Sports gambling case could have severe repercussions for environmental policy

FREEcology

At first blush, sports gambling and the environment would seem to have little in common. Yet, as I explain in a brief I filed this week on behalf of PLF, CEI, and the Cato Institute, the two may be linked in a case currently pending before the Supreme Court.

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We love federalism . . . until we don’t: committing to federalism would promote innovation, accountability, and hedge against national politics

FREEcology

Federalism—preserving the states’ independent policymaking role to promote innovation and democratic accountability—is a value embraced by people across the political spectrum. Yet support for it in practice often tends to be conditional: if a desired policy is easier to achieve at the federal level, federalism concerns are scuttled; but when national politics go the other way, we turn to the states as a means of resistance.

The latest example of this is the lawsuit that the Trump Administration has filed against California over the states’ opposition to aggressive enforcement of federal immigration laws. Whatever you think of the underlying issue, the lawsuit is a significant attack on federalism. Some aspects of the case may be a close call—see this exchange between Professors Ilya Somin and Roderick Hills—but the main issue is not: The United States challenges California’s decision to withhold its own resources, including state and local law enforcement…

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When parks are too popular for their own good

FREEcology

Point Lobos, known as the “crown jewel” of California’s state park system, is wildly popular with the local Monterrey residents and tourists. And for good reason. The park is spectacularly beautiful and is a veritable playground for wildlife. (Photo courtesy of Brocken Inaglory.) One of the most memorable moments from my own honeymoon was watching a harbor seal play and hunt in one of the park’s crystal clear lagoons.

However, the park’s popularity comes with a significant downside—the park can’t handle the amount of people that flock to it. Last week, Monterrey’s KSBW news reported on the scope of the problem:

About 1 million people a year visit the reserve and it’s more than the natural landscape can handle. Soon there may be a limit on the number of people allowed in each day. “There are over capacity issues, over use issues, people hiking off trail, a lot of…

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The guide book that helped black Americans travel during segregation

@SenSanders loving Big @Uber patron denounces #Uber

What About Terrorism?

Notes On Liberty

Thoughts on terrorism from “The Moral Arc: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom” by Michael Shermer (Holt, 2015).

I may be doing more quoting here than is allowed under “fair use” but here goes.  I will paraphrase his seven myths about terrorism.

  1. Terrorists are pure evil. This was what Bush said after 9/11, but studies show they are typically motivated by outrage at U.S. foreign policy.
  2. Terrorists are organized. There is no top-down, central organization directing terrorism.
  3. Terrorists are diabolical geniuses. The shoe bomber and others following 9/11 were incompetent.
  4. Terrorists are poor and uneducated. They are typically higher-income, better-educated individuals.
  5. Terrorism is a deadly problem. Compare 13,700 homicides per year with 3,000 from 9/11 and an average of 70 terrorist deaths per year, or 7.8 per year excluding 9/11.
  6. Terrorists will acquire and use a nuclear weapon…

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Baumol’s disease on Star Trek

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The growth of cities

Divorce Lawyers Give Relationship Advice

My take: couples with joint bank accounts don’t understand why other couples have separate accounts. Couples with joint bank accounts don’t understand why they would need a prenuptial agreement. Couples with separate accounts don’t understand why a couple wouldn’t have a pre-nup.

Ernest Shackleton’s Ill-Fated Antarctic Expedition

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