Commentary

The drug war doesn’t work abroad either

October 24, 2014
posted by

Lucy Steigerwald Antiwar.com
by Lucy Steigerwald  

"This is the unimpeachable rule of the war on drugs: Money goes in, and somehow the worst people benefit, and the drug trade soldiers on and on. Afghanistan is the world’s largest source of opium, and the sales of it have helped charming folks like the Taliban purchase weapons and other things most nice people would rather they didn’t possess. According to Stars and Stripes, when U.S. and NATO troops exit the country in a few months, they will leave behind 500,000 acres of poppies. This is a 36 percent increase since 2013. The amount of poppies has in fact been increasing since the U.S. invasion 13 years ago this month." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q3kujj5  

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Democracy is neither freedom nor prosperity

October 24, 2014
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger  

"What is democracy? It’s simply a political system by which people are selected for public office. That’s all. Its primary benefit is that it enables people to change regimes peacefully -- that is, without the need for a violent revolution. It guarantees neither freedom nor prosperity." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/omcv8j6  

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The singular Henry George: Insights and influence

October 24, 2014
posted by

David S. D'Amato Libertarianism.org
by David S. D'Amato  

"A committed advocate of free trade and a narrowly tailored, limited government, George was a genuine and principled libertarian, energetically opposing government interventions in the economy such as, for example, subsidized railroads. Yet given today’s political vernacular, George’s distinctive thought may seem to present a kind of paradox. To the extent that most Americans now wrongly associate support for free enterprise and limited government with the defense of big business, George’s economic populism, his backing of labor and hostility toward powerful monopolies may seem an odd fit with his essentially libertarian philosophy." (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qcofpmu  

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Crime is down, but Americans are convinced it’s rising

October 24, 2014
posted by

Reason Reason
by Jesse Walker  

"Three social scientists at Chapman University have just released a revealing report on American fears. Among other interesting bits of data, it informs us that the item in its survey that Americans fear most is walking alone at night, that people who watch true-crime TV are more likely to be afraid of the future, and that 15.9 percent of the country is at least somewhat scared of clowns. Also, Americans are prone to thinking crime rates are getting worse even when they're actually improving." (10/23/14)

http://reason.com/blog/2014/10/23/crime-fears-clown-fears  

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On Garron Helm and the right to utter abuse

October 24, 2014
posted by

Sean Gabb The Libertarian Alliance
by Sean Gabb  

"As a national socialist, Garron Helm stands in a different ideological community from ours. This has no bearing on our duty to defend his right to express his opinions in any way that does not amount to a common law assault as this would once have been defined. No amount of abuse, regardless of how offended the recipient claims to be, should be a matter for the criminal law." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q66bevs  

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Figuring out life and friendship

October 24, 2014
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy The Daily Bell
by Wendy McElroy  

"In analyzing friendship, Aristotle displays immense respect for the average person. He rejects Plato's contention that understanding virtue requires a special grounding in metaphysics and science. In Aristotle's view, the average man can fully understand both virtue and the role it plays in enriching daily life. Aristotle starts by defining friendship. It is a situation in which people are well disposed toward each other. But more than this, each person is also aware of the dynamic." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lah3atw  

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We want you

October 24, 2014
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"Democrats and Republicans think that we are slaves. They want you. Prominent authoritarian figures from both statist political parties are beating the statist drum once again for government imposed national service." (10/24/14)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2014/10/we-want-you.html  

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The stealth campaign to buy America’s courts

October 24, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog
by Zoe Carpenter  

"Cole County, Missouri, seems an unlikely place for a national Republican group to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars. It’s a small county of 75,000, and its leadership is solidly red, with few exceptions. One of those exceptions is Pat Joyce, a Democrat who’s held her seat on the country circuit court for two decades. Until a few weeks ago, with $17,000 on hand and her opponent nearly $13,000 in debt, her chances of serving another term seemed good. That financial advantage vanished abruptly in mid-October when the Republican State Leadership Committee stepped in with $200,000 to save Republican Brian Stumpe. Half of that money went directly to his campaign. The rest went to the RSLC’s local political action committee, which ran a tie-dye hued ad that accused Joyce of being a 'groovy' ally of 'radical environmentalists.'" (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lxs574p  

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The sharing economy’s “first strike”

October 24, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Rebecca Burns  

"Silicon Valley types often wax lyrical about the way that the app-based 'sharing economy' disrupts existing business models and create new forms of social relations. When tech magnates extol 'disruption,' of course, they likely aren’t talking about the sort caused by labor actions. But on October 22, tech-giant Uber got a taste of its own disruptive medicine when drivers in at least five cities who work on the ridesharing platform turned off their apps and stopped picking up passengers, in protest of what they say are unjust working conditions and a dwindling share in the company’s profits. Some drivers are calling this action the first strike in the 'sharing economy,' a sector known for its aversion to labor organizing." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/npnwlvv  

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Are placebos ethical?

