You might think that a university whose students were victims of the most notorious fraudulent rape claim in recent history, and whose professors -- 88 of them -- signed an ad implicitly presuming guilt, and whose president came close to doing the same would have learned some lessons.Go read the whole thing.
The facts are otherwise. They also suggest that Duke University's ugly abuse in 2006 and 2007 of its now-exonerated lacrosse players -- white males accused by a black stripper and hounded by a mob hewing to political correctness -- reflects a disregard of due process and a bias against white males that infect much of academia.
In September, far from taking pains to protect its students from false rape charges, Duke adopted a revised "sexual misconduct" policy that makes a mockery of due process and may well foster more false rape charges by rigging the disciplinary rules against the accused.
Meanwhile, none of the 88 guilt-presuming professors has publicly apologized. (Duke's president, Richard Brodhead, did -- but too little and too late.) Many of the faculty signers -- a majority of whom are white -- have expressed pride in their rush to judgment. None was dismissed, demoted, or publicly rebuked. Two were glorified this month in Duke's in-house organ as pioneers of "diversity," with no reference to their roles in signing the ad. Three others have won prestigious positions at Cornell, Vanderbilt, and the University of Chicago. ...
The Liberty Fund has announced the publication of a three volume set of the collected works of one of my personal heroes, Henry Manne:
As the founder of the Center for Law and Economics at George Mason University and dean emeritus of the George Mason School of Law, Henry G. Manne is one of the founding scholars of law and economics as a discipline. This three-volume collection includes articles, reviews, and books from more than four decades, featuring Wall Street in Transition, which redefined the commonly held view of the corporate firm.I was tremendously honored to be asked to edit Volume 2. Henry's contributions to our understanding of insider trading have been invaluable, as I explained in the introduction to my volume (which you can download here):
Volume 1, The Economics of Corporations and Corporate Law, includes Manne’s seminal writings on corporate law and his landmark blend of economics and law that is today accepted as a standard discipline, showing how Manne developed a comprehensive theory of the modern corporation that has provided a framework for legal, economic, and financial analysis of the corporate firm.
Volume 2, Insider Trading, uses Manne’s ground-breaking Insider Trading and the Stock Market as a framework for many of Manne’s innovative contributions to the field, as well as a fresh context for understanding the complex world of corporate law and securities regulation.
Volume 3, Liberty and Freedom in the Economic Ordering of Society, includes selections exploring Manne’s thoughts on corporate social responsibility, on the regulation of capital markets and securities offerings, especially as examined in Wall Street in Transition, on the role of the modern university, and on the relationship among law, regulation, and the free market.
Manne’s most auspicious work in corporate law began with the two pieces from the Columbia Law Review that appear in volume 1, says general editor Fred S. McChesney. Editor Henry Butler adds: “Henry Manne was an innovator challenging the very foundations of the current learning.” “The ‘Higher Criticism’ of the Modern Corporation” was Manne’s first attempt at refuting the all too common notion that corporations were merely devices that allowed managers to plunder shareholders. Manne saw that such a view of corporations was inconsistent with the basic economic assumption that individuals either understand or soon will understand the costs and benefits of their own situations and that they respond according to rational self-interest.
Fred S. McChesney is James B. Haddad Professor of Law at the Northwestern School of Law, focusing on business and antitrust law and their intersection with economic theory. He has been an associate director for policy and evaluation at the Federal Trade Commission.
Henry N. Butler, editor of volume 1, is Executive Director of the Searle Center on Law, Regulation, and Economic Growth at Northwestern University School of Law.
Stephen M. Bainbridge, editor of volume 2, is William D. Warren Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law.
Jonathan R. Macey, editor of volume 3, is Sam Harris Professor of Corporate Law, Securities Law, and Corporate Finance and is deputy dean at Yale Law School.
Henry Manne’s 1966 book INSIDER TRADING AND THE STOCK MARKET ... ranks among the truly seminal events in the economic analysis of law. One exaggerates only slightly to say that Manne stunned the corporate law academy by daring to propose the deregulation of insider trading. As we will see, the response by all too many traditionalist scholars was immediate and vitriolic.
Although Manne’s policy prescriptions have found neither legislative nor regulatory acceptance, history has vindicated Manne’s daring in at least one important respect. Although it is hard to believe at this remove, corporate law scholarship was moribund during much of the middle decades of the last century. Manne’s work on insider trading played a major role in ending that long intellectual drought by stimulating interest in economic analysis of corporate law. Whether one agrees with Manne’s views on insider trading or not, one therefore must give him due credit for helping to stimulate the outpouring of important law and economics scholarship in corporate law and securities regulation in recent decades.
