The guarantee, iv. Or, a tonal mis-mash.
Let’s say this slowly: the Bush administration wanted to use 9/11 as a pretext to invade Iraq, even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. So it tortured people to make them confess to the nonexistent link.True, and very serious. I have nothing serious to add, but in the spirit of not publishing posts in which I just quote other people, I'll note that “it's evil” is not one word and that his post is therefore mis-punctuated. It should either not include the “it's” after the colon, or not use a colon there at all.
There’s a word for this: it’s evil.
All About the Hamiltons
But then I read this Michael Tomasky post about how Hamilton is being smeared for having written things he didn't write, favoring worshiping Allah over worshiping Jesus Christ, in an opinion on Indiana state legislative prayer, which I thought was a pretty interesting story, including this update, and worth passing on.
I read the penal code, part ii; Or: Don't jostle me, man
A person is guilty of jostling when, in a public place, he intentionally and unnecessarily:
1. Places his hand in the proximity of a person's pocket or handbag; or
2. Jostles or crowds another person at a time when a third person's hand is in the proximity of such person's pocket or handbag.
Jostling is a class A misdemeanor.
2. Paragraph 3 of this inauguration day post is hereby incorporated by reference, specifically with regard to the portion of the memos excerpted by Hilzoy.
A Tax Day Present
On a totally separate topic, but because I just heard it happen, if Yankees announcer Michael Kay never describes as “jeterian” again it'll be much too soon.
UPDATE: I don't think I was emphatic enough about how much I like the tone matrix. It's not just some web-thingy (seriously, that's the best description of the category it's in) that I'm doing a blog post about, it's the best web-thingy ever, I just wish there was a better way to avoid the problem of it getting repetitive than clearing the one you've made and making a new one.
Does Spielberg think Lawrence of Arabia is monstrous?
The telegraph wires are humming
The second is on how he learned a lot of real world lessons about dealing with piracy by playing some video game I've never heard of from Civilization creator Sid Meier. It's, what're the words I'm looking for, really good.
On the topic of Yglesias writing too much, Jim Henley's April 1 post was awesome, and I agree with every word he says on the topic of Yglesias in it.
Monday grammar blogging
The Cult of the Lizard King
I'm a fan of: the above video of Knicks forward-center David Lee and an animated reptile. No human being has yet explained to my satisfaction why it exists (David Lee having signed a deal of some sort with The Electric Company is barely even the beginning of an explanation), but what ever the reason for it, it's pretty great.
I'm not a fan of: Obama and his Department of Justice's continued reliance on the state secrets privilege to block law suits investigating Bush administration illegal surveillance, which is essentially a way of both taking political ownership of the surveillance program and promising to make the same illegitimate claim of a privilege to block entire cases on the President's say-so when actions of his administration are the one's being investigated.
Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger
I'm not a fan of: talking to Queen Noor (and, even more so, the current Queen of Jordan, Rania) and treating her as an advocate for progressive views; not pressing them at all on the issue of why non-democratic monarchical government, even one with some role for a parliament, is acceptable. I owe this point (the point that I'm bothered by ignoring the monarchy) to Yglesias making it three years ago.
Both of these are (obviously) references to tonight's episode of Colbert Report so I'll link to relevant videos (especially for the first part of the post, since without them there's little value to it) when they're posted tomorrow. Update:
Posted as promised.
These are O.R. scrubs.
I'm not a fan of: The op-ed bashing puns as the lowest form of humor or the NYTimes decision to make use of its limited Op-Ed space by publishing one taking any position at all on the value or lack thereof of puns. Also, I saw Harold & Maude for the first time the other night, and there's a visual pun on “right hand man” which cracked me up to no end.
I told you that: I'd be doing a number of posts in this format, I hope they're all right.
More of the same
I'm not a fan of: the most recent Ethicist column. Randy's wrong, there's almost certainly an ethical duty to disclose one's HIV-positive status to one's housemates, because the consequences of them inadvertently finding out that you were HIV-positive and hadn't told them are likely to be severe panic and emotional harm on their part, even though it's actually the case (per Cohen and the epidemiologist he speaks to, and I don't doubt though also didn't do any independent research to confirm) that the risk of infection by shared use of household items is vanishingly low. And the possibility that housemates will find out even though not told can't be dismissed when deciding whether or not to disclose. I'm undecided on the second question, but Cohen is at best batting .500 this week. While great for baseball, that's not so good for answers to self-selected queries.
As is the purple crayon
Say I go to Brazil on vacation and while there I slip and fall on hotel property. When I return to the United States, I realize I'm more badly injured than I had at first thought, and I sue my Brazillian hotel (which is a multinational corporation or otherwise properly under the jurisidction of a U.S. court, this is one of the complications I said I wouldn't work through). The U.S. court is almost certainly going to apply Brazilian law in determining whether the liability for my slip and fall should properly be assigned to the hotel, whether under a negligence standard or otherwise, and also in determining what kinds and amounts of damages I can get from the hotel if it was responsible.
If those events happened in Iran instead of Brazil, a U.S. court would, under the same circumstances, apply Iranian law. As far as I understand, Iran operates under a Sharia system, so when the court applies Iranian law to my slip and fall case, they'd be applying Sharia. Harold Koh's alleged acknowledgment of this shows that he is a monster.
Whistling in the dark
I've been trying to come up with a properly ridiculous proper comparison to illustrate just how absurd Calvin Woodward's article, claiming that Obama violated his campaign promise not to raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000 because he raised (or agreed with the Congressional decision to raise) the federal excise tax on cigarettes is, but I've totally failed. The best I've got is: Lowering the gift tax exclusion from $10,000 1997 dollars, inflation adjusted and rounded to the nearest thousand (which appears to be $13,000, the current gift tax threshold) to $8,000 inflation adjusted rounded 1997 dollars would be much closer to violating the promise, and yet isn't even close to violating it. That's because the promise was talking about the kind of broad taxes which target families and individuals regardless of their particular purchasing decisions (as Woodward notes, the examples given by Obama were income taxes, payroll taxes, and capital gains taxes), not taxes targeting particular transactions (I was trying to think of an example of a federal registration fee, since Woodward's article makes as much sense as it currently does if written about one of those being raised).
In the broad scheme of things, this is a pretty trivial thing to be outraged about, but I just find it hard to believe that Woodward actually thinks that raising an excise tax is in the category of taxes Obama meant, and if he doesn't believe that he's maliciously misleading his readers from a very powerful venue. Oh, I also think promises are important, breaking them is bad, and false accusations of breaking them are bad, but this applies in a much more minimal form to politicians campaign promises, which is something that someone should be reminded me of if I ever try to get outraged every time a Republican breaks a campaign promise.
*Complicating matters even further, as a general principle I'm against “outrage of the day” blogging, especially when it was all the rage during the primary elections and Presidential campaign and people were doing their best to freak out over every fillip