Learning, lying, and memory

Eugene Volokh agrees (*) with Michael Kinsley that you can’t “learn” something that isn’t true, and advises the Administration to come up with a new defense for its wandering down the Yellowcake Road.

That’s good advice, and Eugene is to be commended for his willingness to speak out when an institution he otherwise supports makes an untenable claim.

But the administration has no paucity of defenses, some of them mutually incompatible. As one of my readers said in a recent email, the administration collectively is giving a very good impression of a liar with a bad memory.

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: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com