Post-Memorial Day Quick Hits

My browers tabs are filling up faster than I can empty them. So here are some quick reads going into this week:


George Will has a great piece on the Presidential candidate we need. The problem is that we’ve had people run like that. They don’t get as far as someone promising the American people the world for free.


Bjorn Lomborg reminds us that Paul Ehrlich is a pathologically wrong doomsayer. We should continue to ignore anything he says.


More on Operation Chokepoint. Money quote:

The ability to destroy legal industries through secret actions to deprive them of banking services has obvious political consequences. For example, it was reported last week that firearms shops are alleging that Operation Choke Point is being used to pressure banks into refusing to providing financial services. There are also reports that porn stars (and here) have had their bank accounts terminated for “moral” reasons related to the “reputation risk” of banking individuals in the porn industry. IRS officials must already be salivating about ways to apply Operation Choke Point to tea party groups.

In principle, of course, the logic of Operation Choke Point could be extended to groups not currently targeted. Notably absent from the FDIC’s hit list, for example, are abortion clinics, radical environmental groups, or, well, marijuana shops, for that matter. Something similar was done to cut off credit-card payments to support the operation of WikiLeaks.

The larger legal and regulatory issue here is the expansive use of the vague and subjective standard of “reputation risk” to target these industries. In a letter to Janet Yellen, the chair of the Federal Reserve, last week, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling expressed concern over the growing use of “reputation risk” as a vehicle for attacking legal businesses. Is there any discernible principle as to why, for example, a payday lender or firearms dealer poses a “reputation risk” and an abortion provider does not?



The White House has either deliberately or mistakenly outed the CIA’s top officer in Kabul. I was virtually alone on this blog in supporting to pursuit of the Valerie Plame affair. This should be pursued with similar fervor.


One final thought. Over the weekend, we had a horrible mass killing in California by a 22-year-old. There was a lot at play here: clear mental issues and violent tendencies, social emotional and sexual isolation, an attitude of entitlement and narcissism. And it exploded in seven deaths.

I don’t know that this could have prevented. But I would like, just once, for the Left Wing in this country to not to bathe in the blood of the slain every time this happens. Mass shooting are thankfully rare, despite the mathematically-challenged efforts of rags like Mother Jones to convince us otherwise. They constitute a tiny portion of the violence in this country. This kid stabbed three people to death, tried to run over others with his car and then shot a few more. In doing so, he used small arms with low-capacity magazines purchased in compliance with California’s strict gun control laws. This isn’t about gun control. Nor is it about Men’s Right or Pick-Up Artists or whatever other group of men you want to demonize. This isn’t about finding some group you’ve never liked and pinning this on them. This is about a deranged adult with severe issues and an unrelenting anger against women (and men, for that matter) who did something unspeakably evil.

Just for once, could we wait maybe a few hours before people start grinding whatever political ax they want to grind? Men’s rights, pick-up artists, gun rights, sexual harassment, men who feel “entitled to sex … come on. There are a couple of hundred million gun owners in this country. There are millions of men who have some sort of resentment toward women (and virtually all have gone through some stage where they were bitter about their relation with the fair sex). There are tens of millions who are sexually, romantically or socially frustrated. There are tens of millions who have untreated mental health issues. You know how many of them went on a murder spree this weekend? One.

In a nation of 3000 million people, there are inevitably going to be people where the right alchemy of mental illness, resentment, anger and lack of empathy will come together to produce this sort of thing. Sometimes they are caught before they happen; sometimes they aren’t. Blaming groups of millions of people for the actions of one is just stupid.

Cut it the fuck out.

Comments are closed.

  1. Hal_10000 *

    Correction to this post: the indications are that it was military officials who inadvertently outed the station chief by including his name on a list. Still warrants investigation.

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  2. richtaylor365

    My kid has friends that go to that school, talk about a parents worst nightmare. Although one of the grieving dads made news by going off on the NRA and gun owners, I figure anyone that has lost their kid can say any damn idiotic thing he wants. That is why I always cut Cindy Sheehan some slack, nobody should have to bury their children.

    In a nation of 3000 million people

    You folks out there have been busy :)

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  3. Hal_10000 *

    Although one of the grieving dads made news by going off on the NRA and gun owners, I figure anyone that has lost their kid can say any damn idiotic thing he wants.

    That was my reaction, too. I can’t imagine what they’re going through right now.

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  4. Miguelito

    But I would like, just once, for the Left Wing in this country to not to bathe in the blood of the slain every time this happens.

    Especially since the first 3 people he killed (his roomates) were stabbed to death and yet all they’re on about is “Gunz R EVIL!”

    Plus, his “manifesto” seems to indicate he originally planned to lure people home and torture them, likely not using guns I’d think (based on stabbing the roomates).

    Let’s face it, nutjobs will snap once in awhile and, short of being so restricted that life isn’t worth living, you can’t stop all homicides and such.

    If anything, he does seem like he was a spoiled and entitled little punk (though it’s more complicated, of course) that finally realized life wasn’t going to be simple with him always getting his way, and he lashed out against that. The stuff I’ve read is full of irony too.. whining about the mega rich and stuff, as if his family was anything but pretty damn well off.

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