Commentary

Obama and the appeasement myth

April 18, 2014
posted by

Steve Chapman Reason
by Steve Chapman  

"The stark fact is that Ukraine is not a place over which the U.S. and NATO should be ready to go to war, and nothing short of going to war will change its fate." (04/17/14)

http://reason.com/archives/2014/04/17/obama-and-the-appeasement-myth  

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The shocking secret behind Obamacare enrollment numbers

April 18, 2014
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Michael F. Cannon  

"Barack Obama wants you to know he enrolled 7.5 million Americans through Obamacare’s health insurance Exchanges. What he doesn’t want you to know is how. Federal courts may soon rule that President Obama induced the majority of those enrollees to enroll by offering them taxpayer dollars he has no legal authority to spend." (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p5qxf8j  

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The black market correction

April 18, 2014
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Gabriel Amadej  

"It’s intriguing to see the progressive Left uniting against drug prohibition. They’re not with us in spirit, nor should they be, but they’ve laid the groundwork for its critique, and in a way that is sewn with the same threads of our passing commonalities. Many hold that only 'hard' drugs should be combated with force and other 'safe' drugs regulated in their consumption. This is certainly disappointing, but we, the decentralist Left, can exploit this opportunity." (04/16/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/26426  

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Police brutality is a crime against civilization

April 18, 2014
posted by

Zero Gov Zero Gov
by Bill Buppert  

"The state is driven by the notion that it can commit immoral acts to achieve moral ends. Absent terroristic styles of governance, it has no authority to exact the shaping of society it desires. Terrorism is the politically motivated threat or use of violence against innocents and non-combatants." (04/18/14)

http://zerogov.com/?p=3379  

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The next IRS tactic vs. expats and accidental Americans?

April 18, 2014
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy The Daily Bell
by Wendy McElroy  

"An 'accidental American' is a person who lives in Canada (or another non-U.S. nation) and holds dual citizenship, whether or not he knows it. For example, it includes every Canadian child born to an American parent even if he never sets foot on U.S. Soil. America requires citizens living abroad to file tax forms on the money they earn and to report foreign bank accounts as well as other assets. The foreign income is usually considered taxable by the IRS. But, even if no taxes are owed, the possible penalty for not reporting is $10,000 per undisclosed asset per year." (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o4n4zdc  

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Solar flares up

April 18, 2014
posted by

Marita Noon Heartland Institute
by Marita Noon  

"It is amazing that something that seems as up-beat as 'free' electricity from the sun can have such a dark side. I started covering some of the shenanigans from the solar industry last summer when I wrote about the 'Green Tea Party' in Georgia. I had no idea what a can of worms I’d opened." (04/17/14)

http://blog.heartland.org/2014/04/solar-flares-up/  

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The middle class is not “normal”

April 18, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Thom Hartmann  

"There’s nothing 'normal' about having a middle class. Having a middle class is a choice that a society has to make, and it’s a choice we need to make again in this generation, if we want to stop the destruction of the remnants of the last generation’s middle class. Despite what you might read in the Wall Street Journal or see on Fox News, capitalism is not an economic system that produces a middle class. In fact, if left to its own devices, capitalism tends towards vast levels of inequality and monopoly. The natural and most stable state of capitalism actually looks a lot like the Victorian England depicted in Charles Dickens’ novels." [editor's note: He's not far from wrong about "capitalism"; he just doesn't know squat about "free markets" - SAT] (04/17/14)

http://ourfuture.org/20140417/the-middle-class-is-not-normal  

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Why I’m cheering for fossil fuels this Earth Day

April 18, 2014
posted by

John Stossel Fox News Forum
by John Stossel  

""The heavens reek, the waters below are foul ... we are in a crisis of survival." That's how Walter Cronkite and CBS hyped the first Earth Day, back in 1970. Somehow we've survived since then, and most of life got better, although I never hear that from the worrywarts. Of course, some things got better because of government: We passed environmental rules that got most of the filth out of the air and sewage out of lakes and rivers. Great -- but now we're told that we're in big trouble because greenhouse gases cause global warming. I mean, climate change." (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qftvf68  

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Online illegal drugs markets show us the potential benefits of legalisation

April 18, 2014
posted by

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith Institute
by Daniel Pryor  

"Growing up in Essex has made me appreciate why purchasing illegal drugs online is a far more attractive option. I have experienced the catastrophic effects of drug prohibition first-hand, and it is part of the reason that the issue means a great deal to me. Friends and acquaintances have had terrible experiences due to contamination from unscrupulous dealers with little incentive to raise their drugs’ quality, and every reason to lace their products with harmful additives. The violence associated with buying and selling drugs in person has affected the lives of people close to me." (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pwb2zgq  

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Can National Popular Vote end the voting wars?

