Wednesday Highlights

Good morning. It’s raining here today.

  1. A new release of a Psalter to look for.
  2. Manufacture, a behind the scenes look at making USB flash drives.
  3. Two posts on housing prices here and here.
  4. On returning to “9/10” mentality … bit by bit.
  5. Unimpressed by a bike plug. The maxim quoted, “Strong, light, cheap … pick two” is just a variant of the engineering maxim, “Good, Fast, Cheap pick two” (fast as in quick design/delivery).
  6. Healtcare is, yes, not a right.
  7. A putative book list. What would you suggest?
  8. Quoting Carville from the right. Every time Carville’s name comes up, fair or not, I recall him in a defense of Mr Clinton on PBS in reference to Ms Jones remarked, “See what you get when you trawl through a trailer park dangling a $20 bill.” Which, of course, begs the question why the President was using 20s to trawl in trailer parks (and yes, I know that wasn’t his intended meaning … just the one that I caught first and foremost).
  9. Vanting to suck your blooood
  10. Wondering whence the critics of Mr Bush’s religious ties from the left have gone.
  11. On the wicked servant, from a man with a way with words.
  12. Blending spirit with therapy.
  13. The contemporary Ernie Pyle, released from UK embedding, why?
  14. Pointing out Mr Krugman’s deception.
  15. And disparities in drug use … not mentioned so much.
  16. That union label and payback.
  17. A plug for early (not teenage) marriage.

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12 comments

  1. Boonton says:

    Pointing out Mr Krugman’s deception.

    Good counterpoints ruined by the problem that no actual deception was pointed out. It would be nice if partisan hacks could tone down the rhetoric. Pointing out additional facts, counterpoints, differences between two elements used in an analogy etc. is not demonstrating ‘deception’. Deception is only untruths presented as truth.

  2. Boonton says:

    On returning to “9/10″ mentality … bit by bit.

    More relevant, IMO, is the revelation by Homeland Security Dept. head under Bush that he was pressured, by Bush, to raise the color coded terrorist danger signal right before major elections in order to help the administration. To the degree that we are returning to a 9/10 mentality Republicans have a lot to answer for. In a slightly better world that alone would merit a criminal prosecution.

  3. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    The deception is implicit. This is a criticism levelled at many who are thought smart in public policy. The presumption is that the good (obvious) counterparts are known, in this case, to Mr Krugman. By ignoring them he is being a deceitful advocate for his case. Deception is not limited to presenting untruth as truth.

    More relevant, IMO, is the revelation by Homeland Security Dept. head under Bush that he was pressured, by Bush, to raise the color coded terrorist danger signal right before major elections in order to help the administration.

    That came though a few days ago … old news. And if I recall correctly, Mr Ridge refused to do so and it was not done. Calling to mind the blame (or not) one places for the the assassination of Thomas a Beckett by Henry’s offhand remark should be on Henry and not the three knights who carried it out.

    How much do you then blame Mr Clinton’s for foreign exploits timed to distract from his domestic problems? Did you call for prosecution? If not, are you being partisan and perhaps hypocritical?

  4. Boonton says:

    You mean attacking Al Qaeda? The post modern conservative returns! Clinton didn’t do anything about Al Qaeda! Clinton attacked Al Qaeda to distract from Monica! A = !A

    The presumption is that the good (obvious) counterparts are known, in this case, to Mr Krugman.

    And good counter-counterpoints likewise exist. Again deception, explicit or implicit is an intent to make the reader believe something that is untrue. Saying our debt will grow to a level that is less than what it was after WWII is not deceptive because it neglects to mention that WWII was a very serious threat to our existence. Are Krugman readers unaware of that really?

  5. Mark says:

    Boonton,

    You mean attacking Al Qaeda?

    I was thinking of the Balkans … for his bombing in Africa was not the only “Wag the Dog” parallel that came up.

    Saying our debt will grow to a level that is less than what it was after WWII is not deceptive because it neglects to mention that WWII was a very serious threat to our existence.

