Commentary

Can you trust the case for war this time?

September 3, 2013
posted by

Downsize DC Downsize DC
by Perry Willis  

"Before we opened Downsize DC, our team opposed the Iraq invasion in 2003 with a website called Truth About War. We predicted that Iraq had no WMDs. The war mongers hated that. We got death threats. Well, we were right, and they were wrong. But we also argued a larger point ... Politicians cannot be trusted when they argue for war." (09/03/13)

http://tinyurl.com/nshvqwr  

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Contemplating war

September 3, 2013
posted by

Our Future
by Richard Eskow  

"Once again our nation is contemplating an act of war, entering into one of the most solemn debates a society can have. It’s worth restating some fundamental principles as that debate begins, especially for those of us who support economic justice, progressive ideals and the reinvigoration of American democracy. The first principle is respect for the Constitution. Whatever your opinions about the President’s national security policy, he unquestionably did the right thing this week when he affirmed Congress’ role in matters of war. That’s a clear break from the practices of the recent past, and he deserves praise for it." [editor's note: Slow clap ... It's called upholding the limits of your power (aka "doing your job) - SAT] (09/02/13)

http://ourfuture.org/20130902/contemplating-war  

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Syria and the doctrine of humanitarian intervention

September 3, 2013
posted by

Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Fernando Teson  

"I have long defended the doctrine of humanitarian intervention, and have argued that a number of past actions may have been justified under the doctrine (see here). I would like to explain, therefore, why my position on Syria falls under B) above: the military action proposed by the Obama administration (limited aerial bombings) would not be justified under the doctrine." (09/03/13)

http://tinyurl.com/pph5cfl  

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Libertarianism’s battle with history

September 3, 2013
posted by

The American Prospect
by Matt Bruenig  

"Economic libertarianism’s most amusing failing is philosophical. In particular, the non-aggression form of libertarianism so popular among the Paul clan and their followers quite straightforwardly generates the conclusion that all private property is unjust theft. Internal contradictions abound in libertarianism, but that is surely the most problematic one. As much as I enjoy the philosophical arguments, experience tells me others prefer an approach that seem less like game-playing." (09/03/13)

http://prospect.org/article/libertarianisms-battle-history  

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On the road against Citizens United

September 3, 2013
posted by

In These Times
by Laura S. Washington  

"It was a sunny, sultry summer day in Chicago. But the 200-plus crowd was eager to be cooped up for an afternoon of speeches in a hotel conference room near O’Hare Airport. The reason? Jim Hightower was in the building. Hightower is a wisecracking populist (and a politician, editor, publisher, radio host and author) who wants us to take back our government. He was invited to speak at the July 21 event by the Illinois Coalition to Overturn Citizens United, led by Common Cause Illinois, which is part of a national grassroots campaign to pass a constitutional amendment that would reverse Citizens United." (09/02/13)

http://tinyurl.com/mm5ytav  

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The moral roots of terrorism

September 3, 2013
posted by

Libertarian Alliance Libertarian Alliance
by Chris Tame  

"The root of terrorism is a belief, a moral premise, that innocent humans can be justly sacrificed to attain particular political goals. The terrorist does not see him or herself as immoral. It is their moral self-righteousness whilst committing bestial acts that so puzzles many people, and is precisely what we need to understand. The moral premise shared by all terrorists whether of so-called left or right, and whatever their specific goal, is that which underlies all socialist or collectivist political doctrines." (written 1980; posted 09/01/13)

http://tinyurl.com/mq2uo5b  

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Open borders is a moderate position

September 3, 2013
posted by

Bryan Caplan EconLog
by Bryan Caplan  

"As a practical matter, open borders is a radical position: If implemented, our economy and society would swiftly and dramatically change. As a philosophical matter, though, open borders is a moderate position. 'Free to choose' stands between the extremes of 'Mandatory' and 'Forbidden.' Open borders stands between the extremes of nationalist restriction and socialist mandate." (09/03/13)

http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2013/09/the_golden_mean.html  

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“Surgical strikes” an Orwellian dream

September 3, 2013
posted by

Kelley B Vlahos Antiwar.com
by Kelley B. Vlahos  

"For people whose threshold is about 12 minutes before whining for a new checker when the grocery line is too long, a queue that wraps around the store, out the door and into the parking lot would be a new and most unwelcome misery. Throw in the cloud of collective punishment, frightened children, the prospect of elderly parents not being able to travel, banks and gas stations closing and stocks diving, and you’ve got panic. Welcome to Damascus. As our leaders and phony baloney pundit class talk about 'surgical strikes,' 'punitive measures,' and 'limited attacks,' the Syrian people are grimly preparing for the worst." (09/03/13)

