Category Archives: Open Thread

The Census Open Thread

The census is a bit of a lightning rod for libertarians, largely due to the questions in addition to the actual enumeration. Fundamentally question #1 on the census is definitely Constitutional, and I’d say the additional questions asked are mostly harmless. But I didn’t fill those out.

I answered question #1, and only question #1. I crossed out the additional questions for all 4 residents of the house. I might have blown the whole thing off, but I have a feeling that it would have resulted in a personal visit from a census worker, which I suspect would have a) wasted taxpayer dollars and b) resulted in my wife giving them the answer to any question they asked. I hope that not answering the additional questions will make the census workers realize that I’m an ornery libertarian that doesn’t intend to comply, and they’ll not visit the house.

When it really comes down to it, I’d have no moral compunction about tossing the form in the trash, and feel no obligation to even fill out question 1. I don’t think anyone in Congress “represents” me, so I care little for apportionment, and I try to limit my exposure to federal pork, so I don’t care if my community gets their “fair share”. As an anarchist, I don’t consider myself bound by the Constitution, so the argument that it’s Constitutional holds little weight with me. Unfortunately, the government doesn’t consider themselves bound by the Constitution either, which is why we’re discussing our “fair share” at all.

So what did our readers do? Fill out the whole thing, partially respond, or nothing at all?

Liberty Papers Bracket Challenge 2010

March Madness has arrived. For the first time, I’ve decided to throw together a Liberty Papers Bracket Challenge. Hosted at CBS Sports (p/w “thomaspaine”), feel free to sign up. Hurry, of course, as the games start Thursday morning.

Scoring rules are somewhat standard, but with a kick on the first two rounds. Picking a winner adds their seed to your point total, meaning you get significant benefit from picking the right upsets during those first two games.

The winner will earn a guest post here at The Liberty Papers, with minimal restrictions on tone and subject.

Sign on up and let’s see what you’ve got! And of course, consider this an open thread to root for your favorite team. I think my allegiance is well known…

National Grammar Day Open Thread

I am a stickler for grammar, but it is also one of my pet peeves. Especially in this day and age when you can easily get resources to help you write better online, the best listed in this article by Brenda Barron.

So on National Grammar Day, I’d like to post a few of them.

#1 – Nested parentheses: The general grammar rule is never to nest parentheses. But as an engineer with the combination of math, computer code, and boolean logic backgrounds, nested parentheses seem so natural to me that I largely try to ignore this rule. I’ve been getting better about this, such that when I first write something using nested parentheses I make sure to take a close look at it to determine if there’s a better way to phrase it such that it doesn’t require nesting. But if I think it’s required, I ignore the rule.

#2 – Punctuation inside quotes: I don’t like putting punctuation inside quotes unless necessary. Take this following sentence. Did Bob ask you “where are you going?” It’s a question inside a question. I’d like to put a question mark before and after the quotation marks, because there is a question nested inside the quotes and the entire sentence is a question. Or likewise, the following sentence. Did Bob say “the sky is blue”? Correct grammar is to put the question mark inside the quote. But “the sky is blue” is a statement, not a question.

So I’ll open it to the floor. Feel free to fill the comments with your own grammar pet peeves; alternatively to pick apart any mistakes I’ve made in this post.

Hat Tip: Kevin Drum

Tuesday Open Thread

In this country, it has become socially acceptable to use internet or over-the-phone consults with a fraudulent “ailment” for prescriptions of a recreational drug (Viagra/Cialis).

In this country, it is still socially unacceptable (in the areas where it is legal) to go see a doctor in-person with a moderately fraudulent ailment for prescriptions of a recreational drug (marijuana).


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