To Protect and Destroy Horizontal Controls

Dancers cited for exposing breasts,” Daytona Beech News-Journal, 27 March 2005, http://www.news-journalonline.com/NewsJournalOnline/News/WestVolusia/03WVolWEST02032705.htm(from White Cheech (nsfw) through Technorati).

Blagojevich Requires Pharmacies To Fill Birth Control Orders Quickly,” Associted Press, 1 April 2005, http://abclocal.go.com/wls/news/040105_ap_ns_birthcontrol_orders.html (from Tiger Hawk).

Two related stories.

Nine female dancers were charged with exposing their breasts at Softtails Saloon.

The dancers, ranging from 24 to 38 years old, were issued notices to appear in court and then released after being cited Thursday night, Volusia County Sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson said.

Volusia County law requires women to partly cover themselves and not reveal certain areas of their bodies while dancing at businesses that serve alcohol.

Business manager Lynn Fraser, 20, was charged with allowing the violations to occur. Softtails is on U.S. 92 just east of DeLand.

Davidson said the Sheriff’s Office received complaints about the dancers flashing. Plain-clothed deputies with the Sheriff’s Office Crime Suppression Team visited the business Thursday. After deputies witnessed the violations, the 10 women were issued citations

and

Gov. Rod Blagojevich filed an emergency rule Friday requiring pharmacies that sell contraceptives to fill prescriptions for birth control quickly, following recent incidents in which a Chicago pharmacist refused to fill orders for contraceptives because of moral opposition.

“Our regulation says that if a woman goes to a pharmacy with a prescription for birth control, the pharmacy or the pharmacist is not allowed to discriminate or to choose who he sells it to or who he doesn’t sell it to,” Blagojevich said. “The pharmacy will be expected to accept that prescription and fill it … No delays. No hassles. No lectures.”

The anti-stripper law probably was probably written by moralists, while the birth control decree was issued by a Democrat. On one level they have different purposes. The Softails case is a case of government interference because of a perceived lack of virtue (horizontal control). Blogojevich’s order is goernment action because of too much horizontal control. But they both illustrate a major problem with American laws.

But they share a common theme: public policy overriding private morality. They replace horizontal controls with vertical ones, or weaken civil society and strengthen government diktat . This is a tragedy, this is dangerous. Focusing on state control channels citizens higher instincts away from voluntary organizations and toward influencing government. True virtue is abandoned in favor of using state force. Internalized civility is replaced with institutionalized thuggery.

Tiger Hawk, who I agree with, spotted a vertical control I miseed. I’ll close with his words

TigerHawk belongs to the “more the merrier” school of birth control, so I do not subscribe to the thinking of these moralist pharmacists. However, some of them believe that certain types of birth control, including particularly pills in a “morning after” dose, act to abort a conceived egg, and that by selling these pills they are participating in an abortion. Or maybe they just oppose contraception. In either case, I think their position is asinine.

The good news, though, is that small-town women have it within their own power to solve this problem: Keep a big old stock of birth control pills handy. If you don’t have ’em, have friends who have ’em. If you accidently have unprotected sex, take several the next morning and several more before you go to bed the next night. Read this, and read the label on the pill so you can calculate the dose. And since I don’t give medical advice, which is smart because I’m a lawyer, consult your doctor.

The Times missed a great opportunity to protect the right of a pharmacist to his conscience and flank the activists who are trying to drive birth control out of the economy. Had I been writing this morning’s editorial I would have argued that the morning after pill — “Plan B” — be sold over the counter. If it were sold in every 7-Eleven as it should be, we would not have to write rules ordering pharmacists to choose between their God and their livelihood

Seoul Loses Alliance, Common-Sense, Security

U.S. Experts Dismiss Seoul’s Regional Ambitions,” Digital Chosunilbo, 1 April 2005, http://english.chosun.com/w21data/html/news/200504/200504010038.html (from One Free Korea).

Seou’s plan for One Korea, Free From Foreigners has an obvious consequence… One Korea, Free From Allies. The agreement from different observers and think tanks is striking. DC’s article is reproduced in full:

American Korea experts read the Roh Moo-hyun administration’s ambition for Korea to become a stabilizer in Northeast Asia as a barely concealed attempt to quit the alliance with the U.S. and call the plan unrealistic.

Georgetown University professor Bob Sutter said the concept could only mean an end to the Korea-U.S. alliance. It was also impossible to understand what the government meant by its stated aim of simultaneously strengthening the alliance and playing a stabilizing role in Northeast Asia. He said if Korea wants to leave its U.S.-alliance, it can do so, but there will be a price to pay later.

Heritage Foundation fellow Larry Wortzel said Korea lacks the economic, political and military strength to play a balancing role in the region, whereas Great Britain in the past and India now were able to play a balancing role because they had the national clout. Wortzel said Roh’s arguments were likely intended to strengthen Korea’s diplomatic leverage and get on a more equal footing with Washington. He added the U.S. and China resolved their diplomatic differences in a friendly manner without major conflicts since 1972 — it was therefore unlikely they would become mired in Cold War-like tensions, as Roh appears to assume.

