"There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters." Daniel Webster

Sunday, November 30, 2008

One-Man Military-Industrial Complex

Wow, a retired general is also a war profiteer.

It's amazing that so many self-proclaimed libertarians and conservatives still fall for the crisis-mongering of the defense establishment. They don't give them the same sort of scrutiny they would other who urge massive spending programs and government interventions. Maybe stories like this will make them more skeptical. Nah.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Real Thanksgiving Story

Courtesy of Marginal Revolution, the lessons that prompted that first Thanksgiving.

Working on Thanksgiving

It seemed that every time I got in my car today at least one radio station was playing "Alice's Restaurant."

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scrap E-Verify

That's the recommendation of the Cato Institute.

Monday, November 24, 2008

This Was a Guy Glenn Reynolds Considered a Genius

Ouch. But I guess supporting a an unnecessary war is all that is required to earn that designation. Didn't Reynolds also help promote Ann Althouse?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I'm Tempted to Say "Hah, Hah!"

But I won't. Megan McArdle say word it that Barack Obama won't name Austin Goolsbee chairman of his Council of Economic Advisers. They want, instead, a woman or a minority in that post.

This has been all-too-typical of Obama's picks so far, ignoring more qualified advisers for people, often with less connection to Obama, that will score them more political points.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Palin is a Great Politician?

Who in the hell stages a photo op like this:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Christmas Cross?

The American Family Association unveils this just in time for Barack Obama's inauguration.

HT: Abu Muqawama

Col. Macgregor's Briefing

Supposedly Col. Douglas A. Macgregor recently gave this briefing to Richard Danzig, former Navy secretary under Bill Clinton and a defense policy advisor to Barack Obama.

Monday, November 17, 2008

We Can Rebuild Her. We Have the Technology

San Francisco artist wants to replace her missing eye with a Web cam.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Barack Obama Collects Comics

OK, I knew Barack Obama was a big Star Trek fan, and in interviews he has shown a much greater knowledge of 1970s and 1980s TV shows than your typical presidential candidate.
But now comes word that he not only reads comics, he's even got the mylar bags and acid-free boxes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

New York Times Talks to Ron Paul

Paul answers questions sent in by readers of its Freakonmics blog.

A sample

Q: What would your plans for economic stimulation look like during this slumping economy?
A: Let’s start with what I wouldn’t do, which is make the problem worse. We can not solve our problems with what we’ve been doing — borrowing money from overseas and creating money and credit out of thin air. Distorting interest rates and inflating the monetary supply sometimes provides short-term relief, but it will only make the pain worse in the long run.
During the presidential campaign, I released the following four-point plan, and would stick by it while at the same time listening to experts for advice on how to improve it:
The Four-Point Plan
1) Tax Reform: Reduce the tax burden and eliminate taxes that punish investment and savings, including job-killing corporate taxes.
2) Spending Reform: Eliminate wasteful spending. Reduce overseas commitments. Freeze all non-defense, non-entitlement spending at current levels.
3) Monetary Policy Reform: Expand openness at the Federal Reserve and require the Fed to televise its meetings. Return value to our money.
4) Regulatory Reform: Repeal Sarbanes-Oxley regulations that push companies to seek capital outside of U.S. markets. Stop restricting community banks from fostering local economic growth.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Country Music Association Awards

I read today that with his win last night, Kenny Chesney tied Garth Brooks for the most wins as CMA entertainer of the year.

Think about that. The most honored performer in the group's 42-year history is not Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Buck Owens, Hank Williams Jr., Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson or Tammy Wynette.

It's not even Conway Twitty, John Denver, George Strait or Olivia Newton-John.

It's Garth and Kenny.

Why don't they just change the name of the awards.

And does Brad Paisley play the same guitar solo in every song?

Securing the Border?

The Cato Institute's blog has a piece on the biometrics program in place at the U.S. border. You probably want be surprised to learn that the benefit of this expensive program isn't quite zero.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Debunking E-Verify

The Cato Institute has some nice links up on its blog debunking some of the propaganda in favor of the federal E-Verify system for checking the employment status of workers.

Writes Jim Harper
E-Verify has been offered up as a panacea for immigration problems, but the cure is worse than the disease. I wrote at length about the regulatory burdens, complexities, and principled reasons to oppose electronic employment verification on principle in a paper called “Franz Kafka’s Solution to Illegal Immigration.”

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Upside Down Flags

They are a well-known signal of distress. Back during the Clinton administration, right-wingers such as Alan Keyes and some gun rights types were calling on people to fly their flags upside down to protest the president's policies.

Now, some people seem to be doing it again. But watch how they react when somebody does it to, say, protest crackdowns on illegal immigration. Then it is something unholy. Me? I'm not offended when either side does it. I just think it's silly.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Bush Administration: All Too Typical

At the Danger Room blog, Jason Sigger has a review of Andrew Bacevich's new book, "The Limits of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism."

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Low-Skilled Immigrants

Bryan Caplan has some thoughts on how to mitigate the impact they have on native-born workers with low skills.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Vote with Your Feet

Here's a worthy suggestion from Clark Stooksbury. If any of the people he mentions are interested in making the move, I'll chip in to pay their travel expenses.

Monday, November 3, 2008

More on Allen Buckley

David Weigel has a nice story on Georgia's Libertarian Senate candidate.

Is Georgia a Swing State

David Weigel seems to think so. And the polls show Barack Obama and John McCain closer than either man probably predicted even a month ago. That's going to depress the vote for Bob Barr, as some decide they can't afford not to vote for McCain.

But Libertarian Senate candidate Allen Buckely is still polling in the high single digits. Democrat Jim Martin doesn't seem likely to break 50 percent, so some voters can send a message to Saxby Chambliss by voting for Buckley, confident that it will simply force Martin and Chambliss into a runoff in four weeks, where they can then vote for Chambliss.