    Yet saying so when there is no plan on the table that will even remotely start to reduce the debt means it is in fact outright deceptive.

  6. Boonton says:

    I was thinking of the Balkans … for his bombing in Africa was not the only “Wag the Dog” parallel that came up.

    My memory could be wrong but I recall the campaign against Serbia to have happened a while before the Monica thing….but then since the GOP spent all 8 Clinton years accusing him of something or other one could say anything and everything he did of actual Presidential significance was a conspiracy to distract from whatever the accusation of the month was.

    But I like your use of rhetorical equilivance. You match unfounded speculation (maybe Serbia got bombed to distract as opposed to the numerous commentators and advocates who insisted that Serbia had to be stopped….right or wrong) against what is essentially confirmation from inside the Bush administration that national security during the Bush years was nothing more than an extension of the Rovian campaign machine.

    Yet saying so when there is no plan on the table that will even remotely start to reduce the debt means it is in fact outright deceptive.

    I think you mean to say that saying there is a plan on the table to reduce debt is deceptive. But I don’t think you will find Krugman saying that. But feel free to try, it is good form when accusing someone of being deceptive to actually identify what they are being deceptive about.

  7. # Healtcare is, yes, not a right.

    The point is that we want to *make* it a right for every American, not that it’s a magical right bestowed by God to every infant. Ted Kennedy: “We believe that access to healthcare should be a right — not a privilege — in this country.”

    # Quoting Carville from the right.

    That blogger appears to be under the misconception that Obama is after the Bushies, that CIA employees who followed the guidelines would be prosecuted, and a host of others. In reality, no Bushies are being investigated, and interrogators who followed the blatantly illegal memos are also not going to be investigated. The people who are going to be investigated are those who went far beyond what those memos authorized — is he arguing they shouldn’t be investigated? That even the Lynddie Englands of the CIA should go free?

    What good can come from reading or linking to such an ignoramus?

    # Wondering whence the critics of Mr Bush’s religious ties from the left have gone.

    Um, we’re still here, criticizing Obama’s religious ties from the left. How conveniently you ignore facts that don’t go along with your biases.

    # And disparities in drug use … not mentioned so much.

    The article explicitly mentions that there aren’t disparities in drug use. If you have evidence that there are, that would be a valid counterargument, but it’s kind of silly to say something is “not mentioned so much” when it’s explicitly denied.

    # A plug for early (not teenage) marriage.

    Obviously if your goal is to prevent premarital sex, early marriage is good. On the other hand, if you’re not hysterically afraid of twenty-somethings having responsible, safe premarital sex, people should get married pretty much whenever they’re ready.

  8. Boonton says:

    The people who are going to be investigated are those who went far beyond what those memos authorized — is he arguing they shouldn’t be investigated? That even the Lynddie Englands of the CIA should go free?

    It is pretty amazing what the right seems to advocate here. Bush write a memo saying its legal to crack a flashlight over someone’s head 5 times but not more. Someone cracks a flashlight over someone’s head 10 times and even that shouldn’t be prosecuted. Does the right even believe in the rule of law anymore?

    On the other hand, if you’re not hysterically afraid of twenty-somethings having responsible, safe premarital sex, people should get married pretty much whenever they’re ready.

    I think there is an argument for getting married and having kids when you’re young leaving you still relatively healthy when those kids are grown up. Even adult kids are a responsibility and its good to be healthy when they are grown up. I think people who have kids at 30 or 35 underestimate what a different it is to be closing in on 60 with a young adult rather than being 40 with a kid who is already 20 years old.

  9. Boonton says:

    That came though a few days ago … old news.

    Heh, came accross this from our Ordinary Gentlemen Friends:

    The Maturation Cycle of Bush Administration Scandals

    1. Crazy, hysterical, paranoid accusation by wild-eyed, partisan, left-wing loonies.

    2. Old news
    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/08/20/ambinder/

  10. Mark says:

    Boonton,
    My remark, “old news” was not that this was therefore ignorable. I was trying to “brag” about how my links practice, in which I try to in part anticipate those things which are of significance, had a “hit”.

