Links for March 17, 2010: Judge Jim Gray On What’s Wrong With Drug Prohibition; Will Weaking the Dollar Help the Economy?; others….

March 18, 2010
  1. Reason.tv | Judge Jim Gray on The Six Groups That Benefit From Drug Prohibition

    The essential arguments against drug prohibition in under nine minutes.

  2. Mother Jones | China's Empty Threat

    "If they started dumping their U.S. assets, China would lose money on the deal and the dollar would fall in value, which would help correct our trade deficit. What's not to like?"

    At some point, you gotta smell a rat. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for March 8, 2010: Philly Bars Raided for Serving Unregistered Beers, Hitchens on Rand, others….

March 18, 2010
  1. Philadelphia Daily News | Troopers raid popular bars for unlicensed beers: Dozens of gallons seized after 'citizen complaint'

    "'My main beef with this whole convoluted situation is that the PLCB is the sole regulator of a set of products that they do not even know the names of,' she said." … "Maida said that the couple's attorney had told them that they have until 6 p.m. tonight to compile evidence to prove that the confiscated beer is properly registered. 'The onus is on us to prove our innocence,' she said."

    I'm trying to imagine these citizens who apparently carry the PLCB list of registered beers in their hip pockets, just in case somebody offers them a beer they do not recognize….

  2. YouTube | Hitchens Destroys the Cult of Ayn Rand

    I've never read any Ayn Rand. I bought "The Fountainhead" in audiobook form on clearance a couple months ago. I have not yet listened. Based on what I've heard about her and her cult, I do not disagree with anything Hitchens says here. I understand that Rand had no love for the Libertarian Party. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for March 2, 2010: Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul Supporters, A Marxist Response to the “Mudpie Argument”, others….

March 3, 2010
  1. YouTube | Noam Chomsky on Ron Paul & his supporters

    A fundamental disagreement I have with Chomsky is that, whereas he seems universally to recognize the authority of democracy, I do not. Chomsky reassures us that alien forces such as government are not trying to steal our money through taxation. We should rejoice on tax day, Chomsky argues, because it is only a majority of our brethren who have voted to steal our money from us for the purposes that “we” (read “they”) have agreed upon. The assumption is that we all always assent to democracy. I do not accept that assumption. The cliche to remember is tyranny of the majority. Fifty-one percent of the people have have no inherent right to the property of the other forty-nine percent. If some members of the forty-nine percent wish to waive their property rights in the name of democracy, they may. To force this waiver, however, is simply tyranny of the majority. We all know how much Chomsky hates tyranny! Read the rest of this entry »


Links for March 1, 2010: Utah Gov’t Poised to Treat Reckless Miscarriage as Criminal Homicide; UK Criminalizes Secret Treasure, others….

March 2, 2010

Coffin for a miscarried fetus (photo: Doroquez)

  1. Utah Women May Face Murder Charges After Miscarriages | CommonDreams.org

    “Similarly astonished is the syndicated columnist Dan Savage. ‘Where will this insanity end?’ he wrote. ‘If every miscarriage is a potential homicide, how does Utah avoid launching a criminal investigation every time a woman has a miscarriage? And how is Utah supposed to know when a pregnant woman has had a miscarriage? You’re going to have to create some sort of pregnancy registry to keep track of all those fetuses. Perhaps you could start issuing ‘conception certificates’ to women who get pregnant. And then, if there isn’t a baby within nine months of the issuance of a conception certificate, the woman could be hauled in for questioning.'” Bill text here.

  2. Mail Online | Woman who found coin worth £2,000 in garden becomes first to be prosecuted for not reporting treasure

    Pure bullying. Government, get out of that woman's business. Read the rest of this entry »


Links for February 24, 2010: Synthetic Reefer Madness

February 26, 2010
JWH-108

JWH-108: "I'm comin-da gitcha!!"

  1. Philadelphia Inquirer | New drug worry in Phila.: synthetic marijuana

    They didn’t exactly say what the “worry” was….


Links for February 23, 2010: PZ Myers Pooh-Poohs Libertarianism, Climate Change Proponent Responds to the Skeptical Environmentalist.

February 25, 2010
PZ Myers

PZ Myers
pooh-poohs libertarianism. (image source: Wikimedia Commons)

  1. Pharyngula | Libertarianism defined

    PZ Myers. An atheist intellectual that I respected until I about ten minutes ago. The anti-libertarian post is an ad-hominem joke. Since there is no substantive argument, there can be no substantive response. Myers links to a “previous commentary” in which he relays the allegory of a Libertarian, LIB, and a Scientist, SCI. LIB is a pathological, deranged, driver headed at top speed directly toward a lake. SCI is an intellectually superior passenger who insists that LIB turn the car. LIB naturally refuses, placing faith in the free market and a sock puppet. The allegory could accurately describe the relationship between man and environment, but Myers made no attempt whatsoever to describe the relationship between man and State. By the end of the allegory, SCI should cock a pistol and order LIB at gunpoint to turn the car. We can debate whether this hijacking is appropriate, but to ignore the hijacking, or to be unaware of it, is to avoid the libertarian’s primary concern.

  2. Mother Jones | Fact Checking the Skeptical Environmentalist

    The best way to learn about an issue is through a direct call-and-response, like this one. If I ever have enough free time to learn about global warming, etc., I’ll start with The Skeptical Environmentalist, and then move on to The Lomborg Deception. I’d like to see a rebuttal from Mr. Lomborg as well.

    Update:The wikipedia page for The Skeptical Environmentalist briefly describes the the Cambridge University Press’s peer-review process, which Lomborg’s book passed prior to publication, as well as previous efforts on Lomborg’s part to respond to criticism. I expect there to be a healthy debate here.


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 Vodpod videos no longer available.

    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 »