The closing of the Florida mind

Samuel Joeckel has been teaching a unit on racial justice in his writing class at Palm Beach Atlantic for twelve years. This year, a student complained about the unit to his parents, who complained to the university president. Joeckel is now out of a job. White Christian nationalist Florida Governor (and presumptive presidential candidate) Ron DeSantis visited the university the very evening he was terminated.[1] Read more

  1. [1]Megan Zahneis, “A Florida Professor Lost His Job After Complaints About His Lessons on Racial Justice,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 17, 2023,

The Silicon Valley Bank collapse exposes our system for what it is: neo-feudalism

By all accounts, Silicon Valley Bank was a mid-sized bank. Even as it failed, it was not considered “systemically important,”[1] that is, until U.S. authorities decided it was.[2] And yet, its failure ensnares a bank, Credit Suisse, which is “systemically important” half a world away.[3] Read more

  1. [1]Karl Evers-Hillstrom, “Silicon Valley, Signature banks lobbied hard to loosen bank rules,” Hill, March 14, 2023,; Zachary Warmbrodt, “Banks fought to fend off tougher regulation. Then the meltdown came,” Politico, March 12, 2023,
  2. [2]William D. Cohan, “SVB’s Valley of Death,” Puck, March 12, 2023,; Ben Foldy, Rachel Louise Ensign, and Justin Baer, “How Silicon Valley Turned on Silicon Valley Bank,” Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2023,; Victoria Guida and Sam Sutton, “‘There’s going to be more’: How Washington is bracing for bank fallout,” Politico, March 12, 2023,; Jeff Stein et al., “U.S. says ‘all’ deposits at failed bank will be available Monday,” Washington Post, March 12, 2023,; Nick Timiraos, “SVB, Signature Bank Depositors to Get All Their Money as Fed Moves to Stem Crisis,” Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2023,
  3. [3]Simon Foy, “Is Credit Suisse, the bad apple of European banking, really ‘too big to fail, too big to be saved’?” Telegraph, March 16, 2023,; Nicholas Jasinski, “How SVB Triggered Credit Suisse’s Latest Mess—and Sparked Fears of a Financial Crisis,” Barron’s, March 15, 2023,; Margot Patrick, Justin Baer, and Dana Cimilluca, “UBS Nears Deal to Take Over Credit Suisse,” Wall Street Journal, March 18, 2023,; Margot Patrick, Ben Dummett, and Dana Cimilluca, “UBS Offers $1 Billion to Buy Credit Suisse,” Wall Street Journal, March 19, 2023,; Brian Swint, “Credit Suisse Stock Surges as Central Bank Loan and Debt Buybacks Tame Panic,” Barron’s, March 16, 2023,; Stephen Wilmot, “Panic Abates at Credit Suisse. Now Comes the Hard Part,” Wall Street Journal, March 16, 2023,

A new taxonomy of conservatism?

As part of its thing, suggested a paper describing vigilante right-wing militia activities, for example, the “Minutemen,” along the U.S. southern border, meant to intercept unauthorized migrants. In it, Robert Castro links militarism, toxic masculinity (he doesn’t call it ‘toxic’), and what,[1] in my dissertation, I would call paleoconservatism, a pro-segregationist tendency that, in its outer extremes includes neo-Nazis, skinheads, and the like.[2]

I don’t usually follow up on these suggestions, but this was hitting a few too many buttons for me, and I gotta tell you, I’m gonna be thinking about this article for a bit. Read more

  1. [1]Robert F. Castro, “Busting the Bandito Boyz: Militarism, Masculinity, and the Hunting of Undocumented Persons in the US-Mexico Borderlands,” Journal of Hate Studies 6, no. 1 (2007):7-30, doi: 10.33972/jhs.46
  2. [2]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).