Morning Links

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

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67 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  Radley Balko | 

    If you spent half as much time reading and thinking about the occassional stupid economic link as you apparently do defending their obviously misleading claims from ad hominem we’d all be better off.

    So. Another ad hominem argument, then. Your use of the word “obviously” doesn’t make it so.

  2. #2 |  Bob | 

    #46 Ron

    It should go without saying that I’m talking about people who are beyond-the-shadow-of-doubt guilty of the most heinous crimes imaginable.

    Well. There’s the problem. How do you define “beyond-the-shadow-of-doubt guilty”? Do you insist on video evidence from 5 different angles? No? What then, a confession? Eye witness testimony? Those have been shown to be… iffy at times.

    Your standard of justice just cannot be applied.

  3. #3 |  Other Sean | 

    For non-members of the rising inequality choir, it’s an interesting question to ask why this particular talking point is so cherished by progressives.

    Looking at the emotional responses early in the thread, and especially the rude shit-talk aimed directly at our host, you can see that shouting down the AEI piece was Priority One for a lot of people. Hell, even the Koch brothers got a free pass over the course of 50 responses, and when has that ever happened?

    What is it about the narrative of wealth inequality that makes progressives think: “This…this is the weapon that can win us the war”?

  4. #4 |  Phil in Parker | 

    Re: Sunscreen
    Last I remember, we were supposed to trowel SPF2000 on the kids to the point where they get vitamin-D deficient in July. This year sunscreen is BAD.

    I didn’t get the memo. When did it change?

  5. #5 |  Other Sean | 


    The rules change whenever you learn the rules. The rules change BECAUSE you learned them.

    What is this, your first time playing Overlord vs. Peasant?

  6. #6 |  StrangeOne | 

    @ Ron

    The problem is that “beyond a shadow of a doubt guilty” is not defined by you or me. It’s defined by prosecutors, jurors, and judges. Supposedly that same standard was already applied to the death penalty. But as the Innocence Project continues to free people from death row based on nothing more than DNA evidence, its becoming increasingly clear that that standard of evidence is a farce.

    I believe that if someone has shown themselves to be so dangerous that they warrant a lifetime of segregation from society, it does us no harm to be a bit kinder to them than life has. If a man spends the rest of his life in a concrete bunker or in a cabin in the woods surrounded by barbed wire, whats it to you? Returning cruelty seems to just satisfy an emotional vindictiveness at a great human and monetary cost. Solitary confinement, institutionalized rape, denial of medical services; our penal system has accumulated a laundry list of human rights abuses. That says nothing about the incarcerated and everything about the society that imprisoned them.

  7. #7 |  Burgers Allday |

    “It’s me, Burgers.” (TM)

  8. #8 |  Burgers Allday | 

    further to previous link:

    Good lord!

  9. #9 |  Ron | 

    #52,Bob & #56 StrangeOne,

    We could carry out both of these points to their logical conclusions and say that short of a confession, since we never really know if a person is guilty no one should ever be jailed or imprisoned.

    Do we know *absolutely for certain* that Jerry Sandusky was truly guilty of the crimes he committed?

  10. #10 |  BackinIndy | 

    Bob: “Why would this surprise anyone? This is the group that spends like drunken sailors at a whore house knowing that the Fed has no choice but to print enough money to pay for it.”

    I kinda resent this remark. Having been a drunken sailor, I never spent money that I didn’t have. When I ran out of money, I went back to the ship.

  11. #11 |  sglover | 

    “But merely dismissing all the studies outright because they’re aggregated on an AEI blog is no more intellectually honest than doing the same to any study mentioned in a Krugman column.”

    It is really, really difficult to understand how it is “intellectually dishonest” to point out that an institution that’s made itself a sinecure haven for serial liars might not be all that trustworthy. Nobody forced AEI to gut their own reputation. They’ve spent many years earning the disdain that so many commenters here righteously dispensed.

    Oh, but they’ve produced a “counter narrative”. How precious. But for AEI we’d all be locked in groupthink, because it’s so very very hard to get information and opinion in the year 2012.

  12. #12 |  albatross | 


    Let’s assume we have a set of really awful criminals about whose guilt there is truly no doubt. These guys are too dangerous to ever be let out into the world again. We broadly have two choices:

    a. Execute them
    b. Confine them somewhere away from decent people for life

    We also have a choice about how to do those things, ranging from maximum kindness (prison is a five star hotel you are not allowed to leave) to hell on earth (prison is a torture chamber intended to make you deperately wish you could die, but not let you).

    Now, this gets down to values, and probably can’t be argued logically. For my part, I find the idea of making prisons into torture chambers horrific. I don’t like unnecessary suffering.

    Once a prisoner is locked in prison for the rest of his days, any further suffering we impose on him can serve almost no purpose. It might add a bit to the deterrent effect of punishment, but I am skeptical it will add a whole lot to life without parole, and it might instead create a deterrent to being taken alive by the police. It’s pointless cruelty for its own sake. Similarly, once we have decided to execute someone, doing it in a painful way just adds needless suffering.

  13. #13 |  StrangeOne | 

    @ Ron

    I can’t speak for Bob. But I said nothing about imprisoning fewer people because of uncertainties about proof. I simply made the argument that those uncertainties should result in a more human system for holding prisoners than we currently have.

  14. #14 |  Ron | 


    All fair points. And you’ve boiled the issue down effectively: should prisons be used to torture those who have committed the most unspeakable crimes? Phrasing it that way, I would say no.

    On the other hand, I would still ask this question – is it right or wrong for the person incarcerated to be able to be able to experience whatever life there is in the general population … To eat, to breathe, to walk in the sunshine … you know, to live — When the person they have taken life from cannot?

    Then again, it may not be right or wrong, it just ‘is’. And this is the best a civilized society can do.

  15. #15 |  La Rana | 

    I don’t think ad hominem means what you think it does, Radley.

    “hey look at this. It’s facially retarded because it claims to measure one thing with something completely different, but I won’t disregard it unless you meaningfully disprove it” is a true mark of sophistication.

    I’ll say it again. Please, please just use the same critical skills you use everywhere else.

  16. #16 |  Other Sean | 

    La Rana,

    Let me help by showing you what an ad hominem looks like.

    The worst of many annoying cliches used by commenters here is the one that goes: “tsk, tsk…I expected better from you Radley. How dare the guy who provides me with a constant stream of free content on Topic X have the sheer nerve to incidentally challenge my views on Topic Y.”

    You, La Rana, are one of the most prolific users of that cliche. You do it all the time. As a result, I don’t like you. And because I don’t like you, I have gone out of my way this evening to make you look like a dick.

    That’s an ad hominem.

  17. #17 |  La Rana | 

    oh dear. sweetheart. ad hominem is a personal attack AS argument. mine was just a personal attack. As is yours. If you and Radley find a few more, perhaps we can have a class on logical fallacies.

    And cliche doesn’t mean “stuff people do repeatedly.”

    Thanks for playing.