TypeTitleAuthorRepliesLast updated
Blog entryPrayer for Atheists & the Culture Wars PeraclesPlease63 hours 57 min ago
Blog entryWhat Is Praying? Doctor Cleveland141 week 3 days ago
Blog entryHef & the Culture Wars PeraclesPlease252 weeks 4 days ago
Reader blogFor the Friends of Stratofrog librewolf253 weeks 8 hours ago
Blog entrySome People Are Not Duelable Doctor Cleveland253 weeks 4 days ago
Blog entryHarassing the Professor Doctor Cleveland211 month 1 week ago
Blog entryCharlottesville, Salem Witch Trials and Historic Monuments Danny Cardwell92 months 2 days ago
Blog entryTrump Does Not Care If People Get Hurt Doctor Cleveland142 months 5 days ago
Blog entryThe Three Myths of Reverse Racism in College Admissions Doctor Cleveland542 months 1 week ago
Blog entryThe Gravity of the Office Cannot Change Character Michael Maiello32 months 1 week ago
Blog entryWar and Words and Words and War Michael Maiello112 months 1 week ago
Blog entrySex, Lies and Hate Danny Cardwell42 months 1 week ago
Blog entryWho Hijacked Yahoo Mail? Michael Wolraich3132 months 2 weeks ago
Blog entryDonald Trump Jr. Really Is Patrick Bateman Michael Maiello53 months 1 day ago
Blog entryPresidential Pardons and Obstruction of Justice Doctor Cleveland63 months 1 week ago
Reader blogSnobs vs. The Ivy League (or, The Question of Bill Deresiewicz's Character) Doctor Cleveland133 months 2 weeks ago
Blog entryAsk the Blue States about Terrorism Doctor Cleveland43 months 4 weeks ago
Blog entryAbout Julius Caesar Doctor Cleveland144 months 1 week ago
Blog entryThe Moral Necessity of the Civil War Doctor Cleveland134 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryHow This White House Lies Doctor Cleveland124 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryToday in Jedi Studies (Self-Promotion Edition) Doctor Cleveland75 months 2 weeks ago
Reader blogA Plea to my Fellow Progressives HSG405 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryNo Negotiations Without Preconditions Danny Cardwell66 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryBrexit vs Breakfast: Food and Free Trade Doctor Cleveland26 months 3 weeks ago
Blog entryThe Social Silences SHHH! Danny Cardwell377 months 2 days ago

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What Is Praying?

I have been too angry to write about the mass murder in Las Vegas, and too angry to write about the empty and reflexive offerings of "thoughts and prayers" that now follow every murder like it. But let me take this opportunity to talk about the question of what prayers are, and how they might be different from thoughts. America's general enthusiasm for religion masks deep, sometimes nearly bottomless religious differences, and so many, many people talk about praying, but use that word to mean very different things: sometimes contradictory things. What is praying, anyway?

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Some People Are Not Duelable

I'm not a big proponent of bringing back customs and manners from hundreds of years back. The centuries I study were much worse to live in than this one. But there is one concept from Ye Olden Days that (suitably retooled), I have always found pretty useful. That is the concept of people being "not duelable." I use it in my academic writing. I use it in my daily life. I occasionally teach it to graduate students. And it turns out to be a concept that both the Age of Twitter and the Age of Trump badly need.

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Trump Does Not Care If People Get Hurt

President Trump's impromptu press conference today was a shocking display of his moral depravity and his allegiance to bigotry. There are so many things wrong with it, in so many stunning ways, that everyone is trying to digest it and focusing on different parts. But one particularly scary thing has not yet gotten much attention: Trump shows a nearly complete lack of interest in preventing more bloodshed like this. That is unprecedented, and extremely dangerous.

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The Three Myths of Reverse Racism in College Admissions

Twenty-five years ago, I was sitting in the tiny teacher's room of the little parochial school where I taught, talking to a few other people about the news. The principal's administrative assistant said something about affirmative action letting unqualified black students into Harvard, and I asked her if she thought that was a real worry. She actually gasped. "Don't you?" she asked, in shocked disbelief that I could not be concerned, nay scandalized, about such a well-known social problem.

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Presidential Pardons and Obstruction of Justice

One thing is finally clear about the Russia investigation, thanks to Donald Trump, Jr.'s decision to tweet his incriminating e-mails: someone is going to prison over this. All three principals who took that meeting looking for Russian oppo research, Manafort, Kushner, and Trump, Jr., are likely in serious criminal jeopardy. Other figures (like Flynn, Sessions, and peripheral creeps Eric Prince, Carter Page, and Roger Stone) may be in danger of prison as well. But the Trump Tower Three certainly are.

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Ask the Blue States about Terrorism

Here are a few pictures from Copley Square in Boston, where the Boston Marathon ends:

 

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About Julius Caesar

So those literary geniuses, Fox News and Donald Trump, Jr., have decided to attack a "New York play" that they allege stages the assassination of Donald Trump. It is, of course, Shakespeare in the Park's production of Julius Caesar. And of course, Fox and Trump's loyal followers don't need to actually see the play to raise an enormous outcry, because denouncing people is too much fun for fact-checking.

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How This White House Lies

Donald Trump is both one of the most gifted liars in American politics, a genius of dishonesty, and at the same time hopelessly bad at lying. His lawless firing of FBI Director Comey shows the ineptitude. Trump led with a story so weak that no one could pretend to believe it and then, within forty-eight hours had abandoned that story for one that was actually more incriminating. A White House that keeps changing its story is in crisis. A White House that changes it story to something more damaging is out of its mind.

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Today in Jedi Studies (Self-Promotion Edition)

Yesterday, I had a small humor piece published by McSweeney's Internet Tendency.

It's called "Questions for the Jedi Vice-Chair of Graduate Studies"

Do I absolutely have to construct my own lightsaber to graduate?

Will you accept 30 hours of transfer credit from the Dark Side?

How will being at one with the Force prepare me for today’s job market?

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The Moral Necessity of the Civil War

So, Donald Trump said some stupid and ignorant things about the Civil War. Not much of that is worth discussing: the man says stupid and ignorant things because, well, he's stupid and ignorant, so there isn't much to analyze. The one part we should stop to think about is Trump's conviction that the Civil War should have been avoided. That's not an idea that he came up with on his own. He doesn't come up with ideas on his own. He picks them up from outside. This idea has been around a long time.

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