What Will the Gun Rights Decision Do?

June 29, 2010

 Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down its opinion that the Second Amendment applies to the states and protects individuals’ rights to own guns for self-defense. That decided, the Court sent the case back to the lower courts to work out the implications of that basic holding. As those “details” are worked out, however, the stakes are enormous. Read the rest of this entry »

Less government is what got us in trouble

June 22, 2010

The oil spill continues to fester. Apparently the government made some errors that facilitated the oil explosion and leak in the Gulf. It gave out permits it should not have given and it failed to watch closely enough to enforce safety rules. Some people will mindlessly use those errors as an attack on government, as the basis for saying we need less government, not more. Read the rest of this entry »

Lessons from Machiavelli and Clausewitz for the US and Israel

June 22, 2010

The world, and some of our friends in the peace movement, has an enormous double standard directed against Israel. Palestinians attack and their attacks are coordinated and serve as the avatars of foreign governments. For more than half a century they have inflicted seemingly random and unpredictable death and destruction on Israeli civilians. Most of the world ignores the damage. The Israelis strike back and suddenly everything is wrong. As George Orwell pointed out the world would choose sides based on perceptions of race.

But history cares not at all about justice. History marches to the beat of the stronger. And if people’s perceptions of justice figure in who will be stronger, history ratifies their judgment, And by that standard, it is all over. Read the rest of this entry »

How Harmonised Draft Can Turn Our Foreign Affairs into Domestic Issues

June 8, 2010

Previously published in the Business Daily. 

I must confess that I really like the Harmonized Draft Constitution of Kenya. However, I believe that there are at least two changes that would substantially improve the draft with regard to Parliament’s involvement and oversight role over the conduct of foreign affairs by the Executive branch.

I am particularly interested in foreign affairs as they relate to the accountability of contractual commitments made to corporations that get paid millions, and often billions, of Kenya’s shillings from the public purse. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Disagree With Mutahi Ngunyi on the Constitution

June 8, 2010

In an article titled “Draft Law is Too Playful and Experimental,” published in the Daily Nation on Monday April 5, 2010, Mutahi Ngunyi dismissed the Proposed Constitution of Kenya as too playful and experimental.  While Mr. Ngunyi is entitled to his view of the Proposed Constitution, as a Kenyan who has an equal stake in a new Constitution like him, I could not disagree more. Mr. Ngunyi is wrong on all three reasons he gives for his decision to vote against the Proposed Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

Kenya: Referendum Offers Kenyans Chance to Break With the Past

June 8, 2010

Previously published in the Business Daily.

The August 4 referendum on the draft constitution is a pivotal event in Kenya’s history.

This referendum gives Kenya the opportunity to break away from the past; a past that has benefited a few to the exclusion of tens of millions of Kenyans for over four decades.

It offers Kenya a clean slate to begin anew and face the challenges that a new global order brings.

For millions of Kenyans, everyday life brings with it struggles of having to make a decent living with limited resources in a country lacking in the barest tenets of constitutional order. Read the rest of this entry »

Qualifications for Judicial Nominees

June 1, 2010

We have discussed on several occasions nominations of Supreme Court justices. Chief Justice Roberts famously compared the job of a justice to the job of an umpire calling balls and strikes. You stand behind the plate and if the ball travels inside that territory called the strike zone, it’s a strike; if not, it’s a ball. The strike zone is real and measurable, although baseball has chosen not to use high tech equipment to second guess the umps. Read the rest of this entry »

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