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Archive for November 20th, 2011

This is probably my favorite political cartoon, and this one is the most-viewed post in the history of this blog, but here’s one probably should be near the top because it so perfectly captures the mindset of the political class.

Though if you want to teach economics, here are good cartoons about incentives, Keynesian economics, and unemployment insurance.

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Even though I’ve expressed a small bit of sympathy for their motives, I’m not a fan of the OWS protesters. But other than sharing some jokes about the movement (see here, herehereherehere, and here), I haven’t had much to say.

But this video showing a clash with police at UC Davis is rather troubling.

I realize that I don’t know the context, but the police reaction seems rather excessive. Two questions spring to mind.

1. Why does anyone care that they’re blocking a sidewalk? I can understand that the police have to act if protesters decide to block a street,but why was there a need to have a big confrontation (one that the protesters obviously wanted) to clear a sidewalk? My instinct would be to leave them alone.

2. Why did they use mace? Surely there ought to be some rule of proportionality. If a bunch of protesters are smashing windows or overturning cars, then a more aggressive response obviously is needed. But why use pepper spray on some college kids sitting on a sidewalk?

I consider myself a tough-on-crime conservative, but mixed with a strong libertarian belief in individual rights. As I said in an earlier post, the real key is to make sure laws are just.

That’s why I’ve criticized abuses of police power, in cases such as asset forfeiture, the destructive war on drugs, videotaping of public officials, and persecution of victimless crime.

Is this video another example of a government doing the wrong thing? Again, we don’t know the context, but this doesn’t seem right.

I assume the cops are just following orders, so the real issue is decision making by local politicians or university administrators.

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