Fight For Your Right!


Taxation and Charity

taxation and charity

Glenn Harlan Reynolds: Is the Gun Lobby Still Invincible? Yeah, Pretty Much


A Power Derived From Mistrust of Police and Government

Glenn_Reynolds-thumbStandardGlenn Harlan Reynolds writes: Is the gun lobby still invincible? Yeah, pretty much. The reason is trust. And if you want more trust, police and politicians must be more trustworthy.

In 2012, Room for Debate asked ”Is the Gun Lobby Invincible?” Since then, the answer has turned out to be “yeah, pretty much.” And the reason is trust.


According to a recent Pew poll, more Americans support gun rights than gun control. That represents a significant shift over the situation a few decades ago. And I believe the reason is that people don’t trust the government to protect them anymore, and, in fact, that they don’t trust the government in general….(read more)


Glenn Harlan Reynolds is the Beauchamp Brogan distinguished professor of law at the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville.



Bill Murray: Business As Usual


Hong Kong Democracy Protesters Take to the Streets Ahead of a Crucial Reform Bill

TOPSHOTS A pro-democracy demonstrator gestures after police fired tear gas towards protesters near the Hong Kong government headquarters on September 28, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill on September 28, in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days. AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS        (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)

Thousands march on the legislature to demand a freer vote

Joanna Plucinska reports: Nine months after the Umbrella Revolution began, pro-democracy protesters again took to the streets of Hong Kong to demand a say in the way the city’s leader is elected in polls slated for 2017.

“We’re not North Korea, we know what freedom is.”

— Carol Lo, a protester at Sunday’s rally

A crowd of 2,000 to 3,000 people—workers and families as well as students and democracy activists—marched on Sunday afternoon from Victoria Park, a traditional gathering place for protests, to the legislature buildings downtown. Many carried yellow umbrellas—adopted as the symbol of Hong Kong’s democracy movement after protesters took to carrying them during last year’s unrest to protect themselves from police pepper spray.

Riot police use tear gas against protesters after thousands of people blocked a main road at the financial central district in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Hong Kong police used tear gas on Sunday and warned of further measures as they tried to clear thousands of pro-democracy protesters gathered outside government headquarters in a challenge to Beijing over its decision to restrict democratic reforms for the city. (AP Photo) HONG KONG OUT

Riot police use tear gas against protesters after thousands of people blocked a main road at the financial central district in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014. Hong Kong police used tear gas on Sunday and warned of further measures as they tried to clear thousands of pro-democracy protesters gathered outside government headquarters in a challenge to Beijing over its decision to restrict democratic reforms for the city. (AP Photo) HONG KONG

Others carried signs that read “Citizens Against Pseudo-Universal Suffrage,” declaring their opposition to the form of democracy described in a political reform bill to be voted on by the city’s legislature on June 17. That bill will allow the central government in Beijing, and a 1,200 member electoral college composed mostly of pro-establishment figures, to vet all candidates for the position of Chief Executive, as the city’s top official is known. Similarly unrepresentative electoral methods helped to spark last fall’s Umbrella Revolution, and protesters are once again demanding broader political rights.

“I’m a genuine citizen of Hong Kong, I’m not from China. Most people from China are after money, but I’m after truth.”

— Protester and Uber driver Chao Sang

“We’re not North Korea, we know what freedom is,” said Carol Lo, 35, a protester at Sunday’s rally and a parent of a 9-year-old girl. Lo voiced fears for the political future of Hong Kong’s next generation: “How will [my daughter] survive, if this situation gets worse and worse?” she said.

Policemen rest following pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on September 29, 2014.  Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days.    AFP PHOTO / XAUME OLLEROS        (Photo credit should read XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)

Policemen rest following pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong on September 29, 2014. Police fired tear gas as tens of thousands of pro-democracy demonstrators brought parts of central Hong Kong to a standstill in a dramatic escalation of protests that have gripped the semi-autonomous Chinese city for days.  XAUME OLLEROS/AFP/Getty Images)

Another protester, Uber driver Chao Sang, voiced the growing tendency of many Hong Kongers to see themselves as politically, linguistically and culturally separate from mainland Chinese. “I’m a genuine citizen of Hong Kong, I’m not from China,” he told TIME. “Most people from China are after money, but I’m after truth.” Read the rest of this entry »

Danielle Allen: One Period Could Change the Meaning of the Declaration of Independence

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 15: Ethan Kasnett, an 8th grade student at the Lab School in Washington, DC, views the original constitution. (Brendan Smialowski/GETTY IMAGES)

Danielle Allen is a political theorist at the Institute of Advanced Study and a contributing columnist for The Post. Her research will be the focus of a free conference on the Declaration of Independence titled “Punctuating Happiness, on June 23 at National Archives in Washington.

Danielle Allen writes: For all that we talk about “original” founding documents, when it comes to the Declaration of Independence at least, we’ve had multiple versions since the earliest days of the revolution. The most important difference among these versions appears in the sentence about self-evident truths.


The manuscripts written out by John Adams and Thomas Jefferson; the version voted on by Congress, as attested to in the official minutes recorded by Charles Thomson; and the official poster printed up by John Dunlap at Congress’s request, on July 4 and 5, 1776, record a very long second sentence, reading as follows:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

This lengthy sentence is a remarkably cogent expression of the theory of revolution that developed in early modern political thought. The people preserve their right to ensure that their rights are secured. When governments fail to secure those rights, the people may alter their government or, if it comes to it, abolish it and start over.


Yet on July 6, Philadelphia printer Benjamin Towne — who had obtained a copy of the Declaration we know not how — printed an unauthorized version that broke that long sentence into two by placing a period after “pursuit of happiness.” Towne scooped Dunlap, who didn’t get the Declaration into his own paper until July 8. As the first newspaper printing, Towne’s version was circulated extensively and read like this:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, That all men are created equal; that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the content of the governed . . .”

In Towne’s printing, both the requirement that government balance the individual right to pursue happiness with the collective safety and happiness of the people and the accompanying theory of revolution drift out of focus. The period after pursuit of happiness leads us to disconnect the opening premise about individual rights from the argument for the positive value of good government and the all-important conclusion about altering governments that fail us.

[Read the full text here, at The Washington Post]

Last summer, I stood behind a group of high school students at an exhibit about the Declaration. They began reading one of the versions of the text with the period. When they got to “pursuit of happiness,” they lifted their hands in the air, shouted “yes,” and were gone. They got the point about individual rights but not the people’s responsibility to determine principles and organizational forms that achieve their shared safety and happiness. Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] Monty Python And The Holy Grail: ‘Help Help I’m Being Repressed’

Ah, now we see the violence inherent in the system.
Shut up!
Oh! Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I’m being repressed!
Bloody peasant!

Robert Tracinski: ‘The Party of Coercion Hasn’t Thought Much About Coercion’


Government Force is the Left’s Entire Agenda


The left is the side of the political debate that wants more government: more taxes, more spending, more regulations, more laws. So you would think they would have highly developed thoughts about what a law is and how laws are actually enforced. This is, after all, the stuff they want more of.

You would be wrong.

Sally Kohn recently argued, bizarrely, that law as such is not coercive.

This issue of government force is a funny one. You could also argue that the government is forcing you to drive below the speed limit or wear a seatbelt in your car. But it’s not. There isn’t a police officer holding a gun to your head literally forcing you to buckle up. In fact, you are 100 percent free to speed and not wear your seatbelt—and simply deal with the consequences if you’re pulled over. Is the threat of the fine for breaking the law amount to “forcing” you to follow the law? No.

Get that? Unless someone is literally holding a gun to your head at this very moment, you’re not being coerced. Don Corleone would be glad to hear it. After all, he didn’t coerce anyone. He just made a suggestion that you’ve got a nice place here, and it would be a shame if something were to happen to it.

[Read the full text here, at The Federalist]

I forgot to pay a speeding ticket once. I’m pretty sure if I had persisted, the “consequences” would have involved handcuffs and the inside of a jail cell. And the guys who put me there would have been armed with guns. So I paid it.



This is a pattern I’ve seen over and over again, everywhere, for as long as I can remember: the party of coercion hasn’t thought much about coercion.

Government force is the left’s entire agenda. They want to expand Social Security, seize more wealth from taxpayers, force traditional Christians to cooperate with gay weddings, license beauticians, and impose vast regulations on every aspect of the economy with the goal of controlling the weather 100 years from now.

It is a program of coercion on a vast scale, encompassing matters great and trivial. Yet if you quiz them about the nature and justification of government force, they profess confusion: “The issue of government force is a funny one.”

Many year ago, I was helping to run a college club for Objectivists—fans of the arch-capitalist author Ayn Rand—and we had the idea of co-sponsoring a capitalism-versus-socialism debate with the Democratic Socialists. In the middle of the event, one of the debaters we brought in on our side made a direct challenge to the socialists: aren’t you in favor of force? The socialist debaters just skittered away and evaded it, finally mumbling something about how, when a policy is decided democratically, it doesn’t really matter how it is implemented. And these weren’t just cranks brought in off the street. They were professors at well-regarded universities, and one of them has gone on to some prominence.

This is how it always seems to work. Read the rest of this entry »

Kevin D. Williamson: ‘Today’s discussion suggests that some people have forgotten how government works. Here’s a quick explanation’


Kevin Williamson via Twitter

[VIDEO] Meet the Department of the Internet! We’ll be Handling the Internet You Love, but at the Speed of Government

Hong Kong Leader Singles Out College Magazine For Helping Cause ‘Anarchy’


This is not the first time that HKU, among the city’s most prestigious universities, has come under fire from the Hong Kong government and Beijing since the outbreak of student-led protests in September, which followed a decree from Beijing that Hong Kong should elect its leader from a handful of pre-screened candidates.

Isabella Steger reports: A relatively unknown student magazine at the University of Hong Kong may get a surge in readership after Hong Kong’s leader made a reference to the publication, warning that support for ideas it propagates could lead to “anarchy” in the city.

In his annual policy speech, Leung Chun-ying kicked off his address with a series of stern warnings against further attempts by Hong Kong people to challenge Beijing’s authority on the issue of constitutional reform. He specifically named ideas advocating self-determination for Hong Kong published in Undergrad, a monthly Chinese-language magazine published by HKU’s student union.

“The protest showed Beijing that Hong Kong people were not loyal so Beijing ratcheted up interference in Hong Kong, but it also catalyzed a new wave of native ideology.”

— From the article in Undergrad

Saying that Hong Kong problems should be solved by Hong Kong people “violates the constitution,” said Mr. Leung, warning that such slogans could help throw the city into anarchy.

“Regardless of the likelihood of Hong Kong independence…we must fight to the end for the freedom to at least talk about it.”

— Keyvin Wong, a former assistant editor in chief of Undergrad

Under the One Country, Two Systems framework, Hong Kong is supposed to have a high degree of autonomy, but many in the city fear growing encroachment from Beijing. Mr. Leung said Hong Kong’s autonomy is not absolute.

Joshua Wong, the 18 year-old leader of another student protest group Scholarism, called Mr. Leung’s reference to the magazine “stupid” because it will only serve to boost interest in the publication.

This is not the first time that HKU, among the city’s most prestigious universities, has come under fire from the Hong Kong government and Beijing since the outbreak of student-led protests in September, which followed a decree from Beijing that Hong Kong should elect its leader from a handful of pre-screened candidates. Read the rest of this entry »

Quotes: PJ & JFK Sandwich



Washington D.C.’s December 2014 Seinfeld Moment: ‘A Show About Nothing’


The Washington Post

Global Panic of July 2014: Friday News Dump


Friday Web Briefing

A decision in the lawsuit that could end Obamacare is due any day now –  Ramesh Ponnuru

The Crisis on the Border – No one who wants to help has authority, and no one with authority is helping Peggy Noonan

How we talk about politics is infecting how we talk about culture – Alyssa Rosenberg

Google’s Larry Page: “I Think the Government’s Likely to Collapse Under Its Own Weight.” – 

Digression of the day: Dueling wisecracks with Wilkerson and Rothman

“…as a Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) would have difficulty corralling a majority out of ‘a base split between a faction hunkering down in the 1980s and one fleeing for the 1890s.’”

Bloomberg View columnist Francis Wilkinson

“This is a slick observation for one presumably supportive of the party that backs 20th Century models of unionized labor, is bitterly opposed to the private sector technological advances that have made the U.S. the largest oil and natural gas producer on earth in just four years, and remains resentful of modern automated wonders like ATMs. But I digress…”

Hot Air’s Noah Rothman

Is the campus rape crisis overblown? – Responsible people are asking. By Eleanor Clift

Reason TV’s Best Health Care Videos – Remember health care?

When Irreplaceable History Lives on Obsolete Tech –  Good piece on shifting storage media- Popular Mechanics

Hey, Where’s My Corporate Dystopia? – Great item from National Review‘s Kevin D. Williams. It’s from March, 2013, but as funny and insightful in the global panic of July 2014 as it was in relatively less apocalyptic 2013.

Liberals go to the barricades to defend crony capitalism  – An ugly paradox, but Timothy Carney makes a good case.

Three reasons to impeach President Obama – Playing the opposite game, in a deadly-funny humor piece. A cautionary tale by David Freddoso


Good News: The Obama Doctrine of ‘National Decline as a Policy Goal’ is Succeeding


Perceived Widespread Corruption in U.S. Government on the Rise, Americans Less Satisfied With Freedom

WASHINGTON, D.C. — For Gallup.comJon Clifton reports: Fewer Americans are satisfied with the freedom to choose what they do with their lives compared with seven years ago — dropping 12 percentage points from 91% in 2006 to 79% in 2013. In that same period, the percentage of Americans dissatisfied with the freedom to choose what they do with their lives more than doubled, from 9% to 21%.


Gallup asks people in more than 120 countries each year whether they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the freedom to choose what they do with their lives. In 2006, the U.S. ranked among the highest in the world for people reporting satisfaction with their level of freedom. After seven years and a 12-point decline, the U.S. no longer makes the top quartile worldwide.


Of the countries where Gallup asked residents about satisfaction with their freedom in 2006 and 2013 (108 in total), only 10 countries had declines as large or larger than the decrease seen in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

Michelle Obama: ‘Theres No Crack in Our Pies’


Obama Jokes White House Pastry Chef Puts Crack in His Pies


Obama Jokes White House Pastry Chef Puts Crack In His Pies


There Is No Crack in White House Pies


EPA Employees Told to Stop Pooping in the Hallway

There is a big difference between the above image and a hallway. PhotoXpress

There is a big difference between the above image and a hallway. PhotoXpress

For GovExec.comEric Katz writes: Environmental Protection Agency workers have done some odd things recently.

Contractors built secret man caves in an EPA warehouse, an employee pretended to work for the CIA to get unlimited vacations and one worker even spent most of his time on the clock looking at pornography.

“Management is taking this situation very seriously and will take whatever actions are necessary to identify and prosecute these individuals.”

It appears, however, that a regional office has reached a new low: Management for Region 8 in Denver, Colo., wrote an email earlier this year to all staff in the area pleading with them to stop inappropriate bathroom behavior, including defecating in the hallway.

“EPA cannot comment on ongoing personnel matters…”

In the email, obtained by Government Executive, Deputy Regional Administrator Howard Cantor mentioned “several incidents” in the building, including clogging the toilets with paper towels and “an individual placing feces in the hallway” outside the restroom. Read the rest of this entry »

Anti-Establishment Parties Control Nearly One-Third of the European Parliament

[VIDEO] The Hammer: VA Mismanagement Evidence of Big Government’s Failures

“It can’t even run a decades-old, normal, absolutely mundane health-care system that are run everywhere in the world between here and Togo…”

Democratic outrage over the fatal mismanagement at the Department of Veterans Affairs is the “precisely the paradox” of the failures of an expansive government that they advocate for, Charles Krauthammer noted on Wednesday’s Special Report. The allegations that the widespread malpractice led to several deaths in facilities nationwide is proof of the perils and limitations of a large bureaucratic, centralized system.

“The idea that this is government that’s going to do great new things — universal pre-school, and all of these wonderful promises — is totally dissolved and it redounds against the party of government.”

Unlike past scandals that Democrats have dismissed as manufactured Republican hysteria, Krauthammer said Democrats cannot simply ignore this problem…(read more)

National Review Online



500 days left… 

1,000th flight

Drudge Report

Thank you Vox for explaining …

Stevens: Fix Second Amendment to Remove “Any Limits” on Government Power

“…I think that’s what should be the rule, that it should be legislatures rather than judges who draw the line on what is permissible.”

For National Review OnlineTim Cavanaugh writes: Retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens supports gutting the Second Amendment in order to remove any limit on government infringements on the right of self-defense.

In his new book Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution, Stevens — who generally favored maximum government power during his 35-year tenure on the high court — proposes, among other things, changing the language of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution so that the amendment would read, “ . . . the right of the people to keep and bear arms [when serving in the militia] shall not be infringed.”

[Order Justice John Paul Stevens’s book Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution from Amazon]

Read the rest of this entry »

OOPS! TIME magazine, Feb 25th 2014


Powerline‘s  Steven Hayward has an item you won’t want to miss. It begins with this question:

How come, people are asking, our vaunted intelligence establishment didn’t foresee Putin’s aggression against the Ukraine? 

Memo to MSNBC: ‘The ’80s Called, They Want Their Map Back’

MSNBC Map of Ukraine Features Czechoslovakia


It’s not just CNN that’s struggling with broadcast disasters [see here] MSNBC is having trouble correctly identifying countries on a map. When defending and promoting the president, they’re in top form. But when forced by international events to set aside their priorities and cover the news, it’s amateur hour.

Noonan’s Blog: ‘Our Decadent Elites’


Peggy Noonan writes:  Watching Season 2 of “House of Cards.” Not to be a scold or humorless, but do Washington politicians understand how they make themselves look when they embrace the show and become part of its promotion by spouting its famous lines?

“America sees Washington as the capital of vacant, empty souls, chattering among the pillars…”

Congressmen only work three days a week. Each shot must have taken two hours or so—the setup, the crew, the rehearsal, the learning the line. How do they have time for that? Why do they think it’s good for them?


House of Cards” very famously does nothing to enhance Washington’s reputation. It reinforces the idea that the capital has no room for clean people. The earnest, the diligent, the idealistic, they have no place there. Why would powerful members of Congress align themselves with this message? Why do they become part of it? I guess they think they’re showing they’re in on the joke and hip to the culture. I guess they think they’re impressing people with their surprising groovelocity.


Or maybe they’re just stupid.

But it’s all vaguely decadent, no? Or maybe not vaguely. America sees Washington as the capital of vacant, empty souls, chattering among the pillars. Suggesting this perception is valid is helpful in what way?

Read the rest of this entry »

The Mirage of Social Justice


[Check out The Road to Serfdom: Text and Documents–The Definitive Edition (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek, Volume 2) at Amazon]

[VIDEO] Time-lapse: Snow Covering Washington, D.C.

The biggest snowstorm of the year hit Washington Wednesday night, closing the federal government on Thursday.

Read the story here

The New York Times – YouTube

Legitimacy Problems: What it Looks Like

In U.S., 65% Dissatisfied With How Government System Works


Justin McCarthy  reports:  Sixty-five percent of Americans are dissatisfied with the nation’s system of government and how well it works, the highest percentage in Gallup’s trend since 2001. Dissatisfaction is up five points since last year, and has edged above the previous high from 2012 (64%).

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 13: In this handout from the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama talks on the phone while in the Oval Office with British Prime Minister David Cameron on February 13, 2012 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

(Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

Read the rest of this entry »

2013 Exposes Media’s Love of Activist Government Over Effective Government

CapitolNoah Rothman writes:  In early December, a year-end review of congressional productivity in 2013 uncovered a bleak truth: The 113th Congress is on pace to be one of the least productive national legislatures in American history.

The news spread across the media landscape like a brushfire with the commentariat entering a race to outdo one another in their disproportionate displays of revulsion over congressional inactivity. Few posited an objective reason for why having a relatively lethargic Congress was so terrible. Many in the press presented this revelation as self-evidently regrettable, feeling no pressure to justify this impression.

In fact, this prejudice within much of the establishment political press to welcome activist government for its own sake has characterized virtually every contentious issue that was publicly litigated over the course of 2013. From New Year’s Day until today, the political media has been pressing, agitating for the Congress to do “something” -– often for its own sake. The efficacy of that something was, in most cases, deemed irrelevant if only by virtue of how rarely the press even discussed the value of those various somethings.

Read the rest of this entry »

Barack Obama’s Tardy Epiphanies


WASHINGTON — George F. Will writes:  The education of Barack Obama is a protracted process as he repeatedly alights upon the obvious with a sense of original discovery. In a recent MSNBC interview, he restocked his pantry of excuses for his disappointing results, announcing that “we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly”:

“We’ve got, for example, 16 different agencies that have some responsibility to help businesses, large and small, in all kinds of ways, whether it’s helping to finance them, helping them to export. … So, we’ve proposed, let’s consolidate a bunch of that stuff. The challenge we’ve got is that that requires a law to pass. And, frankly, there are a lot of members of Congress who are chairmen of a particular committee. And they don’t want necessarily consolidations where they would lose jurisdiction over certain aspects of certain policies.”

The dawn is coming up like thunder as Obama notices the sociology of government. He shows no sign, however, of drawing appropriate lessons from it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Poll: Americans Want to Go Back to Previous Health Care System, Disagree With President Obama on Size and Power of Government

 writes:  At a recent event, President Barack Obama said the health care law is here to stay and vowed, “We aren’t going back.” But 55 percent of Americans say they’d prefer to go back to the health care system that was in place before the Affordable Care Act, while 34 percent prefer the current health care system.

The latest Reason-Rupe national telephone poll finds the Affordable Care Act’s troubled launch has made 47 percent of Americans less confident in government’s ability to solve problems. Forty-one percent say the troubles have made no difference and 11 percent say the health care law’s launch has given them more confidence in the government.

“This is the most transparent administration in history,” President Obama has declared. However, 57 percent of Americans tell Reason-Rupe that the Obama administration is not the most transparent administration in history, while 37 percent agree with the president’s statement.

A majority of Americans, 52 percent, say they disagree with President Obama’s views about the proper size and power of government, while 38 percent agree with the president.      Read the rest of this entry »

[VIDEO] Will: Obama is Discovering How Slow Big Government Is

I watched this on Fox this morning, and knew it would be on the web within hours. It’s a classic George Will moment. 

George Will gently mocked President Obama’s continuing education Sunday morning, needling him for discovering that some federal agencies are “outdated.”

“The education of this president is a protracted and often amusing process. . .as he continues to alight upon the obvious with a sense of profound and original discovery,” Will said.

“The president is saying ‘the trouble with big government is it’s so darn big.’ And like a lot of other big organisms—dinosaurs spring to mind—it has a simple nervous system, it’s sclerotic, it’s governed by inertia, and it’s hard to move,” he said. “This from a man who’s devoted his life to increasing the power of government as an instrument of the redistribution of income because government is wiser than markets at that.”

National Review Online

The ObamaCare Buck Finally Stops

President Obama says blame the government, not President Obama

President Obama has found someone to blame for the Affordable Care Act’s rolling failures besides Republicans. ObamaCare is the government’s fault, not his.

On Thursday, Mr. Obama dropped by American University for a heart to heart with Chris Matthews, and the MSNBC host wondered who in the executive branch is responsible for the botched health-care rollout. Mr. Obama listed a few impersonal culprits including “cynicism,” “Washington gridlock” and “the management of government,” but he then drifted into another classic.

“The challenge, I think, that we have going forward is not so much my personal management style or particular issues around White House organization,” he said. “It actually has to do with what I referred to earlier, which is we have these big agencies, some of which are outdated, some of which are not designed properly. . . . The White House is just a tiny part of what is a huge, widespread organization with increasingly complex tasks in a complex world.”

So after five years, Mr. Obama has discovered government is inefficient and wasteful, or at least it is when he needs a political alibi.

Built-in incompetence and bureaucratic inertia are two of the reasons that some of us opposed handing the feds power over, oh, say, one-seventh of the economy. But there’s a special irony here for Mr. Obama, given that the cardinal political project of his Presidency is to rehabilitate the public’s confidence in large activist government.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Am an Anarcho-Capitalist

LewRockwell2011Llewellyn H. Rockwell writes: A great many people – more than ever, probably – describe themselves as supporters of the free market today, in spite of the unrelenting propaganda against it. And that’s great. Those statements of support, however, are followed by the inevitable but: but we need government to provide physical security and dispute resolution, the most critical services of all.

Almost without a thought, people who otherwise support the market want to assign to government the production of the most important goods and services. Many favor a government or government-delegated monopoly on the production of money, and all support a government monopoly on the production of law and protection services.

This isn’t to say these folks are stupid or doltish. Nearly all of us passed through a limited-government – or “minarchist” – period, and it simply never occurred to us to examine our premises closely.state-vs-market-graphic

To begin with, a few basic economic principles ought to give us pause before we assume government activity is advisable:

  • Monopolies (of which government itself is a prime example) lead to higher prices and poorer service over time.
  • The free market’s price system is constantly directing resources into such a pattern that the desires of the consumers are served in a least-cost way in terms of opportunities foregone.
  • Government, by contrast, cannot be “run like a business,” as Ludwig von Mises explained in Bureaucracy. Without the profit-and-loss test, by which society ratifies allocation decisions, a government agency has no idea what to produce, in what quantities, in what location, using what methods. Their every decision is arbitrary, in a way directly analogous to the problem facing the socialist planning board (as Mises also discussed, this time in his famous essay “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth“).

In other words, when it comes to government provision of anything, we have good reason to expect poor quality, high prices, and arbitrary and wasteful resource allocation.

Read the rest of this entry »

Romney’s Uncanny Predictions About Obama’s Second Term Make Him Look Like He Had Psychic Superpowers

Michael Miller writes: Prior to the 2012 election, Mitt Romney spoke hundreds – if not thousands – of times about America under an Obama second term. He made predictions. He warned us. He was lambasted by the “mainstream” media. There’s just one problem. Mitt Romney was right. Uncannily so.

Independent Journal Review

Killing Obamacare: There’s No Time to Waste


Jay Cost writes:  The recent government shutdown illustrated a lot of political truths. For starters, people are unhappy when the government is shut down, and they naturally tend to blame the party of less government. The media instinctively help them conclude that the Republicans are at fault.

But the shutdown also illustrated just how unprepared the Republican party is to deal with the threat of Obamacare. Even though the law is unpopular, Republicans failed to convince the country of how great a threat it poses to the public good. Poll after poll shows that only a minority thinks the law will make them worse off, despite growing evidence that Obamacare’s side effects are serious and far-reaching. “Shutdown theater” did nothing to alter that attitude, which reflects poorly on the Tea Party backbenchers who wanted this fight and the leaders who prosecuted it. And now it appears House Republicans intend to deemphasize Obamacare and focus again on cutting traditional spending.

This is a mistake. The fight against Obamacare cannot be pushed to the sidelines. If the shutdown failed to notch any victory against it, then conservative leaders need to rethink their tactics and try something different. The easiest path to victory against the law, at first glance, is to win total control of the government in the 2016 elections. But a closer look at the law, especially in historical context, indicates grave risks associated with that approach: Obamacare may do much damage by that point, and it may be substantially more difficult to undo four years down the road…

More via The Weekly Standard

The Transformation of the USA: Introducing America 3.0



The recent political deadlock and government shutdown, and the disastrous rollout of ObamaCare, show that something is seriously wrong in Washington, D.C.

What’s going on?

America is going through a transformation, on a scale that few people now realize. The last such fundamental change was from the rural and agrarian society of the Founding era (America 1.0) to the urban and industrial society which is now coming to an end (America 2.0).

That transition was disruptive and painful, but ultimately led to a better America.

We are now making a similar transition to a post-industrial, networked, decentralized, immensely productive America, with a more individualistic, voluntarist, anti-bureaucratic culture (America 3.0).

Today’s political regime is like legacy software, built for an earlier world.



Institutions of the 20th Century welfare state that once looked permanent are crumbling. The old operating system has been kludged so many times it won’t work much longer. It has to be replaced.

The time-worn liberal-progressive wisdom is simple: See a problem, create a government program to fix it.

ObamaCare proves this approach no longer works.

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Another Internet Privacy Company Ends Service To Avoid Government Surveillance


 writes:  Remember Lavabit and Silent Circle, the encrypted email providers that closed their doors because they faced government pressure to enable government snooping on their customers (Silent Circle still offers other privacy CryptoSealservices)? Well, you can addCryptoSeal to the mix. The company has ended its CryptoSeal Privacy virtual private network (VPN) service (it still offers enterprise-lever services), which was advertised as “keeps prying eyes off of your internet usage while you’re at home, in a coffee shop or even another country,” also over concerns about the legal environment and government snooping.

According to a note on the CryptoSeal site:

With immediate effect as of this notice, CryptoSeal Privacy, our consumer VPN service, is terminated.  All cryptographic keys used in the operation of the service have been zerofilled, and while no logs were produced (by design) during operation of the service, all records created incidental to the operation of the service have been deleted to the best of our ability.

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How Many College Students Know the Government Shutdown is Over?