April 18, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Rob Richie  

"One of the most pernicious outcomes of the intense political struggle between Democrats and Republicans is the parties’ breathtaking capacity to game our voting rules. Nothing makes voters more cynical than seeing political leaders seemingly supporting or opposing election laws based solely on their partisan impact -- from redistricting reform to fights over whether to allow early voting. But a reform win in New York could foreshadow a cease-fire in the voting wars. On April 15, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation making New York the 10th state to pass the National Popular Vote (NPV) interstate compact for president." [editor's note: Short answer? Umm, no? - SAT] (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/prdx6vs  

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Soldiers: Strippers, smiters, mockers, spitters, gamblers, thieves, liars, scourgers, bribe takers, assaulters, mutilators and crucifiers

April 18, 2014
posted by

Laurence M. Vance LewRockwell.com
by Laurence M. Vance  

"The Bible on several occasions likens a Christian to a soldier (Philippians 2:25, 2 Timothy 2:3, Philemon 2). As soldiers, Christians are admonished to 'put on the whole armor of God' (Ephesians 6:11). The Apostle Paul, who himself said: 'I have fought a good fight' (2 Timothy 4:7), told a young minister to 'war a good warfare' (1 Timothy 1:18). But it does not follow, as some Christians think, that because Christians are likened to soldiers in the New Testament that it is okay for a Christian to join the U.S. military and bomb, maim, kill, and destroy for the U.S. government in Iraq and Afghanistan." (04/18/14)

http://bit.ly/1eGOJPx  

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The saddest job in the world

April 18, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Mark Morford  

"Were you thinking parenting? Compost truck driver? Michele Bachmann’s twitchy left eyelid? Close. ... You might be right. Or rather, you might be almost right. But I tend to think there’s a job that’s even worse, given how it’s an even more boring form of halfhearted evil, a laborious orientation so numbing and heartless that it’s regularly applauded by the jaded minions of the Devil himself, albeit indifferently. Which, of course, makes it even worse. Indeed, I believe there’s a special place in purgatory reserved for people who create, track, heartily defend and then barely enjoy the sidelong profits from the dregs of American fast food." (04/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nok9rp2  

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White noise, black politics

April 18, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Melissa Harris-Perry  

"This year, Harvard admitted a record number of black students, and it boasts the highest black graduation rate in the Ivy League. The faculty, facilities and programming budget at Harvard’s W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute make it the envy of the American academy. There is an active, thirty-seven-year-old Black Students Association on campus. The Hutchins Center houses a hip-hop archive and publishes the well-regarded Du Bois Review. The president and first lady of the United States are both graduates of Harvard Law School." (04/17/14)

http://www.thenation.com/article/179380/white-noise-black-politics  

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On strategy

April 18, 2014
posted by

Daily Anarchist Daily Anarchist
by Michael Hendricks  

"Life is a giant competition. Opportunities and threats constantly present themselves and the people with the most efficient, and decisive strategy are rewarded with success. Though many people are attached to the notion of “fairness,” the reality is that life isn’t fair, and it pays to be a winner. Strategy is used in all aspects of life, but for some reason strategy is seldom taught. I’d like to rectify that situation by introducing formal strategic thinking to activists, hopefully increasing their understanding of how to effectively accomplish their goals." (04/18/14)

http://dailyanarchist.com/2014/04/18/on-strategy/  

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The Great Writ

April 18, 2014
posted by

David S. D'Amato Future of Freedom Foundation
by David S. D'Amato  

"Among libertarians generally, there is a somewhat dependable tendency to hark back to the halcyon days of a supposed free age somewhere in the past, and to spotlight certain related features of Anglo-American legal history in service to that narrative. As those features are romanticized, they become totemic symbols of the classical-liberal tradition and its precursors, and are thus held away from criticism and analysis to a regrettable extent. In his new book, The Power of Habeas Corpus in America: From the King’s Prerogative to the War on Terror, Anthony Gregory attends to this propensity as it applies to the recondite legal doctrine of habeas corpus." (04/16/14)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/the-great-writ/  

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A cubicle of one’s own

April 18, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Chris Lehmann  

"It’s odd to come to the end of a sprightly historical tour of the vexed, overplanned world of the modern workplace and realize that the emerging trends are represented by, well, you. Let me explain. In Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, Nikil Saval plumbs the management theories and competing design philosophies that produced, in high modernism’s mid-20th century heyday, the arid, soul-crushing, dubiously efficient built environment known as the information workplace. Saval, an editor with n+1, speculates that the lovingly choreographed cubicle-and-corridor organization of work may be consigned to history’s dustbin by today’s knowledge workers. " (04/17/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/16562/a_cubicle_of_ones_own  

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Why won’t Medicare pay for medical tourism?

