“That man who has nothing to lose:” Black Americans and Superfluousness

Long before white Americans felt like their society had abandoned them, Black Americans knew the feeling. Just like whites do today, some Black Americans responded to earlier superfluousness by “clinging to guns and religion” to use Barack Obama’s famous analysis. (cf. Kinsley gaffe) Here’s James Baldwin, describing the Nation of Islam: “I’ve come,” said Elijah,… Continue reading “That man who has nothing to lose:” Black Americans and Superfluousness

Why Daniel Levine is Wrong About Everything

Well, he’s not. But that’s the title of his new blog. (Apparently he is challenging me for the title of “Most Contrite Fallibilist.” He’s even taken the nom de plume of “Wrongzo.” Bastard.) For his first substantive post, “What should we mock about when we mock about guns?” he parodies my attempts to articulate a… Continue reading Why Daniel Levine is Wrong About Everything

Reflections on my Crime and Punishment Seminar

Old Ohio Penitentiary by J. Harris Day

  This semester I taught a course on crime and punishment, and in part out of competition with my colleague Seth Vannatta, I set out to give a final presentation on the dimensions of the course. This is the presentation I wrote. Introduction Our task was to explore the role of ethics in the law,… Continue reading Reflections on my Crime and Punishment Seminar