For those of you who don’t know his writing, here are two of today’s items from the always entertaining and thought-provoking Anthony Sacramone, once of First Things and now of ISI Books. (To be absolutely honest, let’s say “almost always” or maybe just “frequently.”) They appear on his weblog Strange Herring. First one that illustrates his ability to report odd news items amusingly and insightfully:
The Least-Free State in the U.S. Is . . .
New York. This according to the Mercatus Center of George Mason University.
And by “free,” they mean . . .
We ground our conception of freedom on an individual rights framework. In our view, individuals should be allowed to dispose of their lives, liberties, and property as they see fit, so long as they do not infringe on the rights of others. This understanding of freedom follows from the natural-rights liberal thought of John Locke, Immanuel Kant, and Robert Nozick, but it is also consistent with the rights-generating rule-utilitarianism of Herbert Spencer and others.
A quick perusal of some of the criteria, however, reveals that there is a libertarian/laisse-faire preference at work here (“marijuana,” “gaming” and “tobacco” liberties are given weight in these measurements, as is “marriage” freedom). A liberal-left set of criteria applied to the states — freedom from “want,” say, or freedom from “discrimination,” all government supervised, of course — would most probably result in an inversion of this list, no doubt.
Oh, the five most free states according to Mercatus: North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, New Hampshire, and Tennessee.
And the second least-free state was . . . California.
And a second also entertaining item demonstrating another of Anthony’s skills, this one for pointed sarcasm, this item written in his full frontal assault mode rather than his sly and indirect mode:
“Jesus Christ Is Risen Today” Rewritten by MSM Religion Editors
Jesus Christ is in the news to-da-ay, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-lu-u-ya!
Another tedious God-bothering da-ay, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-
Through with this I would have bet! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-lu-u-ya!
Suffer now we Mark Burne-ett, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-
It’s now proved and they’re so pi-issed, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-
That Jesus Christ ne’er did exi-ist, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-
Which he himself did so opine! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-
In Gnostic gospel fragment ni-ine, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-
Pints of ink we now shall spi-ill, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-
To keep a-churning duh-gree mi-ills, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-lu-u-ya!
Proving Christ was not himself! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-lu-u-ya!
So my tomes may clog your she-elf, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-lu-u-ya!
Oh the pains we do endu-ure, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-
As stupid Christians so cocksu-ure; Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-
Insist that Christ was surely raised! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-lu-u-ya!
Please may we punch them in the fa-ace? Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-lu-u-ya!
Now we seek to shut their ho-ohles, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-lu-u-ya!
No more talk of immortal so-ouls, Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-lu-u-ya!
Labs have proved we’re earthenware! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-ey-lu-u-ya!
So drop the God stuff or I swe-ear! Ah-ah-ah-ah-ah-ley-
And a happy birthday to Cesar Chavez!*
*Cowl tip to Will S. in the combox for directing me to the Evil Empire’s Easter homepage.