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Frank Zappa, Conservative

Here’s a remarkably clear description of the entrepreneur’s role from Frank Zappa. In short, the risks are big, the rewards are uncertain and the personnel should be focused on the mission or they should leave.

In the late 1980s, I recall Zappa appearing on “Crossfire” to discuss the problems associated with attempts to limit or punish artists who use off-color language or produce work that deals with off-color themes. At one point in the discussion, he defiantly calls himself a “conservative.” Given this description of what an entrepreneur actually does, I now more fully understand what he meant.

This should be required listening for anyone (*cough* Republicans *cough*) who claim to admire those who take big financial risks in pursuit of big rewards.

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Buckhattan

My buddy Rob Raffety is making a short film called “Muck.” For the intro, he blatantly ripped off honored Woody Allen by recreating the opening scene of “Manhattan” in Rob’s hometown of Buckhannon, West Virginia. Enjoy this carefully detailed effort.

“Buckhattan”

Shot by shot comparison

Rob’s recent film, “Game Nightwill be featured at this year’s DC Shorts Film Festival.

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Chris Thile: American Radio Hero

There was a time when I believed that Chris Thile was merely the greatest mandolinist I’d ever heard. Now that his rise signals the end of the greatest ongoing atrocity ever perpetrated on American radio, he’s more like a Philosopher King Warrior Poet who is also the greatest mandolinist I’ve ever heard.

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Charles Murray’s Dangerous Idea

I chatted with Charles Murray about his recent book, By the People. In it, he describes what he sees as a way to effectively shut down enforcement of vast chunks of destructive federal regulation. All that’s needed is some generous benefactors and some civil disobedience.

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Looting in Perspective

“While no one condones looting, on the other hand, one can understand the pent-up feelings that may result from decades of repression and people who have had members of their family killed by that regime, for them to be taking their feelings out on that regime. And I don’t think there’s anyone in any of those pictures … (who wouldn’t) accept it as part of the price of getting from a repressed regime to freedom.” – Donald Rumsfeld

(Swiped from Alex Nowrasteh)

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A Response to the 2015 State of the Union

Yes, we stayed up all night.

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Bill Moyers on MLK Day

Bill Moyers posted a short interview today to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Selma, he says, was good, but flawed.

As for how the film portrays Lyndon B. Johnson: There’s one egregious and outrageous portrayal that is the worst kind of creative license because it suggests the very opposite of the truth, in this case, that the president was behind J. Edgar Hoover’s sending the “sex tape” to Coretta King. Some of our most scrupulous historians have denounced that one. And even if you want to think of Lyndon B. Johnson as vile enough to want to do that, he was way too smart to hand Hoover the means of blackmailing him.

As to his time in the Johnson White House, Moyers has a hazy memory:

[Moyers’] part in Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover’s bugging of Martin Luther King’s private life, the leaks to the press and diplomatic corps, the surveillance of civil rights groups at the 1964 Democratic Convention, and his request for damaging information from Hoover on members of the Goldwater campaign suggest he was not only a good soldier but a gleeful retainer feeding the appetites of Lyndon Johnson.

… a very hazy memory.

(h/t Mark Hemingway)

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Speakeasy Shorts: ‘Game Night’

I acted in a short film last week. It won an award (and $1000) last night. Thanks to everyone who came out to support us.

Game Night from DC Shorts on Vimeo.

Thanks to DC Shorts and Speakeasy DC for putting on such a cool event and contest! Thanks also to Rob Raffety for offering me the chance to appear in his film.

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Net Neutrality Rhetoric, Reality

First, I love The Oatmeal. Matt Inman’s comic regularly speaks my mind on all manner of life’s little complaints (and solutions). Sadly, when he tried to explain net neutrality, I think he missed the mark. By a lot.

Then the President decided he’d offer some free advice to the FCC on how that agency should proceed with regulating the internet. Same problem.

So I sat down with Berin Szoka of Techfreedom to try to separate the aspirations of activists from the realities of how markets and the internet actually function and what kind of regulatory regime will serve consumers best.

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Megatron, Call Your Lawyer

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