Commentary

The police violence we aren’t talking about

August 27, 2014
posted by

The Nation
by Zoe Carpenter  

"Police officer Daniel Holtzclaw worked the evening shift, from four in the afternoon until two in the morning, patrolling the northeastern part of Oklahoma City. Between February and June he allegedly sexually assaulted at least seven women while on duty, including a 57-year-old grandmother who says she was forced to give Holtzclaw oral sex after he pulled her over. According to police chief Bill Citty, Holtzclaw coerced the women, all of whom were black, into sexual acts by threatening to arrest them. 'They’ve pretty much got power in the palm of their hand. And it’s your word against theirs,' one resident of the neighborhood Holtzclaw patrolled told a reporter. Another said that rumors of the assaults had been circulating for weeks." (08/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qa842j5  

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Sanctions rebound to hit Europeans

August 27, 2014
posted by

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com
by Brian Cloughley  

"The Financial Times commented on August 10 that in reaction to the chaos in Ukraine, 'Western policy has become a mere knee-jerk escalation of sanctions,' and for once the FT has got it right about foreign affairs. The US and its disciples in Europe and Australia have imposed sanctions on Russia for its alleged interference in Ukraine, which has got nothing whatever to do with the US or anyone else. And Russia, understandably, is answering back." (08/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/orq3mbp  

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Private schools for the poor

August 27, 2014
posted by

Independent Institute Independent Institute
by James N. Tooley  

"The accepted wisdom is that private schools serve the privileged; everyone else, especially the poor, requires public school. The poor, so this logic goes, need government assistance if they are to get a good education, which helps explain why, in the United States, many school choice enthusiasts believe that the only way the poor can get the education they deserve is through vouchers or charter schools, proxies for those better private or independent schools, paid for with public funds." (08/26/14)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=5072  

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“Sustainable” and superficial

August 27, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
by Don Boudreaux  

"The pervasive proclamations issued by government officials, college professors, U.N. bureaucrats and Hollywood entertainers in favor of 'sustainability' sound nice. But slogans aren't solutions. Merely declaring support for a good result hardly amounts to a serious analysis of how to make that result a reality. The 'sustainability' movement is populated with too many people who commit the classic offense against good economics: They assume that nothing exists except that which is immediately visible to the untrained eye. Consider a favorite cause of the sustainability movement: locavorism." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qz4wvrx  

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The Latin Americanization of US police forces

August 27, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Cosme Caal  

"From our experience in half a century in Latin America I can tell you that, once the human rights of a minority are compromised, it is only a matter of time before they are compromised for an entire nation. From that same experience I can tell you it will take decades before they can be regained. Militarized police forces take on a life of their down, at the expense of the society’s well-being. The social contract that gives the state the duty to organize police forces itself becomes obsolete, almost a joke. Citizens begin to obey agents of the state not out of respect or cooperation, but out of fear of those sworn to protect them. Eventually, the militarized power of the police reaches such magnitude that political leaders lose all ability to rein them in." (08/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kfpc85l  

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Burning Man: Everything you know is wrong

August 27, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle
by Mark Morford  

"Here’s what you need to know about Burning Man in this fine year of our unchecked chaos, 2014: Nothing. I mean, just forget everything, all right? Whatever you’re heard, read, seen, rumored, teased, whispered, Facebooked, Instagrammed, linked to, thought about or had muttered in your general direction in an Uber fever dream anytime in the past month. Year. Decade. Because it’s almost certainly wrong. Delightfully, hatefully, stupidly, shamelessly, deliberately, resentfully, innocently or even inadvertently, it doesn’t matter -- there’s almost nothing the slightest bit accurate in what the modern media has said recently about the famed art/camping/dance/survival festival (now in its 28th year) happening right now out in the Nevada desert. I’d say this is shocking, if it weren’t so common. And predictable. And boring." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ntns8k7  

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Global warming: Eyeballing the data

August 27, 2014
posted by

David Friedman Ideas
by David Friedman  

"Looking at the temperature data for the past century, the obvious interpretation is the combination of an upward trend with a roughly sinusoidal term of comparable magnitude and a period of about sixty years. When the additional term is going up, temperature rises at about twice the long term trend. When it is going down, it roughly cancels the trend, giving you stable temperatures from 1950 to 1980 and again from about 2000 to the present. I do not know if the oceanic model recently proposed to explain the additional term is correct or not, but that's the pattern suggested by the data. If my interpretation is correct, there are two implications." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nctf7b9  

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Authoritarianism’s ugly losers

August 27, 2014
posted by

Liberty Chat
by Mytheos Holt  

"Let’s leave aside the question of the originating incident (i.e. the shooting of Michael Brown). It is a story without angels, and one best resolved by an investigation. However, if there was any doubt that the Ferguson, Missouri Police Department is willing to engage in ruthless police brutality and thuggishness in response to even peaceful protest, it is the fact that apparently the only person who could manage to speak to Ferguson’s officers without being somehow damaged was a 74-year-old Vietnam Veteran who shamed by police by openly daring them to shoot him." (08/27/14)

http://www.libertychat.com/2014/08/authoritarianisms-ugly-losers/  

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The fun of empire: Fighting on all sides of a war in Syria

