The Bipartisan War on Individual Liberty

Politicians on the both left and right want to restrict your freedom.


The good people at Gallup perform a valuable public service by keeping track of what Americans consider the nation's most important problem. Five years ago, it was Iraq. Last summer, the economy weighed most heavily on the public mind. It still does this summer.

Or at least that is the view of the average men and women in the street. To their betters, however, the real problem facing the nation is something far different: Americans enjoy entirely too much freedom.

You can see this in the various proposals, which are legion, to take that freedom away. Late last month, there was a collective sigh of relief from the collectivist intelligentsia when the Supreme Court said Congress could force people to buy a consumer product. But within days, a writer for The Atlantic noted with a mixture of horror and dismay that the United States is "the only advanced country without a national vacation policy." He ginned up a handy infographic to illustrate the point.

Most Americans don't use all the vacation time they have now, but evidently federal mandates are needed nonetheless: The infographic quickly became a must-post item on approximately half the blogs in America. So did another infographic showing that the U.S. stands alone among advanced countries in the number of weeks of paid maternity leave it forces employers to provide (none).

We are all supposed to feel terrible about such marked contrasts, even though being unique implies nothing by itself. The U.S. also is the only nation in the world to apply an exclusionary rule. That rule says improperly obtained evidence cannot be used against a criminal defendant. In other advanced countries, a wrongful search can still nail you. America's way is better.

Apparently there is too much freedom at the state and local level, too. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is doing his bit in the fight against obesity by limiting non-grocery soda sales to containers of 16 ounces or less. Not content to rest on any laurels, the mayor's handpicked health commission is contemplating restrictions on movie popcorn and fattening milk beverages, too.

Meanwhile, the soda proposal is catching on elsewhere: Officials in Cambridge, Mass., say they might follow Bloomberg's lead. And they have a hometown hero to argue their case: Harvard professor Daniel Lieberman. Last heard making the case for compulsory exercise, Lieberman now contends humans "did not evolve to eat healthily and go to the gym; until recently, we didn't have to make such choices." That is because, back in the good old days, humans had to eat roots and bark for breakfast and chase their dinner through the woods. Now food is abundant and cheap, darn it. Lieberman's solution? "We need government on our side, not on the side of those who wish to make money by stoking our cravings and profiting from them. We have evolved to need coercion."

Thomas Ricks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer on defense and foreign policy, might or might not agree with the evolution part of that statement. But he certainly agrees with the coercion part. Following in the footsteps of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Time magazine and too many others to count, Ricks says we need to bring back involuntary servitude—or what he calls "the draft" or "national service."

Under Ricks' proposal, everyone would have to choose either 18 months of military service—"driving generals around, and generally doing low-skills tasks so professional soldiers don't have to"—or a longer period of civilian national service: teaching in the projects, cleaning parks, and so on.

Unlike other national-service buffs, Ricks offers a third alternative. "Libertarians who object to a draft could opt out," he says—but only if they "pledge to ask nothing" in return: "no Medicare, no subsidized college loans. …?Those who want minimal government can have it." (Take that, you ingrates!) This would be a real zinger indeed, except that even libertarians still pay taxes—and taxes still rank as the single-biggest outlay for Mr. and Mrs. U.S. of A. In fact, this year Americans will pay nearly 4 percent more in taxes than they will pay for food, clothing and shelter—combined. But what have they done for their government lately?

Besides, Ricks says involuntary servitude would be grand because "the pool of cheap labor … would broadly lower (federal) personnel costs." That was pretty much the argument from Southern plantation owners, too. (Pssst: You know what else would lower federal personnel costs? A smaller federal government! But that's crazy talk, isn't it?)

The concern about excess freedom is bipartisan. Norman Ornstein at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann at the liberal Brookings Institution agree that voting should be compulsory. Bill Keller, former editor of the liberal New York Times, agrees with Mitt Romney that we need a national ID card to keep track of people. The proposals go on and on.

Then there is Elizabeth Moon, a science-fiction writer. "If I were empress of the universe," she says, "I would insist on every individual having a unique ID permanently attached—a barcode if you will." Fortunately, nobody in public office has embraced that idea. Yet.

A. Barton Hinkle is a columnist at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, where this article originally appeared.

