Whose Bathroom Is It, Anyway?

Whose Bathroom Is It, Anyway?

What happens when you mix politics, bathrooms, and sexuality? Let the joking begin. A politician walks into a transgender bar. [Fill in the blank here.] Afterwards, he tries to explain: “I really only wanted to use the bathroom.” Ha ha. … More »

Third-Way Politics and Its Bitter Fruits

Third-Way Politics and Its Bitter Fruits

Beware the compromisers — a lesson from this generation’s history. In 1998, President Bill Clinton announced: “We have moved past the sterile debate between those who say Government is the problem and those who say Government is the solution. My … More »

Against Homework

Against Homework

Educating a child is a hugely philosophical project. How does one become a fully-functional adult with a zest for all that life has to offer — and acquire the knowledge, skills and habits to pursue it? Homework, traditionally conceived, is … More »

Loving Money and Books â Which Is More Evil?

Loving Money and Books – Which Is More Evil?

I worked in construction for some years before returning to graduate school. My crewmembers were all hardworking guys, and an ethos of manly ruggedness prevailed among them. Beer was drunk. Pickup trucks were driven. Camping and fishing were practiced faithfully. … More »

Profits: Good, Bad, and Obscene

Profits: Good, Bad, and Obscene

Nobody likes to lose money, but profit generates polarized attitudes. As with most morally-charged phenomena — competition, wealth, poverty, property — getting past the often confused discussions requires some subtle distinctions. Let’s approach profit by way of an example of … More »

When Altruism Becomes Pathological

When Altruism Becomes Pathological

Who is more likely to cheat — those who play individual sports or those who play team sports? A fascinating experiment by Professor Sharon K. Stoll and reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education compared athletes in individual sports such … More »

The Limits of Open Immigration

The Limits of Open Immigration

When I immigrated to the United States, the experience was not quite a nightmare but more like a series of bad dreams. I was from friendly Canada. I had a Ph.D. and a job offer from an American university. Yet … More »

Campus Power Politics â It's Calculated Strategy

Campus Power Politics – It’s Calculated Strategy

Universities are political places, but there’s good politics and bad. First point: The protesting students are neither “snowflakes” who can’t take the heat nor “delicate flowers” whose feelings have been bruised. University students have seen movie violence, broken up with … More »

How to Tame Religious Terrorists

How to Tame Religious Terrorists

Defeating an enemy such as politicized Islam is a multi-front battle — police, military, diplomatic, cultural and philosophical. Any fight is triggered by short-term, local disagreements. But long-term, generalized conflicts are always about abstract principles in collision. As with neo-Nazis, … More »