Sounds like a smart and highly-qualified candidate.
Friday, February 17, 2017
Thursday, February 9, 2017
And it's gotten worse, not better. I'm not the first person to notice that expression of stupidity you couldn't utter a mere couple of years ago is everywhere in newspaper comment sections, internet fora, even at a UNL frat house. The catalyst, of course, has been Donald Trump, who constantly spouts 'alternative facts', un-American ideas and just plain stupidity. Trump has liberated his fellow stupids.
This creates a problem for civil libertarians. Our doctrine over the last 100 years has been Oliver Wendell Holmes'
If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence -- Holmes concurring in Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927).Of course, if facts make no headway, you can't expose those falsehoods and fallacies -- people for whom they run coutner to their beliefs will simply filter them out, and go search for Alternative News. At the same time, a First Amendment near-absolutist like myself cannot countenance 'enforced silence'. Speech should be legal unless it's defamatory, criminal or creates a clear and present danger of imminent lawless action. So what's a (libertarian) boy to do?
My solution is still more speech; but not rational argument, which won't work. Rather, the remedy is to embarrass or shame those who espouse obnoxious ideas. And mockery can do this, because people hate to be laughed at. Self-righteous lecturing, on the other hand, just annoys them. It sure annoys me. And you can't persuade people with insults.
Trumpkins and creationists and the like need to be incessantly mocked, in public. You won't change their minds, but you will show them that ideas have consequences, and shame them into being a little more careful about what they say. Embrace the snark!
Saturday, February 4, 2017
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
The disintegration of the European Union will not lead to the restoration of some mythical, full sovereignty of its member states, but to their real and factual dependence on the great superpowers: the United States, Russia and China.
It is vile to try to justify slavery by arguing freedom is slavery. And it has also been comical ever since 1984.
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
One thing that gave me solace in the fall was that most conservative and libertarian intellectuals vehemently opposed Trump. Unfortunately, that hasn't lasted, and with the exception of Bill Kristol and George Will, most of them have now jumped on the bandwagon and are manically defending Orange Julius Caesar, usually stretching the truth in the process. He're an example, from a self-described libertarian writer whom I used to admire.
Kim Davis was the clerk in some podunk county of Kentucky, who refused to issue judicially-ordered marriage licenses to gays, citing 'God's authority'. Comparing this to the firing of Sally Yates is just stupid; Yates refused to defend Trump's EO, saying that she wasn't convinced of its legality. In other word, she was doing her job as Attorney General, whose oath of office reads
I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter So help me God.
Note it says 'support and defend the Constitution', not support and defend Donald Trump. So she was fired for having a professional opinion that happened to differ with Trump's. Not quite the same thing at all.
(Edit); here's Harsanyi being schooled by a guy who's both a very good attorney and a real libertarian.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Now we're turning away at the border not only students, but foreign nationals who worked for us, at risk of their lives, in countries like Afghanistan.
It is a terrible thing to be America's enemy, but worse to be our friend.
Saturday, January 28, 2017
So here's my position. I'm pro-choice, but in a limited way. I think first trimester abortions should be entirely legal, but later should be restricted to cases of incest or rape or major fetal abnormality.
Why? That question was answered by my younger daughter. She's a vegetarian, but wasn't at one point a strict vegetarian. I asked he how she decided she can eat something. She said "if it doesn't have a face".
That may seem a very superficial criterion. But it's not. If you spend any time in the preemie ward, you see lots of kids born long before 9 months. A child born at 22 weeks is (barely) viable, but more importantly for my point, looks like a baby. Meanwhile, at the other end a cell or a fertilized zygote doesn't look in the least like a child. What leads on to protect one and not the other is that we innately recognize preemies as human; and humans are recognized by their faces. We're trying to avoid killing babies that we recognize as unambiguously human beings.
Of course, this position satisfies neither of the polarized extremes. That's probably in its favor.
Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Who knew having an ignorant stupid lying braggart as president could have an up side?
Friday, January 13, 2017
Some of the nominees are competent -- e.g. Mad Dog Mattis -- and some clearly not (Ben Carson for HUD seems like Trump finding a black guy to fill what has often in the past been a black position). About some of them it's too early to say. And Rex Tillerson is way too close with Russia to be trusted. But all of them are more competent than the Tweeter in Chief. It's possible, even likely, that Trump will delegate almost all executive responsibilities to his cabinet, which would be a good thing. Granted, it would be better to have an actual chief executive in charge, but the idea of Trump actually directing policy is frightening.
Trump may well stick to tweeting and corruptly using his office to enrich himself and his family. Which is probably the best possible outcome; furthermore, it's entirely plausible the corruption will stink too much even for the GOP, and he'll be impeached.
And there's also the possibility, given his lifestyle and fatness, of a major heart attack.