NEXT: Florida Police Knock on Wrong Door at 1:30 a.m. Without Identifying Themselves, Then Fatally Shoot Armed Resident

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  1. this

    Norman Ornstein at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and Thomas Mann at the liberal Brookings Institution agree that voting should be compulsory.

    and a single indirect reference to Romney’s support of a national ID are the only references to Republicans in the article. That doesn’t sound very bipartisan to me. Is that all you got on the Republicans Hinkle? That is a pretty sorry effort.

    1. There’s plenty the republicans have done/proposed to limit individual liberty; this quote alone makes absolutely zero sense both in the article and in general.

      Fuck, just off the top of my head I can come up with Bush’s Medicare expansion and the PATRIOT Act.

      1. We are going on over ten years since those things. I would think you could come up with something a little more relevant. Republicans do govern most of the states in this country and many localities.

        1. I was just giving a couple of examples; both parties, at the federal level, want to inhibit individual liberty in one way or the other.

          As far as state-level governments go, I’d guess they probably are more likely to pass various state laws and local ordinances to inhibit liberty, but I may just think that because of how overwhelmingly liberal the area I live in is.

        2. The Patriot Act is not relevant?

          1. It was passed 11 years ago by a huge bi partisan majority. So yeah it is pretty irrelevant if you are talking about specific Republican efforts to restrict liberty.

          2. and the objections to the Patriot Act relate to privacy issues. Privacy is not liberty. They are two separate things.

            1. John, the 16th Amendment was ratified 99 years ago on a pretty decent sized majority (3/4 of the states did have to ratify it after all). Does that mean that I shouldn’t worry about the effects that it has on liberty? Because it’s all old and stuff?

              1. To clarify, I’m going on the 12:28pm posting you made. Something does not have to have been passed in the last decade to make it relevant. I’d say that the most relevant issues are based on things which happened a few decades ago.

            2. Privacy is not liberty.

              The essence of liberty is “GO AWAY!
              Busybodies prying into my business is the number one reason I own weapons and land. Distance (land) reduces notice by puritans. Looking down the wrong end of something that can end you tends to quiet undue curiosity.

            3. Liberty fron state intrusion? Can’t agree with you on that.

        3. We are going on over ten years since those things. I would think you could come up with something a little more relevant.

          CISPA you fuckwad!

          Fuck Republicans. The entire Republican establishment is nothing but a gigantic socialist false flag operation. How the fuck haven’t you figured that out yet?

      2. THE FUCKING DRUG WAR! have you heard of it?

    2. Bloomberg is a Republican, John.

      1. No. He is a Democrat who ran as a Republican in New York City, where there is effectively no Republican Party. Do you think Bloomburg could win a Republican nomination anywhere but a total liberal enclave?

        1. Registered Republican in 2001(switching from Democrat). Left the party in 2007. Ran for reelection as an independent in 2009.

          1. Either way, he’s commie. Fuck Bloomturd.

            1. Fair enough. In any event, I’m sure Bloomers would have gotten along great with Nelson Rockefeller.

              1. Or Gus Hall.

        2. He is a Democrat who ran as a Republican in New York City, where there is effectively no Republican Party.

          Umm, no. Are you forgetting Mr. “Law ‘n Order” Giuliani?

          1. Giuliani never wanted to tell you what you could eat. And love or hate him, New York was a better place when he left than it was under Dinkins.

            1. I agree. But Giuliani was classic Law ‘n Order Republican. Don’t tell me there are no Republicans in NYC.

              1. and after Dinkins, even bluer than blue New Yorkers thought some law and order would be a good thing. Public safety is a vital function of govt; dictating where and how legal products are consumed is not. And even the Blues think Bloomy is just stupid with the soda thing.

              2. many of guiliani’s stances (hardline law and order) make me fucking hurl.

                i think overall he was a good mayor, but he has a serious statist law enforcement uber alles streak

          2. Giuliani was a RINO too. It’s just that unlike Bloomberg, he had a hx as a mean (and I mean mean, not “mean”) prosecutor.

          3. I should also point out that he was co-nominated, twice, for mayor by the Liberal Party.

      2. Bloomberg was a Republican. He switched to being an Independent.

        1. Bloomberg was a lifelong registered Democrat who switched parties to run in 2001.

    3. Is Hinkle a Republican apologist? It shouldn’t be hard to come up with some (countless for that matter) examples of their “war on liberty” yet he doesn’t.

