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Today: Fri, December 19 2014  -  Last modified: April, 26 2007
 Miscellaneous
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» 
08 October 2013
 
 
Gadsden flag still resonates today
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

“Don’t tread on me” is the quintessential libertarian message.

It is not a statement of aggressive intent, nor is it a passive surrender.

It says, “I will not come after you to cause you harm, but if you step on me I will take measures to defend myself.”

 more» 
15 September 2013
 
 
The Rise of the Machines
by Old Holborn
 sub-topic» General

Boom. There goes capitalism, socialism, communism, Marxism, corporatism - all redundant, overnight. There goes "work" - getting up at 6 am to work 8 hours to make something for someone else in return for payment - who needs it? Who is going to buy anything when the soil in your garden can be transformed into literally, anything your heart desires? No more consumerism, no more consumers, no more oil wars, hell, no more wars, no more property theft. No wars equals no borders, no more rich, no more poor.

 more» 
30 August 2013
 
 
The Correlation Between Intellect and Pulchritude
by David Friedman
 sub-topic» General

Another possibility is that intellect and looks are both affected by some common cause. Poor nutrition, for instance, might affect both. So might genetic factors or environmental ones, pre or post-natal. Something goes right or wrong with the process that builds a human being, and it goes right or wrong with both intellect and whatever determines physical appearance.

 more» 
04 August 2013
 
 
Greek Has a Word for Everything
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» General

Kakistocracy: a system of government where the rulers are the least competent, least qualified or most unprincipled citizens.

 more» 
01 August 2013
 
 
On Lawyers
by Charles Nelson
 sub-topic» General

Q. Why is that lawyer buried up to his neck in sand?
A. We ran out of sand.

 more» 
29 July 2013
 
 
Is royalty the most absurd thing?
by Alberto Mingardi
 sub-topic» General

If this is true, the fact that monarchy bases its legitimacy on DNA doesn't make it particularly absurd. It's a way to make sure this fiction everybody watches keeps on its "continuity". What is really absurd is that we put so much at stake, in the grand show of politics - either monarchical, democratic or whatever. We are just humans insofar we need people to admire, idolize, or hate. We are just humans insofar as we like to take part in teams opposing one another. But wouldn't it be even more fun, if the percentage of national income that this entertaining fiction disposes of were smaller?

 more» 
18 July 2013
 
 
Australia
by cracked.com
 sub-topic» General

Things in Australia that Will Kill You

Everything. No, seriously: Everything.

First there's the wildlife: If something appears to be cute and harmless in Australia, then we promise you - it has only evolved that way to lure you close enough for the thousands of ravenous, prehensile blade-tongues to descended upon you.

 more» 
12 July 2013
 
 
The Systemic Abuse of the Productive Class: It Ends When We Say it Ends
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

On the other hand, if the producers ever stop believing that their role in life is to be ordered around, the world changes in an instant – radically and dramatically for the better. The values of production, if ever dominant in the world or any section of it, generate not only prosperity, but morality.

 more» 
09 July 2013
 
 
I survived the Brighton bin strike
by Lynne Truss
 sub-topic» General

Having been through the bins strike, I feel like someone who has survived an apocalypse. It lasted only about a week, but the place turned into Armageddon. Helped by foxes and the seagulls (and a high wind), a tide of used tea bags, eggshells, soiled kitchen paper, banana skins, smelly tin cans, and used sanitary towels (yes!) advanced in such a determined and menacing manner down nice residential streets, you could almost hear it breathing. “Avert your eyes!” I would say to the little dog. “I was around in the Seventies, so I’m all right, but you’re much too young. Avert those innocent eyes!”

 more» 
02 July 2013
 
 
Peer Evil - the rotten business model of modern science
by Abzats
 sub-topic» General

Let me explain. All the reviewers are anonymous. That is, they know your name but you do not know theirs. This is the first red flag: unless you plan to do something really bad, why do you insists being anonymous? The second red flag is that none of them gets paid. Those who believe in Santa Claus will say, well, they are just nice people volunteering their time to help advance science. Those who work for a living will smell a rat. I can give you one reason: being a reviewer gives you power over other people. Some just enjoy it, others use it to advance their own agenda. Such as approve manuscripts that praise reviewer’s own research and reject those that criticize it.

 more» 
10 May 2013
 
 
How I Discovered the Hidden Side of History
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

