Archive for July, 2011
Cases like the Duke Lacrosse case have brought some light to the surprising lack of due process that exists when charges of sexual harassment or assault are brought on a college campus. Trevor Burrus at the Cato Institute discusses this in light of two occurrences: an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal (Pay Site) which tells the tale of a student found guilty of sexual assault by a university even as his accuser was charged with lying to police about the incident, and and order from the Department of Education that effectively lessens the burden of proof required by universities to reach a guilty finding. Read the rest of this entry »
An interesting case highlighted by Eugene Volokh at the Volokh Conspiracy: a court bans a father from making any comments about his ex-wife in a public forum.
If the father says anything about the mother in public, he could be sent to jail for contempt of court. The order isn’t limited to banning libelous statements (though I think even such a much narrower ban would itself pose constitutional problems, especially under Pennsylvania law), nor is it even limited to statements about minor children (though even that sort of order strikes me as constitutionally impermissible). Rather, the court order categorically orders the removal of a Web site, and prohibits all public statements — factually accurate or not — by one person about another person.
I guess in Pennsylvania the First Amendment doesn’t count for much anymore.
An archived version of the site that started it all can be found here.
I think this gem from Andrew Klavan speaks for itself:
John Hayward at Human Events has an analysis on the current debate over the federal debt and the debt limit. Put simply, Hayward believes that the huge debt burden carried by our bloated government is an intentional and vital element of maintaining that bloated mass:
High corporate and individual tax rates lead to high unemployment rates. If you suggest reducing those tax rates to spur private-sector growth and lower unemployment, you will be accused of making the debt situation worse. That wouldn’t be very intimidating if the national debt was low. Why not lower those taxes and see if the resulting growth generated more net revenue at the lower rates? Read the rest of this entry »
Phillip Greenspan has a personal account of excessive, inefficient, and overly redundant government regulation, and how it impacts his own small business:
Finally, the FAA inspector looked at my random drug testing program to make sure that everything was in place. I’m subject to the same drug testing requirements as United Airlines. I am the drug testing coordinator for our company, so I am responsible for scheduling drug tests and surprising employees when it is their turn to be tested. As it happens, I’m also the only “safety-sensitive employee” subject to drug testing, so basically I’m responsible for periodically surprising myself with a random drug test. As a supervisor, I need to take training so that I can recognize when an employee is on drugs. But I’m also the only employee, so really this is training so that I can figure out if I myself am on drugs. As an employee, I need to take a second training course so that I learn about all of the ways that my employer might surprise me with a random drug test and find out about drug use. But I’m also the employer so really I’m learning about how I might trap myself.
Glenn Beck’s trusty radio sidekick Stu has a great take on the governmental approval of same-sex marriage:
Think about your marriage, if you have one, and break it up by percentage. (Yes, I’m a true romantic.) Where do you get the value in your marriage? What is important?
- Love – Obviously, this is usually number one.
- Faith – Recognition by your church/faith is important to most, but not all.
- Family – Recognition by your family, important to some.
- Kids – Having the most stable unit possible to raise a family, important to many.
- Government – Having faceless bureaucrats hang on to paperwork acknowledging you got married for one or more of the other reasons. Important to….???? Read the rest of this entry »
Jacob Sullum at Reason comments on the government’s new imperative to demand that you purchase a more efficient and cost effective product that costs you 10 times more than the more popular model.
Jenkins says those efficiency standards are clearly justified because the industry supports them and because they benefit consumers, who will save enough money on electricity to more than make up for higher bulb prices. Consumers, of course, have always been free to take advantage of this bargain, and the vast majority have not: According to the Energy Department (PDF), more than 80 percent of residential light sockets were still occupied by standard incandescent bulbs last year. Because consumers are too stupid to perceive the clear advantages of compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), LED bulbs, halogen bulbs, or the new, extra-efficient incandescents, they must be forced to buy them. Is it surprising that manufacturers support a law that allows them to foist newer, more expensive products on customers who otherwise would pass them up? Read the rest of this entry »