Commentary

A Martian’s assessment of Earth

November 25, 2014
posted by

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Godfrey Bloom  

"Let us assume for the purpose of argument we were hosting a competent, experienced management consultant from another galaxy with an in depth knowledge of planet earth’s economic history. He has, of course, no cronies, no axe to grind, he is dispassionate, he is most certainly not an intellectual or academic. He is not part of any political dogma or machine. He has no cronies and no personal financial interest. Indeed he returns to his own galaxy on completion of his report. What would this ice-cold individual recommend driven by pure common sense?" (11/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mjzyt58  

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The Ferguson uprising is only a SHTF preview

November 25, 2014
posted by

Ron Holland The Daily Bell
by Ron Holland  

"Events unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri in the 'Show Me State,' are allowing Americans an opportunity to safely watch on cable news a frightening preview of what will likely happen when a real SHTF event takes place. Just take the uprising in the small town of Ferguson (population 21,000) and multiply the mob violence and police/military overreaction somewhere between 200 and 500 times to get a glimpse of the future should poor areas of many cities and metropolitan areas erupt following a severe financial crisis and subsequent cut in welfare benefits and government employment in a future crisis scenario." (11/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lx7vgm5  

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Why it’s impossible to indict a cop

November 25, 2014
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Chase Madar  

"How to police the police is a question as old as civilization, now given special urgency by a St. Louis County grand jury’s return of a 'no bill' of indictment for Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in his fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown. The result is shocking to many, depressingly predictable to more than a few. Can the cops be controlled? It’s never been easy: according to one old sociological chestnut, the monopoly on the legitimate use of violence is what defines modern government, and this monopoly is jealously protected against the second-guessing of puny civilians." (11/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o2pzgop  

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Thank Obama for all he’s done

November 25, 2014
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"While I still harbor doubts about implementation, Obama's recent executive order on immigration exceeds my wildest hopes from two months ago. Yet to be honest, I'm having trouble feeling thankful. Not because I'm afraid he's 'undermined the rule of law.' Legal arguments aside, I strongly believe that unjust laws should not be enforced and broken whenever expedient. No, I'm having trouble feeling thankful about Obama's executive action because ..." (11/25/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/11/thank_obama_for.html  

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Iraq: What if it weren’t us?

November 25, 2014
posted by

Tom Dispatch
by Tom Engelhardt  

"Let’s play a game, the kind that makes no sense on this single-superpower planet of ours. For a moment, do your best to suspend disbelief and imagine that there’s another superpower, great power, or even regional power somewhere that, between 2001 and 2003, launched two major wars in the Greater Middle East. We’re talking about full-scale invasions, long-term occupations, and nation-building programs, first in Afghanistan and then in Iraq. ... Having imagined that, ask yourself: How well did all of that turn out for this other power? " (11/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kzqlrly  

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Stupid Patent of the Month: Who wants to buy teamwork from Penn State?

November 25, 2014
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Daniel Nazer  

"Ever wanted to own the latest in 'teamwork' technology? Well, you’re in luck. On December 8, Penn State is holding a large patent auction, and one of the items is U.S. Patent 8,442,839. This patent purports to describe an improved collaborative 'decision-making process.' As well as being a good example of a silly patent, this month’s winner highlights concerns with universities trying to monetize their patent portfolio. Why would a university, which presumably has a mission of promoting knowledge and innovation, sell an unsuccessful patent that has no value except to a troll?" (11/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oypwdpe  

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Cause of death in Utah

November 25, 2014
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"[A]s the Tribune explains: 'so far this year, deadly force by police has claimed more lives -- 13, including a Saturday shooting in South Jordan -- than has violence between spouses and dating partners.' The article goes on to talk about police training and other important issues surrounding police use of deadly force, but the long-term trends and are not clear. We know that violent crime is going down in the country. Are police shootings going up, or have they merely remained stable against the rest of the violence?" (11/25/14)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2014/11/25/cause-of-death-in-utah/  

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Warrant forgiveness: A step in the right direction for Saint Louis County cities

November 25, 2014
posted by

Show-Me Institute Show-Me Institute
by Joseph Miller  

"Recently, 65 municipalities in Saint Louis County announced a warrant forgiveness program for December. In the program, defendants with outstanding warrants can get their warrant dropped if they go to the municipal court that issued the warrant and post a $100 bond. While this is a good thing for many poor residents who have, for whatever reason, failed to attend court, it does not change the underlying problem of cities relying on fines and fees to fund themselves." (11/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kkvx69g  

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Fox News

November 25, 2014
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Tim Eagan  

Cartoon. (11/24/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/11/fox-news/  

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A European revolution against Google’s virtual colonialization?

