Of Experts and Explainers

The Volokh Conspiracy blog has finally made the move behind the Washington Post paywall, and that led to an interesting comment on Twitter by conspirator Orin Kerr about the change in audience from being an independent blog to being part of a major media outlet: I think we’ve gained some and lost some. I’m worried […]

McWhores!

McWhores!

At The Honest Courtesan, Maggie McNeill notes a human trafficking propaganda infographic by Haisam Hussein that includes this map, which shows sex trafficking hot spots: This pattern looked familiar… Watch what happens when I overlay the sex trafficking hotspots with another geographic data source. The overlay’s not perfect, because the maps use different projections, but […]

Free Speech From a Friend of the Blog

Over at the Friendly Atheist, my sometimes co-blogger Rogier van Bakel (a.k.a. Terry Firma) comes out of the closet with some harsh words about media outlets that congratulate themselves for standing up for free speech but refuse to publish images of the controversial Charlie Hebdo cover even in stories specifically about it.

To Publish or Not To Publish

Rick Horowitz has an interesting post about his decision not to display any Charlie Hebdo cartoons in his post about the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Er, in other words, his post about the Charlie Hebdo massacre consisted of an explanation of why he wasn’t posting Charlie Hebdo cartoons in his post about the Charlie Hebdo massacre. […]

Je ne suis pas Charlie

Je ne suis pas Charlie

I am not Charlie. Honestly, until this shit happened, I didn’t know a damned thing about Charlie Hebdo. I don’t have a clue what Charlie Hebdo stood for, so I’m not about to identify myself with them or support their editorial agenda, whatever it is. Besides, in my mind, “I am Charlie” links to the […]

Should It Be a Crime to Hate Police?

One of the implicit assumptions I make here is that the criminal justice system is not exempt from the general principle that social institutions enforce social norms. In a society hostile to minorities, giving authorities another law to enforce is giving them another way to punish minorities. Even a law intended to help minorities can […]

2014 in Review

According to WordPress, 2014 was a slow year, with only 114 posts, almost a quarter of which were on a Saturday. And for the first time in years, the #1 post was not my anti-Sprint rant. Instead it was my post about the protests in Ferguson. In addition to the usual social media outlets, I […]

More On Cops, Protesters, and Racial Bias

More On Cops, Protesters, and Racial Bias

In a previous post, I criticized Jack Marshall’s post about the connections between protesters and cop killers. Jack tried to respond, but apparently my comment system is acting up again, so he emailed it to me.  I started to write a response, but I guess Jack decided he had enough material for a full blog […]

Merry Christmas!

Just a little local color:

Quicken, WTF?

The other day I was doing some household bills in Quicken, and I ran the update step to download data from all my financial institutions. Reviewing the charges on my main credit card, I spotted one that really stuck out from the rest: A $250 charge to match.com. Uh, oh. I’m a married man, and […]

Of Protesters and Cop Killers

On Saturday in New York City, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley reportedly shot and killed police officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu while they were sitting in their patrol car. This tragic shooting has quickly become politically charged because it happened amid nationwide protests against police violence in the wake of several controversial shootings shootings of unarmed […]

Experts and Quackery

Over at Ethics Alarms, Jack Marshall is blogging about a recent British Medical Journal study of TV medical talk shows which found that, basically, Dr. Oz is talking out of his ass. Jack makes a good point, but this throw-away line caught my eye: For some reason medical experts have waited over a decade to […]

Thinking About Lethal Force – Part 3

This is my third post in a series of ruminations about lethal force. Part 1 discussed the basics of what might or might not be self defense, and in Part 2 I discussed how participants and witnesses report and distort what happens, and in this part, I’ll be exploring how the news gets out, and […]

Not the Norks

In response to threats apparently coming from hackers in North Korea, Sony pictures has withdrawn their movie The Interview from a Christmas release. Several major theater chains had already backed out, and Sony seems to have given in, possibly after being weakened by the earlier release of hacked proprietary data. I’ve already made it pretty […]

Some Tortured Thoughts

Well, the CIA torture report is out. And for the record, it’s pretty depressing that I now live in the kind of country that has a torture report. I’d heard about some of this stuff before, but some of the details are shocking. The rectal feeding, for example, is not a normal medical procedure, and […]

My Photography Day Bag

Original photography has been a part of this blog for almost ten years. If you’ve met me in real life, then probably at some point you’ve seem me carrying around my camera bag. I thought some of my readers — especially other amateur photographers interested in the kind of photos I take — might find […]

Believing Victims

In the Washington Post, Zerlina Maxwell insists that, despite the way the UVA fraternity gang rape story seems to be falling apart, when it comes to accusations of rape: In important ways, this is wrong. We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor […]

Thinking About Lethal Force – Part 2

This is my second post in a series that explores how we can think about news stories about people using lethal force in an act of claimed self defense. Part 1 discussed the basics of what might or might not be self defense, and this part expands the discussion to cover witness reliability. I want […]

Mother Jones’s Weak Math

Steve Marmel posts this infographic he apparently got from Mother Jones magazine that purports to show institutionalized racism in Ferguson, Missouri: [Image reads: Institutional racism by the numbers. In 2013 in Ferguson: 483 black people were arrested, 36 white people were arrested, 92% of searches and 86% of car stops involved blacks.] I wonder if […]

The Special Case of Darren Wilson

In response to my earlier post about the grand jury in the Michael Brown case, Jack Marshall posted a lengthy comment. Events have somewhat overtaken that post, but I wanted to address a few points Jack makes. (He wrote his comment before the grand jury decision came out.) I don’t find the fact that a […]

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