Liberty for Liberia

After decades of civil unrest, the African nation of Liberia has elected the first female head of state in the history of the continent. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, a Harvard-educated economist and veteran of international affairs, was sworn in yesterday in the capital city of Monrovia. Continue Reading...

New Human Rights Group

The U.N. and many of its attendant NGOs have often supported dubious and even Orwellian interpretations of human rights (pushing, for example, for coercive population control measures in the name of reproductive “freedom”). Continue Reading...

A Harsh but Good Market

Apologies for a second Apple-related post in a row, but I thought this example might prove to be a decent case-study of competition in the marketplace. One of the new products that Apple recently introduced was iWeb, a new program that makes it easy “to create websites and blogs — complete with podcasts, photos and movies — and get them online, fast.” Why do I bring this up? Continue Reading...

Unintended Consequences

There’s interesting news on the global warming front in today’s Financial Times: Everyone knows trees are “A Good Thing”. They take in the carbon dioxide that threatens our planet with global warming and turn it into fresh, clean oxygen for us all to breathe. Continue Reading...

Shake Your Groove Thing

Many of you may have already heard of the new line of Levi’s jeans due out later this year, the iPod compatible RedWire DLX jeans: “With a joystick remote control built into the watch pocket, the new jeans will allow wearers to play, pause, track forward or back and adjust the volume on their iPods without having to take them out of their pockets.” There is also a built-in pocket designed to “conceal the bulge of the iPod.” But Levi Strauss is a bit late to the concealment racket, at least as far as the iPod is concerned, since iPod-friendly underwear produced by Play, wittily named the iBoxer, is currently ready to ship. Continue Reading...

‘A Superb Butler’

Continuing the discussion of energy usage from yesterday, check out this review in the New York Sun of Children of the Sun (W.W. Norton), by Alfred Crosby, emeritus professor of history, geography, and American studies at the University of Texas. Continue Reading...

Concerns about A La Carte

Some new developments on the idea to move cable television to an a la carte subscription model: Christians and minorities are “concerned.” According to the Christian Science Monitor, FCC chairman Kevin Martin is pressuring cable providers to move away from the tier-based subscription system to “a full thumbs-up/thumbs-down choice of individual channels.” In what’s sure to tweak the sensibilities of the cable industry, Martin threatened that if no such moves were made, “basic indecency and profanity restrictions may be a viable alternative.” In other words, it’s the “Do what I want or there’ll be trouble” method of politicking. Continue Reading...

King’s Dream: Beyond Black and White

As the nation prepares to celebrate the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. on Jan. 15, it’s time to broaden the discussion of race relations in America to include not just blacks and whites, but Asians, Hispanics and Native Americans. Continue Reading...

All Wet

Jeffrey Tucker at the Ludwig Von Mises Institute: You might say that water needs to be conserved. Yes, and so does every other scarce good. The peaceful way to do this is through the price system. Continue Reading...

Speaking of Oil

Arnold Kling at the excellent EconLog says that “the government should empty its strategic petroleum reserve and buy energy futures contracts instead. At some point, the futures market has to be taken seriously.” He concludes, “The government has all sorts of subsidies for alternative energy. Continue Reading...