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Showing posts from January 14, 2007

Negative rights, affirmative rights

In old war movies they often used a klaxon to sound an alarm. It's that long "OOOOoooooooooOOOOOGAAAAH!" sound you hear on submarines and such. I literally just heard that sound while reading that Alberto Gonzales says that I do not have the right to habaeus corpus or at least that such a right exists and cannot be suspended but that somehow means that it may not apply to everyone. I'm at a bit of a loss how a right exists for some citizens and not others. Seriously.

I don't believe that people captured on a foreign battlefield have the right to trial in an American court with all the rules and protections that entails. To do so would require us to prosecute lawyers with brigade sized JAG units deployed hither and yon. Shoot the enemy and make them dead. Those that surrender will be held until after the conflict. Irregular forces and non-state actors are not covered by Geneva. They can be summarily executed and most of them should be. Any trials during …

Roe V. Wade

Happy Birthday, Roe v. Wade

There's something unseemly about wish "happy birthday" to a decision that has prevented millions from ever celebrating them.

Autism epidemic?

The Autism Numbers: Why there's no epidemic.

This one hits close to home and is a debate we've been having in the DE Autism community forever (or at least since I've been around).

Sadly, I have to concur with a large part of the author's hypothesis. Most of the reason there is an explosion in the apparent growth of people with autism is awareness and education. I'm not as cynical to say that this is largely predicated on people trying to garner more funding for research or whatever. Rather, there are more and more parents who see their kids slipping away from them and are desperate to get them back (count me among them).

Personally, I think autism is a confluence of several things happening at once more like a syndrome than a disease. Some researchers have shown strong links between mercury and autism. One study showed that mercury has a deleterious effect on motor neurons but that effect becomes absolutely devastating when testosterone is added to the mix. (Tha…

Education and intelligence

Charles Murray is a genius. (Genius here is defined as "he agrees with me so he must be really smart.")

This is part II of III. Murray is the author of "The Bell Curve" which was roundly criticized as being racist when it came out. His work was subsequently confirmed by peer research. Murray notes that he hoped to spark a re-evaluation of intelligence and education and how the two are related.

We've seen the progression of a procrustean system for students of all abilities. I doubt anyone thinks this is a good idea but nobody is willing to take the slings and arrows that accompany discriminating between student abilities. Imagine the uproar that would ensue if the principal told 20% of the students at A.I. DuPont that they would be directed to vocational education classes. He'd be out of a job faster than Christine O'Donnell at NARAL.

I can't speak for Delaware schools (or even public schools in the last 15 years) but when I was in HS they were…

The bottomless well of CEO greed

Free Beer!… And other perks CEOs get when they lose their jobs.

I used to work in Corporate Compensation and even administered the executive comp system for a Fortune 100 bank. That was in 1999 when thing really started to get crazy. The analysts then knew that things were really going off the rails. Some of the banks in the league tables tried to constrain the explosion but were wildly unsuccessful.

A big part of this is fueled by performance based pay. It used to be that CEO's drew large salaries and had lots of perks and some stock. Corporations found that they could defer the those salaries in favor of stock options and grants. That would then put the CEO's focus on stakeholder value which is his fiduciary duty anyway. The idea being, that if he's a large shareholder he will act to increase share value to benefit himself and subsequently, the other holders as well. Further, they found they could defer those stock awards and bonuses to the end of the CEO's te…

A Surprise to No One

Life loses all meaning

British Queen of France

This is just gobsmacking.

I cannot imagine this working. You think the Quebecois are a problem for Canadian unity? They'd be pikers compared to France integrated into Great(er) Britain. I can see them integrated into the Commonwealth. That would have made sound economic sense for both. I also wonder if that might not have obviated the development of the Common Market and strangled the EU baby in the crib.