Surprise! Prohibition leads to crime!

Gosh, who’d have thought? Ban tobacco in a jail, where almost everyone smokes the stuff, and suddenly black market cigarettes are US$125 a pack. Jailhouse cooks make more from smuggling than cooking.

Chuck Alexander, executive vice president of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, says: “It didn’t do anything but make (tobacco) a lucrative business.”

Thanks to the clever lads at Freakonomics for the pointer — and some fascinating follow-up comments from their readers.

Reclaiming Fascism: perspective please, people!

No, this isn’t an apologia for Nazis, far from it. It’s a plea to reserve “fascist” for situations which actually warrant the term.

There may (may the gods forbid!) come a time when we need to label a government fascist and be taken seriously. So please, don’t devalue it by calling every little disruption of personal choice “fascist”. It’s a very poor media strategy.

Continue reading “Reclaiming Fascism: perspective please, people!”