Commentary

How the Pentagon militarized the US police force

August 20, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ben Dangl  

"From a weaponization bonanza enabled by a little-known Pentagon program, to an escalation in SWAT team deployments, the militarization of the US police force poses an increasing threat to the American public, as recently exhibited in Ferguson, Missouri. Behind this militarization is the Pentagon’s '1033 program,' created in the National Defense Authorization Act for 1997, which enables the Defense Department to provide surplus military equipment at a highly reduced cost to local police departments." (08/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mk8yon8  

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Practical guidance for prudent students

August 20, 2014
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"Teachers hate when students groan, 'Can't you just tell us the answer?' For academics, a short, sweet solution is indecent unless clothed in a thorough explanation. For educational decisions, however, the stakes are so high that I'm willing to be indecent." (08/20/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/08/practical_guida.html  

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Federal Reserve policies cause booms and busts

August 20, 2014
posted by

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

"Since the economic crisis of 2008-2009, the Federal Reserve -- America’s central bank -- has expanded the money supply in the banking system by over $4 trillion, and has manipulated key interest rates to keep them so artificially low that when adjusted for price inflation, several of them have been actually negative. We should not be surprised if this is setting the stage for another serious economic crisis down the road." (08/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nxwl4wq  

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Less welfare, more charity

August 20, 2014
posted by

Michael D. Tanner Cato Institute
by Michael D. Tanner  

"Advocates of the modern welfare state continually tell us that if we didn’t have TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families), food stamps, housing vouchers, and a host of other redistributive programs, there would be no one to care for the poor or those in need. The reality is that Americans are an amazingly generous people, and more than willing to step up and help those who cannot help themselves. Since the War on Poverty began in 1965, private charitable giving has totaled more than $10.2 trillion (in 2014 dollars); roughly 29 percent, or $3 trillion, of this went to human services or public-society benefits. And this doesn’t count the hundreds of billions of hours that Americans spend volunteering to help others. Last year alone, 64.5 million Americans gave 7.9 billion hours of their time and effort in volunteer work." (08/20/14)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/less-welfare-more-charity  

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A simple point on railway nationalisation

August 20, 2014
posted by

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith Institute
by Ben Southwood  

"One point people bring up when they advocate renationalising railways (or renationalising stuff in general) is that when private companies run something they take a chunk of the total surplus in profit, but if the government were in control, that could go to them. But there’s a very basic reason why this isn’t the case: opportunity cost." (08/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mw9gb4c  

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Ferguson: Ten days that shook the country

August 20, 2014
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"As citizens of Ferguson took to the streets to protest what they view as a racist attack on their community, the response from the authorities was similar to that of the regime of Slobodan Milosevic during the turmoil that eventually ended in the Serbian despot's overthrow. Indeed, the comments of many in the news media -- at least eleven, at the current count, who were arrested during the proceedings -- were that it seemed like something that would happen in a foreign country. Which hits the nail directly on the head." (08/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nw2op5r  

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Police officer: “If you don’t want to get shot … just do what I tell you”

August 20, 2014
posted by

JD Tuccille Reason
by JD Tuccille  

"'If you don't want to get shot, tased, pepper-sprayed, struck with a baton or thrown to the ground,' warns Officer Sunil Dutta of the Los Angeles Police Department, 'just do what I tell you.' The thing is, Officer Dutta (pictured) is also an Adjunct Professor of Homeland Security and Criminal Justice at Colorado Technical University. And he uttered those words not in the heat of the moment, but in an opinion piece in the Washington Post responding to widespread criticism of police attitudes and tactics currently on display in Ferguson, Missouri, but increasingly common nationwide." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m2tloy7  

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Democrats are part of the problem in Ferguson, too

August 20, 2014
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy The Hill
by Wendy McElroy  

"Democrats point accusing fingers at the Ferguson police who used mine-resistant armored vehicles, military-grade rifles, riot gear and camouflage uniforms against civilians of this city of some 21,000 residents. Some will point fingers at Republicans who resist demilitarization. But all of Congress facilitated the armored vehicles now rolling down the streets of small town America. If any in Congress are liable, then all of them are." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qh8c3rd  

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The coming race war won’t be about race