October 24, 2014
posted by

John C. Goodman Independent Institute
by John C. Goodman  

"The power of placebos to heal has long been recognized. Thomas Jefferson wrote about it. So did Benjamin Franklin. Debate over the ethics of placebos also has a long history -- roughly 170 years. But there has been no resolution. Doctors are still in disagreement about whether it is ethical to proscribe a placebo without the patient's consent. Of course if the patient knows the therapy is a placebo, much of its effectiveness is lost. But there is also disagreement about the meaning of the word 'consent.'" (10/21/14)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=5164  

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Understanding “quid pro quo”

October 24, 2014
posted by

Gary M. Galles Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Gary M. Galles  

"Quid pro quo is a phrase that has similarly evolved from offering clarity to producing confusion. It originally meant 'something for something.' That offered a useful distinction between voluntary market arrangements, in which people were induced to cooperate by being offered adequate compensation, and government arrangements (or robbery), in which such inducements need not be offered. However, the usage of quid pro quo has evolved to typically mean an exchange of equally valuable goods or services. In the process, it has muddied the distinction between voluntary and involuntary arrangements." (10/23/14)

http://mises.org/daily/6934/Understanding-Quid-Pro-Quo  

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Ched Evans and the silencing of debate

October 24, 2014
posted by

spiked spiked
by Luke Gittos  

"The point about the Evans case is that while it is partly a discussion of redemption and responsibility, it is also a discussion about what should and should not be said when discussing rape. The reason the Evans case is so contested is that rape campaigners think that there shouldn’t really be a debate at all. While speaking about murder or manslaughter is unlikely to get too many people’s backs up, the rape campaigning lobby makes debating the issues around rape a fight in itself. Anyone caught questioning the official narrative can face the outrage of campaigners." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pzcmyby  

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Krugman on Amazon

October 24, 2014
posted by

Alberto Mingardi EconLog
by Alberto Mingardi  

"Amazon is a shop: a gigantic, beautiful, incredibly developed shop -- but a shop. Shopkeepers retain the right of deciding what should be on the shop's shelves. They make deals with different suppliers, and can thus be convinced in promoting with more energy this rather than that particular brand of a given good. Should the government interfere? Perhaps if we're talking about the only shop in town -- which is something Amazon, no matter how big, definitely is not. Amazon's 'market power' is the result of consumers choosing to buy from Amazon .... Paul Krugman has a different opinion. He acknowledges that 'Amazon has not tried to exploit consumers' but, if 'it has systematically kept prices low,' it was just 'to reinforce its dominance.' Stupid you, world customers, who fall into the trap." (10/22/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/10/krugman_on_amaz.html  

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Cutting foreign aid: Smart and safe

October 24, 2014
posted by

Campaign For Liberty Campaign For Liberty
by Norm Singleton  

"Neoconservative (and leading Rand Paul critic) Jennifer Rubin's latest attack on Senator Paul centers on Senator Paul's proposal to end foreign aid. Most of her article is filled with the same old cliches supporters of a constitutional foreign policy are used to hearing: foreign aid is 'small' part of the federal budget (as if that somehow justifies not cutting it), and that cutting foreign aid will somehow weaken our defenses. But this part of her article really struck me ..." (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m6ak5ut  

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Andrew Cockburn on The Scott Horton Show

October 24, 2014
posted by

The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Andrew Cockburn, author of Rumsfeld: His Rise, Fall, and Catastrophic Legacy, discusses his article 'Flying Blind: The U.S. air-power lobby, botched bombing missions, and bootless combat.'" [Flash audio or MP3] (10/22/14)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/10/22/102214-andrew-cockburn/  

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Supreme Court shirks responsibility in avoiding Sixth Amendment case

October 24, 2014
posted by

Ilya Shapiro Cato Institute
by Ilya Shapiro  

"Jones, a constitutional criminal procedure case, was the court’s latest big 'decision not to decide.' The issue there was whether a defendant can be sentenced for conduct of which he was acquitted, based on facts that the judge determined. (Read that sentence again; I’m not making this up.)" (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lp7vlgy  

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Barack Obama, the veto-less president

