Commentary

Time to kill the death penalty

August 26, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Bernie Horn  

"In February 2015, the governor of Pennsylvania issued a moratorium on executions. In May, Nebraska became the 19th state, and the seventh state since 2007, to abolish the death penalty. And weeks ago, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional, saying 'this state’s death penalty no longer comports with contemporary standards of decency and no longer serves any legitimate penological purpose.' Nevertheless, states have executed 19 prisoners so far this year—15 of them killed by the states of Texas and Missouri alone. Texas, Missouri and Florida accounted for 28 of the 35 people executed in 2014. In contrast, 23 states and the federal government have not executed anyone for at least the past 10 years." (08/25/15)

http://ourfuture.org/20150825/time-to-kill-the-death-penalty  

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Free Talk Live, 08/25/15

August 26, 2015
posted by

Free Talk Live Free Talk Live
by  

"Denver City Attorney Orders No More Jury Nullification Arrests :: Affecting Local Political Change :: Buying Bitcoin in New York :: Insane Order Bans All Speech on Court Grounds in Denver :: Judge Rules Against Pot-Raiding Cops :: Rand Paul :: Foreign Policy :: Texting and Driving :: Traveling and Spending Only Bitcoin :: Bitcoin Forking :: Bitcoin ATMs Coming to Greece :: Mike Tyson Bitcoin Vending Machine Is Real." [Flash audio or MP3] (08/25/15)

https://soundcloud.com/freetalklive/free-talk-live-2015-08-25  

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What nuclear strategy? World powers play dangerous game by ear

August 26, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Jason Fields  

"Nuclear-tipped missiles and bombs have hovered over the world’s head for more than 70 years. As long as 60 years ago, two great nations had developed the capability to destroy the entire world. The only question, it sometimes seemed, was whether the United States or the Soviet Union would be the first to hit the button. Tensions ebbed and flowed, China and a short list of other nations joined the nuclear club, but the balance of terror remained. A strategy of mutually assured destruction (MAD) kept everyone 'safe.' But then the Berlin Wall fell . . ." (08/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qccpg8e  

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Adam Smith’s ethics: Sympathy

August 26, 2015
posted by

Libertarianism.org Libertarianism.org
by Paul Mueller  

"As I suggested in my last post, Smith's prudential approach to politics flows from his virtue ethics. He rejects moral systems built upon axiomatic rights or deontological arguments. Virtue ethics, as Smith describes it, involves shaping and correcting people's behavior while also being flexible and adaptable to gray, amorphous situations and changing tastes or sentiments. Because of its flexibility and diversity, Smith's ethics complements free markets and free societies. It is a system of private ethics enforced through praise, blame, and censure." (08/25/15)

http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/adam-smiths-ethics-sympathy  

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Trump’s immigration plan? Big government, extra dose of impractical

August 26, 2015
posted by

USA Today USA Today
by Tim Kane  

"Thanks to Donald Trump’s 6-page campaign immigration reform plan, two big things have changed. One is political. The other is economic. First, the pundits were proven wrong. The Trump plan is no puff piece. It’s substantive as any other candidate has produced. It educates any voter willing to click and read. It has some compelling ideas. Most are revolutionary, and some are good. Second, anyone who thinks Trump is defining the right-wing of conservatism doesn’t understand conservatism. The real estate mogul may be a Republican, but he’s not a right winger. In fact, Trump isn’t a conservative at all. His immigration plan is deeply nationalist, unabashedly populist, and based on total faith in big government." (08/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pq5qogn  

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2016: The coming trainwreck

August 26, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Robert Kuttner  

"Six months ago, the 2016 election looked to be predictable and boring: Clinton II vs. Bush III. Advantage: Clinton. Well, forget about that. The Republican demolition derby has been getting most of the publicity lately, but one should worry more about the Democrats. Consider: Hillary Clinton is sinking like a stone. She's falling in the polls. Conversations with her longtime friends and admirers indicate grave worry. She is not generating the excitement that the first prospective woman president should; the email mess is not going away; even the money advantage is not what was anticipated. And a self-declared socialist could defeat her in Iowa and New Hampshire. Even as she tacks left to excite the base, there is no way she can out-Sanders Sanders." (08/24/15)

http://prospect.org/article/2016-coming-train-wreck  

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The free market versus the bureaucratic state

