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Thomas Jefferson

Tripolitan War
History/Politics

A Lesson From The Tripolitan War

In the west, people tend to have short memories. Typically this isn’t a problem because most lapses in memory tend to be centered around the mundane: Where you left your car keys, picking up the dry-cleaning, the date of your third cousin’s wedding to the Shriner who resembles Dwight Yoakam, only uglier – if you can imagine that. With any luck you’ll find your keys, get to the dry-cleaner, and, hopefully, you chose something more becoming to wear to the nuptial ceremony than a leisure suit. These things are easily understood and forgiven, if not completely relatable. The leisure suit… Not so much. It’s the bigger things we forget that are less understandable. Entire wars are said to have been lost to the sands of time. Less notable than the Korean War is the Tripolitan War which was declared against the United States some two hundred and sixteen years ago. Angered by President Thomas Jefferson’s refusal to pay ransom in exchange for captured merchant vessels, Yusuf Pasha declared war… Keep Reading

Economics/Politics

Dear Oatmeal, Net Neutrality Just Isn’t Fair

Dear Oatmeal, As I was scrolling through my social media news feed yesterday, I couldn’t help but notice a letter you wrote to Texas Senator Ted Cruz. Your letter, in response to Mr. Cruz referring to Net Neutrality as “Obamacare for the Internet”, portended to explain to the Senator just how Net Neutrality works. I am not Ted Cruz, but I do happen to write for a couple of reputable online publications and put a considerable amount of thought into current events and policy issues. As I read your letter, two concerns formed in my mind: 1) I’m not sure you’ve really thought through the ramifications of the Net Neutrality standards that you’re attempting to justify. 2) I’m also not sure you have even a cursory understanding of some really important concepts surrounding the whole debate – free association, free enterprise, and heck, even freedom itself. So in the spirit of cooperation and mutual understanding (and because I consider myself a good sport), I’d like to help you out with an explanation of these concepts. Imagine that you good folks at The… Keep Reading

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