Archive for June, 2011

Do It Again, Only Harder

I’m almost too angry to know what to say about this. The Obama administration officially thinks that keeping people from getting high is more important than easing the pain of the terminally ill. Via Reason’s Hit & Run blog comes word that the Obama administration has declared that the federal government will sends its goons after people who run medical marijuana dispensaries, even if they comply with state law.

Based on the current administration’s naked love of executive power and hatred for federalism, competition, and individual choice, I dare say the order may have come down exactly because those dispensaries were complying with state law.

Whole Lot of History

Most mind-blowing chart I’ve seen in awhile.


Measured in years lived, the present century, which is only ten years old, is already “longer” than the whole of the 17th century. This century has made an even bigger contribution to economic history. Over 23% of all the goods and services made since 1AD were produced from 2001 to 2010, according to … Angus Maddison’s figures.

Why Economic Freedom Matters

Truth in Philosophy

Okay, this post won’t be as heady as the title implies. This isn’t some epistemological manifesto re: truth. Rather, I was just re-reading Heraclitus’ fragments today, and I stumbled across a few things that I think are undeniably True. Some of the few True things said in the many millenia of philosophy.

To whit:

“On those who enter the same rivers, ever different waters flow.”


“Human opinions are children’s toys.”

Change is constant and people are fickle. If these things aren’t true, then my current view is damaged, possible irreparably. But I believe that they are. And I can’t imagine a plausible argument against either.

Truth is rare in philosophy, but it does occur. And when it does, we should cherish it.

We live in a world where there are Mountain Goats covers of Jawbreaker songs. I suddenly like this world a lot.

(via the Fuck Yeah Mountain Goats Tumblr; apologies for the horrid ad at the beginning of the video.)

Credit Where It’s Due

Not all politicians are horrid, twisted homunculi devoid of any moral decency. It just seems that way sometimes. Then, on rare occasions, a politico like this comes along and suddenly my libertarian heart grows three sizes and I think that maybe there’s hope:

Governor Chafee is refusing to turn over a suspected murderer in state custody to the federal government, declaring that doing so would expose prisoner Jason Wayne Pleau to the death penalty, a penalty he says has been “consciously rejected” by Rhode Island, even for the most heinous of crimes.

“In light of this long-standing policy, I cannot in good conscience voluntarily expose a Rhode Island citizen to a potential death-penalty prosecution. I am confident that Attorney General [Peter F.] Kilmartin and Rhode Island’s criminal justice system are capable of ensuring that justice is served in this matter.”

Good for you, Governor Chafee.

(Not So) Great Moments in Globalization

I’m a bit late on this one, but I couldn’t let this astute comment from the Cato Institute‘s Justin Logan go unhighlighted.

“… the United States is currently borrowing money from China to buy precision-guided munitions to give to the Europeans to drop on Libya.”

And now, a message from H. L. Mencken

I have read and heard the end of this quote many times, but never in its full context:

Democracy. The theory that two thieves will steal less than one, and three less than two, and four less than three and so on ad infinitum; the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” – H. L. Mencken, H. L. Mencken: Three Books. Kindle Edition. Loc. 1143-1145.

The Best Lack All Conviction

Every beast needs rest occasionally.

Living in the future…

…as a member of a tool-using species. And damn, but our tools have gotten awesome.

Return top

Magic Blue Smoke

House Rules:

1.) Carry out your own dead.
2.) No opium smoking in the elevators.
3.) In Competitions, during gunfire or while bombs are falling, players may take cover without penalty for ceasing play.
4.) A player whose stroke is affected by the simultaneous explosion of a bomb may play another ball from the same place.
4a.) Penalty one stroke.
5.) Pilsner should be in Roman type, and begin with a capital.
6.) Keep Calm and Kill It with Fire.
7.) Spammers will be fed to the Crabipede.