August 26, 2015
posted by

Richard M. Ebeling The Daily Bell
by Richard M Ebeling  

"Private property gives an individual ownership and control over a portion of the means of production through which he may choose how and for what purposes he will live his life. Private property gives him a 'territory' that is under his own jurisdiction, a degree of self-rule, in his home and on his property. In the free classical liberal society he can design his personal 'country' to fit his values, ideals and desires on his private property. It is true, however, that no man is an island." (08/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ptst5zb  

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Man, economy, and science

August 26, 2015
posted by

Alberto Mingardi EconLog
by Alberto Mingardi  

"The idea that the market's decentralised decision making cannot make up for 'greatness' (in this case, 'greatness' in scientific research) is not new -- and it is extremely resilient. Marianna Mazzucato, the author of 'The Entrepreneurial State,' made herself famous by arguing that markets have 'no vision' (whatever that means) and that government R&D is the true source of ALL innovation, while private companies are just riding its coattails. See here her 'Lunch with the FT' for a quick summary of her views. Note that the word 'consumer' doesn't come up in the article, not even once. Rothbard's text is a sobering read." (08/25/15)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/08/man_economy_and.html  

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The “teacher shortage” is no accident

August 25, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Kevin Prosen  

"Like much else in the national education debate, panics about teacher shortages seem to be a perennial event. In a widely discussed article for the New York Times earlier this month, Motoko Rich called attention to sharp drops in enrollment in teacher training programs in California and documented that many districts are relaxing licensure requirements as a result, pushing more and more people into the classroom without full certification or proper training. ... But the reality is that speaking of a 'shortage' at all is a kind of ideological dodge; the word calls to mind some accident of nature or the market, when what is actually happening is the logical (if not necessarily intended) result of education reform policies." (08/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ozmt8hr  

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Cop commits suicide after Ashley Madison exposure

August 25, 2015
posted by

Christopher Cantwell ChristopherCantwell.com
by Christopher Cantwell  

"I don't usually like to get into other people’s sex lives. What they do in their own bedrooms is their business. But I think it worth pointing out, that a man who would enter a legally binding contract of sexual fidelity, then break that contract in secret, and would then sooner end his own life than deal with the repercussions of that betrayal becoming known, probably shouldn't be running around with a handgun telling other people what to do, much less managing a team of people who do so on a daily basis." (08/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pla4p6m  

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Republicans who blame Obama over Iran should recall Bush’s role

August 25, 2015
posted by

Ivan Eland Independent Institute
by Ivan Eland  

"The Republicans complain about Obama not doing enough to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb, nor enough to blunt Iran's increasing regional influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, yet one of their own -- George W. Bush -- had a big hand in aggravating these problems in the first place." (08/24/15)

http://www.independent.org/newsroom/article.asp?id=7490  

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After Silk Road, online illicit marketplaces for drugs and weapons grow, with more to come

August 25, 2015
posted by

JD Tuccille Reason
by JD Tuccille  

"Well, the online marketplace for illicit goods' competitors and successors live, anyway. The original Silk Road and its operator were taken down by the United States federal government in an over-the-top campaign that featured stunningly corrupt federal agents. Beyond its employees' sticky fingers, the federal government almost certainly hacked servers hosted overseas in the course of its efforts and then shrugged its institutional shoulders over the legal status of the tactic. But even as the feds brutally targeted Ross Ulbricht and his underground marketplace, new sites proliferated on the anonymous TOR network to more than replace what the U.S. Government had shut down." (08/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pklc89z  

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“Black lives matter” is a great slogan

