Sunday assorted links


#2. Of course his first cite is Ulysses. How predictable was that?

Were you expecting Human Action by Mises, As We Go Marching by John T. Flynn, Rebels of Individualism by Jack Schwartzman, or The Order of Public Reason by Gerald Gaus?

4. "I have no expertise in this area whatsoever. My thoughts." A commenter on this blog? No, it was Arnold Kling.

The Maccabees and zealots were ready to lay down their lives for Israel when faith in the God of love, peace, and creation was replaced by idols demanding human blood and costly sacrifices. We make these sacrifices with every dollar devoted to unneeded weapons. We offer oblations to Mars with every speech proclaiming the necessity of bringing instantaneous death to people who have no capacity to strike us.

"If you want peace, prepare for war", my father used to say, quoting the Romans.

"when faith in the God of love, peace, and creation ...": I see you haven't read much of the Old Testament.

#4: Someone says something sensible and the libertarian take is 'a contrarian view'. I luuuvv it.

However, he argued his position as a free lunch economist, failing to also argue we are under taxed in order to provide for more government prisons, and government workers to watch and control more US citizens who will be denied jobs because as felons they are certain to harm other US citizens in their work.

"...Someone says something sensible"

Which someone (?) -- there are at least 3 people speaking in the reference + interpretations of other complex government data (which is somehow assumed to be absolutely true)

"crime" is a very subjective term in a country with tens of thousands "laws" and a police/court system heavily biased to "convictions". We do know by simple head counts that U.S. prison/jail population is much higher than other nations -- are humans different in the U.S. or is there some key cultural/governmental difference?

"“crime” is a very subjective term in a country with tens of thousands “laws” and a police/court system heavily biased to “convictions”. "

The vast majority of incarceration is for a few dozen crimes. See the difference between civil and criminal law.

"We do know by simple head counts that U.S. prison/jail population is much higher than other nations — are humans different in the U.S. or is there some key cultural/governmental difference?"

Another stupid cliche. Are you suggesting that because "humans" are supposedly the same everywhere, there aren't b real differences in criminal behavior?

... OK then -- name those "few dozen crimes", their percentages, and your data source.

Civil versus Criminal laws/penalties are at the whim of diverse legislatures, as are categorization of felonies versus misdemeanors. No person on the planet understands the body of U.S. "law", nor how it will be specifically interpreted in courts.

If you had read the article, you would have seen that most of the people in prison are in there for murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault (i.e. assault with a deadly weapon or assault that leads to serious bodily injury), and burglary. It is hard to see how any of those crimes should be misdemeanors and not felonies.

#4 - We should tell criminals to stop committing crimes because their actions are causing problems for us. Since they are inherently good, they will stop. An alternative view: a percentage of the population are born cheaters and sociopaths and we should protect ourselves from them. Since we cannot excorsize their sociopathy, we need to convince them the consequences of their actions are bad for them, so we should dispense harsh punishment.

Choose one.

Why are there so many criminals in the USA that you jail more people than any other country and still are much more violent than any rich country?

The racists say it is because we take so many immigrants from Latin America. I think they are wrong, very wrong.

The real reason why we have so many criminals in jail is that they were found guilty of a criminal offense. They should stop committing crimes.

"The racists say it is because we take so many immigrants from Latin America."

No, they don't.

"The real reason why we have so many criminals in jail is that they were found guilty of a criminal offense"
Why are there so criminals in the USA? Where do they come from? There are nearly as many, as a share of the population, in European countries? Are Americans particularly prone to be sociopaths?


We are much better than most countries, especially Brasil, at catching and convicting criminals. We are also better at record keeping. Brasil is much more dangerous - personal safety is a major issue for Brasileiros. When the Policia Militar saw my white face in the market in Belem they had three MPs follow me around, all of them packing heat. I felt very safe.

Yet, America jails much more people than most rich countries and ia much more violent than any of them. Are American sociopaths?

