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

January 24, 2008

Government Influence Of Science — Mandating Losers

Democrats seem to want the federal government to invest huge sums of money in development of alternative energy sources. tarran, last year, pointed out that government has all the wrong incentives and thus often picks the most politically-palatable technologies, not the most effective. This is currently occurring in Britain, a nation which has gone down […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 4:09 pm || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Economics,Environment,Government Regulation,Politics,Technology
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January 12, 2008

California Slightly Backs Down On Thermostat Issue

Last week, I posted about California’s proposed Big Brother Thermostat proposal, where they were planning to mandate that all new thermostats allowed the state utility companies to shut off your A/C if it was an “emergency”. They’ve backed down on this one, but only slightly: As initially proposed, these programmable thermostats would have deferred in […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 5:33 pm || Permalink || Comments (11) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Environment,Government Regulation,Technology
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January 11, 2008

Federal Driver’s Licenses: The Government’s New Plan To Screw Up Your Life

The brainiacs who’ve made air travel almost as fun as a 10-hour Coca-Cola enema have unveiled their new master plan for creating an efficient security system…federally mandated drivers licenses for everybody under the age of 50, which all states will be forced to comply with by 2011, whether they’re capable or doing so or not, […]

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January 8, 2008

Is Your Air Conditioner Working? Not In California!

Occasionally there are changes coming down the pipe that even non-politicos don’t like. Usually, the only ones that draw ire from the “average” citizen are those that are widespread and hit close to home. California has proposed a policy that so neatly fits both categories that people like my wife (a probable Obama voter!) respond […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 12:05 pm || Permalink || Comments (2) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Environment,Government Regulation,Privacy,Technology,The Nanny State
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December 24, 2007

Naughty Or Nice? Santa & The FBI Want To Know!

It’s often said that if a politician or newsmaker wants to make sure something gets swept under the rug, they’ll ensure it drops on a Friday afternoon. That way, the media gets distracted by other stories by the time Monday rolls around, and they can hope that it gets reported without fanfare. So what does […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 2:16 pm || Permalink || Comments (4) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Individual Rights,Privacy,Technology,The Surveillance State
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December 20, 2007

Web Sites “Fined” For Gambling Advertising

Web giants to settle gambling allegations The U.S. attorney in St. Louis announced the settlements Wednesday with Microsoft Corp., Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc., which she accused of selling ads that steered U.S. Web surfers to offshore gambling websites. The Justice Department considers publishers of such gambling ads to be accessories to a crime. Without […]

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December 18, 2007

Should Oil Producers Embargo America Again? The Democrats And Republicans Seem To Think So

In 1973, OPEC announced an embargo of oil sales to countries whose governments had supported Israel in the Yom Kippur war. In the U.S. this precipitated a major economic crisis as the U.S. government attempted to ration gasoline and control production and sale through a regime of price controls. The U.S. Central bank also embarked […]

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December 13, 2007

Why Capitalism Is Not Anti-Environment

To obtain shellfish, it’s often required dredging the sea floor. That’s a particularly nasty proposition, because it destroys reefs harboring complex ecosystems. And at the same time, it’s not particularly energy-efficient, and the damage done tends to also damage the shellfish recovered. However, a new type of non-invasive dredge is changing that (at least for […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 9:04 pm || Permalink || Comments (4) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Economics,Environment,Technology,Theory and Ideas
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December 7, 2007

House Passes SAFE Act — Do You Feel Safer?

Have a small business offering wifi access? Have a home wireless connection that you’ve not secured? Well, consider yourself “deputized”. You may not know how to even track your who is using your internet connection, but you may soon be legally required to do so: What’s SAFE? It stands for the Securing Adolescents From Exploitation-Online […]

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November 28, 2007

Why Is Ron Paul Slipping On Intrade?

I’ve long been a fan of Intrade, as I’ve pointed out here, here, and here. I’ve noted that Ron Paul, for quite some time, has been trading higher on Intrade than he’s been polling. But something recently changed, and rather inexplicably. When the Ron Paul advocates raised $4.2M in one day, I expected to see […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 7:20 pm || Permalink || Comments (32) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Economics,Election '08,Politics,Technology
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A Small Win For Privacy

Amazon user data request dropped Federal prosecutors have withdrawn a subpoena seeking the identities of thousands of people who bought used books through online retailer Inc., newly unsealed court records show. The withdrawal came after a judge ruled that the customers had a 1st Amendment right to keep their reading habits from the government. […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 1:00 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Individual Rights,Privacy,Technology,The Surveillance State
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November 24, 2007

