“Decisive conclusion”

by Chris Bertram on November 19, 2012

I last paid attention to the Jerusalem Post when it was running apologetics for Anders Behring Breivik. It seems to have gone one better yesterday, with an article by Gilad Sharon entitled “A Decisive Conclusion is Necessary”, a sample:

We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn’t stop with Hiroshima – the Japanese weren’t surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

As one person remarked to me, maybe “decisive conclusion” could be one rendering of Endlösung.

Meanwhile, the President of the United States has this to say:

… there’s no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.

Well then, can we expect Pakistani tanks on the White House lawn imminently?

Perhaps not.

And so the familiar litany of “justifications” goes on, most predictably about Hamas being to blame for any civilian deaths because their “operatives” “hide among the civilian population”. Those of us who have been paying attention during recent wars in Libya and Syria will note that nobody thought Gadaffi and Assad any the less responsible for the babies they killed (and in Syria, continue to kill) from the air because those resisting their tyrannies did so from populated areas such as Misrata and Aleppo. Do different principles apply when it is the IDF doing the killing? It would seem so.

And there seem to be a lot of “surgical strikes”. You know, the ones that magically discriminate between the innocent and the guilty in urban area, except when they don’t.

So it goes.

Roth and Satz on repugnant/noxious markets

by Ingrid Robeyns on November 19, 2012

Repugnant markets is one of the research topics of Alvin Roth, one of the two winners of the 2012 Nobel Prize in Economics. These are markets where a ‘yuck’-factor constraints them from being accepted by the public as legitimate. Examples are the markets in human organs or markets in babies. We (or perhaps better: most of us) find such markets repugnant, and this repugnancy works as a constraint on such a market. Roth argues that economists should take this repugnancy constraint into account when studying markets, but also argues that economists have “an important education role of pointing to inefficiencies and trade-offs, and costs and benefits” [of the persistence of such repugnancy] (p. 54).

What struck me when reading Roth’s paper, is that he doesn’t explicitly include values in his analysis. [click to continue…]

Mark Steyn, Texas Sharpshooter

by John Holbo on November 19, 2012

Mark Steyn: “Just to be clear: I think Obama won the election, and his victory represents the will of the American people. Which is why the Democrats should have heeded Mubarak’s words and not over-stolen it.”

Glad we cleared that up!

By contrast, it actually is clear what fallacy Steyn is committing in his post. He’s a Texas Sharpshooter, if there ever was one. [click to continue…]