Commentary

Fundamentals

December 1, 2016
posted by

Strike The Root
by Paul Hein  

"There doesn't seem to be any debate about the fact that things are seriously wrong in America. The octogenarians among us -- present writer included -- can recall a vastly different America, with no 'checkpoints' or rioting, or SWAT teams, or invasions of foreign countries which had not -- and could not -- attack us. But why has this happened? What is the ultimate cause of this deterioration? As far as I am concerned, at the root of our national disintegration is a moral decline. I recall Chesterton's remark to the effect that those who believe nothing will believe anything. And so we find our present sad state blamed upon labor unions, Muslims, corporate greed, global warming, etc. It's a big jump, however, from a disregard for eternal verities to a concern for the fate of the snail darter." (11/30/16)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/fundamentals  

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The real reason Hillary asked for a recount

December 1, 2016
posted by

Town Hall
by Ed Klein  

"Why did Hillary Clinton join Jill Stein, the Green Party’s oddball presidential nominee, in asking for a recount of the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania when everyone knows that such a recount won’t change the outcome of the 2016 election? Part of the answer is that people close to Hillary (Huma Abedin, Chelsea Clinton, and Sidney Blumenthal) encouraged her to ask for a recount as a way of lifting her spirits. ... In addition, President Obama convinced Hillary that it was in the best interest of the Democratic Party if the Clinton legal team got involved with the recount and didn’t leave it to Jill Stein." (11/30/16)

http://townhall.com/columnists/edklein/2016/11/30/the-real-reason-hillary-asked-for-a-recount-n2252841  

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Reconciling the NAP & “reality”

December 1, 2016
posted by

Aria DiMezzo The Anarchist Shemale
by Aria DiMezzo  

"In essence, all rights can be distilled to the following: we have the right to not have force, violence, and coercion used against us unless we consent to it priorily. This statement is all-inclusive. Just as you have that right, as does everyone have that right. This means, then, that you do not have the right to use force, violence, and coercion against someone without their consent. The right to free speech, free religion, free trade, free employment, and free everything else -- they all stem from this basic right to not have force, violence, and coercion used against us. They are applications of this maxim to specific issues. Are these inherent rights? Perhaps and perhaps not." (11/30/16)

https://anarchistshemale.com/2016/11/30/reconciling-the-nap-reality/  

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Trump or no Trump, we’ll bury the carbon economy

December 1, 2016
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"[F]ar more than government policies, laws of nature and economics that are beyond Trump's control are driving reduced fossil fuel consumption, and will continue to do so -- even if Trump greenlights Keystone, the Dakota Access pipeline and every other proposed pipeline project in the country. The basic laws of physics and geology behind Peak Oil and Peak Fossil Fuels -- most importantly the tendency of remaining sources of fuel to have lower and lower energy return on energy input (EROEI) -- have not been repealed. Current low oil prices result mainly, not from new unconventional fuel recovery techniques -- which are generally much lower in EROEI than older extraction methods -- but from Saudi Arabia pumping oil from its old reserves at unsustainable levels for political reasons and hastening their exhaustion." (11/30/16)

https://c4ss.org/content/47081  

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Freedom Feens Radio, 11/30/16

December 1, 2016
posted by

Freedom Feens Freedom Feens Radio
by  

"MWD was in a black-ice one-car wreck (he's OK, car will be OK after it's out of the shop), Jim Jesus was praying into the porcelain god. So MK Lords got her kitty angel wings by doing great as first time at first-chair Feen. Her host is unknown (possibly Libertarian Party Serial Stripper James Weeks II), but they rocked ... except for James or whosoever's background noise. MWD spent an extra 30 min cleaning up THAT mess in the editing, and named that host 'The Old Dirty Bad Audio Bastard of Liberty.'" [various formats] (11/30/16)

https://www.freedomfeens.com/?p=13258  

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What safe spaces & trigger warnings actually are

