When we finally start talking about gun control, what should we say?

I love policy discussions, but the demands for policy discussion on gun control after the shootings in Newtown today are terribly wrong-headed. The problem is that demanding a policy discussion is not the same thing as having a policy discussion. At this point, we’re just talking about talking about gun control. It’s all “mention” and… Continue reading When we finally start talking about gun control, what should we say?

“The purpose of law enforcement, with respect to transactional crimes, is to make sure that they have ‘good’ criminals.”

Keith Humphreys shares this interview with Vanda Felbab-Brown. There are no dull moments, but here’s one I think should give us lefties pause: what will replace the underground marijuana economy? Felbab-Brown explains: Most of the time governments tend to fight illicit economies and not think about what will replace them. Policies are often premised on the… Continue reading “The purpose of law enforcement, with respect to transactional crimes, is to make sure that they have ‘good’ criminals.”

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

Anarchy, the Black Bloc, and Gandhian “Non-Violence”

Let me start with a correction. Anarchy isn’t really as interesting as you think it is. In fact, Anarchy is Boring: Figuring out how to run a sustainable anarchist household (that values time spent washing the dishes and time spent making money as a computer programmer equally) isn’t as headline-grabbing as a downtown smashup. But Seattle… Continue reading Anarchy, the Black Bloc, and Gandhian “Non-Violence”

Lin-Manuel Miranda Previews The Hamilton Mixtape

I tried to get tickets after I saw this New York Times piece, but no luck. “I am not throwing away my shot” is just an awesomely perfect refrain: it refers to ‘reserving and throwing away’ the shot in a pistol duel: deliberately firing into the ground in order to make a merely symbolic gesture of courage. It… Continue reading Lin-Manuel Miranda Previews The Hamilton Mixtape