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The Government-Liberty Connection: Hobbes

Hobbes-Leviathan

An ongoing set of considerations on the relationship between liberty and government.

A Qualified Yes to a Constitutional Convention

Constitutional Convention

Some thoughts on reform.

Rich Kids Go to Elite Colleges, Becoming Rich Adults

education-money-stacks

The economics of higher education is increasing the gap between rich and poor.

Bourbon Snobbery

bourbon-collection

The noted wine critic Robert Parker recently forayed into reviewing bourbon and came under intense fire from enthusiasts of American whiskey.

Shooting Sprees vs Organized Terrorist Attacks

mcveigh-bin-laden

We treat violence by lone individuals differently than organized violence. Race, religion, and national origin have nothing to do with that.

The Army’s Leadership Problem

US Army Officers

Tim Kane continues his campaign against the US military’s antiquated personnel system.

Administrative Bloat at America’s Colleges and Universities

education-money-stacks

One major factor in the skyrocketing cost of a college education in America is a huge increase in overhead costs.

A Map Is Worth A Thousand Votes

redistricting

Democrats are approaching an “Electoral College lock.” Republicans are trying to pick it.

Man Bemoans Selfish Women Not Having Enough Kids

babies

Ross Douthat says American women should stop being decadent and have more babies, explaining that raising children is easier than it used to be, so there’s really no excuse for women to be so selfish.

More on Voter ID

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Another study shows that voter ID laws negatively affect a lot of Americans.

What is “Constitutional”?

constitution-preamble-gavel

What does the US Constitution actually provide in terms of guidance for governance?

When Douchebaggery Goes Viral

facebook-cufflinks

The Internet is public and forever. But maybe it shouldn’t be.

Conservative ‘Race War’ Meme

race-war-conservative-media

The people who gave us the “war on Christmas” are now touting an upsurge on black-on-white crime.

Whites Now Minority of American Births: So What?

kids-globe

White babies now constitute slightly less than half of American births.

Are Today’s College Students Dumber and Lazier?

business-race

The Wall Street Journal publishes a screed aimed at those about to graduate college.

Teaching the Federalist Papers

Federalist Papers

If we taught the Federalist Papers more rigorously would that lead to a shared view of the constitution?

All Facts Are Not Created Equal

intellectual-thinking

Our psychological and cultural biases make evaluating information and arguments rationally next to impossible.

Where Have the Thoughtful Conservatives Gone?

argument-cartoon-yelling

OTB’s comment section as a microcosm of the American political landscape.

Lying About the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, and the Tooth Fairy

santa-easter-bunny-i-exist-support-group

Should you lie to your kids about holiday fantasy characters?

Are You An Almost Alcoholic?

toast-beer

A new book would classify most of us who consume alcohol as “almost alcoholics.”

Dumb Jocks and Student-Athlete Propaganda

High Jumper Jumping

The student-athlete fairytale is true. Except where you would reasonable expect it to be a lie.

Newt, the Trayvon Martin Shooting, and Race

trayvon

Solutions come from understanding, not denial or political posturing

Murder or Self-Defense: Florida Case Raises Questions

trayvon_martin_zimmerman

George Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin met on the night of February 27th. Martin died, and a firestorm has erupted.

Military’s Lock-Step Promotion System

general-shoulder-boards

The military promotion system does not reward top performers rapidly enough.

Kimberly Webb Joyner, 1970 to 2011

joyner-family-2011111415-cropped

My wife, Kimberly Webb Joyner, died this morning in her sleep from unknown causes. She was 41.

Police Violence and Perpetual War

police-pepper-spray-protestors

Why we shouldn’t be surprised that police are using tools of violence against protestors.

Obama’s Millionaire’s Tax

money-scrooge-mcduck-dive-money

President Obama is proposing a special tax rate for millionaires.

Education Colleges Academic Slums

grade-inflation-cornell

Schools of education attract the weakest students and give out the highest grades on campus.

Racial Gerrymandering and Idiots

diversity-hands

Cynthia Tucker regrets her support for majority-minority districts.

California Must Release 40,000 Prisoners

california-prison-overcrowding

Prisons can be so overcrowded as to constitute cruel and inhuman punishment.

Terry Jones and What We’re Fighting For

military-flag-salute

The duty to defend “hateful, extremely disrespectful, and enormously intolerant” expression.

Political Vitriol and Political Violence

experiment-shock

The relationships between inflammatory rhetoric and political violence is complicated.

Why America’s Best Officers Are Leaving

army-officer-cap

The American military personnel system works against keeping the best and brightest officers in the service.

Parking Space Economics

monopoly-free-parking

Free parking is a very inefficient use of land resources that wouldn’t exist without government mandates and subsidies. Is it time to end the practice?

