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Posts by DWPittelli

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  • For many pregnant Chinese, a U.S. passport for baby remains a powerful lure

    07/18/2010 6:55:49 AM PDT · 9 of 14
    DWPittelli to Poundstone

    This is not the ideal way to select future immigrants to the United States. But I do not expect we will see bad things come from allowing any reasonable number of upper-middle to upper-class Chinese into this country.

  • Man gets 18 months in jail for putting abortion pills in girlfriend's food

    02/26/2008 6:54:29 PM PST · 15 of 25
    DWPittelli to markomalley
    From a political standpoint, the most outrageous thing about this story is the fact that an adult (27-years-old), who has been convicted of this crime, gets his name withheld to protect his privacy. Shouldn't the women of Sweden have a chance to know who did such a thing?
  • Hillary Gives Up!

    02/24/2008 4:08:46 PM PST · 265 of 273
    DWPittelli to LasVegasMac

    Thank you for conceding your lack of education, although the rest of your comment stands on its own as evidence of the same.

  • Hillary Gives Up!

    02/23/2008 4:49:00 AM PST · 192 of 273
    DWPittelli to Shortstop7
    "What’s wrong with being a Conservative?"

    Nothing is wrong with being a Conservative, but to call me such would be at best approximately correct, by the most common readings in the US today, just as calling a libertarian a conservative would be a rather crude approximation.

    To call me a libertarian would be closer, but many libertarians have a much greater aversion to government at all levels than I do. I do think that the US Constitution, properly read, would prevent many currently common exertions of federal power; I do not think it prevents most exertions of power at the state level. This makes me also a federalist. I am opposed to all sorts of things done by my state (Massachusetts), but wasteful state spending and intrusive state government would not bother me much in a system, as envisioned by the Founders, where states were free to compete and innovate largely free of federal power.

    I am equally appalled that the federal government presumes to undermine California's approval of medical marijuana as that it presumes to tell the states what their abortion laws should look like -- and I would be equally appalled if the federal government took the equally presumptuous but opposite position on each (i.e., requiring states to allow medical marijuana, and forbidding states to allow abortion).
  • Hillary Gives Up!

    02/23/2008 4:32:05 AM PST · 190 of 273
    DWPittelli to LasVegasMac
    "Why the fancy, self-endowed title? [i.e., Classical Liberalism]"

    I am not responsible for the gaps in your education. "Classical liberal" is a term long used in the United States, and is what was meant by "liberal" for more than a century before socialist-leaning Democrats appropriated the term in the United States because it sold better than "socialist" or even "progressive."
  • Hillary Gives Up!

    02/22/2008 6:51:34 PM PST · 43 of 273
    DWPittelli to LasVegasMac
    Look up "Classical liberalism" in Wikipedia.

    It begins:

    Classical liberalism (also known as traditional liberalism[1] and laissez-faire liberalism,[2] or, in much of the world, simply called liberalism) is a doctrine stressing individual freedom and limited government. This includes the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, natural rights, the protection of civil liberties, constitutional limitations of government, free markets, and individual freedom from restraint as exemplified in the writings of Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill,[3] Montesquieu, Voltaire,[4] Thomas Paine and others. As such, it is seen as the fusion of economic liberalism with political liberalism.[2] The "normative core" of classical liberalism is the idea that laissez-faire economics will bring about a spontaneous order or invisible hand that benefits the society,[5] though it does not necessarily oppose the state's provision of a few basic public goods.[6] The qualification classical was applied in retrospect to distinguish early nineteenth-century liberalism from evolutions in liberal thought during the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially the "new liberalism" associated with Thomas Hill Green, Leonard Trelawny Hobhouse,[7] and Franklin D. Roosevelt,[8] which grants the state a more interventionist role in the economy, including a welfare state. Classical liberalism is not to be confused with the ideology that is commonly called "liberalism" today in the United States, as "classical liberalism" is actually closer to being a tendency of "conservatism" in the U.S.[9]
  • Hillary Gives Up!

    02/22/2008 6:32:03 PM PST · 33 of 273
    DWPittelli to billva
    On the other hand if McCain wins [loses?] while some spoiled children with hold their votes then the spoiled children lose big.

    You have a point. But I do have the luxury of living in a state (Massachusetts) which will never make a difference in the general election, so I can withhold my vote with impunity. Further, my problem with McCain isn't that he's not quite a pure enough conservative. McCain Feingold is an abomination to the First Amendment which transcends such categories. Furthermore, I think he's temperamentally unsuited to the Presidency (as are the Clintons). We don't need another rage-aholic in the White House.
  • Hillary Gives Up!

    02/22/2008 6:11:25 PM PST · 22 of 273
    DWPittelli to plain talk

    I am not a liberal. I am a classical liberal, which would be closer to a small “l” libertarian than anything else. I believe in a minimal federal government whose budget primarily consists of military defense and a criminal justice system (for those few crimes which are truly federal because they take place in more than one state, or are against a federal institution or property). I do not have a problem with such things as public roads and public funding of primary and secondary education, although I see little scope for the federal government in either.

  • Hillary Gives Up!

    02/22/2008 5:46:15 PM PST · 1 of 273
    In the interests of full disclosure, I do not support Hillary Clinton, or indeed the Clintons. I am willing to consider that this might be due primarily to my antipathy to their ideological position, or even to subconscious sexism on my part, but I think it has more to do with their being unusually dishonest and crooked for politicians at their level. (I voted against her – for Obama – in the primary, and would vote against her in the general election, but I do not know if I can vote for either Obama or McCain in the general if that is the choice.)
  • 'I Abhor Injustice,' Alleged Madam Says

    04/30/2007 6:18:36 AM PDT · 14 of 28
    DWPittelli to NCjim

    This is outrageous, and itself an injustice. If you can’t trust a “Madam” to keep her confidences, whom can you trust?

  • Thousands of Mexican children attending U.S. public schools

    04/30/2007 6:14:41 AM PDT · 8 of 25
    DWPittelli to P-40
    I've read of cases where a kid who lives in a town with bad public schools will register at the address of someone such as his uncle, in a nearby town, and go to school there. If they're caught out, the position of the recipient town is that the kid has to actually live there -- the uncle has to be a guardian in fact, and not just on paper -- or the kid is not allowed to continue in said school. This is in Massachusetts, with people who are all US citizens.

    It would seem that if there's a residency requirement, it would allow a town to refuse admission to those who are not residents. Of course, the town might have to spend a little money on a private investigator (or maybe town employee) who will follow kids home and document where they've gone. That's likely cheaper than schooling the nonresidents, unless there are perverse incentives (such as school aid from a state which itself cares little about such details as whether the children are actually living in the state).
  • Proposed Law Will Force Teams Playing in New Jersey to Take 'New York' Out of Names

    04/29/2007 8:29:46 PM PDT · 12 of 32
    DWPittelli to PajamaTruthMafia

    “New York” is not a trademark, and New York cannot enforce such a law. Apart from the First Amendment, the state has no leverage against the team, precisely because they are not in New York. (That is, I recognize that in practice states can act in a capricious fashion by using threats to things like liquor and beer licenses, or public nuisance statutes, but only New Jersey would have the power to do such here.)

