Commentary

Liberty needs no lies

December 15, 2014
posted by

Kent McManigal Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog
by Kent McManigal  

"My second wife told me many times that I should 'learn to lie.' She was an expert, apparently, and thought it a personal flaw to not be as good at it as she was. Usually I just didn't feel the need. (Although, for my own safety, I eventually learned to hide things from her, which I suppose is a form of lying.) But I do see how lies might smooth things over. Temporarily." (12/15/14)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2014/12/liberty-needs-no-lies.html  

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Mortgage binges and painful hangovers

December 15, 2014
posted by

Steve Chapman Reason
by Steve Chapman  

"Plenty of people who go on wild drinking binges end up with sound reasons to avoid repeating the experience: painful hangovers, lasting embarrassment, ruined relationships, encounters with police. But that doesn't stop some of them from doing it again. Maybe these are the same people running the federally backed mortgage companies." (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m9wjl2t  

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The Libertarian Angle, 12/15/14

December 15, 2014
posted by

Future of Freedom Foundation Future of Freedom Foundation
by  

"FFF president Jacob Hornberger and FFF vice president Sheldon Richman discuss the hot topics of the day. This week: the recent release of the Senate Torture Report." [Flash video] (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k53uf2r  

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Free Thoughts Podcast, 12/15/14

December 15, 2014
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by  

"Alex Epstein joins us for a discussion on fossil fuel use. How much have fossil fuels benefited humanity? Is there a moral case for their use?" [Flash audio or MP3] (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lgc5439  

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RIP: Bill of Rights Day — mourning

December 15, 2014
posted by

The Price of Liberty
by Nathan Barton  

"Monday is 'Bill of Rights Day' and I think it is appropriate to use the opportunity to remember the late and great document which once helped us keep some hard-won liberties. Therefore, I'd like to suggest that you wear black armbands, or a black ribbon, in memory of the United States Bill of Rights, which once meant so much and was such an important part of that other dead document, the United States Constitution." (12/12/14)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=6412  

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Time for a police offenders registry

December 15, 2014
posted by

Reason Reason
by Ed Krayewski  

"There's a moral obligation to keep bad cops off the streets. A job with a police department is not a right and shouldn't be treated like one. Police unions that push for permissive rules that end up protecting bad cops pose a serious public safety threat. Nevertheless, dismantling them where they've taken root is a difficult prospect even in the long-term. There are other ways to keep bad cops off the streets. The federal government, and state governments, ought to create and encourage the use of a police offender registry list. Such a list would register individuals who while employed as law enforcement officers were found unfit for duty or faced serious disciplinary issues they may have resigned to avoid. Just as any other component of comprehensive police reform, this won't eliminate excessive police violence, but it's a start." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n4b7kgl  

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A is A: A thing is itself

December 15, 2014
posted by

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith  

"Limbaugh's rationalizations for torture boiled down to three assertions, I think, each one more absurd than the other two: first, that what the government does to its helpless captives isn't really torture; second, that even if it is torture, what they have done to us is even worse; and third, that it yields information that can save lives." (12/14/14)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2014/tle801-20141214-02.html  

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The Constitution’s Pearl Harbor

December 15, 2014
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"It was a sneak attack. As the stream of borrowed money that funds the Regime was threatened with a (temporary yet embarrassing) cutoff, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Oceania), inserted what Rep. Justin Amash (R-Michigan) calls a 'novel' provision into H.R. 4681, the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015 -- one 'that for the first time statutorily authorizes spying on U.S. citizens without legal process.' The resolution was headed for a perfunctory vote by acclamation but the ever-vigilant libertarian Amash insisted on a roll call vote, putting the culprits on the record -- and mobilizing 45 Republicans and 55 Democrats to vote an emphatic 'Nay!' H.R. 4681 is now the law of the land -- and the implications are ominous." (12/15/14)

http://tinyurl.com/n2248xv  

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Shutdown theater (off-off Broadway follies)

December 15, 2014
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp Center for a Stateless Society
by Thomas L. Knapp  

"It’s surprising what passes for high political drama these days. After a DC dust-up similar to, but neither as exciting as watching paint dry nor as convincing as professional wrestling, the US House of Representatives passed a $1.1 trillion 'Cromnibus' bill to fund the federal government through September 2015, passing it on to the US Senate, which most expect it (as I write this) to pass as well. Why does the whole thing fail as theater? Two reasons: First, it lacks the true conflict essential to a good yarn. ... Secondly, the stakes are too low." (12/12/14)

http://c4ss.org/content/34098  

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Cops scan social media to help assess your “threat rating”

