Commentary

Health insurance is illegal

May 27, 2015
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Warren C Gibson  

"Health insurance is a crime. No, I'm not using a metaphor. I'm not saying it's a mess, though it certainly is that. I'm saying it's illegal to offer real health insurance in America. To see why, we need to understand what real insurance is and differentiate that from what we currently have." (05/26/15)

http://fee.org/freeman/detail/health-insurance-is-illegal  

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Suicide: The only question that matters

May 27, 2015
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"Do you own yourself, or does the state own you? With respect to suicide, this is the only question that matters. To continue living, or not to do so, is the most basic, primal decision each of us makes every minute of every day of our lives. If you own yourself, then by definition the decision to continue living or to end your life -- for any reason, at any time, with or without the assistance of others, in any manner that doesn't violate others' rights -- is yours alone to make. Anyone claiming a right to take that decision out of your hands is by definition claiming ownership of your life." (05/26/15)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/1512  

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The LAVA Flow Podcast, 05/26/15

May 27, 2015
posted by

The LAVA Flow Podcast The LAVA Flow
by  

"In this fortnight's episode: I talk about minarchism versus anarchism, and why we should all just get along, What's in the News, and a great interview with 2016 presidential candidate, Darryl W. Perry." [text, Flash audio or MP3] (05/26/15)

http://bit.ly/1AvHLI2  

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Anti-immigration conservatives hit a new low

May 27, 2015
posted by

A. Barton Hinkle Reason
by A Barton Hinkle  

"[Cesar] Vargas' parents brought him to the United States from Mexico more than a quarter-century ago, when he was 5. He went to school, then to college, and then to law school, making honor lists along the way. He interned with the New York Supreme Court. When the court considered his application to join the bar, it rated his performance 'stellar.' But his status as an unauthorized resident alien got in his way. Vargas aspired to join the military. 'This country has given me so much, I do want to be able to give back,' he recently told NPR. A provision in the latest defense-authorization bill would have taken a small -- very small -- step toward letting him. It would have expressed the sense of Congress that the Pentagon should study the question of whether unlawfully present immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children should be allowed to enlist in the armed forces someday. Cue the exploding heads. When they discovered the provision, conservative Republicans threatened to derail the entire $612 billion defense measure." (05/25/15)

http://bit.ly/1es2K4V  

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Is the public the people, or the state?

May 27, 2015
posted by

Independent Country
by James Leroy Wilson  

"When I first heard the term 'public health' sometime in my youth, I thought it was about protection from dangers that could harm anyone and everyone: contaminated air, water, or land; contagious diseases. I thought public health had something to do with the public! Turns out, when most people talk about public health, they refer to what people choose to ingest or smoke. Unhealthy choices, they say, will drive up health care costs. But whose health care costs?" (05/26/15)

http://bit.ly/1cYZ0qy  

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Stop calling the TPP a “trade” agreement

May 27, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"This is a message to activists trying to fight the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Stop calling the TPP a 'trade' agreement. TPP is a corporate/investor rights agreement, not a 'trade' agreement. 'Trade' is a good thing; TPP is not. Every time you use the word 'trade' in association with the TPP, you are helping the other side. 'Trade' is a propaganda word. It short-circuits thinking. People hear 'trade' and the brain stops working. People think, 'Of course, trade is good.' And that ends the discussion. Calling TPP a 'trade' agreement lets the pro-TPP people argue that TPP is about trade instead of what it is really about. It diverts attention from the real problem." (05/26/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150526/stop-calling-tpp-a-trade-agreement-it-isnt  

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Free Talk Live, 05/26/15

May 27, 2015
posted by

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live
by  

"Ross Ulbricht's Letter to the Judge :: Boston Stong Dumps Water Outside Studio :: The Silk Road Helped Humanity :: Is Ross Ulbricht honestly sorry? :: Listening Methods :: Jimmy Arrested at ChuckECheese :: TX Biker Shootout :: Prosecutors' Demand For Ulbricht's Sentence :: Death Penalty :: Dumpster Diving Tips." [Flash audio or MP3] (05/26/15)

https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive/free-talk-live-2015-05-26  

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Radical democracy

May 27, 2015
posted by

Notes On Liberty
by Fred Foldvary  

"Going to its roots, democracy is kratos, rule, by demos, the people. Pure democracy is the rule by all the people, not just some of the people. The only way to implement absolute democracy is for each participant to voluntarily agree to the governance structure, and be able to exit when one no longer agrees. Democracy can be divided into mass democracy versus 'cellular' or small-group democracy." (05/26/15)

http://notesonliberty.com/2015/05/26/radical-democracy/  

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“Hurrican HUD” & the Baltimore riots

May 27, 2015
posted by

James Bovard JimBovard.com
by James Bovard  

"Baltimore's recent riots are not surprising in a city that has long been plagued by both police brutality and one of the nation's highest murder rates. Though numerous government policies and the rampaging looters deserve blame for the carnage, federal housing subsidies have long destabilized Baltimore neighborhoods and helped create a culture of violence with impunity. Yet just last week, Baltimore officials were in Washington asking for more." (05/25/15)

http://bit.ly/1FU3Imv  

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Hold bankers accountable for their crimes

May 27, 2015
posted by

Katrina vanden Heuvel The Nation Blog
by Katrina vanden Heuvel  

"Last week, Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced that five major banks were pleading guilty to criminal charges for what she described as a 'brazen display of collusion' to manipulate the currency markets. The banks (Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Barclays, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group) were hit with $5.6 billion in fines and penalties. Sensibly, the banks were forced to plead guilty, not simply pay fines in settlements where they neither admitted nor denied the changes. But the charges still were brought against banks, not bankers. No banker was held accountable. The personal fortunes of the bankers who profited were not touched. Shareholders, not bankers, will pay the fines." [editor's note: Remember when "fraud" was a crime committed by individuals instead of faceless corporations? Me neither ... - SAT] (05/26/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qb5ka7f  

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The NSA’s technotyranny: One nation under surveillance

May 27, 2015
posted by

John W. Whitehead LewRockwell.com
by John W Whitehead  

"As I document in my new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, this fourth branch came into being without any electoral mandate or constitutional referendum, and yet it possesses superpowers, above and beyond those of any other government agency save the military. It is all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful. It operates beyond the reach of the president, Congress and the courts, and it marches in lockstep with the corporate elite who really call the shots in Washington, DC. You might know this branch of government as Surveillance, but I prefer 'technotyranny,' a term coined by investigative journalist James Bamford to refer to an age of technological tyranny made possible by government secrets, government lies, government spies and their corporate ties." (05/26/15)

http://bit.ly/1GABv2M  

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Has child care policy finally come of age?

May 27, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Andrea Louise Campbell  

"The Democratic Party is now turning to a new agenda for parents: not just an expanded earned income tax credit and child tax credit, but also paid family leave, universal preschool, and free community college. President Barack Obama encapsulated the message in his 2015 State of the Union address when he asserted that 'affordable, high-quality childcare ... [is] not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.' He even made the children-as-social-good argument that’s been missing from the American discussion of family policy: 'It’s time we stop treating child care as a side issue, or as a women’s issue, and treat it like the national economic priority that it is for all of us.' The question now is whether, at long last, the United States will be ready to make progress on childcare policy." (05/26/15)

http://prospect.org/article/has-child-care-policy-finally-come-age  

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An attempt at a universal ethic, part 6: Answering objections

May 27, 2015
posted by

Skyler J Collins Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J Collins  

"This series has been a delight to think and write about. I admit that I was a bit apprehensive at the beginning to get into this, but having done so it has been a weight lifted from my shoulders. In this final part I answer twelve objections that I received and hope my responses are sufficient." (05/25/15)

http://bit.ly/1Ev08Id  

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Tobacco control torturers

May 27, 2015
posted by

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Dick Puddlecote  

"I may be a hopeless believer in personal freedoms, but anyone who would even consider forcing someone to quit smoking when they are at a low ebb and incarcerated is on a par with vile moral Victorians who used to lock up unmarried teen mothers in asylums for making the wrong choices in life. Those who agree that it's a good idea should be hunted for sport, in my opinion." (05/26/15)

http://bit.ly/1HIHG3w  

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Greece: Can’t pay, won’t pay

May 27, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Mike Peacock  

"After many mixed messages in recent months, the Greek government seems to have alighted on one simple line: can’t pay, won’t pay. A growing list of senior members of the government have openly said Athens does not have the means to pay the International Monetary Fund and would prioritise paying civil servants and pensioners instead. 'We haven’t got the money. We won’t pay. It’s that simple,' Deputy Foreign Minister Nikos Chountis, who holds the European affairs portfolio, said. If so, a cash-for-reforms deal with the EU and IMF must be struck before payments totalling about 1.5 billion euros to the Fund fall due next month, or Greece will default." (05/26/25)

http://blogs.reuters.com/macroscope/2015/05/26/cant-pay-wont-pay  

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Janet Yellen is right: She can’t predict the future