August 20, 2014
posted by

Time
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar  

"You probably have heard of the Kent State shootings: on May 4, 1970, the Ohio National Guard opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University. During those 13 seconds of gunfire, four students were killed and nine were wounded, one of whom was permanently paralyzed. The shock and outcry resulted in a nationwide strike of 4 million students that closed more than 450 campuses. Five days after the shooting, 100,000 protestors gathered in Washington, D.C. And the nation’s youth was energetically mobilized to end the Vietnam War, racism, sexism, and mindless faith in the political establishment. You probably haven’t heard of the Jackson State shootings." [editor's note: This is a flat-out excellent analysis of the bigger picture - SAT] (08/17/14)

http://time.com/3132635/ferguson-coming-race-war-class-warfare  

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Tolerance before empathy

August 20, 2014
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"Suppose you have a ne'er-do-well cousin. A long-term alcoholic and drug addict, he's been arrested about thirty times -- though never convicted of a felony. One day he comes to your door, and tells you a largely accurate history of his troubled life, from childhood to the present. He admits that many of his troubles are his own fault, and accepts responsibility for them. Then, he hits you up for money -- as he's done many times before. How do you react?" (08/19/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/08/tolerance_befor.html  

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What if the military or CIA had killed Mike Brown?

August 20, 2014
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger  

"While the facts surrounding the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, must still be determined, one thing is clear: If it turns out that the killing was not justified, the law dictates that he is subject to being criminally indicted and also to being sued in a civil action for wrongful death by Brown’s survivors. Not so, however, if the killing had come at the hands of the military or the CIA. In that case, the soldier or the CIA agent would be immune from criminal prosecution and civil suit, so long as they claimed that the killing took place as part of a 'national-security' operation." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/paf3f7v  

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Furious about Ferguson? Work to free Shaneen Allen

August 20, 2014
posted by

William Norman Grigg Pro Libertate
by William Norman Grigg  

"Whatever we eventually learn about what happened in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, Michael Brown is beyond mortal help. The same is not true of Shaneen Allen, a 27-year-old working mother of two and robbery victim who faces an eleven-year prison term for the supposed offense of carrying a legally licensed firearm." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/le2g876  

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An anarchic possibility for the modern world

August 20, 2014
posted by

LewRockwell.com
by Bionic Mosquito  

"This is a topic which I have purposely avoided writing about in any detail for quite some time; only due to recent feedback here, it seems it best that I clarify my views. The topic is my vision of a possible framework for an anarcho-capitalist society in the modern world. By possible, I mean to suggest 'one of many possible models;' I also mean to suggest 'may not be adopted in any way shape or form.'" (08/20/14)

http://tinyurl.com/krg5h2j  

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My conversation with a big-city cop

August 20, 2014
posted by

Gene Callahan La Bocca della Verita
by Gene Callahan  

"I received a phone call today from a cop from one of our major cities. (We know each other only electronically.) He wanted to talk because he was so discouraged about the state of police-civilian relations in the country right now. He has always been honest at his job (within human limits, of course: I'm not saying he never took a pen home), always obeyed the law as if he wasn't a cop, chastised his men when they would break it, sought to respect the community he was policing ... and what's more, he assures me that most cops are more like him then they are like the jack-booted thugs of libertarian fantasies, a few of whom actually exist." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pbhejh3  

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China’s illegitimate child, and no shotgun wedding for Venezuela

August 20, 2014
posted by

The Canal The Canal
by Giannina Raffo  

"It is well known that China’s one-child policy has resulted in a generation of illegitimate children, who lack constitutional and human rights in the country. In total, approximately 90 million children live in such a condition, working in factories and making less than a dollar per day. Less known, however, is that China has a third child: illegitimate, exploited, without constitutional rights, and earning two dollars per hour. Her name is Venezuela." (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m3lbtg4  

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By the numbers: How dangerous is it to be a cop?

August 20, 2014
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Daniel J. Bier  

"Defenders of police militarization such as that on display in Ferguson, Missouri, often claim that it’s necessary to provide military gear to cops, given how dangerous law enforcement has become. Indeed, in the name of the War on Terror and the War on Drugs, the federal government has provided thousands of pieces of military-grade body armor, mine-resistant armored personnel carriers, assault rifles, grenade launchers, helicopters, and night-vision goggles to local police and sheriffs. Almost every county in America has received equipment from these programs. But has policing really become so dangerous that we need to arm peace officers like an invading army? The answer is no. It's never been safer to be a cop." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q4jpvcl  

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What does the Fed have to do with Social Security?

