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Florida, school, shooter, shooting, mass killing, name, guns, gun control

Killer Inlaudabilis

On the day that Alexander the Great was born, or so the ancients tell us, a man named Herostratus burned down one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus. Why? Just for the infamy. Which is why the Ephesians proscribed mention of the man’s

Tide Pod, foolish, foolhardy, Atlantic, Jonathan Rauch, Benjamin Wittes, vote, voting, Republican, Democrat, threat, GOP

Threat Assessment

Don’t drink transmission fluid. Or perform a swan dive off the Empire State Building. Or munch on a Tide Pod. Be cautious, in other words, of the advice offered in “Boycott the Republican Party,” the Atlantic opinion piece authored by Jonathan Rauch and Benjamin Wittes, both scholars at the Brookings

The Human Freedom Index for 2017, CATO, Fraser Institute, and the Liberales Institut at the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Switzerland, US, United States

Winning Too Much?

“We’re Number 17!!!” This lacks a certain triumphant note. It is nothing like the “We’re Number 1!” the Swiss are now hollering as they pump their arms into the air, waving giant #1 foam fingers against the backdrop of snow-covered Alps. Actually, knowing the Swiss, they are probably a bit

occupational, licensing, permission, unions, protectionism, regulation, license, law

The Winds of Regulation

Among the many goofy occupational licensing laws in these United States, Arizona’s licensing for professional blow-drying services is up there with the silliest.  “Under current law, using a blow-dryer on someone else’s hair, for money, requires more than 1,000 hours of training and an expensive state-issued license,” we learn at Reason. “Blow-drying hair

plastic straws, nanny state, fine, crime, California, freedom

The Last Straw

How much should we fine waiters who destroy our planet? For how long should they go to jail? I don’t know where you would hold such an evildoer after the earth has been destroyed. Or where he’d go when released. But we’re speaking hypothetically. Assume that planet-destroyers can be imprisoned

Twitter, censorship, Germany, Merkel, speech, double standard

Twitter’s Merkel Tactics or Merkel’s Twitter Tactics?

Is Twitter cooperating with Germany’s new crackdown on social-media speech because otherwise it risks steep penalties? Or is Twitter just doing what it would do anyway? When Germany’s new law against unwelcome speech went into effect this year, many Germans protested. “Please spare us the thought police!” was the headline

tax cut, trickle down, supply side, taxes, jobs, employment

Hey, It’s Your Money

I leave it up to you how to spend your own money. You decide, based on your own circumstances and priorities. Oh, you don’t need my permission? Of course not. But some people think that if you spend your own money on your own priorities in accordance with your own

marijuana, constitution, intrastate, rights, legalization, decriminalization

The Ninth and the Tenth of It

When Attorney General Jeff Sessions rescinded the Obama Administration enforcement guidelines regarding the states that have legalized (in their 29 different ways) marijuana, last week, supporters of freedom expressed some worry. But we had to admit, one excuse for Sessions’s nixing of the mostly hands-off policy seemed to make sense

gas, Oregon, freedom, invisible hand, law, pump, control

Beaver State Bliss

The Great State of Oregon is not at DEFCON 1. Nor are Beaver State residents gnashing their teeth over a new law that went into effect earlier this week. News reports proclaimed: “People in Oregon are freaking out about the thought of pumping their own gas under a new law.”

Maine, petition, signatures, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, ranked choice voting

How to Prevent Democracy

Quick — what is the very first thing government should do this year? Maine’s Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap has urgent legislation. And just so you don’t get the wrong idea, “It’s really not a shadow effort to restrict the people’s right to petition their government,” he insists. “That is

Illinois, corruption, exit, vote with your feet, taxes

The Biggest Loser

Government is supposed to serve everybody . . . according to good, old-fashioned republican theory. But most governments serve some more than others. We can define as “corruption” any attempt to make government serve a few at the expense of the many — or the many at the expense of

Amtrak train derailed, Seattle, I-5, infrastructure, Donald Trump

A Good Tragedy Not Wasted

No matter how “not as bad as we feared” President Donald Trump may be appearing, as we close out the year let’s remember why some of us did not trust him in the first place: his knee-jerk reactions are too often witlessly statist. The speeding Amtrak train that derailed over

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