Friday, May 29, 2009

From RR
  • Classical liberalism. Dean Russell from 1951: The first leftists would not be popular in America today. That is true because the original leftists wanted to abolish government controls over industry, trade, and the professions. They wanted wages, prices and profits to be determined by competition in a free market, and not by government decree. They were pledged to free their economy from government planning, and to remove the government-guaranteed special privileges of guilds, unions, and associations whose members were banded together to use the law to set the price of their labor or capital or product above what it would be in a free market.
  • Getting arrested — whatever the charge and whatever the action leading to it — was itself the point, and seemed to be mostly a way of publicizing and amplifyng one’s sense of outrage, anguish, or commitment. Less like a civil-disobedience action, it was more like the action of a mourner who wails and covers himself in ashes, or a penitent who whips himself with a lash. Being arrested has become a sort of government-sponsored method of certifying the strength of one’s opinion. While this sort of thing seems mostly harmless, I am worried that people have come to confuse this sort of theatrical arrest-as-protest activity with genuine civil disobedience, and so are losing track of the actual practical power that well-crafted civil-disobedience campaigns and actions have. Part of my disillusionment with the pro-life movement. That and...
  • An LRC pick: Both the humanist atheists and religious sectarians have a problem. Both camps try to marshal the state to further the “cause” thereby making the state the sole judge and arbitrator. The historically pro-war (for the good of humanity) religious left have the same problem regarding gay weddings. And...
  • American Christians and torture. Lord, deliver us from your followers.
  • Illinois state senate approves medical-marijuana bill.
  • Cannabis tax and deregulation: cutting out the middleman.
  • Birth of a cocaine factoid.
  • Iraq-born teen cracks maths puzzle.
  • Report: Iraq prisoner abuse photos depict torture, rape.
  • Taxpayers could lose billions from General Motors revamp.
  • Couple ordered to stop holding Bible study without permit.
  • America’s anti-militarist heritage. Americans don’t have much historical memory anymore. That isn’t just because of the dumbing down of the educational system and the fact that most young people read very little on their own. It’s because most of what little they do hear about our history is colored by statist theology. But if you talk to some older Americans — people in their 70s and 80s — you will encounter a few who know some important things. First, they know that there was widespread opposition to the wars the United States fought in the 20th century; and second, they know that most of the opposition to war came from the “Right.”
  • Who are they hurting? About the harm principle.
  • Intimidation won’t further non-proliferation.
  • Terrorism: the new Communism as a power-grabbing scare tactic.
  • Wall Street’s scams, lies and frauds.
  • It is one of the signs of our times that so many in the media are focusing on the life story of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. You might think that this was some kind of popularity contest, instead of a weighty decision about someone whose impact on the fundamental law of the nation will extend for decades after Barack Obama has come and gone. If you were going to have open-heart surgery, would you want to be operated on by a surgeon who was chosen because he had to struggle to get where he is or by the best surgeon you could find — even if he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and had every advantage that money and social position could offer? If it were you who was going to be lying on that operating table with his heart cut open, you wouldn’t give a tinker’s damn about somebody’s struggle or somebody else’s privileges.
  • Racial statements that would be inappropriate for a white man to make should be considered inappropriate for others to make. As bad as the prattling about “empathy” is, this is a very selective empathy. Empathy is merely a code word for judicial liberalism. And Sotomayor is clearly a judicial liberal.
  • In picking Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has confirmed that identity politics matter to him more than merit. While Judge Sotomayor exemplifies the American Dream, she would not have even been on the short list if she were not Hispanic. She is not one of the leading lights of the federal judiciary.

No comments:

Post a comment

Leave comment