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So long and thanks for all the fish

Many thanks to all the Catallarchists for letting me hang out here for the past ten days. I enjoyed myself, and hopefully regular readers didn't find my intrusion to be too disruptive.


North Korean Free Market Causes Famine!

In a story on North Korea's impending famine, James Brooke at the NY Times takes a cue from the BBC and writes: Read more »


Due Process at Guantanamo Bay?

Crooks and Liars has posted a video clip (QuickTime) from the O'Reilly Factor in which Bill debates UVa law prof Rosa Brooks on the subject of whether Guantanamo Bay detainees deserve due process. I think there was a clear winner, but I might be biased.


Does Poverty Induce Terrorism?

Gary Becker offers a nice overview of the possible relationships between poverty and terrorism.


Getting Intimate with the TSA

NY Times:

Get ready for electronic portals known as backscatters, expected to be tested at a handful of airports this year, that use X-ray imaging technology to allow a screener to scan a body. And yes, the body image is detailed. Let's not be coy here, ladies and gentlemen:

"Well, you'll see basically everything," said Bill Scannell, a privacy advocate and technology consultant.


Hedges, Cash, Shoes

An arbitrary selection of links for this morning:

This story in the Times about a new law imposing fines of up to £1,000 upon homeowners whose hedges exceed six meters reminds me to recommend Nanny Knows Best, a blog dedicated to documenting the growth of governmental intrusion in Britain. Read more »


Carnival of the Capitalists

Carnival of the Capitalists is hosted by Slacker Manager this week.


France Goes Against EU Constitution

Bloomberg: "France rejected the European Union's constitution in a national referendum, dealing a blow to President Jacques Chirac and European integration."

John Vaught LaBeaume covered the debate for Reason.


Ninjas and Pirates may not be friends, but Pirates and Terrorists are

In a clear failure to appreciate that real security means the elimination of all deviant behavior, John Cole complains about the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to stop pirating of Star Wars. If America loses the war on movie pirates, let alone the war on obesity, then the terrorists will have won.


Hoodie Bans

I thought that the War on Hoodies was a British phenomenon, but I now learn that Wheeling, West Virginia has been on board for a while, with a law banning the wearing of masks or hoods in public places that has been "developed more fully" since September 11th. Read more »


Continuity Problems

Todd Seavey has a fun article on that terrible problem that plagues nearly all of our favorite extensive fictional universes: continuity.

It begins to look as if the only surefire way to keep all the movies consistent is to have Kenobi, C-3PO, R2-D2, Uncle Owen, and Aunt Beru all suffer amnesia at the end of Episode III—but given the ease of reprogramming robots and altering human memories with the help of Jedi mind tricks, this scenario is not out of the question...


Mehdi Shafaeddin on trade liberalization

If you're interested in trade liberalization, you should read my latest post at Exploit the Worker. Read more »


The Future of Football

Tyler Cowen is a really bright guy. But he's just wrong when he writes:

The combination of hierarchical leagues and not-for-profit clubs, which has characterized soccer for the twentieth century, is poorly suited to the age of modern commercial sport.  Its days probably are numbered.


Managed trade leads to tough questions

If you're an agent of the State in charge of managing other persons and their well-being, you often have to answer tough questions. Carl Mortishead illustrates this while discussing "fair trade" and the granting of preferential market access (a.k.a. preferential protectionism): Read more »


Siths and Separatists

It's a few days old now, but Julian Sanchez launched a discussion about the politics of Episode III by asking: "Are the Republic and the Jedi on the right side of the war? Or, put another way: Why are the Separatists wrong?"