Commentary

To Caesar what is Caesar’s, to God what is God’s, part 2

February 11, 2016
posted by

Reformed Libertarian
by C Jay Engel  

"Law has been force, is force, and always will be forced. Until this is grasped, the questions which come up in every popular election will continue to be answered incorrectly, or at best, partially correctly. The state does not ensure people keep the law by just asking nicely. We don't call law enforcement 'law enpleadment' for a reason. This is oftentimes obfuscated by the white-collar facade of modern politics, we often fail to connect the dots between the outward appearance and the actions themselves. The essence of what civil government is is a forceful agency." (02/10/16)

http://reformedlibertarian.com/articles/philosophy/to-caesar-what-is-caesars-to-god-what-is-gods-an-examination-of-christian-duty-in-democratic-elections-part-2/  

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A stoic’s empire

February 11, 2016
posted by

The American Conservative The American Conservative
by David Bahr  

"There are not many philosophers in the Western canon who have taken an active role in politics. Give or take a few thinkers, we have an assortment of men whose lives reflect a slight paraphrase of Heidegger's description of Aristotle: they were born, they philosophized, and they died. Indeed, the equation of the contemplative life with the summum bonum -- an argument made famous in Aristotle's Ethics -- has been so pervasive throughout the history of Western thought that we have difficulty imagining how -- or if -- a philosophic spirit can be combined with an active political life. Fortunately, we have The Greatest Empire: A Life of Seneca, by University of Pennsylvania classics professor Emily Wilson, an intellectual biography of the Roman philosopher-statesman that admirably elucidates the 'paradoxes of being both a 'philosopher in politics' and a politician in philosophy.'" (02/11/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/a-stoics-empire/  

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Can the establishment fix its Bernie Sanders problem?

February 11, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Shamus Cooke  

"The Democrats' fight against Bernie is appearing futile. Like a python choking on an elephant, they've miscalculated. The Party elites underestimated their opponent, and with each new attack the snake swallows an extra inch, harming only itself. Establishment figureheads are taking turns ruining their reputation as they attempt to ruin Bernie's. The U.S. ruling class as a whole revealed the depth of its crisis in this election: not since the Vietnam War have both wings of the establishment thoroughly discredited themselves. The Republican wing combusted quickly while the Democrats have chosen a slower, more torturous form of self-harm." (02/11/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/11/can-the-establishment-fix-its-bernie-sanders-problem/  

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Sanders, Trump, and the war over American exceptionalism

February 11, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Peter Beinart  

"Pundits keep reminding us that the two men who won New Hampshire, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, are both 'outsiders.' But that doesn't mean much. George Wallace and George McGovern were both outsiders, too. While the Trump and Sanders campaigns both represent insurgencies against party elites, they represent insurgencies aimed at taking America in radically different directions. One way of understanding those different directions is through American exceptionalism. Sanders voters want to make America more like the rest of the world. Trump voters want to keep America a nation apart." (02/11/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/02/sanders-trump-and-the-war-over-american-exceptionalism/462267/  

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SCOTUS smackdown of the Obama Clean Power Plan: Top three takeaways

February 11, 2016
posted by

Jim Lakely Heartland Institute
by Jim Lakely  

"The U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) did something remarkable on Tuesday: It momentarily respected the separation of powers and finally shouted 'ENOUGH!' to the lawless rule of the Environmental Protection Agency. SCOTUS issued a stay on Obama's 'Clean Power Plan,' which is a radical law-by-decree scheme to do nothing less than put this nation's enormously complex energy-delivery system into the hands of central planners in Washington. It was Clinton advisor Paul Begala who once said: 'Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.' Not any more ... at least for now in this case." (02/10/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/02/scotus-smackdown-of-the-obama-clean-power-plan-top-3-takeaways/  

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Determinism, dependency, and the irreducible person

February 11, 2016
posted by

Acton Institute Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
by Ismael Hernandez  

"Sociological determinism informs our public policy. Those with a stake in the maintenance and expansion of government bureaucracies feed upon pathology and find a willing constituency among those who perceive the world in terms of victims and perpetrators. If men are not free, they are not responsible for their misdeeds and ought instead to be treated with pity for falling prey to tragic misfortunes. They are to be healed by those who understand their powerlessness. Such enabling has produced a host of psychotherapeutic terms and treatments attempting to explain every human condition and every degrading act." (02/10/16)

http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2016/02/10/determinism-dependency-irreducible-person  

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Bernie Sanders: The candidate the establishment needs

February 11, 2016
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by Kelly Vee  

"The Bernie Sanders campaign serves a vital purpose for the Democratic Party: he draws hordes of enthusiastic, passionate supporters, supporters who had lost faith in a broken political system -- supporters who will all jump ship to Hillary when Bernie inevitably fails. Because Bernie's supporters are so passionate and invested in the political system, they will feel they have no option but to vote for the 'least bad' candidate once the general election comes around." (02/10/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/43346  

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Interviewing Astra: International libertarian, musician, thinker, activist

February 11, 2016
posted by

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"If music is an international language it also seems that American-style 'Non-Aggression Principle' libertarianism has also gone global as well, at least in the form of one hot bilingual musician named Astra F. d'Oudney and her musical parents Kenn and Joanna d'Oudney." (02/10/16)

http://www.examiner.com/article/interviewing-astra-international-libertarian-musician-thinker-activist  

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THE question

February 11, 2016
posted by

Strike The Root
by Paul Hein  

"The Missouri Department of Revenue, like most modern businesses, publishes a website, on which it provides answers to commonly asked questions, of which there are a great many. Typically, they deal with rather narrow, technical issues. For instance: How do I file a request for a refund for a decedent? ... One cannot but be impressed with the ease with which 'Missouri' answers these questions regarding its income tax. There seems to be no question so abstruse as to defy an answer. The reason for that, in my opinion, is because of an underlying assumption on the part of the questioners: that they are liable, or may be liable, for the tax in the first place. Of course, the Department of Revenue does nothing to disturb this assumption. THE question, the one never asked, and therefore never answered, would be this: why must I pay a tax -- send money -- to the people who designate themselves as the 'State of Missouri?'" (02/10/16)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/question  

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Rules are different for the king’s men

February 11, 2016
posted by

A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg  

"When the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) breaks into 1,300 computers with a single, vaguely written warrant it's labeled justice. But when somebody breaks into the FBI's computers it's labeled criminal ..." (02/10/16)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2016/02/10/rules-are-different-for-the-kings-men/  

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Generation Sanders

February 11, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"For more than a year, my pragmatist friends and colleagues have underestimated the appeal of Bernie Sanders. As a big Sanders win approaches in the New Hampshire primary, they insist that this will be Sanders's last hurrah and urge his supporters to get real and get with the program -- which is to unite behind Hillary Clinton as the Democrat best positioned to be nominated and to win in November. Many of my political friends are simply missing the import of the Sanders campaign. Much of his appeal is a blend of generational and economic." (02/09/16)

http://prospect.org/article/generation-sanders  

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Trump & Sanders NH wins show people sick of the establishment

February 11, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Robert Reich  

"You will hear pundits analyze the New Hampshire primaries and conclude that the political 'extremes' are now gaining in American politics, that the Democrats have moved to the left and the Republicans have moved to the right, and the 'center' will not hold. Baloney! The truth is that the putative 'center' ... did a job on the rest of America, and is now facing a reckoning. The 'extremes' are not gaining ground. The anti-establishment ground forces of the American people are gaining. Some are so fed up they’re following an authoritarian bigot. Others are signing up for a 'political revolution' [sic] to take back America from the moneyed interests." [editor's note: Yet, as we now know, Hitlery still holds a huge lead, thanks to her indentured superdelegates, and the hell with what the voters want! - SAT] (02/10/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/18845/donald-trump-bernie-sanders-new-hampshire-establishment-extremism  

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What does the Constitution say about federal land ownership?

