Politics

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The Speed Limit Cargo Cult

cargo cult lead

One of the oddest totemistic fetishes of our age is worship of metal signs with various symbols imprinted upon them. Speed limit signs, for instance. People are supposed to reflexively obey them – and are subject to punishment if they do not. Rarely – to paraphrase George W. Bush – is the question asked: Why…

Good Cops?

Tax Evaders

All cops are bad – by definition. Harsh statement? Certainly. It does not make it less true – like an accurate terminal cancer diagnosis. Pretending otherwise doesn’t alter the reality. Whether the cops themselves are conscious of their badness is immaterial. No doubt, many cops (as distinct from peace officers) believe in their hearts (and…

Americans Don’t Drive

cod piece pic

Americans are a passive people – much as they like to imagine themselves vigorous, decisive and independent. They like to watch football. And they certainly don’t do much more than that behind the wheel. Driving is an active verb. But observe the typical American driver. He is soporific passivity personified. He coasts along, lost in…

The Bailout

GM lead 2

In Washington, they always try to announce unpleasantness during the off-hours (weekends, holidays and such) so that – hopefully – the stink will be less noticed. In Detroit, too. The recent announcement of the accession of Mary Barra as the new CEO of General Motors just happened to be exactly coincident with the announcement that…

Such a Deal!

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Toyota might want to consider packing up the plug-in version of its Prius hybrid and sending it off to the Land of Unwanted Toys. Though the regular Prius is popular, the plug-in variant languishes. Despite being able to go much farther – and lot faster – on just the batteries, the plug-in has been idling…

Your Brother’s Keeper

brother's keeper picture

In Connecticut, prosecutors are beta-testing a new legal doctrine: That a person can be held criminally responsible for the actions of other people. The case at issue (see here) involves two teenage boys who were out drinking with their friend, 17-year-old Jane Modlesky. After some hearty partying, the teens parted ways. Modlesky dropped the boys…

Officer Safety . . .

pig last pic

If it is reasonable – justifiable – for a cop to base every interaction with a citizen on the presumption that the citizen might be a threat to his “safety,” isn’t the reverse all the more reasonable? That a citizen should assume the worst when confronted by a cop? After all, a cop is known…

What Republicans Won’t Ever Say About Obamacare

Radio show host Limbaugh speaks at a forum hosted by the Heritage Foundation in Washington

I keep getting forwarded e-mails from “conservative Republicans” moaning about Obamacare. Of course, none challenge the ethical idea behind it – this notion that people have a right to medical care and it is the obligation of others to provide it, at gunpoint if need be (the latter ugliness never mentioned, even in passing). These…

The Corn Lobby Loses One . . . Maybe

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Every once in awhile, some good news. Maybe. The Environmental Protection Agency – usually strident, ideological and unreasonable – has suggested doing something reasonable: It has proposed reducing the total amount (and the percentage) of ethanol adulteration of gasoline. Probably because it’s unavoidably necessary – to cover up a burgeoning debacle (think Obamacare and the…