Friday, February 06, 2009

Yuval Levin on the Meaning of Sarah Palin

Levin has an interesting essay on Sarah Palin in Commentary Magazine.

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Reason Mag on the "Stimulus"

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Jacob Sullum on the "Stimulus" Plan

This is the theory underlying the "stimulus" package: Since we can't depend on consumers to spend money they don't have on stuff they don't need, the government has to do it for them.....

"When it comes to rebuilding our economy," Obama warned just before the House approved the pseudo-stimulus bill, "we don't have a moment to spare." Acting responsibly, in other words, would be irresponsible.

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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The UN's "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" boils down to...

...a declaration of government and UN rights to oppress:
Article 29 of the Declaration emphasizes that "In the exercise of his rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others and of meeting the just requirements of morality, public order and the general welfare in a democratic society." Almost any restriction on freedom "determined by law" can be defended on the grounds that it is needed to promote "morality," "public order," or "general welfare." Worse still, Article 29 also notes that "These rights and freedoms may in no case be exercised contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations." Far from placing human rights above legislation, the Declaration makes them subject to the "purposes and principles" of an undemocratic transnational legislative body where oppressive dictatorships are heavily represented. From a natural rights standpoint,this is a retrogression relative to traditional majoritarian democracy, not an improvement. The issue is of more than just legalistic importance in light of recent UN initiatives such as the ongoing attempt to ban "defamation of religion." If the UN decides that this new norm is one of its "purposes" or "principles," the UDHR will not only permit governments to censor speech that violates it but may actually require them to do so.
Ilya Somin has more at the Volokh Conspiracy. Left unaddressed is the issue of continuing attempts at the UN to ban the private ownership of firearms.

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Monday, February 02, 2009


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Fox News is starting to ask the hard question

Is Congress smoking crack?

I take this opportunity to call for raising Senators' and Congresscritters' pay to somewhere around $1 million per year.

You say that they aren't worth it? I agree, but if we don't make their salaries competitive with private industry, we always will get people who are power freaks without the offsetting value of any competence. Maybe with higher pay some decent people will run for the jobs.

Even if not, the little extra it would cost wouldn't be so much as a blip in the budget. So what's to lose?

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Sunday, February 01, 2009

Zimbabwe pulls ahead... the race for highest inflation ever (or at least the highest denomination banknote):
Zimbabwe has the world's highest official inflation, with its currency now printed in the trillions of dollars. This month, the central bank introduced a new 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollar note.
Surprise, surprise:
State control of foreign currency has allowed a ruling clique to enrich themselves by buying U.S. dollars at lower government rates and selling them at the much higher black market rate.
Just two months after printing their first Z$200,000,000 note. Apparently the Z$100,000,000,000,000 is the new world record.

I want one.

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