December 15, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Brent Skorup  

"A national spotlight is now focused on aggressive law enforcement tactics and the justice system. Today’s professional police forces (where officers in even one-stoplight towns might have body armor and mine-resistant vehicles) already raise concerns. Yet new data-mining technologies can now provide police with vast amounts of surveillance information and could radically increase police power. Policing can be increasingly targeted at specific people and neighborhoods -- with potentially serious inequitable effects." (12/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ksh7wp5  

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If enhanced interrogation is not torture …

December 15, 2014
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"Why can’t we Americans use enhanced interrogation methods as a lawful and proper means to discipline our children? After all, it’s not torture, right? Isn’t it perfectly OK to use a little physical pain and suffering to make our kids better citizens if it works? Spare the rod and spoil the child, right? That’s what the Bible says. Why didn’t Americans use the exact same enhanced interrogation methods on the German and Japanese prisoners of war during WWII? If such methods are lawful and proper, shouldn’t it have been routinely done during that horrible war when our country truly was in dire danger?" (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nlg9j3b  

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Protecting from mistakes misguided

December 15, 2014
posted by

Kent McManigal Clovis News Journal
by Kent McManigal  

"Human beings will always make mistakes. It would be nice to protect people from mistakes, but that desire is often misguided. You can warn people; some might even listen. Some won’t and you’ll watch as they suffer consequences. Some mistakes will be fatal. That’s reality, and there’s no way you can change it, no matter how tightly you try to control the world." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/od3saz6  

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Can Warren & Pelosi lead Dems to high ground?

December 15, 2014
posted by

William Greider The Nation
by William Greider  

"The sordid business of closing out the do-nothing [sic] 113 Congress ... has stained President Obama indelibly. We will never forget what he did and failed to do. He deserves our contempt. The president marginalized himself with his unreliable weakness. The recent events in Washington are nonetheless clarifying. They tell us that the worst is yet to come." [editor's note: Warren? Maybe; too soon to tell. Pelosi? Hardly; she's so far up the corporati a** there's no return - SAT] (12/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kw78j5b  

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Voluntaryists take on the tasteless TSA tormentors

December 15, 2014
posted by

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"The Voluntaryist Valiants are vaulting back into battle with yet another action packed adventure comic book episode and these dealers of defensive deeds are in need of freedom's financing. In other words, a new Voluntaryist Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign went live over the weekend." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/paqmu8d  

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Recipe for a successful protest movement

December 15, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Mark Engler & Paul Engler  

"Why are some protests ignored and forgotten while others explode, dominating the news cycle for weeks and becoming touchstones in political life? For all of those seeking to promote change, this is a critical question. And it was a particularly pressing concern after the financial meltdown of 2008. In the years following the crash, America entered into its worst economic crisis in three quarters of a century. ... It took an outburst of popular action to change this. And that outburst came in an unexpected form." (12/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lgsyrx9  

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Stop the Citibank budget; no more rigged backroom deals

December 15, 2014
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"The 'Citibank budget' has not passed the Senate. There is time to fight this giveaway to Wall Street. Call your senators today and tell them take the Citibank bailout part out or block the budget. Tell them to let Wall Street know that their days of controlling our government are over. Tell them, 'Don’t let Citibank win.' ... And while they’re at it, take out the parts that gut the IRS’ ability to collect from the billionaires, gut working peoples’ pensions and rig campaign finance in favor of the wealthiest." [editor's note: Though his appeal is now obsolete, his analysis is worth a read - SAT] (12/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kmknq7g  

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Once again, the only solution is: Abolish the CIA

December 15, 2014
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Once the furor over the torture scandal dies down, as it always does after the discovery of each new CIA scandal, the CIA will continue doing whatever it wants to do, in secret. It’s not just the CIA that is responsible for the criminal wrongdoing. Congress is just as responsible. After all, when a legislative body brings into existence a governmental agency that wields the omnipotent power to do whatever it deems necessary for 'national security' and to do it in secret -- and then keeps it in existence -- then the legislative body is responsible for all the acts of that secret agency." (12/12/14)

http://fff.org/2014/12/12/solution-abolish-cia/  

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Anti-government movements

December 15, 2014
posted by

Randall Holcombe Independent Institute
by Randall Holcombe  

"The past five years have seen four major anti-government movements gain momentum. These movements have not been revolutionary movements, but rather movements that pushed to limit the scope of government in various ways." (12/12/14)

http://blog.independent.org/2014/12/12/anti-government-movements/  

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Continuing congressional meddling: The obstruction of DC’s pot legalization

