Commentary

How to tell the difference between a right and a privilege

April 23, 2015
posted by

Voices of Liberty
by AJ Oatsvall  

"A privilege is a special entitlement granted to a restricted group or person, either by birth or on a conditional basis, and can be revoked. By contrast, a right is irrevocable and inherently held by all human beings. It is self-evident and universal under the laws of nature. Though there is such a thing as legal rights, the focus of this discussion will be upon natural rights, that is, those rights which are inalienable." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l4dr9em  

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Dice loaded against public in Canada’s copyright term extension

April 23, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Jeremy Malcolm  

"The announcement of the Canadian Government's plan to extend copyright terms for sound recordings came as a surprise when it was released in Canada's federal budget yesterday. The smooth stage management of the announcement has to be admired, accompanied as it was by pre-prepared soundbites from Canada's music A-list extolling the benefits of this handout. In fact, with all the drama and glamor of the announcement, all that was missing was any prior public consultation or debate that could give the government an actual mandate to make this sweeping change to Canadian law." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/k2bg26l  

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Hillary the hawk

April 23, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Charles Davis and Medea Benjamin  

"Announcing her latest campaign for the presidency, Hillary Clinton declared she was entering the race to be the champion for 'everyday Americans.' As a lawmaker and diplomat, however, Clinton has long championed military campaigns that have killed scores of 'everyday' people abroad, from Iraq to Yemen. As commander-in-chief, there's no reason to believe she'd be any less a hawk than she was as the senator who backed George W. Bush's war in Iraq, or the Secretary of State who encouraged Barack Obama to escalate the war in Afghanistan. If her nomination is as sure a thing as people say, then antiwar organizing needs to start right away." (04/23/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/04/23/hillary-the-hawk-2/  

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Hats off to voluntary and peaceful exchange

April 23, 2015
posted by

Sarah Skwire Foundation for Economic Education
by Sarah Skwire  

"Economists mostly talk about Dr. Seuss in order to complain about The Lorax and its lack of appreciation for commerce, the tragedy of the commons, the importance of private property, and what Hayek called 'The Non Sequitur of the 'Dependence Effect.'' But as is so often the case, I think economists just might be reading the wrong stuff. My seven-year-old daughter Penny and I recently read The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins to each other." (04/23/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lxd8cm2  

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The flag delusion

April 23, 2015
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"Only in a deluded mind can a symbol assume greater importance than the reality. This is especially true when it comes to deluded minds and the American Flag. A symbol of freedom is more important to these folks than freedom. Their symbol of freedom requires protection but freedom does not. Consider the pitiful case of Michelle Manhart, a U.S. military veteran who thinks she has the right to confiscate an American flag belonging to someone else if they are desecrating it." (04/23/15)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-flag-delusion.html  

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Earth Day: 22 ways to think about the climate change debate

April 23, 2015
posted by

Max Borders Foundation for Economic Education
by Max Borders  

"Trying to point out the problems of the Climate Orthodoxy to its adherents is like trying to talk the Archbishop of Canterbury into questioning the existence of God. In that green temple, many climatologists and climate activists have become one in the same: fueled both by government grants and zealous fervor. But the debate must go on, even as the atmosphere for dialogue gets increasingly polluted. The sacralization of climate is being used as a great loophole in the rule of law, an apology for bad science (and even worse economics), and an excuse to do anything and everything to have and keep power." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kuloocb  

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Battlefield America: The war on the American people

April 23, 2015
posted by

John W. Whitehead LewRockwell.com
by John W Whitehead  

"Whether or not the government plans to impose some form of martial law in the future remains to be seen, but there can be no denying that we're being accustomed to life in a military state. The malls may be open for business, the baseball stadiums may be packed, and the news anchors may be twittering nonsense about the latest celebrity foofa, but those are just distractions from what is really taking place: the transformation of America into a war zone. Trust me, if it looks like a battlefield (armored tanks on the streets, militarized police in metro stations, surveillance cameras everywhere), sounds like a battlefield (SWAT team raids nightly, sound cannons to break up large assemblies of citizens), and acts like a battlefield (police shooting first and asking questions later, intimidation tactics, and involuntary detentions), it's a battlefield." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qfco32s  

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A politician speaks a (partial) truth

April 23, 2015
posted by

The Zelman Partisans The Zelman Partisans
by Claire Wolfe  

"Janusz Korwin-Mikke, who is running for president of Poland but from a tiny minority party, told a TV interviewer that if every Jew had had a gun before World War II the Holocaust would never have happened. (H/T CB for the heads-up) Well, we know that already, don't we? But it's apparently so startling to the Times of Israel that they have to go out of their way to try to prejudice readers against him and his positions twice in one tiny article." (04/22/15)

http://zelmanpartisans.com/?p=1163  

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Enlightenment and endarkenment

