Commentary

How did we end up with such unpopular candidates?

September 27, 2016
posted by

Peter Van Buren The American Conservative
by Peter Van Buren  

"You hear the expression 'lesser of two evils' when people talk about how they will vote in November. Poll after poll shows a growing number of voters saying they will vote negatively -- they're against Hillary, so they'll hold their nose and vote Trump, and vice versa. It is also likely a large number of discontented voters will simply stay home on Election Day. Both candidates are among the most unpopular and least trusted in American history. One of them will end up in the White House. How did we get here? Why are the only two mainstream candidates left standing Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump?" (09/27/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-did-we-end-up-with-such-unpopular-candidates/  

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When watching the debates, check your principles, not your feelings

September 27, 2016
posted by

Barry Brownstein Foundation for Economic Education
by Barry Brownstein  

"A driver cuts you off in traffic. You experience angry feelings. Are your angry feelings a guide to behavior? Should you chase down the other drive because you feel they 'disrespected you?' Are your angry feelings a guide to behavior? Or, are they a guide to the quality of your thinking? If your angry feelings intensify to fury, does that mean you are absolutely right about the intentions of the other driver? Or, are those escalating feelings a signal that the quality of your thinking is abysmally low? When you are feeling angry as you drive, holding a principle of not endangering others will be a better a guide to behavior than your angry feelings. Similarly, if while watching the debate last night, you experienced intense emotions, were those feelings signaling which candidate will be a better president?" (09/27/16)

https://fee.org/articles/when-watching-the-debates-check-your-principles-not-your-feelings/  

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Where is that wasteful government spending?

September 27, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Lawrence Wittner  

"In early September 2016, Donald Trump announced his plan for a vast expansion of the U.S. military, including 90,000 new soldiers for the Army, nearly 75 new ships for the Navy, and dozens of new fighter aircraft for the Air Force. Although the cost of this increase would be substantial -- about $90 billion per year -- it would be covered, the GOP presidential candidate said, by cutting wasteful government spending. But where, exactly, is the waste?" (09/27/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/09/27/where-is-that-wasteful-government-spending/  

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Free Talk Live, 09/26/16

September 27, 2016
posted by

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live
by  

"Debate Drinking Game :: Where will third party candidates be during the debate? :: Green Party Candidate Jill Stein Escorted off Debate Premises :: Searching TOR Users' Computers :: Debate Predictions :: Business Regulations :: Phone Manufacturers :: Trump's Tax Returns :: Police State." [Flash audio or MP3] (09/26/16)

https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive/free-talk-live-2016-09-26  

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The Tom Woods Show, episode 745

September 27, 2016
posted by

The Tom Woods Show The Tom Woods Show
by  

"Fractional-reserve banking, in which only a fraction of demand deposits are available on demand (the rest being lent out), has been a source of controversy even among self-identified Austrian economists. Jeff Herbener joins us to discuss the purely economic effects of fractional-reserve banking." [various formats] (09/26/16)

http://tomwoods.com/podcast/ep-745-the-economics-of-fractional-reserve-banking/  

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Free trade is fair trade

September 27, 2016
posted by

Laurence M. Vance Future of Freedom Foundation
by Laurence M Vance  

"Human beings, by virtue of being human, are entitled to worship as they choose, to own property, to emigrate from their country, and to form peaceable associations. Those are fundamental rights, not dependent on the government's political preferences or utilitarian considerations. The freedom to engage in mutual and honest commerce is just as fundamental, and it should be just as immaterial whether lawmakers approve of the bargain struck between seller and buyer. Jones shouldn't have to lobby public officials for the right to hire Smith or teach Smith or pray with Smith, or seek Smith's opinion. Nor should he have to win government approval for the right to sell his goods and services to Smith. Not even if Smith lives in another neighborhood, or another state, or another country." (09/27/16)

http://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/free-trade-fair-trade/  

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Don’t cry for me, Cupertino

September 27, 2016
posted by

Hawaii Reporter
by Tom Yamachika  

"Heads turned a couple of weeks ago when it was announced that Apple, maker of iMacs and iPhones, owed Ireland 13 billion euros (about $14.5 billion), covering ten years of back taxes, plus interest. This case was much more unusual than the run-of-the mill tax dispute between a taxpayer and the taxing authorities for several reasons. Surprisingly, Apple wasn't the only one unhappy with the decision; the Ireland tax authorities were too, with Ireland's Minister for Finance saying that he disagrees 'profoundly' with it. Who made the decision, then? It was the European Commission, basically an antitrust regulator for the EU." (09/26/16)

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/dont-cry-for-me-cupertino/123  

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Fedzilla’s land grabs, part 1

September 27, 2016
posted by

The Price of Liberty
by Bradley Harrington  

"Whatever powers are not specifically enumerated to the federal government become the province of the states. Since the Constitution does not specifically enumerate federal land ownership outside of the stipulations of the Enclave Clause, Fedzilla's 'ownership' of such lands is unconstitutional. Period! What should have happened -- and what used to happen -- is that as each territory became a state, the Feds ceded those territorial lands over to that state. In some cases, such as with Illinois, Arkansas and Missouri, states successfully recovered their large percentages of formerly-federally-owned territory. End of story. So, what happened in between? How did we ever arrive at the point where Fedzilla now occupies over 635 million acres, i.e., 28 percent of the land mass of the nation?" (09/26/16)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=9764  

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Mortality from AGW warming: A brief analysis

September 27, 2016
posted by

David Friedman Ideas
by David Friedman  

"In a recent FaceBook exchange, the question came up of why I object to the omission from most talk about AGW of the benefits from milder winters. I ended up sketching an approach to the question of whether increased mortality from hotter summers was more or less than decreased mortality from milder winters. It was a longer piece than I usually bother with on FaceBook, which suggested that it would be more appropriate here, so here, with some editing, it is. I begin with a Lancet article that found that, globally, 'cold-related deaths outnumbered heat-related deaths by a factor of nearly 20, overall.' To figure out how summed deaths from heat and cold were changed by AGW so far, or estimate how they will be changed in the future, I need two more pieces of information." (09/26/16)

http://daviddfriedman.blogspot.com/2016/09/mortality-from-agw-warming-brief.html  

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Crony capitalism and political privilege: Earthshaking. Literally.

September 27, 2016
posted by

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

"Question: What's the difference between a drunk driver who totals your car with his reckless, intoxicated driving, and an oil company that damages your house's foundation with its reckless, earthquake-inducing fracking? Answer: The oil company can afford to buy off politicians and regulators to let it injure you without legal consequence or liability, and to run slick public relations campaigns aimed at convincing you to not believe your own lying eyes. The drunk driver counts himself lucky if he has enough cash on hand to buy the next six-pack." (09/26/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/7748  

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Police killings won’t stop

September 27, 2016
posted by

Chris Hedges (photo by Chris Hedges) OpEdNews
by Chris Hedges  

"The corporate state, no matter how many protests take place in American cities over the murder of unarmed citizens, will put no restraints on the police or the organs of security and surveillance. It will not protect the victims of state violence. It will continue to grant broader powers and greater resources to militarized police departments and internal security forces such as Homeland Security. Force, along with the systems of indoctrination and propaganda, is the last prop that keeps the corporate elites in power. These elites will do nothing to diminish the mechanisms necessary for their control." (09/26/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Police-Killings-Won-t-Stop-by-Chris-Hedges-Corporate_Democracy_Police-Abuse-Of-Power_Police-State-160926-309.html  

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The student loan scam killed ITT Tech

September 27, 2016
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Nathan Keeble  

"ITT Technical Institute announced that it was shutting the doors of its campuses earlier this month, after the Department of Education barred the company from accepting federal student aid funds. Thousands of employees have lost their jobs and tens of thousands of students are left saddled with monstrous debt, no degree, and credits that are scarcely accepted elsewhere. This is clearly nothing short of a disaster for those involved, but could this be a glimpse into a grim future for the education sector?" (09/26/16)

https://mises.org/blog/student-loan-scam-killed-itt-tech  

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Thank goodness government isn’t as involved in the food service industry as it is in the health care industry

September 27, 2016
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreax  

"Margot Sanger-Katz usefully analogizes Obamacare to all-you-can-eat restaurants ('Football Team at the Buffet: Why Obamacare Markets Are in Crisis,' September 24): if these restaurants don't price their buffets wisely, they go bankrupt. Given the helpfulness of Ms. Sanger-Katz's analogy, I'm surprised that it didn’t lead her to draw what is for me the obvious conclusion -- namely, replace heavy government involvement in health-care with private competitive markets of the sort in which restaurants and supermarkets operate. After all, despite the pricing challenges that Ms. Sanger-Katz correctly notes confront many restaurants, they continue to thrive, all while being only very lightly regulated and completely unsubsidized." (09/26/16)

http://cafehayek.com/2016/09/41441.html  

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Three questions Trump & Clinton should answer at tonight’s debate

September 27, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Gary Johnson  

"Created by the Democratic and Republican parties in 1987 to take control of presidential and vice presidential debates, it’s no surprise the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) has tried to keep third party candidates like me and my Libertarian Party running-mate Bill Weld from participating. So I’ll try a little 'virtual debating' here, with questions for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. I’ll represent the tens of millions of true independent voters who will have no representation in the initial face-off. ... Even though I won't be on that stage at Hofstra, I'd like for the moderator to pose several questions to my opponents, which will give independents some voice. There are three issue frames in public policy: economic, social and foreign. Here are my questions, one for Secretary Clinton on foreign affairs. One for Mr. Trump on social policy. And a question I would pose to both about the most important fiscal issue facing the government." (09/26/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/09/26/gary-johnson-virtual-debate-polls-clinton-trump-questions/91089770  

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We need a real people’s debate, not the “fight of the century”

September 27, 2016
posted by

Richard Eskow Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"We're told that Monday night's confrontation between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could draw 100 million viewers and 'rank among television benchmarks like the finales of MASH and Cheers.' We're not being told that it will be a debate on the issues of greatest concern to the American people. But then, it may not even really be a debate at all. A debate, according to Merriam-Webster, is 'a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides.' Given Trump’s cheap theatrics, and the media’s sensationalist bent, we're more likely to see a 'pageant' (defined as is defined as 'a mere show' and 'an ostentatious display') instead. That would be tragic -- for the democratic process, and for the country." (09/26/16)

https://ourfuture.org/20160926/we-need-a-real-debate-not-the-fight-of-the-century  

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Why activists should learn to think on the margin

September 27, 2016
posted by

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by John Zaleski  

"Leaders of liberty must sometimes take a step back and reflect on the best ways to use their limited resources and local knowledge to reach their ultimate goals. Students For Liberty's mission is '... to educate, develop, and empower the next generation of leaders of liberty.' To strive for this goal as efficiently as possible requires applying certain economic concepts, specifically marginalism. The Law of Diminishing Marginal Utility states that every additional unit of a good consumed yields less utility to the consumer than the unit before it (assuming all other factors are held constant). This is important when considering the nature of value and helps to resolve apparent paradoxes." (09/26/16)

http://studentsforliberty.org/blog/2016/09/26/activists-learn-think-margin/  

2 Comments »

Trump’s agenda: A recipe for civil unrest

September 27, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gabrielle Gurley  

"Donald Trump finally got around to demonizing African Americans. The only surprise is how long he took to get there. Early in the campaign season, he raged about Muslims and demanded they be barred from entering the country. He labeled Mexican immigrants 'rapists.' He has insisted that a wall, built by the United States, paid for by Mexico, must rise along the southern border. But he held off on making broad, baseless generalizations about black people. African Americans listened carefully to Trump’s rhetoric about Muslims and Mexicans: His horrendous poll numbers among blacks reflect a widespread understanding that nothing good can come of a Trump presidency." (09/23/16)

http://prospect.org/article/trump%E2%80%99s-agenda-recipe-civil-unrest  

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Donald Trump leads the war on truth — but he didn’t start it

September 27, 2016
posted by

The Intercept The Intercept
by Mattathias Schwartz  

"The backlash against Trump isn't really about his lying. It's that he is lying too clumsily, too openly, and in the service of the wrong causes. ... Today, if you want to use your official position to slander Edward Snowden, or to claim that only three men were waterboarded at Guantanamo, or to argue against the release of 28 pages of a publicly funded report on the 9/11 attacks, the worst that most newspapers will do is quote someone who disagrees with you. Senior official says X, some critics say Y. This is stenography, and for those interested in figuring out how we came to inhabit a post-fact world, this might be one place to begin." (09/26/16)

https://theintercept.com/2016/09/26/donald-trump-leads-the-war-on-truth-but-he-didnt-start-it/  

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Economic ideas: Plato, Aristotle, and the ancient Greeks, part 2

September 27, 2016
posted by

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

"When we turn to the other most famous ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle (384 B.C. – 322 B.C.), we find little of the political regimentation that characterizes his teacher, Plato. For Aristotle, the appropriate behavior is the 'golden mean,' that is, the avoidance of 'extreme' or unrealistic goals or conduct in the affairs of men. While he hopes that wise policies may help to improve the conditions and actions of men, Aristotle recognizes that man possesses a human nature that cannot be molded or bent or transformed to conform to some ideal of a perfect State populated by transformed people in the way that Plato believed was in principle desirable and possible." (09/26/16)

http://www.fff.org/explore-freedom/article/economic-ideas-plato-aristotle-ancient-greeks-part-2/  

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The real threat to the Constitution is Trump

September 27, 2016
posted by

Steve Chapman Reason
by Steve Chapman  

"Many people in his party have repudiated Trump's comments on race, immigration, Vladimir Putin and more. But among those who support him, there is one decisive, last-resort justification: Trump would appoint conservative Supreme Court justices who would uphold the Constitution, and Hillary Clinton would not. What makes them so sure? If there is anything clear from his tweets and speeches, it's that he has no more regard for the Constitution than he does for the creditors he stiffed in his many bankruptcies." (09/26/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/09/26/the-real-threat-to-the-constitution-is-t  

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The left deserves better than Jill Stein

September 26, 2016
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Kate Aronoff  

"If politics were a battle for the moral high ground, both Bernie Sanders and the Green Party might be in full control of the three branches of government. Sadly, it’s not and they’re not. Like Sanders, the Green Party’s Jill Stein has become a symbol. Progressives and radicals are rightfully tired of having to hold their noses and choose between two bad options. Stein’s campaign seems to offer an alternative. Outside the twin evils of hawkish neoliberalism and thinly veiled white nationalism sits a party that can sincerely claim to be united behind solidly progressive demands: transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030, rejecting the Trans-Pacific Partnership and implementing a $15 minimum wage, among others. These are changes that could make a real difference in the lives of America’s worst-off, and potentially save the planet we all live on from ecological collapse. Unfortunately, those changes won’t come from Stein or the Green Party." [editor's note: Yep, the Left "eat their own" as well - SAT] (09/26/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/features/lesser_evil_jill_stein_hillary_clinton.html  

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No, really, Clinton will be very hawkish as president

September 26, 2016
posted by

Daniel Larison The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison  

"Stephen Walt isn't persuaded that Hillary Clinton will be as hawkish a president as her record suggests .... Clinton would be unwise to pursue an even more activist and militarized foreign policy agenda as president, but Walt and I agree about this because we generally view that sort of foreign policy as dangerous and contrary to American interests anyway. It does seem foolish for any president to want to do the things that Clinton thinks the U.S. should do, but that is not a reason to think it won't happen." (09/26/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/no-really-clinton-will-be-very-hawkish-as-president/  

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The road to fascism in just two charts

September 26, 2016
posted by

The Cobden Centre
by Eugen von Bohm-Bawerk  

"The striking ineptitude pundits reveal when trying to analyze today's political dislocation stems from two simple facts. First, they cannot wrap their head around the fact that some nations apparently drift far left (Spain, Portugal, Italy), while others far right (US, UK, Germany, France) and some in both directions at the same time (Greece). This is easy to understand when acknowledging that the world is not drifting in various directions, but rather just expressing the same message in different language." (09/26/16)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2016/09/the-road-to-fascism-in-just-two-charts/  

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The censor-moron

September 26, 2016
posted by

The Honest Courtesan
by Maggie McNeill  

"In a way, the name 'Banned Books Week' is far too narrow to encompass everything we should be talking about, and a week is far too limited a time to be talking about it. As I wrote above, 'banned' implies a top-down regime, while in reality the majority of censorship now is the result of morons trying to self-lobotomize our entire culture; the word also implies a governmental action, when in reality the rise of social media and mega-media corporations has resulted in a de facto delegation of the censorship authority to them. And if you're tempted to suggest that this isn't as bad, I suggest you ask yourself how much distribution your book will get if Amazon & Wal-mart refuse to stock it and Google monkeys with your search results to make it difficult to find." (09/26/16)

https://maggiemcneill.wordpress.com/2016/09/26/the-censor-moron/  

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Actually, moderators probably shouldn’t let candidates tell bald-faced lies

September 26, 2016
posted by

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols  

"The Commission on Presidential Debates gets just about everything regarding presidential debates wrong -- letting the major parties define the process, excluding credible third-party candidates, opting for too few debates and too many gimmicks -- so it should come as no surprise that the CPD is now sending exactly the wrong signal regarding the role of the moderator of Monday night’s first debate between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. 'I don’t think it’s a good idea to get the moderator into essentially serving as the Encyclopedia Britannica,' Janet Brown, the executive director of the CPD, griped in an interview with CNN’s 'Reliable Sources' Sunday. 'I think it’s better for that person to facilitate and to depend on the candidates to basically correct each other as they see fit.'" (09/26/16)

https://www.thenation.com/article/actually-moderators-probably-shouldnt-let-candidates-tell-bald-faced-lies  

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