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Decentralized knowledge vs. central planning, round 64568431

Behind every "great" (yet evil) man there is a formidable set of yes-men, apologists, and plain thugs to swing the club at the rest of us when we don't goosestep high enough.

Enter Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. On Wednesday he told the toadies at AEI that

federal judges are not "equipped to make decisions about" actions the president takes in the name of preserving national security.

Jihad, Terror, and Utopia Part II

This article continued from Part I. Read more »

Pas de meanies

When I first heard the story about a French charity giving away pork soup to the homeless, I laughed. It was clearly intended to spite France's growing Muslim population, although I don't know how many of these are also in the homeless population. It wasn't very nice, but then again they were giving away free soup to a country that can mostly eat it, and there must be plenty of other charities in a place so generous with other peoples' money, right? Read more »

The American Academy of Nannyism

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, kids today see too much advertising in general, and specifically too many advertisements for things that promote fun, such as e.d. drugs and alcohol. Consider this absurd statement:

Leisure activity

I know many of you are looking frantically for guidance on this issue, so let me put my two cents in: forget the PS3 and get a Wii.

Yes, the graphics are vastly better on the PS3, but the Wii has one really important advantage: it's fun in a different way than previous consoles have been fun. The PS3 is basically more of the same with only slight improvements. The Wii is innovative in a way that I expect will soon become standard with consoles. Read more »

The tyranny of bad intentions

The mainstream media outlets don't ever seem to bat an eyelash when some clown in Congress introduces some ludicrous bill with lofty aims and terrible economics in it. In fact, nobody but libertarians ever seems to get that whatever your aims are, your means have to be sensible, and in Congress they never are.

So it shouldn't surprise us that they never question the state's prosecutions based on alleged terrorists' intentions either. Here is an example: Read more »

Suicide by service rifle, interrogation techniques unknown

Via iFeminists comes an alarming story of a US Army translator who killed herself after refusing to participate in "interrogations" in Iraq and how the Army seems to be trying to cover it up.

As someone with friends of good conscience who are or were in Iraq, this is doubly frightening.

Don\'t get too smug

Which is better: a. having one fine wine five or six nights a week, or b. only drinking fine wines three or four nights a week, but having a variety? Ponder.

More variants in the comments.

Official Anarchist Browser Update

At long last, Firefox 2.0 is out! Get on it!


Today is the 50th anniversary of the Hungarian Uprising (as well as the 5th anniversary of the release of the iPod).

Here is an earlier Catallarchy take on the Hungarian Uprising.

EDIT: Moved up from the comments, I recommend having a look at Nick Szabo's Hungarian Revolution anniversary post. It's one of the best blog posts I've seen all year. Really.

Pinker 1, Lakoff 0 (as always)

One of the most illuminating things I've read in a long time is this exchange between Steven Pinker and George Lakoff. Pinker's piece is a review of Lakoff's new book, and Lakoff responds. I am already familiar with these two—the first is one of my favorite current thinkers—but I still think that if someone unfamiliar with either were to read the exchange, Pinker would still come out way ahead. Read more »

Godwin\'s Law pt. 1587465983

Hysterical conservative Michael Medved just did "Islamo-fascist" one better: "Islamo-Nazi." "Islamo-fascist," even though used crudely, at least pointed out that the revolution Islamic radicals are attempting is about tribalism and violence. But "Islamo-Nazi" tries to make a new (dramatically overhyped) enemy of freedom into the same thing as history's generally accepted Most Evil Man and his minions. Several thousand deaths across many years into millions in a handful. A bunch of rabble hiding in caves into an entire war machine. Read more »

The status pie

David Friedman has a characteristically brilliant post on his blog about the economics of status.

While the way the market divvies up the wealth pie does not have to be zero-sum, people still think that status has to be zero-sum. After all, if I'm the alpha male that means you aren't. Read more »

Floating eyes spook dishonest free riders

Here's an old news item I meant to write up but never did. It's something that a majority of us probably know about: the honor system in the office coffee room.

Coffee room eyes
Read more »