Commentary

What if we had public churching?

March 25, 2015
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"Let's assume that for the past 100 years, the United States has had a system of public churching, modeled on the public-schooling system that America has had for more than a century. Under the public-churching system, there would be mandatory church-attendance laws that would require parents, on pain of fine and imprisonment, to send their children into the public-church system every Sunday for one hour. The purpose of the law would be to ensure that children receive a basic minimum of religious education in order to ensure that everyone grows up to become a virtuous citizen with strong moral and ethical values." (03/24/15)

http://fff.org/2015/03/24/public-churching/  

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Libertarian strategy in a non-ideal world

March 25, 2015
posted by

kevinvallier Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Kevin Vallier  

"Libertarians have spent a lot of time arguing about altitudes. The market anarchy arguments largely claim that Mt. Market Anarchy is very tall, the highest peak in all the Land of Justice. But libertarians have a very poor theory of the terrain, not to mention the theory of illuminating it. Libertarians deeply disagree about strategy choice, about who to ally with, about which policies will push us towards liberty and which will get us stuck. This only compounds the worry that the cost of Mt. Market Anarchy isn't worth paying. Because libertarians disagree so much, we're bound to get in a fight on the long road ahead and die of dysentery or something. Should libertarians vote or not? Should they vote for the Libertarian Party? Or the GOP? Or should they vote Democrat? Should they support small secession movements, sea-steading, or what? Are conservatives friends of ours? Are progressives?" (03/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/prfw6kp  

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When Internet Explorer ruled the world

March 25, 2015
posted by

Jeffrey Tucker Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey A Tucker  

"Microsoft announced this month that it was finally taking Internet Explorer out behind the woodshed, officially ending its two decade reign as the king (and then later the court jester) of web browsers. The main focus of media coverage has been how IE was outcompeted by Firefox, Safari, and Chrome -- not to mention mobile apps that are rapidly overtaking traditional computer programs as a share of Internet browsing. But once upon a time, Internet Explorer ruled the World Wide Web." (03/24/15)

http://fee.org/blog/detail/when-internet-explorer-ruled-the-world  

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Washington must live within its means

March 25, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by US Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY)  

"Last week, Congress began the monumental task of confronting our nation's chronic overspending and exploding debt, which threaten each and every American. Make no mistake, our fiscal outlook is grim and has been ignored for far too long. But we have a profound moral responsibility to help taxpayers see the true picture of our country's finances. Republicans are proposing a responsible plan that balances the budget in 10 years with no new tax hikes, protects our most vulnerable citizens, strengthens our national defense, and improves economic growth and opportunity for hardworking families." (03/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nnazzqw  

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Legislate against Big Brother

March 25, 2015
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Patrick G Eddington  

"Nearly two years after Edward Snowden's sensational revelations about the scope of the National Security Agency's mass surveillance programs targeting the communications of Americans, Congress has yet to pass legislation to end those programs. Two House lawmakers have just offered a bill to do just that." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nv7aypl  

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Reich on the alleged horrors of an economic cornucopia

March 25, 2015
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"In what is a prime candidate for the most economically mistaken essay ever penned, Robert Reich calls a future in which technology makes ever-more high-quality goods and services widely available at virtually zero cost 'horrifying' ('In Our Horrifying Future, Very Few People Will Have Work or Make Money,' March 17). Where to start? Perhaps with the fact that the history of such Luddite fear-mongering is as long (at least 200 years) as its batting record is low (.000%)." (03/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mv5lplp  

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The importance of being frivolous — how to inject our message into art

March 25, 2015
posted by

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Mustela nivalis  

"For serious reasons, we libertarians need to lighten up. We need to develop a way to express ourselves through art. Sean Gabb's talk to the other LA, posted here recently, is well worth watching and listening to. In it, he presents the case for developing and propagating a libertarian narrative through cultural means. This is necessary, he says, in order to counter the dominating narrative of the ruling class, of the goodness of multiculturalism and enforced integration, and of all sorts of other leftist/tyrannical hobby horses." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/q2pgog9  

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Nuclear Anarchism part 4: An epilogue of objections

March 25, 2015
posted by

Daily Anarchist Daily Anarchist
by Foo Quuxman  

"When I wrote parts 1, 2, and 3 of the Nuclear Anarchism series I expected to receive many comments informing me that I was an idiot for even considering the concept of privately owned nuclear devices. Now that the arguing has died down, this fourth part will address the common objections raised by those responses, as well as any interesting or thoughtful ones." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/paop3wv  

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7 reasons why the 99 Percent keeps losing

