Commentary

The age of the aircraft carrier may be over

August 24, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Jason Fields  

"The United States has more aircraft carriers than any other country - depending on how you define 'aircraft carrier,' it's 10 times as many. Russia, a major naval power with large submarine corps and many other surface ships, has one carrier. It's from the Soviet era, diesel powered and rarely at see for more than six months at a time before heading back for a refit that typically takes longer than the deployment. China's first aircraft carrier recently became operational. It's a Soviet model that's been refurbished. A second carrier is being refurbished now. The other nations that can sent flattops to sea are India, Italy and France. The United Kingdom currently can't launch fighters from its lone carrier because they retired their Harrier jump jets in 2010 to save money." (08/23/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-aircraft-carrier-podcast-idUSKCN10Y1OK  

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Trump vs. Clinton: It’s all about the debates

August 24, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Ted Rall  

"[I]f the election were held today, Hillary Clinton would beat Trump by a sizable margin. But that's not the case. Two months is a long time. Old scandals percolate; new ones emerge. Another terrorist attack could prompt voters to turn to the right. By far the biggest potential game changer, however, are the presidential debates. Conventional wisdom says Hillary Clinton will use her superior command of the facts and her ability to namedrop world leaders to run circles around Trump. But conventional wisdom is often wrong -- just ask unstoppable 2016 Republican presidential nominee Jeb Bush. I think Donald will trounce Hillary in the debates." (08/23/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/08/23/trump-vs-clinton-its-all-about-the-debates/  

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Sheriff Zollman — what will you tell Jack Yantis’s widow?

August 23, 2016
posted by

William Norman Grigg Pro Libertate
by William Norman Grigg  

"Residents of Adams County, Idaho, should compel Sheriff Ryan Zollman – by nailing his feet to the floor, if necessary -- to answer this question: Are you willing to tell Donna Yantis to her face that her husband Jack deserved to die? If Zollman answers that question in the negative, he should be forced to answer this one: Are you willing to fire the deputies who perforated Jack Yantis with gunshots, even though they will be spared criminal prosecution, because they killed an innocent man?" (08/22/16)

http://freedominourtime.blogspot.com/2016/08/sheriff-zollman-what-will-you-tell-jack.html  

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What Trump gets right about alliances

August 23, 2016
posted by

Doug Bandow The American Conservative
by Doug Bandow  

"The U.S. is expected to protect virtually every prosperous, populous, industrialized nation, but that's just a start. Washington also must coddle, pamper, praise, uplift, pacify, encourage, and otherwise placate the same countries. Once great powers, they now believe it to be America's duty to handle their defense, what should be the most important duty of any government. Alas, U.S. officials are only too willing to enable this counterproductive behavior. Except for Donald Trump. There is much to say about his candidacy, most of it bad. Even when he makes basic sense his view is, shall we say, rather unsophisticated. And that certainly applies to his view of U.S. alliance policy. Nevertheless, he gets one big concept very right. He's not interested in reassuring allies. Or, as he might put it, he won't make nice to a bunch of wimpy leeches living off of America." (08/23/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-trump-gets-right-about-alliances/  

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What the Patti Hearst pardon is not

August 23, 2016
posted by

Debra J. Saunders Town Hall
by Debra J Saunders  

"Patricia Hearst is the first person in American history to receive a commutation from one president and a pardon from another, author Jeffrey Toobin writes in his book, American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst. Hearst had served 22 months of a seven-year sentence in federal prison for bank robbery when President Jimmy Carter commuted her sentence; sentence reductions are part of the presidential pardon power embedded in the U.S. Constitution. Later, Bill Clinton pardoned (that is, removed all punishment and restored her civil rights) Hearst. She was one of Clinton's infamous 140 out-the-door pardons that included fugitive gazillionaire Marc Rich." (08/23/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/debrajsaunders/2016/08/23/what-the-patti-hearst-pardon-is-not-n2208557  

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There is merely a distinction of reason between rules and discretion in central banks’ monetary policy

