Sympathy for the devil

A man that convinced many others that he could use magic to bring a lottery win has been sentenced to a long term in prison.

The Toronto Star devotes a few thousand words to this story, but I’ll confess I have very little sympathy for the victims. The one most prominently mentioned in the story had 105,000 CAD in free cash to spend on this jaw-droppingly stupid scam. The devil (for whom I’m not really sympathetic either; he deliberately fooled gullible people, preying on their mental weakness—evil) was not Bernie Madoff, preying on friendships and moving money around in a Ponzi scheme; this scam was transparently fake from the first words.

Particularly interesting (to me) is how the writer of the Star article somehow treats the victims’ idiocy as a non-issue.

Rand Paul and mandatory vaccination

Rand Paul vaccinatedRand Paul, whatever his other flaws and virtues, is a physician, so his comments on vaccination on Monday caused considerable eyebrow-raising, and accusations, muted or not, of either pandering to the tinfoil brigade or of his not being a very good physician.

Will Wilkinson at The Economist parses Dr Paul’s comments, and gives a cogent (IMO) “liberaltarian” defence of (virtually) mandatory vaccination.

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