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Today: Wed, September 28 2016  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Miscellaneous
27 September 2016
 
 
Saturday 26th March 2011
by Worker’s Militia (Official Organ of the Armed Wing of the TUC)
 sub-topic» General

On The Banks

Goldman Sachs and similarly fraudulent financial institutions are hereby liquidated. From now on, there is only one bank, The People’s Bank, and your nearest branch is your local post office.

 more» 
25 September 2016
 
 
The Ten Commandments of Logic
by Religious Criticism
 sub-topic» General

  1. Thou shalt not attack the person’s character, but the argument. (Ad hominem).

  2. Thou shalt not misrepresent or exaggerate a person’s argument in order to make it easier to attack. (Straw man fallacy).

 more» 
21 September 2016
 
 
My life as an outsider
by John Ray
 sub-topic» General

So let me put forward the outlandish proposition that one can be quite happy as an outsider. If you are of an envious disposition it might not be possible but there are a lot of folks of a contented disposition and they have it made. They don't get burned up by much at all. I am one of them.

 more» 
07 September 2016
 
 
Even a Dimwit May Be Right and a Genius Wrong about Some Things
by Robert Higgs
 sub-topic» General

When we observe that a thinker’s followers regard his every utterance as Revealed Truth, rather than a fallible conclusion, we know that they have transformed the thinker from a true scholar or intellectual into the icon of a cult. It is unfortunate that some of my own most esteemed masters, such a Mises, have suffered this fate, as have Rothbard and, to a lesser extent, F. A. Hayek. This development has arisen in part from the ideological content or overtones of these author’s writings and in part from the perception that they were denied their due respect by the intellectual establishment and therefore qualify as personally and intellectually heroic to the point of infallibility. I am confident that neither Mises nor Hayek would have approved of being turned into a cult icon. Learning from and respecting these great thinkers are all for the good, but great as they were, infallibility was not given to them, as indeed it is not given to anyone. So, on occasion, even a great thinker’s ideas may be discovered to have been mistaken, perhaps even by a thinker who is vastly inferior overall.

 more» 
02 September 2016
 
 
Why Can’t We See That We’re Living in a Golden Age?
by Johan Norberg
 sub-topic» General

If you think that there has never been a better time to be alive — that humanity has never been safer, healthier, more prosperous or less unequal — then you’re in the minority. But that is what the evidence incontrovertibly shows. Poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy, child labour and infant mortality are falling faster than at any other time in human history. The risk of being caught up in a war, subjected to a dictatorship or of dying in a natural disaster is smaller than ever. The golden age is now.

We’re hardwired not to believe this. We’ve evolved to be suspicious and fretful: fear and worry are tools for survival. The hunters and gatherers who survived sudden storms and predators were the ones who had a tendency to scan the horizon for new threats, rather than sit back and enjoy the view. They passed their stress genes on to us. That is why we find stories about things going wrong far more interesting than stories about things going right. It’s why bad news sells, and newspapers are full of it.

 more» 
30 August 2016
 
 
Be afraid! Run away!
by dullhawk
 sub-topic» General

I don't like government or any of the bullies doing the will of those who call themselves government. But I don't fear them any more than I fear other bad guys. Or rabid wolves. They are dangers to be acknowledged, observed, avoided, and dealt with. But not feared.

I certainly don't fear the absence of The State (what most people mean when they use the word "government") or its gangs of armed bullies committing acts of enforcement to impose the opinions of "lawmakers" on me. Fearing the absence of such is as silly as fearing good health.

 more» 
29 August 2016
 
 
Murder Equivalents
by Bryan Caplan
 sub-topic» General

Logically, this re-scaling is no better than a sophisticated Value of Life calculation. Psychologically, however, it's far better. Comparing something to murder doesn't sound callous. Nor does it minimize the badness. It only puts the world in perspective. Many salacious front-page horror headlines are clearly less bad than one murder. Thinking in terms of Murder Equivalents would help diffuse such distractions, reducing the risk of costly crusades against relatively minor problems.

 more» 
24 August 2016
 
 
Technology Seen, and Unseen
by Dylan Pahman
 sub-topic» General

To circle back to manufacturing, more machinery does mean some less human work … at those factories … maybe. What people don’t see is that that machinery comes from somewhere. It represents entirely new industries that have been created and that employ many people of their own. That machinery needs to be maintained by people with the skill and expertise to do so. At the same time, because automation reduces the labor cost of production, it enables companies to lower prices to consumers while still increasing profits. What is a loss for the few is a win for the many.

 more» 
22 August 2016
 
 
A Few Thoughts on Machiavelli
by Joseph R. Stromberg
 sub-topic» General

The Italian Renaissance politician and writer Nicolò Machiavelli (1469–1527) remains controversial. His defenders see him as a tough-minded “realist” and the founder of proper political science. Some writers find two Machiavellis: an advisor to aspiring despots, or (alternatively) a sincere republican theorist bent on freeing Italy from foreign rule. Either way, Machiavelli’s analysis of such categories as fortune, necessity, and virtue ended in an argument for releasing states from the chains of ordinary morality. States have to proceed in terms of raison d’état (“reason of state”) and Realpolitik and this very necessity proves the right. Monarchy or republic, Machiavelli’s state gets to do what it wants.

 more» 
12 August 2016
 
 
The Trouble with Diversity
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

But if all those voices have only one intellectual viewpoint, that of whatever the current fashion is, then both where is and what's the point of the diversity? It being diverse experience and thus views that we were applauding in the first place.

 more» 
29 July 2016
 
 
Bakers Dozen (TM) Rules for Liberty Partisans
by Nathan Barton
 sub-topic» General

The enemies of liberty are all around us: we must strike and not count the blows; for just one strike, just one effort, is not enough. We are not talking about or advocating aggression against those who are the enemies of our freedom, our liberties, our lives; we are defending ourselves and the future against them.

 more» 
28 July 2016
 
 
The dirty dozen: Twelve ways to pollute the mental climate
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

3.They have perverted law into bad laws. They have perverted rules of good conduct natural to human beings, into a system that enables a ruling élite to make “laws” to control others.