When I was young, the USSR was famous for horribly twisting history to make themselves look like the great and mighty ones. They even made jokes about it on the original Star Trek. But here was clear evidence that history – in America – had been altered. In this case, parts had not been added, but they most certainly had been taken away. That rather shook my view of history, as it had been taught to me at school.

 more» 
09 May 2013
 
 
The Bloody Truth
by Neil Humphrey
 sub-topic» General

And now I’m 60, I do know
That most of what I’m told ain’t so.
So, if you want me to be couth,
You’d better tell the bloody truth.

 more» 
13 April 2013
 
 
Will Tyranny Be Completed Before Humanity Wakes Up Again?
by Paul Rosenberg
 sub-topic» General

But, as I say, this will not last forever. Whenever it is that the hypnosis breaks, those who have been using it as a slave drug will have a problem.

And that may be why they’re in such a hurry to build a fast, cheap tyranny.

Once humanity turns again, the elite life-skimmers will need the ability to remove troublemakers quickly and easily, and to lead with it on the nightly news… presuming that anyone still watches the insulting drivel. There are signs of humanity waking up, after all.

 more» 
12 April 2013
 
 
The State - Crown Jewel of Human Social Organization
by Robert Higgs
 sub-topic» General

With the rise of the state, statesmen became possible—men whose vision embraced truly grand adventures and enterprises in exploitation, oppression, plunder, and mass mayhem. And from the greatest statesmen the greatest empires might spring. What sorrow we must feel as we contemplate the bleak counter-factual of history without the great Roman Empire: we cannot begin to imagine any stateless society able to put even a tenth as many severed heads on pikes along the roads or to nail even a tenth as many men on crosses to endure prolonged suffering before they gratefully expire. Likewise for the great Chinese, Persian, Mongol, Aztec, Inca, and other empires that fill the pages of history, giving vivid color to what otherwise would have been a humdrum human experience of little more than economic, artistic, and literary creativity and peaceful cooperation, spiced with meaningless and petty acts of kindness and compassion toward one another. No individual, no family, and no gang could have wreaked such havoc as the great states and, a fortiori, the great empires. Only man’s ultimate achievement in social organization—the state—could have done the job.

 more» 
12 March 2013
 
 
Five Questions
by Claire Wolfe
 sub-topic» General

First question: Now that tyranny and its accompanying economic destruction have come so far, do you believe that there is likely to be any peaceful solution for restoring freedom? If so, what solutions do you envision? And specifically how do you see them working?

 more» 
05 March 2013
 
 
I Want My Cheese
by Scott Adams
 sub-topic» General

If this seems like no big deal, you might be wrong. Consider that everything good about modern civilization was invented by people who really needed to focus to get the job done. What happens to a world-class engineer or entrepreneur when he or she has to syphon off more brain energy to satisfying Safeway's marketing strategy instead of designing new products? Now multiply that times a hundred because every retailer, website, and business is trying to complicate your life too.

 more» 
21 February 2013
 
 
Traiders and Raiders
by Mary Ann Glendon
 sub-topic» General

The “commercial syndrome” has its principal home among peoples who trade or produce for trade (though it is not coextensive with, or limited to, the world of business). The linchpin of the commercial syndrome is honesty, for the very good reason that trading systems don't work without a good deal of trust, even among strangers. Because traders' prosperity depends on making reliable deals, they set great store by policies that tend to create or reinforce honesty and trust: respect contracts; come to voluntary agreements; shun force; be tolerant and courteous; collaborate easily with strangers. Because producers for trade thrive on improved products and methods they also value inventiveness, and attitudes that foster creativity, such as “dissent for the sake of the task.”

“Guardians” are modern versions of the raiders, warriors, and hunters who once made their livings through sorties into unknown or hostile territories. Today's guardians (usually more concerned with administering or protecting territories than acquiring them) are found in governmental ministries and bureaucracies, legislatures, the armed forces, the police, business cartels, intelligence agencies, and many religious organizations. Guardians prize such qualities as discipline, obedience, prowess, respect for tradition and hierarchy, show of strength, ostentation, largesse, and “deception for the sake of the task.” The bedrock of guardian systems is loyalty. It not only promotes their common objectives, but it keeps them from preying on one another. They are wary of, even hostile to, trade, for the reason that loyalty and secrets of the group must not be for sale.

 more» 
18 February 2013
 
 
Political Tolerance
by Neil Humphrey
 sub-topic» General

Socialists, for example, could have the communal ownership of the means of production, and the subordination of the individual to society, which they so greatly desire. They could, if they wish, tax the productive out of existence for the sake of the lazy and dishonest. Within their own communes, of course, and without affecting anyone else. How long those communes would last, is a subject for debate. The history of New Harmony, Indiana, may be a pointer.

