Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

Author Archive

Kevin Drum’s Guest Bloggers Upholding The [ahem] Fine Standards He Has Created There

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Kevin Drum is on vacation this week. While I thought that might leave me without boneheaded material to criticize, I’m afraid he’s found guest bloggers as credible and clueless as himself. Today we have Andy Kroll, who wants to delve into meta-debates about rights and entitlements with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker: But the statement that […]

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Will Individualized Medicine Increase Health Inequality?

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

Ezra Klein has a rather thought-provoking post today about human genome sequencing and its ability to allow doctors to better-tailor treatment to the specific needs of an individual patient. It presents a phenomenal opportunity to both make medicine more effective, and IMHO to make it cheaper by spending less time and energy on substandard treatments. […]

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Wrangling Long-Term Costs

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Ezra Klein, on education & health care costs: I’m not going to end this post with some wan paragraph explaining how to transform these two industries into something closer to their potential. My ideas on health-care reform are available elsewhere on the blog and I don’t know enough about education to say anything worthwhile. But […]

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Quote Of The Day

Monday, June 27th, 2011

Who joined whom? Gay marriage has always been an ideal niche for liberaltarians. After all, it’s the states, not the feds, that are the ones deciding whether it should be legal, a question that feeds into libertarians’ federalist affinities. And when you strip away the cultural and identity politics, gay marriage is really just a […]

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Quote Of The Day

Monday, June 20th, 2011

Coyote, on Paul Krugman’s claim that the Isaac Asimov Foundation series was an inspiration for him to go into economics: I find it absolutely unsurprising that Paul Krugman was enthralled by the vision of a science that can be used by a few people to control the actions and futures of all humanity. He said […]

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Montana Firearms Freedom Act: Tilting At Windmills

Wednesday, June 15th, 2011

While I laud any state trying to expand the freedom of its residents while simultaneously thumbing it’s nose at Washington, I can’t see this ending well: On October 1, 2009, Montana passed the Montana Firearms Freedom Act, the purpose of which was to regulate guns manufactured and kept within Montana state lines under a less […]

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Quote Of The Day

Monday, June 13th, 2011

Coyote, on the limits of government and the Amendment process: While I am sympathetic to issues folks have with taxation, from a legal and Constitutional perspective the income tax actually comes from a better, almost more quaint time. Why? Because instead of dealing with the Constitutional problems with the income tax by having a series […]

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Auto Bailout; Can’t Prove A Counterfactual, But You Can Infer

Thursday, June 9th, 2011

So the big debate is whether the gov’t should sell their post-IPO shares in GM. At current prices, they’d [unsurprisingly] be losing money on the sale, compared to the amount put up in the bailout. So we have to ask — was it worth it? To determine that, we can’t base our entire calculation on […]

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How To Deal With A Stalled Economy

Tuesday, June 7th, 2011

I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time reading 74 pages of forum posts on an pilot’s message board discussing the crash of Air France flight 447 several years ago. Fascinating stuff. It’s the tale of pilots faced with a situation of mechanical failure, but even worse, a situation which they misdiagnosed and thus took […]

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Cognitive Dissonance

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Sometimes you hear a guy like Kevin Drum say this: But of course, that’s the real slippery slope. If the state is allowed to prohibit me from killing myself, what else is the state allowed to do? Can it force me to accept medical treatment that will save my life? Can it force me to […]

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Eternal Sunshine Of The Lazy Mind

Monday, June 6th, 2011

Seen over at Megan McArdle’s place today (original source unlinked): Dear Dr. Boli: How can I progress from ordinary sleep into slumbering dogmatically? –Sincerely, “cs.” Dear Sir or Madam: Dogmatic slumber, that easy and comfortable state of resting on one’s unexamined assump­tions, has been shown in multiple studies to be greatly desirable for promoting health […]

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Quote Of The Day

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Very, very important: When I hear communitarians like Etzioni describe the libertarian view of individualism, I wonder if they’ve ever read any libertarian writing other than a Classic Comics edition of Ayn Rand. … There’s no conflict between individualism and community. There’s a conflict between voluntary association and coerced association. And communitarians dance around that […]

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Quote Of The Day

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

From a friend of Billy Beck, relayed on Facebook: “Oil hearings: Government taxes account for 15% of gas price, company profits only 5%. Follow the dots: The government has 3x the incentive to keep prices high and engage in gouging and restrict further supply as the companies do.” Wrong. Well, 90% wrong. The bulk of […]

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Quote Of The Day

Friday, May 6th, 2011

Don Boudreaux from Cafe Hayek: So it dawned on me. Infomercials are the closest phenomenon that the private-sector offers to politics. Fraudulent clowns, skilled at lying, promise gullible audiences something for nothing. The difference, of course – and it makes all the difference – is that no one is forced to buy (either figuratively or […]

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Counterpoint: Democracy Doesn’t Mean Collective Responsibility

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

This is part of The Liberty Papers’ continued Point/Counterpoint feature. Specifically, this Counterpoint is the response to Jeff Molby’s post yesterday suggesting moral equivalency between Arabs cheering in the streets after 9/11 and Americans cheering Sunday night at the killing of Osama bin Laden. ———————————————— A lot of what Jeff said yesterday made sense. We […]

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What A Day!

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Well, the son of a bitch is dead. And I’m extremely happy for it. A lot of time is going to be spent on the psychology of this one. I don’t recall anywhere near this level of joy (in myself or in Americans generally) when Saddam was captured & executed. Nor even when Khalid Sheikh […]

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Birthers Got Punk’d, Yo!

Friday, April 29th, 2011

When I woke up on Wednesday morning to the news that Obama had released his birth certificate, I’ll admit that I was a bit confused. Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake. -Napoleon Bonaparte It seemed to me at the time that the birther distraction was helping Obama greatly, siphoning away reasoned […]

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The Inflation Won’t Come From The Fed

Wednesday, April 27th, 2011

Everyone knows the Fed is pushing Quantitative Easing. By that, it means that when America is having trouble selling T-bills at advantageous interest rates, the Fed prints up some money to keep demand. It buys the bonds with newly-printed money. The recent run was $600B or so, and the Fed’s current balance sheet holds about […]

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Quote Of The Day

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Why we should go after the online poker vendors: There are plenty of victims of (allegedly) illegal online poker, starting with the desperately-short-of-cash federal and state governments which are deprived of all the taxable revenue ($3 billion, say the feds) from the now-suspected operations. And just ask casino and horse racing executives what they think […]

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Tu Quoque

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

A glib question has made the rounds of right-wing blogs over the last two years, asking “Where has the anti-war movement gone?” Megan McArdle uses the question today to introduce a potential answer. As for me, I rarely bring up such trivialities, because the response you usually get from a leftist is “yeah, well why […]

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