Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Scottish Independence is a Terrible Idea

On September 18, Scotland is set to have a referendum for independence from the United Kingdom. This is a really bad idea. Here’s why.

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Internet Troubles

As usual, when something is obstructing me from blogging, I like to let my readers know what’s going on. Over the last week, my internet access at home has been totally out of service. I’ve had few opportunities to get online at all, much less invest the time and energy necessary to write a piece on here that’s worth reading. I’m hoping that regular access will be restored sometime in the next couple of days. If it continues, I’ll update readers with any new information.

Why ISIS is Beheading Americans and What We Can Do About It

Two American journalists have now been beheaded by the Islamic State–James Foley and Steven Sotloff. Vice President Joe Biden has already declared that he wants to follow ISIS to “the gates of hell.” But why is ISIS doing this, and what should the United States do about it?

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The Threat of Ebola is Massively Overstated

In recent months, Americans have taken a hysterically fearful attitude toward Ebola, an extremely unpleasant viral disease that kills most of the people it infects in a remarkably gruesome way (vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function, sometimes with internal and/or external bleeding). Multiple US congressmen have expressed fears that Latin American immigrants will carry Ebola into the United States from Mexico. Nevertheless, Ebola poses virtually no threat to people living in the western hemisphere, and even the threat it poses to Africans is overstated.

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How the United States Invented a New Kind of Corruption

It’s easily forgotten that the US constitution was written to address the defects of a very specific kind of government–the 18th century European absolute monarchy. The trouble is that when we design our states to solve one very specific kind of problem, we often over-correct and create precisely the opposite sort of problem. Our minds are too aware of our recent experience. We get myopic, we fail to see how our solutions to yesterday’s problems contain within them the beginnings of tomorrow’s problems. This piece aims to detail how America’s answer to absolutism has contained within itself the foundation for many of our current political woes.

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