Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Thursday, May 06, 2010 :::

The mayor of New York City infamously speculated on who might have planted the fireworks in Times Square last weekend, before the public knew anything about the fellow who has been arrested for it, though apparently after he knew his speculation was nonsense. Here's the money quote:
COURIC (on camera): A home-grown.

BLOOMBERG: Home-grown, maybe a mentally deranged person or somebody with a political agenda that doesn't like the health-care bill or something. It could be anything.
What amuses me about this quote is that, immediately before bringing up opponents of the health-care bill as likely terrorists, Bloomberg raises the two main reasons someone would bring up opponents of the health-care bill as likely terrorists: a political agenda and mental illness. I won't speculate on which explanation applies to the mayor, but I will point out that they aren't mutually exclusive.

Betsy thinks public officials should avoid speculating publicly, which is a good suggestion, though she titles the entry "jumping to conclusions"; it is possible to speculate on what is likely without assuming that your initial assumption is correct, which I think is a better path for laymen to follow.

Reason Magazine's "Myth of the Menacing Militias" seems relevant, too.

::: posted by Steven at 3:13 PM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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