Bayou Calvinist

A Somewhat Eclectic Discussion by a Law Student Concerning All of Today's Major Topics, as well as, a Few Not So Major Topics

Monday, October 31, 2005

Links to All that Interests Me Today

Since I have little free time today, I thought it would be best if I just produced a list of links to articles (both news and other) I found exceptionally interesting.

Of course, the big news of the day is President Bush's nomination of Samuel Alito Jr.

The economic news this month continues to be good

Looks like there will be life in Russia after Putin, or will there?

UN Security Council Resolution on Syria's involvement in the assassination of Rafiq Hariri passes unanimously.

A great post concerning the oft misunderstood place for economics in solving environmental problems.

Friday, October 21, 2005

VDH Time

As I often do on Friday's, I highly recommend you read Victor Davis Hanson's article on Iraq. His way with words and ability to cover the entirety of the proponents of the war's arguments in such a concise article is simply impressive. Of course the shortness of the article I think in some ways takes away from his arguments, but still they tend to demonstrate about how I read things.

A Cure for Breast it here already?

Certainly not a 100% success rate but pretty how successful does a treatment need to be to earn the title "cure"? Regardless of one's answer to this question, there is reason to be happy.

USA Today describes the results of recent studies concerning the effectiveness of new breast cancer treatments.

Friday, October 14, 2005

All States are created equal?

This great piece over at the Weekly Standard's website brings up several issues I have been grappling with for the last few weeks.

I am currently taking international Public Law at school and throughout, I have been amazed at how much the world order is premised on the view that the highest good to be sought is international peace. It is not that I do not value international peace. In fact, I tend to consider international peace as one of the most noble goals to be sought after. That being said, should it necessarily be set above individual freedom, life and liberty--above respect for the individual?

Not only do I question the paramount position given by the UN to the idea of a world without international conflict, but I also question the method through which they intend to reach it. In order to maintain world peace, the UN assumes we must maintain equality of states. The problems with this assumption are too many to list in this short post; but just to name a few consider the following: the bringers of war and conflict are not always states-and so the equalities of the states will not always affect them (but instead as I would argue is shown by experiences in the War on Terror, state equality makes it easier for non-state actors to threaten the peace); by allowing all states to be equal, all forms of government are given the legitimacy to pervert their nations and in so doing may eventually become a threat to peace themselves; equality of states makes the enforcement of any sanctions nearly impossible, especially when a martial response is needed (done only twice through the UN in its history).

But back to my first problem and how the equality of states comes into play. Not only does the primacy of international peace as a UN goal many times lead to the destruction of individual liberty (including unlawful imprisonments, torture, enslavement and death) but the sacrosanct equality of states often leads to the further erosion of individual rights. For the reasons why this is the case, see the article I linked to above. Also because the above article focuses on the beliefs of Abe Lincoln in opposition to this very viewpoint, it reminded me of one of my favorite Lincoln quotes:

We shall again be able not to declare, that "all States as States, are equal," but to renew the broader, better declaration...That "all men are created equal."

After reading the above article consider to what extent these intellectual disagreements may be good examples of the Lockean vs. Hobbesean outlooks on human nature, governance and law/justice.

Monday, October 03, 2005

China Troubles

New article in The Weekly Standard considers the many possible methods of deterring China from any overt aggression.