      1. You wouldn’t think it would be.

      2. pretty tough to forget this thing called the Patriot Act and all that it spawned, not to mention requiring the rest of us to pay for granny’s meds.

    4. Technically Bloomberg’s a Republican as well. I think any of his freedom squashing nanny-ism counts double since his picture is in the dictionary next to “nanny state”.

      1. Bloomberg left the party in 2007 and was reelected as an independent in 2009.

        1. Didn’t realize that. I don’t live in and don’t follow NYC politics except when nanny Bloomburg does something retarded.

          1. So, about every 30 seconds, then.

    5. 2 of the biggest threats to individual liberty in the history of this country, John McCain and Lindsey Graham, are fucking Republicans, John. Did you somehow forget about those 2 douche bags?

  2. Besides, Ricks says involuntary servitude would be grand because “the pool of cheap labor ? would broadly lower (federal) personnel costs.” That was pretty much the argument from Southern plantation owners, too.

    And the Chinese government too. Although they don’t seem to like it when the Chinese do it. They must be racists!

    1. Shhhh, Our government secretly envies China’s centralization of power. It’s why we always try to emulate them.

      1. Listen, making soon to be engineers, scientists, dentists, and doctors spend ages 18-19 doing menial labor is going to be great for the economy.

        1. Of course, wasn’t the Cultural Revolution the most prosperous period in China’s history?

          1. Well, it was better than the Great Leap Forward.

        2. That’s why I make sure they get their menial labor in before their 16th birthday.

          1. Shh don’t give public school administrators any ideas. Oh wait, too late.

    2. taxes are slavery. Want proof, what happens if you don’t pay, you go to jail. Slavery.

  3. Not voting is a vote – a vote of no confidence in Obamney.

    1. Not only that, but most people really aren’t qualified to vote.

      When you let people that receive money from the federal government vote, they’re always going to vote for the person that promises to give them more money from the federal government.

      1. When you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on the political support of Paul.

    2. If only it counted that way. “No confidence” would win every election.

      1. That’s why it is good to go vote for someone else.
        One of the simplest and best improvements to the way voting works in the US would be to add “non of the above” as an option on the ballot.

        1. Trudat.

  4. Norman Ornstein does not identify as a conservative. I can find no reference to him being a Republican. He is a scholar representing the most liberal view at a center-right think tank. Here is his opinion on the Republican party:

    “…an insurgent outlier — ideologically extreme; contemptuous of the inherited social and economic policy regime; scornful of compromise; unpersuaded by conventional understanding of facts, evidence and science; and dismissive of the legitimacy of its political opposition”

    1. But the science is settled!

      I blame Bush.

      1. Science? We don’t need no stinking science.

    2. This is a sorry article. I don’t know why Hinkle put that headline on it.

      1. did he? More likely an editor did that. It’s not often that a columnist gets to pick his own headline.

  5. And the depression continues

  6. IMO, the biggest fronts to suppress liberty CURRENTLY are 1) the war on drugs 2) the war on domestic violence 3) the war on terror

    although, i think the war on food is going to start rearing it’s ugly head.

    it already has in san fran (happy meal bans), NYC etc. and it’s only going to get WAY WORSE with obamacare

    the same liberals who claim “my body my choice” when it comes to aborting life” (i am pro-choice btw, but not moronic enough to believe an abortion only involves a woman’s body), are okey dokey with vast control over our bodies for the good of state run health programs, evil corporations like mcdonald’s etc.

    there are few more basic freedoms than what one puts in one’s mouth.

    1. Jesus Dunphy, how the fuck did you manage to bring an abortion debate into the war on liberty?

      1. it’s pretty apt, though. “My body; my choice” falls flat on its face when you consider that many recreational drugs are illegal in this country.

        1. yea, that’s my point. IF the right to abortion, based on a nebulous emanation and penumbra(s) found in the constitution that protects one personal autonomy and body from state intrusion *is* in fact a constitutional right, then it CLEARLY *should* mean that whatever one puts in one’s bloodstream is none of the govt.’s fucking business

          that, to me is the disconnect of roe vs. wade

          i think it was terrible law (have you read it? it’s a joke).

          but given it’s THE LAW, stare decisis, bla bla, it SHOULD invalidate drug laws

          but it doesn’t because written into that mishmash of judicial activism is the “yea but” that body privacy only applies selectively.

          also, the idea that medical stuff should just be a choice of a doctor and a patient ignores the draconian and pervasive legislation strongly limiting, for example, dr’s ability to provide opioids (my state has very draconian restrictions that are driving legitimate pain patients to street drugs and it’s abhorrent… 60 yr olds with chronic pain are being dropped by their doctors who fear getting their DEA license pulled for daring to prescribe pain meds) etc.

          there has NEVER been a freedom that as long as a doctor and patient want to do a procedure, etc. that it’s A-ok

          it’s just convoluted crap-law.