Law Enforcement Using Cell Phone Location Technology

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported on an alarming increase in the use of cell phone tracking technology by federal law enforcement: Federal officials are routinely asking courts to order cellphone companies to furnish real-time tracking data so they can pinpoint the whereabouts of drug traffickers, fugitives and other criminal suspects, according to judges and industry […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 7:27 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Individual Rights,Police Watch,Privacy,Technology,The Surveillance State,The War on Drugs
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November 22, 2007

The Free Market In Action – The Giant Retailers Begin To Buckle

If you purchased a newspaper in the past week or so, you might have noticed a bunch of circulars advertising post-Thanksgiving sales. The stores publicize these sale prices in an attempt to attract customers for what is known as “Black Friday,” the day after Thanksgiving which, by custom, is one of the largest shopping days […]

Posted By: tarran @ 9:49 am || Permalink || Comments (2) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Economics,Free Trade,Technology
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November 15, 2007

The Violence Against Non-State Backed Currencies

In the end, it is quite clear to me that it is the hostility of these law-enforcement officers which is the problem. Confusing suspicion of the state with criminal intent, they are convinced that these institutions that have criminals as customers are in fact conspiring with the criminals. So they shut them down, ruining the guilty and the innocent indiscriminately. There is nothing precluding the FBI from reviewing e-gold or Norfed’s records while the firms continue to do business. Shutting them down is as absurd as shutting down the Motel 6 down the road, because it was the preferred resting place of mobsters visiting town.

Posted By: tarran @ 4:10 pm || Permalink || Comments (33) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Free Trade,Monetary Issues,Privacy,Taxation,Technology
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November 8, 2007

The Efficacy Of Prediction Markets

As I’ve pointed out, I’m a believer in prediction markets. For me, though, it’s more of an intuitive expectation that markets (i.e. revealed preference) are likely to be more accurate than stated preference. The question has come up with Doug, who isn’t yet a believer in prediction markets, as to whether there is any empirical […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 7:02 am || Permalink || Comments (1) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Blog Discussions,Economics,Technology
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November 7, 2007

The Man Behind The Haul And The Future Of Politics

The Politico has an interesting profile today of the man behind Ron Paul’s record November 5th money haul, and it says a lot about how the internet has changed politics: Trevor Lyman came from nowhere this week to earn a spot in fundraising lore by engineering a reported $4 million day for Ron Paul’s dark […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 5:33 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Election '08,Politics,Technology
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November 6, 2007

Technology vs. The Dictators

As events in Pakistan continue to unfold, one thing is clear, the old dictator’s tool of shutting down the independent media isn’t working anymore: KARACHI (AFP) – Blocked by the government and facing harsh curbs, Pakistan’s private television channels have turned to the Internet to reach viewers starved of news about the state of emergency […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 8:09 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Technology
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October 31, 2007

Internet Free From Taxation For 7 More Years

God help us if Hillary is elected… Congress approves Internet-tax moratorium The House unanimously approved a seven-year extension of a moratorium on Internet-access taxes, which the Senate passed last week. The move cleared the way for President Bush to sign it before the current ban expires Thursday. For consumers, the legislation largely maintains the status […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 2:53 pm || Permalink || Comments (1) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Economics,Government Regulation,Taxation,Technology,Theory and Ideas
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From Taxicab Freedom In Minneapolis To Central Planning In NYC

Earlier, Doug posted a story about an expansion of freedom in the taxicab market in Minneapolis. It seems that someone finally asked why it was necessary to set an arbitrary limit on the number of cabs operating in the city, and that someone was able to muster enough power to end the restriction. Perhaps NYC […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 12:38 am || Permalink || Comments Off || TrackBack URI || Categories: Dumbasses and Authoritarians,Economics,Government Regulation,Monopolies,Technology
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October 25, 2007

Government Funding of Science: Inherently Susceptible to Junk and Superstition.

I recently discovered the thoroughly enjoyable podcast put out by Skepticality magazine, and was browsing through some past ‘casts, when I stumbled across an interview (in Podcast #59) with Lori Lipman-Brown, a lobbyist in the employ of the Secular Coalition of America. The interview was pretty wide ranging, but at one point it focused on […]

Posted By: tarran @ 1:12 pm || Permalink || Comments (21) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Abortion,Democracy,Environment,Technology,Theory and Ideas
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