February 11, 2016
posted by

Rob Natelson Tenth Amendment Center
by Rob Natelson  

"Over a decade ago I became interested in what the Constitution, as the Founders understood it, had to say about federal land ownership. I researched prior writings on the subject. As often happens, I found most of the relevant legal 'scholarship' to be of poor quality. Liberal writers baldly claimed that the federal government could own any land it wants to, however it wants to, for any purpose -- and that anyone who disagreed was an 'extremist.'" (02/10/16)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/02/10/what-does-the-constitution-say-about-federal-land-ownership/  

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Hillary Clinton’s woman problem

February 11, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Ellie Hartleb  

"Bernie Sanders has captured the hearts of Millennial voters with his inspirational and emotional promise to bring the nation 'a future to believe in.' Although 74-year-old Sanders is a lifelong politician, his off-the-beaten-path campaign and perpetually disheveled aesthetic seem to be just the fresh (if wrinkled) face many young Democrats are looking for. That's even true of the women, and particularly young women. Sanders won women under 30 by about 6 to 1 over Hillary Clinton in Iowa. He nearly matched that Tuesday in New Hampshire and, even more sobering for Clinton, nearly seven in 10 women under 45 chose Sanders. Overall, Sanders won 53% of the female vote in New Hampshire to Clinton's 46% -- a reversal from Iowa, where she carried women, and one that could reflect a troubling trend for her campaign." (02/10/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/02/10/hillary-clintons-woman-problem-column/80175130  

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Misleading claims about a climate crisis in the Arctic must be corrected

February 11, 2016
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by Bob Endlich  

"The January-February 2016 issue of Audubon Magazine proclaims 'Arctic on the Edge: As global warming opens our most critical bird habitat, the world is closing in.' In reality, the magazine's writers and editors have gone over the edge, with wildly misleading 'reports' on the Arctic. The magazine is awash in misstatements of fact and plain ignorance of history, science and culture. It epitomizes the false claims that characterize 'news coverage' of 'dangerous manmade climate change.' The following analysis corrects only some of the most serious errors, but should raise red flags about most every claim Audubon makes." (02/10/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/02/misleading-claims-about-a-climate-crisis-in-the-arctic-must-be-corrected/  

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The battle over encryption and your right to privacy

February 11, 2016
posted by

The Jason Stapleton Program
by  

"Today we talk constitutional authority and the commerce clause. There's a battle going on to regulate and require companies to build 'back door' solutions to their encryption services so that law enforcement can see what you've been doing." [various formats] (02/10/16)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/the-battle-over-encryption-and-your-right-to-privacy/  

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Be pro-life AND pro-choice

February 11, 2016
posted by

Kent McManigal Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog
by Kent McManigal  

"Anti-abortion is not the same as pro-life. Not unless you are also against prohibition, cops, prisons, the military, and government in general. Then you could claim to be pro-life and I won't consider you a hypocrite. I know no one personally, in real life, who is anti-abortion and also pro-life. Instead I know a lot of people who are anti-abortion for religious reasons, and who are also supporters of prohibition, cops, prisons, the military, and government, supposedly also for religious reasons, and who don't seem to recognize their hypocrisy. On the other hand, pro-choice is not pro-liberty if your choices differ from the choices they want you to make." [text and Flash video] (02/10/16)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2016/02/be-pro-life-and-pro-choice.html  

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Rand Paul is out — but libertarianism is finally mainstream

February 10, 2016
posted by

Reason Reason
by Matt Kibbe  

"Despite ominous signs that the End Times near, everything's going to be all right. As someone who left a perfectly respectable day job last year to help elect Rand Paul president, I need to find the upside. I have finally emerged from my post-Iowa fetal position to offer some observations on what liberty voters, and libertarians generally, should make of it all. First off, I endorse the view, ably represented by Nick Gillespie and Matt Welch, that Rand's failure to win the Republican nomination in no way signals the end of the 'libertarian moment.'" [editor's note: There hasn't been a "libertarian moment" yet, and if there had been such a moment, a guy who started his political career off with a flat denial that he's a libertarian, then acted accordingly, wouldn't in any way have been representative of it - TLK] (02/10/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/02/10/rand-raul-mainstream-libertarians-presid  

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The Tom Woods Show, episode 590

