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More On African Debt Forgiveness

Jason Kuznicki at Positive Liberty:

A deal is in the works to forgive some $40 billion that the world's poorest countries owe to the world's richest.

Or rather--let us be precise about it--the governments of the world's poorest countries owe the money, and not their people, who had virtually no say in contracting these debts. Let's recall that the governments in question are almost never democratic, rarely respect individual rights, and have manifestly not used this borrowed money to benefit their peoples.

Free Trading Into Commerce Submission

The cruelly ironic twist, though, is that by virtue of deep divisions of labor and decreased barriers to trade, which contribute to a large proportion of our wealth, we have brought more of our lives under the expanded interpretation of the Commerce Clause. Thus, while free trade and division of labor have brought us freedom, it has, by accident, taken away some of our liberty. Read more »

Devil\'s Advocate

Back in the early part of the year, I made the contrarian argument in favor of paying for erectile dysfuntion drugs via Medicare (assuming, of course, that Medicare has to exist and that it is good policy). Well, in related news, people of all political stripes are up in arms because Medicaid is paying for former sex offenders to get Viagra, et al., as well. Read more »

Orin Kerr Doesn\'t Get It Either

I disagree with the general premise that Memorial Day is a day for everyone to just quit debating... Read more »

Buyer\'s Remorse

I'm sure there will be some pain and regret around the first of each month, but right now I'm proud to be a part of the ownership society. Since I'm not allowed to own my own retirement or health care, I might as well own a house:

Read more »

\'Round the \'Sphere (MD Version)

My first web round-up as Dr. Trent McBride:

Arnold Kling is so money and he doesn't even know it.

Tyler Cowen explains how even the bureaucracy with the best of intentions is corrupted.

I'd have more but I'm going to the show.

Trade Deficits

Don Boudreaux has been beating the trade deficit drum since he started his blog. I think this is the best he's done yet: Read more »

Boudreaux On Decentralized Law

Don Boudreaux thinks the best laws are not made:

I agree that judges should not make law. I disagree that judges should defer meekly to legislatures. No one should ‘make’ law. As much as possible, law should be ‘made’ by a decentralized process of human interactions. From this decentralized process, law emerges organically. Judges should discover this law and apply it.

The Innovator

Via Out Of Control, the story of Burt Rutan and SpaceShipOne:

Rutan woke up one morning six years ago at his desert home in Mojave, Calif., with a heat-beating idea no one had considered before: Why not build a space plane with wings that hinge up at its highest altitude, creating a feathering effect so it floats gently back to Earth like a shuttlecock in a game of badminton? Rutan quickly sketched out his idea and started showing it around.

The Literal Is Figurative

I swear I was planning on dropping a short post on how the word "literally" has become to mean its exact opposite "figuratively." But that Radley Balko, he always scratches where I itch:

One of the ESPN announcers for the Pacers-Bulls game last night said that in the third quarter, "Jermaine O'Neal literally carried the Pacers on his back."

Medical Science Then And Now

Via Reason, The Washington Post has this story on the 50th anniversary of the first clinical trial in the United States: Read more »

When A Redundancy Is Not So Redundant

The Philadelphia Eagles' wide Receiver Terrell Owens, arguably the best in the NFL at his position, wants to renegotiate his contract with a whopping 6 years left on the deal. He's caught a lot of grief for appearing selfish and potentially rocking the boat on a Super Bowl team. (He's caught grief on other things as well, like questionable remarks about teammates, but we won't get into those here.) I just want to address the critique that Owens is not living up to his contract: Read more »

All Hail Judicial Activism


A federal judge in Utah on Thursday struck down a Food and Drug Administration ban on the herbal supplement ephedra, an adrenalinelike stimulant linked to dozens of deaths.

Correct Measures, Health Care Edtion

From Strange Fictions:

US expenditure is the highest and the two quality of life factors appear to be the lowest in comparison. On the face of it, Atrios and AB seem to produce a reasonable argument, but...

Criticize the FDA? <i>Moi</i>?

We at Catallarchy have been a little harsh on the FDA and over-regulation/prohibition of medicines and medical devices lately (here, here, and here), so what's a little more? Read more »