Commentary

Bernie Sanders: The Ron Paul of the left?

May 29, 2015
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"The entry of Bernie Sanders into the presidential sweepstakes is of interest to opponents of American militarism for two reasons: 1) He has a reputation as an 'antiwar' figure, and 2) His primary opponent for the Democratic party nomination, Hillary Rodham Clinton, is arguably the most hawkish Democratic White House aspirant since the days of Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey. As an opponent of Gulf War I and Bush's invasion of Iraq, many progressives -- and his enemies on the right -- assume Bernie's anti-interventionist credentials are in such impeccable order that it's fair to call him 'the Ron Paul of the left.' Now that he's officially announced his campaign, it's time to disabuse everyone of this notion." (05/29/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pbj893j  

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Presidential politics: They’re all conservatives

May 29, 2015
posted by

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

"As reliably as seconds ticking by on an expensive wristwatch, Republican presidential candidates loudly and vehemently identify themselves as 'conservatives.' We're used to hearing politicians lie, but these politicians are telling the truth for once. They ARE all conservatives. Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, lie constantly about their political orientations. They label themselves 'liberals' or even 'progressives.' But they are conservatives, too." (05/28/15)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/1536  

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Absolute paranoia

May 29, 2015
posted by

J. Neil Schulman J Neil Schulman @ Rational Review
by J Neil Schulman  

"The specifics of the debate on government casting a wide net to collect information on the citizenry, ever since Edward Snowden revealed the intelligence agencies were lying about not doing it, are beside my point here. I'm not seeking a balance between government doing what the Bill of Rights forbids it to do versus the utility of government employees lawyering themselves out of these prohibitions because they imagine it will enhance national security. What I am pointing out here is that such massive spying not only uncorks limits on government power established because of numerous examples of past abuse but also destroys trust in law itself -- constitutional, legislative, regulatory, judicial, or even arbitral -- because what is done in absolute secrecy is by nature exercise of absolute power." (05/28/15)

http://jneilschulman.rationalreview.com/2015/05/absolute-paranoia/  

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American policing: The existential threat to all human liberty in North America

May 29, 2015
posted by

Zero Gov Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert  

"It bears repeating: immoral means do not yield moral ends and don't hit and don't steal is a maxim that benefits everyone except the badged thug-scrum class in the US. Terrorism is the use of threatened or actual violence against innocents to achieve political ends. If that ain't policing in America, I don't know what is. Absent violation of the Ten Commandments daily, the practice of terrorism and the liberal application of wood shampoos on the slightest pretense, what would cops do?" (05/27/15)

http://zerogov.com/?p=4035  

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FDA’s war on cheap cigars

May 29, 2015
posted by

James Bovard JimBovard.com
by James Bovard  

"The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is finalizing regulations that could ban the sale of most of the cigars currently available in the United States. The FDA last year uncorked a 241-page, 70,000 word barrage of proposed restrictions on the sales and marketing of tobacco products. Some congressmen are pushing back against the agency, but it is unclear whether cigar smokers can escape the nanny-state's sacrificial altar." (05/28/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qjdw3gh  

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Hillary finally showing hand on climate change

May 29, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Rebecca Leber  

"Hillary Clinton has done little more than promise to take climate change seriously in her presidential campaign, communicated mostly through assurances from her adviser, John Podesta, that 'she will move forward with an aggressive program.' On Thursday, we got our first two clues what that might look like. In an op-ed for Iowa newspaper The Gazette, Clinton emphasized her support for clean energy, calling out those 'who want to keep the deck stacked for the fuels of the past' (a dig that applies to most of the Republican field). With a clear eye on the Iowa caucuses, she says it's important to improve, not scrap, the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which requires a minimum blend of biofuels in gasoline." (05/28/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oamlwc5  

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John Stossel: A parody of self-parody

May 29, 2015
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"For years, Stossel has tipped his hat to the idea that 'pro-market' and 'pro-business' are not the same thing. He occasionally gives an example of welfare for big business and the wealthy, like the Export-Import Bank or subsidized insurance for beach houses. But it's almost always peripheral to the main body of American corporate capitalism (which is just fine and dandy like it is, and would be even more like it is if only government would leave it alone). His latest example of the wonders of a free, competitive market is -- wait for it -- the pharmaceutical industry ('Capitalism Spurs Medical Innovation,' Reason, May 20). That tiny, whimpering gargle you hear is the last feeble vestige of Stossel's credibility giving up the ghost." (05/27/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/37908  

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The ultimate irony: Is China the “America” of Asia?

