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ASC 2006

I'm down here in beautiful Auburn at the Austrian Scholar's Conference. Here I'll be exposed to the bleeding edge of Austrian scholarship and a healthy dose of Rothbardian libertarianism to boot. There's so much interesting stuff going on that it's hard just to pick one or two things to share with you, dear readers, but if something grabs me I'll let you know.

I have no defense. My defense is George Bush.

Jeff Taylor writes a great short piece on the folly of the Patriot Act.

Enabling Patriotism

Allusions to the Weimar Republic's twilight can easily be abused in our current political situation, but let's remember why people started using them in the first place. The Nazis did not scrap the Weimar constitution, they merely added to it. They added parts in contradiction to the spirit of the earlier parts, but technically still legal. And the dark cloud that gathered over Germany did it slowly over several years. Read more »

Jesus Christ, we get it

Protests are still going on in Pakistan over the Muhammad cartoons. And, somehow, "Death to America" is a rallying cry.

The response was pretty unbelievable when the story first broke, but I'm really amazed that thousands of people could still be worked up enough about the whole thing to protest now.

Systems just aren\'t made of bricks

While I can still get song lyrics off the internet (previously discussed here), feast your brains on some Crass:

But no one ever changed the church by pulling down the steeple
You'll never beat the system by bombing Number 10
Systems just aren't made of bricks they're mostly made of people Read more »

Hope with Hamas

This article from a few days ago makes me feel a little better about the new Hamas leadership in Palestine.

They have mulled the works of Dickens and penned agony aunt columns in magazines. They believe the British habit of queuing to be the hallmark of a decent society, and hold fond memories of campus life in the United States.

Reading Atlas Shrugged

I'm finally giving Atlas Shrugged its second chance, and I actually enjoy it pretty well this time around. I've learned enough about Rand and her ideas to know when to pay attention and to know when to laugh out loud and keep going. Here's an example of the latter (on page 131): Read more »


Every once in a while a person or an organization sends me an email asking me to sign a petition. I can't remember the last time I signed a petition, even for a cause I believed in (usually ending government effort X, Y, or Z). I hate to sound callous, but I'd be better off to smack my head against the wall and mail the group $1. Example:

It is difficult to face, but we are all connected to acts of torture.

You - your action, your good word - are powerful tools to stop the torture being committed in our names by our government.

Dick Bronson

I know that the Dick Cheney shooting story is good enough that it needs no commentary, but I thought I would air my suspicion that Cheney was probably looking that poor bastard right in the eye when it happened.

Dick Cheney spittin' mad

Friday Fun Nitpick

It's not related to the totally voluntary society, apriorism, or metaphysics, but it needs to be said. Males: you're wearing too much cologne if I can smell it. In other words, since I am not going to be dancing, cuddling, or what-have-you with you, I should not be in the range to smell it. If I can, that means you have enough on to make it noticeable outside the proper range. Read more »

Wieder und wieder, der Ausfall der Bürokratie

Interesting read from Der Spiegel International about Germany's loss of doctors to less restrictive health markets.

German doctors are packing their scalpels and seeking their fortunes abroad, lured by the prospect of far higher pay and driven away by stifling bureaucracy in their country's health service.

Trillion with a T

Bush Sends Congress $2.7 Trillion Budget, Conservatives Still Don't Support Free Markets

WASHINGTON Feb 6, 2006 (AP)— President Bush is sending Congress a $2.7 trillion spending plan that provides big increases for the military and homeland security but squeezes many other government programs in an effort to get soaring deficits under control.

I think I get how this happens. Here's my reconstruction:

Bush: "Our military needs more money." Read more »

The Day the Music Died

Today is an important day in American history: The Day the Music Died. On February 3rd, 1959, at approximately 1:05 AM Central Time, the chartered plane carrying Ritchie Valens (17), Buddy Holly (22), and the Big Bopper (29) crashed into a field a few miles north of Clear Lake, Iowa. Read more »

Liberty Mix

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, indie hipsters of all ages: I present you with the libertarian mix cd. Tired of having to ignore the messages between the rocking? Tired of letting your lefty friend pick the music on your car trips? Try this (and ignore the style-hopping):

1. Twisted Sister - We're Not Gonna Take It
2. Crass - Big A Little A