Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘your philosophy stinks

Wednesday Wednesday

with 2 comments

* A brief history of profanity in the New Yorker.

* Sasha Volokh (last seen arguing that sacred libertarian principles demand that we allow asteroids to destroy civilization) has a new entry in his ongoing project to discredit libertarianism: prison vouchers.

In this Article, I invite the reader to indulge in a thought experiment. What would the world look like if, instead of assigning prisoners to particular prisons bureaucratically, we gave them vouchers, good for one incarceration, that they were required to redeem at a participating prison?

You know what? Let me stop you right there.

* Rand Paul is also pioneering new frontiers for liberty.

* Via MetaFilter, the Egyptian military is defending “virginity tests” performed on arrested protestors from Tahrir Square.

“We didn’t want them to say we had sexually assaulted or raped them, so we wanted to prove that they weren’t virgins in the first place,” the general said.

Let me stop you right there.

* Prominent Republican governors are throwing in the towel on scorched-earth opposition to health care reform. Here’s why:

For those who oppose the PPACA, or believe it to be unconstitutional, doing anything to support the law can be problematic. However, refusing to prepare the exchanges is a real risk. It’s unlikely the law will be repealed soon. Should it not be found unconstitutional and thrown out entirely, the exchanges will still stand. The PPACA clearly says that if a state doesn’t have an exchange, then the federal government will create and run one for it. It’s going to take some time to set one up, and if 2014 rolls around and states don’t have an exchange ready, then it will be the feds, not locals, who will dictate terms.

* The House GOP hopes you don’t like eating food.

* Salon takes a trip to the race war raging inside Matt Drudge’s head.

* The fools in the national press corps are still talking about Anthony Weiner’s weiner. The story would be completely irrelevant even if it weren’t almost certainly a lie.

* And even right-wing nutjob Donald Trump… oh, forget it.

Let Private Property Be Inviolate Though the Heavens Fall

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Matt Yglesias catches libertarian Sasha Volokh arguing that it would be immoral to use tax dollars to prevent an asteroid from destroying all life on earth.

I think it’s O.K. to violate people’s rights (e.g. through taxation) if the result is that you protect people’s rights to some greater extent (e.g. through police, courts, the military). But it’s not obvious to me that the Earth being hit by an asteroid (or, say, someone being hit by lightning or a falling tree) violates anyone’s rights; if that’s so, then I’m not sure I can justify preventing it through taxation.

Written by gerrycanavan

February 15, 2011 at 4:37 pm