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"We are not entitled to it."

It's worth remembering every now and then how lucky we are that bureaucrats can be hopelessly inept. Glen Whitman provides a case in point:

South Euclid city officials were stunned to learn that they can't collect $1.4 million in income taxes from the winning Mega Millions ticket since the city charter wasn't updated to include lottery winnings as taxable income.

Anthony de Jasay on Empirical Evidence

Throughout its history, humanity has permanently displayed a physical condition classified in ordinary language as ?illness? or ?disease?. There has always been what Hume would call a ?constant conjunction? between human life and illness.

The Hobbesian hypothesis that illness is a necessary condition of the human species has strong empirical support. It has never been falsified.

The Economics of Cannibalism

Cannibal.gifMuch has been said in the blogosphere of late about the German cannibalism case involving two adult men, Armin Meiwes (the eater) and Bernd Brandes (the food). Most of the arguments on either side of the debate focus on whether or not this was actually consensual. Read more »

Freedom and Control in a Second-Best World

Clayton Cramer, homophobe par excellence, claims that

Libertarians often argue that they are on the side of homosexuals because it is the side of freedom. But this story is another reminder that no, it's not about freedom, it's about control.

and then cites the following article to back up this claim:

Silly Quote of the Day

[L]eft- and right-wing sources are not symmetrical....[T]he goal of the right wing is perpetuating and increasing injustice, whereas the goal of the left wing is increasing justice.

Three Ethical Dilemmas

In the first chapter of "The Elements of Moral Philosophy," James Rachels presents three real-world examples of difficult ethical dilemmas: Read more »

The Politics of PR

It's easy to attribute political motives to public relations rather than substantive policy change. It's also uninteresting. But for two recent news pieces, PR is the only reasonable explanation.

The first, already mentioned by Randall, is Bush's plan to grant temporary visas to illegal immigrants. Read more »

Heads I Win, Tails You Lose

Glen Whitman notices a neat little anti-capitalist tactic: Read more »

Specific performance

Interesting discussion over at Crooked Timber about libertarian perspectives on specific performance in contract enforcement.

Aliens Cause Global Warming

I vaguely recall reading that Michael Crichton is a global warming skeptic, but I never realized how outspoken he is about the issue.

[Link courtesy of Gil Milbauer]

Some of his comments may be of particular interest to Austrians and libertarians. A few excerpts,

On politics and science :

Stratification Monopoly

So after reading Neal Boortz's article in the previous post, you might think that this kind of thing only happens in public grade schools [sic]. Sadly, you would be mistaken.

Last summer, I enrolled in an introductory sociology class for shits and giggles. The professor was, as I expected, a hard leftist, but amiable and respectful to students with contrary opinions. Read more »

Beige is Beautiful

Qiwi's post immediately below reminds me of a usenet story I came across a few years ago. The author decided to be a bit rebellious when applying for a high level security clearance. Hilarity ensues.

In the mood for some heavy reading?

If so, put aside that copy of Atlas Shrugged and Human Action, and get ready for the largest book of them all:

Bad arguments for Public Goods

Jim Hightower, in an excerpt taken from his book, Thieves In High Places, writes about John Rawls's Veil Of Ignorance, and in the process demonstrates that his understanding of public goods is completely backwards: