Commentary

United we fall

August 24, 2016
posted by

Paul Rosenberg Freeman's Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg  

"Like you, I've heard 'united we stand, divided we fall' hundreds of times, probably thousands. In fact, we've heard it so many times that by now it triggers emotions in us: All together we can't be stopped! And so on. Except that it's mainly a trap. Unity is the downward path -- the road to decline. In fact, being united has value in very few areas of life." (08/23/16)

http://www.freemansperspective.com/united-we-fall/  

No Comments »

How the US government shot down “Uber for planes”

August 24, 2016
posted by

PanAm Post PanAm Post
by Jared Myer  

"Imagine traveling from Boston to Martha's Vineyard in under an hour and for less than $70. Believe it or not, this option was available from Flytenow's website or app, by looking for a general aviation pilot who was making that trip, and then splitting the cost with that pilot and whoever else was sharing the flight. Entrepreneurs were bringing private air travel to the masses until Flytenow's leadership met with members of the Federal Aviation Administration to ensure that they were complying with all laws and regulations. Instead of embracing this service, the FAA used tortuous logic to ban Flytenow and other online flight-sharing websites because it considered these to be 'common carriers' (such as Delta Airlines)." (08/22/16)

http://panampost.com/editor/2016/08/22/how-the-us-government-shot-down-uber-for-planes/  

No Comments »

In Europe, terrorists arm themselves on the black market while populists champion self-defense rights

August 24, 2016
posted by

JD Tuccille Reason
by JD Tuccille  

"A rising populist politician challenges federal officials' schemes to tighten gun laws in response to high-profile mass killings. Making existing laws ever-more draconian is foolish, she says, since 'honest citizens are the ones affected, not those who procure weapons via the darknet,' -- a direct reference to a recent shooting incident in which the killer illegally acquired a weapon from black market sites via anonymous Tor software. The better approach, says the politician, is to enable people to carry guns to defend themselves. 'We all know how long it takes for police, especially in sparsely populated areas to arrive at the scene of deployments.' She added, 'Every law-abiding person should be in the position to protect himself, his family and his friends.' We're talking about Orlando, right? Or maybe Charleston? Nope. The place is Germany." (08/23/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/08/23/in-europe-terrorists-arm-themselves-on-t  

No Comments »

US Customs and Border Protection wants to know who you are on Twitter — but it’s a flawed plan

August 24, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Sophia Cope  

"U.S. border control agents want to gather Facebook and Twitter identities from visitors from around the world. But this flawed plan would violate travelers' privacy, and would have a wide-ranging impact on freedom of expression -- all while doing little or nothing to protect Americans from terrorism. ... CBP specifically seeks 'information associated with your online presence -- Provider/Platform -- Social media identifier' in order to provide DHS 'greater clarity and visibility to possible nefarious activity and connections' for 'vetting purposes.' In our comments, we argue that would-be terrorists are unlikely to disclose social media identifiers that reveal publicly available posts expressing support for terrorism." (08/22/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/08/us-customs-and-border-protection-wants-know-who-you-are-twitter-its-flawed-plan  

No Comments »

Denial: So much more than an Egyptian river

August 24, 2016
posted by

The Zelman Partisans The Zelman Partisans
by Claire Wolfe  

"You've got to wonder, don't you, how many people in early 20th-century Germany, including Jews, thought their own country was the 'greatest the world has to offer.' After all, it was a grand center of civilization and had been for centuries. It was the land of Goethe and Beethoven and Schiller. Of Schopenhauer and Kant and E.T.A. Hoffman and entire hordes of Bachs. Men of the mind. Men of the arts. Thriving in Germany's orderly civil society. What could possibly go wrong? Except we all know what did go wrong -- and how quickly." (08/22/16)

http://zelmanpartisans.com/?p=3670  

No Comments »

National security “experts” denouncing Trump: A Who’s Who of disastrous neocons

August 24, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Rebecca Gordon  

"It’s not every day that Republicans publish an open letter announcing that their presidential candidate is unfit for office. But lately this sort of thing has been happening more and more frequently. The most recent example: we just heard from 50 representatives of the national security apparatus, men (and a few women) who served under Republican presidents from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush. All of them are very worried about Donald Trump. They think we should be alerted to the fact that the Republican standard-bearer 'lacks the character, values, and experience to be president.' That’s true of course, but it’s also pretty rich, coming from this bunch. ... [G]iven the history of the 'global war on terror,' this is your basic list of potential American war criminals." (08/22/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19404/party-members-and-warmongers-criticize-trump  

No Comments »

Time to oppose the bloodless coup against Brexit

August 24, 2016
posted by

spiked spiked
by Mick Hume  

"Remember Brexit? It is exactly two months since 17.4 million people voted for the UK to leave the European Union -- far more than have ever voted for anything before in British political history. And never before have so many voices been effectively silenced so quickly by so few. In those two months since the 23 June referendum, it seems that nothing has really happened to implement the will of 52 per cent of those who voted. Yet a lot has been said and done to defy the result and try to deny that it ever happened. The Europhile, demosphobic political and media elites have done their worst to declare the vote null and void." (08/23/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/time-to-oppose-the-bloodless-coup-against-brexit-article-50-eu/  

No Comments »

Where no miner has gone before

August 24, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Shannon Stirone  

"On September 8, NASA is embarking on a new mission to investigate the origins of the universe. Launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, a small spacecraft, the OSIRIS-REx, will journey 509 million miles to an asteroid called Bennu. Named for an Egyptian deity linked to the sun and creation, Bennu has likely gone untouched for the past four billion years, offering us a valuable glimpse into the early days of our solar system. The spacecraft will orbit the asteroid for approximately 19 months. Once it has mapped Bennu’s surface, the Osiris-rex will inch closer to the asteroid. Then its eleven-foot robotic arm will reach out and collect a two-ounce sample to bring back to Earth in 2023. A seven-year journey to fetch a candy bar–sized sample of rock hasn’t sparked the kind of global excitement reserved for, say, the prospect of blasting Sir Richard Branson off the planet and into deep space. But there’s a bigger game at play here: The precious minerals and metals in asteroids may be worth billions of dollars to galactic prospectors, and NASA’s mission is paving the way for an outer-space gold rush." [editor's note: Is there any of this not correctly predicted decades ago by Heinlein, Smith and other smart sci-fiu writers? - SAT] (08/23/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/135726/no-miner-gone  

No Comments »

Are ethicists more moral than others? What’s the purpose of moral theory?

August 24, 2016
posted by

Jason Brennan Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan  

"When I was 18, before I'd taken any philosophy courses other than symbolic logic, I had a cartoony view of what moral theory was supposed to be. In my mind, moral theory was first supposed to prove that morality is rational, such that it would turn out that anyone who did anything wrong would always be making a kind of cognitive error. Second, it was supposed to provide an infallible algorithm for determining what to do in any particular situation. The idea here is what that if a sociopath read The Correct Moral Theory he'd be transformed into a saint. After studying philosophy, I realized that's not what it's meant to do." (08/23/16)

http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2016/08/ethicists-moral-others-whats-purpose-moral-theory/  

No Comments »

There is absolutely nothing new in the IFS gender pay gap paper

August 24, 2016
posted by

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith Institute
by Ben Southwood  

"We all know that, on average if you count all men and women, men take home more money in pay than women. We also know that, on average, people who work sixty hours a week take home more than those who work thirty hours a week. And those in banking and law take home more than those in psychology and education. The Institute for Fiscal Studies has a paper out today, which has been widely feted across the press, despite the fact that it simply repackages these facts with barely any extra analysis or information, though they do have some cool charts and graphs." (08/23/16)

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/there-is-absolutely-nothing-new-in-the-ifs-gender-pay-gap-paper  

No Comments »

The age of the aircraft carrier may be over

August 24, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Jason Fields  

"The United States has more aircraft carriers than any other country - depending on how you define 'aircraft carrier,' it's 10 times as many. Russia, a major naval power with large submarine corps and many other surface ships, has one carrier. It's from the Soviet era, diesel powered and rarely at see for more than six months at a time before heading back for a refit that typically takes longer than the deployment. China's first aircraft carrier recently became operational. It's a Soviet model that's been refurbished. A second carrier is being refurbished now. The other nations that can sent flattops to sea are India, Italy and France. The United Kingdom currently can't launch fighters from its lone carrier because they retired their Harrier jump jets in 2010 to save money." (08/23/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-aircraft-carrier-podcast-idUSKCN10Y1OK  

No Comments »

Trump vs. Clinton: It’s all about the debates

August 24, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ted Rall  

"[I]f the election were held today, Hillary Clinton would beat Trump by a sizable margin. But that's not the case. Two months is a long time. Old scandals percolate; new ones emerge. Another terrorist attack could prompt voters to turn to the right. By far the biggest potential game changer, however, are the presidential debates. Conventional wisdom says Hillary Clinton will use her superior command of the facts and her ability to namedrop world leaders to run circles around Trump. But conventional wisdom is often wrong -- just ask unstoppable 2016 Republican presidential nominee Jeb Bush. I think Donald will trounce Hillary in the debates." (08/23/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/23/trump-vs-clinton-its-all-about-the-debates/  

No Comments »

Sheriff Zollman — what will you tell Jack Yantis’s widow?

