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photos by Lara Shipley

Entries from August 2009

Beware! Scare Tactics Are Coming!

August 28th, 2009 · 13 Comments

Morning Edition today decided that opposition to Obamacare would make a good hook for an excursion into the psychology and biology of fear and political scare tactics. The scientific gloss here is so banal—did you know people who are frightened find it difficult to think rationally, and tend to pass scare stories on to others?—that […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media

Torture and the Postmodern Right

August 28th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Charles Murray chides those who found his analysis of the politics of torture investigations by the Justice Department disturbingly amoral: To those who were dismayed, I’ve got worse news: I think it is permissible to talk about murder and rape in amoral terms. To talk about the Inquisition, the Holocaust, and the genocides in Armenia […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Obedience and Insubordination · Sociology · War

Survey Says…

August 28th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Dave Weigel highlights a GOP health care “survey” that, even by the standards of these sorts of fake fundraising push-polls seems awfully egregious.  Among other things, it suggests that under Obamacare, Republicans will be singled out for inferior treatment or denied care. What actually jumped out at me, though, was another pair of questions: Do […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Journalism & the Media

Getting My Garry Shandling On

August 28th, 2009 · No Comments

I’m dating myself with that headline, aren’t I?  Oh well.  The point is, next week, while I try to wrap my head around the prospect of putting on a tie and going into an office every day, I’ll be guesting at Andrew Sullivan’s blog, so check that out.  I’ll probably cross-post some of that stuff […]

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Tags: Self Promotion

David Sedaris Orders a Pizza

August 27th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Old, but new to me.  And damned funny.

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Tags: Random Cool Link

Fiat Shuffle: Bailout Edition

August 25th, 2009 · 8 Comments

Megan McArdle approvingly quotes Tyler Cowen on the bailouts: Without the bailouts we would have had many more failed banks, very strong deflationary pressures, a stronger seize-up in credit markets than what we had, and a climate of sheer political and economic panic, leading to greater pressures for bad state interventions than what we now […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Libertarian Theory · Markets

An Ethicist at the Movies

August 25th, 2009 · 15 Comments

Jonah Goldberg looks to pop culture as a barometer of American values and concludes that many of the abhorrent practices revealed in the 2004 IG report on CIA interrogations will not be considered outrageous by the modal citizen: I’ve long been fascinated with the disconnect between what pundits, politicians and various activist groups complain about […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · War

Saving Lives (or: Another Rambling Health Care Post)

August 25th, 2009 · 23 Comments

In a previous post, I suggested that the most adequate conception of a purported right to health care is as really consisting of two distinct elements: a distributional right to a fair share of social resources—with the understanding that one’s fair share can depend on the other burdens and misfortunes one faces, so that the […]

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Tags: Markets · Moral Philosophy

Nomi Knows

August 25th, 2009 · No Comments

Klaus Nomi provides today’s anthem for everyone out there who’d hoped for better—on whatever dimension—from the Obama administration so far. Money quote: Hope is just a thing you bought It’s just another safe… white… lie that everybody got taught

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Tags: Random Cool Link

Shame

August 24th, 2009 · 28 Comments

I don’t know why, in light of everything else that’s already come to light—we clearly did worse than making horrific but (I presume) idle threats—but this bit of the recent interrogation report filled me with a profound sense of sadness and shame: CIA interrogators threatened to kill the children of one detainee at the height […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · War