Commentary

Gary Johnson, the choice for the morally conflicted

June 30, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Matthew Tully  

"America is peppered with conflicted Republicans -- loyal members of the Grand Old Party who simply cannot tolerate the notion of voting for Donald Trump, but who also find the idea of casting a ballot for Hillary Clinton unimaginable, if not sacrilegious. It’s a quandary for many of you. If you’re among those in this political black hole, I feel for you. And, so, today I am here to help. I’ll do that by introducing my troubled Republican friends to Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party nominee for president. He’s a former two-term Republican governor of New Mexico and, thanks to this year’s political discontent, he notched a head-turning 10% in a recent national poll." [editor's note: We libertarians have an interesting dilemma, whether to object to the limited aspects of Johnson's libertarian parts, or to offer the general public an option far beyond what they think they have - SAT] (06/29/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/nation-now/2016/06/29/gary-johnson-libertarian-republican-party-candidate-column/86504536  

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Venezuela should abolish its worthless currency

June 30, 2016
posted by

Steve H. Hanke Foundation for Economic Education
by Steve H Hanke  

"With the arrival of President Hugo Chavez in 1999, Venezuela embraced Chavismo, a form of Andean socialism. In 2013, Chavez met the Grim Reaper and Nicolas Maduro assumed Chavez's mantle. Chavismo has not been confined to Venezuela, however. A form of it has been adopted by Rafael Correa -- a leftist economist who became president of a dollarized Ecuador in 2007. Even though the broad outlines of their economic models are the same, the performance of Venezuela and Ecuador are in stark contrast with one another." (06/29/16)

https://fee.org/articles/venezuela-should-abolish-its-worthless-currency/  

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Economics not great at Orthodox council

June 30, 2016
posted by

Acton Institute Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
by Dylan Pahman  

"We Orthodox who are especially nerdy followed the remnants of what was planned as a 'Great and Holy,' 'Pan-Orthodox' council of the Orthodox Churches, which concluded Sunday in Crete. The sad reality, however, is that for various reasons Antioch, Russia, Bulgaria, and Georgia decided not to attend. Antioch, especially, had unique and legitimate grievances. So 'Pan-Orthodox' is a bit of a misnomer at this point, and 'Great and Holy' was probably overly aspirational to begin with. But despite its questionable importance and authority, the council marched on." (06/29/16)

http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/06/29/economics-not-great-orthodox-council  

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The first post-middle-class election

June 30, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Harold Meyerson  

"Two years ago, a pollster for Democratic candidates told me he’d begun advising his clients to cease emphasizing 'the middle class' when speaking of those Americans whose interests they were defending. Many Americans who once thought of themselves as middle-class, he argued, no longer did. Last year, a Pew Research Center survey confirmed those Americans’ assessment. The share of income going to middle-class Americans declined from 62 percent in 1970 to 43 percent in 2014, while the share going to upper-income households rose from 29 percent to 49 percent. The erosion of middle-class America has been afoot for 40 years, but it was the financial crisis of 2008 and the tepid recovery that followed it that have shaken American politics to its foundations." [editor's note: This long, rather didactic history lesson lacks perspective beyond the War Party's two wings (no mention of either LP or GP, or their possible effect), but is otherwise readable - SAT] (06/29/16)

http://prospect.org/article/first-post-middle-class-election-0  

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The hot land

June 30, 2016
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by Ryan Devereaux  

"When Enrique Pena Nieto assumed office as president of Mexico in 2012, he did not want to talk about the drug war. He had staked his candidacy on promises of reform; on the possibility of a Mexico freed from depictions in the international press of a nation defined by violence. That was an attractive idea. After all, the loss of life under Pena Nieto's predecessor, Felipe Calderon, who sent the military into the streets to do battle with organized crime, had been historic, with even the most conservative estimates of the dead and disappeared soaring well into the six-figure range. Pena Nieto avoided references to a sweeping, militarized campaign against drug cartels -- the defining feature of Calderon’s tenure -- instead favoring more generalized references to public security. Unfortunately, avoiding the subject didn't make it go away. Within two years, Mexican security forces at all levels would be implicated in a series of grisly crimes." (06/29/16)

https://theintercept.com/2016/06/29/after-uprising-in-mexico-return-of-narco-warlords/  

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Is the ACLU’s lawsuit against bad anti-hacking law ingenious or terrifying?

