Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Walter Williams reminds me once again

why I love him:

Why we're a divided nation
The prime feature of political decision-making is that it's a zero-sum game. One person or group's gain is of necessity another person or group's loss. As such, political allocation of resources is conflict enhancing while market allocation is conflict reducing. The greater the number of decisions made in the political arena, the greater is the potential for conflict.

There are other implications of political decision-making. Throughout most of our history, we've lived in relative harmony. That's remarkable because just about every religion, racial and ethnic group in the world is represented in our country. These are the very racial/ethnic/religious groups that have for centuries been trying to slaughter one another in their home countries, among them: Turks and Armenians, Protestant and Catholic, Muslim and Jew, Croats and Serbs. While we haven't been a perfect nation, there have been no cases of the mass genocide and religious wars that have plagued the globe elsewhere. The closest we've come was the American Indian/European conflict, which pales by comparison.

He's riding the edge, to say the least, on that last comment - forcing on pain of death, which penalty was applied to thousands, the Indians to move onto government-run, socialist reservations where decisions were made to please the majority of citizens who didn't live there, wasn't exactly a favor. But it wasn't the kind of fully conscious decision to exterminate The Other that the other matters he mentions were. I still see no necessity for gratitude to the US government from the Indians though. [I support Russell Means' efforts. And here.]

Before I quit tonight, let me just point out Thomas Sowell's case for opposing Arlen Specter:

An ominous Specter
At one crucial point, Senator Pat Leahy took a cheap shot at Judge Bork by saying that he had earned large consulting fees in some years, when he was a law professor, as if that were something dishonorable. What was not revealed to the public was that those were years in which Professor Bork's wife was fatally ill and he needed that money to do all that he could for her.

Judge Bork was obviously deeply distressed by having that painful period in his personal life dragged into the political arena and his actions in those years twisted and distorted beyond recognition. When Judge Bork rested his head in his hands and covered his eyes, Judiciary Committee chairman Joseph Biden -- to his credit -- called a recess.

But, when it was proposed to end the hearings for the day, Senator Arlen Specter refused to agree. He wasn't prepared to wait to get his shots in against Judge Bork. Senator Specter's agenda was more important to him than common decency.

Now I'm offended by Bork's calling the Ninth Amendment an inkblot, thereby pretending that We the People have no more rights than those that are enumerated in the Constitution and its Amendments, but his position is actually less egregious that the position of those who call our founding document a "living constitution" to be reinterpreted at whim by those placed on the bench.... Now disparaging the Ninth Amendment may have been cause to reject Bork as a Supreme Court Justice, but that wasn't Specter's case. Specter's case was purely an abortion litmus test.

Ah, I'll make this a separate post later. I'm too tired to handle all these nuances.

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