Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
This will be the question that all American policy makers, especially Neoconservatives will have to ponder for the years to come. Was
In my opinion the answers are no, probably and no.
In spite of its internal divisions and the violence of the last few years, the three Iraqi ethnoreligious subdivisions, Arab Shiite Muslims, Arab Sunni Muslims, and Kurdish Sunni Muslims do not seem to want permanent separation.
The two largest beneficiaries of the removal of Saddam Hussein were
Chances are however, even if it does not openly cooperate with
Further reasons that the
Further horrid acts are still going on in
Friday, October 9, 2009
On Saturday, October 10, 2009, the Columbia University Libertarians will present the 2009 New York Students for Liberty Conference.
From 8:30 am - 8:30 pm, the conference will feature a full day of speakers such as Fred Smith President of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Damon Root of Reason magazine, NYU Economics Professor Mario Rizzo, and many more!
The conference will serve as a forum for learning from experts in fields ranging from economics to history, meeting libertarian leaders and activists, discussing current issues, and sharing advice on best practices for advancing the cause of liberty on campus.
More information about this premier event for liberty can be found here: www.politicalconferences.org/
Begun in 2008, Students For Liberty is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide a unified, student-driven forum of support for students and student organizations dedicated to liberty. To learn more and support this rapidly growing organization, please visit www.studentsforliberty.org.
Thursday, October 8, 2009
For all the talk of implementing new regulations to tame finance, there are still elements of necessary deregulation that are being overlooked by the Federal Government.
The rules used to say that no one could get a mortgage unless they were able to pay 20% down on their home. This made sense, as the social consequences of having to later kick someone out of their home are more damaging than having large numbers of people not own their own home in the first place. This would still be considered “light touch” regulation.
Arthur Andersen’s main role in that crisis was to be Enron’s auditor. This means they were an independent body hired by Enron to make sure the company’s books were clear of errors and to discover any possible fraud. As they did not do this correctly through both negligence and corruption, there was a crisis of confidence in the system. In response Sarbanes Oxley was passed to tighten auditing rules. An example of a new regulation was that CEOs had to sign off on the company’s financial statements and on the findings of their independent auditors.
The aforementioned regulation is not one of the more damaging ones, but the climate created by Sarbanes Oxley has made it grossly expensive for medium sized firms to go public on the stock market. The average cost of an Initial Public Offering (IPO) has reached $750,000. The result of this is that many American companies now find it easier (and cheaper) to bring their public offerings overseas, notably on the London Stock Exchange but to others as well.
Reform of Sarbanes Oxley is urgently needed to keep
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Fareed Zakaria this week made a very prescient call for patience with
Sanctions should be in place as firmly as possible. The number one sanction that would do the most to destabilize the Ayatollahs would be to lobby
Further security guarantees should be made by the
Next, restarting negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians is necessary to delegitimize Hamas and Hezbollah to take away
There is also another significant parallel to the end of World War II that should be realized. Nazi Germany, before it became a greater threat to the world in and of itself, was the main check on the expansion of Soviet Communism. The fact that Hitler eventually became stronger than the Soviets and embarked on a conquest of the world changed the circumstances and forced
The final point is that we have been here before. In the 1940s there were calls to use
It is here, in Fortress
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Friday, October 2, 2009
Europe, especially since the financial crisis, has made a drastic turn to the right. In all of Europe’s big powers the right is in power or the left is in retreat. Italy, France and Germany are now firmly in the hold of Center Right coalitions. In Spain and Britain, Center Left governments are under increasing pressure. In the case of Britain, the Labor government is a lame duck before the new government has been formed, and Britain’s Labor party, one of the two large parties, is now in third place behind the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats for the first time since 1982.
All over Europe the left is in disarray and it is quite paradoxical. In every poll of European public opinion, business is viewed with contempt and suspicion. In spite of these views, pro business parties have been thrust into power. This is partially because Europe’s immigration policies for the last 10 years have brought with it the problem of Islamic extremism within their own midst.
In Germany this past week, Angela Merkel was reelected with surprising results. Germany’s two main parties are Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union and the Social Democrats. Since 2005, the two parties have ruled together in an awkward coalition. Their intrinsic differences made it nearly impossible to implement proper economic reform to enable Germany to function in today’s increasingly interdependent world economy.
The election results have thrown the coalition to the wind. The new ruling coalition government will be between Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the smaller third party, the Free Democrats, led by Guido Westerwelle. The German left is in disarray, the Socialists, Communists and Greens have been left out to dry by the electorate, in spite of an overall anti business sentiment.
The Free Democrats are the most pro business party in Germany and now have a large coalition partner to help implement their ideas. Germany, like much of Europe, needs to free up its labor market, making it easier to hire and fire workers, and lower its overall tax burden, especially on businesses. Red tape also needs to be cut in order to make it easier for service sector businesses to develop, as
This bodes well for Europe and the world. Freer markets in Germany will spur the rest of Europe to reform their economic and social policies and allow for greater growth in the future. Socialism in Europe has been dealt a devastating blow, country by country. The next will be Britain, where Gordon Brown’s sick joke of leadership will be crushed in the forthcoming election.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
In the midst of the great healthcare debate many otherwise news worthy stories are flying under the radar. But, the Associated Press did manage to report on a civil liberties atrocity that is taking place in the State of Georgia: the relocation of homeless sex offenders to camp in a wooded area.
Georgia has some of the toughest probation requirements for sex offenders in the Union. Georgia state law bans sex offenders from living, working or loitering within 1,000 feet of schools, churches, parks and other spots where children would likely gather. This strict ban has left homeless sex offenders with no other choice but to camp out in the woods.
According to Sarah Geraghty, an attorney with the Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights, there is only one homeless shelter in the entire State that meets the requirements, and that center only has 2 beds.
But, I am not writing this post to argue that the State has a requirement to provide housing for homeless sex offenders, I am instead arguing that imposing such strict violations on convicted sex offenders is a violation of human dignity.
By barring sex offenders from being within 1,000 feet of churches, the State has effectively excluded them from housing in churches like many homeless persons do. The strict 1,000 feet requirement also limits the amount of jobs these sex offenders could possibly find, when this number is already diminished given their ex-convict status.
The purpose of our prison system is to punish and rehabilitate. With respect to rehabilitation, if we do not let these people live normal lives after they are released, it is virtually impossible to fully integrate them back into society. The punishment is supposed to be the time spent in jail. Once you have finished your jail sentence the State should protect your rights equally to the rights of other citizens, as obligated by the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.
Those who support these strict limitations on the liberties of convicted sex offenders will say that the State is simply acting in the best interest of its citizens and is thus protecting these citizens’ rights. But, the fundamental issue here then becomes why are we releasing non-rehabilitated prisoners?
If the State of Georgia and others who support these limitations want to protect the law-abiding citizens then we ought to do it without violating the liberties of these convicted sex offenders. The best way to accomplish that is to simply increase the duration of their jail sentences and make it more difficult to receive probation.
What we mustn’t forget when discussing law and order is that convicts (in this case sex offenders) are humans too and therefore entitled to the same rights as the rest of us once they have served their time.