Commentary

Snowden media coverage

June 28, 2013
posted by

CounterPunch
by Jeff Cohen  

"While an independent journalism system would be dissecting the impacts of NSA surveillance on privacy rights, and separating fact from fiction, U.S. news networks have obsessed on questions like: How much damage has Snowden caused? How can he be brought to justice?" (06/27/13)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/06/27/snowden-coverage/  

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Gay marriage victory bigger than you think

June 28, 2013
posted by

The New Republic
by Linda Hirshman  

"The Supreme Court decisions on gay marriage look a lot like the experts predicted, right down to who wrote the opinions. ... Many people predicted that the vote of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the decision in the DOMA case, could be won only by appealing to his conservative tendencies: DOMA, they expected him to argue, was an unconstitutional violation of states’ rights. But Kennedy went bigger than expected in Windsor, the DOMA case, by rooting his argument in equal protection and not just federalism." [editor's note: Nice to see a "progressive" commentator grasping this deeper level of the issue - SAT] (06/26/13)

http://tinyurl.com/powsk2d  

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The contradiction of protective government

June 27, 2013
posted by

Spencer W. Morgan Everything Voluntary
by Spencer W. Morgan  

"Throughout history, the ruling class has taken various structural forms and various justifications for their power. We don’t know for certain the circumstances of its first application as a concept, but we can see throughout history that its implementation has tended to precede is justifications. In other words, all of the sanction of deities and complex philosophical arguments have come as an afterthought. They were an exercise in justifying what already existed, usually in the face of advances in the rational approach to government that caused old justifications to lose credibility." (06/26/13)

http://tinyurl.com/o5vafrw  

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Public school teachers are government agents

June 27, 2013
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"Some people, especially religious folks, and more particularly evangelical Christians, just can’t seem to understand that public schools are instruments of the government and public school teachers are government agents. In the United States of America, unlike most other nations, the government and its agents are not supposed to promote religion to their captive audience of students, including Christianity. That doesn’t seem to sit well with those government agents who love the First Amendment Freedom of Speech clause but hate the First Amendment Establishment Clause." (06/26/13)

http://tinyurl.com/q79wxqc  

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SNAP theatrics fall flat

June 27, 2013
posted by

Michael D. Tanner Cato Institute
by Michael D. Tanner  

"It has become a set piece of political theater for liberal Democrats, carried out in recent weeks by everyone from New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner to Connecticut senator Chris Murphy and a bevy of congressmen: attempting to eat on the $4.50-per-day food budget supposedly provided by the Supplementary Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the program formerly known as 'food stamps.' While always good for a headline, and generally accompanied by amusing photographs of the bizarre meals the politicians cobble together on their meager budget, the so-called SNAP challenge is also arrant nonsense." (06/26/13)

http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/snap-theatrics-fall-flat  

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Surveillance vs. infrastructure: When a country falls apart

June 27, 2013
posted by

LewRockwell.com
by Cris Sheridan  

"What characterizes the beginning stages of an empire in decline? Is it war, famine, disease, moral decay, or all of the above? There is perhaps no clear formula or single event that can be used to pinpoint when a civilization begins to fall and yet, it must seem obvious to many living at the time. So, let's ask the question: How about the U.S.? Is it on the verge of falling apart? Given what I'm about to say, I think we all need to take this question seriously." (06/27/13)

http://lewrockwell.com/orig13/sheridan-c2.1.1.html  

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Congress killed our privacy and empowered the NSA

June 27, 2013
posted by

Andrew P. Napolitano Reason
by Andrew P. Napolitano  

"The very people in whose hands we have reposed the Constitution for preservation, protection, defense and enforcement have subverted it." (06/27/13)

http://tinyurl.com/opmqlfb  

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In same-sex marriage, SCOTUS walks a middle road

June 27, 2013
posted by

Christian Science Monitor
by Robert A. Schapiro  

"What should the US Supreme Court do when facing a contested moral issue? In today’s rulings in two same-sex marriage cases, the court decided to add its voice to the public discussion, rather than either remain silent or offer a definitive ruling that might end additional democratic development. The court thus demonstrated its power to participate in ongoing public discourse, without drowning out further debate. Specifically, the court today acknowledged that states have the right to define marriage, and struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) that denied federal benefits to gay couples legally married under state law." (06/26/13)

http://tinyurl.com/qxevfec  

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Since we’re all suspects, anyhow, part 2

June 27, 2013
posted by

Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe  

"On the contrary. I just think there’s a huge need for some of this stuff to be presented in small, non-geeky bites. I’d like to propose we here at the Living Freedom blog try this: Let’s pick five very useful programs and have a 'Privacy Protection of the Week' feature, each week featuring a different browser extension or program." (06/26/13)

http://tinyurl.com/nregvlc  

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The Supreme Court’s constitutional hypocrisy