4.They have subverted the presumption that individuals are responsible for the consequences to others of their own willed or reckless conduct. They have perverted it into an idea that those in power aren’t responsible for the effects of what they do.

 more» 
25 July 2016
 
 
No, We Are Not Mere Pawns
by T.K.Coleman
 sub-topic» General

The future will neither belong to those who coerce, nor to those who merely criticize. The future will belong to those who create, to those who sow the seeds of productivity, positivity, and possibility, in season and out of season.

This is why I will never believe that we are powerless pawns. I have too much respect for myself, for you, for critical thinking, for freedom, and for reality itself.

 more» 
24 July 2016
 
 
So, You’ve Been Made Superfluous…
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

My message to you is this:

You do have the power, and you do have the will. But the system has no place for you; it needs you to be a charity case. If you want more than that for your life, you’ll have to make it yourself.

Read on and I’ll explain how that’s done.

 more» 
22 July 2016
 
 
ABD Launches Campaign Against Speed Awareness Courses
by Association of British Drivers
 sub-topic» General

Fed up with seeing the growth in the number of speed cameras? Perhaps you have been offered a speed awareness course when you were slightly over the speed limit?

If so, you need to be aware that the growth of the number of speed cameras has been driven by money. Namely the desire by the police to raise funds in this way. Without their ability to finance more cameras, this whole edifice would collapse.

 more» 
17 July 2016
 
 
A Lawyer’s Worst Nightmare
by Jocelynn Smith
 sub-topic» General

A 19-year-old coder, Joshua Browder, has created a chatbot — DoNotPay.co.uk — that works to overturn parking tickets for free. He launched his chatbot last year in London, and in New York City last month.

And the “World’s First Robot Lawyer” has a pretty good track record so far. Browder reported that 10,000 out of 24,000 tickets were dismissed in New York City — a 41% win rate. In London, the chatbot’s success rate is coming in around 64%.

 more» 
11 July 2016
 
 
The Talktalk "support" experience
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer
 sub-topic» General

There’s a fault on my phone line,
Dear Talktalk, dear Talktalk,
There’s a fault on my phone line,
Dear Talktalk, a fault!

 more» 
14 June 2016
 
 
Does the Division of Labor Make Us Stupid?
by Sarah Skwire
 sub-topic» General

And the division of labor works all the way down the line. Anyone who doesn’t produce all their own everything is benefiting from the power of the division of labor. The kid who mows my lawn doesn’t have to make his own pizza because he specializes (for the moment) in mowing lawns. My housecleaner doesn’t have to fix her own car because she specializes in something she’s more interested in — making other people’s homes cleaner and more organized. The division of labor means that all of us are better than any of us.

And none of that makes us stupid. It allows us to decide how we spend our time and our energy. It makes us more free.

 more» 
01 June 2016
 
 
The System Won’t Survive the Robots
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

“The deal” is very clearly failing. At the same time, the system is utterly unwilling to change; the people in control are making too much money and hold too much power. The impoverishment of a hundred million people in flyover country won’t move them to give it up. Their system, after all, funnels the wealth of a continent to Washington, DC, in a steady stream… and they’ve bought access to that steam. The system will be defended.

So, forget about orderly reform. Certainly there will be talk of reform, and plenty of it… there will be promises, plans, and a small army of state intellectuals dedicated to keeping hope alive. But the system will not reform itself. Did Rome? Did Greece?

 more» 
23 May 2016
 
 
Graduating students told to mime throwing mortar board caps in the air and then pay £8 to have them PHOTOSHOPPED in later in case anyone is 'injured by the falling hats'
by Euan McLelland
 sub-topic» General

Health and safety bosses have banned a class of law students from throwing their mortar board-caps in the air at graduation in case anyone gets injured.

But all is not lost for the University of East Anglia class.

They have been told they can mime the action for a picture and a computer whiz will Photoshop the flying cap in - all for the pricey sum of £8.

 more» 
15 May 2016
 
 
Against “We,” “Us,” and “Our” in Policy Discourse
by Robert Higgs
 sub-topic» General

When politicians or special pleaders propose that “we” should undertake A, B, or C as a government action or policy, they also mislead people by intimating that you, I, and everyone else—that is, “we”—are all engaged in undertaking these actions or adopting these policies. In truth, however, more than 99 percent of the people in the country will have no direct involvement whatsoever in these undertakings. Policy making and law enforcement are the work of an elite of people who take or directly influence government action. For all the influence you, I, and nearly all other ordinary people have on the process, we might as well be doing the rain dance or chanting mantras around a camp fire in the forest. Any one of us might turn out to benefit from what the elites do in their capacity as government functionaries or as movers and shakers, but it is much more likely that any one of us will simply be victimized by the specific government action at issue, as we are already victimized by the countless measures the government has taken to destroy our liberties, extort our income in taxes, fees, civil asset forfeitures, and other takings, and fill our lives with the fear of arbitrary government violence against inoffensive individuals and even their harmless dogs.

 more» 
01 May 2016
 
 
Private Cities: A Path to Liberty
by Titus Gebel
 sub-topic» General

It is precisely this positive effect of competition that has been lacking in the state market to date. Not all private cities need conform to my own ideal rules. Specialized cities offering social security or catering to specific religious or ideological concerns are conceivable. Within this framework, even socialists would be free to try to prove that their system done properly really does work. But this time one thing is different: others do not have to suffer from this (or any other) social experiment. The superstructure of voluntary association allows many different systems to flourish. Given voluntary participation, everything is possible.

 more» 
28 April 2016
 
 
Hustled Through Life
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

Let’s be clear on something: Nearly every adult in the West will agree that politicians are liars and thieves… and yet they obey them without question. Is there any possibility we’d do such things if we weren’t harried and confused?

When we are confused, we pass over our own minds and their deliberations. There’s an old joke: “Who are you gonna believe, me or your lyin’ eyes?” But that’s precisely what confusion does to us, and under the pressures of confusion and authority, most people will ignore their own eyes.

Such things do not happen to people who are calm and confident. But the existing hierarchies of the West couldn’t function with a calm and confident populace; their operations require people to be frightened, confused, and blindly chasing status.

 more» 
02 April 2016
 
 
Travel Where It’s Less Free — And More So
To See the World Differently, First See the World
by Sarah Skwire
 sub-topic» General

Travel, like competition (and silliness), is a discovery process. We cannot know what our country lacks until we see what other countries have — a perfect teapot, a better biscuit, a brilliant law for a convoluted issue, or small but sensible mores that makes life just a little nicer.

 more» 
01 April 2016
 
 
The force is BEHIND you, politicos
by Professor Thomas Moon
 sub-topic» General

Ironically, this means that there is now a vital new role for effective, honest communication of truth, ethical principles and the ideas of individual freedom, this time focused on increasing our support for interventions to get the politicized and their hangers-on off our backs, make them compensate us for the damage they have done to us, and let us live our own lives in our own way. How to increase public demand for such interventions is a research question to which my group and others in Umbrage are now turning.

Having eschewed research on honest and truthful communication as a poor means for changing behaviour, I now see it as core. Without public demand, the criminal scum currently in power, and their hangers-on, will continue to pollute and destroy our environments and to make our lives intolerable. With public demand, we have a sporting chance of getting rid of the bastards, and of implementing what we now know are the keys to a free, civilized society. That is, objective justice for all; the rule of minimal and honest law; and respect for the rights and free will of others.

 more» 
21 March 2016
 
 
A Brief History of England
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer
 sub-topic» General

Bad Richard’s hopes of governing
In Bosworth’s mud did squelch;
No nail, no shoe, no horse, no King.
So next, we tried the Welsh.

King Henry Eight six wives did wed;
Divorced, beheaded, passed
Away, dismissed, gave up her head,
But one did him outlast.

Soon Bloody Mary did the land
With martyrs’ gore bespot;
And Good Queen Bess remained unmanned,
So next, we tried a Scot.

 more» 
03 March 2016
 
 
The Peer-to-Peer Republic of Science
by Max Borders
 sub-topic» General

Three major catalysts are responsible for the current upheaval in the sciences. First, a few intrepid experts have started looking around to see whether studies in their respective fields are holding up. Second, competition among scientists to grab headlines is becoming more intense. Third, informal networks of checkers — “amateurs” — have started questioning expert opinion and talking to each other. And the real action is in this third catalyst, creating as it does a kind of evolutionary fitness landscape for scientific claims.

In other words, for the first time, the cost of checking science is going down as the price of being wrong is going up.

 more» 
05 February 2016
 
 
The burden of digital technology
by Robert Henderson
 sub-topic» General

When I watch the young using computers, obvious or disguised in the shape of phones and the like, I get a feeling of deep unease. They so obediently pull down menus and select options that I wonder at the difference between them and a robot. The machine is driving the human being at least as much as the human being is driving the machine; brute machine functionality is replacing intellect.

 more» 
26 January 2016
 
 
What is lost when a civilization wearies
by Claire Wolfe
 sub-topic» General

Now confidence in the philosophy of individual freedom and confidence in the self are going, too. The social-justice pecksniffs who want us to fear to hold our own views aren’t merely annoying. The shriekers who want men to feel guilty for being born male and the race-baiters who demand that Caucasians feel guilty for being born at all aren’t merely angling for political power. The Orwellians who want to bury Thomas Jefferson or the Confederate flag aren’t merely trying to impose contemporary values on the past or their personal values on others. They’re a kind of fifth column bent on the destruction of confidence. And bent on destroying the knowledge of history and the sense of continuity and meaning that helps build confidence in our own thoughts. Above all, they are bent on destruction of the individuality that was the best of our founding principles and is the best in us. Put it another way: they are termites. And termites undermine.

 more» 
18 January 2016
 
 
The Self-Driving Dilemma: Safety versus Freedom
by Thomas Knapp
 sub-topic» General

Widespread, even universal, adoption of self-driving cars is probably inevitable, and probably a good thing. It’s important that we don’t lose site of priorities other than safety and convenience, though. The market should demand, and government should be powerless to forbid, a driver prerogative of assuming manual control of his or her vehicle at any time, for any reason.

