Tuesday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. The whole “there are no no good faith arguments for X” is … what logical fallacy? Because it certainly smells like one.
  2. I’d like to see a rational liberal response to this question (more here). I suppose the counter question might be, why is it wrong to bring a gang of people with vuvuzelas to an Obama rally?
  3. This is not unrelated.
  4. Diabolical (?) treatment of Christians.
  5. Something of a role reversal indeed.
  6. Will things flip in Afghanistan?
  7. Hoooonk.
  8. Absent a public very prominent apology from the White House, Mr Obama is an ass.
  9. Verse, for Holy Week.
  10. Dreams of the urban cyclist … with a lady in a red dress?
  11. Someone wonders whence the personal and business debt? Check interest rates, I’d think.
  12. So, would you recommend this or something in 9mm (like the 92FS)?
  13. Catholic epsicopal scandals noted.
  14. Baikonur and space.
  15. Some philosophy.
  16. And … a history lesson.

10 Responses to Tuesday Highlights

  1. The whole “there are no no good faith arguments for X” is … what logical fallacy? Because it certainly smells like one.

    It seems to be assuming two things which nobody can really know — other people’s motives and total knowledge of all arguments. That said, it’s not really applicable in this case, because what the Obama administration is basically saying is that it has no arguments that it can make in good faith. That statement is not assuming either thing — it knows the arguments it knows (by definition) and it knows whether it can make those arguments in good faith (i.e. does it believe those arguments are true.)

    I’d like to see a rational liberal response to this question (more here).

    That seems rude to me and sets a bad precedent. Is that rational? Have you ever said so much against anyone on your side? Is it fair to ask for a rational liberal response when you would never offer a rational conservative response to misbehavers on your side?

    Absent a public very prominent apology from the White House, Mr Obama is an ass.

    I don’t get it. This link doesn’t contradict the reasons McChrystal was “resigned,” does it? I thought the reasons were that McChrystal liked to talk shit about Obama’s people, including Biden etc.

  2. JA,

    I don’t get it. This link doesn’t contradict the reasons McChrystal was “resigned,” does it?

    Yes it does, or at least it certainly did in my quick reading. The report found that the R/S report contained two types of statements regarding McChrystal’s statements, they were either unverifiable or they were verifiable and found to be outright fabrication (which kinda leads one to doubting the veracity of the unverifiable claims, no?). So, we have a situation where a guy was canned based on public remarks made, which are found to be unverifiable and false. Seems like a mistake to me, no?

    That seems rude to me and sets a bad precedent.

    What is rude? Screaming and making lots of noise to keep speakers from talking or my asking if you are going to defend it? I’m not sure what conservative misbehaviors you’re asking me to either not defend or to admit that are heinous. This at a time when a prominent liberal pundit is encouraging “uncivil” behavior, i.e., he is defending them. Which, in Mr Krugman’s case, is really dumb given his long loud expositions for civility by the other side in the wake of the AZ shooting. Remember you’re the one pretending you can “define” liberals by their greater “openness.” How/Why do liberal intellectuals bring vuvuzelas to shut down an opposition’s gathering?

    That said, it’s not really applicable in this case, because what the Obama administration is basically saying is that it has no arguments that it can make in good faith.

    Are they saying they have no lawyers in their employ? Isn’t a defense lawyer of a client he knows to be guilty still bound by the ethics of his profession to make a good faith effort to defend him?

  3. Or the report is a whitewash. Since he resigned there’s no need to make a big deal about what he said, respect for the chain of command was reinforced and the matter can be considered closed.

  4. Boonton,
    Or the report is a whitewash? Does the administration have no responsibilities here at all?

    Let’s see. A guy tells lies, loudly and publicly. He’s pressured to resign by the WH. It then comes out that they are lies. But … since respect for the chain of command was reinforced, so much the better. Wow, I’m glad I don’t work for you. Seriously, you’d fire someone working for you on the basis of public statements which turn out to be false … and subsequently take an “all’s well that end’s well” tack?

  5. Boonton,
    Re: the administration and suggestions of a whitewash. What motive would the administration have to whitewash the report? It seems that the reverse would be the case, i.e., to vindicate their actions finding the opposite would be what I would naively think the admin would have preferred. And since they are in charge of the investigation … how does that work?

  6. The administration flexed its muscle and established that it will not cower to critical generals, which is ‘badging’ that some Democrats feel is necessary as Republicans once ‘owned’ the military loyality. That being done, there was no need to ‘vindicate’ the administration. The general, on paper at least, didn’t get fired but resigned and a new one was put into place who the President thought mighth do a better job. Why tarnish the one who was pushed out? In fact letting it be said the statements were ‘not able to be verified’ let’s everyone save face. The one who resigned can fairly say it was a change in leadership as opposed to having to defend himself from the charge that he lied. The admin. let’s it be established that they run the military (which Constitutionally is right).

