Taking the Wrong Approach

I’m increasingly coming to the conclusion that both sides of the “Did We Torture?” debate are doing themselves a big disservice in how they approach their arguments.  This perhaps isn’t surprising since I tend to think this is the case on most controversial hot-button topics. The pro-waterboarding side’s real argument isn’t that waterboarding, etc., aren’t…

Where are you Congress?

In response to Scott’s excellent post, I would say that all this shows is yet again that the Executive Branch is not the right organ, nor the Judicial, nor the CIA itself.  Congress needs to create a legislative framework for this Long War.  It’s right to discuss the issue of torture and bring this to…

Comment of the Day

From commenter Ken (comment #6 in this thread): If we just continue to pretend that every detainee knows about a bomb about to explode ANY MINUTE in a big building full of babies and nuns and puppies and baby nun puppies, we’ll all feel fine no matter what we do.

torture

“Under torture you say not only what the inquisitor wants, but also what you imagine might please him, because a bond is established between you and him… These things I know, Ubertino; I also have belonged to those groups of men who believe that they can produce the truth with white-hot iron. Well, let me…

Speaking of the DHS memo redux…

Michael Savage has filed a lawsuit against the government claiming that the memo has a chilling effect on free speech (H/T: Dispatches from the Culture Wars).   Regardless of one’s opinion of the content of the memo (I agree with Mark), Savage’s claims are ridiculous at best and given that there is absolutely no case or…

quote for the evening

“The notion that differences of opinion between the Catholic church and U.S. law will somehow render Catholic judicial nominees unconfirmable is demonstrably ludicrous. In addition to opposing gay marriage, the Catholic church also opposes divorce, birth control, abortion, and any number of other things that are permitted by U.S. law. Indeed, the Supreme Court has…

Why I care about this Apple vs. PC business

So there’s this company. Maybe you’ve heard of it. It’s called “Apple”. (I know– really non-threatening!) I don’t harbor any animus against this company, personally. At least I didn’t. But several years ago, Apple started doing something that’s not very nice. You see, Apple has been talking shit about me for years. And they’ve been…

quote for the morning

“Twitter is social networking for the postapocalypse, a Spartan chatsystem for survivalists suffering from a radical scarcity of face-to-face information. There’s a reason so many zombie enthusiasts tweet. But until we are legend, Twitter is mostly a great way to kill five minutes. Despite the supposed death of the newspaper at the hands of changed…

Anticipating Cuba

It’s very good news that steps are finally being taken to ease relations with Cuba.  So far, Obama’s efforts to normalize American/Cuban relations have not gone nearly far enough, but I understand the need to move slowly.  International politics is a sort of dance and dagger fight, and one side cannot be seen as making…

On the Bounce

As far as columns designed to provoke go, Tom Ricks’ latest effort has succeeded admirably: Want to trim the federal budget and improve the military at the same time? Shut down West Point, Annapolis and the Air Force Academy, and use some of the savings to expand ROTC scholarships. After covering the U.S. military for…

Who was Spengler?

I can’t remember how I first found Spengler, but it was sometime in the fall of 2007 when I was tentatively trying to figure out how to run my first blog. Then as now, stumbling across obviously intelligent writers with highly idiosyncratic, often repulsive, and yet sometimes weirdly compelling takes on the world was a…

Weekend League Round-Up!!!

We have been accused from time to time of having far too many posts many of which are far too long – and conversely, others have accused us of having far too few posts, though few have complained that they were much too short.  In any case, here’s a little round-up of what you may…

Justice claims are moral claims.

Scott makes the argument, bizarre to my ears, that the language of morality has somehow become the special property of the religious Right, and implies that the movement liberalism has neglected its inheritance of moral reasoning. Liberals, he says, are forgoing moral considerations in order to focus on “what works.” I’m unclear on exactly which…

Initial Thoughts on the Memos

I’ve had time to give the Bybee memo a good read, and I’ve gotten pretty far into the first Bradbury memo.  First, let me say that I think my position on the techniques stated therein has been made pretty clear over the last several years I’ve been blogging.  My moral outrage is undiminished. One thing…

Retiring from the League…

…taking up residence to the libertarian paradise that is Somalia.  I’ve had a few liberals tell me I ought to go there.  I could use a change of scenery anyway. H/T to the commenter who made reference to the Somalia Snark.  Yes, I think people who say that are idiots. Don’t mind the humor.  Given…

Friday Night Jukebox

Customarily, these Friday Night Jukebox posts come with some ruminations about the musician or music in question. But I’m afraid the same real-life conditions that compel me to post these videos leave me able to only say, listen to Neil….

truth and consequences

“Disclosure of the techniques is likely to be met by faux outrage, and is perfectly packaged for media consumption. It will also incur the utter contempt of our enemies. Somehow, it seems unlikely that the people who beheaded Nicholas Berg and Daniel Pearl, and have tortured and slain other American captives, are likely to be…

Intellectual Insecurity

To follow-up briefly on the recent discussion regarding intramural conservative debate, there’s an odd tendency among certain mainstream conservatives to unduly concern themselves with enforcing intellectual orthodoxy. Case in point is this hysterical blog post from National Review’s Cesar Conda, which implores the Hoover Institute to kick Professor Diane Ravitch off the payroll for suggesting…