Archives: December 2023

5 years ago
December 2018

“That the public case against Backpage bears so little resemblance to the actual charges against it is partly a result of a mass panic over the confluence of sex and technology. That cultural near-hysteria has been stoked by a strange-bedfellows coalition of the Christian right, progressive feminists, and opportunistic lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle.”
Elizabeth Nolan Brown
“The Backpage Scandal Isn’t What You Think”

10 years ago
December 2013

“While the state may be able to uncover the identity and punish the parties to a bitcoin transaction…it will no longer be able to prevent those transactions from happening in the first place by regulating middlemen. That genie is out of the bottle.”
Jerry Brito
“Bitcoin: More Than Money”

20 years ago
December 2003

“Although Gen Xers were often accused of being apathetic, their skeptical, ironic, self-sufficient, and entrepreneurial qualities gave them a natural inclination toward libertarian views. Millennials have no such affinity. If their political engagement continues to be shaped by collectivist ideas, many of us may soon be nostalgic for apathy.”
Julian Sanchez
“Misreading Millennials”

25 years ago
December 1998

“On September 11, the day Congress released the Starr report, the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications, Trade, and Consumer Protection held a hearing on the ‘Child Online Protection Act.’ Otherwise known as the second coming of the Communications Decency Act, the act would make it illegal to sell or transfer via the World Wide Web ‘material that is harmful to minors.’ Offenders would face criminal fines of up to $50,000 and six months in club fed, in addition to being liable for civil fines. The hearing’s timing raised an interesting issue: If the ‘Child Online Protection Act’ were already law, would the 363 legislators who voted to release the Starr report on the Web face arraignment in federal court?”
Mike Lynch
“Political Prurience”

30 years ago
December 1993

“Educational research is inevitably crimped by the lack of any fundamental agreement on educational goals. Should schools be measured by student performance on standardized tests, by more subjective tests that aim to capture ‘critical thinking’ skills, by their ability to turn young people into good citizens, or by how well they harmonize students of diverse ethnic and social backgrounds? The goals of education are a rapidly moving target. If members of the public cannot even agree on what constitutes a good school, researchers will be hard pressed to say what produces good teaching.”
Jonathan Marshall
“Why Johnny Can’t Teach”

35 years ago
December 1988

“Liberalism never really got off to a good start in this country, what with property rights tangled up with slavery, and civil liberties linked to a strong central government. Now that the ‘progressives’ have abandoned it, maybe we classical types can rehabilitate the liberal label.”
Virginia Postrel
“Balance Sheet”

45 years ago
December 1978

“Government becomes increasingly irresponsible fiscally and monetarily;
inflation continues and accelerates in rate; politicians succeed in shifting blame away from government and onto the evil machinations of businessmen; governmental controls spread; economic disruption necessarily ensues; direct political-bureaucratic direction of economic decisions offers the only ‘apparent’ solution. And so it goes. The scenario is one that must be recognized by any honest person who lives within it in 1978.”
James Buchanan
“Truth as Bestseller”

55 years ago
December 1968

“Setting aside the issue of whether or not premarital sex is moral, does the State have the right to dictate morality to its citizens? No. The proper function of government is the use of retaliatory force to protect its citizens from initiated force or fraud; voluntary use of birth control items by individuals or consenting couples cannot be considered the proper concern of the State. The idea that the government can dictate to what peaceful purpose an individual must or must not put his body is a total negation of the proper role of government. Even if birth control could be shown an evil, laws prohibiting the sale of contraceptives would still be wrong. A moral government must punish, not prevent, criminal acts; in order to prevent crimes it would be necessary, to some degree, to initiate force against innocent citizens, an operation no moral government may rightfully perform.”
Lanny Friedlander
“‘No Where Else in the World…'”

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