Commentary

Blackwater founder remains free and rich while his former employees go down on murder charges

October 22, 2014
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by Jeremy Scahill  

"A federal jury in Washington, D.C., returned guilty verdicts against four Blackwater operatives charged with killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians and wounding scores of others in Baghdad in 2007. ... Just as with the systematic torture at Abu Ghraib, it is only the low level foot-soldiers of Blackwater that are being held accountable. [Blackwater founder Erik] Prince and other top Blackwater executives continue to reap profits from the mercenary and private intelligence industries." (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n8u5p3s  

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How the local police state is caused by the federal government

October 22, 2014
posted by

TJ Martinell Tenth Amendment Center
by TJ Martinell  

"With the sight of cops in Ferguson, Missouri and Boston resembling totalitarian warriors out of a stereotypical dystopian novel, many Americans have become alarmed at the apparent transition of law enforcement to a role as an occupation force. They also wonder where the police got the money to pay for it." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mfkjjgb  

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Greens licking their lips over carbon tax revenues

October 22, 2014
posted by

Robert P. Murphy Institute for Energy Research
by Robert P. Murphy  

"If the mainstream economists who think a carbon tax will be set 'optimally' are naive, the handful of conservatives who favor it for supply-side reasons are truly delusional. As Eberhard and other progressives make perfectly clear, they have no intention of engaging in a 'tax swap' deal. If they did, there would be no issue about the stream of revenue; the offset in other taxes would simply be adjusted." (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pmzm2s5  

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You can legally busk in NYC’s subways, but a cop might arrest you anyway

October 22, 2014
posted by

Reason Reason
by Zenon Evans  

"Can you legally busk in New York City's subways? Yes. Do you need a permit? No. Will these facts stop a police officer from arresting you for busking without a permit? Take a guess." (10/22/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nmzdjwr  

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Public servants

October 22, 2014
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Stephen Cox  

"I've been listening to talk about 'public service' all my life, but hearing Obama called a public servant made the concept seem even stranger than it had before. Who, besides government employees, especially politicians, is associated with 'service?' Who 'serves' other people? Well, for instance, people in restaurants; they serve the public. They're even called 'servers.' So what, if anything, do a politician and a waiter or a waitress -- a public servant and a servant of the public -- have in common? That's the question I asked myself, and one question led to others." (10/21/14)

http://libertyunbound.com/node/1321  

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Libertarianism’s untroubling aristocracy of self-control

October 22, 2014
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by Pamela J. Stubbart  

"All prospective political orders, by their existence and maintenance, would create advantages for some people (as compared to the baseline of no state having been formed at all, or the baseline of some pre-existing state). Indeed, that is a main point of having a state at all: systematically conferring benefits (construed broadly) that are justly due to citizens. It is a mistake to think that any state is or could be 'neutral,' in the sense of benefiting everyone literally equally. Rather, we use a normatively-loaded conception of 'fairness' to evaluate whether any possible set of benefits and burdens to citizens is distributed equitably. That being said, consider the claim that a libertarian system (i.e. one created by a government significantly smaller and/or less active in most citizens’s individual, properly private lives) would generate a 'self-control aristocracy.'" (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ndqtkrg  

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The American Dream is still possible, just not in the US

October 22, 2014
posted by

Ron Holland The Daily Bell
by Ron Holland  

"I fear many Americans who don't travel internationally might have become somewhat immune to the intrusive, arbitrary nature of today's American government and its institutions. Here in Canada, law enforcement is almost always professional and courteous and even the bureaucrats are friendly and helpful, which simply amazes me. So to my American family, friends and business associates, I want you to know it is still possible to achieve the American Dream of a simple life with opportunity for wealth creation, fun, freedom and good times without an overly intrusive, threatening government ... just not in the United States." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mtqgk9x  

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School doesn’t have to suck when you teach your own kids

October 22, 2014
posted by

JD Tuccille Reason
by JD Tuccille  

"Fortunately, my son is now homeschooled -- or, technically, attends a private online school. He uses online lessons and offline texts and workbooks to learn, coached by his mother and me. The lessons are means to an end; he takes them as needed, and can take as much or little time as necessary, until he demonstrates his mastery of a topic in a unit assessment test. Then he moves on. Find your vocabulary set a breeze? Then skip the review lessons. Stumped by long division? Then spend a few hours working it out." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pmxjt7k  

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Untruthy bureaucrats will administer The Truth

