Archive | June 12, 2009

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Bilbo blowing a smoke ringI saw Michael Cannon of the Cato Institute on the news tonight making an eminently left-libertarian point: while many tobacco companies oppose the new restrictions on cigarette advertising, the nation’s largest, Philip Morris, supports it – because restrictions on advertising benefit major brands at the expense of smaller, lesser-known brands that have more need to advertise. While Congress postures as an opponent of Big Tobacco, Cannon noted, in practice it consistently supports it, even through its purportedly anti-smoking policies.

Baptists and bootleggers, anyone?

The Atrocity of Hope, Part 6: Put Not Your Trust In Princes

ObushmaThe Obama administration offers a legal defense of “don’t ask, don’t tell” – on the grounds that it’s “rationally related to the government’s legitimate interest in military discipline and cohesion.” (In other words, the administration isn’t just delaying repeal, but is actively affirming the reasoning behind the policy – a policy our President Incarnate claims to oppose.)

The Obama administration offers a legal defense of the Defense of Marriage Act – on the grounds that “courts have widely held that certain marriages performed elsewhere need not be given effect, because they conflicted with the public policy of the forum.” (Quite true – the Supreme Court did uphold anti-miscegenation laws, for example. Still, an awkward precedent for this administration to invoke, one would have thought.)

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Sword and Screen

Carson NapierAs of this moment, John Carter of Mars, The Hobbit, Conan, Conan: Red Nails, Jonah Hex, and Pirates of Venus are all still on track for movie releases.

But Pirates of Venus is now puzzlingly renamed Carson Napier (after its protagonist). Note that the synopsis on the studio website now bears only a passing resemblance to the novel, and that it that oddly avoids any reference to space travel (though the background of the poster does at least show a Venus-looking planet). The project’s own website, by contrast, still lists the original title.

With Great Power Comes Great Irresponsibility

Charles has a regular feature describing police brutality cases from around the country (and in some cases, from around the world); the latest is especially worthy reading.

The crucial message we need to get out is that these are not bugs in the system; this is the system.

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