Don’t Fence Me In

Let me ride through the wide open country that I love Jeff Sharlet had some trouble coming back from a trip to Canada because he took a picture. Remember when America was great and you could cross the border willy-nilly, both North and South? What do you tell your kids about borders? Crossing into Canada […]

The War on Terror

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. What are arms? An intercontinental ballistic missile? A tactical nuclear device? A MiG-29? A tank? A Gatling gun? Chlorine? Ammonium nitrate? A sword? Any blade longer than three […]

Who Forged These Chains?

For someone who works with computers, I have very little respect for them. Perhaps that’s left over from a programming class where the teacher reminded us that the computer only does what we tell it to do. It’s mindless. Or more likely it has been experience reinforcing this: the computer program is only as good […]

Somebody Watching Over Me

In Sleeper (1973), there is discussion between Miles and Luna over belief in God. Luna starts, asking Miles. Miles responds in a typically Allen fashion. After Luna complains that she doesn’t understand anything Miles says, he asks if she believes in God. “Well, I believe there is somebody out there who watches over us.” “Unfortunately […]

Go Wake Up the Judge

You know how in the movies, when the cops want to bust in on the mob doing their dirty deeds, first they go wake up the judge in the middle of the night, or drag him out of his poker game or away from his mistress, and have him issue a warrant? Oh, wait, those […]

Remember, They Are Your Representatives

Dear Congressman Hall: Thank you for your thoughtful and considered response to the concerns expressed in my mail of February 15th this year. Unfortunately, I read this evening that the House passed a compromise bill (H.R. 6304) that contained language permitting the Executive and abetting telecommunication firms to escape responsibility for their actions over the […]

Compulsory Education

via Arnold Kling, we learn that the State of California does not like home-schooling by parents who are not also teachers, on the assumption that certification ensures quality. Mr. Kling pulls out this quote from the article. “Parents do not have a constitutional right to home school their children,” wrote Justice H. Walter Croskey in […]

You Made Your Bed, Now Lie in It

I read Joel Spolsky’s “Martian Headsets” post a while back, in which he discusses Microsoft’s about-face with regards to Internet Explorer 8 in terms of balancing backward-compatibility with standards compliance, as if they are necessarily incompatible. Mark Pilgrim followed up with this funny translation into colloquial English. So I was reading Spolsky’s piece, and nodding, […]

Low Opinion of the Press?

Would you like your opinion of the Fourth Estate lowered further? Thought it couldn’t get any worse? Suspect that journalists on deadline have less scruples than a Congressman on a junket? Then read Glenn Greenwald‘s series on how the chattering classes have disconnected their brains from their mouths. On the one hand, criticism of the […]

Yoo Hoo! Cato! Over Here!

I’m surprised that Cato hasn’t mentioned the stink around the latest memorandum from John Yoo [part 1, part 2]. Perhaps they are as shocked, shocked!, as I am to learn that the Executive has been up to no good. There are more memoranda, which are perhaps just as shocking, in the same vein. The Associated […]

The Castle

At the age of 19, Murat Kurnaz vanished into America’s shadow prison system in the war on terror. He was from Germany, traveling in Pakistan, and was picked up three months after 9/11. But there seemed to be ample evidence that Kurnaz was an innocent man with no connection to terrorism. The FBI thought so, […]