 more» 
04 January 2016
 
 
Clash of Civilizations, or War of World-Views? - Part 3
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

In reality, there are good Muslims and bad Muslims, just as there are good Christians and bad Christians, good Jews and bad Jews, good atheists and bad atheists. Some Muslims are peaceful and tolerant. I know this for a fact, because I have met examples of them. There exist, on the other hand, aggressive, intolerant Muslims. Those of us who uphold Western values should accept the former, and reject the latter.

 more» 
03 January 2016
 
 
Clash of Civilizations, or War of World-Views? - Part 2
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

No, it is plain that Western politicians today don't care a damn about Western values. They claim to be our leaders; but in reality, they are traitors to our values and to Western civilization. It is plain that in the real war today, the war of world-views, the politicians and the terrorists are on the same side - the side of subjection thinking, of intolerance, of hatred of the individual. They are not on the side of us human beings.

 more» 
02 January 2016
 
 
Clash of Civilizations, or War of World-Views? - Part 1
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

Contrast, if you will, the opposite way of thinking, which I will call subjection thinking. For the subjection thinker, the human individual is not important. Subjection thinkers find dishonesty, corruption, intolerance, violent aggression, mis-treatment and oppression of people to be all OK. They like to exaggerate problems, such as terrorism, or to make them up, like runaway global warming (or is it cooling?) supposedly caused by human activities. They submerge facts and reason in a sea of lies, propaganda and mental manipulation. And all they can offer us is stagnation, poverty, never-ending conflicts and troubles, fear, uncertainty and despair.

 more» 
25 December 2015
 
 
Remember your place
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

Those nasty vermin need you in order to carry out their plans; you don't need them to have a wonderful life.

You are more important than any of them. They aren't worthy to lick the soles of your shoes after you tour a chicken farm. Not one of them. Remember that and act like you really recognize it. They are all scum- and as long as you don't act like them, and don't fawn over them, you are not.

Remember your place- and remember theirs. They are parasites who can't survive without feeding on you- and as such aren't worthy to survive at all. You are so much above them you can't even see them from where you stand. Don't try to lower yourself to their level by giving them your v*te.

 more» 
14 December 2015
 
 
How a rebellious scientist uncovered the surprising truth about stereotypes
by Claire Lehmann
 sub-topic» General

It is too early to know how research into stereotypes will unfold in the future. And we do not know yet if social psychology will ever be able to achieve ideological diversity, or realistically address its left-wing bias. What is certain, however, is that despite producing work that has been unwelcome and unpopular, Lee Jussim has remained a faithful servant to the scientific method. Even in the face of great personal costs.

 more» 
26 November 2015
 
 
Beyond Transparency: Can a Culture of 100% Honesty Work?
by Lydia Dishman
 sub-topic» General

New research shows that employees value honesty more than any perks. Take a look at how these companies have instilled a culture of candor.

 more» 
13 November 2015
 
 
Rightist Victim Culture
by Christopher Burg
 sub-topic» General

I find a great deal of amusement in hypocrisy. With the recent rise of what the rightists like to call social justice warriors I’ve been greatly amused. Everything rightists have been accusing social justice warriors of is something they themselves do. Rightists are in a perpetual state of outrage over people who speak different languages, are from different countries, and believe in a different religion (or fail to believe in Christianity the same way as they do). Triggering them is as simple as using the wrong greeting during December. And one of their biggest desires is to turn entire areas into fortified safe spaces for themselves. It’s goddamn (sorry I forgot to add a trigger warning for the rightists before dropping the g-bomb) hilarious.

 more» 
01 November 2015
 
 
How to Gain Confidence and Courage
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

All of us enjoy feeling confident, or at least we dislike feeling confused and weak. We also like feeling that we’ve been brave and not cowardly. But how do we get these things? If you’re at all like me, how to get them was never really explained to you. It all seemed like magic. Either you have the secret ingredients or you don’t.

 more» 
26 October 2015
 
 
Vicarity
by L. Neil Smith
 sub-topic» General

Every one of these bipedal cockroaches, Republican and Democrat alike, have only one interest, which each of them shares with the others: their most fervent desire is to stop working for a living like the rest of us do, and let the Robbery Victims of America (that's us) pay their way, while they ride out in limousines and helicopters and enjoy caviar omelets and flamingo fingers for breakfast at our expense.

 more» 
23 August 2015
 
 
Don't Return to the Caves
by Christopher Burg
 sub-topic» General

Since the industrial revolution we’ve enjoyed a world where neophilia has surpassed neophobia. Even though we’re enjoying a standard of living unheard of only a generation ago the neophobes are still pounding their drums and trying to scare people into returning to the caves. Do you want to live in a world where we’re relegated to subsistence agriculture or one where robots produce more food than our species can possibly consume? If you, like me, desire the latter then you should work to ensure technological advancement isn’t hindered by neophobes. That means not supporting any efforts to stop the advancement of technology. Don’t support attempts to control the exportation of strong cryptography. Don’t support attempts to stop the adoption of automation. Don’t support prohibitions against genetically modified crops. Try to help technological advancements to flourish so more people can enjoy their benefits. Refute the neophobic fear mongering by pointing out how not adopting new technologies is also risky and how the fears of neophobia have seldom, if ever, been realized. Don’t help those who would return us to the caves.

 more» 
25 July 2015
 
 
Being nothing
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

I've never claimed to be perfect. I don't suggest you follow me. I'll tell you what I think I should be doing- maybe I'll measure up... maybe I won't. But I know where I should be. And, yes, I'll probably judge your actions according to what I think is right. But why concern yourself over my approval?

You'll probably not get me into much of a battle trying to convince you I am what you say I'm not. Instead, I'll just go out there and be myself. I'll let my actions speak for me- and either prove you right or wrong.

 more» 
14 July 2015
 
 
Five reasons to hate Sunday trading laws
by Sam Bowman
 sub-topic» General

2. Life isn’t nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday, any more. Not that it ever was, really. Sunday trading laws inconvenience people who haven’t had time to buy their groceries during the rest of the week, and force them to rely on expensive local shops instead of cheaper supermarkets with more choice. For example, I like to do my shopping at my local Lidl. If I spend Sunday afternoon in the park with my friends instead of doing my shopping, and I need to buy something for that evening’s dinner, I have to pay twice the price for a smaller range of inferior products at the Tesco Express down the road instead. That’s annoying. If I had a family to feed, it would be expensive.

 more» 
20 June 2015
 
 
If the Shoe Fits, Wear It
by Norman Imberman
 sub-topic» General

Behind my back you sanction the most horrendous acts to fall upon me. You support and encourage theft in the form of taxes, kidnapping (if you favor a draft), theft of my home (if you favor eminent domain), loss of my freedom of choice (if you favor government regulation), plunder of my savings (if you favor fines and taxes). You condone all kinds of harm to befall me in the name of some indefinable mystical benevolence. You even try to stifle my freedom of expression in the name of “political correctness.”

And to make matters worse you encourage and support the idea that if I refuse to follow these preferences of yours, I should either have my life savings confiscated and/or be incarcerated, and if I don’t like being incarcerated and therefore attempt to leave the place in which you incarcerated me, I should be shot or killed using your preferred method of killing.

 more» 
19 June 2015
 
 
The Attack on Truth
by Lee McIntyre
 sub-topic» General

We are no more a slave to nature in reasoning than we are in morality. Few people would argue that we are genetically programmed to be moral. We may be hard-wired to do things that increase the survival value of our genes, like killing our rivals when no one is looking, but we do not do them, because they are unethical. If we can make such a choice in morals, why not also with reason?

The choosing is what makes us human. It’s not our imperfect brains, but the power to decide for ourselves how we will live our lives, that should give us hope. Respecting truth is a choice.

 more» 
25 May 2015
 
 
An Infantile Gesture Masterfully Executed
by David M. Hoffer
 sub-topic» General

Assemble a group of your friends and arm them with sledge hammers. You will also need a bull horn. Oh, and a phone. You’ll want to call a few media outlets and let them know that there is going to be an event worth covering, where, and at what time.

At the appointed hour, stride onto campus, right up to your Infantile Gesture. Using your bull horn, announce that you are disgusted and upset with this poor excuse for art, and that you and your friends are there to give it and the artist what it so richly deserves. Make sure everyone knows exactly who you are. Then proceed to smash the thing into tiny pieces.

 more» 
24 May 2015
 
 
I’m dead. Send flowers
by Christopher Monckton
 sub-topic» General

In the context, what this numpty meant was that climate “deniers” like me, even though our detailed and legitimate scientific objections to the climate scam have been reviewed and published in the Science Bulletin (have you and all your friends downloaded our paper from scibull.com yet?) and many learned journals, were mere political ideologues, while totalitarian true-believers like him, with little knowledge of and no interest in the scientific truth, were the sole repository of “scientific knowledge”.

In fact it is the other way about.

Every so often, I decide not to do what a couple of the other names on the tombstone did. I decided not to laugh it off. A death threat is a death threat. It is no laughing matter.

 more» 
09 May 2015
 
 
A Day Out With Liberty
by Neil Lock
 sub-topic» General

There was something new in the air this year, too. For the first time, among left leaning people I sensed the same feelings of anger and frustration and contempt and loathing for the political system that I myself have felt for decades.

 more» 
25 April 2015
 
 
My Devil's Dictionary
by James Bovard
 sub-topic» General

To bridge the gap between the nation’s capital and the American people, here is Washingtonese translated into the vernacular:

Principled — profitably pliable with pious pretenses

Historic — different than last week

Unprecedented — different than last month

 more» 
24 April 2015
 
 
The Libertarian Target
by Bryan Caplan
 sub-topic» General

The puzzle: Why do high-profile thinkers keep energetically targeting such a marginalized viewpoint? As a self-conscious libertarian, I'm definitely not complaining. I welcome all the publicity, no matter how negative. But the publicity remains peculiar. What motivates the critics to attack libertarianism time after time?

 more» 
10 April 2015
 
 
Sean Gabb Named Lord Protector in Swift Military Coup
by Keir Martland
 sub-topic» General

WIGAN – 10 April, 2015

At 11AM GMT, Dr Sean Gabb was named Lord Protector after a short meeting with the Queen. Dr Gabb, the frontman for this morning’s military coup, was invited to Buckingham Palace for tea and cakes only an hour ago. Dr Gabb declined the light refreshments, stating “Dr Atkins wouldn’t approve.” After this joke, the Lord Protector was invited to form a government.

