January 27, 2013

Another Viking to the Pro Bowl in last-minute switch

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 11:45

The Minnesota Vikings 2012 season ended at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, but the individual efforts of a number of players has been recognized by nominations to the NFC Pro Bowl team. Originally the Viking contingent consisted of running back Adrian Peterson, fullback Jerome Felton, and rookie kicker Blair Walsh. Alternates who were added to the team included defensive end Jared Allen, linebacker Chad Greenway, and tight end Kyle Rudolph. Yesterday, it was announced that rookie offensive tackle Matt Kalil would be going to Hawaii as an injury replacement for the Washington Redskins’ Trent Williams:

Whoever invented the term “the more the merrier” must’ve been looking into the future at the Vikings’ 2013 Pro Bowl contingent. That contingent stood at six as of Friday morning. And now it stands at seven after the last-second addition of left tackle Matt Kalil to the team. Kalil replaces Trent Williams of the Redskins who dropped out. I think every original member of the team has now dropped out except the four Vikings. And Jeff Saturday who is the one guy who totally does not belong there.

Update: There’s apparently a bit of a backstory to why Williams won’t be playing:

In Britain, ignorance of the law is a valid excuse (under certain circumstances)

Filed under: Britain, Law, Religion — Tags: , , , , , — Nicholas @ 11:25

Words fail me:

The failure of an Islamic faith school in the UK to provide a pupil with any knowledge about sexual relations, other than to teach him that women were “no more worthy than a lollipop dropped on the ground”, led to the trial of an 18-year-old who was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl.

But, according to this report, instead of being jailed, the “naïve” Birmingham teenager, Adil Rashid, was handed a suspended sentence in Nottingham Crown Court by Judge Michael Stokes, who said:

    Although chronologically 18, it is quite clear from the reports that you are very naive and immature when it comes to sexual matters.

The judge added that because Rashid was “passive” and “lacking assertiveness”, sending him to jail might cause him “more damage than good”.

Rashid admitted having sex with the girl, saying he had been “tempted by her” after they met online.

After they had had sex, Rashid returned home and went straight to a mosque to pray. He was arrested the following week after the girl confessed what had happened to a school friend, who informed one of her teachers.

He told police he knew the girl was 13 but said he was initially reluctant to have sex before relenting after being seduced.

Earlier the court heard how Rashid had “little experience of women”due to his education at an Islamic school in the UK, which cannot be named for legal reasons.

After his arrest, he told a psychologist that he did not know having sex with a 13-year-old was against the law. The court heard he found it was illegal only when he was informed by a family member.

Reason.tv: Two Cheers for the Coming Collapse of the U.S. Economy!

Filed under: Economics, Government, USA — Tags: , , — Nicholas @ 11:13

“At some point, holders of Treasury securities are going to recognize that these unfunded liabilities are going to affect the fiscal capabilities of the government and then you’re going to have the same situation that happened in Greece happening in the U.S.,” says Jeffrey Rogers Hummel, who is a professor of economics at San Jose State University and the author of a recent paper on the consequences of a U.S. government default. “In the short run it’s going to be painful, but in the long run it’ll be a good thing.”

Reason‘s Nick Gillespie sat down with Hummel at FreedomFest 2012 for a wide-ranging discussion on monetary policy, business cycle theory, the longevity of the welfare state, and why libertarians who rail against the Fed are like “generals fighting the last war.”

Held each July in Las Vegas, FreedomFest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians a year. Reason TV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees.

Aaron Wherry dissects Andrew Coyne’s “grand coalition” notion

Filed under: Cancon, Government, Politics — Tags: , , , — Nicholas @ 11:03

Andrew Coyne wrote an appeal to the New Democrats, Liberals, and Greens, prodding them in the direction of a temporary political alliance to topple the Conservatives and to fundamentally change the Canadian electoral system to ensure that the Conservatives would never again form a government (actually, that’s not what he says, but I’m sure that’s how individual NDP, Liberal, and Green supporters will envision the result). In Maclean’s, Aaron Wherry points out that however appealing the coalition idea might be, the practical stumbling blocks are pretty intimidating:

Are enough voters so interested in electoral reform that they would support turning the next election into a referendum on that subject? Could enough voters be convinced to momentarily suspend their concerns about other issues? Could enough voters be convinced to ignore the other policy differences between the NDP, Liberals and Greens? Could enough voters be convinced to ignore the possible ramifications of all other policy debates between the parties to vote with the hope that a real election would then be run in short order?

I’ll try to answer those questions: No. Granted, I can’t predict the future with certainty (and have just finished arguing against making such predictions). Perhaps the New Democrats, Liberals and Greens could persuade voters to make this a singular focus. But this strikes me as implausible. I don’t think voters, in general, are so interested in electoral reform that they’d go along with this. At the very least, it seems like a remarkable gamble for the three parties to make. (And, keep in mind, the Conservatives would be keen to explain, loudly and repeatedly and prominently, why this was such a terrible idea.)

[. . .]

Fundamentally overhauling the electoral system would probably take more than a couple days. Legislation would conceivably have to be passed through the House. Legislation would conceivably have to be passed through the Senate (how would a Conservative majority in the Senate handle such legislation?).

Even if you imagine this proceeding as expeditiously as possible, this would take some period of time (A month? A few months? More?). Someone would have to be Prime Minister while this was happening. Someone would have to be governing. How would that work? Conceivably they would have no mandate beyond changing the electoral system. Would they promise to not touch anything else for as long as they were in government? Would they promise to just carry on with Conservative policy until another election could be held? (Would anyone believe them if they promised as much?) What if something bad happened? What if something came up that required government action?

This is not a rhetorical device. I’m not trying to bury the idea in questions. I honestly want to know how this would work because I honestly don’t understand how this is supposed to work. What kind of government would we have for however long it took to change the federal electoral system and what would be the ramifications of having such a government?

After all this time in power, the Conservatives are still being accused of harbouring a “secret agenda” that will destroy Canada as we know it. Handing Stephen Harper and his friends an even bigger “secret agenda” stick with which to beat the opposition doesn’t strike me as a particularly clever move at this stage of the electoral cycle.

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