The problem with old people

Nice post by Ezra Klein pointing out that while old people already have excellent “socialized medicine” from the government, they just don’t what other people to get any similar benefit.  An “I’ve got mine, you’re not getting yours” attitude:


In all fairness, older people are also simply more Republican, but it sure is strking to compare the views of the youngest adults who really stand to benefit, from the oldest adults, who’ve already got coverage under Medicare.  Pathetic, honestly.  Here’s to not being hopelessly selfish when I’m old.


I know you’re just dying to know what I think about General Stanley McChrystal’s impolitic comments (and more than anything, lack of control of his staff in this regard) and Obama’s relieving him of his command.  Basically, McChrystal was really stupid and used incredibly poor judgement.  Like it or not, the commander of a major field of battle is a very political position, and if you can’t handle that part of the job well, it shouldn’t be your job.  Furthermore, if McChrystal truly possessed the military savvy and experience to bring about success in Afghanistan that no other leading generals possess, he’d still be there.  If he were truly indispensable, Obama would not have been dumb enough to dispense with him.  Given that, you really just can’t have your military command in open opposition to civilian leadership.  Ezra Klein has a nice take on this:

The outrage, however, was fueled by military rules and traditions that allow very little public criticism of civilian leadership in order to ensure that political and strategic disagreement doesn’t curdle into a culture of opposition among the people with all the weapons. McChrystal was clearly lax on policing criticism within his command, but when the system was made aware of that failure, the system worked. You did not see politically disgruntled generals rallying around McChrystal.

In short, its good for our way of government and civilian-military relations that McChrystal had to go.


The Post ran an interesting article earlier this week about how text messaging is the latest tool for stalkers, etc., to harass their victims.  I doubt it makes many more people engage in this nasty behavior, but for those inclined, it certainly makes it easier.  I discussed the issue with my students and most all the female students knew of someone who had been harassed in this way.   Yet, they were surprised it had not received any media attention.  My theory, it’s because it doesn’t have a catchy, media-friendly slang.  Half the reporting on “sexting” has to be due to the fact that its such a fun word.  My suggestion: we just need a better term for stalking by text message.  Stexting?  Too much like sexting, but I, nor my class, couldn’t come up with anything better.  See what you can do in comments.

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