THE CASE AGAINST HISTORICAL REVISIONISM

I’ll put my civil libertarian credentials up against anyone’s. But I have to confess that the older I get, the less principled I become. I like to think it’s because I’m becoming more understanding, in this case of those powerful communitarian intuitions that so often conflict with what would otherwise be the inviolable sanctity of … Continue reading THE CASE AGAINST HISTORICAL REVISIONISM

ISRAEL’S NEW NATION STATE LAW

Like the proverbial boiling of the frog, it always starts with an imperceptible change in temperature. And every change thereafter is just as imperceptible. If you worry it’s the thin edge of some mephistophilian wedge, you’re an alarmist. You’re awfulizing. What we’re doing bears no relation to what you’re fretting about. Nothing in the Nuremberg … Continue reading ISRAEL’S NEW NATION STATE LAW

CALLING OUT CODE-CALLING

I’m not sure it’s anything new, so I’ll just say there’s a particular effective but pernicious ploy in popular argumentation that I’m going to call ‘code-calling’. For example, during the 2016 Presidential campaign Americans were told that accusing so-and-so of holding “New York values” is code for Jewish values, and so calling out one’s use … Continue reading CALLING OUT CODE-CALLING

THE UCP GOVERNMENT’S FREE EXPRESSION PROPOSAL

It’s rare that I find myself expressing unqualified support for a piece of legislation that the government, or so I hope, is about to enact.. But the UCP’s proposal for An Act to Protect Free Expression at Alberta’s Public Colleges and Universities strikes me as letter perfect and long overdue. The drafters of the Act … Continue reading THE UCP GOVERNMENT’S FREE EXPRESSION PROPOSAL

AN OPEN LETTER TO MY AS-YET-UNINITIATED STUDENTS

Some university administrators, and a few of my colleagues, want to offer you a babysitting service, not for your children but for yourselves. And some of you got so used to it in high school that you want to be babysat. Good babysitters are not to be disparaged. They provide a very important service. But … Continue reading AN OPEN LETTER TO MY AS-YET-UNINITIATED STUDENTS

ON LIKENING GAZA TO THE WARSAW GHETTO

Academics sometimes use words in ways that may not correspond to how they’re used among the hoi polloi. For example, I’d have thought that to discriminate means to ascertain a difference and act accordingly. But among the unwashed it means to treat someone unfairly. In this case there’s little danger of being misinterpreted. No one … Continue reading ON LIKENING GAZA TO THE WARSAW GHETTO