June 29, 2016
posted by

Scott Shackford Reason
by Scott Shackford  

"The vague language of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) has made it prone to abuse by federal prosecutors. This law's alleged purpose is to fight cybercrimes and hackers. But the law is far more expansive, making it a federal crime to violate a web site's 'terms of service' as a user or to access a computer or network in an 'unauthorized' fashion. Yes, the law is used to fight hackers trying to get into people's bank accounts to steal their money. But it has also been used to put journalist Matthew Keys in prison for giving a password to a member of Anonymous, who then vandalized the website for the Los Angeles Times by changing a single headline." (06/29/16)

http://reason.com/blog/2016/06/29/is-the-aclus-lawsuit-against-bad-anti-ha  

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An alternative to the madness of proving police injustice

June 29, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Vann R Newkirk II  

"When Baltimore police officer Caesar Goodson Jr., was acquitted Thursday of all charges related to the death of Freddie Gray, the one emotion absent from the courtroom, social media, and the crowds of protesters in the city was surprise. The cases of all six officers alleged to be involved in Gray's April 2015 death have been tossed about in a sea of strange legal wrangling and reshuffling, but without much real suspense. The trial of Officer Edward Nero ended in a judge's acquittal, and that of Officer William Porter in a hung jury. All six officers charged in the case remain on administrative, drawing full salaries, pending the outcome of an internal investigation. But it's likely that these officers will share the fate of most officers accused of killing black people in the line of duty: a return to police work." (06/29/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/06/restorative-justice-police-violence/489221/  

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Elizabeth Warren, Hillary’s most rational choice for VP

June 29, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Brian Beutler  

"Nearly all reports from the Hillary Clinton brain trust suggest Senator Tim Kaine is the runaway favorite to be the Democrats’ vice presidential nominee in 2016. There are soft spots in this consensus. For instance, the Clinton campaign is apparently not 100 percent convinced that Donald Trump will walk away from next month’s convention in Cleveland as the Republican nominee. Clinton’s allies think there’s a small but real chance she’ll be running against a candidate who isn’t fatally flawed himself (or mortally wounded for having deposed Trump). If that did happen, a more electric candidate might rocket to the top of her short list." [editor's note: Some say this would destroy the last vestige of credibility for Warren for a 2020 run; I frankly don't give a crap either way - SAT] (06/29/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/134726/elizabeth-warren-hillary-clintons-rational-choice-vp  

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The 2,000-year, ongoing fight for democracy

June 29, 2016
posted by

spiked spiked
by Tom Slater  

"The vote to leave the European Union was the biggest democratic mandate in British political history. Those 17.5 million Leave votes represented a decisive, democratic choice that, in terms of individual voters, outstripped that made in any past referendum or General Election. And the result has sparked horror. ... We have been told voters were misled, played and duped. That, in effect, voters are so stupid, so plagued by prejudice, that consulting them on this profound political question was a mistake. Democracy itself has been called into question in a bald, unashamed way. But we shouldn't be surprised. Those who support the EU, a body designed to protect politics from the people, can hardly be relied upon to defend popular sovereignty. What's more, the response was also entirely in keeping with a disdain for democracy that has existed for millennia. Democracy has always been fragile." (06/29/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/the-2000-year-ongoing-fight-for-democracy/  

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Brexit: What now?

June 29, 2016
posted by

Michael D. Tanner Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner  

"The short-term shock and turmoil of Brexit will eventually pass. Markets will stabilize as investors realize that the scare campaign by the anti-Brexit establishment was vastly overblown. The Britain of today is largely the same as the Britain of a week ago. The big question, though, remains unanswered: Will Britain seize on this opportunity to fundamentally remake its economic policies in a way that will increase economic growth? Or will it simply substitute British bureaucracy, taxes, and regulations for European ones?" (06/29/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/brexit-what-now  

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The glories of central planning

June 29, 2016
posted by

A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg  

"Socialists often criticize the market for allowing people to starve. They often say it's unfair that somebody with surplus food is allowed to keep it while others starve to death. They also lambast the idea of property rights because the concept allows a person with a surplus of food to defend it against a starving thief. These are valid criticisms, mind you. But they also ignore an important fact. Markets and private property rights may allow some people to starve but you really need a centrally planned economy if you want to starve everybody ..." (06/29/16)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2016/06/29/the-glories-of-central-planning/  

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Banning the box is not nearly enough