October 22, 2014
posted by

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"America's pathologically untruthful government, as revealed by Edward Snowden and other courageous truthtellers, has decided to appoint itself the guardian of 'the truth.' In doing this remember that government asks permission from no one and answers only to the criminal ruling class that runs it. A taxpayer-funded government bureaucracy called the National Science Foundation, which as you'll see is sounding more like Ayn Rand's State Science Institute in Atlas Shrugged, has already slopped nearly 1 Million of our dollars into a project called 'Truthy' designed to 'collect and analyze your Twitter data.' Why? That answer is full of vague, trendy, politically correct socially responsible definitions that can mean anything the State Science Institute wants them to mean." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pc2xzyw  

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Trolling is a free speech issue and always has been

October 22, 2014
posted by

spiked spiked
by Tom Slater  

"The sight of a politician deciding what should and shouldn't have a 'place' on social media, and empowering the courts and the police to intervene accordingly, has rightfully sparked concern among commentators and free-speech campaigners. Emma Carr, deputy director of the civil-liberties group Big Brother Watch, warned that 'these new amendments, and potentially laws, could stifle freedom of speech online.' In the Daily Mail, Dominic Lawson was even more forthright: '[T]o ask the police to keep up with every troll on the exponentially expanding internet is to wish for a publicly funded security organisation more akin to that of the People's Republic of China, or the late unlamented East German Stasi.'" (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lostc8w  

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Sauce for the goose

October 22, 2014
posted by

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith  

"Throughout its history, American culture, otherwise a shining beacon of individual liberty, has suppressed the freedom of certain minority groups, among them, homosexuals. Unbelievable physical brutality and evil, repressive, unjust laws characterized this period. In the latter part of the twentieth century, and the early part of the twenty-first, that highly regrettable situation has been turned on its head. In Denver, a baker is being persecuted by authorities for refusing to violate his religious principles by making a wedding cake for two males." (10/19/14)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle793-20141019-02.html  

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Spare me the sermon, Houston

October 22, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J Saunders  

"If you believe Houston Mayor Annise Parker, then you have to believe that when lawyers for her city subpoenaed five local pastors and demanded their sermons, the episode represented an unfortunate instance of lawyer overreach, with no intent to harass or intimidate the opposition. This story begins in May when the Houston City Council passed by an 11-to-6 vote an equal rights ordinance that banned discrimination based on sex, race and national origin -- as well as sexual orientation and gender identity. Some local church leaders objected. They petitioned to put a measure on the ballot to repeal the ordinance." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nh6856p  

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Weird Al Franken

October 22, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by William Blum  

"I receive a continuous stream of emails from 'progressive' organizations asking me to vote for Senator Franken or contribute to his re-election campaign this November, and I don’t even live in Minnesota. Even if I could vote for him, I wouldn’t. No one who was a supporter of the war in Iraq will get my vote unless they unequivocally renounce that support. And I don’t mean renounce it like Hillary Clinton’s nonsense about not having known enough." (10/21/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/10/21/weird-al-franken/  

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Curbing Obama power grabs

October 22, 2014
posted by

Paul Driessen Heartland Institute
by Paul Driessen  

"The courts and Senate provide no checks and balances. Could a Republican Senate help?" [editor's note: The answer is "probably not, and if so only briefly until there's a Republican president, after which it will be back to business as usual" - TLK] (10/21/14)

http://blog.heartland.org/2014/10/curbing-obama-power-grabs/  

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What do Obamacare and the war on ISIS have in common?

October 22, 2014
posted by

Campaign For Liberty Campaign For Liberty
by Norm Singleton  

"The Obama Administration has not been honest with the American people about the costs of either." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mz8l3rn  

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Standard myth

October 22, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"Paul Krugman’s allegation that Amazon has harmful monopsony power misses many a mark, not least of which is Mr. Krugman's mistaken account of John. D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil as a monopoly that 'had too much power' ('Amazon's Monopsony Is Not O.K.,' Oct. 20). Serious students of Standard's practices during the late 19th and early 20th centuries understand that complaints against that company came overwhelmingly from other refiners who couldn't match Standard’s great efficiencies. Yet no complaints came from consumers. Standard made them overwhelmingly better off -- which is compelling evidence that Standard did not have monopoly power." (10/21/14)

http://cafehayek.com/2014/10/standard-myth.html  

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Mitch McConnell will say anything for a ham