Greenies could have their own communes too. They could hug trees as often, as hard and as long as they like. They could give up all use of energy and mechanical transport, and could wear masks to sequester the carbon dioxide they breathe out. If they wish, they could also wear green pointy hats with the word “Denier” on them. And population control freaks could be allowed a special right to kill themselves and their children without further penalty.

 more» 
14 February 2013
 
 
The Importance of Discovery
by Skyler J. Collins
 sub-topic» General

What would life be like without discovery? From the moment we are born, discovery plays a vital role in our development as human beings. We discover our limbs and how they function. We discover our strength and how to wield it. We discover movement, communication, and relationships. I firmly believe that discovery is as important to our survival as is food, water, and protection from the elements. As we age, if we are not continually engaged in discovery, how happy can we really be? How content can we be in life?

 more» 
09 February 2013
 
 
Libertarians v. Traditionalist Conservatives: A Polite Exchange
by Sean Gabb
 sub-topic» General

Dr Gabb made these points:

  • That sweeping consitutional and other changes since 1997 have made it impossible to be a conservative in the old sense;
  • That a modern conservative must be a revolutionary - that he must first pull down the existing order of things and then establish a new order of things worth defending;
  • That this new order of things must be heavily libertarian, and its creation must involve reaching out far beyond the normal traditionalist communities, to make often unusual alliances.

 more» 
25 December 2012
 
 
Neil's Climate Carol Book
by Neil Humphrey
 sub-topic» General

Deck the halls with lots of lolly,
Falalala la, lala la la.
‘Tis the season of green folly,
Falalala la, lala la la,
We’ve just got a fat new grant,
Lies to tell and fear to plant,
So we’re feeling rather jolly,
Falalala la for Climate Change!

 more» 
24 December 2012
 
 
Harry Readme's Christmas Mission
by Ahrvid Engholm
 sub-topic» General

With sounds of celebration the family ate its Christmas Eve meal. For Harry the rest of the evening passed in an atmosphere of inner joy, a feeling that good deeds give to those who do them. Christmas Eve ebbed away with that mutual feeling of devoutness that only an old propaganda documentary on TV can give people.

 more» 
21 December 2012
 
 
This is the week we all die
by Claire Wolfe
 sub-topic» General

Well, folks, this is it. Friday it’s all over. Zap. Kaput. This weary old Earth and all of us with it — gone.

Even though I don’t believe a word of it, sometimes I think it couldn’t happen to a more deserving planet.

 more» 
06 December 2012
 
 
No Politics
by Ooga Labs
 sub-topic» General

To overcome the fears people naturally have to be honest with each other, you have to show people that it turns out OK when they expose these ideas to sunlight. And you have to do it over and over again, because it’s so easy for us to fall out of genuine, open communication. Thus, having No Politics starts at the top of your organization. Look for CEO’s who force daylight through the organization.

 more» 
26 November 2012
 
 
Top State Evils: A Scorecard of Libertarian Progress
by Stephan Kinsella
 sub-topic» General

How are we doing on these issues? I spoke with some radical libertarian friends—it’s fun musing as to which one you would abolish first, if you could—and here is the basic take:

 more» 
12 November 2012
 
 
Ten reasons to be cheerful, part 9: Education
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

One reason for my optimism that education will be better is that I think we are rapidly coming out of the notion that education should be about social engineering rather than about learning. When schooling was treated as a vehicle to promote equality, standards suffered. If universities are forced to take less able students to promote equality, standards will inevitably fall. I see many signs in the UK that people now want their children to receive a good education rather than one used to promote social equality.

 more» 
10 November 2012
 
 
Ten reasons to be cheerful, part 7: Ideas
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

I think we are actually just at the beginning of what the communications revolution will bring us. The fact that we can communicate rapidly on a global basis multiplies the number of interactions we can have. If we look at the Enlightenments and Renaissances of previous ages we finds a pattern in which relatively isolated societies were thrown into sudden contact with many others. It was the silver empire of Athens, the merchant princes of Italy, or the Scottish traders given access to the British Empire by the Treaty of Union.

That relatively sudden extensive contact brought comparison and contrast with other cultures, which proved fertile ground for creativity, and an explosion of talent followed. The communications revolution brings that on a wider scale than previously, and it is happening quickly.

