My schedule’s been a bit chaotic over the last two weeks. It’s too late to start any in depth blogging tonight, so instead, here are a few quick recaps of the news items I’ve logged as interesting over the last week or so.
First, I know nothing of the legal argument involved in the recent case of Major League Baseball and “its” statistics. I don’t doubt that the Supreme Court was correct to reject the case because there’s just no property right there to describing what happens during a game. The recap from a specific service provided would easily meet a licensing requirement, but I’m not paying a fee for saying that Chase Utley has a home run in five straight games or that he was 3-4 with a homer and two singles last night.
That said, anything that gives Commissioner Bud Selig a figurative black eye is good. He had “good enough”, which was more than the owners could legitimately claim. Yet they let greed at the expense of fans interfere with basic long-term business sense. Again. More than any other sport, statistics dominate baseball. Let fans have that and they’ll continue to demonstrate their love for the game by buying tickets and jerseys and the $200 television package. This is not complicated.
I haven’t paid enough attention to the FLDS case in Texas to remark on the judge’s ruling that the State must return the children to their parents. However, this is not proof for those libertarians who believe that the state has no role in parent-child relationships. An anecdote makes a strained theory, at best. Many libertarians have made convincing arguments that the state has a legitimate role in the parent-child relationship, principally in protecting the rights of the child.
Sebastian Mallaby misses on “pro-growth”:
… Given the yawning budget deficit and the coming demographic crunch, tax cuts aren’t affordable anyway.
The same goes for deregulation. Getting the nanny government out of trucking and airlines yielded huge benefits in the 1970s and 1980s. But the “price-and-entry” regulations that used to cosset such industries have long since gone, and remaining regulation is harder to demonize. We are left with government rules to protect the environment, check the safety of medicines and prevent systemic financial crises. These rules are generally helpful. There’s nothing “pro-growth” about bashing them.
“Generally helpful” is enough? Is Sarbane-Oxley hard to demonize for being only generally helpful? On what criteria may we base future decisions to cause just a little, allegedly inconsequential harm?
Like extending movie franchises 20 years later, old habits die hard:
Members of the Russian Communist party have called for the new Indiana Jones film to be banned in the country because they say it distorts history.
St Petersburg Communist Party chief Sergei Malinkovich told the Reuters news agency it was “rubbish”.
“Why should we agree to that sort of lie and let the West trick our youth?”
He said many Russian cinemagoers were teenagers who would be “completely unaware of what happened in 1957”, when the film is set.
Good thing the censoring communists are no longer in charge in Russia. Oh, wait.
(I liked last year’s Die Hard movie, and I’m looking forward to seeing the new Indiana Jones movie.)