Commentary

Indefinite detention: A hallmark of tyranny

January 25, 2015
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"As in Egypt, the U.S. national-security state stayed silent about what those tyrants in Iran, Guatemala, and Chile were doing. And why not? Not only were they flooding those tyrannical regimes with U.S. foreign aid, the U.S. military and the CIA were actually helping train the tyrants’ military and police forces in the art of indefinite incarceration, torture, and assassination, including at military training centers like the School of the Americas. Look at the U.S. national-security state’s prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Yes, they also engage in indefinite incarceration and torture because, like their Egyptian counterparts, they believe in indefinite incarceration and torture. Al-Qazzaz should count himself lucky. His 588 days in jail without charges pale compared to 13 years of no charges or trial for the U.S. national-security state’s prisoners at Gitmo." (01/23/15)

http://fff.org/2015/01/23/indefinite-detention-hallmark-tyranny/  

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The Great Iran Debate

January 23, 2015
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"[N]ot since the war of 1812, when the New England Federalists sided with Great Britain against their own government, has a fifth column wielded such power in this country. As President Obama seeks to avoid war with Iran -- what would amount to World War III in terms of its military and economic consequences -- the fifth columnists in our midst, ensconced in some of the highest councils of government, are actively undermining his efforts to avoid catastrophe. Unlike subversives of the past, however, who hid their treason in pumpkin patches and took cover in the darkest corners of the State, these proclaim their allegiance to a foreign government quite openly." (01/23/15)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/01/22/the-great-iran-debate/  

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America’s growth industry: Probation and parole

January 23, 2015
posted by

Wendy Mcelroy The Daily Bell
by Wendy McElroy  

"The true and staggering rate of incarceration in America is masked by the unconventional cages that are rarely factored into the head count. Many people are caged in an unconventional manner for trivial and nonviolent offenses such as driving without a license or for shoplifting inexpensive items like food. Their number is swelling for one basic reason: They increase revenue. Increasingly, the revenue does not come from tax dollars but from the offenders themselves who are forced to pay for the privilege of being caged." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kqsbecn  

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Visions of progress: Henry George vs. Jane Jacobs

January 23, 2015
posted by

Sandy Ikeda Foundation for Economic Education
by Sandy Ikeda  

"For those who might not know, Henry George is the late-19th-century American intellectual best known for his proposal of a 'single tax' from which he believed the government could finance all its projects. He advocated eliminating all taxes except that on the rent of the unimproved portion of land. He viewed that rent as unjust and solely the result of general economic progress unrelated to the actions of landowners. Jane Jacobs, writing about one hundred years later, is an American intellectual best known for her harsh and incisive criticism of the heavy-handed urban planning of her day." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l2q95v8  

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The troops are destroying our country

January 23, 2015
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"The mindset that is common to U.S. troops serving overseas is that they are all doing it for America, for us, for our rights and freedoms, for our safety and security. They'll all tell you that they are doing it because they love their country. There's one big problem with that mindset, however. The truth is that the troops, through what they're doing over there, are indirectly destroying our country, our rights and freedoms, our safety and security, and our economic well-being." (01/22/15)

http://fff.org/2015/01/22/troops-destroying-country/  

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You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

January 23, 2015
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L Knapp  

"'Cowardice' is not a term which describes the good or evil of a particular action. It is a term which describes the absence of physical or moral courage." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nhwfmqv  

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No body counts? Don’t believe US military

January 23, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by David Axe  

"Earlier this month, a reporter asked the question that usually comes up when the United States gets involved in a sustained military campaign. Just how many enemy troops (in this case, Islamic State foot soldiers) have U.S. forces killed in more than five months of aerial attacks? The military’s answer was basically the same given to all similar questions going back more than a decade. ... Since the Vietnam War, with its gruesome and inflated U.S. tallies of enemy dead, the Pentagon has denied keeping body counts. But, in fact, the military does add up the number of enemy fighters it believes it has killed -- and proudly boasts of the totals in official documents that it never intends for public circulation." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/luxmhrh  

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Two-thirds to raise taxes

January 23, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"Three times voters have passed initiatives promoted by Mr. Eyman mandating a 2/3 legislative vote or a vote of the people before taxes can rise -- in 2007, 2010 and again in 2012, the last two times by a whopping 64 percent vote. But in 2013, the state supreme court ruled voters could not so limit their state legislature, short of a constitutional amendment. And -- you guessed it -- the Evergreen State lacks a statewide initiative process for voters to amend the constitution ... without the permission of their legislators. Eyman was blocked; the voters thwarted. Legislators could go back to raising taxes as usual. Not so fast!" (01/22/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/01/22/two-thirds-to-raise-taxes/  

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Level the playing field for Uber and taxi companies through deregulation

January 23, 2015
posted by

Show-Me Institute
by Joseph Miller  

"Adopting a 'trust but verify' system toward ridesharing companies is a step forward for Kansas City, but that spirit should also include traditional taxis. When Kansas City allowed UberX, a direct competitor to taxi service, to offer services under 'livery vehicle' regulations (designed for limousines and premium sedans), it essentially created a two-tiered market: the highly regulated traditional taxis vs. the less regulated Uber. That puts cabs at a distinct disadvantage and may mean they are driven out of the market. Putting cabs out of business through overregulation is not progress, any more than regulating ridesharing out of Kansas City would be." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lcoa9ag  

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When liberals were organized

January 23, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Julian E. Zelizer  

"When Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in 1994 for the first time in 40 years, one of Speaker Newt Gingrich’s earliest moves was to end the public funding for the Democratic Study Group (DSG), a caucus of liberal Democrats that had been created in 1959. It was one of Gingrich’s shrewdest maneuvers. As Kansas Republican Pat Roberts, a staunch conservative then and now, wrote in an internal memo, 'The demise of the DSG severely damages the power structure of the House Democrats.' Roberts was right. The DSG is almost forgotten today, but its history suggests lessons for the current generation of Democrats." (01/22/15)

http://prospect.org/article/when-liberals-were-organized  

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Ron Paul’s State of Liberty 2015

January 23, 2015
posted by

US Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) Campaign For Liberty
by  

"C4L Chairman Ron Paul recorded his own State of the Union response to President Obama's speech last night." [Flash video] (01/21/15)

http://www.campaignforliberty.org/ron-pauls-state-liberty-2015  

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Environmental groups denounce fast track trade process

January 23, 2015
posted by

Dave Johnson Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"The Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the League of Conservation Voters and 41 other environmental groups sent a letter to Congress this week, asking them to oppose 'fast track' trade promotion authority for upcoming trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). They asked Congress to instead set up an open, transparent trade negotiating system that gives stakeholders, other than just corporate representatives, input in the process.” (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/khcxuqt  

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Obama croons, “I did it my way”

January 23, 2015
posted by

Debra J. Saunders San Francisco Chronicle
by Debra J. Saunders  

"As President Obama delivered his State of the Union speech Tuesday night, I saw all of 2015 flash before my eyes. It was a smart speech that wisely stuck to 'middle-class' values and was shrewdly short on details. I saw another year of the president not compromising. For Republicans, it was Ground Hog Day -- an endless loop of the president talking up bipartisanship without practicing it. 'A Bold Call to Action, Even if No Action is Likely,' read one headline. And below it: 'Obama Speaks as Though His Party Won the Midterms.' Both headlines hail, not from a conservative rag, but from the New York Times." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kcov9gm  

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Fox vs. facts

January 23, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Steve Sack  

Cartoon. (01/21/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/01/fox-vs-facts/  

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The urgent necessity of a Syriza victory in Greece

January 23, 2015
posted by

In These Times In These Times
by Slavoj Zizek  

"Critics of our institutional democracy often complain that, as a rule, elections do not offer a true choice. What we mostly get is the choice between a center-Right and a center-Left party whose program is almost indistinguishable. Next Sunday, January 25, this will not be the case—as on June 17, 2012, the Greek voters are facing a real choice: the establishment on the one side; Syriza, the radical leftist coalition, on the other. And, as is mostly the case, such moments of real choice throw the establishment into panic. They paint the image of social chaos, poverty and violence if the wrong choice wins." (01/22/15)

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17561/zizek_greece_syriza  

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Necks and nostrils: The murderous folly of the new Cold War

January 23, 2015
posted by

Empire Burlesque
by Chris Floyd  

"Once again, we see tragic confirmation of the true aims of American foreign policy. Those aims are not and have never been the welfare, freedom and prosperity of the the people it purports to 'help' by its interventions and machinations. Washington does not care -- in the slightest, for even a second -- what actually happens to the actual human beings living in Ukraine (or Russia or Iraq or Syria or Libya or Egypt or Yemen -- or even in America, whose citizens have been bankrupted, repressed and made targets for blowback from their leaders' reckless violence and destabilization overseas.) All that matters is that the interests of the dominating elite are advanced." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/l57ecxb  

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Fight for the right to die

January 23, 2015
posted by

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by unidentified guest author  

"With the Supreme Court of Canada preparing a landmark ruling on euthanasia and assisted-suicide in regards to the Carter v. Canada case, the question on whether or not an individual has the right-to-die is reemerging in Canada. Countries like Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxemburg, and Colombia have all successfully implemented right-to-die legislation, but currently the Criminal Code of Canada constitutes euthanasia and assisted-suicide (similarities and differences are noted here) as 'murder' liable to 14 years of imprisonment. Throughout the decades, there has been a lot of opposition to this classification as illiberal and unethical. While their advocacy was ignored for many years, the tide seems to be turning in favor of right-to-die legislation. " (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nz9emlr  

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Republicans still as extreme on abortion as ever

January 23, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation Blog
by Zoe Carpenter  

"A group of Republican men took to the House floor on Wednesday evening and delivered emotional speeches about the need to restrict women’s right to abortion. ... Their speeches anticipated a vote on the so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban most abortions after twenty weeks of pregnancy. Originally scheduled for Thursday, the vote has now been indefinitely 'delayed' because the bill, it turns out, was too extreme even for some members of the GOP." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kc9y2m4  

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A university built by the invisible hand

January 23, 2015
posted by

Roderick T. Long Libertarian Alliance
by Roderick Long  

"The history of the University of Bologna offers an example of how the spontaneous-order mechanisms underlying market anarchism -- mechanisms like mutual-aid surety associations and competing legal jurisdictions -- can operate in a university setting."" (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/luhas5n  

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EFF statement on Barrett Brown sentencing

January 23, 2015
posted by

Electronic Frontier Foundation Electronic Frontier Foundation
by Hanni Fakhoury and Nadia Kayyali  

"U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay sentenced Barrett Brown this morning to 63 months in federal prison, minus the 31 months he has already served to date. He was also ordered to pay $890,000 in restitution. EFF is disappointed to see that Brown wasn’t released today, after having spent nearly three years in prison on charges stemming from his work as an independent journalist." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kjvw8g8  

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Obama’s class warfare

January 23, 2015
posted by

Michael D. Tanner Cato Institute
by Michael D Tanner  

"The American economy is finally coming back, after one of the slowest post-recession recoveries in recent history. So naturally President Obama has decided that what we really need now is a return to the era of tax and spend. Oh, and of course, a healthy batch of class warfare too." (01/22/15)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/obamas-class-warfare  

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The modality of monogamy

January 23, 2015
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"Notice: The most common number of lifetime partners for both genders is 1! This is not an artifact of the binning, because the '1 partner' response is in its own bin. Of course, people could be lying. But in what direction would they lie? Conventional wisdom says that men overstate and women understate. For men, then, the modal monogamy result is probably even stronger than it looks. Furthermore, to overturn the modal monogamy result for women, we would have to imagine that women have markedly more partners than men claim to have. Possible, but definitely weird if true." (01/22/15)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2015/01/gss_sf.html  

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No US weapons for countries with child soldiers (oh, you have a waiver?)

January 22, 2015
posted by

Abigail Hall Independent Institute
by Abigail Hall  

"So did the U.S. government fulfill its supposed goal of snuffing out child soldiering by withholding aid? Not by a long shot. Just five months after his 2010 pledge, Obama granted several waivers to the Child Soldier Prevention Act, allowing funding to continue to four countries known to use child soldiers. Chad, Congo, Sudan, and Yemen each received a reprieve for a variety of reasons including their assistance in fighting terrorism. Congo was exempted because of American programs in the country aimed at training the military to 'be more professional.' During the Obama administration, Congo, Yemen and Chad would each receive millions in weapons despite their humanitarian records and the known use of child soldiers." (01/22/15)

http://tinyurl.com/n85pozv  

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Freedom of speech? Boston mayor bans bad mouthing of Olympics, as Facebook will filter out “fake news”

January 22, 2015
posted by

Liberty Blitzkrieg Liberty Blitzkrieg
by Michael Krieger  

"So supporting the Olympics is now a matter of national security. How cute. Unfortunately, this is only one example of local authoritarians acting to curtail the free speech of the plebs." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kwc73yr  

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NCPA fact checks Obama’s health policy address during SOTU

January 22, 2015
posted by

National Center for Policy Analysis National Center for Policy Analysis
by Devon Herrick  

"The president emphasized the plight of the 43 million American workers who do not have paid sick leave. Many of them feel they cannot afford to take a sick day to convalesce after an illness or to care for a sick child. He proposes to mandate that employers provide seven days of paid sick leave to workers each year. The president didn’t mention that an estimated 100 million workers who have paid sick leave likely don’t get seven days annually. He also didn’t mention that his own advisor Jonathan Gruber has research showing workers themselves wind up paying the cost of mandatory benefits through lower wages." (01/21/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ldzqhsb  

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