Commentary

Can Trump unwittingly end the imperial presidency?

May 25, 2016
posted by

Independent Country
by James Leroy Wilson  

"Congress couldn't impeach George W. Bush because they were co-conspirators with him. And they wouldn't impeach Obama even after he violated the War Powers Act in Libya. Even after he was caught spying on us without search warrants. Congress would not dare impeach the first black President. Do you think they'd impeach the first female President? Unlikely. At most, they'd sue her like they sue Obama, over executive orders relating to domestic policy. But they have no incentive to give Trump a pass. They neither like nor respect him. Congress might put Trump on notice that impeachment is always on the table. Or they will be more likely to pass, with veto-proof majorities, curbs on executive power. Under Trump, the Presidency might shrivel like many of his enterprises." (05/24/16)

http://independentcountry.blogspot.com/2016/05/can-trump-unwittingly-end-imperial.html  

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And the non-denial denials keep on coming …

May 25, 2016
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L. Knapp  

"As governor of New Mexico, [Gary] Johnson grew government spending faster than inflation, faster than population growth, and faster than Barack Obama has grown federal spending as president of the United States. As governor of New Mexico, Johnson more than doubled his state's debt. Those are facts. Maybe there are good explanations for them, but they're still facts. Johnson runs on the parts of his record that sound good, which is fine. But the other parts are fair game for discussion as well." (05/24/16)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2016/05/and-non-denial-denials-keep-on-coming.html  

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Obstacles to foreign policy restraint

May 25, 2016
posted by

Daniel Larison The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison  

"Continuing bipartisan support for overseas meddling in the name of global 'leadership' remains a major obstacle to a more restrained U.S. foreign policy, and so it is worth thinking a bit more about why that support persists in spite of numerous costly failures since the end of the Cold War. One reason why restraint hasn't gained more adherents in Washington is that it is always easier to accept the prevailing consensus than it is to dissent from it." (05/25/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/obstacles-to-foreign-policy-restraint/  

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How to raise wages

May 25, 2016
posted by

Pamela Villarreal National Center for a Policy Analysis
by Pamela Villarreal  

"Since the Great Recession, the unemployment rate has steadily fallen from a high of 10 percent in October 2009 to the current rate of 4.9 percent. However, job gains and a low unemployment rate have not been matched by accelerated wage growth. Wages have only grown about 2 percent annually since 2012. This is quite lower than the average 3 percent annual growth that occurred before the recession. Some politicians claim companies are simply being greedy, but it is important to look at other factors -- the cost of employment, in particular." [executive summary -- full paper available as PDF download] (05/25/16)

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/how-to-raise-wages  

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Transgender pronoun policing leads to government-mandated speech

May 25, 2016
posted by

Scott Shackford Reason
by Scott Shackford  

"Sexual harassment workplace policies tend to revolve around telling people not to do things. Don't use sexist language when talking to people, don't post pictures of swimsuit models in your cubicle, don't smack people on the ass, don't tell a subordinate he or she has to put out in order to get a raise, et cetera, et cetera. But as we move further into the realm of using federal and state laws to punish harassment against transgender people in the work environment, we are seeing government officials attempting to enforce demands that employers and workers must say certain things. Specifically, refusing to refer to a transgender person by the pronoun 'he' or 'she' -- or other terms we're about to get into -- can be considered harassment." (05/25/16)

http://reason.com/blog/2016/05/25/transgender-pronoun-policing-leads-to-go  

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Puerto Rico’s debt, our problem

May 25, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Puerto Rico is $72 billion in the hole. Basically, Sanders wants to partially repudiate that debt: 'The billionaire hedge fund managers on Wall Street cannot get a 100 percent return on their bonds while workers, senior citizens and children are punished.' Of course our sympathies are almost entirely with the people of Puerto Rico. But it was their government that racked up the debt, and repudiating sovereign debt is a tricky and parlous thing." [editor's note: Nothing tricky about it at all. "The people of Puerto Rico" didn't sign any promissory notes. Some politicians did. Their tax victims have no obligation to bail them out - TLK] (05/25/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/05/25/puerto-ricos-debt-our-problem/  

