Commentary

Recognize that Iraq is history

September 1, 2015
posted by

Ivan Eland Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland  

"For much of its history, Iraq has been an artificial country held together by Sunni strongmen, of which Saddam Hussein was only the last in a long line. After World War I, the British and French carved up the spoils of the losing Ottoman Empire, creating most of the artificial states that have stoked most of the violence in Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. To snatch oil, the British combined three provinces of the old Ottoman Empire together, which had more ties to the Ottoman capital in Turkey than they did to each other. Thus, anyone who knew anything about the Middle East -- which George W. Bush didn't bother to consult before carrying out his whim of finishing off Saddam, the Bush family's mortal enemy -- would have predicted that Iraq would be one of the least likely countries in the region to be converted into a stable democratic state." (08/31/15)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=7498  

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Being a good skeptic

September 1, 2015
posted by

A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg  

"I enjoy a good conspiracy theory. While I don't subscribe to the idea that the 9/11 attack was really perpetuated by shape-shifting lizard people cleverly using high explosive and holograms I enjoy hearing about it. But I seldom enjoy the presence of hardcore conspiracy theorists. This is because of their religious belief in questioning everything. Questioning things is a great practice but often a futile one when you don't know what you don't know." (09/01/15)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2015/09/01/being-a-good-skeptic/  

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In an info age, we need knowledge more than ever

September 1, 2015
posted by

spiked spiked
by Martin Robinson  

"Knowledge is vital in an information age. We are surrounded by information -- some of it true, but all of it presented as if it were of equal value. Those who think that the internet has changed education forever misunderstand the significance of knowledge. They argue for a collapsed curriculum that is no longer reliant on subjects, with teachers who simply guide pupils through project-based work in which they can pick up the transferable, soft skills that will guarantee them future jobs. But this is a complete misreading of the situation in which we find ourselves. Rather than no longer needing subjects and teachers, we need them more than ever." (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nf3656n  

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Amendments to CISA “cybersecurity” bill fail in all regards

September 1, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Mark Jaycox  

"Although grassroots activism has dealt it a blow, the Senate Intelligence Committee's Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) keeps shambling along like the zombie it is. In July, Senator McConnell vowed to hold a final vote on the bill before Congress left for its six-week long summer vacation. In response, EFF and over 20 other privacy groups ran a successful Week of Action, including over 6 million faxes opposing CISA, causing the Senate to postpone the vote until late September. Senators submitted many amendments to the bill before going on vacation. The amendments, like the original language of the bill, fail to address key issues like the deep link between these government 'cybersecurity' authorities and surveillance, as well as the new spying powers the bill would grant to companies." (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ndo48re  

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Big Apple Versus Big Toilet

September 1, 2015
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Why is New York so much cleaner than San Francisco? It's a question you hear all the time, even as some New Yorkers swear that Mayor Bill de Blasio's lighter approach to law enforcement has undone some of the gains made under former Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg. I spent three days walking at least 5 miles daily in Manhattan last week. The one time I was accosted by a strong whiff of urine, it was from horses in Central Park." (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nh2ac6b  

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Reality as a prerequisite of liberty

September 1, 2015
posted by

Christopher Cantwell ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell  

"Prior to getting into libertarianism, I never much thought about the existence of an objective reality. I always took it for granted that, the universe exists regardless of our perceptions, and our perceptions of it were just the means by which to interact with it. When I first began reading Murray Rothbard, Ayn Rand, and Ludwig von Mises, I was thus utterly confused at how much time they spent explaining that reality existed. As I got more involved in libertarian circles, as various terminology came about to describe factions within them, and as I more and more frequently found myself arguing with non-libertarians, this requirement became more evident." (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nnq74xu  

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Freedom Feens Radio, 09/01/15

September 1, 2015
posted by

Freedom Feens Freedom Feens Radio
by  

"Jim Jesus, Dan Greene and Nick Hazelton talk about how they came to podcast, what it's like to podcast, how you can podcast, and what it's like to podfade." [various formats] (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p7yq6c4  

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The economics of Bernie Sanders

September 1, 2015
posted by

William Anderson Ludwig von Mises Institue
by William L Anderson  

"Obviously, when a person running a campaign based upon socialist principles is drawing attention and big crowds, we might ask just what does Sanders mean by 'socialist,' and what would he do if he were elected president of the United States? To better answer that question, I am taking a closer look at what we would call the 'economics' of Bernie Sanders." (09/01/15)

https://mises.org/library/economics-bernie-sanders  

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Legalize, but prohibit?

September 1, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"I have friends who make wine at home, for private consumption. It's legal; it’s proper. It should also be legal to grow cannabis at home. Yet, many a politician thinks otherwise. And they are inspired, in a sense, by the popular legalization mantra, 'legalize, tax and regulate.' That sends an ominous signal: in order to maximize revenues, politicians see the revenue advantage in forbidding hard-to-tax home cultivation -- cultivation that is, let's face it, a traditional freedom, a right 'retained by the people.'" (09/01/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/09/01/legalize-but-prohibit/  

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Growing doubt: A scientist’s experience with GMOs

September 1, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Jonathan Latham  

"By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for Genetically Modified Organisms) as part of the research that led to my PhD. Into these plants we were putting DNA from various foreign organisms, such as viruses and bacteria. I was not, at the outset, concerned about the possible effects of GM plants on human health or the environment. ... I now believe, as a much more experienced scientist, that GMO crops still run far ahead of our understanding of their risks. In broad outline, the reasons for this belief are quite simple. I have become much more appreciative of the complexity of biological organisms and their capacity for benefits and harms." (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/obkfpc6  

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Seeds of Liberty Podcast, 08/31/15

September 1, 2015
posted by

Peaceful Anarchism
by  

"This week we were shy a Dave due to technical issues but we were joined by Donnie, one of the hosts of the Force 2 Freedom Podcast. Herein we discuss the idea that anarchy is a utopian dream, being born to be a mooing cow in the field, chewing of cud in the brain, the unseen consequences of government intervention into the market, how the average human doesn't have a grasp on logic, the burden of proof fallacy, Donald Trump’s website and the sole issue listed ..." [MP3] (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p47jkrb  

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“Hillary 2016” has never made sense for Democrats

September 1, 2015
posted by

Conor Friedersdorf The Atlantic
by Conor Friedersdorf  

"As Hillary Clinton loses ground to Bernie Sanders in Iowa, where her lead shrinks by the day, it's worth noticing that she has never made particular sense as the Democratic Party's nominee. She may be more electable than her social-democratic rival from Vermont, but plenty of Democrats are better positioned to represent the center-left coalition. Why have they let the former secretary of state keep them out of the race?" (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pmobewh  

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Why America isn’t socialist

September 1, 2015
posted by

The American Conservative The American Conservative
by Samuel Goldman  

"Before it became a favorite trope of Republican presidential candidates, 'American exceptionalism' belonged to the left. The phrase referred to the United States' puzzling divergence from the pattern of development proposed by Karl Marx. According to Marx, powerful socialist movements or labor parties should arise in advanced economies as workers recognized the opposition of interests between themselves and capital. Why did this fail to occur in America?" (09/01/15)

http://tinyurl.com/on22m62  

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For progressives, First Amendment comes in second

September 1, 2015
posted by

A. Barton Hinkle Reason
by A Barton Hinkle  

"In recent years it has become increasingly obvious that many liberals view the right to free speech as an instrumental good, rather than an intrinsic one -- i.e., they favor free speech not as an end in itself, but merely as means to achieve other ends. And wherever free speech impedes other agendas, wherever it produces consequences liberals find discomfiting, it should give way." (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pyl6kdr  

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“Great national purposes” mean less freedom

September 1, 2015
posted by

Richard M. Ebeling Future of Freedom Foundation
by Richard M Ebeling  

"The call to a common cause or national purpose is often appealing to people. When I was a boy, my mother, who worked as a civilian secretary in the U. S. Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C. during the Second World War, would recall that wartime sentiment of a 'national purpose,' and did so with a degree of romantic nostalgia. Among the 'bad people' on the home front during the war were those who attempted to place their own interests ahead of the 'national interest' during that time of 'crisis.'" (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oetbxbo  

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Stupid Patent of the Month: A drink mixer attacks the Internet of Things

September 1, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Daniel Nazer  

"Imagine if the inventor of the Segway claimed to own 'any thing that moves in response to human commands.' Or if the inventor of the telegraph applied for a patent covering any use of electric current for communication. Absurdly overbroad claims like these would not be allowed, right? Unfortunately, the Patent Office does not do a good job of policing overly broad claims. August's Stupid Patent of the Month, U.S. Patent No. 8,788,090, is a stark example of how these claims promote patent trolling." (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pt3azyr  

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Jeb Bush finds his inner neocon

September 1, 2015
posted by

Doug Bandow Cato Institute
by Doug Bandow  

"Bush also contended that America's 'alliances need rebuilding.' Which means increasing subsidies for rich industrialized states, which are capable of defending themselves. Bush's alliance policy also means placating authoritarian governments -- Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and others. So much for democracy and liberty. Finally, like other Republican presidential wannabes, Bush is oblivious to the consequences of U.S. policy. Droning, bombing, invading, and occupying other nations creates blowback. While Washington's behavior doesn't justify terrorism, promiscuous intervention helps explain it." (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n9tyecp  

