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May 30, 2012

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I have always thought that the classroom-computer hype was a crock, for all classes and races. It was clear to me 20 years ago, that these idiots assumed that kids used computers to program, the way the earliest tech geeks had done.

It was just a politically safe diversion from the real problems of motivating students. And it lives on with local pols and school admins. Gah!

oh crap, wrong post.

My recollection is that Jefferson Davis spent the rest of his life imprisoned in a Federal military installation. Not my idea of a "cushy retirement" -- nor his, either, I suspect.

[HS: I though the was only in jail for two years, and then he got to retire to his mansion.]

This is also why the shareholders give CEOs golden parachutes. Those $10-20 million that is paid to oust a bad CEO are nothing compared to the damage he may do if he fights for his position.

Well, say what you will about the rapes, beheading, indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, and torture, but he's given us a classically timeless shoe that works on the basketball court, out clubbing, or just lounging around at home.

Sound like a nice suggestion for syria leader.

I totally agree. That's why things like the International Criminal Court are a bad idea. Heck, I wouldn't even have supported the Nuremberg trials. Stalin wanted to just execute them, and for once I agree with him.

Yes, exactly. That's why killing Gaddafi after he voluntarily gave up nukes was such a boneheaded move. The obvious lesson? Get nukes as quickly as possible.

Why is it that people on the left are so congenitally unable to understand incentives?

Consider the left-liberal response on each of these issues:

+ tax policy - "Dead weight loss? What's that?"

+ welfare policy - "It's compassionate for taxpayers to play the role of father and blacks, Hispanics and white trash people need to be treated like children."

+ foreign policy - "Go after the bad guys who gave up nukes (Gaddafi) or relinquished power voluntarily (Pinochet), but leave the ones pursuing nukes alone (Saddam Hussein)"

+ crime and punishment - "The death penalty does not deter murder because murderers aren't afraid to die."

-Mercy

Jefferson Davis served 2 years and then was bailed out by a coalition that included abolitionists like Horace Greeley. He was able to return to private life but banned from public office.

Idi Amin was allowed to go into exile in both Libya and (later) Saudi Arabia in peace. The Saudis gave him a stipend and some resources but grumbled when he would rack up $40,000 per month in phone bills.

He lived until the age of 79 and was never punished (or remorseful).

Charles Taylor's lawyers will appeal the sentence. They will ask for leniency because Mr Taylor resigned from office voluntarily.

Now other bad "warlords" know that stepping down voluntarily still means decades in prison.

Jefferson Davis wasn't a bad buy.

[HS: He was the most evil person to ever live in the Western Hemisphere in the 1800s. He caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands who fought in the Civil War. A lot of people wanted him executed at the time.]

"Idi Amin was allowed to go into exile in both Libya and (later) Saudi Arabia in peace. The Saudis gave him a stipend and some resources but grumbled when he would rack up $40,000 per month in phone bills."

No country that had achieved a level of civilization equivalent to Europe during the very worst of the Dark Ages would have granted him exile. Idi avoided the executioner solely because he hid out in two of the foulest, Stone Age-if-they-lacked-oil, sh*tholes in the known universe.

HS: He was the most evil person to ever live in the Western Hemisphere in the 1800s.

Not so much. He was quite possibly the most evil American of the 19th Century, but South America and Mexico produced some pretty bad characters in that period, too. Francisco Solano López of Paraguay started a war which killed more people (mostly Paraguayans) than the U.S. Civil War.

Davis would have had to have gone some to beat the Haitian leaders who killed more per capita of their own people, or various Afghani tribal leaders, or say, the leaders of the Taipeng Rebellion who in fighting the Manchu Government killed 20 million people at about the same time with the same muzzle loading musket weapons.

Nor was Davis the worst of the bunch, my vote would be for Nathan Bedford Forrest, of whom you can say he abandoned the Klan he created when it became a crimp on his ability to raise money from Northern Business interests (lacking even the conviction of his hatred). Davis even argued against Secession as a Senator from Mississippi.

The real push for Secession came from the people in South Carolina, which was no surprise, they pushed for it in the 1830's also. Lee more or less ran the entire War effort in the South after about 1862 or so. Davis was more of a figurehead.

I hope your comment to eggwhite is trolling, HS.

Lincoln is the one who caused those deaths.

Mercy wrote: "Yes, exactly. That's why killing Gaddafi after he voluntarily gave up nukes was such a boneheaded move. The obvious lesson? Get nukes as quickly as possible."

That is a bad lesson we've taught the world's bad guys. That's why rogue nations like North Korea and Iran won't stop until they have nukes. It's there only guarantee that the US or some sort of international coalition won't try to take them out down the road.

And of course the recent example of Mubark is a lesson that it's better to commit genocide than to give up power.

Jefferson Davis the most evil guy in the 1800s? Please. There would have been a civil war with or without him. Why don't you extend the same evil label to Lincoln? I'm no confederate either.

Jefferson Davis? I've never heard anyone describe Davis as evil before. It seems absurd to blame all of the Civil War and the resulting deaths on this one man. I have heard that Francisco Solano López was responsible for the War of the Triple Alliance. That was pretty bloody. Besides, López had his mother executed when he learned he was born out of wedlock. Evil bastard!

