Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘libertarians

Almost Too Many Thursday Links, Really, If You Ask Me

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* Extrapolation is seeking essays for a special issue on Indigenous Futurism, edited by Grace L. Dillon, Michael Levy and John Rieder.

* Designing for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

* No state worse than Wisconsin for black children, says new national study. The Fight for Wisconsin’s Soul. Other People’s Pathologies.

* Why UWM Matters.

* Life and debt.

* Coffee pods and ecology.

* University of California graduate students explain why they’re striking. Students Occupy Dartmouth President’s Office. Coaches Make $358,000 In Bonuses For Reaching NCAA Tournament Final Four. Emory University Eradicates its Visual Arts Department. Dear Harvard: You Win.

* A Brief Report from the University of Southern Maine. Armed guards at faculty meetings.

Major attack on academic freedom in Michigan.

* Academia Under the Influence.

* Surveillance, Dissent, and Imperialism. NSA Surveillance and the Male Gaze.

* The secret history of Cuban Twitter. If this tweet gets 1000 favorites Castro’s beard falls out.

Kingdom Prep is one of dozens of basketball academies that have popped up in recent years to cater to “postgrad” players—recent high-school graduates who need to improve their standardized-test scores to meet the NCAA’s academic requirements.

* Just when I thought I was out: Marquette hires Duke associate head coach Steve Wojciechowski.

* The really rich are different from the rich, who are different from you and me.

* An heir to the du Pont fortune has been given probation for raping his three-year-old daughter because you know damn well why.

* What Can You Do With a Humanities Ph.D., Anyway?

* Documents filed with the Department of Labor and dated December 2012—three months after the company’s owners filed their lawsuit—show that the Hobby Lobby 401(k) employee retirement plan held more than $73 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that produce emergency contraceptive pills, intrauterine devices, and drugs commonly used in abortions. Hobby Lobby makes large matching contributions to this company-sponsored 401(k).

* Libertarian Police Department. Koch Brothers Quietly Seek To Ban New Mass Transit In Tennessee.

* Detroit: Then and Now.

* A new study shows how Lake Tahoe might serve as a mammoth reservoir that could significantly mitigate California’s chronic water shortages without tarnishing the lake’s world-renowned beauty. What could possibly go wrong?

* The geographic sublime, from the Rural Assistance Center.

* How to Think About the Risk of Autism.

* Sepinwall vs. How I Met Your Mother.

* How To Negotiate With People Around The World.

* Gasp! CIA misled on interrogation program, Senate report says.

* Gasp! Torture Didn’t Lead to Bin Laden.

* New G.O.P. Bid to Limit Voting in Swing States.

* Who’s afraid of Suey Park?

* You once said: “I’m part-android.” Has that revelation haunted you?

* The kids are all right: Talking With 13-Year-Old Leggings Activist Sophie Hasty.

* Bourbon and Girl Scout Cookie Pairings.

* How to Improve Aquaman.

* The Definitive Ranking Of Robin’s 359 Exclamations From ‘Batman.’ 25 Weird Batman Comic-Book Covers.

* Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom’s gift economy.

* Norman Lear, Archie Bunker, and the rRise of the BBbad Fan.

Original Star Trek II: Wrath Of Khan VFX Storyboards Are A Visual Feast.

* The greatest, richest, freest country in the history of the world.

* The wisdom of markets: Walmart Realizes It’s Losing Billions Of Dollars By Denying Workers More Hours.

* Classic good news / bad news situation: Television Without Pity Archives Will Stay Online. Panel’s Warning on Climate Risk: Worst Is Yet to Come.

* Weird science: Gunshot victims to be suspended between life and death.

* On Moretti-ism: Knowing is not reading.

* The New Inquiry’s “Money” issue is out with some great pieces, including one on China that really highlights a key contradiction in American ideology, which simultaneously holds that capitalism is the only possible economic system and that the future belongs to China. And Rortybomb’s piece on human capital is super chilling: basically dystopian literature, and it’s pretty much already real. And then the freedom piece! And the egg donation one! Great issue all around.

A person may be free because she can choose among a broad range of possibilities, or she may be free while she undertakes some action about which she has no choice at all, but whose compulsion she deems legitimate. Or she may be free when she faces a range of options, one of which is clearly superior to the alternatives, so that her behavior is perfectly predictable despite a formal freedom to choose. Freedom is not, at bottom, about the range of possibilities one faces but about the degree of consent one offers for the action to be taken or the circumstance to be endured.

Japan Ordered To Stop Killing Antarctic Whales For “Science.”

* Teen Wins $70,000 Settlement After School Demanded Her Facebook Password.

* Is being thin more deadly than being obese? Take that, skinnies!

*  I’ve had this dream: Student claims college instructor spent months teaching class the ‘wrong’ course.

* I dream of the day that Seattle and Portland can get along.

* And please don’t make me say it again.

Written by gerrycanavan

April 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

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These Tuesday Links Surround Hate and Force It to Surrender

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BfE0H2HCAAE4VEa* Pete Seeger before the House Un-American Activities Committee, 1955. This machine surrounds hate and forces it to surrender. Some recent articles and profiles. RIP.

* CFP: New Directions in Sherlock.

* Amazing moment: Northwestern University athletes have filed for union representation with the NRLB. Now, I don’t think they’ll get it — so the really interesting question is what happens when they don’t.

Rabon, a veterinarian, said he believes House Bill 930 is too weak. He said its standards for humane treatment could too easily be interpreted by a judge to apply to livestock as well as pets. “It can’t spill over to the animal husbandry in this state, which is an $80 billion industry – larger than the other top five industries in the state,” he said. “There is a LOT of money involved.”

* Freddie deBoer has a nice demonstration of how statistics don’t always tell you as much as you think.

Instead of guaranteeing that poor undergraduates can get through college debt-free, the University of Virginia decided it’s going to make low-income students borrow up to $28,000.

* More on the brokenness of the Common Core.

* The new face of food stamps.  Of the top five jobs projected to grow from 2012 to 2022, only one—registered nurse—provides an annual, full-time salary over $22,000.

The Fantasy Politics of the Libertarian Alliance.

* BREAKING: The past isn’t done with you yet.

With lethal-injection drugs in short supply and new questions looming about their effectiveness, lawmakers in some death-penalty states are considering bringing back relics of a more gruesome past: firing squads, electrocutions and gas chambers.

* Kubrick’s alternate titles for Dr. Strangelove.

Jonathan Banks is officially part of Better Call Saul.

Lawsuit Blames Uber App for Death of 6-Year-Old Girl.

* West Virginia as colonized zone.

* Five years into his presidency, Obama has finally issued an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal contracts. Can solving climate change be far behind?

* “Academic freedom” is a funny phrase: New York bill to punish ASA over Israel boycott picks up 48 supporters.

Man Charged With Shooting And Killing Own Neighbors Because He Wrongly Thought They Were Trespassing.

Florida Man’s Very Own Backyard Gun Range Is Perfectly Legal.

* Marquette just got $10 million to build a new JesRes.

* An 83-year-old nun faces up to 30 years in prison for breaking into a nuclear weapons facility.

* Here’s why Ezra Klein left the Washington Post. This is my skeptical face, but good luck.

* Horrific: After Being Denied A Snow Day, University Of Illinois Students Respond With Racism And Sexism.

* The crisis is over! Colleges are rich again!

Queens Library president gets $390G salary, luxe office makeover while shedding 130 jobs.

* BREAKING: Austerity politics don’t work. No one could have predicted!

* A bit on the nose, don’t you think? Birds Attack Peace Doves Freed From Pope’s Window.

* Let kids be kids: Chaos may reign at Swanson Primary School with children climbing trees, riding skateboards and playing bullrush during playtime, but surprisingly the students don’t cause bedlam, the principal says. The school is actually seeing a drop in bullying, serious injuries and vandalism, while concentration levels in class are increasing.

* The invention of jaywalking.

* Understand academic labor the Brady Bunch way.

* Rebecca Schuman hangs up on her “calling.”

* And some linkbait I can never resist: 22 Unbelievable Places that are Hard to Believe Really Exist.

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Monday Morning Links

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* Bérubé: Why I Resigned the Paterno Chair. I saw some snark about this on Twitter, but I found it an interesting take on the current situation at Penn State, and was personally scandalized to learn that the NCAA punted on the UNC scandal. If they have jurisdiction over wide-ranging criminal conspiracies, actual academic malfeasance seems like a no-brainer…

* EU flexes that Nobel Peace Prize muscle.

Memory is not such a cure-all. On the contrary, many of the great political crimes of recent history were committed in large part in the name of memory. The difference between memory and grudge is not always clean. Memories can hold you back, they can be a terrible burden, even an illness. Yes, memory—hallowed memory—can be a kind of disease. Via MeFi.

In interviews, however, consultants to both campaigns said they had bought demographic data from companies that study details like voters’ shopping histories, gambling tendencies, interest in get-rich-quick schemes, dating preferences and financial problems. The campaigns themselves, according to campaign employees, have examined voters’ online exchanges and social networks to see what they care about and whom they know. They have also authorized tests to see if, say, a phone call from a distant cousin or a new friend would be more likely to prompt the urge to cast a ballot. Maybe you guys could just try being good at governing for a while and see if that gets you any votes.

G.O.P. Fighting Libertarian’s Spot on the Ballot. Or you could just try being good at governing for a while…

* Obama winning the all-important babysitter index.

* How to debate a liar. My expectation is that Obama will take up something very much like this strategy in tomorrow’s debate, perhaps beginning with an opening statement that recalls the lies advanced in the last one.

* And it looks to me like David Cameron is flirting with breaking up the UK for short-term partisan advantage. Really makes the American right look like a bunch of amateurs…

NYE

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* EU copyright on Joyce works ends at midnight. Who weeps for Stephen Joyce?

* As a Fortune 500 company’s fracking activities in rural West Virginia leave a polluted and drastically altered landscape, locals are fighting back. Via @zunguzungu.

* The parallel reality — the undeniable fact — is that all of these listed heinous views and actions from Barack Obama have been vehemently opposed and condemned by Ron Paul: and among the major GOP candidates, only by Ron Paul. For that reason, Paul’s candidacy forces progressives to face the hideous positions and actions of their candidate, of the person they want to empower for another four years. If Paul were not in the race or were not receiving attention, none of these issues would receive any attention because all the other major GOP candidates either agree with Obama on these matters or hold even worse views. Of course Greenwald has a point, but at the same time it’s difficult to argue with this:

But (you might say) if the result is the same–if, whatever the twisted origins of his position, Ron Paul takes is on the side of the angels on certain narrowly framed issues–does it really matter how he gets there?

Short answer: yes. Slightly less short answer: hell yes. Longer answer: of course, because his opposition to (Federal) government overreach is inseparable from his opposition to Roe v. Wade and equal protection enforcement and environmental regulation and…well, every single goddamn thing that matters to liberals except the tiny set of narrow issues on which, in stopped-clock fashion, Paul has arrived at the right position through the wrong process.

* The Era of the Ron Paul Newsletters Isn’t Even Past.

*  Every progressive movement in U.S. history was portrayed negatively by mainstream media at the time it was happening.

During the Montgomery bus boycott, mainstream media outlets interviewed black folks who were against it and talked about how the boycott was misguided and hurt the local economy. The day after the boycott started, the Montgomery Advertiser ran a story featuring the manager of the bus lines saying that bus drivers were being shot at and rocks were being thrown at them.

During the rest of the civil rights movement, protesters who were fire-hosed and otherwise brutalized were called “violent protesters” in the mainstream media, which again featured interviews with people saying that the protests were wrongheaded.

During the Anti-Vietnam War movement, the mainstream media portrayed protesters as out of touch, violent, and dirty. There was a picture in the San Francisco Chronicle of a guy who was throwing back a tear gas canister that had been shot at the peaceful crowd. This was shown as proof of protesters being wild, out of touch, and violent. The Black Panther Party had free breakfast programs and was beloved worldwide — but every mainstream media outlet that covered it, covered it negatively.

There has never been any strike, work stoppage, or union action that was supported by the mainstream media at the time that it was happening.

The mainstream press didn’t support the Anti-Apartheid movement and doesn’t support the boycott, disinvestment and sanctions movement for Palestine.

The mainstream press is always on the wrong side of history because it’s always on the side of the status quo, which is capitalist exploitation and oppression.

* And just because it’s New Year’s Even: The 40 Best Memes of 2011.

Quick Hits – 2

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* University 2.0: MIT launches MITx.

* Gorbachev: What happened after the Soviet Union ended in 1991? Why were the opportunities to build what Pope John Paul II called a more stable, more just and more humane world order not realized?

* Chinese Century watch: China to put an taikonaut on the Moon.

* More ’12 election chaos in the making: Gary Johnson’s Libertarian Leap Could Complicate New Mexico in 2012. Here’s Obama’s game plan, with Virginia (okay) and North Carolina (uh-oh) as linchpins.

* The Dumbest Idea In The World: Maximizing Shareholder Value.

A letter from Occupy Wilmington.

* Why the “Mary Sue” concept is sexist.

So, there’s this girl. She’s tragically orphaned and richer than anyone on the planet. Every guy she meets falls in love with her, but in between torrid romances she rejects them all because she dedicated to what is Pure and Good. She has genius level intellect, Olympic-athelete level athletic ability and incredible good looks. She is consumed by terrible angst, but this only makes guys want her more. She has no superhuman abilities, yet she is more competent than her superhuman friends and defeats superhumans with ease. She has unshakably loyal friends and allies, despite the fact she treats them pretty badly. They fear and respect her, and defer to her orders. Everyone is obsessed with her, even her enemies are attracted to her. She can plan ahead for anything and she’s generally right with any conclusion she makes. People who defy her are inevitably wrong.

God, what a Mary Sue.

I just described Batman.

* And even conservatives hate SOPA. I think that’s everyone.

Tuesday Links

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* There’s very high turnout in Wisconsin today. Probably good news, but who can say.

* Nick Mamatas says to understand libertarians, we should forget Ayn Rand and read Robert Heinlein.

* The last time CNN polled party approval, the GOP had 44% approval, 43 disapproval. In today’s poll the picture is slightly different: 33% approval, 59% disapproval. This is worse than their numbers during Clinton’s impeachment. So at least Americans have noticed what’s going on.

* Of course, two years later Republicans (kind of) won the presidency anyway. And it could easily happen again.

* A liberal is just a conservative who’s given birth: Fox’s Megyn Kelly comes out in favor of maternity leave. A little sad that this is noteworthy, but there you are.

* Chart of the day: Women Have to have a Ph.D. to Make as Much as Men with B.A.s.

* Life here began out there? NASA Proves Building Blocks Of DNA Come From Space. Naturally, the actual text of the story is a lot less definitive than the headline.

* In Wire news: Felicia “Snoop” Pearson has pled out, and will avoid jailtime if she doesn’t violate a three-year probation.

* Al Gore goes blue.

The model they’re using in that effort was transported whole cloth into the climate debate. And some of the exact same people — I can go down a list of their names — are involved in this. And so what do they do? They pay pseudo-scientists to pretend to be scientists to put out the message: “This climate thing, it’s nonsense. Man-made CO2 doesn’t trap heat. It may be volcanoes.” Bullshit! “It may be sun spots.” Bullshit! “It’s not getting warmer.” Bullshit!

* Meanwhile, Fox News Responds To Record Heat Waves By Predicting Global Cooling. Over to you, Al…

Wednesday Night Links

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* Dibs on the film rights: “Scientists say Earth once had a 2nd Moon.”

* HR 2028 and S.1102 aim to make private student loans again dischargeable in bankruptcy.

* Unbelievably, we’re still playing “Is Health Care Reform Constitutional?” Today’s entrant is Dawn Johnsen with The Simple Case for the Affordable Care Act’s Constitutionality.

* Was the Tea Party bluffing? Steve Benen reports. As has been stated here frequently both in the main posts and the comments, these conversations inevitably run aground on the assumption that Obama was playing against the Tea Party. Of course he was, to an extent—but he was primarily using them as political cover to enact cuts he genuinely wanted to enact. To say Obama “left something on the table” in the negotiations fundamentally misunderstands his goals.

* The markets still aren’t happy. And onward to the next hostage crisis: the GOP has partially shut down the FAA.

* Life in Hell: ‘Man heard his eyeballs rotate, heart beat.’

* Cartoon of the day: The 24 Types of Libertarian.

* Tumblr of the day: Mad Development, mashing up quotes from Arrested Development with images from Mad Men. (Her?)

* And your sublime panorama of the day: the northern and southern night skies, in a single image.

Wednesday Wednesday

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* A brief history of profanity in the New Yorker.

* Sasha Volokh (last seen arguing that sacred libertarian principles demand that we allow asteroids to destroy civilization) has a new entry in his ongoing project to discredit libertarianism: prison vouchers.

In this Article, I invite the reader to indulge in a thought experiment. What would the world look like if, instead of assigning prisoners to particular prisons bureaucratically, we gave them vouchers, good for one incarceration, that they were required to redeem at a participating prison?

You know what? Let me stop you right there.

* Rand Paul is also pioneering new frontiers for liberty.

* Via MetaFilter, the Egyptian military is defending “virginity tests” performed on arrested protestors from Tahrir Square.

“We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” the general said.

Let me stop you right there.

* Prominent Republican governors are throwing in the towel on scorched-earth opposition to health care reform. Here’s why:

For those who oppose the PPACA, or believe it to be unconstitutional, doing anything to support the law can be problematic. However, refusing to prepare the exchanges is a real risk. It’s unlikely the law will be repealed soon. Should it not be found unconstitutional and thrown out entirely, the exchanges will still stand. The PPACA clearly says that if a state doesn’t have an exchange, then the federal government will create and run one for it. It’s going to take some time to set one up, and if 2014 rolls around and states don’t have an exchange ready, then it will be the feds, not locals, who will dictate terms.

* The House GOP hopes you don’t like eating food.

* Salon takes a trip to the race war raging inside Matt Drudge’s head.

* The fools in the national press corps are still talking about Anthony Weiner’s weiner. The story would be completely irrelevant even if it weren’t almost certainly a lie.

* And even right-wing nutjob Donald Trump… oh, forget it.

A New Front Opens in the War on Education

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Written by gerrycanavan

May 25, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Let Private Property Be Inviolate Though the Heavens Fall

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Matt Yglesias catches libertarian Sasha Volokh arguing that it would be immoral to use tax dollars to prevent an asteroid from destroying all life on earth.

I think it’s O.K. to violate people’s rights (e.g. through taxation) if the result is that you protect people’s rights to some greater extent (e.g. through police, courts, the military). But it’s not obvious to me that the Earth being hit by an asteroid (or, say, someone being hit by lightning or a falling tree) violates anyone’s rights; if that’s so, then I’m not sure I can justify preventing it through taxation.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm

No One Can Make You Buy Your Kids Insurance—But You Can Put Them to Work

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ThinkProgress unloads on Florida Judge Roger Vinson in anticipation of his likely ruling against the ACA.

A second decision striking down part of the Affordable Care Act should not surprise anyone, as Vinson has already suggested that he is not moved by the unusually strong legal arguments supporting the law’s constitutionality. In an earlier opinion denying the Justice Department’s motion to dismiss this case, Vinson relied on a number of discarded libertarian legal doctrines that were abandoned by the Supreme Court more than 70 years ago. At one point, he even cited favorably to a completely discredited decision holding a child labor law unconstitutional.

Moreover, Vinson’s judicial superiors are far less likely to take a narrow view of the Constitution. Conservative Justice Antonin Scalia acknowledges that Congress has broad authority to enact comprehensive legislation regulating a national market such as the market in health insurance, and even Chief Justice Roberts recently joined an opinion suggesting that he would uphold the Affordable Care Act.

My sources tell me that this is the lawsuit to watch as it makes it way through the courts; the decision rendered by Judge Hudson earlier in the week is much more a sideshow.

Monday Monday

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* The cushy administrative salaries and bonuses add up to an indictment of the Brodhead administration for allowing the burden of the fiscal crisis to fall unevenly: bonuses for the brass, a direct hit for cafeteria workers, groundskeepers, housekeepers, clerks and underpaid adjunct faculty who lost their jobs. Via literally every single person I know at Duke.

* Libertopia watch: The Lake County sheriff has stopped providing police protection for a northwestern Indiana town after it missed a deadline he set for it to pay the county $100,000. Via MetaFilter.

* How the climate bill went south. Via Shankar in the comments from a post from last week, where we’ve been talking about whether or not I’ve been fair to Obama. On the climate story, ThinkProgress highlights Lindsey Graham’s terror that Fox would find out what he was up to.

Hope for the Democrats this November? More false hope here.

* George Lucas’s Theory of the Novel.

* The ACLU vs. the future.

Stanley’s 2002 paper tries to do just that. In it, he carefully imagines what could happen when human reproductive cloning is perfected — “what enforcement action would be taken when, say, a sixth-grader is discovered to be an unauthorized clone of Jennifer Lopez?” Could genetic enhancement inspire a kind of neo-eugenicist society where social classes are determined by access to the kind of wealth one needs to take advantage of such technologies? If humans succeeded in splicing their own DNA with that of animals, where would the line of “personhood” be drawn? Citing a scenario out of the 1997 movie Gattaca, Stanley expresses concern that the growing ability to remove genetic defects prior to childbirth might lead to employers collecting hair or skin cells from prospective employees. (On this last point his concern was prescient: In 2008, Congress outlawed genetic discrimination nearly unanimously. In the House, Ron Paul was the only dissenting vote.)

Via Matt Yglesias.

* The Social Network vs. women. (UPDATE: Forgot to mention that Colbert asked Sorkin about this last Thursday on his show, and Sorkin didn’t respond very well at all.)

* John Scalzi vs. Ayn Rand. Via SEK.

* And the Obama/Emanuel hug has sent the wrong message to our enemies. Please, not in front of the Klingons!

Libertopia

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Firefighters in Obion County, Tennessee, watched as Gene Cranick’s house burned to the ground because Cranick wasn’t current on his $75 “subscription” fee.

Written by gerrycanavan

October 4, 2010 at 10:33 am

Monday’s Child Has Learned to Tie His Bootlace

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* First Pluto, now this. They can have my triceratops when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

* In a “historic crossover,” the costs of solar photovoltaic systems have declined to the point where they are lower than the rising projected costs of new nuclear plants, according to a paper published this month.

* Charlie Stross: …I postulate that the organization required for such exploration is utterly anathema to the ideology of the space cadets, because the political roots of the space colonization movement in the United States rise from taproots of nostalgia for the open frontier that give rise to a false consciousness of the problem of space colonization. In particular, the fetishization of autonomy, self-reliance, and progress through mechanical engineering — echoing the desire to escape the suffocating social conditions back east by simply running away — utterly undermine the program itself and are incompatible with life in a space colony (which is likely to be at a minimum somewhat more constrained than life in one of the more bureaucratically obsessive-compulsive European social democracies, and at worst will tend towards the state of North Korea in Space).

In other words: space colonization is implicitly incompatible with both libertarian ideology and the myth of the American frontier. Worth noting, as some of Stross’s commenters do, that there was a fairly large organized state apparatus supporting westward expansion too, including the railroads and military-backed “Indian removal”…

* The free market! What can’t it do?

“The bottom line is: I’m not an expert, so don’t give me the power in Washington to be making rules,” [Rand] Paul said at a recent campaign stop in response to questions about April’s deadly mining explosion in West Virginia…“You live here, and you have to work in the mines. You’d try to make good rules to protect your people here. If you don’t, I’m thinking that no one will apply for those jobs.”

* Robert Reich: Why We Really Shouldn’t Keep the Bush Tax Cut for the Wealthy. I can’t believe this is even being argued about. Weren’t we at Debt Con 1 just a few days ago?

* And North Carolina in the news! Former federal prosecutor practiced on suspended law license.

Playing Catchup

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