"Brasil is much more dangerous – personal safety is a major issue for Brasileiros. When the Policia Militar saw my white face in the market in Belem they had three MPs follow me around, all of them packing heat. I felt very safe."

Thanks to the correct leadership of President Temer, crime is retreating. Most Brazilians live safe lives, there are not "lone wolves" in Brazil, crime is illegal, relatively rare and sternly punished. Also, many Brazilians have white faces although maybe fewer than the aberage in Belém. The Polícia Militar, however, protects Brazilians independently of race, skin color, religion, social class or political positions.

I don't have data to back this up, but I would suspect that there are more sociopaths in the U.S. than in other developed countries. The U.S. is more individualistic than most other developed countries, and the population is also more mobile. Hence there is likely greater ability for sociopaths to thrive in the U.S. versus other developed countries, where there is much stronger enforcement of social norms and communities are much stronger, more settled and well established.

In New Zealand, I am told, newspaper vending machines have a voluntary donation for the amount to pay, on an honor system. Imagine doing that in the USA.

Maybe. But I wouldn't let them watch my sheep. It gets lonely out there in BFE.

My sister had one of these outside her cafe in NZ. She had to get rid of it as most of the papers were just stolen. Usually by old women.

Given that newspaper vending machines are made so you can remove as many papers as you want to at once, I'd say it's already on an honor system

#4 - The Times had an interesting take on arrest and conviction rates this weekend:

Seems like there are a lot of white drug dealers and users who manage to escape the criminal justice system. Under Incarcerated indeed. I'm sure this is who Jeff Sessions and the contrarians have in mind with a reinvigorated war on drugs.

The article follows the common format: simply assert that Whites sell drugs at the same rate as Blacks, while providing no evidence it's true, then discover a "disparity" when policing fails to align with the fantasy.

Jeff Sessions is a proponent of asset forfeiture, a procedure that would have meant instant revolution before the emasculation of the American male by the more and more complex web of divorce mandates, child support abuse and general female power politics. American men have become the laughing stock of the rest of the world.

Nope, just you.

Oh, God... Americans and their crazy gender resentments.

"Back to the progressive future: It’s not too late to overcome the mistakes of the Clinton era
Progressives had great ideas on trade, the environment and democracy — until Clinton threw them under the bus"

So the Progressives are refraining from taking any credit for US economic performance during the 1990s? Or are we to believe - without any credible evidence from the "reality-based community" - that had we followed the Progressive's doctrine, economic performance would have been even better had we just followed the words of their prophets?

Forgot the link.

One can propose that Clinton being to the Left of Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. answer for his good administration good outomes and, were he less centrist, rhings woukd have gone even better. It is not a proposition I would defend, though.

About 2: I got the impression the article it is not so much about The virtues of reading books we don’t understand.than about the virtues of reading books we don’t agree with

Freethinker - I agree. The talented writer of the article was describing step one in Father Brown's road to being a good detective - (1) "understand that weird people do not see themselves as weird" (the only difficult book the author mentioned was Ulysses, and as for me I did not think Ulysses to be difficult in those portions that were well written. The badly written portions are difficult but that is because even the nearly best of writers are, from the point of view of what their best book would be in the best world, incoherent - as Chopin said, there are a few good piano players, and then there are all those for whom music is sort of a foreign language. Since writing good long books is a rarer gift than playing the piano well, it is no surprise that even very good books like Ulysses will be full of sub-worthwhile collections of wasted verbiage). That being said, as long as the vocabulary is understood, Joyce is usually a good writer and usually clear and easy to understand. To return to the article (which included a paragraph about how the author of the article did not quite get the psychology of Bloom), I am on the side of the writer of the article even if he is not on his own side: the writer of the article thinks we should humbly try to understand the psychology of Bloom - I say don't be humble, don't bother, the psychology of Bloom is simply not plausible - but poor Joyce never lived in a setting with normal family good-hearted people, and it takes decades of such living to be able to create a completely believable fictional character. Which is why there are so few of them, it is all mostly entertainment and vaudeville. (Back to Father Brown for a moment - step one in the road to being a good detective, according to him, was something a little different than what I simplistically described as understanding that weird people do not see themselves as weird - but Chesterton, not some internet commenter, is the guy you want to go to for the interesting details.) (The Ernest Borgnine reference is to the scene in the Poseidon Adventure for which Borgnine should have, but did not, won an Oscar.)

