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 »


Links for July 19, 2010: To Stimulate or Not To Stimulate; What Police Can Do; much, much more….

July 18, 2010

    Paul Krugman: Boost aggregate demand! Muahahaha!!!

  1. It’s good to hear Krugman speak and respond to questions. The thrust of this discussion is that the opposition to the stimulus is a visceral reaction, not an intelligent one. Although some guests early on questioned the empirical efficacy of the stimulus, we did really not hear from any Thomas E. Woodses or any Peter Schiffs who maintained, in quite an intellectual fashion, that the stimulus is simply bad economic policy. Krugman remarks toward the end that he doesn’t see stimulus jobs as “makework” jobs. I do not understand how this position can be honestly defended alongside the position that we now need government to “boost aggregate demand”, i.e. create demand where none existed before. What is the purpose of the stimulus if it is not to “make work”? If these were not “makework” jobs, we would do them anyway. We would not need an economic crisis as a pretense for passing $700 billion spending bills. For a response to the assertion that Roosevelt’s slashing of the deficits caused a recession in 1937, see this. For a response to the assertion that World War II spending lifted the U.S. economy out of the depression, listen here, starting at 32:17.  Read the rest of this entry »


Links for May 31, 2010: Withholding Medical Marijuana from Vets, The 5 Circles of Immigration Hell, Tony Williams on School Choice, others….

May 30, 2010
  1. So, you think you deserve to be free? Let's see if you survive my little trial by ordeal. Heh heh heh....

    Happy Memorial day, everybody!  Have you suppressed medical research from a vet today?

  2. …because only those who can afford to do all this deserve to be free! (?)

  3. I need to get back into following alternative currencies. Here’s two from Berkshire, Massachusetts and Detroit Michigan.  Read the rest of this entry »


Links for Monday, March 29, 2010: Reason.tv >> Certificates of Need Stifle Health Care Competition, Fish Pedicures Banned, others….

March 28, 2010
  1. reason.tv | New Hampshire Nannies

    It’s for your own good.

  2. reason.tv | Nick Gillespie Discusses Pet vs. Human Hospitals on Stossel

    Thirty-six state governments require a “certificate of need” before a new hospital may be built in a given area, thereby directly inhibiting the growth of the supply of medical services and increasing the cost of medical care. Where’s the outrage? Next week: Certificate of Need Pro/Con. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for 2010-02-19: ACLJ on Free Speech and Teachers’ Mailboxes, a Poor Critique of Austrian Economics, others….

February 20, 2010
  1. ACLJ | Content based discrimination

    A careless misstatement of First Amendment law from the ACLJ. Perry Educ. Ass’n v. Perry Educators’ Ass’n, 460 U.S. 37 (1983), ruled specifically that teachers mailboxes are not public fora for speech. The school may allow certain people to use the mailboxes for limited speech purposes and exclude others. The question is whether the caller’s religious message falls within the limited purpose intended by the school. Jay won in Lamb’s Chapel only because the Court held the Church’s message in that case fell within the school’s limited purpose for opening the forum.  A similar case out of the 9th Circuit: Edward Diloreto v. Downey Unified School District Board of Education, 196 F.3d 958 (9th Cir. 1999), in which the fence around a school’s baseball field was held not to be a public forum open to all advertisers, The school did not violate the plaintiff’s First Amendment rights by rejecting an ad displaying the 10 Commandments. This is settled law.

    Update: Time to correct my own misstatement. It is true that the school may not discriminate against the church simply because it is a church. It may, however, discriminate against the church’s message if that message is not within the limited purpose for which the forum was opened. The church is not entitled to put whatever it wants in the mailboxes merely because the school allows other groups to use the mailboxes.

  2. YouTube | A Critique of the Austrian School of Economics


    The critic misstates why Austrians do not rely on facts and experimentation. Read the rest of this entry »


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