Monday Highlights

Good morning.

  1. Some of the pictures are very funny.
  2. Is it that all government expenditures not created equal?
  3. This is interesting … apparently antisemitism is a PR problem for the Jews, nothing at all wrong with those who hold or promote those notions. It’s the Jews fault. Strange, a fellow and his family can go to church for decades and hear not almost nothing about same sex, well, anything. Wonder where these people get those notions? Perhaps its not from inside the church, but external slanders? (Replace “Christian” with “Jew” and “antihomosexual” with, well, whatever antisemites gripe about and see if you think the reaction by Mr Schraub would be place the blame on the Jews).
  4. Here is more the sort of thing you actually hear in churches.
  5. A spy and his cover. In the Bush admin the left went ballistic over the “outing” of Ms Plame … this undercover operative … do you hear the outrage? Neither do I. Perhaps the outrage was political and not about the loss of cover by leaking data to the press? Odd that.
  6.  Occupy and their faux outrage against big corporations.
  7. Dark shadows, then and now and the missing monsters (or monstrous).
  8. Our moral president, always doing right by the people.
  9. Boys schools and context for the Romney bully kerfuffle.
  10. Social construction and empire.
  11. Disabilities and happiness.

7 responses to “Monday Highlights

  1. 5.A spy and his cover. In the Bush admin the left went ballistic over the “outing” of Ms Plame … this undercover operative … do you hear the outrage?

    The left? Certainly you forgot Mr. Bush himself said he was outraged and ordered an investigation!

    As for this case, I don’t think there was any ‘outing’. You have an undercover agent operating inside Al Qaeda. He convinces them to let him have the underwear bomb so he can do a suicide mission. A while later it’s in the news that the bomb is in the hands of the CIA/FBI being studied for clues. Clearly if this chap showed up at the next Al Qaeda meeting,they wouldn’t need ‘the media’ to think he had played them so his career as an undercover agent was over the moment he turned in the bomb. Even if the media was never alerted that the bomb was in the hands of the gov’t, the chap would not be able to ever return to working undercover against Al Qaeda.

    Why put the story out in the media in the first place? Putting it out in the media that Western Intelligence had infilitrated Al Qaeda, inserted undercover agents and obtained useful intelligence was likely part of the mission. First, you demoralize Al Qaeda and make them suspect that their fellow members may in fact be untrustworthy. Second, you make it known that their best bombmaker now is having his work intensely studied and profiled. Third you improve the morale of Western intelligence and enhance their image among terrorists of being all-knowing. You may not recall but after 9/11 we were told by many that getting agents into Al Qaeda or Afghanistan was impossible because so few people spoke the needed languages and the groups were so closeknit it was impossible to establish trust. That wasn’t helped by the petty use of leaks in the previous administration that centered more on winning popularity polls than on winning a war.

  2. Or long story short, under Bush and the Republicans the purpose of intelligence agencies was to provide talking points to fight for media popularity and win elections. Under Obama it’s to win a war. You decide which is more important.

  3. 8.Our moral president, always doing right by the people.

    First, it seems like it has nothing to do with the president or an ‘enemies list’.

    Second, only an idiot would believe both sides don’t do this, in fact we know they have done it.

    Third, what exactly is ‘bullying’ here? Googling someone’s name it seems is ‘bullying’. Or perhaps looking at the public record of lawsuits they have filed and, golly gee, maybe criticizing them over it, is ‘bullying’. A very curious stance for a blogger who went to extraordinary efforts to defend calling a young lady a slut simply because she disagreed with the right on contraceptive coverage.

  4. Re #2, http://modeledbehavior.com/2012/05/09/reductions-in-nominal-spending-growth-are-contractionary/ is probably a better explanation.

    The term ‘structural deficit/surplus’ means essentially what the budget would look like if you had full employment. This would require you take the actual revenue and spending (nominal values) and convert them into estimates of what you would have if you had full employment. (A related term is ‘primary deficit/surplus’ which is what you get if you ignore interest payments on debt, has less to do with this issue than it does to the differnce between Greece and Italy in the debt disputes in Europe).

    So while seeing spending rise slightly seems like an easy slam dunk in favor of the meme that austerity is a myth, it’s not. Keeping state spending flat or slighly increasing or deficits likewise when unemployment doubles in less than a year is, in fact, quite a lot of austerity and what’s pretty clear about it is that it has failed pretty badly.

  5. Boonton,
    The assumption that state spending must rise when unemployment goes up is not warranted.

    I guess this definition of “austerity” is akin to redefining a decrease (not change of sign) of the first derivative is a cut in spending or that a tax cut must be “paid for.” You learned the wrong lesson from Mr Orwell. Black is not white … and redefining peace as war or vice versa isn’t a useful tactic in casual conversation.

  6. Boonton,
    Orwell again? Black is white.

  7. The assumption that state spending must rise when unemployment goes up is not warranted.

    No assumption here, just a statement of reality. Unemployment going up is the same as a decline in spending by the private sector (which is both individual consumption and business investment spending). If state spending increases it can offset that decline, if it doesn’t it won’t and you’ll accelerate unemployment.

    I guess this definition of “austerity” is akin to redefining a decrease (not change of sign) of the first derivative is a cut in spending or that a tax cut must be “paid for.”

    The first derivative would be describing the change in nominal spending, which is not the definition I provided. Structural would be adjusting the numbers to full employment, not looking at their historical rate of growth. A nominal deficit of $100B may be a a structural balance in a year with high unemployment but a deficit in a year without one.

    You learned the wrong lesson from Mr Orwell. Black is not white … and redefining peace as war or vice versa isn’t a useful tactic in casual conversation.

    Not understanding the definitions of the terms is not some grand conspiracy against the language, just ignorance on your part.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>