August 23, 2016
posted by

The Cobden Centre
by Vishal Wilde  

"Ultimately, delegation of monetary policy to an independent central bank is only useful insofar as imposing inflation-targeting (or another accompanying or differing monetary rules) upon society is desirable and to the extent that it mitigates political risks. Nevertheless, both rules and discretion premise that agents would be better off by having expectations-management preferences imposed upon them and thereby institutionally distorted rather than being able to choose how they manage their diverse and (time-)varying expectations-management preferences through an authentic, genuine choice of multiple monies." (08/23/16)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2016/08/there-is-merely-a-distinction-of-reason-between-rules-and-discretion-in-central-banks-monetary-policy/  

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Heartland Daily Podcast, 08/22/16

August 23, 2016
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by  

"In today's edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, Sam Batkins, Director of Regulatory policy at the American Action Forum, joined the podcast to discuss his new paper titled '600 Major Regulations.' In more than six years in office, President Obama had imposed more regulations than President Bush did in eight years." [various formats] (08/22/16)

http://blog.heartland.org/2016/08/heartland-daily-podcast-sam-batkins-obama-has-imposed-600-major-regulations/  

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A Basic Income would upend America’s work ethic, and that’s a good thing

August 23, 2016
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Fred Block & Frances Fox Piven  

"We have been ruled for years by archaic economic ideas, particularly the claim that a healthy dose of economic austerity is the best way to get the economy’s engines firing again. It is a zombie idea, discredited almost nine decades ago when Herbert Hoover insisted on balancing the budget during a crisis, and sent the economy into a tailspin. If bad ideas are not allowed to die, good ideas slip into obscurity. Today, one of those buried ideas is enjoying a well-deserved revival: basic income, the idea that every citizen is entitled to an income sufficient to cover basic needs." [editor's note: As one who struggled mightily to keep up, until the Social Security trickle-back checks started coming in (allowing me to build on it with other endeavors), I heartily support this message; taking away the worries about basic survival, and promoting creative ways to rise above "wage-slave" status, is the future of this species if it is to survive - SAT] (08/23/16)

https://www.thenation.com/article/a-basic-income-would-upend-americas-work-ethic-and-thats-a-good-thing  

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The economic effects of the Clinton tax proposal

August 23, 2016
posted by

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by Paul Bachman, Keshab Bhattarai, Frank Conte, Jonathan Haughton, & David G Tuerck  

"Compared with other presidential election year cycles, the 2016 campaign takes place in a period of perplexingly slow economic growth. Secretary Hillary Clinton''s tax proposal, the center of her campaign's fiscal policy, stresses fairness. To reach "broadly shared prosperity," in this slow-growth environment, the Clinton tax proposals seek to promote growth and equity by shifting the tax burden to high-income taxpayers. The proposals are clearly predicated on a normative objective to diminish income inequality and to bring greater equity to the tax code. In this report, we focus on the efficiency effects of the Clinton tax proposal, leaving the debate over equity for a separate analysis of distributional effects (Haughton et al. 2016)." [summary -- full paper available as PDF download] (08/23/16)

http://www.ncpa.org/sub/dpd/index.php?Article_ID=26597  

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Blue cities, red states

August 23, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Abby Rapoport  

"When Denton, Texas, passed a fracking ban in November 2014, it was national news. The story seemed out of a movie, a David-and-Goliath tale in which a scrappy band of citizens goes up against big industry and wins. Located in the heart of oil and gas territory, the town is hardly a liberal bastion; its state representative is a staunch conservative, and among its biggest annual events is the North Texas State Fair and Rodeo. But residents were watching gas drills come closer and closer to their parks and schools." [editor's note: This could be a great pitch for decentralizing the Electoral College to the Congressional district level, slightly empowering those in red-state cities (and blue-state towns), even though that is not the writer's intent here - SAT] (08/22/16)

http://prospect.org/article/blue-cities-battle-red-states  

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If markets fail, governments fail harder

August 23, 2016
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Kyle S Swan  

"Just like there are several well-theorized sources and examples of market failure (e.g., externalities and public goods), there are likewise several well-theorized sources and examples of government failure. In cases of corruption, government officials use their control of public resources to advance their private ends. An official may be in charge of some project and solicit bribes in exchange for granting the government contract supporting it. The problem here isn't that it's immoral, though it is. The problem is that extending a contract on the basis of someone's willingness to provide a bribe will almost certainly violate Pareto optimality." (08/23/16)

https://fee.org/articles/if-markets-fail-governments-fail-harder/  

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No, charter schools don’t push out kids who are too hard to teach

