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Rule of Reason Blog last won the day on November 30 2012

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  1. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men. – Lord Acton to Bishop Creighton, 1887 Francis "Frank" Underwood is absolutely corrupted, and isn't a "great man," except perhaps in the eyes of lesser men, no less corrupted but out-maneuvered by Underwood in the give-and-take-and-extortion business of Washington D.C. They pay him the respect and deference he expects of them, because they lost to him in the ruthless, cannibalistic pursuit of power that makes the slaughter of the French knights at Agincourt look like a Kennedy clan game of t
  2. The New York Times isn't called The Gray Lady for nothing. It has entered its 162nd year of publication. Despite its falling daily circulation that hovers tenuously around one million, it is still regarded as the nation's "newspaper of record." It boasts a monthly tally of thirty million "visitors" to its online version. "Visitors," however, does not necessarily translate into "readers." Once the most widely read paper in the nation, today it follows USA Today and The Wall Street Journal in circulation. In the 19th century, it was largely a Republican paper, until it turned "independen
  3. The rectangle of light in the acres of a farm was the window of the library of Judge Narragansett. He sat at a table, and the light of his lamp fell on the copy of an ancient document. He had marked and crossed out the contradictions in its statements that had once been the cause of its destruction. He was now adding a new clause to its pages: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of production and trade…."* Who is Judge Narragansett? What "ancient document" is he editing? And where is he doing it? Anyone who has read Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged will recognize the scene
  4. I developed a dislike for Franklin D. Roosevelt in high school because he was oversold by my history teachers. He was portrayed as a kind of canonized secular saint who had saved the nation and the world from the ghastly phenomena of Depression and the Axis. Too young to judge FDR's political accomplishments, what inculcated an unshakable suspicion in me was the tone with which FDR was uncritically presented by the teachers to my history classes. (They were still called "history" classes back then, not "social science.") He could do no wrong, his intentions were unquestionably noble, he had sa
  5. Barack Hussein Obama was no sooner elected than his propaganda vehicles were loosened on the nation. In my column, "Obama's Anti-Absolutism Club" article, in which I demonstrate just how smitten the Mainstream Media are with Obama, what I could also have highlighted was the lengths to which the MSM will go in the way of excuses, covering up his failures and the peril he poses to the nation as a wannabe tyrant, and just plain forgiving him for his executive trespasses and crimes (all done in the name of "progress" and "moving forward"). It would have been neatly just to compare the MSM wit
  6. The Mainstream Mafia – excuse me, Media – oblivious to their own death throes and their glaring irrelevancy in contemporary American political discourse, continue to fawn over President Barack Obama and his second inaugural address of January 21st. They behave as though everyone in the nation were breathlessly glued to CBS, CNN, ABC, NBC, Washington Week, Face the Nation and PBS's variety show of round table analytical yak fests. The MSM erroneously presume that the nation receives their dollops of wisdom from them. The truth is that even Obama's supporters and worshippers rely less on what th
  7. Sitting down to parse President Barack Obama's second inaugural address of January 21st, one's eyes begin to glaze over while scanning the transcript of the speech. There again are the same old platitudes, bromides, and catch phrases and secret coded messages. There again is the sanctimonious delivery of a person who wants to be remembered for something, because otherwise he is a zero who can only recite a speech someone else wrote and polished and ensured that no gaffes or unintended meanings were in the text. But he read the speech, he vetted it and approved of it, and he delivered it, so, i
  8. Daniel Greenfield, in his January 20thSultan Knish column, observed that "Obama is truly fake. He is authentically unreal. There is absolutely nothing to him. If you take away all the work that was done to make him famous, there would be nothing there. And that is exactly why he is the perfect avatar for the media age." How true. Of course, a man who is nothing but who seeks to be something by pursuing political power is, root and branch, a nihilist. And that is what Obama is, at core. Down deep, he knows he is nothing. But in the eyes of his worshipping electorate, he is something. He is
  9. Contributing Editor Edward Cline was interviewed by Family Security Matters about his life, writing career, and goals. He is first and foremost a novelist, but over the years has written hundreds of book and movie reviews, political and cultural columns, and papers for a variety of print and weblog publications. Born in Pittsburgh in 1946, when he graduated from high school, he went directly into the Air Force because he was going to be drafted. After leaving the Air Force, he lived and worked around the country, educating himself (he learned very little in high school) and honing his writing
  10. “If there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try,” said President Barack Obama. In the fantasy world of Left/Liberalism, in which the vacuity of preventive, positivist law reigns and is unquestioned and adopted as policy, countless lives will have been "saved" with gun bans, smoking bans, big soft drink bans, msg-bans, transfat bans, medical insuranceless bans (Obamacare), lead gas bans, "dirty" energy bans, pollution bans, drug bans, asbestos bans, greenhouse gas bans, Islamophobic speech bans, hate speech bans, and so on. But how, then, is it proven tha
  11. It is common knowledge that, as Washington is now the citadel of the Left, Hollywood has been a fiefdom of the Left for a very long time. The Left picks the projects, the scripts, the actors, and the directors, and then foists its films on a hapless American movie-going public, saying it's only entertainment and not to be taken seriously, adding, "We don't mean nothin' by it." The Left calls nearly all the shots in Hollywood. Anyone who doesn’t toe the Left's Party line is left unemployed, unnoticed, shunned, and ostracized, regardless of talent or experience. In short, blacklisted. They may b
  12. I suppose it is a law of political economy that when a burgeoning and omnivorous government reaches a certain stage of growth, its champions and beneficiaries and sinecured, career bureaucrats inaugurate self-congratulatory and appreciation organizations that "reward" bureaucrats and "public servants" for their work. These organizations are great for bringing the "recognized" together for speeches and photo-ops and a dose of "feel-good" camaraderie. Not to mention a medal and possibly a chunk of cash. Looking at the Washington Post's "Federal Coach" blog columns, written by Tom Fox of the Part
  13. Without going much into the lore, literature, and filmography of zombies, there is an appropriate analogy to be drawn between the notion of the "living dead" and the living that deserves to be illustrated. Metaphorical zombies rule our current political culture, as well. At least, that is how I often feel when engaging others in a discussion of politics and even esthetics and contemporary human behavior. Try as one might, such people are proof against reason, beyond redemption or reclamation. There is, however, more fascination with the subject than I had expected to encounter. One venu
  14. Nothing will replace physical books. There is a certain satisfaction to be had and valued in seeing the physical, existential, three-dimensional form of a book – one's own or someone else's – in having it on hand without needing to click a mouse or scroll through screen pages. Perhaps the entire contents of the Library of Congress and the British Museum can be combined and fitted into a special thumbnail drive and be made accessible to one and all, everywhere, anywhere, and at any time. But otherwise, a book's contents exist in the ethereal realm of chips and circuitry. One can't reach
  15. As I noted in my earlier column, "Come Out With Your Hands Up!"on the occasion of the Sandy Hook school massacre and the howling of the Left for gun controls: The calls for stricter controls on automatic and semi–automatic weapons sound more like the baying of a wolf pack as it closes in on hapless gun–owners and the Second Amendment right to own and bear arms than it does outrage over the crime. "Preventive" or "preemptive" law is the legal offspring of Positive Law, which, simply put, is legislation passed to correct perceived social wrongs or inequities. Positive law nullifies natura
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