URLs du Jour


  • Jim Harper rightly ridicules the efforts of the "Coalition for Free Broadband Now" by adding "… and a Pony".
    Two things are for sure: 1) Somebody’s going to pay for it. There is no free lunch, and there’s no free broadband. 2) It’s not going to happen now. It’s now right now, and that free broadband isn’t here.
    Good points. Going to the coalition's treacly website, it seems the sole backer for this FCC/Congressional lobbying effort is a company called "M2Z Networks". As near as I can tell, nobody there works for "free", and their investors are almost certainly looking for a return as well. And it's much easier to do that by government fiat, rather than creating products and services that people might actually buy of their own free will. (Via TLF.)

  • A number of libertarian folk are pointing to a short essay by Robert Higgs: "Must the Government Combat Americans’ Addiction to Foreign Bananas?" It is, as you may have guessed about "energy independence".
    If we were talking about bananas, everybody would see immediately the foolishness of seeking “banana independence.” Nobody would fall for half-baked arguments about our addiction to foreign bananas or our love affair with banana bread. It’s obviously uneconomic to grow millions of bananas in this country; it could be done, but doing it would entail much greater costs than buying them from producers in places better suited to their production (that is, places where they can be produced at lower opportunity cost).

    The argument with regard to oil, or anything else, is identical.

    Only problem is, there's a pretty easy rejoinder: if foreign banana supplies were cut off tomorrow, we'd be … going without bananas. If foreign oil supplies were cut off tomorrow, we'd soon find ourselves in dire straits.

    Higgs might have a decent answer for that, but the objection is so obvious, he should deal with it, and not dwell on a not-very-apt analogy. The essay is an example of too-facile libertarian argument.

  • The Rochester (NH) Police Log provides its offbeat interpretation of recent Lilac City shenanigans. Samples:
    Thursday, July 31

    9:23 p.m. — A varlet kicks in a Knight Street door.

    Friday, Aug. 1

    2:28 a.m. — An Old Dover Road resident reports her back door bell has been rung. Police find a couple of deer grazing nearby but don't consider they'd be game to do such a thing.

    3:18 p.m. — An aluminum extension ladder is stolen from a yard on Riverview drive. Police take the usual steps to find it.

    Saturday, August 2

    12:54 a.m. — At Northgate, a woman reports the theft of $450 ... no, wait. she says she has found it.