URLs du Jour


  • Yesterday, I briefly mentioned James Carroll's idiotic MLK op-ed in the Boston Globe. One of his overwrought babblings:
    The disgrace of US poverty, now necessarily seen in the context of a globalized economy, is a footnote to the smoldering catastrophe of world wide disparities between rich and poor. Cities, especially in the southern hemisphere, teem with desperate people, and no system of authority or organization seems remotely able to respond.
    Today brings a welcome whiff of reality from Mary Anastasia O'Grady, writing in the WSJ:
    Not only did the world-wide trend toward greater economic liberty hold steady over the past year, but the incomes of poor individuals across the globe are rising as result. The world isn't only growing richer. The gap between the per-capita income of have-not populations and that of the developed world is narrowing.
    This is in the context of this year's release of the 2007 Index of Economic Freedom, which has good news (the US is the fourth-freest economy in the world) and bad (we're only number 4). You can buy the dead-trees report at the link, or download it for free. The report's conclusions are not surprising: if you really care about improving the economic conditions of great masses of people, you need to not prattle about "economic justice", but instead encourage economic liberty.

    Fearless prediction: James Carroll will not read it.

  • Also yesterday, I referred to a survey showing the dismal knowledge of college students on all matters pertaining to American government and history. But perhaps that performance isn't all that surprising when college faculty and administration themselves have only a dim grasp of (say) the First Amendment. Today's reminder of that sad fact comes from FIRE, which is doggedly trying to get Marquette University to clarify or justify its free speech policies, triggered by its censorship of a Dave Barry quote from last year. Marquette's responses have been (so far) confusing and contradictory. Currently they seem have adopted the "stick fingers in ears, hum loudly" strategy.

  • Of course, this whole First Amendment thing can be confusing even to the folks who take oaths to preserve, protect, and defend it. Prof Bainbridge notes the latest antics from Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who is threatening to bring back the "Fairness Doctrine". Worse, he's in posession of even more power these days, recently named chair of a subcommittee that overlooks the FCC.

    Kucinich is quoted as saying

    We know the media has become the servant of a very narrow corporate agenda … The entire domestic agenda has been ignored while the focus has been on the acceleration of wealth upwards.
    In short: a Congressman attempting to use his power to get the media to slant things more to his liking. Gee, it's wonderful to see that whole liberal/libertarian alliance thing working out so well.

Last Modified 2007-04-18 3:46 PM EDT