Tag: Justice

2016, Movies

Amanda Knox (2016, Rod Blackhurst, Brian McGinn)

If you are like me, you paid little attention to all the stuff around Amanda Knox, the American 20-something who supposedly killed her roommate because of her deviant sexual interests and other odd interests and beliefs. If you’re like me, you didn’t even know what she was supposed to have done, beyond murder, because you …

2016, Movies

ABACUS: Small Enough to Jail (2016, Steve James)

This film is about the only bank – the only bank! – to be indicted for mortgage fraud in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. It tells the story of a bank in New York City’s Chinatown which detected loan fraud, fired the employee responsible, reported the fraud to their regulator, fired additional employees …

2016, Philosophy, Science, Society

Detective School

If I have learned one thing from immersing myself in too many true crime podcasts, TV series and movies, it’s this: most police detectives have never been taught to think. There seems to be an obsession with relying on instinct and (supposed) “known knowns” and nothing else; no rigorous investigation techniques, no awareness of the …

2011, Movies, Politics, Society

Better This World (2011, Kelly Duane, Katie Galloway)

This is an important film that is really, really worth your time. What starts off seemingly as a portrait of some well-intentioned youths that got into some bad shit – and feels, perhaps, like an apology for such behaviour – soon reveals itself to be the story of something so much worse. Though it’s weird …

2015, TV

Making a Murderer (2015, Moira Demos, Laura Ricciardi)

This is a documentary in the grand tradition of The Thin Blue Line, Paradise Lost and Brother’s Keeper, but with the time-span of something like Hoop Dreams or American Promise. And, as a 10-episode TV show, it adds nearly unprecedented depth to its subject, comparable only to a Ken Burns documentary series, or Shoah. SPOILER …

2015, Politics, Society

My Message to Senator Yonah Martin

Dear Ms. Martin, I would like to express my deep disappointment with you and your fellow Senators regarding Bill C-51, a bill that is unconstitutional – and will be found so, I have no doubt. The idea of the Senate is that is a place to reevaluate government legislation. Ostensibly this duty should be above …

Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

The belief in Justice is probably the breeding ground for injustice

I have long identified myself as an atheist – even though I’m an agnostic – in religion, an existentialist in philosophy and “anti-apocalyptic” or “anti-ideological” person in politics (i.e. a pragmatist). I have long struggled with this last definition, not because I don’t know what I am – I know exactly what I am, politically …

Politics, Society

Please, everyone, just calm down

Please, everyone, let’s just calm down a little. Let’s try to have a sense of perspective. Let’s try to think about the big picture. I know that’s very difficult when someone you never met dies, but let’s try to be bigger than knee-jerk reactions this one time.

2011, TV

Prohibition (2011, Ken Burns, Lynn Novick)

Prohibition is the shortest Burns mini-series yet, and I am tempted to say it is the best, or at least the most consistent of the mini-series he has helmed to date. It also feels the least mythological, which is refreshing coming from Burns, a man who can never avoid mythologizing or re-mythologizing his country’s history.


The Poverty of Ideology

This article on libertarianism says pretty much what I was trying to say in my book, only more rigorously (and with zero sense of humour). However, I think the general point of this article – that something like libertarianism is empty theory ignorant of human behaviour and human history – is actually a point that …

2008, Books, Non-Fiction

The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder (2008) by Vincent Bugliosi

I have “read” one book by Vincent Bugliosi before (I say “read” because it was an audio book) and in that book Bugliosi impressed me with his rather ruthless rigor of thought about an issue that was clouded by too many books and opinions.

Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

19 Tough Questions for Libertarians, Part 4

This is part four in my series on the internet meme, “Jon Stewart’s 19 Tough Questions for Libertarians.” Please see part one here, part two here, and part three here. Today we deal with questions 10-19. You give money to the IRS because you think they’re gonna hire a bunch of people, that if your …

Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, Religion

19 Tough; Questions for Libertarianism, Part 3

In this post we look at questions 4-9. For the first part see here. For the second see here. Do we live in a society or don’t we? Are we a collective? Everybody’s success is predicated on the hard work of all of us; nobody gets there on their own. Why should it be that …

Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

19 Tough Questions for Libertarianism, part 2

So, for part two, we deal with questions 2-3. You can see the previous post here. One of the things that enhances freedoms are roads. Infrastructure enhances freedom. A social safety net enhances freedom. So obviously this is not a question, but a statement. But it gets to an important point, depending of course on …

2012, Philosophy, Politics, Religion, Society

19 "Tough" Questions for Libertarianism, Part 1

Around October 2011, Jon Stewart interviewed Andrew Napolitano, a prominent US “libertarian” on The Daily Show. At some point, some libertarians put Stewart’s interview questions into a meme sometimes called “Jon Stewart’s 19 tough questions for libertarians.” My understanding of this is that Napolitano did not acquit himself well enough in their eyes. This doesn’t …

2011, 2012, Economics, Politics, Society

The Conservative Majority: One Year Later (2011-12)

CBC had a very helpful little piece about what the Conservatives have and haven’t done in their first year. Here are my thoughts: What they have done so far: