Commentary

Commentary on Captain Fantastic

August 29, 2016
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"Few movies speak to me more personally than Captain Fantastic. It's not just a movie about homeschooling; it's a movie about natalist homeschoolers living in a nearly-airtight Bubble. And psychologically, the movie's patriarch eerily resembles me. Captain Fantastic raises his six kids with kindness, respect, and the power of ideas, scrupulously avoiding the parental urge to dominate youths with anger, fear, or sadness. I say this even though the content of Captain Fantastic's ideas leaves much to be desired." (08/29/16)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2016/08/commentary_on_c.html  

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Clinton’s crazy conspiracy theory

August 29, 2016
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"Hillary Clinton's recent 'alt right' speech marks a new and dangerous low in what has become race to the bottom -- and, should she be elected, it has ominous foreign policy implications as well. Alarmed that Trump is reaching out to the African-American community, Mrs. Clinton tried to make the case that the GOP candidate is a apologist for such groups as the Ku Klux Klan (do they still exist?) and an obscure amalgam she dubbed the 'alt right.' As she named this latter group, there was a significant silence, a pause in the cheering: perhaps her audience thought she was having a senior moment of the intestinal variety. In any case, none of this is anything new: it's a variation on the 'Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy' theme that she has been dragging out ever since the 1990s." (08/29/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/08/28/clintons-crazy-conspiracy-theory/  

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Why Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on basic economic facts

August 29, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Ian Anson  

"Back in 1992, Democratic strategist James Carville uttered his famous recommendation to Bill Clinton ahead of the 1992 election: 'It’s the economy, stupid!' Political scientists beat Carville to the punch, though: As far back as the 1950’s, scholars were uncovering evidence that presidential candidates of the incumbent party tend to win when the economy is strong on Election Day. Presiding over a gloomy economy, in contrast, will guarantee a tortuous uphill climb for parties vying to maintain their place in the White House. ... The central findings should be apparent to anyone who remembers the last time their fiercely Republican aunt sat down to Thanksgiving dinner with her staunchly Democratic brother-in-law. Heading into the 2016 election, Aunt Reba the Republican is convinced the economy is in utter shambles, while Denny the Democrat is steadfast in his economic optimism." (08/29/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/136408/republicans-democrats-cant-agree-basic-economic-facts  

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Don’t bee-lieve the latest bee-pocalypse scare

August 29, 2016
posted by

Paul Driessen Heartland Institute
by Paul Driessen  

"As stubborn facts ruin their narrative that neonicotinoid pesticides are causing a honeybee-pocalypse, environmental pressure groups are shifting to new scares to justify their demands for 'neonic' bans. Honeybee populations and colony numbers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and elsewhere are growing. It is also becoming increasingly clear that the actual cause of bee die-offs and 'colony collapse disorders' is not neonics, but a toxic mix of predatory mites, stomach fungi, other microscopic pests, and assorted chemicals employed by beekeepers trying to control the beehive infestations." (08/29/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/08/dont-bee-lieve-the-latest-bee-pocalypse-scare/  

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Markets, not elections, are where your choices truly matter

August 29, 2016
posted by

Gary M. Galles Foundation for Economic Education
by Gary M Galles  

"For voters, the benefits of becoming better informed about political decisions are lower than in their comparable private market decisions, but the costs of acquiring the necessary information to evaluate public policies are higher. To illustrate, compare the benefits and costs of making an informed decision about your own health insurance plan (assuming you are allowed that choice) to those necessary in evaluating alternative federal health insurance policies." (08/29/16)

https://fee.org/articles/markets-not-elections-are-where-your-choices-truly-matter/  

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States of the unions

August 29, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"As Americans contemplate the intellectual breakdown of our two major parties, Brits and Europeans are trying to figure out what the state of their union is. Does Brexit spell disaster for Europe? Germany's vice-chancellor is just the latest European bigwig to preach gloom and doom." (08/29/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/08/29/states-of-the-unions/  

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Using American power prudently

August 29, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Lawrence Korb  

"New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman argues that the next president must read Michael Mandelbaum’s latest book, Mission Failure: America and the World in the Post-Cold War Era, to avoid mistakes of the last several years and have a more successful national-security policy. Our next president should also read Andrew Bacevich’s latest book, America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History. Between them, Mandelbaum and Bacevich have written more than 20 books on U.S. national-security policy. While these authors often overstate their case, they offer useful insights. Taking their critiques seriously will help prevent our next chief executive from reflexively following the advice of the foreign-policy establishment that Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, refers to as the Blob." (08/29/16)

http://prospect.org/article/using-american-power-prudently  

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Most arguments against open borders lead to extremely un-libertarian positions

August 29, 2016
posted by

Notes On Liberty
by Zachary Woodman  

"If anti-open borders libertarians treated any other issue like they do immigration, it would lead to some pretty absurd, anti-libertarian policy positions. For an example, as long as we have government-provided Medicare programs, allowing people to eat unhealthy foods or smoke will increase the cost of those welfare programs; following the logic of the argument above, the government would be justified in implementing paternalist policies that restrict people's right to consume what they want to reduce the burden of the welfare state. People with lower incomes are more likely to use welfare programs as well, so the government is justified in reducing their population size by restricting their right to reproduce through forced sterilization. Obviously, both these positions are absurd from a libertarian perspective." (08/28/16)

https://notesonliberty.com/2016/08/28/most-arguments-against-open-borders-lead-to-extremely-un-libertarian-positions/  

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South Korea can afford its own defense

August 29, 2016
posted by

The American Conservative The American Conservative
by Charles V Pena  

"Under a cost-sharing pact, the South Koreans currently pay about 40 percent of the costs of keeping U.S. forces in their country. However, South Korea isn't paying a nickel of the estimated $1.6 billion cost of the THAAD battery; all it will do is provide the land and build a base. But there is no reason that South Korea can't pay for its THAAD battery -- or batteries, as officials there have previously said they want two -- by itself. Indeed, there is no reason South Korea can't handle its own defense entirely, obviating the need for the 28,500 U.S. troops currently on the Korean peninsula." (08/29/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/south-korea-can-afford-its-own-defense/  

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Latin American welfare states are crumbling, exposing progressive lies

August 29, 2016
posted by

PanAm Post PanAm Post
by Hana Fischer  

"In Latin America, welfare programs like the ones instituted a decade ago with the rise of populist governments, serve primarily to attract voters. It is no surprise that these systems are designed to keep people in poverty and make them depend on the state. Around election time, leaders then frighten people by saying if the opposition wins, social assistance plans will come to an end. For some political parties, the poor are a means of retaining power." (08/28/16)

http://panampost.com/hana-fischer/2016/08/28/latin-american-welfare-states-are-crumbling-exposing-progressive-lies/  

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How legal, branded heroin would make drugs safer

August 29, 2016
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Chris Calton  

"There may be no physical difference between Heinz and Great Value, and a consumer who believes this is the case will purchase the cheaper product. But if a consumer is not familiar with the latter brand, they have to weigh the cost benefit of a cheaper brand against the risk of getting an inferior product; with the brand name product, the quality is more certain. This has important implications on the black market. In the Soviet Union, for example, brands were done away with to reduce the heterogeneity of products. Soviet citizens circumvented this by learning to read barcodes to identify which products were produced in the superior factories. Branding has particularly important implications in the area of narcotics. When goods are made illegal, smugglers will continue to trade them, but the ability to establish brand consistency is suppressed." (08/29/16)

https://mises.org/blog/how-legal-branded-heroin-would-make-drugs-safer  

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Hillary and the Clinton Foundation: Exemplars of America’s political rot

August 29, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Eric Draitser  

"Hillary Clinton may be enjoying a comfortable lead in national polls, but she is far from enjoying a comfortable night's sleep given the ever-widening maelstrom of scandals engulfing her presidential bid. And while Clinton delights in bloviating about a decades-long 'vast, right wing conspiracy' against her, the fact is that it's the Clinton political machine's long and storied track record of criminality, duplicity, and corruption that haunts her like Lincoln's ghost silently skulking through White House bedrooms." (08/29/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/29/hillary-and-the-clinton-foundation-exemplars-of-americas-political-rot/  

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The twilight of Fox News

August 29, 2016
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Derek Thompson  

"October 7, 2016, will be the 20th birthday of the Fox News Channel, and at the moment, the network is experiencing the soap-operatic highs and lows typical of any teenager on television. In many ways, the summer of 2016 may go down in Fox News history as the company's nadir. Its founder and leader Roger Ailes has been dishonorably dispatched, the remaining executives are dealing with a flurry of sexual harassment lawsuits, and one of its most public faces, Sean Hannity, has ignominiously remodeled himself as a gutless Trump whisperer. And yet Fox News'[s] fortunes are ascendant, at least in the most quantifiable sense. The network's annual profit in 2015 soared by about 20 percent." (08/29/16)

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2016/08/the-twilight-of-fox-news/497684/  

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Top five reasons it’s okay for Libertarians to criticize Gary Johnson

August 29, 2016
posted by

The Libertarian Republic The Libertarian Republic
by Aya Katz  

"This year, the Libertarian Party has the opportunity to win over many more voters than ever before, and a possible upset in our favor looms on the horizon. Because of this, we Libertarians have been urged not to openly criticize our candidate, Governor Gary Johnson. It would be like airing dirty laundry in public, we are told. We are urged to show the same kind of solidarity that families used to display in support of the sole breadwinner back in the 'good old days.' Otherwise, we are warned, the enemy will win. But there are some very good reasons why it is more than okay for Libertarians to criticize Gary Johnson. Here are the top five." (08/28/16)

http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/top-5-reasons-criticize-johnson/  

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Philippine anti-drug strategy: “Kill them all”

August 29, 2016
posted by

Jacob Sullum Reason
by Jacob Sullum  

"Thirty-three countries have laws that authorize the death penalty for drug offenses. The Philippines is not one of them. But since Rodrigo Duterte was elected president last May after promising to 'fatten all the fish' in Manila Bay with the bodies of criminals, police and vigilantes have killed hundreds of drug dealers and users. Testifying before the Philippine Senate last Tuesday, National Police Chief Ronald dela Rosa said cops had killed 756 drug suspects since July 1, the day after Duterte was sworn in as president, while 1,160 people had been killed 'outside police operations.' The death toll rose by 137 between Monday and Tuesday, so by now it is presumably in the thousands." (08/29/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/08/29/philippine-anti-drug-strategy-kill-them  

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John Locke and American individualism

August 29, 2016
posted by

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

"Personal and economic freedom are under attack in the United States and in many other parts of the world. It is seen most clearly in this year's contest for the White House in the U.S. presidential election. In all the rhetoric about America’s political, social and economic problems that is heard from the lips of the Democratic and Republican Party candidates for the presidency there is one phrase that is hardly ever mentioned or considered important: the liberty of the individual." (08/29/16)

http://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/john-locke-american-individualism/  

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The Lone Writer theory

August 29, 2016
posted by

The Libertarian Enterprise The Libertarian Enterprise
by J Kent Hastings  

"Stephen King is certainly not the Lone Writer working characters central to the Kennedy assassination into fiction. The earliest writer to take a shot at it from the Grassy Knoll, appeared in a Samuel Edward Konkin III publication as well as other libertarian and anarchist counter-cultural publications, and Discordian works associated with the likes of Robert Anton Wilson. I'm referring, of course, to Kerry Wendell Thornley's 1962 manuscript of The Idle Warriors. ... This year, the Dallas Morning News reviewed the miniseries 11.22.63, much of it set in their backyard, and mentioned another libertarian anarchist writer published by Samuel Edward Konkin III (along with Robert Anton Wilson) -- J. Neil Schulman, a writer who also has articles appearing in the pages of Mondo Cult magazine." (08/28/16)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2016/tle887-20160828-04.html  

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Permanent record

August 29, 2016
posted by

The Honest Courtesan
by Maggie McNeill  

'"As children, we were told that serious infractions might go on our 'permanent record' which certainly sounds ominous to a misbehaving ten-year-old. But despite being the subject of jokes by generations of comedians, there really was no such thing until some alliance of sociopaths decided it was a good idea to put armed thugs in grammar schools to arrest children too young to spell the word 'arrest' for offenses that when I was a lass might've been punished by writing lines, staying after school or (at worst) having one's parents called by the principal. ... in recent years, we’ve seen the schoolchild’s 'permanent record' nightmare become a reality." (08/26/16)

https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/permanent-record/  

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Five differences between the alt-right and libertarianism