December 1, 2016
posted by

Cracked
by Isaac Cabe  

"The American university is quite the weird place to be right now. Despite it being harder and harder to get into a lot of schools, the current climate of the country tends to show less respect and more ever-growing middle fingers for kids in college. Universities aren't the bastions of education they used to be. Instead, everyone from 'grrrrrr, I'm angry' comedians to President Obama has told them to buck up and ditch the 'trigger warnings' and 'safe spaces.' I want this on record. Mr. President, you're wrong. And it starts with a fundamental misunderstanding of what these things actually are." [editor's note: This is actually a pretty objective consideration of this topic - SAT] (11/30/16)

http://www.cracked.com/blog/safe-spaces-arent-new-they-shouldnt-make-you-angry  

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Because it’s our money to spend as we wish

December 1, 2016
posted by

Tim Worstall Adam Smith Institute
by Tim Worstall  

"American CEOs get paid very much more than Japanese. American CEOs also appear to do a very much better job than Japanese. Our complicated answer would therefore be that higly paid CEOs are worth being highly paid. However, our simple answer is that up there in the headline. It is not up to the government to tell us what we may do with the money in our pockets. Whether my £5 is to be transferred into a pint, a bumper car ride, a pork pie or a nice healthy salad is up to me. For it is my money." (11/30/16)

https://www.adamsmith.org/blog/because-its-our-money-to-spend-as-we-wish  

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Growing far-right nationalistic movements are dangerously anti-Muslim — and pro-Israel

December 1, 2016
posted by

Glenn Greenwald The Intercept
by Glenn Greenwald  

The specter of a growing far-right nationalism anywhere, but particularly in Central Europe, immediately -- and for good and obvious reasons -- raises fears of an anti-semitism revival. But at least thus far, the leaders of most of these nationalistic parties -- increasingly inspired and fueled by one another's success -- have showcased dangerous animosity toward Muslims, accompanied by strong policy support for Israel and a rhetorical repudiation of anti-semitism. Whether from cynical tactical considerations or actual conviction, the most successful leaders of this emerging movement -- while unrestrained with their reckless anti-Muslim fear-mongering -- not only repudiate anti-semitism in words but are incorporating steadfast support for Israel as part of their policy agenda. And in many cases, the Israeli government -- which itself exhibits many of the same far-right attributes as these movements -- is expressing support in return." (11/30/16)

https://theintercept.com/2016/11/30/growing-far-right-nationalistic-movements-are-dangerously-anti-muslim-and-pro-israel/  

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The left’s fidelity to Castro-ation

November 30, 2016
posted by

In These Times
by Slavoj Zizek  

"I am critical of Cuba not because I am anti-Communist but because I remain a Communist. We all remember the classic scene from cartoons: a cat walks over the precipice and magically goes on, floating in the air; it falls down only when it looks down and becomes aware that it has no ground under its feet. In the same way, one can say that, in the last decades, Cuban 'socialism' continued to live only because it didn’t yet notice it was already dead. ... One gets tired of the conflicting stories of the economic failure and human rights abuses in Cuba, as well as of the twins of education and healthcare that are always trotted out by the friends of the revolution. One gets tired even of the really great story of how a small country can resist the biggest superpower (yes, with the help of the other superpower)." [editor's note: This one is here only to make you think a bit on this - SAT] (11/30/16)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/19677/the-left-fidelity-castration-slavoj-zizek-fidel-castro-cuba-che-communism  

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The myth of a cashless society

November 30, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Prakash Kona  

"In a closed society like India cash is a deeply private thing like bedroom sex and people hold on to their experience-based strategies of using money to enhance their sense of power. Homemakers from lower-middle class income groups are a good example of the small world power because part of their ability to run the home stems from their ability to save whatever little money comes into their hands. Since we are not a completely modern society some of the traditional ways of functioning such as lending small amounts of money for interest keep the society going. Thus there are parallel economies without which the entire social order would collapse in a matter of days. In other words, cash enables us to run other economies on a smaller scale rather than being a part of the banking system which caters to those who have accounts." (11/30/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/The-Myth-of-a-Cashless-Soc-by-Prakash-Kona-Corporate_Money_Money_People-161130-473.html  

