» libertarians ¦ What You Can Get Away With

Libertarian ‘Utopia’ Styled After Ayn Rand Book Spectacularly Falls Apart Almost Immediately – Almost too good to be true, but it turns out that libertarians are really easy to con with utopian scams.
The real Olive Garden scandal: Why greedy hedge funders suddenly care so much about breadsticks – Humorous internet presentation appears to have been a ploy by asset-strippers.
Yah all right? – The plural of anecdote is not data, but was there really that much of a ground campaign from either side in the Scottish referendum.
Independence, devolution and power – Alex Marsh’s good summary of the post-referendum situation.
‘Poor people don’t plan long-term. We’ll just get our hearts broken’ – The realities of living on the poverty line.

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The dark power of fraternities – It’s been doing the rounds because of an interesting opening, but the meat of this article on the influence of fraternities within the US higher education system is interesting.
The True History of Libertarianism in America: A Phony Ideology to Promote a Corporate Agenda – “That is how libertarianism in America started: As an arm of big business lobbying.”
America: Not a small business country – “There is almost no measure on which America’s small business sector stands out from those of other advanced countries.”
The audacious rescue plan that might have saved space shuttle Columbia – It’s unlikely that it would have worked, but an interesting look at the work that would have been needed to launch an emergency rescue once it was realised Columbia couldn’t return to Earth.
The Luton Peace Riots (1919) – ‘Can you have a riot for peace?’ asks Jim Jepps. Probably not, but this is a bit of British history I’d never heard before.

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An open letter to the British judicial system – From a cyclist, pointing out the ridiculously small sentences handed out to motorists who’ve killed or injured cyclists.
My reply to Nick Clegg’s civil liberties email today – Jo Shaw writes at Liberal Democrats against Secret Courts, asking Nick Clegg to live up to what he says and block the Government’s plans. (And if you’re a Lib Dem who hasn’t signed the petition against secret courts yet, why not?)
Nick Clegg needs to get crunchy again – Jonathan Calder has one of the best takes I’ve seen on Clegg’s recent ‘centre ground’ speech.
The gathering storm – Alex Marsh with a warning about future rises in homelessness.
UKIP are true libertarians – I’m still planning a post on libertarians and the Liberal Democrats at some point, but in the meantime, this is a good piece from Ed Rooksby in the Guardian, pointing out how UKIP are a great example of where the inherent selfishness of right-libertarianism takes you.

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North Korea, Ireland, UKIP, revolutions and the end of the world. Enjoy.

Don’t be fooled: UKIP is not a libertarian party – Alex Massie in the Spectator points out what should be obvious, but ‘libertarian’ has been so abused, people sadly think they are.
Stand Still for the Apocalypse – Chris Hedges on the latest World Bank report on global warming, which is predicting all sorts of nightmares for the rest of the century.
It really is that bad: A powerful speech on North Korea – “One challenge I always have when I speak about North Korea is I run out of adjectives for how bad things are.” What’s happening in North Korea, and how we’re letting it go on. (Watch the video too)
On social change – Chris Dillow asks if we’re going through a revolution right now
10 things that are different about British and Irish politics – An interesting illumination by Jason O’Mahony. “Whereas hardly any Irish TDs rebelled over paying billions to bank bond holders, they did break ranks over dog breeding and the inspection of septic tanks.”

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Reading this, I’m struck by a question or two:

Is there any issue the libertarian right think can’t be solved by the supposedly free market? And how many issues can be discussed by them without straw man arguments and ad hominem attacks on those who disagree with them?

(I’m considering a longer post on the use of ‘libertarian’, but this will serve for now)

Warning: contains a double dose of tactical nuclear bastard.

The 24 types of Libertarian – Cut out and use as a game of bingo in certain comments threads. (via)
Liberal – but not so democratic in the Lords – James Graham looks at why Lib Dem peers seem so reluctant to abolish their cushy, well-rewarded sinecures and proposes a radical suggestion.
My ‘yes’ campaign hell – I’m thinking of compiling a book featuring all the post-referendum reports from Yes To Fairer Votes staffers, entitled How Not To Run A Campaign. This is James Graham’s chapter.
Illiberal conference: Blog post roundup and things you can do – Zoe O’Connell on the way the party has acquiesced in allowing police vetting of delegates to Conference, and how to protest about it.
Practical Tips on Writing a Book from 23 Brilliant Authors – Lots of useful tips in there, even if some of them are contradictory. (via)

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Libertarian Liberties – A quite hair-raising post by Anna Raccoon on some of the bizarre characters who run the Libertarian Party.
NUS Democracy? – Interesting news for us former Student Union hacks, as Free Radical reports on moves to abandon attempts to democratize the NUS from within and instead replace it with something completely different.
No to AV: A campaign of the Tories, by the Tories, for the Tories – Left Foot Forward on where the ‘cross-party’ campaign is getting its money from.
Cleggmania to punchbag – How Clegg inadvertently set this up himself – Interesting take from Matthew Gibson. Not sure he’s entirely right, though I do think there were some mistakes in the emphasis of the campaign after the debates last year. (via)
Raising Katie – Interesting American tale of a black family adopting a white daughter (via)

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