October 22, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Lee Fang  

"In an election that could propel Senator Mitch McConnell to become Senate majority leader (a position that would give him wide sway over climate change policy, including influence over the Environmental Protection Agency) the Kentucky politician declined to respond to a question earlier this month about whether he believes climate change is a real problem. 'I’m not a scientist,' McConnell responded in an interview with The Cincinnati Enquirer’s editorial board. But earlier in his career, when McConnell played a pivotal role on behalf of the tobacco industry against increasing government regulation and taxes, the Republican leader believed he had enough scientific knowledge to question public-health officials." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pjrhlxd  

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Gene Healy on The Scott Horton Show

October 22, 2014
posted by

Gene Healy The Scott Horton Show
by  

"Gene Healy, a vice president at the Cato Institute, discusses his article 'The Forever-War President: Obama’s 'Transformational' War Powers Legacy.'" [Flash audio or MP3] (10/20/14)

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2014/10/20/102014-gene-healy/  

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In ancapistan, if you have no property, you have no rights

October 22, 2014
posted by

Gene Callahan La Bocca della Verita
by Gene Callahan  

"Ancaps often declare, 'All rights are property rights.' I was thinking about this the other day, in the context of running into libertarians online who insisted that libertarianism supports 'the freedom of movement,' and realized that this principle actually entails that people without property have no rights at all, let alone any right to 'freedom of movement.'" (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p68jl83  

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Is Medicaid-associated overuse of emergency departments just a surge?

October 22, 2014
posted by

John R. Graham Independent Institute
by John R. Graham  

"Research from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research suggests that rising Medicaid dependency does not result in a secular increase in use of hospitals’ emergency departments. Rather, the jump in ED use is just pent-up demand being satisfied, and drops off. This is the conclusion of a study that examined ED visits by California patients newly enrolled in a government program similar to Medicaid, called the Low Income Health Program (LIHP). This suggests different consequences to Medicaid expansion than the Oregon Medicaid experiment showed ..." (10/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lg4hapt  

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How economics helps us understand: Airline practices

October 22, 2014
posted by

Art Carden EconLog
by Art Carden  

"The world is a pretty complex and mesmerizing place, and people (and firms) do a lot of things that are, at first glance, hard to understand. Consider airlines. I've heard on numerous occasions complaints about how major carriers board their planes inefficiently: by using alternative loading and unloading schemes, they can turn flights around more quickly and earn more money by operating more flights. And to be sure, turnaround time is important. However, it isn't everything." (10/20/14)

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

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Pulling the plug on corporate personhood

October 22, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Rob Richie  

"American democracy is reaching a breaking point, from failed winner-take-all voting rules to blatant attempts to suppress voter turnout. The rising torrent of campaign spending by the 1% has triggered particular outrage. Activists leapt into action after the Supreme Court’s January 2010 Citizens United decision, which not only overturned a century of precedent that barred corporate money in American elections, but also enshrined corporations as non-human entities that have the same constitutional rights as people. Since Citizens United and other court rulings limit what can be done by statute, amending the constitution to overturn these rulings has become a major focus of activists." [editor's note: As usual, focusing on amending the constitution only guarantees nothing gets done on this for many years - SAT] (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o7sslsz  

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Three rival forms of liberty: Federalism, property and liberation

October 22, 2014
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by Adam Gurri  

"Liberty is something that every American believes is his birthright. We're the 'land of the free;' our capital is the 'capital of the free world.' Libertarians make the very idea of liberty central to their ideology, their tribe, their identity -- it's right in the name, after all. But what exactly liberty consists of is a hotly-debated subject." (10/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q7ygao6  

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We have no idea if universal preschool actually helps kids

October 22, 2014
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by David J. Armor  

In political campaigns around the country, at least one proposal enjoys bipartisan support: expanding early childhood education. In gubernatorial races in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Michigan and Georgia, both the Democratic and Republican candidates support expanding government provision of 'high-quality' pre-kindergarten education. And why wouldn’t they? A raft of recent studies claim major benefits for children who start school early. The problem is, most of the studies that show benefits have major research design flaws, one of which is an inability to demonstrate long-term gains. And the few top-quality studies out there reveal few, if any, lasting benefits." (10/21/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oqu58l8  

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Leslie Gelb is right

October 22, 2014
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"Gelb, the president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, is the veritable embodiment of the Establishment inside-the-Beltway policy wonk. A former Pentagon official, and diplomatic correspondent for the New York Times, he is by no means an anti-interventionist: Gelb fully supported the Iraq war. Yet he was honest enough to admit not only the total failure of that fateful enterprise but also his dubious reasons for initially endorsing it ..." (10/22/14)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/10/21/leslie-gelb-is-right/  

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