benfell's blog

The (not really) conservative case for single-payer health care

  • Posted on: 25 July 2017
  • By: benfell

Chase Madar offers a pragmatic case for single-payer health care, that he argues is conservative by reference to—get this—examples such as Winston Churchill and Otto Bismarck and, a little less unreasonably, pointing1 to Friedrich Hayek's acceptance that government may have to intercede to pr

On a nine percent response rate

  • Posted on: 28 May 2017
  • By: benfell

Back in 2003, when I returned to school and took my first research methods class, the professor (Valerie Sue) expressed considerable concern that response rates on telephone surveys had dropped as far as they had. I am uncertain as to the rate she quoted. I'm pretty sure she said it should be ninety percent or higher.

A simple definition of fascism

  • Posted on: 14 February 2017
  • By: benfell

One of the topics I avoided in my dissertation work is fascism. There are two main reasons for this. First, the term is so ill-defined that at times, especially in the run-up to the election last year, I've even gone so far as to suggest the term should not be used. Sara Robinson notes that "[t]he word has been bandied about by so many people so wrongly for so long that, as [Robert] Paxton points out, 'Everybody is somebody else's fascist.'"

Vegetarian Ecofeminism

  • Posted on: 5 September 2016
  • By: benfell

A first draft for presentation on September 9, 2016 at the Human Science Institute Conference, "Compassion, Connection and Response-Ability," in Salt Lake City. It does not yet respond to my colleagues who will be presenting in the same session:

Draw a picture:

  1. 1) Change from living more or less in harmony with our natural environment to: 

Parsing the second amendment

  • Posted on: 14 June 2016
  • By: benfell

Update, June 16, 2016: Since writing this post, I have learned that the late Chief Justice Warren Burger offered a similar view, saying "that the Second Amendment 'has been the subject of one of the greatest pieces of fraud—I repeat the word "fraud"—on the American public by special interest groups that I have ever seen in my lifetime.'" I have not located a transcript to confirm the full text in the meme; apparently he said it on the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour in 1991