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The trouble with Trump’s infrastructure ambitions

November 30, 2016
posted by

Cato Institute Cato Institute
by Randal O'Toole  

"Traditionally, when a state or local government builds new infrastructure, it sells bonds, uses the revenues to pay for the infrastructure, then repays the bonds with local tax revenues. Since local tax revenues will be about the same whether the infrastructure is productive or a white elephant, officials have little reason to discriminate between good and bad projects. To prevent abuse, voters in many areas have placed debt limits on government agencies. Trump's method of tax credits gets around these debt limits. Private contractors borrow money and build the infrastructure, and state or local governments would contract to pay the contractors, sometimes millions of dollars per month. Since the contractors, not the government agencies, borrowed the money, it doesn't count against the democratically set debt limits, but local taxpayers are obligated to repay the debt anyway." (11/30/16)

https://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/trouble-trumps-infrastructure-ambitions  

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The CIA and the press: When the Washington Post ran the CIA’s propaganda network

November 30, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn  

"ProporNot's catalogue of supposed Putin-controlled outlets reeks of the McCarthyite smears of the Red Scare era. The blacklist includes some of the most esteemed alternative news sites on the web, including Anti-war.com, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, Naked Capitalism, Consortium News, Truthout, Lew Rockwell.com, Global Research, Unz.com, Zero Hedge and, yes, CounterPunch, among many others. I'll have more on Timberg and ProporNot in my Friday column. In the meantime, here is a brief historical note on how during the height of the Cold War the CIA developed its very own stable of writers, editors and publishers (swelling to as many as 3000 individuals) that it paid to scribble Agency propaganda under a program called Operation Mockingbird. The disinformation network was supervised by the late Philip Graham, former publisher of Timberg's very own paper, the Washington Post." (11/30/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/11/30/the-cia-and-the-press-when-the-washington-post-ran-the-cias-propaganda-network/  

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The Jason Stapleton Program, 11/30/16

November 30, 2016
posted by

The Jason Stapleton Program The Jason Stapleton Program
by  

"Over the last week, we've seen several appointments by Donald Trump to positions including Education Secretary, Head of the CIA and Treasury Secretary but who are these people? When Trump was running for office, he promised to 'drain the swamp' suggesting he would end the corruption and dysfunction in Washington. Millions believed him and rushed out to vote for him. We now have a glimpse of what his administration will look like. Is he holding up his end of the deal?" [various formats] (11/30/16)

http://www.jasonstapleton.com/just-who-is-trump-appointing-to-office/  

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The cannabis exception to the Second Amendment

November 30, 2016
posted by

Jacob Sullum Reason
by Jacob Sullum  

"If you want to buy a gun from a federally licensed dealer, you have to fill out Form 4473, which is aimed at determining whether you are legally allowed to own a firearm. A recent revision to the form by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) underlines how blithely the federal government strips Americans of their Second Amendment rights. 'Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug, or any other controlled substance?' asks Question 11(e). In the latest version of Form 4473, which dealers are required to start using on January 16, that question is followed by a warning in bold type: 'The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.'" (11/30/16)

http://reason.com/archives/2016/11/30/the-cannabis-exception-to-the-second-ame  

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The Democrats’ circular firing squad

November 30, 2016
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"If you are like me, you are probably very weary of debates about Who Lost America to Donald Trump. The debate goes something like this: Hillary blew it! What a terrible campaign. What a blemished candidate. What horrible judgment to take those speaking fees from Wall Street, to keep classified data on her personal server, to fail to ask her top aide Huma Abedin to leave her employ once the Anthony Weiner mess blew up, yet again. She handed her enemies a loaded gun. And now we’re stuck with Trump!! Hillary screwed up; we pay the price. Hold on, misogynist pig. Hillary won! She won the popular vote by more than two million. Even apart from the alleged hacking of election results, old-fashioned voter suppression ... probably cost her at least three swing states where the winning margin was razor thin. ... Yeah, but a decent candidate would have beat Trump by ten points. There was no excitement for Hillary outside the bubble. Did you even see Hillary lawn signs, or bumper stickers?" (11/29/16)

http://prospect.org/article/democrats%E2%80%99-circular-firing-squad  

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The real reason to oppose the Dakota access pipeline