http://tinyurl.com/mrevxsu  

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Somebody’s scared

September 3, 2013
posted by

Living Freedom
by Claire Wolfe  

"Now here comes the usually dispassionate and unbiased-looking (note I didn’t say actually unbiased, though they’re usually pretty decent in their reporting) Christian Science Monitor with a slant that could have come right out of the tabloids: OMG! There’s a crooked sheriff in the land! Look! We found him right there in Mississippi! That proves that all this stuff about sheriffs standing against the fedgov is dangerous! Evil! How could anybody want such criminals 'defending' them against the good and noble deeds of Our Protectors in DC? It’s hands-down the worst-argued piece I’ve ever read in the veddy august CSM. Good. I think somebody out there is scared. Which means they believe there’s a real resistance building. With teeth. Liberty’s teeth." (09/02/13)

http://tinyurl.com/mzue7uv  

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Seduction is not rape

September 3, 2013
posted by

Timothy J. Taylor Authority!
by Timothy J Taylor  

"In most cases seduction is not even considered a crime, but when it involves consensual sex between an adult and someone under the legal age of majority -- a minor -- it somehow magically turns into the crime of rape in the minds of an indignant society. The law should call it the crime of 'seduction of a minor' and provide appropriate punishment, but instead it’s designated 'statutory rape' upon the arbitrary legislated premise that a minor, even one of 17 years, 11 months, and 29 days is deemed as not having the requisite mental capacity to give consent to sex. Without consent the element of force is inferred out of thin air, and with force we have rape." (08/30/13)

http://authoritycon.blogspot.com/2013/08/seduction-is-not-rape.html  

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Will Congress continue to refuse its War Powers responsibilities?

September 3, 2013
posted by

The American Prospect
by Scott Lemieux  

"At the outset, I should make clear that I'm talking purely about legality under domestic law; I'll leave the question of whether military action against Syria is justified under international law to others. I also don't subscribe to the the most formalist conception of the president's military power, which holds that any non-emergency action by the president requires a congressional declaration of war. ... In this case, however, Congress is not silent, at least before the fact; the War Powers Resolution is clearly pertinent to a potential attack of Syria." (08/30/13)

http://tinyurl.com/qzmlqad  

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US elementary school homework teaches kids “Government Is Family”

September 3, 2013
posted by

Activist Post
by "If you are a public school student in America, apparently Uncle Sam literally believes he’s your uncle." (09/02/13)

http://tinyurl.com/k6p8grz  

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A logical look at Obamacare

September 3, 2013
posted by

Lynn Atherton-Bloxham American Daily Herald
by Lynn Atherton-Bloxham  

"Despite all the moaning and groaning and about the supposed need for a huge government health care program, as usual, it is an effort entirely in the wrong direction. Democrats want government bureaucracies to resolve problems and Republicans complain only about the inefficiency and disorganization of the bureaucracy. There is a third solution. Allow voluntary actions to prevail." (09/02/13)

http://tinyurl.com/n44g8gh  

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In Syria, try banks before bombs

September 3, 2013
posted by

Reuters
by Sonni Efron  

"As President Barack Obama weighs the U.S. response to chemical weapons attacks against Syrian civilians, one soft power option should still be at top of his to-do list: cutting off access to the U.S. financial system to those doing business with Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. Russian banks and others are reported to be helping the Assad regime circumvent U.S. and EU sanctions by holding Syrian money while continuing to do business, legally, in the Europe Union and the United States. With a more aggressive and coordinated approach to financial sanctions, Obama could inflict serious capital damage on Assad’s enablers -- without collateral damage in the form of slain or injured civilians." (08/29/13)

http://tinyurl.com/le3ajab  

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The Obamacare outcome Obama condemns

September 3, 2013
posted by

Jim Babka Downsize DC
by Jim Babka  

"Obamacare passed in a rush so that the federal government could say, 'Hey look, we’re doing something!' But now, even unions dislike Obamacare. That’s because Obamacare creates a perverse incentive: Cutting employee work hours to part-time." (09/02/13)

http://www.downsizedc.org/blog/the-obamacare-outcome-obama-condemns  

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Congress must block Obama’s war

September 3, 2013
posted by

The Nation
by Bob Dreyfuss  

"It’s up to Congress now to stop President Obama’s push for war. That ought not be encouraging, even though rogue Republican neo-isolationists and Obama-haters in the House might still vote no out of spite. The White House (not to mention the Israel lobby) will push hard for approval of a war resolution, and even staunch, liberal pro-Obama members of Congress, especially in the Senate, will probably go along. But that doesn’t make the desire of the president and Secretary of State Kerry, who’s emerged as the administration’s uber-hawk, to go to war any less insane." (09/01/13)

http://tinyurl.com/kchnog8  

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DoD training manual: Founding fathers followed “extremist ideology”

