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Some Non-Covid Links

This piece by George Will on abortion is brilliant. A slice:

The abortion debate that the Supreme Court’s calendar has ignited is compelling Americans to consider what abortion policy ought to be but first to recognize what the United States’ policy is: an extreme outlier. In 39 of the 42 European nations that permit elective abortions, the basic limit is at 15 weeks of pregnancy or earlier. In 32 of the 39, the limit is at 12 weeks or earlier. Worldwide, fewer than a dozen countries allow abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy on any grounds.

In 1975, two years after Roe was decided, Archibald Cox, Harvard law professor and former U.S. solicitor general under President John F. Kennedy, said in a lecture at Oxford University: “The [Roe v. Wade] opinion fails even to consider what I would suppose to be the most important compelling interest of the State in prohibiting abortion: the interest in maintaining that respect for the paramount sanctity of human life which has always been at the centre of Western civilization.” That interest, although perhaps unintelligible to the likes of [Letitia] James, is important to the broad American majority.

This majority might soon have the dignified task of instructing their elected representatives to codify, state by state, community standards about the onset of personhood. An acorn is not an oak tree; an oak sapling is. The burden of intelligence, and self-government, is that distinctions must be drawn.

Randy Holcombe writes wisely about enemies and “enemies.” A slice:

Yet another area in which this rhetoric arises is race relations. Whites are being told that simply because of their race, they are the enemy. This editorial in the Seattle Times tells us, “We are all socialized in whiteness as a by-product of living here. The primary purpose of whiteness is to consolidate power through the value, protection and reinforcement of white western ways of knowing and being at the expense of nonwhite racial and ethnic identities via structural racism.” If whites are being told they are the enemy of Blacks, does this make Blacks the enemy of whites?

Martin Luther King hoped people would be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin, but when people are not only being judged by the color of their skin but told that those of a different color are the enemy, this is a recipe for violence.

The recent supermarket shooting in Buffalo by a young white supremacist was a horrible event, and there is no possible justification or excuse for his actions. But one must wonder if the racial rhetoric saying that whites are the enemy of Blacks would not prompt the shooter to think that therefore, Blacks are the enemy of whites.

I’m not assigning blame for the shooting to anyone but the shooter. But the rhetoric of white supremacists reinforces the rhetoric of critical race theorists, which prompts a backlash by white supremacists. As the rhetoric escalates, it is natural for both sides to think, “If you tell me I am your enemy, that implies that you are my enemy.”

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy is no fan of newly reconfirmed Fed chairman Jerome Powell.

C.J. Ciaramella reports on yet another instance in the U.S. of the banana-republic practice of civil asset forfeiture.

John O. McGinnis writes thoughtfully about right and wrong ways to reform colleges and universities.

The Wall Street Journal‘s Editorial Board explains that the shortage of baby formula is caused by government. A slice:

Trade protectionism—including tariffs of up to 17.5%—and Food and Drug Administration labeling and ingredient requirements limit competition. About 98% of U.S. infant formula is made domestically, though it’s no safer than European or Australian products. While FDA has the authority to inspect foreign plants, tariffs make imports less competitive.

Solution: Suspend tariffs and ease labeling and ingredient requirements for trusted partners. The FDA now says it will use enforcement discretion on product labeling and provide a streamlined import entry review process for products from foreign facilities with positive inspection records. But these trade barriers shouldn’t exist in the first place.

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino explains why those politicians who voted against increased funding for the FDA were correct in this decision.