Category: Libertarianism

Monday Links

This week is almost exclusively Reason links.

None of the major candidates are pro-freedom.

Sotomayor is right – we should re-evaluate immunity for prosecutors.

ICE apparently ran a fake school and duped a bunch of foreign students to enroll. A court ruled they can sue for breach of contract.

SCOTUS is going to look at FDA’s regulations against vaping. This looks more like another in a line of cases that essentially boil down to “Congress, do your damn job.”

This article states that Moore doesn’t allow for a wealth tax. Maybe not, but I think this is going to be one of those cases that has a lot of impact down the line for government’s rapacious appetite for money. Particularly as interest rates rise and debts get more expensive.

A bunch of states are ignoring the administration’s Title IX rules. Utah just joined them.

Labour rides the anti-incumbent wave and unseats the Tories. I haven’t been following Brit politics as much since The Economist paywalled all of their podcasts.

Oklahoma decides teaching the Bible will fix the kids. Y’know, school choice would allow parents to decide if they wanted their kids to have Christian theology crammed down their throat. Or some other religion’s dogma.

Now on to a couple of other stories.

This one’s a local story. Storied restaurant Wright’s was sold to Caspers Company. Why is this interesting to me? Because up until a couple of years ago, Caspers was one of the largest McDonalds franchisees in the nation. And many moons ago, Derek Ward was one of their shift managers.

VIZ Media buys the RWBY franchise. This is good news, as this is an IP that didn’t deserve to die.

Not Your Typical Independence Day Post

This is going to be a bit more of a rant on our current election state. Not the candidates, but how we’re selecting the candidates.

Yesterday, I changed my party affiliation from Libertarian to Republican. No, I haven’t suddenly drank the MAGA Kool-Aid. I’m still the fiercely minarchist person. So, why would I change?

My county commissioners have been acting in a rather craven manner for their backers. They’ve also shut down almost all forms of public redress. And they’re actively going after critics or anyone who dares challenge them. Then they hide behind a smokescreen of culture war issues that have no bearing on, you know, making sure the county runs. That infrastructure is built to handle the massive influx of residents. That our local resources are preserved so that we can continue to draw tourists to our area. Needless to say, I am displeased by the current crop. Maybe one or two exceptions.

Manatee County is bright red. As in Irish Yankee spent too much time on the beach without sunscreen red. My only chance to vote against the incumbents will not be at the general election in November, but the primaries in August. And Florida has a closed primary system. So, I have to forsake my Libertarian affiliation so that I can vote against the bastards damaging my home county.

Herein starts the rant. Primaries should not be to choose the parties’ candidate. Primaries should be to winnow a field of candidates down for the general election. Party affiliation should be considered more as an endorsement, like getting approved by the Chamber of Commerce. I don’t really care how the parties select their candidates (elections, smoke-filled rooms, gladiatorial combat).

I just want to see better candidates.

Monday Links

This week’s going to be heavy with Volokh Conspiracy / Reason links due to the handing down of some major Supreme Court decisions. I might make a roundup of the court post later this week or next after I’ve had some time to digest as well as to listen to more knowledgeable folks. But, let’s go ahead and get started.

First, more on Rahimi’s impact on Bruen.

Next, about the outrage surrounding USSC reaffirming the right to jury trials for cases with significant penalties.

Of course, a lot of folks are celebrating the official overturn of Chevron Deference, but it may not be the silver bullet some believe.

An article looking at Florida’s response to citrus canker and the people who suffered.

Baltimore is using a cell phone hacking service again.

From the local news station, but widely carried, many nations’ Olympics teams – including the US – are bringing their own AC’s to Paris. Because the Frenchies decreed AC was bad and against their carbon goals.

WSJ (paywall warning) has a story about how delivery drivers got their wages raised by government fiat, and now they have less orders to deliver.

Sora News is reporting that a reboot of Ranma 1/2 is in the works. I’m kinda curious because this was one of the series that got me into anime as anime – and not a Saturday-morning cartoon.

Monday Links

This week is a bit long. Reason starts us out.

First, a couple of articles relating to Hunter Biden’s conviction. One on the constitutional question of his conviction. I lean on the charge is bullshit, because I think the whole premise of banning people who might use drugs is bullshit. If they had convicted him on having the weapon on him while intoxicated, that would be a more reasonable charge. Anyways, this whole thing goes back to the infamous laptop, and we have an article on the media’s failure to own up to its mistakes on their coverage.

Reason covers the secret recordings of Alito done “Project Veritas”-style. The best descriptor of this story is that it’s a Rorsach test of your political priors.

Maybe charging teens with felonies for vandalism isn’t a good idea. Particularly if you’re going to ramp up the charges because you’re offended. Particularly in light of your failure to react the same when it wasn’t one of your sacred images.

On the good news front, preliminary UCR data shows deep declines in crime. More indications we’re coming out of the crazy that was the COVID lockdowns. I blame the lockdowns more for the sharp uptick in crime, and it looks like we’re trending back to baseline, at least in terms of crime.

Trump announced he wants to exempt tips from income tax. On one hand, I like this because it reduces the amount of bullshit reporting people have to do – or put them in jeopardy if they forget to do. On the other hand, I don’t trust Trump to get anything done if he’s elected (ask the gun lobby how much legislation they managed to get signed). On the gripping hand, I’m not sure I like the downstream impacts – either on the federal deficits or how wages will get structured in the labor market.

Let’s ban flavored vaping for the children! What do you mean teen smoking goes up in response? Is vaping a good habit to have? Probably not. Is it orders of magnitude better than smoking tobacco? Fuck yes. I swear, public health officials should be forced to take real economics. You know, the one where you learn there are no perfect solutions, only more optimal trade-offs.

Going on to other news.

I have a Ground News aggregation on how US soldiers are nine times more likely to die by suicide than combat action. Suicide is an epidemic in our society. Particularly for those of us who fear getting help will result in our guns or livelihoods being taken away. For gunnies, I’m going to recommend going to the Walk The Talk America site.

More Fulton County drama, but this time in the Young Thug trial. The judge wanted to jail the defense attorney for contempt after said attorney refused to disclose how he learned about an exparte meeting between the judge and the prosecution. The Georgia Supreme Court reversed that. Still, the defense lawyer made the baller statement of if the judge was going to throw him in jail, could he be jailed with his client so they could work on his defense?

The NYT reports on the FAA investigating how titanium used in Boeing and Airbus airliners came from a questionable Chinese source with fraudulent documents. One wonders how many more body blows Boeing can suffer before the company gets radically realigned.

Speaking of the NYT, the Economist did an investigation on if the NYT bestseller list is politically biased. To almost no one’s surprise, it is. (Paywall warning.)

AP reports that Armenia is getting tired of Russia’s shit and is withdrawing from their “security alliance”. Considering the recent series of conflicts between Armenia and Azerbaijan, I’m concerned this is the first step before a major flare-up.

The Firearms Blog reports a San Antonio officer was put on indefinite suspension after he took home guns from a recent buyback.

A story going around the local stations reporting that half of parents who visit Disney end up in debt from the trip. Okay, yeah, Disney’s been jacking up prices for years. However, I look at this as more of an indictment of young families budgeting ability.

Let’s go on to some lighter items.

War is Boring looks at deploying military tech, including drones and helicopters, to deal with – feral hogs. I’ll be honest, going on a hog hunt is one of those things I’d like to do.

Finally, The Verge has a look at the Excel World Championship in Vegas.

Monday Links

Let’s start off with our normal slew of Reason links.

Obligatory article on Trump conviction. Do I think that anyone else but Trump would have been brought to trial on this flimsy of a legal theory? No. Do I think this demonstrates the abuse a prosecutor can do with his powers? Yes. Do I think this could have all been avoided if Trump just kept it in his pants and not cheated on his wife? Also yes.

Obligatory article on the unanimous Supreme Court decision in favor of the NRA. Again, give the government enough power, and officials will abuse it.

Oh look, Fauci was caught trying to evade FOIA. This happens way too often. And it only makes the news when it’s someone prominent.

Gorsuch rails against Florida’s use of six-person juries. This one I don’t understand. What does it matter if it’s six or twelve? But I’m willing to be convinced. Maybe a tiered system. Civil and misdemeanors use six, minor felonies use eight, and major felonies have twelve.

Jumping minimum wage up to $20/hr has bad effects. Shocked Pikachu face.

A couple of Ground News aggregations.

That deputy who shot an airman who answered the door with a gun? Yeah, he’s fired. Now to see if he’s prosecuted.

China convicted 14 pro-democracy Hong Kong protestors.

Now on to other news stories.

You think you know how SEO works for the Google algorithm? Probably not, according to some leaked documents.

An article on Exo-Squad. That was such a great cartoon.

Here’s an interview with one of the creators of Magic: The Gathering.

Monday Links

I hope everyone is having a good Memorial Day weekend. There will be a bit of tab clearing since we didn’t have a links post last week.

I’ve got a slew of Reason articles to start.

A look into how bad science is keeping bad regulations around nuclear power. We need more nuclear power. Because we need more power. Because we need to reduce our dependence on oil. Not just climate change, but because of the politics and other environmental hazards of oil.

A look at how zoning regulations empower the people we don’t want to have power.

Surprise, surprise, the real reason for self-checkout bans is not the stated reason of stopping theft. Incentives matter, and that doesn’t change once the issue becomes political.

