June 30, 2006
Juan Williams strikes again
Posted by Jon Ham at 6:53 PM
In a discussion among the Fox All-Stars just now, Charles Krauthammer said that if Democrats start advocating that terrorists be read Miranda rights when they're captured that they, Democrats, will suffer at the polls. Juan Williams' response?: "I don't think so." If Democrats listen to Juan, look for a GOP landslide.
Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 5:28 PM
Well, I suppose one could also say that the single ref format is a Nozickian limited state, but I think what we want is effective community policing.
There have to be enough cops on the beat to deter bad actions. Absent that, you get flopping, which is a rational response to the rule enforcement situation. The interesting thing to think about is whether a team of dedicated non-floppers would actually come out ahead with the ref(s) in the long run.
But, of course, in the long run, you'd be eliminated in the first round.
Posted by Jon Ham at 4:58 PM
When it comes to jihadist zeal, it's not just the men. Cori Dauber at Ranting Profs links to this story from Canada, "Hateful chatter behind the veil." The story quotes from Web sites and blogs used by the wives of several men being held for a terrorist plot in Canada, and also frequented by Muslim teens from a local high school school.
Re: Soccer flopping
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:55 PM
Here's a theory for you to consider and debate: soccer's "flopper" resembles the political liberal.
Rather than using his own skill and initiative, the "flopper" relies on the referee to help him win the game. The referee has absolute unquestioned power over the flow of the competition on the soccer field.
Rather than relying on his own skill and initiative, the liberal wants the government to help him realize his vision of a perfect society. An overly intrusive government has as much power as the soccer referee.
Please agree, disagree, or expand upon the theory.
The Worst Thing About Soccer
Posted by Jeff A. Taylor at 4:45 PM
The one ref on the field.
Utterly insane. Leads to all the flopping and Euro drama as one guy cannot possibly see what is going on. Even just one more set of eyes running with the players would greatly reduce that junk.
Having said that, I find soccer on TV very compelling as it typically does not require a 3 or 4 hour block to complete. The marathon Germany-Argentina match today, of course, disproved that rule.
Re: Animals & the Environment
Posted by Daren Bakst at 4:30 PM
Michael, our dedication to the environment certainly is
evidenced by the "bird rescue" (Good job, Melissa & Page), but is
far greater than caring for animals. I speak for myself only, but
I think the following is probably applicable to others at JLF:
I care as much about the environment (or likely moreso) than
anybody hugging a tree or telling me to buy a hybrid. A belief in
free-market principles isn't counter to believing in protecting the
environment, in fact, applying these principles are how we can create a
better and cleaner environment.
Instead of telling people
what to do, where to live, and how to get somewhere, I believe in
protecting property rights so that people will invest in and care for
their property, punishing polluters (true polluters), and letting the
private sector provide solutions to environmental problems.
put it simply: scare tactics, junk science, central planning, riding a
bicycle, and eating trailmix don't make someone an
environmentalist. A true environmentalist is someone that cares
about the well-being of the environment and uses sound policy and
science to make decisions--and yes, even considers economics. The
issue isn't whether free-market proponents are somehow
anti-environment--the issue is why the self-proclaimed
"environmentalists" are so anti-free-market and individual freedom.
State budget deal reached
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 4:18 PM
Lawmakers plan to vote on the plan when they return from the Independence Day holiday, according to this News & Observer report.
That report also suggests that Senate leaders have agreed to remove two disputed non-budget items from the budget document: a minimum wage increase and a moratorium on new landfills.
You'll find more details here -- plus you can watch video of Cullen Browder recounting the highlights of the budget deal, just minutes after he had learned the details.
These guys are serious
Posted by Jon Ham at 4:01 PM
Israelis give soldier's kidnappers the mother of all ultimatums.
Funny lines about soccer
Posted by Jon Ham at 3:52 PM
John, it's hard to beat the English-French line by Dale, but one by Herald-Sun sports columnist Frank Dascenzo is memorable in its own way.
In one of Frank's famous "Notes" columns he asked simply: "Is soccer boring or is it just me?"
I took calls from soccer moms for days.
For those who agree with Dale, John and Frank, I suggest another sport that definitely will not put you to sleep.
Kicking around some great lines
Posted by John Hood at 3:32 PM
It's not online yet, or I'd link it, but a Triangle Business Journal column by my friend Dale Gibson is a real hoot worth reading. It is a screed against the game of soccer. I played soccer, actually, and was co-captain of my school team, but I tend to agree with Dale's complaints about it as a spectator sport.
