Current Affairs

Barbie Latza Nadeau, Rome Bureau Chief for The Daily Beast:

The Vatican police showed up to find an orgy in progress, with an untold number of naked men allegedly writhing around the floor with Capozzi and his cohorts, who were apparently under the influence of hard drugs according to the Italian newspaper Il Fatto Quotidiano which broke the story that a host of Italian and international media have since picked up.



From AlternativePAC, a pro-Gary Johnson SuperPAC. Only two minutes, five seconds of your time. Some quotes:

“There’s been a fundamental paradigm shift. Power has been lifted from the elites and split between the people, through the internet. What do Uber, AirBnB, and Lyft all have in common? A way for the average user to maneuver around this top-down approach of rulers and rule-makers, legislators and regulators.”

“In the world of politics, mainstream media no longer controls the content. We use Twitter and blogs and Periscope to create context.”

“The internet has taught us the insider control the process”

“Liberty is real transpartisanship”

“Let’s unite liberty with community”


Several reasons, all of them are not obvious. Re-building helps people get back to even — to where they were before the disaster.

Physical capital was destroyed. Cars, buildings, etc.  These structures can no longer be used to generate income. People cannot get to their jobs if their cars were destroyed. Maybe they’ll get paid, maybe they won’t.  Either way is only part of the problem.  The work they intended was not worked on.  As well, they will now have to divert their income from what they had it planned for to replacing or fixing the vehicle that was destroyed or disabled.

Commerce was halted. Businesses small, medium, and large closed. This deprived the owners and employees of income. Customers were unable to buy the things they sought.

Existing processes were disrupted. People could not get to and from work, parents could not bring their kids to schools or other activities. Supply chains to brings goods to market were disrupted and so the goods could not be delivered. Retailers and other recipients of those goods could not sell them or had to take orders for future delivery at best. But, often, stuff is bought on-the-spot. If it’s not in stock it cannot be sold. People sat home and could not work or attend to other activities that promote commerce. Sure, there was some temporary activity to fill the gap but that is money diverted from its intended purpose.

Jeff Jacoby on Frederic Bastiat’s That Which is Seen, and That Which is Not Seen:

The fatal flaw in that thinking, Bastiat wrote, is that it concentrates only on “what is seen’’ – the glazier being paid to make a new window. What it ignores is “what is not seen’’ – that the shopkeeper, forced to spend six francs on that, has lost the opportunity to spend them on better shoes, a new book, or some other addition to his standard of living. The glazier may be better off, but the shopkeeper isn’t – and neither is society as a whole.

(Reuters) – Hurricane Irene sent East Coast shoppers into stores to stock up on essentials this week, instead of the clothes, notebooks and other supplies that retailers were counting on selling as children get ready to go back to school.

Chains such as Home Depot Inc (HD.N) and Wal-Mart Stores Inc (WMT.N) were doing brisk business on Friday, selling water, flashlights, batteries and other goods in states standing in Irene’s potential track from the Carolinas to Massachusetts.

A list of firms and their employees here.  Notice how they respond to their particular situation based on their local knowledge.  Who can get to work, what should they stock up on, should they increase staff, should close or reduce staff such as Tiffany’s.

Today, there are three great blots on the American Dream. Unsurprisingly, in all three areas, the state, at various levels, calls most of the shots, either through straight-up racketeering or by rigging the rules in a way that makes it nearly impossible for people to escape.

Americans, ever inventive, keep constructing elaborate workarounds to circumvent the tired regulations that support these three vast empires of concentrated political power.

But it’s time to stop sneaking out windows and creeping through back doors. Forget “winning the future” — if America has any hope of winning the present, it’s time to confront head-on our profound problems with education, health care and retirement.

The specific paths to improving each area are different, but the problems stem from a single dynamic: A tightly controlled, politically operated system created to address the issues of the past is at odds with current and future needs and demographics.

We are personalizing and tailoring everything else in our lives to our different needs. Yet, despite their centrality to our lives, education, health care and retirement offer us considerably less choice than we have at the 7-Eleven soda fountain.


I’m very sorry to report sad news: Lanny Friedlander, the man who founded Reason magazine as a student at Boston University in 1968 has died at the age of 63.


On this day in 1775, Patrick Henry delivered his famous “Liberty or Death!” speech at St. John’s Church in Richmond, Virginia.
. . .
And then, only weeks after starting his broadcasts, at the age of 28, Nabbous was killed — on the air, as he broadcast from a firefight in Benghazi. Interviewer Melissa Block recalled that he had been known to say, in words that echo Patrick Henry,

I’m not afraid to die. I’m afraid to lose the battle.

Freedom is won by people like Patrick Henry and Mohammed Nabbous. We should remember both of them today, and take inspiration from their example.


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