November 25, 2014
posted by

Scott Cleland Heartland Institute
by Scott Cleland  

"The European Parliament reportedly is scheduled to vote this week on a political non-binding resolution urging the European Commission to 'enforce EU competition rules decisively' against search engines, i.e. Google. What is going on? In a nutshell, this vote has three big effective implications. It is a political revolt and declaration of Independence from Google's virtual hegemony. It is a rejection of former EC Vice President Almunia's gross mishandling of the Google competition case. And it is a vote for a European 'single digital market' to promote European economic growth and job creation." (11/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lo59h6k  

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Carbon makes the world go round

November 25, 2014
posted by

spiked spiked
by James Woudhuysen  

"In my view, industrialisation has added to the greenhouse gases of the world and thus to global warming. Moreover, CO2 is the most significant manmade greenhouse gas. So we should move to a low-carbon or zero-carbon world, right Not so fast. This simplistic, black-and-white view of carbon is far too prevalent." (11/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nyyhrhg  

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Thank you, Thomas, for your Big Freakin’ Book

November 25, 2014
posted by

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Neil Lock  

Neil Lock reviews KN@PPSTER's Big Freakin' Book of Stuff. Lock: "I have the PDF of 'Kn@ppster's Big Freakin' Book of Stuff' by Thomas L. Knapp. There's lots of good stuff here, though most is very US-centric. Meaning, that it won't be understood by those from east of the pond, except for a few oddballs like me. (Factoid and disclaimer: Of the 48 states of the contiguous USA, I have only visited 37.) I started out intending this as a blog comment; I didn't intend it to be a book review. But it seems to have grown. So here we go ..." (11/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ldqslur  

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You didn’t really think Darren Wilson would be indicted, did you?

November 25, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ron Jacobs  

"Did you really believe Darren Wilson was going to be indicted for murdering Michael Brown? Did you think a cop was going to face a trial for gunning down a young man he thought should be arrested? Do you think the law treats all people equally -- civilian and cop, rich and poor, black and white? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you have been watching too much television." (11/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/myvnw2n  

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Are fiscal issues Christie’s Achilles heel for 2016?

November 25, 2014
posted by

Competitive Enterprise Institute Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Carrie Sheffield  

"With the Bridgegate scandal apparently fading, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is politically rising after leading GOP governors to a solid Election Day showing under his chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association. He personally won re-election last year in a deeply Blue State with 60 percent of the vote. Yet his administration has stumbled in fiscal management, experiencing a bond rating downgrade this year by all three major rating agencies: Fitch, Moody’s Investors Service and Standard and Poor’s." (11/23/14)

https://cei.org/content/are-fiscal-issues-christies-achilles-heel-2016  

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Hagel’s departure will make no difference

November 25, 2014
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger  

"Here's the reality: No matter who Obama selects as Defense Secretary, the crises and the chaos will not only continue, they will continue to get worse. That's because all these crises and chaos didn’t occur because the 'wrong' person was appointed Secretary of Defense or even because Barack Obama was elected president, as many Republicans would like to believe." (11/25/14)

http://fff.org/2014/11/25/hagels-departure-will-make-no-difference/  

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The Internet memory hole

November 25, 2014
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy Foundation for Economic Education
by Wendy McElroy  

"Under 'the right to be forgotten,' a new 'human right' established in the European Union in 2012, people can legally require a search engine to delete links to their names, even if information at the linked source is true and involves a public matter such as an arrest. The Google form for requesting removal asks the legally relevant question of why the link is 'irrelevant, outdated, or otherwise objectionable.' Then it is up to the search engine to determine whether to delete the link. The law's purpose is to prevent people from being stigmatized for life. The effect, however, is to limit freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and access to information. Each person becomes a potential censor who can rewrite history for personal advantage." (11/24/14)

http://fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-internet-memory-hole  

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Defeat of USA Freedom Act is a victory for freedom

November 25, 2014
posted by

US Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) Campaign For Liberty
by Ron Paul  

"After several re-authorizations of the PATRIOT Act, including some cosmetic reforms, Congress last October unveiled the USA FREEDOM Act. This was advertised as the first wholesale PATRIOT Act Reform bill. In fact, the House version was watered down to the point of meaninglessness and the Senate version was not much better. The final straw was the bill’s extension of key elements of the PATRIOT Act until 2017. Fortunately, last week the USA FREEDOM Act was blocked from further consideration in the US Senate. The procedural vote was significant and important, but it caused some confusion as well." (11/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mqnorcx  

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America’s cluster-bomb Congress

