Dokumentär om Nya Zeeland

De två liberalerna Johan Norberg och Mattias Svensson har båda kommit ut med böcker nyligen, Johans mer optimistiska Framsteg (kom först ut på engelska med titeln Progress) och Mattias mer dystra Den stora statens återkomst. Båda är utomordentligt bra och kompletterar varandra om världens tillstånd.

Därtill har Johan gjort en dokumentär om Nya Zeeland, om vad som orsakade de stora ekonomiska problemen på 70- och 80-talen och hur man genom en marknadsliberal kursändring lyckades vända utvecklingen till det bättre. Jag har tidigare tagit upp Nya Zeeland i ett annat blogginlägg i oktober. Man kan se dokumentären gratis:

Johan har gjort flera andra dokumentärer, som naturligtvis inte visas på vänstervridna SVT. Se samling här plus den senare om Adam Smith här.

Trump och ryssarna i Vita huset

Lawfare blog har en bra och gedigen genomgång av turerna kring Trump och hans samtal med Rysslands utrikesminister och ambassadör i Vita huset, och konsekvenserna därav.

”[T]his may well be a violation of the President’s oath of office. Questions of criminality aside, we turn to the far more significant issues: If the President gave this information away through carelessness or neglect, he has arguably breached his oath of office.”

Påvens angrepp på libertarianismen

Påven har angripit libertarianismen (den klassiska liberalismen). Stephen Hicks och Maria Marty svarar här påven, som både är okunnig och står för en antiliberal tradition.

”If individuals don’t make those decisions for themselves, then someone else must make those decisions for them. We know of course that the Pope comes from a decision-making tradition that says we should all be obedient—slaves to masters, women to their husbands, subjects rendering unto Caesar, and everyone to God’s infallible spokesman on Earth. And that emphasis upon deep obedience has always resisted the expansion of individual freedoms. Yes, the Pope’s tradition has in the modern world softened its stance on those points—but always reluctantly, and always under pressure precisely from the more individualistic and liberal humanisms the Pope is attacking in his Message.”

Macron är ingen frihandelsvän

Europaparlamentarikern Christofer Fjellner (M) skriver om att Emmanuel Macron inte är någon frihandelsvän och har en övertro på vad EU kan göra.

Johan Norberg skriver även han om problemen med Macron, även om det finns liberala drag i hans politik.

Frankrike åt rätt håll

När nu Emmanuel Macron vunnit stort i det franska presidentvalet kan man dra en lättnadens suck. Det är skönt att Putin förlorade, eller ja, hans knähund Marine Le Pen. Macron har tydligt profilerat sig för en tuff linje mot Ryssland med bl.a. fortsatta sanktioner.

Dessutom är han för åtminstone franska förhållanden ganska marknadsliberal. Han är generellt alltför socialliberal för min smak, och har för stor tilltro till EU, även om han vill reformera det. Men givet alternativen och att han ändå har ambitioner att ekonomiskt liberalisera Frankrike i viss mån, finns det hopp om att Frankrike kan lyftas. Hög arbetslöshet, stor statsskuld, stora offentliga utgifter och omfattande statsinterventionism har länge plågat landet. Levnadsstandarden minskar.

Om en månad är det parlamentsval, och Macrons nya parti En Marche kan väntas få medvind, men Macron kommer att få kompromissa åt både höger och vänster. Även hans egen rörelse har en stor spännvidd. Risken finns att han inte lyckas genomdriva så mycket av sin politik, den del som åtminstone jag gillar, men också att han och hans parti blir för pragmatiskt och spretigt, och att det av de skälen blir för lite liberala reformer. Vill det sig illa så kan den nationalistiska socialisten Marine Le Pen, eller någon annan från hennes parti, få stort stöd i nästa presidentval om fem år.

Uppdatering: Europaparlamentarikern Christofer Fjellner (M) skriver att Macron inte är någon frihandelsvän och har för stor tilltro till vad EU kan göra.

Min recension av Timothy Sandefurs bok publicerad

Igår publicerade Svensk Tidskrift min recension av Timothy Sandefurs bok The Permission Society: How the Ruling Class Turns Our Freedoms into Privileges and What We Can Do About It.

I anknytning till den är här även Sandefurs essä om klassiskt liberal originalism.

Här och här kan man se en intervju med Sandefur i två delar om boken.