December 15, 2014
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Amanda Teuscher  

"It’s not like Representative Andy Harris didn’t warn us. When District of Columbia voters last month overwhelmingly passed Initiative 71, the ballot measure to legalize marijuana in the District, the Maryland Republican threatened to use 'all resources available to a member of Congress to stop this action.' And when it comes to preventing D.C. from exercising home rule, the arsenal of available resources is quite well stocked. Harris (whose marijuana vendetta’s origin story must be a Maureen Dowd–style special-brownie overindulgence that left him shattered) has for the past year made it his personal mission to prevent people who didn’t [and couldn't] vote for him from getting what they voted for." (12/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ldsuybu  

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Cliches of progressivism # 35 — “Government is an inflation fighter”

December 15, 2014
posted by

Lawrence W. Reed Foundation for Economic Education
by Lawrence W Reed  

"Define inflation as rising prices and, like Jimmy Carter, you’ll think that oil sheiks, credit cards, and private businesses are the culprits, and price controls are the answer. Define inflation in the classic fashion as an increase in the supply of money, with rising prices as a consequence, and you then have to ask the revealing question, 'Who increases the money supply?' Only one entity can do that legally; all others are called 'counterfeiters' and go to jail." (12/12/14)

http://fee.org/freeman/detail/35-government-is-an-inflation-fighter  

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It’s a pity to see Larry Elliott going off the rails

December 15, 2014
posted by

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall  

"Limited liability has been called the third great invention, after agriculture and the scientific method. That might be rather overegging the argument but we do face Chesterston’s Fence here. We shouldn’t be thinking about removing something until we’ve worked out why it was introduced in the first place. And the reason we have limited liability isn’t particularly because it’s a necessary feature of capitalism, neoliberalism, corporatism or any other -ism that might currently be unfashionable. It’s because it’s a necessary precondition of having any large scale economic activity." (12/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nzqlqmu  

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Time to say “thank you, Big Oil”

December 15, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle
by Andrew S. Ross  

"Likening Big Oil to Santa Claus would be a stretch, but not entirely out of line this Christmas. The plunge in oil prices, which has sent global markets into a tailspin, has put some unexpected extra cash in consumers’ pockets at just the right time. Not only for those who might be feeling a bit more flush, but for retailers who have had a mixed year, praying that some of it goes their way. As the price of crude oil on the world market drops (to under $60 per barrel Friday, the lowest it has been in 5½ years) so does the price at the gas pump." (12/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/otlpbxo  

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Government save us from “overpriced” Chinese food

December 15, 2014
posted by

Ryan McMaken Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ryan McMaken  

"This week's internet-fueled Outrage of the Week is the case of Harvard attorney Ben Edelman who has insisted on 'notifying the authorities' to punish a small restaurant for 'overcharging' the professor to the tune of four dollars. Boston.com reported on the case, posting the full email exchange. Now, the professor has received the sort of social-media drubbing you might expect from an internet world that's more likely to sympathize with an immigrant small businessman than they are to side with a man who obviously has a lot of free time on his hands, and likes to report people to 'the authorities.'" (12/12/14)

http://mises.org/library/government-save-us-overpriced-chinese-food  

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Why innocent people plead guilty

December 15, 2014
posted by

Salon
by Dusty Christensen  

"Jury trials in the U.S. have become incredibly rare. Practically all cases that are not dismissed are settled in plea bargains. In some cases, even innocent people like Kagonyera and Wilcoxson plead guilty to avoid harsh sentences. Conservative estimates place the number of defendants who plead guilty to crimes they didn’t commit in the tens of thousands. Of the 1476 exonerations tracked by the University of Michigan Law School’s National Registry of Exonerations since 1989, 13 percent of innocent defendants provided false confessions." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pwe2mmh  

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Slavery and capitalism again

December 15, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"The fact that the industrial revolution in England was marked (and indeed furthered) by the rise of textile mills, along with the fact that much of the cotton that those textile mills used was grown on chattel-slave plantations, is a poor basis on which to conclude that slavery was necessary to spark the advent of capitalism. (Slavery is even more clearly not sufficient to have sparked the advent of capitalism.) To give reasonably sound evidence that slavery was necessary requires some sensible story for why capitalism as it emerged in Britain and in the U.S. would not have otherwise emerged (or would not have emerged with anywhere near the force or the success that it enjoyed). That an admittedly key input to an admittedly key early capitalist industry was produced largely on slave plantations is simply not strong enough evidence." (12/14/14)

http://cafehayek.com/2014/12/slavery-and-capitalism-again.html  

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