Here's the funniest line:
As I understand it, soccer is a game that was invented by the English and perfected by the French. If you're looking for a recipe for disaster, that's it.
So why does the rest of the world venerate soccer as the greatest athletic competition on Earth?
Because they've got nothing else to watch, that's how.
At John Locke we Care about animals!
Posted by Michael Moore at 3:14 PM
There may be a lot of Liberals out there that may have the impression that at John Locke we don't care about animals or the environment. I tend to disagree, Page Cox and Melissa Mitchell acted courageously today to save a bird's life in the parking lot. So for those folks that don't think you can be a friend of the free market and support the environment (we are for hand ups, not hand outs).....just stop by and you might happen to see a bird rescue!
GM Going, Going, Ghosn?
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 2:04 PM
The motor oil is pumping in my veins today. Automotive News reports:
-- General Motors convened an emergency board meeting Friday to discuss
a proposal by shareholder Kirk Kerkorian to form an alliance between GM
and Renault-Nissan, say two sources close to the board.The hastily arranged meeting suggests that GM's board is treating Kerkorian's proposal with urgency.
In a securities filing, Kerkorian says that the Renault-Nissan
alliance is receptive to buying "a significant minority interest" in
GM. The filing also says that Kerkorian's investment company, Tracinda
Corp., of Beverly Hills, Calif., has discussed the matter with Carlos
Ghosn, CEO of Renault and Nissan.
Kerkorian, who controls 9.9 percent of GM stock, sent a letter
to GM Chairman Rick Wagoner on Friday "in which Tracinda proposed that
General Motors' Board of Directors establish a committee to immediately
and fully explore, together with management, a possible opportunity to
join the partnership-alliance between Renault, S.A. and Nissan Motor
Co., Ltd.," the filing said.
Posted by Mitch Kokai at 12:08 AM
Daren makes a good point about the process of lobbyists contributing money to legislators.
Some are happy to spend the money, while others treat a campaign contribution as one of the less savory costs of doing business.
Just before the legislative session started, lawmakers sponsored various parties to give lobbyists a chance to cough up contributions. (State law bans contributions from lobbyists during a legislative session.)
A lobbyist friend told me she dreaded having to budget enough time and money to hit the overlapping parties for the House Democratic caucus, the House GOP caucus, the Senate Democratic caucus, and the Senate Republican caucus.
Though she would have preferred to stay home, she feared the possible negative repercussions. She paid her dues -- literally and figuratively -- to help her clients.
This scenario is substantially different from the one described by critics who decry the "evil" influence of lobbyists' money.
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:53 AM
The N&O seems to think that arguments based on
economics and the Constitution, like Rep. Stam's, shouldn’t count
because we’ve heard them all before. The problem is that the N&O
and others who would raise the minimum wage or limit the political
speech of lobbyists or donors haven’t listened. Critics are not
crying wolf, they are pushing the Sisyphean boulder. They succeed once
and then have to go through the whole thing again.
The WNC Shindig!
Posted by Michael Moore at 10:30 AM
Since there has been so much talk on Mountain Music in the office in the last few weeks, just thought I would add a bit on the Shindig on the Green. If any you city folks make it up to the mountains you may want to sit down and stay a spell.
Legislature & Ethics
Posted by Daren Bakst at 10:09 AM
In the N & O today, their editorial
makes a point that the ethics problems with the legislature are not
primarily with lobbyists but with the legislators that don't say no to
certain benefits: legislators should promise "not to accept campaign
contributions from lobbyists, not to allow lobbyists to raise money for
them, not to attend high-dollar functions sponsored by special-interest
They then go on to discuss how legislators are "wined
and dined." There is a big difference between lobbyists providing
contributions and legislators going to high dollar functions (which
doesn't mean the legislators get high dollars) and being "wined
and dined." If we are talking about gift bans, then that is
fine. Legislators however should be able to receive contributions
from lobbyists, go to high dollar functions, and be allowed to receive
money raised from lobbyists in most situations.
The real problem isn't that the legislators can't say no to
these goodies, as the N & O argues--the problem is that to "play
ball" the legislators demand that lobbyists provide these
goodies. This is a big difference. Again, as I have said
before, the issue is not about money, it is about power. When
power rests with so few, as it does in the state legislature, power is
so concentrated that it becomes a bidding war in a sense to get the
attention of those with power. Spread the power so that it really
is a legislature, not an oligarchy, and lobbyists have to actually win
the support of numerous legislators, not just a few.
& O then criticizes Rep. Stam for doing a horrible thing:
protecting the First Amendment. The nerve of this guy! Stam had a bill amended so that lobbyists should be able to
provide contributions and raise money for a candidate. From the
"Stam is worried about constitutional free speech protections.
