Archive for August, 2003
Many people sent me links to various critiques of the Patriot Act. For the reasons I mentioned in my original post, it’s very difficult to find objective evaluations of the law. Two stand out: this one by Reason magazine and this editorial on Capitalism magazine.
After doing some reading, I’ve been convinced that the Act has major flaws, of which the primary one is not that it gives too much power to the government, but that it is too vague about which powers it actually provides for. The great danger of a tyranny is not that it has too much power, but that its power is expressed by the arbitrary and unpredictable whims of some bureaucrat or dictator. I stand by my original claim however: unrestricted liberty requires a system of objective laws, under which the government has all and only the power it needs to find and punish criminals.
Two news stories that provide some interesting insight into the human mind and its potential: a 12-year-old begins medical school at the University of Chicago and a man’s visision is restored after 43 years of blindness.
Economists at the BIS (The Bank for International Settlements is a central-bank for the world) have issued an inane ruling that shows just how clueless they are. They told a Fed conference that “Central banks should tackle emerging asset bubbles head-on rather than wait till they burst and then clean up afterward.”
The only point in question with these statists seems to be how much state intervention is necessary to “soften the blow” of these mysterious and seemingly natural and unpreventable “bubbles.” Not much though is given anymore as to whether these bubbles actually exist, and what, if any, is their cause.
Any economist worth a damn would start by asking what traits of the market could cause such “bubbles” to occur. The answer is simple: none. The self-correcting nature of a free market prevents any such “bubbles” from occurring by setting interest rates that accurately reflect the public’s ever-changing time preference for future growth versus current spending. It is only manipulation by the only entity that has the power of a gun – the government – that can create changes large and lasting enough to create the “artificial” changes that cause economic depressions. The government cannot even create the so-called “booms” in the economy – it can only create destabilizing shifts to or from investment and consumer spending that disrupt the normal flow of goods and investment capital. It can also destroy very real economic growth – such as that during the 1920’s and 1990’s — by practicing monetary and regulatory interventionism. I don’t want to launch into a polemic on economics, so if you want to learn more about actual economics rather than pure interventionist propaganda, I recommend Mises.org, or Capitalism.net
I’ve been wondering what possible motivation even an Islamic nut would have to bomb an irrelevant and pacifist group like the UN. According to one UK-based fundamentalist group, the UN is just as “quango organisation doing the bidding of the US.”
In related news, neither New York City nor the major media networks plan any special events to mark the upcoming second-year anniversary of September 11th. Not everyone has forgotten the occasion however, as the nuts mentioned above have planned a celebration of the “Magnificent 19” for the occasion.
What kind of society would not only forget about the murder of so many innocents but allow the same groups that created these terrorists to celebrate their atrocities? Britain is significantly more guilty of being a terrorist breeding ground than the U.S., but both are infested with the same plague: the terrorist-loving, America-hating trend of multiculturalism.
(Thanks to LGF for the links.
Take four officers of the objectivist club, mix in one philosopher, decant a bottle of Bacardi rum and VanillaTwist Smirnoff vodka, and combine with “The Two Towers” and “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” DVD’s, and you get a great evening, served for five. I was so sick of the all the pathetically idiotic movies I had been seeing, that not even the Two Towers’ rabid earth-worship or the constant stream of Russian jokes could spoil my good mood. But this morning, I woke up to a killer hangover and a surprisingly large quantity of missing alcohol. Note to self: let the good times roll, but don’t forget to drink plenty of water before you hit the sack. And be sure to offer a tribute to the Gods to thank them for modern medicine.
I’ve added more great artists to my art gallery. Most of my new stuff comes from ArtRenewal, but they have many thousands of artists, so it can be hard to find the best artists if you don’t know what to look for. I’m going to look for some Victorian, Impressionist, and Renaissance pieces next, so it doesn’t look like I’m just mirroring their collection (which I’m tempted to do!) My logs show that my collection has been very popular with a certain gay bodybuilding forum – so check out my art gallery– four out of five gay bodybuilders like it!