No, Super Size Me was not a documentary. It was a bullshit publicity stunt that did nothing to address what it purported to address. Other than getting Mickey D’s to change it’s branding.

NYT says that looser gun laws caused the spike in homicides. Um, yeah. Keep thinking that.

This one about a New York man being convicted of building guns made the rounds of the gunblogs, but here’s Reason’s coverage. The judge telling the defense the Second Amendment doesn’t work here was surprisingly unsurprising.

Now on to other sources.

From Ground News, we have an aggregation of Uvalde parents suing Meta, Microsoft, and Daniel Defense because the bad guy was on Facebook, played Call of Duty, and used a DD rifle. I’m kinda glad the plaintiffs are pulling in Meta and Microsoft, as they can slap down those better than Daniel Defense.

From 404 Media – all those nifty northern lights that folks were able to see earlier this month? Yeah, that same coronal storm caused issues with tractors talking with GPS, which has resulted in issues with planting. Which will definitely have some downstream effects in the food supply chain.

Nature published an op-ed decrying climate scientists being climate activists. This has been one of the big problems with doing anything about climate change. The moment you step out of being a neutral dispenser of information to a partisan, whatever information you provide is degraded. Either because a swath of the population will no longer believe you, or your information becomes shaded. Because incentives matter.

Ars Technica has an article on a company that had its Google Cloud account completely wiped out. Including the backups. Fortunately, the company had backups other than Google, but it’s an interesting case study.

Via The Brother, here’s the transcript from a talk Bert Hubert delivered on Cyber Security and war.

From the local TV station, we have an article about a homeowner who killed an intruder, by stabbing him, after the intruder shot her in the face. In a fight for your life, don’t stop until you can’t fight anymore. Or the threat is stopped.

Monday Links

Israel and its adjacent topics are a big theme in this week’s links. So, let’s start with our normal slate of Reason links (which include more than usual Volokh Conspiracy entries).

The UF president laid out his thoughts on campus free speech and protest.

Jewish students at Columbia did their own letter on their “lived experience” since October 7.

Here’s a pair of articles on the Supreme Court’s recent (disappointing) ruling on civil asset forfeiture. One from Reason and one from Volokh.

Now for some Ground News aggregations.

Biden halts arms shipments to Israel over the invasion of Rafah.

US alleges Israel broke international law while using US weapons, but on incomplete evidence. Both of these stories are troubling, because its showing how weak US resolve can be to even our most trusted allies.

US tells Intel and Qualcomm they can’t sell chips to China.

A US Airman was killed by deputies who broke into the wrong apartment.

Now on to other stories that crossed my transom.

SkyNews reports on a “massive” hack of Britain’s Ministry of Defence (Brit spelling). While officially, the hackers are “unknown,” bets are it was China. Reminds me of the OPM hack ten or fifteen years ago.

Bloomberg that there are over 40,000 AI-voiced audiobooks on Audible. I’m kind of torn on this. First, as a small author, if I want to convert one of my stories to an audio version, it’s nice knowing that there’s a lower cost alternative. As a consumer of audiobooks, I understand how important a good narrator can make a book come alive. On the gripping hand, I see this as where the great narrators will still be in demand, but lesser narrators will be pushed out of the market.

An American Cop piece on why “high-ready” might not be a safe way to hold your weapon. The expected audience is cops, but good points for non-cop folk. Things to keep in mind if you’re on either end of the gun. (h/t Tam).

Gizmodo reports on Victorinox announcing it was going to be offering bladeless versions of their famous “Swiss Army knife”. This is another good case to ignore the headlines and the sturm und drang on the internet. Victorinox is simply coming out with new versions for sale in areas where knives are banned/restricted. They’re still selling bladed versions. I’m kind of wondering if these new ones will be TSA compliant.

Tampa Bay Buisness Journal is reporting of Florida Aquarium getting funding for a planned $15 million expansion. It looks pretty interesting.

Another good article from Angry Staff Officer. This time on how fantasy armies never screen their flanks. I like reading him to make my writing better.

PCGamesN reports that Civ 7 will be out sometime later this year. Needless to say, I’m very excited about this news. As of this writing, I’m up to over 7,700 hours on Civ 6. Which, to be fair is a very different game now than when it released many moons ago.

Monday Links

This week is light and mostly Reason. So, let’s get started with those.

The DEA is looking to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule III. Let’s get this out of the way. I’m not a fan of marijuana. I don’t like the smell, and I don’t like the culture surrounding it. That doesn’t mean I can’t acknowledge it has some medical benefits. Or, that more importantly, that adults should be able to imbibe substances that they choose.

DeSantis is all about banning lab-grown beef. Don’t let his right-wing culture war schtick fool you as to why he signed legislation. Beef cattle are big business in Florida. It’s where we get the slang “crackers” from. Scratch a right-wing populist, find a protectionist.

