Invitations

I listened to Benyamin Netanyahu’s speech. His message boiled down to: Continue reading Invitations

New, Original or Useful

Most of my friends and readers can ignore this post; it is a workspace for a reply to an individual because I ran out of room in a comment. But I’ll give a little background, for those interested in a debate about Christianity and the words of Jesus. Continue reading New, Original or Useful

Legislative Fix

I have an idea for a possible fix for the tremendous flood of bureaucracy-generated legislation, in the form of a Constitutional amendment: Continue reading Legislative Fix

Legislative Fix

Please see the next post.

==============/ Keith DeHavelle

Legislation

Imagine that this asterisk is a unit of legislation: *

This would be the amount of legislation produced by the United States legislative branch, Congress (i.e., the Senate and House of Representatives), and signed into law by President Obama (in the executive branch) in 2013. This represents about 800 pages of the Federal Register where such laws are recorded. That’s the way our system was designed: the legislative branch creates legislation, the executive branch signs it into law or vetoes it, and that was how laws were to come into being.

Now compare that single unit with the laws that were created by the executive branch on its own without involving Congress:

Continue reading Legislation

Crab Bucket

Harvey_Rritt commented on the “Acting White” post in a way that made me think a moment:

Terry Pratchett calls it the Crab Bucket. It is a perfect expression. (He does that.) When a crab starts to get out of the bucket full of crabs, the others, awaiting death by live steam, pull the escaping crab back into the bucket.

My own take is less elegant:

IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE AN IDIOT.

The Crab Bucket expression is very old indeed. While Aristotle did not refer to crabs, he noted the Greek version of “argumentum ad invidiam” or argument from envy as a logical fallacy. Continue reading Crab Bucket

Detainee

There is a story written by a Guantanamo inmate — Mohamedou Ould Slahi (or Salahi); he’s still there — that describes the “horrific torture” he was put through by US interrogators. The story portrays him as a completely innocent man — and there are tens of thousands of hits on this just published book, with multi-part writeups in Slate, loving responses in The Atlantic and countless other left-wing publications.

They all agree: He had been briefly involved with al Qaida, but abandoned them and had no further contact until he was arrested in Mauritania in 2000. Over and over again, his innocence is asserted, and he says that he finally broke and gave his interrogators made-up information about al Qaida.

So, we should believe his grotesque story about the torture, right? Well, perhaps not completely… Continue reading Detainee

Distortion

(From the ongoing tax policy discussion.)

@Pete, who wrote: “at the same time, [Adam Smith] saw the need of government as an interventionary force to prevent excesses that worked against the general public interest”

In the material you quoted, and elsewhere, he argued strenuously against exactly this. It is precisely such government interference, “[t]he proposal of any new law or regulation of commerce,” that he warned required “great caution” because of the involvement of crony capitalism. Continue reading Distortion

An Interesting Life

Today would have been my father’s 104th birthday. He was an interesting fellow, and years ago (he lived to be 89) I assembled the voice-recorded stories of his life. It occurs to me to list the various kinds of work he’d done, as it’s a moderately intriguing list. He was not well educated in a traditional sense, but managed to do reasonably well anyway. I hope that the same could be said of me. Here’s the list, off the top of my head: Continue reading An Interesting Life

Acting White

“Go into any inner city neighborhood, and folks will tell you that government alone can’t teach kids to learn. They know that parents have to parent, that children can’t achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white.” — State Senator Barack Obama, 2004 Democratic National Convention Keynote Address Continue reading Acting White