Commentary

Why do Tennessee Republicans hate the 17th Amendment?

April 4, 2013
posted by

Our Future
by Thom Hartmann  

"The Tennessee General Assembly is trying to subvert democracy. Republican lawmakers in that state want to revise our election process, and give themselves the power to select which candidates appear on the ballot for U.S. Senator. This is the latest GOP tactic to destroy our democratic process, and it’s their clever way of going around the 17th Amendment. Before 1913, state legislators selected U.S. Senators, but the process was ripe with corruption. So, the 17th Amendment was enacted to give voters the power to select their leaders, and remove the opportunity for rich guys to buy themselves a Senate seat." (04/04/13)

http://tinyurl.com/dyt7bwq  

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Hagel’s speech: Nice, but no cigar

April 4, 2013
posted by

The Nation
by Robert Dreyfuss  

"As promised, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel delivered his speech on defense policy at National Defense University on Wednesday, and it left a lot to be desired. His goal, he said, was to discuss 'the challenges posed by a changing strategic landscape and new budget constraints, the choices we have in responding to these challenges, and the opportunities that exist to fundamentally reshape the defense enterprise to 'better reflect 21st century realities.' I’m not sure that most secretaries of defense -- certainly not Bob Gates and Leon Panetta, Hagel’s predecessors -- would see the budget constraints that face DoD as an 'opportunity.' Both warned constantly, and incessantly, that budget cuts at DoD would be some sort of catastrophe, so at least on that score Hagel’s speech was less alarmist and more, well, realist." (04/03/13)

http://www.thenation.com/blog/173666/chuck-hagels-speech-nice-no-cigar  

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Marijuana has won the war on drugs

April 4, 2013
posted by

Business Insider
by Walter Hickey  

"At least when it comes to marijuana, the war on drugs is over. Two states have passed marijuana legalization laws that fly in the face of national drug policy. Polling on the issue shows a rejection of prohibition. The opinions of law enforcement commanders has begun to shift." (04/04/13)

http://tinyurl.com/ct9a2k5  

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The criminal Iraq war

April 4, 2013
posted by

Tim Kelly Future of Freedom Foundation
by Tim Kelly  

"Much ink (or bandwidth) has been expended writing about the tenth anniversary of the U.S. government’s invasion of Iraq. That is justified, for the Iraq war was an act of naked aggression and a crime against humanity. While apologists for the Bush administration have cited 'bad intelligence' or even incompetence as an excuse for what the late Major General William Odom called 'the greatest strategic disaster in American history,' such claims cannot withstand scrutiny." (04/04/13)

http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/the-criminal-iraq-war/  

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Prisoners of the War on Terror

April 4, 2013
posted by

CounterPunch
by Judy Bello  

"Hundreds of prisoners of the US War of Terror languish in prisons around the world, in Guantanamo and on the US mainland. Some have been there as long as 12 years ... some have sentences that extend beyond the span of their life; many have never been charged with a crime and more than half the prisoners who remain in Guantanamo have had their original charges dropped or have served their full sentence, but are barred by US law from being repatriated to their homeland, therefore can not be released. Even the few prisoners in Guantanamo who are considered ‘high value’ are mostly charged with thought crimes, plans that were never carried out in any significant detail. In many cases, the leads that initially brought them to the attention of the FBI or CIA have proved to be inaccurate." (04/04/13)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/04/04/prisoners-of-the-war-on-terror/  

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The right to be left alone

April 4, 2013
posted by

Foundation for Economic Education Foundation for Economic Education
by Karl Borden  

"The parking lot was not just full when my wife Sandra and I pulled in for dinner -- its main arteries were clogged with emergency vehicles conspicuously flashing their lights and warning us that something of consequence was going on inside. Our wait for a table left us perched on two barstools, and we had gallery seats for the little drama that was unfolding 10 feet away." (04/04/13)

http://tinyurl.com/can6lye  

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NRA Treachery

April 4, 2013
posted by

The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith  

"Aaron Zelman, late Founder and first Executive Director of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, referred to the National Rifle Association as 'the world's oldest and largest gun control organization.' Once again, the corrupt, craven, and duplicitous leadership of the NRA is proving Aaron right, as they reportedly prepare to arrange some kind of compromise with anti-gun Senate Democrats, sacrificing even more of our unalienable, individual, civil, Constitutional, and human rights." (04/01/13)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2013/tle714-20130331-05.html  

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Lessons from Dutch regulatory reform: How the US could save $450 billion per year

