URLs du Jour


  • Decades ago, when socialist ideas were still popular, the notion came about that the "airwaves" (i.e., some parts of the electomagnetic spectrum) should be a "national resource." This eventually resulted in Dan Rather, at which point nearly everyone should have recognized it to be a Really Bad Idea.

    But bluenoses and power junkies of left and right continue to hold on. Jacob Sullum examines the latest outrage, Senator Brownback's proposal to increase the FCC's "indecent" programming fines by an order of magnitude. Jacob asks: how about we junk the whole kit and kaboodle, take the First Amendment seriously, let people decide what to watch on their own, and we parents take some responsibility for what our kids see? Good question.

  • Greg Mankiw quotes a Cato brief on estate taxes around the globe, so I will too:
    Of 50 countries surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2005, 24 do not have an estate or inheritance tax, including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Sweden. Of the 26 countries in the table that do have estate or inheritance taxes, the United States has the third highest rate at 46 percent.
    There is no way that the Federal Goverment should feel entitled to 46% of anything, even with exemptions. The only motivation to setting a number that high is envy. (Sorry, seem to be on a Death Tax kick these days.)

  • Lileks' Bleat is an everyday stop for me, but he's really good when he riffs on old movies. Today, he starts on 42nd Street:
    … the star of course is Ruby Keeler, who dances like sacks of wet cement falling from a second-story window. It's like watching an interpretative dance based on the Whack-A-Mole game.
    And there's more after that, so check it out.