"we need to provide them a cushy retirement like we did for Napoleon"

Napoleon was first exiled to Elba, which was a pleasant place to retire. Problem is, he returned to France less than a year later and rallied old supporters, before he was put down for good at Waterloo.

He was thereafter shipped off to St. Helena, which was anything but cushy, and was never important again.

"Yes, exactly. That's why killing Gaddafi after he voluntarily gave up nukes was such a boneheaded move. The obvious lesson? Get nukes as quickly as possible.

Why is it that people on the left are so congenitally unable to understand incentives?"

Ah yes, the movement that includes every single Harvard professor, almost all of the upper levels of the financial industry, the entire government bureaucracy, and basically everyone who has gone to an elite undergraduate university is too stupid to understand incentives.

They understand incentives just fine.

They encourage crime because criminals attack their enemies and not them.

They destroy middle class schools because their children don't go to them and smart white kids from middle class backgrounds are the most dangerous threat to their own kids.

They encourage any "anti-American" because that just cuts off commerce that they don't control and gives money and power to the State Department that they do control.

They encourage the stupid and impulsive to breed because the stupid and impulsive are their shock troops and vote banks against the numerous and threatening middle class.

They make divorce laws so that women have an incentive to break up marriages because they marry women who won't break up marriages even if they're encouraged by law (though it happens sometimes) - at the same time their lower class clients don't even imagine getting married. Again, they effectively attack their enemies.

Qathafihi's crime, by the way, wasn't giving up his nuclear program. It was taking a pro-American stance out of fear of American military might. That's truly threatening to the progressive sphere because they don't fully control the American military and so they're terrified of it.

Progressives aren't stupid. Every single progressive policy that seems "stupid" actually advanced progressive interests while doing huge amounts of damage. Both of these things are good (in the worldview of progressives).

"He was the most evil person to ever live in the Western Hemisphere in the 1800s. He caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands who fought in the Civil War."

This label fits psychopathic zealot John Brown better than Jefferson Davis.

Jefferson Davis evil? Wow, that is pretty warped. As someone pointed out, all those deaths are on the head of Lincoln more than anyone else. The South was going to secede anyway, Davis didn't force it on anyone. Indeed, the South almost seceded back in 1850 (and in fact, the federal government wouldn't have been able to stop them back then). Not exactly sure where your anti-Southern bias comes from, but you might examine your own conscience. All Lincoln had to do to stop bloodshed was let them go free.

Has anybody been paying attention to the news coming out of Syria? Something that may be of interest to readers of this site is how white the president of Syria looks. Seriously, he could pass for a Frenchman. His wife is just as white. She was educated in England, so I assumed she was a Westerner who maried a Syrian, but nope, she is ethnically 100% Syrian. Look her up on wikipedia, she's actually pretty hot. Is there any easy way to tell which Arabs are white and which are brown besides looking at them individually. I remember reading that comtemporaries of the Prophet Muhummad referred to him as having white skin. What is the common consensus on the whiteness of some of these pale West Asians?

[HS: I think the white people in Syria are mostly non-Arabic. Syria is pretty close to the Caucasus, and people from the Caucasus are by very definition Caucasian.]

"I think the white people in Syria are mostly non-Arabic. "

The only people in Syria who matter are the Shi'ite Alawis, and they are clustered in the Western Levant area and mountains and are definitely not Arabs. The Alawis are a minority in Syria (less than 10% of population), but Bashar rules with an iron fist and populates all high-level government positions with Alawis instead of majority Sunnis.

As to the question of whether the Alawis are "white" or not, I'd like to point out that Hafez al-Assad could easily be mistaken for Ron Paul from a distance.

Camlost - only from enough of a distance where you can't tell whether his suit fits.

"Is there any easy way to tell which Arabs are white and which are brown besides looking at them individually. I remember reading that comtemporaries of the Prophet Muhummad referred to him as having white skin. What is the common consensus on the whiteness of some of these pale West Asians?"

Arabs from the Levant (Lebanon and Syria) are the lightest of all Arabs and Middle Easterners. Some of them, like the Assads, are physically indistinguishable from Europeans. Although Palestinians and Jordanians live in very close proximity they are notably darker.

Many Berbers of Morocco and Algeria also are very light, sometimes having blond hair, but technically speaking they aren't Arabs because their native language is Berber rather than Arabic.

Bashar Assad looks like a very fair Arab, but Assad's wife could easily pass for Spaniard.

"Many Berbers of Morocco and Algeria also are very light, sometimes having blond hair,"

The flow of DNA across the Mediterranean has been FROM Southern Europe TO the Middle East. Southern Europeans actually have little recent Middle Eastern DNA in them because they have controlled the Mediteranean for the better part of the past 2700 years when Greece first started colonizing the Ionian coast of modern day Turkey in the 7th century.

As for Berbers, they may have a substantial amount of European genetic input.

North Africa was colonized first by the Romans after Rome destroyed Carthage and gained undisputed control of the Mediterranean.

Later, after Rome fell, North Africa was colonized by Germanic Visigoths who swept through France and Spain.

Visigoth occupation of North Africa is probably why many Algerians such as square-jawed soccer player Zinadine Zidane could walk through a city in Austria or Germany and be mistaken for a native German if he weren't already famous in Europe.

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