Michael Walzer interview in Imprints

by Chris Bertram on August 4, 2003

A puff for one of my other collaborative projects: Imprints. The latest issue is now out and contains much of interest. The online content this time is an interview with Michael Walzer which ranges over many issues: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the morality of humanitarian intervention, Israel and Palestine, anti-Semitism, memories of Rawls and Nozick, the permissibility of torture, blocked exchanges and commodification, the narcissism of Ralph Nader, and much more. Read the whole thing – it is both enlightening and provocative.

When Bad Analogies Go Rancid

by Kieran Healy on August 4, 2003

So I trot over to Instapundit for the first time in several months and find the latest version of “The absence of evidence isn’t evidence of absence” defence for the lack of Iraqi WMDs. (It’s been interesting to see the Hawks all become experts on the subtle metaphysics of causation, events and omissions, incidentally. They sound quite Hegelian with that line.)

bq. OBVIOUSLY, THE ANTHRAX-BY-MAIL ATTACKS NEVER HAPPENED — otherwise surely the FBI would have found something by now … And they’ve had access to the entire country for months! Years, even.

Er, they did find something, just after the attacks. I believe it was anthrax. It arrived in the mail. It killed some people. The FBI also know the places in the country where weaponized anthrax can be made. They’ve been in and out of them for 18 months. And could you remind me of the parallel Iraqi WMD attack on the United States? Sorry, what was your point again?

See ya in another few months.

First they Came for the Standby Passengers…

by Kieran Healy on August 4, 2003

… but I got a courtesy upgrade to business class, so who cares?

I’m waiting to hear why right-thinking, law-abiding folks should not be in the least bit worried about this recent discovery.

[click to continue…]

Harry Potter and the Implausible Plot Device

by Kieran Healy on August 4, 2003

Our household has just finished reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and the general feeling is one of disappointment. Henry has already written about the claim, made recently by the much-reviled A.S. Byatt,that Harry is derivative and ersatz. The real problem is more that Harry seems to be an idiot.

Spoilers, and a certain amount of ranting, ahead.

[click to continue…]