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Why you Can't Trust the Feds

American Airlines admitted Friday that it shared information on more than a million passengers with the Transportation Security Administration. The TSA will not admit to this fact nor that it violated a law - the Privacy Act - passed by its comrades in the federal government. Read more »


The Essential Character

I don't blog about politics much; I am much more interested in economics, philosophy, and technology. A large part of the reason is that my outlook is fundamentally apolitical, and by that I mean I don't think politics should play any role in our lives, and rather that civil society should be the center of social interaction. There are many people much smarter than I am doing political analysis, so it is with hesitation that I dip my toe into the water. Read more »


Carnival of the Capitalists

This week's Carnival of the Capitalists is up at The Chicago Report.

Check out Steve Verdon's post on how the high prices resulting from voluntary cartels also serve to make it harder for the cartels to exist. Read more »


Saturday Sentiments


Good Question

In response to a post by Andy Duncan, a commenter writes:

With all this talk of statism, the suppression of rights by the state, and the need to get rid of it, several mentions of public education as a legitimate role of government have me puzzled.

The Marginal Utility of Bill Gates

John T. Kennedy poses a question to consequentialists:

At the margin $1000 is of negligible value to Bill Gates. If he found it lying on the sidewalk he might not bother to pick it up. The same $1000 could be a small fortune to a poor man. So if we force Gates to hand over $1000 to the poor man the benefit to the poor man is far greater than the harm to Gates.

5 Reasons why Earth is going to Hell

Bruce Sterling gives them in a Wired article. Among the five is the (facetious?) prediction that insurance companies will all go broke within the next 50 years.

Planetary insolvency: How would insurance companies pay for the devastation if an extinction-level asteroid were to collide with Earth? They wouldn't. They'd go broke. Worse yet, storms, floods, fires, and earthquakes could do the job first.

More on the Socialized US Healthcare System

Trent McBride of The Proximal Tubule tries to estimate just how large the 'public' health care bill is in the United States. As I've written before, it is a myth that there is a free market in health care in the US. Read more »


Taking Orders vs Making Choices

Much has been said in various parts of the blogosphere about the Daily Kos 'controversy'. I have no intention to rehash the main points. However, one aspect that has been largely overlooked caught my eye. From the original post:

Let the people see what war is like. This isn't an Xbox game. There are real repercussions to Bush's folly.

New Shining Moment

Another Final Four concludes, another sappy yet effective rendition of One Shining Moment fades into memory. We shall not have the privilege to experience its formulaic nostalgia for another year. Long shall the wait be. How I shall yearn to hear it once more. Read more »


Kristof on International Labor Standards

Nicholas Kristof has been one of the few mainstream journalists consistently giving free trade a fair appraisal. In a recent column, he took on international child labor standards, which though often well-intentioned, have the opposite effect of that intended. [via Marginal Revolution] Read more »


Carnival of the Capitalists


You're Wrong, George


Increasingly, the state system has been eroding. Terrorists have exploited this weakness by burrowing into the state system in order to attack it. While the state system weakens, no replacement is in sight that can perform the essential functions of establishing an orderly and lawful society, protecting essential freedoms, providing a framework for fruitful economic activity, contributing to effective international cooperation, and providing for the common defense.

- George P. Shultz, former US Secretary of State, Read more »


Canadian Judge Rules File Sharing Not Illegal

...at least not under Canadian copyright law.

In his ruling, von Finckenstein compared the actions the file sharers to the presence of a photocopy machine in a library. "I cannot see a real difference between a library that places a photocopy machine in a room full of copyrighted material and a computer user that places a personal copy on a shared directory linked to a P2P service," he stated.



Understated Craft

There's a reason I consider Jim Henley the original antiwar blogger. You can't do it much better than that.