This Week’s Links—December 19, 2011: Farewell to Christopher Hitchens; others….

December 17, 2011
  1. “I’m a member of no party. I have no ideology. I’m a rationalist,” he told USA Today in 2010. “I do what I can in the international struggle between science and reason, and the barbarism, superstition and stupidity that’s all around us.”

    Crestfallen, but not surprised. Those who have looked online for images of Christopher Hitchens over the past year have seen this coming. I often took comfort in believing that every few months there would be another fresh crop of Hitchens debates on YouTube to inspire abd encourage. Alas, that is no longer true, but he has left behind an impressive catalog to visit and revist.

    Much will always be made of his Trotskyite past, but I had often wondered whether to count Hitchens as among the libertarians, given his occaisonal appearances at reason.com-sponsored events and the libertarian-sounding rhetoric he used against the notion of a celestial dictator. His support for the Iraq war seemed to weigh against the proposition. He has been quoted as saying of himself that he had a libertarian gene. I don’t know if that’s quite enough, but either way, I’m grateful for the what he has given us. Devotion to rationalism is the highest ideal—higher even than the devotion to liberty. It isn’t good enough to do what only seems virtuous. One must also be right.

  2. Yes, it would be nice if you could throw your sins and your responsibilities on someone else, and have them dissolve, but it’s NOT TRUE!

    I cherish all of the long nights during my law school days that I spent on YouTube with Christopher Hitchens, who had the courage to say, loudly and clearly, what ought to be plain. Of all that time, this is probably the video I remember best as having the earliest and greatest effect. What a lousy ethical doctrine it is to believe that one can be absolved and forgiven by throwing one’s sins on another’s back and then murdering him, ruthlessly. If that’s the way to salvation, then count me out. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for November 16, 2010: Some Psychological Stuff, Some Fallacious Stuff, others….

November 14, 2010
  1. Another fascinating diatribe from Stefan Molyneux. My question is: does this not apply equally well to libertarians and anarchists? Is libertarianism not just another ideology?

  2. Large organizations, including government, which is of course the largest organization of all, have actually become completely disconnected with what actually matters to people. … What behavioral economics shows, time after time, is in human behavior and behavioral change there is a very strong disproportionality at work: that actually what changes our behavior and what changes our attitudes toward things is not actually proportional to the degree of expense entailed or to the degree of force that is applied.

  3. After invalidating more than 30,000 Nader-Camejo signatures on dubious and highly technical grounds – for example, because signers used informal names such as “Bill” instead of “William,” or because their current and registered addresses did not match – Commonwealth Court removed the candidates from the ballot. Then it ordered them to pay their challengers more than $80,000 in litigation costs.

  4. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for September 27, 2010: Much Ado about the Tea Party, Unequal Justice Before the Law, others…

September 26, 2010

Anyone for Tea? (photo: miya)

  1. One sign of the tea party movement’s success is that the term “tea party” is becoming an all-purpose smear term for any more-or-less right-wing person or activity that the writer doesn’t like. In fact, I think “Tea Party” is replacing “neocon” as an all-purpose word for “the people I hate.”

  2. I’m glad we got that out of the way. Maybe after tea-partiers learn to “eye” people correctly, we can graduate to talking about the real issues.

  3. No longer content with bellowing accusations of racism, I see we’ve graduated to accusations of terrorism. Is Jen Phillips seems more interested in having the whole of the Tea Party movement added to the list of terror threats than she is in having Climate Ground Zero removed—for little more than supporting and defending the Second Amendment. Read the rest of this entry »


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