August 29, 2016
posted by

Jeffrey Tucker Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker  

"Every ideology has a theory of history .... Whereas libertarianism speaks of individual choice, alt-right theory draws attention to collectives on the move. It imagines that despite appearances, we all default in our thinking back to some more fundamental instinct about our identity as a people, which is either being shored up by a more intense consciousness or eroded by a deracination and dispossession from what defines us. To criticize this as racist is often true but superficial. What's really going on here is the depersonalization of history itself: the principle that we are all being buffeted about by Olympian historical forces beyond our control as mere individuals. It takes something mighty and ominous like a great leader, an embodiment of one of these great forces, to make a dent in history's narrative." (08/26/16)

https://fee.org/articles/five-differences-between-the-alt-right-and-libertarians/  

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Feeding the ducks

August 29, 2016
posted by

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L Neil Smith  

"Robert Heinlein said that the smaller any unit of government happens to be, the harder it is to move. It's relatively easy to make enough fuss to alter the course of a federal government, for example, but everybody 'knows' you can't fight City Hall and that the most viciously dictatorial level of government is the school board. My daughter's home schooled. And generally, I ignore my city government because I have far bigger fish to fry (or I'm taking the coward's way out, you may decide for yourself which). But because I'm willing to bet that one city government across this country is pretty much like another (they should all be given 24 hours to get out of town) and the trends they set have a regrettable tendency to spread upward and outward, I think it's appropriate to discuss them from time to time, so that we'll all have an idea of what we're up against." (08/28/16)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2016/tle887-20160828-02.html  

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Epi-Pen prices soar as FDA makes life tough for its competitors

August 29, 2016
posted by

Mary Ruwart Ruwart.com
by Mary J Ruwart  

"Teva had submitted an application for a generic version of the Epi-Pen to the FDA. However, the agency felt 'certain major deficiencies' needed to be addressed. Marketing of Epi-Pen’s new competitor will be delayed until at least 2017. Adamis wants to market a syringe prefilled with epinephrine, the active drug in the Epi-Pen. Some diabetics must inject themselves with insulin, so use of a syringe, rather than an Epi-Pen-like device, is not unprecedented. The FDA wouldn’t approve it without more studies on patient usability and product stress testing. Mylan is protected from still another competitor by regulatory delays." (08/26/16)

http://www.ruwart.com/blog/epi-pen-prices-soar-as-fda-makes-life-tough-for-its-competitors.html  

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Bipartisan battering of freedom

August 29, 2016
posted by

James Bovard Future of Freedom Foundation
by James Bovard  

"For more than 40 years, Republicans have been promising to cut federal spending. In the same period, federal outlays have inched up by a few trillion dollars. But the Grand Old Party continues singing the same song -- though voters may finally be losing confidence in the opposition team. The latest pratfall occurred last December, once again illustrating that Republican congressional leaders are like a football coach who believes the secret to winning is to punt early and often." (08/26/16)

http://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/bipartisan-battering-freedom/  

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Clinton campaign: Controversy versus corruption

August 29, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Eliza Newlin Carney  

"This summer’s never-ending Democratic email disclosures have shed an increasingly unflattering light on the privileged relationship that big donors enjoy with Hillary Clinton and with party officials. Major Clinton Foundation contributors sought and in some cases received expedited meetings with Clinton when she served as secretary of state, according to the latest batch of emails released by the conservative group Judicial Watch. The July WikiLeaks release of Democratic National Committee emails also detailed the special rewards, such as VIP roundtables and receptions, that party officials showered on top-tier contributors. The disclosures have been jarring on several fronts." (08/25/16)

http://prospect.org/article/controversy-versus-corruption  

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Why do some people think that the First Amendment exists only for them?

August 29, 2016
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"Is the USA a free country? If it is then why all the fuss about conscientious objectors, and those who choose to sit out the national anthem, or pledge of allegiance? Why do some people think that the First Amendment exists only for them?" (08/28/16)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2016/08/why-do-some-people-think-that-first.html  

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Farm follies: The cheese stands alone (with its hand out)

August 29, 2016
posted by

Thomas L Knapp -- photo by Avens O'Brien William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"Farming 101: When so many people produce so much of the same thing that the supply of that thing exceeds the demand for it, prices fall. When prices fall far enough that not all the producers can turn a profit, the producers claim that farming is extra super special and that it's the government’s job to make it profitable so that no one who wants to farm must instead go build houses, drive trucks or mop floors to make ends meet. That's why each and every American pays more than $300 to farmers each and every year before actually getting any edible farm goods -- and then pays artificially high prices for those goods." (08/26/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/7344  

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