The Jury Talks Back


Oh that poor, poor woman…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Scott Jacobs @ 10:08 pm

Via the lovely DRJ, I have found the feel-good story of the year

By “feel good”, of course, I mean “deliciously ironic”.

An Ohio agency director resigned Wednesday in the wake of a finding that she improperly used state computers to access personal information on the man who became known as “Joe the Plumber” during the presidential campaign.

My only problem is that the <insert rude word for a female of your choice> wasn’t freaking fired.  Seriously, why the hell wasn’t she?

Department of Job and Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelley said in a statement accompanying her resignation that she won’t allow her reputation to be disparaged and that she is concerned for her family’s safety.

So, wait…  It’s ok to dig hard and heavy into the personal life of a random, non-public servant – the definition of “private citizen” – and to release piles and piles of personal info, but god forbid her reputation be disparaged.  That just isn’t acceptable.

And I would love to know the exact reason she feels worried for her family’s safety.  If it’s because the news folks stop by (are they camping there?), then lady needs to cowboy the fuck up.  She chose to do something of – at best – questionable ethical and legal value, while Joe made the grave mistake of asking a farking question when some guy walked up and said “hi” with a bunch of news people in tow.

Further proof I would utterly fail at politics.  People like that would clear the sidewalk before landing, as I booted them out of office.

(H/T Flopping Aces by way of DRJ)

Obama’s Science Advisor Choice

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amphipolis @ 12:49 pm

Yuval Levin at NRO’s The Corner has a post on Obama’s choice for Science Advisor, Harvard’s John P. Holdren. On the one hand, Levin seems to unfairly characterize Holdren’s statement on overpopulation from a 2006 speech –

My favorite part of that speech is his call for ending population growth

He didn’t call for the end of population growth. He merely listed it as a driving force behind shortfalls in the pursuit of sustainable well-being. A footnote in the Science reprint of the speech refers to Paul Ehrlich’s discredited The Population Bomb, but it did not endorse the book, it only sites this one key insight – that population growth interferes with sustainability.

But, on the other hand, what of this key insight? For one thing, the population explosion myth was based on fertility rates from the 1960s. This was before the startling decline in the fertility of much of the world (Russia, Japan, Italy, and Spain are already seeing net decreases), China’s one-child policy, and AIDS. World population is beginning to level off, with peaks expected in another generation or two – albeit at 9 billion or so. Holdren does not seem to be appraised of this.

What of the wider assumption? Will a lack of population growth really help sustain human well-being? He has defined the pillars of human well-being to be:

Economic conditions and processes, such as production, employment, income, wealth, markets, trade, and the technologies that facilitate all of these;
Sociopolitical conditions and processes, such as national and personal security, liberty, justice, the rule of law, education, health care, the pursuit of science and the arts, and other aspects of civil society and culture; and
Environmental conditions and processes, including our planet’s air, water, soils, mineral resources, biota, and climate, and all of the natural and anthropogenic processes that affect them.

Historically the well-being of a society was proven by population growth. While I would of course agree that exponential population growth as erroneously predicted by the book Holdren cites could be disasterous, so could population death spirals such as now being experienced in Russia. None of the above pillars are sustainable without the social and economic necessity of population growth.

I hope that outdated overpopulation hysteria doesn’t bring about more catastrophic population drops, and I hope that the new administration’s science advisor learns about the devastating impact underpopulation can have on human well-being.

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