L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

04 July 2007 Blog Home : July 2007 : Permalink

Beldar's Great Idea

Beldar, in writing about a, hmm, "reallity based" law prof, has the following great suggestion:

Okay, here's the deal: I'll pledge 1000 hours of my time to lead the drive to endow a new super-duper $50M chair at Texas Law School. The sole condition is that the Law School faculty en masse, and the chair's holder in particular, must pre-commit that if the chair's holder ever accuses an American president — any American president — of being an "out-and-out dictatorial [authority] totally indepedent from any scrutiny or accountability,' then he (the professor) must go live and teach for a year in any country whose name ends in the syllable "-stan."

I think this is an idea that could usefully be extended to other seats of learning and indeed other disciplines. Of course faculty meetings might get a little sparse for the first couple of years when half the faculty is spread over "ashcanistan" but the after that one suspects that hyperbole WRT the US government would diminish quickly.

Today is Revolting Ex-colonial Day so it is probably worth noting that the USA is one of the most stable nations on the planet. One could perhaps say that Switzerland is more stable, and arguments could be made that the UK and/or some of its other colonies have also been right up there as are Sweden and Denmark but that is pretty much it for stability. Despite the disdain that the Bush administration occasionally appears to exhibit towards congress and the courts when push comes to shove it has never actually continued doing something after the US Supreme Court has told it not to. Ditto, for that matter, the Clinton administration. Furthermore, despite the moanings of nutroots people about dynasties etc. in January 2009 there will be a new president and, unless Condoleezza Rice changes her mind, runs for office and gets elected, whoever it is will not have anything to do with the Bush inner circle.

Even though as Samizdata points out, the US government has abridged some of the freedoms that its founders strove for 231 years ago, it has been far better than any other government and, IMO, way way better than the scumbags in Brussels who appear to be trying for a gradual coup d'etat and who are in many ways 'out-and-out dictatorial [authority] totally indepedent from any scrutiny or accountability'.