Sunday, March 19, 2017

On the market in health care.

Arguing that you can't have a free market in health care because when people need health care can't bargain because they are sick is like arguing that you can't have a free market in hotel rooms because most of the time that the guests are in the room they can't bargain because they are asleep.
However, I discuss principles for the public provision of health care in this 2010 post from the Obamacare debates.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

A country is a country

Who are the American people, and why do they need to enforce their immigration laws?
My piece from The Point #13, now out from behind the paywall.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Memo to a "Resister"

American Muslims need to understand that they have to engage in affirmative acts of loyalty or they have no future in America. Just like Japanese Americans volunteering for combat out of the internment camps.  American Muslims have to self-police, and they have to do so openly.  The alternative for them (and us)  is conquer or die.
The question is whether in soliciting those affirmative acts of loyalty the US has the right mix of appeasment and confrontation. The record of success since 9-11 of US security forces is not perfect (and it was a lot worse under Obama, for various reasons, than under Bush after 9-11).  Perfection is a reasonable standard for those of us old enough to recall that from 1945 to 2001 there was no succesful terrorist attack carried out by a foreign terrorist on US soil.
To secure Muslim loyalty, HRC promised more appeasement. Trump promised more confrontation. Trump won. Trying to "resist Trump" will be electorally disastrous for the Democrats in 2018 and 2020 unless the Islamists throw in the towel. Rolling over for Trump, on the other hand, shifts the responsibility to him: then any attacks are his fault NOT YOURS.  Cynical and obvious advice, but some of your side seems to have forgotten the obvious.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Six Points on the Azaria Case

1. The purpose of a trial is to clear up doubts. That other cases require a trial to clear up doubts does not mean that every case does. Who is to decide? By giving a soldier or a policeman a gun we empower them to make life or death decisions. Why not this one? 2. If it is not possible to kill a terrorist after a trial, than the trial itself is not merely a procedural delay in the delivery of justice, it is a procedure by which injustice is guaranteed. 3. The one who dehumanizes the enemy is the one who denies that enemy's moral culpability and thus refuses to treat that enemy as a criminal regardless of their conduct. 4. The laws of war permit the summary execution of terrorists. 5. I do not condone leaving an injured, unarmed alive when that man is a terrorist, yes. It is arguable whether he should be patched up for trial, convicted, and then killed. But to patch him, feed him, and keep him with his fellow terrorists until he is released to kill again? What values does does that uphold? 6. Azaria, it is claimed, violated orders. If he did so, he did so to kill a man who deserved to die, who would not have died had Azaria had not acted. Should soldiers follow the prima facie immoral order to spare a disabled terrorist? Sure. But to judge a soldier who violated an immoral order you need to have the proper sense of right and wrong and the understanding that such an order is, prima facie, immoral.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Red and Dead: An Originalist Approach to the Twenty-Third Amendment

Now that  the Democrats have revived the originalist, "dead constitution" understanding of the electoral college, I think it is time to animate the "dead constitution" understanding of the Twenty-third Amendment.

That amendment, you will recall, is what gives DC electors -- three, as it happens.  But note the first few words of section 1:  "The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct..."  As with the other electors, nothing in the amendment requires that those electors be selected on the basis of popular vote.  To quote Bush v. Gore, "the individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States."

By Article I, Section 8, clause 17, Congress is "to exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever" over the District.   Just as state legislatures have the power to enact or abolish the popular vote for the electors, Congress is perfectly within its rights to abolish the popular vote for electors in DC.  Congress could choose some other method for the District to select its electors, or could choose the electors by name and order the District to appoint them.

A sufficient Republican majority in both houses of Congress, and those three votes go red.  Drain that swamp!

{Alexander Hamilton wanted John Jay to do something similar with regard to the New York electoral college for 1800, so the DC 3 chosen by Congress would have a better right than anybody to call themselves "Hamilton Electors."}

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Most Great to Them that Know

In my latest at American Greatness, I use a celebrated English hymn, "I Vow to Thee My Country," to examine the questions surrounding the "dual citizenship" of Christians (between the City of God and the City of Man), from my peculiar situation as a Jew who has triple citizenship—in Canada, America, and Israel.