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08 November 2012
 
 
Ten reasons to be cheerful, part 6: The economy
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

The current economic difficulties faced by Europe and the US did not arise from any inherent failure in the economy, but from mismanagement and political interference. No features suggest they need permanently impair the ability to invest in increased production, or to produce increased quantities of the goods and services people will wish to buy.

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06 November 2012
 
 
Ten reasons to be cheerful, part 4: Resources
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

We are indeed using resources, but our ability to extract new sources is advancing faster than our rate of use, meaning that they are becoming relatively more plentiful, and therefore falling in price over the decades. Two things happen as we use resources. If they become more scarce the price rises, motivating us to find new sources of supply and to use less. We also develop cheaper substitutes.

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04 November 2012
 
 
Ten reasons to be cheerful, part 1: Food
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

Environmentalists whose agenda is behaviour change have raised scare campaigns over GM foods, yet GM crops have been in widespread use now for many years without adverse effects. Far from posing a hazard to our future well-being, they stand to make a huge and positive contribution to it.

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19 October 2012
 
 
What's a "Political?"
by The Darn-Poor Rhymer
 sub-topic» General

What’s a “political?” One that has yearnings
To wipe out your wealth and to steal all your earnings,
While spouting deceptions and lies fear-instilling,
And trashing your rights, spying on you, and killing.

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18 October 2012
 
 
Ten very good things 5: Population
by Madsen Pirie
 sub-topic» General

In fact human beings are as asset, not a burden. Their creative intelligence has created opportunities for many people to live more rewarding lives well above the subsistence level that was the lot of their predecessors. Human ingenuity and technical skill have given us wonderful cities in which to interact and co-operate with our fellow humans. Their intellect and creativity have given us buildings that lift the spirit, literature that inspires, music that elevates the soul, and paintings that convey insights into the human condition.

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17 September 2012
 
 
The Hope of Freedom in the American Character
by Wendy McElroy
 sub-topic» General

Freedom needs nothing so much as Americans returning to character. The nation of joiners needs to join with each other instead of with government in order to resume the administration of civil society. At the same time and at every juncture possible, people need to privatize their own lives by removing government from their actions, attitudes and expectations.

The lights of America will be lit again, one by one, by individuals who reclaim the business of society while privatizing their own lives. There is no need for darkness.

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11 September 2012
 
 
Dissolution
by Barry Lyndon
 sub-topic» General

Quite simply, Dissolution is a nonviolent declaration by a citizen that they are no longer subject to the involuntary, arbitrary rule of external political bodies; that any attempt to extract money, impose rulings or laws or fines is to be considered an intolerable violation of that person. The beauty of Dissolution is that it makes real what so many libertarians and voluntaryists talk about in theory. But what it would it look like in reality? Can you really imagine yourself doing it? Like, for real?

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10 September 2012
 
 
How to Deconstruct Almost Anything - My Postmodern Adventure
by Chip Morningstar
 sub-topic» General

Observing the audience reaction was instructive. At first, various people started nodding their heads in nods of profound understanding, though you could see that their brain cells were beginning to strain a little. Then some of the techies in the back of the room began to giggle. By the time I finished, unable to get through the last line with a straight face, the entire room was on the floor in hysterics, as by then even the most obtuse English professor had caught on to the joke. With the postmodernist lit crit shit thus defused, we went on with our actual presentation.

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08 September 2012
 
 
One from the Postmodernism Generator
by Communications from Elsewhere
 sub-topic» General

(Editor’s Note: This essay is completely meaningless and was randomly generated by the Postmodernism Generator, http://www.elsewhere.org/pomo/. Enjoy.)

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03 September 2012
 
 
You Didn't Build That
Readings from the Book of Barack
by Iowahawk
 sub-topic» General

19 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the balanced, publicly-funded birds the Lord Govt had made to sing news to the economy. The serpent was on the AM band. He said to the retail sector, “Did Govt really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’? ”

20 "Only yours, serpent," said the retail sector.

21 “Don't be a wuss,” the serpent said to the retail sector. 22 “For Govt knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will wise to Govt's scam.”

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24 August 2012
 
 
What is Right, and What is Wrong?
by Neil Humphrey
 sub-topic» General

(2) The American conservative

What is right, and what is wrong?
GAHD is right, and he’s so strong,
If ya disbelieve GAHD made ya,
U.S. troops will come invade ya.