November 30, 2016
posted by

Ryan McMaken Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Ryan McMaken  

"In spite of the blatant violation to private property that eminent domain presents, many conservative politicians -- the same ones who claim to support property rights -- also support eminent domain. Indeed, during the Republican debates this year, Republican candidates expressed unwavering support for eminent domain when pressed on the topic of oil pipelines. Republicans have even begun supporting eminent domain for seizure of private lands for private uses. Historically, eminent domain was restricted (at least in theory) to public uses such as highways. The use of eminent domain for private uses, such as a Trump hotel in one case and privately-owned shopping centers in others, has long been seen as an abuse." (11/30/16)

https://mises.org/blog/real-reason-oppose-dakota-access-pipeline  

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The Loco-Foco movement: A lost chapter in the history of liberalism, part 2

November 30, 2016
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by Anthony Comegna  

"Historians have presented Free Soil ideology and politics from a variety of perspectives and methodological approaches, but largely fail to identify it as a locofoco phenomenon born primarily out of the efforts and ideas of 'Equal Rights' Democrats throughout the North. Locofocos split between expansionists and anti-expansionists over the Texas issue, many of them joining the Democratic Party and its emerging Young America II politicians to support annexation and conquest." (11/30/16)

https://www.libertarianism.org/columns/loco-foco-movement-lost-chapter-history-liberalism-part-two  

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Doug Casey on the coming collapse of the world’s biggest economy

November 30, 2016
posted by

LewRockwell.com
by Nick Giambruno  

Casey: "The average person doesn't realize that the country we know as Italy today was only created in 1861, a consolidation of many completely independent and very different entities that had been separate states since the collapse of the Roman Empire. Germany was only unified in 1871, out of scores of principalities, dukedoms, baronies, and whatnot. Both unifications were very bad ideas; World Wars 1 and 2 are just at the head of a long list of reasons why that's true. There are about 200 nation-states in the world. The international 'elite,' the 'intelligentsia,' the members of the Deep State everywhere, and organizations like the EU in Brussels, would like to see a much smaller number of more powerful states. Some of them want to work towards a one-world government that they control. Orwell anticipated just three mega-states in his dystopia. But the actual trend is in the opposite direction. The trend is the disintegration of nation-states everywhere." (11/30/16)

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2016/11/nick-giambruno/coming-collapse-worlds-biggest-economy/  

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Piano teachers, beware: The feds are onto you

November 30, 2016
posted by

Jeffrey Tucker Foundation for Economic Education
by Jeffrey Tucker  

[E]arly in 2016, the [Federal Trade Commission] took it upon itself to intervene heavily in the market for piano teaching. The FTC sent a small nonprofit -- the Music Teachers National Association -- a letter accusing it of promoting anticompetitive trade practices. This is all because their manual discourages teachers from aggressively poaching students from other teachers. The code is not a mandate, but a statement of a common practice in the industry. It is a matter of courtesy, really. It's never been enforced. It doesn't have to be. These teachers depend on the support of the community for recitals, ideas, referrals, and general support. They are a happy community and this kind of behavior, by tradition, is regarded as unsporting." (11/30/16)

https://fee.org/articles/piano-teachers-beware-the-feds-are-onto-you/  

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Trump and normalization with Cuba

November 30, 2016
posted by

Daniel Larison The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison  

"Reversing Obama's policy so soon after it started would be a serious mistake. The opening to Cuba has only barely begun and needs to be given time to work. Now that Fidel Castro is gone, it should be even easier to continue a policy of engagement with Cuba. It also makes sense politically. Normalizing relations with Cuba is more broadly popular than other Obama policies that Trump has campaigned against, and there is more Republican support for Obama's changes to Cuba policy than there is for many of his other initiatives. Trump doesn't have to cater to hard-liners on this issue unless he wants to. If Trump doesn't want the policy to continue, he can reverse everything Obama did. That would be unfortunate for the U.S., and it would be even worse for Cuba, and it would start Trump's tenure off with a senseless blunder that will further sour relations with the rest of the hemisphere." (11/30/16)

