Tag: Culture

Self Censorship »

One by-product of the Paris terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo was an outpouring of support for freedom of speech. While there was general agreement that the magazine’s content has been, beyond a doubt, offensive to some (and not only Muslims), almost everyone agreed that freedom of speech is a fundamental right that should be...
Read More »

Agonizing over Sports Teams’ Mascot Names »

I have written several columns on current controversies involving the apparent offensiveness of the Washington Redskins’ nickname, the most recent of which was published by the Washington Times. A later contribution to the same debate, by Hayley Manugia at FiveThirtyEight, finds 2,128 such American monikers, all of which should be equally offensive to people...
Read More »

Love Liberty? Learn to Argue. »

After spending Thanksgiving with my family, a group consisting of one liberal democrat, one moderate, one libertarian, and one “Rush Limbaugh” conservative, I had the chance to think about how people argue when they disagree. (To answer your question, yes, our dinner conversations are always interesting and contentious at some point, and no, I...
Read More »

Interstellar Liberty and the Foibles of Progressivism »

Spoiler Alert: This blog post may contain clues to key plot points in the 2014 film Interstellar. One of the cornerstones of progressive political thought is that experts should be put in charge of public policy, using “scientific” management and “evidence-based” policy analysis to determine and implement social policy. Few areas of policy have...
Read More »

Small Business Suffers: The Riots, Past and Present »

Several years ago, I wrote an article for The Independent Review on the urban riots of the 1960s (and the Rodney King riot of 1992). Watching the events unfold in Ferguson, it seems those in charge of riot control learned nothing. Once again, the victims were small business owners—many of them African Americans (as...
Read More »

Obama’s Undisciplined School Discipline Reforms »

Keeping kids safe at school should go hand in hand with ensuring high-quality academics. The U.S. Department of Education’s record on both fronts has been poor at best. During the No Child Left Behind era of George W. Bush, parents were supposed to have an Unsafe School Choice Option. Partisan politics and perverse incentives...
Read More »

Individualizing Justice in The Equalizer »

As a libertarian, I often enter a theater to watch an action movie like The Equalizer with a bit of trepidation. Inevitably, the story depends on the destruction of human life as a plot driver. In many cases, particularly those with martial arts or superhero roots (think Ninja Assassin or Wolverine), the story depends...
Read More »

Jameis Winston . . . Again? »

If you’re even a little bit of a sports fan, you probably know that Florida State University’s quarterback, Jameis Winston, has been suspended from the first half of the FSU-Clemson game for standing on a table in the student union and shouting out obscenities. As good as he’s been on the field, Jameis has...
Read More »

Classifying America: Government’s Power to Define Is the Power to Discriminate »

In one of the most famous phrases uttered by a Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart defended his ruling in an obscenity case (1964) by refusing to offer a clear definition. Instead, he stated: “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could...
Read More »

The War on Poverty and the War on Drugs »

As an apparently war-minded people, Americans (or at least, our American political leaders) have been comfortable framing parts of the domestic policy agenda as wars for decades. Two of the most prominent have been the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. Despite the similarity in their names, there is an important difference...
Read More »