Suicide Solution

Job description for EMT position with Capital Health in New Jersey, verbatim from LinkedIn:


  • Responds to dispatched emergency assignments.
  • Implements patient care procedures by using assessment skills pertaining to the illness or injury.
  • Identifies and manages rapidly changing situations of an emergency patient care situation. Assesses patient’s current condition through physical and verbal exam via patient or others present.
  • Collects all available pertinent patient information form patient, family, friends, medical records, and medications.
  • Transfers the patient to care provider and facility providing the receiving staff with a report. Completes all paperwork requirements during patient transfer.
  • Completes patient care record including demographic information, clinical findings, history, medications, allergies treatment rendered, and any changes during transport.
  • Provides a comprehensive written incident report describing any unusual event.

In other words, hurry to the scene of medical emergencies in a big van and save people’s lives. Continue reading

Going Out in Style

After writing some sixty-plus blog posts on the COVID-19 crisis, I now have to go on a bit of a hiatus from blogging. I’m not sure how long it will last. Knowing me, it’ll probably last a day or two, but it’s supposed to last longer than that. I will continue to post entries from my COVID-19 Narrative Project (a few have piled up), and I want to draw attention to a few items I’ve seen online lately. But for the most part, it will (or should) be awhile before I blog at anything like the rate you’ve recently seen.

As a small handful of you may know, this past Friday, I resigned my position at Felician University in protest at what I regard as the egregious malfeasance of the university’s administration–in particular, the malfeasances of the (imminently-departing) Dean of Arts and Sciences, the Vice President for Academic Affairs, and the President, along with the instructor whose egregious delinquency they decided to tolerate and sweep under the rug. Continue reading

Farrell, Brennan, and the Great Debate Over Public Choice

No, don’t expect an attempt at adjudicating the quarrel between Henry Farrell (Crooked Timber) and Jason Brennan (BHL) over public choice here. Not my lane. Just wanted to draw attention to the overall trajectory of the “debate.”

May 5: Henry Farrell writes a post at Crooked Timber critiquing Public Choice theory. There’s a discussion there. It goes on for 89 comments.

May 12: Farrell writes a follow-up post on the same subject at Crooked Timber.  More discussion. By May 14, we’re about twenty-some comments deep into the discussion.

May 14: Clearly pissed at Farrell’s “silliness,” Jason Brennan decides to write a rebuttal of sorts to Farrell at BHL. Discussion commences at BHL, taking this form: Continue reading

Coronavirus Diary (45): An update

Coronavirus Diary 45 was originally a memorial post about Dave Jarvis, a cook in the cafeteria at Felician University. When his death was mentioned at a faculty meeting several weeks ago, we were told that it was due to “COVID-related complications” or something of that nature. I just got a message from a member of his family to the effect that that was incorrect; Dave died of some other causes. I had only meant to write an affectionate piece about Dave, whom I liked, but his family seems to have taken offense at the post. I regret any offense caused, and have deleted it. Continue reading

I Call That a Concession–the Best I Ever Had

Remember Jason Brennan’s loud, proud, and rather idiotic declamations against me at BHL on the subject of police brutality?

Memory refresher: I wrote this post on the subject of non-compliance with government anti-disease-spreading orders. Brennan responded (with Phil Magness in tow) by mischaracterizing my view and defaming me at BHL. In full anticipation of the fact that he would eventually regret his posts and delete them, I copied and pasted them into the comment section of my own post on the subject. I rebutted his claims in some detail, twice, and got no answer from him but a few cheap, embarrassing, off-topic polemical jabs. Continue reading

Video Killed the Classroom Star

Here’s a half-hour interview with me on Radio Felician University, on the pros and cons of online learning during the coronavirus crisis. I’m interviewed by two of my applied ethics students at Felician, Kiera Benson and Nicole Cacciatore (“Nicole Catch”). The interview aired  in late April.

I find it ironic that after about a decade of industry-wide hype about the imperative to switch all of our classes to a fully online format, now that we are fully online, people are crying crocodile tears about the pedagogical inadequacies of online learning. In other words, online teaching was a panacea before the pandemic; now that there’s a pandemic raging, the imperative is to return to the physical classroom. Continue reading

Sabahat Zakariya: BBC Urdu in New Jersey

Back in 2016, I mentioned the work of my talented cousin, Sabahat Zakariya, at the time a graduate student in journalism and Near East Studies at NYU. Since then, she’s gotten her degree, and moved–of all places–to New Jersey. In fact, she now lives a mere half hour away from me, which would be rather convenient for both of us if we weren’t currently in the middle of a pandemic.

In any case, I’m happy to mention that Sabahat is now reporting on and from New Jersey for BBC Urdu.  Obviously, she reports for them in Urdu–or the mixture of English and Urdu that passes for Urdu nowadays–but you might be able to follow at least some of what she’s saying even if you don’t know the language. Give it a try, anyway.

She’s reporting from Middlesex County, around Edison, New Jersey, a well-known South Asian enclave. Her commentary on life in Jersey is perhaps a little more diplomatic and civilized than my blogging on some of the same subjects--straight factual reporting without editoralization or profanity-laced ranting. But give it time. To quote Prospero in The Tempest, “’tis new to thee.”

Coronavirus Diary (56): Parks and Privilege in New Jersey

About two weeks ago, we had a discussion here about New Jersey’s decision (Executive Order 118) to close its state and county parks, leaving municipalities the discretion to keep their parks open. The rationale for the order was that given the option to use the parks, some people will, but many people will not, observe physical distancing norms. Continue reading

Two Necessities

A square tablecloth spread on a rectangular table will hang from the table edges same as before if the cloth is rotated ninety degrees lying on the table. A rectangular cloth not square—a cloth made longer in one length, shorter in the other—will require two rotations of ninety degrees to hang from the table edges same as before. We can open our geometry books and find that such facts are aspects of the rotational isometries of quadrilaterals.

Facts of pure geometry can have explanatory value to us for some facts about table cloths. I should distinguish two sorts of necessities in pure geometries. One sort is the plain necessity of geometric facts, such as one-hundred-eighty degrees being the sum of the angles in any triangle in the Euclidean plane or such as any square’s diagonal being not of any integer-ratio to the length of its sides. The other sort is the necessity between if and then in the inferences one makes in proving such results. Continue reading