Commentary

Banning Blanc from Britain stifles free speech

November 19, 2014
posted by

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith Institute
by Kate Andrews  

"The decision to deny Julien Blanc’s entrance into the UK has set the precedent that freedoms of speech and expression can be criminalised, if and when enough people sign a petition. Blanc’s comments are socially reprehensible and offensive to both men and women, but if we do not respect the rights of the offensive, we start risking the safety of any minority viewpoint. Those upset by Blanc’s remarks have the opportunity to push back in cultural and social spheres; they do not need to call on the government to ban things they find socially disturbing." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pmbyb4g  

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Fracking the poor

November 19, 2014
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Hannah Guzik  

"It was supposed to be a good day. It was the first day of school and Johanna Romo, 12, had just woken up. It was already hot, and if she had looked out the window, she would have seen smog hugging the valley floor, obscuring the mountains, as it has almost every day this year. But she didn’t have a chance to look out the window. As Johanna sat up and prepared to put on her school uniform (a blue shirt and khaki pants) her body lurched backward onto the floor, violently shaking." (11/19/14)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17355/fracking_the_poor  

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Red Mist Rising: Inside the world’s most powerful terrorist organization

November 19, 2014
posted by

Empire Burlesque
by Chris Floyd  

"These days there is an overwhelming amount of blather about the political machinations on Capitol Hill in the wake of the recent elections. Who's in, who's out, how will this player out-play that player, and -- most important of all -- how will these machinations affect the all-important, historically decisive 2106 presidential campaign? All this earnest speculation, all this avid interest, all this heartfelt ardor -- and for what? To figure out which blood-soaked poltroon will be the temporary head of this monstrous, murderous terrorist apparatus -- an empire that brazenly kills scores of innocent people, week in, week out, year after year, all the while celebrating its own rectitude and righteousness and 'exceptional' virtue." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qeloza9  

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As stupid does

November 19, 2014
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"'Stupid is as stupid does,' said the great American prophet, Forrest Gump. Meanwhile, Obamacare maestro and MIT professor, the illustrious Dr. Jonathan Gruber, has declared in not one but a multitude of videos that the American people are, well, 'stupid.' You see, when the elites wielding political power lie to us, trick us, cheat us -- as with Obamacare -- they think that proves that 'We, the People,' aka their victims, are all morons. I’m not a fan of fraud or fraudsters; I don’t think it forms the basis for a very happy, healthy society." (11/19/14)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2014/11/19/as-stupid-does/  

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Confessions of a capitalist

November 19, 2014
posted by

Competitive Enterprise Institute Competitive Enterprise Institute
by Fred L. Smith, Jr.  

"Culture warriors have had many villains, but the businessman -- the capitalist -- has long been a favorite. Nineteenth century Muckrakers portrayed the businessman as capricious, careless of the safety of his workers, and the exploiter of a hapless citizenry. ... Businesspeople have responded weakly over the last century to these attacks, rarely mounting any strategic moral defense. ... But at least one businessman responded creatively and aggressively. That man was Ernest Benn." (11/18/14)

https://cei.org/content/confessions-capitalist  

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Left, right, left

November 19, 2014
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L. Knapp  

"Sean Gabb: 'If Kevin Carson can have an outreach to the left, why can't some of us have an outreach to the right?' My reply (with some typos corrected): Libertarianism and leftism are coterminous. That is, they are the same thing with the same originating point. Libertarianism is the extreme leftmost point on the political spectrum. Therefore, to the extent that someone is a libertarian he is also a leftist and vice versa and all libertarian outreach to non-libertarians is outreach 'to the right.'" (11/19/14)

http://knappster.blogspot.com/2014/11/left-right-left.html  

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Immigration & shutdowns: Right things vs. wrong things

November 19, 2014
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"Republicans don’t even take over the Senate until January, but already they’re talking about shutting down the government. This time it’s over the President’s effort to provide some relief for the millions of families and thousands of communities being harmed by a broken immigration system. Last time it was in an effort to stop Obamacare from helping millions of families. Their shutdowns are about obstruction and political strategy, not about what is good for the country and the people in it." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pt4khn4  

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The Rare Report, 11/19/14

November 19, 2014
posted by

The Rare Report The Rare Report
by  

"In this episode of The Rare Report ... Waiting for the Ferguson jury decision what happens next? Why is Rand Paul opposing the USA Freedom Act? Sheldon Adelson's war on online gambling -- What could happen to freedom of privacy if the online gambling bill becomes law?" [Flash audio or MP3] (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nqukqn6  

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The irrelevance of the US Congress in stopping NSA mass surveillance: What matters instead

November 19, 2014
posted by

Glenn Greenwald The Intercept
by Glenn Greenwald  

"The entire system in D.C. is designed at its core to prevent real reform. This Congress is not going to enact anything resembling fundamental limits on the NSA's powers of mass surveillance. Even if it somehow did, this White House would never sign it. Even if all that miraculously happened, the fact that the U.S. intelligence community and National Security State operates with no limits and no oversight means they'd easily co-opt the entire reform process: just like how the eavesdropping scandals of the mid-1970s led to the establishment of Intelligence Committees (which were instantly captured by putting in charge supreme IC servants like Senators Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss and Congressmen Mike Rogers and 'Dutch' Ruppersberger) and the creation of FISA 'oversight' courts (instantly turned into rubber stamps by installing subservient judges and having it all function in total secrecy)." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o6qler4  

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NSA reform blocked by constitutionally disinclined GOP Senators

November 19, 2014
posted by

John Nichols The Nation
by John Nichols  

"The vital cause of NSA reform (which seemed to be gaining strength, as not just citizens but their elected representatives came to recognize the consequences of the issues raised by Edward Snowden’s leaks) has hit a rough spot in recent weeks. Allies of the cause are being defeated or abandoning their principles and major initiatives are failing. The first bad news came November 4, when Colorado Senator Mark Udall lost his campaign for a second term. In his first term, the Democrat had emerged as one of the steadiest, and frequently most aggressive, critics of National Security Agency abuses." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ndlbtz7  

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Why ending FEMA will improve disaster response

November 19, 2014
posted by

Chris Edwards Cato Institute
by Chris Edwards  

"In decades past, individuals, businesses, and charities took the lead on disasters. After the devastating San Francisco Earthquake of 1906, for example, the private response was huge. Aid poured in from across the country, with millionaires such as Andrew Carnegie making major contributions. Southern Pacific Railroad evacuated 200,000 people from the city at no charge. Home-products company Johnson and Johnson rushed in free supplies. Insurance companies paid out the vast majority of claims for the 90 percent of all property owners who had policies. The Red Cross and other charities also provided relief. In recent decades, these sorts of private responses are being replaced by federal intervention. " (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/maxt7z4  

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Affirmative action: The real racism on campus

November 19, 2014
posted by

Rossa Minogue spiked
by Rossa Minogue  

"Of course, being denied a university place on the basis of one’s race is unjust, but more galling still is the fact that such discrimination takes place in the name of anti-racism. Apart from the inherent unfairness of these policies, such selection processes also undermine the academic integrity of the universities themselves. The fact that prestigious universities like Harvard or UNC are choosing students on any basis other than their academic achievement makes a mockery of the idea of the university." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nzautcx  

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A necessary distortion

November 19, 2014
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy WendyMcElroy.com
by Wendy McElroy  

"A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government by Pulitzer Prize winning Garry Wills is a book with a mission. Wills contends that a charming Yankee trait -- an ornery suspicion of all things political -- is based upon an intricate misunderstanding. He claims that historians have mistakenly concluded that the Founding Fathers and framers of the Constitution believed government was 'a necessary evil.' Accordingly, Wills sets out to correct the 'myths' of freedom that have distorted American history and contributed to what he considers to be an overly harsh attitude toward government." (11/19/14)

http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.6200  

1 Comment »

Metastasizing of the police state of America

November 19, 2014
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Dave Lindorff  

"The latest news on the burgeoning police state in the US -- a page-one investigative report in the New York Times disclosing that at least 40 agencies of the US government from the Department of Health and Human Services to the Supreme Court (!) are using undercover agents to spy on and even to entrap law-abiding American citizens -- suggests that we have passed the tipping point. One can no longer speak in terms of the US as a country that is moving towards becoming a police state. We are living in a police state." (11/19/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q3ughn7  

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Familiar bedfellows

November 19, 2014
posted by

Sheldon Richman Future of Freedom Foundation
by Sheldon Richman  

"It says a lot about former secretary of state and presumed presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton that she’s a member of the Henry Kissinger Fan Club. Progressives who despised George W. Bush might want to examine any warm, fuzzy feelings they harbor for Clinton." (11/19/14)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/familiar-bedfellows/  

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Un-taxis?

November 19, 2014
posted by

Tom Yamachika Hawaii Reporter
by Tom Yamachika  

"By now, pretty much everyone has heard about 'ridesharing.' Big names in the market are Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. This industry presents itself as an alternative to taxis. If you are at Point A and need transportation to Point B, you pick up your smartphone, fire up an app that matches you with a driver, and the driver comes to give you a ride. At the end of the ride, the rider’s credit card is charged, the driver and the service that provides the app both get paid, and everyone is happy. At least in theory. At this point, there are fierce debates going on all across the country about whether these ridesharing companies are running a taxi business without a license. We’re not going to touch that issue. Instead, we will take a look at tax-related issues that arise." (11/18/14)

http://www.hawaiireporter.com/un-taxis/  

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Intertemporal corruption

November 19, 2014
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"When I was an undergrad at UC Berkeley, there was an informal norm about professors dating their students: Just wait until after the final exam. Professors dating their current students? A recipe for corruption. Professors dating their recent students? Only the prudish could object. You might dismiss this as a weird Berkeley norm, but it's also ubiquitous in American politics." (11/19/14)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/11/intertemporal_c.html  

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Why government fails and why ideas matter

November 19, 2014
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cato Institute
by Donald J. Boudreaux  

"In a famous Sidney Harris cartoon, a senior professor reviews a long and complicated mathematical proof that a younger colleague has written on a chalkboard. Pointing calmly at part of the proof, the elder scholar tells the younger 'I think you should be more explicit here in step two' -- a step that appears on the chalkboard as 'Then a miracle occurs.' This witty depiction of an unscientific means of reaching a conclusion sadly describes an actual step in the reasoning of far too many people who call for government intervention." (11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/makd8nq  

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The next American revolution won’t be like the first

November 19, 2014
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy WendyMcElroy.com
by Wendy McElroy  

"One of my friends believes that a second American revolution is imminent and will be sparked by the economic instability now rocking the continent. Frankly, I doubt it. Insurrections may occur, but I expect the US government to lumber along, dragging the world deeper into poverty and conflict for many years to come. Upon hearing my friend out, however, my first thought was, 'if a revolution erupts, it will resemble the French one of 1789 more closely than the American one of 1776.' Then I sat back and tried to figure out why I had arrived at that sudden conclusion, and whether or not it had merit." (11/18/14)

http://www.wendymcelroy.com/news.php?extend.6199  

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Stay away from Kiev

November 19, 2014
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"The ugly reality is that the Ukrainian 'revolution' was nothing of the sort: it was a coup rather than a revolution, and its leadership, rather than being aspiring democrats who want to be members in good standing of the West, are in fact a collection of thieving oligarchs, like Poroshenko, neo-Nazi thugs, and the usual opportunists who hang around every Western-backed 'color revolution' looking for the main chance. Standing behind them are the Western intelligence agencies who ginned up this phony 'revolution,' and are now homing in on the Russians, hoping to provoke a full-scale invasion of Ukraine so as to justify their plans for a revival of the cold war." (11/19/14)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/11/18/stay-away-from-kiev/  

