Category: Libertarianism

Monday Links – All Light Items

I’m not really in the mood to go into the news today. So, just some lighter items I’ve found in the last week or so.

First, we have an article on the seventh anniversary of the grandma who accidentally invited a boy – now man – to Thanksgiving dinner. And he kept coming every year. It’s one of those heartwarming stories that I’m glad to see continue. It hits a lot of the more optimistic themes, such as altruism, chosen family, and putting aside differences to make human connections.

Next is an article on a new cat café coming to Tampa. It’s going to be relatively close to where my mom lives. Which bodes for interesting options when The Wife and I visit. Particularly since it’s no longer necessary to trek all the way up there to get my 5.11 fix.

From FEE, we have a listicle on “Six Books That Will Rewire Your Brain.” I’ve read most of them, but even those should probably go back into the “to-read” stack.

TFB has a review of the B&T TP9. This is one of those guns I want if I get “stupid amount of money.” Of course, like the author, if I actually could get one, I’d pay the tax stamp, SBR the thing, and turn it into a semi-auto clone of their MP9. Maybe pair it with my L9A1 if I did some kind of competition.

As for something else that I kind of want comes a company offering bullet shaped dice. Including revolver cylinder tray. I’d be more tempted, but my fun money is currently going to upgrading my Civ game for the iPad.

Monday Links

First, from the Volokh Conspiracy (yes, it’s hosted on Reason), is an article on how zoning is hurting the housing market for the “missing middle”. This is an area of concern for me because I see what’s happening in my part of Florida. We have subsidized housing for the poor, and the upper middle to upper classes can afford the current prices. What we need is workforce housing – affordable housing for those who are making around the median incomes. I worry that if we don’t find market-based solutions for this issue, then the collectivists will dominate the debate.

Speaking of market-based solutions, Lyft – with support from United Way, Goodwill, and Indeed – is providing free rides for people going to interviews. They will also provide additional free rides if the person gets the position for a few weeks to cover training and getting that first paycheck.

Another Reason article, this one slamming the ATF for losing thousands of gun parts to thieves. I’m less open to completely dismantling the ATF, mostly because then those duties would just go to FBI or Secret Service or some other .gov agency. It – like many federal police agencies – need some serious overhauling and reform.

Here’s an older article from NPR on the Cherokee Nation pushing to have a delegate in Congress. According to the article, there’s a provision in one of the treaties for the Cherokee to send someone to Congress. I do not know enough about the Native American issue to give a full opinion. I know the way the American government has handled the reservations are atrocious. There’s part of me that would like to abolish the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and treat each of the reservations as “states” with their own Senate and House delegates, but I’m not sure if that would alleviate the issues.

From War Is Boring comes an article about the Haitian Police using some new armored vehicles and tactical training to retake the nation’s main oil port from gangs. I didn’t even know that this was an issue that small nation was facing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t surprise me. I feel for the people of Haiti, but I just don’t know what could be done that would make things better for both the short-term and the long-term.

Finally, an article from The National Interest on some alt history ways where Germany might have won World War I. In my amateur historian view, if Germany had won WWI, there would not have been a WWII – at least as it unfolded. However, I think we would have had a Pacific War. And if Germany imposed war reparations on the Allies as they did, I wouldn’t have been surprised if the history books would talk about a new Franco-Prussian War. The what-ifs are intellectually interesting.

Monday Links Time

Monday Links

I wanted to blog about the PayPal kerfuffle last week, but we’ll, I’m out of pocket. So, I’ll post a Reason article about it. When Eugene Volokh is concerned, I sit up and take notice. I don’t keep money with PayPal, and it looks like I’m going to be winding down my use of it for other things.

The New York Post ran a scare article on how all of these virtual jobs will be outsourced. I’m more skeptical, mostly because I think the labor market is undergoing a massive transformation.

Reason has a good overview of the ESG movement in the corporate world. Stakeholder is one of those concepts that have been twisted into a club against the business community. Worse, they seem to be wielding it against themselves to impress people who hate them regardless.

The Verge has an article on Microsoft abandoning the Office brand. It’s transitioning to Microsoft 365. Eh, I’ll still probably refer to the core apps as “Office”.

For a couple of light items to round out this week’s links:

Gizmodo talks about a new gaming chair from Logitech and Herman Miller. Personally, I’m more amused by the collaboration than the actual product.

Finally, The Wife found this listing for a cat advent calendar. Not treats for your cats, but a bunch of tiny cat figures.

 

Friday Quote – Ludwig Von Mises

Government interference always means either violent action or the threat of such action. … In face of the modern tendencies toward a deification of government and the state, it is good to remind ourselves that the old Romans were more realistic in symbolizing the state by a bundle of rods with an axe in the middle than are our contemporaries in ascribing the state all the attributes of God.

Monday Links Time

Let’s start out with some alarming news. Namely Germany seizing Russian-owned refineries. Oh yeah, this won’t cause any backlash. From the CNN article:

Germany’s economy ministry announced on Friday that it had temporarily taken over Russian oil giant Rosneft’s subsidiaries in the country. Rosneft Deutschland and RN Refining & Marketing account for about 12% of Germany’s oil refining capacity, the ministry said in a statement.

I keep seeing this whole thing on the European continent spiraling out of control. And I don’t trust any of the current leadership to have the aptitude to derail it.

Oh look here’s a Reason link on ISO’s new merchant category code for credit card sales for guns and ammunition. From the article:

The newest development comes in the form of a specific merchant category code for retailers of firearms and ammunition, breaking them out from the broader category of specialty retailers in which they were previously included. The code makes credit card purchases from such businesses much easier to track and potentially exposes buyers and sellers to harassment.