June 27, 2013
posted by

The Nation
by Ari Berman  

"In his dissent in the Defense of Marriage Act case today, Justice Scalia wrote: 'We have no power to decide this case. And even if we did, we have no power under the Constitution to invalidate this democratically adopted legislation.' Justice Roberts wrote in his concurrence: 'I agree with Justice Scalia that this Court lacks jurisdiction to review the decisions of the courts below… I also agree with Justice Scalia that Congress acted constitutionally in passing the Defense of Marriage Act.' Yet that reasoning didn’t stop Justices Roberts and Scalia from striking down the centerpiece of the Voting Rights Act yesterday, a hugely important civil rights law that has been passed by Congress five times with overwhelming bipartisan approval." (06/26/13)

http://tinyurl.com/ppmlxjx  

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Police tyranny, slightly curbed

June 27, 2013
posted by

James Bovard Future of Freedom Foundation
by James Bovard  

"f private citizens had assaulted a police officer and battered him as he lay on the ground -- as the police did to McKenna -- the citizens probably would have been sent to prison for at least a decade. But when police do the same thing, home detention is the proper punishment." (06/26/13)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/police-tyranny-slightly-curbed/  

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Food fight: Feminists and femivores

June 27, 2013
posted by

In These Times
by Rebecca Burns  

"We have to value work in the home. But we also have to be realistic about how you can feed your family if you’re not a highly-skilled cook and you’re already working 40 to 50 hours a week at seven dollars an hour. 'Is Michael Pollan a sexist pig?' asks Emily Matchar in her new book, Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity, published in May by Simon & Schuster. Matchar wants to know why many young, middle-class women are returning to the home after their feminist forebears rushed to leave it -- and whether the revival of domestic arts like home cooking and canning is also reviving some of the sexism that kept women moored to these tasks. 'It’s easy to forget in the face of today’s foodie culture,'" (06/26/13)

http://tinyurl.com/pc6zt3j  

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The “making you safe” lie

June 27, 2013
posted by

Philip Giraldi Antiwar.com
by Philip Giraldi  

"Given the fact that the Internet and phone intercepts made by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) are in violation of the First and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution, there is only one nevertheless completely irrelevant argument for the government to make in their defense: that they have made Americans safer. But is that true?" (06/27/13)

http://tinyurl.com/nffvgeu  

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The IRS “scandal” was a set-up

June 27, 2013
posted by

Our Future
by Dave Johnson  

"I have been writing about the so-called IRS 'scandal.' It turns out the whole thing was a set-up from the start. Republicans told the Inspector General to make it look like only conservative groups received scrutiny from the IRS, but all groups received the normal scrutiny. And no one was 'targeted' for 'extra scrutiny.' In the post The Latest Lie: IRS Targeted Conservatives I noted that the original IG report only focused on the use of names like 'Tea Party' and did not say if 'progressive'-sounding names were checked." (06/26/13)

http://blog.ourfuture.org/20130626/the-irs-scandal-was-a-set-up  

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In search of enemies (and creating them for no reason)

June 27, 2013
posted by

The American Conservative The American Conservative
by Scott McConnell  

"A comment overheard at the right moment can leave as much of an impression as a well-put essay. Early one morning, a couple of days after 9/11, when New York City was still in shock, I was taking the Lexington Avenue train downtown. Next to me going down the steps were a young Russian woman and her American boyfriend. The stairs were crowded, we were pressed together and I could hear them. She said something to him like, 'I guess now we’re allies.' By 'we' she meant America and Russia, and I took her reference to mean that Russia and American faced similar threats from Islamic extremists and this would be enough to finally sweep away the vestiges of the Cold War. It seemed in the context more romantic (the woman was pretty) than geopolitically sophisticated, but for one reason or another I remember it." (06/27/13)

http://tinyurl.com/ncm4d9t  

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War — and peace — at the movies

June 27, 2013
posted by

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com
by Bill Kauffman  

"Copperhead was filmed over seven weeks at King’s Landing, a historical 'living museum' located about twenty miles from Fredericton, the lovely capital of the Canadian province of New Brunswick. The cast and crew were superbly talented and blessedly convivial. The staff at King’s Landing, the extras, and the people of the region were a delight. Making this film -- or, more accurately, given the relative paucity of tasks a writer faces on the set of a well-planned movie, tagging along for the ride -- was among the most satisfying and enjoyable experiences of my life." (06/26/13)

http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/06/26/war-and-peace-at-the-movies/  

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How much do we spend on healthcare?

June 27, 2013
posted by

John C. Goodman Independent Institute
by John C. Goodman  

"At last count, the United States was spending more than $8,000 a year on healthcare for every man, woman, and child in the country. That’s more than $24,000 for a family of three, and it represents almost one-fifth of all consumption spending. Is it necessary to spend this much? If not, why are we doing it? What happens if we continue? How can we stop?" (06/26/13)

http://tinyurl.com/nhvflar  

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Virtue of loyalty

June 27, 2013
posted by

Rebirth of Reason
by Joseph Rowlands  

"Loyalty is traditionally viewed as a virtue. And yet it my experience, Objectivists tend to reject loyalty as a kind of irrationality. That's not particularly surprising. Loyalty is often viewed as sticking by someone's side no matter how irrational they are or improper their behavior. It is thought of as turning a blind eye towards someone's fault, or taking their side even when the evidence is against them. But is this loyalty? Or is it a perversion of loyalty?" (06/24/13)

http://rebirthofreason.com/Articles/Rowlands/Virtue_of_Loyalty.shtml  

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A victory for gays and for families

June 27, 2013
posted by

Reuters
by Jeff Chu  

"I didn’t expect to cry on my wedding day. But there I was last September, in my Cape Cod backyard, trussed up in suit and tie, waiting for my soon-to-be husband at our makeshift altar, and the tears came. I wish I could say they were two camera-ready teardrops, wending their way down my left cheek. But no. In reality, I got a monsoon -- I was a sobbing, near-hyperventilating mess. The importance of what we were doing had just hit me: We were pledging, in public symbol and sacred promise, to build and sustain a life together. When I began to read what Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court’s majority, I realized that he agreed. In eviscerating DOMA, he also wrote a stirring defense of the very institution that many conservatives believe is threatened by gay marriage: the American family." (06/26/13)

http://tinyurl.com/nhu4wpd  

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The glue holding America together

June 27, 2013
posted by

National Review
by Victor Davis Hanson  

"Like diverse citizens of imperial Rome, we are united in some fashion by shared popular tastes and mass consumerism. The cell phones and cars of the poor offer more computing power and better transportation than the rich enjoyed just 20 years ago. Youth of all races and backgrounds in lockstep fiddle with their cell phones as they walk about. Jeans are an unspoken American uniform -- both for Wall Street grandees and for the homeless on the sidewalks. Left, right, liberal, conservative, professor, and ditch digger have similar-looking Facebook accounts. If Rome quieted the people with public spectacles and cheap grain from the provinces, so too Americans of all classes keep glued to favorite video games and reality-TV shows. Fast food is both cheap and tasty. All that for now is preferable to rioting and revolt." (06/27/13)

http://tinyurl.com/osjg93d  

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Rape, work and Friedrich Hayek

June 27, 2013
posted by

Matt Zwolinski Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Matt Zwolinski  

"The point is that both libertarians and leftists are prone to making a certain kind of mistake when it comes to thinking about workplace coercion. Both mistakes involve a failure to appreciate the Hayekian idea of spontaneous order. But the failures are made with respect to different categories of phenomena, and lead to different (but equally mistaken) kinds of practical social and legal prescriptions." (06/26/13)

http://tinyurl.com/of8uonk  

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Prevent home invasion

June 27, 2013
posted by

Idaho Liberty
by Ted Dunlap  

"While nothing short of being homeless will completely turn the trick, some commonsense steps can reduce the likelihood your home will be invaded by common thieves." (06/26/13)

http://www.idaholiberty.com/2013/06/26/prevent-home-invasion/  

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Want to be a slave?

June 27, 2013
posted by

Kent McManigal Kent's "Hooligan Libertarian" Blog
by Kent McManigal  

"Do you consider yourself a slave to gravity? Or to your body? If not, why would you consider yourself a slave to 'government?'" (06/26/13)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2013/06/want-to-be-slave.html  

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“Spoils” from the immigration bill?

June 27, 2013
posted by

The Libertarian Enterprise
by David M. Brown  

"Why is a technology company's greater ability to hire immigrants who wish to live and work in the United States -- if such wider scope for mutually beneficial trade is what the immigration bill currently under consideration would enable -- being referred to by so pejorative a term as 'spoils?'" (06/24/13)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2013/tle726-20130623-04.html  

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Hacking is a crime — but only if you’re a press hack

June 27, 2013
posted by

Spiked
by Mick Hume  

"A report, ignored by Leveson, reveals that police sat on evidence of widespread phone-hacking by top firms while rounding up journalists." (06/26/13)

http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13737/  

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