Friday, January 23, 2009

Ugh. The bed-wetting over Gitmo detainees has begun.

Glennzilla covers the worst offenders:
And in response to a heartening post from Will Wilkinson, I demonstrate the need for anger management training.
My unhinged post:
Bed-wetting.  The only risk from bringing Gitmo detainees into the US justice system is exposing the Gitmo kangaroo court.
I don't find the justice system of 3rd world juntas attractive.  In this I am in a 60% majority (per current polling on US citizens' appetite for sanctioned torture).  I weep for the US, because 40% of the population is more than enough to fully staff a totalitarian prison system, all in the name of our "safety".
Allow me to preemptively apologize.  At this point, I am usually chastised for not supporting the open discussion of opinions.  I apologize for crushing the tender flowers of free expression.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Explaining Megan McArdle's Schitck

Enfuriating crap from Megan McArdle, with a great Glennzilla take-down:
Everyone's hailing Obama's decision to suspend all Guantanamo trials for 120 days. ... Doesn't this just further prolong the incarceration of anyone who might be innocent?
Despite the fact that it's only 74 words, one could spend hours highlighting the factual inaccuracies in McArdle's "uncomfortable question."
But to say, as McArdle did:  "Gee, what's all the fuss about with these military commissions?  I thought people wanted Guantanamo detainees to have nice trials under the UCMJ like they're having now" is to demonstrate a complete ignorance about what the entire debate is about.  There's just no way to have paid even a tiny amount of attention to what's been going on at Guantanamo and not understand that the controversy is over the rigged and profoundly un-American military commissions themselves, the denial of rights that the UCMJ affords, and the mockery of Western justice they entail.  That is why Obama didn't want his name anywhere near those proceedings and why he immediately suspended them.
And "Sadly, No!" explaining Megan's place in the Bloggo-Sphere - "Teh Megan, Matt, And Ezra Show":
Megan McArdle: What I mean is, why do you drive on the parkway and park in the driveway? Isn’t that a contradiction? It seems to me that it’s immoral to fund social programs because black people smell, and also paradoxes, like why is a carpet neither a car nor a pet?
Matt Yglesias: I think Megan misses the point with her post on the morality of social spending.
Ezra Klein: Studies clearly show that black people do not, in fact, have a distinctive odor.
McArdle: When I said that it’s immoral to fund social programs, I was not referring to black people.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Canny Chicago Politician

Are people serious about wanting a new Lincoln? The "word cloud" comparison of Lincoln's two inaugural speeches demonstrate clearly how he intended to run roughshod over the Constitution. (I admire Lincoln, but I definitely don't admire what he did to the Constitution.)
Also, who is this transformative presidential candidate that people keep talking about? I voted for the canny Chicago politician, and I thought that is who won.
From comment to Will Wilkinson: The Speech

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Self-satisfaction is a primary human trait

From my experience, even in a relationship with very high leverage (an employer working with an employee), it is practically impossible to motivate somebody to work on any relative deficits, even if the rewards would be considerable.
Self-satisfaction is a primary human trait.
To a first approximation, in a western democracy, the best we can do is corral and socialize humans until the age of 16 (sometimes the age of 20), and hope they pick up the habit of motivating and improving themselves. If that doesn't happen, then corral them for 50 more years, in institutions differentiated by the tiny amount of liberty they allow.

Good news and Bad news on Parenting, from Bryan Caplan

Bryan Caplan in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Many of us worry that our nation will pay a heavy price in years to come because modern parents are shirking their responsibilities to the next generation. If you combine the results from time diaries and behavioral genetics, however, you get a different picture. It turns out that there is some really good news and some mildly bad news. The really good news is that we can stop worrying about the horrible fate of the next generation. The bad news is that parents today are making large "investments" in their children that are unlikely to pay off.
My comment:
I will remind myself to teach my daughter the tools to achieve her own goals, per her own morality, any present my morality only through my example.