Isn’t This Hate Speech?

Pilgrims from Iran express their enthuasiam (HT: Jihad Watch): “God is Great,” “There is no Deity but Allah,” “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” were among the slogans chanted by the masses in unison as they gathered in the Desert of Arafat, 20 km (12 miles) from Mecca, for a day of prayer and meditation. Note the description of the pilgrims: The faithful — … Continue reading Isn’t This Hate Speech?


Various pundits and Democratic candidates for President have been arguing about ways of bringing health insurance to those who currently lack it. One idea is health insurance mandates—require people to buy health insurance, and subsidize the cost for those who have trouble affording it. Greg Mankiw today says what I’ve been thinking about this: “a mandate is only as effective as the penalty backing it … Continue reading Mandates

Game Theory and the Clash of Civilizations

An interesting attempt to apply game theory to the conflict between Islam and the West. Many Western leaders seem committed not only to avoiding retaliation but to responding to defection on an opponent’s part with forgiveness and even more extensive cooperation. Let’s call such a strategy flaccid. Christians with the attitude I spoke of yesterday seem to view flaccidity as ethically required. But the problem … Continue reading Game Theory and the Clash of Civilizations

The Ethics of Interrogation

Immanuel Kant wrote a short essay, “On a Supposed Right to Lie Because of Philanthropic Concerns,” in the Berlin Press in 1799, replying to a criticism of his views by Benjamin Constant. Constant described a case in which you allow a friend fleeing a murderer to take refuge in your house. The murderer comes to the door and asks whether the friend is there. Must … Continue reading The Ethics of Interrogation

“Who[m] Would Jesus Waterboard?”

Ah, Christmas—a time for holly, lights, caroling, manger scenes, and . . . politics. At our church, today’s services included “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “Exceeding Joy” (a contemporary version of the Magnificat), “The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee,” and, as part of a sermon series on “Coming Home for Christmas,” a sermon on torture. Torture? Yes, today’s sermon was mostly about torture—not the … Continue reading “Who[m] Would Jesus Waterboard?”

Why I Don’t (Heart) Huckabee

One of the oddities of our primary system, in which relatively small and unrepresentative groups of voters in Iowa and New Hampshire dominate the early parts of the campaign, is that candidates who would have little chance of winning the general election can emerge suddenly as front-runners. Winners in Iowa have included Tom Harkin, Richard Gephardt, and “Uncommitted.” Winners in New Hampshire have included John … Continue reading Why I Don’t (Heart) Huckabee