November 25, 2014
posted by

James Bovard Future of Freedom Foundation
by James Bovard  

"Tens of thousands of Americans have been bushwhacked by a single arcane sentence in a 673-page law Congress enacted six years ago. The IRS is seizing both federal and state tax refunds for individuals whom the Social Security Administration accuses of having received excessive benefits years ago. But the government often has zero evidence of the overpayments, and the feds have sought to hold people liable for the alleged debts of their long-dead parents." (11/24/14)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/americas-cluster-bomb-congress/  

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Hagel out; Obama’s inner circle is intact

November 25, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"When President Obama chose former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel to serve as his third Secretary of Defense, most Republicans were not amused. Obama was able to claim that his pick was an example of his reaching across the aisle, when in fact, most Beltway Repubs viewed Hagel with distrust. Yes, Hagel is a Vietnam vet, a volunteer who was the first veteran of enlisted rank to head the Pentagon. Yes, he had voted for the Iraq War in 2002. But Hagel also turned against the Iraq War, and went so far as to assert that 'of course' it was about oil. ... Hagel was the perfect Obama pick: on paper, he seemed to offer bipartisan appeal, but in reality, Hagel enraged the right. Only four GOP senators voted to confirm him." (11/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ktnunub  

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Not one more. Not even one.

November 25, 2014
posted by

Rad Geek People's Daily
by Rad Geek  

"In the wake of Obama's big announcement on expanding deferred-action status, I am glad to see something, anything happening at last on immigration. And I am immensely happy for the families that have been able to sleep a little easier the last couple nights. But after millions deported, this so little too late, and it is not nearly enough. No one should face deportation." (11/23/14)

http://radgeek.com/gt/2014/11/23/not-one-more-not-even-one/  

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Secret malware in European Union attack linked to US and British intelligence

November 25, 2014
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by Morgan Marquis-Boire, Claudio Guarnieri and Ryan Gallagher  

"Complex malware known as Regin is the suspected technology behind sophisticated cyberattacks conducted by U.S. and British intelligence agencies on the European Union and a Belgian telecommunications company, according to security industry sources and technical analysis conducted by The Intercept. Regin was found on infected internal computer systems and email servers at Belgacom, a partly state-owned Belgian phone and internet provider, following reports last year that the company was targeted in a top-secret surveillance operation carried out by British spy agency Government Communications Headquarters, industry sources told The Intercept." (11/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p9o3ww9  

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Whence cometh moral outrage?

November 25, 2014
posted by

Skyler J Collins Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins  

"Everyone seems to have their own definition of morality. Why is that? If morality is 'the proper behavior for a person in society,' which I think it is, then why is there such disagreement on what constitutes immoral behavior? Or put another way, what causes people to feel 'moral outrage' toward certain behaviors and not toward others, and why do some feel it toward a given behavior while another does not? Why the seemingly subjective nature of moral outrage, but not of morality? Got your shovel? Good. Let's dig!" (11/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ozkttyd  

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The Freedom Report Podcast, 11/24/14

November 25, 2014
posted by

The Libertarian Republic The Libertarian Republic
by  

"Readers of the Libertarian Republic have been writing to us requesting to have a discussion about net neutrality. Today’s episode of the Freedom Report podcast examines the threat to the free market posed by further regulation, as well as examines possible solutions to the mess created by government." [Flash audio or MP3] (11/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lx4ax3x  

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Rand Paul points to real executive overreach: Undeclared wars

November 25, 2014
posted by

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols  

"Rand Paul may not fully recognize it, but he has outlined an important challenge to the selective outrage of his fellow Republicans when it comes to executive actions by American presidents. In moving to force Congress to formally decide whether to declare war on the Islamic State militants that the United States is already fighting, the senator from Kentucky is highlighting the failure of Republican congressional leaders (or, for the most part, their Democratic counterparts) to take seriously what should always be the most concerning example of executive overreach. This is the executive action that troubled the founders above all others: warmaking by presidents in the absence of a declaration of war by the Congress." [editor's note: I'm just amazed it took a "progressive" pundit to point this out, while the "libertarian" media bitched about what a GOP Senator's done this time - SAT] (11/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kqunp37  

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More streetcar boosterism from the Kansas City Star

November 25, 2014
posted by

Show-Me Institute Show-Me Institute
by Joseph Miller  

"The Kansas City Star recently revealed an interactive report on $1.7 billion in existing and possible new developments in downtown Kansas City. Anyone who is interested in some new exciting projects is encouraged to take a look, but be prepared for some streetcar propaganda. While the Star doesn't go so far as to claim that the as-yet-unfinished streetcar directly caused all the development, the report heavily implies it." (11/24/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l36ak37  

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