Commentary

Musings of a southward bent

May 20, 2013
posted by

Fred Reed Fred On Everything
by Fred Reed  

"For many, Mexico remains a land of Pedro sleeping away his days leaning against an adobe hut, sombrero pulled low over his face, with a burro drowsing nearby. Apparently this is actually believed. An American woman of immoderate idiocy once asked me by email whether Mexico had paved roads. Such folk seem to have in mind, if mind they have, the Mexico of the age of Pancho Villa. As best I can tell, they have no ideas at all of the rest of Latin America." (05/15/13)

http://www.fredoneverything.net/SA2.shtml  

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Obama is not Nixon

May 20, 2013
posted by

Steve Chapman Reason
by Steve Chapman  

"Equating the two is like concluding that babies are like poisonous snakes because some of them have rattles." (05/20/13)

http://reason.com/archives/2013/05/20/obama-is-not-nixon  

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A conditioned response?

May 20, 2013
posted by

Don Boudreaux Cafe Hayek
by Don Boudreaux  

"I don’t deny the worth of learning more about human behavior. I don’t deny that some economists forget that homo economicus is an analytical tool and not a description of, or a prescription for, real people. I don’t deny that behavioral economics gives us a richer and worthwhile picture of the reality of human action. But I do deny two things." (05/18/13)

http://cafehayek.com/2013/05/a-conditioned-response.html  

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Trade as an ethic for social cooperation

May 20, 2013
posted by

Spencer W. Morgan Everything Voluntary
by Spencer W. Morgan  

"Trade is more than just a label for our economic activity. It is a concept that pervades all of our interaction with others. As an ethic for seeking and obtaining cooperation of other self-owners, trade requires that we honor their rationality and right of self-determination by finding a way to appeal to their desires as determined by themselves. This ethic can, and should, be applied to all of our social interactions." (05/17/13)

http://tinyurl.com/as5q9yg  

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Rally for good jobs … in Washington, DC

May 20, 2013
posted by

Our Future
by Terrance Heath  

"For weeks, I’ve been writing that the movement to increase the minimum wage [is] near you. Next week, however, that movement will arrive in my own back yard. Low-wage workers organized by Good Jobs Nation are coming to Washington, DC to rally for living wages, on Tuesday, May 21st, at 12:00pm, at Columbus Circle, in front of Union Station. But this protest isn’t targeting fast food restaurants ... or retail shops. On Tuesday, low-wage workers will take their demands to the biggest low-wage job creator in the country -- the one funded by taxpayers like you and me: the federal government." (05/17/13)

http://tinyurl.com/arj8up8  

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Watergate 2.0: Why the IRS scandal is far worse

May 20, 2013
posted by

Fox News Forum
by Matt Kibbe  

"In the wake of one of the worst abuses of government power in recent history, many are rushing to frame the Internal Revenue Service scandal as simply an attack on conservative activists. That view risks creating a partisan political football and misses a fundamentally scarier abuse that exceeds the scandals of Watergate or any other prior government abuse. The IRS has admitted that since May 2010 it targeted grassroots-conservative organizations that had applied for tax-exempt status, unfairly subjecting them to rigorous scrutiny due to their political leanings." (05/17/13)

http://tinyurl.com/b9a4b5d  

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A question for Bleeding Heart Libertarians

May 20, 2013
posted by

David Friedman Ideas
by David Friedman  

"Do you believe that the derivation of the rule that, as one of you put it, 'lies at the heart of John Rawls's theory of social justice,' is more intellectually defensible than any of the items on Jason's list of criteria for recognizing a cartoon libertarian?" (05/18/13)

http://tinyurl.com/b96tb9k  

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Stupid regulations

May 20, 2013
posted by

Randall Holcombe Independent Institute
by Randall Holcombe  

"I received a postcard in yesterday’s mail. The first paragraph reads: 'The City of Tallahassee's Office of Cross-Connection Control monitors actual or potential backflow via cross connections with non-approved water sources." (05/17/13)

http://blog.independent.org/2013/05/17/stupid-regulations/  

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No shots were fired

May 20, 2013
posted by

R. Lee Wrights Liberty For All
by R. Lee Wrights  

"Most newspapers, radio and TV stations still operate on the hard-and-fast journalistic rule, 'if it bleeds, it leads.' You really can't blame the news media for this. Most people like stories about conflict and action. That's why the sports pages are so well read, and we have cable channels dedicated to every competitive activity and sport conceivable -- even golf. But there are hundreds, thousands, perhaps millions of incidents where a firearm was used by a private citizen to prevent a crime or defend against a crime which are never reported to the police and never covered by the news." (05/17/13)

http://www.libertyforall.net/?p=9038  

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Two books for freedomista kids (and dog lovers)