At 11:05, Lord Protector Gabb was driven to Number 10 where he dismissed the entire Home Civil Service. Next, he granted his first interview as Lord Protector to the BBC, taking this opportunity to announce that he was taking it permanently off air as of this evening.

 more» 
02 April 2015
 
 
The City of Scarecrows
by Jeff D. Opdyke
 sub-topic» General

The town and its scarecrows have become Japan’s version of a looking glass, and the Japanese know this. They can see the future and they realize that, because of social and economic dogma, they’re on the path to extinction as a race, just as Nagoro is on the path to extinction as a village. And as callous at it sounds, there’s money to be made as Japan fades away.

 more» 
22 March 2015
 
 
Behind the Driving Increase
by Wendell Cox
 sub-topic» General

Transit does not provide rapid mobility for most urban trips, which is why it has so little potential to attract people from cars. As higher prices force people to cut back on driving, they simply travel less, rather than getting on transit that cannot take them where they need to go in a reasonable time. That would be different if transit provided mobility competitive throughout the metropolitan area. Indeed, transit’s percentage of urban travel would be far above its current two percent. But to build out a system that reaches most jobs, of course, that would be financially prohibitive.

 more» 
19 March 2015
 
 
The straw man straw man
by Bryan Caplan
 sub-topic» General

To quality as straw manning, of course, the leading/best adherents have to reject the rank-and-file's painfully bad positions. Since leadership is largely a popularity contest, straw manning leading adherents remains fairly rare, too. Few intellectual leaders rise to the top of their local pecking orders by pedantically explaining all the ways their side should amend their beloved tenets.

Straw manning viewpoints' best adherents is much more common. To seriously attempt it, after all, you have to actively search for the smartest, most thoughtful advocates of conclusions that rub you the wrong way. It's far more convenient is to assume the best adherents of the viewpoints you disagree with are scarcely better than the rank-and-file. And it is this assumption that most reliably leads to genuine commission of the straw man fallacy.

 more» 
04 March 2015
 
 
On Right and Wrong
by Paul Marks
 sub-topic» General

Human beings can, with effort, tell moral right from wrong.

Human beings can, also with effort, choose to do moral right – against the desire to do evil.

Moral responsibility (free will) is a fact.

 more» 
17 February 2015
 
 
No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning
by Lisa Zyga
 sub-topic» General

In cosmological terms, the scientists explain that the quantum corrections can be thought of as a cosmological constant term (without the need for dark energy) and a radiation term. These terms keep the universe at a finite size, and therefore give it an infinite age. The terms also make predictions that agree closely with current observations of the cosmological constant and density of the universe.

 more» 
12 February 2015
 
 
Getting Serious About Keeping Children Safe
by Logan Albright
 sub-topic» General

The following is a work of satire.

A recent outbreak of measles has concerned citizens questioning how we can protect the lives of innocent children from neglectful, or even downright abusive, parents. Some have argued that vaccination should be mandatory, since an unvaccinated child presents a danger to himself and others. After all, what is government for if not to protect life and minimize danger?

 more» 
26 January 2015
 
 
What is a terrorist?
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer
 sub-topic» General

What is a terrorist? One that is willing
To murder the innocent and celebrate killing.
What is a government? A gang that is willing
To murder the innocent and steal our last shilling.

 more» 
10 January 2015
 
 
Where should we go to glory in the wonders of the world?
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

And while nature’s (or Nature’s) often fun and even impressive it’s not that at all which we regard as the glorious thing about the world that we inhabit. Rather, it’s the cities of the world that are. A wander down Cannon Street past St Paul’s and into the beating heart of the world’s markets that is The City. A drive down Park Avenue perhaps, or to view the commodities of the world easily available and reasonably priced upon Oxford Street. Or, dare we say it, a visit to the food section of a shopping mall where more calories are available, at trivial cost in effort and time, that one of those Australopithecenes would have seen in an entire short lifetime.

 more» 
02 January 2015
 
 
Knowledge vs Superstition
by David Green
 sub-topic» General

Understanding is key, be wary of superstitions. If you don’t understand why something works, keep digging. If this means you slow down: good! Going fast when you don’t understand what you’re doing is a recipe for disaster.

 more» 
25 December 2014
 
 
Happy Christmas
by Josh
 sub-topic» General

 more» 
01 December 2014
 
 
Happy slaves and happy statists
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

A statist, however, would be hard pressed to remain harmless to those around him, just by virtue (or lack thereof) of his belief in the legitimacy of theft and aggression. And if his "happiness" depended on him coercing and stealing, then his happiness is a terrible thing. Everyone else would be better off if he were miserably unhappy.

 more» 
31 October 2014
 
 
2015 SFL Alumnus of the Year Award for Edward Snowden
by Alexander McCobin
 sub-topic» General

Ultimately, the justification for giving this award to Mr. Snowden is simple: it is the right thing to do. There has been no individual in the past year who has done more for the cause of liberty than Mr. Snowden. No summer soldier or sunshine patriot, Mr. Snowden has proven himself to be an individual of impressive character and ability who has made the lives of unknown numbers of individuals freer.

 more» 
25 October 2014
 
 
What is a Bozo?
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer
 sub-topic» General

What is a Bozo? It’s one who is willing
To offer a ‘pennorth of work for your shilling.
But then, in addition, he poisons your life,
And, if you’re not careful, he might steal your wife.

 more» 
20 October 2014
 
 
It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

Would that public discourse, the setting of public policy, took place within the boundaries of those facts rather than being misinformed by what people are sure is true but just ain’t so.

 more» 
19 October 2014
 
 
Winning Freedom Requires Some Radical Solutions
by Richard Ebeling
 sub-topic» General

Suppose that there was a button in front of you that if you pushed it would, in one instant, abolish all the governmental controls and regulations on the U.S. economy. Would you push that button, and transform America into a society of free men associating with each other on the basis of voluntary exchange, with government limited to protection of life, liberty and honestly acquired property?

 more» 
18 October 2014
 
 
Can't fight reason? Just nuke 'em
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

Would governments join together in an attempt to attack and destroy a free society which was embarrassing them and attracting "their people" and businesses? Rather than trying to compete, and locking down their "borders" and outlawing emigration, would they simply nuke the free area to "solve" the problem?

I'm afraid I believe they just might do it, since there is no other way they could compete.

 more» 
29 September 2014
 
 
The Zombie Culture
by Butler Shaffer
 sub-topic» General

The modern “cult of the zombie” – dominated by seemingly endless images of the celebration of death – is evidence of the death of our civilization. Our culture may be dying, but you and I need not be. Albert Jay Nock reminds us that the collapse of a culture is accompanied by what he called the “Remnant,” the men and women who both understand and embody the ideas and values upon which a succeeding civilization can be built.

 more» 
16 September 2014
 
 
MMD
by Ted
 sub-topic» General

The real might of the human species IS its diversity. The tribe is all the more powerful because the combination of strengths each individual brings to the whole. Making bows and arrows that actually work is neither more nor less important than that oddball explorer finding the next water source or hunting ground.

 more» 
08 September 2014
 
 
The Apocalyptic Renaissance
by Scott Thomas Outlar
 sub-topic» General

The Phoenix Generation consists of those who refuse to be slaves, nor wish to be masters. We choose not to participate in such a hierarchical pyramid power system. We exist beyond such rigged boundaries. We are evolution’s children. Does that sound conceited? So what. I’m not here to kowtow to the opinions of the herd. I’m not here to participate in a democratic system where the mob majority has been fooled into believing that it sets the agenda. I’m not here to perpetuate the values and ideologies that hold back the spiritual evolution of the species. I am here to shatter old paradigms. I am here to help those with open eyes to see, and those with open ears to hear, the ominous portents of the oncoming storm so that they can make preparations and survive. I am here not to shake people from their sleep, but to set their whole beds on fire. I came with a sword and a rose to wield together as a bouquet of war, having both a sweet fragrance and a sharpened edge.

 more» 
24 August 2014
 
 
Roger also trusts the state more than I do
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

Roger is happy to give the state more power, confident it will be used appropriately, whereas I rather suspect that whenever the state gains extra powers, it will use them for whatever purpose it wants. Surveillance powers granted to thwart terrorists will probably end up being used to prosecute people for not sorting their garbage into the right bins. In short, Roger sees the state as a means of making people live as he thinks they should, whereas I see it as a source of power waiting to be abused by anyone who can grab control of its levers.

 more» 
20 August 2014
 
 
Roger and I live in parallel universes
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

In Roger’s universe the dark forces control our lives, and in the parallel universe we mostly control our own through our decisions. Roger’s world is full of pessimists who see individuals as helpless pawns, constantly manipulated; the other world is inhabited by many cheerful optimists, confident that human resources can be applied to achieve worthwhile objectives. In the cheerful world people watch out for rent-seeking, for the desire to use government restrictions to limit choices and secure greater returns than people’s free choices would have bought them. The optimists campaign constantly against this crony capitalism and in favour of free choices, open entry to markets, and against using legislation to thwart competitors. They often win, and they know that eternal vigilance is needed if individuals are to keep a world they can control, rather than succumb to one in which they are controlled.

 more» 
14 August 2014
 
 
The Seven Laws of Song
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer
 sub-topic» General

These Seven Laws I shall enforce,
(They won’t apply to me, of course),
For I’m the judge of right and wrong;
My noble, royal self, King Kong!

 more» 
04 August 2014
 
 
A Non-Conformist's Guide to Success in a Conformist World
by Bryan Caplan
 sub-topic» General

15. Despite everything, the world has more greatness than you can savor in a lifetime. And in the modern world, finding greatness is remarkably easy. Stop complaining, stop feeling sorry for yourself, and suck the marrow out of life.

 more» 
01 August 2014
 
 
The Cynical Optimist
by Bryan Caplan
 sub-topic» General

So how can I think this and remain an optimist? Because optimism, as I practice it anyway, is an attitude and a strategy, not a description of the world. As an optimist, I try not to dwell on boring careerists and derivative claptrap. Instead, I seek out the exceptions to the rule and appreciate what I find. Just because the average is low doesn't mean that you can't personally consume high quality. And even when the quality I consume is far from ideal, I try to mentally change the subject to another dimension where I have blessings to count.

 more» 
23 July 2014
 
 
Why prostitution should be safe, legal and, well not rare actually
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

There’s also a good theoretical argument which is that what on Earth is the definition of an adult if it isn’t someone who gets to decide what to do with their own gonads? So as long as everything is confined to consenting adults then renting out body parts is and should be no different from lending them out for fun or for free. That is, if consenting adults are, by law, allowed to have sex with any, and any combination of, other consenting adults it is absurd to distinguish between paid events of such activity and unpaid events of such activity.

 more» 
17 July 2014
 
 
How should one person's right to be forgotten be balanced with the public right to know?
by Google
 sub-topic» General

A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union found that European law gives people the right to ask search engines like Google to remove results for queries that include their name.

 more» 
15 July 2014
 
 
Scholarly journal retracts 60 papers, smashes 'peer review ring'
by Fred Barbash
 sub-topic» General

Every now and then a scholarly journal retracts an article because of errors or outright fraud. In academic circles, and sometimes beyond, each retraction is a big deal.