August 23, 2016
posted by

Show-Me Institute Show-Me Institute
by Michael Q McShane  

"Last week, I offered a 'Mythbusters'-style blog on the (mistaken) belief that charter schools suspend students at higher rates than traditional public schools do. I wanted to follow up on that post with a quick addendum on a related issue that charter critics often raise in discussions about the discipline practices of charter schools. They often claim that the draconian discipline systems within charter schools are used to push out students who are lower performing or are too disruptive to handle. Like the myth of charter school suspensions, this one isn't true either." (08/22/16)

http://showmeinstitute.org/blog/school-choice/no-charter-schools-don%E2%80%99t-push-out-kids-who-are-too-hard-teach  

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United we disagree

August 23, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"This election year? Anger and angst permeate the electorate. We are united only in frustration. Which leads to some mutual distrust. Not good. Neither the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, nor the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, will receive my vote. But that doesn't mean I don't respect people who will vote for one or the other." (08/23/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/08/23/united-we-disagree/  

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Police reports: A magical monopoly on truth

August 23, 2016
posted by

Cop Block Cop Block
by Joshua Scott Hotchkin  

"This afternoon you returned home from work to find a window opened and a number of items missing. ... You realize that calling the police will only be a waste of time, and since you are illegally collecting rainwater in the backyard near the window the thieves crept in, you could actually end up with criminal charges for calling them. So you skip all that nonsense and just call your insurance company to report the stolen items that are covered under your policy. However during your conversation with your agent, you are told that you must file a police report in order to make an insurance claim to replace your stolen items. In other words, despite the fact that you can provide evidence that you purchased these items and that they were removed from your home without permission, nothing matters until a man in a magic costume puts your story on a magic piece of stationary with police insignia on it." (08/23/16)

http://www.copblock.org/164925/police-reports-magical-monopoly-truth/  

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The chalkening

August 23, 2016
posted by

The Libertarian Enterprise The Libertarian Enterprise
by Melissa Dykes  

"This story, in all actuality, has nothing to do with Trump. Or even politics. These are adult-aged manchildren and womenchildren who apparently cannot handle it when people have opinions that differ from their own, opinions which fall outside of the sphere of allotted politically correct opinions they have been propagandized and programmed with since their tiny tot days in the brainwashing centers that pass for American public schools these days. Back to reality, we're talking about CHALK. Chalk writing on university sidewalks. Chalk that disappears with the first hint of rain or eventually just wears off on its own. Instead of getting their own chalk and writing their own message, or just simply ignoring someone who they disagree with politically, these college students began a protest and ran crying to the university president in fear trying to shut down free speech -- a common scene on college campuses these days." (08/21/16)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2016/tle886-20160821-05.html  

1 Comment »

Open the debates to third parties

August 23, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Rob Kall  

"There's a discussion going on about opening the presidential debates to third party candidates. Currently, there are several efforts to open the presidential debates to third party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein. The Commission on Presidential Debates has set an arbitrary 15% polling level requirement for candidates to be included. This is a pathological symptom of the take-over of the democratic process by the corporate owned mainstream media. The truth is, the current presidential debate system is a fraud in many ways." (08/23/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Open-the-Debates-to-3rd-Pa-by-Rob-Kall-Debate-Exclusion_Presidential-Debates-160823-724.html  

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“Hardcore” body camera policies could do more harm than good

August 23, 2016
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Matthew Feeney  

"Body cameras are a valuable tool in the quest to increase accountability and transparency in law enforcement, but discussions about body camera policy shouldn't misrepresent the difficulties associated with policy-making or police officers' motivations." (08/22/16)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/hardcore-body-camera-policies-could-do-more-harm-good  

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Classical liberalism: Its proud past and positive prospects

August 23, 2016
posted by

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

"Both the Democrat and Republican Party presidential candidates represent variations on the same theme of more government spending, greater intrusion into people's personal lives, and increased political concentration of power and control over economic and social life. The only real difference in this year’s presidential election compared to previous ones is the degree of the repugnant unattractiveness of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The world, therefore, is going to hell in a hand basket, and those friends of freedom have nothing to cheer about or look forward to. Such pessimism is easily understood, but is really misplaced. If a wider lens is placed on the human condition, there are sufficient reasons for greater optimism than a single election year appears to suggest." (08/23/16)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/classical-liberalism-proud-past-positive-prospects/  