      2. abortion has nothing to do with liberty?


        fwiw, i believe that a libertarian can be pro choice or pro life, but it’s certainly true that when it comes to individual liberty, abortion is an important issue

        not that i want to start an abortion-wank thread.

        just sayin’

        1. not that i want to start an abortion-wank thread.

          Right. So let’s clarify that Dunphy was merely highlighting the hypocrisy of the Left. That is, the pro-choice Left will fight to the death for the right of a woman to get an abortion, shouting the rallying cry, “My body, my choice!”

          But when it comes to drinking a 32 oz. Coke, the Left will crush your right to soda choice shouting, “We’re paying for your healthcare!”

          Please lord, don’t let this become an abortion thread.

          1. I always find it somewhat humorous that the vast majority of abortion supporters oppose the death penalty because of the possibility of destroying innocent lives, while the vast majority of death penalty supporters oppose abortion because it destroys innocent life.

          2. I hear the far off rumbling of wedge issues waiting to be released upon the unsuspecting populace.

            1. Release the Kraken Wedge Issues!

              On second thoughts, fuck it. Go with the Kraken. Time for a good apocalypse.

    2. Liberals only care about 2 rights, the right to kill unborn babies, and the right to be homosexual. All other rights are the selfish destructive yearnings of right wing extremists.

      1. Well, that’s a useful comment. And libertarians are just Republicans who want to smoke pot.

        1. And to have smaller less intrusive government, more individual liberty, real free markets, no foreign wars of agression, etc., etc..

          I am a Libertarian who doesn’t want to smoke pot, but I am ok with it if you want to. I don’t think I am the only one.

      2. I don’t think they even care about either of those as rights or choices. It’s just that they don’t think they have a chance of making either of them mandatory, so the best way to promote them in the meantime is to make sure they’re not illegal, and/or that they’re privileged in some other ways.

    3. IMO, the biggest fronts to suppress liberty CURRENTLY are 1) the war on drugs 2) the war on domestic violence 3) the war on terror

      I would tend to agree. And all three have pretty broad bipartisan support.

    4. the war on domestic violence

      Waaa? Are you going to try to reinforce the stereotypes about cops being wife-beaters here, or do you just do a lot DV calls, or what?

      1. I donate to Tempura House. It’s a shelter for lightly battered women.

        1. the war on DV has strongly eroded the right to free association (judges issuing protective orders AGAINST the wishes of both parties, prohibiting their association and with no right to jury, etc.), the right to keep and bear arms (again, no criminal conviction needed, no right to an attorney, etc.), etc.

          also, eroded the right to confront one’s accuser (recent scotus case) etc.

          of course i do a lot of DV calls. DV incidents of a certain type are the ONLY crimes requiring a mandatory arrest (not even murder does), and DV protection orders are often some of the most egregious dilution of rights based on the tiniest bit of quasi due process.

          and of course, statements ant1thenes are typical. people are afraid of criticizing the excesses lest they be seen as “soft on wife beating”

          i abhor real domestic violence and i’ve gone way beyond the call of duty to bring scumbag abusers to justice and to help protect victims

          but the LAW has gone way too far in eroding constitutional protection

          1. Recently at Coach Huey’s Web discussion board, someone was looking for advice on what to do about a children’s football coach who’d been arrested recently for domestic violence. One poster assumed that the police must have had a good reason to think he was guilty of it or they wouldn’t’ve arrested him. Other posters said where there’s smoke, there’s fire.

            1. there is no crime where an innocent is more likely to get arrested than DV assault. that’s because it’s a mandatory arrest given PC.

              in my state, it’s the ONLY crime that if i arrest i have good faith immunity from a false arrest lawsuit, but if i don’t arrest, i can be sued.

              i have little doubt i’ve probably arrested at least one innocent ma/woman for that crime

              pc =/= guilty

              and remember no crime needs be provedfor his rights to be striiped – rkba etc

        2. oh btw, i lol’d. although if jezebel finds out you made such a joke, a wild rumpus of outrage will ensue.