Frågor om Trump och avlyssningen

I en (som vanligt) märklig twitterstorm skriver president Trump att han blev avlyssnad av Obama i oktober. Det föranledde Benjamin Wittes vid Brookings Institution att igår ställa tio välmotiverade frågor till Trump:

  1. ”Are you making the allegation that President Obama conducted electronic surveillance of Trump Tower in your capacity as President of the United States based on intelligence or law enforcement information available to you in that capacity?
  2. If so—that is, if you have executive branch information validating that either a FISA wiretap or a Title III wiretap took place—have you reviewed the applications for the surveillance and have you or your lawyers concluded that they lack merit?
  3. If you know that a FISA wiretap took place, are you or were you at the time of the application, an agent of a foreign power within the meaning of FISA? 
  4. Was anyone else working in Trump Tower an agent of a foreign power within the meaning of FISA?
  5. If you know that a Title III wiretap took place, are you or were you at the time of the application engaged in criminal activity that would support a Title III wiretap or might you have previously engaged in criminal activity that might legitimately be the subject of a Title III wiretap?
  6. Was anyone else working in Trump Tower engaged in criminal activity that would support a Title III wiretap or might another person have previously engaged in criminal activity that might legitimately be the subject of a Title III wiretap?
  7. If you were tweeting not based on knowledge received as chief executive of the United States, were you tweeting in your capacity as a reader of Breitbart or a listener of Mark Levin’s radio show?
  8. If so, on what basis are you confident the stories and allegations in these august outlets are true and accurate vis a vis the activity of the government you, in fact, now head?
  9. If you learned of this alleged surveillance from media outlets, did you or anyone on your staff check with any responsible law enforcement or intelligence officials or agencies before making public allegations against your own government?
  10. What exactly does any of this have to do with Arnold Schwarzenegger?”

Och idag ställer han ytterligare tio frågor:

  1. ”To the extent any wiretap you revealed yesterday was previously classified, your tweets have declassified the fact of its existence. Do you agree that the FBI, DOJ, and the FISA Court are now at liberty to confirm the existence of any FISA surveillance that may have been taking place at Trump Tower or against its occupants?
  2. Do you agree that, to whatever extent no such surveillance was taking place, the fact of its absence—which is to say the fact that you were either lying or making up facts or repeating allegations published in Breitbart with no idea of their accuracy—is also not classified?
  3. Will you similarly declassify any material the underlying FISA application may contain so that the public can understand the basis or lawlessness of the alleged Obama surveillance of your campaign and business?
  4. You say that there was “Nothing found” in the wiretapping of Trump Tower. Are you thereby declassifying the fruits of any surveillance that may have taken place? Will you?
  5. You say that the surveillance was “Turned down by court earlier.” Are you thereby declassying the fact of and waiving any privacy interests in any earlier application to the FISA Court or to any federal district court under Title III—and in any rulings that any court may have made on the subject?
  6. To whatever extent you have revealed FISA surveillance in a series of tweets, with which agencies, if any, did you consult before declassifying presumably sensitive material about a foreign counterintelligence investigation that is by most accounts still ongoing?
  7. To whatever extent you have revealed FISA surveillance in a series of tweets, was your National Security Adviser, Gen. H.R. McMaster, aware that you intended to declassify sensitive material about a foreign counterintelligence investigation  that is by most accounts still ongoing?
  8. You say that you “bet a good lawyer could make a great case out of the fact that President Obama was tapping my phones in October, just prior to Election!” Are you planning to bring suit against Obama or anyone else under either 50 U.S.C. § 1810—which provides for civil remedies for “[a]n aggrieved person, other than a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power . . . who has been subjected to an electronic surveillance”—or under 18 U.S.C. § 2520—which provides that “any person whose wire, oral, or electronic communication is intercepted . . . in violation of [criminal wiretap law] may in a civil action recover from the person or entity, other than the United States, which engaged in that violation”?
  9. To the extent no such surveillance took place or you have grossly mischaracterized it, do you have any concerns that you might have imputed grave misconduct to your predecessor—in the language of New York Times v. Sullivan—with “‘actual malice’—that is, with knowledge that it was false or with reckless disregard of whether it was false or not”?
  10. If so, have you or your counsel considered the question of whether a tweet from the @realDonaldTrump Twitter account that contains a slander or a libel is an official presidential act for which you are immune from liability under Nixon v. Fitzgerald or whether it is personal conduct for which you might be subject to suit under Clinton v. Jones?”

Mer i ämnet kan läsas av Julian Sanchez vid Cato Institute här.