Last Week’s Links—Monday, December 12, 2011: Defense Appropriations Bill; Contempt for the 5th Amendment; The Economics of Inequality; others….

December 10, 2011
  1. A little intimidating, but true.

  2. There is a lot of buzz about this goin’ ’round my online circles. One of my faceook friends was kind enough to link to the actual bill text. I don’t want to say too much about it before I study it. Things often don’t live up to the hype.

  3. “Other purposes,” indeed. Attention is called to Sections 1031 and 1032. It sounds more like the inane ranting of a conservative pundit than an actual bill before congress:

    SEC. 1032. REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY.
    (a) CUSTODY PENDING DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—
    (1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.
    (2) COVERED PERSONS.—The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1031 who is determined—
    (A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and
    (B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.

    It’s like the arguments in favor military tribunals for Gitmo detainees, now applied to everyone “who is determined” to be a “covered person”. The bill’s drafters write is determined in the passive voice, as if such determinations float infallibly down from the high heavens. You’d think maybe they would have cared to mention who, exactly, is to make such determinations, and how such determinations are to be made.  Read the rest of this entry »


Links for November 16, 2010: Some Psychological Stuff, Some Fallacious Stuff, others….

November 14, 2010
  1. Another fascinating diatribe from Stefan Molyneux. My question is: does this not apply equally well to libertarians and anarchists? Is libertarianism not just another ideology?

  2. Large organizations, including government, which is of course the largest organization of all, have actually become completely disconnected with what actually matters to people. … What behavioral economics shows, time after time, is in human behavior and behavioral change there is a very strong disproportionality at work: that actually what changes our behavior and what changes our attitudes toward things is not actually proportional to the degree of expense entailed or to the degree of force that is applied.

  3. After invalidating more than 30,000 Nader-Camejo signatures on dubious and highly technical grounds – for example, because signers used informal names such as “Bill” instead of “William,” or because their current and registered addresses did not match – Commonwealth Court removed the candidates from the ballot. Then it ordered them to pay their challengers more than $80,000 in litigation costs.

  4. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for 2010-02-19: ACLJ on Free Speech and Teachers’ Mailboxes, a Poor Critique of Austrian Economics, others….

February 20, 2010
  1. ACLJ | Content based discrimination Vodpod videos no longer available.

    A careless misstatement of First Amendment law from the ACLJ. Perry Educ. Ass’n v. Perry Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37 (1983), ruled specifically that teachers mailboxes are not public fora for speech. The school may allow certain people to use the mailboxes for limited speech purposes and exclude others. The question is whether the caller’s religious message falls within the limited purpose intended by the school. Jay won in Lamb’s Chapel only because the Court held the Church’s message in that case fell within the school’s limited purpose for opening the forum.  A similar case out of the 9th Circuit: Edward Diloreto v. Downey Unified School District Board of Education, 196 F.3d 958 (9th Cir. 1999), in which the fence around a school’s baseball field was held not to be a public forum open to all advertisers, The school did not violate the plaintiff’s First Amendment rights by rejecting an ad displaying the 10 Commandments. This is settled law.

    Update: Time to correct my own misstatement. It is true that the school may not discriminate against the church simply because it is a church. It may, however, discriminate against the church’s message if that message is not within the limited purpose for which the forum was opened. The church is not entitled to put whatever it wants in the mailboxes merely because the school allows other groups to use the mailboxes.

  2. YouTube | A Critique of the Austrian School of Economics


    The critic misstates why Austrians do not rely on facts and experimentation. Read the rest of this entry »