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Weekend reflections

January 20th, 2006

Weekend Reflections is on again. Please comment on any topic of interest (civilised discussion and no coarse language, please). Feel free to put in contributions more lengthy than for the Monday Message Board or standard comments.

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  1. Andrew Reynolds
    January 24th, 2006 at 16:24 | #1

    And Putin invades, puts to the sword, burns, represses and generally stuffs up Chechnya; probably on false grounds and contrary to a treaty signed by his predecessor and the recognised, elected, government of the region. Shall I go on with his other sins – TV, radio, newspapers, elections… I think that should do it. I know which ‘regime’ allows its people more freedom.

  2. Katz
    January 24th, 2006 at 17:12 | #2

    “I know which ‘regime’ allows its people more freedom.”

    Freedom isn’t what we’re given. Freedom is what we stop the govenment taking from us. As a libertarian AR, you should know this already.

    As Samuel Johnson said, “Sir, there is no settling the point of precedency between a louse and a flea.” So I decline to contrast Putin with Howard and Bush.

    Howard and Bush get away with what citizens of their countries allow them to get away with. Both Howard and Bush have increased the scope of government power over the rights of their citizens. Just how much is open to debate. Both claim they are doing this for the general good.

    It is arguable that Howard and Bush don’t behave like Putin largely because they’re afraid of what the citizens of their country might do if they did behave like Putin.

    But how believable is this claim when they are caught lying about important issues relating to our national security and relating to our supposed freedom as citizens?

    Note that this isn’t a moral question. It’s a question of verifiability of the claims of leaders like Howard and Bush.

  3. January 25th, 2006 at 00:02 | #3

    Oh, IG, do you mean that you never meant to test whether Indonesia really amounted to a Javanese Empire? (By the way, that sort of quibbling of yours is real pedantry.)

    Of course I knew that you would never be persuaded. I simply decide to show other readers that you didn’t have a view that was open to question, the way you were pretending (as you have all but admitted).

    Other Peter, I know that William III had all sorts of positions in the United Provinces. I was trying to refer to the common English language usage of “Holland” to refer to the lot (like Switzerland for the Helvetic Confederation even though the Switzers only came from one canton). I didn’t want to start a pedantic war with any of those damned Dutch who are trying to hijack a perfectly good English word for their country (hey, don’t all Germany’s neighbours have different names for Germany and the Germans than a direct rendering?).

    I’m not going to get pedantic, even though we all know that the correct English name for the whole place is “Holland”; that’s got little to do with the coincidental connection of the Dutch name of a Dutch province, apart from the history of our usage.

  4. James Farrell
    January 25th, 2006 at 03:04 | #4

    Had the Monday Message Board been switched on, I would have used it to direct people to this guest post from Fred Argy at what is now called Club Troppo. It’s a very handy comparative survey of redistributive regimes and their effects on economic performance.

  5. Ian Gould
    January 25th, 2006 at 08:31 | #5

    >Oh, IG, do you mean that you never meant to test whether Indonesia really amounted to a Javanese Empire? (By the way, that sort of quibbling of yours is real pedantry.)

    >Of course I knew that you would never be persuaded. I simply decide to show other readers that you didn’t have a view that was open to question, the way you were pretending (as you have all but admitted).

    I’m not even sure what you’re trying to say here – and I’m not entirely sure you are either.

    The claim that Indonesia is a “Javanese Empire” is nonsense.

    The fact that Indonesia is (now) a democratic country with a non-Javavese majority is one illustration of that.

    Your interjection about a reasonably obscure British Parliamentarian of the 19th century doesn’t alter that fact in any way and would seem to achieve nothign other than displaying yet again your obsession with historic trivia.

  6. gordon
    January 27th, 2006 at 10:35 | #6

    Thanks, James Farrell.

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