Welcome to The Artful Dilettante–a sanctuary of reason and virtue, where reality is your best friend and facts always trump wishful thinking. It is the Lamp of Hope in a dark and musty corner of a crumbling civilization. It is the seedbed of the Republic of Letters and Virtue coming soon to a world near you. It is a place of free minds, free wills, and free markets–without chains, yokes, or harnesses. The Artful Dilettante is on the front lines of the Liberty Movement. It is intended for people who think rationally as a way of life. There is no place here for the false dichotomies of left and right, haves and have-nots, liberals and conservatives. History is and has always been about the struggle between liberty and power. The stale bromides and recycled political pablum advanced as solutions by our benighted leadership will find no support here. Great moral problems cannot be solved by sleights-of-hand. The true sign of a good idea is the wailing and gnashing of teeth by the ruling class. We are ever on the lookout for bold and sweeping ideas, firmly grounded in liberty, which will send the political class into fits of rage.

We always have our finger on the pulse at The Artful Dilettante. We are dispassionate, keenly perceptive, and yes, somewhat cynical observers of human events. We are at once above the din and in the fray. We have a nuanced understanding of our political system and the criminals and reprobates who run it. We never accept anything at face value, especially the pronouncements of those in power and the echoes of their dutiful, fawning bottom-dwellers in the media and university faculty lounges. We know that people often aren’t who they say they are, and that things aren’t always as they appear to be. We fully agree with the notion that there are no accidents in politics. We reflexively assume that every politician is either lying or stupid, and that the vast majority of the American people can be trusted with a deadly weapon but not the right to vote. We fully agree with the words of Jefferson: “The Tree of Liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots.” Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are yours by birthright, not permission. They can be taken away, but never granted.

We promise never to be fair and balanced but to tell the unvarnished truth. Fair and balanced just means you’re telling the truth half the time. Remember, all you get when you straddle a fence is a sore ass. We promise to challenge the prevailing wisdom while honoring the universal, trancendent truths of our forebears. Lastly, we promise to aggressively promote our vision of a just and peaceful society based on the application of reason to the challenges of life on earth.

The Artful Dilettante

A Legend in His Own Mind.

This website is dedicated to my political/philosophical mentor—RJL.


Ama-gi: first known recorded symbol of “liberty” in Sumerian cuneiform

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The Biggest Problem Facing America is its Own Government


Gallup: the biggest problem facing America is its own government

JAZZ SHAW 2:31 PM on January 31, 2023

Gallup: the biggest problem facing America is its own government

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

What is the “most important problem” facing the country today? That’s a question that Gallup regularly asks Americans and the most recent edition of that survey just dropped this week. You might imagine that crime, inflation, high prices, or the border crisis would be at the top of the list. To be sure, plenty of people cited those issues. But the number one problem on the list was “The Government/Poor Leadership.” More than one in five people (21%) chose that answer, a notable increase from the same survey conducted a few months earlier. So Joe Biden’s presidency continues to set new records, though not in the way anyone was hoping.

More Americans name the government as the nation’s top problem in Gallup’s latest poll, which encompassed the rocky start of the 118th Congress’ term. With high prices persisting, inflation remains the second most-cited problem (15%), and amid elevated tensions about the southern U.S. border, illegal immigration edged up three percentage points to 11%. Mentions of the economy in general fell six points, to 10%, the lowest reading in a year.

The poll’s Jan. 2-22 field period included the four-day, 15-vote process in which Republicans, who now hold a slim majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, ultimately elected Kevin McCarthy to be Speaker of the House. Revelations about classified government documents from 2009 to 2017 found in President Joe Biden’s private office and home also surfaced while the poll was in the field.

The  four issues receiving double-digit mentions were the government, inflation, immigration, and “the economy in general.” You probably won’t be surprised to learn which issues fell much further down the list. Racism and homelessness were cited by five percent of respondents each. Crime and “ethical/moral/family decline” each received four percent.

If you look at page 6 of the crosstabs, you can view the full range of choices that were offered in terms of people’s priorities when it comes to addressing problems. The bottom of the list is quite revealing. The situation with Russia (and presumably Ukraine) was cited by one percent. Guns and gun control were similarly selected by a single percent. Election reform garnered two percent, while climate change received three percent.

Then we come to a collection that includes the coronavirus, police brutality, LGBT rights, China, and Afghanistan. What do they all have in common? They scored zero. Zilch. Nada. Nobody listed any of those issues at or near the top of their list of priorities.

All of this says quite a bit about the current state of the country. We have a lot of people in charge of the government and the vast majority of the media voters consume who clearly believe that the most pressing issues in America involve making sure that boys have access to the girls’ showers or taking away your guns and your gasoline-powered cars. But in reality, those things are the priorities of only a tiny, but highly vocal minority of rabble-rousers. Virtually nobody feels that “saving Ukraine” is a priority while more than ten percent were most worried about the flood of illegal aliens coming in over our southern border. But what is the White House prioritizing? The exact opposite.

And yet, last November a majority of people decided to send the same clown car occupants back to Washington to maintain control. And the legacy media continues to cheer them on. It’s enough to make you want to scream.

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