Category Archives: Culture

Yale Students Have Lost Their Collective Marbles

If you haven’t yet heard about the madness taking place at Yale, by all means read this article by Conor Friedersdorf published on The Atlantic: The New Intolerance of Student Activism

Here’s the summary: Nicholas and Erika Christakis live at Yale, where they preside over one of its undergraduate colleges. Nicholas’ wife Erika, who is a lecturer in early childhood education, sent an email responding to concerns from students that administration was “offering heavy-handed advice on what Halloween costumes to avoid.” In the email, Erika suggested, among other things, that perhaps it was okay to be a bit “provocative” with Halloween costumes, observing that “American universities were once a safe space not only for maturation but also for a certain regressive, or even transgressive, experience; increasingly, it seems, they have become places of censure and prohibition.” She added, quoting Nicholas, “if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offence are hallmarks of a free and open society.”   (The full text of the email is here.) Continue reading Yale Students Have Lost Their Collective Marbles

Advertisements

Court Tells Florist: “Tolerance” Will Not Tolerate Your Religious Belief

The Washington Attorney General is exerting the weight of his office on a 70-year-old grandmother. Amazingly, that grandmother is still standing. But she could lose everything she owns, all because she is unwilling to abandon her religious convictions and create unique artistic expression that violates her beliefs.

The parties:
Barronelle Stutzman is a mother of eight, a grandmother of 23, and a floral artist. She is the owner of Arlene’s Flowers and Gifts, a corporation founded in 1989 and previously operated by her mother, before Barronelle purchased the company 12 years ago.
Continue reading Court Tells Florist: “Tolerance” Will Not Tolerate Your Religious Belief

Ashley Madison’s Not-So-Sexy Secret

Noel Biderman really wants you to have an affair.  So much so that he has made illicit passion his life’s passion.

Lest you think Noel is just a benevolent benefactor, tirelessly working to help bring infidelity to your doorstop,  I should point out that Noel is financially incentivized to encourage you to cheat on your spouse. More specifically, Noel makes money if you choose (1) to break your marriage vows, and (2) to utilize his company–Ashley Madison–to do so.   Continue reading Ashley Madison’s Not-So-Sexy Secret

Mozilla: Champion of Equality…Some Restrictions Apply

Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich–the guy who created JavaScript–resigned yesterday as CEO from the Mozilla Corporation and from the board of the nonprofit foundation that wholly owns the company.

Here are some of the reasons he did not resign:

Incidentally, the various company founders and/or CEOs who did the things described above retained their positions.
Continue reading Mozilla: Champion of Equality…Some Restrictions Apply

Breaking Up with Valentine’s Day

You know that pit in your stomach when you know you have to end a relationship but you are dreading the moment?

Will the other person yell at you, cry incessantly, sit silently without uttering a word . . . .  I suppose if you dated a certain popular songwriter, you’d also have to wonder if she will be penning a song about your relationship in the months to come.  There is also the nagging question: “Am I doing the right thing?”

When I sat across from Valentine (“Val”) a few weeks ago at a quaint little French bistro, I had none of these concerns.  I had outgrown her, and not only did she have a right to hear why, she needed to know why.  The conversation went something like this:
Continue reading Breaking Up with Valentine’s Day

No One Is Watching Your Facebook Movie

Lately my Facebook news feed is inundated with posts that say “Here’s my Facebook movie. Find yours at https://facebook.com/lookback/.”

I confess, I watched the first one that popped up, because I wanted to see generally what they looked like.  And then I watched mine.   That was sufficient.

Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand the appeal of watching a compilation of  milestone events in your life, and to the extent those milestone events occurred on (or were captured by) Facebook, that’s great.  But what I don’t understand is why any of us would be under the delusion that others would feel the same intense longing to watch a video recap of our Facebook experience.

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know.

Save Saeed – If He Was Your Spouse, Would He Be Worth It?

My predictions:

  1. This will be the most important thing you read today.
  2. Most of you are not likely to do anything about it.

I’m pretty confident about #1.  I’m really hoping I’m wrong about #2.

Here is my question.  If your spouse was being held in a foreign country, regularly beaten, in horrible conditions, deprived of essential medication, and at constant risk of death due to disease, malnutrition, or murder, would you be sufficiently motivated to advocate for his/her release? What if it was your close friend’s spouse, or a neighbor, or a co-worker?
Continue reading Save Saeed – If He Was Your Spouse, Would He Be Worth It?

Why My Wife’s Job Is Harder Than Mine

I work at a large, top-200 law firm in one of the ten most populous cities in the country. The hours can be grueling, there are constant deadlines, and the work is mentally demanding.  Any partner in my particular practice area can assign me work, which means I have more than 30 potential bosses.  At any given time, I am working on projects for three to five partners, all of whom believe that their assignment should take priority over any other work.  As a result, there have been many long days (and long nights).

Moreover, being a lawyer at a large firm is a high-stress endeavor.  Even small mistakes can have significant implications and, as a result, tensions can run high.  And of course, because excellence is expected, partners are unlikely to give much positive feedback for a job well done; instead, the reward for good work is more work.

It doesn’t get much better when I venture outside my office.  Lawyers are often the butt of jokes, and society, in general, has little regard for my profession.   In fact, 34% of Americans say that “lawyers contribute little to nothing to society“?

I do not share this to complain or to engender any sympathy. I’m well compensated for my work and am grateful for the opportunity to work at my firm.  My point is simply that the position of “associate” at a major law firm is generally regarded as a very difficult job. With that said, I make the following observation with great confidence: my wife’s job is harder.
Continue reading Why My Wife’s Job Is Harder Than Mine

Christmas Can Be So Much More

I’m all for Santa, stockings, cookies and milk by the fireplace, presents, a Christmas tree with lights and ornaments, and all the other traditions that make Christmas a magical time for children.

BUT

If you are a Christian, Christmas can be so much more.

My two-and-a-half year old son and I were at Target a couple days ago and when we went to check out, he said, “there’s Santa!”  I could understand his confusion, as the Target employee was wearing red and, frankly, looked a lot like Santa.
Continue reading Christmas Can Be So Much More

Duck Dynasty Star Shot Down By A&E

The news of Phil Robertson’s suspension is all over the internet.  The twitterverse is abuzz.  Lost in many of the stories and tweets is the full text of his relevant comments to GQ, so let’s start with those:

“It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”
. . .
Continue reading Duck Dynasty Star Shot Down By A&E