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Some Non-Covid Links

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Michael Huemer brilliantly makes a case against Critical Race Theory [2]. (HT Bryan Caplan, who generalizes Huemer’s point [3].)

Also from Michael Huemer: “Why Are Some Fields More Left Wing?” [4] (HT David Levey)

Gary Galles warns us not to misjudge nudging [5].

In the Wall Street Journal, David Rivkin and Andrew Grossman review the record of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson [6]. A slice:

Judge Jackson was also reversed in a case in which she sided with federal-employee unions challenging presidential directives to streamline collective-bargaining terms, limit time spent on union business during work hours, and make it easier to fire employees for misconduct or unacceptable performance. Her decision bends over backward to excuse the unions from the requirement that they bring disputes to the Federal Labor Relations Authority before going to court, and the D.C. Circuit reversed it on that basis. But her take on the merits also raises concerns. In her view, the government’s general duty to bargain and negotiate “in good faith” precludes the government from taking topics off the bargaining table (like the availability of grievance proceedings for outright employee misconduct). She acknowledged that position went well beyond the governing precedent. While that would be a boon to the unions, it would disable presidential control of the federal workforce to account for changing circumstances.

Wall Street Journal columnist Mary Anastasia O’Grady is justly critical of Vladimir Putin [7]. A slice:

Russians aren’t rallying around the flag since the invasion of Ukraine on Thursday morning, as Mr. Putin may have expected them to do. Many are telling pollsters that they reject the military strikes against their neighbor. Some have even gone to the streets shouting, “No to war.”

The crackdown on these protesters is business as usual for Mr. Putin. But repression can’t reverse a growing hatred of the Kremlin boss, whose estimated [8] wealth is at least in the tens of billions of dollars.

Russians know Mr. Putin didn’t come by his wealth honestly. His business model is a combination of knee-capping, extortion, dungeons and murder. His courts are a farce. In the Journal a few days before the invasion, Russia scholar David Satter quoted [9] a former constitutional-court judge who put it this way: “Any official can dictate any decision in any case.” Ask opposition leader Alexei Navalny, last week given a show trial [10]in a Russian penal colony for daring to expose Putin graft.

James Harrigan is rightly critical of State of the Union addresses [11]. A slice:

Frankly, a one-page letter would serve the purpose.

But no. We will be treated to a hodgepodge of lies, half-truths, and nonsense. It would be far better if we insisted on following Thomas Jefferson’s lead. While his predecessors, Washington and Adams, delivered their State of the Union addresses in person [12] every year, Jefferson just sent letters to Congress. This remained the custom until Woodrow Wilson revived in-person delivery in 1913.

David Henderson sings the praises of my GMU Econ colleague Bryan Caplan [13].