September 3, 2013
posted by

Albany Tribune
by Robert Bridges  

"A Department of Defense training manual obtained by a conservative watchdog group pointed to the original American colonists as examples of an extremist movement, comments that have sparked fear of a broader crackdown on dissent in America. ... The first paragraph of the section entitled ‘Extremist Ideologies’ opens with a statement that has drawn heated criticism: 'In US history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.'" (08/25/13)

http://tinyurl.com/kr4f74b  

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Property and authority: Reply to Huemer

September 3, 2013
posted by

kevinvallier Bleeding Heart Libertarians
by Kevin Vallier  

"First, let me note that I don’t think a defense of market anarchism must give a full-blown theory of property rights. Instead, we just need some reason to think that while states can’t coerce without justification, that property owners can. I admit there are some paradigm cases where we think property owners can coerce with authority in ordinary interactions, but these are relatively simple cases where holding onto your property is necessary for your survival and basic well-being, rather than cases where, say, we exclude people who have very little. So with that, I think Mike needs to show how market anarchist arrangements are authoritative, and not just workable." (09/02/13)

http://tinyurl.com/q4f78df  

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How to sell a war

September 3, 2013
posted by

CounterPunch
by Jeffrey St. Clair  

"The war on Iraq won’t be remembered for how it was waged so much as for how it was sold. It was a propaganda war, a war of perception management, where loaded phrases, such as 'weapons of mass destruction' and 'rogue state' were hurled like precision weapons at the target audience: us." (09/02/13)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/09/02/how-to-sell-a-war-2/  

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The world next door

September 3, 2013
posted by

L. Neil Smith The Libertarian Enterprise
by L. Neil Smith  

"There is a world next door. A world in which people look up at the sound of an engine in the sky or the sight of wings, and marvel, as they used to do, instead of wondering if a sinister machine has been sent to spy on them or kill them." (09/01/13)

http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2013/tle736-20130901-02.html  

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How Water District runs roughshod over Tarrant County

September 3, 2013
posted by

Garry Reed Dallas Libertarian Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"It's rare that infighting for control of a water board ever breaks out into the open but the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) is different. This water board has eminent domain powers, economic development powers, enormous political clout, controls millions of taxpayer dollars and, according to many, a severe case of megalomania." (08/31/13)

http://tinyurl.com/kcydvya  

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A living testament of my convictions

September 3, 2013
posted by

Everything Voluntary
by Skyler J. Collins  

"As a firm adherent to the principles of self-ownership and non-aggression, my actions must always convey to the world two things: 1) that I will never initiate an act of aggression toward another human being or his rightful property, and 2) that I will always claim responsibility for my actions. The first prevents me from stealing from, assaulting, raping, or defrauding others, and it also prevents me from participating in my society's political systems. The second guarantees that if I violate the first, purposefully or accidentally, I will own the consequences of my actions and do everything in my power to make things right." (09/02/13)

http://tinyurl.com/n5wx4j5  

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If the New Testament merely teaches us moral lessons, then standard Christianity collapses

September 3, 2013
posted by

Robert P. Murphy Free Advice
by Robert P. Murphy  

"Most crucial, the standard Christian view is that Jesus of Nazareth was God incarnate in man. God Himself decided to walk among us, teaching and healing, and He decided to enter the world through a human woman’s womb in the form of the 100% man whom we know as Jesus of Nazareth. He performed many miracles, but His most important one was literally rising from the dead after dying on a cross. If there really wasn’t such a man -- or even if there had been a really wise, kind man who left disciples who made up stories about him after his death -- then standard Christianity collapses." (09/01/13)

http://tinyurl.com/lkt9vdt  

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Path toward citizenship or legalization

September 3, 2013
posted by

Alex Nowrasteh Cato Institute
by Alex Nowrasteh  

"Many conservatives oppose a path to citizenship because it’s unfair to reward law breakers with citizenship. Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Ida.) said, 'People that came here illegally knowingly -- I don’t think they should have a path to citizenship.' On the political left, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-ll.) said he, 'is opposed to proposals that bar citizenship or create a permanent non-citizen underclass.' To Labrador’s point, the heavy fines, fees and bureaucratic abuses that would prod every legalized immigrant on a path toward citizenship are hardly an award for legal behavior. And to Gutierrez, a legalization status less than citizenship is no more an underclass than the millions of green card or visa holders that currently happily live without becoming citizens. There is a simple solution to this impasse that could satisfy both camps: Create two paths." (08/30/13)

http://tinyurl.com/kamgpp2  

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How to (inadvertently) argue against the public education system

September 2, 2013
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"The public schools are, as they were originally set up to be in the 19th century, human resource processing factories. Their purpose is to supply the state with compliant subjects and employers with compliant workers. The ideal products are functionaries smart enough to perform their assigned tasks, but not smart enough to critically analyze the system or their roles in it." (08/30/13)

http://c4ss.org/content/21116  

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