    Please don’t misinterpret the remark “old news”. I won’t and don’t defend manipulating “alert levels” for political gain (although I don’t know anyone who pays attention to said alert colors, nor even anyone who knows what they mean). It is my impression that alert levels only are meaningful for those in law enforcement and that the general public ignores them, so as a political gesture it seems mostly meaningless.

    That being said, I’ve not heard that there is a paper trail to back up the allegations, which makes it basically quite equivalent to the numerous “wag the dog” allegations against Mr Clinton. Concerning the Balkans and that pre-dating Ms Lewinsky … that particular scandal was one of many and merely the biggest.

    I think people who have kids at 30 or 35 underestimate what a different it is to be closing in on 60 with a young adult rather than being 40 with a kid who is already 20 years old.

    While I had my first kid when I was over 30, I’ll assent … and note a particularly regrettable choice my wife’s uncle made having a vasectomy reversed and having kids when we has over 60 (his wife was far far younger). I think he’s an irresponsible moron … his kids are going to be in their mid-teens and he’s going to be in his 80s.

    In the excellent book, Here Be Dragons, a medieval Welsh practice was highlighted, that is a Welsh child “came of age” at 14 legally in Wales at that time. In our day, extended childhood into one’s 30s (or later) is a curse our culture bears.

    JA,

    The point is that we want to *make* it a right for every American, not that it’s a magical right bestowed by God to every infant. Ted Kennedy: “We believe that access to healthcare should be a right — not a privilege — in this country.”

    And I disagree that it should be “made” a right. (and nobody within shouting (or blogging) distance thinks that it’s a magical right or any such thing exists).

    Regarding the linked piece and Carville. I can’t see how you interpret my linked phrase as implying assent. I’m not going to attempt to defend it. As noted many times before, I link things often because they are items which merit notice and discussion not merely those things with which I agree.

    Furthermore, on torture … I think torture can, if used correctly be a effective tool in gathering intelligence and in suppression. I also think it is one that the US should not use and have never claimed it to be one we should used. I think the definition of torture is difficult, as I’ve noted in the past what is commonplace or even actively sought for one person can be torture to another, which I think causes difficulties with a hard definition.

  11. Boonton says:

    Mark is deceptive

    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/08/27/a-note-on-the-bush-fiscal-legacy/

    Krugman looks at what the CBO project of debt to GDP would be in 2019 if two of Bush’s biggest contributions to our debt hadn’t happened, his tax cuts and the Iraq War. These two factors would have lowered the 2019 forecast from 70% of GDP to 50%.

    It just so happens in 1993, the end of the Reagan-Bush era, the debt to GDP ratio was 49%. Did the world end in 1993? No. Will it end in 2019 because of debt? If so Bush did it.

    Why does Mark not provide these facts when discussing the topic. Clearly he is a nefarious, odious, arch-practioner of deceptiveness!

  12. Boonton says:

    In the excellent book, Here Be Dragons, a medieval Welsh practice was highlighted, that is a Welsh child “came of age” at 14 legally in Wales at that time. In our day, extended childhood into one’s 30s (or later) is a curse our culture bears.

    Which is one reason I think having kids early should be reconsidered. At around 20 or so I think that ‘extended childhood’ issue kicks in. Having a parent who is still more of an ‘older adult’ versus a ‘virtual grandparent’ may make a positive difference.

    In other words, if your kid is 20 and you are 40 you’re likely to treat him like an adult and try to push him/her towards responsible self-sufficiency. Also with youth still with you, you can enjoy relating to him/her as a fellow adult. If your kid is 20 and you’re 65, though, you’re more likely to be kicking into ‘doting grandpa’ mode and doing silly things like refinance your house to help him out with his financial problems. So I’m thinking of this not to counter the extended childhood issue but to deal with it.