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Helping Those Who Help Themselves

Experience teaches us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purpose is beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.

- Louis Dembitz Brandeis

Limitations of the Economic Way of Thinking?

I've made two updates to my post below about charging the wrongly convicted for room and board. In these updates I've responded to challenging comments made by Greg Goelzhauser and Will Baude. Read more »

Maybe Abe Foxman Was Right After All...

As were all the other people who feared that Mel Gibson's The Passion would promote violence.

But I don't think they were expecting this:

Out of Gas

The economic reasoning of this article is horribly flawed. The author begins by noting that oil is cheap[1], but then he immediately claims that we are quickly running out of oil. These two statements are contradictory. Read more »

Would Somebody Please Tell Abe Foxman to Shut Up?

Aye, fight and you may die, run, and you'll live... at least a while. And dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin' to trade all of that from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take away our lives, but they'll never take - our dreidels?

He has portrayed the Crucifixion - now Mel Gibson has his sights set on the tale that led to Chanukah.

A Hero Has Fallen

Chuck Bearden asks in the comment thread to this post how I would respond to secular objections against extending marriage rights to homosexuals, and points to this Thomas Sowell's column as an example. Read more »

The Economic Way of Thinking

Many libertarians in the blogosphere have been up in arms lately over a decision by British officials to "charge victims of miscarriages of justice more than ?3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly convicted." Read more »

Protecting the Institution of Marriage

One of Andrew Sullivan's readers writes: Read more »

Failing Philosophy 101

Apparently, Cal Thomas has never studied philosophy. His recent article about gay marriage (a word which he refuses to write without sarcastic quotation marks) is chock full of errors. Here are a few gems:

No Pain, No Gain

My first Tech Central Station article is now online. The piece, titled "The Purpose of Pain," is about the similarities between physiological signals like pleasure or pain and market prices, which signal costs and benefits. It has an explicit Hayekian/Austrian influence, which should please some of my non-neoclassical cohorts. This one's for you, Catallarchists!


Jane Austen ranks 109th among the most influential reporters and bloggers on the web. Will I be as influential a blogger 87 years after I'm dead? Only time will tell.

Free Speech About Free Speech

College Libertarians at Georgia Tech Present:

David Bernstein, Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law,
"You Can't Say That! The Growing Threat to Civil Liberties from
Antidiscrimination Laws

Tuesday, March 16
Clary Theatre, Student Success Center (down the Hill from Juniors)
4:30 - 6:00 p.m. Read more »

Does Anyone Know Any Good Polish Jokes? Nun Jokes? Drunken Tractor Driving Jokes?

I'm really struggling here. Sometimes, there is simply no title as funny as the story itself.

A Polish Benedictine nun is facing jail for driving a tractor into a car while drunk outside her convent in southwestern Poland, police said on Friday.

[yet again, via merrydeath]

Try Getting This One Past The FCC

What's your favorite swear word? (Not safe for work)

[via merrydeath]

If nothing comes to mind, be sure to check the Swear Word of the Day blog.

Intentions vs. Consequences

One of the advantages of arguing for libertarianism based on consequences rather than natural rights is that nearly everyone desires similar consequences, whereas there is much more disagreement concerning which rights people are entitled to enjoy. We would expect economics, not ethics, to have a wider acceptance. Read more »