May 20, 2013
posted by

Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe  

"I went online, searching for the parody The Dangerous Book for Dogs. In the mysterious ways of the library’s search engine, the words 'dangerous' and 'dogs' popped up a few other titles, as well. Children’s books. Hm, I thought. Pretty soon both Dangerous and two other titles were waiting for me. While I expected to be just mildly entertained (because a good kid’s book is a good book, and usually easy on the brain), I was blown away by a pair of freedomista stories." (05/19/13)

http://tinyurl.com/m6y3vgh  

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Iran’s critical election, part 1

May 20, 2013
posted by

The Nation Blog
by Bob Dreyfuss  

"If Iran is a dictatorship, its politics is remarkably rough and tumble. ... As I’ve been writing for more than a year now, the talks with Iran have been largely frozen because both the United States and Iran were engaged in crucial presidential votes. To be successful, both sides will have to make significant concessions to the other -- and thus to pay a political price at home, where hardliners in both countries will oppose any deal that’s half-a-loaf. That’s still hard, but with both elections out of the way maybe the roadblocks can be bulldozed." (05/17/13)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/174407/irans-critical-election-part-i  

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My “I told you so world”

May 20, 2013
posted by

Tibor R. Machan A Passion for Liberty
by Tibor R. Machan  

"From the time of the American Revolution it should have been crystal clear that trying to solve the problems of a society with what government has to offer, namely, brute force (more or less subtly applied) is a horribly bad idea. Yes, it was that even before but by then plenty of major interlocutors in political discourse knew it well. Sadly, the governmental habit was by then so ingrained in most populations around the globe that getting rid of the habit became nearly impossible." (05/18/13)

http://tibormachan.rationalreview.com/2013/05/my-i-told-you-so-world/  

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Regulating banks the Austrian way

May 20, 2013
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by David Howden  

"Most people -- from young to old and from all ends of the political spectrum -- are united by a common bond. The idea that banks are deserving of taxpayer support is viewed as morally repugnant to them. Business owners see bank bailouts as an unfair advantage that is not extended to all businesses. Those typically on the political left see it as support for the establishment, and a slap in the faces of the little people. Those more at home on the political right see it as just another form of welfare: a wealth redistribution from the hard working segment of the population to the reckless gambling class of banksters. Despite this common disdain for bankers, there is considerable disagreement on how to deal with them." (05/20/13)

http://mises.org/daily/6433/Regulating-Banks-the-Austrian-Way  

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If West, Texas HAD been a terrorist attack

May 20, 2013
posted by

In These Times
by David Sirota  

"If I told you that government officials possessed ironclad proof that an imminent threat to this nation had the capacity to create a 9/11's worth of injuries and deaths every year at an annual economic cost of a quarter trillion dollars, ask yourself: Would you say we should do something about it? I'm guessing you would. ... Now ask yourself: Would your response to the original query change if you discovered that the threat at hand was not from a terrorist, but from unsafe workplaces -- and that because of that unaddressed problem, these casualties and costs have already become a fact of life in America?" (05/18/13)

http://tinyurl.com/ac8vkxe  

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Is the government spying on reporters more often than we think?

May 20, 2013
posted by

Julian Sanchez Cato Institute
by Julian Sanchez  

"The Justice Department’s seizure of call logs related to phone lines used by dozens of Associated Press reporters has provoked a flurry of bipartisan criticism, most of which has cast the decision as a disturbing departure from the norm. AP head Gary Pruitt condemned the decision, part of an investigation into leaks of classified information, as a 'massive and unprecedented intrusion.' Yet there’s plenty of circumstantial evidence suggesting the seizure may not be unprecedented—just rarely disclosed." (05/17/13)

http://tinyurl.com/mddpcya  

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The Kokesh armed march

May 20, 2013
posted by

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

"It seems everyone is talking about Adam Kokesh, and his peaceful armed march on DC. And it seems everyone who is talking about it is casting stones at those who take a position different than their own. I'll try to not do that. So, what would I do? I wouldn't go. But maybe not for the reasons you might think." (05/19/13)

http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2013/05/the-kokesh-armed-march.html  

