Thanksgiving is Awesome

Source: TK News
by Matt Taibbi

“How can I eat turkey and stuffing with a smile, when Columbus massacred the Arawaks? When the English forced the Wampanoags off their land and made many convert to Christianity? When Lincoln told Horace Greeley, ‘If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it?’ How? Maybe because you’re more than three years old, and don’t need fairy tales to be real in order to enjoy dinner with family and a football game? We don’t ask Russians how they can sit around the yelochka every New Year and open presents knowing that Ivan the Terrible used to roast prisoners in giant frying pans, or how they can smoke Belomorkanal cigarettes knowing the real White Sea canal is filled with the bones of slave laborers. I think even most MSNBC anchors would agree, that would be stupid. But we do this to ourselves all the time now, and every year it gets worse.” (11/25/21)

Cruft, and being thankful for it

Source: Libertarian Policy Institute
by Nicholas Sarwark

“One of the first things you learn in computer science is the concept of cruft, the remnants of old projects, failed design attempts, temporary fixes, and emergency debugging done ages ago. It all had a reason, a need, an absolute requirement to be written at some point in the past and it has no reason to continue to exist. Cruft is a special type of entropy in human endeavors, the memory of the myriad ephemeral things that were once important to us. The cruft accumulates over time on everything, like moss and bromeliads on everything along the Gulf Coast of Alabama. Speaking of the Gulf Coast of Alabama, it’s where I am spending this Thanksgiving, living in a camper trailer for weeks at a time, missing my family and helping the Libertarian Party of Alabama gain ballot access. … The whole concept of ballot access restriction through physical signatures is a type of political cruft.” (11/25/21)

“Honest Mistakes”: How US and Israel Justify Targeting and Killing Civilians

by Jonathan Cook

“An ‘honest mistake’ is buying your partner the wrong perfume or copying someone into an email chain by accident. It is not firing a drone missile at a car, killing 10 civilians — and doing so when a small child was clearly visible moments earlier. And yet, a supposedly ‘independent’ Pentagon inquiry this month claimed just such a good-faith mistake after US commanders authorized a drone strike in late August that killed an Afghan family, including seven children. … The ‘honest mistake’ is a continuing colonial narrative western nations tell themselves, and the rest of us, when they kill civilians. When western troops invade and occupy other people’s lands — and maybe help themselves to some of the resources they find along the way — it is done in the name of bringing security or spreading democracy. We are always the Good Guys, they are the Evil Ones. We make mistakes, they commit crimes.” (11/26/21)

What’s Wrong With Social Mobility

Source: EconLog
by Pierre Lemieux

“In and of itself, social mobility is far from ambiguously good. … Relative social mobility up is necessarily accompanied by social mobility down. Few people would consciously argue that social mobility in this sense is unambiguously good, especially if the arguer is among the downward-mobile. Whether relative social mobility is good or bad must depend on its causes and consequences. If people switch relative places but the absolute incomes of all move up in the process, social mobility can be said to be absolute: everybody gains.” (11/25/21)

The Gospel of a 99% Consensus

Source: American Institute for Economic Research
by Robertas Bakula

“The time of divine revelation as the path to knowledge and truth is behind us, at least in the Western world. The scientific revolution saw to that. Be that as it may, many people still equate truth with whatever strong beliefs they hold. I am sure you have heard that 97% of scientists agree — human activity is the main cause of changing climate. Even President Obama preached this message. A famous study published in 2013 has helped to entrench this idea in the popular mind. A team led by John Cook examined the literature and concluded that the scientific consensus on the human origins of climate change is beyond doubt. Some researchers and commentators, however, have discredited Cook’s methods, especially his interpretation of data.” (11/25/21)

The Merchants of Moral Panic

Source: Brownstone Institute
by Thomas Harrington

“[I]t is logical that many of us tend to associate the phenomenon of moral panic with the political right. And there are many reasons for doing so. From Le Bon, and his theories about the dangerous nature of the masses in the 1800s, to today’s Trumps, Erdogans, Bolsonaros, Abascals (Spain) and Orbans, the right has repeatedly resorted to moral panic to strengthen the foundations of its social power. But I think it is a very big mistake to assume that the use of moral panic is strictly a right-wing phenomenon. Moral panic is, in fact, a tool available to supporters of any social group possessed, on the one hand, of a substantial level of anguish over the relative loss of its social hegemony, and on the other, of the media connections needed to mount a sustained campaign to demonize nonconformists.” (11/23/21)

America’s Privileged Policy Elites and Their Lack of Accountability

by Ted Galen Carpenter

“It is increasingly apparent that America’s political and military elites are almost never held to account for their blunders or even outright crimes. The latest episode is the Pentagon’s multi-year campaign to conceal information about a March 2019 airstrike in Syria that killed as many as 64 civilians, including women and children. Despite the New York Times’[s] expose, there is no indication that the individuals responsible for that atrocity or the subsequent cover up will face any serious consequences. … None of this should come as a surprise. The latest episodes are reminiscent of the Navy’s behavior when one of its warships in the Persian Gulf, the USS Vincennes, shot down an Iranian airliner with 290 people aboard in July 1988.” (11/23/21)

Why Missouri Should Embrace Retail Electric Competition in One Graph

Source: Show-Me Institute
by Jakob Puckett

“Since 2008, Missourians’ average retail electricity prices have increased the fourth most in the country. The average retail price of electricity jumped 17 percent in our state over this time period after taking inflation into account. Missourians have little recourse to deal with these rising costs. Missouri’s retail electric markets are monopolized, meaning that each Missourian only has one possible electric service provider. But it doesn’t have to be this way. As I have written previously, thirteen states and the District of Columbia allow customers to choose between competing electric service providers.” (11/23/21)

The Media Is Lying To You About Inflation

Source: Libertarian Institute
by William Anderson

“With the recent rise in inflation — with subsequent increases in both consumer and producer price levels — one suspects that sooner or later people on the left either would downplay it or find a way to spin the bad news into something positive like an alchemist would want to spin straw into gold. Both accounts have arrived, thanks to the New York Times and the hard-left [sic] publication, The Intercept. The various accounts in the Times hardly are surprising, given the link the paper has to the nation’s political, economic, and academic elites, and given that these are the people that have created the inflation problem in the first place.” (11/23/21)

A functional society? What is that?

Source: The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton

“America has never lived up to our ideals, even though there are times we came close. And there have always been very deeply dark threads in society. People today do not recall the deep evil of the Alien and Sedition Acts and how John Adams both changed and then betrayed his own personal actions. In other words, he was corrupted. (And we can point out exactly the same thing about the deified George Washington, and his actions in the Whiskey Rebellion. Or the sainted Thomas Jefferson’s quasi-constitutional actions in acquiring Louisiana.) … I do not want to dwell on the errors, the sins, of the past. Americans as a people have often missed the mark. But we generally have tried to live up to our ideals. Even though we sometimes deluded ourselves as to what those ideals were, and why what we did (or wanted to do) furthered our efforts to achieve them.” (11/23/21)