August 23, 2016
posted by

William Norman Grigg Pro Libertate
by William Norman Grigg  

"Residents of Adams County, Idaho, should compel Sheriff Ryan Zollman – by nailing his feet to the floor, if necessary -- to answer this question: Are you willing to tell Donna Yantis to her face that her husband Jack deserved to die? If Zollman answers that question in the negative, he should be forced to answer this one: Are you willing to fire the deputies who perforated Jack Yantis with gunshots, even though they will be spared criminal prosecution, because they killed an innocent man?" (08/22/16)

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2016/08/sheriff-zollman-what-will-you-tell-jack.html  

No Comments »

What Trump gets right about alliances

August 23, 2016
posted by

Doug Bandow The American Conservative
by Doug Bandow  

"The U.S. is expected to protect virtually every prosperous, populous, industrialized nation, but that's just a start. Washington also must coddle, pamper, praise, uplift, pacify, encourage, and otherwise placate the same countries. Once great powers, they now believe it to be America's duty to handle their defense, what should be the most important duty of any government. Alas, U.S. officials are only too willing to enable this counterproductive behavior. Except for Donald Trump. There is much to say about his candidacy, most of it bad. Even when he makes basic sense his view is, shall we say, rather unsophisticated. And that certainly applies to his view of U.S. alliance policy. Nevertheless, he gets one big concept very right. He's not interested in reassuring allies. Or, as he might put it, he won't make nice to a bunch of wimpy leeches living off of America." (08/23/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-trump-gets-right-about-alliances/  

1 Comment »

What the Patti Hearst pardon is not

August 23, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Patricia Hearst is the first person in American history to receive a commutation from one president and a pardon from another, author Jeffrey Toobin writes in his book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. Hearst had served 22 months of a seven-year sentence in federal prison for bank robbery when President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence; sentence reductions are part of the presidential pardon power embedded in the U.S. Constitution. Later, Bill Clinton pardoned (that is, removed all punishment and restored her civil rights) Hearst. She was one of Clinton's infamous 140 out-the-door pardons that included fugitive gazillionaire Marc Rich." (08/23/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/08/23/what-the-patti-hearst-pardon-is-not-n2208557  

1 Comment »

There is merely a distinction of reason between rules and discretion in central banks’ monetary policy

August 23, 2016
posted by

The Cobden Centre
by Vishal Wilde  

"Ultimately, delegation of monetary policy to an independent central bank is only useful insofar as imposing inflation-targeting (or another accompanying or differing monetary rules) upon society is desirable and to the extent that it mitigates political risks. Nevertheless, both rules and discretion premise that agents would be better off by having expectations-management preferences imposed upon them and thereby institutionally distorted rather than being able to choose how they manage their diverse and (time-)varying expectations-management preferences through an authentic, genuine choice of multiple monies." (08/23/16)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2016/08/there-is-merely-a-distinction-of-reason-between-rules-and-discretion-in-central-banks-monetary-policy/  

No Comments »

Heartland Daily Podcast, 08/22/16

August 23, 2016
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by  

"In today's edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Sam Batkins, Director of Regulatory policy at the American Action Forum, joined the podcast to discuss his new paper titled '600 Major Regulations.' In more than six years in office, President Obama had imposed more regulations than President Bush did in eight years." [various formats] (08/22/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/08/heartland-daily-podcast-sam-batkins-obama-has-imposed-600-major-regulations/  

No Comments »

A Basic Income would upend America’s work ethic, and that’s a good thing

August 23, 2016
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Fred Block & Frances Fox Piven  

"We have been ruled for years by archaic economic ideas, particularly the claim that a healthy dose of economic austerity is the best way to get the economy’s engines firing again. It is a zombie idea, discredited almost nine decades ago when Herbert Hoover insisted on balancing the budget during a crisis, and sent the economy into a tailspin. If bad ideas are not allowed to die, good ideas slip into obscurity. Today, one of those buried ideas is enjoying a well-deserved revival: basic income, the idea that every citizen is entitled to an income sufficient to cover basic needs." [editor's note: As one who struggled mightily to keep up, until the Social Security trickle-back checks started coming in (allowing me to build on it with other endeavors), I heartily support this message; taking away the worries about basic survival, and promoting creative ways to rise above "wage-slave" status, is the future of this species if it is to survive - SAT] (08/23/16)

https://www.thenation.com/article/a-basic-income-would-upend-americas-work-ethic-and-thats-a-good-thing  

1 Comment »

The economic effects of the Clinton tax proposal

August 23, 2016
posted by

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by Paul Bachman, Keshab Bhattarai, Frank Conte, Jonathan Haughton, & David G Tuerck  

