Commentary

Silk Road “mastermind” railroaded by the feds

January 12, 2015
posted by

Garry Reed Libertarian News Examiner
by Garry Reed  

"As of today, according to the Ross Ulbricht Legal Defense Fund, the perpetually delayed and rescheduled trial of Ross Ulbricht, former academic honors student at the Nanotech Institute at the University of Texas at Dallas will begin Tuesday, January 13 in New York City. ... Activists at the Jury Rights Project see this trial as a perfect opportunity to both support Ulbricht and to educate the public about jury nullification. They've installed at least six Jury Nullification posters on phone kiosks ringing the courthouse in Manhattan where the trial is taking place and plan to distribute jury rights pamphlets throughout the month of January." (01/11/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mtsxoal  

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March of the hypocrites

January 12, 2015
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"The Islamic State has been trying to provoke a major military response from the Western powers for months now, executing American journalists and aid workers and posting videos of the executions on the Internet, but so far the US has reacted with caution. So they resorted to attacking the West on its own soil, and now the chorus of voices calling for an all-out invasion of Syria will become deafening, drowning out all reason." (01/12/15)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2015/01/11/march-of-the-hypocrites/  

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Push through the pain for liberty

January 12, 2015
posted by

Kent McManigal Clovis News Journal
by Kent McManigal  

"There is a balance to life. I love when my son comes to visit, even though it means I'll feel sadness when he has to head home again. The joy of his presence is worth the pain of his departure. All of life is a trade-off like this. Don’t allow your desire to avoid pain or sadness rob you of opportunities for joy. A free society would also bring some pain, but just like a short visit from a loved one, the pain would be worth the gains." (01/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mxml3v3  

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Police unions don’t serve the people

January 12, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Michelle Chen  

"Gotham’s thin blue wall is fracturing from all sides. In recent months, New York City has been rocked first by protests over police brutality, then by harsh tensions in the wake of two police slayings, and now an apparent unofficial 'job action' by the police. Despite denial from union brass, there has been a steep drop in police activity, summonses down roughly 90 percent and more serious arrests declining by over 50 percent, compared to the previous year. If this is indeed a coordinated rulebook labor action, it may prove oddly popular with the public: as long as their everyday lives aren’t too disrupted, some people may feel relieved by fewer encounters with law enforcement and 'quality of life' penalties." (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/jwblzu3  

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Obama’s raisin robbery

January 12, 2015
posted by

James Bovard Washington Times
by James Bovard  

"The Obama administration is once again championing Uncle Sam’s sacred right to seize farmers’ harvests. After being trounced on procedural grounds at the Supreme Court in 2013, the Justice Department wants the Supremes to uphold a recent appeals court decision that raisin confiscations are no violation of property rights. However, the Obama administration is misleading the court on whether raisin producers still support the oppressive regime." (01/11/15)

http://tinyurl.com/m28s2qe  

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Bad Quaker Podcast, 01/11/15

January 12, 2015
posted by

Bad Quaker Dot Com
by  

"Ben Stone talks with George Donnelly and Jim Babb about jury nullification and activism." [Flash audio or MP3] (01/11/15)

http://www.badquaker.com/archives/3258  

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Major central banks set to go their own way

January 12, 2015
posted by

Reuters Reuters
by Jonathan Spicer  

"The world’s major central banks have long followed the same general flight path, guided by the economic winds of growth, inflation and financial markets. It has worked pretty well for policymakers in the United States, Europe, Japan, and the United Kingdom: moving together to tighten or loosen monetary policy makes things more predictable for citizens, businesses and investors. It also serves as buffer to any volatile currency movements, at least among developed economies. But six years after the worst recession in decades, this could be the year central bankers split off and, with some risk, go their own way." (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/km2t8ba  

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The new music marketplace

January 12, 2015
posted by

Ludwig von Mises Institute Ludwig von Mises Institute
by Benjamin M Wiegold  

"In the end, the listeners are in control, so rather than view these innovations as detrimental to the state of music, it should be recognized that this is what people want, after all, as evidenced by their purchasing and streaming trends. People don’t want to waste their time scouring through music trying to find artists they enjoy; they want their favorite music brought straight to them, which is exactly what is being done." (01/09/15)

http://mises.org/library/new-music-marketplace  

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Some more thoughts on “free” community college

January 12, 2015
posted by

Thomas L. Knapp KN@PPSTER
by Thomas L Knapp  

"[W]hen you look at state/taxpayer subsidies to education, it may actually be cheaper to tell a student 'if you go to community college and maintain a 2.5 GPA, you don't have to pay anything' than to tell a student 'come to this public university and shell out big bucks -- but not nearly big enough bucks to even come close to covering what we're spending.' Then again, it may be a wash." (01/10/15)

http://tinyurl.com/nf3hrls  

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Obama’s free community college plan could hurt more than help

