PrestoPundit

Archive for June, 2006

Excluding Hayek

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/30/2006

It’s Horowitz vs. Steinberg debating the institutional foundations of the anti-Hayekian mono-culture of the Universities. Quotable:

Steinberger: I also do not agree that philosophically-based differences – e.g., between Adam Smith and Karl Marx, or between Hayek and Foucault – “create a chasm that no argument can bridge.” Thus, your claim that [leftists] and conservatives are so different that “there are whole dimensions to any given problem” that one or the other “will not see,” and that this explains why differences between leftists and conservatives are “as profound as they are,” seems to me just wrong. Certainly the last claim is fallacious. It is utterly plain and obvious that liberals and conservatives can understand one another very well indeed and still disagree vehemently. Your entire approach here – involving what might be called “psychological blinkers” – suggests a kind of extreme epistemological skepticism or relativism that seems both dubious and dangerous, and that also puts you, ironically, inth close company with some of the very same post-structuralists whose work you often ridicule.

Horowitz: I think this discussion is conclusive evidence that such a chasm exists and that is very hard for [leftists] like yourself to see the problems that confront conservatives. You have just identified commitment “to notions of evidence and rational thought” with the liberal point of view, and also with academic thinking. Yet you deny that conservatives are discriminated against in academic hiring. How can you say there is no chasm? Let alone that there is no exclusionary process which keeps conservatives from being represented on university faculties in reasonable numbers?

You have described academics as “innately hostile to claims based primarily on mere faith,” which you identify with conservatism. Does it not occur to you assomeone disposed to look at the evidence, and as an expert in political theory that conservatives regard Marxists and feminists as essentially religious types, whose ideologies are matters not of evidence but of faith? Are you unaware that entire academic fields are based on mythical ideas that only leftists believe – for example, the existence of race, gender and class hierarchies in market democracies which outlaw discrimination based on race, gender and social class? Do you not think the mere existence of academic studies of “institutional racism” (e.g., the text Racism Without Racists ­­– which is required in many sociology courses) in a society which has a constitutionally-based equal protections clause is evidence of faith-based thinking in the present leftwing academy?

What you have demonstrated unwittingly is the impossibility of conservatives receiving a fair hearing from academics like yourself and — since you are among the more reasonable academics who have argued these issues — the professoriate as it is currently constituted.

Posted in Economics, The Left | Comments Off on Excluding Hayek

Majority Wants Illegals Treated as Felons

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/30/2006

and then deported — this from a Hotel lobby poll trumpeted by the Bush administration. It looks like the White House forgot to actually read the poll they were touting.

Posted in Immigration | Comments Off on Majority Wants Illegals Treated as Felons

Botching the Iraq War

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/30/2006

An on the ground report from a recently retired American military officer.

via ParaPundit, a war critict who points out, “For the cost of the Iraq Debacle we could buy every driver in the United States a Prius (really, do the math). We could fund construction of hundreds of nuclear power plants .. ”

My position is that the first Iraq War under Bush I necessitated the second Iraq war under Bush II. I opposed the first Gulf War, and only in the retrospective light of the past 14 years of war am I thinking that perhaps I was right after all.

When we think about these wars we have to think about how today’s America will fight the war — and we can’t pretend that a long lost FDR America will be taking care of business.

Posted in International, Terror War | Comments Off on Botching the Iraq War

Treason at the NY Times

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/30/2006

Hugh Hewitt discusses the matter with Mark Steyn. Quotable:

I think when we listen to terrorists talking about the new caliphate, and there are a bunch of guys sitting in the cave, we think they’re nuts. When a guy is sitting in the cave listening to Bill Keller explain proudly why he betrayed America’s national security interests, that guy in the cave would rightly conclude that we’re the ones that are nuts. And it’s hard to disagree with him.

Posted in Terror War | Comments Off on Treason at the NY Times

Best Gitmo Decision Analysis Yet

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/30/2006

This analysis gets to the guts of the Hamdan decision better than any other I’ve read so far. The upshot?

It’s the old debate about approaching terrorism as war or as law enforcement, played out within the High Court. And the law-enforcement approach carried a majority.

