Friday Highlights

Good morning. Well, I didn’t get up early enough to get links out yesterday, and I’m pushing it today. Last night I worked on the homily/final text. The startup is a little behind schedule … and the physical install is done, but software and controls (my part) is being shaken out … so I’ve little spare time during the day. Anyhow …

  1. As Lent approaches … a fast practised by the Chaldean/Assyrian, Ethiopian, and Coptic churches that I’d not known about … the Ninevite fast
  2. After all that … Russia is indifferent
  3. An economics paper noted.
  4. A econ question.
  5. A book noted … another here.
  6. How to teach and study ethics.
  7. The hard left and militant Islam … a match not made in heaven.
  8. The SOTU address discussed. A valid point on that here.
  9. Foolish zeal and St. Ephrem.
  10. All that spending … did what? A fat lot of nothing.
  11. Well, all the kerfuffle about Obama/Alito tells us that people need thicker skins. Heck guns have been discharged in the halls before. Now, people apparently care about “mouthing ‘no'”. Geesh. And alas, Mr Obama had it wrong factually … not that it matters. Some more remarks from the center, which oddly enough when noted here were ignored by my left leaning commenters. One more from Ms McArdle.
  12. A list which the left wants us to slip further down.

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  1. The hard left and militant Islam … a match not made in heaven.

    Who is this “hard left” and why are we talking about them instead of the “actual left?” Because the “actual left” thinks militant Islam is pretty much awful. You know, we sort of favor women’s rights and equality, gay rights and equality, freedom of and from religion, etc. All those things that militant Islam opposes so strongly.

    From the left, militant Islam is a much worse version of the Christian right. There’s nothing whatsoever appealing about it. At all.

  2. Boonton says:

    Notice the beef is that the ‘hard left’ ‘tolerates’ militant Islam. In other words, the right likes to act like a jerkoff in a bar spouting nonsense about nuking every country in the Middle East and putting all Muslims in camps. The left likes to point out how stupid such ideas are and because of that the assumption is we all must believe there’s some Constitutional right to suicide bombings or something. The right is addicted to ‘angry narratives’ where force is the only solution to all problems, the world is always black and white, and disagreement is more about treason and betrayal rather than just an honestly different view of the facts.

  3. Boonton says:

    And alas, Mr Obama had it wrong factually …

    Actually this seems pretty optimistic to me. The laws on foreign influence on US campaigns were not part of the case but it seems hard to see how the resoning wouldn’t apply to them. too. If Corporate speech cannot be regulated as if a corporation is a person (or as Mark likes to say an assembly of people) then that would seem to apply to foreign corps. as well. The only ban that seems like it can still stay in place is the one on foreigners giving money to US campaigns but nothing stops them from creating a shell company, pumping it up with ‘profits’ via the home gov’t (for example, a Chinese company that sells ‘analysis’ to the Chinese military) and then spending those profits on ‘speech’ in US campaigns.

    If Obama’s wrong about that I’d like you to explain why. Free speech applies to foreign persons as well as US citizens so it would seem foreign corps. would be able to participate in elections as well.

  4. Mark says:


    I’d like you to explain why

    Yes, and two or three times I’ve pointed out a particular problem with finance regulations … and you’ve (and JA as well) have ducked it. So … I’ll try to see why lawyers are sayings it different if you try to explain why its needed. To help you … review the quote below.

    A review of the biggest corporate donors found that their stock prices were unaffected after they stopped giving to the parties. The results suggest that those companies did not lose their influence and may have been giving “because they were shaken down by politicians,” said Nathaniel Persily, a professor at Columbia Law School who has studied the law’s impact…

    “There is no evidence that stricter campaign finance rules reduce corruption or raise positive assessments of government,” said Kenneth Mayer, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “It seems like such an obvious relationship but it has proven impossible to prove.”

    While your at it you could answer Jason’s question, that is respond to the point in the final paragraph. Oh, and by the way he’s a Libertarian, which some here seem to identify as the same as the GOP because after all what party does Ron Paul belong?

  5. Boonton says:

    Actually this leads into the previous discussion we have been having. If corporate giving doesn’t impact stock price that would kind of imply that it has no influence on a corporations profitability. If it doesn’t then why are corporations wasting money as such?

    On explanation is that said corporations stopped giving because the issue(s) became moot. Either because other companies were giving or because policy questions that impacted the corporation were decided, there was no longer any need to try to buy influence.

    Another explanation, though, is that corporate giving had nothing to do with the corporation but its managers. It’s managers either wanted to use the corporation’s money to buy influence or maybe they just wanted petty things like getting a Congressman to speak at the company year end dinner or get their picture taken with Sarah Palin. If this is the case then you have a property rights problem in that ‘corporate speech’ is basically shareholder theft.

    Again do I have a right to ‘speak’ with money I pilfer from your sofa if such money is too small for your to justify policing yourself?

  6. Boonton says:

    Also you’re missing the point. The past doesn’t dictate the future. Just because some corporations found that ceasing donations had no impact on policies relevant to their profitability doesn’t mean that such giving has no influence on policy nor does it mean that foreign gov’ts wouldn’t find it to their advantage to influence policy via ‘corproate speech’.

  7. Boonton says:

    Finally if donations really have no impact on corporate share prices or profits then that’s all the more reason to give shareholders, who own the company, the right to reclaim the funds management wants to ‘donate’!