Links for Monday, September 26, 2011: Gary Johnson Debates; Gibson Guitars Raided; Wall Street Occupied.

September 24, 2011
  1. For the record, he always was a real candidate.

    I think the biggest threat to our national security is that we’re bankrupt.” (We’re not, technically, but this a nice line to co-opt from the Tea Party.)

    When will the government be “technically bankrupt”? When it files for bankruptcy with itself? Anyway, it’s good to see Gary Johnson getting some press and some airtime. The best line, by the way, was: “My next door neighbor’s two dogs have created more shovel ready jobs than this president.” Rush Limbaugh apparently said it first.

  2. [Andrea Johnson, director of forest programs for the Environmental Investigation Agency,] defends the Lacey Act and the government’s efforts to enforce it. “Nobody here wants this law to founder on unintended consequences,” she says. “Because ultimately everybody understands that the intent here is to reduce illegal logging and send a signal to the markets that you’ve got to be asking questions and sourcing wood in a responsible way.”

    What constitutes that responsible way may only become clear when the government finally charges Gibson and the company gets the day in court it says it wants so badly.

    Gibson Guitar CEO Henry Juszkiewicz claims he the Indian government certified that his wood was harvested legitimately. This did not stop a U.S. government raid. I can understand the people’s desire to protect certain species of things, but at what cost? Raiding without charging? Is this legitimate governance?

    A short lesson on how to think like a libertarian: Whenever you see government environmental regulations designed to prevent some thing or other from going extinct, think: “tragedy of the commons”. Why is this Indian wood being plundered? Could either private ownership or better enforcement of private property rights encourage people to steward the sources of this type of wood better? More research is due.

  3. Don’t let the title fool you: Tamar Gendler rains on Robert Nozick’s parade. I kind of lost interest at “suppose each of us starts out with the same amount of money.” I’m not sure exactly what we’re supposed to glean from thought experiments that begin with such bizarre suppositions. She might as well have begun, “Suppose each of us starts out with our own flying, wish-granting luck dragon.” Wellll, OK!?! So we all start out with the same amount of money. And a luck dragon. What now?  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 »