Collateral Damage

Refer to this if you need a reminder of the characters.

Unless some new information arises, it seems that General Allen, at least, is just collateral damage in the Petraeus situation. Clearly he exercised bad judgment in his relationship with Jill Kelley, but associating with a loon is not a national security concern. I still [...]

Throwing his weight around in circumstances he barely understands…

Over at Balloon Juice, in a thread on the Petraeus situation, one of the commenters condemned his behavior:

Getting involved in someone’s custody dispute shows seriously bad judgment—throwing one’s weight around in circumstances one barely understands, with potential implications for innocent parties.

She was talking about this, but really is their any better description of [...]

Was Ft. Hood (or Aurora) Preventable?

I’ve written that Ft. Hood (and Aurora) were indeed preventable, noting:

Now, basically, the question he is posing is this: Service members take an oath when then join, and oath breaking is frowned upon. So he’s asking whether members of the armed forces can still be considered Shahid, if they kill fellow servicemen in the [...]

The Economics of Pot and the Nature of the “Obvious”

Yglesias highlights a new book that argues:

There’s been relatively little analysis of what a legal marijuana industry might look like. One key but little-appreciated fact is that, according to persuasive research by Jonathan Caulkins, Angela Hawken, Beau Kilmer, and Mark Kleiman in their new book Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs To Know, is that [...]

Debating Domestic Surveillance

So, when was up at Netroots Nation last week, I sat in on a great panel that focused on domestic surveillance issues, mostly from the perspective of the American Muslim community, but also considering the issue more generally.

Several thoughts occurred to me.

First, there was a general frustration with the level of scrutiny that [...]

The Problem with Justice

This has been a bad week for deposed despots.

First Charles Taylor got 50 years for his crimes against Sierra Leone:

In a landmark ruling by the Special Court on Sierra Leone last month, Taylor became the first former head of state since the aftermath of World War II to be convicted. The 64-year-old Taylor [...]

Race, Republicans, and Crime

Over at Balloon-Juice, Dennis G writes:

Race is the trump card of Romney, Rove and the GOP. White folks of a certain age in America grew up in a culture of institutionalized racism. Certain stereotypes, fears, anxieties, and even haterds were taught and learned to the point where these notions of race became the “normal [...]

Our Broken Justice System

We tend to focus on the issue only when some sort high-profile case comes up, but there are deep structural problems in our criminal justice system. The Washington Post has an interesting piece today that raises one set of issues:

Justice Department officials have known for years that flawed forensic work might have led to [...]