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Children of the American police state: Just another brick in the wall

August 23, 2016
posted by

John W. Whitehead LewRockwell.com
by John W Whitehead  

"It's difficult enough raising a child in a world ravaged by war, disease, poverty, and hate, but when you add the police state into the mix, it becomes near impossible to guard against the growing unease that some of the monsters of our age come dressed in government uniforms. The lesson being taught to our youngest -- and most impressionable -- citizens is this: in the American police state, you're either a prisoner (shackled, controlled, monitored, ordered about, limited in what you can do and say, your life not your own) or a prison bureaucrat (politician, police officer, judge, jailer, spy, profiteer, etc.)." (08/23/16)

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/08/john-w-whitehead/just-another-brick-wall/  

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Free Talk Live, 08/22/16

August 23, 2016
posted by

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live
by  

"Woman Targeted for Tamales with No Permit :: :: Mandela Effect :: Crazy Zapruder Film Theory :: Aliens in the Military :: Trump Rape Allegations :: Elites and Underage Sex :: Servsafe :: 1500 Float Illegally Into Canada :: ISIS Child Bombers? :: Insane School Board Requirements :: Electric Bicycle." [Flash audio or MP3] (08/22/16)

https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive/free-talk-live-2016-08-22  

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Assisted suicide is a personal choice

August 23, 2016
posted by

Abigail R. Hall Blanco Independent Institute
by Abigail R Hall Blanco  

"We're all going to die, and while we hope for a good long life and a peaceful exit, such will not be the case for many of us. So should you have the right to end your own life? ... While I don't know that my personal morals would ever allow me to commit suicide even if facing a terminal illness (I hope I'm never confronted with such a scenario), the arguments against assisted suicide come up short." (08/22/16)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=8850  

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War: The Islamic State and western politicians against the rest of us

August 23, 2016
posted by

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

"The United Kingdom is back in the business of holding political prisoners on a scale not seen since before the 1997 ceasefire in occupied ... er, 'Northern' ... Ireland, and American social networks are handing the US government de facto power to censor Internet communications. What could possibly go wrong?" (08/22/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/7230  

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Solar power is a cool idea with lousy execution

August 23, 2016
posted by

JD Tuccille Disloyal Opposition
by JD Tuccille  

"For years, most solar installations have been designed to be grid tied -- hooked to the electric grid -- and dependent on net metering requirements that obligate electric utilities to buy the resulting power. Basically, you install a generator on your property and sell juice to the electric company, but draw your own power for home use from the same grid as everybody else. In a blackout, despite the solar panels on the roof, your refrigerator stops humming just like everybody else's appliances. You might have a plug or two available to you on the installation, but that's it. And, of course, once the sun goes down, the panels don't generate anything. Your installation lowers your bill, but it gives you no added independence." (08/22/16)

http://tuccille.com/disloyal/2016/08/22/the-problem-with-solar/  

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I am a Libertarian fundamentalist

August 23, 2016
posted by

Steemit
by Shane Killian  

"Okay, you got me, I admit it. All this time you've called us Libertarians 'fundamentalists,' associating us with people who want to kill gays and Jews and people who draw pictures of some guy who lived 14 centuries ago. Well, you know what? I am a Libertarian fundamentalist. I absolutely believe, at a fundamental level, that it is wrong to initiate force. And I can and have defended that position logically from first principles. I'll never understand why you statists think that not using force to get what you want is a bad thing. See, that's the thing: you're fundamentalists, too!" (08/22/16)

https://steemit.com/anarchy/@shanedk/i-am-a-libertarian-fundamentalist  

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Why is the Cuban embargo still in place?

August 23, 2016
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Two years ago, President Obama announced that the United States would normalize relations with Cuba. As part of the process of fulfilling that commitment, Obama visited the island and met with Cuban President Raul Castro. Since then, he has reduced federal travel restrictions for Americans wishing to travel to Cuba and has eased federal regulations regarding the transfer of money to Cubans. But one glaring fact remains: The brutal U.S. economic embargo that the U.S. government has enforced against the Cuban people for more than 50 years. It remains intact, continuing to bring untold economic suffering to the Cuban people. Why? And for what?" (08/22/16)

http://fff.org/2016/08/22/cuban-embargo-still-place/  

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