August 27, 2014
posted by

Glenn Greenwald The Intercept
by Glenn Greenwald  

"It was not even a year ago when we were bombarded with messaging that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a Supreme Evil and Grave Threat, and that military action against his regime was both a moral and strategic imperative. ... U.S. military action against the Assad regime was thwarted only by overwhelming American public opinion which opposed it and by a resounding rejection by the UK Parliament of Prime Minister David Cameron’s desire to assume the usual subservient British role in support of American wars. Now the Obama administration and American political class is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the failed 'Bomb Assad!' campaign by starting a new campaign to bomb those fighting against Assad -- the very same side the U.S. has been arming over the last two years." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ngr9b9b  

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Blaming the cold weather culprit

August 27, 2014
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Devin Leary-Hanebrink  

"In February, the Federal Reserve made a cursory observation that the unusually severe winter was partly to blame for the stagnant pace of the US economy. The news media, ranging from liberal to conservative, all highlighted the Fed’s report and provided their respective 'spin' on how the weather damages the economy. But soon enough, focus turned back to the brutally cold temperatures and not winter’s economic impact." (08/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kmfscho  

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Impartial investigation

August 27, 2014
posted by

Cagle Post
by Steve Kelley  

Cartoon. (08/26/14)

http://www.cagle.com/2014/08/impartial-investigation/  

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India’s dangerous food subsidies

August 27, 2014
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Daniel R. Pearson  

"India’s trade-distorting farm subsidies are already far in excess of the limits agreed to in their World Trade Organization commitments. Now India wants WTO members to look the other way while it increases subsidies further. With global commodity prices weakening, those subsidies are likely to damage farmers in other countries, tempt tit-for-tat reactions from their governments, and threaten the rules-based international trading system. To staunch that threat, agricultural trading nations should bring a WTO dispute-settlement case seeking an end to India’s abusive practices." (08/27/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mbpdeto  

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Mr. Bernanke vs. the structuralists

August 27, 2014
posted by

Scott Sumner EconLog
by Scott Sumner  

"Lots of people talk about the 'Yellen Fed,' but so far it seems a continuation of the Bernanke policy. I see no important changes. There is also optimism that Draghi may act to boost the eurozone economy. While he makes the right noises, the markets don't seem convinced. The 10-year German Bund yields 0.94%, the 30-year is at 1.8%. Those yields suggest to me that Draghi's vague promises lack credibility." (08/26/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/08/mr_bernanke_vs.html  

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Broken

August 27, 2014
posted by

Future of Freedom Foundation
by Matthew Harwood  

"Members of the American armed forces are props. They wave from convertibles as Independence Day parades make their way down Main Street U.S.A. They are trotted out at football games to bless the proceedings as some kind of martial event. They wish us happy holidays from countries many Americans can’t find on a map. The traditional narrative is that these men and women are the best of us. They risk life and more likely than not limb to protect us from al-Qaeda or rogue states such as Iraq or Iran. They are the vanguard of liberty, knocking down odious regimes so that freedom can be planted in foreign soil and contribute to a democratic peace sometime in the near future. Ann Jones will have none of that. Her They Were Soldiers is a suppurating wound of a book -- the 21st-century equivalent of Dalton Trumbo’s horrifying antiwar novel, Johnny Got His Gun." (08/27/14)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/broken/  

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This month’s ultimate enemy: The Islamic State

August 27, 2014
posted by

Reuters
by Jack Shafer  

"At an Aug. 21 Pentagon press conference, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel claimed that the Islamic State 'is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded.' Perhaps sensing that his comparison hadn’t reached sufficiently hyperbolic velocity to escape earth orbit, Hagel immediately amended himself. 'Oh, this is beyond anything that we’ve seen. So we must prepare for everything,' he said. ... Hagel wasn’t so much fear-mongering as he was fear-tending. War is the health of the state, as Randolph Bourne observed a century ago." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nzzmhfp  

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Fight against militarized police is a culture war worth having

August 27, 2014
posted by

Gene Healy Reason
by Gene Healy  

"America was born amid fear and loathing of standing armies at home. 'It was easy to foresee the consequences [that] followed upon sending troops into America to enforce obedience to acts of the British Parliament,' John Hancock proclaimed in his 1774 address commemorating the Boston Massacre: 'cruelty and haughtiness ... citizens hourly exposed to shameful insults.' Thomas Jefferson worried that a peacetime military force would 'overawe the public sentiment' and harm the republican character of our government. If we share the Founders' concern about domestic militarization, maybe we should stop subsidizing it." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k86zaue  

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Sending money home: Technology or bureaucracy?

