Farewell. The Flying Pig Has Left The Building.

Steve Hynd, August 16, 2012

After four years on the Typepad site, eight years total blogging, Newshoggers is closing it's doors today. We've been coasting the last year or so, with many of us moving on to bigger projects (Hey, Eric!) or simply running out of blogging enthusiasm, and it's time to give the old flying pig a rest.

We've done okay over those eight years, although never being quite PC enough to gain wider acceptance from the partisan "party right or wrong" crowds. We like to think we moved political conversations a little, on the ever-present wish to rush to war with Iran, on the need for a real Left that isn't licking corporatist Dem boots every cycle, on America's foreign misadventures in Afghanistan and Iraq. We like to think we made a small difference while writing under that flying pig banner. We did pretty good for a bunch with no ties to big-party apparatuses or think tanks.

Those eight years of blogging will still exist. Because we're ending this typepad account, we've been archiving the typepad blog here. And the original blogger archive is still here. There will still be new content from the old 'hoggers crew too. Ron writes for The Moderate Voice, I post at The Agonist and Eric Martin's lucid foreign policy thoughts can be read at Democracy Arsenal.

I'd like to thank all our regular commenters, readers and the other bloggers who regularly linked to our posts over the years to agree or disagree. You all made writing for 'hoggers an amazingly fun and stimulating experience.

Thank you very much.

Note: This is an archive copy of Newshoggers. Most of the pictures are gone but the words are all here. There may be some occasional new content, John may do some posts and Ron will cross post some of his contributions to The Moderate Voice so check back.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Life or death incentives

By Dave Anderson:

Bernard Finel raises a very good point concerning the pragmatic consequences of the victory or death incentives towards repressive regimes:

there is now a pretty clear pattern in play. If you are a dictator and you either lose power or leave power under pressure, you can expect to either be killed or end up in jail. This is not a good precedent if you are hoping to encourage peaceful change.

What happened to all these men, these often-brutal dictators, certainly qualifies as �justice� in a sense. And it unquestionably reinforces norms about legitimate state conduct. But by the same token, while the certainty of punishment may deter future brutality, it also means that existing despots, particularly those with blood on their hands are going to be less likely to go without a fight.

Victory or death produces a lot of deaths especially when the alternative is to allow dictators who are leaving under pressure to go into exile with a couple billion dollars worth of loot, their families, and the families of their inner selectorate.  Sure, that solution space does not have the visceral rightness of victory or death, but it can often minimize deaths during the dying phases of a regime.

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