February 10, 2016
posted by

The Tom Woods Show The Tom Woods Show
by  

"The brilliant Ron Unz, himself a Harvard alumnus, is spearheading a twofold campaign, pushing a slate of candidates to the Harvard Board of Overseers to (1) abolish tuition and (2) be more transparent about the admissions process, since it seems fairly obvious that Harvard is using a quota system. The proposal to abolish tuition may sound quixotic or even weird, but since tuition receipts are a tiny percentage of what Harvard earns from its endowment, it makes sense. Decide for yourself!" [various formats] (02/10/16)

http://tomwoodsshow.libsyn.com/ep-590-take-that-harvard-the-free-harvardfair-harvard-campaign-gains-steam  

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Active shooter drills and terrorizing children

February 10, 2016
posted by

Abigail Hall Independent Institute
by Abigail Hall  

"Tornado and fire drills are probably a good idea. Though both are fairly rare occurrences, teaching children, and adults for that matter, to be prepared for tornadoes and fires should probably be considered a best practice. But not all drills invoked such feelings during my school years. By the time I got to middle school, we hosted 'active shooter drills.' These drills taught us the following. In the event someone comes into the school with a gun and the intent to kill everyone, turn off the lights and huddle in the corner of the room. Assuming the assailant has really poor vision and can't see through the glass door, you'll be safe. (The unspoken lesson went like this. If the shooter isn't blind and can see through the door, pray that you're in the middle of the huddle and not on the border.)" (02/10/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/02/10/active-shooter-drills-and-terrorizing-children/  

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After 1,428 years here’s what brought down the world’s oldest business

February 10, 2016
posted by

Sovereign Man
by Simon Black  

"In 578 AD, a Korean immigrant named Shigemitsu Kongo made his way to Japan at the invitation of the royal family. Buddhism was on the rise in Japan at the time; though it had only been introduced a few decades prior, the Empress consort had been actively encouraging the adoption of Buddhism across Japan. But since the Japanese had no experience building Buddhist temples, they looked overseas for help. That’s where Kongo came in." (02/08/16)

https://www.sovereignman.com/trends/after-1428-years-heres-what-brought-down-the-worlds-oldest-business-18654/  

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New Hampshire: Rage against the political machine

February 10, 2016
posted by

spiked spiked
by Sean Collins  

"If someone had told you a year ago that Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders would win the New Hampshire primaries, you would have said they were crazy. And yet here we are. It's easy to forget how amazing this result is, given that opinion polls have been predicting this outcome for weeks. But votes are real, they count. And a presidential contest in November between a reality-TV star and an obscure socialist is now a real possibility." (02/10/16)

http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/new-hampshire-rage-against-the-political-machine/18020  

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The triumph of trans Lysenkoism

February 10, 2016
posted by

Rod Dreher The American Conservative
by Rod Dreher  

"[Dr. Kenneth] Zucker's crime? He is against the idea that children who experience gender dysphoria should be rushed into transitioning via hormone therapy and surgery, preferring instead a more cautious approach, given that unstable gender identity in childhood and adolescence sometimes resolves itself in time. This position is anathema to trans activists. Note well: Dr. Zucker is in favor of gender transitioning; he simply says that the scientific knowledge we have at this point advises a more cautious approach. For this, he got fired, and his clinic shut down." (02/10/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/the-triumph-of-trans-lysenkoism/  

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Causes of the 2008 financial crisis

February 10, 2016
posted by

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by Dennis McCuistion and David Grantham  

"Experts point to a variety of issues that likely caused the 2008 financial crisis, such as modern banking practices, unethical behavior or government policy. The available evidence suggests, however, that a convoluted interaction between the public sector and private sector business was the primary culprit. This relationship created the subprime mortgage crisis, which caused the 2008 meltdown. Why is this crisis any different, though? After all, government action in private finance is not a new phenomenon." [summary -- full paper available as PDF download] (02/10/16)

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/causes-of-the-2008-financial-crisis  

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Freedom, not infrastructure, is overcoming African poverty

February 10, 2016
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Chelsea German  

"Cape Verde’s superior infrastructure, the Post explains, is partly responsible for that country’s economic progress. Surely that cannot be the full answer. The United States did not have an inter-state road network till the Eisenhower Administration -- decades after the United States became the richest and most powerful country in the world. Similarly, Germany was the most powerful and richest country in Europe a long time before constructing its famous autobahns." (02/10/16)

http://fee.org/articles/freedom-not-infrastructure-is-overcoming-african-poverty/  

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