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Amazon, monopoly, trusts, antitrust, trade, free trade, big business, economic myths

Serving Consumers? Punish!

New media ballyhooer Douglas Rushkoff made waves this week. Citing an un-named friend who went hysterical about Amazon.com’s purchase of Whole Foods, he asserted that such “unease is widespread, and has raised new calls for breaking up Jeff Bezos’s impending monopoly by force.”* The company has “surely,” he claimed, “reached






nanny state, too much government, books, authentication, California, busybody, Brian Doherty’s Radicals for Capitalism, Jerry Brown

Signature Nonsense

Did anyone really need this? Last year, California’s Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill No. 1570, which concerns collectibles, particularly signed-by-author or artist books. But it doesn’t mention books, and is confusingly written. What a mess. Who asked for it? It certainly wasn’t the struggling booksellers who have






milk, Institute for Justice, regulations, Ocheesee Creamery, Department of Agriculture, too much government

Legal Not to Lie About Your Milk

Mary Lou Wesselhoeft doesn’t have to lie about the milk she’s selling. The Florida Department of Agriculture has lost in court. Mary Lou has won. Ocheesee Creamery sells pasteurized milk without any additives. One of her products is skim milk. Ocheesee sells skim milk without vitamin additives, which is perfectly






Oregon, housing, rent control, urban, planning, low income, land, property rights

Housing Horror

Housing in Oregon’s north-central urban region is becoming more and more like San Francisco’s — out of the budgetary reach of huge swaths of average workers. “The median rental household can’t comfortably afford a two-bedroom apartment in 28 of Oregon’s 36 counties,” Elliot Njus writes for The Oregonian. But it is worst in






Seattle , soda tax, nanny state, tax, socialist, social engineering

Sin, Soda and Say

Government policy in Seattle, Washington, is being driven by an outright socialist on the city council. The mayor, apparently starving for attention, proposed a goofy new sin tax last year. Now, writes Reason’s Baylen Linnekin, “Seattle lawmakers are expected to vote early next week on a citywide soda tax that






Great Britain, Tory, Prime Minister, PM, censorship, terrorism, internet, web

Another Push for Censorship

It’s almost as if politicians are hell-bent on expanding government at the expense of our freedoms . . . and grandstanding to ‘look like they are doing something.’ The two proclivities are not unrelated. Take Theresa May, Great Britain’s Tory Prime Minister. After yet another terrorist attack in her country,






Ohio, initiative, voting, election, ballot, legislature, democracy, amendment, constitution

Delivering a Double Standard

Former State Representative Matt Lynch got right to the point in his Cleveland Plain Dealer op-ed: “The people’s right to amend the Ohio Constitution through the ballot initiative is under attack.” Created by the Ohio Legislature to consider constitutional amendments, the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission (OCMC) has a hidden purpose:






driver's license, voting, registration, paternalism, nanny state, voters, democracy, choice, freedom

The $659,000 Non-Question

The so-called “Motor Voter” law of 1993 created a national mandate: when people obtain their drivers’ licenses at the Department of Motor Vehicles, ask them if they’d also like to register to vote. The federal mandate is perhaps heavy-handed, but the underlying idea has merit. Now a new idea is






academics, universities, college, paper, The Skeptic, western civilization, racism, sexism, prank, joke

Quanta of Nonsense

Last month, two academics wrote a hoax paper. Their preferred journal didn’t accept it, but did suggest an alternative publication. They sent the paper to the recommended outlet, and it was published. The paper? “The conceptual penis as a social construct.” The Skeptic provided an overview; Professor Gad Saad chortled






minimum wage, closure, restaurant, business, prohibition, wages, pay, Berkeley, San Francisco

Minimum Shock

“Three restaurants vacated the Bay this week, with Berkeley’s Bistro Liaison getting the most attention,” the San Francisco edition of Eater informs us. “It’s a bittersweet exit for the owners, who plan to start new careers.” The week in question was in February. But this was not an isolated event.






New York Times, taxes, tax, libraries, tax cuts, big government, public services, free markets

Ballots & Books

The people of Roseburg, Oregon, aren’t paying enough in taxes. That’s the upshot of Kirk Johnson’s recent New York Times article, “Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease.’” “For generations in America,” readers are informed, “small cities . . . declared their optimism and civic purpose with grand libraries






France, French, election, Macron, Le Pen, democracy, press, freedom, right, left, centrist

French Beacon

“Since the French Revolution,” the New York Times pontificated online, “the nation has often been viewed as a beacon of democratic ideals.” Really? Can a nation of constitutional turnovers — kings and republics and revolutions and foreign occupation — be a beacon? Most often we in America compare our Revolution






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