April 23, 2015
posted by

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Neil Lock  

"[W]hen I try to list the primary characteristics of bottom up thinking, I find myself coming up with many Enlightenment values; or, otherwise said, liberal values. For example: Reason and the pursuit of science. Toleration and a focus on the individual. The idea that society exists for the individual, not the individual for society. The idea that human beings are naturally good. Freedom of thought and action. Natural rights and human dignity. Government for the benefit of the governed. Moral equality and the rule of law. A desire for progress, and rational optimism for the future. The primary characteristics of top down thinking, on the other hand, are very much opposed to these Enlightenment values." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nvkcvfa  

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Get rid of “test, blame, punish”

April 23, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Lily Eskelsen García  

"Educators across the nation are encouraged by the big steps forward Congress is taking to create a new national education law that could reverse many of the damaging policies of No Child Left Behind. So it is both disheartening and perplexing that the lynchpin of NCLB's 'label and punish' regime (annual testing) still has support on Capitol Hill. Of course teachers understand the value of tests, but proponents of annual testing like to position themselves as the defenders of all-things testing and accountability. What they are actually defending is a one-size-fits-all model, one with a long and abysmal record." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kofcwmh  

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Cubans love America but hate the US government

April 23, 2015
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"While the Cuban people love America, they absolutely hate the U.S. government, specifically the national-security state branch of the federal government. That notion shocks lots of Americans because for them America and the federal government are one and the same thing. That's why, for example, they equate patriotism with love of the national-security branch of the government, specifically the military." (04/22/15)

http://fff.org/2015/04/22/cubans-love-america-hate-u-s-government/  

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Five quick GW fixes & why we shouldn’t try them

April 23, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Julia Calderone  

"Extreme weather, water shortages and imperiled polar bears: The effects of climate change are obvious and dire. To stem the tide (literally and figuratively) even educated experts are now pitching ideas straight out of science fiction. On some level, it’s understandable. The grim reality of climate change poses some well-documented problems for humans. The biggest challenge, so far, has been convincing people to do less harm when it comes to the climate. Despite scientists’ plea to cool it with carbon dioxide emissions (the most egregious of greenhouse gases contributing to climate change), CO2 levels continue to surge." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lu558w9  

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Cities for people — or cars?

April 23, 2015
posted by

The American Conservative The American Conservative
by Charles L Marohn Jr.  

"As an engineer I had designed miles of streets and as a planner helped create hundreds of new lots. Yet I knew that I hadn't the vaguest notion of how to build a really successful neighborhood. I had assembled developments that were a random collection of homes, each built in isolation from the next. What I wanted to know was what it takes to bind that place together in a way that will endure. New Urbanism is a civic design movement focusing on that question. It advocates the reforming development practices to support traditional patterns: building close-together homes in slow increments over time and storefronts pulled up to the street instead of buried behind nearly empty parking lots -- designing cities and towns for people first and then for automobiles, not the other way around." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/komxe3r  

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No cost for GOP extremism

April 23, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Jacob Hacker & Paul Pierson  

"According to the news media, 2014 was the year that the GOP 'Establishment' finally pulled Republicans back from the right-wing brink. Pragmatism, it seemed, had finally triumphed over extremism in primary and general election contests that the New York Times called 'proxy wars for the overall direction of the Republican Party.' There’s just one problem with this dominant narrative. It’s wrong. The GOP isn’t moving back to the center. The 'proxy wars' of 2014 were mainly about tactics and packaging, not moderation." (04/22/15)

https://prospect.org/article/no-cost-extremism  

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Fishy schemes against human beings

April 23, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Arbitrary governmental pricing of water -- as opposed to free-market pricing -- provides one major reason why it's so hard for Californians and others to deal with drought. I've talked about it before. And, as before -- indeed, as is so often the case when government constricts our freedom to 'solve' problems -- the do-badders are pursuing more than one line of attack." (04/22/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/04/22/fishy-schemes/  

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Getting the true value of farmland

April 23, 2015
posted by

Show-Me Institute Show-Me Institute
by Michael Rathbone  

"In a recent paper (H/T David Nicklaus), David Larson of the Bureau of Economic Analysis performed a valuation on all land in each of the lower 48 states for 2009. Based on his calculations, Missouri farmland is worth $64.236 billion. Based on my calculations, using data contained in the State Tax Commission's 2009 Annual Report, the total value of Missouri agricultural property in 2009 would come out to $13.3 billion. That's a gap of more than $50 billion! A reason for this big difference is that, instead of assessing all agricultural land at a flat 12 percent rate, actively farmed land receives a different assessment rate depending on its productive capacity. This practice results in an effective assessment rate of around 2-3 percent. Such low assessments erode the property tax base." (04/21/15)

http://www.showmedaily.org/2015/04/getting-the-true-value-of-farmland.html  

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Happy bloody Earth Day

April 23, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Greg Grandin  

"The temperatures are rising and so is the body count. Every year, more and more environmental activists (many of them first peoples on the front lines of the new global resource extraction wars) are killed. In 2010, the number was 96. In 2011, 106. Last year, 116 people were murdered defending their farms, community, or livelihood in land, logging, dam, or mining disputes, according to a new report out just in time for Earth Day by Global Witness. Two-thirds of the killings take place in Latin America, according to the report, How Many More? Brazil at 29 murders and Colombia with 25 are the highest in total numbers. But Honduras, with 12 assassinations, is the most dangerous place to be in the world for a grassroots environmentalist, in terms of per capita killings." (04/22/15)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/204873/happy-bloody-earth-day  

