Commentary

It’s not about religious freedom. It’s about freedom.

March 27, 2015
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"Some state legislatures are rolling out 'religious freedom' laws specifying that bakers don't have to bake and photographers don't have to photograph if doing so conflicts with their religious beliefs. But wait a minute: Why should freedom to associate or not associate with, or to work for or not work for anyone, be conditioned on religious beliefs?" (03/26/15)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/755  

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Leave the Houthis alone!

March 27, 2015
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"What's happening in Yemen is a local problem, with causes that are strictly confined to the long and tumultuous history of that dirt-poor country. Foreign intervention, whether from the British, the Saudis, al Qaeda, or whomever, has only led to endless war and not improved the lot of the people by one iota. Now the Americans are using the 'war on terrorism' to impose their will and re-order the Yemeni polity when they can have no real understanding of what is -- or ought to be -- going on there. Washington and Riyadh are internationalizing a conflict that is Yemeni in origin, and will only be resolved by the Yemenis themselves." (03/27/15)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/03/26/leave-the-houthis-alone/  

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“The Hunting Ground”: Reaping profit from rape hysteria

March 27, 2015
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy The Daily Bell
by Wendy McElroy  

"When the 'documentary' 'The Hunting Ground' premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, it was advertised as a 'piercing, monumental expose of rape culture on campuses.' In fact, its objectivity and perspective have been systematically dismantled since then. The film is best understood as a volley in the campus consent wars now raging across North America. It is part of a manufactured and coordinated hysteria about campus rape that imposes a politically-correct agenda and strips accused male students of due process rights." (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qdjvh84  

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To crush a cop-watcher

March 27, 2015
posted by

William Norman Grigg Pro Libertate
by William Norman Grigg  

"The evidence -- such as it was -- had been presented to the trial judge, who made a finding of fact that it was insufficient to justify revocation of bond. The prosecution was not deprived of a remedy: It could present any additional evidence against Townsend at the hearing scheduled for March 30, unless it decided to drop the charges. Pending the second hearing, Officer Richard Brockbank -- the poor, timid little thing -- would have to butch it up, relying on his body armor, weaponry, and the intangible yet impregnable shield of 'qualified immunity' to protect his vulnerable ego and sense of privilege against the withering assault of Townsend's rhetoric. This would have solved the problem, if one had actually existed. Instead, the Meridian Police Department and Attorney's Office went judge-shopping. ... By way of an ex parte hearing, and in violation of the existing order by the trial judge, an arrest warrant was obtained against Townsend. In addition to being patently unethical and undeniably vindictive, this was quite probably illegal." (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oofv4um  

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The origins and intentions of copyright

March 27, 2015
posted by

Future of Freedom Foundation Future of Freedom Foundation
by Joseph S Diedrich  

"What is the purpose of copyright law? Conventional wisdom asserts that it protects the rights of authors, spurs creativity, fights plagiarism, and benefits the public as a whole. The Aereo decision, however, clearly benefits big media without advancing any of copyright's ostensible aims. A look into the origins and intentions of copyright will demonstrate that this is neither a fluke nor a misunderstanding." (03/26/15)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/origins-intentions-copyright/  

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Senate budget votes reveal same old “party of NO”

March 27, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Isaiah J Poole  

"The series of votes that will shape the Senate’s version of the fiscal 2016 federal budget won’t be until Friday morning, but we already know how this drama ends, with Republicans keeping true to being the 'party of NO' when it comes to actions that would help raise wages, empower workers and advance the goal of shared prosperity. The Senate today launched into what’s known inside the Beltway as a 'vote-a-rama,' a marathon series of votes expected to last well into the night. But the tone was arguably set on Tuesday, with a little-noticed vote on a budget amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders [I-VT]. The Sanders amendment would have accomplished something that should have been noncontroversial: make space in the budget for funding a long-term surface transportation bill." [editor's note: I can't think of any congressional action other than self-dissolution that would "help raise wages, empower workers and advance the goal of shared prosperity." And somehow I'm thinking that's not quite what Poole has in mind - TLK] (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qg3b64k  

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Stop using college students as political pawns

March 27, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Elizabeth Stoker  

"Judith Shulevitz’s contemplative March 21 New York Times essay on the purported oversensitivity of college undergraduates provoked paroxysms of anxiety among the commentariat, eliciting responses from Slate to the Washington Post and beyond. Among other collegiate eccentricities, Shulevitz details the somewhat infantile soothing materials set aside in a private room for Brown University students who felt upset by discussions of sexual assault. The walls of this room took on a near apocalyptic metaphorical significance for the chattering class, with the Foundation For Individual Rights in Education worrying that 'universities cannot fulfill their vital function as places where students learn how to think, research, and debate if community members strive to avoid speech that makes them uncomfortable.'" (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qaufglx  

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Phil Robertson is one sick puppy

March 27, 2015
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"He's the guy who compares gays to drunkards, slanderers, swindlers, adulterers, male prostitutes and terrorists. Homosexuality is the same as bestiality, says Phil. Why? Because the Bible says so, that's why. Phil Robertson takes his Bible literally. Now he's coming after atheists. He's coming after me. And, don't forget, he's still obsessed with sex. He's conjured up this bizarre fantasy making atheists out as justifiable victims of violent unnatural sex acts simply because they don't believe in his imaginary friend ..." (03/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/negrx7v  