January 12, 2015
posted by

Fox News Fox News Forum
by Judah Bellin  

"President Obama's plan, announced Friday, to make community college free for promising students, will be seen by some as a game-changer. As the president noted in his speech, his proposal -- 'America’s College Promise' -- is based on Gov. Bill Haslam's Tennessee Promise program, which offers free tuition to students attending two years of community or technical college. While the president’s plan will certainly make community college accessible to many more students, it is also far from clear that such students will benefit. ... A better idea: rather than force schools to follow top-down commands, reward successful schools instead by making eligibility for federal funding contingent on satisfactory completion and employment outcomes." [editor's note: As with ACA, govt program ... ignore real problem ... subsidize "outliers" - SAT] (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/lrqhnh3  

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Education and the “progressive” corporate state

January 12, 2015
posted by

Kevin Carson Center for a Stateless Society
by Kevin Carson  

"Speaking in Knoxville, Tennessee on January 9 US president Barack Obama unveiled an initiative to provide two years of community college tuition-free, nationwide, to anyone meeting attendance and grade requirements. The idea, inspired by a similar program in Tennessee, aims to make two years of college as universal as high school is now. Obama’s proposal is in keeping, in more ways than one, with traditions going back to the origins of the American corporate state 150 years ago. Since the mid-19th century, a few hundred large industrial corporations and banks have dominated the American economy. And the American state, functionally, has been closely intertwined with the interests of those corporations." (01/10/15)

http://c4ss.org/content/34917  

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Additional conservative hypocrisy on the Cuban embargo

January 12, 2015
posted by

Jacob G Hornberger Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger  

"[G]iven that conservatives ostensibly oppose the communist system in Cuba, I'm going to just assume that they also oppose the surveillance schemes that are inherent to communist regimes. Yet, here we have the spectacle of conservatives (presumably) condemning governmental surveillance of people in Cuba (and North Korea, Vietnam, China, and other communist regimes) while effusively praising and glorifying it as part of America's national-security state way of life. When I visited Cuba several years ago, Cubans I spoke with pointed out to me that each block has a designated watch person, whose job is to report suspicious activity to the authorities. Doesn't that remind you of the U.S. government's exhortations to the American people to keep a watchful eye out for suspicious behavior and to immediately report it to the authorities?" (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/pbl6pqk  

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Charlie Hebdo TV pundits

January 12, 2015
posted by

The Cagle Post
by Daryl Cagle  

Cartoon. (01/09/15)

http://www.cagle.com/2015/01/charlie-hebdo-tv-pundits-2/  

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Christie/Jones bromance: Violation of ethics laws?

January 12, 2015
posted by

David Sirota In These Times
by David Sirota  

"Gov. Chris Christie’s appearances at professional football games to cheer on his beloved Dallas Cowboys have led to questions about why his favorite team isn’t a New Jersey local like the Jets, Giants or Eagles. But Christie’s bromance with Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones raises an even thornier question: When Christie received free owners’ box seats for recent Cowboys games, was he complying with New Jersey’s tough ethics rules banning gifts and favors to public officials? New Jersey’s executive branch ethics rules warn state officials that there's 'a zero tolerance policy for acceptance of gifts offered to you … that are related in any way to your official duties.'"

http://inthesetimes.com/article/17510/chris_christie_jerry_jones  

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Islam and Europe’s false debate: Denial vs. xenophobia

January 12, 2015
posted by

The Skeptical Libertarian The Skeptical Libertarian
by Daniel Bier  

"Other than buying into the concept of 'liberal Islamophobia,' and seemingly sweeping all of Islam's illiberal problems into the same pile as terrorism, I think Mounk is basically on target here. There really is a serious incompatibility between liberal Enlightenment values and traditional Islamic doctrines, which the left seems a priori committed to denying, while at the same time, the fascist right in Europe has seized on such concerns to advance xenophobic and isolationist agendas. Islam, like Christianity before it, must find someway of squaring its religious dogmas with the rules of liberal society." (01/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/odq23r7  

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Identity politics as an individualist project

January 12, 2015
posted by

Students For Liberty Students For Liberty
by Wade Craig  

"In my opinion, it is wrong of libertarians to reject identity politics. The most common reasons libertarians give for doing so boil down to two claims: it is a statist project, and/or it is a collectivist project. Neither is the case, and both are, in fact, the opposite of the truth. To be a true individualist with a robust dedication to fighting the use of individuals against their will, one must be a libertarian and one must engage in identity politics." (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/ovyeg79  

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Why economists get it wrong

January 12, 2015
posted by

The Canal The Canal
by Adrian Ravier  

"The media, and public debate, are currently home to many complaints that economists are failing to make accurate macroeconomic predictions. The critique goes beyond doubts about the art of prediction, often also attacking the scientific character of economics. For economics is a science, and perhaps one of the most complex there is." (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/oajqzx5  

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Dear Boston: Say hell no to the Olympic Games

January 11, 2015
posted by

The Nation The Nation
by Dave Zirin  

"Good people of Boston: We’ve had our issues in the past, mainly over the way Larry Bird repeatedly ripped out my heart as a small child. But there are bigger issues at stake that will determine the future of who gets to live in your city and who gets further pushed to the margins. Many are saying 'Congratulations' to you right now over being chosen as the US Olympic Committee’s city of choice to land the 2024 Summer Olympic Games. Don’t be grateful. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Then take that fear and channel it into raising hell. Hosting the Olympics is a bit like getting hit by a car. The question is not whether the experience was positive or negative. It is only about assessing the scale of the damage." (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/moo5o4v  

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Subsidy for everybody!