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You say you want a peaceful revolution

May 20, 2013
posted by

The Power of Narrative
by Arthur Silber  

"I'll state at the outset what I would love to see happen: a massive protest on the order of a million or more people descends on Washington, D.C. At the same time, huge crowds of protesters also congregate in other major cities, at least five and hopefully more than ten. The central peg on which such demonstrations could be structured would be an anti-tax protest movement. From the perspective of such a movement, the unfolding IRS scandal is a gift from heaven." (05/17/13)

http://tinyurl.com/b8wvfn7  

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The police state

May 20, 2013
posted by

Lew Rockwell The Lew Rockwell Show
by  

"Brian Wilson talks to Lew Rockwell about the Boston bombing, the IRS, and Ron Paul." [Flash audio or MP3] (05/17/13)

http://tinyurl.com/cbalfh9  

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A presidency imploding

May 20, 2013
posted by

Liberty Unbound Liberty Unbound
by Jon Harrison  

"Since the beginning of the modern presidency under Franklin Roosevelt, every chief executive elected to a second term has suffered disaster during that term. ... Obama roundly defeated Mitt Romney to win reelection in 2012. Yet today, not even six months into his second term, he is politically wounded, perhaps mortally so." (05/18/13)

http://www.libertyunbound.com/node/1070  

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Who are the impractical ones — conservatives or libertarians?

May 20, 2013
posted by

Bumper Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G. Hornberger  

"Socialism and interventionism don’t work and are inherently incapable of working. Freedom and free markets do work. What do conservatives say about that? They say that we libertarians are impractical and irrational." (5/17/13)

http://tinyurl.com/mhmet7h  

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“Reset” on Iran now

May 20, 2013
posted by

Reuters
by Yousaf Butt  

"On Wednesday, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iran’s chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, met one on one for their regularly scheduled diplomatic dance over Iran’s nuclear program –- this time in Istanbul. A solution is about as likely to materialize from these discussions as a slow waltz between them. Indeed, the two sides in Istanbul are reported to remain far apart. The fundamental reason progress is unlikely now -– and perhaps also after the Iranian presidential election on June 14 –- is that the West has badly mishandled the nuclear issue since the early 1980s. Iran is also at fault. But because Iran is an adversary, the West led by the United States, has repeatedly used its influence and powerful funding stature to politicize United Nations agencies." (05/16/13)

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/05/16/reset-on-iran-now/  

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Right wing socialism

May 20, 2013
posted by

The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith  

"The left will gladly have you killed if you resist being taxed to fund national healthcare. The right will gladly have you killed if you resist being taxed to fund a fleet of submersible nuclear aircraft carriers. The operative word, in each case, is 'killed.' In each case the individual counts for nothing against some 'greater' collective good." (05/19/13)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2013/tle721-20130519-02.html  

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Jim Bovard on The Janine Turner Show

May 20, 2013
posted by

James Bovard JimBovard.com
by Jim Bovard  

"I had a lively chat yesterday with conservative firebrand and former Hollywood star Janine Turner on her Houston KPRC (and XM/Sirius) radio show. She wanted to hash out the Wall Street Journal piece on the IRS, and we had fun jibing at Congress. Well, at least I did. I got the hunch that Janine’s confidence in Congress slightly exceeds mine." [MP3] (05/17/13)

http://tinyurl.com/b9yctcl  

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National 5-11 Campaign against REAL ID falters but Texans fight on

May 20, 2013
posted by

Garry Reed Dallas Libertarian Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"REAL ID is designed to turn every state's drivers license into an internal passport containing personal biometric and digital identifiers. Due to the pushback from huge numbers of individuals, groups and state political leaders the implementation of REAL ID has been continually postponed but never completely defeated." (05/18/13)

http://tinyurl.com/bcos27b  

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Politically correct lending

May 20, 2013
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Doug French  

"Lawmakers portray SBA lending as a boost for small businesses. The program is actually a form of corporate welfare for some of America’s largest banks. While banks reap profits, taxpayers cover the losses." (05/17/13)

http://tinyurl.com/kxhjnpo  

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