Campus scholars' perspectives on topical issues — in conversation with you

Senators, show fairness to Kavanaugh

Senate Judiciary Committee members, take heed: You are not running a criminal trial. You are carrying out your constitutional duty to provide “advice and consent” regarding Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. The appointments clause vests the Senate with this “check” on the president “to prevent the appointment of unfit characters,” as Alexander … Continue reading »

Judge Kavanaugh tries to cut the Gordian Knot

In the process of conquering the world, Alexander the Great came to the town of Gordium. In that town was a piece of rope entangled in an intricate knot. Whoever unraveled the knot, according to legend, would rule the world. Many had tried, and all had failed. Nor had anyone ever ruled the world. Alexander … Continue reading »

Democratic socialism beyond the New Deal

The financial and housing devastation of 2008, youth underemployment, and ultimately the victory of the radical right at the polls has resulted in talk of socialism in America. Then the talk turned to growing organization, culminating in serious challenges to the democratic establishment. What many mean by “democratic socialism” is an inclusive version of the New Deal (though there … Continue reading »

Peter Berck RIP — a distinguished scholar and member of the ARE family

This year we lost Peter Berck, a prominent member of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics (ARE) and the College of Natural Resources as well as a cherished friend and colleague of mine. Peter was born in New York, fell in love with Berkeley as an undergraduate and after completing his Ph.D. at MIT, … Continue reading »

Maintaining an active brain and body — even with cancer

In 2015, I retired after an enjoyable and rewarding career as a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychology at UC Berkeley. My goal during retirement was to stay active and become a freelance writer in the hopes of sharing my interests to a general readership. Along with my wife, Helen, and Kazuko, … Continue reading »