Thursday, November 29, 2007
Watching the debates so we wouldn't have to, ...
... Myrhaf was okay with the Republican YouTube debate, but appalled by the debaters:
Given Myrhaf's previous analysis of what makes Hillary Clinton a weak candidate, the "Huckabee vibe" (to capture the superficiality of many of the voters to whom he will appeal) frightens me.
The Republican Party is in trouble. The candidates are all mixed economy mediocrities, with the possible exception of Ron Paul, who is out in left field. None had specific, courageous answers about what Thompson called the "entitlement tsunami" headed our way. By all indications, the presidency of any Republican except Paul will be an extension of Bush's policies. [A Paul presidency would be both different and worse. --ed] Some made general statements about cutting spending, but only Paul gave specifics. The rest are too terrified of offending the legions of Americans who now suck off the federal teat....
The only two candidates who sounded like they had integrity were the libertarian antiwar candidate and the Christian big government candidate. The rest are the kind of middle-of-the-road hacks you would expect among Republican politicians. The candidates are in a welfare state bind: the only way to look principled is to risk angering some pressure groups full of voters; but being controversial is the quickest way to marginalization. It is impossible in today's America to be honest and principled about getting the government out of our lives and remain a serious candidate. I don't think I've ever been so depressed after a debate.
Tara Smith's "Why Originalism Won't Die" Online
I think she published the article a while back, but via Dithyramb, I learned that Tara Smith's article, "Why Originalism Won't Die -- Common Mistakes in Competing Theories of Judicial Interpretation" in the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy, is available on the web:
While each of these reasons may help to explain Originalism's appeal, none of them captures the heart of the issue. The deeper reason that Originalism will not die, I think, is that it has staked out the moral high ground, championing the objectivity of interpretation that is essential to the ideal of the rule of law. Anything other than fidelity to the written words, it seems, surrenders us to the rule of mere men (the individual justices on the bench).I have heard Dr. Smith speak on this topic before. This is a very interesting and important issue.
Or so things would appear.
What I will suggest is that the very objectivity which explains Originalism's appeal is misunderstood by Originalists themselves. And part of the reason that criticisms have not inflicted more crippling damage is that the leading alternatives also suffer from confusions about appropriate standards of objectivity in the legal domain -- which many people sense, I think, and which sends them back to the apparently safer harbor of Originalism. [bold added]
(As I revise this post, I get the nagging feeling that I've linked to this before, but I'm leaving it in anyway.)
Saying Justice by Giving Thanks
Galileo Blogs posted an excellent Thanksgiving piece by Dr. Michael Hurd.
Most are thankful to God. I am thankful to man -- specifically, to those individuals who (over the centuries) have created the countless things I need for survival and enjoyment: automobiles, plumbing, mass produced food, medicine, electricity, computers, televisions … the list is endless. I know who many of those inventors are, and I can see, feel and enjoy the benefits of their inventions in my daily life. There are many inventors whom I don't know about -- some of them unsung heroes who never obtained the credit they deserve -- but whose contributions to the wealth and comfort around me are evident all the same.This is an excellent example of what Craig Biddle has called "saying justice".
I figure that most of my readers have probably already seen this, but if you value the work of the Ayn Rand Institute and haven't already stopped by Noodle Food, you ought to read this.
In Telluride this summer, I reconnected with a friend who'd moved from Houston about a decade ago. One of the first things out of his mouth was that he'd attended Yaron Brook's "State of the Institute" presentation.
"I needed to hear that," he said.
So go there -- especially if you watched the Republican "debate"!