Politics Test, Part I

I was intrigued by the Politics Test I took yesterday, on several counts: My own brother made some comment, like, "I laughed when it pegged you as an anarchist." But I am an anarchist, for fifteen years now. "Oh." Whoever designed it has a reasonable grasp of what we individualists call "anarco-individualism," "anarco-capitalism," "free-market anarchy," etc. More interesting than #2 is that the predominant tradition of "anarchy" throughout history has been communist and totalitarian (aye,…Read More

You are a…

Update: See my 4-part series of commentary covering each question of this test. The Politics Test You are a Social Liberal (80% permissive) and an... Economic Conservative (98% permissive) You are best described as a: Anarchist Link: The Politics Test Update: See my 4-part series of commentary covering each question of this test.Read More

Project Steve

In a comment to my post on "Intelligent Design," yesterday, I'm reminded of Project Steve. NCSE's "Project Steve" is a tongue-in-cheek parody of a long-standing creationist tradition of amassing lists of "scientists who doubt evolution" or "scientists who dissent from Darwinism." Creationists draw up these lists to convince the public that evolution is somehow being rejected by scientists, that it is a "theory in crisis." Most members of the public lack sufficient contact with the…Read More

He Said “Flapdoodle” “Bumcombe” and “Twaddle”

I've been sitting on this this scathing critique of "Intelligent Design" by conservative John Derbyshire for at least a few weeks, but hadn't gotten sufficient motivation to post it. This is Bush at his muddle-headed worst, conferring all the authority of the presidency on the teaching of pseudoscience in science classes. Why stop with Intelligent Design (the theory that life on earth has developed by a series of supernatural miracles performed by the God of…Read More

Moral High Ground

Here's a story that just about everyone in the world will tell you is "tragic." There is an element of tragedy, of course, but there's not a bit of moral authority to it. A party before the University of Central Florida football home opener turned deadly Saturday when an Orlando police officer shot and killed an undercover university police officer working with state agents to stop illegal drinking. You'll need to read the whole story…Read More


Hey, I'd like to give a plug to someone who has just provided me very excellent service. A very frequent commenter to this blog, Kyle Bennett, also runs an eBay store with Sally, his significant other. In fact, I met them both and they sprang for a nice dinner a few months ago here in San Jose when they were in town for the eBay conference. I'd mentioned to Kyle and Sally that I had…Read More


I've been in Vegas the last few days, so no blogging, etc. It was business (nope, not even a penny gambled), but I did have time to sneak in a couple of great meals here and here (and here). Steve Wynn opened his new little place -- that was almost complete last time I was through here -- and raised the bar at least another notch or two. Trump is building a high rise luxury…Read More

Pack Animals

Read the story of how an intelligent, disciplined and icy-calm high-school senior dealt with an attack by a pack of animals. Of course, there are elements of this story that are philosophically untenable, such as giving credence to SCOTUS opinions* and such, but his heart and courage are sure in the right place. (via van Bakel) * As John Lopez said: "Think: if the US Constitution were amended to explicitly state that the government could…Read More

Beehives and Anthills

I've been mulling over a few things since posting about price gouging the other day. First, there was an excellent comment by one of this Blog's star contributors, Kyle Bennett. Here's an advertisement to get you to go read the whole thing: But collectivism is based on a fundamental contradiction - the idea that people can as a group have ideas, thoughts, interests, etc. Individualism is a simple fact of nature. Human minds cannot share…Read More

I heard this morning…

...that someone gave a speech last night, and the gist of it is that he's going to steal about $200 billion from me and you in an attempt to buy back his political popularity. Then, I read somewhere, that: [someone] said Friday that the Gulf Coast must be rebuilt with an eye toward wiping out the persistent poverty and racial injustice plain to all in the suffering of the black and the poor in Hurricane…Read More

Price Caps = Price Fixing = Stealing; Price “Gouging” = Freedom (and it’s good for thirsty babies)

Emotions are not tools of cognition But set that aside, for now. Then, ponder its meaning after digesting the following. Last March, I had occasion to blog about ABC's John Stossel calling out the morons for thier lack of vetements. This is a bit different. First, you must read Stossel's op-ed, In praise of price gouging. Some key excerpts, but you ought to read the whole thing (short). Consider this scenario: You are thirsty --…Read More

Begging the Question

Question begging has to be the most prevalent of the logical fallacies. It's also my experience that few people actually know that it means. It does not mean "raises the question," which error I hear all the time. So, assuming you've done your homework, above, see if you can detect the logical fallacy in the following claim: - We must maintain a government, precisely because of the need to respond to natural catastrophes like Katrina.…Read More


Big Fucking Suprise: Katrina: Airborne Aid Workers Thwarted... Crews Frustrated Many who are trying to offer help to the devastated Gulf region are still grounded. Dr. Aziz Kamali, a family practitioner in Stockton, Calif., mobilized a volunteer group of 20 nurses willing to donate 7 to 10 days of vacation time to help out. Angel Flight America is ready and willing to fly them there, but having gone through "proper channels" as of Friday, Kamali…Read More

Wada I know?

This hurricane disaster, relief response, and subsequent mass politicization of it did not pass my smell test, as I've already posted a number of times. But wada I know? K, then how 'bout VDH, America's smartest, most truly educated man?Read More


Here: We do not yet have teleporter or replicator technology like you saw on 'Star Trek' in college between hookah hits and waiting to pick up your worthless communications degree while the grown-ups actually engaged in the recovery effort were studying engineering. The United States military can wipe out the Taliban and the Iraqi Republican Guard far more swiftly than they can bring 3 million Swanson dinners to an underwater city through an area the…Read More

“Enormous Questions”

In comments to this entry at QandO Blog, David Sculer asks what Billy Beck characterizes as an enormous question: Yes, that idea occurred to me as well and I pitched it at a dozen or so econ-bloggers but didn’t get much reaction. A detail that probably should be considered in this regard is how such a thing could be privatized. The first alternative that occurred to me was insurance. But, of course, flood insurance is…Read More

Automatic Lying

John Henke puts together a finely researched exposé on the routine and automatic lying engaged in by the New York Times Editorial Board. It doesn't surprise me at all, for I've known all about this dynamic since I first became politically aware in my early teens. Big media understands that sensation and controversy is what drives ratings and thus, the bottom line. In fact, we don't have "The News" because it was ordained somewhere. We…Read More


My friend Greg Swann chips in with an excellent compilation of the natural and man-made disaster that is New Orleans. He does what I've been trying to do in everything I've written about it, and that's to get to the root of it. As Robert Tracinski writes in The Intellectual Activist article cited by Greg: For the past few days, I have found the news from New Orleans to be confusing. People were not behaving…Read More