Seeing Through the Illusion

So, I was shot a link to this NYT article via email. Let's see if I get this...2,100 janitors were each paid about $3.50 per hour with no overtime pay, vacation pay, sick pay, or benefits of any sort. They usually worked 7 days a week, during the middle of the night, and often put in 70+ hours per week. Not a one of them was smart enough to know they could have gotten a…Read More

The “Great Society”

(via Prestopundit) Then, this: The AARP Declares War on Younger Americans. That's too bad, because they might be interested in knowing that one of America's largest and most effective lobbying organizations has just declared war on them. The AARP has now decided that it's going to fight any effort by President Bush to privatize, even partially, that debacle known as Social Security. ... The time will come, though, when these people who today are preoccupied…Read More

The Right of Self Defense

The right to self defense, in principle, strikes me as perhaps the most universally understood of our rights. This is doubtless due to its "intuitive" nature: when someone smashes you in the face with a baseball bat, you've no doubt about your rights in the matter. On the other hand, in all but those cases where one is actually subject to attack, application of the right to self defense offers no bright-line rules. On top…Read More

Brainwashing, or Just Tribalism?

I received the text of an article via email entitled We're Brainwashed (Yup, Democrats, Too) by a young Emily Katz, which I subsequently located on LewRockwell.com. We live in a time where everyone is entitled to their own point of view, however unsubstantiated it might be. And in such an era, it is not enough to make sound economic and philosophical arguments if people refuse to be receptive to them. Our problem is more foundational:…Read More

Minding Everyone Else’s Business

While I certainly hold that it's absolutely none of my business what substances sufficiently mature individuals choose to ingest, or in what quantities, I've also always thought that any genuine advocate of freedom (no, freedom) is stupid to make drug prohibition a central theme of their fight. How can I take someone seriously whose most important issue in life is their drugs? On the other hand, I can't help touching on the issue from time-to-time,…Read More

Looks Like Victory All Around; Yea

People have differing views of abortion but almost nobody approves of the holding in Roe and its companion case, Doe v. Bolton. Between them, those two cases and their progeny establish that abortion is a matter of no public concern under any circumstances. Whenever a woman and her abortionist agree that an abortion is indicated, nobody can constitutionally intervene. The rules we have are extreme. If the Supreme Court discarded them and restored to the…Read More

Illusionist Exposes an Illusion

I have long maintained that most of what I see in the area of "security," particularly as it concerns the gauntlet we all must endure each time we fly, is little more than an illusion meant to give people a sense of being safer without really effectively making them safer. In a world where beliefs and feelings often trump the reality of things, it's an "effective" government tool. I see it nearly everywhere. Penn Gillette,…Read More

How Irrational Hatred Clouds Judgment

Wheel of Fortune's Pat Sajak opines: There’s another possibility; one that seems crazy on the surface, but does provide an explanation for the silence, and is also in keeping with the political climate in Hollywood. Is it just possible that there are those who are reluctant to criticize an act of terror because that might somehow align them with President Bush, who stubbornly clings to the notion that these are evil people who need to…Read More

Still, most don’t see

I've heard a lot about how great laser eye surgery is, lately. I'm still seeing clearly at 43, but a younger brother who has sported glasses and contacts since a young age just had the procedure and couldn't be happier. Two sisters-in-law reported similar satisfaction this last week during the family Thanksgiving get-together. Of course, John Venlet's comments in the matter were still fresh in my mind. Greg Swann also drew a stark comparison.Read More

Leaving DC

I’ve been in DC for the last 3 days or so: traveling here last Wednesday to attend a USOBA conference Thursday and Friday and spending today, Saturday, doing some sightseeing. They’ve put up the WWII and FDR memorials since last I walked the mall. Right this moment, I’m on UAL 237 from Dulles to San Jose direct, on a flight that can’t have more than 20 passengers on this Airbus (A)319. Last time that happened…Read More

Yea, So Smart

I happened on to this by friend Greg Swann this morning, here, amongst the comments to a silly post. In the end the begrudgingly-occidental, oriental-by-preference drag-alongs don't matter. The West, and the world, if the world is to amount to anything, belongs to those who are willing to make critical distinctions. The rest are just there, that's all. Then, I happened upon this article via The Independent Institute. Go take a look at it. It…Read More

No Comment

Here's the latest "I, Anonymous" column in the Seattle rag The Stranger, Vol 14 No. 9, Nov 11 - Nov 17, 2004. DEAR OSAMA BIN LADEN I'm sorry. You were right. We deserve to be blown up. After last Tuesday, well... what can I say? You had us pegged dead-on the first time--although I was in denial and refused to believe it up until now. We as a nation obviously ARE a bunch of mindless…Read More

A Complete Circus

Whirlpool, which is trying to save its ban on firearms on company property, believes workplace safety should override the rights of gun owners. You know, I read crap like the above and can't help but wonder if the hope of a rational society has already and irretrievably slipped well beyond our grasp. Now, even great companies like Whirpool can't even seem to manage a simple moral argument in support of their own property rights, but…Read More

False Distinctions

Promoting and exploiting false distinctions can be very, very profitable for politicians, interest groups, and business quislings who'd rather partner up with agents of coercion than engage in the dog-eat-dog, rough-&-tumble free market. Such false distinctions exist everywhere (roadways, police, fire, water, courts, military, etc.), the human appetite for them is insatiable, and they are thus exploited by "the authorities" to great profit and advantage. Here's another example of one.Read More

The Real Human Evolution

Authority can be a function of raw power, but among free people it is sustained by esteem and trust. Should esteem and trust falter, the public will start to contest an institution's authority. It happens all the time to political figures. It happened here to the American Catholic Church and to the legal profession, thanks to plaintiff-bar abuse. And now the public is beginning to contest the decades-old authority of the mainstream media. This article…Read More

Housekeeping

Reports from Paris indicate that there has been a marked improvement in the condition of Yasser Arafat. He's dead. (courtesy of Samizdata) ...and: In a better world, the PLO chief would have met his end on a gallows, hanged for mass murder much as the Nazi chiefs were hanged at Nuremberg. In a better world, the French president would not have paid a visit to the bedside of such a monster. In a better world,…Read More

The Entitlement Mindset

Radley Balko lays out comprehensively why I decided from day one not to enable comments on this blog. In addition, I almost never read the comments to posts on the blogs I visit regularly. I figure that if someone has anything to say about a post that's really worth my time reading, they'll generally post it to their own blog and perhaps ping a trackback. There are exceptions, of course. I'm also sure that readers…Read More

Bush: Promoter of Secularism

Billy Beck alerts me to a new column by that liberal Hitchens. An excerpt: So here is what I want to say on the absolutely crucial matter of secularism. Only one faction in American politics has found itself able to make excuses for the kind of religious fanaticism that immediately menaces us in the here and now. And that faction, I am sorry and furious to say, is the left. From the first day of…Read More