Not that those protections aren't important, but the refrain has become
all too familiar whenever any proposed limit on campaign fund-raising
comes up, even though limits on individual contributions already are in
Yes, the refrain does come up every time because, let me
say this clearly: it violates the First Amendment! As for
contribution limits being in effect, yes, that is true, but so
what? Limits are o.k., according to the U.S. Supreme Court
(which I disagree with), but as they just made clear again this week in
Randall v. Sorrell, bans on contributions are not o.k. and neither are excessive limits on contributions.
If we want real reform and possibly legislative ethics, change the
legislative rules--let's do that before we force taxpayers to subsidize
candidates and speech they oppose (taxpayer financing of elections),
create systems to help incumbents (again, taxpayer financing of
elections), or to violate First Amendment rights (yes, again, taxpayer
financing and some of the proposed restrictions on lobbyists).
Of course, that would mean legislators would have to give up power: I wonder which alternatives will win out?
Bin Laden's Driver
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 10:06 AM
NPR's Morning Edition focused almost entirely on Hamdan's plight. I had to put the Founding Brothers CD in after this line:
The good news for Hamdan is that he won his case. The bad news for Hamdan is he will now have to wait even longer for a trial while the Bush administration decides how to proceed.
Kelo's first birthday
Posted by George Leef at 09:01 AM
My Freeman colleague Sheldon Richman has some sharp words about this unhappy anniversay here.
Re: Gingrich challenges Edwards
Posted by George Leef at 08:49 AM
Interesting point about Ireland. Recently I read an article about people from eastern Europe immigrating to Ireland because they can do so much better there. Today people move to Ireland for exactly the same reason why a century ago, Irish were moving to the US. Greater freedom always means more opportunity for success.
The list of government laws and policies that get in the way of poor people bettering themselves is lengthy. The ill effects are well documented. So why is it that Edwards and poverty warriors like him never mention repealing of any existing laws as even a small part of their plan to overcome poverty?
The answer might be: a) they have so completely tuned out voices from "the right" that they are not aware that, say, occupational licensure laws impede the poor from finding better employment; b) they just can't bring themselves to make an alliance with free market types on any issue, possibly fearing that they will find themselves on a slippery slope that slides away from governmental control if they do; or c) they can't because special interest groups they're beholden to like the status quo.
By all means, let the debate proceed!
Lefty glee may be too soon
Posted by Jon Ham at 08:37 AM
I heard about the Supreme Court ruling
on Osama Bin Laden's driver yesterday on the way to hear Newt speak in
Charlotte. My first thought was: this just ensured that Republicans
will stay in the majority in Congress. It also may have ensured a
Republican president for the next 20 years.
crystallize more the runaway Supreme Court than the radio intros to the
Supreme Court story yesterday: "Supreme Court sides with Guantanamo
detainees," "Supreme Court rebukes President and sides with terrorist
detainees." Getting busy Americans to take time to understand the
dangers of a rogue court has always been difficult, but no more.
$41,000 for a high chair
Posted by Joseph Coletti at 08:25 AM
Warren Buffett may have given $1 billion to each of his children's charities, but according to ABC News:
Warren Buffett also turned down his daughter's request for a $41,000 loan to improve her kitchen.
"I asked for a loan just to expand the kitchen so I could fit
the highchair in when my daughter was born, and he said 'Go to the bank
and do it like everyone else,'" Susan Buffett said.
No wonder he favors the estate tax. He can't trust his own children with money
Tour in chaos
Posted by Jon Ham at 08:16 AM
What if they gave an NCAA basketball tournament and didn't invite
Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, UNC, Syracuse or UCLA? That's what the Tour de France
could be like this year if the worst happens. T-Mobile has already
kicked Jan Ullrich and teammate Oscar Sevilla from its Tour squad in a doping scandal, and other big names have been implicated.
Spanish station Cadena SER said the Civil Guard
decoded the names from notes taken by Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. Other
names included Italian rider Ivan Basso, American Tyler Hamilton,
Spaniards Francisco Mancebo, Joseba Beloki, Roberto Heras, Santi Perez,
Jose Enrique Gutierrez and Colombian Santiago Botero, the station
reported. It wasn't immediately clear what Fuentes' relationship was
with the cyclists.
Basso, winner of the Giro d'Italia this year, and Ullrich, winner of the Tour de Suisse, were favored to win it all. If those other riders are dropped, the tour will be a race of also-rans this year. It starts tomorrow, by the way.
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