Author Archives: Reilly Stephens

House Member Chaffetz Wants You To Buy Him A House

Retiring Congressman Jason Chaffetz announced, on his way out the door, that he believes Congress should provide themselves a $2,500 housing allowance, in order to better cope with the obnoxious cost of DC accommodations. Since congressmen maintain a residence in the District in addition to their household commitments back home, the logic goes, the excessive […]

Crying Havoc

Continuing the long tradition of hackneyed attempts to “make Shakespeare relevant,” Shakespeare in the Park this summer chose to stage its production of Julius Caesar with an eye towards current events. The conqueror of Gaul was therefore rendered with ginger hair and a red tie worn long enough to conceal ones manhood. Considering the probable […]

The Way of the Gun

“The mountains are high, and the Emperor is far away.” In the opening paragraphs of To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout ponders the meaning of her brother’s broken arm. “It began with Andrew Jackson,” she decides: “if General Jackson hadn’t run the Creeks up the creek, Simon Finch would never have paddled up the Alabama,” and […]

The Ratings Are Through the Roof!

Marco Polo describes a bridge, stone by stone. “But which is the stone that supports the bridge?” Kublai Khan asks. “The bridge is not supported by one stone or another,” Marco answers, “but by the line of the arch that they form.” Kublai Khan remains silent, reflecting. Then he adds: “Why do you speak to […]

Imagine A Boot Stamping On A Human Face, Occasionally

George Orwell once pointed out that fascism, in contemporary usage, no longer held any meaning beyond “thing I do not like.” He published that essay in 1944. Matters have not improved much since. To clarify for the record: Fascism was a European movement of the 1920s and 1930s, particularly in Italy, in part in Spain. […]

“…But I Play One On TV.”

There’s an old cliché about the television star who becomes so deluded in his role he begins to believe he possesses the talents of his character in real life, and so the TV doctor attempts to stop a heart attack, the TV cop intervenes to stop a robbery, the TV lawyer advises friends on their […]

Federalism 2: The Revenge

In 1993, Congress passed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act. Among its various initiatives, it provided for the creation of a national background check system by which to screen prospective gun purchasers. This created a dilemma, however: the United States is a mess of separate and overlapping jurisdictions, and most crime is dealt with at […]

David Hume, Rubber Stamps, and Cognitive Inequality

[Today we welcome our colleague Reilly Stephens as our newest contributor here at LDB. Our agreement with him states that he will be providing insight and analysis of law, politics, and whatever else we demand, except for modern interpretive dance and ERISA, about which he knows nothing…he was particular about those last two for some […]