Patriot Act is convenient target

January 12, 2006

A steady stream of revelations, and the ensuing news media reports, have portrayed a president hungry for power, doing whatever is necessary - legal or not - to protect this country. 

Bad Lawyering

January 02, 2006

Those of us who study lawyers actually do know that most of them help resolve conflicts. They help clients to vent their anger-and realize that they do not have a case. They work out differences among contending parties, whether individuals, corporations or nations. In the public eye, though, lawyers are all from television's Boston Legal, fierce advocates of one side or the other, manipulating the evidence and pushing emotional buttons to win the day.

The Unique Methodology of Policy Research

January 01, 2006

POLICY research requires a profoundly different methodology from that on which basic research relies, because policy research is always dedicated to changing the world while basic research seeks to understand it as it is.' The notion that if one merely understands the world better, then one will in turn know how to better it, is not supported by the evidence.

Jewish, yet I say: 'Celebrate!'

December 25, 2005

For once the Christian right has come up with a good idea: Let's put Christ back into Christmas!

Von Fest - und Christbäumen

December 23, 2005

Wenigstens einman hat die christliche Rechte in Amerika eine gute Idee gehabit

From Right to Responsibility, the Definition of Sovereignty is Changing.

December 16, 2005

The idea that governments have a responsibility to protect their citizens is gaining momentum and may change the way sovereignty has been perceived for centuries. 

Hoog tijd voor di comeback van Jezus met kerst.

December 15, 2005

Vor een keer is christelijk rechts in Amerika met een goed idee gokomen: laten we Christus weer terugbrengen in het kerstfeest. 

Toon respect, maar alleen voor wie geweld afwijt

December 11, 2005

Drie suggesties om rellen te voorkomen, van een socioloog die veertig jaar de ontwikkelingen in de Amerikaanse steden heeft gevolgd. 

No State Intrusions

November 28, 2005

When my mother-in-law could not take it any more (her cancer had turned her leg into one huge sore, and her pain was unbearable), my wife reluctantly called in a physician who was also a family friend. Dr. L. explained that it was against the law for him to help my mother-in-law, who had battled melanoma for 13 months with a quiet dignity, to end her life.

Hand over settlements to Palestinians

November 16, 2005

The question as to what is to become of the residences, clinics, schools and greenhouses of the Israeli settlers once they leave Gaza this summer may seem like a minor subplot in the epic struggle

KELO V. NEW LONDON’ States to the Rescue

September 19, 2005

States are moving to limit the damage done to justice by Kelo v. New London. In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 majority, vastly expanded the concept of eminent domain. It ruled in favor of what correctly has been called a "Reverse Robin Hood." The court ruling has benefited a group of businesses and local government interests in the New London, Conn., area including the New London Development Corp., drug giant Pfizer Inc. and private real estate developers.

Bookmarks for Public Sociologists

September 01, 2005

“Bookmarks for Public Sociologists,” The British Journal of Sociology, Volume 56, Issue 3 (Sept. 2005) pp. 373-378

Response: American Behavioral Scientist

August 01, 2005

“Response.” American Behavioral Scientist, ed. Emily Pryor. Vol. 48, No. 12. (Sage Publications, August, 2005) pp. 1657-1665.

A Communitarian Perspective on Sex and Sexuality

July 01, 2005

Both religious and liberal secular thinking offer comprehensive approaches to considering the place of the sexual drive in our personal lives and communities. What has communitarian thinking to offer? How does it compare to these other bodies of thought, especially to religious ones?

Oversight is Crucial

June 20, 2005

Here we go again, jerking the steering wheel to the left after we oversteered to the right (in an effort to correct a left bias), vainly seeking a reasonable, middle road between the pull of public safety and that of individual rights. The events of 9/11 led Congress to enact the USA Patriot Act, granting enormous new powers to law enforcement agencies. Now, we are once more trying to correct the overcorrection with little hope of striking the right balance. (Just wait for the next terrorist attack to witness additional overreactions.)