I am a lawyer and a Phd candidate in Political Theory at the University of Florida. First off, I will use this place to host info about classes I am teaching (syllabi, assignments, etc). This is so that most people will be able to have up-to-date info. I might also keep academic works-in-progress here, as well as a current CV.
That being said, I write--academically and informally--about culture and politics. Stick around if you like left-ward slanted politics, discussions about academia, indie-rock, genre and subculture films, pomo literature, comic books, continental political philosophy, and/or TV shows like Lost, Buffy (RIP), The Office, Battlestar Galactica, The Wire (RIP), or Twin Peaks (RIP). I might also write about my family, my house, restaurants and shops I have enjoyed, the little hamlet of Gainesville, and/or how someone SERIOUSLY annoyed me today. But mostly politics, art, and culture. Enjoy and give me feedback.
"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that
greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never
been one of short-cuts or settling for less. It has not been the path
for the faint-hearted — for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek
only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the
risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things — some celebrated but more
often men and women obscure in their labor, who have carried us up the
long, rugged path towards prosperity and freedom. ...
This is the journey we continue today. We remain the most prosperous,
powerful nation on Earth. Our workers are no less productive than when
this crisis began. Our minds are no less inventive, our goods and
services no less needed than they were last week or last month or last
year. Our capacity remains undiminished. But our time of standing pat,
of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions —
that time has surely passed. Starting today, we must pick ourselves up,
dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America. ....
Now, there are some who question the scale of our ambitions — who
suggest that our system cannot tolerate too many big plans. Their
memories are short. For they have forgotten what this country has
already done; what free men and women can achieve when imagination is
joined to common purpose, and necessity to courage.
What the cynics fail to understand is that the
ground has shifted beneath them— that the stale political arguments
that have consumed us for so long no longer apply. The question we ask
today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but
whether it works — whether it helps families find jobs at a decent
wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the
answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no,
programs will end. And those of us who manage the public's dollars will
be held to account — to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our
business in the light of day — because only then can we restore the
vital trust between a people and their government.
is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or
ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched, but
this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can
spin out of control — and that a nation cannot prosper long when it
favors only the prosperous. The success of our economy has always
depended not just on the size of our Gross Domestic Product, but on the
reach of our prosperity; on the ability to extend opportunity to every
willing heart — not out of charity, but because it is the surest route
to our common good.
As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our
safety and our ideals. Our Founding Fathers, faced with perils we can
scarcely imagine, drafted a charter to assure the rule of law and the
rights of man, a charter expanded by the blood of generations. Those
ideals still light the world, and we will not give them up for
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not
just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring
convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us,
nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our
power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the
justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering
qualities of humility and restraint.
For as much as government can do and must do,
it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people
upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger
when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut
their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our
darkest hours. It is the firefighter's courage to storm a stairway
filled with smoke, but also a parent's willingness to nurture a child,
that finally decides our fate.
challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be
new. But those values upon which our success depends — honesty and hard
work, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and
patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have
been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is
demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now
is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every
American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world,
duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm
in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so
defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task."
... I started teaching today and the students seemed really cool. Some of my UF students seem to really be interested in theory. My SFCC students are cool, though I surprised how few high school students I have.
... I do not know what to think about the changes in Obama's economic plan. It seems like he is taking a little Reagan and mixing it with New Deal-ism. I guess the times are urgent enough to try everything. Hopefully it makes the economy grow enough in the next three years that he can then slightly raise taxes and we can work on the defecit. At that point some of his investments might pay off too. It would also be nice if the economy was growing enough to raise the cap on payroll taxes to tax up to 250,000 or 300,000 of income. (I think payroll taxes should be applied to all of your income, but lets take step-by-step.) One good thing about embracing tax cuts is that it makes it likely that a BUNCH of Repulicans will come on board and it is "sink or swim" for both parties. Plus, the compromise might help us get national health care and some kind of banking super-regulator as part of the deal.
... I cannot wait until Lost and Battlestar come back.
... Just seat the damn Senators already.
... Mad Men on Blu-Ray is amazing. I cannot wait until season 2 comes out on Blu-Ray too.