April 18, 2014
posted by

Independent Institute Independent Institute
by John R. Graham  

"The costs of health care in Mexico are 60 percent to 80 percent lower than in the United States. Cash-paying Americans travel to Mexico for many medical procedures. Joffe cites estimates of around half a million Americans annually visiting Mexico for medical care (although the number travelling only to fill prescriptions is not reported). Joffe notes that 25,000 Americans living in Mexico in 2011 were receiving Social Security deposits. Unlike half a million other Americans who travel to Mexico for treatment, these retirees and their spouses return to the United States for treatment. The reason is that Medicare does not pay for their treatment out of country. Joffe doesn’t estimate how much money Medicare would save if it paid for their treatment in Mexico, but a back of the envelope estimate is not hard to figure out." (04/16/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o63j6ua  

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The establishment’s war on Rand Paul

April 18, 2014
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"The war is on -- no, not that war, this war: I’m talking about the GOP establishment’s war on Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, whose presidential campaign has taken wing and soared. And it isn’t just the Karl Roves and Peter Kings of this world who are up in arms over the prospect of an anti-interventionist libertarian in the White House: they’re getting plenty of tactical support from 'liberals' like David Corn. Why do they hate him?" [editor's note: I'm confused. Raimondo starts talking about Rand Paul, then switches tracks to reference some un-named "anti-interventionist libertarian" (Paul says he's not a libertarian, and he's clearly not an anti-interventionist) - TLK]

http://tinyurl.com/n3yqulq  

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Judging Obama’s “evolution” on marriage equality

April 18, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"Years from now, Barack Obama will almost certainly be seen as the most significant American president in the history of the gay rights movement. Under his watch, the military ended its policy of discrimination against gay service-members, the Defense of Marriage Act was abandoned by the administration and then overturned by the Supreme Court, and a majority of Americans came to embrace marriage equality -- not least, the president himself. But there's another way to look at that story, which is that on marriage, at least, Obama had to be dragged to the position he eventually took." (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oulzeg7  

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Some more touchy-feely thoughts on immigration

April 18, 2014
posted by

Robert P. Murphy Free Advice
by Robert P. Murphy  

"First, I don’t describe my position as 'open borders.' That would be like saying I’m 'closed schools' if I’m against government funding of education. Second, the poster that got 18,000+ shares on Facebook wasn’t merely saying, 'Look at the hypocrisy here.' No, it actually said, 'I wish my Federal Government would put this many resources on our Southern Border instead of on Cliven Bundy’s cattle ranch.'" (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/owfrr8t  

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Liberating the poor from poverty

April 18, 2014
posted by

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by Peter Ferrara  

"Poverty has exploded to record levels under President Obama. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) have offered plans that would sharply reduce poverty in America." (04/17/14)

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ib143  

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Tunnel vision

April 18, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"The tunnel is an example of privately constructed infrastructure. Even if you believe that this tunnel’s construction and use are socially wasteful, you cannot doubt that the tunnel and its fiber cable are hard evidence against the proposition that only government has the vision, incentive, and wherewithal to construct big and pricey physical pieces of infrastructure." (04/17/14)

http://cafehayek.com/2014/04/tunnel-vision.html  

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CEI Podcast, 04/17/14

April 18, 2014
posted by

Competitive Enterprise Institute Competitive Enterprise Institute
by  

"Iain Murray, CEI’s Vice President for Strategy, along with Freedom Association Director Rory Broomfield, won second place in the Institute for Economic Affairs’ Brexit Competition. The goal of the competition is to devise a strategy for Britain’s exit from the European Union." [Flash video or MP#] (04/17/14)

http://www.libertyweek.org/2014/04/17/april-17-2014-brexit-strategy/  

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“They’ll mess it up!”: Not an objection to a moral theory

April 17, 2014
posted by

Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Jason Brennan  

"I posted some initial thoughts about lying to voters in a recent post. In my book The Ethics of Voting, I argue that most voting is wrongful. In the recent post, I said that voters are kind of like the murderer at the door, and the principles that explain when you can lie to the murderer at the door explain when you can lie to voters. ... Many of the commenters said that my position can’t be right because people will misapply it in dangerous ways. They are right that politicians will misapply it in dangerous ways. In fact, I bet some politicians who wrongfully lie do so because they think that they mistakenly fall under a murderer at the door-type case. But that doesn’t mean that the principle is wrong. It just means that people tend to mess up the application." (04/17/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pmnunjk  

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The sad state of the economics profession

April 17, 2014
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Frank Hollenbeck  

"It is not an exaggeration to say the current reputation of economists is probably just below that of a used car salesman. The recent failures of economic policies to boost growth or employment have tarnished this image even more. This, however, is in sharp contrast to the past when economists were seen as the intellectual roadblock to popular misconceptions, bad ideas, or more importantly, government policies sold to the public on false assumptions. Popular slogans such as 'protecting American jobs' play on nationalism, but in reality only serve special interests. The economist of the past would never have hesitated to highlight the fallacies in such reasoning." (04/17/14)

http://mises.org/daily/6726/The-Sad-State-of-the-Economics-Profession  

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