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Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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34 Responses

  1. Avatar Christopher Carr says:

    I’d be interested in what you think about the whole Rand Paul filibuster business, from whatever angle you like.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Whether Hugo Chavez was so awesome because he helped the poor while sticking it to Bush or whether he was so awesome because he stuck it to Bush while helping the poor.Report

  3. Avatar Miss Mary says:

    I was talking with a friend the other day about how we classify and “treat” sex offenders in this country. Are you interested in that?Report

  4. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    How either (or both) of the major parties would have to change for me to consider supporting it.Report

  5. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    J Crew’s new Spring men’s collection!Report

  6. Avatar Burt Likko says:

    Check your e-mail. For something we’ve been discusing behind the scenes.Report

  7. Avatar NewDealer says:

    Filet Mignon Medium Rare with Peter Lugar Steak Sauce. Asparagus, Roasted Potatoes, and a nice but not too expensive Pinot Noir.Report

  8. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Suggestions:
    1.) Your first kiss.
    2.) What makes NJ the best state in the union.
    3.) What we REALLY should do about the Middle East/Israel.
    4.) The best burger you’ve ever had.
    5.) Why you can’t come up with a topic on your own.Report

    • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Kazzy says:

      1) Heh – there actually is a pretty interesting/unusual/marginally amusing/anything but romantic story behind that, but definitely a story reserved for Leaguefest.
      2) Intriguing. I did write this right after Sandy: https://ordinary-times.com/blog/2012/11/angry-for-paradise/ Elaborating would be kinda fun, though, since I didn’t have time when I wrote that to write the full post I had hoped to write.
      3. Middle East blogging? Are you trying to get me killed?
      4. Also intriguing – I’ll have to talk to The Wife to jog my memory.
      5. Apathy? Actually, I’ve got one mammoth series of posts I started working on last month, but it got overwhelming really quickly. It’s a shame too because it’s becoming more and more possible that the prediction underlying those posts (a possible regional split of the GOP) is looking ever more like a possibility.Report

    • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Kazzy says:

      “What makes NJ the best state in the union.”

      Being close to New York might make it second best but you have to fight it out with ConnecticutReport

      • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to NewDealer says:

        Connecticut has no personality and is thus disqualified. And New York isn’t a state- it’s at least two, one of which is a nice place to visit every once in awhile but which is uninhabitable and keeps electing Mike Bloomberg, and the other of which, while habitable, isn’t the state you’re referring to. And don’t get me started on Long Island.Report

        • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          All you needed to say was “Don’t get me started!”Report

        • Avatar NewDealer in reply to Mark Thompson says:

          Strong Island to you pal! Thinking you are all high and mighty with Zeus on your side!

          You might have Bruce Springsteen but we have Lou Reed! And you guys keep electing Chris Christie. We have the Cuomos, FDR, TR, LaGaurdia, Jacob Javits, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

          Now we can also get into a debate about whether Princeton or Yale has more pretension.Report

  9. Nob Akimoto Nob Akimoto says:

    How you and your fellow managing editors have managed to make the League so awesome!Report

  10. Avatar Will H. says:

    I think doing a guest post on Burt’s Great Cases series is a terrific idea.Report

  11. Avatar Marilyn Quinby says:

    Can the President legally bar the doors of the White House from the citizens and, if so, shouldn’t it be shut down and the occupants bunk with the VP to save even more money?Report

  12. Avatar Shazbot5 says:

    1. “Whether we have free will (the answer is no, of course) and whether our thoughts on free will should matter in the libertarian/liberal/conservative debate (the answer is a lot).”

    2. Do women (or a disproportionate number of women) dislike libertarianism because they see something about the ethics of compassion and obligation to others that men don’t. If so, does this mean libertarian men are flawed and lacking in compassion or are non-libertarian women suffering from some delusional overflow of compassion?Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Shazbot5 says:

      1. It seems to me equally obvious, for exactly the same reasons it’s obvious that we don’t have free will, that we don’t have self-awareness. And yet, we clearly do. And no, it doesn’t matter. Incentives work either way.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Can’t we just agree that “privileged” means “has free-will” and “unprivileged” means “doesn’t”?Report

      • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        In fact, I would say not only that it doesn’t matter as far as politics is concerned, but that it doesn’t matter at all, in any context. It’s a purely academic question.Report

      • Avatar Will H. in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        If we don’t have free will, why even bother with elections?
        Aren’t the outcomes, by extension, then predetermined?
        And if so, why should we give a flying flip about some stupid voter ID law?

