Welcome to The New Normal

Readers of this blog know that I’ve been running a series of events on law enforcement issues at Felician. Here’s an event I didn’t run:

12:28 pm: Due to the receipt of an alleged, anonymous threat of a shooting on the Rutherford Campus Residence Halls have been secured. -more

12:29 pm: Police and extra security in place. Classes continue, buses run. We’ll keep you apprised. Carry your ID.

2:28 pm:  If you receive any calls from media sources, please refer them to me at my extension that is  listed below.  If you have additional questions or concerns please contact your dean or Vice President.

9:07 pm: Felician took immediate action in consultation with law enforcement. Classes are in session, campus is open.

Oh, but if we were all toting our Glocks to class, this would have worked out perfectly.

What’s that phrase again? “A hostile work environment”? And I thought I left that behind in Abu Dis!

2nd CFP: Felician Institute Spring Conference

Here’s the second CFP for the 11th Annual Conference of the Felician Institute for Ethics and Public Affairs. Conference to take place Saturday, April 22, 2017 at Felician University’s Rutherford campus (227 Montross Ave., Rutherford, New Jersey 07070). Papers due February 1, 2017. Plenary speaker is Michele Moody-Adams, of Columbia University, speaking on hate speech: “Taking Expression Seriously: Liberty, Equality, and Expressive Harm.” Continue reading

Casualty #4: Sarah Butler, RIP

About two years ago, I mentioned in a post here that a student of mine, Tyeshia Obie, had been found murdered–the third murder across the duration of my (then) twenty-year career in higher education.

Though she was an acquaintance rather than a student, I’m now sadly obliged to add a fourth victim to that list, Sarah Butler, the lifeguard at the YMCA pool where I swim laps. I didn’t know her, but will find her absence from the pool jarring. She was found dead a few days ago at Eagle Rock Reservation, a popular park in a nearby town. Continue reading

Fake News: All the Counterfactual Conditionals Fit to Print

I encountered this passage in what was supposed to be a news story about Donald Trump’s intervention in the Carrier factory job decision in Indiana:

And just as only a confirmed anti-Communist like Richard Nixon could go to China, so only a businessman like Mr. Trump could take on corporate America without being called a Bernie Sanders-style socialist. If Barack Obama had tried the same maneuver, he’d probably have drawn criticism for intervening in the free market.

Does that set of claims really qualify as news? I’m not even sure the passage qualifies as editorializing. Neither sentence expresses a verifiable fact. Both sentences just seem like handwaving slop. Continue reading

John Allison at Trump Tower

Readers interested in John Allison’s appearance at Trump Tower may also be interested in Arnold Kling’s review of Allison’s book, The Financial Crisis and the Free Market Cure, which appeared in the October 2012 issue of Reason Papers. 

An excerpt: 

When it comes to the financial crisis of 2008, the conventional view seriously under-estimates the extent to which collectivization of financial risk was the cause of the problem and seriously over-estimates the extent to which strengthening this collectivization represents a long-term solution. I am in complete accord with Allison on that score. However, I do not share his view that there is a free market “cure.” At best, there are movements in the direction of the free market that would reduce the costs of regulation without increasing the risks of another meltdown. However, such changes will not be made as long as the conventional history of the crisis—which treats it as resulting from the loss of will to regulate—holds sway. And I do not believe that, in the end, Allison’s book will have much of an impact on converting those who hold the conventional view.

Read the whole thing here (4 page PDF).

H/t: Alison Bowles (for the WSJ article)

Revisiting the “Muslim Registry”: A Proposal

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post here about the so-called “Muslim registry,” demanding clarity on the topic, and making a proposal for pre-emptive civil disobedience. Without retracting a word I said, I revisit the issue here in light of information that’s come to light since then. The post below is a revised and edited version of a comment I wrote in response to a post by Max Geller at the Mondoweiss website, which (pursuing a suggestion made by the Anti-Defamation League and others) called on non-Muslims to register for the so-called registry. Continue reading

Reince Preibus Meets Moore’s Paradox

Not a perfect example of Moore’s Paradox, but close enough, from incoming White House Chief of Staff Reince Preibus:

“Look, I’m not going to rule out anything,” Priebus said. “We’re not going to have a registry based on a religion.”

Clearly, we’re not going to have a registry based on religion. But we might.

Alas, the question Preibus was asked was: “Can you equivocally rule out a registry for Muslims?” Which is exactly what he did. And not all that hard to do, either. I mean, I could do that. And it’s not even my policy.

Kevin Vallier on Decentralization and the Election Results

The election results have been traumatic to many people, and have occasioned the revival of two structural proposals usually unpopular among left-leaning liberals–decentralization through federalism, and secession. Both strike me as pointless and unrealistic gimmicks. The first won’t solve the problem; the second won’t work, and might not solve the problem if it did.

The real options, it seems to me–at least for those of us traumatized by the prospect of a Trump presidency, as opposed to those welcoming it or viewing it with equanimity–are endurance or emigration. Since I count myself among the traumatized, those are what I regard as my own options. Endurance is the less pleasant but more realistic option, emigration the more attractive but harder to pull off. Continue reading

The Victim Who Wasn’t: or, The Continuing Saga of the Purloined Pillow

November 19, 2016

Pamela M McCauley
Victim-Witness Coordinator
Office of the Essex County Prosecutor
Essex County New Courts Bldg
Newark, NJ 07102-0000

Dear Ms. McCauley:

Over the past few weeks, I have been receiving correspondence from your office concerning State vs. Godfrey, Prosecutor File # 16-002030, Indictment # 16-0601832-I. The correspondence comes from the Office of Victim-Witness Advocacy, and describes me as the victim in the abovementioned case. Unfortunately, the correspondence re State vs. Godfrey has all been sent to me in error.  I am not the victim in State vs. Godfrey. I phoned your office and left a message about this matter several weeks ago, but have not received a response.

I am the victim in a case of larceny involving a defendant named Michael Ramos (Prosecutor File # 16-002203). The alleged crime took place in Bloomfield in March of 2016. In your last correspondence to me regarding the case, the case had been referred back to Bloomfield Municipal Court for adjudication. I have heard nothing about it since. In any case, I lack the standing to receive victim impact information regarding State vs. Godfrey. To the best of my knowledge, the case has nothing to do with me.

Best wishes,

Irfan Khawaja


For previous installments in the series, see “Best Voice Mail Ever,” “Our Friend, the State,” and “Pissed, Dissed, and Out $89.18.