April 4, 2013
posted by

OpenMarket.org
by Christian Rice  

"In 2003, the Dutch improved their regulatory situation through the 'Dutch Administrative Burden Reduction Programme.' This program sought to reduce the cost of regulatory burdens on businesses by 25 percent cumulatively in just four years. To put this in domestic terms, for the United States to meet such a goal, it would have to cut about $450 billion in business regulation -- quite an ambitious goal." (04/04/13)

http://tinyurl.com/bwgf4re  

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Still smoking? You must be mad

April 4, 2013
posted by

Spiked
by Patrick Hayes  

"By linking cigarettes to mental illness, anti-smokers are reviving an old authoritarian tactic: pathologising deviants." (04/04/13)

http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13501/  

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When Steven Pearlstein bashes capitalism, is it really capitalism?

April 4, 2013
posted by

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

"Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein recently touched on several important tensions that arise in our conceptions of capitalism -- tensions that lie at the core of America’s modern polity ('Is Capitalism Moral?' March 15).  He notes that most defenses of capitalism have focused on its effectiveness to create wealth." (04/04/13)

http://tinyurl.com/brrsbzt  

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Is Christianity a war religion?

April 4, 2013
posted by

Strike the Root
by Paul Rosenberg  

"Let me be clear about this: Christianity is an anti-state religion. It always was. So was the Judaism that came before it. All arguments to the contrary are fallacious, at least if we are to take the Bible as a serious reference.Sooner or later, some American Christians will remember that theirs is an anti-state religion. It will doubtless begin with meetings in living rooms, barns and job sites, and will include a lot of good and talented young people. But they will make themselves despised outsiders, opposed by the current generation of Christian leaders, who have dedicated themselves to the state and haven't any inclination to admit their errors." (04/03/13)

http://www.strike-the-root.com/is-christianity-war-religion  

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Obama’s war at home: Driving the government underground

April 4, 2013
posted by

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com
by Jane Powers  

"Last week the Washington Post reported on the Justice Department’s unsuccessful attempt at changing the laws so as to make it easier for the government to obtain access to emails of US citizens without a warrant. This report should be unsettling to those that value their relative freedoms. Unfortunately, these types of actions have become highly typical of the Obama administration, and should come as no surprise to informed readers. In fact, the Obama administration has sought to turn the US into a police state, while simultaneously driving the government underground. The following is a review of the most dangerous developments." (04/04/13)

http://tinyurl.com/c8ulm3n  

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Yes, please

April 4, 2013
posted by

Rad Geek People's Daily
by Rad Geek  

"Now I have no really strong convictions about what 'those rushing to stockpile guns and ammo' think about or don’t think about. Maybe if you want to know that, rather than to speculate about the mind of the intra-cultural Other, you could ask some people who are doing that, instead of spending the entire article interviewing self-serving budget-hungry police chiefs. But I do know that many people would be much safer if police were unable to buy any bullets at all." (04/03/13)

http://radgeek.com/gt/2013/04/03/yes-please/  

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The great farm robbery

April 4, 2013
posted by

James Bovard JimBovard.com
by Jim Bovard  

"Two years ago, an editorial in The Washington Times demanded an investigation of the billions of dollars in payouts to blacks who asserted that they were wrongly denied subsidized farm loans. Congress conducted no investigation, and the Obama administration recently promised at least $1.3 billion to women and Hispanics who asserted that they, too, had been victims of U.S. Department of Agriculture discrimination. Before any new claimant classes race to court, it is time to recognize the profound flaws in the archetype for absolving USDA’s alleged sins." (04/03/13)

http://tinyurl.com/bnoj68s  

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Prescription for competition

April 4, 2013
posted by

C4SS Center for a Stateless Society
by David D'Amato  

"Among the most interesting features of the debate on health care in the United States is the relationship it assumes between the major corporate players and the federal government. The mainstreams of both right and left perpetuate the accepted orthodoxy -- that the two are locked in a permanent clash, with the state as a bulwark preventing the free market from leaving the poor and elderly without medical care. The foregoing account breaks down, however, when we observe that, as a practical matter, the relationship between powerhouse business interests and the central state is far from adversarial." (04/03/13)

http://c4ss.org/content/18046  

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Anarchast, episode 67

April 4, 2013
posted by

Anarchast Anarchast
by  

"On this edition of Anarchast Jeff Berwick in Acapulco, Mexico interviews Davi Barker from http://muslimagorist.com/ in Oakland." [Flash video] (04/01/13)

http://tinyurl.com/bwf5yk3  

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Connecticut’s new gun laws great news for psychopaths

