SharksWithLasers -- Seth Cooper

A CUTTING-EDGE BLOG FOR THE WORLD OF THE 21st CENTURY, Currently operated by Seth L. Cooper, a 27 year-old attorney in Seattle (sethlcooper at comcast dot net)

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

BUSH MOVES TROOPS, KERRY CAMP LOOKS SILLY. A good read is today’s opinion column by John Podhoretz in the New York Post, discussing President Bush’s recent decision to gradually move armed services personnel from Europe and Asia back into the United States. As Podhoretz points out, the move makes sense from a strategic (as well as economic) standpoint, is rather limited in scope, and will take place gradually over the next ten years. Particularly interesting is Podhoretz’s discussion of the silly remarks made by the Kerry folks, claiming that removing troops from Germany would undermine national security! Unless Wesley Clark and the rest of the guys know something important that they’ve been keeping from the rest of the public, I’m reasonably confident that Germany in facing no threat of invasion.

Is there an explanation for the reaction from the Kerry camp? According to Podhoretz, “They realize they’ve been trumped. Kerry clearly believed he had hit upon the perfect way to come at the president both from the right and the left when it came to military matters.” As Podhoretz elaborates, Kerry “doesn’t want to appear weak, so he won't say how he's going to do it other than that he will mystically convince foreign leaders who oppose the U.S. presence there to fight the war for us.” But alas, “The hawk of hawks has found a way to tell America that he is bringing soldiers home, even as he vows to stand firm and tough on Iraq until the job is done. What's more, unlike Kerry, Bush has offered specifics, and by doing so has made it clear he is not acting precipitously.”

Podhoretz is author of Bush Country: How Dubya Became a Great President While Driving Liberals Insane. I’ve been reading his book over the last week, much to my enjoyment. I’ll have more to say on it later.

(Green Lake--Seattle, WA)
GILDER'S TRIBUTE TO REAGAN AND FREE ENTERPRISE. This month's issue of Imprimis features an adaption of a recent speech given by George Gilder to a Hillsdale College National Leadership Seminar, held in downtown Seattle this past May. I was fortunate enough to be in the audience to hear the original speech, delivered as the keynote address during dinner. Although I recall Gilder's talk being even more interesting in person (in that he placed a heavy emphasis upon the Telecosm and the information age), the printed version nonetheless does an excellent job at showing the tremendous benefits that Ronald Reagan's economic policies helped to inspire. American entrepreneurship flourished, creating wealth, jobs and a better standard of living for all.

The complaints I used to make about supply-side economics' proponents as greedly people only seeking to benefit the rich to make them more rich are looking more silly all the time. Says Gilder: "As Reagan understood, high tax rates do not stop someone from being rich: Those who are already rich can move their money to protected havens. High tax rates stop poor people from getting rich. They stop entrepreneurs from supplying new goods and services that generate more wealth and jobs and value and tax revenue."

America's increase in GDP between 1980 and 2003, in comparison to the global total, is nothing short of staggering. As Gilder noted, "the Reagan program led to a shift in global economic balance of power as dramatic as the victory in the Cold War--and vital to it."

(Green Lake--Seattle, WA)
TECH LIBERATION BLOG. Hat tip to the Heritage Foundation for their plug of a new group blog, headed by Adam Thierer of The Cato Institute, with many other contributors.

There is an interesting little post from yesterday by Thierer--a wish list for a prospective Telecom Act of 2006, entitled "A Simple Framework for The Next Telecommunications Act."

I am particularly partial to Theierer's jurisdicational clarification item that reads: "Sort out the jurisdictional issues and consider a fairly sweeping pre-emption of state and local regulation on this front just as we did when we deregulated airlines, trucking and railroads." Indeed. If telecommunications doesn't amount to interstate commerce, then I'm not sure what does. I've heard George Gilder make this point before, but it appears to be too entirely commonsensical for many political leaders to grasp. Only a faux "federalism" grounded in a paleocon notion of "states' rights" can justify the existing regime, whereby we have 51 governmental authorities regulating telecom. A federal preemption is good policy and sound constitutionally.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)

Monday, August 16, 2004

WILLFULLY IGNORANT ACLU. In "What War on Terrorism?" John Leo writes about the ACLU's perplexing and disturbing decision to disregard the agreement it signed with the federal government to refrain from knowingly hiring people whose names are on "watch lists" of suspected terrorists or those with suspected ties to terrorists.

If Anthony Romero (the ACLU Executive Director) and his folks were simply making the case against an innocent hiring of persons who turned out to be terrorists or had terrorist ties, that would be one thing. But that's not the case here. As Leo points out, the ACLU continues its disdain for the war on terrorism (no quotation marks here) and makes the ridiculous argument that it could never knowingly hire anyone on the list if they choose not to look at the list.

I was taught in law school that a knowing disregard of the law is no defense. But that's the sort of stuff that responsible attorneys, law firms, legal organizations, government agencies and jurists would affirm, not the ACLU.

Read Leo's piece.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)
CORRUPT POLITICS AS USUAL... Be sure to check out John Fund's article in today's OpinionJournal on the New Jersey political climate, subtitled "Why New Jersey is a Pit of Corruption."

Like most people, I found Governor James McGreevey's resignation announcement shocking, and like most people I am sure there is much more to the story. Simply put, an extra-marital affair--albeit a homosexual one--while a clear-cut moral failure and upsetting, is not a basis upon which to resign from office. Indeed, Gov. McGreevey's announcement really didn't say just WHY he was having to resign.

This recent series of events with Gov. McGreevey made me think back to the re-election fiasco with former Senator Robert Torricelli and a shakey ruling by their State Supreme Court that allowed his former Democratic rival to appear on the ballot and ultimately succeed him in the U.S. Senate. However, as Fund's article demonstrates, the corruption apparently runs much deeper with the ruling class in New Jersey.

(Downtown Seattle, WA)