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John Holbo

The Communist Manifesto In Pictures

by John Holbo on May 13, 2016

I just added an item to my collection of graphical curiosities: a 1948 pamphlet, published by The International Book Store in San Francisco, “The Communist Manifesto In Pictures”.
manifestoinpictures

You can get the PDF version for free. I’m interested in it mostly as a data point in the history of American graphic design. The International Book Store seems to have had some graphical flair:

fullfaceherberthoover

I don’t own that one. I don’t imagine the contents – apparently republished from Soviet Russia Today – are as fun as the cover.

The Party Divides?

by John Holbo on May 7, 2016

In the tail end of comments to this post I linked to a New York Magazine excerpt/adaptation from a forthcoming book with the intriguing title Ratf***ed: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy, by David Daley. The book is about the triumph of gerrymandering that is the Repubican headlock on the House for the foreseeable future – even in the event of a total Trump implosion. (But be aware that Republican advantages in this regard may be somewhat overdetermined.)

All very interesting and terrible. But I’m thinking about this bit from the tail end of the article: [click to continue…]

I’m reading Russell Muirhead, The Promise of Party In A Polarized Age: [click to continue…]

Writing is a sweet, wonderful reward.

by John Holbo on April 17, 2016

We acquired this fridge magnet at some point.

kafkawriting

Nice use of Papyrus. Nice combination of Papyrus with whatever that faux-handwriting script font is.

Fits with Henry’s link to an incongruous appropriation of Beckett.

Suppose we wanted to make a collection of cheerful thoughts from depressed writers. You can’t spell ‘unhappiness’ without the happiness! What else might be included?

Envelope please! And the winner isTroilus and Cressida, by William Shakespeare (probably written in 1603 or 1609 or maybe as early as 1599). Let’s review the victory conditions. [click to continue…]

For where desire, celestial, pure desire,
Hath taken root, and grows, and doth not tire,
There God a commerce states, and sheds
His secret on their heads.

Henry Vaughan, “The Star”

“And how does your commerce go, you strange guardian of the past?”

G.K. Chesterton, The Napoleon of Notting Hill

My partisanship post has blossomed into an extensive discussion of original intent, interpretation and the commerce clause. Maybe we could use a little more scholarship to go with that. (Who knows?)

Randy Barnett and Jack Balkin are big in this area, and their major papers are freely available on the web. (Here’s Balkin’s major statement, outside of his book. Here’s an old one by Barnett that makes his general framework clear. And here’s a recent response by him to Balkin on commerce.) But let me start with “Rethinking the Commerce Clause”, by Nelson and Pushaw. It’s not free online, but I want just to quote the opening: [click to continue…]

Pure Partisanship, The New Nonpartisanship

by John Holbo on April 8, 2016

Process hypocrisy isn’t exactly newsworthy, I know, but a few notes. [click to continue…]

Caricatures – Russell and Wittgenstein

by John Holbo on March 28, 2016

I’ve been trying to do caricatures in a new style. I did a few for the book but I’ve decided to continue the set. What do you think? Who should I do next?

russellandwittgenstein

Substantial Burden Test?

by John Holbo on March 24, 2016

“Doug Laycock retracts in Little Sisters”. That would have surprised me. Turns out: Ed Whelan thinks that Laycock ought to retract, because Whelan disagrees with Laycock. Less noteworthy. (Made me look!)

But I have a simple legal question. [click to continue…]

This Matt Labash profile of Mike “Murphestopheles” Murphy, lately of Right To Rise fame – is fascinating. (People said ‘Right To Rise’ sounded like a late-nite viagra infomercial. I thought it sounded like a zombie flick, and I think this post-mortem of Murphy confirms me in that intuition. Although I see the other point of view.) [click to continue…]

I forgot St. Patrick’s day. But I remembered all-Trump, all-the-time is dull. And some people like my pen-and-ink posts. So let’s celebrate a pair of illustrators named ‘Neill’, or nearly. [click to continue…]

Trolling Alone?

by John Holbo on March 18, 2016

A couple months ago I was listening to bloggingheads (or something) and I heard conservative columnist and author Matt Lewis trying to explain Trump in terms of Maslow’s Pyramid (hierarchy of needs). He wasn’t being seriously serious about it, but I got what he was getting at … until I realized I had Lewis’ intended point precisely upside down and backwards. [click to continue…]

So! How ‘Bout Those Primaries?

by John Holbo on March 16, 2016

On December 23 I bet my older daughter 5 cents Rubio would be ahead in the delegate count by March 15. She (and Belle) bet on Trump (unless someone got killed at one of his rallies before March 15.) My youngest daughter remains uninterested in politics.

UPDATE: since the 5 cents comes from the change dish by the door, which would equally have been the source of the daughter’s payment to me, had she lost, this is one of those ‘can my left hand give my right hand money’ puzzles.

I look at the world, there are so many issues, so many issues. Don’t just take regulation and energy and fracking. It’s all in Atlas Shrugged,” all of it. State of Colorado, Rearden Metal, how he made it with some magic kinetic energy.

Link.

P1: Colorado exists.
P2: Rearden Metal exists.
P3: Rearden Metal is magic.
C: Libertarianism?

Since the dawn of time, man has wondered: what are p-values? [click to continue…]