Notes on a Theory…

Thoughts on politics, law, & social science

‘Humanitarian Intervention’ is a Claim, Not a Fact

with one comment

I was watching MSNBC earlier this evening, where Ari Melber, sitting in for Chris Hayes, was covering the beginnings of what is being called a “humanitarian intervention” in Iraq in response to ISIS which allegedly* is at this point only about delivering food and water. I’ve argued before that the word ‘intervention’ ought to be avoided, for two reasons. First, it implies that one is getting involved in an area of the world, when typically, the actor doing the ‘intervening’ has long been heavily involved. Second, it covers both war making and non-war making activities, and that means obscuring a very important difference. The legal, moral and political questions between say, offering asylum or providing medicine are not at all connected to those related to mass aerial bombing or a ground invasion. But helping people tends to more popular than war, despite what people claim about the public, so elites that prefer more war tend to avoid talking about it explicitly.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by David Kaib

August 7, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , ,

Treating All Children Like Human Beings

leave a comment »

Fund Our SchoolsBryce Wilson Stucki has an interesting piece called Breaking the School-to-Prison Pipeline: Rethinking ‘Zero Tolerance’ discussing recent efforts to challenge so called “zero tolerance” policies in public schools. Such policies, which grew out of the Drug War and political efforts to get “tough on crime,” have ended up pushing many youths out of school and into the “school to prison pipeline.”  She notes that some places have been moving in a different direction, attempting to enact a less punitive approach to discipline, in particular the adoption of restorative justice.  One example is the Kensington Creative & Performing Arts High School (KCAPA) in Philadelphia, “where about 90 percent of students are Latino or black and 100 percent are below the poverty line”. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by David Kaib

July 2, 2014 at 1:43 pm

Radio: Wall Street and the Schoolhouse

with one comment

Alexis Goldstein interviewed me on the Disorderly Conduct podcast on my three part series on Wall Street and ed reform. It was my radio debut.

You can listen to the interview here.

[Update: The other guest was Kshama Sawant. You can hear the whole episode here. And you should!]

[Update 2: You can also read the full transcript of my interview.]

And here are the posts. Don’t forget part three – it needs some love.

Wall Street and the School House Part I: The Culture of Smartness

Exploitation, Hard Work and Motivation: Wall Street and the School House Part II

Markets, Efficiency and Choice: Wall Street and the School House Part III

Dan Greene contributed some additional thoughts here:  There’s always another market: Liquidity, Wall Street and Ed Reform

 

Written by David Kaib

June 26, 2014 at 6:20 pm

Criminalization is Pretty Harmful Too

with one comment

CelaIt’s a pretty standard thing to see: in an argument about whether we should either decriminalize or legalize some thing, oftentimes the argument revolves around one thing. Is this thing harmful? The best example, although it’s not the only one, is drugs. Obviously, if the argument in favor of criminalizing something is that it’s harmful, than evidence that it is not supports ending legal prohibitions.

Is prison harmful? Is ripping apart families harmful? Is the endemic sexual assault found in prison harmful? What about the risk of violence, or the torture of solitary confinement? Or overcrowding, or lack of medical care? How about the collateral consequences of imprisonment–unemployment, being barred from public housing, food stamps, federal education aid and a whole host of professions or voting? What about the impact on communities where many people are shuffled between prison and the neighborhood? What about the police harassment that comes with hyper-aggressive law enforcement?

Few things we criminalize because they are ‘harmful’ are anywhere close as harmful as prison.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by David Kaib

June 26, 2014 at 7:53 am

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,072 other followers

%d bloggers like this: