A Motto Worthy of Both Parties

Ron Fournier (National Journal) has a brief but depressing piece on the state of contemporary politics, arguing that “We Don’t Suck as Much!” is the only message either party can deploy as we enter the midterms. The money quote: This is no way to run a country. When both parties in a two-party system measure … Continue reading A Motto Worthy of Both Parties

Persons of Straw

Alright, straw men... I guess I have been an academic for too long. Elizabeth Nolan Brown (Reason) observes that many journalists who write about libertarianism are in the business of constructing straw men. They simply do not feel the slightest need to do the kind of research necessary to make credible statements: Not only do … Continue reading Persons of Straw

All Atheists Are Agnostics, and Most Theists Are Too, So the Term Is Almost Meaningless

This topic is way beyond the official remit of this blog, but what the heck, I'm hoping we'll get some interesting comments on it. I've been trying to grasp the distinction between atheism and agnosticism for some time, and I've come to the conclusion stated in the title of this post. My reasoning follows. Define … Continue reading All Atheists Are Agnostics, and Most Theists Are Too, So the Term Is Almost Meaningless

Putting Economic Inequality in Perspective

Many people are concerned about income and wealth inequality. I am not concerned about economic inequality as such; I care about absolute poverty (how many people live in misery because of wretched physical conditions), and I care about a broad distribution of opportunity (everyone's having a "fair shot" at economic success), but I don't see … Continue reading Putting Economic Inequality in Perspective

Constructing Enemies

There has been no shortage of corporate enemies in the past few years. There appears to be an ongoing search for firms that can be targeted as representing all that is vile, evil and oppressive. There are some good companies out there, to be certain. For example, Ross Douthat (New York Times) describes one company that has … Continue reading Constructing Enemies

America’s License Raj

The "license Raj" is an epithet often used for India's byzantine code of rules and regulations on businesses under the central-planning system finally dismantled in part in the 1990s. The Economist applies the term to the United States, which buries entrepreneurs under layers of federal, state, and local red tape. According to the Competitive Enterprise … Continue reading America’s License Raj

PorcFest Roundup (Updated)

I returned Sunday from the Porcupine Freedom Festival, and here's a selection of PorcFest stories that have come out so far (I will continue updating this post over the next days and weeks - I know New York Times Magazine, Concord Monitor, and The Economist will have stories as well): Union-Leader on the "DIY" theme … Continue reading PorcFest Roundup (Updated)