August 27, 2014
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Iain Murray  

"Some of the world’s poorest people depend on the money they receive from relatives working in developed countries. In fact, this money dwarfs the world’s official foreign aid budget -- and the gap is increasing. In 2011, total private flows of aid totaled $680 billion -- almost five times the $138 billion official figure. As I noted in 2005, 'the future of aid to developing countries is private.' This is great news for all concerned. Except perhaps bureaucrats, who are loath to let good deeds go unpunished." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pfmq5ev  

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Let’s privatize Medicare

August 27, 2014
posted by

John C. Goodman Independent Institute
by John C. Goodman  

"Paul Ryan proposed a private health insurance alternative to Medicare for future retirees, liberal critics pounced. It’s another scheme to undermine health care for the elderly by 'privatizing' and 'voucher-izing' the program, they said. Yet, almost one third of seniors are already in private health insurance plans. They are called Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, plans. And you would be hard pressed to find any Democratic office holder who wants to abolish them. The reason? Seniors choose to be in these plans because they like them better than traditional Medicare." (08/25/14)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=5071  

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Eric Holder avenges investor fraud by taking from victimized investors

August 27, 2014
posted by

Competitive Enterprise Institute Competitive Enterprise Institute
by John Berlau  

"[W]hatever Bank of America’s misdeeds -- and there were many by the company and those it purchased (Countrywide and Merrill Lynch) -- it is certainly not 'appropriate' to take from the investors the government itself says were victims to give to homeowners that the government never alleges were defrauded." (08/25/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pzoex6j  

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Till ICE do us part

August 27, 2014
posted by

In These Times
by Yana Kunichoff  

"On November 17, 2013, Brigido Acosta Luis was walked across the U.S.-Mexico border by immigration authorities from Brownsville, Texas, to the northern Mexican city of Matamoros. He was dressed in the pajamas he had been wearing the evening that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested him at his home in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg, Illlinois, four weeks earlier. Deportation was an abrupt end to the life 33-year-old Acosta had built in the six years since he illegally crossed the border to the United States in 2007. In Schaumburg, he had a wife, Maria Paz Perez, a 3-year-old son, Xavier, and a teenage stepdaughter, Isabel, all of them American citizens. He had also started a small insurance business with Perez. After Acosta’s deportation, the daily lives of Perez and her two children swiftly began to unravel." (08/25/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17072/till_i.c.e._do_us_part  

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Harry Reid, immune to foot-in-mouth disease?

August 27, 2014
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told the Asian Chamber of Commerce last week, 'The Asian population is so productive. I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are.' In remarks videotaped by the GOP group America Rising, Reid also joked that he had trouble 'keeping my Wongs straight.' Then followed this apology: 'My comments were in extremely poor taste and I apologize. Sometimes I say the wrong thing.' Sometimes? Reid is being far too humble." [editor's note: Stuff that gets a GOPer (or anyone not dressed in a blue t-shirt?) suspended/fired/censured/pilloried in the media, etc. ... Just SOP for Happy Harry - SAT] (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k5vjs2y  

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Fed follies: Central bank continues to force economy in wrong direction

August 27, 2014
posted by

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

"For more than a decade, now, Federal Reserve policy has been guided by the fear of one economic bogyman: the presumed danger of 'price deflation.' The fear is unfounded and the inflationary 'solution' only leads to disaster." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pqr7h4w  

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Caliph Cameron brings ISIS-style intolerance to Britain

August 27, 2014
posted by

Brendan O'Neill spiked
by Brendan O'Neill  

"We know from their Four Lions-style Twitterfeeds and video statements that some ISIS members dream of co-opting Britain into their unforgiving caliphate. They fantasise about raising their black flag over Downing Street and enforcing harsh sharia law on us, doing away with what they see as our foolish traditions of tolerance and democracy. But it turns out they don’t need to. They don’t have to traipse across Europe to London, for our leaders have proved themselves willing to trash tolerance and democracy on ISIS’s behalf. Giving new meaning to the word irony, in the name of tackling the threat posed by the Islamic State David Cameron and Co are adopting some of the methods of the Islamic State, undermining free speech, free movement and universal justice." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pexhhfz  

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Bad Quaker Podcast, 08/25/14

August 27, 2014
posted by

Bad Quaker Dot Com
by  

"Part 1 of 2, Ki returns to the podcast to discuss agorism, the police state, history, drugs, and stupid Marines." [Flash audio or MP3] (08/25/14)

http://www.badquaker.com/archives/3125  

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A lesson in economic analysis from the minimum wage debate

August 27, 2014
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ken Zahringer  

"In the ebb and flow of interventionist politics, there are some issues that surface periodically regardless of how many times and how completely they are proven to be harmful to the very people they are purported to help. Currently the tide is once again carrying the minimum wage to the forefront of collective attention. Supporters of this and similar measures often use straw-man arguments, like the one in the picture below." (08/26/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q28hbhp  

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