August 20, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Dean Baker  

"Most of the people who closely follow the Federal Reserve Board’s decisions on monetary policy are investors trying to get a jump on any moves that will affect financial markets. Very few of the people involved in the debate over the future of Social Security pay much attention to the Fed. That’s unfortunate because the connections are much more direct than is generally recognized. The basic story of Social Security’s finances is that, while the program is entirely sound for the near future, the program is projected to face a shortfall in the decade of the thirties." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lgnaj4d  

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Love the police

August 20, 2014
posted by

Cagle Post
by Daryl Cagle  

Cartoon. (08/18/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/08/love-the-police-2/  

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Just wait until Ferguson police get federally funded drones

August 20, 2014
posted by

Gene Healy Cato Institute
by Gene Healy  

"Through the fog of Twitter, it’s difficult to discern the precise details of what’s been happening in Ferguson, Mo., in the 10 days of protests spurred by the police killing of an unarmed teenager. Still, maybe it’s not too early to wonder: When, exactly, did the United States become a banana republic?" (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/okpwp75  

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Misrepresentations of the public trust doctrine

August 20, 2014
posted by

10th Amendment Center Tenth Amendment Center
by Rob Natelson  

"While hosting a Montana radio talk show in the late 1990s, I interviewed a prominent left-wing environmental activist. He was promoting an anti-mining ballot measure. During the interview, he read from a 16th-century book that (he said) had shown that mining had all sorts of evil effects. But something about the quote did not ring true. So I obtained a copy of the book myself." (08/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q54mqnx  

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Admirable moderation or cowardly cop-out?

August 20, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect
by Paul Waldman  

"As everyone knows, opinions on same-sex marriage have been changing rapidly, which also means that the positions of politicians have to change to keep up. Now that pretty much every Democrat running for anything is in favor of marriage equality, they're done changing. Republicans, on the other hand, are going to have to keep tweaking their stance, confronted by the almost impossible challenging of signaling their open-mindedness to general election voters while not alienating a conservative base that, for a while anyway, is still opposed to gay people getting married. So what's the answer to that problem? 'Leave it to the states.' Is that an admirable bit of live-and-let-live, let-a-hundred-flowers-bloom approach to governing, or is it a cowardly cop-out? It's kind of both." (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ncsma65  

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The Fed and the “Salvador Dali Effect”

August 20, 2014
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Dante Bayona  

"There is a story about the great Catalan surrealist painter Salvador Dali. It is said that in the last years of his life, when he was already famous, he signed checks knowing that they would not be submitted to the bank for payment. Rather, after partying with his friends and consuming the most expensive items the restaurants had to offer, he would ask for the bill, pull out one of his checks, write the amount, and sign it. Before handing over the check, he quickly turned it around, made a drawing on the back and autographed it. Dali knew the owner of the restaurant would not cash the check but keep it,put it in a frame, and display it in the most prominent place in the restaurant: 'An original Dali.'" (08/19/14)

http://mises.org/daily/6845/The-Fed-and-the-Salvador-Dali-Effect  

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Why are you dressed like Darth Vader?

August 20, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Tom Tomorrow  

Cartoon. [editor's note: Brilliant, as usual - SAT] (08/19/14)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/181317/why-are-you-dressed-darth-vader  

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California lawmakers mandate students study about Obama

August 20, 2014
posted by

Vicki Alger Independent Institute
by Vicki Alger  

"Recently the California State Legislature passed a new law (AB 1912) requiring the Instructional Quality Commission, which helps oversee the state’s Common Core standards, to consider revising the social studies framework to include a section on the significance of President Obama’s election in the context of voter discrimination. Co-sponsor Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-Los Angeles) explained that it’s important for students to learn about 'overcoming our nation’s past to elect our first black president.' In spite of its back-to-school timing, this new law likely has a lot more to do with future elections than ones in the distant past." (08/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ob9aql5  

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Julian Assange and extradition

August 20, 2014
posted by

Wikileaks CounterPunch
by Binoy Kampmark  

"So far, the latest chapter in the Julian Assange chronicle within the Ecuadorian embassy in London is one of mixed, and ultimately doomed promise. He is ailing, though it was clear that a deficiency in Vitamin D for a period of two years was bound to have some effect. Added to this lung and heart problems, and we have a serious patient with serious needs. Not even conventional prisoners should be denied a certain mandatory level of sunlight a day." (08/19/14)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/19/julian-assange-and-extradition/  

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