March 25, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Our current political situation is unprecedented. The vast majority of Americans keep falling behind economically because of changes in society's ground rules, while the rich get even richer -- yet this situation doesn't translate into a winning politics. If anything, the right keeps gaining and the wealthy keep pulling away. How can this possibly be? Let me suggest seven reasons." [editor's note: A-a-and he's off! Blaming it all on "the war on government" and "the failure of laissez-faire economics and deregulation" (as if either of these had actually existed); good for at least a chuckle with your morning coffee - SAT] (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qxcpdax  

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Uncle Joe’s squandered opportunity in Central America

March 25, 2015
posted by

The Canal The Canal
by Elena Toledo  

"US Vice President Joe Biden is fast becoming Latin America's new best friend: touring multiple countries and spearheading a number of trade agreements, he's helped move the conversation beyond drug policy and dubious military assistance. Nevertheless, vestiges of the old relationship remain." (03/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/plftrhg  

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Status report: States tell feds to pound sand

March 25, 2015
posted by

10th Amendment Center Tenth Amendment Center
by Michael Boldin  

"Even though the ATF has, at least temporarily, backed down on a proposed M855 ammo ban, gun rights advocates should be alarmed. More of this should be expected moving forward, that is, more gun control no matter who you elect to Congress. In Arizona, however, a bill that would effectively block in practice any additional restrictions on the natural right to keep and bear arms has already passed the state Senate by a 17-12 vote, and is due for further consideration in the state House in the near future. A similar bill passed the Montana legislature and is going to Gov. Steve Bullock's desk, and another in Tennessee is up for a do-or-die vote in committee this week."

http://tinyurl.com/qdb2thk  

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The Article V path

March 25, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"U.S. Term Limits currently backs an amendment that would originate in Congress to limit House members to three two-year terms and senators to two six-year terms. Just in case congressmen don’t get around to passing such an amendment, though, USTL has also endorsed the Article V path to term limits being promoted by Citizens for Self-Governance. Article V of the Constitution authorizes states to call a constitutional convention if two thirds of them apply." [editor's note: Kind of a strange cause, term limits; after all, we already have them -- any politician's time in office can be limited by non-re-election! - TLK] (03/24/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/03/24/the-article-v-path-2/  

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Is the Metropolitan Taxicab Commission acting illegally?

March 25, 2015
posted by

Show-Me Institute Show-Me Institute
by Joseph E Miller  

"At a hearing on SB 351, which would create state regulations on ridesharing companies, the bill's sponsor warned that existing taxicab regulatory bodies in the state, especially the St. Louis Metropolitan Taxicab Commission (MTC), may be violating federal law. The source of this trouble is a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In the case, North Carolina Board of Dental Examiners v. Federal Trade Commission, the FTC claimed the North Carolina dental board violated federal antitrust laws in its attempt to eliminate market competitors, even though the board was empowered by the state to regulate dentistry. Prior to this case, it was assumed that state-created professional boards and regulatory bodies were immune from antitrust law. But in their decision, the Supreme Court held that this is not always the case." (03/23/15)

http://bit.ly/1OwFAYM  

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Against the criminal justice system, part 5: Escaping prison forever

March 25, 2015
posted by

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by Jason Byas  

"Earlier in this series, I argued that punishment, prisons, and criminal law are inherently unjust, and that a purely restitution-focused system of tort law would be a suitable replacement. Even those who end up agreeing may still wonder what practical impact this theoretical framework has on how we actually think about law and politics in the real world. Addressing that question will be the focus of this final installment." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ozuohdo  

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Koch network takes on Export-Import Bank

March 25, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"In an interesting juxtaposition from Monday’s New York Times, a Times article explains a Times op-ed. The op-ed calls for killing the Export-Import Bank (Ex-Im), because it helps American companies compete globally. The news story reports that the anti-government Koch brothers network is behind the campaign." [editor's note: At least Mr. Johnson gets the label correctly, unlike most "progressives" who are just shocked ... shocked when they see Charles or David backing something on the civil liberties front - SAT] (03/24/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150324/koch-network-takes-on-ex-im-bank  

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GodZille vs media

March 24, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Zapiro  

Cartoon. (03/23/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/03/godzille-vs-media/  

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Supreme Court considers Texas license plate case that could threaten free speech on campus

March 24, 2015
posted by

Foundation for Individual Rights in Education Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
by Catherine Sevcenko  

"In spite of the emotional appeal of banning offensive symbols, it is important to consider the wider, unintended consequences of a decision allowing Texas to censor the image of the Confederate flag, however repugnant some may find it. Specifically, discourse on public colleges and universities is likely to suffer if the justices decide that specialty license plates are a form of government speech and that Texas may, therefore, censor license plate messages with which it does not want to associate. The connection between specialty license plates and college campuses may not be readily apparent, but every day colleges and universities creatively abuse their authority over student and faculty activities to stifle speech they do not like." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pa6na2a  