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The future of money

November 19, 2014
posted by

Reason Reason
by Heather Schlegel  

"The dizzying rise of Bitcoin demonstrates that money can be more than just pieces of paper issued by central governments. As decentralized computerized networks proliferate, we have entered an era where middlemen are getting squeezed and consumer choice is multiplying. Governments have always wanted to maintain a strong grip on money-for tax purposes, if nothing else-but the way money is made, distributed, and valued could soon change drastically. Here are four (not mutually exclusive) ways money might mutate as we move into a future where convenience and choice are more powerful than government command." (for publication 12/14)

http://reason.com/archives/2014/11/18/the-future-of-money  

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Up in smoke

November 19, 2014
posted by

Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"As a libertarian I think that people ought to have the right to do whatever they want with their own body so long as in doing so they aren't interfering with the rights of others. That's what most libertarians believe. Do what you will with your body and your life but don’t interfere with mine. We all have a right to breathe the free air, for example, but no one should have the right to pollute the air with smoke thereby subjecting others to breathing the foul stench. That’s why as a libertarian I’m OK with laws prohibiting smoking in public places." (11/18/14)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2014/11/up-in-smoke.html  

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The United States lost the Cold War

November 19, 2014
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger  

"The Cold War bequeathed to the United States an increasingly militarized society, much like that in the Soviet Union. People here extol the troops and revel in military fly-overs at big sporting events, much like those big military parades in which Soviet citizens would praise the troops and revel in the newest army tanks rumbling by in review. In fact, the militarization of America has now seeped down to the state and local level, where law-enforcement personnel look upon themselves as well-armed and well-trained army sergeants who treat the citizens, who ostensibly are their bosses, as army privates." (11/18/14)

http://fff.org/2014/11/18/united-states-lost-cold-war/  

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Yes, Mitch McConnell is killing coal

November 19, 2014
posted by

Our Future
by Bill Scher  

"In Alison Lundergan Grimes'[s] losing campaign, she ran an ad that made one of the most insightful points of any ad in the 2014 midterm elections. Standing in front of a coal-fired power plant Grimes said, 'They are shutting down half the plant and laying off their workers because [Senate Republican leader] Mitch McConnell didn’t fight to get the scrubbers it needs to reduce coal emissions.' The ad didn’t get attention for that line. It got attention for a trumped-up, and contradictory, charge that followed, that 'Mitch and his wife pocketed $600,000 from enemies of coal.' Most of the money came from McConnell’s wife serving on the board of a bank that made a decision five years prior to her arrival to cut back on its financing of mountaintop removals. Claiming that McConnell was a secret environmentalist was a factually flawed charge that fell flat, but the beginning of the ad was truthful and highly relevant." (11/18/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k57qbrq  

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Lemmings for war

November 19, 2014
posted by

Butler Shaffer LewRockwell.com
by Butler Shaffer  

"I spent this past weekend at the Libertopia 2014 Festival in San Diego. During the same days this was held, there was a military veterans program at the same hotel. It seemed to be a family event, with young children of the participants in attendance. As the war system depends upon conditioning the minds of children in both the virtue and necessity of war -- a lesson to be carried out in their adult lives by going to foreign lands to kill strangers and, perhaps, to be killed themselves -- I asked myself how seemingly loving parents could encourage their children to partake in such destructiveness. At a time when the government War Department acknowledges that an average of twenty-two military veterans commit suicide every day, the dispirited, dehumanizing, and deadly consequences of the war system should be a sufficient threat to their children so as to elicit deeper questions than were probably being asked at this pro-military gathering." (11/19/14)

http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/11/butler-shaffer/lemmings-for-war/  

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