Links for 8/31/10

Conor Friedersdorf laments this country’s bevy of pointless alcohol laws: “But it offends my notion of the freedom due every man and woman that I cannot sip a single cold beer or craft cocktail as I walk down the beach with my girlfriend, enjoying the West Coast sunset.”

Speaking of which, the AP has picked up on the debate over Washington’s privatization initiatives:

Opponents argue that I-1100 goes too far by eliminating the three-tier system — producers, distributors and retailers — basically allowing Costco to cut out the middle man distributor.

“It destroys the entire system,” said Craig Wolf, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, which is opposed to I-1100 but has taken no stand on the competing Initiative 1105, which keeps the tier system in place. [...]

National wholesaler and liquor distributor groups are closely watching the outcome of the campaign, with some saying that it could be the first step for Costco to try and change the system in other states.

Yes, let us hope so! [Via Tom Wark.]

People seem to be making too much of Bjorn Lomborg’s “reversal” on climate change. While the Copenhagen Consensus’s recommended expenditure is larger than before, his position in favor of research and mitigation instead of immediate, massive carbon reductions is nothing new. (His previous book, Cool It, recommended a $2/ton carbon tax and a $25 billion per year expenditure on alternative energy R&D.)

Are publishers still useful for authors? Paul Carr argues that they are.

Video of the day: Reason.tv on Weed, Wheat, and ObamaCare. A good summary of how interpretation of the Commerce Clause has evolved.

The Wall Street Journal profiles GMU economist Peter Boettke, “the intellectual standard-bearer for the Austrian school of economics.”

The woman gracing the cover of Vampire Weekend’s “Contra” is none too happy with her appearance there.

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