    5. my body my choice

      Anyone who says this to you, with respect to abortion, is a dumbass. The standard established in which a fetus could not legally be aborted states that the fetus must be “potentially able to live outside the mother’s womb, albeit with artificial aid.” In 1973, that was typically a hard 28 weeks. Today it is 20 weeks. In 40 more years it might be 10 weeks.

      The average pro-abortionista pays more attention to what they think Roe v. Wade says as opposed to what it actually says. Blackmun wrote “We, therefore, conclude that the right of personal privacy includes the abortion decision, but that this right is not unqualified and must be considered against important state interests in regulation.”

      1. fwiw, i would suggest that the VAST majority of pro-choice (and pro-life) people who are very active in advocacy have never actually READ roe v. wade.

        i strongly suggest people read it.

        it really is a great example of AWFUL judicial activism and reasoning

        like i said, i’m prochoice, but the legal reasoning in roe v. wade is ALMOST as bad as raich.

        1. I read that abomination, and I’ve also read the desperate efforts of law profs trying to think up a better rationale than the plainly BS stuff in *Roe.* It’s very amusing.

          Only the dumbest choicers actually defend the Roe opinion on its own terms – usually they simply defend the result without looking too closely at the sausage-making.

          1. that’s kewl. i can respect that. it’s amazing how many people support or condemn roe but couldn’t take a little time to read it and argue from an edumacated standpoint.

            again, cheers

            1. The Court itself has tweaked, “clarified” and revised its Roe opinion, starting with the companion case of Doe v. Bolton and going up to the Casey decision and the partial-birth opinions.

              Trying to predict the courts’ decisions based just on Roe is a suckers’ game. At the very least, it’s necessary to consider their whole contradictory abortion jurisprudence, and even then you don’t have the predictability associated with the term “rule of law.”

          2. Even though I’m pretty much an extremist for legal abortions, about a decade ago as a candidate for state senate I was characterized by one voter research group as “pro-life” or “anti-abortion”. As near as I can figure, I think it was because on their choose-answers questionnaire I had put Roe down as incorrect. That seemed to over-rule the several other questions I answered in ways that would be categorized “pro-choice”. Either that, or maybe it was automatic because of the party columns I ran under.

        2. If your average anti-abortion Bible-thumper had a thimble of sense, they’d pipe down about overturning Roe v. Wade, push money into fetal viability research, and render Roe v. Wade and all decisions resulting from it dead letter.

          Too much long view thinking required, I suppose.

  7. OT: Obama’s “You didn’t build that” bullshit line is getting lots of attention today, but there’s a quote I find more frightening in his speech:

    “Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive.”

    I think he sincerely believes the “somebody” is Government in that sentence.

    1. Also: “The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own.”

      If I called the fire department every time I had a fire, they might as well just live with me.

      1. How often do you have an accidental fire? Maybe we need to take your matches away.

        1. Who said accidental?

        2. More often than the average person. Fire Safety is definitely a top priority in any industrial setting where you’re using lots of chemicals that are very flammable.

    2. even more frightening is the contention that some were allowed to thrive. Wouldn’t that imply that others were prevented from thriving?

      1. According to Obamanomics, everything is a zero sum game, hence the desire to punish success to “even things out”.

    3. It’s the same unbelievable American system to which failures have access, so they should pay just as much in taxes.

      1. You cannot buy votes with that sort of attitude.

        When our political elite class have destroyed the constitution enough that they can suspend elections, then the permanent entitlement class will finally wake up to the reality that we have been warning them about. Until then, free filet and lobster, free cell phone, big screen TV, SUV, no need to work, no taxes, just keep those votes coming.

        1. When our political elite class have destroyed the constitution enough that they can suspend elections

          No need for that: if there’s only one party, that will always garner 90+% of the votes cast. And the Constitution doesn’t say anything about political parties or their numbers, does it?

      2. Not to mention that if we are to suppose that government projects nudged the wealthy towards success, we would also have to account for the regulatory state’s burdens on growing a business. But Obama does not want to talk about that.

    4. It’s only getting attention from people that already would never vote for the idiot.

      For his voter base, it won’t matter what he says, no matter how stupid, vile, or offensive. He could give a speech and quote Hilter word for word and his supporters would swoon like teenage girls at a pop concert.

