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George W. Bush famously lamented the fact that many on the left expected far less from minorities and felt that judging Blacks and Hispanics by standards that didn’t allow for presumed disadvantages was unfair. He called it “the soft bigotry of low expectations.” But conservatives and even tea partiers appear to be just as susceptible […]

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This is getting ridiculous: The debate over religious freedom in America has reached absurd levels of acrimony and paranoia. The most recent salvo: political and economic leaders are threatening and attacking Indiana, where Governor Mike Pence has signed into state law a version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). RFRA laws, in general, allow Americans to […]

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Local news reported that Park Slope Collegiate High School students held a rally last Friday, “to criticize the actions of police and safety officers in their school” and Mayor de Blasio’s son, Dante was in attendance.  (Well, if missing both the march and the speeches still counts as “attending.”   Either that was one seriously short […]

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Those who have not started fast forwarding the first two minutes of Ricochet podcasts have likely noticed all the calls for new members and expired members to return – even as I wrote this a new con, I mean, marketing technique came up on the member feed. With so many finding Ricochet through the podcasts, […]

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Teenage Libertarian Leads Brazil’s Largest Protest in Decades

 

Kim KataguiriSince several decades of military rule ended in 1984, Brazil mostly has been led by a series of left-wing presidents. The South American nation’s current leader, Dilma Rousseff, has been regularly rocked by scandals and a stubbornly moribund economy. The previous president, Lula, had a similar experience, since it’s basically impossible for big government to collude with big business and not create corruption and stagnation.

As Rousseff continues borrowing and building for the upcoming Rio Olympics, many Brazilians have had enough. But instead of advocating a purer form of leftism or a return to authoritarianism, the young are demanding a far more radical approach: freedom. It isn’t cigar-smoking businessmen or stodgy think tanks advocating free markets and free minds, but a funny, tech-savvy teenager named Kim Kataguiri.

The March 15 demonstration was the largest Sao Paulo had seen in more than three decades, since 1984 protests demanding democratic elections after a long dictatorship.

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The last two weeks in my class we’ve been talking about the Founding, and discussing the various ways that the Founders tried to prevent the Republic disintegrating as was, more or less, the fate of every previous republic.  At the same time I was teaching the topic, Carl Eric Scott was writing at NRO about […]

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Clarkson, Conservatives, and the Cult of Victimhood

 

Jeremy ClarksonIt’s not easy being on the Right today. This is particularly true if you happen to be an affluent heterosexual white male. If you are unfortunate enough to be in that position, you are expected to spend most of your time checking your privilege and must be constantly vigilant lest you inadvertently commit a microaggression.

If, by some failure of the affirmative action system, you manage to slip past the bien pensant guardians of the culture and achieve mainstream celebrity status, your every word and deed will undoubtedly be subject to severe scrutiny. The slightest deviation from politically correct orthodoxy will result in mass public outrage and calls for your termination. Given such circumstances it is entirely understandable that many, if not most, conservative mainstream celebrities choose to toe the PC line and keep their views to themselves. Understandable, but disheartening nonetheless. To his credit, Jeremy Clarkson chose a different route.

For more than a decade, Clarkson has been the host of the wildly popular BBC motoring show “Top Gear.” Since taking over as the show’s chief impresario in 2002, Clarkson has transformed it from a little-watched Consumer Reports-ish snooze fest into an exciting and humorous mega hit with 300 million viewers worldwide. He managed to do so despite, or perhaps more accurately because, he is routinely profoundly un-PC. At one point or another Clarkson has skewered every sacred cow from vegetarianism to multiculturalism to electric cars, making himself one of the British Left’s most hated bogeymen. In recent years Clarkson has sparked controversy and calls for his sacking numerous times for an array of crimes against progressivism ranging from the use of racial epithets to taunting Argentina over the Falklands War. Despite the best efforts of the left-wing outrage industry, Jeremy Clarkson continued to prosper as the star of the BBC’s most popular show.

