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Half Baked

Petit Tyrants

How Big Government Sabotages Poor People and Enriches Well-Connected Fat Cats

I don’t like coerced redistribution. When the government uses the threat of force to take from Person A to give to Person B, it simultaneously reduces Person A’s incentives to produce while also luring Person B into dependency. But not all coerced redistribution and government intervention is created equal. I don’t like welfare programs, for … … Continue reading

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Sen. Mitch McConnell Re-elected: A Washington Insider Sustained by the Establishment

The human brain is likely hard-wired to assume that tomorrow will be like today. This coping mechanism effectively narrows the window of our cognitive and perspectival range. The status quo not only endures; it is dominant, whereas reform must push hard to see the light of day. In politics, establishment interests, made wealthy in the status quo, bet their contributions on the political insiders—the establishment politicians who embrace the status quo. As a result, an electorate is manipulated and mislead by branding ads to the extent that it cannot be said that the real will of the people is done. The ensuing public policy is also not of that will; rather, legislation protects the vested interests in return for their contributions. A republic in the grip of this self-sustaining cycle can be said to suffer from a kind of hardening of the arteries. As times change, such a ship of state becomes increasingly unmoored from its people. Eventually, the ship sinks, after the pressure of incongruity has reached an unsustainable level. I contend that the 2014 U.S. Senate election in Kentucky between the Senate’s minority leader, Mitch McConnell, and his Democratic challenger, Alison Grimes, illustrates this political illness in action.

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How Washington Profits by Pillaging America

I’ve been banging the drum for years about Washington being a racket for the benefit of politicians, cronyists, bureaucrats, contractors, lobbyists, interest groups, and other insiders. I’ve written about horrific examples of bloated spending that line the pockets of the well connected. I’ve shared disgusting examples of Democrat sleaze and Republican sleaze. I’ve exposed rampant […]

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Exclusivism Trumps Fairness at Yale

Michael Simons, head of the cardiology department of the School of Medicine, made unwelcome sexual advances in writing to Annarita Di Lorenzo,  a researcher 18 years younger at the school in 2010. Simons wrote that he wanted to kiss the woman’s lips, and every part of her “body in every continent and city of the world.”[1]Referring to Frank Giordano, the woman’s boyfriend at the time and subsequently husband, Simon wrote that the woman was choosing the wrong man.  Simons would keep Giordano from important meetings and assignments. The relationship between the two men became so difficult that Jack Elias, the chairman of medicine, took over the direct supervision of Giordano to protect the untenured instructor from Simon.


Nevertheless, Yale’s provost, dismissed a university committee’s recommendation that Simons be permanently removed from his position in favor of an 18-month suspension. Faculty members claimed that Simons’ success in snagging $5 million annually from the U.S. Government in grants in 2012 and 2013 had been a factor, as well as the fact that the provost had been chair of the economics department, where Simons’ wife was a faculty member. The monetary element would not be lost on virtually any academic administrator at any university, but the “old boys club” sticky web of connections at the elitist Yale could mean that “outsiders” suffer considerable abuse there; the Provost’s dismissiveness of the university committee’s recommendation is but one indication of how distorted the moral compasses can be among the most powerful in the “club.” 


The complete essay is at “Exclusivism at Yale



1. Tamar Lewin, “Handling of Sexual Harassment Case Poses Larger Questions at Yale,” The New York Times, November 1, 2014.

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Exclusivism Eclipses Veritas at Yale

Michael Simons, head of the cardiology department of the School of Medicine, made unwelcome sexual advances in writing to Annarita Di Lorenzo,  a researcher 18 years younger at the school in 2010. Simons wrote that he wanted to kiss the woman’s lips, and every part of her “body in every continent and city of the world.”[1]Referring to Frank Giordano, the woman’s boyfriend at the time and subsequently husband, Simon wrote that the woman was choosing the wrong man.  Simons would keep Giordano from important meetings and assignments. The relationship between the two men became so difficult that Jack Elias, the chairman of medicine, took over the direct supervision of Giordano to protect the untenured instructor from Simon.


Nevertheless, Yale’s provost, dismissed a university committee’s recommendation that Simons be permanently removed from his position in favor of an 18-month suspension. Faculty members claimed that Simons’ success in snagging $5 million annually from the U.S. Government in grants in 2012 and 2013 had been a factor, as well as the fact that the provost had been chair of the economics department, where Simons’ wife was a faculty member. The monetary element would not be lost on virtually any academic administrator at any university, but the “old boys club” sticky web of connections at the elitist Yale could mean that “outsiders” suffer considerable abuse there; the Provost’s dismissiveness of the university committee’s recommendation is but one indication of how distorted the moral compasses can be among the most powerful in the “club.” 


The complete essay is at “Exclusivism at Yale



1. Tamar Lewin, “Handling of Sexual Harassment Case Poses Larger Questions at Yale,” The New York Times, November 1, 2014.

Continue reading Exclusivism Eclipses Veritas at Yale

The IRS’ thugocracy exposed

Apparently, the IRS thinks that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to them. That’s just another reason why people hate and fear the IRS. This NYTimes article should give people additional ammunition for fearing the IRS: For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, […]

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