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Trump, president, inauguration, democracy, election, protest

Don’t Trump the Gun

The 2016 presidential election will go down in history as a doozy. The Trump win was a surprise, even shocking many of his supporters. But the most obvious lesson we learned pertains to the modal Obama-Hillary voter. Well, make that lessons. Plural. Today’s most vocal Democrats don’t seem to understand






Mexico, oil, nationalize, socialism, neoliberalism

Oil’s Bad that Ends Bad

Sometimes socialism seems reasonable. Emphasis on “seems.” Take natural resource socialism. Ores and oil are “just there in the ground” and “belong to everybody.” So it “just makes sense” that “the people” should “own” the mining and drilling and refining industries, and run these operations to share the profits to






David Roland, Freedom Center of Missouri, Girl Scouts, Jennifer

The Man from Freedom

In the Show-Me State, an attorney is showing us government held accountable. He leaves folks inspired about their freedom, wondering . . . who was that masked attorney? Well, no. Against my advice, he won’t wear a mask to court, nor leave behind silver bullets. (He says they’re too expensive.)






Calaveras Big Trees State Park is famous for its hollowed-at- the- trunk Pioneer Cabin Tree, a sequoia

A Tree Fell In a Forest

It’s neither “iconic” nor “ironic.” “Storm fells one of California’s iconic drive-through tunnel trees, carved 137 years ago,” Travis M. Anderson’s title informs us. Calaveras Big Trees State Park is famous for its hollowed-at-the-trunk Pioneer Cabin Tree, a sequoia you have seen in hundreds of photos. It fell, almost certainly,






Obamacare, ACA, Healthcare, reform, replace, policy, insurance

Best Plan Is No Plan

“Republicans would create chaos in the health care system because they are stuck,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer says, “between a rock and a cliché.” Oh. Off by a word or two. But I don’t need to fix it. What needs to be fixed is the whole system. “Head clown”*






chained, West Virginia, poverty, welfare,

Town, County, Stasis

The savvier economists (and intellectuals like Steven Pinker) like to remind us that it is progress that must be explained; poverty is natural. But when you see poverty settle in like an infestation of slime mold, staining a whole modern city or region, you begin to wonder. As Ron Bailey






education, parents, children, Virginia, freedom

Parents in Context

Consider the intersection of freedom and decontextualized fragments. The specific “decontextualized fragments” in question appear in great and not-so-great works of literature, assigned in public schools for young adults to read: a graphic rape scene in Toni Morrison’s Beloved; racial slurs in Huckleberry Finn; sex, violence. “Virginia regulators are drafting






Thomas, Sowell, intellectual, race, Common Sense

The Pattern Here

Thomas Sowell, who retired from his syndicated column last week, may be the greatest public intellectual of our time. Though he is “an original,” an iconoclast, his work is best seen as the carrying on of a tradition. Or two. Consider his most famous research area: race. An African-American, Sowell






terrorism, surveillance, privacy, fingerprint, targeted, illustration

In Plain Sight

The Berlin terrorist attack just a little over a week ago fit a noteworthy pattern. German authorities had investigated Anis Amri — the Tunisian man who drove that large truck into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 and wounding 56 others — and found “links with Islamic extremists.” Later killed






Christmas, Common Sense, American, freedom, Paul Jacob, patriotic, citizen, illustration, Christmas Card

Capturing Christmas

The festival of Hanukkah begins tomorrow at sundown; Christmas is on Sunday. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, a time to spend with family and friends, to appreciate what’s most important in life. And maybe even to forget about politics for a bit. But remember one political or






gun, control, gun control, freedom, Confucius, disarm, defense, Mencken, illustration

The Truth About Gun Control

Confucius said that our first task is to “rectify the language.” That amounts to word control, but we probably should not take that too literally. We cannot “control the language.” Instead, we should take caution: error often rests upon improper word choice. Take as an example not word control, but






pendulum, noose, politics, left, right, change, Republicans, Democrats

Whack the Bob

It’s a truism in politics: the pendulum swings. Now, around the world, we see a deep swing rightward: Brexit, and the collapse of Britain’s Labour Party; Donald Trump, and the routing of the Democrats; German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s turnaround on Muslim refugee acceptance; and, in France, the rise of the






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