April 4, 2013
posted by

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"The Connecticut Post broke the great news on Monday, April Fools Day, but they weren't fooling: 'State to have toughest gun laws in the nation, lawmakers say' ... This is indeed great news for serial killers, mass murderers, violent gang members and other psychopaths." (04/03/13)

http://tinyurl.com/c47affo  

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“State control”: What the UN Firearms Treaty is all about

April 4, 2013
posted by

William Norman Grigg Pro Libertate
by Will Grigg  

"White House mouthpiece Jay Carney says that the Obama administration will 'conduct a thorough review' of the UN’s newly enacted gun control pact 'to determine whether to sign the treaty.' The suspense is hardly unbearable, given that the UN treaty would codify the proposition that national governments should have a monopoly on weapons." (04/03/13)

http://tinyurl.com/d3fw9no  

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They want to track your every move

April 4, 2013
posted by

Jim Babka Downsize DC
by Jim Babka  

"Several Senators want to stuff a National ID card into an Immigration bill. It would include biometric technology, used to track your every move. We knew they would eventually do this. We predicted it during our REAL ID revolt eight years ago. That revolt worked! The grassroots took action. 25 states won’t comply with REAL ID. But now we must tell Congress AGAIN that ... We do NOT consent to a National ID System!" (04/03/13)

http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/they-want-to-track-your-every-move  

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Who framed the right?

April 4, 2013
posted by

Reason Reason
by A. Barton Hinkle  

"Conservatives are now complaining that they’re losing the fight over same-sex marriage because the left has done a better job of framing the issue. ... saying the other side wins simply because it frames the issue better is, in a way, saying it wins because voters are too stupid and gullible not to realize your own side is right. This might feel good, but it is a problem -- because it allows you to avoid engaging the arguments other people find so persuasive." (04/03/13)

http://reason.com/archives/2013/04/03/who-framed-the-right  

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The ebb and flow, understanding motivation

April 4, 2013
posted by

Everything Voluntary
by qyj0L  

"Voluntaryism, as I understand it, is a way of life that revolves around voluntary actions. But what does that mean, exactly? I don't think the answer is nearly as direct as the question, and I believe this to be the reason why there are so many complications when it comes to actually establishing a society based on voluntary actions." (04/03/13)

http://tinyurl.com/dycgdma  

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For Krugman, the size of a deficit depends on the point he’s trying to make

April 4, 2013
posted by

Robert P. Murphy Free Advice
by Robert P. Murphy  

"OK, so mark that down: Whatever the budget deficits were in the Reagan era, Krugman is saying they were (a) unprecedented (for peacetime) and (b) 'large.' Now, I am not even going to bother finding quotes to back this up, but I hope no one will challenge me when I say that Krugman has referred to Herbert Hoover’s ill-fated presidency as an example of fiscal austerity, the kind of tight-fisted budgeting that we want to avoid. In that context, it is interesting to look at the budget deficits (as a share of GDP) of Hoover vs. Reagan." (04/03/13)

http://tinyurl.com/bqz3wdg  

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The philistines have taken over the classroom

April 4, 2013
posted by

Spiked
by Frank Furedi  

"How did we get to a situation where teachers are even more cavalier about knowledge and serious schooling than politicians are?" (04/03/13)

http://www.spiked-online.com/site/article/13497/  

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Let’s have a United States of Britain

April 4, 2013
posted by

Adam Smith Institute Adam Smith Institute
by George Kirby  

"The UK should become a federation of states, hugely increasing the power of local compared to central government, thus allowing the individual more control over his life. Also, it would allow more differentiation across the country, meaning a variety of policies could be tested in all areas of the public sector. The most successful could then be imitated, meaning progress for the nation as a whole." (04/03/13)

http://tinyurl.com/bo3csw9  

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Mann v. Hansen: They aren’t all the same

April 4, 2013
posted by

David Friedman Ideas
by David Friedman  

"My interest in the global warming controversy centers mostly on the question, largely although not entirely economic, of what the net effect for humans would be of global warming on the scale suggested by past IPCC projections; for details see my previous posts on the subject. I have, however, also been an observer, mostly from a safe distance, of the ongoing war between proponents of the conventional view of global warming and critics. ... One not surprising feature of the argument is that each side tends to demonize everyone on the other side. That is a mistake." (04/04/13)

http://tinyurl.com/br6q2fw  

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