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In Saudi Arabia, it’s looking bubbly for skyscrapers and more

April 23, 2015
posted by

Mark Thornton Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Mark Thornton  

"Even as the Saudi Arabian state steps up bombing raids in Yemen and spends billions on new military infrastructure, plans are moving forward for the Kingdom Tower in Jeddah. The new tower is to be a kilometer tall and will contain at least 200 floors. It will include both a luxury hotel, class A office space, residences, and many other luxury features. It represents phase 1 of a multiphase development just north of the city of Jeddah on the Red Sea." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qhq3nmp  

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What our enemies want

April 23, 2015
posted by

The Libertarian Enterprise The Libertarian Enterprise
by AX Perez  

"Many Americans distrust the NRA and they have been accused of being America's foremost proponents of gun control. I have no doubt that Victim disarmers will be happy to simultaneously condemn the ATF for selling out and create/deepen a divide between the NRA's leaders and its members and other pro gun groups. The real problem is that Congress needs to do a whole lot of repealing. They need to repeal the sporting purpose test, they need to repeal the 1933 NFA, and most importantly, they need to repeal the War on Drugs. Simply by doing this last they can end so many of the gang related killings over drug distribution that our national murder rate would probably be cut in half." (04/19/15)

http://ncc-1776.org/tle2015/tle818-20150419-04.html  

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The trauma of writing about trauma

April 22, 2015
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by Chloe Angyal  

"Hours after submitting to my editor my draft of a long, reported magazine feature about my alma mater’s campus rape problem, I woke up screaming from a horrifying dream about being drugged and raped. I’m not a survivor of sexual assault, but I write about it often, and this article was more than six months in the making. The accounts I’d heard had lodged themselves into my subconscious. Now, they were making their presence known, and brutally so. I barely slept for the next three nights, afraid that if I did, I’d return to that terrible nightmare. Many journalists experience similar symptoms after witnessing horrific trauma, becoming traumatized themselves." (04/20/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ptp7y5z  

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Honduran narco-culture ban would trample free speech

April 22, 2015
posted by

The Canal The Canal
by Elena Toledo  

"That Honduras suffers from dire insecurity due to the illicit drug trade is news to no one. The country has become a battlefield for cartels that have to cross its territory to reach the major destination market, the United States. Why have Hondurans become so involved in this illicit business? We would need an array of reports, studies, and analysis to unearth the reason, but one would think it's safe to rule out television and music, right? Not for congresswoman Kritza Perez, from Honduras' Anti-Corruption Party (PAC). She's just unveiled the 'Anti Narco-Culture' bill, which seeks to ban the broadcasting and distribution of any content featuring drug-trafficking themes: TV shows, series, soap operas, and songs. It also prohibits the sale and import of toy guns, sometimes used to carry out real crimes." (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pc5mxvf  

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Hillary logo

April 22, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Nate Beeler  

Cartoon. (04/21/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/04/hillary-logo/  

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Going back to the grammar of creation

April 22, 2015
posted by

Acton Institute Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty
by Bishop Dominique Rey  

"The primacy of God, which Pope Benedict XVI made a priority of his pontificate, reminds us that reality is intelligible and human reason must be used: reason that is able to recognize the logos, the objective reason that manifests itself in nature. According to the saying fides quaerens intellectum, the faith, far from hindering reason, encourages it to wonder about the world, because the rationality of creation is the first message of the creator to his creature." (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mvveyxb  

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Heartland Daily Podcast, 04/21/15

April 22, 2015
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by  

"In Today's edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, we listen in as Senior Fellow Peter Ferrara joins The Joyce Kaufman Show to talk about his upcoming book, Power to the People: The New Road to Freedom and Prosperity for the Poor, Seniors, and Those Most in Need of the World's Best Health Care." [Flash video] (04/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nx5hn9y  

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Raising independent minded children in America

April 22, 2015
posted by

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by The Dissident Dad  

"No joke, trying to raise an independent-minded, decent human being in America is like trying to fly through a Category 5 hurricane. For starters, nothing beats some of the toys offered up to kids. For example, you can hone your child’s remote killing skills by buying him or her a military drone toy. Not only can you kill women and children in their homes, but you can do so without actually having to deploy overseas!" (04/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mxhz5xg  

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