Weekend Reading & Viewing

Abelson on “Immunity to Bad News”

No Exit, No Entry

Oil and Stocks

And a lively protest from London:

26 thoughts on “Weekend Reading & Viewing

  1. Shoot them? If they were attacking my house, sure. But shooting people probably isn’t a good business policy even if they are destroying some of your property.

  2. Destroying property is ‘donuts’ on my yard. Those are attacks. If they came out at my house like THAT — dead.

  3. Michael –

    Do you think that a shoot to kill policy is the best way for the authorities to deal with people engaging in acts of vandalism?

    I wouldn’t be against the use of water cannon, but I’m glad I don’t live in a country where people are shot dead to prevent damage to property…


  4. Amazing that anyone thinks they know what a maniac wearing a mask will do next…imagine it’s your house and these people attack like that. Do you just trust that they know where the line is? Not me. This is not just property destruction. It is terrorism by any rational definition. Imagine the little old lady who was perhaps standing at the Ritz Hotel window, or in the door way, and died from an injury or perhaps heart attack. Oh, there were no deaths? Yes, of course, the masked men made sure to clear the halls before they rampaged. The unbridled pacifism that allows that video to be classified as “property damage” is a mental disorder.

  5. Acts of public disorder are distressing to innocent standers by, and wrong. No argument there.

    However, there have been riots before in London, but in recent years I haven’t heard of anyone being killed. Nor is that likely to happen when there are police officers everywhere, when the thugs aren’t carrying firearms, and when they are being filmed. Therefore, IMHO lethal intervention unproportionate to the threat posed.

    That said, I do feel that Britain (and the West generally) has become far too liberal in its approach to tackling crime. There is too much emphasis on political correctness and respecting the rights of criminals. I don’t care whether Britain’s PCs are PC, providing they keep the streets safe…


  6. Michael, I don’t think shooting at these people would hold up in court. I think the police taking to them with sticks would suffice. They deserve a good beating but not death.

  7. There are a few countries that shoot protestors – one of them is Libya. Look how well that is working out!

  8. Michael –

    I did address point 7. We’re not talking about someone going on a rampage through your house in the middle of the night. The big difference is that the police were already on the scene.

    Something else to consider is the wider effects of armed intervention:

    A. Shooting protesters could give anarchist groups the kind of publicity coup that Bloody Sunday gave the IRA.

    B. It could undermine public respect for the police – something that’s vital for effective policing.

    C. It would enable dictators like Gaddafi to call Britain hypocritical when we criticize them for shooting protesters.

    So all in all, I think it’s a bad idea, although I do think that a more robust response (such as water cannon or rubber bullets) might be justified.


  9. Have a big enough gun, majority of the Maniacs will run…those who are truly maniacs will meet their maker (Michael’s gun) and the world will be rid of them.

    Seems pretty cut and dry.

  10. I am amazed at the emotional responses. The attempt to change the argument to something other than what I have laid out is odd.

  11. Sam –

    “I don’t think shooting at these people would hold up in court.”

    Here in the UK at least, it wouldn’t.

    A few years ago, a farmer shot a couple of intruders who had broken into his isolated farmhouse in the middle of the night.

    In Texas, I’m sure he would have been given a medal. But as this is the UK, he was jailed for murder…


  12. Not but a few years there were a bunch of guys in Afghanistan working out on jungle gyms in masks, occasionally blowing up buildings across Africa and the Middle East. Shoot, we even had a chance to make mince meat out of their 6’6″ leader as he walked through the desert (see video; we didn’t take the shot, which was after the 93 WTC bombing). But, it wasn’t very serious in the eyes of many, till 9/11. Who is to say one of these UK fools doesn’t toss a pipe bomb in one of the windows they kick in. Only looney tunes pacifists would ignore these problems and not handle these situations correctly. Give em an inch…and eventually someone will take a mile.

  13. Michael –

    You can’t assume that, because someone is an anarchist wearing a hood and causing mayhem, that they’re also a terrorist!

    Innocent people have ended up jailed in Gitmo because of that kind of ‘logic’, deprived of the basic legal rights that make America a free and just nation.

    I’m surprised that someone who’s familiar with the irrationality of fearful, stampeding crowds chooses to go with the masses in this instance… 🙂


  14. PS Speaking of said 6’6″ leader, it’s rumoured that the SAS had a chance to get Bin Laden, but were told to wait for the Americans, so they could get glory, by which time he’d fled! 🙂


  15. Michael –

    In that case, I’m in the wrong job, as for the past 12 months I’ve been making a living betting on horses! 🙂 As an aside, I use similar principle to that underlying trend following, ie betting when the long-term odds are in my favour, even though most of my bets lose.

    The way our countries’ judicial systems work is that you assume someone is innocent until proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. Thankfully, we don’t policians or bureaucrats somewhere saying ‘On the balance of probabilities, I think this guy may be carrying a bomb, even though we no compelling evidence. So we’ll shoot him just to be on the safe side’.

    God help us if you ever become president – I get the impression that you are to the right of Atilla the Hun! 🙂


  16. Covel said: “Give em an inch…and eventually someone will take a mile.”

    And since this equally applies to Capitalists, I suppose the solution is to shoot them as well?

    This discussion has been a very good illustration of the dark side of the Ayn Rand/Objectivist/etc crowd. They have a good grasp of the meaning of freedom and personal responsibility but are completely lacking in ethics and morals. No offense meant, really. We are all in some developmental stage and growth is uneven.

  17. One of the basic tenets of objectivism is that the government should have the monopoly on the use of force. If everybody was allowed to shoot whoever he or she deemed to be a terrorist we would have pure anarchy.

  18. BTW, I consider myself more libertarian in politics than anything, but I confess to not know everyone of Rand’s views. So if she has some view that I am unaware of, not exactly good argument to cast me in to all. Tell me what you want me to agree/disagree with on principle and I can respond.

    I do like Atlas and Fountainhead, but then again not sure how most people don’t. Only 2 I have read.

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