Commentary

Tolerance vs. relativism

July 31, 2014
posted by

David S. D'Amato Center for a Stateless Society
by David S  

"Individuals are the social elements which actually exist. Culture, religion, politics -- all of these we as individuals have invented, exalting them to such a degree that we now make of them much more than the human lives they are there to preside over. Cultural relativists give all manner of potential genocidal maniacs and human rights violators a carte blanche, a cultural pretext to which they can point while devastating human lives. Doubtless we ought to respect other cultures, even to actively look for the unique contributions they make to overall human flourishing. We must not, however, pretend that the imprimatur of culture is capable by itself of redeeming savage acts such as FGM." (07/30/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/29644  

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The NSA nation moves to the next level

July 31, 2014
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy The Dollar Vigilante
by Wendy McElroy  

"The social sciences in America have been militarized to produce tools that assist the government in understanding and suppressing dissent. Anthropology, linguistic analysis and sociology now serve the police state." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n7y8zb6  

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Yes, freedom of speech should be absolute

July 31, 2014
posted by

spiked spiked
by Tim Black  

"Just think of the number of people who proclaim their support for free speech before reeling off a list of reasons why its exercise must be limited. In the UK, for instance, the head of civil-liberties group Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti, is seemingly more concerned with the problems of free speech than its benefits -- hence she once talked of 'respecting freedom of conscience, thought and religion and free speech within such proportionate limits as are necessary to protect others.' Little wonder she ended up sat on the ‘panel of experts’ at the press-freedom-quashing Leveson Inquiry." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q7dnngu  

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Natural rights

July 31, 2014
posted by

Tibor R. Machan The Daily Bell
by Tibor R. Machan  

"In the history of political thought natural rights theory is most closely associated with John Locke, although as Brian Tierney has shown, the idea had been formed much earlier and some, for example Fred D. Miller, Jr., even hold that Aristotle was already considering certain issues in terms of them. The crucial function of the qualifier 'natural' is that these rights, however understood, are supposed to derive from an understanding of human nature." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nt4yh7p  

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Borderlands: What’s happening to America?

July 31, 2014
posted by

Sheldon Richman Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman  

"The U.S. government regards a large part of the country as close enough to a border or coast to justify treating individuals -- citizens or not -- as though they have no rights whatsoever. People have been beaten and had their personal belongings seized -- without warrant or charge -- just because they resented being treated like criminals. This should alarm anyone who thinks America is the 'land of the free.'" (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kpt7r2s  

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Nonsense about Israel’s democracy

July 31, 2014
posted by

Michael S. Rozeff LewRockwell.com
by Michael S. Rozeff  

"There has always been propaganda extolling Israel for being a democratic island in a sea of authoritarian regimes (although they also receive American aid). But a democracy can be as bloodthirsty or more and as callous with regard to human life or more than any other kind of nation-state, as the U.S. has shown in Iraq and Israel is showing in Gaza, again, and as it has been showing for a very long time." (07/31/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nmllylt  

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Understanding Argentina’s coming default

July 31, 2014
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Nicolas Cachanosky  

"At the time of this writing, Argentina is a few days away from formally defaulting on its debts. How could this happen three times in just twenty-eight years?" (07/30/14)

http://mises.org/daily/6825/Understanding-Argentinas-Coming-Default  

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Clement Attlee’s lesson

July 31, 2014
posted by

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith Institute
by Dr. Madsen Pirie  

"Atlee had a remarkable record in putting through his programme. In 6 years he achieved major structural reform of Britain’s economy and society. He is thus to be admired dispassionately as an effective Prime Minister. What he also did was to teach us all an important lesson: Socialism doesn’t work." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kzya5pr  

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Don’t let police loot YOUR property

July 31, 2014
posted by

Jim Babka Downsize DC
by Jim Babka  

"My cash or possessions can be taken by The State upon mere SUSPICION that they were used in a crime ... I must then PROVE my innocence to regain my property -- the exact OPPOSITE of 'innocent unless proven guilty.' This isn't a rare event. It's commonplace. Cops depend on it to fund their budgets and buy military equipment for their departments. This isn't 'law enforcement.' It's organized crime." (07/30/14)

https://secure.downsizedc.org/blog/dont-let-police-loot-your-property  

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Dangerously demagoguing entitlements

July 31, 2014
posted by

Michael D. Tanner Cato Institute
by Michael D. Tanner  

"Question: How can you tell it’s a difficult campaign season for Democrats Answer: They are already running ads accusing Republicans of wanting to destroy Social Security and Medicare." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qdjtjgg  

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Keep them down, keep them dependent

July 31, 2014
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Isaac M. Morehouse  

"Let’s face it. I’m not that young anymore. I’m also not poor anymore, and I live a comfortable middle-class American life. Most older, better off middle-classers like me got where we are through the dynamic market process. The trouble is, now that we’re doing pretty well, that same dynamic process is a threat. I don’t want some young whippersnapper or poor immigrant to outwork me. What if they succeed faster than I do? What if they create more value than I can, and so outcompete me for a job?" (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mee7og9  

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“Three lost decades” — How the American middle class is 20% poorer now vs. 1984

July 30, 2014
posted by

A Lightning War for Liberty
by Michael Krieger  

"Like so many other things in popular American culture, this quaint notion of a 'middle class' in the U.S. is at this point nothing more than a myth; a rapidly fading fantasy from a bygone era. As myself and many others have noted for quite some time, the decimation of the middle class began long ago. It really got started in the early 1970′s after Nixon defaulted on the gold standard and financialization began to take over the American economy. Median real wages haven’t increased since that time and the rest is history." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lqnmvpm  

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Christianity, socialism and wealth creation

July 30, 2014
posted by

Acton Institute Acton Institute
by Brian Griffiths  

"Throughout the years, the dominant social concern of Christian churches in the West was focused on the redistribution of income rather than the creation of wealth. Some form of socialism or social democracy was perceived as the inevitable outcome of taking seriously the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels concerning love of the poor. Thus, the Protestant theologian Paul Tillich declared that 'every serious Christian must be a socialist.' Likewise, many on the British left believed that 'Christianity is the religion of which socialism is the practice.' In policy terms, this translated into high taxation, an increasing government share of GDP, and the steady growth of the welfare state. Theologian and philosopher Michael Novak's great contribution -- and he was really the first to do so -- was to challenge this view, root and branch." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kbze86t  

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Carbon rebates: Better than carbon regulations?

July 30, 2014
posted by

Ronald Bailey Reason
by Ronald Bailey  

"Given that the bastards in Washington and various statehouses are going to 'do something' about climate, this proposal could be thought of as a least bad policy alternative policy. After all, our policymakers have already screwed up the economy with ethanol mandates, EPA coal regulations, CAFE standards, feed-in tariffs, renewable portfolio standards, tax credits for solar, wind, and electric cars, and on and on and on. So what about a deal? Get rid of all of those regulations, mandates and requirements in exchange for this straigtforward carbon dividend plan." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kdnjkwb  

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The war on poverty and the war on drugs

July 30, 2014
posted by

Randall Holcombe Independent Institute
by Lonnie Holcombe  

"As an apparently war-minded people, Americans (or at least, our American political leaders) have been comfortable framing parts of the domestic policy agenda as wars for decades. Two of the most prominent have been the War on Poverty and the War on Drugs. Despite the similarity in their names, there is an important difference between the two. The War on Poverty is not a real war. The War on Drugs is." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lmz8bl5  

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Mercantilist myths lead to the most bizarre conclusions

July 30, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"So your view is that, by artificially increasing the amount of valuable goods owned and enjoyed by foreigners (through a policy of paying foreigners to acquire goods made with scarce resources in America -- resources that would, in many instances, otherwise be used to produce goods for Americans to own and enjoy), Uncle Sam weakens foreign countries and strengthens America. How bizarre. Do you also, then, believe that Uncle Sam would strengthen foreign countries by, say, bombing their people’s homes?" (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n7ttvvk  

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Bitcoin’s undiscovered potential

July 30, 2014
posted by

Competitive Enterprise Institute Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Matt Powers  

"A recent piece in American Banker magazine explores how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies can help the underprivileged, particularly the millions of unbanked people who do not have bank accounts. This is an area where digital currency could do much good. In fact, the online microfinancing platform Kiva has already begun a peer-to-peer service, known as Kiva Zip, whose model resembles some of the features in Bitcoin." (07/28/14)

http://cei.org/blog/bitcoin%E2%80%99s-undiscovered-potential  

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Two realities

July 30, 2014
posted by

Norman Imberman Everything Voluntary
by Norman Imberman  

"Basically, there are two groups of people that exist in the world, when it comes to metaphysics and epistemology. The basic premises they maintain are at odds and determine how they conduct their lives and the conclusions they come to when it involves moral and political issues. They see reality differently -- one hundred eighty degrees of difference. This is an attempt to verbalize those reality differences." (07/29/14)

http://www.everything-voluntary.com/2014/07/two-realities.html  

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Religious toleration versus religious freedom

July 30, 2014
posted by

George H. Smith Libertarianism.org
by  

"George H. Smith distinguishes 'tolerating' religious difference from recognizing a genuine right to religious freedom." [Flash audio or MP3] (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ncm2cr8  

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College: Not the be all, end all we’re led to believe

July 30, 2014
posted by

The Canal The Canal
by Gannon LeBlanc  

"The average starting salary for the class of 2013 was $45,259 a year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. While such earnings are certainly enough to get by, a graduating member of the class of 2013 also owed an average of US$35,200 in student loans. Meanwhile, salary growth is only at 2.4 percent and barely keeping up with annual inflation of 2.1 percent. With these deflating facts in mind, young people need to start looking at themselves in the mirror and asking if college is what’s truly right for them." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lxqlhg5  

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Old news

July 30, 2014
posted by

Cagle Post
by Mark Streeter  

Cartoon. (07/29/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/07/old-news/  

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Glacial melt and its politics

July 30, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Robert Hunziker  

"Congress may dawdle while climate change surges ahead, but the price to pay is already registering in glacial melt, which challenges the world’s food supply, electric power supply, drinking water, agricultural irrigation, seawater rise, and navigable commercial waterways. And, if that’s not enough, it’ll kill Alpine skiing." (07/30/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/07/30/glacial-melt-and-its-politics/  

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The state’s greatest success story

July 30, 2014
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger  

"Amidst the endless series of disasters, debacles and crises produced by America’s welfare-warfare state, there is one huge success story that should not go unnoticed: the state’s educational system, specifically the extent to which the state has succeeded in indoctrinating so many Americans into believing they actually live in a free society." (07/30/14)

http://fff.org/2014/07/30/the-states-greatest-success-story/  

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Bleeding heart minarchist eugenics

July 30, 2014
posted by

Christopher Cantwell ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell  

"Want to reduce the size and scope of government? Just create a new bureaucracy that will snatch babies from the arms of unlicensed mothers. This is not a parody. This is actually being proposed by Andrew Cohen at BleedingHeartLibertarians.com. The article reads as though Stefan Molyneux had co authored it with Hillary Clinton. Cohen rightly points out that bad parenting is a rather serious problem. That bad parents can, and do, violate the rights of children, and that those children grow up to violate the rights of others. He then makes the leap to say that the solution to this problem is to make it a crime to raise a child without permission from government in the form of a license." (07/29/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pz2vhve  

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Ethanol mandates go from bad to worse

July 30, 2014
posted by

Marita Noon Heartland Institute
by Marita Noon  

"President Obama, and his administration, has enacted so many foolish and cost-increasing energy policies, it is easy to think that they are his purview alone. But in 2007, Republicans were just as guilty. Seeds were planted and a garden of bad legislation took root in a totally different energy environment. At the time, the growth seemed like something worthy of cultivation. However, what sprouted up more closely resembles a weed that needs to be yanked out." (07/30/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mh99zr4  

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