A think piece on how D&D flourished because of few copyright protections. I really didn’t get into any of the D&D “worlds” when I played. We mostly just used the rules and creatures and played in our own worlds. It was fun coming up with our own. Although, I will recommend Ptolus if you want a great setting for a fantasy game.

A man in Illinois who specializes in filing paperwork is being told by the state he needs a PI’s license. Occupational licensing is a fucking racket.

California decided to ban diesel locomotives. What’s the worst that could happen?

Florida police and sheriffs departments spent thousands on training banned in other states.

Now, on to other stories.

The Verge has a story on the FCC fining the big telecoms over sharing location data without consent.

From War Is Boring, we have an article on the new “Doomsday Plane” for the USAF.

From The War Zone is an article that the Poles are naming their F-35’s the “Husarz”. Husarz. Hussars. Winged Hussars. That is the best combination of historical callback and Dad-joke.

For our light item, here’s a 1942-style web-based game for Space Battleship Yamato.

Monday Links

Reason links first:

Another reminder that cops have no duty to protect you.

Gasp, politicians helped killed the Amazon / iRobot deal. Can I tell you how much this annoyed me?

The Supreme Court is taking a look at another case of the ATF’s flexible rule making. This one involving so-called ghost guns. Or as we refer to them, unfinished parts.

FCC is bringing back net neutrality. Because we have to solve a problem that has never happened.

And the FTC is banning non-compete agreements, even though that may be beyond their powers. Okay, I can understand non-competes where you could bring trade secrets to a competitor. I can also understand wanting to stop non-competes being blanket issued on all employment contracts including fast food workers. Still think this should have been passed by Congress, not the FTC.

Colorado told HOA’s they can’t ban home businesses.

Now, on to the Ground News aggregations:

A quarter of adults over 50 say they don’t expect to retire.

The feds don’t think Putin ordered Navalny’s death. Okay, fine. But I’m good with using the felony murder rule.

Ukraine pulled its new-to-them Abrams tanks after losing some to drones. We are seeing the rules of warfare change on the fields of Ukraine and in the streets of Gaza. I doubt that tanks have been supplanted, but they will have to learn how to survive.

A company wants to build submersible superyachts. It reminded me of a wild-eyed scheme that The Brother and I once had to turn old Soviet Typhoon-class boomers into luxury cruise ships. You know, because they already had a pool built into them.

Now on to some other stories:

One of the local stations reports that the last big owner of Clearwater properties not tied to the Church of Scientology has sold out to someone with ties to Scientology. Clearwater is pretty much the company town for the Church.

John Richardson reports that Marion Hammer’s contract with the NRA has been quietly canceled. I’m kind of unsympathetic to someone who helped loot the organization that I dutifully paid into for many, many years.

The Verge has an article on Home Assistant. Ward Manor currently runs the Echo ecosystem for its smart home needs because they’re relatively cheap and easy to use. I’m not against switching to something that would work just as well without getting Amazon’s ads and curated articles pumped in.

Angry Staff Officer has another great article mixing science fiction properties and modern military theory.

Time for light items.

For ten grand, you too can have a robot dog with a flamethrower.

Space Battleship Yamato is celebrating its 50-year anniversary with new sequels.

The Quintessential Quintuplets are coming out with a new movie.

Monday Links

Starting off with the obligatory Reason links.

I have a trio of stories surrounding the current DEI workscape.

A thinkpiece on the Uri Berliner story. I’m not surprised he was suspended. You can’t publicly shame your employer and not escape consequences.

Speaking of NPR, let’s talk about the current boss’s tweets. She’s certainly not talking.

Google fired 28 employees after they protested their now-former employer on company time and on company premises. When you’ve lost Google…

Kansas has reformed their civil asset forfeiture laws. Let’s keep this ball rolling.

Virtual cashiers? Interesting. It sounds like it’s still in early days. I remember one chain I used to work with piloted a similar project for its drive thru order takers.

Now on to other stories.

From the Hill, even the IMF is worried about the US debt.

BleepingComputer reports that current and former T-Mobile and Verizon employees are being offered $300 to do SIM swaps. Why do all the heavy hacking work when you can find someone to do it for you on the cheap?

The Verge is reporting on new 4TB SD cards. Four terrbytes on an SD card. I was looking at those size drives when I put together my old NAS, and I thought they were expensive.

The Reload has reporting that there are more than 700 million standard capacity magazines floating around. Ward Manor refuses to comment on the extent it contributes to that total.

Sporting Illustrated had a couple articles on the new pistols and new shotguns for 2024. I still want to upgrade from my Mossberg 590 to an autoloader.

On the Florida side, I was pointed to this article about why we may not be seeing as many lovebugs. Lovebugs and mosquitos can both go extinct and I don’t think any Floridian would mourn the loss. H/T McThag.