Assorted links


5th article is a mis-link?

The Kevin Drum link is well worth reading, and the summary is accurate.

Kevin Drum raises an interesting point at the start. He claims that Muslim terrorists are obsessed with airplanes. Essentially a good Muslim terrorist would prefer to kill two Westerners on an airplane than, say, two hundred in a bus. Is this really the case (his argument falls apart if it isn't)? If so, why?

This raises another point. Terrorist attacks by Muslims who are American citizens on other Americans have been very rare, same with terrorist attacks by Arabs who are Israeli citizens on other Israelis. I can think of only one incident in the US, and (though I am less certain about this) one incident in Israel. A terrorist group targetting the US essentially has to bring operatives into the country from the outside. Why is this the case?

I have no idea what the answer to either question is, but I suspect they are important in finding a solution to the problem.

At any rate, Drum's points are as usual well thought out but wrong, simply because making it more difficult and/ or more degrading for passengers to board the plane makes little difference to whether the plane gets blown up, which is his concern. You have to check the luggage.

I was curious how the TSA thing would play out with Tyler. He love the signalling theories, so surely knows this is all theater. But he is also such a contrarian he had to go against the obvious interpretation.

She doesn't have to argue her case. She gets a vote, that's all. My guess is the jury is there to deflect responsibility from the state.

"Part of me agrees with this. But look: there's a difference between something being annoying and something being a violation of civil liberties."

And on what planet are strip-searches and frisk-searches (they aren't really pat-downs) not a violation of civil liberties? How useless can civil liberties be if they don't actually protect you from anything as long as we infringe on everyone? Useless to me nearly by definition. Okay, so you are willing to dash civil liberties as long as everyone is abused. Why can't you say that? Then I could tell you that civil liberties aren't just about equal treatment for all the protected identity classes.

Where do these people get their talking points? I'd say the NYT, but Bill came up with this before they said it.

Barro, as usual, has zero insight on the issue. The guy needs to retire.

The ostensible purpose of juries is to decide questions of fact, as opposed to questions of law. The idea is that, while questions of law are best decided by someone with legal training (a judge), questions of fact can be decided by anyone with common sense -- and having 12 guys off the street decide such questions is better for individual liberty than having 1 government official decide them.

Lawyers realize that jury trials have a large element of chance and try to include that in their calculation of settlement value.

3. What is baked into the cake is that no matter what happens now the cool heads on this issue will have appeared as the sensible ones because: another airplane attack or not -- we can't run a counter-factual. All police state measures enjoy this privilege (of silencing a freer version of history) and as the country grows older and more conservative and the government becomes more intrusive we will look back and say how sensible each step now seems to have been. Marginal revolution indeed.

The Cato article on Ireland is interesting if you like disengenuity. Despte the article, look at the first graph and what you will see is that Ireland had a balanced budget until 2007-8

A Balanced Budget???

Looking at the graph and the tables provided at the link to "one of Ireland's top economists" show that there are three years since 1987 when Ireland ran a minor budget surplus. For each of the other 24 years the country has run a budget deficit. Three surpluses opposed to 24 deficits does not suggest a balanced budget to me.

It is amazing that the jury foreman is so positive about having wasted a week of his life listening to a trial and deliberating on the evidence presented, only to have a "plea bargain" moot his and his fellow jurors' efforts.

What is the reason for a judge to allow a plea bargain after the closing arguments for a trial have ended?

This focus on Ireland's corporation tax rate really does boggle my mind. Of course it didn't create the bubble, and of course raising it would deminish any chance the country has of recovery.

That during the single currency's existential crisis, when many peripherals and perhaps even the European project itself are in jeopardy, the corporate tax rate in Ireland is put on the negotiating table speaks only of the utter self-delusion of the big-statist eurocrats.

Either Ireland's recovery is important to these countries, or it is not. The idea that onerous conditions such as a corporation tax hike or a punitive interest rate makes no sense if your goal is the former.

Is it naive of me to think that the defense attorney should have moved dismal & had it granted immediately? How in the #*@($# can a reasonable man think that the evidence exceeded reasonable doubt?

I'm with you one the cover-up of mutual screwing-up. I'm pretty sure the kid was innocent. Now he's just another ***** been done wrong by the man with no reason to try to work the part of the system that involves cooperation with the broader community.

Those who voted innocent should have paid off his fine. Give the kid some hope.

Barro writes: “the Treasury can produce identical effects [to QEII] by changing the maturity structure of its outstanding debts.” This is overstated, because retiring long-term bonds in favor of short term bills (what the Treasury would do) is different from retiring long-term bonds in favor of base money (QEII) to the extent that T-bills are different from base money. But there must be some truth to it, since T-bills are *closer to* base money than are long term T-bonds. So the Treasury could have helped dampen the recession by issuing more in T-bills and less in T-bonds, provided this did not affect the Fed’s operations. (Just as the Fed could counter the effect—if any--of fiscal stimulus, so it could counter any attempt by the Treasury to affect monetary policy.)

"I want to note, for the record, that the settlement demonstrates the accused in this case was guilty, and Mr. Foreman and his nine bleeding hearts were wrong."

How does it demonstrate that?

"The settlement in this case should have been the initial plea."

You base that on your belief based on what a juror said the evidence was?

Consider that there were 2 other criminals with no leads. Unless of course the suspect revealed them. Would you like to bet that he was not given an excessive penalty, with the promise that he could get a much-reduced sentence or even go free if he ratted on his two friends?

And so he could come out very much ahead if he was actually guilty, but as an innocent suspect he would have nothing to negotiate with?

Except -- even if he was innocent, he could rat out two other innocent guys and do much better for himself. And if they get picked up 2 months later, what defense could they offer? What if it was you? "Where were you at 2 PM on September 18? Can you prove it?"

So OK, after he didn't finger anybody else, and he had a mistrial, he had a choice. He could wait for a new trial, and maybe get another mistrial or possibly they might decide he was guilty that time. Or he could go ahead and get his GED and have it over. Is that choice some sort of evidence that he was in fact guilty?

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