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Simberg on O'Reilly

Rand Simberg has some thoughts on Bill O'Reilly's recent criticisms of 'these websites these days.' He points out that changing times call for not only changing interpretations of the First Amendment, but also for abandoning principles once thought vital to a free society. His post draws you in inch by inch, squeezing your vital organs with its audacity, and finishing with a flourish.

UK public oppose ID cards according to study

By an overwhelming margin, UK residents responded against the idea of a national ID card in a study performed by the Home Office.

In response to a parliamentary question from MP Anne McIntosh, Home Office minister Beverley Hughes has confirmed that over 5,000 of the 7,000 responses to a public consultation on the issue were opposed to the scheme.

Midwives attempt to curb infant mortality

While the public health officials create task forces, form committees to 'study the problem', blame the problem on society, create reports, and make final plans to present to their bosses, a group of women in the Dallas-Fort Worth area are actually doing something about the high infant-mortality rate in the region. They will be focusing their efforts on pre-natal care, leaving the actual deliveries to hospitals.

Bounty hunters face jail time for kidnapping

The Andrew Luster story has been all over the news lately. Briefly, he is the rich heir of a cosmetics mogul who was sentenced to life in jail (in absentia) for raping multiple women by poisoning their drinks with the drug GHB. He fled to Mexico where bounty hunters finally caught up with him yesterday. The part of the story that is most interesting is that the bounty hunters, along with Luster, were subsequently caught by Mexican police, and now bounty hunter Duane "Dog" Chapman faces 20 years in Mexico for kidnapping. Read more »

Demand-side fallacies from General Wesley Clark

Rachel Lucas points to an interview with Gen. Wesley Clark by Tim Russert this past weekend on Meet the Press. During the interview, Clark said, "I thought this country was founded on a principle of progressive taxation," which Rachel points out, contrary to being a founding American principle, is in fact one of the main tenets of the Communist Manifesto. Read more »

If O'Reilly, why not Goldberg?

Billy Beck asks why Bill O'Reilly is catching heat while Jonah Goldberg is not, since Goldberg actually wanted to 'do something' about the blogosphere while O'Reilly just complained. I'm not sure I have the answer to that, but whereas Goldberg proposed something that is ridiculous, it was also relatively harmless that IMO the blogosphere would simply shrug off. Read more »

Open source as kosmos

I wanted to make sure people saw this response linked in a previous comments section from Dave Masten from his excellent website: Read more »

Ideas are fine, as long they are federally approved

A federal judge in Las Vegas has ordered the banning of a book because it advocates 'lawless action'.

U.S. District Judge Lloyd D. George wrote in an order banning the book that Irwin Schiff is not protected by the First Amendment because he has encouraged people not to pay taxes.

Today's most ridiculous item

Bill O'Reilly should know better. There was once a time when Foxnews was a newcomer to the media landscape. The established networks blew off Foxnews' threat and very few expected it to succeed. But it surprised everyone and took away CNN and MSNBC viewers and became a force. They did it by filling a niche for viewers who were tired of the constant liberal flavor of other media, and by bringing in fresh voices like Bill O'Reilly who wouldn't kowtow to soft accusations and would actually challenge their guests. Read more »

Teacher pay not so shabby

A recent study out of the University of Missouri-Columbia shows that after taking into account pension plans and a shorter work year, teachers earn wages comparable to engineers, accountants, and computer programmers. [via Mises Blog] Read more »

Big Brother gets bigger in the EU

Speaking of lost meanings, one of the more commonly abused words in the political lexicon is 'right'. It used to mean a barrier to coercion from the mob, i.e., a right to free speech meant that the mob could not use violence on you for the words you said, and a right to private property meant that the mob could not use force to take your property. A right was protection against the outside. Read more »

More on different types of law

In chatting with my fellow Catallarchist Brian, he stated that my post on Legislation vs. Common Law was not completely accurate, and suggests that perhaps a more precise classification for what I was referring to would have been Statuatory law vs. Customary law. [Damnit Brian, I'm a doctor, not a lawyer!] He states that legislation is a part of common law, not something completely distinct from it, and is used to codify and simplify customary law. Read more »

Val on racial discrimination

Val has written about racial preferences and the upcoming US Supreme Court hearing on the University of Michigan's admissions policies. Read more »

A word on labels

I have used the label 'libertarian' so far in indentifying my political philosophy. I only do so with much hesitation. As Steven Den Beste wrote a couple of weeks ago, the left-right axis as normally portrayed on television and in popular culture is too limited to be of much use. In fact, it is patently ridiculous to try to model political affiliation on a one-dimensional axis. Read more »

Open-source and political philosophy

Alex Singleton of Samizdata asks whether open-source software is a libertarian idea. He writes that open-source lacks the entrepreneur and the leadership needed to succeed. I have never thought that open-source is particularly libertarian (as opposed to non-open-source code). Voluntary association is voluntary association, whether or not it involves bilateral exchange. Read more »