Posted in International, Terror War | Comments Off on Best Gitmo Decision Analysis Yet

“The lawlessness of the Court’s action is manifest.”

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/30/2006

A symposium on the Supreme Court’s Gitmo decision. Quotable:

This is not the first time in our history when Congress has sought to revoke the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in a certain class of war-related cases. As Justice Scalia correctly noted in dissent, the Civil-War-era Court confronted the issue in Ex Parte McCardle, which involved an act of Congress removing the Court’s appellate jurisdiction over the habeas claim of a convicted war deserter. As here, that case was also pending at the time Congress acted. Indeed, the Supreme Court had already heard oral argument in the case and was already drafting an opinion. Yet that Court, unlike the current one, recognized the constitutional limits on its authority, noting:

Without jurisdiction the Court cannot proceed at all in any cause. Jurisdiction is power to declare the law, and when it ceases to exist, the only function remaining to the court is that of announcing the fact and dismissing the cause.

In a case which has been reported as the Court’s rebuke to the nation’s commander-in-chief for acting “above the law,” the Court’s own lawlessness should not go unnoticed.

Posted in International, Terror War | Comments Off on “The lawlessness of the Court’s action is manifest.”

Why Leftist Billionaires Make Us Gag

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/29/2006

The death tax — “good for thee but not for me” — Warren Buffett speaks loud and clear with his actual behavior. Quotable:

Warren Buffett has famously campaigned to keep the federal estate tax, but he apparently will avoid the tax himself, despite owning the world’s second largest personal fortune.

That’s because he’s giving most of it away to charities, with the biggest chunk going to the foundation run by Bill Gates, the only guy on the planet with more money than Buffett.

Buffett’s children won’t exactly be out in the cold. They will get to spend many billions of their father’s fortune, but as directors of charitable foundations, not as individuals.

So Buffett has simply found the most effective means to sustain his position of power beyond the grave — though tax avoidance and the enlargement of the non-profit sector, a sector without accountability to either owners or voters.

Posted in Economics | Comments Off on Why Leftist Billionaires Make Us Gag

Mark Levin on the Hamdan Decision

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/29/2006

Quotable:

Today the Supreme Court’s majority trashed the Geneva Conventions, trashed Supreme Court precedent, and trashed the Constitution. But it did succeed in expanding its own authority and the ability of the enemy to conduct its war against us.

Posted in International, Terror War | Comments Off on Mark Levin on the Hamdan Decision

Thomas vs. Court Majority on Gitmo

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/29/2006

Stuart Benjamin at Volokh has the guts of the issue. Quoting Thomas:

The President’s interpretation of Common Article 3 [of the Geneva Conventions] is reasonable and should be sustained. The conflict with al Qaeda is international in character in the sense that it is occurring in various nations around the globe. Thus, it is also “occurring in the territory of” more than “one of the High Contracting Parties.” The Court does not dispute the President’s judgments respecting the nature of our conflict with al Qaeda, nor does it suggest that the President’s interpretation of Common Article 3 is implausible or foreclosed by the text of the treaty. Indeed, the Court concedes that Common Article 3 is principally concerned with “furnish[ing] minimal protection to rebels involved in. . . a civil war,” ante, at 68, precisely the type of conflict the President’s interpretation envisions to be subject to Common Article 3. Instead, the Court, without acknowledging its duty to defer to the President, adopts its own, admittedly plausible, reading of Common Article 3. But where, as here, an ambiguous treaty provision (“not of an international character”) is susceptible of two plausible, and reasonable, interpretations, our precedents require us to defer to the Executive’s interpretation.

In other words the Supreme Court has overturned its own precident in order to wrench control of policy concerning the detention and adjudication of non-state terrorists way from the President.

Benjamin left out this rebuke from Thomas :

The plurality’s willingness to second-guess the determination of the political branches that these conspirators must be brought to justice is both unprecedented and dangerous.

More outakes from Thomas here:

Posted in International, Terror War | Comments Off on Thomas vs. Court Majority on Gitmo

Another Hero Dies

Posted by PrestoPundit on 06/28/2006

RIP, MARINE SSGT RAYMOND PLOUHAR.

Posted in Terror War | Comments Off on Another Hero Dies