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Official Silencing

This article from the other ABC says that for the sixth year in a row, China leads the world in imprisoning journalists. Reason adds: "But in fairness to those countries, their combined populations wouldn't even equal China's." This got me curious. The number of journalists jailed and populations of these countries are:

China: 43, 1,298,847,624
Cuba: 23, 11,308,764
Eritrea: 17, 4,447,307
Burma: 11, 42,720,196 Read more »


Department Store Article

Department stores are a dying breed. While Marshall Field's can still afford its operations in the middle of Chicago, Macy's had to merge with Rich's and new department stores are not opening up. Part of this, as has been discussed elsewhere, is the rise of Wal-Mart, Target, and similar stores. Part of this we could attribute to the spread of suburbs, so that instead of a large number of people clustered around one department store there are lots of smaller clusters around Wal-Marts and Targets. Surely there are other reasons, but that's a discussion for another day. Read more »


Old Wine vs. New Wine

Here's an interesting development: distributed wine-making. Advances in the science and technology of wine production have allowed countries with no long-established industry to start producing quality wines. Not surprisingly, places looking to protect the legal structure around their long-established wine industries (I'm looking at you, France) are falling behind because of their reluctance or refusal to adopt the new technologies. Read more »


Get ready for this...

Hot on the heels of my previous post, I have a somewhat strange sequel. I recently took a job in downtown Atlanta working for the Georgia state-level leviathan. Specifically, I am now on (the low end of) the staff of a state representative. Read more »


Out in the free air

I could already tell, but now I have it explicitly stated: Brian Doherty, my favorite Reason contributor, is an anarchist. Much of his previous output points to this, and many of our readers will not be learning anything new by this announcement, but I am pleased to see it out in the open like this. Who else is lurking in the depths, shunning the light of extreme libertarian day?


Kyoto Day

Over at Reason Ronald Bailey notes that the Kyoto Protocol goes into effect today. I suppose it was bound to happen eventually. His article notes a little UN trickery:


The Enemy That Never Sleeps

It's often hard for libertarians to read the news. Two of today's articles will demonstrate.

First, Forbes reports that medical problems cause half of personal bankruptcies. It's obvious that medical care costs a whole lot more than it could. Surely this will be taken by policymakers and talking heads as proof that we need more socialism in the most socialized sector of our economy. I'm pretty healthy and expect to remain so, but some of you, dear readers, are screwed. Read more »


I may disagree with what you say, but I will acknowledge the artistry of how you say it

I'll hand it to Cheney, he can cover his ass like you wouldn't believe. The Washington Post reports:

Vice President Dick Cheney said Thursday that he overestimated the pace of Iraq's recovery from the U.S.-led invasion...

...because...

...because he didn't realize the lasting devastation wrought by Saddam Hussein on his people after the first Gulf War.

Recommendations for 2008

With George W. Bush about to rub it in the Democratic Party's face and the DNC chair race underway, there is a lot of brainstorming in their ranks about how to regain power. Reach out to new corners while maintaining the core principles and all that nonsense that's bound to fail. What I'd like to see from them is a little housecleaning. The party that bills itself as the party of civil rights and liberties has a lot to explain as it is. Read more »


File Under: Obvious

If the government didn't do it, who would?


Hostility everywhere

Every other hack columnist you can think of has trotted out the Vietnam comparison either to support it or to knock it down with regards to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. It's such a cliché that many people automatically tune out when they come across it. Supporters of the Iraq effort tirelessly rebut comparisons to Vietnam. I admit that many of the comparisons shouldn't be made, though I have made others myself that I stand behind. Read more »


Finally, almost a choice...

After years of Yasser Arafat's autocratic rule, Palestinians are now having municipal elections, where they will get to pick their local officials...from Fatah or Hamas. It doesn't look so bright, but after years of Arafat and the recent intifada, it can't get worse, can it?

The results might not be entirely bad:


New Flash #109876

Apparently, criminals are rational too. The perpetrators of a £22m (~$42m) bank robbery "did their homework" before carrying out the crime.


Negligence unbound

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Air Force General Richard Myers, just announced that the recent attack in Mosul that resulted in 22 deaths was carried out by a suicide bomber. Read more »


Kwanzaa Redux

Though he did attempt to paint me as a conservative, Abiola Lapite raises valid points in his response to my earlier Kwanzaa article. I must admit his take on my position is partially my fault, due to unclear writing. I regret not making my point more clearly. In order to avoid this the next time around, I want to state my positions plainly and then respond to the response. Add to this that I am none too expert on Jewish traditions, and opened myself up for attack from that angle.

Positions: Read more »