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

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 Amazon.com 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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October 17, 2007

Getting Free Speech Wrong

Proving the old adage that politics makes strange bedfellows, and that misunderstanding the Constitution is something that both the right and the left are guilty of, the President of NARAL and the President of the Christian Coalition have a joint column in today’s Washington Post about the refusal by Verizon Wireless to allow broadcast text […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 6:13 am || Permalink || Comments (27) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Free Speech,Individual Rights,Technology
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October 16, 2007

Verizon Admits It Turned Over Customer Data Without A Warrant

Today’s Washington Post reports that one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies routinely complies with requests for customer data from government agencies without requiring a warrant: Verizon Communications, the nation’s second-largest telecom company, told congressional investigators that it has provided customers’ telephone records to federal authorities in emergency cases without court orders hundreds of times […]

Posted By: Doug Mataconis @ 9:34 am || Permalink || Comments (3) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Individual Rights,Privacy,Technology
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October 10, 2007

Free Speech in the Free Market

Tim Rutten, writing for the LA Times made several interesting observations regarding talk radio, MoveOn.org, and the way congress has responded to commentary coming from each. [T]he House and Senate censured the liberal activist group MoveOn.org for taking out a newspaper advertisement that characterized Gen. David H. Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in Iraq, as […]

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August 22, 2007

Jimmy Justice: Policing the Police

As a general rule, I believe that most police officers are brave, respectable, and truly do their best to honor their mission statement: to serve and protect. As with any organization, there are some bad apples, however. And what happens when a police officer abuses his or her badge to break the law or harass […]

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August 3, 2007

Why Bush Cancelled Warrantless Wiretapping Program

Some of you may remember this story, from mid-January (covered by Doug here). The tone of the story is that Bush backed down to pressure from Democrats and the American public, and realized that his program might be over the line. The Bush administration said yesterday that it has agreed to disband a controversial warrantless […]

Posted By: Brad Warbiany @ 2:39 pm || Permalink || Comments (23) || TrackBack URI || Categories: Constitution,Privacy,Technology,The Surveillance State,War on Terror
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