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Household production: A libertarian feminist perspective

March 27, 2015
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by Mikayla Novak  

"Although the relative share of household production undertaken by men has increased, from about 11 per cent to about 36 per cent, women remain largely responsible for unpaid labouring in the home. Specifically, it is estimated that about 64 per cent of total housework was undertaken by women in 2011, whose labour market participation rates, incidentally, have risen dramatically over time thus risking a 'double burden' effect in which some women perform paid work in addition to unpaid household labour. To varying degrees of emphasis, feminists have generally viewed the amount and persistent distribution of unpaid household labouring, in which men perform fewer duties at home compared with women, in an unfavourable light." (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nbogzqw  

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Stay put?

March 27, 2015
posted by

Sarah Skwire Foundation for Economic Education
by Sarah Skwire  

"Earlier this week, I read a column by Gracy Olmstead published in the American Conservative. It was called 'Why Staying Put Matters.' Her argument that we should stay where we are, learn to flourish where we were born, and invest our time and our lives in our local communities troubled me, though I wasn't quite sure why. With her article on my mind, I got into my car to drive to Chicago from Indianapolis." (03/26/15)

http://fee.org/freeman/detail/stay-put  

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GOP road to White House runs through Israel

March 27, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Keith Koffler  

"As Senator Ted Cruz [R-TX] announced on Monday that he is running for president, his Virginia audience cheered. He dropped applause line after applause line on some 10,000 students at Liberty University, which bills itself as the largest Christian university in the world. Cruz riffed, unimaginatively, on an 'imagine' theme, asking the young audience to 'imagine a president' who would repeal Obamacare and perform other feats. There was applause throughout. But one line prompted the students to erupt into a roaring, 30-second, standing ovation." (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pvsjapc  

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To protect an anti-Iranian neocon group: A new low for Obama DOK and courts in abusing “state secrets privilege”

March 27, 2015
posted by

Glenn Greenwald The Intercept
by Glenn Greenwald  

"A truly stunning debasement of the U.S. justice system just occurred through the joint efforts of the Obama Justice Department and a meek and frightened Obama-appointed federal judge, Edgardo Ramos, all in order to protect an extremist neocon front group from scrutiny and accountability. The details are crucial for understanding the magnitude of the abuse here. At the center of it is an anti-Iranian group calling itself 'United Against Nuclear Iran' (UANI), which is very likely a front for some combination of the Israeli and U.S. intelligence services. ... This group of neocon extremists was literally just immunized by a federal court from the rule of law. That was based on the claim -- advocated by Obama DOJ and accepted by Judge Ramos -- that subjecting them to litigation for their actions would risk disclosure of vital 'state secrets.'" (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o3bc5o7  

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New playground safety requirements are absurd

March 27, 2015
posted by

Reason Reason
by Paul Best & Lenore Skenazy  

"The CDC reports that in the 10 years from 1990 to 2000, there were just 31 deaths from playground falls, and 70 percent of these were at playgrounds in someone's backyard. This means that on public playgrounds, there was an average of about one death per year from falling. With about 40,000,000 kids in America under age 10, that means the chances of a child dying or seriously hurting himself in a playground fall are infinitesimal. Nevertheless, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) has proposed new standards that would revamp the surfacing materials on playgrounds. ASTM's stated mission is to prevent concussions and head injuries. But with the chances of these accidents already so low, you have to wonder about their true intentions." (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qe247dk  

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Hold politicians accountable for Libya debacle

March 27, 2015
posted by

Doug Bandow Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow  

"Will America ever again be at peace? Pressure is building for the United States again to intervene in Libya. Less than three years after Libya's civil war the country has ceased to exist. This debacle offers a clear lesson for American policymakers. But denizens of Washington seem never to learn." (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nj3nvns  

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Trey Gowdy’s bad Benghazi hand

March 27, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Ari Rabin-Havt  

"Every poker player has experienced this moment. The hand is over. You show a winning hand and your opponent sits still. They grimace, while looking down at their cards hoping somehow they will change. Maybe they let out an annoyed sigh. All this whiny display accomplishes is wasting the time of every other player at the table. The dealer is frozen, unable deliver the pot to the winner until your opponent shows his cards or folds. As chairman of the Benghazi Select Committee, Trey Gowdy has become that poker player." (03/25/15)

http://prospect.org/article/trey-gowdys-bad-benghazi-hand  

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Obama’s Venezuela blunder

March 27, 2015
posted by

Daniel Larison The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison  

"Venezuela is just the latest case in which U.S. sanctions have backfired and have contributed to the strengthening of the regime they were meant to hurt. Though they were ostensibly intended to punish leading members of the Venezuelan government for their abuses and corruption, the sanctions have provided an unwelcome boost to Maduro, who has milked the absurd declaration of his country as an 'extraordinary threat' to the U.S. for all it is worth." (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pu5zlg3  

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Are colleges turning our young adults into infants?