If you want to order the set and support my blog at the same time, you can do so via my Amazon Associates store by clicking the following link: COLLECTED WORKS OF HENRY G. MANNE 3 VOL CL SET, THE
Or you can do likewise by ordering Henry's Insider Trading and the Stock Market
And, of course, there's always my book: Securities Law: Insider Trading (Turning Point Series)
Larry Ribstein opines:
Abdulmutallab should have been on the no-fly list. Remember that he was not just somebody who fit a general suspect profile, but somebody who was suspected of being dangerous by his own father.
Whether or not I'm right about this specific person, there's a much more important principle at stake: what is the proper balance between the public's safety and individuals' right to fly? We are willing to inflict a lot of suffering on the general flying public for what seem to be minor increases in safety. Exactly how much have we gained by all those plastic bag rules and taking off our shoes that forces terrorists to sew explosives into their underwear and go to the bathroom to get it out? What do we gain by keeping people out of the bathrooms for the last hour of flight when the terrorists can get ready in the middle of the flight? Should we keep passengers out of the bathroom for the whole flight? Should we prevent people from covering themselves with blankets? We may not be telling ordinary people that they can't fly, but we're certainly making flying a much less viable form of transportation.
Meanwhile, liberal use of the no-fly list does accomplish something. There is only a limited supply of people who look, sound and act like everybody else and yet are willing to blow themselves up on planes. Often these people identify themselves by their prior history. Culling these people out further reduces the supply. At the same time, announcing that they will be allowed to fly sends an important signal to terrorist organizations: next time you know that you can use somebody like Abdulmutallab, only with a little more training. Next time he might get it right.
Putting Abdulmutallab on a no-fly list might have turned out to be unfair to him. Maybe he was just having a spat with his vindictive father. But at some point, as long as authorities are making good faith, fact-based determinations, the public's interest in safe and tolerable flying has got to be weighed against individuals' right to fly.
I don't understand Larry to be arguing for "profiling." Racial or religious profiling is morally wrong and likely to be counterproductive by radicalizing those subjected to it. But the evidence of intelligence failures is now quite clear, as the NYT reports:
The National Security Agency four months ago intercepted conversations among leaders of Al Qaeda in Yemen discussing a plot to use a Nigerian man for a coming terrorist attack, but American spy agencies later failed to combine the intercepts with other information that might have disrupted last week’s attempted airline bombing.Larry's point, I take it, is that the government seems to find it easier to make flying intolerable for everyone instead of getting its intelligence act together. Which strikes me as basically right. Consider that the NYT further reports that:
The electronic intercepts were translated and disseminated across classified computer networks, government officials said on Wednesday, but analysts at the National Counterterrorism Center in Washington did not synthesize the eavesdropping intelligence with information gathered in November when the father of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, now accused of the attempted bombing, visited the United States Embassy in Nigeria to express concerns about his son’s radicalization.
In some ways, the portrait bears a striking resemblance to the failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, despite the billions of dollars spent over the last eight years to improve the intelligence flow and secret communications across the United States’ national security apparatus.I've opined before that maybe what Al Qaeda really wants is to screw up our transportation system:
Has TSA ever considered the possibility that maybe the terrorists aren't really interested in blowing up a plane. Maybe the terrorists figure they win everytime we in the West spend millions of man-hours being hassled, inconvenienced, and generally put upon by a myriad of stupid security measures.If I'm right, a liberal use of intelligence data to screen passengers is precisely what Al Qaeda doesn't want. Instead, the government's response to the latest incident once again is doing exactly what Al Qaeda's wants. Which leads me to ask: Why do we keep playing the game by their rules?
A lovely pale yellow gold, with countless delicate bubbles. A buttery and toasty layer tops a yummy bed of pears, apples, vanilla, and walnuts. This is an elegant wine which is very highly recommended. Grade: B+/A-
In a couple of weeks, many of my fellow law professors will be traveling to New Orleans for the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools. I bailed out on that trip a while back, due to the AALS' asinine registration fee rules. The announcement of the moronic new air travel security precautions, however, makes me even more glad I'm not going.
To be sure, traveling to attend academic conferences or to give faculty workshops has definite benefits. You raise your visibility in the profession. You meet interesting people and see old friends. Occasionally, you even learn stuff and/or get valuable feedback on a project.
The costs keep escalating, however. Security hassles. Long lines. Delays. Cancelled flights. Grungy airplanes. Lousy food. Surly service. Disrupted sleep patterns. Lately, moreover, I seem to come down with a cold - or something worse - after roughly every other flight. And, of course, were I an ecomentalist, I'd have to add my carbon footprint to the list of worries.
Regular readers know that I keep threatening to quit traveling by airplanes to anything except for funerals of immediate family members. But if the new rules are as idiotic as they sound at first blush, I may finally carry through with that threat.
So if you're expecting me at a conference in the next few months, consider this fair warning.