May 29, 2015
posted by

Doug Bandow Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow  

"The rising nation was full of self-confidence and determined to expand. Its neighbor refused to negotiate in a bitter territorial dispute, convinced there was no legitimate issue to discuss. The new entrant to the international order also challenged the world's greatest global power, which was forced to decide whether war could be justified against a country thousands of miles from home. The upstart's territorial claims were excessive, but no one desired a rerun of past conflicts. The year was 1845. The United States had absorbed Texas after the latter's violent secession from Mexico; Washington demanded its neighbor's acquiescence not only to the errant territory's annexation but also to a new national boundary set well beyond Anglo settlements." (05/28/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pwwf42g  

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Free trade means free trade

May 29, 2015
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"There is a lot of controversy over the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a big trade agreement that is being negotiated between the United States, Canada, and a number of Asia-Pacific countries. What is most amusing about the controversy is how the mainstream press, as well as D.C. politicians and bureaucrats, describe the agreement. They call it a 'free trade' agreement. That's funny. ... Free trade is not a government-negotiated trade agreement and it's also not government-managed or government-controlled trade. It is not a reduction in tariffs. It is not less government interference with trade. Free trade is free trade." (05/28/15)

http://fff.org/2015/05/28/free-trade-means-free-trade/  

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The Extra Gnome

May 29, 2015
posted by

MamaLiberty The Price of Liberty
by MamaLiberty  

Fiction. (05/27/15)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=7164  

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To fix FIFA, start with the sponsors

May 29, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Peter Thal Larsen  

"Corporations hold the key to cleaning up FIFA. American prosecutors accuse soccer officials and marketing executives of channelling cash from sponsorship and media rights deals into their own bank accounts. Big companies will always pay up to attach their brands to hugely popular global sporting events. They also have the power to demand much-improved audit trails. Like frustrated fans, multinationals have responded to the accusations as if shouting from the sidelines. Adidas and Coca-Cola have called on FIFA to increase transparency. Visa says it is reassessing its support for global soccer’s ruling body, which raked in revenue of $5.7 billion between 2011 and 2014. That’s good. But it ignores the reality that corporate sponsorship, as currently organised, is part of the problem." (05/28/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pqhhq2d  

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Kant on justified taxation

May 29, 2015
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by Chris W Surprenant  

"While Kant argues that coercive action is justified only as a means to hinder a hindrance to freedom (whether performed by the state or any other entity), he also claims that the state may tax citizens to support the poor. But isn't taxation to support the poor just a form of illegitimate coercion? Kant doesn't think so. His argument rests on his (perhaps flawed) position concerning ownership of land, the relationship between land and other external things that can become private property, and the role of the state in promoting individual freedom." (05/27/15)

http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/kant-justified-taxation  

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Education makes the progressive punchlist

May 29, 2015
posted by

Jeff Bryant Our Future
by Jeff Bryant  

"For years, the progressive punchlist of issues has neglected education policy. Back in the 2012 election, education was mostly a no-show in presidential debates, and very few candidates were standard bearers for public schools, leaving these issues primarily to ballot initiatives totally remote from party or movement platforms. Again in 2014, a strong coalition in support of public education generally did not affect political campaigns, with the exception of Tom Wolf’s strong victory over incumbent Tom Corbett in the Pennsylvania governor’s race. More recently, there have been disturbing signs education issues pertaining to K-12 schooling would again be left off the progressive agenda for 2016." (05/28/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pa663eu  

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The ECB and the negative-interest-rate game

May 29, 2015
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Frank Hollenbeck  

"The ECB is now two months into its bond buying binge but the European Central Bank (ECB) never clearly explained the goal and purpose of its own version of quantitative easing. The deflation bogeyman was never a serious threat, nor was it based on any solid theoretical foundation." (05/28/15)

https://mises.org/library/ecb-and-negative-interest-rate-game  

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Some small farmers resisting Monsanto … and climate change

May 29, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Petra Page-Mann  

"The local food movement has brought a newfound cultural focus on farming. And in the United States, gardeners, farmers and eaters are fueling a groundswell of interest in its smallest part: seeds. Hundreds of seed exchanges -- in which hobbyists and professional green thumbs share the most resilient plants from their crops -- have sprung up across North America over the past decade. Recently, state agriculture departments in Pennsylvania and Minnesota have moved to restrict the practice, citing concerns about safety and the spread of invasive species. Advocates cite this as evidence of a double standard by regulators, who they say scrutinize small farmers while shielding Big Ag. Meanwhile, the seed-sharing movement continues to grow." (05/28/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17933/seed_exchanges  

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No end in sight

May 29, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Mark Streeter  

Cartoon. (05/28/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/05/no-end-in-sight/  

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Greece and Detroit

May 29, 2015
posted by

Scott Sumner EconLog
by Scott Sumner  

"Both Detroit and Greece face problems that are specific to their regions, and (especially in the case of Greece) are partly self-inflicted. (Here's where the analogy breaks down a bit, as Detroit is now essentially a poor neighborhood in a large country, whereas Greece is an entire country, with a more diverse set of skills, and thus greater short term possibilities for economic growth.) While Greece and Detroit have structural problems, both have also faced a tight monetary policy." (05/28/15)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/05/greece_and_detr.html  