May 27, 2015
posted by

Ron Paul The Daily Bell
by Ron Paul  

"This week I found myself in rare agreement with Janet Yellen when she admitted that her economic predictions are likely to be wrong. Sadly, Yellen did not follow up her admission by handing in her resignation and joining efforts to end the Fed. An honest examination of the Federal Reserve's record over the past seven years clearly shows that the American people would be better off without it." (05/25/15)

http://bit.ly/1Rkj0mE  

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US monetary policy: A ship with a broken rudder

May 27, 2015
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by George Selgin  

"In light of some bad economic news, the Federal Open Market Committee's decision to continue its accommodative policy stance may come as relief to some. But it's no cause for celebration. Indeed, it only underscores the fact that our monetary system is still not functioning properly. If it were, the Federal Reserve's $4.5 trillion balance sheet would long ago have translated into healthy, if not inflationary, levels of spending." (05/26/15)

http://bit.ly/1FB8qCh  

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Airbags recalled

May 26, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Steve Kelley  

Cartoon. (05/21/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/05/airbags-recalled/  

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Super PACs are not the problem

May 26, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Bradley A. Smith  

"A super PAC is a group of people pooling their resources to support candidates for political office. They don't contribute to candidates' campaigns, but instead say what they want to say. Super PACs must register with the Federal Election Commission, and report all of their expenditures and contributions over $200. Why is all that considered so bad? Americans tend to forget, or not know, that until 1975 our elections always featured the equivalent of super PACs. But that year, we decided to vastly increase the government's role as a speech policeman. Not surprisingly, the combined incumbent re-election rate over the three election cycles since the return of super PACs is lower than at any time since 1974." (05/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/najdgev  

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The new China-Pakistan economic corridor

May 26, 2015
posted by

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by Jack Enright  

"China and Pakistan signed a $46 billion deal last month that would improve trade between the two countries and make China an increasingly important player in the Middle East. Following discussions between the two countries last November, China opted to invest in several projects in Pakistan to improve its currently intermittent power grid with new power plants. It will also build highways, an airport, and oil pipelines to better connect the two countries." (05/25/15)

http://bit.ly/1erYbYl  

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When a fossil fuel subsidy is not a subsidy

May 26, 2015
posted by

Sam Bowman Adam Smith Institute
by Sam Bowman  

"You may have seen an IMF report in the news last week claiming that fossil fuels are subsidised to the tune of over five trillion dollars every year. This made good headlines, but only because the IMF chose to describe untaxed externalities as 'post-tax subsidies.' This is unusual and misleading." (05/26/15)

http://bit.ly/1FTUs1V  

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The prospects for radical democracy [sic] in Spain

May 26, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Vicente Rubio Pueyo & Pablo La Parra  

"'Do you hear the buzz? The buzz says: let's defend the common good.' These are the lyrics of the campaign song of Barcelona en Comú–one of the new 'confluence' platforms of 'popular unity' running in the May 24th municipal elections in Spain, sung (with the help of autotune) to the rhythm of a popular Catalán rumba by its candidate, Ada Colau. According to pre-election polls, Colau is poised to win the mayoral election in Barcelona this Sunday. Colau is part of a rising electoral insurgency across Spain by candidates trying to reimagine radical democracy, drawing from social movements to create a new participatory style of 'governance by listening.'" [editor's note: I dunno, maybe it's just nice to see the word "governance" in print ... - SAT] (05/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p9nslxk  

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How donations to the Clinton Foundation let to tens of billions in weapons sales to autocratic regimes

May 26, 2015
posted by

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger  

"Another day, another Clinton Foundation related scandal. In the latest expose by International Business Times' David Sirota, we learn about the explosion in weapons sales to certain nations during Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State. Billions of dollars in sales went to autocratic regimes notorious for human rights abuses who donated generously to the Clinton Foundation. Should we be surprised? No. Should we be outraged and disgusted? Absolutely. Of all the Clinton scandals, the following is the most dangerous to peace on earth." (05/26/15)

http://bit.ly/1Kyp2Pr  

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Unlimited gall

May 26, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Some claims don't persuade. For example, the claim that starting a conversation is an effort to end conversation. Or that one 'bullies' officeholders by telling constituents what officeholders are up to. But so contends a Columbus Dispatch editorial ('Don't let pledges close discussions') chastising U.S. Term Limits, my old stomping ground, for spotlighting pols plotting to pulverize term limits." (05/26/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/05/26/unlimited-gall/  

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United States government looking to repeat security blunder

May 26, 2015
posted by

A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg  

"Another great example of the state making the same mistake, only harder. Restricting the export of strong cryptographic tools put everybody at risk of attack and an export restriction against penetration testing tools would put everybody at risk of missing basic vulnerabilities in their networks." (05/26/15)

http://bit.ly/1EwaY0x  

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