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Category Archives: Drugs

States and gangs

Having previously defined the state as (a structure of) systematic coercion requiring hierarchy to operate and revenues to sustain itself extracted from a given territory, an obvious question is: what about criminal gangs? They engage in systematic coercion, have a hierarchy which they use to extract revenue to sustain themselves from a given territory. One objection might be that criminal […]

Thoughts on Liberty

… An announcement. Starting this Friday (give or take time-zone issues thanks to the blog in question being located in the US, me being in the UK, and skepticlawyer being located in Australia), I’ll be writing once a week for Thoughts on Liberty. You’ll be pleased to know I won’t be leaving here, and that […]

Violence and the State

The always worth reading Prof. Gene Callahan recently posted – citing Jared Diamond’s example of warfare among the Dani of New Guinea — that violence is rooted in human nature, not the state. Prof. Callahan observes: The problem isn’t the State: the problem is human beings. And the problem with admitting that problem is you’re not left […]

Coercive competition

A useful way to think of organised crime is as the application of coercion for profit in social spaces where the power of the state does not effectively reach. It is common to think of organised crime gangs as having “territories”.  Such as this map of the territories of Mexican drug cartels. Obviously, the drug […]

Friedman centenary

Today (Tuesday 31st) is Milton Friedman’s centenary.  It seems appropriate to link to some Milton Friedman quotes here and here.  Various bloggers have offered their comments, including Bryan Caplan’s ode, Tyler Cowen notes how much he is still needed, Lars Christensen writes him a letter, and David Glasner continues his campaign against the Wall St […]

Free Derry, Jail Gerry

A Londonderry man has claimed that republican vigilantes told him to go to anger management classes or get shot. The Republican Actions Against Drugs (RAAD) has been behind paramilitary-style shootings against those guilty of so-called “anti-social behaviour”. But Hugh Brady, a community volunteer, said he was surprised by the claim. He had never heard about […]

Unreal Australians

Appearing on the 98.9 Queensland radio station – an Indigenous, government funded radio station – Meryl Dorey is now advising the listeners in rural and remote areas on vaccinations. Here’s some of the transcript that I’ve made: ———————- Tiga Bayles: Today I have an interesting guest with an interesting topic; we’re talking about freedom of […]

Early Intervention

PARENTS who allow their children to become truants will lose welfare payments under Labor’s plan to toughen elements of the Northern Territory intervention after a report found widespread acceptance of the controversial program in Aboriginal communities. In a redesign of its attack on indigenous disadvantage, the Gillard government will announce plans to legislate to continue […]

Trippy Skippy

Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around “as high as a kite”, a government official has said. Lara Giddings, the attorney general for the island state of Tasmania, said the kangaroo-like marsupials were getting into poppy fields grown for medicine. She was reporting to a parliamentary hearing on […]

Vale-um: Amy Winehouse

Singer Amy Winehouse, 27, has been found dead at her north London home. A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that a 27-year-old woman had died in Camden and that the cause of death was as yet unexplained. London Ambulance Service said it had been called to the flat at 1554 BST and sent two vehicles but […]