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The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Like my co-blogger Jonathan, I am also a Hokie, and a big fan of college football. So tomorrow begins the best part of the year as Virginia Tech goes up against the University of Southern California tomorrow at 7:45pm, just down the road at FedEx Field.

The "Men of Troy" are the #1 team in the land, and defending champions. The Hokies' last outing was as the defending chumps, punked by Berkeley last year in a bowl game featuring no defense on either side. And VT limped into the game against the free speechers dropping most of their last games, punctuated by a (in retrospect) unlikely win over Miami and a barely-won-but-should-have-lost victory over Temple. And from that team of underachievers, 5 went on to the NFL. So its no surprise that nobody gives VT a chance in hell at beating the Trojans.

To me, its a no-lose situation. Expectations are almost nonexistent. So if we lose, we're supposed to lose. If we lose by a little, we get the 'moral' victory. If we cover the spread, we screw over most of the betting world, which is fun. If we, God/Determinism willing, see a Tech triumph, then we may be on the brink of a magical season (or not; in any case, we would have knocked off #1, which the Hokies have never done). Who knows, we might have a Hokie version of Odysseus with something up his sleeve...


(and for something completely different...) Read more »

Regarding total employee compensation

Arnold Kling points to two recent articles on the labor market, one deriding the neoclassical conception of labor market mechanics and defending government intervention, and other pointing out that businesses are reluctant to bring in new employees due to the high cost of health care, which is continuing to rise even in a recessionary climate. (registration required if you follow the links in Arnold's post.) Read more »

3rd party developer increases use-value of iPod: Apple cries foul

Those pesky Real Networks guys. They went and made iPod interoperable with other music-provider formats, making the device even more useful to individuals.

"Bastards!", says Apple.

(via Crooked Timber)

The economic foundations of law

Alex Tabarrok's course at GMU on the subject has begun, and also has an interesting post on examining the economic effects of requiring minimum amenities in housing.

Kerry v. Ashcroft on Civil Rights

Foreign policy aside, at least we can count on Kerry's long history of supporting civil rights as a contrast to the Bush administration.


Hegemon decamps from Europe, Asia

Hallelujah, a non-idiotic policy move by GWB, one which we have not had for a long time- 70,000 troops are being recalled from Europe and Asia.

Though of little immediate use/relief to the US forces in Iraq, its a good deal to remove our troops from areas of the world not immediately threatened by a re-emergence of World War II. Not only will it be cheaper to keep our troops based at home, it will have the salutary effect of eliminating some free-riders on America's defense budget, eliminating a source of cheap political posturing among 'allies' during election years, and removing millions of (US tax) dollars from the economies of the people who think we're so bad and nasty.

Of course, this could all be moot if Kerry is elected; pandering to our 'allies' (including massive tax dollar shifts to the German and South Korean economies, among others) is a campaign plank[1], after all.

Americans beat Americans in Olympics

Yesterday I watched the hapless USA Mens Basketball team lose to Puerto Rico in the Olympics.

My first thought- why in hades does Puerto Rico have an olympic team, anyway? Every single Puerto Rican is an American citizen. Commonwealth status doesn't change the fact that they're all Americans, legally.

If the US can send 2 US teams to the Olympics, why can't we send a team from California, Texas, etc, too? Read more »

Spontaneous Law

Apropos of the discussion started by Tom Bell's post on Surfing & impromptu property rights, Don Boudreaux at Cafe Hayek notes that there is more to law than legislation (as Jonathan has also noted): Read more »

Nerd question

If you had a spaceship capable of maintaining 1g of acceleration indefinitely, how long would it take to get from Earth to Mars, either at opposition or conjunction?


To clarify: the spaceship would start in Low Earth Orbit and end up in Low Mars Orbit.

Spam, begone!

I'm liking WordPress already. Just now we had 3 spam comments, and all three were easily dispatched by either the moderation/quarantine system or through a simple click of the button. This is in contrast to Movable Type which made it nigh impossible to delete comment spam.

Oh happy day!

PSA: For those who may be shocked by the change...

If the blog comes up looking different than it used to, fret not! You can go down and click on "ctly_classic" as the style, et voila! The blog will (mostly) look as it did before.

The War on Terror, or the War on Drugs: Choose One

Given my responses to comments in my previous post, I think its important to point out that:

(A) Since the War on Terror (more precisely, the Defense of American civil society against barbarians) is the most important issue of the day, and

(B) The War on Drugs takes time, effort, and physical resources away from (A), that therefore

(C ) The War on Drugs ought to be eliminated forthwith; decriminalize, legalize, etc. Read more »

The Problem with Libertarians Today

In the years since 9/11, the problems facing those who love liberty have multiplied and intensified- instead of the Sept 10th worries of 'can I smoke my pot legally' and 'are they coming with more restrictions on the 2nd Amendment', we have the far more serious worries of 'can I travel around the country without papers?' and 'are they coming with restrictions on the 1st, 4th, 5th, etc Amendments"... The US government is engaged in war, at home and abroad, and the current administration has increasingly shown that they believe extremism in the defense of statism is no vice. Read more »

Philosophy Selector

With the usual caveats about the questions selected & answers provided, I give you The Ethical Philosophy Selector quiz. Answer a few questions, and the wonders of the Computer Age tell you what philosophies you match up with.

As for me, I think the quiz is a little wacked, though, as I'll comment on below the fold.

(via Gene Expression)

My results:

1. John Stuart Mill (100%) (my view: boo, pleasure-utilitarian = invalid concept/method) Read more »


It appears that my snark on the Badnarik campaign with regard to their blog & response on the biggest issue of the '04 campaign has gotten results- a trackback from the campaign blogger and a response from the Badnarik campaign's communications director Stephen Gordon[1]. Huzzah!

Thanks for the quick turnaround guys, and Peace to You, too, Stephen. I sympathize with the ideals of the Badnarik campaign, and am certainly not enamored with either King George or Kerry. So, the following should be taken in the spirit of constructive criticism. I'll respond to the blog and to Stephen in turn. Read more »