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The Jason Stapleton Program, 05/24/16

May 25, 2016
posted by

The Jason Stapleton Program
by  

"This morning Austin Petersen was a guest on the Glenn Beck program and delivered an impassioned defense of liberty and libertarianism. It was exactly the right message delivered at exactly the right time. Today on the show we're going to run through some of the highlights .... From there we'll move on the Alex Jones whom I have a severe distaste. I know I'm going to draw heat from the Jones minions, but sometimes the truth is a hard pill to swallow." [various formats] (05/24/16)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/thoughts-on-the-petersenbeck-interview-plus-i-go-after-alex-jones/  

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Gary Johnson is having a good day

May 25, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Nora Kelly  

"If Gary Johnson wants to make it onto a primetime presidential-debate stage as the Libertarian Party's nominee, he needs to qualify by polling above 15 percent. If he wants to be the nominee, he needs a strong showing at the party's convention this weekend. And if he wants a strong showing at the convention, he needs to demonstrate to delegates that he’s their party's ideal standard-bearer -- a candidate who can be even a little competitive in a three-way matchup with Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Johnson just got good news: A poll released Tuesday morning shows the candidate with 10 percent of the national vote." [editor's note: "Competitive" is important, but it doesn't top the list of required characteristics. It comes after "libertarian" and "honest/trustworthy," and perhaps some others - TLK] (05/24/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/05/gary-johnson-libertarian-polls/484151/  

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Invisible in life, invisible in death: How information becomes useless

May 25, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Susan Babbitt  

"The documentary, Who is Dayani Cristal? shows illegal immigrants found dead in US deserts. Acclaimed actor, Gael Garcia Bernal, tells one man's story. He leaves his Honduran family, crowds onto the top of trains, reaches a border he can't cross, enters a country that doesn't want him, and dies in the desert, alone. US officials mostly fail to identify corpses. One refers sadly to people 'invisible in life, invisible in death.' To say people are invisible is to say they don't count. It's to say that whether they are visible or invisible doesn't matter." (05/25/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/05/25/invisible-in-life-invisible-in-death-how-information-becomes-useless/  

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War profiteering poisons American soldiers

May 25, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Renee Babcock and Grace Novak  

"During the Iraq War, several corporations made billions in government contracts, as more and more of the military's operations relied on private contractors. And while the public is told that these wars will protect us, all too many American service members have faced unspeakable abuses over seas at the hands of these careless war profiteers." ()5/25/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/War-Profiteering-Poisons-A-by-Move-to-Amend-Corporate-Constitutional-Rights_Corporate-Personhood_Corporations-Military-Industrial-Complex_Military-Industrial-Complex-160524-884.html  

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People, not ratios

May 25, 2016
posted by

Competitive Enterprise Institute Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Ryan Young and Iain Murray  

"The debate over income inequality became especially heated following the English-language publication of French economist Thomas Piketty's bestselling book, Capital in the Twenty-First Century. The controversy has generated more heat than light. This paper seeks to clarify common points of confusion in the inequality debate and expose the fundamentals behind the ideological tussle. For all sides of the inequality debate, the overarching goal should be to reduce global poverty." [executive summary -- full paper available as PDF download] (05/25/16)

https://cei.org/content/people-not-ratios  

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Repeat after me: There is nothing unique about competition that happens to come from across a political border

May 25, 2016
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"Ambassador Donald Blinken thinks that the case for free trade is sound only if government ensures that trade 'isn't unnecessarily harmful to those sectors of the economy it negatively impacts' (Letters, May 24). He's mistaken, for at least two reasons." (05/24/16)

http://cafehayek.com/2016/05/40866.html  

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Let the people fight their own wars

May 25, 2016
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Logan Glitterbomb  

"It is groups like Anonymous and the People's Defense Forces that are living proof that we do not need the state to fight against terrorism." (05/25/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/45099  