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/trump-and-normalization-with-cuba/  

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Words as weapons of authoritarian control

November 30, 2016
posted by

The New Republic The New Republic
by "Primary Concerns"  

"When the public can not agree upon a shared reality (when confusion and distrust and propaganda reign), politics devolves into a pre-democratic struggle for power, which will disfavor resisters. Donald Trump may not understand this dynamic academically, but it was a hallmark of his campaign and has become a hallmark of his pre-presidency. Sometimes his false pronouncements are buffoonish and ill-considered, but make no mistake: he is taking a hammer to one of liberal society’s guardrails. Dartmouth College Political Scientist Brendan Nyhan has studied the ways information and disinformation affect political processes extensively. He joins us to explore why propaganda and conspiracy theory are so prevalent today, how this plays neatly into Trump’s hands, and what can be done about it." (11/30/16)

https://newrepublic.com/article/139060/primary-concerns-episode-38-words-weapons-authoritarian-control  

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Identity politics, the alt-right, and empathy in cultural discourse

November 30, 2016
posted by

Notes On Liberty
by Zachary Woodman  

"Those on what is traditionally considered the 'right' end of the political spectrum (ignoring the specific phenomena of Trump voters and alt-righters, that is) tend to be dismissive of the whole project of identity politics. This approach is embodied by Robby Soave's recent article in Reason claiming that identity politics is just a form of tribalism that seeks to subvert individual rights and overall social welfare to the tribalist demands of some salient group people self-identify with. Soave also sees the rise of Trumpism as itself a form of identity politics for white men, a claim which I'll address at length in a moment. What is one to make, then, of identity politics in the Trump era? First, it seems there is considerable confusion about what identity politics even is in the first place." (11/29/16)

https://notesonliberty.com/2016/11/29/identity-politics-the-alt-right-and-empathy-in-cultural-discourse/  

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We won’t let you forget it: Why we oppose French attempts to export the right to be forgotten worldwide

November 30, 2016
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Kate Tummarello  

"The European Union's Court of Justice ruled in 2013 that Europeans have the right to demand that certain links be taken out of search engine results. But the French CNIL vastly expanded the effect of these requests when it said in 2015 that Google must remove links from not just search results returned within the EU, but from search results for everyone, anywhere in the world. This interpretation of the Right to be Forgotten runs contrary to policy and practice outside Europe, will harm the global Internet, and inherently undermines global rights, including those protected by the Constitution in the United States." (11/29/16)

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/11/we-wont-let-you-forget-it-why-we-oppose-french-attempts-export-right-be-forgotten  

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Tench Coxe on state vs. federal power under the Constitution

November 30, 2016
posted by

10th Amendment Center Tenth Amendment Center
by Mike Maharrey  

"The federal government has no constitutional authority to do the vast majority of the things it does today. Of course, this truth runs counter to conventional wisdom and everything you learned in your high school government class. Suggest the feds shouldn't formulate policies on marriage, healthcare, education or infrastructure, and you'll get blank stares at best. Most will adamantly disagree. And many will simply write you off as some kind of 'anti-government' kook. But most ratifiers of the constitution would find the breadth and scope of federal power today shocking and absurd." (11/29/16)

http://tenthamendmentcenter.com/2016/11/29/tench-coxe-on-state-vs-federal-power-under-the-constitution/  

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Diversity, identity, and the liberal implosion

November 30, 2016
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"'To paraphrase Bernie Sanders, America is sick and tired of hearing about liberals' damn bathrooms.' Finally. Some sense from the New York Times. Mark Lilla, in 'The End of Identity Liberalism,' delivers a valuable lesson about political correctness -- without once mentioning the term 'political correctness.' Now this is a lesson we can get behind." (11/30/16)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2016/11/30/diversity-identity-and-the-liberal-implosion/  

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