URLs du Jour


  • At AEI, Mark J. Perry provides Quotation of the day on emergencies….. It's from Hayek, who saw it coming:

    ‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded – and once they are suspended it is not difficult for anyone who has assumed emergency powers to see to it that the emergency will persist.

    Good point, Fred.

  • At AIER, Jeffrey A. Tucker examines a different aspect of the same phenomenon: Well, That Unraveled Quickly.

    Our political culture is rooted in the great myth that whatever happens in society is due to them, and this presumption bites us any time there is some emergency: they have a penchant toward control in the name of the precautionary principle. In this case, it made the U.S Constitution and human rights generally null and void for a full thirty days. And we had no choice but to comply. It was a grotesque experiment in totalitarianism. Families ripped apart, people’s businesses and jobs destroyed, essential surgeries delayed, despair spread throughout society.

    Now we know. Never again.

    The lockdowns were presented to us under the need to “flatten the curve” for hospital capacity, but there isn’t one curve and we didn’t have enough information even to say where one city was on any curve. There were some days of difficulty in hot spots but many hospitals in the country, due to the order that they not do elective surgeries, started furloughing workers. The reality of many empty hospitals in the middle of a pandemic was too much to process. So we spent the next two weeks searching for new justifications to keep the lockdown in place. Those started to sound affected and even fraudulent very quickly. 

    Can you say "moving the goalposts", boys and girls? Kimberley A. Strassel can.

  • Probably nobody will pay a lot of attention to this "told you so" bit, but: Coronavirus Crisis Vindicates the FCC’s ‘Net Neutrality’ Rollback. It's from lawprof Christopher S. Yoo, writing in the WSJ.

    The widespread imposition of stay-at-home orders has underscored the critical role that access to the internet plays in modern society. Some countries have done a better job than others in deploying high-quality and robust network infrastructure. In Europe, networks have struggled to meet bandwidth demand, leading officials to ask popular services such as Netflix and YouTube to degrade the quality of their streaming video from high definition to standard definition. U.S. networks have faced fewer problems adjusting to the increase in demand.

    Public policy explains the different outcomes. The European Union has embraced a heavy-handed regulatory scheme designed to allocate access to the existing network, while the U.S. has emphasized private investment to expand network capacity.

    None of the dire predictions from back in 2017 when NetNeut was scuttled have come to pass. The people who made them have moved on to other topics.

  • At NR, Katherine Timpf is rightly put out by the comment made by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy to Tucker Carlson: that he “wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights” when imposing social-distancing restrictions — because such considerations were “above [his] pay grade.”

    Katherine says: no, Phil: Bill of Rights Is Not ‘above’ Any Government Leader’s ‘Pay Grade’.

    Make no mistake: If you are an elected official in the United States of America, considering the Constitution when you govern is never “above your pay grade.” It is, in fact, a major reason that you’re even getting paid at all.

    Again: This is an absolute fact. It’s not up for debate, and what’s more, it’s not as if Murphy had no way to know so. Rather, before officially beginning his tenure as governor, Murphy himself took an oath of office that doesn’t just state but actually begins with the following: “I, _____, elected governor of the State of New Jersey, do solemnly promise and swear, that I will support the Constitution of the United States . . .”

    If anything, this irks me even more than it does Katherine.