Articles by Aaron Hammond
November 8, 2013
On my 18th birthday, I registered to vote as a Republican. As a proud Massachusetts native, however, I naturally disagree with the party line on certain issues. Opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is one of them.
November 5, 2013
In a characteristically paternal fashion, late last month, the New York City Council raised the minimum age to purchase cigarettes and other tobacco products. To purchase a pack or even an electronic cigarette, consumers must now be 21 years of age. The justification provided by the City Council rests on the claim that by making the purchase of tobacco nominally more difficult, fewer young people will start smoking in the first place. The data suggests the move might be effective, just like stop-and-frisk. Still, there is a fine line between maintaining public health and trampling on the individual rights of Americans, and the Bloomberg administration has again chosen to jump right across it.
October 4, 2013
As I type this article on Monday morning, a government shutdown seems inevitable. In a little under 18 hours, barring a congressional Hail Mary, legislative intransigence will mean the shutdown of the National Parks, freeze on pay for troops, and furloughs of governmental employees.
September 20, 2013
In the introduction to Cannibals and Kings, the anthropologist Marvin Harris wrote that “cultures on the whole have evolved along parallel and convergent paths which are highly predictable from a knowledge of the processes of production.” This belief is the crux of his greatest contribution to anthropology, the theory of cultural materialism. Over the course of his career and many books (of which I own all), Harris applied this principle to explain many of the seemingly irrational practices and tenets of the world’s varied cultures, notably including cannibalism and prohibitions on consumption of pork. In a contemporary context, however, I think it can be equally well applied to the phenomenon of so-called modern art.
<< First 1 Last >>
September 10, 2013
From our first day of kindergarten in the United States, we are expected to recite daily those 31 words which solemnly declare our fidelity to the nation we call home: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”