        Why bother with the pretense of shopping? Surely it would be more efficient for retailers to simply ship goods to consumers and withdraw whatever funds they require from the necessary accounts.

        It really simplifies the abortion debate though.
        Pregnant women could just get a letter in the mail, like a draftee.
        “We have determined that you would do this anyway,” or words to that effect.

        Life could be so simple.Report

      • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        If we don’t have free will, then we can’t make sense of desert. Normally, we say X deserves, say wealth, more than Y, because they each could have gotten the wealth, it was in each of X’s and Y’s control as to whether they would get the wealth, but X make good decicions and worked hard, so X deserved the wealth. But if we don’t have free will, we don’t have control over whether we are hard workers or whether we will make good decisions. Those things are as predetermined and out of our control as our height or whether we are born with a genetic disease. Notice that it makes no sense to say that guy deserves his child-onset diabetes, because he couldn’t have done anything to get it or avoid it. It just happened to him and it was out of his control, so he didn’t deserve it. Or imagine you are parked at a red light, driving carefully, and someone crashes into your car. Suppose there was nothing you could do to prevent the accident. Well, then you don’t desever punishment or blame for the accident. In general, people only deserve therewards or punishments that they get if the action that lead to the punishment or reward was in their free control
        But if there is no free will, there is no real control, we are no more in control of whether we will work hard or make good choices than whether we are born with diabetes, and so no on deserves anything, good or bad.

        Now, you might think it doesn’t matter for practical politics that it turns out to be true that, for example, no one deserves to go to jail, and no one deserves to be richer or poorer than someone else, because you think we can explain criminal justice and distributive justice, not with a desert-based theory, but an incentives-based theoryl But that is extremely controversial.

        I’ll give you two examples. Suppose we find out empirically that putting murderers in prison for more than 5 years for horrible crimes like rape and murder provides no more incentive than 5 years. Should we conclude that there would (hypothetically) then be no reason to put such criminals in jail past 5 years. Or should we conclude that they deserve more than 5 years, especially if they acted in a way where they planned their crime, freely and intentionally.

        Or similarly, suppose we find out that the current level of inequality doesn’t maximize incentives for the rich and poor to work harder and be productive. Does that mean this level is necessarily unjust? Can’t a person say, this is the level of inequality that is deseverved and even if a different level would provide more incentives, desert is more important than incentive, morally speaking?

        Indeed, most of our arguments about what sorts of policies we should have end up being rooted in premises about what we deserve. And if theres is no free will, all of those premises are false. That matters, or at least its controversial.Report

      • Avatar Shazbot5 in reply to Brandon Berg says:

        Also, what do you mean by “self-awareness?”

        Qualia or Qualitative consciousness? Or the ability of our brain to “scan” other parts of the brain and access information their?

        IMO, the free will debate and the debate over qualia are disanalogous and have been ever since philosophers gave up on causal interactive dualism. Long story short, if you believe in qualia, you believe that physicalism doesn’t tell you everything about the universe, i.e. the physicalist story is all true but incomplete. If you believe in in libertarian, agent causation-type free will, then you believe determinism is false, and the physicalist story of the universe (particularly where human beings are involved in interacting with the world around them) is false, too, e.g. you believe that there are violations of the laws of physics.

        Note, causal interactive dualism also implies that there are violations of the laws of physics, so it would be analagous to belief in real free will. But you can believe in epiphenomenal “consciousness” or “qualia” or “self-awarness” that doesn’t make a causal impact on the world that is distinct from the brain’s causal impact on the world, and so you can believe un conscious qualia while maintaining that the are no violations of the laws of physics or physicalism.Report

  13. A negative review of a Gaslight Anthem album.Report

  14. Avatar Kolohe says:

    The chances that we (i.e. the US Government) finally respond to the pervasive anti-Americanism on the world diplomatic stage and in many populations around the world by saying ‘fish it, y’all are on your own. Good night and good luck’Report

  15. Avatar Mike Schilling says:

    A preview of the 2013 Bills.Report

  16. Avatar Tod Kelly says:

    How did you get into law? What about the (non-political) legal system works, and what doesn’t? And do the things that don’t work need to be “fixed,” or are the simply the best of a number of imperfect possibilities?Report