(Promoted to the front page - PF)
Sure is great to see all the familiar faces still in the mix!
Just wanted to share with you how things have changed for me;
I began coming here in '07 I believe, and as I had been for some 25 years prior to that I was a pretty hard core conservative.
Why can't they be mutually exclusive??
Will put it back soon. Need to restore from backup.
R9GjJA Thanks again for the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.
I posted this to get to the heart of the matter on Sotomayor and the lively discussion regarding her nomination.
I think it would behoove all of us to properly define what exactly an "activist judge" is. I would define an activist judge as one who does not follow the law and legal precedent when making a legal determination. Rather, such a judge would substitute what they think the law should be rather than what it is. However, there is a caveat.
A judge on the Supreme Court need not follow precedent, as bad precedent needs to be overturned. A district court or appeals court judge does need to follow any precedent, regardless of how wrong that precedent is. IIRC, Gonzalez v. Carhart was a model for how judges should act: district and appeals courts struck down the law banning partial birth abortion based on precedent and the law. The Supreme Court then changed the precedent.
Please offer up your own definitions of an activist judge and whether or not you'd agree that courts inferior to the Supreme Court are beholden to bad precedent.
An article that caught my attention a few months ago titled "Use Your Illusions " (yes, a cheap knock off of the G'nR album ) by Slavoj Zizek in the Nov./Dec., 2008 edition of London Review of Books interestingly shows how the international left views the political landscape in the United States.
This one will be rather short (well maybe not), but I was thinking about this more and more recently and wanted to get my thoughts down on some electrons while the idea was fresh.
When talking about economic transactions, one often hears the story of the two gentlemen who, without any coercion on either's part, come to an agreement. The buyer agrees to pay $X for a widget sold by the seller. Both men are ostensibly "better off" for the deal, which becomes a point for increasing free trade.
I suppose that both men are "better off" from their own point of view, but what about from an objective point of view? Is there even a way to objectively measure this? I'm bold enough to say there is!
Using a continuum, we can "visualize" the price at which a buyer would buy a good or service and at which the seller would provide the good or service. So long as their pricelines match somewhere, they will come to an agreement. I'll switch terminology and say that both are equally "worse off" if the area of overlap on the priceline is bisected; at this bisection is the objective "worse off" point. This would be the point at which neither person is, comparatively speaking, better/worse off than the other.
I'll also talk a bit about fairness here, too. This point of objectivity is also the most fair price point at which a good or service could be sold. Being that I'm still a philosophical liberal, I enjoy government intervention on behalf of whomever is getting the more raw deal. Nine times out of ten the seller, because he has a greater reserve of capital, can afford to be more discriminating than the buyer, which is why I support any government efforts (done within constitutional parameters, mind you) to level the playing field as it were.
Now this is under complete information assumptions. Under incomplete information assumptions a different definition of "objective" occurs. The "you paid WHAT for that?" is the very trival (and fuzzy) benchmark for objectivity there. Veblen comes to mind as well when thinking about objectivity.
What say you?
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Cato's monthly in depth issue online magazine.
Hat tip to Will Wilkinson .
This month's topic is free-markets vs. corporatist markets.
this month’s Cato Unbound should be required reading for: leftists and liberals who think libertarians are corporate shills; conservatives with Adam Smith ties who love corporations; libertarians who love Wal-Mart a little too much.
The Black Swan , by Nassim Nicholas Taleb is an engaging book about an important topic. However, if a reader who is familiar with the topic(s) will not find any new ideas.
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Hat tip to Arnold Kling who cites a great thought experiment from unqualified reservations . This experiment is right up my alley because it forms part of the bedrock of my perspective on society, progress and governance. I've touched on this general area of thinking in the past in various conversations and in many forms.
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In the commentary, Boaz challenges the notion, implicit or explicit, put forth by the presumptive nominees which states that we as citizens should commit ourselves to higher national causes.
Boaz is obviously not impressed with this vision.