Links for December 5, 2011: OccupyPhilly evicted, Jury Nullification speech under fire; Newt sounds half reasonable sometimes; others….

  1. In spite of the “police state” rhetoric, I think Philly has still handled the Occupy movement better than other municipalities. This eviction was undertaken so that a long-planned construction project could begin in Dilworth Plaza.

  2. A facebook friend wrote, “This is how Philadelphia police treat non-violent protesters.” Not quite. Police did not just up and drive a horse through a permitted demonstration. Those who disobey orders to disperse are no longer mere protesters. They are then civil disobediencers. Police up the ante at that point. I’m not denouncing the protesters. Good for them–but let’s be honest about what happened.

  3. Prosecutors are offering their first detailed explanation for why they charged Mr. Heicklen, arguing in a brief that his “advocacy of jury nullification, directed as it is to jurors, would be both criminal and without Constitutional protections no matter where it occurred.”

    The key phrase is “directed as it is to jurors”. 

    No legal system could long survive,” they added, “if it gave every individual the option of disregarding with impunity any law which by his personal standard was judged morally untenable.

    Either Heicklen broke the jury tampering law or he didn’t. Wild, self-serving speculation about the robustness of our legal system is beside the point and does not belong in a legal brief.

  4. An essential element of the indictment is that Heicklen distributed the pamphlets “immediately in front of an entrance to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York”. I believe that only this fact even implies that Heicklen’s message was “directed as it was to jurors”.

  5. Newt talks some sense, but not enough to win my support.

    Behind Gary Johnson and Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich looks like the third most reasonable person on the stage. Still, he holds some positions disqualify him from my support. See Drug War and Personal Freedom, above.

  6. One of my favorites, Thomas Sowell, criticizes Newt on an issue that I hear Newt is actually okay on: immigration.

    The more doctrinaire libertarians see the benefits of free international trade in goods, and extend the same reasoning to free international movement of people. But goods do not bring a culture with them. Nor do they give birth to other goods to perpetuate that culture.

    I am a more doctrinaire libertarian.

    When you import people, you import cultures, including cultures that have been far less successful in providing decent lives and decent livelihoods. The American people have a right to decide for themselves whether they want unlimited imports of cultures from other countries.

    I do not recognize this alleged right of “the American people” to exclude on the basis of culture. Let the immigrants in and enforce the culture of freedom over their objections.

  7. You can either be in the Ron Paul tradition and say there’s nothing wrong with heroine [sic] and cocaine or you can be in the tradition that says, These kind of addictive drugs are terrible, they deprive you of full citizenship and they lead you to a dependency which is antithetical to being an American.

    A load of straw here from Newt. Recognizing the failure of waging war on American citizens is not the same as condoning drug use.

    You have to admit, Ron Paul has a coherent position. It’s not mine, but it’s internally logical.

    Well, then?

  8. Will Governor Christie get smart on crime? Let’s hope.

  9. Dan Viets hosted a visionary radio show on KOPN called Sex, Drugs, and Civil Liberties that I listened to constantly during my law school days. I haven’t heard from that show in a while, but it looks like Dan is still busy.

  10. Earth to GOP. Come in, GOP. If you are looking for a candidate who might actually beat Barack Obama come next fall, you are missing a golden opportunity.

  11. Illinois man faces 75 years for “eavesdropping”. This case was dismissed.

  12. The bigwigs of the corporations knew this, but they figured we’re going to make billions out of it, so who cares? The government is going to bail us out. And the problem loans will be out of here, maybe even overseas.

    Peter Schiff always talks about the moral hazard that comes with government bailouts. Here is a great example. The regretful banker still celebrates the Fed.

  13. Two proud socialists, Michael Smith and Richard Wolff, discuss the economy toward the end of the broadcast. Americans are in debt and can’t control their consumerism, apparently, because they’ve had the American Dream crammed down their throats. Remember that these people who are allegedly so easily hypnotized by consumerism are the same ones that choose our government leaders on election day.

    Rick Wolff makes a good point that there are two sides to borrower/lender relationship. Who is lending these people money and why? Where did all this money come from? Wolff mentions the Federal Reserve, our nation’s central bank, monopoly money printer, and lender of last resort, only in passing. Then there’s this at 56:08 :

    It is irrational of any economic system to have, as we do in the United States today, twenty to twenty-five million unemployed people side-by-side with roughly 30% of our productive capacity unused: store space, factory space, machines, equipment, and computers. We have the people who want the work. We have the raw materials and the equipment for them to use. The output would be a vast wealth with which could solve our social problems. We live in a capitalist system that can not put these three together–can not take the people who want the work, put it together with the equipment we need to produce the output we desperately require. That’s a grade of F for an economic system.

    Those who do not constantly marvel at what markets can produce take too much for granted. That markets can produce such conveniences as a toaster is nothing short of miraculous. Markets certainly can put these three together. The question is: What is stopping them? My guess would be government’s ever-growing regulatory obstacle course, whose stated purpose is to limit the ways in which people may agree to work and in which the factors of production may be utilized.

    Now, socialists generally lump government and business together into a sprawling, kraken-like monster that they call the “capitalist” ruling class. They will therefore blame what they call “capitalism” for every problem that governments cause. Tomayto tomahto. I don’t care what they call it. Just make sure you understand what is happening.

  14. Vodpod videos no longer available.

    Richard Wolff has his own show here, also available from I’ve occasionally searched for high-quality, economic podcasts explaining socialist economics. I’ve usually been disappointed, but this might be half decent. Too bad it does not seem to be available in a proper RSS podcast, but I think I’ll manage.

    Embedded above is (supposed to be) what I believe to be the first episode, from March 26th of this year. The topic is how the government should get more loot to blow by raising top tax rates to 1940s post WWII levels. These were apparently better economic times, but Wolff does not demonstrate how higher taxes cause better economies. Correlation is not causation.

  15. Well, yeah.

  16. In the wake of the Penn State Scandal, I had thought a lot about closing the gap between immorality and illegality. Laws should reflect morality. If an act is immoral, legal sanction should follow from engaging in it. One could argue that adultery is a form of fraud and that the aggrieved spouse should be entitled to legal redress. I haven’t heard out all sides of the issue, but I can see it.

  17. A sober reminder of what happens when people trust governments to think for them. I have this book, but I haven’t read it. Maybe it’s time to get on that.

  18. The feeling is mutual. I have this hankering distrust of people who claim to offer “eternal salvation” in exchange for obedience.

  19. From July 2010. I’ve been trying to find some of the old podcasts I used to listen to in law school to load anew into my banshee media player. The Tovia Singer show was always a good ideological counter-balance to progressivism’s relentless criticism of the Israeli occupation. It is a shame that he will not return to my podcast rotation. I’m sure Arutz Sheva has had a good backup, I trust.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
Photo credit: Newt Gingrich – Gage Skidmore

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