19 Mar 2012


Big Brother, Conspiracy, Potpourri, Shameless Self-Promotion 13 Comments

* Here is a trailer for a novel (The Eagle Has Crashed) where the author had hired me to review his economic projections.

* David R. Henderson brings our attention to a truly shocking op ed by Stanley Fish regarding the alleged double standard on the Bill Maher / Rush Limbaugh / using-naughty-words-to-describe-women issue.

* Walter Block at LRC highlights a very clever NWO spin on an old Star Trek episode.

* Speaking of paranoid worldviews, uh, check this out. Obama just enacted this over the weekend.

13 Responses to “Potpourri”

  1. joshua says:

    I haven’t done a rigorous analysis of the claims coming from libertarian blogs about that executive order, but even the most gracious interpretation can’t be very good.

  2. Daniel Kuehn says:

    I confess I only skimmed the order after the first section… what are we worrying about exactly?

    • Bob Roddis says:

      What are we worrying about exactly?

      Assuming that the federal government even has the constitutional authority to do these things via an act of Congress [it doesn’t], this non-congressional order appears to grant the executive branch near plenary economic power under the guise of “national security” based upon its whim. Nothing worry about there, right?


      Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities. (a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders, and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the following agency heads:

      (1) the Secretary of Agriculture with respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;

      (2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;

      (3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;

      (4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;

      (5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and

      (6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.

      (b) The Secretary of each agency delegated authority under subsection (a) of this section (resource departments) shall plan for and issue regulations to prioritize and allocate resources and establish standards and procedures by which the authority shall be used to promote the national defense, under both emergency and non-emergency conditions. Each Secretary shall authorize the heads of other agencies, as appropriate, to place priority ratings on contracts and orders for materials, services, and facilities needed in support of programs approved under section 202 of this order. Etc……………………………

      • Major_Freedom says:

        As bad as this EO is, it is as far as I can tell only slightly different than the previous EO of 1994.

    • Rick Hull says:

      It grants the executive branch wide ranging authoritarian and economic powers imagined to be necessary for war mobilization efforts. These powers seem unconsititutional on their face.


      It’s one thing to e.g. suspend habeas corpus in the middle of a declared war. Maintaining war mobilization powers outside of declared wars looks, for all intents and purposes, like a power grab.

      As well, it’s deeply concerning that Congress has largely abdicated its war-making powers.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        While I am NOT defending this EO in any way, the Executive already granted itself this power via Executive Order 12919 of June 3, 1994:


        Sec. 102

        “The United States must have an industrial and technology base capable of meeting national defense requirements, and capable of contributing to the technological superiority of its defense equipment in peacetime and in times of national emergency. The domestic industrial and technological base is the foundation for national defense preparedness. The authorities provided in the Act shall be used to strengthen this base and to ensure it is capable of responding to all threats to the national security of the United States.”

        This newest EO signed by Obama only changes some of the department managers and whatnot, from FEMA over to the DHS.

        Nothing substantive changed.

        • Rick Hull says:

          > Nothing substantive changed.

          Conceded. My awareness of these issues and their explicit continuation is what has changed.

      • Tel says:

        The Executive branch cannot through any order of its own, grant itself any additional power that it did not already have. I might as well grab hold of my own trousers and lift myself into the air.

        However, the EO does show at least the structuring of how those “emergency powers” might be implemented and perhaps also reveals that the time to put this into practice might be soon (but to believe that I would require additional evidence).

        There’s a lot of folks placing quiet side bets on when the whole Israel / Iran thingy is going to cross the point of no return. I expect it will be quite a long way off, but then again in the very unlikely situation that Obama might be losing against Romney, he might just figure “What the heck?”

    • Richie says:

      what are we worrying about exactly?

      The fact that the office of the Presidency granted itself the power to take over all production and technology whenever there is a “national emergency”.

  3. Michael says:

    Here is the Volokh crew putting us at ease (sort of) over the executive order:

    • joshua says:

      Thanks. Volokh links to Hot Air which links to Outside the Beltway, which has this conclusion:

      “The fact that the President of the United States is still exercising authority granted during the Korean War and the height of the Cold War is yet another reflection of how power, once assumed by the Imperial Presidency, is never surrendered…… Those are all legitimate issues, but they go far deeper than this one relatively innocuous Executive Order.”

  4. Xon says:

    Regarding the double standard issue, it is nice of Fish to be so explicit (though cultural leftists have been explicit for a long time). And it is good for us to have a clear mind about what’s wrong with “might makes right” and to continue to fight for the so-called “Enlightenment liberalism” that Fish is undermining. I don’t think it really applies to this Maher/Limbaugh situation, but so be it.

  5. Country Thinker says:

    Thank you for the link, Bob. You’re review has calmed many ruffled feathers among my readers.

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