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Lessons learned from a drug warrior

Tonight at my university Drug Warrior Extraordinaire Robert Stutman gave a talk called "Ecstasy: It's Not a State of Mind" to a mostly unsympathetic audience. We heard many of the same bits of advice, mixed in with new warnings about how ecstacy is "probably the most dangerous drug that an adolescent could use" because of newly documented long-term effects on the brain.(†)

News flash: libertarians are not impressed by these arguments. Read more »

My Grandfather's Country Was Onto Something

A joke from 1980s Poland:

A man goes into the Bank of Gdansk to make a deposit. Since he has never kept money in a bank before, he is a little nervous.

"What happens if the Bank of Gdansk should fail?" he asks.

"Well, in that case your money would be insured by the Bank of Warsaw."

"But, what if the Bank of Warsaw fails?"

"Well, there'd be no problem, because the Bank of Warsaw is insured by the National Bank of Poland."

"And if the National Bank of Poland fails?"

"Then your money would be insured by the Bank of Moscow."

"And what if the Bank of Moscow fails?"

They Seemed Nice, But...

Is the Mises Institute a hate group? Some of the anti-immigration views that certain members have held seem to have made the Southern Poverty Law Center concerned. (Go to this page and enter "mises" in the keyword area.)

One issue of their report characterizes the MI thus:

Ludwig von Mises Institute

What's Worse than a Mob?Blank Out

I'd like to post a few comments in a follow-up piece to Micha's post.

Rand's objection to his argument would be that a mob and a government are not the same. Government, she said, acts (or should act) according to objectively defined laws, whereas a mob acts on an aggregate of whims. Read more »

My Name is Mr. Libertarian...

In an interesting article from March 2003 but still relevant to a large percentage of the libertarian movement, Jonathan Rauch discusses the task of caring for your introvert. While he does not theorize, I'm sure that some of our readers will feel right at home.

Official Anarchist Browser Update

Mozilla has just announced the release of the latest update to their no-frills browser, and its somewhat confusing name change to Firefox (from Firebird). This should be of interest to libertarians, as this browser is open-source and, in this Catallarchist's opinion, vastly superior to Internet Explorer. This should assuage some doubts about the open source movement's ability to compete with their proprietary source counterparts. (WinXP users: how many error messages have you been asked to send to Microsoft? Read more »

Naivete 2004

In Micha's post earlier today he mentioned how ideology can blind people to real-world events. Progressives Should Vote Edwards shows this symptom:

Move On, Move Out

The famous 'progressive' web presence is asking for people to sign a petition to CBS demanding that they air MoveOn's Superbowl Ad.

First off, the ad makes a very good point. The mounting federal deficits the Bush administration is only to happy to incur will have to be paid eventually, and it will be the generation represented in the ad that has to. I wish that CBS would air the ad.

Beyond that, MoveOn loses it. The petition says:


The Journey of A Thousand Miles

Federal judge rules part of Patriot Act unconstitutional

It angers me that this was passed in the first place. It further angers me that it was not made available to Congress while being debated and voted on, so that most of the people who voted for it had no idea what they were getting us into (and still further that many would have supported it anyway). Read more »

Have Another Twinkie, America

HealthDay reports that "[o]besity cost the United States about $75 billion in 2003, and taxpayers footed about half the bill through Medicare and Medicaid programs." This is a huge sum of money, but I will not argue about the validity of the figure, not being familiar with the details of the study or with the procedures used to estimate it. What I take issue with is the statement by the lead author of the study:

50 Cent Guilty of Genocide, Spike Lee Guilty of Exaggerating

Brown University's Alumni Magazine reports that New York filmmaker Spike Lee recently spoke at Brown about gangter rap (or "gangsta rap," as it's known in the 'hood).

"You have young black adults today who equate being intelligent with being white,? he said, ?so if you?re on the corner drinking a forty, or pulling your privates, then you?re from the streets, then you?re from the ?hood, and you?re black because you?re living that thug life, so this is really genocide."

I Knew I Didn't Like Clark reports that Michael Moore supports Wesley Clark. Moore, the rich and pampered progressive best known for his wildly tendentious and only slightly factual "documentaries" and books, declared that while he'd support any of the major seven Democratic candidates who aren't Joe Lieberman over Bush, he believes the best chance of beating Bush is with Clark. Fortunately for him, he also thinks Clark is strongest across the board on issues, for example

Even More Doublethink from Dean

This should come as no surprise to libertarians, who already recognize that there is only a small difference between the modern-day liberals and conservatives, typified by the Democratic and Republican parties. But for the rest of the world, they may be taken aback to learn that Dean urged Clinton to take unilateral action in Bosnia. Read more »

Quick News from Abroad

Well, Reason was right. Culture isn't dying. The Guggenheim in Bilbao had 875,000 visitors last year [link in Spanish].

The same can not be said for Australian health care. The New Zealand News reports that hospitals in New South Wales have resorted to renting doctors from New Zealand due to shortages. Among the reasons why:

More Doublethink from Dean

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Dean criticizes Bush for something he himself does.

"I think we ought to make scientific decisions, not theological and theoretical decisions," Dean told voters at a town hall meeting. "I think that what the president did on stem-cell research was based on his religious beliefs and I think that is wrong."