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A Response to the 2015 State of the Union

Yes, we stayed up all night.


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.


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.


Megatron, Call Your Lawyer


How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life

It was great to sit down with Russ Roberts, Econtalk host and former professor of mine, to discuss his great new book, How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness. Russ is, in class, one of the most concise communicators of economic ideas I’ve ever seen. He’s also able to abandon much of the jargon that makes economic ideas so often uninteresting to the average person.

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I don’t usually go in for buying stuff ironically, but …


The Terrible 32s

I sometimes wonder if the parents who chuckle knowingly at stories like these ever sense that they’ve utterly failed at the most basic child-rearing tasks:

Your 32-year-old may make outrageous demands incommensurate with the $87.04 in crumpled bills and pennies in her Mason jar. For instance: beginning the day with a $10 green juice after a night of picklebacks and one-dollar pizza; pursuing another M.F.A. degree; living in Park Slope “independently” instead of with four roommates.

Rather than flatly refuse, we recommend gentle compromise: suggesting she convert to canned V8; advising her to put her poetry and fiction M.F.A.s to use before plunging into the lucrative world of printmaking; and noting that “independently” suggests “without subsidies,” which, you’ve been meaning to tell her, are ending soon.

Still, it’s pretty funny. RTWT.


Remembering Leonard Liggio

Leonard Liggio, who died this week, was an important pillar in the modern libertarian movement and someone who connected modern libertarian ideas with their historical antecedents. I chatted briefly with Tom G. Palmer about Liggio’s impact on ideas and libertarianism.


Lukianoff on ‘Freedom from Speech’

“Disinvitation season” for commencement speakers has become something of a hallmark of the college experience in recent years. Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education explains in his new essay, “Freedom from Speech.”