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Hillary, outside the box

March 24, 2015
posted by

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L Neil Smith  

"I have a cat named Strider. He's a handsome fellow, some variation on a Russian Blue, reasonably bright, extremely clean, a game fighter, and highly affectionate when it suits him. There's just this one small problem ... He uses a catbox to pee in, thank heavens, but when it comes to the other, he leaves his deposit beside it, a few inches away, scratching industriously, if ineffectually, at the hardwood floor and nearby wall. The smell of course, is horrific, and spreads throughout our little house at supersonic speeds. It appears that Strider was taken from his mother too soon, before she could teach him to cover up properly. I confess, I don't know anything at all about Hillary Clinton's mother, but it's apparent that she made the same kind of mistake, bringing up her daughter." (03/22/15)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2015/tle814-20150322-06.html  

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Facebook reveals its master plan — control all news flow

March 24, 2015
posted by

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger  

"Let me try to address this the best I can from several different angles. First off, what's the big picture plan here? As the number two ranked website in the world with 1.4 billion users, Facebook itself is already something like an alternative internet where a disturbing number of individuals spend a disproportionate amount of their time. The only thing that seems to make many of its users click away is content hosted on other people's websites linked to from Facebook users. Other than this outside content, many FB users might never leave the site. While this is scary to someone like me, to Facebook it is an abomination. The company doesn't want people to leave their site ever -- for any reason. Hence the aggressive push to carry outside news content, and create a better positioned alternative web centrally controlled by it. This is a huge power play move." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mr5m89p  

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Goldilocks zone for oil prices is gone for good

March 24, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Richard Heinberg  

"Five years ago, I wrote an article for Reuters titled 'Goldilocks and the Three Fuels.' In it, I discussed what I call the Goldilocks price zone for oil, natural gas and coal, a zone in which prices are 'just right": high enough to reward producers, but low enough to entice consumers. Ever since the start of the fossil-fuel era, such a zone has existed. Sometimes price boundaries were transgressed on the upside, sometimes on the downside, but it was always possible to revert to the zone. But now, the Goldilocks zone for oil has ceased to exist. This will have staggering consequences throughout the economy for the foreseeable future." (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o7323gv  

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Battle against the union blob

March 24, 2015
posted by

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith
by Sophie Sandor  

"It is not surprising that teaching unions are objecting to the proposed 2% pay rise for England's top teachers. Unions have long protested against performance-based pay for teachers and now they pose another barrier to the School Teachers Review Body. In the STRB's latest submission to the government, highlighted is the need for a wages increase to encourage the desired competition in the teaching profession."" (03/24/15)

http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/education/battle-against-the-union-blob/  

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Are the police a scarce resource? The Keynesian police state

March 24, 2015
posted by

Reformed Libertarian
by Brian Jacobson  

"Certainly all agree that police and law enforcement provide a service, but are they a scarce resource that must follow the laws of economic calculation? Do police services suffer the ill effects of a State monopoly? Or does their sheer benevolence to 'protect and serve' guard them? Does their lack of drive for efficiency and increased profit margins actually enhance their innate goodness?" (03/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pf39kb3  

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My letter to the NY Times re: Time for an editorial board reassessment

March 24, 2015
posted by

Mises Canada
by Patrick Barron  

"Dear Sirs: Mr. Soble (and your editorial board, I'm sure) can't seem to make up his mind whether Japan should spend its way to prosperity or adopt policies that will return it to the savings culture that financed its post WWII economic miracle. Mr. Soble comes very close to breaking with what I am sure is NY Times policy and Keynesian dogma that increasing aggregate demand will do the trick. Japanese households spend every last yen as it is, and the government's debt to GDP is the highest in the industrialized world. So just where will this increased demand originate?" (03/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kl8glxx  

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Is the War on Drugs a war on kids?

March 24, 2015
posted by

Voices of Liberty
by Matthew Ensor  

"When most people think of the War on Drugs, they think of drug cartels, violent gang shootouts, and boatloads of cocaine. It isn't very often that you think of 11 year-old middle school students. But in a nation where use of substances is criminalized and turned into a moral dogma, even our children get caught in the crossfire." (03/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/o5tuf5a  

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Free love: Victoria Woodhull

March 24, 2015
posted by

David S. D'Amato Libertarianism.org
by David S D'Amato  

"When the feminist lightning rod Victoria Woodhull (nre Claflin) is remembered at all, it is usually for being the first wom[a]n ever to run for President of the United States, her candidacy in the election of 1872 coming at a time when women were still legally barred from even casting a vote. ... Woodhull's campaign assumed principled libertarian positions on issues such as the freedom of the press and even free and open trade; in Woodhull's time, it was still quite possible to be a left wing radical in good standing and an enthusiast of market economics as an anti-monopolistic pathway to liberation for the working class." (03/23/15)

http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/free-love-victoria-woodhull  

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