While your local newspaper probably wasn’t reporting it, the power-sharing arrangement that looked for a while as if it might actually end the troubles in Northern Island seems to be circling the drain. Kieran Healy explains:

All in all, it seems the art of constitutional politics is just not attractive enough to SF to make it give up its other main hobby, viz, being the friendly front-end of a highly professional terrorist organization.

[Note: SF is Sinn Fein, the IRA’s tame political party.]

For some reason, no one has figured out the obvious five-step solution:

1. Put Gerry Adams and Ian Paisley together in a locked room with a pair of daggers.

2. Wait half an hour.

3. Open the door.

4. Shoot the survivor.

5. Repeat as needed with similar pairs.


One reader asked if the proposed use of daggers reflected a bias on my part toward gun control.

Not at all; but it seems only just that those two gangsters suffer before they die.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: