Identity Politics is Undemocratic

“Diversity among different “kinds” of people is celebrated everywhere, but intellectual, ideological, and political diversity among those groups is demonized.”

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The Fatal Conceit of a Trade War

“China targeted pistachios to inflict pain in a region where Republicans are politically vulnerable. About 99% of American pistachios are grown in California’s San Joaquin Valley, home of GOP Reps. David Valadao, Jeff Denham and Devin Nunes.”

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The Means Matter

As we have seen with the elimination of the filibuster by Harry Reid, sacrificing the means to the end is a short sighted strategy and creates tools that will be used against you. No matter how noble the ends the means still matter.

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Should the Religion of a Supreme Court Justice Matter? 

The American Catholics did not look to the government to be the center of their religious mission. This made them less likely to look to the government to enforce their religious codes on others. This was not due to a superior loyalty to a foreign papist monarch, but to a local community cohesion. The Catholics felt stronger about the separation of church and state than the Protestant pietists. Their parochial schools relied less on public education and government support.

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Obama and Civil Liberties

“Nadine Strossen, a liberal and the former president of the American Civil Liberty Union, conceded — but only in hindsight when both Obama and she were out of their respective offices — that Obama was one of the most hostile presidents to civil liberties in history. “

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Is the Role of the Supreme Court Changing for the Good?

When the ends justify the means, oppressive power is rationalized and accepted. It is shortsighted and foolish not to imagine that power in the hands of your opposition.

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Since originalism is so objectionable to progressives, who’s up for a living constitutionalist justice who shares the President’s moral and political beliefs? — Randy Barnett (@RandyEBarnett) June 28, 2018

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The Delivery of Compassion

“Those in the state who exude empathy often cannot deliver it; those in the private sector who rarely mention compassion, often deliver it.”

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Venezuela Meets Hayek

But repression on the Venezuelan model is not extraneous to socialism — it is baked into the socialist cake. Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Castro (and Castro!), Chàvez, Maduro, Honecker, Ho Chi Minh, Pol Pot, the Kim dynasty, Shining Path: No ideology is that unlucky. “

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The Evil in the Mirror

They are so self-assured of their righteousness and so quick to affirm it by making their opponent the epitome of evil that they have failed to recognize their own evil in the mirror staring back at them. No one is a villain in their own eyes, but history will hold you accountable nonetheless.

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Internet Sales Tax Ruling

Many small businesses that ship online will be hurt by this ruling. Complying with the tax codes for 48 states that charge sales tax will be crippling for many of them.  There will be a need for a third party to manage the sales tax issue for thousands of small online businesses. This will likely serve to make Amazon and other large online retailers bigger and more powerful in the internet sales arena. 

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The Roots of American Partisanship

The XYZ Affair brought us to the brink of war and stunned Jefferson when it was released. The author Gordon Woods compared it to the paranoia that gripped the west coast after Pearl Harbor that led to the internment of Japanese Americans.  The XYZ memo destroyed public support for the pro French Republican party of Jefferson.

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The Seduction of Hidden Costs

“There are no solutions, only tradeoffs.” Could the tax credits granted to the wealthy for historical renovation serve us better if it was used to provide health care for the poor? Could it be better served invested in a productive enterprise innovating new products, generating economic growth and dividends which will provide additional tax revenue instead of less?

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Distinguishing Progressivism and Socialism

This clarity and distinction on the proper limits of government action defined the objectives of the conservative progressives like William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover.  When the government crosses from protecting property and individual rights to managing and granting these rights, it crosses the line from progressivism to socialism. 

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Handouts for the Wealthy

“The working classes get riled up when they see someone at the grocery store flipping out their food stamps to buy a T-bone. They have no idea that a nice family on the other side of town is walking away with $100,000 for flipping their house.”

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Criminalizing Boorishness

I thought during the election that Trump was the safer bet because the media and the establishment of both parties would be diligent watchdogs on Trump, and fawning sycophants for Hillary. I also predicted that the left would discover the constitutional limits on executive power that they so willingly ignored under Obama.

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The Greater Threat to Stability

“A strong executive, De Lolme wrote, was the best check against the ambitions of the aristocracy, which always posed a greater threat to the stability of the constitution. Too much democracy did not lead to anarchy but to oligarchy or aristocracy.”

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Black Lives Do Matter

“Proving that black lives do indeed matter is sometimes best achieved by ensuring the African-American unemployment rate is below 6 percent, and that traditionally neglected job-seekers gain leverage over employers. “

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The Modern Demagogue

  The ‘arc of history’ like ‘the will of the people’ is far from an objective concept or defined by rational debate.  It is what the charismatic leader or the demagogue says it is.

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The Danger of Media’s Capitulation

“Nothing is more dangerous to democratic government than a media that believes it is an agent for social justice, voluntarily surrenders its autonomy, and sees the loss of its independence as a small price to pay for the adulation it receives from the state.”

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