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Blame the Federal Reserve, not China, for stock market crash

September 1, 2015
posted by

Ron Paul The Daily Bell
by Ron Paul  

"Following Monday's historic stock market downturn, many politicians and so-called economic experts rushed to the microphones to explain why the market crashed and to propose 'solutions' to our economic woes. Not surprisingly, most of those commenting not only failed to give the right answers, they failed to ask the right questions." (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o6yt38a  

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The beginning of the end of the Republican Party

September 1, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News Forum
by Erick Erickson  

"The beginning of the end of the Republican Party has started. On Friday, I told you the Republican Party is dying. Then, yesterday, Ross Douthat in the New York Times echoed my key point. Mine was that the Republican leaders in Washington would see the decline of Donald Trump as proof that they need do nothing to change. Like the Bourbons of France, they’d forget nothing and learn nothing. ... Yes, exactly. The Republican Party is dying because the GOP in DC has gone corporate and K Street. They attack any Republicans who dare hold them to their promises. They’ve gone to war against Heritage Action for America, Club For Growth, the Madison Project, etc. They’ve blackballed any political consultant who does work for outsiders." [editor's note: Gee, and I thought it was because they'd stopped learning economics, and become even more clueless on social-liberty issues - SAT] (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pas459x  

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Unusually massive protests erupt in Japan against forthcoming “war legislation”

September 1, 2015
posted by

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger  

"In case you aren't up to speed on your Japanese history, the nation's post WWII Constitution prohibits military action unless it's in self-defense. Clearly a sensible approach, which is why the current Japanese government, led by the demonstrably insane and incompetent Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, wants to get rid of it. This story is very important. Not only will this action increase the likelihood of World War III in the far east, but it's another important example of a government acting against the will of the people." (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qh3k6ho  

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A plan for American cities to free themselves from Wall Street control

September 1, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Saqib Bhatti  

"In August 2014, the Los Angeles City Council debated whether to call for the renegotiation of the city’s financial deals. A report by the labor-community coalition Fix L.A. found that the city had spent more than twice as much on banking fees in fiscal year 2013 as it had on street services. To try to balance its budget, Los Angeles had enacted hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts over the previous five years. City jobs had been slashed by 10 percent, flood control procedures had been cut back, crumbling sidewalks were not repaired and alleys were rarely cleared of debris. Sewer inspections ceased entirely; the number of sewer overflows doubled from 2008 to 2013." (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nmjlbsl  

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The Tom Woods Show, 08/31/15

September 1, 2015
posted by

The Tom Woods Show The Tom Woods Show
by  

"Did John C. Calhoun have anything of value to say, or is his entire career too stained by slavery for him to be worth listening to? I discuss Calhoun, Robert Taft, Calvin Coolidge, Grover Cleveland, and more in today's episode." [various formats] (08/31/15)

http://tomwoods.com/podcast/ep-479-what-should-we-think-about-calhoun/  

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Free Talk Live, 08/31/15

September 1, 2015
posted by

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live
by  

"Illinois Refusing to Pay Big Lotto Winners :: Insane Illinois Taxes :: Cop Gunned Down :: Car Inspection :: ISIS Gold Currency :: States and Borders :: Can printing money be used for good? :: Transgender Controversy at School :: Venezuela Getting Worse :: Strong Bolivar." [Flash audio or MP3] (08/31/15)

https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive/free-talk-live-2015-08-31  

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Andy Burnham’s very strange £11 minimum wage

September 1, 2015
posted by

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall  

"Currently the median wage is around £13 an hour meaning that the proposed £11 is around 85% of that median. This isn't going to work out well, is it? 'It will be based on the simple principle that the same hour's work deserves the same hour's pay, regardless of your age. So I will abolish the youth rate minimum wage, apply the higher rate to everyone and give incentives for companies to go even further.' And there is where the real effects will be felt. For those the minimum wage is most binding upon are those who are young and untrained. And if someone fresh off the educational production line must be paid that same £11 an hour as someone with a decade of experience of turning up to work on time and sober then that teenager just isn't going to get employed is she?" (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p3srk82  

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Missouri’s grim distinction

September 1, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Maurice Chammah  

"Since Texas carried out the country's first lethal injection in 1982, the state has performed far more executions than any other state. To date, 528 men and women have been put to death in Texas, more than the total in the next eight states combined. But viewed from a slightly different angle, Texas has lost its place as the epicenter of the American death penalty, at least for the moment. Since November 2013, when Missouri began performing executions at a rate of almost one per month, the state has outstripped Texas in terms of the execution rate per capita." (08/31/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oh56blt  

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