2. Why is it that we value most writers who we understand the least? Doesn't that encourage more of the same? And doesn't the lack of clarity result in division, disorder, and instability?

When someone is speaking nonsense, modesty and humility require we assume intelligence and not madness. Perhaps we should change. Consider economists and climate scientists. Brilliance is thrust upon them but where are the correct predictions. They get their money for nothing and the chicks/boys are free.

#1, she's got tads too! i'm in love

very pleasant countenance, am sure, the prose she's writing has carry

quite mesmerizing dress as well

distance of alphabet soup

finest dishes go with culinary equilibrium, thru the distances

and a very much, resounding satisfaction, with the local

pictures, and stories, and rock & roll beats

nice cars, thru the ages, pulleys, equations, and all that shit ~archimedis

don't forget that lava rock, and fine vein of cement

pushing the limits, at the margins, lil' f o nobody s heads

expect to hear criticism, from time2time

lil scrunch face, poopies

sometimes, just to hear an echo, way way out here in outer space -- is a friend.

A big has spoken, lil', p p shits . . .

lots of ladies know, the way, this boy, meanders things together, with consistency, endurace, and just special b in'

and evibody was gettin' a diploma that night, of whom were privy -- when that big, added to lexicon

some of it is, . . . , just luck of b n there

pictures and woirds, around here, no travel needed

commensurates, meeting at night, smiles & puck -- two pronounced female prose masters/2sides of globe

bridges exists, b n's, speak

very happy to have been here 2nite, link 1., liked the visuals and contemplations, talent, presentation.

#5. Work of the Dead, while interesting (at times) and comprehensive, is not worth the effort. Author's grand thesis mainly supported by not so grand evidence. Also, Lacqueur is in love with the word "imbricated".

#2. I think the author just wanted to let everyone know that he read Ulysses.

4. Prison sentences are scarcely arduous enough to have any deterrent effect. People are essentially doing six years for murder. Truth in Sentencing helped, but its greater effect was specific deterrence - criminals in prison couldn't commit crimes.

Corporal punishment would be extremely useful in deterring crime, but America would never accept Black men being whipped. I think it's far more humane than caging people. Perhaps give people a choice.

I personally think a 100-beesting punishment for grand larceny is a far greater deterrent, a far greater rehabilitator, and a far more human punishment than 5 years in prison. After all, even hardened criminals have friends, family, and even sons and daughters who need their care.

Oh, no. I was a follower of the Cayce cult when I was a teenager. In retrospect and with a good education, I can say without hesitation it was a pile of BS. Cayce was either delusional or a fraud. Most of his "readings" were performed under the influence of an osteopath (Laney?) and the prescribed remedies were quackery of that time like violet ray. I have two violet ray machines, and they won't do anything for you except give you a tan, if you could run them long enough. Even today, the A.R.E. claims there's insulin in Jerusalem artichokes, which Cayce said in one of his readings. Whatever the entity was he was channeling, it must have had a problem with reading comprehension. It's not insulin (a protein only found in animals), it's inulin (a complex carbohydrate that gives me gas like crazy). Cayce wasn't just wrong, he was stupidly wrong. I did learn a lot from my time in the New Age movement, but the most important lessons were learning how to tell BS from a hole in the ground. I retain very little from those days, except I can teach people to see auras and I can dowse. If you're planning to dig a well, I can locate the exact spot for it. If you believe. And if you see me dowse, you will believe. I'm very good at dowsing.

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