“I’m going down to Moe’s for a couple of beers.”

That’s what Bart Simpson told his family in “Homer v. the Eighteenth Amendment.” “I’ll go with you!” said Homer. Marge put a stop to it, and that was that—except, of course, that Bart’s drinking started a temperance campaign that led to prohibition. As the episode illustrates, things get complicated when the government gets involved. That’s perhaps the moral of this story of a University of … Continue reading “I’m going down to Moe’s for a couple of beers.”

Google Street View

I spent a day this week touring Pittsburgh via Google Street View, which is amazing. Now comes news that a Pittsburgh couple has sued Google for including their house in street view, claiming that it has harmed their property’s value. But you could already view a less attractive picture of their house on the Allegheny County assessment web site, and learn all sorts of other … Continue reading Google Street View

Spitzer’s Boner

Eliot Spitzer has resigned as Governor of New York, giving the state its first African-American governor. Michael Barone has reflections on the danger of selective enforcement when a law on the books generally goes unenforced: When society has effectively legalized something that is still theoretically illegal, there is always the possibility of selective prosecution—targeting individuals who are in disfavor with someone in government. Selective prosecution … Continue reading Spitzer’s Boner

Arkes on Brown v. Board of Education

I recently attended a talk by Hadley Arkes on jurisprudence in which, among other things, he criticized the reasoning of the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark school desegregation case from 1954. The Court declared the unconstitutionality of segregation on the basis of Kenneth Clark’s social science research on the self-esteem of black children, contending on that basis that “separate but … Continue reading Arkes on Brown v. Board of Education

The Downside of Diversity Training

Hans Bader points out that diversity training, adopted by many employers for ideological reasons or for protection against lawsuits, actually encourages legal action and creates serious vulnerability for employers. A further point: Anyone can call him- or herself a diversity trainer. There appear to be no standards; employers don’t even require that such trainers have law degrees or PhDs in psychology, two qualifications that might … Continue reading The Downside of Diversity Training