Monday, July 27, 2009

The Gates Situation

Radley Balko correctly points out that we are all missing the point:

The conversation we ought to be having in response to the July 16 incident and its heated aftermath isn't about race, it's about police arrest powers, and the right to criticize armed agents of the government.

By any account of what happened—Gates', Crowleys', or some version in between—Gates should never have been arrested. "Contempt of cop," as it's sometimes called, isn't a crime. Or at least it shouldn't be. It may be impolite, but mouthing off to police is protected speech, all the more so if your anger and insults are related to a perceived violation of your rights. The "disorderly conduct" charge for which Gates was arrested was intended to prevent riots, not to prevent cops from enduring insults. Crowley is owed an apology for being portrayed as a racist, but he ought to be disciplined for making a wrongful arrest.

Police officers deserve the same courtesy we afford anyone else we encounter in public life—basic respect and civility. If they're investigating a crime, they deserve cooperation as required by law, and beyond that only to the extent to which the person with whom they're speaking is comfortable. Verbally disrespecting a cop may well be rude, but in a free society we can't allow it to become a crime, any more than we can criminalize criticism of the president, a senator, or the city council. There's no excuse for the harassment or arrest of those who merely inquire about their rights, who ask for an explanation of what laws they're breaking, or who photograph or otherwise document police officers on the job.

What we owe law enforcement is vigilant oversight and accountability, not mindless deference and capitulation. Whether or not Henry Louis Gates was racially profiled last week doesn't change any of that.

Exactly. Whole thing here. On a more personal note, a local Atlanta cop shot my friend's dog this weekend in the dog's own yard. Disgusting abuse of power. Here is a Balko piece on dog-shootings.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More On Healthcare

Obama's 3 Lies.

Free Market Alternative.

Seven Bad Ideas.

More problems with Obamacare.

Health Care systems around the globe.

Failure in Massachusetts.

Educate Yourself

The Arrogance of Planners

Right on, John:

It's crazy for a group of mere mortals to try to design 15 percent of the U.S. economy. It's even crazier to do it by August.

Yet that is what some members of Congress presume to do. They intend, as the New York Times puts it, "to reinvent the nation's health care system."

Let that sink in. A handful of people who probably never even ran a small business actually think they can reinvent the health care system.

Politicians and bureaucrats clearly have no idea how complicated markets are. Every day people make countless tradeoffs, in all areas of life, based on subjective value judgments and personal information as they delicately balance their interests, needs and wants. Who is in a better position than they to tailor those choices to best serve their purposes? Yet the politicians believe they can plan the medical market the way you plan a birthday party.

How do these arrogant, presumptuous politicians believe they can know enough to plan for the rest of us? Who do they think they are? Under cover of helping uninsured people get medical care, they live out their megalomaniacal social-engineering fantasies—putting our physical and economic health at risk in the process.

Whole Stossel piece here.

Take Your Carbon Tax and F'Off

George Will on developing world's resistence:

Explaining such lethargy in the face of a supposed emergency, the G-8's host, Italy's Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, said the eight should not burden themselves as long as "5 billion people continue to behave as they have always behaved." Actually, the problem, for people who think it is a problem, is that the 5 billion in the developing world are behaving in a new way. After centuries of exclusion from economic growth, they are enjoying it, which is tiresome to would-be climate fixers in already prosperous nations.

Whole thing here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Canada Care

Thursday, July 16, 2009

An Empty Robe

Ilya Shapiro's take on Sottomayor:
The more Sotomayor speaks, the more it becomes clear that these types of nonanswers, this inability to see (or lack of desire to express) a big picture view, is her own essence. It continues a pattern that is evident from her judicial opinions, which are mostly unremarkable and, in the neutral sense of that term, unimpressive. For all her career success and a personal story we should all celebrate, she is an average judge who apparently gives little thought to the broad swath of law and where her rulings fit into that.

That is, Sonia Sotomayor is not a Cass Sunstein or Larry Tribe or Elana Kagan or (fellow circuit judge) Diane Wood. She is not a scholar or an ideologue. Her liberality is reflexive and warmed-over, a product of the post-modern educational environment that formed her in the 1970s—complete with ethnic activism—but not an intellectual edifice. This does not mean she isn’t a danger to liberty and the rule of law, or that her votes and opinions won’t harm the Constitution. But it does indicate that, for all her bluster about being a “wise Latina,” she is little more than a left-leaning empty robe.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Obama Score Card

As we approach BO's 6 month anniversary in the White House, I think it's time for a quick check of Mr. Change's campaign promise tally. Below are a list of equivocations, flips and flat-out lies to date:

1. Ear Marks. And more earmarks. And more pork.
2. End the 'wars'. And troop withdrawals.
3. Transparency. So clear.
4. Habaes for detainees.
5. State secrets.
6. Signing statements.
7. Military Tribunals.
8. Pakinstan.
9. No Lobbyists in Cabinet.
10. Allow 5 days of comment before signing bills.
11. No Taxes for Families making less than $250,000.
12. Indefinite detention of detainees.

You're doing great, Pres.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Free Healthcare

Our President, The Hypocrite

Now it's signing statements. Geez.

History Repeats Itself, Perpetually.

Mr. Will's explains modern liberalism's illiberal and repetitive nature here. Brilliant.

I Heart PJ O'Rourke

My Thoughts Exactly

Bill Wyman sums up my thoughts on the 'Gloved One' pretty well:

As for Jackson, jesus—his biggest claim to fame is his celebrity qua celebrity. He’s an amazing pop artist, of course, but he’s no Stevie Wonder, to name just one Motown fellow. He’s no Springsteen**, either, and he’s no Prince. A lot of black activists, like the buffoonish Al Sharpton, have been trying to prop up his rep as a breakthrough black artist; I take the point that “Billie Jean” was a watershed for MTV, but Wonder was hitting crazy commercial landmarks in the 1970s. (Songs of the Key of Life debuted at number one, for example, an almost unprecedented event at the time, and while I don’t care much about the Grammys, his dominance of the event in the middle part of the decade was nearly total.)

...If, as popists do, you equate simply popularity with importance, it’s easy to fall into such absurd logical traps. As more of the hoopla goes on, the more brittle Jackson’s legacy feels to me. If you gotta keep insisting someone’s important, he starts to seem more of a simulacrum. In this way I think Jackson will be a most impermanent star.

Whole blog peice here (with Steve Jons content as a bonus).