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The social construction of matrimony

Will Baude disapproves of the advice, offered by Slate's Dear Prudence, to explicitly ask for cash as a wedding gift in an effort to avoid useless presents.

I'm somewhat surprised at Will's reaction, considering that he comes from a law and economics background, and yet his argument here strikes me as highly sociological. Perhaps Will has been spending a bit too much time around some Critical Legal Theorists lately? (Kidding, I hope) Read more »

Liability, shmiability

In preparation for a speech I'm giving tomorrow, I was re-reading Eric Raymond's excellent Libertarian FAQ. In response to the question, "What would libertarians do about concentrations of corporate power?", I came across this interesting tidbit:

    We'd abolish the limited-liability shield laws to make corporate officers and stockholders fully responsible for a corporation's actions.

Brian's College Football Top 25

Since the college football season is upon us, it is time to unveil my phoney-baloney homemade computer poll of the Top 25 College Football Teams!

Top 25 for games played through August 31:

1 --- Ohio State
2 --- Oklahoma
3 --- Texas
4 --- Kansas State
5 --- Georgia
6 --- Iowa
7 --- Michigan
8 --- Miami
9 --- Colorado
10 -- Alabama
11 -- Marshall
12 -- USC
13 -- Texas Tech
14 -- NC State
15 -- Tennessee
16 -- Virginia Tech
17 -- Penn State
18 -- Florida State
19 -- Florida
20 -- Virginia
21 -- LSU
22 -- Wisconsin
23 -- Northern Illinois Read more »

Howdy, Jury Duty

Jon Mandle of Crooked Timber fame mentions that he has been selected for (Grand) jury duty. I, too, have recently been selected for jury duty, and the selection raised some interesting moral and legal questions. Read more »

Put It Back!

The 10 Commandments Music Video.

(Thanks to Protocols)

'Price stability'

Frank Shostak wrote a great piece on so-called 'price stability' last week at An excerpt: Read more »

Columbia Accident Report, part 1

I have been trying to read the Columbia Accident Investigation Board Report, but having the obvious pointed out over 248 pages is not holding my attention.

The first problem is shown on page 17 of the pdf:


How many administrators, associate administrators, managers, and bureaucrats does it take to give seven people a great joy ride and do a little science? Read more »

Semantics and original meaning in the Constitution

Randy Barnett continues his discussion of the value of written constitutions by addressing commenters' objections and examining semantic meaning in original text and how (and why) it may differ today.

Quote of the Day

And it refers to principles. Now, anyone can go ahead and sneer at principles as "extremist" or "unrealistic" or "utopian" or anything else, but the fact is that authentic principles -- fundamental or general truths on which abstracted truths stand or fall -- are indispensibly necessary requirements for the conduct of human life. You sneer at them at risk of your own existence.

Negative feedback loops

Randly Balko has some insightful (and depressing) commentary on political feedback loops: Read more »