1 Comment »

They’ve spit on the Bill of Rights yet again

May 25, 2016
posted by

LewRockwell.com
by Mark Nestmann  

"Your home has a uniquely protected status. Unless police have probable cause -- something more than a hunch -- they can't enter your home without a warrant, or unless you give them permission to do so. However, the PATRIOT Act gives the FBI the authority to break into your home without informing you a search took place. Agents may gather evidence related to any federal crime to be used against you. Your right to avoid a warrantless search ends completely in any 'emergency' type situation. The aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013 demonstrated this new reality. Residents of Boston and surrounding towns were forced to submit to warrantless searches of their homes by heavily armed police. Warrants are also incredibly easy for police to obtain. They have been issued to search homes based on window coverings that hinder police from peeking inside, having a 'heat source' in the home, or even possessing a security system." (05/25/16)

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/05/mark-nestmann/govt-war-everything/  

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Europe sees the long march of the extreme right

May 25, 2016
posted by

Alvaro Vargas Llosa Independent Institute
by Alvaro Vargas Llosa  

"Europe's nationalists have learned to use the system to their advantage. They are anti-establishment but no longer openly anti-Semitic. They are anti-immigration but also favor economic protectionism, so their xenophobic instinct is usually diluted in a wider message that speaks to the fears of many Europeans who lost their jobs after the 2008 financial debacle. They are anti-Brussels, but oftentimes they conceal their raw nationalism behind a cloak of respectable Euroscepticism of the sort espoused by libertarians and certain factions of the mainstream right. Their biggest success yet has been to shift the center ground of European politics." (05/24/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/05/24/europe-sees-the-long-march-of-the-extreme-right/  

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The family courts make a mockery of justice

May 25, 2016
posted by

spiked spiked
by Barbara Hewson  

"The UK Department for Education last week published research into rates of reporting child abuse. Feminists claimed that the fact that a third of those interviewed said they would not report suspicions of abuse amounted to 'victim-blaming.' But the Independent's report last Friday mentioned an important finding, the significance of which has been lost on the survivor lobby. It said that the fear of having misread a situation, and of wrongly accusing someone, is the biggest factor that deters reporting. A ruling from the Court of Appeal on 19 May in a family case shows just how skewed the system has become when dealing with accusations of abuse." (05/25/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-family-courts-make-a-mockery-of-justice/  

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Bionic Mosquito has it wrong on immigration

May 25, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Bionic suggests, given the reality of the welfare state, libertarians are just going to have to abandon their principles, at least with respect to immigration, until the welfare state is ended, which, of course, might never happen, at least not in Europe. Interestingly, however, Bionic also wants to make it clear that he is not a libertarian proponent of government-controlled borders. What? Then what is he? It's either one or the other. You're either a proponent of open borders or you're not. If you oppose open borders, then you automatically favor government-controlled borders. If you favor government-controlled borders, then you oppose open borders. Bionic seems to be saying that he's both libertarian on immigration and anti-libertarian on immigration at the same time." (05/25/16)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/bionic-mosquito-wrong-immigration/  

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Kosovo: Hillary Clinton’s legacy of terror

May 25, 2016
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"Kosovo today is a fulcrum of terrorism, violence, crime, and virulent nationalism. The Parliament is in chaos as Albanian ultra-nationalists demanding union with Albania shut down sessions with smoke bombs and mob action. This is the legacy of the Clintons in the Balkans: a terrorist state run by Mafia chieftains that has become the epicenter of radical Islamism in the midst of Europe. This is 'blowback' with a vengeance, and Hillary Clinton and husband Bill have their fingerprints all over this outrage: but of course the 'mainstream' media isn’t holding them to account." (05/25/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/05/24/kosovo-hillary-clintons-legacy-terror/  

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This Memorial Day, remember the victims of democide

May 25, 2016
posted by

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

"I suppose there's something to be said for the contraction of the holiday into just another weekend of shopping and recreation. War is horrible to contemplate and there's a strong case for the proposition that long weekends are really for the living. But to be honest, I'd rather expand the holiday back to its original purpose -- mourning and remembering all those killed in war and by state violence, not just those in uniform. And, furthermore, resolving to put a stop to the carnage." (05/24/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/5955  

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Dear progressives: Using Uber doesn’t make you a monster

May 25, 2016
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Matthew Feeney  

"It's not a surprise that many people choose to use a convenient app rather than gesticulate wildly on the side of the street like a lunatic. Unsurprisingly, consumers like to see reductions in transaction costs. Without Uber and Airbnb it's extremely time consuming to find a person in a strange city who has a seat in their car or a spare bedroom. Does this convenience come at the expense of exploitation? After all rideshare drivers, who are considered independent contractors, are not governed by minimum wage legislation and don't enjoy the same protections offered to traditional full-time employees. However, it's important to remember that the flexibility rideshare companies offer drivers is one of their main attractions." (05/24/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/dear-progressives-using-uber-doesnt-make-you-monster  

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John McAfee: Rabble-rouser Fifth Columnist for the Libertarian Party?