    The gist of what I’m getting at is that the guy probably did say it. It’s ‘unverified’ because it’s unverifiable. The general says he didn’t say it, the reporter says he did. Unless there’s an actual tape or you’re will to launch a major investigation pulling people in for lie detector tests and such you can conclude its ‘unverifiable’ and everyone goes home happy.

    Try reading the 6 page report at http://www.dodig.mil/fo/Foia/PDFs/ROI-508.pdf. Basically the General and the Reporter declined to meet with them and add anything. If the General was totally innocent why not scream it from the rooftop? If he was guilty, why add to the shame of having your Afghanistan command yanked from you by possibly getting yourself a charge of ‘conduct unbecoming’? No instead you shut the F. up and be happy that you can just say it was just a matter of two different command styles or the President wanted ‘new blood’ in the war.

  7. And note that this doesn’t require anyone to ‘control’ the investigation. If no one pushes the issue and no one wants to add anything the investigator will probably be forced to write that no conclusions can be drawn. You don’t need to actually corrupt the investigation.

  8. Boonton,
    You’re the one who was claiming this was a whitewash. Now you’ve changed.

    The gist of what I’m getting at is that the guy probably did say it. It’s ‘unverified’ because it’s unverifiable.

    Is that how your notion of justice works? This is a report in which those things which were verifiable were shown to be wrong. Why do you think the things that reporter claimed that were not verifiable was true? In your view, is a person guilty on the basis of … what?

    If the General was totally innocent why not scream it from the rooftop?

    What would that do? Consider the possibility he is (a) not guilty and (b) a soldier with his mission and countries best interest at heart. In that case, wouldn’t he do exactly what he did? Hmmm.

  9. Yes it does, or at least it certainly did in my quick reading. The report found that the R/S report contained two types of statements regarding McChrystal’s statements, they were either unverifiable or they were verifiable and found to be outright fabrication (which kinda leads one to doubting the veracity of the unverifiable claims, no?). So, we have a situation where a guy was canned based on public remarks made, which are found to be unverifiable and false. Seems like a mistake to me, no?

    He was not canned. He apologized and resigned. Obviously that could have been at the request/order of Obama, but the dude apologized and resigned so you can’t just assume that the charges are completely false. And yes, I would think that if in fact he hadn’t been criticizing members of the Obama administration he would have said so publicly. Why wouldn’t he? That would be win-win for him and Obama.

    What is rude? Screaming and making lots of noise to keep speakers from talking

    Yes.

    I’m not sure what conservative misbehaviors you’re asking me to either not defend or to admit that are heinous.

    I just meant generally. What with your recent admission that you see your role as “loyal opposition” and your total lack of ever admitting your side was wrong about pretty much anything even as you criticize the left for the same things the right does, I think it’s hypocritical to demand that we on the left criticize our own. Even though we do all the time, of course.

    Remember you’re the one pretending you can “define” liberals by their greater “openness.” How/Why do liberal intellectuals bring vuvuzelas to shut down an opposition’s gathering?

    I hardly think these are intellectuals, Mark.

    Are they saying they have no lawyers in their employ? Isn’t a defense lawyer of a client he knows to be guilty still bound by the ethics of his profession to make a good faith effort to defend him?

    Only if the client wants to be defended.

  10. You’re the one who was claiming this was a whitewash. Now you’ve changed

    I don’t think its a whitewash in the sense that the investigator had clear evidence but was ordered to come to a different conclusion. It was a whitewash in the sense that if the players had really wanted a serious investigation they could have gotten one. The General in particular would have ample motivation for this if he truely felt he had been wronged by a President who gulliblly fell for the inventions of a deceptive reporter.

    Is that how your notion of justice works?….This is a report in which those things which were verifiable were shown to be wrong. Why do you think the things that reporter claimed that were not verifiable was true? In your view, is a person guilty on the basis of … what?

    I’m sorry, justice? Was the general thrown in the brig and forced to sleep naked like the wikileaks leaker? Was he executed by firing squad? Nope, he resigned his job and was replaced. A position that exists purely at the pleasure of the President. Even if the entire story was fabricated by Rolling Stone & the President still has a problem wherein a high ranking military commander will have the appearence of being able to be disrespectful tot he chain of command. That alone merits removing an officer who, even if it wasn’t his fault, becomes a liability to military command.

    Why do you think the things that reporter claimed that were not verifiable was true?

    Well the motives are stronger for the General to cover up statements that went over the line than it would be for the reporter to totally fabricate the story. I notice from the report that the statements do not appear out of character for the general but instead there seems to be dithering about “did he say exactly X at location Y”….including the general asserting he doesn’t remember whether or not he said certain things. That doesn’t strike me as the poor general being set up.

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