Conservative Media Bias

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Conservatives have long complained about liberal media bias. But conservative media seems to be much worse.

Daily Kos Suing Former Polling Partner

blogging-keyboard2

Markos Moulitsas gets a lesson in caveat emptor from his former pollster.

Georgetown Cocktail Parties

cocktails

In response to a posting from Tunku Varadarajan accusing him of being a “polite company conservative” who “yearns for the goodwill of the liberal elite in the media and in the Beltway—who wishes, always, to have their ear, to be at their dinner parties, to be comforted by a sense that liberal interlocutors believe that […]

Military Sodomy Ban Under Review

uncle-sam-army-recruiting

Having long since gotten rid of rum and the lash, I suppose this day was inevitable.

Meritocracy’s Limits

bell-curve

America may be the land of opportunity but it helps to have a head start in the rat race.

Information Deficit Disorder

digital-mind

Via Twitter, James Poulos passes along an interesting piece by Conor Friedersdorf titled “Iran, Twitter, and The American Information Elite.”  Basically, he noticed over the weekend that all of his blogger/journalist friends were intensely aware of what was happening in Iran whereas other well educated people he encountered hadn’t the slightest clue. I can’t help […]

Sonia Sotomayor and the Politics of Race

Obama Supreme Court

Kevin Drum notes that he’s already tired of the “kabuki” that has emerged in reaction to the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. I both agree that the process is predictable and tedious and that Sotomayor would seem obviously qualified for confirmation.  I would quibble, however, with this: Conservatives, who seem constitutionally unable […]

Class Warfare: Framing the Debate

taxes-climb-dollar

Hilzoy is tired of hearing about “socialism” and “class warfare” just because Barack Obama is raising the top marginal tax rate from 35 percent to 39.6 percent.  After all, we had much higher rates under John Kennedy and even Ronald Reagan, two legendary tax cutters.  And rates are higher in most of the developed world, […]

Gran Torino a Conservative Movie?

clint-eastwood-gran-torino

Matt Yglesias observes that, “The idea that Gran Torino is a conservative movie is, meanwhile, bizarre. In its main plot arc it’s very clearly a subversion of Dirty Harry-style right-wing vigilante fantasies.” I fully agree with the first sentence of Matt’s quote above but for a totally different reason:  There’s no such thing as a […]

Would Reagan Recognize Today’s Republican Party?

ronald-reagan

It’s been three decades since Ronald Reagan was elected and both America and the Republican Party have changed.

Republican Party’s Future

republicans-future

My Palin Derangement Syndrome post got a number of thoughtful responses, especially for a weekend post. My fellow Jacksonville State alumnus Stacy McCain, a Palin fan, thinks the internal debate on her role in last week’s defeat and her future as a Republican Party standard bearer is one we should have.  He objects strenuously, though, […]

Palin Derangement Syndrome

Sarah-Palin-Speaking-Red-Jacket

Two lawyer-bloggers who I’ve followed for years are upset with me for buying into the “Sarah Palin was in over her head” meme. Xrlq accused me of drinking “the anti-Palin Kool-Aid” for buying into claims that Palin didn’t know which countries were in NAFTA while Bill Dyer is “genuinely concerned for [my] mental health.” As […]

Army Has Major Deficit

Major Oak Leaf

Robert Kaplan often refers to the “Iron Majors,” the mid-career officers who have chosen the Army as a career and serve in its key staff positions.  Ann Scott Tyson reports that we’re running low. The Army’s growth plans and the demands of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are contributing to a shortfall of thousands […]

Blogs Then and Now

blogging-word-mouse

Aaron Brazell is doing some research on the evolution of blogging in recent years and has asked for my input. [Update: The result, "Political Blogging 2.0," is now up.] I started OTB in January 2003 and have seen a lot of change. I should note at the outset that my experience is almost entirely with […]

Obama Beats Clinton: Biggest Upset Ever?

Barack Obama Superman Pose

Chris Cillizza compares Barack Obama’s apparent victory over Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination to various “upsets” in sports and pop culture history and wonders if this is the biggest upset in American political history. He cites Harry Truman’s win over Thomas Dewey in 1948, Jimmy Carter’s come-from-nowhere win in 1976, and then-upstart Bill Clinton’s […]

Two Blogs that Pass in the Night

Root for Us You Liberal Moron

Yesterday’s exchange with Thers over the state of conservatism reflects a major defect in the blogging medium. For the most part, we write blogs in serial fashion, as a conversation with our readers, and presume that recent posts on the same subject have been read. Most blog readers, on the other hand, parachute into posts […]

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