Archive for January, 2012

U.S. Employment Woes Continue Despite Small Recent Improvements »

After the headline rate of unemployment (U-3) reached 8.5 percent in December 2011 ( the most recent month reported), some commentators began to talk as if the employment situation is now improving rapidly. Some have gone on to suggest that those of us who have emphasized the role of regime uncertainty in retarding the...
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We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Evidence »

I posted earlier about the provisions of the New Years Eve-signed National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) a/k/a the “Homeland Battlefield Bill,” allowing the President of the U.S., at his or her sole discretion, to order the indefinite detention of any U.S. citizen, with no burden of proof whatsoever, and no recourse for the detainee—in...
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SOPA and Questioning Intellectual Property »

Hollywood, the big recording companies, and the rest of the old entertainment industry have strongly supported the Stop Online Piracy Act and its companion, the Protect IP Act. These bills, sponsored by big-government Democrats like Chuck Schumer, pose unprecedented threats to online liberty. If there is one free frontier remaining in modern life, it...
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The War on Drugs Is “The New Jim Crow” »

Here is some reading to celebrate Martin Luther King Day: Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. I confess up front I have not read the book. I’ve just read some things about it. Here is a short write-up from the author’s interview on NPR. The book...
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Where Should the Burden of Proof Rest? »

Perhaps you have been struck, as I have been repeatedly over the years, by the way in which certain disputes are framed. A writer, reporter, or discussant recognizes a difference of views on some matter: A maintains X, and B maintains Y. Yet, even though a difference is acknowledged, the question is resolved by...
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Take or Pay at the EPA »

A story by Matthew Wald in the New York Times on January 9th demonstrates the poverty of governmental attempts to pick “winners” in the realm of green technologies, the wasteful subsidy programs supporting that policy goal and the huge costs for the private sector of being unable to march to Washington’s tune. Among its...
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The Temptation of Bernanke: How Historical Memory Feeds Fed Power »

[*UPDATE: Fed Joked About Housing Crash in 2006! Here is a good interview from PBS] “Tyranny is the exercise of power beyond right.” “Wherever law ends, tyranny begins.” —John Locke, Second Treatise of Civil Government “The historian is . . . one step nearer to direct power over public opinion than is the theorist.” —Friedrich A. von...
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Secular Theocracy: The Foundations and Folly of Modern Tyranny, Part 2 »

We live in a secularized world of nation states in which traditional religion, especially Christianity, is unwelcome. Rooted in the “Enlightenment,” this view supports a secularized and authoritarian public square enforced by government and that progress requires forcing religion ever backward into remote corners of society. In short, America has become a secular theocracy...
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Don’t Fear Iranian Nukes »

In his speech after the Iowa caucuses, Newt Gingrich warned that “an Iranian nuclear weapon is one of the most frightening things we have to confront.” He was criticizing the non-interventionist views of Ron Paul, but beyond the presidential campaign, we seem to have this bundle of assumptions overtaking the media and most political...
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Every Single Day, Every Word You Say, I’ll Be Watching You »

The Department of Homeland Security has declared its intention to gather personal data on journalists or others who might use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.” I suppose that would include those of us at the Independent Institute who blog, tweet, and update Facebook. New...
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