Fairfield County Weekly

That Cat Has Nine Wives! When polygamy hysteria = a massive red herring

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (5/29/08) Link

"All truth passes through three stages," nineteenth-century German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer is widely attributed as saying. "First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident."

Gasbags

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (5/15/08) Link

Can 300 economists be wrong?

When John McCain and Hillary Clinton suggested the 18 cent federal gas tax should be waived for the summer, over 300 economists signed an open letter denouncing the plan. These included four Nobel laureates, four current or past presidents of the American Economic Association, multiple past presidential economic advisers, and members of all political parties (not to mention many professors with whom I've taken courses).

Of Slippery Slopes and Sunlaps: The Libertarian Paternalism of Richard Thaler

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (5/6/08) Link

An article in last month’s New Republic described Richard Thaler as the “intellectual guru” behind Barack Obama. Thaler is the father of the behavioral-economics movement, director of the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago, and the co-author of Nudge, a new book promoting a political “third way” called libertarian paternalism.

Dad and Taxes: The apple does not fall far from the libertarian tree in the Maymin clan

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (4/17/08) Link

You never hear people badmouth the income tax anymore. Not even this week, when each of our three hundred thousand Fairfield County households will on average fork over twenty thousand dollars, hundreds of pieces of private and personal information, dozens of otherwise enjoyable hours, and all of our self-respect.

Going mano-a-mano with Presidential candidate Mike Gravel

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (4/3/08) Link

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Mike Gravel is literally none of the above. He stopped being a senator in 1981. He stopped being a Democrat last week when he switched to the Libertarian Party to seek its nomination. And he stopped being a traditional, power-hungry presidential candidate as of this interview when he declared that even if he won, he would resign as president if his National Initiative legislation was not passed.

The Reasonable Weasel: When infringements come in increments

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (3/27/08) Link

The Supreme Court is deciding whether a complete ban on all handguns in Washington, D.C. violates the second amendment of the Constitution, which says that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed."

You might think, if you have even passing familiarity with the word "infringe," that the answer is obvious. And indeed early reports indicate the Supremes will decide that you do, in fact, have an individual right to bear arms.

The Devilish Coin

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (3/13/08) Link

The only justification for the ever-expanding powers of the federal government, both in overseas military activities and in domestic surveillance of its own citizens, is in preventing acts of terror. Push any supporter of the war in Iraq and eventually they will say something like "Better to fight them over there than over here." Pester any supporter of the Patriot Act and they will argue that a small, hypothetical invasion of privacy is a small price to pay to foil terrorist plots.

The Cheese of Justice: The Libertarian leap year

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (2/28/08) Link

You may think that this Friday, Feb. 29th, is just a trick to bring the average days per year closer to the 365.25 days that it takes to revolve around the sun. But it may well be an unheralded libertarian festival.

The Three Amigos: Why it's all ClintObaMcain to me

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (2/14/08) Link

The next president will likely either be Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or John McCain. Isn't it nice to finally have a choice? A middle-aged black man, an older white woman, and an even older white man. Liberals and conservatives. Left and right. Finally, we have some genuine differences in policy to debate. Right?

Of course not.

Borderline Insanity: The U.S. has Iran mainly surrounded, but what about Turkmenistan?

Originally Published In:

Fairfield County Weekly (1/31/08) Link

Map of Iran

Iran has 3,300 miles of land bordering seven countries. By comparison, our southern border (the one we can't seem to control) extends 2,000 miles and only has Mexico on the other side. And it seems that we are doing everything we can to surround Iran.

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