukraine War in commentariat… Continue reading Inflation, Citizen Musk, Dobbs, & Russo-Ukraine War

Inflation & Establisment Media

Larry Summers was on Ezra Klein's New York Times podcast to discuss the state of the world economy (here is the transcript). It was worth listening to only to hear Klein getting mugged by reality, although he still seemed to want to beleive Covid and Ukraine caused high inflation. Say what you want about Summers, but he admitted he… Continue reading Inflation & Establisment Media

SCOTUS Appointment & Russo-Ukraine War

SCOTUS nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson's hearings were mostly uneventful. So far she's saying what she needs to say to get appointed. She strikes me as a good addition to the Court because I don't think she's an extreme judicial activist. She handled the unfair question about the "definition of woman" as well as can… Continue reading SCOTUS Appointment & Russo-Ukraine War

Overreaction

It's October 2021 and the simulation is getting weirder and weirder. Strange how opinion journalists' inevitable exhortation "we must do something" has become "we must do everything." In the last 20 years, national rhetoric heated-up faster than temperatures in pre-Millennium climate change projections. In America, there was governmental overreaction to the three great calamities of… Continue reading Overreaction

Sound and Fury: The Last Stand of Isolationism

At the end of the 19th century, the United States temporarily broke with the foreign policy tradition of isolation from global politics and a strict adherence to the Monroe Doctrine’s focus on the Western Hemisphere. The U.S. became an imperial power in a remarkably short period of time, primarily through its conquests in the Spanish-American… Continue reading Sound and Fury: The Last Stand of Isolationism

Trumpageddon

President Donald Trump lost the 2020 election. To most, that sentence states a fact. To many others, that sentence is just an ideological argument revealing someone's epistemological preferences. And that's the state of American civic life so far in 2021. The Art of the Steal Trump is a fascinating character. Before getting to denouncing him,… Continue reading Trumpageddon

The Repression of Civil Liberties in the United States During World War I

In one of the most significant leaks in US history, Edward Snowden shared highly classified intelligence documents with the Washington Post and Britain’s Guardian newspapers in 2013. Snowden was immediately charged by the Department of Justice, and among those charges were alleged violations of the Espionage Act of 1917.[1] Like white blood cells reacting to… Continue reading The Repression of Civil Liberties in the United States During World War I

Flyover Bourgeois GenX Man

I’ve witnessed history being made four times in my half-century of life: the end of the Cold War, 9-11, the Financial Crisis of 2007-08, and now the Coronavirus pandemic. Those events—spaced roughly by 10 years—play outsized roles in public dialogue and analysis. They are omnipresent in people’s imaginations as they wrestle with current affairs. However,… Continue reading Flyover Bourgeois GenX Man

Mercenaries: Private Military Force in the Atlantic World

Prior to nation-states claiming the “monopoly on violence” in the 19th century, there was an active market for professional mercenary soldiers in Europe. Further demand for mercenaries was stimulated by the opening of an Atlantic system of trade in Africa and the Americas, spreading the European practice of private soldiering overseas. Mercenaries were employed in… Continue reading Mercenaries: Private Military Force in the Atlantic World

Opening Moves

Have you ever taken a personality test? I had to take one several years ago as part of an employer's training program, doing different versions of the Myers-Briggs test and being scored an INTP or an INTJ. My scores for Thinking and Introversion were at extreme ends, I favored my Intuition over my Sensations, but I… Continue reading Opening Moves

Reparations: A Dish Best Served Cold

In Mein Kampf, Adolf Hitler wrote, “What could have been done with this peace treaty of Versailles?!” He continues: This instrument of boundless extortion and abject humiliation might, in the hands of a willing government, have become an instrument for whipping up the national passions to fever heat. With a brilliant propagandist exploitation of these… Continue reading Reparations: A Dish Best Served Cold