As someone who unapologetically wears brownface every day, I find the hysterical front-page revelation of Justin Trudeau’s 2001 experiment with brownface pretty underwhelming. I also find the reaction to it on the part of various brown-faced Canadian politicians to be a transparent instance (so to speak) of grandstanding. If ever there was a case where policy ought to trump a supposed matter of character in politics, this is it–not so much because policy always trumps character in political matters, but because the supposed matter of character involved here is so morally inconsequential that just about anything trumps it. Continue reading
“Don’t let nobody pick your fun…”
A statement from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s office:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation (S.4166A/A.1801B) establishing September 11th Remembrance Day. The new law allows for a brief moment of silence in public schools across the state at the beginning of the school day every September 11th to encourage dialogue and education in the classroom, and to ensure future generations have an understanding of the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks and their place in history. The law is effective immediately.
Because nothing is more conducive to dialogue and education than silence enforced by legal decree.
Incidentally, though the Governor’s Office disingenuously claims that the law “allows for a brief moment of silence,” the law itself is a mandate, the moment of silence is its only enumerated provision, and Assembly Member Amato refers to it on the Governor’s own statement as a “mandate.” What the Governor means (but doesn’t say) is that the law provides for a mandated moment of silence. Here is the text.
For the last eighteen years, Chris Sciabarra has been writing up a kind of blog-based micro-history of 9/11 as seen from the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, where he lives. Here’s a link to the whole archive, from September 2001 to September 2019, which I highly recommend.
I happened to be at Casa Sciabarra as Chris was putting the final touches on the most recent installment in the series, “Zack Fletcher: Twin Towers, Twin Memories“– about fraternal twins, Zackary and Andre Fletcher, both members of the FDNY, the New York City Fire Department. Sadly, Andre perished on duty as a result of the attack. The post consists of an interview with Zack, reflecting on the meaning of the day and the loss of his brother. If you read one thing about 9/11 today, I’d suggest reading this.
My friend Vicente Medina (Philosophy, Seton Hall University) has a short piece out on the semantics of “terrorism” in Government Europa Quarterly, an online journal. We had a few discussions of Medina’s views on terrorism here at PoT in advance of the symposium on his book, Terrorism Unjustified, that took place at Felician about a year and a half ago (see here and here). A published version of the Felician symposium is about to come out soon at Reason Papers, consisting of three critical responses (by Graham Parsons, Theresa Fanelli, and myself), and a response by Medina. Continue reading
I just got the sad and somewhat shocking news that my next-door neighbor, Anna, died. Apparently she fell ill about two weeks ago, and died quite suddenly in the ICU a few days ago. Her husband stopped me yesterday on my way back from the grocery store to tell me. I could barely find the words to offer my condolences. Continue reading
Apologies for the delay in posting the fourth part of my five-part series on character-based voting. Here are parts one, two, and three, which are probably necessary as background to part four. Earlier in the series, I make reference to what I call a “Murad-type meeting,” referring to Donald Trump’s behavior at a recent meeting with Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad.
The first part introduced the topic of character’s ambiguous relation to “policy.” The second part focuses on character’s instrumental relation to policy. The third part considers the possibility that expressions of character might be constitutive of “governance.” This part considers the possibility that expressions of character might have normative significance out of relation to policy or governance, at least on conventional construals of those terms. Continue reading
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity in this Nation.
So we have come to cash this check.
I just got home from nearly three weeks abroad. Waiting for me in the mail: final judgment in my favor on my Superior Court appeal against Bedminister Municipal Court. But the case is not over. Continue reading
Here’s the third part of my five-part series on character-based voting and the ambiguities of “policy.” (It was supposed to be a four-part series, but I ended up adding a fifth.) Here’s part 1, and here’s part 2.
The point of the series is to probe ambiguities in the thesis that character-based voting is only permissible or legitimate in cases where character is a proxy for “policy” or “governance.” Part 1 introduced the issues by way of a recent example. Part 2 considered ambiguities in character’s being a proxy for policy in the sense of being instrumentally relevant to bringing about policies. Part 3 looks into the possibility that the expression of good or bad states of character could be constitutive of good governance itself. Continue reading