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What Amazon taught the cops

May 29, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Ingrid Burrington  

"The future of policing, it seems, will look a lot like the present of policing, just faster and with more math. Instead of using inherent bias and simplistic statistics to racially profile individuals on a street, cops of the future will be able to use complicated statistics to racially profile people in their homes. In the summer of 2013, for instance, the Chicago Police Department implemented a pilot program intended to reduce violent crime. It used an algorithm developed by an engineer at the Illinois Institute of Technology to generate a 'heat list' of roughly 400 people who were most likely to become perpetrators or victims of violence. ... This approach has understandably caused concern and outrage among civil-liberties advocates -- the very name 'predictive policing' sounds like something out of Minority Report, just without psychics hanging out in a pool." (05/28/15)

http://www.thenation.com/article/208457/what-amazon-taught-cops  

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Ten things I had to unlearn that my children won’t

May 29, 2015
posted by

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by The Dissident Dad  

"There are a lot of bad ideas that dominate the world we live in today, most of which are uncritically accepted as the norm and fully embraced by society. As a millennial myself, I've noticed my peers seem to accept most of these as conventional wisdom. Hook, line, and sinker. Here are some ideas I was propagandized with that I hope my children will never have to 'unlearn.'" (05/28/15)

http://tinyurl.com/onrm2gc  

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Liberty works: The case of Switzerland

May 29, 2015
posted by

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by Fernando Moreno  

"Switzerland is one of the freest, richest and most peaceful nations in the world. It has the fifth-freest economy, the seventh-highest per-capita income, the eleventh-lowest homicide rate, and one of the highest transparency indexes on the planet. All of these impressive stats are not, however, a product of chance. They are the result of a long-standing tradition of classical-liberal values: a limited, decentralized government, unconditional respect for private property, and an unbreakable non-aggression pledge." (05/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q44wnx5  

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Bernie Sanders’s Dark Age economics

May 29, 2015
posted by

National Review
by Bernie Sanders  

"Bernie Sanders, the Brooklyn socialist who represents Vermont in the Senate, generated a great deal of mirth on Tuesday when he wondered aloud how it is that a society with 23 kinds of deodorant and 18 kinds of sneakers has hungry children. Setting aside the fact that we must have hundreds of kinds of deodorant and thousands of choices of sneakers, Senator Sanders here communicates a double falsehood: The first falsehood is that the proliferation of choices in consumer goods is correlated with poverty, among children or anybody else, which is flatly at odds with practically all modern human experience. The reality is precisely the opposite: Poverty is worst where consumers have the fewest choices, e.g., in North Korea, the old Soviet Union, the socialist paradise that is modern Venezuela, etc. The second falsehood is that choice in consumer goods represents the loss of resources that might have gone to some other end -- that if we had only one kind of sneaker, then there would be more food available for hungry children." (05/27/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nw7gp5z  

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My plan would protect patients

May 29, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by US Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI)  

"Americans went to the polls in November 2012 unaware that President Obama's assurance, 'If you like your health care plan, you can keep it,' would be crowned 'Lie of the Year' by PolitiFact. A year later, millions of Americans lost health care plans they liked and could afford while also losing access to doctors they knew and trusted. It is difficult to hold a rational political argument based on predictions. Besides, former governor Mitt Romney, author of 'Romneycare' in Massachusetts, was particularly ill-suited to make the case against Obamacare. As a result, repeal and replacement of Obamacare was not the central issue of 2012.

http://tinyurl.com/o5dy9km  

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Private school choice works

May 29, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Private school choice is 'in,' writes Patrick Wolf. 'Far from being rare and untested, private school choice policies are an integral part of the fabric of American education policy.' Now, these 'new ideas' really upset some folks. I'm not one of them. School choice is greater freedom. Freedom works." (05/28/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/05/28/private-school-choice-works/  

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Armed campus lies

May 28, 2015
posted by

Nicki Kenyon The Zelman Partisans
by Nicki Kenyon  

"I woke up to some great news this morning. A Texas bill, restoring the fundamental right of faculty and students over the age of 21 with a concealed handgun permit to carry firearms inside classrooms on public and private college campuses, tentatively passed the Texas House the night before. It passed despite the sniveling objections of school administrators, although thanks to a last-minute amendment, schools are allowed to create 'reasonable' regulations pertaining to the presence of firearms on school grounds. What constitutes 'reasonable,' is anyone’s guess." [editor's note: Well, for a private campus, "reasonable" is "any rule the owner cares to set." For a government campus, even requiring a permit is an unreasonable imposition - TLK] (05/27/15)

http://zelmanpartisans.com/?p=1412  

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A blanket ban on psychoactive substances makes UK drugs policy even worse

May 28, 2015
posted by

Charlotte Bowyer Adam Smith Institute
by Charlotte Bowyer  

"[T]he Queen's Speech on Wednesday confirmed that Conservatives will take the next rational step in drug enforcement, namely, to simply ban ALL OF THE THINGS. In order to automatically outlaw anything which can make people's heads go a bit funny, their proposed blanket ban (modelled on a similar Irish policy) will prohibit the trade of 'any substance intended for human consumption that is capable of producing a psychoactive effect,' and will carry up to a 7-year prison sentence." (05/28/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pxlpsxr  

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