Now comes word of a journal retracting 60 articles at once.

 more» 
04 July 2014
 
 
Yes, We Do Have a Future!
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer and the Tippling Philosopher
 sub-topic» General

Yes, we do have a future – with the dinosaurs gone,
We’ll have growth, and abundance – it will go on and on,
Yes, we do have a future, it’s so nearly in sight,
When we human beings have the sovereignty which is our right.

To reach that state of nature, when we can all be free,
We must be human beings, that’s all that we need be.

 more» 
12 June 2014
 
 
Hector Berlioz the Libertarian
by Joseph S. Diedrich
 sub-topic» General

Libertarianism has an ideological component. Economic freedom, civil rights, free speech, private property—they’re all part of the package. But libertarianism also has an attitudinal component. Liberty lovers aren’t afraid to brazenly resist established norms and expectations. Like Hector Berlioz, we don’t fit nicely into the mold society prescribes. We question what others accept and rebuke anyone who stands in our way.

 more» 
29 May 2014
 
 
Space: The Long Arm of the Law Isn't That Long
by Thomas L. Knapp
 sub-topic» General

The distance between Jolly Old England and its 13 American colonies in 1775, and George III’s ultimate failure to impose his will upon those colonies, is instructive … and that distance pales next to the distances involved in space colonization and the means of transportation available. The long arm of Earth law will not be able to effectively reach them. And that means there will be no “space colonies” absent the ongoing consent of the colonists.

 more» 
30 April 2014
 
 
A Conquest
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer
 sub-topic» General

I hold her tighter; my nose finds afresh
The subtle perfume of young female flesh.

 more» 
05 March 2014
 
 
Liberty turns 80 today!
by Liberty
 sub-topic» General

From protecting privacy and freedom of speech, to fighting discrimination and injustice - Liberty members have been making news, changing the law and holding the powerful to account for 80 years.

 more» 
24 February 2014
 
 
Whistleblower Edward Snowden elected as new rector of Glasgow University
by Dailyrecord.co.uk
 sub-topic» General

The student group who nominated him said in a statement: “We are incredibly delighted to see Edward Snowden elected as the new rector of Glasgow University.

“Our opposition to pervasive and immoral state intrusion has gone down in the records.

“What is more, we showed Edward Snowden and other brave whistleblowers that we stand in solidarity with them.”

 more» 
10 February 2014
 
 
What's really wrong with the economy: bureaucracy
by Tim Worstall
 sub-topic» General

After all, it's not a particularly difficult task, is it? Should we allow drones to slice peoples' heads off? Y/N?

If N are there drone designs without exposed rotors? Given that the answer there is Y the only other question would be what level of insurance should we insist that commercial operators have?

 more» 
31 January 2014
 
 
Coldfinger - The power of weather in context for marketing and advertising
by the UK Met Office
 sub-topic» General

Through advertising across all of our digital propositions we are able to deliver tangible results by putting these adverts into context. Campaigns can be targeted to locations and to weather conditions. You can target a holiday campaign in Hull tomorrow because you know it’ll be raining, or push a Ferrari campaign to the Manchester United players by targeting certain villages in the Cheshire countryside because it’ll be sunny.

 more» 
17 January 2014
 
 
Stop the Stop Sign
Traffic Enforcement and Imperial Conditioning
by Bill Buppert
 sub-topic» General

Stop signs are not about safety much like speeding laws are not about the prevention of accidents. They are revenue devices and conditioning regimes to take the Milgram Experiment known as the Federal government and make it a more effective control mechanism for the population that labors under it.

 more» 
09 January 2014
 
 
Dogs poop in line with the Earth's magnetic field
by The Times of India
 sub-topic» General

Directional preferences of dogs under different MF conditions were analysed and tested by means of circular statistics.

 more» 
02 January 2014
 
 
A New Year Ode
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer
 sub-topic» General

A house without foundations cannot stand;
The state’s philosophy is built on sand.
All politics today is forged from nix
But violence, theft, fraud, lies and dirty tricks.

 more» 
01 January 2014
 
 
Get Ready for Adversity Now
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

In the end, this is about living and thriving. Everything else is merely a means to that end. We’ve chosen life, and if we occasionally suffer for it, our only real alternative is to walk away from ourselves.

 more» 
25 November 2013
 
 
The Rules for Intellectuals
by Manniac
 sub-topic» General

5. If you think, speak, write and sign, then don’t be surprised.

 more» 
05 November 2013
 
 
Welcome to the 'Trust No One' Society
by Brendan O'Neill
 sub-topic» General

There’s something very weird about today’s discussion of trust in public life, which is this: the institutions and organisations that crow most loudly about a crisis of trust are the same institutions and organisations that actively stir up mistrust across modern society.

 more» 
01 November 2013
 
 
The River of No Return
by L. Neil Smith
 sub-topic» General

We are all in a boat—the "same boat" you often hear of—swept along by a mighty River of Time, our course set by idiots, maniacs, and looters. By "we", I mean the hapless, hopeless, helpless members of the species Homo sapiens, once the proud pinnacle of four and a half billion years of evolution, whose supremacy ended on the day that Authority was invented—and assumed a higher position on the food chain.

 more»