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Jeff Bezos, Amazon, Seattle, taxes, homeless tax, business

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos Is …

A half a year ago, when trying to make sense of the much-publicized search for Amazon’s “HQ2” — a second headquarters city, away from Seattle — I concentrated on the subsidies that cities and metro areas were apparently throwing at Amazon. It all seemed desperate, indecent. But there was a story

decentralize, centralize, federal and state and county, power, nullification, distributed

A Sanctuary from Centralization

Defiance . . . nullification. It is a trend. I take it as a sign of our contentious times that we now witness states in open rebellion against centralized control from the Imperial City of Washington, D.C., while cities and counties are also rattling the chains set by their respective

Studio System, antitrust, Netflix, Hulu, Amazon

The Studio System: The Sequel

Evermore virtue signaling, everless virtue — that pretty much encapsulates Oscars’ night. The industry that brought us Harvey Weinstein and the occasion for #MeToo made the 90th Academy Awards two months ago unwatchable for most of us. Now, as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences loses touch with

Spencer Byrd, crime, asset forfeiture, police, Chicago, law enforcement, theft, stealing, government

Guilty of Innocence

If you are innocent of a crime, should you be punished as if guilty? Despite no arrest, no trial, no conviction? If you say “Yes,” raise your hand. I see no raised hands among my regular readers. But my readers don’t include the wicked Chicago officials who impounded the automobile

Congress, Facebook, hearings, control, regulations, Mark Zuckerberg, censorship, censor, regulate

That Something You Do

Congress grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, last week, and as usual ended up roasting itself. “Zuckerberg has already experienced the worst punishment of all,” quipped comedian Trevor Noah on The Daily Show. “He had to spend four hours explaining Facebook to senior citizens.” Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, retiring after his

NRA, monolith, March for our Lives, members, gun control, guns

The Myth of the Monoliths

According to organizers of the “March for Our lives,” the National Rifle Association is wholly evil, a corrupter of democracy, a malign presence straight out of Mordor, bent upon murder — a monolithic influence responsible for every mass shooting event. The clearest expression of this is by young David Hogg,

asset forfeiture, corruption, police, traffic, theft, robbery, traffic stop

Thwarting Cops Who Are Robbers

“Carrying cash is not a crime,” Institute for Justice attorney Dan Alban informs us, “yet too often the government treats it like one.” Musician Phil Parhamovich learned that the hard way. He was porting his life savings, almost $92,000 — earmarked for a down payment on a recording studio —

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

Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Supreme Court, civil rights, first amendment

A Cakewalk Case?

The Justices seem split — on the “gay cake” case. A Christian baker had no trouble selling a gay couple a pre-made cake, out of his showcase, but balked at selling a custom wedding cake of any kind. According to NPR’s Nina Totenberg, the couple understood that requesting a “gay”

Standard Oil, monopoly, merger, antitrust, Aetna, CVS Health Corp

What’s the Big Deal?

Big news: in a $69 billion deal, CVS Health Corp. plans to buy Aetna Inc. The AP story by James F. Peltz says the move “would shake up healthcare industry.” Should we worry? Because corporations aren’t cancerous, growth and consolidation are not to be feared as such. But speaking of

Twitter, freedom, social media, bluebird, government, internet, speech

The Owners of Twitter Have Rights

Roger Stone is suing Twitter for kicking him out. Without saying exactly why they booted him, Twitter implies that the reason is abusive language. For his part, Stone accuses the social media giant of targeting right-wing tweeters while letting left-wing tweeters off the hook for the same or worse alleged

Halloween, Southern Poverty Law Center, lynching, doxing, racism, hate speech

The New Ortho-Doxing

“What a nice Halloween,” my wife remarked as we turned out the lights.  Well, not in nearby Oakton, Virginia, where Jamie Stevenson walked past her neighbor’s home last Saturday and saw “a racist display.” “She knew it was a Halloween decoration,” the Washington Post reported. Heedless, she contacted her homeowners

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