Friday, February 08, 2008
Lordy mercy! It's hard to believe I've done three hundred roundup posts (out of 1,570 total)! I saw this milestone coming a few weeks ago and debated changing the feature name to something else, but ultimately decided against it.
If nothing else, the running total lends an air of venerability to the feature.
On with the show....
Christian Leader Advocates Sharia Law
This morning's paper and a reader alerted me to the fact that the Archbishop of Canterbury, citing its "inevitability", has come out in favor (alternate URL) of instituting elements of Islamic law within the British legal system.
Aside from demonstrating that religion is not and cannot be the foundation for a free society, the comments show that the bishop is heavily influenced by multiculturalism.
But equally, he said, "I don't think we should instantly spring to the conclusion that the whole of that world of jurisprudence and practice is somehow monstrously incompatible with human rights simply because it doesn't immediately fit with how we understand it ."Is the Most Rev. Rowan Williams so befuddled by relativism that he regards Islamic jurisprudence as equally valid as British? Or does he want to use such confusion as multiculturalism generates as a toehold for greater influence of religion in legal matters generally? Your guess is as good as mine, and as irrelevant. There is no place for religious dogma in the jurisprudence of a free society.
Justice for Hugo Chavez?
Reader Dismuke informs me that Exxon Mobil is not taking the seizure of its Venezuelan assets by dictator Hugo Chavez sitting down. The Caracas Chronicles quotes a Bloomberg report on a series of court orders obtained by the petrochemical giant to freeze the overseas assets of Venezuela's state oil company pending arbitration on the seizure:
The U.S. freeze is less than 3 percent the size of the U.K. and Netherlands orders because Exxon Mobil reckoned it would be more difficult to obtain a freeze on PDVSA's U.S. refineries and filling stations without first winning at trial. In the meantime, PDVSA probably would sell the plants, Exxon Mobil's U.K. lawyer said.This is fun to see on one level, and frustrating on another. This shouldn't be in court at all, and it wouldn't have been if Western nations consistently protected property rights and had foreign policies based on self-interest.
The asset freezes will damage PDVSA's ability to raise funds from international investors for drilling and refinery projects, said Asdrubal Oliveros, chief economist at Caracas-based Ecoanalitica. He estimated PDVSA has $13 billion in "liquid'' international assets.
"This is going to put a lot of pressure on country risk, and on the price of the company's bonds in the international market,'' Oliveros said. "Loaning money to a company that's in this kind of dispute, and also is facing this kind of injunction, is going to be very delicate.'' [bold added, minor edits]
Theft is wrong, regardless of whether the perpetrator is a government and regardless of its official excuse, and the function of the government of a free country is to protect the rights of its citizens. Any nation whose citizens had assets stolen on such a scale by the Chavez government has the right to invade Venezuela. And any nation which judges that such seizures represent significant damages or threats to its citizens has the obligation to take whatever measures it deems feasible and necessary to rectify or remove them.
Hugo Chavez should have been made a historical footnote by George W. Bush long ago.
That would have been justice for Hugo Chavez. This is a really only a chance to win a booby prize.
The following subject line from a Human Events mass mailing appeared in my email this morning:
Should Illegal Aliens Be Given Tax Rebates?Forget the illegal aliens. Why not ask the following question: "Should American citizens have income confiscated every year by the federal government?"
When such publications start asking questions like these, we will know that the tide is turning in favor of individual rights.