August 25, 2015
posted by

The Zelman Partisans The Zelman Partisans
by Claire Wolfe  

"... if your aim is to guilt-trip Democrat politicians and alienate potential friends. Otherwise it's just spouting a truism while denying the broader truism 'All lives matter.' But those who espouse the slogan are determined to hang on to it." (08/24/15)

http://zelmanpartisans.com/?p=1989  

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Ashley Madison’s owners give in to temptation to misuse the DMCA

August 25, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Mitch Stoltz  

"Copyright is a poor tool for making embarrassing information disappear from the Internet. It rarely succeeds, and often draws more attention to whatever was embarrassing or harmful. Copyright isn't designed for keeping secrets (in fact, it was generally meant to do the exact opposite by encouraging disclosure). Yet people keep trying to use copyright law, in part because takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act are quick and easy, and because the rhetoric of 'theft' and threats of ridiculously large penalties can be quite scary. The latest to abuse the DMCA is Avid Life Media, the owner of the Ashley Madison website, which bills itself as 'the most famous name in infidelity and married dating.' Ashley Madison's owners have been sending numerous DMCA takedown notices to platforms like Twitter, Reddit, and others in an attempt to stop the dissemination of millions of names and email addresses of the site's users." (08/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/p4stlfn  

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Conflicts perplexing prominent politicians

August 25, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"When does the same old song-and-dance, performed by yet another self-selected committee of the political elite, become 'a unique process' that 'Nobody's ever done ...?' When the much-liberal Denver Post reports the 'much-respected' Daniel Ritchie saying so. Every election cycle for a decade, it seems, a cabal of big-spending politicians and big-receiving special interests form a 'prominent' and 'bipartisan' group to propose making citizen initiatives more difficult, weakening term limits, and circumventing the state's Taxpayer Bill of Rights (or TABOR, which limits spending and requires voter approval for tax increases)." (08/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nck2rp4  

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Why Donald Trump is so scary

August 25, 2015
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Gary Leupp  

"In Mobile, Alabama Friday night Donald Trump gave his first substantial presentation (it's hard to call it a 'speech') at what his campaign described as a 'pep rally' in a football stadium before 30,000 adoring fans. I cannot find a transcript yet but have looked at the youtube video, pausing it occasionally while taking notes -- just to get a sense of its structure and the flow of content. I will summarize it below. As I watched and re-watched, I grew in the conviction that The Donald has gone from being mildly amusing (and occasionally refreshing, as when he exposes politicians for the bought-and-paid-for crowd they really are) to being positively dangerous. To the thinking person, the presentation was truly frightening. The rapturous response of the stupefied crowd made it more so." (08/25/15)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/08/25/why-donald-trump-is-so-scary/  

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How Turkey plays the War on Terror

August 25, 2015
posted by

Philip Giraldi The American Conservative
by Philip Giraldi  

"Given the plate of pottage that now exists in the Arab Middle East, Washington was understandably delighted when Turkey on July 23rd announced that bygones should be bygones and that henceforth it would play a more active role against ISIS. Or at least that's what Ankara seemed to be saying. U.S. warplanes would be able to use the NATO air base at Incirlik to bomb ISIS positions, a much shorter flight than from the facilities hitherto used in the Persian Gulf, though the move did not solve the real problem, which is that there are no forward observers on the ground to direct the bombs and missiles, which has meant that many planes return with their bomb loads intact. But the euphoria in Washington must have been short lived as Turkey quickly demonstrated that its use of the United States as a partner in an offensive against terrorists could be considered window dressing or possibly even cover for quite different activity, as ISIS was not the enemy that Ankara had in mind." (08/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ojgpn33  

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What an actual leader would say

August 25, 2015
posted by

Paul Rosenberg Freeman's Perspective
by Paul Rosenberg  

"In the current deluge of wannabe leaders clamoring for attention and trying to convince us that they are the boss who should be applying rules to us, it strikes me that all of them are looking backward and none are looking forward. (I do not consider 'My administration will give you more bennies' to be seriously forward-looking.) So, since none of this crowd is going to venture anywhere outside of their hermetically sealed status quo, I'd like to give you an example of something a real leader might say." (08/25/15)

http://www.freemansperspective.com/actual-leader-say/  

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Can the Supreme Court force Congress to own the war on ISIS?

