All entries by this author

Academic Freedom? Wozzat? *

Mar 27th, 2005 | Filed by

Graham Larkin of Stanford and Bill Morrow of California legislature debate.… Read the rest

Human Rights Advisor to Turkish PM Resigns *

Mar 26th, 2005 | Filed by

Yavuz Onen has bitterly criticised attitude of Turkish government on human rights.… Read the rest

Malaysia to Curb ‘Moral Policing’ *

Mar 26th, 2005 | Filed by

Human rights, labour and women’s groups called on government to restrain state Islamic departments.… Read the rest

Most Tsunami Dead Were Women, Oxfam Says *

Mar 26th, 2005 | Filed by

Reports of rapes, harassment and forced marriages from emergency camps.… Read the rest


Mar 25th, 2005 7:46 pm | By

Wow. Cool. Look – Huxley.

Let us understand, once for all, that the ethical progress of society depends, not on imitating the cosmic process, still less in running away from it, but in combating it. It may seem an audacious proposal thus to pit the microcosm against the macrocosm and to set man to subdue nature to his higher ends; but I venture to think that the great intellectual difference between the ancient times with which we have been occupied and our day, lies in the solid foundation we have acquired for the hope that such an enterprise may meet with a certain measure of success.

The things one can find on the Internet. (Is it, or is it … Read the rest


Mar 25th, 2005 4:56 pm | By

Excellent. Hazlitt again. Say what you will about the Guardian – they do have a good books section, and they do keep having articles on Hazlitt. More than you can say for the New York Times!

I’ve said it before so why not say it again (especially since the article is saying much the same thing). Hazlitt is the most inexplicable case of undeserved literary obscurity that I know of in the case of an Anglophone author. Absolutely the top one. To be sure, there are Elizabethans and 17th century people who are well worth reading, who don’t get read all that much any more – Sidney, Nashe, Browne, Burton. But the barriers to reading them are easily … Read the rest

The Archies

Mar 25th, 2005 4:23 pm | By

Right. Let’s get down to it. With some help from Polly Toynbee.

But here the usefulness of faith ends, for it is mainly the power of the religious lobby that forces people to die in pain and indignity due to beliefs on the nature of life and death shared by very few. For 20 years now, every poll on the subject shows that 80% of people want the right to be helped to die at a time and in a way of their own choosing. But that kind of “choice” is not on the agenda.

And furthermore, even if the beliefs were shared by very many, even if they were indeed universal, they would still be both wrong (in … Read the rest

Clifford Geertz on Very Bad News *

Mar 25th, 2005 | Filed by

Jared Diamond and Richard Posner on collapse and catastrophe.… Read the rest

Polly Toynbee on the Elusive Easy Death *

Mar 25th, 2005 | Filed by

Dying people beg for a quick injection, in vain.… Read the rest

Jesus Candle Burns Elderly Woman’s Apartment *

Mar 25th, 2005 | Filed by

Pictures, heart medicine gone, but flag remains. A miracle.… Read the rest

Arson at Mosque ‘Was Meant to Be’ *

Mar 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Why were suspects arrested then?… Read the rest

Jeb Bush Adoption Hopes Dashed *

Mar 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Florida judge rejects governor’s bid to become Schiavo’s legal guardian.… Read the rest

Supreme Court Rejects Schiavo Appeal *

Mar 24th, 2005 | Filed by

There is no legal case, says Reagan solicitor general.… Read the rest

His Books Must Be Kept at a Distance *

Mar 24th, 2005 | Filed by

Ultra-Orthodox rabbi tries to reconcile science and the Torah, is denounced for his pains.… Read the rest


Mar 24th, 2005 4:09 am | By

Oh, Florida, Florida, Florida. What is your problem.

I mean for one thing there’s this winner.

Republicans on the House Choice and Innovation Committee voted along party lines Tuesday to pass a bill that aims to stamp out “leftist totalitarianism” by “dictator professors” in the classrooms of Florida’s universities…According to a legislative staff analysis of the bill, the law would give students who think their beliefs are not being respected legal standing to sue professors and universities.
Students who believe their professor is singling them out for “public ridicule” – for instance, when professors use the Socratic method to force students to explain their theories in class – would also be given the right to sue.

Is that a … Read the rest

Winner Take All

Mar 23rd, 2005 11:29 pm | By

This is a dispiriting read. They win. Bullying wins, death threats win, force wins, violence wins, pushing people around and beating them up and killing them wins. Interesting situation, isn’t it. People who have some capacity for moral reflection and awareness make some effort not to oppress and dominate and bully other people; people who don’t, don’t; so the people with some capacity lose to the people who have none. Familiar paradox. People who don’t give a rat’s ass about the freedom and rights of anyone but themselves are, of course, at a similar sort of advantage over people who do. People who think, like Callicles in the Gorgias, that people who can win because they’re stronger should … Read the rest

Law Could Let Students Sue for Untolerated Beliefs *

Mar 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Students will have legal standing to sue teachers who use Socratic methods.… Read the rest

Bill to Let Students Sue if Beliefs Are Dissed *

Mar 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

Florida legislators to decide what serves ‘legitimate pedagogical purpose.’… Read the rest

Dutch MPs Wilders, Hirsi Ali Live Like Prisoners *

Mar 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

They received death threats after criticising behaviour of militant Muslim immigrants. … Read the rest

Jeb Bush Considers Adopting Terri Schiavo *

Mar 23rd, 2005 | Filed by

As courts continue to reject appeals, Florida governor talks of protective custody.… Read the rest