The Cato Institute’s vice president Ted Carpenter, who has called for a “friendly parting” between Korea and the U.S., said if tensions erupted in Northeast Asia between the U.S. and China or Japan and China, far from playing a stabilizing role Korea would find itself in very hot water. He said Korea’s regional ambition was ultimately unattainable. He added Korea should now end its security dependence on the U.S. and make a mature decision to take charge of its own security.

The Asia Foundation’s Scott Snyder said it could be a natural choice for Korea to pursue multi-level and multi-faceted diplomacy, but just as the U.S. cannot play a unilateral role in Northeast Asia, it would be difficult for Korea, too, to exert a decisive influence in the region.

USFK has served its purpose. South Korea is a rich country that can defend itself. Let it.

McCain / Thune 2008?

Washington Whispers: Is Anybody Not Running?,” U.S. News and World Report, 11 April 2005, http://www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/whispers/articles/050411/11whisplead_2.htm (from South Dakota Politics).

If for no other reasons that to redeem South Dakota (for giving the world George McGovern) and annoy the South Dakota Left (for saying that only Daschle could have clout), this would be great news

We’ve got more names to add to the growing list of 2008 presidential hopefuls. On the Democratic side, pen in Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin. Allies say his trip south last week was the first of many to red states where he hopes to push his progressive agenda. On the GOP side, add rookie South Dakota Sen. John Thune, who took down former Democratic leader Tom Daschle . Senior Republicans say he’s being groomed for a veep or even presidential run. Include Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty . Insiders love his record of balancing the budget, boosting education, and protecting the environment. Finally: ousted Environmental Protection Agency chief Christie Whitman , the former moderate New Jersey guv.

John Thune is a social conservative — Democrat Senator Tim Johnson once called Thune’s supporters “The Taliban Wing of the Republican Party.” Thune would be useful if the party nominates someone not from the religious wing, like Senator McCain or Secretary Rice.

(I’ve said that I don’t want McCain as President, but McCain / Thune would assure me. A Thune pick would show that McCain has sympathy for the Right. Additionally, John is a good guy and immune to charges of hypocrisy.).

Of course, if a movement conservative like Governor Bush wins the ’08 primaries, then Thune would become redundant.

Bush/Rice or McCain/Thune in ’08
Either ticket would be great

Marginal Propensity to Invest in China

(S-I)+(G-T)=(X-M),” by Steve Antler, EconoPundit, 2 April 2005, http://www.econopundit.com/archive/2005_04_01_econopundit_archive.html#111244542924074849 (from The Glittering Eye).

I blogged before on the New York Times’ faulty economic coverage of China. Thankfully I’m not alone. While Wortall fisks the paper’s trade balance claims, EconoPundit discovers a startling figure

What I can add to the discussion is this: whatever meager data that do exist say the marginal propensity to save in the Peoples Republic of China is a massive 0.6 — meaning our treasuries and other assets have roughly the same sigificance to them as new sofas and kitchen appliances have to us.

Rather than “loaning” us money, in other words. they’re buying exactly what they want.

Two more thoughts

  1. Obviously, a secret to China’s economic miracle is that they keep buying future consumption. More than half of Chinese income goes towards investments. Even with low returns on those investments, that money compounds. Rapid growth in China’s wealth can be expected as long as this continues.
  2. With all this money piling up in China, the effects of capital liberalization are going to be awesome. This can be thought about four ways

    • Capital flight out of China
    • America, et al, diverting capital from China
    • China Buying Up American Assets and Capital

These aren’t good or bad except as to how they modify economic growth. But the changes will be scary for some in every country. While we work against protectionists in every country we must have sympathy for them. It is going to be a wild ride.

Bush Opposses Blood Pork

Bush appoints panel to decide the first military-base closings in a decade,” Associated Press, 3 April 2005, http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/politics/2002229297_bases03.html.

President Bush smacks down Republican Senator Lott’s attempt at CCK-Style Blood Pork.

President Bush, brushing aside a stall tactic by Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., has appointed a nine-member commission that will determine the first military-base closings in a decade.

Bush made the appointments while the Senate was in recess, eliminating the need for confirmation of his choices, the White House said Friday night.

Before leaving for its spring recess, the full Senate had been expected to vote on the nomination of Anthony Principi, former secretary of veterans affairs, as chairman of the Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission. The other commissioners, nominated March 15, also required Senate confirmation.

However, Lott — who opposes base closures and has pledged to protect facilities in his home state — placed a “hold” on Principi’s nomination, delaying a vote, according to aides and lobbyists. Lott was expected to place holds on the other nominations as well, the aides and lobbyists said.

Times change, and so should America’s force structure. This should be handled as professional and non-politically as possible. When American lives, and the security of the world, are at risk, jobs for Box Elder, SD or somewhere in Mississippii are just not important.

George Bush understands the value of American lives, and so does John Thune. Trent Lott and CCK should get the message, too.