Information Wants to Be Forced to Circle Robin Hood's Barn...
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Liveblogs World War II: May 26, 1940

links for 2010-05-25

  • JH: "In response to my request for him to explain what conservative-libertarian principle it is that Goldwater (read: Any Good, Principled Conservative) should have bent, and why, to accommodate the Civil Rights Act, [Conor] Friedersdorf quotes quite a bit from Brink Lindsay and a bit more from Julian Sanchez. This is all fine.... If the conscience of a conservative should be, ideally, the conscience of a liberaltarian.... the conscience of a Lindsayan liberaltarian is pretty darn liberal – with some policy disputes on top... liberals tend to adopt self-defeating policies. When Lindsay stands with liberals it is mostly on philosophical grounds. This point fits in with the one I made in this post, about different sorts of libertarians: basically liberal or basically feudal. If you are a feudal libertarian, you really shouldn’t have a problem with Jim Crow, in principle. If you are a liberal libertarian, you should..."
  • MB: "In the debate over how to try Khalid Sheik Mohammed, I see three options: (1) Denounce the civilian trials praised by Wright, on the Liz Cheney Rationale that they allowed 9/11 to happen; (2) Agree with Wright that civilian trials for suspected terrorists are the right way to proceed, and that they would shore up the credibility and integrity of the American system of justice; (3) Insist that the American system of justice never had credibility or integrity in the first place. Once again with feeling, I do not understand how (3) is an effective argument for anyone who seeks a civilian trial for Khalid Sheik Mohammed. For the record, I... expect... Obama... to cave.... [M]y wing of the left, I think, will prefer to say “the Obama Administration has given in to the voices of fear and authoritarianism; this is a travesty, for there was a time, not long ago, when the United States responded to terrorism more sanely and lawfully.”"
  • EK: "Emory University political scientist Alan Abramowitz... strong empirical support for the "median voter theorem."... "For every additional one point increase in conservatism, Republican incumbents lost an additional three percentage points in support relative to their party's presidential candidate."... There are abundant reasons other than candidate electibility for conservatives to urge the GOP to become more conservative, with the most obvious being the desire to achieve conservative policy goals.... But a clear-eyed view of the political marketplace remains essential, and in a representative democracy, it's also a matter of principle to care about what a majority of actual voters want, if not each minute, then over time. And let's face it, there's really no recent precedent for a major political party reacting to two consecutive bad election cycles by becoming more ideologically rigid." "
  • SC: "[B]otanists led by my colleague John Doebley... 60 samples of teosinte... all maize was genetically most similar to a teosinte type from the tropical Central Balsas River Valley of southern Mexico... genetic distance between modern maize and Balsas teosinte, they estimated that domestication occurred about 9,000 years ago. These genetic discoveries inspired recent archeological excavations of the Balsas region.... In the Xihuatoxtla shelter, they discovered an array of stone milling tools with maize residue on them. The oldest tools were found in a layer of deposits that were 8,700 years old. This is the earliest physical evidence of maize use... what it tells us about the capabilities of agriculturalists... small groups and shifting their settlements seasonally... transform a grass with many inconvenient, unwanted features into a high-yielding, easily harvested food crop... in many stages... as many different, independent characteristics of the plant were modified."
  • FS: "Peter Kafka actually bothered to ask the NYT about how traffic from side doors (as opposed to the “front door”, which is the home page) would be treated once the paywall goes up. And he got a pretty unambiguous answer... the paywall is more of a navigation fee than an FT-style meter. All paywalls have workarounds, and it’s silly to spend a lot of effort trying to stop the determined from reading your content for free. The NYT paywall instead targets the loyal readers who go straight to the site. Of course, there are consequences to that decision. For one thing, it shrinks the universe of potential subscribers, and therefore the amount of revenue the paywall scheme might realistically make. And more invidiously, it places the NYT’s own blogs at a huge disadvantage compared to everybody else’s. I can link to an NYT article knowing that my readers will always be able to follow the link, but Paul Krugman can’t. Which isn’t going to make him very happy."
  • FS: "European bourses... started off low and basically haven’t moved... FTSE 100 is now pretty definitively below 5,000 for the first time since September. There’s the flight-to-Germany... Libor... looking ugly... the euro... at 1.22. And... the proposed German short-selling ban. All of which makes the downward lurch in US stock prices seem pretty reasonable.... Stocks are naturally volatile thing... you might want to have another look at the spreadsheet that Frank Tantillo and I put together.... The S&P 500 is down 2.8% today: another day like this, and it’ll break back down into triple digits. Just remember, though, that it was not all that long ago the S&P was trading below 700. As ever, if you’re invested in stocks, make sure you have a strong stomach. And expect a lot more volatility going forwards."