What a world

by Ted on October 8, 2003

The whole thing is worth reading, but I’m just going to quote two paragraphs from a fascinating New Yorker article about people who commit suicide off of the Golden Gate bridge.

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Welshman wins Nobel economics prize!

by Chris Bertram on October 8, 2003

No, it can’t be! I thought … and it wasn’t. “Some other bloke”:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3172538.stm .

Policy analysis market rides again?

by Daniel on October 8, 2003

If anyone’s interested in taking the other side, I’d bet a shiny sixpence that when they say that they’ll be up and running by March 2004, they won’t.


by Brian on October 8, 2003

Juan Non-Volokh said that Joe Lieberman said something false on the weekend:

For example, Lieberman stated that the Bush Administration’s “Clear Skies” proposal to reform the Clean Air Act “actually would increase pollution” … He’s wrong … and should know better as a member of the Senate Environment Committee.

First, the proposed “Clear Skies” legislation will reduce utility emissions of NOx and SOx by around 70 percent. As I have noted before, the worst that can be said of “Clear Skies” is that it will reduce utility emissions marginally less than they might be reduced under current law – I say “might” because current projections presume that the current regulatory process will stay on schedule, and this is unlikely. Either way, this is not a policy that “actually would increase pollution.”

My first thought was that there’s a meaning for ‘increase’ that Lieberman could be using here. On second thoughts, I’m not so sure, but the semantic question is pretty interesting I think, at least if you’re a semi-professional semanticist.

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Dipping one’s pen in the company ink

by Daniel on October 8, 2003

Amitai Etzioni has a post up about workplace relationships, which addresses a number of genuine issues, and it certainly says far more about me than anything else that I can’t stop giggling about them.

The communitarian position on workplace relationships is not, as I’d expected, the unequivocal condemnation that one might have expected (simply on the basis that a random sampling of communitarian position papers suggested to me that they might be against anything fun). It’s quite nuanced and well worth a read. It’s all very easy to get all moralistic and say that this, that or the other kind of relationship is “off limits”, but to be frank, with working culture going the way it’s going, where the hell else are we going to meet people our own age?

Update: To make it clearer, the post is specifically about the University of California’s code of employment which basically is meant to stop professors from interfering with the cargo. I have to say it seems like an extraordinary imposition to me:

“However, as one professor argues, the rules are necessary because of the power gap that exists between professors and students, which precludes such relationships from ever being truly consensual. ”

Is it just me, or is this unbelievable balderdash? Are we really trying to claim that a relationship between a dashing young prof and a graduate student can never be “truly consensual”? Only according to a standard by which there have been approximately five “truly consensual” relationships in the history of sex. You don’t have to be Michel Foucault to see through this one.

Great Headlines of Modern Times

by Brian on October 8, 2003

From the front page of yesterday’s Boston Metro:

Rice to get bigger hand in Iraq

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The real story

by Ted on October 8, 2003

Daniel Drezner is getting angrier about the Plame case. This is the Bush quote that got him worked up:

I mean this town is a — is a town full of people who like to leak information. And I don’t know if we’re going to find out the senior administration official. Now, this is a large administration, and there’s a lot of senior officials. I don’t have any idea. I’d like to. I want to know the truth. That’s why I’ve instructed this staff of mine to cooperate fully with the investigators — full disclosure, everything we know the investigators will find out. I have no idea whether we’ll find out who the leaker is — partially because, in all due respect to your profession, you do a very good job of protecting the leakers. But we’ll find out.

Jack O’Toole writes:

Okay, let’s try to sort all this out with a thought experiment. In our scenario, it’s September of 2001, and this is what we’re hearing from our president:

“I don’t know if we’re going to find out who killed all those Americans in New York and Washington,” Bush said. “I don’t have any idea. I’d like to. I want to know the truth.”

But, Bush said, “International terrorism is a large thing, and there’s a lot of terrorists.”

Pretty ridiculous, huh? You can’t even imagine it. The Man from Crawford just doesn’t talk like that when evil is loose in the land, when serious crimes involving our national security have been committed. So isn’t it reasonable, important even, to ask why he’s suddenly talking that way now?

Incidentally, for those poor confused souls who aren’t sure that Plame really was undercover, there’s a Washington Post profile that might help clear that up:

Her activities during her years overseas remain classified, but she became the creme de la creme of spies: a “noc,” an officer with “nonofficial cover.” Nocs have cover jobs that have nothing to do with the U.S. government. They work in business, in social clubs, as scientists or secretaries (they are prohibited from posing as journalists), and if detected or arrested by a foreign government, they do not have diplomatic protection and rights. They are on their own. Even their fellow operatives don’t know who they are, and only the strongest and smartest are picked for these assignments.

But isn’t the real story… um…