This "Skeptic's Collection" column was first published in October of 2014. But in light of the recent mass shootings in, e.g., Las Vegas, NV, Sutherland Springs, TX, and Parkland, FL, it seems appropriate to reprint it now, especially given that the bravery, eloquence, and conscience of the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the latter city seem to have eventuated -- at least so we may hope -- a kind of moral conversion of the public debate on gun control. This column may well also be published as an essay in the Be-Zine, the other e-periodical for which I write. That is quite all right. To quote Mao Zedong: "Let a hundred flowers bloom". I want to add my modest impetus to the newly "woke" consciousness regarding the Second Amendment.
A well-regulated militia,
This is going to sound really strange coming from me, but … (deep breath) … Donald Trump is right about due process. Granted, "due process" is probably just a phrase Trump overheard on an episode of Law and Order, or maybe from one of his cadre of attorneys. But the source being whatever it may, when you're right, you're right. The US Constitution guarantees due process prior to the deprivation of “life, liberty, or property”. For that reason alone, Trump is right, even if only in a stopped-clock-twice-a-day manner, about the criticality of due process. Furthermore, we should understand a few things up front, one about professional relationships between men and women, another about free speech, and third about the economics of legal defense and the implications for the practical avail
In an 1841 letter to the great Scottish essayist, satirist, and social critic Thomas Carlyle, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote “The Anglo-Saxon race [i.e., in the overall context of Emerson’s letter, the British] is proud and strong and selfish. England maintains trade, not liberty.” (italics added) The last five words could be taken as a summary of the state of the current discussion concerning trade and the economics of globalism. All parties to the discussion, regardless of their positions on particular issues, seem determined to “maintain trade, not liberty”. I recently ran across what might be considered a classical example of this attitude in an otherwise-excellent article in the Harvard Business Review by Prof. Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law and Founding Director o