Pajamasphere Citizen media in action.

Sept. 1, 2005

Hurricane Katrina - Help via Alumni Associations?

I just had an idea; not sure whether it's practical. Would it make sense for college alumni associations to gather information on specific needs from their graduates? Professional organizations, unions, and other membership groups have a similar opportunity to help make connections all across the country. For example, I've lost touch with several friends and acquintances from my college days. It wouldn't surprise me if some of them lived in New Orleans, but I don't have an easy way to find out who might be affected. While it's vital to support general charities, a personal relationship or shared affinity can open up additional types of assistance.

For example, it's very hard to open one's home to a stranger, especially for an extended stay. But, it's much easier with someone you know, or can vouch for via a mutual friend. The same applies to personal loans, whether in cash or big-ticket items such as motor homes, campers, computers (to help people telecommute), appliances, and furniture (in the months ahead).

As long as this personal assistance is above and beyond what is given to charity, it frees up some of the charitable resources to go to those who are most in need.

Note to bloggers: I'm happy for someone else to "own" this story, e.g. to gather links and report any success stories. (I don't have comments here -- or much traffic.) Meanwhile, I'll try to post "Katrina Alumni" info sent to me: Pajamasphere -at- product architect -dot- com.

For general charitable contributions, see recommendations gathered on Instapundit's Katrina blogburst.


June 24, 2005

Eminent Domain Outrage

Take action to mitigate the effects of Kelo. Please join the Castle Coalition. They've been on the case for years, and do great work. Also, please post the link far and wide. (The usual disclaimer: my only affiliation with them is the checks I've written to the Institute for Justice over the years.)


At its best, the "pajamasphere" (blogosphere) gives citizens an unprecedented opportunity to see issues from new perspectives. It's easy to become cynical; there's certainly no shortage of invective and political stereotyping. But it's also demonstrably true that civil discourse takes place, and viewpoints evolve. In my view, strong protection against the government's power of eminent domain is an issue that should find wide support across the political spectrum. It's an opportunity for people whose views may often diverge to work together towards a common goal.

In Kelo, the "liberal" and "moderate" justices sided with big companies; the "conservative" justices defended the rights of the individual. Is it too much to hope that some liberals and moderates who are outraged by this ruling will see libertarian and "conservative" views in a new light? I'm not asking anyone to "jump ship" over a single ruling, just to stop demonizing the opposition long enough to see the common ground that exists.

One more thought. This issue provides a clear example of the benefits of following the plain meaning of the U.S. Constitution. (Again, I don't expect one ruling to change anyone's judicial philosophy. But, at the very least, it should provide insight into other people's views.)


In association with
Takings: Private Property and the Power of Eminent Domain
by Richard A. Epstein
Abuse Of Power: How The Government Misuses Eminent Domain
by Steven Greenhut
Property: Takings
by David A. Dana, Thomas W. Merrill
Privilege and Creative Destruction : The Charles River Bridge Case
by Stanley I. Kutler

TBD (to be done)

Senator Durbin compares harsh interrogation tactics to mass torture and murder. Then (so far), gets away with two non-apologies. In contrast, Trent Lott lost his leadership position over much less (driven at least as much by Republican bloggers as by Democrats).


Nov. 1, 2004

Election 2004: prediction. (Update: I called Wisconsin wrong.)


Nov. 1, 2004

Election 2004: libertarians and liberals for President Bush
(plus "For the liberation of Iraq ... but now for Senator Kerry")


Oct. 14, 2004

Election 2004 debates: side-by-side transcripts + discussion board


Sept. 30, 2004

CBS Again. This time, they revive The Draft.


Sept. 17, 2004

Two new words enter the vocabulary: RatherGate and Pajamasphere.

CBS stonewalls as "guys in pajamas" uncover a fraud. John Fund, WSJ



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