I’m slow in posting this video of Elise Parham presenting her monograph Behind the Moral Curtain: The Politics of a Charter of Rights. The paper and video are both well worth checking out. Astute viewers may even be able to spot the back of my head in the video.
Elise’s argument is that bills of rights are fundamentally political, rather than legal, documents. This is true in the sense that rights will be interpreted and enforced based on political expediency and prevailing ideologies, as Robert Higgs and others have argued. Elise’s argument is that the writing of a bill of rights is also political. Once a government decides to draft a charter, many competing interests will compete to have their preferences reflected and the end result is unlikely to be a liberal document. Rather, we’ll end up with a whole lot of illiberal, and constitutionally protected, positive rights.
Many PSAs aim to stigmatize smokers rather than inform people of health risks of smoking. I’ve always hated New Zealand’s Not Our Future campaign for this reason. They’ve just started running some new ads. The message of one is a pretty clear: “If you smoke, you won’t get laid.” It seems to ask local two-bit celebrities (both male and female) whether they’d go out with a smoker. The responses are what you’d expect: “Hell no!” “It’s unattractive” “It stinks.”
They have a shitty site, so I can’t link to it directly, but you can watch it by going to videos (TV in lower left corner), adverts, advert 1. If anyone finds a linkable or embeddable version, please let me know in the comments.
The excellent 1996 documentary series Revolution is now available to watch online at NZ on Screen. I may be biased, but I see the reforms which took place here in the 1980s and ’90s as one of the most interesting series of political events in recent world political history. I haven’t seen the series in a few years, so I’ll give it another watch sometime soon.
It’s worth the price of admission to see a drunk Robert Muldoon call an early election, alone.
Hat tip: KiwiBlog
Something about withholding taxes. I don’t get it.
It’s possible to support government without being a complete moron. Denying that government is force is not the way to do it.