What you're not hearing about the UN's Millenium Ecosystem Assessment

Tim Worstall at TCS: Tech Central Station reports the “shocking and almost unbelievable” news

1,300 scientists from 95 countries, working under the auspices of the United Nations, seem to have drunk the free market Kool-Aid. The end result of this years-long investigation is that us free market tree hugger and greenie types are actually correct in our contention that it is not the presence of markets, or the failure of markets, that leads to the devastation, it is the absence of markets. Just as we have had to, in centuries gone by, work out a system of laws that allows markets to flourish, thereby leading to the most efficient usage of resources, so now the task is to do the same for those areas of life where there are no markets. In water, pollution, fishing quotas, tropical forestry, in, in fact, all those sectors where we face the Tragedy of the Commons.


The more I read about the Terri Schiavo case, the more some things smell fishy, but the less I think that the fishiness comes from her husband. The court system seems broken, the attorney’s seem corrupt on one side and inept on the other. I’m inclined at this point to think that Mr. Schiavo genuinely believed stopping tube feeding was the right thing to do and a lot of his seeming unsympathetic, unfeeling, etc. has been a response to the family quarrels and to having so much publicity on such a heartwrenching decision. Anyone in that situation deserves sympathy, even if their decision doesn’t seem like the one we would have made. I amended one previous post because I thought that bore saying. I just wanted to repeat it since I’m about to post a rather lengthy bit on my own experience trying to prepare my own “health care choices directive” and I think that system, as it stands, is not the solution to preventing disputes that many seem to think it is. I can’t help but be influenced by thoughts from the Schiavo tragedy and thoughts of what would happen in a similar situation with a spouse who really wasn’t pure of motive.

Living Wills a "solution"?

I spent some time tonight working on a “health care choices directive” for myself. The impetus was obvious, I assume and here are a few thoughts on that.

So, I downloaded a booklet (pdf file) from the Missouri Attorney General’s website that’s supposed to explain “end of life choices” and includes the forms to prepare a durable power of attorney for health care, a health care choices directive and a living will. Now I’ve heard for weeks that these are the solution to avoiding disputes and protecting a person’s right to control their own health care if they become incapacitated. Guess again (and by all means download the booklet if you doubt what I tell you).

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Johnnie Cochran and lessons learned

There is one less warrior standing between citizens and unrestrained government power.

Johnnie Cochran Dead at 67

I found the following regarding Cochran’s most famous trial interesting:

Like much of the trial itself, the resulting acquittal sharply divided Americans along racial lines, with polls showing most blacks believed the verdict was just while a majority of whites felt Simpson had gotten away with murder.

I guess in addition to finding out that I’m a social conservative a few days ago I find out today that I am black. I’m not sure how to square that with the fact that I’m an angry white male. In any case, I thought the verdict was just. I don’t know or care if O. J. Simpson committed the crime and that has no relevance to whether the verdict was just. I felt, granted as an outsider who wasn’t there, that the state failed to make its case and to the extent that it did build a case it was built on tainted evidence. A government that is willing to do that, even to ‘frame a guilty man,’ is far more a threat to the lives and liberties of its citizens than one murderer on the streets. That was an important lesson for the government, for police, for prosecutors, for politicians and for all of us.