  • George Tenet is a disingenuous clown on 60 Minutes (self title)

    04/27/2007 6:21:07 AM PDT · 1 of 35
  • The Once and Future Republic of Vermont

    04/01/2007 4:16:32 AM PDT · 28 of 73
    DWPittelli to Candor7
    I don't know if Ethan Allen is a great example to prove your thesis (that the armed, rural 45% of the state would never approve of independence). Note this summary from Wikipedia:

    "Allen remained active in Vermont politics and was appointed general in the Army of Vermont. In 1778, Allen appeared before the Continental Congress on behalf of a claim by Vermont for recognition as an independent state. Due to the New York (and New Hampshire) claim on Vermont, Congress was reluctant to grant independent statehood to Vermont. Allen then negotiated with the governor of Canada between 1780 and 1783, in order to establish Vermont as a British province, in order to gain military protection for Vermonters. Because of this, the US charged him with treason; however, because the negotiations were demonstrably intended to force action on the Vermont case by the Continental Congress, the charge was never substantiated."
  • Black church defaced; four windows broken

    04/01/2007 4:11:27 AM PDT · 14 of 26
    DWPittelli to knarf
    knarf: "I'm pretty sure the congregation wouldn't do this to their own church, which leads me to believe that this is the work of democrats."

    I'd say you are being excessively cynical. If it were in a district a week before an election with racial overtones, then your cynicism might be warranted. But right now, what could Democrats have to gain?
  • Support grows for Gonzales despite new evidence

    03/24/2007 8:27:00 PM PDT · 10 of 18
    DWPittelli to veronica
    When it comes to the question of whether Attorney General Gonzalez (or anyone else) lied, you should never trust characterizations, or short quotes, provided by the media or Senators. You will see everywhere the same two very short quotes, selected with the intent to deceive us about Gonzalez' claimed "lie" because the press is fully invested in the lies of Senator Schumer et al.

    Instead, read the full transcript* and come to your own conclusions. The news that Gonzalez signed off on the 8 dismissals, and how they would be effected, in a one-hour meeting isn't in conflict with any reasonable interpretation of what he said.

    The infamous "I was not involved in seeing any memos" quote is, in context, clearly better read as describing his lack of involvement in "the process of determining who were the weak performers", and is not a claim to have never signed off on the decision.

    Indeed, if the evidence showed any less involvement on Gonzalez' part, that would itself be the latest "scandalous" twist in this story.**

    *The actual transcript of Gonzalez' March 13, 2007 press conference is at:

    **(As it is, on this last note, see "Ousting a group of top federal prosecutors isn't some minor, inconsequential act. It's the sort of thing that a responsible attorney general would be deeply immersed in. Gonzales's depiction of his own marginality is the most damning evidence of his unfitness for the job.")
  • The inconvenient truth about hybrids

    03/20/2007 6:50:56 PM PDT · 22 of 42
    DWPittelli to CharlesWayneCT

    You are right. To the extent that costs are internalized, we should all just buy the car that best suits our needs and financial considerations (i.e., what we'd want to buy without any enviro-guilt). It is possible that energy has some real costs not internalized (e.g., much of our military budget, to keep the Mideast from falling into jihadist or Russian or Chinese hands), and perhaps these should be addressed with import or pollution taxes, but it is implausible that the "real" cost of energy is even twice its nominal cost.

  • Valerie Plame, the "Spy" Who's Ready to Speak for Herself (The case against pardoning--Fitzgerald)

    03/16/2007 3:12:08 AM PDT · 9 of 28
    DWPittelli to JohnHuang2

    I don't see the relevance of the Vanity Fair article; by that time she had been outed by Novak. However, her prospects of returning to overseas NOC work were pretty slim just for having married an ambassador, and were made nonexistent by Wilson's op-ed in the New York Times -- before the Novak outing. I don't know how an honest journalist could skip around this issue while writing such an article.

  • GOP Calls Mount For Gonzales Ouster (Repubs are eating their own)

    03/16/2007 3:03:59 AM PDT · 14 of 101
    DWPittelli to nancyvideo

    I'd have no problem with Bush doing this. It's his call. He should at the same time, however, fire a few more US Attorneys, saying, "It's political. I don't like their priorities."

  • Dimwits: Why 'green' lightbulbs aren't the answer to global warming

    03/15/2007 7:32:42 PM PDT · 93 of 116
    DWPittelli to sphinx

    I believe it is a durability and not a safety issue, although at the author speculated about a small risk of "explosive" failure, especially if they get wet.