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23 August 2012
 
 
Making society friendly again
by Chris Harlow
 sub-topic» General

Friendly societies still exist today, providing financial services and thriving on an ethos of mutuality, economy and community. However, they are held back from their vast potential by the nanny state that pervades our society under the guise of ‘wealth redistribution’, in reality providing an inferior service than could be achieved privately, increasing our reliance on the state and discouraging charity and community values. Many in the UK and elsewhere see state welfare provision as the backbone of our country and fervently expound its virtues, because they have never known anything else. But a look back into history shows that privately owned welfare societies worked in the past, and could work for us once again.

 more» 
07 August 2012
 
 
Why You Should Quit Politics
(And embark on a much more effective path to liberty)
by Kaleb Matson
 sub-topic» General

The whole prospect compelled me to re-examine the efficacy of the political process as a means to liberty, and I’m beginning to think that this state sanctioned mechanism for change may not actually be the most appropriate means for our desired end. Perhaps it’s time to rethink all this- to demote on our priority list the stopgap measures of the political process and to begin fervently pouring our talents, energies and monies into a ‘targeted capitalism’, if you will. Liberty lovers everywhere intentionally targeting state-monopolized resources and disintegrating those monopolies through the capitalist process. These means are by nature decentralizing and can be pursued while completely disregarding the will of power. Enough of this pleading with our oppressors not to oppress us so much! Let’s stop being depressed victims of the state and instead start imagining all the endless opportunities its incompetencies create! In the process, we can be around people we like, create wealth by offering real value for the masses, live adventurously, with a clean conscience, and most importantly, live free.

 more» 
31 July 2012
 
 
How "Diplomacy" Is Done
by David M. Hoffer
 sub-topic» General

Obama; I need to borrow a couple more $Trillion.
Jintao; A couple?
Obama; OK, 5. Maybe 6. Let’s make it 10.
Jintao; You’re in pretty deep… collateral?

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30 June 2012
 
 
How to Lose Supporting Data for a Scientific Paper
by Don Monfort
 sub-topic» General

teacher says to trained pro: “I have been asking you for your tardy homework for more than a year? I am losing my patience. Where it at?

trained pro: “My dog ate my homework”

teacher: “Why didn’t you tell me that a year ago?”

trained pro: “We just bought the dog last week.”

 more» 
20 June 2012
 
 
Unsettling Science
by Walter Russell Mead
 sub-topic» General

Serious soul-searching and house-cleaning must take place if the academy is to rehabilitate its reputation. Standards must be tightened, publication of experimental data must be made mandatory and peer review in the soft sciences must mean something. We hope that the documented loss of public trust in science serves as the much-needed wake-up call for reform, because until our elites acknowledge that they have a problem, there can be no solution. That acknowledgement begins with the acceptance of a truth as simple as it is deeply disquieting:

Marc Hauser wasn’t some kind of one in a million exception. He just got caught.

 more» 
03 June 2012
 
 
The age of endarkenment
Why is no-one questioning the rise of new-age nonsense in the name of science?
by David Colquhoun
 sub-topic» General

The past 30 years or so have been an age of endarkenment. It has been a period in which truth ceased to matter very much, and dogma and irrationality became once more respectable. This matters when people delude themselves into believing that we could be endangered at 45 minutes' notice by non-existent weapons of mass destruction.

It matters when reputable accountants delude themselves into thinking that Enron-style accounting is acceptable. It matters when people are deluded into thinking that they will be rewarded in paradise for killing themselves and others. It matters when bishops attribute floods to a deity whose evident vengefulness and malevolence leave one reeling. And it matters when science teachers start to believe that the Earth was created 6,000 years ago.

 more» 
21 May 2012
 
 
The Comforting Lie
by Vahram C. Diehl
 sub-topic» General

The Comforting Lie has taken many forms, more often than not invoking an absurd and improvised sense of patriotic duty or supreme mandate from an unknowable higher power. In its principal form, The Comforting Lie enables us to believe stories which our senses and inherent capacity for reasoning cannot normally accept with integrity. It makes the impossible appear natural, and the inconsistent seem logical. It dulls the finer senses of the observant empathetic intellectual and encourages him to ignore the blood-stained elephant hiding in plain sight.

 more» 
19 May 2012
 
 
Change is only constant in world
by Kent McManigal
 sub-topic» General

All change happens in individual hearts and minds, only. Usually in many isolated individuals; each independent, and often unaware of the others.

From each individual it spreads to more people until there is a group which has adopted the change around each. Eventually the groups grow to the point where they mix and mingle and distinctions between them get fuzzy, and then the whole society has shifted. Suddenly everything is different and few people even realize a change has happened. Or if they realize it, they don’t know how it happened.

 more» 
12 May 2012
 
 
Patriotism and the state
by Bleeding Heart Libertarians
 sub-topic» General

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05 May 2012
 
 
Health and Safety in the English Navy
by Nick Litten
 sub-topic» General

Nelson: “Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.”

Hardy: “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments.”

Nelson: “In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the mainbrace to steel the men before battle.”

Hardy: “The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. Its part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking.”

 more» 
15 April 2012
 
 
Going Galactic - Extract from Chapter 3
Of My Abduction
by Neil Humphrey
 sub-topic» General

After I quieted, Michael smiled once more. “So, we are back to my first offer to you. I am Michael of the Seraphim from Seraph-2, and I invite you for a ride in my Seraphimobile. We are the best short-haul pilots in the Galaxy. We’ll get you where you need to be as fast as Galactically possible, but we never make any of our passengers feel sick or scared. And this ’mobile is very comfortable for humans.”

I was sold – except for one thing. “How will you stop the criminal gangs that call themselves governments from firing missiles at us?”

“They can’t see us,” said Michael. “This ’mobile is in quiet mode. It is impossible to see or otherwise detect it at distance, unless the pilot deliberately projects an image – as I did for you.”

“OK, but what if they detect something they can’t see, which moves? Won’t they fire missiles at the hole they can’t see?”

Michael was about to reply, but at that moment a dog came round the corner of the path. I looked at Michael, picked up my rucksack, trotted over to the ’mobile, and got in.

 more» 
14 April 2012
 
 
Going Galactic - Extract from Chapter 2
The Meeting on Avoran
by Neil Humphrey
 sub-topic» General

Balzo of the Avor’I of Avoran-2, senior project manager for the Company for Galactic Advancement, stood at ease behind his desk, and regarded Professor Bart Vorsprong of the Department for Species Emergence, who relaxed in a climbing-frame before him.

Imagine the scene. On one side of the desk, Balzo, showing his lizard ancestry by the gnarlings on his face and by the dark green colour of his skin, contrasting with his light blue robe. Yet also standing almost two metres tall, upright on his highly developed hind legs, making him look rather like a kangaroo. On the other, Bart Vorsprong, six metres long and about the same number of centimetres wide, light green in colour, closer to the anaconda than to any other Earthly species.

Balzo spoke. His voice was a deep bass, and his language not as different from human languages as you might have expected – for evolution often finds parallel paths.

“Welcome, Bart,” he said. “The Board have read ur report on the Hoomans. They have asked me to set up a project to help the Hoomans reach Junor Galactic status. U are our top expert on Hoomans. Will u jon this project as consultant?”

 more» 
13 April 2012
 
 
Going Galactic
by Your Editor
 sub-topic» General

Your Editor is proud to announce the publication of his first novel, "Going Galactic."

It is, as you would expect from the title and the cover, science fiction. And it's libertarian. Very libertarian.

 more» 
28 March 2012
 
 
Job Application
by Peter Miller
 sub-topic» General

I want to make it unequivocally clear to everyone that I am prepared to make the grand sacrifice and become a senior advisor and/or executive of this fund, I have all the right qualifications:

1. I have a couple of degrees and lots of experience in stuff,

2. I am prepared to accept a large untaxable salary,

3. I am prepared to work up to three days per month,

4. I am prepared to travel, as long as its always first class and 5 star hotels,

 more» 
01 March 2012
 
 
Quotes - Part 3
by Guy McCardle
 sub-topic» General

Truth exists. Only lies are invented. – Georges Braque

 more» 
29 February 2012
 
 
Quotes - Part 2
by Guy McCardle
 sub-topic» General

There are in fact two things, science and opinion; the former begets knowledge, the latter ignorance. – Hippocrates

 more» 
28 February 2012
 
 
Quotes - Part 1
by Guy McCardle
 sub-topic» General

A habit of basing convictions upon evidence, and giving to them only that degree of credibility which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, cure the world from most of the ills from which it is suffering. – Bertrand Russell

 more» 
26 February 2012
 
 
A Liberal Decalogue
by Bertrand Russell
 sub-topic» General

The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows.

 more» 
05 January 2012
 
 
Some predictions
by Johnathan Pearce
 sub-topic» General

Cheap flights will remain one of the main positives about living in Europe.

Pope Benedict's failing health (he looked absolutely shattered in his Christmas address) will become more of a talking point.

AGW alarmists will continue to lose ground. A major politician in a big country will take on the Green lobby. (Well, we can hope so).

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