Editor’s Choice

Gun Rights Lessons – A Series

The debate over gun rights and gun control stretches back decades, to at least the early part of the 20th century. It should, then, come as no surprise that there are quite a few recurring and oft-argued themes and positions in this long-running debate. Seasoned...

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Warming Up To Lukewarmism

President Trump’s proposed budget includes, among its many cutbacks, substantial cuts to the EPA’s budget and plans to zero out global warming research. Naturally, leftists are agog, agape, and apoplectic. Dogmatic faith in the catastrophic version of...

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Trump, The Lesser Evil?

The day after the 2016 presidential election, I dubbed our then-President-Elect an “untethered id” (and sarcastically tagged on the adjective “orange” a few weeks later). Yesterday, the New York Times dropped an anonymous op-ed that, if it is...

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The Scarcest Resource

Ever miss an exit on the highway? Doesn’t it seem that the few minutes it takes to go to the next exit, cross over, find the on-ramp in the other direction, and get back to where you should have turned off in the first place seems like an eternity? Not just an...

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Breeding Belligerence

I had an interesting “conversation” a few weeks, in a conservative political group that has coalesced/cohered into a solidly pro-Trump faction. One poster put forth a statement along the lines of “if a NeverTrumper hasn’t figured out that we...

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The Two McCains

I suppose it was inevitable that political controversy would accompany the death of Senator John McCain. Even excluding the sloppy, inartful, but “why are you surprised” White House flag-lowering bit, news and social media outlets are awash in people...

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When Whataboutism Is Fair Play

Many, myself included, have wondered what it might take for Trump’s staunch supporters to waver, what quantity and quality of dirt would be necessary, and what level of malfeasance would rise, in their minds, to impeachable levels. I’m not asserting that...

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Trump, Cohen, and Behar

Yesterday, two sacks of wet cement thudded on the Trump administration. Paul Manafort, erstwhile Trump campaign chairman, was convicted on 8 counts of of financial shenanigans, and Michael Cohen, erstwhile Trump attorney, pled guilty to a number of criminal charges,...

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Sand In The Gearbox

Have you ever written a product review on Amazon? Ever clicked a rating button on Rotten Tomatoes, or IMDb, or Netflix? Ever banged out a song, book, or movie review on iTunes? Added to Wikipedia? Commented on a news or opinion article? Given a purchase feedback on...

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Mis-Legalizing Marijuana

Years ago, before marijuana legalization started to really gather momentum, many converts to the idea of legalization put forth the notion that we should legalize it and “tax the shit out of it.” They figured that they could rationalize the switch from...

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Keeping ‘Em Poor

New York City, under the stewardship of the more-progressive-than-thou Mayor Bill De Blasio and a city council dominated 48-3 by Democrats, recently became the first city in the nation to impose limits on ride-sharing cars. As I recently blogged, they purportedly did...

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Excel At What’s Easy

The Atlantic recently published a bubble-bursting article that cautions young people against the “find your passion” advice they get from parents, from educators, from valedictorians, from commencement speakers, from motivational speakers, and from...

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They Broke The Law!

Illegal immigrants have broken the law. For many, that’s reason enough to want them all deported, and reason enough to oppose amnesty of any sort, including DREAMer legislation, and to go as far as arguing against birthright citizenship, declaring that the...

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Hating The Gig Economy

The advent of the information age has created countless new types of jobs and careers. It has also fostered new types of labor freedom for earners, including the ability to work from home, the ability to contract tech services from the other side of the world, and to...

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Wrongthink Trumps Identity

Back in the early 90s, I worked with a young female engineer who was a hard-core feminist and heavily involved in NOW (the National Organization for Women). We got to be friends, and she gave me a lot of insight into the movement. At the time, the rule seemed to be...

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Opinion

Trump, The Lesser Evil?

