Becker/Posner--Another Rebuttal

International law giant Thomas M. Franck offers another rebuttal to the Becker/Posner type of argument in his short piece in the Proceedings of the American Society of International Law annual meeting (ASIL Proceedings 2004 at p. 267).

"After World War II, it was the United States that was singularly responsible for designing the post-war system of institutionalized governance and international law that is embodied in the UN Charter. Chief of its characteristics was the strict limitation on the discretion of individual states to resort to force.

Safety valves

I came upon a public policy report entitled "The Progress of Science and Useful Arts: Why Copyright Today Threatens Intellectual Freedom" from the Free Expression Policy Project. (Report available for download here.) It addresses the intersection between free speech and copyright and discusses four "free-expression safety valves" which make up one component of careful balance between copyright and free expression.

Wanted: More Nobel Bloggers!

The entry of Gary Becker into the blog world makes me wonder what other Nobel laureates should enter the blogosphere.

My initial thoughts: Amartya Sen (Economics), Seamus Heaney (Literature), and V.S. Naipaul (Literature). Maybe Jimmy Carter (Peace).

But, alas, they probably all have better things to do...


Becker/Posner Forget the Golden Rule

Nobel laureate Gary Becker and legal collossus Richard Posner have now opened their blog, to much fanfare. Their first set of posts take up the issue of preemptive war.

Let's See--Take Experimental Flu Vaccine or Risk Flu?

The Administration-That-Couldn't-Shoot-Straight now has a new solution to the flu vaccine shortage--the importation of experimental flu vaccine from Germany.'s instant poll, though unscientific, shows a 9-1 "no, i won't take it" result. That seems sensible for most people. I understand that some people are especially at high risk for flu, and for them the risk of an experimental flu vaccine may be preferable to the risk of contracting the flu. But that's a terrible choice to impose on people.

Lenovo Acquires IBM PC business

Reports indicate that "IBM will hold an 18.9 percent stake in Lenovo."
So should the lead be: "IBM acquire Lenovo"?

This strikes me as an amazing deal for IBM--IBM gives Lenovo an asset whose value has been diminishing, and acquires in return a nearly 20% stake in the leading computer company in the world's largest future market for computers.

But the details will be in the acquisition documents, which presumably will be public soon (because IBM is a public company).

Military Alleges Soldiers Murdered Two Iraqi Men

The LA Times reports on allegations of murder by soldiers in Iraq conducting house-by-house sweeps. The allegations are chilling.

Soldiers approached a small, one-story home and found a family sleeping on blankets in the courtyard to escape the summer heat, several soldiers from the unit testified Monday. Soldiers detained the family -- including a father, mother, daughter, son and baby -- in the courtyard while they searched the home.

Mere formalities

It's been a bit since I last posted, and I will blame the holidays and general busy-ness for my slow down in posting here. Some of my distraction from blogging is a result of getting to leave the crutches behind. I've characteristically packed my schedule with too many fun things to do. In a strange way, I now long for the weeks when I was less mobile and "forced" to lay low. (Is the grass really always greener?) Excuses aside, it's good to be back and writing and to have interesting things (at least to me) to think and write about...


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