January 11, 2015
posted by

Paul Jacob Common Sense
by Paul Jacob  

"According to Vice President Joe Biden, the debate is over. Health care, by which he means medical assistance, is a basic right -- to be obtained through government, and made effective by the Affordable Care Act -- not a 'privilege.' By 'right' he means 'something others are forced to provide,' in this case by taxes, regulations, and the full panoply of U.S. law. Today's 'liberals' like to use the word 'privilege' to mean anything obtained without direct government assistance. And therein lies a huge problem." (01/09/15)

http://thisiscommonsense.com/2015/01/09/subsidy/  

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Heartland Daily Podcast, 01/09/15

January 11, 2015
posted by

Heartland Institute Heartland Institute
by  

"Paul Molloy of Freedom Works -- The Paul Molloy Show on Tantalk1340 in Florida -- interviewed School Reform News Managing Editor Heather Kays. Molloy and Kays discuss possible presidential hopeful Jeb Bush's defense of Common Core and the many problems related to the Common Core standards. Kays addresses criticism against politicians who have changed their minds regarding the standards." [Flash video] (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kkzpzcl  

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The unmentioned

January 11, 2015
posted by

MamaLiberty The Price of Liberty
by MamaLiberty  

"Watching as much of the news and reading as many of the commentaries as I can manage, one thing stands out as a question not being asked, a topic not being mentioned almost anywhere. The people targeted by the terrorists were not armed ... none of them. They had zero effective ways to participate in their own defense. They were sitting ducks, conditioned to believe that the police would or could protect them and that they would be wrong to even wish for other options. The question of the motives of the attackers, their religion or any of the rest of it seems distinctly secondary to this vital issue." (01/09/15)

http://www.thepriceofliberty.org/?p=6682  

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Dark side of jobs report: Shrinking workforce, stagnant wages

January 11, 2015
posted by

Our Future
by Dean Baker  

"The unemployment rate edged down to 5.6 percent in December from 5.7 percent in November (revised from an earlier reported 5.8 percent), the Labor Department reported today. However, the main reason was that 273,000 workers reportedly left the labor force. The employment-to-population ratio (EPOP) was unchanged at 59.2 percent, roughly 4.0 percentage points below the pre-recession level. The establishment survey showed the economy adding 252,000 jobs in December. With upward revisions to the prior two months’ data, this brings the three-month average to 289,000." (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/kwntwjb  

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Thoughts on the latest Rams press conference

January 11, 2015
posted by

Show-Me Institute Show-Me Daily
by Michael Rathbone  

"After listening to the press conference and going over some of the points raised here, I have my misgivings about this project. First, I would like to know specifically where the money is coming from to pay for this new stadium. During the press conference, Peacock said that the sources of public financing would not be ascertained until there was a commitment from the NFL and from the Rams on moving forward with this project. Second, the $860-$985 million price tag would only be for the new stadium. Additional money (it wasn't said how much) would be needed to upgrade the current Dome so it will be a full-time convention center. How are we going to pay for that as well? My biggest misgiving is the fact that we will be publicly subsidizing this thing at all. Kroenke's proposal in Los Angeles would be completely privately financed. Why should the public put up money when Kroenke can afford to pay for the costs himself?" (01/09/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mlzf9c5  

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Don’t starve Palestinian Authority, replace it with a real state

January 11, 2015
posted by

The American Prospect The American Prospect
by Gershom Gorenberg  

"The quick storyline is this: The president of Israel has just bashed the prime minister of Israel, which should create a dilemma in Washington -- but only if someone is paying attention. President Reuven Rivlin was speaking this week at a briefing for several dozen Israeli ambassadors to European countries (the kind of officially closed session from which leaks are certain, with important comments intended for the media). Three days before, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had retaliated for the Palestinian decision to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) by freezing the monthly transfer of taxes that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA). Rivlin said this wasn't smart, and wasn't good for Israel." [editor's note: Classic "progressive" nostrum, with no clue about the possibility of anything but more statism & tyranny - SAT] (01/08/15)

http://tinyurl.com/mas5ef8  

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Free speech and, not free speech but

January 11, 2015
posted by

Unqualified Offerings
by Thoreau  

"Prior to yesterday I knew nothing about Charlie Hebdo. If, two days ago, somebody had said that the publication's cartoons are dumb, ill-considered, insensitive, etc., I would have either c0nsidered the criticism on its merits or (depending on what was said) dismissed it as pandering to the hypersensitive (because I'm not one to give much weight to the most fragile feelings in the room). Today, if you feel that the most important point to discuss at this moment is how dumb/ill-considered/insensitive/etc. the publication is, I'm going to critique your critique and say that you are missing the goddamn boat right now. Yes, you have the absolute right to focus your criticism on the publication, you have the right to say that they should not have offended people, but I have the right to say that you're being dumb." (01/08/15)

http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2015/01/08/18318  

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