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Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Larry David = Bob Higgs?

You don't think so? Get the DVD for the third season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, and just let the menu run. The part where LD says, "Plumbing...gotta plumb...Plumb the depths, the depths of hell..." You're telling me that's not Bob Higgs?

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Charles Johnson Catches Tom Friedman Redhanded

Sometimes you can really smoke someone, even in politics and even on the Internet. I thought I had snagged Clifford May pretty well in his National Review Online apologetics for Bush, but Charles Johnson's got Tom Friedman by the cajones (unless this is a complete fabrication).

Granted, some of these excerpts are consistent; e.g. if Friedman says "We'll know the outcome in Iraq in the next six months" today and then "We're in the end game now" next week, that's perfectly fine. But look at how far apart some of these statements are! Nobody should ever listen to this guy's "predictions" on Iraq again. He is to foreign policy what Paul Ehrlich is to demographics. Well, maybe not quite, since Ehrlich says we're all going to die unless we change course, whereas Friedman says Iraqis won't die if we don't change course. (Thanks to Roderick Long for bringing this to our attention.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Look Who's Coming for Dinner!

Last fall I planted some bulbs in my meadow in Pennsylvania. But I apparently miscalculated, as the planting soil I used collapsed, creating a crater, which stated wet annd rotted the bulbs. Last week my son filled the depression with the garden hose. One week later, look who's in there:

How did they find out so fast? Was there a posting on Craig's List? "Three amphibians needed to split rent on one-level puddle in nice Milford meadow. No newts, please!"

Philosopher's Test

When my e-mail account at LSE was turned on, the first e-mail I received was from the sys admin. It read: "Please ignore this e-mail. This is just a test."

Of course, if I ignored the e-mail, I would have been doing what it said to do, which meant I wasn't ignoring it. So should I respond? I finally decided it was an initiation rite for new philosophy students -- anyone who was so freaked out by the conundrum that they didn't show up in London wouldn't be able to cut it in philsophy classes.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

And Some Things Shouldn't Be Tampered With

Courtesy of Andy Stedman, the libertarian case for keeping drugs illegal.

Some Tricks Never Get Old

When Caesar was conquering Gaul, he used an interesting tactic -- while in the midst of fighting, quite early in the war as a whole, he simply declared Gaul "pacified." Then, he no longer had to treat opponents as enemy combatants, but could deal with them as "insurregents" instead.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Photo Time


Reflections


They serve anyone these days


Peaches


A snow falls in Brooklyn


No standing on Rob's head


Taj

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

"Legalize it, and then tax the h*ll out of it!"

This was the opinion of a (possibly pot smoking) fraternity guy with whom I was discussing the world's problems. He probably read my reaction and quickly added, "I'm not even saying we need to tax it, but it would be better than it is now."

So my question: Why is this such a knee jerk response? After all, taxing the heck out of something is only mildly better than putting people in jail for selling it, and for the exact same reasons. Can you imagine Vietnam hippies saying, "End the draft, and then make the 18-year-olds work in soup kitchens for 3 years!" ?

Okay, well, you're right, probably many of them would have agreed with that sentiment. Umm, I had a point with this blog post but now it eludes me...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Imagine That!

Although the article that prompts this post is a bit dated now, I've been meaning to comment on it since I first saw it, and so I'd better do so before it becomes ancient history.

The cover story of the April 9 issue of The New York Times Magazine was about abortion in El Salvador. The headline asked, "Ever imagine what it might be like to live in a place that voted to thoroughly criminalize abortion? A place that sent abortion providers to jail? That policed hospitals? That investigated a woman's uterus?" It continued, "Welcome to 21st-Century El Salvador."

I found this really bizzare, in a way that has nothing to do with the issue of whether abortion should be legal. I mean, yes, if some activity is outlawed somewhere, the people who engage in it will be treated like criminals, pursued by the police, and so forth. That's supposed to be news? Of course, if you believe that activity ought to be permitted, you will deplore this state of affairs. But it's hardly a surprise, is it?

By way of contrast, can anyone envision the Times featuring a headline such as, "Ever imagine what it might be like to live in a place that voted to thoroughly criminalize marijuana? A place that sent marijuana providers to jail? That policed citizens' private gardens? That investigated a teenager's urine?"

Monday, May 08, 2006

Why Anyone with a Conscience...

should stay out of the US military.

From the article:
'There is constant pressure to kill Iraqi civilians, Anderson [a Purple-Heart-decorated soldier] said. “At traffic stops we kill innocent people all the time. If you are fired on from the street, you are supposed to fire on everybody that is there. If I am in a market, I shoot people who are buying groceries.”'

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Nice Service

The Red Sox picked up a new catcher the other day, because he was capable of catching their knuckleballer. But he was in San Diego, and they need him to catch that night. So, they got him a private jet -- cool. But on ESPN, he mentioned that, when he got to Boston, he was driven by cops to Fenway Park at 100 miles per hour.

Do you think if, say, a plumber is late for work in Beantown, he can get a high-speed police escort to work?

Monday, May 01, 2006

I'll Be Watching You

at the Fed.

happy beltane

I’m ashamed that capitalists have allowed socialists to co-opt the illegal immigration problem. Every immigrant worker that crosses the border makes me richer without me having to lift a finger. More people do not merely reduce the costs of labor in border states; they also create their own demand for products and services from the native labor force and increase competition which benefits us all. Eventually, it all balances out while at the same time lifting our economy as a whole. If our cavemen ancestors kept the population stunted at one million, we’d still be knapping stone knives and wearing bearskins. By the same token, if all the “illegals” disappeared tomorrow, the negative effects would be felt across the US, which is why the socialists took advantage by rounding up Hispanics today. Socialists love pretending this is a May Day rally, but this isn’t a cry for more socialism and unions. The whole brouhaha is about eliminating statist laws that prevent the movement of this good into the country where there is a demand for it. Socialists, on the other hand, are merely hoping to get more people addicted to government handouts. Capitalists should take back this issue and call for the relaxation of immigration laws, if not their outright elimination, while amputating the government teat the socialists keep using as a lure to the dark side.