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Archive for the ‘Society’ Category

The consensus after Newtown: let’s curtail freedom

Following the mass shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, there appears to be a great debate going on between those who want to see greater controls on guns, and those who are opposed to such controls. But a focus on the back-and-forth arguments over guns overlooks the fact that there is an underlying consensus in the response. […]

Ignore the “moral statisticians”, enjoy life (and Thanksgiving)!

On the occasion of Thanksgiving, when Americans indulge in lots of food and drink while gathering with family and friends, it is worth noting that celebrations like this are great rejoinders to the killjoy health nannies out there. In 1893 Mark Twain wrote a brilliant essay called “The Moral Statisticians”, in which he does not mince his […]

The Democrats’ “New Clerisy”

Joel Kotkin has a very perceptive article in The Daily Beast on the new Democratic Party coalition formed under President Barack Obama. I’ve often struggled with coming up with a term that summarizes the variety of interest groups that comprise this coalition and their outlook, and Kotkin has come up with one that may be […]

Enlightened liberals vs chicken-chewing morons

Thumbnail : Enlightened liberals vs chicken-chewing morons

The Chick-fil-A controversy in America reveals just how illiberal and intolerant supporters of same-sex marriage are becoming. Read my spiked article in full here.

Life, liberty…what a load of selfish nonsense!

Yesterday was the 4th of July, the day Americans celebrate the country’s independence. But the writer Kurt Andersen decided to be a party pooper, and took to the New York Times op-ed pages to bemoan “the downside of liberty”.  “The document we’re celebrating today says in its second line that axiomatic human rights include ‘Life, Liberty and the […]

Here we go again: Nanny Bloomberg bans large sodas

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy Bans on smoking in restaurants. Then outdoors, in parks. Bans on artificial trans fat in restaurant food. A demand to post health inspection grades in big letters on restaurant windows. Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City and billionaire, has made a name for himself […]

The liberal case against gay marriage

Following on from my spiked article on the gay marriage debate, I recommend an essay I found by Susan M. Shell, “The liberal case against gay marriage”. Published in The Public Interest in the summer of 2004, it remains highly relevant. Shell makes the important point that “the most stubborn and intransigent opponents in the […]

Why I’m coming out…against gay marriage

Thumbnail : Why I’m coming out…against gay marriage

A New York progressive braves the opprobrium of his peers by questioning same-sex marriage. Read my spiked article in full here.  

What happened to illegitimacy? Births outside marriage now the norm

Thumbnail : What happened to illegitimacy? Births outside marriage now the norm

Yesterday’s New York Times led with a remarkable statistic: for the first time, a majority of women under 30 who give birth are unmarried. As the Times reports: Once largely limited to poor women and minorities, motherhood without marriage has settled deeply into middle America. The fastest growth in the last two decades has occurred among white […]

Does Moneyball explain baseball?

Thumbnail : Does <i>Moneyball</i> explain baseball?

The movie Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, is now in cinemas. I read and thoroughly enjoyed Michael Lewis’s book, but haven’t had a chance to see the movie yet. But friends have asked what I think about the Moneyball premise – that is, the use of statistical analysis to improve the performance of sports teams – and here’s what I […]

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