October 23, 2014
posted by

Paul Waldman The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"If the Republicans take over the Senate in this year's election, as now looks likely, one thing seems certain: President Obama will be issuing a lot of vetoes in the next two years. Or maybe not over the whole two years, but certainly at first. With Republicans in control of both houses of Congress for the first time since 2006, there would be an initial spasm of pointless legislating, as they set about to fulfill the promises they've made over the course of Obama's presidency: repealing the Affordable Care Act, slashing environmental protections, cutting taxes, establishing 'the Reagan' as the new currency to replace the dollar, and so on." (10/23/14)

http://prospect.org/article/barack-obama-veto-less-president  

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The challenges of defending your child’s mind from propaganda

October 23, 2014
posted by

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by The Dissident Dad  

"Let's face it, your child’s mind is fertile ground for oligarchs, corrupt politicians and any other thieving member of the so-called 'ruling elite' who aim to enslave the masses both mentally and monetarily. Unfortunately, the propaganda that comes from the government and our largest corporations is perceived as being absolute truth by most people. If you’re like me, at one point in time you had to wake up to it all and accept that you had been completely brainwashed for the first few decades for your life." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k444y6j  

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American policing and the coming civil war

October 23, 2014
posted by

Zero Gov Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert  

"Here is a snapshot of the future: the present vector of violence by the police state will increase and they will start pushing the wrong folks the wrong way or more significantly the tens of thousands of woman and children ravaged by frightened cops will have male relatives who discover a pair and decide to remedy the dishonor visited on their family by the cold institution of restitution of blood. Frein is simply a symptom of a broader future trend." (10/22/14)

http://zerogov.com/?p=3683  

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The least important election of your lifetime

October 23, 2014
posted by

Competitive Enterprise Institute Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Fred L. Smith, Jr.  

"The November midterm elections are around the corner and as usual, the airwaves are filled with frenzied appeals to vote for one candidate or another and reminding us of the unusual importance of this particular election -- the latest 'most important' election in a long list that already includes almost every national election in recent history. Pardon me if I tune it all out. The truth is that this upcoming midterm election, for all of the breathtaking amounts of cash being poured into it, will likely change very little in Washington." (10/22/14)

http://cei.org/content/least-important-election-your-lifetime  

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Robots may spell “Control-Alt-Delete” for workers

October 23, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Andy Mukherjee  

"Human beings can never run out of work. Adam Smith held that cheery view, and so far he has been proved right. But can the invisible hand match up to the robotic arm? About 47 percent of existing U.S. jobs are at risk from computerisation, according to an Oxford University study published last year. If wage incomes were to disappear in a short time, the results could be cataclysmic for prosperity and peace. From steam engine to the Internet, technological progress has been an expansionary force. Smith’s conviction that workers will benefit from technological change has been a clear winner over the idea that work is finite. Though old jobs have vanished, new and better ones have been created. The massive and rapid rise of robots could challenge this happy state." (10/23/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mfauuwf  

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GOP Story Hour

October 23, 2014
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Randall Enos  

Cartoon. (10/22/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/10/gop-fairy-tale/  

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Live like you’re free

October 23, 2014
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Matt Gilliland  

"People are, in most ways, freer than they have ever been in the history of the world. Throughout most of history, outright chattel slavery (not just of minorities, but even within ethnic groups) has been commonplace. De facto ownership of wives existed in almost every society until a century ago. Less than a hundred years ago, it was fairly uncommon for most people to travel more than a few dozen miles from their place of birth within their lifetime. And even a decade ago in the 'freest nation in the world,' it was unthinkable outside of a few progressive areas of the country for homosexual couples to hold hands in public." (10/23/14)

http://fee.org/the_freeman/detail/live-like-youre-free  

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For liberty, against medical marijuana

October 23, 2014
posted by

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by Kelly Kidwell  

"If our goal is to end the Drug War, we must legalize all substances, with marijuana leading the way. Legalizing marijuana for medical use does not pave the way for legalization of other drugs. While arguing for medical weed is easy, arguing for medical cocaine or medical heroin is much more difficult. Medical marijuana is a distraction, not a step in the right direction." (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q62hkzy  

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Iowa TV station refuses to run “cuts kill” ad

October 23, 2014
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"The country has been subjected to weeks of ebola fear/terror/panic/propaganda going out over the airwaves (and from one network in particular) just in time to drive fear into the election. Now a group has put together an election ad making the case that the country would have less to worry about if we hadn’t been stampeded (also by fear) into austerity budget cuts. ... A new ad has been produced by the Agenda Project Action Fund. It is titled 'Republican Cuts Kill Part II: Joni Ernst Wants to Cut.' The ad makes the case that Republicans forced cuts to the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, which reduced the capabilities of these programs to contain a deadly virus like ebola." [editor's note: Since those agencies have been basically inept in most previous "health crises" ... - SAT] (10/232/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mh8jpal  

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