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Since clearly not all stories can be national stories some of the more interesting local ones never quite get the traction for a wider audience and end up buried, quickly forgotten. This is one of those stories. The City by the Bay, San Francisco. Famed world wide for its iconic landmarks,  exceedingly liberal politics and […]

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I’m tired of Hillary.  I want her to lose, and lose bad–but I’m sick of talking about her. I think Obama and Kerry are hosing up the security of the Middle East, and ultimately our security here at home.  But I’ve run out of adjectives to describe their stupidity. Preview Open

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, … they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” and “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech…” Has anyone read […]

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Tim Cook, Apple’s ceo, has just come out against Indiana’s RFRA law, and there are veiled threats to discriminate against states that pass similar laws. Since many of you use I-stuff, should you be using his products, or Mozilla’s, since they both discriminate? IMO, no one should boycott when someone offers an opinion with which […]

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Over at National Review today, I have a controversial take on last week’s mass-murder-by-airplane: I wrote on the afternoon of that day that we had just seen the end of the era of aircraft hijacking. From that day forward, everyone flying in an airliner, crew and passenger alike, would know that to surrender an aircraft […]

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The newly signed Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act is almost entirely the same as other RFRAs around the nation and at the national level. However, there are two things that set this law apart from the others, and if the left wants to be genuine in their attacks they should focus here rather than pounding […]

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Is the Court Too Deferential? Or Not Deferential Enough?

 

Restraint — like any virtue — has its place when applied toward the right objects, at the right times, and in the right amounts (h/t: Aristotle). As conservatives with a constrained view of humanity (h/t: Thomas Sowell), this means that we tend to favor restraint over rashness. But in the case of judicial philosophy, our rhetoric may have gotten ahead of our actual beliefs.

Reason’s Damon Root and NRO’s Carson Halloway have been debating the matter on their respective sites, with Root arguing — as he does in his recent book — that our courts have been too deferential to the legislative and executive branches, and Halloway (with an assist from Ramesh Ponnuru) arguing that Root’s prescription is dangerously activist and anti-Burkean. Putting aside the historical question of what the Founders intended — which I think is well-sourced enough on both sides to be unresolvable — the matter essentially boils down to a question of which the following strikes you as less naive: “I’m sure Congress knows what it’s doing” or “I’m sure the Courts know better.”

Reiding Between the Lines

 

ReidHis decision not to seek another Senate term sent Washington into a tizzy last week, begging questions as to what prompted the surprise career choice and what it portends for control of the chamber beyond 2016. But enough about Indiana Senator Dan Coats . . .

Instead, it’s Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who made the big splash in announcing that he won’t seek a sixth term next year. And this being the nation’s capital, where no one voluntarily relinquishes power unless (a) they’re shoved out the door or (b) happen to be awaiting indictment, one wonders what all contributed to Reid’s retirement.

Here are three things to ponder:

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wikiPENGUIN is an effort to turn the tables on espionage. Instead of governments spying on individuals, PENGUIN spies on governments. And instead of anti-Americans revealing wikiLeaks in favor of terrorists, PENGUIN will gather private documents from dictators, terrorists and even Obama himself! wikiPENGUIN is just getting started, but I’d love your feedback on what they’ve already […]

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A Good Shellacking

 

DamagedCDROn April Fool’s Day of 2003, the folks at NPR’s All Things Considered and the Library of Congress teamed up for an epic prank. They announced that the LOC was in the process of transferring its entire music collection to 78rpm records.

“The whole history of recorded sound has been a case of one technology leapfrogging over a previous one,” (explains reporter Rick) Karr. “But in the last few decades, the changes from vinyl to tape cassette to CD to MP3 have shortened the life span of most music collections. “But thanks to a grant from the Smolian-Giovannoni Foundation, all of these audio formats are being transferred onto 10-inch wide, 78 rpm shellac disks — the one rock-solid format archivists have identified that works every time.”

Even today the story, still found in NPR’s online archive, gets an occasional, “Can this be real?” inquiry.

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I am no isolationist.  In fact, as far as I know, I’m the last defender of the Iraq War.  (“Why did we invade Iraq?  So that Muammar Gaddafi would decide to give up his nuclear program.”) And I am no fan of President Obama’s foreign policy — Iran, fake red lines in Syria, abandoning Ukraine (and the […]

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