August 25, 2015
posted by

The Atlantic The Atlantic
by Bruce Ackerman  

"The biggest casualty in the struggle against the Islamic State so far has been the American Constitution. One year into the battle, the president and Congress threaten to destroy all serious restraints against open-ended war-making by the commander-in-chief. President Obama waited for half a year before even submitting a draft resolution authorizing his initiative. But it is now obvious that the Republican-controlled Congress finds it politically convenient to stand on the sidelines and let Obama take the blame for the escalating instability. That leaves only the Supreme Court to halt this transformation of the president into a latter-day King George III."

http://tinyurl.com/po85k6p  

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Giving versus exchanging

August 25, 2015
posted by

A Geek With Guns
by Christopher Burg  

"'What do you do for a living?' 'Me? Oh, I’m a programmer.' 'You know computers? Can you help me fix mine?' How many of you have had this exact conversation? Judging by conversations with my computer savvy friends there is a 100% correlation between having computer knowledge and being asked to fix computers. The same applies to having any skill set. When I was working as a mechanic people would ask me to look at their cars when I wasn't at work. The issue isn't people asking me to fix their computers or vehicles but the expectation that I will do it for free. Whenever somebody asks me to fix their computer or vehicles I have a standard response: 'Absolutely! Let's discuss prices.' Usually the person asking seems to be offended by that response." (08/25/15)

https://blog.christopherburg.com/2015/08/25/giving-versus-exchanging/  

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Keeping the bubble-boom going

August 25, 2015
posted by

The Cobden Centre
by Thorsten Polleit  

"The US Federal Reserve is playing with the idea of raising interest rates, possibly as early as September this year. After a six-year period of virtually zero interest rates, a ramping up of borrowing costs will certainly have tremendous consequences. It will be like taking away the punch bowl on which all the party fun rests." (08/25/15)

http://www.cobdencentre.org/2015/08/keeping-the-bubble-boom-going/  

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Debt collapse: The decline and fall of the United States of America

August 25, 2015
posted by

OpEdNews
by William Edstrom  

"There's going to be a collapse in the United States of America. Again. This collapse around, there's nothing the United States (US) government can do to 'rescue' the US economy because the Federal Reserve Bank's interest rate is 0%. They cannot lower interest rates. The only thing the US government can do is print more money. Printing too much money causes hyper-inflation which in turn causes things worse than hyper-inflation." (08/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pzrm8sh  

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Even cheating husbands deserve privacy

August 25, 2015
posted by

spiked spiked
by Ella Whelan  

"The private lives of a few sad married men should not be the subject of public scrutiny. And, while we're on the subject, nor should the private lives of anyone else. We forget this at our peril. From the legal clampdowns on 'emotional abuse' in relationships to mandatory consent classes in universities, our intimate lives are increasingly seen as fair game for prying eyes and official intervention. The hackers were able to claim the moral high ground because we live in a culture in which the idea of privacy has been undermined and recast as a convenient cover for misbehaviour or even abuse." (08/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qjku22e  

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The Libertarian Angle, 08/25/15

August 25, 2015
posted by

Future of Freedom Foundation Future of Freedom Foundation
by  

"Each week, FFF president Jacob Hornberger discusses the hot topics of the day. This week, Jacob and guest co-host Richard M. Ebeling discuss the libertarian position on immigration control." [Flash video] (08/25/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nst2b5f  

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Heartland Daily Podcast, 08/24/15

August 25, 2015
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by  

"In today’s edition of The Heartland Daily Podcast, H. Sterling Burnett, managing editor of Environment & Climate News spoke with Rob Natelson. Natelson is a senior fellow at the Independence Institute and a former Constitutional Law professor at three different universities. He and Burnett spoke about the history and the practicality of an Article V Constitutional convention." [various formats] (08/24/15)

http://tinyurl.com/qe4e8xf  

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