      The USA as our founders envisioned, and the USA that I grew up in, is over, forever. And that is only a good thing in the minds of the entitlement crowd that will vote Obama back into office this fall. For those of us living in reality, it is the beginning of very bad times.

      If you are a young person today, you are probably better off to forget about an education, career, and family. Better to just stay in your parents basement, remain unemployed, and enjoy your fair share of the plunder until the well runs dry and it all falls down.

      I have been like this since Robert’s stupathetic decision on the healthcare abomination. No matter how hard I try, I cannot find anything to be hopeful about, not one single thing. There is no silver lining. Prepare for the worst, it is coming.

      1. Hyperion, you only have a handful of options at this point: Organize, revolt, overturn the system, or find a comfy deck chair, a cool drink, and think pleasant thoughts while the ship sinks.

        1. Or jump ship.

          Yeah, all of those things are options, but I will need the help of a sizeable portion of the population, or nothing will come of it.

      2. *cuts wrists

  8. We have evolved to need coercion

    I’ll show him coercion.

    1. I’ll show him how to do blockquotes!

      1. I question your credibility in that regard. Methinks you studied internets at a school with a severe lack of sucrose.

        1. Yep, a definite Brimley University graduate.

          1. Aww shit, that’s funny! 😀

    2. I have evolved the desire to break his gawdamned nose!

  9. I like the mandatory voting idea. If you decline to vote then you are selecting the default “Turd Sandwich”.
    Then again, it’s been working all along.

  10. in reference my previous comment, it always surprises me the way war on drugs and war on terra excesses are so extensively documented in the press, but war on domestic violence excesses are glossed over.

    the latter are in many respects more egregious, more erosive of civil rights, and certainly more likely to affect a pure “innocent”

    1. My ex-husband’s second wife achieved the impossible — she so screwed him around with fake DV accusations that she actually made me feel sorry for the pathetic SOB.

  11. One hopes Daniel Lieberman will prove to be a ringer from Yale

  12. How much does our situation to deteriorate before people realize that mixed economics, statism, and electoral pragmatism are the source of most of our woes? My guess is never. If anyone is still voting for republicans or democrats in the year 2012, they’re never learn.

    1. Unless the Republican is really a Libertarian, I agree. No need to make that statement about Democrats, since it will never, ever happen.

    2. I feel your sense of pessimism. I really do not think there is much hope for a country where half of everyone is an entitled class. Its like witnessing the slow death of a loved one.

  13. Oh, whoopee. Ideas like this are always around, providing grist for blog entries. Then again, I suppose so are bored commenter comments.

  14. RE: Pessimism about the future.

    I don’t know about you guys, but I am pretty optimistic about the future. I am constantly amazed at the freedoms and benefits that the modicum of free markets and capitalism we have produces. IMO, the creation and expansion of freedom exceeds the rate of suppression our Elites are grabbing.
    I could, of course, be wrong. And I am not talking about iPhones and porn. Being able to find places like Reason, Slickdeals.net, Giantbomb.com, and Steam make me pretty fuckin happy.
    And the fact that I can do things I could never accomplish on my own with just the occasional Google search when I get stuck has improved my life significantly.

  15. Every Party is a individual party the first priority is leader second party and in the end its nation.

  16. l terrible about such marked contrasts, http://www.ceinturesfr.com/cei…..-c-15.html even though being unique implies nothing by itself. The U.S. also is the only nation in the world to apply an exclusionary rule. Tha

  17. Late last month, there was a collective sigh of relief from the collectivist intelligentsia when the Supreme Court said Congress could force people to buy a consumer product. But within days, a writer for The Atlantic noted with a mixture of horror and dismay that the United States is “the only advanced country without a national vacation policy.” He ginned up a handy infographic to illustrate the point.

  18. I sense a certain amount of, for want of a bette word, dogmatism, like freedom and autonomy are the only things of value. This is seen in sharp relief in the following comment:

    “The U.S. also is the only nation in the world to apply an exclusionary rule. That rule says improperly obtained evidence cannot be used against a criminal defendant. In other advanced countries, a wrongful search can still nail you.”

    This totally ignores the fact that despite this rule, we have more people in prison, absolutely, and per capita than any other place on the planet, with the possible exception of north korea.

    You might wish to consider what that means.

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