Category Archives: Required Reading

Land of the Free?

Johnathan Turley writes that, well, maybe not so much.

While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.

Company like Syria, China, Cuba, Pakistan, and Iran.  You know, free countries.

Read the entire thing.


Penn Jillette on Reason.TV

Watch the whole thing; some great stuff at the end.


Man, I’ve missed reading Rob the Bouncer every day

He’s writing again, one of the best blogs, ever:  Clublife

The problem, according to Mr. Sperte, is the intimidation factor elicited by these subterranean malcontents. “Here’s the thing,” he said. “You have some stupid, lazy, fat fuck who won’t get out of your way, but the only real means they have to defend themselves against you is to yell at you and hope you get frightened and back down, but let’s be honest here. The average stupid, lazy, fat fuck on the subway does not have the physical wherewithal to engage in an altercation with anyone. They’re simply not in good enough shape. They drink, they smoke, and they eat fucking Taco Bell six times a day. How fucking long do you think they can last in a fight before their hearts explode?”

Mr. Sapienza agrees. “I work with my hands every day, all day long,” he said. “You don’t have a job? You don’t do nothing physical? Get in my way and I’ll slap you in the back of the fucking head. Boom, right in the back of your fucking head. Do something. You can’t.”

None of this, however, seems to register with Ms. Giraud, who pledges to continue doing her part to both delay the flow of progress and irritate every commuter within a hundred yard radius. “This isn’t about those people getting to work,” she said. “It’s about me letting the whole world know that I do whatever the fuck I want to. I already told you that.”

He’s recently posted that he plans to write something every day.  Hope so, it’s great stuff.


Don Boudreaux on Inequality

Specifically, Muscle Inequality.

Really, though, how seriously do I want this outcome?  I could build more muscle if I spent not six hours weekly at the gym but, rather, six hours daily.  But I choose not to do so.  Spending more time at the gym means spending less time working (that is, earning income), less time with family and friends, and less time doing other things that I judge to be worthwhile.  The fact that I’d be more buff if being more buff were costless is irrelevant.  It’s not costless; therefore, the size of my muscles is largely the result of the way I choose to make trade-offs.

So I resist the temptation to envy men with bigger muscles (men whose muscles, do note, were not built with fiber taken from my muscles).  And if muscle redistribution by government were possible, I’d oppose it.  Not only would the result be less muscle bulk to ‘redistribute’ (Would you pump weights for hours each day knowing that a large chunk of what you build will be stripped away and given to someone else?) but, more importantly, I’m not entitled to the confiscated fruits of other people’s efforts.

You should read everything he writes.


Opportunism vs Idealism

Lee Stranahan and I do not agree on a number of subjects.  We once had an argument on Twitter about healthcare, but have since made up upon realizing everything can either be blamed on George W. Bush or Gay Marriage.

This blog post of his is an example of someone who certainly leans Left who actually figured it out

The Republicans in Congress are going to get a lesson here, pretty soon.  Raising the amount of money the Federal Government spends (which is what the budget they want to pass does) is most certainly not why they won in 2010.  The lesson is going to come from idealists, who are starting to get a little rambunctious.


Drop this one on the next Statist you meet

Or better yet, the next regulator.  From Don Boudreaux

Proponents of government regulation insist that no institution is more critical to the U.S. economy than is the U.S. government.  So reason dictates that the same rules that apply to executives at the likes of Morgan Stanley should apply also to those who set and execute Uncle Sam’s policies.  Members of Congress and all top White House officials – including the President – should receive at least half of their pay in the form of ten-year bonds whose redemption values are structured to rise with decreases in the national debt and fall with increases in the national debt.


Great Post

Boris at SquatRx has a birthday post up.

Read it.  Awesome.

And if you lift, you should regularly read his blog.


Moved by a post on Crazy Glue

I must say, this is probably the first time I’ve been moved by a post on Crazy Glue, but when it’s from a Cuban blogger and a metaphor for what Cuban life is like, well, read for yourself.

So I will leave this post here, and go and buy my share of crazy glue, my necessary dose of that instantaneous mender. Perhaps a few drops will help me to gather the pieces of that future we’ve dropped on the floor, smashing it to smithereens all over the place.

As I’ve posted before, there’s a reason the flow of people is North.

Link via Carpe Diem


A Must Read

Please take a few minutes to read this fantastic essay by Barton Hinkle “Where Do Our Obligations Come From?

Link via Cafe Hayek


It’s really about getting other people to buy you stuff

Carpe Diem points out the cost of insurance for a young person in Michigan.

It points out what’s been clear to thinking people all along:  Passing health care reform was always about using force to make one group of people buy something for another group of people.

If you choose between health insurance and a cell phone (much less an iPhone), that’s your doing.  Not mine.  I should not have to subsidize your cell phone, or your vacation… which is what these folks really want.

But no one would ever pass a law making me pay for cell phones or vacations.  Health care, on the other hand, well not paying for that is just mean.


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