March 27, 2015
posted by

The Libertarian Republic The Libertarian Republic
by Casey Bennett  

"Post-secondary institutions are no longer about bringing together young adults to learn in a mature, intelligent, and open environment. They are no longer about preparing students to live in the real world as independent, contributing members of society. They are about coddling children in an era rife with political correctness, a scourge that has infantilized an entire generation. This infantilization takes many forms, but is perhaps most easily understood through the context of 'safe spaces.'" (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qbuhhgy  

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The US is pushing the world toward nuclear war

March 26, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Colin Todhunter  

"NATO countries are to all intents and purposes at war with Russia. The US knows it and Russia knows it too. Unfortunately, most of those living in NATO countries remain blissfully ignorant of this fact. The US initiated economic sanctions against Russia, has attacked its currency and has manipulated oil prices to devastate the Russian economy. It was behind the coup in Ukraine and is now escalating tensions by placing troops in Europe and supporting a bunch of neo-fascists that it brought to power. Yet the bought and paid for corporate media in the West keeps the majority of the Western public in ignorance by depicting Russia as the aggressor. If the current situation continues, the outcome could be a devastating nuclear conflict." (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ngkkvbt  

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Local economies to save the land & the people

March 26, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Wendell Berry  

"As often before, my thoughts begin with the modern history of rural Kentucky, which in all of its regions has been deplorable. In my county, Henry County, for example, as recently as the middle of the last century, every town was a thriving economic and social center. Now all of them are either dying or dead. If there is any concern about this in any of the state’s institutions, I have yet to hear about it. The people in these towns and their tributary landscapes once were supported by their usefulness to one another. Now that mutual usefulness has been removed, and the people relate to one another increasingly as random particles." (03/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nt8akuu  

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A new approach — to finally end an old farm bill problem

March 26, 2015
posted by

Seton Motley Heartland Institute
by Seton Motley  

"The Farm Bill is a bane of we Conservatives- existence -- and Reality-based policymaking. It is a relic of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR)'s horrendously failed New Deal -- a top-down, central-planning nightmare mess. And over the last eighty-plus years, FDR's heinous domestic policy has gone global. A worldwide farm market has arisen. We no longer just grow for ourselves. We sell all over -- and they sell to us. And our Farm Bill -- which warps our market -- has warped the world's as well." (03/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/poujm4q  

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Open letter. On the charge of plagiarism

March 26, 2015
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy WendyMcElroy.com
by Wendy McElroy  

"This is my last Open Letter. It is addressed to everyone who has heard the charge of plagiarism against me, which was launched by George H. Smith. It involved my book 'The Reasonable Woman.' BTW, I don't expect anyone to take a position on this 'he said/she said" matter ... that's not my purpose. But I have remained silent for decades out on the long-standing accusation and I want to present my perspective, starting with an easily checked fact. When the accusation and extortion attempt from Smith first hit my inbox (see my reply), Smith gave me a few days to send him a certified check for $10,000 or else he would 'destroy' me. It took two seconds for me to decide. I forwarded the email to the publisher, Prometheus Books, where both Smith and I published. Smith subsequently sent all 'evidence' of my alleged plagiarism to Prometheus; it consisted of a floppy disk which contained all the work I'd done on an earlier proposed book that would have been titled 'The Fundamentals of Reasoning.' Prometheus' lawyer reviewed it and said, 'there is nothing here.'" (03/26/15)

http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.6397  

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Plug-and-play people

March 26, 2015
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"One common complaint about proponents of open borders is that we picture human beings as interchangeable parts. If an American can do X, so can a Haitian. Why can't the open borders crowd see the obvious truth that people are not 'plug-and-play' -- that you can't jumble different kinds of people and expect them to function well together? My instinctive reaction is to appeal to Econ 1 and basic facts." (03/26/15)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/03/plug_and_play_p.html  

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This is what a “people’s budget” looks like

March 26, 2015
posted by

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols  

"A proper budget is a moral document, which well expresses the values and aspirations of a civil society. As such, the measure of any budget is its combination of fiscal and social responsibility. By this measure, there was only one proper budget proposal floated in the current Congress. And it did not get very far. Only 96 House Democrats voted Wednesday for the People’s Budget, as it was proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. The budget was opposed by 330 House members, including 86 shame-on-them Democrats and 244 Republicans." [editor's note: Not sure whether to laugh or cry at Mr. Nichols' faith in the Dems to do his bidding - SAT] (03/26/15)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/202633/what-peoples-budget-looks  

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More March Madness!

March 26, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Mark Streeter  

Cartoon. (03/25/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/03/insanity-ii/  

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Big Brother rides along

March 26, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Hertz has begun installing cameras in their rental cars as part of a system called NeverLost. But don't worry, they've got no plans (they say) to use them (yet). 'The camera feature has not been launched, cannot be operated and we have no current plans to do so,' Hertz spokesman Evelin Imperatrice assures us. I guess Hertz is with St. Augustine about how all that exists time-wise is a vanishingly small present moment, inasmuch as the past is already gone, the future not yet here. Ergo, nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, customers are worried." (03/26/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/03/26/big-brother-rides-along/  

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