Do the Bartman
Somehow — and I don’t profess to know how — the Chicago Cubs won the World Series last week. The game itself was utterly absurd, packed with virtually every insane occurrence that can occur in the game of baseball — but isn’t it always? That’s part of the wonder of baseball. Against all odds, it still manages to be full of surprises, even long after we should have seen everything there is to see. For my part, I’ve never seen a wild pitch score two runs before. I’ve also never seen a bunt call as bizarre as the one Joe Maddon put on in the ninth inning, a call so bad it makes one wonder if the game really is rigged for maximum drama. Unlike elections, however, baseball would be too difficult to gimmick, what with the unknown ball position and all.
One might ask, not unreasonably, why I’m writing about baseball on a site about libertarianism. I might respond, also not unreasonably, that this is a lesson in property rights; specifically, it’s my blog and I’ll write what I please.
In the early stages of her career, Agatha Christie was known for writing engaging whodunits full of lively characters and utterly madcap plot twists. As she matured as a writer, however, Dame Agatha became less interested in zany new ways to kill the dead bodies, and more interested in pursuing heady philosophical investigations about the nature of justice. Many of the stories from her middle period have barely any mystery to them at all; the cast is so small and the events so clear that the focus becomes less on trying to figure out who the killer is and more on investigating the killer’s motivation and that of the detective exposing the truth — as often as not that indefatigable Belgian, Hercule Poirot.
All of which brings us to Curtain. Written at the peak of Dame Agatha’s career (though not published until the end), Curtain opposes Poirot with a villain who is utterly and unapologetically evil, who commits heinous crimes for the sheer pleasure of it, who cannot be dissuaded, and whose crimes, by their very nature, are beyond the reach of the law. If you’ve never read Curtain, beware the rest of this post, as it will be filled with spoilers. If you have, however (or if you don’t care), read on as we explore what Dame Agatha had to teach us about the relationship of justice, the non-aggression principle, and morality.
The naked truth
(Alternative headlines: "the naked city," "the empress’ new clothes," "Bare Stearns")
You gotta hand it to the New York Daily News; loony-left though it may be, the commie rag nonetheless manages to run some quintessentially New York stories, such as this charming missive about a naked statue of Hillary Clinton put up in Manhattan, and the spasms of violence that ensued almost immediately. The Daily News also has a talent for giving stories humongously unappetizing headlines; this one opens with "SEE IT: Naked statue of Hillary Clinton," which: no thank you.
An artist erected an obscene statue of Hillary Clinton in downtown Manhattan Tuesday morning causing a heated fight between defenders of the profane piece of protest art and women trying to tear it down.
The grotesque caricature of the Democratic candidate appeared outside the Bowling Green station during morning rush hour on Tuesday and shows Clinton with hoofed feet and a Wall Street banker resting his head on her bare breasts.
Man, those Trump supporters and their violent behavior, you know? I fully expect to hear that the attacker — a government employee called Nancy who works for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian (a federal agency) — is a big Trump backer. That sounds like the right profile, doesn’t it? I expect her backup — an unidentified woman in a hijab — is also a Trumpista.
One of the most enduring symbols of the American liberty movement is the Gadsden Flag. Designed by Colonel Christopher Gadsden in 1775, it consists of a bold yellow field emblazoned with a coiled rattlesnake — which had been used as a symbol of the American colonies since the 1750s — and the legend "don’t tread on me." Though it was originally designed as the standard to be flown by Commodore Hopkins’ flagship in the brand-new continental navy, its striking design and powerful message made it popular with liberty-minded sorts, and it was frequently used in the revolutionary government, and has remained in use to this day among the people opposed to what that government has become.
I’m sure you’ll be startled to hear that it’s racist.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is reportedly investigating the issue surrounding the ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ snake logo after an African American employee of a federal agency complained they [sic] were racially harassed when a co-worker wore a cap showing the symbol.
The complainant said he found the cap racially offensive to African Americans because the flag was designed by Christopher Gadsden, who [sic] he described as a ‘slave trader & owner of slaves’.