The new code is touted as an anti-crime measure, but its advocates don’t specify how tagging all transactions by associated vendors will identify suspicious activity.

One of the hosts on Words and Numbers commented that the only way to avoid this was by paying cash – until the government makes it illegal to purchase guns and ammo with cash. I don’t know how they would do that, but these days I put nothing past them.

Next, another Reason article on DeSantis’s administration making the Florida housing market worse. Every time I want to really root for DeSantis, he pulls this kind of bullshit. From the article:

Last week, Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) sent a comment letter to Lauren Poe, Gainesville’s mayor, recommending that the city withdraw a provisionally approved zoning amendment that allows two-, three-, and four-unit homes to be built in neighborhoods that were once zoned exclusively for single-family homes.

About the only thing the state housing codes should do is state a baseline of structural stability. Beyond that, let the localities figure out the housing mixes depending on the needs of the community. We are very good at providing housing for those above and below the working class – which is a huge concern where I live.

In the realm of creepy comes Brookings new dashboard for monitoring podcasts. Oh yeah, that’s not going to be abused – he says as he coughs in SPLC. H/t Kevin Baker via FB.

Let’s end this week’s links with a couple of lighter tech items.

First, from PC World, an article on turning an old laptop into a Chromebook. Which, I have an old one to experiment upon.

This week’s final link is Hot Hardware’s article regarding BackBlaze’s comparative failure rate analysis of SSD vs HDD. For those who don’t know, BackBlaze is a cloud-backup company that’s known for reporting on the performance of the various drives they use for storage.

“At this point we can reasonably claim that SSDs are more reliable than HDDs, at least when used as boot drives in our environment. This supports the anecdotal stories and educated guesses made by our readers over the past year or so. Well done,” Backblaze notes.

Monday Links

First, from US News & World Reports an article on how detrimental the school closures were for the kids. New federal data – the first comparing academic achievement from before the coronavirus pandemic to now – shows unprecedented drops in math and reading scores and the largest setbacks for students in more than half a century. Way back in March/April of 2020, there might have been a case for closing the schools. We didn’t know enough about how COVID was spread, how dangerous it was, and who it impacted the most. However, as we learned more, it was clear that the biggest obstacle to opening the schools were the unions who wanted their members paid for not having to go into the schools. I think we will be feeling the ramifications of this for a very long time.

It’s not Derek’s links without Reason articles. So here’s one on what happened when Sri Lanka banned synthetic fertilizers. The short version? Famine, inflation, government destabilization. Everything a country needs. <Sarcasm>

And here’s another on embracing the prepper mindset. Seriously, hasn’t the last two years kind of proven it’s probably a good idea to have some extra supplies on hand? As reader David says in his articles at Blue Collar Prepping, “Some is better than none.”

From The Reload, comes an article on a recent survey of gun owners. According to the article, this was the largest survey done with more in-depth questions. So, what did it find? Gun owners are more diverse, they are carrying more, and they often own the same weapons and magazines that many want banned. Oh, and they are possibly more than 1.5 million defensive gun uses annually.

Vocabulary Word

Quockerwodger – A type of wooden puppet. Colloquially used in the late 19th century to denote a politician acting on the instructions of an influential third party rather than the best interests of his constituents.

Links Time!

First, the serious ones.

Salman Rushdie was brutally stabbed before he was about to give a talk on free speech. From the USA Today article: Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie of The Wylie Agency, said the writer was on a ventilator Friday evening, with a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye he was likely to lose. The article says a suspect was taken into but authorities did not have any indication of a motive. Hmm…. I mean, it couldn’t have anything to do with the death decree the Iranians put him under decades ago, could it?

Speaking of New York, there are indications of a breakout of polio. There was a chance, a good chance, that polio could have been eliminated – much like smallpox. Instead, the US government co-opted polio workers. Which, of course, became known. Which, of course, meant certain local populaces wouldn’t take the vaccine. Which, of course, is expanded by the anti-vax movement.

Next a some Reason articles that came to my attention:

First, DC Circuit upholds the bump stock ban. From the article: It concluded that the new reading of the law—which contradicts the position that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) consistently took before then-President Donald Trump demanded that the agency ban bump stocks by administrative fiat—is “the best interpretation of the statute.” Even with the NYSRPA ruling, we have years of court cases to see how that decision will filter out among the courts.

In the vein of government knowing better comes an article about how politicians are trying to zone out mobile homes. From the article: From Texas to West Virginia and almost everywhere in between, you’ll find zoning laws that aren’t so subtle in banning mobile homes and mobile home parks altogether. From urban to suburban to rural areas, legislation is being considered and often passed into law that tacks on costs, makes it harder to own a mobile home, and in many cases makes it untenable to ever build a new mobile home park. In my particular opinion, mobile homes are the payday loans of the housing market. They’re flimsy and overpriced and have many hidden costs that hurt the people they’re supposedly aimed at. None of which means I think they should be illegal. I’d much rather have a bunch of mobile home parks than the disaster of people not being able to find any shelter.

FIRE is still doing good work. In this case, taking on a community college whose leadership conspired to censor anti-communist flyers. This is my shocked face.

Now let’s do some lighter items:

There’s a cat café up in Tampa. And if you really like the kitty you’re playing with, you can adopt it. I may have to take The Wife up for this.

Via The Brother comes an ArsTechnica article about a recent Excel esports competition on ESPN. Okay, first, I find it highly amusing that ESPN turns one of its channels into ESPN8: The Ocho once a year with a focus on “seldom seen sports”. Second, I find it amusing that it does feature a dodgeball competition. Third, I fucking adore an Excel competition – and it is just as amazing as I hoped.

Finally, a video that amused me more than it probably should: