Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Why guns?

There's been a long thread of stories about failure of police in europe to respond to rioting and other criminal acts where they involve muslim minorities. I remember reading about police in the Netherlands standing by while such rioters vandalized cars etc.
I think the core of the problem here is the civilian firearms ban in Europe.
Banning firearms is more than just a practical or pragmatic step, it's the adoption of a policy saying: "We the people, are not responsible enough to be trusted with firearms."
At that point, responsibility for maintaining order is completely abdicated by the people.


Do guns play a role in tragic accidental deaths? Absolutely. But they play a much more important role in keeping us tied to reality and keeping us aware that it is primarily the job of the people to maintain order.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Evaluating sources, legal letter.

Just wanted to evaluate their sources.
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/18650

Beth Nolan: white house counsel, Clinton administration
Lawrence Tribe: Harvard law school
Curtis Bradley: Duke law
David Cole: Georgetown law
Geoffrey Stone: University of Chicago law
Harold Koh: Yale law
Kathleen Sullivan: Standord law
Martin Lederman: Unknown
Phillip Heymann: Harvard law
Richard Epstein: University of Chicago law (libertarian)
Ronald Dworking: legal theoretician
Walter Dellinger: Duke law
William Sessions: Former FBI director
William Van Alstyne: Duke law

Questions which pop up: How unanimous was the support for this? Lawyers are notorious for detail, yet the letter makes quite a broad condemnation.
If the position is that clear, why aren't there hundreds of law proffessors signing onto this letter?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Misunderstanding Iran

http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1141858211068&call_pageid=968256290204&col=968350116795
Re: the article: Like Cuba, Iran is a thorn pricking America

The author suggests America has rebuffed Iranian 'peace overtures', when in fact no such overture has been made. Khatami, Rafsanjani, and Ahmadinejad have never been endowed with the authority to negotiate an end to our cold war on Iran's behalf. Iran is a dictatorship run by a clerical head of state who does not meet with foreign heads of state. As such, the rest of the world's diplomatic options with Iran are severely limited.
As an example of how the supposed 'elected iranian government' is incapable of diplomacy, even the Iranian parliament was kept in the dark about their own nuclear program. When Iranian "pseudo-elected" officials claim their nuclear program is for civilian or commercial purposes, they really have no way of knowing whether what they are saying is true.
If Khameni were to actually meet with Blair or Merkel, we could then deal with Iran as we are forced to deal with other dictatorships, held at an arm's length and with a suspicious eye. Until at least that point, we can have no diplomatic relations.

Most persians do not want this theocracy to remain, but there are few with the power to stand up to it. I think the $85m designated to promote democracy in Iran will foster a better understanding of exactly what the persians have been missing since their revolution was hijacked by this theocracy.

And shame on the author for selling out promotion of democracy as "subverting the Iranian gov't". The Iranian theocracy has no mandate from the persian people to even exist, let alone claim some right to govern without interference. As an editorialist, it serves no purpose for the author to attempt to mislead people by such falisifications in presenting the Iranian government as legitimate.

We should support the persian people in removing this theocracy and establishing a democracy as best as we can, whenever and wherever they choose. It is our obligation as free people, and we have to have faith that the persian people can succeed in this endeavor. I think this article subverts that idea, intentionally or otherwise.