Archive | May 21, 2008

Hole In Bagel Story

Alastair Cooke’s America tells the following anecdote to illustrate the divergence between British and American English:

bagel I remember once, during a strike in New York when the salmon wasn’t coming in, there seemed to be a glut of bagels in the Jewish bakeries. In a whimsical moment I sent a cable to my editor warning him that I was about to put a piece on the wire to be entitled, “Lox Lag Brings Bagel Boom.” He cabled right back: “your message hopelessly garbled it reads lox lag brings bagel boom.”

A glut is of course not the same thing as a boom, but never mind. Anyway, Mike Lyle expresses doubt as to the veracity of this story, but doesn’t say why. But I can think of at least one reason for skepticism: since when do journalists get to pick the titles of their own stories?

More IP Censorship

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

The purpose of copyright, according to the Constitution, is to “promote the progress of science and useful arts.” Exactly how interfering with freedom of education is supposed to do that is a bit of a puzzle.

Particularly egregious is the argument that noncommercial copying is really commercial copying because if it weren’t provided for free, then a lot of people would probably be willing to pay for it. One could use the same argument to prove that all sex is prostitution.

A Crossroads in Denver

[cross-posted at Liberty & Power]

While I think the primary focus of libertarian activism should be on rendering society ungovernable (via education and building alternative institutions) rather than on electoral politics, unlike my more austere agorist comrades I still see libertarian political campaigns as serving a legitimate and useful auxiliary role – and so I still care about the fate of the Libertarian Party, whose presidential nominating convention begins this week.

Mary Ruwart vs. Bob Barr It looks like the convention will decide not just the nominee but the future of the party: will it return to its principles by nominating a radical libertarian like Mary Ruwart (my preference – see my statement on her endorsements page) or Steve Kubby, or will it allow itself to be highjacked by the right, the result for which Bob Barr’s forces appear to be scheming? (See this press release from the party’s founder about the shenanigans of the Barr forces.) This may well be the starkest choice the party has faced.

Barr is positioning himself as the natural continuator of the Ron Paul Revolution; but for all my problems with Ron Paul he is far more solidly libertarian than Barr, who favours an aggressive foreign policy (albeit in Latin America rather than the Middle East) and still supports drug prohibition (albeit at the state rather than the federal level). It will be ironic if the Ron Paul Revolution, by bringing disaffected Republicans into the LP, contributes to the effective destruction of the Libertarian Party.

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