Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Quite a few libertarians have yet to sign up for the Free State Project. Why not? One reason is that libertarians take their commitments seriously and are therefore reluctant to enter into them lightly. Yet I argue that the FSP’s Statement of Intent isn’t a commitment or a promise of any kind. It’s just a statement of what you think you will be able to do. So leave your inhibitions behind, and sign up now to help us “trigger the move” next year! Check out the whole post on freestateproject.org.

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Happy Earth Day (unless you are a Republican in Congress, then it is Happy Tuesday)

The courts may force the most transparent administration in history to become transparent. How is that possible?

Beauty and the Beast (of inequality). Can we infer that libertarians think they are more attractive? Regardless of levels of attractiveness, it may be the case that many were introduced to libertarianism as fans of the band Rush

Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, is number one on Amazon (my latest book is number 2,554,705, alas). I am certain this is good for Piketty. But one wonders if this means that Capital is destined to become one of those books that almost everyone owns but few have read. Although Clive Crook is not overly impressed with Capital (despite the “erotic intensity” it has aroused), he notes that “the rapturous reception proves that the book, one way or another, meets a need.” I am not certain precisely what that need is, other than to signal to the like-minded that you are concerned about inequality.

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Montreal talk

Tomorrow (Friday) at 5 PM, I will be at McGill University in Montreal to give a talk on “The Ethics and Economics of Secession.” All are welcome. Here are additional details:

Jason Sorens PhD, the founder of the Free State Project will be in Montreal for a guest lecture at McGill.

The event is an initiative of the Youth for Liberty (Jeunes pour la Liberté) group, the local chapter of Students for Liberty.

The event is co-sponsored by McGill’s Research Group in Constitutional Studies (RGCS).

The topic for this guest lecture will be:
“The Ethics and Economics of Secession”

McGill University: Ferrier Building
840 Dr Penfield Avenue
Montréal, QC H3A 1A4

Ferrier 456

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Time Sink

The Sunlight Foundation has released a wonderful program (Capitol Words) that allows one to chart the number of times that members of the House and Senate have used specific words on the floor. You can chart the number of occurrences by party (try “debt” and see that both parties are concerned about the debt, albeit only when the president is from the other party). You can also compare different words (try “Koch” and “Benghazi” for example). I only wish that one could save the charts. H/t  Shane Goldmacher.




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Too Early?

Charlie Cook (National Journal) has some initial thoughts on the 2016 GOP candidate (his “Republican Bracket”). I always find Cook interesting. One particularly odd observation:

“Sometimes after losing two consecutive presidential contests, parties become more pragmatic and move toward the center. Other times, they double down on ideology. Logic would argue for a GOP move toward a center-right nominee for 2016.”

Question to contemplate: How can one move from McCain and Romney to the center right?

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Charles Koch’s response to the recent anti-Koch efforts on the part of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.  Jonathan Chait is unimpressed (and I am unsurprised).

The White House’s control of the visual record of the Obama presidency—a great frustration for the AP and the press corps more generally—has its limits (in this case, David Ortiz and Samsung).

Public opinion continues to shift in important ways on drug policy (Pew Research), supporting legalization and treatment over incarceration. Meanwhile, national policy continues to lag.

Now that the numbers are in on Obamacare, many advocates are declaring victory. As E.J. Dionne notes: “The fact that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) hit its original goal this week of signing up more than 7 million people through its insurance exchanges ought to be a moment of truth — literally as well as figuratively. It ought to give everyone, particularly members of the news media, pause over how reckless the opponents of change have been in making instant judgments and outlandish charges.”

I think Greg Sargent has it right when he cautions about making instant judgments based on these numbers: “The significance of the seven million number has always been overstated, in both policy and political terms. It doesn’t tell us much about the law’s long term prospects, which will turn on the demographic mix and on how the marketplaces function in individual states. Similarly, it would not have meant much for the law long term if it had fallen short of seven million.

A review of Errol Morris’s new documentary on Donald Rumsfeld “The Unknown Known.” A good sentence: “While it is unlikely that Mr. Rumsfeld would describe himself as a postmodernist, he does seem to be invested in the obscurity of truth and the indeterminacy of meaning, and to believe that what we know is constructed by language rather than reflected in it.”

Morris’s recent series in the New York Times was quite interesting. Has anyone seen the documentary yet?

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  1. Vera Kichanova, Russian libertarian (and anti-Putin) activist, says Putin will only benefit from a “new Cold War.”
  2. A new peace agreement for the Mindanao region of the Philippines has been officially signed. Here are the key provisions, with detailed explanations.

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