June 29, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Lewis M Steel  

"At last, the United States is taking steps to reduce its enormous prison population. With 2.5 million people behind bars, we are the world’s largest jailer. Sentencing reform to reduce mandatory minimums for nonviolent crimes starts to address this problem. But for those who have been incarcerated, punishment doesn’t end with prison: 70 million Americans are burdened with some form of criminal record that jeopardizes their ability to find a job and re-enter society. When employers learn applicants have prison records, rejection is often swift. Because African Americans and Latinos suffer a disproportionately high percentage of arrests and convictions, their rejection rates are even higher." (06/29/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19188/banning-the-box-is-not-nearly-enough  

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Hillary Clinton’s easy choices

June 29, 2016
posted by

David Gordon Ludwig von Mises Institute
by David Gordon  

"Few books have as misleading a title as Hard Choices. For Hillary Clinton, as this tedious memoir of her years as Secretary of State makes evident, there are no hard choices. The Solutions to all political and economic problems are easy. We must always rely on the directing hand of government, guided by the superior wisdom of our moral and intellectual betters, Hillary Clinton foremost among them." (06/29/16)

https://mises.org/library/hillary-clintons-easy-choices  

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To my less-evilism haters: A rejoinder to Halle and Chomsky

June 29, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Andrew Smolski  

"If you advocate that third parties should be abandoned in contentious states, then you are advocating that third parties should be abandoned. We can call this the 'risk nothing, win nothing' political strategy. When there is a left flank, Chomsky and Halle have advocated that it should be abandoned if it threatens the Democratic contender against a Republican. Why should the Democrats care about progressive demands when the Congressional Progressive Caucus is only 29% of the party and there is no left flank to apply pressure? And why should they feel threatened by a left flank that will abandon itself as soon as there is anything substantial at risk?" (06/29/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/29/to-my-haters-a-rejoinder-to-halle-and-chomsky/  

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A bullet train to the head

June 29, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Romanticism. The yearning for greatness; the need for speed. Efficiency! It's all there in California's high-speed rail project -- hopes and dreams and a sense of the grandeur of progress. And yet the bullet train project, approved by voters in 2008, is a fiasco. One can blame the voters, I suppose. At least the 53.7 percent who said yes to a referendum authorizing a 9.95 billion bond. Just to get the project started. But we shouldn't, really." (06/29/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/06/29/a-bullet-train-to-the-head/  

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Surrendering power: Duke students speak out about free speech

June 29, 2016
posted by

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Caroline Wang  

"More than 50 years ago, the student-led Free Speech Movement took place at the University of California, Berkeley. This movement remains one of the greatest examples of students' recognition that the right to free speech is what gives them the ability to challenge the status quo and make their opinions heard. After all, as the Supreme Court noted in the landmark decision Healy v. James, 408 U.S. 169, 180 (1972), freedom of speech is what allows students to 'examine and discuss all questions of interest to them.' Unfortunately, it seems some of today's student activists are choosing to use their speech to advocate for freedom from speech." (06/28/16)

https://www.thefire.org/surrendering-power-duke-students-speak-out-against-free-speech/  

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Is Brexit national suicide?

June 29, 2016
posted by

The American Conservative The American Conservative
by Philip Jenkins  

"Over the past week, I have often been asked what I think about the British referendum vote to leave the European Union, or to seek 'Brexit.' My standard response is that I would be happy to explain, provided the sight of me ranting and shrieking obscenities does not bother my listeners. In my view, Brexit is quite literally nothing short of national suicide. It is a cataclysm that that country must and can avert, at all costs. In saying this, I run contrary to the view of many conservative writers who seem delighted by the vote." (06/29/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/is-brexit-national-suicide/  

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Heartland Daily Podcast, 06/28/16

June 29, 2016
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by  

"In today's edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Julie Kelly, one of the leading, non-scientist, voices in the contentious debate over America's food system, joins the show to talk about Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs)." [various formats] (06/28/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/06/heartland-daily-podcast-julie-kelly-gmo-crops-are-perfectly-safe/  

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The Syria “dissent” memo and US bureaucratic pressure strategy

June 29, 2016
posted by

Gareth Porter Antiwar.com
by Gareth Porter  

"The memorandum by 51 State Department officials calling for US military intervention in Syria last week has been treated in news media coverage as a case of dissent from existing Syria policy by individual officials involved in Syria policy. But the memo has all the earmarks of an initiative that had the blessing of the most senior officials in the department -- including Secretary of State John Kerry himself -- rather than having been put together by individual officials entirely on their own. And it may mark the beginning of an effort to take advantage of the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton." (06/29/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2016/06/28/syria-dissent-memo-us-bureaucratic-pressure-strategy/  