The day after the 2016 presidential election, I dubbed our then-President-Elect an “untethered id” (and sarcastically tagged on the adjective “orange” a few weeks later). Yesterday, the New York Times dropped an anonymous op-ed that, if it is...
Read More

Kaepernick, Nike, and The Economics of Virtue-Signaling

They say timing is everything, and they say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. We get to see this put to the test this week, as Nike dives into the deep end of the controversy pool by adding Colin Kaepernick to its fall advertising campaign. Kaepernick...
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The Scarcest Resource

Ever miss an exit on the highway? Doesn’t it seem that the few minutes it takes to go to the next exit, cross over, find the on-ramp in the other direction, and get back to where you should have turned off in the first place seems like an eternity? Not just an...
Read More

Breeding Belligerence

I had an interesting “conversation” a few weeks, in a conservative political group that has coalesced/cohered into a solidly pro-Trump faction. One poster put forth a statement along the lines of “if a NeverTrumper hasn’t figured out that we...
Read More

The Two McCains

I suppose it was inevitable that political controversy would accompany the death of Senator John McCain. Even excluding the sloppy, inartful, but “why are you surprised” White House flag-lowering bit, news and social media outlets are awash in people...
Read More

When Whataboutism Is Fair Play

Many, myself included, have wondered what it might take for Trump’s staunch supporters to waver, what quantity and quality of dirt would be necessary, and what level of malfeasance would rise, in their minds, to impeachable levels. I’m not asserting that...
Read More

Politically Guided Moral Panics

EDITOR’S NOTE: This essay is the second in a series on the Drug War. Part 1: Science In the [first part of this argument][1], the proposal was made that medicine should be given all latitude to study medical issues, drug addiction being one. It posited that with...

Trade Clarity

After a couple years of constant exposure to Trump’s speeches, statements, off-the-cuff remarks and, especially, tweets, it behooves the prudent observer to avoid taking every word literally… AND, to avoid waving off everything he says as “serious...

The T-Scale

I was recently “evicted” from a closed political group on Facebook. It was both amusing and sad, because it was a group I belonged to for years, a group where I had made a good number of Internet friends, and a group born of the foundational site of my...

When Does Identity Matter?

Scarlett Johansson, who by any reasonable measure has had a stellar movie career and will probably continue to do so for decades, recently got caught in the middle of a social justice imbroglio. The actress, who has since resigned from the role, was cast to play a...

Your Dream Is Not Reality

I had another of those “free markets suck” conversations the other day, one that evolved from conversations about supposed disparities in child mortality stats across nations, to socialized medicine, to the supposed failures of free markets in safeguarding...

What Does Equal Mean To You?

The word “equal” is a biggie in the American political landscape. Thomas Jefferson famously wrote “all men are created equal,” and explained his meaning by asserting that each of us has “certain unalienable Rights.” Unalienable is...

Talks, Not Tanks

Among the countless postmortems, deconstructions, critiques, and diatribes of Trump’s meeting with Putin and all that happened thereafter appears this tidbit at Bloomberg. Dan Coats, director of national intelligence, is dubbed a “hero” by writer Eli...

Trump Goes Hanlon

If there’s any certainty whatsoever about the Trump presidency, it’s that, just when you thought things could not get more absurd, our teetotaling president comes through with yet another “hold my (nonalcoholic) beer” moment. Yesterdays’...

But, The Children!

I will holler “Amen!” with the choir of much of the nation whenever President Trump is called a big fat meanie. He is. He’s an awful person. But that sentence might have been written the same way, minus President, if we are back in 1990 “Trump...

The Rules Define The Game

In an exciting final match, France beat Croatia to win the 2018 FIFA world cup yesterday, 4-2. French fans are celebrating wildly, while Croatians must console themselves with second place and a valiant effort by their team. The Croatian team did outplay France in...

Forced Association

A recent study about modern, open-plan work and office spaces provides a lesson in unintended consequences and the limits of behavioral modification. The study found that “open plan offices actually make people talk less,” an outcome that is the direct...

Senatorial Illogic

The early buzz is in on Trump’s nomination for the Supreme Court seat being vacated by Anthony Kennedy. By most rational measures, Brett Kavanaugh is a superb legal mind, a good guy, an Constitutional originalist, and a solid pick for those who want to see the...