May 25, 2016
posted by

Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"Fifth Columnist: Infiltrators or collaborators with the enemy. In this case the enemy is America's corrupt government and the infiltrators are Libertarians. Millionaire John McAfee wants to be the presidential candidate atop the Libertarian Party ticket for Election 2016. So who is John McAfee? If you have virus protection on your computer and other digital devices you probably already know his name. Yes, he's that John McAfee, developer of the first commercial anti-virus software programs." (05/24 /16)

http://www.examiner.com/article/john-mcafee-rabble-rouser-fifth-columnist-for-the-libertarian-party  

1 Comment »

The LAVA Flow Podcast, episode 37: The unintended consequences edition

May 25, 2016
posted by

The LAVA Flow Podcast The LAVA Flow Podcast
by  

"In this fortnight's episode, The Unintended Consequences Edition, government is at it again, creating inefficiency with the swipe of a pen, What's in the News with stories on cannabis, government theft, Edward Snowden vindicated, and zero tolerance equals zero intelligence, and a Statists Gonna State segment on another Libertarian Party candidate." [various formats] (05/24/16)

http://thelavaflow.com/unintended-consequences-edition-tlf037/  

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Will Libertarians help elect Hillary Clinton?

May 25, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Two former Republican governors are running for [sic] president and vice president on the Libertarian line. They are Gary Johnson, 63, former New Mexico governor, and William Weld, 70, former governor of Massachusetts. The Libertarian Party holds its nominating convention in Orlando, Florida, over Memorial Day weekend. The Libertarian Party could play the spoiler role in 2016 for Donald Trump, just as Ralph Nader did in 2000, but this time helping to tip the election to the Democrat. ... Unlike the typical third party candidates, Johnson and Weld are experienced mainstream politicians. Johnson, a former construction company entrepreneur, served two terms from 1994 to 2002, winning both elections by ten points. Weld was a highly popular and moderate governor of the Bay State. He won re-election by the largest margin in state history in 1994." [editor's note: The reality is, none of this might take place, but isn't it fascinating how quick these "progressives" are to throw in the towel in a fight for change? - SAT] (05/24/16)

http://prospect.org/article/will-libertarians-help-elect-hillary-clinton  

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Missing the lessons on Vietnam

May 25, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"In light of President Obama's current trip to Vietnam, Secretary of State John Kerry, U.S. Sen. John McCain, and former U.S. Sen. Bob Kerry had a joint op-ed in the New York Times yesterday entitled 'Moving On in Vietnam, but Remembering Its Lessons.' Unfortunately, however, the three Vietnam veterans have failed to draw the real lessons to be learned from that misbegotten war." (05/24/16)

http://fff.org/2016/05/24/missing-lessons-vietnam/  

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The other European referendum to fret over

May 25, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Rob Cox  

"Investors are understandably obsessing over Britain’s vote next month on whether to leave the European Union. Yet even as that heady question gets answered, another binary ballot will loom with potentially bigger financial risks for the European economy and global capital markets. In October, Italians will be asked to give a simple 'sì' or 'no' on a series of reforms to the republic’s constitution. It could have been a relatively parochial affair, of marginal interest outside Italy, except that Prime Minister Matteo Renzi decided to make it a plebiscite on his leadership. He has told voters that if the changes his administration has championed are rejected, 'I will return to being a free citizen. If I lose, I will resign the next day.' Making the vote personal is a dangerous gambit, with consequences that could reverberate beyond the Alps." (05/24/16)

http://blogs.reuters.com/breakingviews/2016/05/24/cox-the-other-european-referendum-to-fret-over  

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