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city planner, city planning, Portland, Oregon, Better Naito, business

How to Ruin a Thoroughfare

Cities require some planning. But the further beyond a certain minimum, the greater the ease with which a central planning authority can be captured — by zealots with more stars in their eyes than brains in their heads. Portland, Oregon, is a case in point. Students from Portland State University






police, violence, Charlottesville, white supremacist, Nazi, protest, counter protest, law and order

Saturday’s Violence

After delivering the final address at the Liberty International World Conference in Puerto Rico, Friday night, I learned that there had been violent clashes between white nationalists and counter-demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia. A dozen people required medical treatment after being sprayed with mace. Then, after traveling to the airport with






Google, memo, sexism, discrimination, responsibility, guilt, justice, crime

Excepting Responsibility

Responsibility: demand it of others, expect it demanded of you. So you might think that those who try to redress old grievances with compensatory (“reverse”) discrimination would be a bit more careful. Yesterday I wrote about the bizarre Google Memo case, wherein an employee was fired for (basically) warning of






California, Jerry Brown, law, balloon, metallic, criminal liability

Decriminalizing Balloon Release

I’m sure I disagree with most of the policies California Governor Jerry Brown seeks to propose and impose. But let’s give credit where credit is due. He’s right that people should not be treated like criminals when in a burst of celebratory excess they commit the sin of unleashing helium






education, free trade zone, Shenzhen, Chicago, Detroit, regulations, reform

SEZ Ed

The great barrier to educational advance in our time is the federal government. The second great barrier? Your state government. The third great barrier? Your local government. Proposals to break up government-subsidized and -enforced school monopolies have ranged from tax credit proposals and voucher programs to charter schools and (the






Seattle, distracted driving, texting, overreach, government, freedom, eating, drinking, liberty

The Minimal Use of a Finger

Drivers in Washington State have a new law to . . . swerve from? “New distracted driving law starts Sunday, July 23,” the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) tweeted last week. “The law forbids,” Washingtonians were told,  “virtually all use of handheld gadgets such as phones, tablets, laptop computers






schools, education, students, standards, suspension, punishment, discipline

Only Make Believe

Problems can be solved. But for those lacking the merest clue how to solve a given problem . . . alternatives exist. Books can be cooked to pretend the problem no longer exists. And perhaps to fool others. A series of articles in the Washington Post highlights the effort to






TulsiGabbard, Democrat, Syria, arms, rebels, war, Obama, Trump, Russia

Syria & Sanity

President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert* program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of Bashar al-Assad,” the Washington Post first reported last week, immediately adding that it was “a move long sought by Russia.” This insinuation that the policy change was simply a






Tom Woods, Contra Krugman, podcast, healthcare, welfare,

According to Economics

“Everywhere you look, economics is despised,” writes Tom Woods in his Tuesday email letter. You know what isn’t despised? A daily email letter.* But I digress; back to economics. “The gimme-free-stuff people hate it because they don’t like being told that there might be undesirable side effects from seizing other






healthcare, Obamacare, Trumpcare, Affordable Care Act, pre-existing condition

According to Logic

“Polling on every possible option confounds all logic,” or so writes Tiana Lowe about ObamaCare and its repeal, at National Review. “Americans overwhelmingly dislike the individual mandate and prioritize lowering the cost of health care over all other health problems in the country,” Ms. Lowe elaborates, “but a majority of






Jeff Sessions, AG, Attorney General, asset forfeiture, civil, Trump

The Police State Is in Sessions

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatens to make himself one of the biggest threats to your liberty.* President Donald Trump’s pick for Attorney General just promised to encourage police departments to seize the personal property (cars, houses, cash) of criminal suspects. The practice is called asset forfeiture. It comes in






Obamacare, healthcare, single payer, Ryancare, Trumpcare, government, Affordable Care Act

The Worst Is the Enemy of the Cure

You’ve heard the adage: “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” This can be true in politics, where opposing an ameliorating reform because it is not ideal means, sometimes, getting stuck with unmitigated policy disasters. But there’s a corollary: in politics the worst is likely to emerge . .






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