Thursday, July 05, 2018

Omelas in 2018

"14 month old boy separated from immigrant parents at the border, was returned after 85 days, covered with lice, had apparently not been bathed - part of lawsuits filed by states against Trump administration"

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 working on the Reagan memory hole

Pretty amazing denial here.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

No more poems by John Hollander

Hollander passed away yesterday after a rich and amazingly productive life.

See here for a comment about him and the strange ways of the web.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Having a sad about Orin Kerr

This comment, and the replies to it, crystalized for me why I had lost my respect for Orin Kerr, the best blogger at

But really that's not saying much - see e.g. here. Still, consider this simplistic post. I'm quite unhappy with many aspects of Snowden/Greenwald's actions, so it's especially obvious to me that there's no need to turn off one's brain to criticize them. And see comments for startling petulance on Prof. Kerr's part when commenters dare to point out the flaws in his position; the responses to that petulance make me feel acutely embarrassed for him.

I managed to get banned at Volokh a while ago when expressing my surprise that Prof. Kerr was commenting on the PPACA discussion by the SCOTUS without knowing basic elements of the liberal case (which had bee widely reported in mainstream media). I've been hoping for a long time that would be a good source of reality-based conservative opinion, but in post after post one has to read the comments to learn highly pertinent facts about the topic. And after the horrific Shelby decision tearing up the voting rights of a huge section of society for the benefit of a political party, the Volokh response was, well, saddening. As someone trying to be informed, and as an American citizen, it sucks that the best the conservative (legal) blogosphere has to offer is so shoddy.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Comment on "you can't eat justice"

The law in its majesty forbids the rich and poor alike from stealing bread. Anyway, it doesn't much matter to the poor that they can't eat justice, because it's not on the menu where they eat, or if it is it's much too expensive - and even when they luck into some it usually arrives cold.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Killing a gnat with a neutron bomb

Amazingly intense blog comment: Sarcastr0 Winston Blake • 4 hours ago
Up until now, I've been polite. If you say anything else - word one - I will kill myself. And when my tainted spirit finds its destination, I will topple the master of that dark place. From my black throne, I will lash together a machine of bone and blood, and fueled by my hatred for you this fear engine will bore a hole between this world and that one. When it begins, you will hear the sound of children screaming - as though from a great distance. A smoking orb of nothing will grow above your bed, and from it will emerge a thousand starving crows. As I slip through the widening maw in my new form, you will catch only a glimpse of my radiance before you are incinerated. Then as tears of bubbling pitch stream down my face, my dark work will begin. I will open one of my six mouths, and I will sing the song that ends the Earth
Update - I'm informed in comments that this comes straight from something called penny arcade.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Schadenfreude showing

The news that Tacitus aka Josh Trevino had an unfortunate $400k relationship with the government of Malaysia briefly made me want to go to the Obsidian Wings blog and gloat, but happily I was quickly able to be sad instead. This example of animus-based misreading makes me feel more pleased to have reconsidered my first impulse.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

dxmachina on the Republicans

dxmachina commenting on a Kevin Drum post:
Go back to 19th c. France, and you see get the same thing. A royalist party in a parliament has no real interest in participation in parliamentary government. Their purpose for being is to shut the assembly down, and hasten the Restoration thereby. It's illegitimate anyways, why bother getting involved in its smooth running? When the rightful King-Emperor comes into his own again, the real work of government -- courtiers jockeying for grace and favor, pensions and preferment, governorships and royal monopolies -- can return. And parliament can go back to its real role -- a talking-shop that occasionally votes the King credits for his wars. The weirdest transformation of political terminology hasn't been what happened to the word 'liberal' since the days of John Stuart Mill -- it's what happened to the word 'republican'. They're divine-right monarchists -- spaniels looking for their King Charles.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Short answer to stupid question

Glenn Greenwald writes,
(2) As for Drum’s insistence that it’s inherently wrong to ally with Paul for any reason, does that apply to Barney Frank, Alan Grayson, and Dennis Kucinich, all of whom have done exactly that? Indeed, in 2008 Kucinich said he would consider Paul for his Vice Presidential pick (Paul said the same about Kucinich).
Yes. Slightly longer answer: Greenwald of course confuses the position of a politician and that of an advocate. He writes, after a great deal of blather about "crazy" (refusing to consider Drum's argument that Paul's positions are in effect due to the paranoid strain in American politics),
why doesn’t Drum unveil the roster of national political figures with a serious platform who are making these points instead?
But as Drum showed, Paul is a bad advocate for the ideas Greenwald wants discussed, due to his racism, his nutty beliefs, his anti-Semitic/homophobic/etc comments, etc. etc. Plus of course that Paul's a poor advocate for Greenwald because he doesn't actually get to positions Greenwald likes for reasons he could countenance. Either Greenwald needs to find a (for some reason satisfactory) person with a national presence who's not a crank, or he needs to cast his lot with folks like Grayson and Sanders who, if not perfect in his eyes, can move the conversation in the direction he wants without deserved repulsion from the left.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


Links relevant to the previous post: the state defends a rapist, and an essay on another crime.


Interestingly crappy thread moderation by John Scalzi here. People who disagree with the dominant view in discussions should be afforded extra protection, not less. Worse, in this case I judge that the suppressed minority voices were making trenchant points.

Also interesting for a conservative (I assume) reading of LeGuin's "The Ones Who Walked Away From Omelas" I hadn't thought of in political terms - that the ones should have walked to the nearest gun store. This I think runs into the problem of where responsibility ends - plenty of children in this world live in Omelan circumstances.

Re LeGuin, having reread _TLHOD_, _The Dispossesed_, and the Earthsea trilogy recently, I read _A Fisherman of the Inland Sea_ and found it about evenly split between preachy failures and incoherent failures, with one beautiful story, "The Kerastion", in the middle. Really high peak, long decline phase, in baseball parlance.

Labels: ,