Despite scandals, news media accountability is absent from the British national election

Bruce Newsome

After 15 years of public scandals and inquiries, only 23 journalists and officials have been held criminally accountable for illegally accessing information on hundreds of thousands of Britons.

For decades, British journalists have illegally accessed personal information and paid officials for information, without significant accountability, yet remain essentially self-regulated, without criminal … More >

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From humanity to health: Why can't California get prison healthcare right?

Esme said:

Please consider sharing this work with The American Prison Writing Archive (APWA), which is a digital archive recently established by the Digital Humanities Initiative at Hamilton College, Clinton, New York under Professor Doran Larson. It seeks contributors who write with the authority of first-hand experience. From their site: “All topics are of ... More >

Abe Lincoln

Michael O'Hare

Wednesday was the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death. It’s hard to spend too much time reflecting on Lincoln; I use the first thing he ever published, comparing two infrastructure projects in a local election campaign, as an example of policy analysis avant la lettre, and he just gets better … More >

Climate-change gag rules and the First Amendment

Dan Farber

There have been recent reports about state agencies that forbid employees from discussing climate change. Since this is obviously a restriction on speech, it’s natural to wonder what the First Amendment has to say on the subject. The answer depends in large part on the kind of employee speech at … More >

In Honor of Tax Day, Celebrate the Internet

Camille Crittenden

Benjamin Franklin famously quipped about the only two certainties in life: death and taxes. Tax policy, a reflection of social values and priorities, is inherently contentious in a state as large and diverse as California, much less the United States overall. Although most taxpayers agree on the necessity of collective contributions … More >

What Rolling Stone magazine should learn from social science

Bruce Newsome

The most recent scandal about avoidably erroneous reporting is symptomatic of a trend towards agenda-driven research and away from evidence-based research.

On 19 November 2014, the magazine Rolling Stone published a 9,000-word article alleging that on 29 September 2012 seven men sexually assaulted a fellow undergraduate student (pseudonym “Jackie”) at a … More >

The Brazilian deforestation puzzle

Dan Farber

Brazil’s rate of deforestation went down dramatically over the last ten years. It’s not completely clear why that’s happened. The trend now seems to be reversing (or at least encountering an upward blip). But it’s not clear why that’s happening either. I wish I had a clear explanation to give … More >

Opening day 2015

Claude Fischer

Baseball is back this week. Hallelujah!

Actually, it was back earlier, in spring training, which has become highly popular in recent years. One fieldwork observation about spring training in the Phoenix area,where 15 MLB teams train in close proximity, 10 of them sharing stadiums: The teams’ enthusiastic fans seem to mingle … More >

Sunni Islamic authority between the text and context

Hatem Bazian

The ongoing chaos in many parts of the Muslim world can, in part, be traced to the collapse of Sunni Islamic authority and the emergence of various groupings claiming to fill the vacuum. While all agree that the collapse is a reality, dating the collapse is as difficult as the … More >

Nuclear Framework Agreement: What to make of this deal with Iran?

Mahmood Monshipouri

The art of brinkmanship combined with right personalities on the stage have produced a promising framework agreement that speaks volumes about the fruits of diplomacy and engagement. Though there is no perfect and/or pretty arrangement, but from a non-proliferation standpoint, the P5+1 agreement is a good deal.

The surprisingly detailed and … More >