It Takes a Nation of Millions to Pass a Law

One thing that’s been circulating in the wake of yesterday’s shooting at a Congressional baseball game is Mo Brooks‘ excellent response to a reporter question about whether being shot at had changed his views on gun control. Not with respect to the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment right to bear arms is to ensure that…

The Defenestration of Reza Aslan

Reza Aslan has been "fired" (technically: not rehired) by CNN over a tweet calling President Trump a "piece of shit" for politicizing the recent islamist terror attacks in London before expressing sympathy for the victims. This piece of shit is not just an embarrassment to America and a stain on the presidency. He’s an embarrassment…

Equal Rights Means Everyone

Eugene Volokh, writing in the Wasington Post, makes most of the right points about the recent decision by the Charlotte Pride Parade to exclude a "Gays for Trump" float. He quotes the organizing committee noting that everyone who applies signs an acknowledgement that final say about whom to include rests with the committee and is…

Boring the Audience into a Frenzy

Whenever I watch a (political) lecture or read a (political) book by Noam Chomsky, I’m always struck by how out of place his rhetorical style seems. Normally you think of charismatic figures as having a really forceful speaking style; Chomsky’s is rambling and dull. The question is begged: do people respond to him because of…

Blowback

Matt Palumbo makes an important point about "blowback" as it relates to Islamic terrorism, but in, I think, the wrong way. The thesis: The "blowback" explanation for Islamist terrorism is masochistic nonsense. And the argument: Why is it that no other group of people "Western imperialism" has harmed has responded in the way that jihadists…

Witness for the Prosecution

Another two weeks go by, another islamist attack in Europe. This time, too, nothing changed. There are lots of vigils, lots of expressions of solidarity, and of course lots of reminders that not all muslims are violent extremists. Theresa May did break rank a bit and call out radical Islamism as an ideology, but this…

Freedom is Slavery

Todd Seavey, ahead of the curve back in 2009 in noticing that Will Wilkinson wasn’t really a libertarian, put it like this: "you have to admit that [Wilkinson’s] shtick is arguing that libertarians ought to accept elements of the welfare state." A socialist could say something similar about Freddie DeBoer I think. His shtick is…

Manchester – So Little to Answer For

Since there’s been another one of these attacks, some disconnected thoughts. As usual, the vigils and candles and outpourings of public grief and professions of solidarity with muslims are just embarassing. We know this kind of reaction changes nothing. If you really want these kinds of attacks to stop, or even lessen in frequency, you’re…

Questions for Arnold Kling(‘s new book)

Arnold Kling recently released a revised version of his most talked-about book: Three Languages of Politics. I think I will buy the revised edition. I think I will buy it because while I’ve read about the model it presents on various blogs, and while that model seems useful to me, I have a number of…

Neoliberals and Social Democrats

Arnold Kling has a post up in which he complains that the terms ‘neoliberal’ and ‘social democracy’ are both vague and perjorative. Neoliberalism "gets used as an undefined all-purpose boo-word." And "If neoliberalism is the ill-defined boo-word, then social democracy is the ill-defined yay-word." The post never really separates the two complaints, though, and so…