Archive for March, 2016

on Hulk Hogan and privacy

March 25, 2016

I don’t think I see a lot of material from Gawker and its related internet outlets (I’m not sure how extensive they are), and to an extent that’s a function of my effort to avoid it because of its reputation.

Having done a little bit of consulting on understanding how juries make decisions, I find the outcome of Hulk Hogan’s suit against Gawker pretty interesting. This article with reactions from jurors says a lot. I don’t know much about Florida law on the appeals process for this sort of thing; Nick Denton and Gawker may win an appeal. But unless the trial judge made some significant errors that can lead to a reversal, based on what the jurors have to say about their decisions, it sounds like Gawker is in a tough spot.

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Paglia on a Clinton-Trump “death match”

March 24, 2016

I likely would not agree with Camille Paglia on a lot of things, nor would she likely find me particularly interesting to engage on public issues, but I always enjoy reading her columns, and this one about the election is no exception.

Do we really care about income inequality?

March 17, 2016

One reason I don’t take leftist critiques of economic systems seriously is because they won’t make a peep about the ostentatious consumption of Democrat politicians and their families while they rail against income inequality. There are enormous issues to be addressed about the distribution of wealth through productivity and consumption, but business owners at least are spending money voluntarily exchanged for a product or service provided.

Political wealth is being amassed as a function of involuntary taxation, with a substantial proportion of tax revenues skimmed off for the self-aggrandizement of politicians before the remainder finds its way to actual government service and projects, which is generally sub-par compared to private enterprise. Yet Leftists insist that its in the private sphere that oppression is to be found.

on Trump and tactics

March 16, 2016

Damon Linker explains in some detail the observation that occurred to me over the weekend after the rally for Trump was canceled in Chicago. This paragraph was particularly notable:

And why are people cheering on such behavior on social media?

Mostly, I suspect, because they are primarily concerned about their own moral stature — about staking out a position of political purity, about taking a dramatic and bold public stand against racism and the rise of a distinctively American form of fascism in our midst. Because they desperately want to do something to stop Trump and what he represents.

I might cavil at some parts of his diagnosis, but the compulsion to signal one’s virtue, even by violating other crucial virtues, is an intriguing characteristic of the social media spirit.

A looming problem all but ignored

March 15, 2016

Anyone who looks can see this disaster coming, but it’s getting next to zero attention in public policy discussions. That’s probably because government policies have created it, and no elected official wants to risk trying to address it. Scott Walker’s experience in Wisconsin is instructive.

h/t to Professor Glenn Reynolds, who reminds us, “Something that can’t go on forever, won’t. Debts that can’t be repaid, won’t be. Promises that can’t be kept, won’t be. Plan accordingly.”

Coming to a country near you

March 14, 2016

Leftists decry the idea of American exceptionalism, except on one point. Leftists believe that Americans are the only people who will be able to implement Socialism as a system without it destroying the economy, as has happened everywhere it’s been tried, Venezuela being the current illustration. But according to the Left, Americans will be the exception.

Unintended consequences – regulation

March 12, 2016

Senator Ben Sasse, the Oracle of Nebraska, has demonstrated a pretty solid grasp of fundamental issues. I hope he can communicate them well to a large audience, who need to learn to focus on actual outcomes rather than stated intentions. Here he shows why vulnerable people are most harmed by the regulatory administrative state that has grown up in this country.

A Trump “win-win”

March 11, 2016

Actually, a “heads I win, tails you lose” event, I think happened today, when a planned rally for Donald Trump in Chicago was cancelled due to security concerns. If the event had happened, well and good for Donald Trump, as he continues making his case, whatever he thinks it is, to another group, this one in Chicago.

But it landed tails, and protestors and agitation led to the event being cancelled, and a lot of coverage of the exact kind of disruption that Trump supporters expect and associate with the politically correct Leftist elitists, the kind of thing that Trump supporters despise with a cold fury, that Trump supporters believe any official representative of the GOP would fail to resist. Without having to say a word, explain an idea, or understand a policy issue, Trump wins big with his supporters.

Unintended consequences

March 11, 2016

Socialism claims to be about lifting up the underclass, but in fact it tends to empower the already rich and powerful.

Young “socialists” who don’t really understand economics are going to be very disappointed and disillusioned.

What’s the standard?

March 10, 2016

David Brooks is a powerful white male, the epitome of someone with privilege. He described Senator Ted Cruz, a powerful Hispanic male, as “oleaginous” in a column, an offensive term to use of someone of Hispanic descent. Does that qualify as a microaggression? Does it say anything about David Brooks, the New York Times, journalism as a system? Or does no one care because Ted Cruz is a conservative Senator running for President?

h/t Ann Althouse