Today’s Links: January 3, 2012


WILL WILKINSON: “Why I’m Not a Bleeding Heart Libertarian
“Here are some not-standardly-libertarian things I believe: Non-coercion fails to capture all, maybe even most, of what it means to be free. Taxation is often necessary and legitimate. The modern nation-state has been, on the whole, good for humanity. (See Steven Pinker’s new book.) Democracy is about as good as it gets. The institutions of modern capitalism are contingent arrangements that cannot be justified by an appeal to the value of liberty construed as non-interference. The specification of the legal rights that structure real-world markets have profound distributive consequences, and those are far from irrelevant to the justification of those rights. I could go on.”

RICHARD RAHN: “Purveyors of Financial Destruction
“On Dec. 28, the Financial Times announced, ‘China has again outshone the U.S. as the top venue for initial public offerings.’ How is it that since 2008, a self-proclaimed communist country raises more capital and has more new firms going public than the great bastion of free-market capitalism, the United States? Answer: Members of Congress have been killing the U.S. financial markets because of hubris, incompetence and a lust for power and money.”

RICHARD L. HASEN: “Holder’s Voting Rights Gamble
“On the Friday before Christmas Day, the Department of Justice formally objected to a new South Carolina law requiring voters to produce an approved form of photo ID in order to vote. That move already has drawn cheers from the left and jeers from the right. The DoJ said South Carolina could not show that its new law would not have an adverse impact on racial minorities, who are less likely to have acceptable forms of identification.”


GUNS – Marine Faces 15-Year Sentence For Unknowingly Violating Gun Law
“Ryan Jerome was enjoying his first trip to New York City on business when the former Marine Corps gunner walked up to a security officer at the Empire State Building and asked where he should check his gun. That was when Jerome’s nightmare began. The security officer called police and Jerome spent the next two days in jail.”

“A man in Texas is serving a 35-year prison sentence for spitting at a police officer – because he has the virus that causes AIDS and his saliva was deemed a deadly weapon. In Michigan, an HIV-positive man who allegedly bit a neighbor during an argument faced a bioterrorism charge.”

INTERNATIONAL – Long-Awaited Legislation Outlaws Puppy Farming in Ireland
“Puppy farming has been outlawed in Ireland – with harsh penalties now imposed on anyone who breaks the country’s new laws.”