Skip to main content


Karl Oliver, Confederate Monuments, New Orleans, Lynching, Mississippi

Mississippi State Representative Karl Oliver said that if the leadership of "Louisiana wishes to... burn books or destroy historical monuments... they should be lynched."

Oliver has a problem here, in that lynching is the illegal or extralegal torture, murder, and mutilation by a mob.

If he is serious in his assertion that people who destroy monuments should be lynched, then he is actually calling for their extralegal torture, murder, and mutilation.  Because he posted this on social media to a public audience, he may even be inciting mob violence.  That may be grounds for charging him under 18 U.S. Code § 2102.

It is hard to believe that a public office holder, a State Representative, would be serious about calling for the torture, murder, and mutilation of those who remove monuments.

Oliver has to clarify -- was he serious, or was he just throwing around inflammatory language to express his anger?

{{Update}} Oliver has deleted the post as of 22 May 2017.
Recent posts

Kandace Edwards, ACLU, bail, forgery, Alabama

The American Civil Liberties Union posted on Facebook that "a woman who's 7 and-a-half months pregnant is jailed til June 5 (at least), only because she's too poor to afford bail."

The issue is the phrase "only because".  Edwards was not jailed because she could not afford bail.  Indeed, she would not have needed to pay bail had she not been jailed for forging a check.  Edwards was jailed for forgery, not for being unable to afford bail.

The ACLU and SPLC may make a solid case that the amount of bail was set too high.  There may be a case that the whole system is unfairly tilted against poor people, and that we should help our veterans more than we do.  All of that may be true and may be debated.  But the sequence of facts cannot be debated: Edwards was in jail for forgery, not for an inability to pay a bail that did not exist before she was arrested for forgery.

  Kandace Edwards has since been released.

Yassmin Abdel-Magied, Andrew Bolt, ANZAC, Julie Bishop, Islam, Gillian Triggs

Andrew Bolt says that Islam is an ideology: "Islam is an ideology, not a racial category."  He appears to be trying to give those biased against Muslims cover by criticizing the criticism instead of addressing the clear reality of bigotry against Abdel-Magied.  Abdel-Magied apologized for her wrongheaded ANZAC post, but continues to be attacked in bigoted tones.

But Bolt claims Islam is an ideology, "not a racial category". Bolt is wrong: Islam is neither a race nor an ideology.  Islam is a religion.

If Bolt wants to claim that all religions are ideologies, he may be able to do so; but if he singles out one religion and claims that it is an ideology while other religions are not, he will need to present strong evidence and a clear case for his singling out the one religion.

Next steps for Bolt would be to consider the following questions, if he hasn't yet:
Are all religions ideologies?If not, which religions (beyond Islam) are ideologies?What is the difference…

National Review, Social Justice Activists, Advocates, University of Arizona, Timpf

National Review's Katherine Timpf reports that the University of Arizona is hiring "social justice activists", but Arizona's job description has the title as "Social Justice Advocates".

Small detail, but should be corrected.

Timpf characterizes this as a "tattler" job; at least one aspect of the job description lends to their characterization: job expectations include reporting "any bias incidents or claims to appropriate Residence Life staff."

The main thrust of the position appears to be fostering communication about diversity and "social justice".  Some of the job responsibilities:

Plan and execute one active and one passive social justice program per month within the halls;Plan and host residence hall ‘Real Talks’ twice a semester;Lead Social Justice Act to React (A2R) modules for Resident Assistants (RAs) at one staff meeting per month or as assigned;Partner with Advocates Coming Together at least once a semester to do pro…

Trump, Blumenthal, Comey, Vietnam, ad hominen, tu quo que

President Trump implies that Senator Blumenthal's comments on James Comey are irrelevant because of Blumenthal's previous incorrect statements about his own military service.  But whether Blumenthal misspoke or even lied is completely irrelevant to the current situation with the former Director of the FBI.

Trump is using an ad hominem attack against Blumenthal, and Trump is not addressing Blumenthal's position on Comey.  Trump is also committing something akin to tu quoque (directing criticism back on to Blumenthal on grounds of inconsistency to avoid criticizing the content of Blumenthal's argument), except that Blumenthal isn't making any claims related to the military.

Watching Senator Richard Blumenthal speak of Comey is a joke. "Richie" devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history. For.... — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017
Trump here appears to be "not even wrong", and his line on Blumenthal is not even very …

Raul Labrador, Health care coverage, Death

Congressman Raul Labrador said "Nobody dies because they don't have access to health care."

This statement is false given that if you have cancer it can kill you unless you get care.  Consider some other scenarios in which access to health care could prevent death:

Snake biteCrocodile biteEbola virusWolf attackGunshot woundBroken neckDehydrationShark attack

Without access to health care, people suffering from any of the above may die.  Clearly, then, people do die when they don't have access to health care.

Healthcare, Tom Price, Insurance, Cost, Ecomomics

Tom Price here claims the new American Health Care Act will "bring down costs" and "will allow for more individuals to be covered".  The Congressional Budget Office projects that the number of uninsured under the AHCA will increase from 31 million this year to 52 million by 2026.

If the number of insured people decreases, costs for insurance should increase -- that is, at least, according to the traditional economic axiom of supply and demand.  If there will be greater demand for healthcare as people age and the population grows, and less available supply of coverage through insurance, one would expect prices to increase.

How can the bill "bring costs down" if the number of uninsured goes up?