Irish Liberty Forum

Archive for February 2008

Banning the Bulb

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If there are any regular visitors here who don’t read Irish Eagle, I think they would do well to catch up with his coverage of the ban on incandescent bulbs. He provides some plausible explanations as to why mercury-based CFL bulbs aren’t very popular in the free market.


Written by Graham

February 28, 2008 at 6:03 pm

The Passing of a Legend

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William F. Buckley, Jr had an unrivalled influence on modern US conservatism.

I am, I fully grant, a phenomenon, but not because of any speed in composition,” he wrote in The New York Times Book Review in 1986. “I asked myself the other day, `Who else, on so many issues, has been so right so much of the time?’ I couldn’t think of anyone.”

1969 debate with Noam Chomsky:

The best place to read more is clearly at National Review Online.

Written by Graham

February 27, 2008 at 8:57 pm

Posted in conservatism, history, USA

Youtube Restrictions from Pakistan

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A “blasphemous” video clip that provoked action from the Pakistan Telecom Authority resulted in Youtube being taken down globally for about an hour and a half over the weekend. It was down for myself in Dublin at that time, and I found updates from BBC confirming that there was a problem. The episode is thankfully now over, but it’s a fairly instructive example of the problems the internet poses for censors.

Written by Graham

February 26, 2008 at 10:42 pm

Posted in free speech, technology

Something else to consider when you vote

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As a principled non-participant in the process, this news neither bothers nor surprises me in the least. But if you are thinking about voting for or against the EU Reform Treaty, you might want to consider the possibility that your vote will be ignored. Via England Expects:

“Amendment 32 of the Corbett Report on the Lisbon Treaty [was] a simple amendment calling for people to respect the result of the Irish referendum.Pretty non controversial you would have thought. After all everybody here in the Parliament reckons themselves democrats. So how can it be that the result of the vote was this…

129 in favour

499 Against

33 Abstentions.

…UKIP voted to respect the result of the Irish referendum. The Tories abstained (excepting the honourable exception of Nirj Deva). Labour and the Lib/Dems voted to ignore the Irish result.

At Libertas there is some criticism of Proinsias de Rossa for his own contribution to the No vote.

“Today’s vote is absolute confirmation that the EU Parliament is committed to ignoring the will of the people… This Treaty is designed to remove as much power from the people as possible, and today’s vote confirms the mindset behind it.

It does seem worth noting that de Rossa voted against respecting the outcome of the Irish referendum, while members from UKIP were among the few who voted in favour of it. Says quite a lot, really.

Written by Graham

February 26, 2008 at 9:26 pm

Posted in Europe, news

Hysteria Watch 3: The Activists

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The five protestors disembarked from a Manchester to Heathrow flight yesterday morning and ducked through a set of doors next to the arrival gate at Terminal One, which led downstairs to the broken doors.

Once on the tarmac, the campaigners scaled some stairs on to the airbridge, which allows passengers to walk from the terminal to the plane, and then they climbed on to the Airbus A320 jet where they hoisted a banner.

…The protestors were arrested on suspicion of causing damage and being in a restricted zone without permission, and have been bailed until April 29.

…Jones said Greenpeace would stage more protests against a proposed third runway at Heathrow “for as long as is necessary”.

She added: “We hope people are inspired by what we have done. Greenpeace will continue to take direct action.”

Written by Graham

February 26, 2008 at 2:42 pm

Posted in crime, environmentalism, UK

The Evolution of Institutions: The Case of Money

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I’ve just discovered the perfect place to practise French reading comprehension: Le Québécois Libre, an internationally flavoured libertarian webzine. I stumbled across it while looking for summaries of Carl Menger’s explanation of the origination of money, which I duly found:

Menger’s causal history of money starts with the state of barter economy which permits exchange but with great difficulty. A barter economy is a natural system of exchange in contrast to a monetary system. People who want to trade first try barter but the difficulty or impossibility of finding the requisite double coincidence of wants between individuals poses a huge problem. In the course of time, some individuals realize that they will be more able to make trades if they accumulate goods that other people want. These agents who acquire goods that have greater subjective value to many other people will make a greater number of exchanges and make them more easily and thereby make themselves wealthier.

If this is new to you, I’d strongly recommend that you read the entire article.

Written by Graham

February 23, 2008 at 5:01 pm

Posted in economics

An Example of a Competitive, Natural Monopoly?

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“When they’re dual formats, one has to die, because often, people will choose option three, which is neither format,” said Carl Laron, senior electronics editor for ConsumerSearch, a product review site. “One had to fail at one point or both had to fail. Now that that’s out of the way, we can move forward.”

The emergence of Blu-ray as the single standard will benefit consumers, providing them a clear choice, said Jason Oxman, senior vice president of the Consumer Electronics Association.

Written by Graham

February 23, 2008 at 2:52 pm

Posted in economics, news, technology