Monthly Archives: December 2010

2011: The Year of the…Lawyer?

Will 2011 be the year of the lawyer? Unfortunately, I think it will be, because I think the year, at least politically, will be a year filled with two things: regulation and litigation.

Regulation, because, as we’ve already seen with the FCC’s “Net Neutrality” power grab, when the Obama Administration is not able to achieve what it wants via legislation (and it should NOT be able to do that this year), it will try and do so via regulation. And of course, regulation means lawyers getting more work for two reasons (1) the poor companies who operate under the regulations need lawyers to untangle all the vague and often contradictory legalese; (2) those companies, and others interested in protecting individual rights, will need lawyers to fight the regulations in the courts.

Litigation will be needed not only to fight the regulations, but also to try and undo some of the damage done during Obama’s first two years in office. While the Republicans will (they better!!) do their best to repeal some of the behemoth legislation that was rammed down Americans’ throats in 2010, particularly Obamacare, does anyone seriously think Obama will sign any of those repeal bills, even if they are able to be passed in the Senate? I don’t. So that means more work for lawyers!

Disclaimer: Yes, I happen to be a lawyer. But don’t think I’m glad about all this lawyerly activity in 2011, except in the sense that things could be worse: Obama could still be holding a blank check on Americans’ lives and fortunes, as he has for the last two years. Also, I will likely get to see lawyers fighting the good fight this year, which is really why any good lawyer gets into this business in the first place.

Which reminds me: as an academic lawyer, I have some more grading to do…

Happy New Year all!

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Of a Piece

Some of my dog-loving friends were disappointed or angry when they heard that President Obama called the Philadelphia Eagles’ owner and commended him for giving Michael Vick — who was convicted of running a dog fighting ring — a “second chance.” The more liberal among them might be, as Obama reportedly is, “passionate about the fact that it’s rarely a level playing field for prisoners once they leave jail.” Still, they thought that Obama, if he wanted to take a stand on this issue, should have chosen pretty much anyone other than Vick about whom to comment. I believe that Obama’s actions in this matter are perfectly consistent with all the other nihilist things he has done since taking office.

Quick disclaimer: while I love dogs, I still think that, in a proper legal system, they would be considered to be (very valuable) property. My preferred disposition of Michael Vick, therefore, would be to convict him of whatever property/fraud crimes I could (how did he get people to sell/give him the dogs he got anyway?) and, once he was punished for those crimes, I would simply encourage people to ostracize and boycott him for the rest of his life. Training dogs to kill each other and otherwise killing them off the way he and his associates did is disgusting and unforgivable. The idea that he has “done his time” and therefore has magically erased the terrible things he has done, is absurd.

So, why is this action of Obama’s a nihilist action? Because he is attempting, via his endorsement, to elevate Vick and other ex-cons to a position of being on a “level playing field” with everyone else. He wants Vick to be given the same chance as someone who hasn’t done the horrible things Vick has done, and is thereby devaluing all the honest, hard-working people who deserve a chance at fame and fortune. He is also saying, by implication, that it isn’t that important whether someone treats innocent animals well.

That Obama is able so readily to brush aside the atrocities committed by Vick, simply in order to advance his egalitarian viewpoint, should be a wake-up call for anyone who hasn’t already gotten the message implicit in his prior nihilist actions: continuing and expanding Bush’s bail-outs of failed businesses (thereby hurting those who have made good business decisions and have thrived); encouraging a monetary policy, “quantitative easing” (a.k.a. printing a bunch of money), that promises to devalue the dollar and thereby destroy the value of Americans’ savings; placing more shackles on our health care industry (thereby threatening to destroy the best health care the world has to offer); attempting to do the same thing (via administrative regulation) to our Internet access; and, of course, apologizing for and failing to defend America and its way of life to others around the world.

Had enough yet?

[Update: This morning, I learned that Tucker Carlson, a conservative commentator, said on Fox News that Michael Vick should have been executed! Boycotted and ostracized for the rest of his life, yes. Executed? No. Animals don’t have rights, so as much as many of us love them, they are property.]

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How About That Global Warming?

As of this writing, a blizzard is pummeling the Northeastern United States. Not surprisingly, today the New York Times published an opinion piece, entitled “Bundle Up, It’s Global Warming.” Its author tries to explain how it is that “the overall warming of the atmosphere is actually creating cold-weather extremes.” I’ll let you decide whether that attempt to explain our cold winter weather is successful, or if it is instead an example of petitio principii (the fallacy of begging the question) by arbitrary redefinition of some kind.

Really, it doesn’t matter one way or the other. Unless we have reached a state of widespread natural disaster, such that the peaceful coexistence of human beings on earth is impossible, the only proper way to deal with “global warming,” “climate change,” or whatever the power-grabbing bureaucrats choose to call it this week, is via the free market. Only the free market, i.e., pure laissez-faire capitalism, embodies the proper principles of peaceful, voluntary coexistence among human beings. Upholding such principles will allow human beings to produce the technology necessary to thrive in whatever climate we have in store for us. Abandoning them, by e.g., taxing citizens to fund measures designed to “reduce greenhouse gases”, is not only ineffective in terms of addressing the supposed problem, but also further destroys our economy and makes us less able to produce the values (insulated structures and motor vehicles, heat, air conditioning, etc.) necessary for us to endure periods of extreme weather.

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