Very fine bubbles in an attractive yellow-gold wine. Lovely nose of clean fruit and yeasty bread. The palate follows the nose, with tasty notes of pear, citrus and buttered toast. Lingering finish. Strong buy recommendation. Grade: B+
Few tales better illustrate the old saw, "truth is stranger than fiction," than the story of the Gunpowder Plot. In 1605, Catholic militants disappointed by James I's failure to move towards toleration (allegedly) tried to blow up Parliament by piling gunpowder in a basement. The (purported) plot was discovered in the nick of time. England still celebrates Guy Fawkes' Day to celebrate the failure of the Gunpowder Plot and, among other things, Beefeaters still search the basements of Westminster (in full regalia, no less).
The Gunpowder Plot has long been highly controversial. Catholic apologists have claimed that the whole thing was invented by Robert Cecil, Earl of Salisbury, King James' chief minister, and master of a vast intelligence network, with the assistance of Sir Edward Coke as Crown Prosecutor. Protestant apologists claim the Plot was real, the danger was real, and only narrowly averted (by God's special favor).
Antonia Fraser is a leading popular historian of the Tudor and Stuart periods of English history, as well as an accomplished novelist. She writes well, tells stories lucidly, and has a demonstrated command of the period. In Faith and Treason, she strikes a balanced note. Yes, there was a plot. But the danger was not very real -Salisbury discovered the plot early, the gunpowder was defective, and Salisbury left it in the basement to be dramatically discovered so that the discovery would have maximum political effect. She makes a compelling case.
Fraser is sympathetic to the Catholic plotters, recognizing that they had been pushed too far, but she also doesn't hesitate to call them traitors and terrorists. This is a fair and balanced account, written with the verve and style of a novel. Highly recommended.
Few subjects arose more ire among wine geeks that the question "to decant or not?" For what it's worth, here's my take: I only decant wines that have thrown substantial sediment. If the wine has thrown a lot of sediment, I stand it upright in my cellar for a few days to let the sediment settle to the bottom. I then decant the wine into a clean decanter until the bulk of the sediment begins to show through the neck (I stand a bright flashlight under the bottle as I'm pouring). If there's more than about a half-inch of liquid left at the bottom of the bottle, I put an unbleached coffee filter in a kitchen funnel and pour the remaining liquid through it into a separate container.
And Obama's on vacation playing golf in Hawaii? Taken together, these events may not amount to 9/11, but surely they justify Obama taking a break from his vacation to say something. How about words of support for regime change in Iran and thanks to the passengers and crew who acted promptly?
At the very least, one hopes the people who for years have criticized George Bush for finishing reading The Pet Goat on 9/11 will take adverse note of Obama's silence. If it's a strategy, it's a pretty stupid one.
I'm in agreement with Althouse on this one:
On to Marc Ambinder:In his Farenheit 9/11, filmmaker Michael Moore juxtaposes images and words of a terrorist attack in Israel with President Bush's first words about the incident, spoken to a press pool on a golf course, with him leaning casually against a tree.Ah, my association was the same as Ambinder's. Ambinder goes on to tell us thatObama has been golfing in Hawaii. And he went to the gym right after he was briefed about the attack. But Ambinder offers his usual pro-Obama spin:There is a reason why Obama hasn't given a public statement. It's strategy....So was Bush. It wasn't effective. Obama has had the opportunity to learn from Bush.
[A]n in-person Obama statement isn't needed; Indeed, a message expressing command, control, outrage and anger might elevate the importance of the deed, would generate panic....
In a sense, he is projecting his calm on the American people....It's a tough and novel approach....It's not novel, because Bush did it too. The only thing novel about it is doing it after Bush did it... ineffectively.
Point 1: The father of would-be terrorist bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab warned US authorities that his son was a risk, but that did not get him on the no fly list.
Point 2: The only thing that prevented the bomb from going off was a failed detonator.
Yet, Obama administration flunky Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has the unmitigated gall to claim that "the system worked."
The only sense in which the "system" worked was that passenger self-help may have prevented the would be bomber from repairing his device. The sad truth is that eight years after 9/11, self-help remains the core defense against airborne terrorism. In contrast, the TSA security regime is just so much political theater.
Update: Jonah Goldberg is exactly right:
The head of the Department of Homeland Security isn't helping. I watched her on three shows and each time she was more annoying, maddening and absurd than the pevious appearance. It is her basic position that the "system worked" because the bureaucrats responded properly after the attack. That the attack was "foiled" by a bad detonator and some civilian passengers is proof, she claims, that her agency is doing everything right. That is just about the dumbest thing she could say, on the merits and politically. I would wager that not one percent of Americans think the system is "working" when terrorists successfully get bombs onto planes (and succeed in activating them). Probably even fewer think it's fair that they have to take off their shoes, endure delays and madness while a known Islamic radical — turned in by his own father — can waltz onto a plane (and into the country). DHS had no role whatsoever in assuring that this bomb didn't go off. By her logic if the bomb had gone off, the system would have "worked" since it has done everything right.