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    What Pakistan Knows

    Since Pakistan's recent double embarrassment in the Osama bin Laden affair, in which they proved unable to detect either bin Ladin living half a mile from their chief military academy or an American helicopter raid deep in the Pakistani interior (i.e. half a mile from their military academy), angry American legislators have been asking What Pakistan Knew about OBL's presence in their country.

    Let me try to reframe that question with another one:

    Does the President of Pakistan know who had his wife killed?

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    Torture Is for Liars

    A week ago, with barely a pause for breath, advocates of torture began claiming that torturing prisoners had been the key to finding Osama bin Laden. Indeed, some complained that the Obama Administration had been insufficiently deferential to the torturers from the last regime.

    They made this assertion with no real evidence and no solid facts. This should surprise no one. If they were interested in facts or evidence, they would not advocate torture.

    Here's the thing to remember:

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    Run, Donald, Run

    So, Barack Obama has given in to the birther lunatics -- or rather, to their enablers in the national press -- and released his long-form birth certificate. Which of course, won't stop the lunatic birthers. But it's not clear that Obama actually intends it to. This is in many ways a classic Obama move.

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    Codes of Silence

    There's sad news from Princeton where a lecturer who was apparently in danger of losing his job has taken his own life. That's a terrible thing.

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    Dedicated Teachers Hurting American Education

    Tenured Radical links to Nick Parker's Boston Globe piece about the life of adjunct college faculty, and adds some advice of her own to people entering the adjunct life. Both pieces are worth a read.

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    Local Scrip and Hard Currency: The Academic Life

    I spent last weekend at the major annual conference in my field -- a national, nay international nerdapalooza of the highest order, and one of the major events on my yearly work calendar. Sunday night I caught a red-eye home and went straight from the airport to work.

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    Ever Notice That The Birthers ...

    never talk about Biden becoming President?

    If you really didn't believe that Barack Obama was Consitutionally eligible for office, wouldn't that make Biden (who shared Obama's fat majority in the Electoral College) President? Yet that never comes up.

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    "Only 1,000 Soldiers"

    One of the frequent talking points about the Libyan rebels is that they only have about a thousand trained soldiers in their ranks. As the meme went around, it sometimes turned into only 1000 soldiers, period, which is clearly not true. And the "1000 men" meme has been used to shore up certain anti-intervention talking points, even though it undermines others.

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    Libya, Obama, and the Just War Theory

    Barack Obama's decision to join the attack on Libya is very much of a piece with his Nobel Prize acceptance speech. There are various grounds on which a reasonable person could object to the Libya strikes (diplomatic reasons, military reasons, pragmatic reasons, reasons of consistency, even Constitutional reasons). But the decision absolutely fits within a coherent and very traditional moral philosophy. Obama walked through most of the key points of that position in his Nobel Prize speech, with one important omission.

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    Get Ready for the Martyrdom of Roger Ailes

    Barry Ritholtz reports that Roger Ailes, the president of Fox News, may soon be indicted on federal charges. Judith Regan has alleged in civil court filings that Ailes pressured her to lie to federal agents who were doing a background check on her ex-boyfriend, Bernard Kerik.

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    Dear Oscar: The Depression Was Not That Pretty

    I went to see The King's Speech, because it was nominated for all those awards and because Monday is Five Dollar Night. I like the actors in it a lot, but I'm glad I didn't spend more than five dollars. The King's Speech may well win the Oscar for Best Picture, but that just goes to show that you don't need originality, drama, artistic perception or a compelling story to win an Oscar.

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    Your Neighbor's Paycheck Is Your Paycheck

    Here's the deal: how much money you get paid is based on how much other people get paid. This is a fact of life. Your paycheck is based on what other people get in other jobs like yours, and what other people in your area make, and what other people with your qualifications make. The price of those people's work sets the price of replacing you if you quit your job. If you make less than they make, it can only be so much less. If you make more than they make, it's only realistically going to be so much more.

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    Lois Lane, My Love

    Joanne Siegel has passed away. She was the model for the first sketches of Lois Lane and the wife of Superman's co-creator, Jerry Siegel. That gives her the best claim to being Lois Lane that any real person has ever had. In her later years, she was a fierce advocate for her husband's intellectual property claims. I've thought a lot about the Superman creators over the years, and part of me is tempted only to blog about intellectual property.

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    Being a Pseudonym

    Some of the folks who read me at Dagblog may have come to suspect over time that "Doctor Cleveland" may not be my actual name. Meanwhile, readers who have actually met me in three dimensions may have thought (but been too polite to say) that the name "Doctor Cleveland" is a pretty lame disguise.

    Yes, it is. It is a ridiculously lame disguise. And while I've never blogged about why that is, I think this is as good a time as any to explain.

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    About the Muslim Brotherhood

    The protest movement in Egypt has suddenly alerted many Westerners to the existence of the Muslim Brotherhood, a newish group who did not emerge in Egypt until almost the end of the Coolidge Administration. Furthermore, this fast-breaking development has alerted Western pundits, bloggers, and politicians to the urgent need to say something about the Muslim Brotherhood.

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    Staying Allied with Democracies

    There's an old chestnut that says that two democracies have never gone to war. It's not quite true, or only true if you aggressively redefine "democracy" until you've fallen into the "no-true-Scotsman" fallacy. ("No true democracy ever goes to war with another ...." ) But it is an instructive half-truth: functional democracies very rarely go to war with one another.

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    Joe Lieberman and the Changing Vice-Presidency

    So, Joe Lieberman is leaving. Or rather, Joe Lieberman is announcing that he's going to take his ball and go home, so that there's absolutely no way to get any leverage over him for the next two years. So I expect we'll all see much more written about him on the blogs.

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    Martin Luther King's Civility

    We've been talking a lot lately about civility, for obvious and painful reasons. And our public conversation on that topic tends to go astray pretty quickly, because we don't all mean the same thing when we say "civility," and often aren't even sure what we mean by the word ourselves.

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    Violence and Political Gain

    I haven't blogged about Tucson because it left me sickened and sad, and because Articleman said it all better than I could have. Anyway, I had nothing to say. Violence like this is a terrible, terrible thing. Everyone should be against civil bloodshed. What else could there be to say?

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