Dahlia Lithwick's note in Slate about the Obama administration decision to try 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal is a bit screedy, but generally right on the money:
Today, by ordering a military trial at Guantanamo for 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his co-defendants, Attorney General Eric Holder finally put the Obama administration's stamp on the proposition that some criminals are "too dangerous to have fair trials."
In reversing one of its last principled positions—that American courts are sufficiently nimble, fair, and transparent to try Mohammed and his confederates—the administration surrendered to the bullying, fear-mongering, and demagoguery of those seeking to create two separate kinds of American law. This isn't just about the administration allowing itself to be bullied out of its commitment to the rule of law. It's about the president and his Justice Department conceding that the system of justice in the United States will have multiple tiers—first-class law for some and junk law for others.
Get the details here:
Kevin Hurley and I have been debating the ethics of having children over at his blog. I am trying to make the argument that having children benefits existing people (at the margin). The point I have been trying to make is basically that ideas are the real scarce resource of the modern age, and more children means more ideas.
On a somewhat related note, I used Wikipedia's timeline of historic inventions to tally up a rude measure of historic inventions per year. I broke time into segments the same way as Wikipedia and averaged. The x-axis is the year, from 10,000 BCE to the present, and the y-axis is historic inventions per year on a log scale. To give an idea of the magnitudes involved, there were about 1,500 times more historic inventions per year in the 1950's than there were in the 9th century BCE (the lowest and highest points on the graph).