Liberty & Power: Group Blog
"Eminent domain is a crime. Even if the central state should not have the power to override this crime, neither should it give the criminals its official sanction. Let us ponder an analogy. Anarchists don’t believe that, in an ideal world, the state should ban common crimes, because, ideally, the state should not exist. Now, given that we have local governments, would anyone, even an anarchist, advocate that a local government sanction murder, theft, or battery? Would we want local government courts to rule in favor of arson? Of course not. And neither should we want the federal court system to specifically rule in favor of aggressive local policy. For the feds to side with our local rulers in stealing our liberty is akin to local governments siding with common criminals to burglarize our homes...."
I Wish I Wrote That (Part I):First, there is this piece by Julian Sanchez at Reason. Here's what I found so brilliant:
There's a famous philosophical puzzle, originally attributed to Eubulides of Miletus, known as the sorites paradox or heaps problem. It goes like this: Two or three grains of sand obviously don't constitute a"heap" of sand. And it seems absurd to suppose that adding a single grain of sand could turn something that wasn't a heap into a heap. But apply that logic repeatedly as you add one grain after another, and you're pushed to the equally absurd conclusion that 100,000 grains aren't a heap either...I Wish I Wrote That (Part II): Jonathan Rowe finds the reductio ad absurdam that might make school prayer advocates change their minds:
It's not a terribly deep puzzle, of course: It simply illustrates that some of our everyday concepts, like that of a heap, are vague or fuzzy, not susceptible to such precise definition. Try to define such concepts in too much detail and absurdity results.
The problem is, concepts like"interstate commerce,""public use,""unreasonable search," and" cruel and unusual" are similarly fuzzy. And stare decisis, the principle that cases are to be decided by reference to previous rulings, means that the Court's interpretation of those rulings looks an awful lot like a process of adding one grain at a time without ever arriving at an unconstitutional heap...
I could also see some fuzzy-headed multiculturalist"re-thinking" the prayer issue, especially in response to some of the"horror stories" of fundamentalist prayers in Alabama. Some school administrator would construct a"multicultural" prayer to be read over the loudspeaker every morning where Jesus is mentioned along with Buddha, Allah, and Hindu Gods like Ganesh and Pagan Gods of the Earth.From the Trenches: I continue to look for work, firmly convinced that at nearly thirty years old I must be good for something or other.
Now the fundamentalists who go to such schools would have to listen to such prayers that I think they would regard as blasphemous and worse than having no prayer at all. But if the Constitution outlaws only government actions that cause tangible harms or deny actual privileges or rights, I don't see any difference between a fundamentalist being offended by what he regards as a blasphemous prayer and a Muslim, Jew, Atheist, Polytheist or Freethinker being offend by the reading of a Christian prayer.
I just haven't found it yet, and, apparently, nor has anyone else. Yesterday I was writing a resume for myself using a model for people seeking work as foreign language translators. Two questions appeared that I had scarcely considered before:
Target location?What mad luxury is this, that I might choose the place I wish to live? As tactfully as I could, I replied, With appropriate offer and Baltimore/Washington area; Raleigh/Durham, North Carolina; francophone Europe--And I thought myself king of the world, for a moment or two.
Supreme Court Watch: With the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor, I think Catallarchy has the best suggestion so far: Nominate Janice Rogers Brown. Howl all you want, my liberal friends, I would far sooner see on the court a libertarian who happened to be a Christian, than to see same-sex marriage established beside more decisions like Raich and Kelo. (For the record, I've long said that there is no right to same-sex marriage in the U.S. Constitution, or rather, there is no grant of government power that would authorize recognition of those marriages. But then, there is no grant of any government power to recognize any marriage at all in the U.S. Constitution. See grains and heaps again.)
Ever the Spoilsport: A propos of my pessimism on same-sex marriage, commenter Scof writes,
Well I certainly appreciate your sober take on it all, versus, say, Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights. CNN today has her money quote regarding California's domestic partnership bill: the"anti-gay industry's" reaction to the decision means"they won't stop until essentially the existence of lesbians and gay men is eradicated." Yes that's right, Kate, prepare for genocide! F'in nutball...Why yes, I'm sure her fears are completely without foundation.
[Crossposted at Positive Liberty]