Category Archives: politics & political

Amateur Hour: FAQ

In case you missed it: tl;dr I quit a libertarian media organization last week because they made a not-especially-well-qualified porn star their most prominent spokesperson. I had qualms about being publicly, professionally associated with such a group, and I didn’t want to appear tacitly condoning of either the pornography itself or the “anything goes” sexual culture […]

Amateur Hour: Why I’m Leaving Young Voices

Having given the matter much thought, I’ve decided to terminate my participation in the “Young Voices” advocates program for principled reasons regarding this new organization’s management strategy and its emerging character. In particular, the recent on-boarding of a nominally libertarian porn star signals that Young Voices is not the relatively neutral support system for serious […]

book review: Vivian Gornick’s “Revolution as a Way of Life”

Last month, I read the article “Love and Anarchy” by Vivan Gornick in The Chronicle of Higher Education. It was adapted from a recently released book titled “Emma Goldman: Revolution as a Way of Life” by the same author. Because the essay was intriguing and, honestly, quite sexy, I quickly purchased the full book on […]

educational technology: the great teacher heterogenizer?

I finished this book, “Liberating Learning,” in the fall, and somehow forgot to post a review. Chubb & Moe are important players in education policy, having previously published influential work regarding school choice & competitive forces in education markets. This newer book is about technology and ways in which it can disrupt the structures and […]

a state guaranteed education?

The first comments that struck me while reading Harry Brighouse‘s interesting article, “What’s Wrong With Privatising Education?,” were the following, made in response to some arguments made by James Tooley in favor of privatizing schools: “Tooley himself sometimes endorses a principle that we might call the ‘Adequacy Principle’, that everyone has a right to a sufficiently […]

book review: Schmidtz and Brennan’s “A Brief History of Liberty”

Actually, this is more of a book recommendation than a book review. David Schmidtz is one of my favorite philosophers; it was his book “Social Welfare and Individual Responsibility: For and Against” (written with Robert Goodin) that first began to wake me from my dogmatic political slumbers circa 2006, when I was an undergrad back […]

“Waiting for Superman”: in moderate defense of charters

You’ve probably heard about the much hyped documentary, “Waiting for Superman.”  If you haven’t, go read the synopsis. It’s basically about how terrible U.S. public schools are, how the teachers’ unions block meaningful reforms, and how charter schools are the answer. I had the chance to view WFS last week before its release, courtesy of […]

book review: James Tooley’s “The Beautiful Tree”

I just finished James Tooley‘s “The Beautiful Tree: A Personal Journey Into How the World’s Poorest People Are Educating Themselves,” which I had been meaning to read ever since it received some publicity from The Cato Institute upon their publishing it last year. Tooley is a lovely writer and an obviously thoughtful man, whose research in India, […]

education, the state, and protecting children from ignorance

The other day, I started Education and the State by E.G. West. It is sometimes argued that state funded, state regulated, and state provided education is justified by the necessity of  protecting children from ignorance. So, West begins with two chapters exploring this argument philosophically and assessing how well this “protection” works in practice. These chapters […]

Stupak might reduce abortion insurance coverage, but not accessibility

From Feministing: A new study from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services reports that “the Stupak/Pitts Amendment will have an industry-wide effect, eliminating coverage of medically indicated abortions over time for all women, not only those whose coverage is derived through a health insurance exchange.” Brian at TPMDC writes: In […]