The Garland Whine

In grand “elections have consequences” style, Trump got to nominate his second Supreme Court justice this week. Before his pick was even announced, the Left had its plaints and protests locked and loaded. As in, tweets and placards with place holders and...

The Franco Addendum

In the original illegal cross-country car race movie, The Gumball Rally, the Italian race car driver Franco, played with grand scenery-chewing excess by Raul Julia, informed the owner of the iconic Ferrari Daytona of “the first rule of Italian driving.”...

We Love Our Millionaire Athletes

The good, analytically-minded folks at Unbiased America (a worthwhile Facebook page to follow if you’ve a libertarian inclination) assembled some data that compares the top 100 CEOs in the world with the top 100 professional athletes. Their results? The CEOs...

The War on Drugs Meets Science

Many are fond of trumpeting “Science!” as the basis for rational policy, but one look at the War on Drugs’ defenestration of science tells us that, in practice, such are the minority. This is nothing new or unique. There is a long and terrible...

Abandoning Common Sense

Political Correctness, we are told, is not the bogeyman that non-liberals often portray it to be. Rather, we are told, it’s merely civility, politeness, and respect for others writ large. Horse puckey. Political correctness, and its militant sibling, social...

Trump, Hitler, and the Court

Apologies for going full-Godwin in the title of this essay (for those unaware, “Godwin” is a reference to the increasing probability of a Nazi reference as an Internet discussion continues), but Justice Kennedy’s retirement announcement has turned...

Venezuela, Not Gilead

I just finished watching Season 1 of Hulu’s series The Handmaid’s Tale (yes, I’m a bit late to the game here, but that’s the beauty of streaming services), based on the classic dystopian novel by Margaret Atwood. The story, set in a near-future...

Throwing Shade

Politico reported that members of the Democratic National Committee audibly groaned when word of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement broke. While the retirement was long-rumored, its coming to fruition at a moment that gives Trump and the GOP...

Suckers For Socialism

Nestled among all this week’s momentous news by and of the Supreme Court, we find the story of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 28 year old Bernie Sanders acolyte who just upended the number-four Democrat in the House, 14 term incumbent Joe Crowley, in...

Can He, Not Should He

Yesterday, the Supreme Court finally resolved the long-running saga of Trump’s travel ban, igniting a wholly predictable firestorm of yee-haws from the Trump crowd and sky-screams from the Left. Trump’s defenders argue that the ban is not a “Muslim...

Spiraling Into Fascism

A couple years ago, I penned an article titled The Rise of American Fascism, in which I noted that the economic element of fascism (tight government control of privately-owned business), which has been a hallmark of our nation for a long time, is increasingly being...

The Right To Be Wrong…

… and The Right To Be An Asshole Hot on the heels of the Masterpiece Bake Shop Supreme Court decision (where a baker cited his religious beliefs to refuse to decorate a cake for a gay wedding) we have the unfortunate case of Donald Trump’s press secretary,...

Decision Dysfunction

Many readers of a certain age know and are fond of the movie Office Space, with its many quotable lines and memorable moments, but I have a greater nostalgia for a similarly named but somewhat older movie, called Head Office. In the latter, a young Judge Reinhold is...

The Tariff Trap

Trump, in what can now be dubbed “classic” Trump style, has thrown the realm of international trade into chaos. He’s both threatened and enacted tariffs against our biggest trading partners, he’s ramped up already over-blown rhetoric, and...

So Who Is the Authoritarian, Again?

The first presidential election I fully participated in was in 1980. I spent a fair bit of time watching the evening news, and learning from them that Ronald Reagan was willing, nay eager, to start a nuclear war. Furthermore, he had authoritarian tendencies comparable...

Contracts, Marriage, and The State

An under-the-radar Supreme Court Decision, handed down a couple days ago, offers another “be careful what you wish for” lesson to those who support government involvement in our individual interactions. The case, Sveen Et Al. v. Melin, centers on a state...