"Compared with other presidential election year cycles, the 2016 campaign takes place in a period of perplexingly slow economic growth. Secretary Hillary Clinton''s tax proposal, the center of her campaign's fiscal policy, stresses fairness. To reach "broadly shared prosperity," in this slow-growth environment, the Clinton tax proposals seek to promote growth and equity by shifting the tax burden to high-income taxpayers. The proposals are clearly predicated on a normative objective to diminish income inequality and to bring greater equity to the tax code. In this report, we focus on the efficiency effects of the Clinton tax proposal, leaving the debate over equity for a separate analysis of distributional effects (Haughton et al. 2016)." [summary -- full paper available as PDF download] (08/23/16)

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=26597  

No Comments »

Blue cities, red states

August 23, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Abby Rapoport  

"When Denton, Texas, passed a fracking ban in November 2014, it was national news. The story seemed out of a movie, a David-and-Goliath tale in which a scrappy band of citizens goes up against big industry and wins. Located in the heart of oil and gas territory, the town is hardly a liberal bastion; its state representative is a staunch conservative, and among its biggest annual events is the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo. But residents were watching gas drills come closer and closer to their parks and schools." [editor's note: This could be a great pitch for decentralizing the Electoral College to the Congressional district level, slightly empowering those in red-state cities (and blue-state towns), even though that is not the writer's intent here - SAT] (08/22/16)

http://prospect.org/article/blue-cities-battle-red-states  

No Comments »

If markets fail, governments fail harder

August 23, 2016
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Kyle S Swan  

"Just like there are several well-theorized sources and examples of market failure (e.g., externalities and public goods), there are likewise several well-theorized sources and examples of government failure. In cases of corruption, government officials use their control of public resources to advance their private ends. An official may be in charge of some project and solicit bribes in exchange for granting the government contract supporting it. The problem here isn't that it's immoral, though it is. The problem is that extending a contract on the basis of someone's willingness to provide a bribe will almost certainly violate Pareto optimality." (08/23/16)

https://fee.org/articles/if-markets-fail-governments-fail-harder/  

1 Comment »

No, charter schools don’t push out kids who are too hard to teach

August 23, 2016
posted by

Show-Me Institute Show-Me Institute
by Michael Q McShane  

"Last week, I offered a 'Mythbusters'-style blog on the (mistaken) belief that charter schools suspend students at higher rates than traditional public schools do. I wanted to follow up on that post with a quick addendum on a related issue that charter critics often raise in discussions about the discipline practices of charter schools. They often claim that the draconian discipline systems within charter schools are used to push out students who are lower performing or are too disruptive to handle. Like the myth of charter school suspensions, this one isn't true either." (08/22/16)

http://showmeinstitute.org/blog/school-choice/no-charter-schools-don%E2%80%99t-push-out-kids-who-are-too-hard-teach  

No Comments »

United we disagree

August 23, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"This election year? Anger and angst permeate the electorate. We are united only in frustration. Which leads to some mutual distrust. Not good. Neither the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, nor the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, will receive my vote. But that doesn't mean I don't respect people who will vote for one or the other." (08/23/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/08/23/united-we-disagree/  

No Comments »

Police reports: A magical monopoly on truth

August 23, 2016
posted by

Cop Block Cop Block
by Joshua Scott Hotchkin  

"This afternoon you returned home from work to find a window opened and a number of items missing. ... You realize that calling the police will only be a waste of time, and since you are illegally collecting rainwater in the backyard near the window the thieves crept in, you could actually end up with criminal charges for calling them. So you skip all that nonsense and just call your insurance company to report the stolen items that are covered under your policy. However during your conversation with your agent, you are told that you must file a police report in order to make an insurance claim to replace your stolen items. In other words, despite the fact that you can provide evidence that you purchased these items and that they were removed from your home without permission, nothing matters until a man in a magic costume puts your story on a magic piece of stationary with police insignia on it." (08/23/16)

http://www.copblock.org/164925/police-reports-magical-monopoly-truth/  

No Comments »

The chalkening

August 23, 2016
posted by

The Libertarian Enterprise The Libertarian Enterprise
by Melissa Dykes  

"This story, in all actuality, has nothing to do with Trump. Or even politics. These are adult-aged manchildren and womenchildren who apparently cannot handle it when people have opinions that differ from their own, opinions which fall outside of the sphere of allotted politically correct opinions they have been propagandized and programmed with since their tiny tot days in the brainwashing centers that pass for American public schools these days. Back to reality, we're talking about CHALK. Chalk writing on university sidewalks. Chalk that disappears with the first hint of rain or eventually just wears off on its own. Instead of getting their own chalk and writing their own message, or just simply ignoring someone who they disagree with politically, these college students began a protest and ran crying to the university president in fear trying to shut down free speech -- a common scene on college campuses these days." (08/21/16)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2016/tle886-20160821-05.html  

1 Comment »

Our Sponsors