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Apocalypse mindset: Don’t let it get you killed

June 29, 2016
posted by

Zero Gov Zero Gov
by John Meyers  

"Tactical Fantasy Band Camp simply does not prepare you for operating in the totally un-sexy street clothes on your back instead of your Kryptek Highlander, with the pistol in your waistline and yourself alone as your team. In our daily lives we are not wearing all our kit, a RACK with 18 magazines and a Team Wendy Exfil. We don't have a rifle in our back pocket in aisle 18 of the local Wally World. I can assure you asking your favorite instructor on Facebook what pants he is wearing in the latest Firelance Media photo array, will not make you more combat effective in the fight. I'm sure the ones you are wearing will work just fine. You have what you have on you. You have your EDC. You are much more likely to be accosted in the local mall than you are by invading Soviets in the Fourteener's of the Rocky Mountains. Focus on the most likely, then work to the least likely." (06/28/16)

http://zerogov.com/?p=4774  

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The case against raising the US minimum wage

June 29, 2016
posted by

PanAm Post PanAm Post
by Jose Azel  

"When it comes to a mandated minimum wage, politicians irrationally trip over themselves in a classic case of good intentions, bad policy. President Obama has called for raising the minimum wage to USD $10.10 an hour. Hillary Clinton favors a $12.00 minimum wage, and Mr. Sanders supports the labor union call to raise the wage to $15.00 an hour. Many believe that minimum wage laws are necessary to insure that low-skilled workers, especially new entrants, teens and minorities earn a living wage and are not exploited by greedy capitalists. But do minimum wage laws produce the desired results?" (06/28/16)

https://panampost.com/jose-azel/2016/06/28/the-case-against-raising-the-us-minimum-wage/  

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Federal drug enforcement tyranny in Colorado and Washington

June 29, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Although Colorado and Washington have legalized the sale and possession of marijuana for recreational purposes, possession and distribution of the drug remain a crime under federal law. However, the U.S. government, including the DEA, has been exempting the residents of those two states from federal drug law enforcement. That is obviously a good thing for people selling or consuming marijuana in those two states. However, it is not a good thing when it comes to the rule of law and the principle of equal treatment under law." (06/29/16)

http://fff.org/2016/06/29/federal-drug-enforcement-tyranny-colorado-washington/  

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Free Talk Live, 06/28/16

June 29, 2016
posted by

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live
by  

"4chan Spams Brexit Re-Do Petition, Fools BBC :: Scary Court Decision About Online Privacy :: DAO Tokens :: Electoral College :: Running Down Pedestrians :: EU Superstate Proposal? :: Psychological Distance :: Flat Earth Nutjob :: Anxiety :: Rude Canadian Staples :: Game of the Week Update." [Flash audio or MP3] (06/28/16)

https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive/free-talk-live-2016-06-28  

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Benghazi report reveals folly of interventionism

June 29, 2016
posted by

Ed Krayewski Reason
by Ed Krayewski  

"The partisan argument about Clinton's culpability in an attack that led to the killing of four Americans by Libyan militants misses the broader argument about aimless interventionism. A spokesperson for the State Department responded to the report by saying the department's 'priority continues to be carrying out our national security mission while mitigating the risks to our employees.' Democrats insist the State Department has boosted security, so the problem is solved. Republicans argue the White House didn't do enough militarily .... The reality is the U.S. should not have participated in the Libyan civil war in the first place ..." (06/28/16)

http://reason.com/blog/2016/06/28/benghazi-report-reveals-folly-of-interve  

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Why libertarians should applaud the SCOTUS ruling against Texas abortion regulations

June 29, 2016
posted by

Avens O'Brien The Libertarian Republic
by Avens O'Brien  

"I found this case particularly clear cut as a libertarian -- this was an obvious case of over-regulation, which caused more than half of the clinics in Texas to close. If any other industry faced this sort of punitive regulation, conservatives would have been up in arms, but since it was the abortion industry, many were perfectly fine with the law. The result of this law meant 10 abortion-capable clinics would exist in Texas to serve the 5.4 million women of childbearing age. Abortions, of course, are sometimes medically necessary, and this would literally put women's lives at risk, as well as creating undue burden on the right to abortion." (06/28/16)

http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/why-libertarians-should-applaud-the-scotus-ruling-against-texas-abortion-regulations/  

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