The madness of the Syria crisis has turned the world upside-down


The Syria vote in the House of Commons left me in an uncomfortable position this week – on Ed Miliband’s side. Worse still I found myself in agreement with Socialist Worker and a host of other rent-a-gob lefties who I usually despise. But then nothing makes sense in this crisis.

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Healthcare choices and the Mommy State


No love burns as hot as the love of the British public for their National Health Service, or so the State would have you think. As a European, this seems odd to me. Sure, I may have “benefited” from a state health sector too - although all my serious ailments were seen to privately - but there is little emotion about this sort of thing expressed by any non-Brit, at least in my humble experience. Even Danes, those paragons of statism, do not gush about their health service so.

Let us forget about the “envy of the [third] world” and have a look at some extant alternatives.

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NIDA Claims on Marijuana Insult Our Intelligence

marijuana safer

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has never exactly had the reputation of an unbiased authority on drug use, and this is not simply because of its name. As CNN’s Sanjay Gupta recently pointed out, the agency is responsible for approving every scientific study on marijuana, and 94% of current studies deal ostensibly with the drug’s harms, leaving only 6% to investigate its medicinal benefits. However, the latest statement from the organization sets a new record for anti-marijuana zealotry.

“Claiming that marijuana is less toxic than alcohol cannot be substantiated,” the agency complained in response to a recent pro-legalization advertisement funded by the Marijuana Policy Project, “since each possess their own unique set of risks and consequences for a given individual.” This statement is an insult to the public’s intelligence in more ways than one.

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The Consumer in Society


Consumerism is almost always used as a pejorative term that carries connotations of vapidity. Sinister mega-corporations, according to the popular narrative, use advertising to generate shallow desires in the masses. The consumers thus get drawn into an endless cycle of moving from one meaningless and vulgar pastime or product to the next, desperately seeking to realise constant satisfaction.

From this general image, some draw the conclusion that society would dramatically better off without access to certain consumer goods, or even that producing or marketing such goods should not be permitted by law. This, however, is wrong for more reasons than one.

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The Next Great Recession


What is the biggest threat to the U.S. economy?  Banks.  Surprised?  Me neither, and not to sound pompous, but I would have a better grasp on this issue than most as I have a Master’s in Finance. 

I am going to explain to you how the big banks are going to implode our financial system again.  Forgive me if the analysis is a bit on the technical side.  But if you’re worried about getting laid off wordinflation, losing your financial liberty and not knowing how it happened; then it behooves you to understand this.  This is how it is probably going to happen again.

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Occupational Licensing Hazardous to Consumers


Occupational licensing requirements are usually regarded as a government-mandated safety net that protects consumers of services from low-quality service. Not coincidentally, though, the greatest advocates of such requirements are those with incumbent positions in those fields, who have an interest in excluding competition.

Currently, a doctor who has been enrolled in medical school for a number of years, but still lacks a license, is not legally allowed to even provide the services of stitching a wound to a patient. This of course forces people to only employ fully licensed doctors, reducing the supply of labor in the medical field, and allowing higher prices to be charged for the services of the doctors.

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Airport Security

As our readers will no doubt be aware, David Miranda – the civil partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald – was detained without charges or arrest last weekend and held for nine hours in Heathrow Airport by the Metropolitan Police, as The Libertarian’s Emile Yusupoff reported Wednesday. The police, who presumed the authority to detain Miranda on the basis of Schedule 7 of the controversial 2000 Terrorism Act, threatened him with arrest and prosecution if he tried to remain silent when questioned, searched and seized his computers, phones, and other electronic devices, and denied him access to an attorney. I trust, given the surname of the victim, that the irony of his treatment in these specific ways will not be lost on the many Americans following this story, who are familiar with the name given to their own protections against the police under U.S. law. This plain cosmic irony notwithstanding, the Home Office has released a statement this week praising the Metropolitan Police for their actions, defending them as grounded in the law. Continue reading

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